As far as the comment, "any relationship having rules" is concerned, I agree on a human plane that is true. On the God plane, I do not agree with that and you probably believe the same thing. As far as I can tell from the Bible, God the Father needs no rules for His relationship with the Son.
~ Anonymous comment, 13 Jan 2011
“Rules were made to be broken” is a common saying. Adam and Eve certainly reasoned around God’s clear commandment to not partake of the fruit of a certain tree. One prophet was persuaded that God changed his mind and was to eat a meal with another “prophet”. Ancient Israel concluded God wanted to destroy them and so refused to enter the Promised Land. And such, and so on. Human beings seem to have an infinite dislike for rules in any way, shape or form.
Why have rules to begin with? I spent a lot of last week talking about relationships, love and law. Rules are necessary to protect the relationship. Love is necessary for the same reason. Mercy is also needed when fallible human beings are involved, yet a sense of justice is required as well. In proper balance, things will flow the way God intended. Emphasizing one area at the expense of the others will truly mean broken relationships.
So what of God the Father and Jesus the Son? Do they need rules? Certainly, if God were a “trinity” then there would be no need for rules. However, even the concept of “three in one” defies relationships, in spite of what some radio preachers say. Furthermore, human beings were created in God’s image, and human beings are not somehow “three in one”.
Being made in the image of God also implies that rules are necessary even on the God plane of existence. Think about the limits of God. Yes, God has limits! Have you considered that? God cannot lie (Tit 1:2). His word is not only “truth”, but God imposes upon Himself such a standard that His not being able to lie is equated with His own greatness (Heb 6:18).
If God has rules even for Himself, then what of the relationship between the Father and the Son?
Consider, if you will:
1. A rule that is willingly followed is a rule nonetheless. It’s state of being a rule or a law isn’t dependent upon the willingness of the person carrying it out. Obviously, Jesus willingly did His Father’s will, which may lead some to speculate that He did not need any rules, but the fact that He did His Father’s “will” means there was a standard to follow.
2. The Law is the written expression of the will of God. Even more, it is the written expression of His character. By following the Law, we are conforming to His will and becoming more like Him. In order for that to be true, it necessarily follows that God Himself follows rules.
3. God is not the author of confusion (1Co 14:33). The creation has order to it. Nature has laws. If the Law is the written expression of God’s character, then nature is the physical representation of God’s creativity. Within His creation are fundamental laws and physical principles at work.
4. God has a spiritual plan for all of mankind. HWA taught that the holy days outline God’s plan. Jesus was well aware of this plan, and He willingly gave Himself to it. What is a plan but a general set of rules and guidelines with some sort of timeline associated with it?
5. Jesus always pointed to the Father, spoke of His Father’s will and told others to seek His will. Jesus talks of doing the will of the Father (Mt 11:27) and receiving commands from the Father (Jn 10:18; 12:49-50).
6. To me, one of the biggest proofs against a “trinity” is that Jesus begged His Father to “take away this cup from me” (Mk 14:36), yet He still said, “Not what I will, but what thou wilt” (ibid). He submitted His will to God’s will up until the end. It shows that they were different personalities. It also shows that Jesus knew God’s will, God’s plan and the right path to take.
7. The Bible itself speaks of Jesus’ obedience “unto death” (Php 2:8). Heb 5:8-9 even tells us that Jesus “learned he obedience” and “being made perfect” (or, “being made complete”), telling us that even Jesus underwent a qualifying process for becoming High Priest (cf NLT).
Having said that, will “rules” and “law” mean the same thing when the New Jerusalem descends to earth as they do today? I doubt it. Our sins and shortcomings are somewhat in the forefront right now because we are still flesh and blood. We must purposefully overcome and beg God the strength to do so. However, once the influences of the flesh, Satan and his world are gone, our character will be second nature. It won’t be that the Law will be irrelevant, but rather that God will have molded and shaped us with our willing participation to the point that it will be an intrinsic part of us.