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Colossians 1:26-27: "the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints. To who God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

How can you fellowship with someone who is NOT with (or in) you, and how can he be with (or in) you if he is not God? Jeremiah 17:10, "I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind. Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.

The Apostle John at Revelation 2:23 excerpts the words from Jeremiah 17:10 and attributes them to the Lord Jesus Christ when He says, "I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give each one of you according to your deeds."

John 14:23 says God the Father and Jesus Christ will make their ABODE with him." Romans 5:5 says of the Holy Spirit, "and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out WITHIN OUR HEARTS through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

So in summary, if Jesus Christ is not God how is it He can fellowship with billions of other peoples scattered throughout time and space?

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  • @curiousdannii I object to your editing because Jerimiah 17:10 and its counterpart Revelation 2:23 are actions performed by God and His Son Jesus Christ. Both verses "contrast" each other which leaves the question as to why two persons are doing something only the one God can do?
    – Mr. Bond
    May 2 at 22:58
  • 1
    @MrBond But Colossians 1:26-27 doesn't talk about God or Jesus searching hearts etc. That's an important topic, but it should be asked about separately.
    – curiousdannii
    May 2 at 23:07
  • @curiousdannii Colossians 1:26-27 demonstrates the the mystery which had been hidden has now been manifested to His saints. What is the mystery? Vs27, "to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE AND GLORY.' And to prove this point that Christ is in the believer I quoted Jeremiah 17:10 showing it is God who tries the reins, judges the heart and reward men etc. At Revelation 2:23 John attributes Jesus Christ doing the same thing so how can Jesus Christ not be God but yet does what only God can do?
    – Mr. Bond
    May 2 at 23:19
  • 2
    You should separate this question since JWs have never said Jesus is just a man.
    – Kris
    May 2 at 23:48
  • 1
    @Adam Just because you have JW friends does NOT mean you know what they teach as Kris already pointed out to you. Even "a god" cannot create anything since there is only one creator. According to Jehovah God at Isaiah 44:24, I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens BY MYSELF, And spreading out earth the ALL ALONE." As you see being "a god" does not cut it. Secondly, give me your explanation of how Jesus Christ judges the heart, tries the reigns, and rewards men just as God does at Jeremiah 17:10? If your going to act in defense of Jw's, know your subject matter.
    – Mr. Bond
    May 3 at 13:52
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The New World Translation does away with any need for Jehovah’s Witnesses to answer the question you raise by employing the simple expedience of altering the words in these Bible verses:

Colossians 1:26-28 NWT: “the sacred secret that was hidden from the past system of things and from the past generations. But now it has been made manifest to his holy ones, to whom God has been pleased to make known what are the glorious riches of this sacred secret in union with you, the hope of his glory. He is the one we are publicizing, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in union with Christ.

It is worth noting that the New World Translation has changed virtually every verse that says “in me” or “in us” or “in them” to say “in union with me” or “in union with us” or “in union with them” (John 14:10, 11, 20; John 17:21, 22, 23).

However, there is no basis for translating the Greek text to read "in union with". I refer you to this question and the two answers that relate to this: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/59807/what-is-the-basis-for-translating-colossians-127-28-to-in-union-with-christ-a

In other words, the New World Translation does not say that Jesus dwells IN the believer, only that the believer is IN UNION WITH Christ. This is not physical but is a spiritual relationship.

Romans 5:5 NWT: “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit, which was given us.”

Likewise, the holy spirit is not a “who” but is a “which”. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the holy spirit is God’s power in action, his active force. That is why they never show holy spirit as Holy Spirit.

John 14:23 NWT: In answer Jesus said to him: “If anyone loves me, he will observe my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our abode with him.” This is taken to mean that those who love and obey Jesus will enjoy a close spiritual relationship with Jehovah and with Jesus. It is not a literal, physical abode within the believer.

Question: What precious relationships are open to the anointed and to the “other sheep”? 10 Later that night, in answer to a question put to him by the faithful apostle Judas (Thaddaeus), Jesus said: “If anyone loves me, he will observe my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our abode with him.” (John 14:22, 23) Even while still on earth, anointed Christians, called to reign with Christ in heaven, have a particularly close relationship with Jehovah and with his Son. (John 15:15; 16:27; 17:22; Hebrews 3:1; 1 John 3:2, 24) But their “other sheep” companions, whose hope is to live forever on earth, also have a precious relationship with their “one shepherd,” Jesus Christ, and with their God, Jehovah, provided they prove to be obedient. Source: https://www.jw.org/en/library/magazines/w20020201/Are-You-Among-Those-Loved-by-God/

The New World Translation agrees that it is Jehovah speaking in Jeremiah 17:10 and it is the Son of God speaking in Revelation 2:23. However, they do not understand this to mean that Jehovah and Jesus are one and the same being. Jesus (a created being and so perceived as a little god) is subordinate to Jehovah (the only big God) according to John 1:1 in the New World Translation. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus imitates his Father and is given authority by his Father to act.

John 5:19-24 NWT: The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing... For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son.”

According to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus can only ever do anything THROUGH the Father who created him.

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  • Changing the bible to suit the trinity is more widespread I suspect than your claims against JWs. What does Jesus do apart from the Father?
    – steveowen
    May 3 at 20:50
  • 1
    Lesley does the translation “in union with” really change the understanding of what Colossians 1:27 is saying?
    – Kris
    May 4 at 12:43
  • 1
    @user47952 It's no use trying to deflect a valid criticism by you then accusing others of the same error - changing the Bible to suit one's own doctrinal stance. Simply prove that the criticism you object to is unfounded, and the matter will be resolved. Jesus cannot do anything apart from the Father because the Father and the Son subsist in the one Being of God.
    – Anne
    May 4 at 12:53
  • 1
    @Kris You ask if the translation “in union with” really changes the understanding of what Col.1:27 is saying. Ah, but this deals with an addition, not a translation! The Greek for “union with” isn’t in the text so cannot be translated. The text simply says “in” which massively changes the internal presence of Christ in the Christian with a mere sense of unity with Christ. No. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, which is also the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9) indwells all Christians (not just 144,000) and that is the JW doctrine that has caused those words to be added – to make all JWs think
    – Anne
    May 4 at 13:01
  • 1
    @user47952 words like theocracy, Bible, organization, planets, subsist etc are nowhere in the pages of the Bible text. Instead of trying to change the subject of the point in question, why not show us how Lesley's criticism is unfounded?
    – Anne
    May 4 at 13:18
3

A Biblical Unitarian understanding is based on there being one God - the Father, and His human son Jesus. The spirit is the presence and power of God for good in all things.

Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we (the Father and Jesus) will come to them and make our home with them.

How does Jesus and the Father do this?

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another helper, so that He may be with you forever; 17 the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you.

18“I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. 19 After a little while, the world no longer is going to see Me, but you are going to see Me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I in you. John 14:16-20

Jesus is going to be with them - 'coming to them', as is the Father by or through the spirit. This is how God had always operated since the beginning in interacting with His created humans, and now Jesus can also interact through the same spirit of God to be 'present' when he is not literally/bodily here on earth.

Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. Acts 2:33

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26

"He will give you another helper" - Jesus is the primary paraclete - the spirit is 'another' - to follow up what Christ had begun. Explained here.

the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints. Col 1

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ 1 John 1:1-3

John explains this 'manifested' mystery. Jesus IS the mystery of God revealed. His plan, word and will are manifested perfectly in Christ. He IS the word, will and plan of God.

Now all believers, current and future have fellowship with God and His son as His spirit and our spirit are drawn into unity.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. Rom 8:9

...preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9and to enlighten all people as to what the plan of the mystery is which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; 10so that the multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord Eph 3:8-

insight into the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ, 3 in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden Col 2:2

The overwhelming thrust of God's redemption of man through His son is the relationship that they had as Father and son - the desire that we too be one as they are one. This unity is spiritually obtained, not by our human will, but by the presence of God and Jesus within us - His will active in us, as it was in Jesus.

that all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You John 17:21

This same connection is evident with Jesus at his baptism. Jesus saw the heavens opened, he saw the spirit animated or manifested as a dove. This was a display for his benefit as well as any others who witnessed this provision of the Father for His son immediately prior to his temptation and beginning of his ministry. The Father dwelt in Jesus through His spirit. Just as He and Jesus do in believers now, until the end of the age.

After He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and settling/resting on Him Matt 3:16

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[...] if Jesus Christ is not God how is it He can fellowship with billions of other peoples scattered throughout time and space?

The Apostle Paul answers your question here (emphasis ours):

Gal 4:6 NKJV
6And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

Christ is with us in Spirit.

Who sends Christ into our hearts? The Apostle Paul said, "God". Here, the Apostle Paul distinguishes between Christ and God―God sends, and Christ is sent.

Jeremiah 17:10, "I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind. Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.

The Apostle John at Revelation 2:23 excerpts the words from Jeremiah 17:10 and attributes them to the Lord Jesus Christ when He says, "I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give each one of you according to your deeds."

God indeed will give according to our deeds, and this judgment He carries out through Christ (emphasis ours):

Acts 17:31 NASB
31because He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all people by raising Him from the dead.”
(The New American Standard Bible. New York, New York: American Bible Society, 1991.)

Once again, a distinction is made―it is God who judges, and it is Christ through whom He judges.

Thus, Jesus only judges based on the judgment of the God who sent Him (emphasis ours):

John 5:30 ERV
30“I can do nothing alone. I judge only the way I am told. And my judgment is right, because I am not trying to please myself. I want only to please the one who sent me.
(Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version. Fort Worth, Texas: World Bible Translation Center, Inc., 1999.)
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  • Welcome to Christianity Stack Exchange. Just curious, but are you expressing the official view of either Jehovah's Witnesses or Unitarians?
    – Lesley
    May 4 at 8:32
  • @Lesley Hello and thank you. I am expressing neither, just simply what the Bible says.
    – carsonfel
    May 4 at 9:09
  • Appreciate your insights, but the OP is asking specifically for the views of Jehovah's Witnesses and Unitarians. I don't know if you've taken our Tour yet - it explains how we are different to others sites and what we look for in good questions and answers - here is the link: christianity.stackexchange.com/tour
    – Lesley
    May 4 at 9:16
  • 1
    @Lesley It's to my understanding that the OP was asking for an answer from "all who deny that Jesus is the Almighty God," among whom I would be counted. Unless I'm mistaken.
    – carsonfel
    May 4 at 9:18
  • You are quite correct, the question is extended to "all who deny that Jesus is the Almighty God". +1 for Galatians 4:6.
    – Lesley
    May 4 at 9:23

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