81. Chapter 2: The Lord the Redeemer
THE previous chapter was on God the Creator, and also included material on creation. This chapter is on the Lord the Redeemer, and also includes material on redemption. The following chapter is on the Holy Spirit, and will also include material on divine action.
By "the Lord, the Redeemer" we mean Jehovah in his human manifestation. In what follows, we will show that Jehovah himself came down and took on a human manifestation for the purpose of redeeming.
We speak of "the Lord" rather than "Jehovah" because Jehovah of the Old Testament is called "the Lord" in the New, as you can see from the following passages. In Moses it says, "Hear, O Israel, Jehovah your God, Jehovah is one. You are to love Jehovah God with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 6:4-5); but in Mark it says, "The Lord your God is one Lord. You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul" (Mark 12:29-30). Likewise in Isaiah it says, "Prepare a way for Jehovah; make a level pathway in the solitude for our God" (Isaiah 40:3); but in Luke it says, "I will go before the face of the Lord to prepare the way for him" (Luke 1:76). There are other instances elsewhere.
Furthermore, the Lord commanded his disciples to call him Lord [John 13:13]. Therefore this is what he was called by the apostles in their letters, and afterward what he was called in the apostolic church, as is clear from its creed, called the Apostles Creed.
One reason for this change of names was that the Jews did not dare to say the name Jehovah, because of its holiness. Another reason is that "Jehovah" means the underlying divine reality, which existed from eternity; but the human aspect that he took on in time was not that underlying reality. The nature of the underlying divine reality or Jehovah was shown in the previous chapter, 18-26-27-35.
Because of this, here and in what follows when we say "the Lord" we mean Jehovah in his human manifestation.
The concept of the Lord has an excellence that surpasses all other concepts that exist in the church or even in heaven. Therefore we need to adhere to an orderly sequence, as in the following, to make this concept clear:
1. Jehovah, the Creator of the universe, came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them.
2. He came down as the divine truth, which is the Word; but he did not separate the divine goodness from it.
3. In the process of taking on a human manifestation, he followed his own divine design.
4. The human manifestation in which he sent himself into the world is what is called "the Son of God. "
5. Through acts of redemption the Lord became justice.
6. Through these same acts he united himself to the Father and the Father united himself to him, again following the divine design.
7. Through this process God became human and a human became God in one person.
8. When he was being emptied out he was in a state of progress toward union; when he was being glorified he was in a state of union itself.
9. From now on, no Christians will go to heaven unless they believe in the Lord God the Savior and turn to him alone.
I need to address these statements one by one.