Jehovah vs Jesus. Who Is God?
Who is Jehovah? Some people believe that Jehovah is God's name. Even though this is a possible name for God, it's one of many. There is much debate as to the origin, spelling, pronunciation, and meaning of God's many names.
A much deeper question is, who is God? Who is our creator? i.e. what is the true nature of God? What is God like? Is he kind, loving, generous, ... does he have a great sense of humor? How can we know God? If we can understand God's personality, - his likes and dislikes, we would know how to have a close personal relationship with him.
Let's take a look at the God Jehovah. What does the Bible say? Jehovah is an ancient God who demands a lot from his people. As the case with most God's, Jehovah is loving, kind, and generous with the people he loves. If God is evil, no one would worship him. However Jehovah is not unconditionally loving. His love is conditional upon strict obedience to rules. Jehovah is a God of righteousness and judgment. He can get angry at a moments notice and is capable of wiping out entire groups of people. Deut 9:6-8; Zechariah 8:14; 2 Kings 22:13; Isaiah 13:9-16; Nahum 1:2
Jehovah was a God created by primitive ancient people who depended on the sun, rain, weather, plants, and animals for survival. They believed that the reason for natural disasters, drought, contagious diseases, locusts, etc., was because they did something wrong and God was punishing them. The ancient Israelites feared Jehovah because they lacked the understanding Jesus had about the true nature of God 'the Father'.
To avoid punishment, ancient people looked for ways to make Jehovah happy through sacrifice. Leviticus 23:19,20; 1 Samuel 16:5-7. To be blessed by Jehovah, obedience to his laws was required. Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Isaiah 1:19; Deuteronomy 8:20.
In cases of serious wrong doing, willful lawbreakers were executed to protect the purity of the tribe. Leviticus 20:10; Numbers 15:30, 31. The belief was that if someone violated God's law within their tribe, Jehovah could punish everyone. God's people could not risk crop failures, deadly diseases, floods and other natural disasters. The survival of the tribe was far more important than individual rights and freedom.
Jehovah is the first stage in the understanding of God's nature. From the perspective of primitive ancients who depended on God's blessings for their survival as a tribe, Jehovah was to be feared. Today, like in ancient times, believers in Jehovah still fear him. He's a god of righteousness, and a god of judgment for those who disobey. It is very easy to displease this ancient God. Nahum 1:2; Numbers 11:1; 1 Kings 13:26; Haggai 1:12; Isaiah 65: 11,12.
When Jesus walked this earth, the Pharisees were strong supporters of the God Jehovah. They were preoccupied with rules, regulations and an outward show of righteousness, but they did not understand the love God has for each one of us. They didn't have the understanding Jesus had about about God's love being far more important than strict laws and observance of religious tradition.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees on various occasions and warned his followers about them. Luke 12:1, Matthew 16:6, Matthew 12:11. Sure enough, immediately after Jesus died, a high ranking Pharisee and avid persecutor of Christians, quickly became one of the most respected leaders in the early Christian congregation. Get The Facts About The Apostle Paul
Who Is Jesus?
Jesus is not like Jehovah at all. Christians believe that God is compassionate, understanding, and forgiving. Jesus tells us that God the Father is unconditionally loving. Luke 6:35. This is a sharp contrast to Jehovah, who is very judgmental. Jehovah's love is conditional upon obedience and sacrifice.
According to Luke 6:35, Jesus says that God is kind to the wicked and the ungrateful. In addition he advises his followers not to judge. Luke 6:37. And unlike followers of Jehovah in ancient times, followers of Jesus have a direct spirit-directed relationship with God that is symbolized by baptism. Matthew 28:18-19. Christianity frees individuals from ancient laws that were designed to protect primitive tribes from God's wrath. Jesus is a more advanced understanding of God and his true divine nature. Luke 6: 35-37; Matthew 11:29.
Who Is God?
Followers of the ancient God Jehovah are not free to be themselves or to engage in independent thinking. They cannot rebel against the laws of their tribe. The survival of their tribal organization is far more important than individual rights and freedoms. Since the purity of the tribe must be maintained to avoid the wrath of Jehovah, followers must adhere to a strict code of conduct in order to experience God's love and blessings.
Even though the attributes of Jehovah made sense to ancient tribal people, it is not the true nature of God. Jesus came into this world to explain God the Father. Jesus revealed the true nature of God, our Creator.
Followers of Jesus love all people including the wicked and ungrateful. In doing so, Christians become 'sons of the Most High' Luke 6:35. Followers of Jesus are free from the rigid, unloving rules and regulations the ancient Israelites followed in order to please Jehovah.
Also since Christians are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, every individual has a direct spiritual relationship with God. No tribe, organization, or religion is required for salvation. All Christians are filled with God's Holy Spirit and they stand on their own before God as individuals. No distinction is made between 'anointed Christians' and those of 'the great crowd'. According to Jesus, all Christians are equals before God. This one on one relationship with God is symbolized by baptism. Matthew 28:18,19. See Law of the Christ and Baptism