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Before we answer the question posed in the title, we need first to understand the nature of God. Let's first look at the two passages below.

  • John 4:24 "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
  • Luke 4:39 "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.'

According to the above scriptures, God is a Spirit, and a spirit does not have flesh and bones. Therefore God does not have a literal right or left hand because he is a Spirit, and by his Spirit, he fills the heavens and the earth.

  • Isaiah 66:1 "Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?
     

Thus, when we examine the scriptures, we see that the phrase "the arm of God" or "the hand of God" or "the right hand of God" is used in scripture to refer symbolically to the power, might, strength of God. It is never used to refer to a literal physical hand of God.

 

The arm of the Lord is symbolic of God's Strength/ power/might.

  • Deut  5:15 "And remember that thou was a servant in the land of Egypt and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day."

God did not literally stretch out a physical hand to bring  Israel out of Egypt. However, this phrase symbolizes God's mighty strength and power that was shown in Egypt to deliver Israel out of Egypt. 

  • Isaiah 51:9 "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou, not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?"

Again, the above passage in Isaiah is not calling on a literal arm of the Lord but the power/ strength of God, which was revealed in the ancient days.

  • Isaiah 51:5 "My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust."

The arm that is going to Judge and the Gentiles will trust on is not a literal arm of God but is symbolic of the Power/ strength by which God Judges the world, and Gentiles are going to trust his strength.

  • Deut 33:27 " The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them."

"arms" is symbolic of God's power, which is everlasting, carries Israel and destroys their enemies, not a literal arm that caries Israel.

  • Isaiah 62: 8 " The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured:"

God here is swearing by his power/ strength. The arm is used as symbolic of God's strength.

 

The hand of God is symbolic of his of God's strength/ power/might.

  • Psalms 89: 13 " Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand."

Hand or arms represent man's strength: his right hand is his highest strength while his left is his weaker strength. In the same way, God's right hand is symbolic of God's highest strength, and God does not have a left hand because God does not have weak strength or power.

  • 1 Kings 18:46 "And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel."

"The Hand of the Lord" symbolizes the powerful strength that Elijah had when he ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

  • 1 Samuel 5:6 " But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof."

Again, the 'hand of the Lord' is symbolic here of the power of God that was against the people of Ashdod.

  • Acts 11:21 "And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord."

Again, 'the hand of the Lord' is symbolic here of the great power of God that was with the Apostles, and because of it, a significant number turned unto the Lord.

 

The right hand of God symbolic of God's strength/power or his highest strength/power

  • Exodus 15:6  "Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy."

God's right hand is used here as symbolic of God's mighty power that was demonstrated upon Israel's enemies. It was not a literal hand that was seen dashing the Egyptians during the Red sea Crossover.

  • Exodus 15:12 "Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them"

"Right hand" symbolic here of God's mighty power that divided the Red Sea, which resulted in the Egyptians drowning the seas while trying to crossover through the dry land.

  • Psalms 17:7 " Shew thy marvelous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise against them."

Symbolic here as God's highest strength that saves them that trust in him, not a literal hand that saves them.

  • Psalms 18:35 " Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great."

Symbolic of God's power that is holding him up, not a literal right hand of God holding him up.

  • Psalms 20:6 "Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand."

Symbolic of God's mighty strength by which he saves.

  • Psalms 77:10 "And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High."

This would not make any sense if it were the literal right hand of God. However, we know it always refers to God's mighty power. Therefore the psalmist is saying he would remember the years where God's mighty power was evident.

  • Psalms 78:54 "  And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased"

"Right hand" here symbolizes God's mighty power through whom Israel possessed the Mountain, Not a literal hand that purchased the Mountain.

  • Psalms 118:16 "The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly."

In this passage, it is symbolic of God's highest strength that is exalted, and that is valiant.

 

So now, let's examine the following question?

 

What does it mean when the Scripture speaks of Jesus Christ sitting/ standing/ is on the right hand of God?

  • Acts 7: 55 "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,"
  • Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
  • Colossians 3:1 " If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."

We have seen that all Old Testament (OT) passages that refer to God's 'right hand' are always used symbolically to represent God's power. Therefore when one comes to the New Testament (NT), when the phrase' right hand of God' is mentioned, it must be taken as symbolic of God's power.

If one interprets the 'right of God' in the above NT verses to mean that Christ is sitting next to God's literal physical right hand, we would have several problems. Firstly God is a Spirit; he does not have a physical right hand; as we have seen, all of the OT passages that talk of God's right hand are symbolic. Secondly, one would have to interpret the same way the below NT passages:

  • Acts 2:33 "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear."
  • Acts 5:31 " Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."

This would mean, according to Acts 2:33 and Acts 5:31, that a literal physical right hand of God exalted Jesus Christ to be Prince and savior. This is obviously an absurd interpretation.

However, the correct interpretation and understanding would be that the right of hand of God is referring to the highest power of God. Therefore, "Christ sitting on the right hand of God" means that he is sitting in heaven with the power and authority of God.

Jesus himself made it plain in the below passage:

  • Luke 22:29 "Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God."

The Hebrew writer also notes in the below passage;

  • Hebrew 1:3 "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
  • Hebrews 8:1 "Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;"

As always, this is not literal, as Majesty does not have a right hand. The "right hand of the Majesty on high" means the Highest Majesty in heaven. Therefore, according to the above passage,  Jesus Christ is sitting at the highest Majesty and the highest throne there is in heaven. Since Majesty symbolizes power and authority, the writer of Hebrew is saying that Jesus Christ is sitting on the highest throne of power or authority in heaven. In other words, there is no one else that has more authority or power in heaven than Jesus Christ himself. Jesus Christ, who was humbled to the point of death, is now sitting as God in Heaven with all authority and power belonging to him.

  • Revelation 4:1-2 "After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

 

 


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