Church of Pensacola
Church of Pensacola

Just before one of the most serious warnings in the scriptures against continuing to deliberately sin in the knowledge of the truth we are told, in Hebrews ch 6: 1...


"Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.


And God permitting, we will do so. It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace..."


So we are first told that we can and should leave the elementary basics of the foundational teachings of Christ, and go on to maturity. We are told that we must get our foundation right once and for all instead of trying to keep repenting from deliberate sins, and learning the obedience that comes from a genuine faith in God, etc.  But firstly we can see here that we must learn the basics of the knowledge of Christ, about who the real Jesus is. We must seek God to know Christ intimately and experientially, and not just from who men say that he is. If not there is only one other experience, that of continuing to be slaves of sin unto death.


Yes, if we want to go on to maturity in Christ we must start out learning about the Lord Jesus Christ, and that includes learning about God his father, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". If we are like most who know a little about the scriptures and who actually presume themselves to be teachers, we will think we already "know" about Jesus, that we already "know" who Jesus really is!!

We should all be very careful to remember that Jesus taught that we should come to Him to receive life. We can learn some extremely valuable things from what Jesus said here in Matthew ch 11:25-27:


"At that time Jesus said, I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


Notice he says, "COME TO ME...take my yoke upon yourself and LEARN FROM ME, for I AM GENTLE AND HUMBLE IN HEART..." So there is a yoke to bear, but he says it is easy and light and leads to great rest, and there is the gentle humble nature of Christ we must learn of, not only in our theory but in our practice. The scriptures tell us that "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." It also says that Jesus "humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross... therefore God highly exalted him..." Phillipians ch 2  Learning of the meekness and humility of Christ is something most don't want any part of, because they don't recognize the great profit and treasure of humility, the beauty of a holy creature of God. 

The Bible elsewhere, in discussing the real Jesus, says concerning him that "... in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Col. 2:3  Yet Jesus says here that God has hidden certain important things from "the wise and learned", and has actually "revealed them unto little children"!!!  He also said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 18:3  The crowds were divided over Jesus when he walked this Earth, and we still are.


These next 3 paragraphs were culled from the internet somewhere: One evening Jesus was in a boat with his disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee. A sudden, violent storm enveloped them, high waves filled the boat with water and the disciples were terrified. Jesus, however, remained asleep. They awakened him and said, "Don’t you care that we are going to die?" Of course Jesus cared about them, and after all, he was on the boat with them. He arose, rebuked the storm, and the turbulent sea calmed right down. The terrified disciples said among themselves, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" They had never seen anyone act with such fearlessness and such authority, nor wield such godly power. In the Greek text, the apostles’ question reads: "Who then is this One?" Indeed, this is the question of the ages, and one that every person must answer for himself.


Some time later, as his ministry developed and his fame grew, Jesus asked his disciples a question of his own: "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" (Matt. 16:13). After they reported to him the various opinions circulating among the people concerning who they thought he was, Jesus asked them: "But what about you? Who do YOU say that I am?" Peter’s response was "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus affirmed that not only was that the correct answer, but that Peter knew it because God Himself had revealed it to him.


His question continues to hang in the air even two thousand years later, and it is the question that one day every man and woman will be required to answer. Why? Because God "has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by THE MAN he has appointed" (Acts 17:31). There is no more important quest facing mankind than finding out the true identity of Jesus Christ and understanding the significance of his life. The issue is a matter of life and death, both in regard to the quality of one’s life now, and his future eternal destiny.".....


Please notice how important it seems to Jesus that we believe and declare correctly concerning who He is.  Also note that getting the answer right is a very important matter of receiving the right answer from God.  Peter did not understand rightly about Jesus just because he was a real disciple, but he was given revelation from God, and NOT by following the crowd pleasing crowd.  Paul confirms this phenomenon: "...BUT NOT EVERYONE KNOWS THIS" (1Cor.8:7).  In other words, don’t be so sure you and the majority already have it right.  And, don’t be so surprised if you wait to find out one day that God wisely allowed an issue like this to be misunderstood by the majority.  His ways and wisdom are so high that He is using these errors for His great glory, with one of His reasons being that we would all have the opportunity to humbly seek Him for revelation and truth, and thereby becoming more completely ‘approved’.  


Jesus asked His disciples, ‘WHO DO PEOPLE SAY THE SON OF MAN IS?’  They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'   'BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU?’ He asked.  ‘WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?’  Simon Peter answered, ‘YOU ARE THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD.’  Jesus replied, ‘BLESSED ARE YOU, Simon son of Jonah, FOR THIS WAS NOT REVEALED TO YOU BY MAN, BUT BY MY FATHER IN HEAVEN.’" (Mt.16:13-17).  These truths about Jesus cannot be revealed from one man to another, or delineated by man’s creeds.  They must be spiritually transmitted and discerned by the Holy Spirit.

Many of today’s Christians would have answered Jesus’ question, "You are God in the flesh, God the Son, the second member of the Blessed Holy Trinity!"  That is because most of us modern Christians learn our concept of who Jesus is from listening to WHO PEOPLE SAY Jesus is, although most of us would deny it. 


Since we now already ‘know’, there is no desperate need to seek God by diligent study, prayer and fasting.  Or, when some do pray and study, they allow themselves to rest content when contradictions continue unresolved, because the clarification from God didn’t come easily or immediately.  God does not approve us just because we learn what is considered to be truth by those who seem to be ‘good Christians’,  or because we did 'good' in Bible College, Seminary, and at the church where we’ve been pastor for years.  We must continue to pray, seek God, study and apply the Scriptures to our everyday life by the Spirit to become approved.  As this happens, our teaching will become different in some ways from that of the ‘status quo’ Christians. 


We should not try to be different, but to foster unity and agreement anywhere possible.  But if we teach the truth that Jesus and Paul taught, we will often be misunderstood and falsely accused at the very least (2 Tim.3:12).  We must continue to love.  For it is written, "No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval" (1Cor.11:19).  If Jesus’ own disciples saw His miracles and listened to His teachings, and still didn’t understand, how much easier is it for someone today to read a teaching like this and still miss the revelation of its truth.  Although as born again believers in Jesus who have the 'Old' and 'New' Testaments, and who should have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are responsible to recognize the truth and respond accordingly.  It is not merely a matter of hearing the right sermon or reading the right book, but of getting your heart right to recognize the Spirit of Truth when Jesus comes knocking (Rev.3:20).


I am not trying to be provocative or offensive in what I am about to say.  I am only trying to make an important point to help us understand that we all have much to learn about God.  As a Gentile (yet true spiritual Jew) myself, I sincerely believe that it takes a Gentile mentality to be able to know what the Bible says concerning this subject and still fall for the error that Jesus is literally God. The faithful Jews of old would never have imagined that anyone with revelation from God could be so sure that God could possibly become a man who has a God, much less die. The Jews had a certain revelation of the absoluteness of the lofty, holy, almighty and unchanging God.  We Gentiles have a spiritual history of being "without God" and those who "did not know God" (Eph.2:12, Gal.4:8).  We are described as being by nature "wild olive shoots", some of whom have now been grafted into the "olive tree" (Rom.11:17). 


The Jews are the "natural branches" that belong to the olive tree, though many have now been "cut off" because of their unbelief.  Jesus told the Samaritan woman, "You Samaritans worship what YOU DO NOT KNOW, WE WORSHIP WHAT WE DO KNOW, for salvation is of the Jews" (Jn.4:22).  That is one reason why the doctrine of the Trinity has never been nor is it now a teaching of Judaism.  It wasn’t until the church became a predominantly Gentile institution that we fell for these changes.  There are some Jews who have become Christians and who have adopted Trinitarian beliefs, and who along with others try to teach that the Judaism of the Old Testament did teach the Trinity, but this is false.


You cannot learn enough about who the Lord Jesus really is from men, even from reading the Bible, apart from the revelation from God that Jesus is His Son, the promised Messiah.  Before you read any more of this book, please pray earnestly for just that, an accurate revelation of Jesus as God’s Son, the Christ of God.  Then believe you receive as you thank and praise God for His revelation to you concerning Jesus, because it is God’s will that we know Him and His Son experientially.  Then don’t stop, but let it become a life long consistent pursuit, even as Paul longed to know Christ. Please notice that the proof that Peter was orthodox in His beliefs was not that He claimed that Jesus was God, nor because He claimed that God is a triune God.  Jesus called Peter a blessed recipient of God’s revelation knowledge because he claimed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. 


God Himself doesn’t even hold the so called ‘orthodox view’, for during the rare three very short times God is recorded as having spoken out loud to men during Jesus’ days on earth, He doesn’t mention that Jesus is God.  In fact, two out of those three times, at Christ’s baptism and ‘transfiguration’, the one and only God says that Jesus is His Son. This has always been the true and original orthodox view of the church about Jesus according to the Holy Spirit, until the Nicene Council (and later the Council of Constantinople) officially changed it.


It says, "It is the Spirit who testifies (that Jesus is the Son of God- vs.5), because the Spirit is the truth." (1Jn.5:6).  This same verse, (verse 6) is amazingly the very scripture that precedes the manufactured verse that was infamously inserted into the Latin Vulgate, and later the King James Bible, that was an apparent attempt to validate the unbiblical doctrine of the ‘Trinity’, today called the ‘Johannine Comma’, which I shall discuss shortly. The context of the Comma Johanneum (look it up on Wikipedia), even the world knows this is an infamous example of the Catholics being caught by modern tecnology having tried to add so called "biblical proof" for their so called "trinity doctrine". 


Very intrestingly, the very verse they dispelled, the very verse they displace by their counterfeit "scripture" actually says, IN THE CONTEXT OF GOD DECLARING AND REVEALING THE CLEAR TRUTH THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, "It is the Spirit who testifies because the Spirit is the truth."  THE HOLY SPIRIT TESTIFIED THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD!!! Look up the whole context in the book of First John, especially chapters 4 and 5 before this verse is written!! And then men changed things and added their convoluted false doctrine, and anyone who loves the truth who goes back and studies and investigates can see the folly of evil men. It doesn't take rocket science or brain surgery skills to recognize the underhanded way that this verse has been added to the bible, and a little look into the history of this matter makes it all clear, and it is very interesting.  


See also 1 John 5:7 on this site and


The Spirit’s testimony that Jesus is God’s Son is the testimony of God Himself, again confirmed in verse nine: "...God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.  Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart.  Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son…" (1Jn.5:9-12).


Scripture is replete with proof that Jesus is emphasized as being God’s Son rather than him supposedly actually literally being God in any way, shape or form.  "Then Nathanael declared, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.’  Jesus said, ‘You believe…!!" (Jn.1:49,50).  Martha testified, "‘Yes Lord’, she told Him, ‘I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."’ (Jn.11:27).  Those who emphasize that Jesus is God rather than God’s Son may be ignoring the secret sin and love of this world still ruling in their heart that should warn them that they are candidates for deception, for "Who is it that overcomes the world?  ONLY HE THAT BELIEVES THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD" (1Jn.5:5).  That is because this is the truth concerning who Jesus really is, and only the truth can set us free (Jn.8:31).  Again and again we have the constancy of Scripture declaring the bedrock of the gospel truth, that the Father is the only literal God and Jesus is His Unique Son.  There can be no completeness of our personal holiness (1 Thes. 5:23) without embracing these truths about God and Jesus, as Jesus said, "Sanctify them by your truth…"


As the Bible says, "We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true.  And we are in him who is true - even in his Son Jesus Christ.  He (him who is true) is the true God and (His Son is) eternal life." (1Jn.5:19,20).  Because of their own error, poor reading comprehension, bad teaching or a lack of scriptural integrity on the part of some teachers (often a combination of the four), they have capitalized upon the wording here to claim that this scripture teaches that Jesus is the true God.  Jesus had just been identified as being "the Eternal Life which was with the Father and has appeared to us." (1Jn.1:2).  The next verse talks about "our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ."  The context throughout the whole book of First John is about God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, who is identified as being "the Eternal Life".  With our current text under discussion it is merely the same God and the Eternal Life, His Son Jesus Christ, and I remind you it is the same context as is consistent throughout the whole New Testament.


If anyone reads the verses in this true context, they may be able to see that the text clearly ascribes "him who is true" as being the one whom the Son of God has enabled us to know by coming and giving us understanding.  This passage  very clearly identifies "him who is true" as being the one whom we are in, by being in "His Son" Jesus.  Twice this scripture clearly identifies the one who is "TRUE" as being God, and twice this scripture also clearly identifies Jesus as the Son of the one who is TRUE.  Then because it says, "He is the true God..." immediately after employing the words "Jesus Christ",  the unscrupulous (or ignorant) among those who are desperate for scriptural proof that Jesus is literally God seize upon the opportunity to twist the scripture, without looking too deep.  How about you?  Are you TRUE? And who do you say that Jesus Christ really is?


The following is an excerpt from my book,  "Unbiblical Trinity teaching" (Chapter 44):


"There is one sentence that was inserted into the Catholic dominated Latin translation of the Bible called the Latin Vulgate, which afterwards found its way into the King James Bible, that seems to vaguely lend credence to the doctrine of the ‘Trinity’. Not one of the many Greek manuscripts written before the sixteenth century contain the insertion. The inserted phrase is found in First John 5:7. According to the King James Version: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.” The man who translated the Greek text from which the K.J.V. was translated, Desiderius Erasmus, a devout Catholic scholar, did not originally include it in his work. Here is a historical account of how it was finally included in the third edition of his work “When the first edition of Erasmus’ work came out in 1516, this phrase, dubbed today the ‘Johannine comma’, ...was not in the text for a very simple reason: it was not found in any Greek manuscript of First John that Erasmus had examined. Instead, the phrase was found only in the Latin Vulgate. Erasmus rightly did not include it in the first or second editions. The note in the ‘Annotations’ simply said, ‘In the Greek codex I find only this about the threefold testimony: ‘because there are three witnesses, spirit, water and blood.’His reliance upon the Greek manuscripts rather than the Latin Vulgate caused quite a stir. Both Edward Lee and Diego Lopez Zuniga attacked Erasmus for not including this passage and hence encouraging ‘Arianism' ...Erasmus protested that he was simply following the Greek texts.


In responding to Lee, Erasmus challenged him to ‘produce a Greek manuscript that has what is missing in my edition.’ {8} Likewise Erasmus rebutted Zuniga by pointing out that while he (Zuniga) was constantly referring Erasmus to one particular Greek manuscript, in this case he had not brought this text forward, correctly assuming that even Zuniga’s manuscript agreed with Erasmus’ reading. He also said, ‘Finally, the whole passage is so obscure that it cannot be very valuable in refuting the (Arian) heresies.’ {9} Since Erasmus had promised, in his response to Lee, to include the passage should a Greek manuscript be found that contained it, he was constrained to insert the phrase in the third edition when presented with an Irish manuscript that contained the disputed phrase, Codex Montfortianus, now at Trinity College, Dublin. {10} The manuscript is highly suspect, in that it most probably was created in the house of the Grey Friars, whose provincial, Henry Standish, was an old enemy of Erasmus {11}, and whose intention was simply to refute Erasmus. The text note in the ‘Annotations’ grew tremendously, for Erasmus inserted many of the arguments and citations he had used in replying to Lee and Zuniga. He remarked, ‘I have restored the text.. .so as not to give anyone an occasion for slander.’ {12} ...The ‘Comma Johanneum’ is extremely important. Here we have a phrase that is simply not a part of the ancient Greek manuscripts of John’s first epistle. The few manuscripts that contain the phrase are very recent, and half of these have the reading written in the margin. The phrase appears only in certain of the Latin versions. There are, quite literally, hundreds of readings in the New Testament manuscript tradition that have better arguments in their favor that are rejected by both Erasmus and the KJV translators. If indeed the ‘Comma’ was a part of the original writing of the apostle John, we are forced to conclude that entire passages, rich in theological meaning, can disappear from the Greek manuscript tradition without leaving a single trace.” {13}


From this account we can all but confirm what already seemed to be probable to many, that the ‘Comma Johanneum’ was added to try to refute ‘Arianism’, which opposed the now commonly accepted teachings that Jesus is very God, and also to try to create scriptural proof of ‘the Trinity’. We also learn that both Zuniga and Lee, along with their probable conspirators, realized that the Bible on its own, without this added insertion, encourages what they call “Arianism”. In other words, they knew the Bible seems to teach that Jesus is not literally God, and they feared that future new translations using Erasmus’ Greek text might end up in the language and hands of the laity. The Bible could then be used to effectively refute the doctrine of the ‘Trinity’, and of Christ’s literal deity, unless they could add something to substantiate their teaching scripturally. I believe that this was one of the main reasons the Catholic Church fought so hard, even sometimes torturing and murdering God’s people, to keep the Bible from being translated into the common languages, such as English. It was because the doctrine of ‘the Trinity’, the absolute 'deity of Christ', and so many other practices and teachings could be exposed should the Bible become readable to all, instead of only to the few who could read Latin. Who would have ever dreamed that their worries were unfounded for the most part. Even after the centuries of widespread Bible studies that followed, very few have ever really noticed, much less properly pursued the issue!


End of excerpt.

We can indeed leave the elementary teachings of the doctrines of Christ and go on to maturity IF AND WHEN we actually LEARN THE ELEMENTARY TEACHINGS OF CHRIST!! We must get our foundations built on the solid rock of the real Lord Jesus, the Son of God. He is the Rock upon which and whom God is building His church and upon whom Jesus himself is building us. We must learn about faith in God and about repentance from acts that lead to death now, and all the other basics of the good news of the gospel, of the Kingdom of God. We must learn that God is spirit, God is love, God is not a man, God is merciful and kind and forgiving and patient and quick to bless and slow to wrath, yet He is a consuming fire who will soon judge this world "through the man whom he has chosen". He is immortal (He cannot die!), He cannot be tempted, He is invisible, He has no God and He is all wise and knowing.


We can learn that Jesus is the image of this God, the Firstborn of the Creation of God, the Firstborn of many brothers, the Christ, the exact representation and representative of the Invisible God. We can learn that God created all things through and for Jesus, Yeshua, who pre-existed as being the Logos, the Word, in the form of God yet he was not literally God himself, he is the Wisdom and Power of God personified. He existed with God in the beginning, in the bosom of the Father, full of grace and truth. He was revealed in these last times for our sake. He is the Head of the Church, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is our great High Priest and Mediator between God and men, our Great Apostle and Chief Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. He is the Second and Last Adam, "the man Christ Jesus", "the man from Heaven", "the son of Man", "THE SON OF GOD"!! Then we are just getting started...


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© Tom Heiden