The Right Hand of God
The Right Hand of God
When explaining, or for that matter, studying the Oneness of God many questions can arise due to terminology or phrases we see in traditional Christianity that can mislead and cause confusion. For example, the term "God the Son" we find that a simple phrase, which has grown so popular, can mislead many people from understanding the true identity of Jesus Christ and His eternal Lordship. Today, we are going to look into a Scriptural phrase that many uses to refute the Apostolic Doctrine, "the right hand of God." The term "the right hand of God" is used 60 times in Scripture; 39 in the Old Testament and 21 in the New Testament.
The Bible reveals to us "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24) so with this being understood "How can a spirit have a hand?" The phrase "the right hand of God" is a Hebrew idiomatic expression referring to power and authority. In other words, it is a figure of speech that symbolizes power, victory, authority, preeminence, and salvation. It is not to be taken literally. Some Scriptural references are listed below: Exodus 15:6, "Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power…" Psalms 98:1, "…his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory" 1Peter 3:22, "Who is gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities being made subject unto him."
The last Scripture which is found in the New Testament and many others which give similar reference to Jesus sitting down at the right hand of the Father can cause the misunderstanding that we are attempting to reconcile. In the New Testament, the term is used to express power, authority, victory, and salvation of the Spirit through humanity. The term "right hand of God" is another reference revealing the manifestation of God in the flesh, similar to the term "Son of God." However, this term specifically deals with God's power, authority, and victory over sin through the death of Jesus Christ on Calvary to provide salvation for humanity.
We find that Stephen, the first Christian martyr, in the book of Acts saw this phenomenon while being stoned to death. "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." When Stephen looked up into heaven, he saw the "glory of God" and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. The "glory of God" is not a separate entity from Jesus but it is used to refer the awe inspiring infinite expression of God's presence. The Apostle Paul had a glimpse of what Stephen saw when he was abruptly stopped on the Damascus road. The Bible describes to us that Paul saw a blinding light which caused him to prostrate himself on the ground before the appearance of Jesus Christ.
We find this to be true because Stephen proclaims in the very next verse (Acts 7:56) the only visible image he saw was the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God, a position of power, authority, and victory after His crucifixion. Isaiah wrote that the "glory of the LORD should be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." Jesus Christ is the revealed expression of the Glory of God; this is what Stephen saw because God's infinite glory is perfectly revealed through the Son of Man (Ps 8). Stephen saw Jesus in perfection and glorified.
To further substantiate this point the Bible discloses in Revelations 4:2 that there is only one throne in heaven. "So how can Jesus sit at the right hand of God when there is only one throne?" The phrase "right hand of God" is a symbolic expression referring to God's ultimate victory over sin through the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thus, the language depicts Jesus as to be sitting down at the right hand of God because the redemptive work of God was successful and He has made His enemies a footstool through Christ and is now sitting upon the throne in Heaven in power, authority, and victory. "When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3). "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering often… But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool" (Hebrews 10:11-13).