Conversations between the Father and the Son

January 29, 2000

This is a Bible study that hopefully you will find fascinating. Did you know that there are some places in the Bible where we are allowed to hear snippets of conversations between the Father and the Son? These occurred long before Jesus took on human form as the descendant of David. It is incredible that we are privileged to listen in on some of the most intimate planning sessions in heaven. So let's take a look....

'Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."' (Genesis 1:26 NIV)

This is God declaring His intention to design the grandest object of His creation, man. Why the grandest? Because it is the only creature that He made in His image and likeness. But to whom was He speaking? Himself? The angels? Notice the plural pronoun "us". He was not talking to the angels. Though they were observing in awe and applauding what God was doing , the angels were not actively involved in those creative works. The Father was speaking to the Son and the Spirit.

The "us" does not in any way imply that there is more than one God. This is the first hint of the Trinity, one of the awesome mysteries of God's nature that we cannot comprehend. Some people attempt to define the Trinity in terms understandable to us. However, in the Scriptures, God does not define the Trinity, or even use that word to describe Himself. He simply states it as a fact. When we attempt to go beyond what He has said in our desire to come up with a comprehensive definition of God, we will always fall short. We see in this instance is that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were discussing among themselves the plan for mankind. See Genesis 11:5-7 for another example of the LORD saying "Let us...."

'Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, "Here I am, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD. I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation."' (Psalms 40:6-10)

Here we are allowed to listen in on another important planning session. This is the Son speaking, expressing to the Father His willingness to obey and come to the earth for the fulfillment of the Father's wishes. Not only is He willing, but the Son is delighted to do what the Father asks.

The inability of the "sacrifice and offering" of the old covenant to atone for sins necessitated that the Son appear to be sacrificed as a new covenant for sins. In Hebrews 10, where this conversation is cited, the verse is quoted differently: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me." The plan was to prepare a human body for the Son to make His appearance. As He makes that appearance, the Son proclaims to the Father and to the world, "Here I am, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me." The world should have been prepared for this proclamation of His appearance, because of the prophecies about Him in the "scroll of the book". This very conversation is one of those, written 1000 years before the fact, and provides ample and detailed evidence of the nature of His mission.

The remainder of the discussion consists of the Son reporting back to the Father the success of the mission: "I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD. I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation." The Son had delivered the message with which He had been entrusted. He brought the message of salvation and love to the world, and not in words alone, but in the supreme act of obedience. When He told the Father "I have come to do your will," He was speaking specifically of His death on the cross. The Father's plan to prepare a body for the Son, and for the Son to bear the sins of the world in that body, was faithfully executed by the Son. In this conversation, the Son confirmed to the Father that the "glad news of deliverance" had been proclaimed and effected.

'This is what God the LORD says-- he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.' (Isaiah 42:5-7 NIV)

This time, we see the Father speaking to the Son. First, He recites some of His credentials, as the Creator of the universe, the earth, and mankind. Then He speaks to the Son of the commission and objectives for His visit to the earth. He reassures the Son that would always be with Him and watching over Him during His mission. He proceeds to define the distinctives that would be evident during the Son's visit to the earth: He would be a perfect man, always walking in step with the Father; He would "be a covenant"; and He would be the source of illumination and deliverance to all who would look to Him.

Notice that it does not say that He would announce or implement or impose a covenant; rather, He would "be" a covenant. This "new covenant in my blood," as Jesus would later describe it, would be for both Jews and Gentiles, but only for those who would be united with Him. Jesus expressed the extent of this spiritual union in terms that would shock the masses: "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:53-54 NIV) This was the Father's plan, and the Father's doing.

'And now the LORD says-- he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength-- he says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."' (Isaiah 49:5-6 NIV)

Once again, the Father is speaking to the Son about the nature of His mission, and the contents of this briefing is terrific news to those of us who are not Jewish. Though Jesus' primary objective would be to "bring Jacob back," His secondary objective was that He might be a "light for the Gentiles." The Father told the Son that it would be "too small" of an assignment to restore Jacob only; He had more work than that for Him to do. Jesus capabilities to deliver salvation would not be diminished by restricting them only to "the lost sheep of Israel;" no, that wasn't enough for Him. The salvation that Jesus accomplished would be for all people in the entire world. For the Jewish contemporaries of Isaiah who were reading the Jewish Scriptures about a Jewish Messiah who would be sent to deliver the Jews, this must have been a revolutionary, eyebrow-raising revelation. We who are not Jewish should remember this: Jesus said "salvation is from the Jews," and we should be very grateful that we have been included, not presuming we are somehow entitled to it.

'For this is what the LORD of hosts says: "After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you--for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye-- I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me. "Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.' (Zechariah 2:8-11)

This one is a bit tricky, but turns out to be a startling bit of evidence of the identity of the Messiah. Who is talking here? It is the LORD of hosts, Jehovah Tsaba, or YHVH of the armies (of heaven). Notice that the last two times that name is used here, it states that the person speaking has been "sent" by the LORD of hosts. So the speaker is the LORD of hosts, and He has been sent by the LORD of hosts. Confusing? No, not really; this is an obvious reference to the Father sending the Son. This audience to whom the Son is speaking is Israel. He is offering them proof once and for all that the Father "has sent me to you." To unravel this, the Son is saying in effect "I Am the LORD of hosts, and my Father, the LORD of hosts, has sent me to you. After these things happen, you will be convinced of this."

Though this one technically is not a conversation between the Father and the Son, it is very exciting because it is a pre-incarnation declaration of the Son regarding His authorization and vindication from the Father. What are the specifics of this? First, the Father would honor and glorify the Son. This is reminiscent of what Jesus would say,: "that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him" (John 5:23 NIV) Also, the Father would send the Son "against the nations." This aspect of His mission is integral for His second appearance here on the earth, and will be the final proof to the Jews of His identity. The final vindication for the Jews of the identity of the Son would be when He actually comes and lives with them. There is a hint here of the fact that the Jews did not "know" or recognize Him the first time. It is seen in the emphasis that "then" you will know that the Father has sent me to you. You didn't know it when I came the first time, but this time, you will. Because of this, the Messiah tells them to "shout and be glad."

'I will tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."' (Psalm 2:7-9 NRSV)

This is from the fabulous and profound Messianic Psalm 2. In this conversation, the Father speaking to the Son. Unlike others cited earlier, He is not speaking of the Son's obedience in fulfilling the mission of the cross. This time, the Father is declaring to the Son the "estate" that is going to be bequeathed to Him. It consists of nothing less than the nations of the world. Even though the beginning of the Psalm describes the resistance of those nations to the rule of the Son, the Father's decree is what will stand, and those who resisted will be smashed.

How will this happen? The Father is saying in effect, "All you have to do is ask Me, and I will accomplish it." To us, the Son proudly recites what the Father has decreed for Him. We can also see the Father's deep fondness for the Son. As John the Baptist explained, "The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands." (John 3:35 NIV)

'The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."' (Psalm 110:4 NIV)

As in all of these glimpses of conversations, they are revealed to us to foretell and confirm the authority of the Son. Here, the Father declares as emphatically as He can to the Son that the Son would be a priest, but would minister in an entirely new and different order than the Levitical priests. This statement, made in a strong and undeniable Messianic context, affirms the eternal priesthood and kingship of Jesus. Melchizedek was "priest of God Most High" and "King of Salem." He was the priest who predated the Levitical priests, and also ruled as king from Zion before any descendants of Abraham and David did. In this short verse in Psalm 110, the Father is publicly installing the Son into this office. This new and different priestly order that the Son initiates affords us the hope of the new covenant, and "enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf." (Hebrews 6:19-20 NIV)

'The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies.... The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.' (Psalm 110:1-2,5-6 NIV)

In Psalm 110, the Father continues to expound upon the theme of the Son's inheritance. Jesus Himself quoted the first verse to confound and silence those who disputed His claim to be the Son of God and Son of David. As we examine this, we hear the Father directing the Son to wait. After Jesus had completed the redemptive act for mankind, He is to wait for the time when the Father would dole out punishment to those who rejected His Kingship. The Father is promising that He will annihilate all of the Son's enemies, crushing the kings and presidents and prime ministers and generals who dare to oppose His royal authority.

Could this also be giving us a clue as to the timing of the "rapture"? The Son is being told to sit at the Father's right hand "until" His enemies have been subjugated. As a reward for His obedience, the Son is to watch and wait as the Father pours out retribution on the earth as the recompense for their hatred of the Son. The Father is vindicating the name of the Son, and the Son is to sit and watch it happen. But according to the pre-tribulation rapture viewpoint, Jesus appears prior to this to secretly snatch away the believers before His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. To me, this is another of the many indications that the "rapture" and the "parousia" are one event.

'Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds. Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king's enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.' (Psalm 45:3-7 NIV)

After the waiting period is over, when the Son rouses Himself from His holy throne in heaven, He receives His marching orders from the Father. How do we know that this one is the Father speaking to the Son? There are some clues in the conversation itself; however, the definitive answer is that Hebrews 1:8 explains that this citation is indeed the Father addressing the Son. What a majestic speech it is! He addresses the Son as the mighty warrior king who is riding forth into battle fully armed and confident of victory. The King stands for everything that is true and right, and is full of power to vanquish His enemies. When the war is complete, the King will reign on throne of justice, a reign that will never end.

Once again, we see a proof for the deity of the Messiah: The person being addressed is "God" ("Your throne, O God") but at the same time this person is told that "God" has set Him above His companions. God is speaking, and God is the one receiving the blessing from God. Confusing? No, it's very clear that this is yet another conversation between the Father and the Son. The Father is commanding His Son the King to take up His sword and fight for the throne that is rightfully His. To spur Him on, the Father gives the Son yet another promise of the unending Divine throne that would be His. Hallelujah! To Him be glory and honor forever!

Bob Westbrook 1/29/00