Isaiah 44:6 Revelation 1:17

 

Isaiah 44:6 says: “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”

Revelation 1:17 says: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:”

Along this same line of thought concerning the oneness of God and Christ, some people have misunderstood Isaiah 44:6 and Revelation 1:17 where the Bible uses the term “the first and the last.”

Jesus did not end his conversation at Revelation 1:7. In the next verse, he went on to say, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore (v. 18).” Jesus used the term again when he spoke to the church at Smyrna. He said, “These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive(Revelation 2:8).” Jesus said that he, “the first and the last,” was dead. If he was the one and only God, he could not have died, for the Bible says in1 Timothy 6:16 that God cannot die.

Therefore, we must conclude that the person speaking in Isaiah 44:6 is someone other than Jesus Christ. There are other titles and names in the Bible that are shared by both the Father and the Son, and the title, “the first and the last” is one of these titles.

Let us go back to Isaiah 44:6 and find out who is speaking. The speaker says, “beside me there is no God,” and in verse 8, he says, “Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” This is very precise language to indicate that the speaker is alone. All of the pronouns are singular, indicating that only one person is speaking. Who is this one person? TheNew Testament clarifies this.

In 1 Corinthians 8:4, Paul wrote, “we know… that there is none other God but one.” And to make it abundantly clear who he was referring to when he spoke of the God beside which there is none other, Paul also wrote “to us there is but one God, the Father (v. 6).” Paul understood the one God of the Bible to be God the Father and no one else.

Jesus had the same understanding. After Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:4, the scribe told him, “Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he (Mark 12:32).” Who is the one God the scribe was referring to? Was he referring to Jesus as the one God? Certainly not! He was referring to God the Father and Jesus knew it.

At another time, while Jesus was talking to the scribes and Pharisees, he said, “If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God (John 8:54).” Jesus knew that when the scribes and Pharisees said “God,” they were referring to his Father. When this scribe said, “there is one God; and there is none other but he,” Jesus knew that he was talking about his Father.

Jesus did not correct the scribe by saying, “You are wrong, I am really the one God of the Bible.” Not at all! To the contrary, the Bible says that Jesus saw that he answered discreetly or wisely (Mark 12:34). Jesus knew that this man was correct, that there is one God, the Father, and there is none other God but him.

Every time singular pronouns are used of God or Christ such as “he,” “him,” “his,” “I,” “me,” etc., they always refer to one person. Whenever a Bible writer wanted to speak of both the Father and Son, they always use plural pronouns like, “them,” “they,” “us,” “we,” “our,” etc. So far, I have not found any exceptions to this rule. When the scribe said, “there is one God; and there is none other but he,” the scribe was referring to only one person, God the Father.

With this clarification from the New Testament, we can be completely sure who is speaking in Isaiah 44:6. He is God the Father and no one else. He is the ultimate first and last, even though he allowed his Son to carry this title as well.

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