The Right Hand of God


“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Acts 7:55-59

Scripture has several words translated "right" and the usage of the term, "right hand" ranges from a direction, to the opposite of wrong, what is just or what conforms to an established standard, and to a place of honor or authority. In the case of division or appointment in the Bible, the right hand or right side came first, as when Israel (Jacob) divided the blessings to Joseph’s sons before he died (Genesis 48:13-14).

In addition, a person of high rank who put someone on his right hand gave him equal honor with himself and recognized him as possessing equal dignity and authority. And this is what the Apostle Paul writes of Jesus the Christ in Ephesians. "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:" Ephesians 1:19-21 Here we see God exalting Jesus above all others by seating Jesus at the His hand. Its important to note, the God the Father alone has asiety, being self sufficient in and of Himself, which is a distinction with a difference between the Father, Son or the Holy Spirit. Though Jesus is honored by God in this manner, the distinction remains. “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” John 14:28

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” John 13:16 (also: John 8:28-29, Colossians 1:19, 2 Peter 1:17, John 10:29, John 15:20) The term "God’s right hand" in prophecy refers to the Messiah to whom is given the power and authority to subdue His enemies (Psalm 110:1; Psalm 118:16). We find a quote in Matthew 22:44 from Psalm 110:1, which is a Messianic Psalm. "The Son of David" is claimed by the LORD Jesus Christ as He is the "greater son of David" or the Messiah. In this passage of Matthew 22, Jesus questions the Pharisees about who they think the "Christ" or the Messiah is.

"While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make Thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son?" Matthew 22:41-45 The fact that Jesus the Christ is at the "right hand of God" was a sign to the disciples that Jesus had indeed gone to heaven. In John 16:7-15, Jesus told the disciples that He had to go away and He would send the Holy Spirit. So the coming of the Holy Spirit in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13) was proof positive that Jesus was in heaven seated at the right hand of God. This is confirmed in Romans 8:34 where the Apostle Paul writes that Christ is sitting at God’s right hand making intercession for us. This again makes the distinction is the authority of the right hand, Jesus makes intercession with God the Father, but the Father makes the decisions with respect to what He will or will not do with respect to the intercession.

“Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.” Matthew 20:20-24

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

Therefore, what we can say is that "God’s right hand" refers to the Messiah, the LORD Jesus the Christ and He is of equal position, honor, power and authority to the extent God has given Him. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-12 The fact that Christ is "sitting" refers to the fact that His work of redemption is done and when the fullness of the gentiles is brought in (Romans 11:25), Christ’s enemies will be made His footstool as the end of the age comes, all prophecy is completed, and time is no more.

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© 2020 Tony - Antonakis Maritis