Tag Archives: Trinity

Jesus’ Two Glories

Some claim that John 1 and Colossians 1 defines Jesus as both fully God (as in Almighty God) and also as fully man. It is further claimed that the true definition of “Jesus” is “the Son of God in the flesh.” It is then assumed, based on this definition, that if Jesus is still alive, then he must also still be “in the flesh.” However, when we examine these scriptures, we find that there is nothing either in John 1 or Colossians 1 that justifies the conclusion that Jesus ever was, is now, or ever will be, the only true God (the Supreme Being, the only Most High). Nor do we see anything that gives us a definition that Jesus is now the “Son of God in the flesh.”

The Bible reveals that Jesus has had two different general forms of glory, but he did not have both at the same time. Before Jesus became a man, he spoke of a glory that he had with the only true God before the world (the world that was made through him; the world that he came into, the world that did not recognize him — John 17:1,3,5) was made. (John 1:3,10) Jesus prayed that he again have the glory that had with the only true God, so while he was in the days of his flesh, Jesus did not have that glory. If he did have that glory while in the days of his flesh, then why would he ask the only true God (John 17:1,3) to give that glory to him again? — John 17:5.

Paul spoke of the two general kinds of glory, when he was answering the question about the kind of body with which the dead are raised. He said: “There are also celestial [in the heavens] bodies, and terrestrial [in the earth] bodies; but the glory of the celestial differs from that of the terrestrial.” — 1 Corinthians 15:40.

Jesus, before he became a man, Jesus had the celestial glory, but he did not have the terrestrial glory. Thus John writes: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God [Ton Theon], and the Word was God [Theos, in this usage, more properly should be rendered “mighty,” in the sense of mightiness, not as “God” whom the Word was with]. The same was in the beginning with God [Ton Theon].”  (John 1:1,2) John was definitely not telling us that Jesus was “God” whom Jesus was with, but John is telling us of a special mightiness that Jesus had with the only true God before the world of mankind was made. — John 1:10; 17:3,5.

The title “Word,” designates Jesus as the Word of God, as shown in Revelation 19:13. John, in using the word “THEOS” of Jesus, was not making the claim that Jesus “was” the only true God whom Jesus was said he was with. (John 17:1,3,5) Many scholars say that THEOS here is speaking qualitatively. Forms of THEOS in the New Testament correspond with forms of the Hebrew word EL in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, when forms of the Hebrew word EL were used “qualitatively,” they could be used of other persons and things than Yahweh in the sense of might, power, strength.

We will begin by showing this usage with John 10:34,35, where Jesus quotes and refers to  Psalms 82:1,6, where the Psalmist uses both forms of the Hebrew word EL and ELOHIM, and thus these words are applied the sons of the Most High, the sons to whom the Logos came (as Jesus explained). In John 10:34,35, the word ELOHIM is rendered as THEOI, the plural of THEOS. According the King James Version, God [ELOHIM] standeth in the congregation of the mighty [EL]. (Psalm 82:1) In reference to the sons of the Most High, the KJV renders the term EL as “the mighty.” Applying this scriptural principle to THEOS in John 1:1, we would likewise have “the Logos was mighty.”

Additionally, this is not the only place that the KJV renders forms of the words EL (Strong’s Hebrew #410)  and ELOHIM (Strong’s Hebrew #430) with terms showing mightiness or strength. Here are a few scriptures: Genesis 23:6 (mighty); Genesis 30:8 (mighty); Genesis 31:29 (power); Deuteronomy 28:32 (might); 1 Samuel 14:15 (great); Nehemiah 5:5 (power); Psalm 8:5 (angels); Psalm 36:6 (great); Proverbs 3:27 (power); Psalm 29:1 (mighty); Ezekiel 32:21 (strong); Jonah 3:3 (exceeding). The point is the King James translators, in all these verses, did not render the word for deity/divinity [EL] as “God” or as “god”, but with terms of might, strength, great, power and might. Likewise, since John is definitely not stating that the Word was the God that the Word was with, the most directly scriptural understanding of John 1:1c should be: “the Word was mighty.”

All of the spirit beings, by “nature” of the superior might given to them by the Almighty are scripturally designated as el or elohim, and thus can be spoken of as divine — mighty — in being. — Psalm 8:5 (compare Hebrews 2:9; also Psalm 50:1 and 96:4 could be speaking of angels as elohim); 45:6,7; Isaiah 9:6,7; John 1:1,2; Acts 2:33; 5:31; Ephesians 1:20,22; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:2-4,8; 1 Peter 1:21; 3:22.

The scriptural conclusion is that since John is definitely not saying that the Word “was” (past tense) the only true God, then he is speaking of THEOS as a quality, that is, of the might, power, the glory that he “was” but was not while he was in the days of his flesh. Whatever is meant by THEOS in John 1:1c expresses what the LOGOS “was” before he became flesh, not while he “was” in the days of his flesh. – Hebrews 5:7

See the studies on John 1:1,2 at:
http://jesus.rlbible.com/?page_id=4871

When Jesus became a man, he no longer had the glory of the celestial, but he became fully a man, crowned with the glory a little lower than the angels. (Hebrews 2:9) As already, shown, while in the days of his flesh, Jesus did not have his former glory. (John 17:5) But he did possess the glory of a human, a glory that he maintained without spot or blemish, since he never sinned, and thus never fell short of the glory of his God and Father. (Romans 3:23) According to the scriptures, all mankind are dying because of Adam’s sin. (1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12-19) Yet Jesus never sinned. Does this mean that Jesus was not a man? Common evidence of the scriptures show that Jesus is not included in the “all” being spoken, since the manner in which he came into this world was not as a result of uniting a man’s sperm with the ovum of a woman. Hebrews 10:5 lets us know that his body was specially prepared by God Himself. He was not of dying race in Adam. (Romans 5:115-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) Thus, his body was not a dying body, but it was a body having sinless life,  a body with the possibility of living forever, as Adam had before Adam sinned. John, in speaking in the past, while Jesus was flesh, said that: “In him was life.” (John 1:4) Jesus could not give dying flesh for mankind, but he could give living flesh (flesh not under condemnation of death), which he spoke of symbolically as “living bread.” (John 6:51) Jesus, therefore, offering his life, was offering the life that was in him, in his flesh, his human body, for the world of mankind. And having thus never sinned, having proven himself incorruptible before God even under severe sufferings, Jesus brought life and incorruption to light for mankind. (2 Timothy 1:10) He condemned sin in the flesh, proving that a sinless man could remain obedient. (Romans 8:3) In his obedience, he, as a human being, was brought to perfection, to completion, thus putting on incorruption (having proven himself incorruptible), as Adam could have done had Adam remained obedient. By his obedience to the only true God, Jesus thus conquered, and thus, as a human, no death could claim any hold on him. However, Jesus willingly gave up his human soul — his human sentiency — to pay the price for Adam and the dying race in Adam, so that his soul — his sentiency — was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. (1 Peter 3:18)  In receiving his soul back from realm of death, from the Bible hell, Jesus’ soul was no longer with the glory of a physical, terrestrial, earthy, body, but it was then a with the glory of a celestial, spiritual, heavenly body. Jesus, by his taking Adam’s place, has become the “last Adam” — the last father — the human race, so that his is now, not an earthly father, but the “life-giving spirit” from heaven.

Jesus gave himself as human in sacrifice, he did not give himself as THEOS in sacrifice.  The ransom sacrifice of Jesus only buys back what Adam lost. Adam lost sinless life on earth, in a physical, terrestrial body; Adam did not lose life in the heavens. It was only due to his sin, that Adam fell short of the glory of God. Before he sinned, therefore, his flesh did not fall short of that glory. There is nothing at all in the Bible that indicates that life in the heavens was ever offered to Adam. Thus, what Jesus gave to purchase mankind was not a spiritual, a celestial glory, but rather an earthly, fleshly glory. By offering in sacrifice that crown of glory, which is a little lower than the angels, Jesus therefore tasted death for every man. — Hebrews 2:9.

Of course, the name “Jesus” was first applied to Jesus when he became a Man. Before he became a man, Jesus tells us of his existence with the only true God, and that he had a glory at that time which he did not have as a man. Thus he prayed that the glory that he formerly had should be given to him again. (John 17:1,3,5) John speaks of that glory by using the Greek word “theos.” (John 1:1,2) Theos does usually mean “God,” but it does not always mean so. The Hebrews many times used the Hebrew words that are translated into Greek by the word “theos” to mean might, power, strength, etc. Jesus applied this general meaning to theos when he spoke of the sons of God as THEOI, thereby rendering the Hebrew ELOHIM by the Greek word THEOI (a plural of THEOS —  As a man, Jesus had the full glory of man, since he never fell short of that glory due to sin, for in him was no sin. That glory, however, is a glory a little lower than the angels. (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7) Thus his human crown of glory was never marred with sin, as is true of the descendants of Adam. — Romans 3:23; 5:12-19.

Jesus was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. (1 Peter 3:18) If Jesus is still flesh, then he never sacrificed his flesh; thus there has never been any offering made to God for our sins. — John 6:51; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14; 10:10,12.

Jesus is no longer in the “days of his flesh.” (Hebrews 5:7) He now has a celestial (heavenly), spiritual body, having become the life-giving spirit from heaven. — 1 Corinthians 15:40,44,45,47.

Thus, Jesus never had two different “natures” (glories) at once. Jesus, before he became flesh, did not have the crown of human being, a little lower than the angels, but he did have the a celestial glory alongside the only true God. When he became flesh, he did not have the glory that he formerly had, but he did have the terrestrial glory of a human being, a little lower than the angels. Having sacrificed the glory of being a human being, a little lower than the angels, Jesus now is again with the celestial glory. Jesus never possessed both glories at once, thus the doctrine of Jesus’ having dual natures/beings at once is not in the Bible.

See also:
Jesus’ Prehuman Glory

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Revelation 2:23 – He who searches hearts

I will kill her children with Death, and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. — Revelation 2:23

Then hear in heaven, your dwelling-place, and forgive, and do, and render to every man according to all his ways, whose heart you know; (for you, even you only, know the hearts of all the children of men;) — 1 Kings 8:39

Jeremiah 11:20 – But, Yahweh of Hosts, who judge righteously, who try the heart and the mind, I shall see your vengeance on them; for to you have I revealed my cause.

The above scriptures are sometimes cited as proof that Jesus is his God, especially since it stated in 1 Kings 8:39 that only Yahweh knows the hearts of all the children of men, and since Jesus says that he is the one who searches the hearts of men, then this is offered as proof that Jesus is Yahweh.

However, if this is so, then Yahweh has another who is the God of Yahweh, since in Revelation 3:12, Jesus, the one who is speaking in Revelation 2:23, speaks of another as “my God”. So if the one speaking in Revelation 1:18 through Revelation 3:22 is Yahweh, the only Most High, then the only Most High has one who the Supreme Being over the only Most High, which is self-contradictory.

Rather than assuming the self-contradiction, we should examine the scriptures closely so that the scriptures may be seen to be harmonized without adding the assumption that Jesus is Yahweh.

When Solomon spoke the words as recorded 1 Kings 8:39, the word that he used, which is translated as “alone” or “only”, is a form of the Hebrew “bad” (Strong’s Hebrew #905). This word does not, of itself, take on the meaning of total exclusivity that our trinitarian neighbors would like for us to apply to it in 1 Kings 8:39.

For instance, in Job 1:15,16,17,19, the servants of Job a each express their being alone. However ,the context shows a relationship regarding that aloneness. They were not each saying that they alone, of all people in the universe, had escaped, rather their aloneness was in relationship to the others who were destroyed in whatever destruction was being referred to.

Likewise, in 1 Kings 8:39, Solomon is contrasting Yahweh with the rulers and judges of Israel — men on earth; only Yahweh — not the judges/rulers on earth — could know the hearts of men.

However, even assigning it the exclusivity as related to the universe at that time, Solomon did not say that Yahweh could not grant to another the ability to search the hearts of men. Indeed, this is exactly what the scriptures tell us that the Most High did. Jesus stated that his ability to judge had been given to him by his God and Father.  (John 5:22) And Jesus said that he judged in accordance with the will of the only true God who had sent him. (John 5:30; 17:1,3) Thus, when Yahweh comes to judge the world (Psalm 96:13; 98:9), he comes to judge the world by means of the one whom he has appointed, as we read in Acts 17:31. Seeing then, that Jesus has been given all power in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:19 — excluding the power of being the Most High — 1 Corinthians 15:27) to carry out such judgment, he would of necessity need the power to know and read the hearts of men.  Thus, the plenitude of might has been given to him bodily, so that he may fulfill his role as “the head of all principality and power.” — Colossians 2:9,10.

However, the fact that all of the power and authority has been given to Jesus does not mean that Jesus became Yahweh, the only Most High.

John 1:1 – What Beginning?

John 1:1 – In the beginning

It is usually thought that “the beginning” in John 1:1 refers to the beginning of absolutely all creation. However, the scriptures indicate otherwise. Notice how “the beginning” is used in other scriptures, and how it is used regarding the human world, not of the angels.  — Matthew 19:4,8; 24:21; Mark 10:6; 13:19; John 8:44; 2 Peter 3:4.

“The beginning” refers not to the beginning of the universe, nor the beginning of the spirit world where the angels live, but the “beginning” of the world of mankind into which Jesus came. It was this “world” that was made through Jesus, before the creation of which Jesus was with his God and Father. (John 1:10; 17:1,3,5; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; 1 Peter 1:3) The Greek word for “world” is usually transliterated as “kosmos.” This word, also, usually refers, not to the angels, nor even to the physical universe as such, but to the world of mankind, as can be seen by its usage throughout the New Testament.
http://studylight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=2889

The words related to creation in the New Testament are almost always used in relation to the world of mankind, and not regarding the invisible heavens, or even the physical universe. For instance, that creation which has been subjected to futility, and which is to be released therefrom is the world of mankind.  –Romans 8:19-22.

http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/NewTestamentGreek/grk.cgi?number=2937

Jesus is never called the creator the Bible, but rather, the Bible shows that all in this world was made “through” Jesus. (John 1:3,10) Nothing in this world was made without Jesus. Jesus identified his God and Father as the Creator. (Mark 10:6; 13:19) John simply identifies “the Word” as the agent that God used in that creation.

For further study on this, see:

The Beginning and the Creation of the World

In The Beginning

The Six Days of Creation

Is Jesus the Creator?

The Word of God

Related Books

Matthew 28:19 – One Name

Matthew 28:19 – Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. — World English.

Many trinitarians would like for us to note that there is one “name,” and supposedly three persons who have this one name. From this they would like for us to think that there are three persons in one God.

The word “name” carries various shades of meaning. One of the meanings is “cause or reason,” as “in the cause of,” etc.
http://studylight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=3686

In the Hebrew scriptures, for one to act “in the name” of Yahweh (or another) meant to act in the authority of Yahweh (or whoever it was that a person came “in the name of”).  — Deuteronomy 18:5,7,22; 21:5; 25:6; 1 Samuel 17:45; 20:42; 25:9; 2 Samuel 6:18; 1 Kings 18:32; 22:16; 2 Kings 2:24; 1 Chronicles 16:2; 21:19; 2 Chronicles 18:15; 33:18; Ezra 5:1; Psalm 20:5; Psalm 118:10,11,12,26; 129:8; Jeremiah 11:21; 26:16,20; Zechariah 13:3.

However, Matthew 28:19 is not talking about the ones being baptized as coming in the name of, but of their acceptance of the name, authority, cause of, the ones being mentioned, thus, the usage is similar to: Psalm 124:8; Isaiah 50:10; Micah 4:5, except that in Matthew 28:19, it is denoting the acceptance of/belief upon, the “name” of each, similar to the New Testament usage in Matthew 10:41; John 3:18,36; Acts 2:38; 10:48; 1 John 5:13.

The word translated as “in” Matthew 28:19 is the Greek word transliterated as “eis” (Strong’s #1519), which usually carries the meaning of “into.” This word is also used in John 3:18,36; 4:39 and 1 John 5:13. Given this meaning, those being baptized would be baptized into agreement with the name/cause/authority of the Father, of the Son, and of the holy spirit.

However, one of the meanings of the Greek word “eis” (Strong’s #1519), is “for,” as denoting “regarding” (Matthew 3:13; 9:4; 10:19; Mark 3:29; 6:11); applying this meaning, one would be baptized ‘for’ the name/cause/authority of the Father, of the Son and of the holy spirit.

http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=1519&version=kjv

Notwithstanding, many scholars point out that Eusebius’ earlier quotes of Matthew 28:19 do not contain this baptismal forumual, but simply refer to being baptized in the name of Jesus; for this and some other reasons, many scholars believe that the wording as we have received was changed to add the baptismal forumla as we now have it.* Assuming that the words as they appear in the extant Greek NT manuscripts actually express the words of Jesus, the word “name” here signfies the cause or authority, not a singular appellation. The cause/authority is used in a distributive sense, in the cause or authority of the Father, in the cause or authority of the Son, and in the cause or authority of the holy spirit. It does express a singularity of cause and authority, as all three are in agreement. There is no indication that this means three persons in one God.
==========
*Analysis of Matthew 28:19 by Randall Duane Hughes
A Collection of the evidence… by A. Ploughman
The Eusebian Form of the Text of Matthew 28:19 – by Fred Conybeare

If it is speaking of a singular appellation, then one would need to know what that singular appellation is, if we were to baptized in that singular name. We know the appellative personal name of the Father, the only true God who sent Jesus, is Yahweh. (Exodus 3:15, Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 17:1,3; Acts 3:13) The scriptures assign no personal appellation to the holy spirit. Nor can it be said that the appellation of all three is “Jesus”, since “Jesus” is never given as the name of the Father, nor of the Holy Spirit, and to reason that the name of the Father is Jesus would result in a tremendous amount of self-contradiction. It was the only true God is “Jesus”, but rather the name “Jesus” is given to the one whom the only true God sent. Since the name Jesus means “Yah is savior”, it signifies that Jesus is the one whom Yahweh sent as savior. The one who was sent by the only true God (John 17:1,3) has the personal name, Jesus. Therefore, what would be the singular “name” of all three, if, by the word “name,” it is expressing an singular appellation, such as in the usage of a personal name?

Neverthless, in the New Testament, there is no indication that the expression as found in Matthew 28:19 was ever used as a baptismal formula. Instead, baptisms were performed in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 2:38: 10:48; 19:5) In effect, being baptized in the name of Jesus would be the same as being baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit? How so? Jesus was made christ and lord by his God and Father (Acts 2:36), and having been given all authority (Matthew 28:19, with the exception of Jesus’ God — 1 Corinthians 15:27), including authority over God’s holy spirit. (Acts 2:33) Jesus spoke of the holy spirit as being sent by the Father in his name (John 14:26; 15:26). On the other hand, Jesus acts and speaks in the name of his God and Father, who sent him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 22:32; 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; 12:26; Luke 13:35; 20:37; John 3:2,17,32-35; 4:34; 5:19,30,36,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; 20:17; Acts 2:22,34-36; 3:13,22; 5:30; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 8:6; 11:31; Colossians 1:3,15; 2:9-12; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:1) Thus, to properly be baptized in the name of Jesus would be a recognition of the God and Father of Jesus as well God’s holy spirit, the power of God, that Jesus has been given authority to make use of. However, Jesus’ name is not the name of the Father, nor is Jesus’ name the name of the holy spirit. The word “name” is Matthew 18:19 should, therefore, be applied in the sense that “name” represents “cause” or “authority,” not as a singular appellative that is given to all three.

Regardless, what the trinitarian has to assume and add to this is that the three mentioned are three persons of one God.  He has to imagine and assume and add to the scripture that each one mentioned is a separate and distinct person of one God, which is not at all stated in the words as we have them.

See also:

Matthew 28:19 & the Baptismal Name

Revelation 1:8 – The God of Jesus Speaks

This is the first of three-part series on Alpha and Omega in the book of Revelation.

It is our belief that Alpha and Omega all through the book Revelation is in reference to the God and Father of Jesus, not to Jesus, who is the son of His God. We find the phrase — Alpha and Omega — in Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13 — all three of which, if we examine the scriptures closely, can be seen to refer to Yahweh, the God and Father of Jesus. In this post, we will examine the first of the scriptures, Revelation 1:8.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” — Revelation 1:8
New American Standard Version

The scripture itself, the context, as well as other scriptures, show that it is the God of Jesus who is being quoted as speaking in Revelation 1:8, not Jesus himself. The Revelation is from the God and Father of Jesus, who, in turn gives the message to his angel, who in turn gives the message to John. Revelaton 1:1 uses the word “God” — not to designate three persons, but rather it designates one person, the one that Jesus refers to as “my God.” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; John 20:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 3:12) All through the New Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is presented as one person, and always as distinct from His son. — Acts 3:13-26; Hebrews 1:1,2.

Nevertheless, in Revelation 1:1, there are four persons involved in the transmission of the Revelation, and, throughout the Revelation, sometimes it is Jesus who is being quoted, and sometimes it is John who is speaking, and sometimes it is the angel who is quoted, and sometimes it is the God and Father of Jesus who is quoted.

In Revelation 1:8, the Alexandrian manuscripts, the Complutensian edition, and the Latin Vulgate, the Syriac, and Arabic versions, all read, “the Lord God”; and the Ethiopic version only has “God”. Most modern translations have “the Lord God”, which expression was used as a substitute for the expression “Yahweh [Jehovah] God”, that appears many times in the Old Testament. This can be seen by comparing Acts 3:22; 7:37 with the Hebrew of Deuteronomy 18:15. In all instances where the phrase occurs in the NT, it is in reference to Yahweh, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. — Luke 1:32; 1 Peter 3:10-15; Revelation 11:17,19; 15:3; 16:7; 18:8; 21:11; 22:6.
http://tinyurl.com/y3kock

Likewise, with the phrases “the Lord our God” and “the Lord your God”: These phrases are always used in reference to Yahweh, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. — Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20); Matthew 22:37 (Deuteronomy 6:5); Mark 12:29 (Deuteronomy 6:4); etc.

Jesus is differentiated from “God, who is and who was and who is to come” in Revelaton 1:4,5, which is basically the same phrase used in Revelation 1:8. Verses 5 and 6 refer to Jesus and the church members who are made a kingdom and also priests to “his God and Father” (World English Bible translation), that is, the God and Father of Jesus, which gives further differentiation between Jesus and his God and Father. Verse 7 refers to Jesus as coming with clouds. Verse 8 turns to quoting Yahweh, the One referred to in verse 4. In verses 9-10 John begins to write of himself. In verse 11, John begins to quote Jesus. In verses 12 through 16, John himself is writing of what he saw. In verse 17, John reports that he falls before Jesus as dead, and tells of what Jesus does and says.

Thus, Jesus is not being called Alpha and Omega in Revelation 1:8, nor is he being called “Almighty”.

Only the God and Father of Jesus is called the “Most High” in the scriptures: Genesis 14:22; Psalm 7:17; 83:18; 92:1; Luke 1:32; John 13:16.

More detail on this can be found at:
http://godandson.reslight.net/rev-1-8.html
http://reslight.net/forum/index.php?topic=139.0

Updated: February 1, 2010.

Continued in Revelation 21:6 and Revelation 22:13.