Church of Pensacola
Church of Pensacola

Unbiblical Trinity teaching. Part 2

Chapters 50 - 62

 

50) God's name is also in the Holy Spirit.

51) Saved through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the Truth.

52) Will the Son of man find faith on Earth when He returns?

53) More about Jesus and God.

54) Jesus cannot be God, Yahweh, God of the Old Testament. 

55) The 'name' of God and Jesus means much more than it sounds. 

 

56) How can Jesus now be God and still have a God?  

57) 'Begotten' means 'born'.

58) Who should we pray to?

59) "In that day you will no longer ask me anything"

60) "Present your requests to God"

61) "Worthy is the Lamb" 

62) Jesus received worship; doesn't that mean that He is God? See also Jesus is worshiped

 

Chapter 50) GOD’S NAME IS ALSO IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

Now the Holy Spirit has also been given to us through Jesus as another perfect messenger and witness from God (Ex.23:20,Jn.14:26,15:26,16:7,8,13,1Jn.5:6-8) to help, guide, and empower us. The very Spirit of God the Father who fully lives in Jesus, the Holy Spirit teaches us about Jesus and reminds us of Jesus’ words (Jn.14:26). He guides us into all truth and shows us what is to come (Jn.16:13). He takes what belongs to Jesus and reveals it to us (Jn.16:14,15). He is to be obeyed, and not grieved, for He is the very Spirit of God Himself, and God’s name is in Him (Ex.23:21). Blasphemy against Him is unpardonable (Ex.23:21). In other words, God has revealed Himself, His name, through a dispensation of His very own Spirit personified, the Spirit who is OF GOD, who is Spirit Himself (Jn.4:24).

 

He is the Spirit of God the Father that fully lived in Jesus, perfectly uniting Him with the Father, so that He is also the Spirit of God’s Son (Gal.4:6), the Spirit of Christ (Rom.8:9,1Pt.1:11). It's by the Holy Spirit that God and Jesus both come to live in us (Jn.14:23). The Spirit of Truth goes out from the Father, and Jesus has sent Him to us from the Father (Jn.15:26,16:7). And it is said that the Father sends the Spirit in Jesus’ name (Jn.14:26). Of course the Father sends the Spirit to us through Jesus, so both are true. Of course that does not mean Jesus is literally God Himself, as so many other similar Trinitarian comparisons assert.

 

This is how the absolutely holy God can possibly dwell in us, by means of His Holy Spirit who dwells in the ‘sanctified glove’ of Christ in us, so to speak. I am using metaphorical language to try to convey a very wonderful concept. God is so absolutely holy that He cannot even look upon evil (Hab.1:13). He so loved the fallen world that He wanted to make a way for us to be reconciled back to Himself. But we were not only sinners, but sinful in the very essence of our nature. That’s why Jesus had to be made “to BE sin for us” (2Cor.5:21) instead of just paying for our sins.

 

Men without Christ were unacceptable vessels for God to touch or fill. God solved this by doing what He had planned from the beginning, by sending His Son to be made a curse for us (Gal.3:13) on the cross, enduring the necessarily fatal cost of that propitiatory identification, so that we could now be made the righteousness of God in union with Him (2Cor.5:21) through our faith and baptism in Him. This was God’s marvelous plan to forgive, cleanse, sanctify and glorify us, creating a new person in our hearts so that God can now dwell in “the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph.4:24,Tit.3:5). Our reborn human spirits are now one with Christ as His Spirit is one with God’s Spirit. That’s why “He who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (1Cor.6:17). It’s why, “If Christ is in you, ...your spirit is alive because of righteousness” (Rom.8:10). As it says “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col.1:27).

 

Chapter 51) SAVED THROUGH THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE SPIRIT AND BELIEF IN THE TRUTH

 

This sanctification process is only possible for us because Jesus was also filled with the Holy Spirit and sanctified Himself (Jn.17:19). Now, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you” (Rom.8:11). God has revealed Himself perfectly and saved us through His Son Jesus, and by the working of His Holy Spirit, through whom He regenerates us and administers this great salvation to us all (Tit.3:5). Jesus has been given all that God has, including His Spirit without limit. The reason Jesus spoke God’s words perfectly was not because He was God. Jesus said, ‘The one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, FOR God gives (him) the Spirit without limit” (Jn.3:34). That is also how Jesus and the Father are perfectly united as one, and we have been given the same Spirit of glory (1Pt.4:14), that we might all be unified together with Him and in Him (Jn.17:22). This priceless gift of the Holy Spirit is a seal, foretaste and guarantee of our future inheritance (Eph.1:14, 2Cor.1:21, 22), and will remain with us forever (Jn.14:16).

 

Although Messiah was God’s Son, yet for our sakes He was perfected (Heb.5:9), learning obedience from the things which He suffered (Heb.5:8). He sanctified Himself for us, especially at Gethsemane and on the cross, so that we can now be born again and become able to obey Him as He obeyed God (1Pt.1:14, 22,23, Heb.2:10,11,5:9, Ez.36:26,27, Jn.15:10). He did this to pioneer the only way for us to be saved, by our following His example (1Pt.2:21, Jn.17:19). Now by trusting and obeying Him, those who really believe are being (not yet once and for all-Ac.2:47,1Cor.1:18) saved (Heb.5:9,Rom.1:5,16:26) by God’s true grace, which “teaches us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age...” (Tit.2:12). Thus we experience Christ’s death to sin through our faith in and identification with Him in His death, burial and resurrection life (Rom.6:1-11). This identification is what our baptism signifies. The sanctification of the Spirit is the process by which we get to prove our faith in Christ and love for God, appropriating God's great salvation, all by God’s grace and power working in us. This sometimes means our sharing in the sufferings that He endured, so that we can share in His glory (Rom.8:17). Through this very sanctification process our souls are being saved (1Pt.1:2, 2Th.2:13, Heb.5:9, Rom.6:5,8,17,18,22), and therefore without it's resulting holiness we will not see the Lord (Heb.12:14). Only “...those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom.8:14). The Spirit renews our thinking and teaches us to follow Jesus' example of doing what pleases God, instead of what the flesh wants (Rom.ch.8, Gal.5:16,17).

 

I have already delineated some of the reasons why belief in the truth is so critical to a saving faith. The true sanctification process that saves our soul can only continue successfully to the degree that we are believing the truth about Jesus. That is why we need to continue to study and seek God concerning the truth about Jesus. The apostles never stopped teaching that JESUS IS THE MESSIAH (Ac.5:42), the Son of God. Unless our teaching about Jesus emphasizes that same apostolic focus, we have deviated from Christ to whatever degree our teaching differs.

 

We should be teaching God’s people to confess what the Bible says about Jesus, for there is great power in confessing, as did the apostles, that “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God” (Rom.10:10). Paul started out his ministry by immediately preaching that “JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD” (Ac.9:20). Interesting focus, and notice quite different from the “Jesus is God” teaching of today. He also taught by “proving from the Scriptures that Jesus IS (NOT “WAS” AS MANY TRANSLATIONS TRANSLATE THIS VERSE) the Messiah” (Ac.18:28). The literal Greek says, “…showing by the Scriptures Jesus TO BE THE CHRIST.” So Ac. 2:22 has been changed from the original Greek (by many translations) to read “Jesus…was a man” instead of “Jesus…, a man…“, and now we see that Jesus BE the Christ (present tense of the ‘be’ verb). And also please notice, that here it is again, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!“. This exact same focus and declaration of Peter (Mt.16:16) to Jesus about Jesus’ person was preached by Paul (9:20,Acts18:28), and by John (1Jn.4:15,5:1). Christ means Messiah, the Anointed One, the Promised Anointed King of Israel. We commonly use the name “Christ” in association with Jesus, and of course we 'believe' that Jesus is the Christ. But these focal points of Peter, Paul and John’s preaching are not what most of us really believe about Jesus today. Our whole emphasis and focus has changed. The teaching today is that Jesus is God and man, the God-Man, God.

 

The real good news does not proclaim a Messiah who is God, but it teaches that the Messiah is the Servant of God, the man Jesus, the descendant of David, the Son of God who was sent by God. So those whose main emphasis is that ‘Jesus is God’ are believing and teaching wrongly about our Lord, doing themselves and the body of Christ harm. That is one main reason why there are so many carnal Christians who are not overcoming the world in these last days (1Jn.5:5). “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 SonHe who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1Jn.5:10-13).

 

Chapter 52) WILL THE SON OF MAN FIND FAITH ON EARTH WHEN HE RETURNS?

 



When we read Jesus’ question concerning the last day’s state of the church, it is so easy to wonder what He could really mean. It sure seems like Christianity has engulfed the world, with supposedly multiple hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide. And many preachers predict a great outpouring of God’s Spirit called ’the latter rain’ that will bring world revival just before Jesus returns. So what could Jesus possibly mean when He says “...when the SON OF MAN comes, WILL HE FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH?” (Lk.18:8). I BELIEVE ONE OF THE REASONS THAT JESUS DELIBERATELY USES THE TERM “SON OF MAN” HERE WAS TO EMPHASIZE THAT IN THE LAST DAYS, THE CRISIS OF FAITH WILL PRIMARILY BE THAT MOST WILL NOT HAVE CONTINUED IN FAITH IN THE REAL JESUS, THE MAN CHRIST JESUS, THE SON OF MAN WHO IS THE SON OF GOD! Without that proper aspect of faith in Christ, our faith will not be effective enough to overcome the world, and we can so easily settle on remaining a slave to loving this world and secret sin, repeatedly praying and hoping for forgiveness because, after all, ‘no one’s perfect’. But I believe that there will be a remnant who will believe these truths about Jesus in the last days. They‘ll believe that they can live holy and righteously. They will pray much more than just saying token prayers, and will not merely ’go to church’. They will also cry out to God for apostolic truth and power to be restored to the church.

 

We will collectively pray for Israel to repent from their wickedness and be restored during their soon coming great disaster from the northern alliance of Russia, Iran and Libya (Ez.38:1-17). We will learn to love one another in large and small communities of true believers, who have repented of worldliness to be the true separate called out ones of the Lord Jesus Christ. We’ll preach the true gospel and disciple those who respond, living as examples of true servants of our Lord Jesus. We will each give up our worldly lives to worship the living God in true holiness. We will learn to respect and obediently submit to our leaders in the Lord, as doing so to the Lord Himself, emulating their example of faith, prayerfullness, love and humility. We will repent from being rebellious and stubborn, so often trying to get our own way, and instead learn to lay down our lives for each other. We will overcome together, praying, studying God’s Word and helping each other with forbearance and gentleness. We will be few in number in the richer western nations, but more numerous elsewhere throughout the world.

 

We will in this way again see God reveal the real Jesus in power (2Cor.13:3,4), when the Lord is manifested among us in Christian communal love as we regularly pray, teach and preach the gospel publicly. It will not be a demonstration of people falling down into each other’s arms saying that God knocked them down, or playing ‘drunk in the Spirit’, but it will be a demonstration of the real miraculous power of God that helps us to humble ourselves to confess our sins, submit to our elders and husbands, and to be taught how to rebuild the foundations of the genuine faith, along with the true love it produces (Gal.5:6,1Tim.1:5). It will not be a group dominated by one dictator, or by a group of worldly wealthy Christians, but by elders who know God, men of prayer, filled with faith and the Holy Spirit. God is now training men who love the truth, who will foster and utilize the obvious gifts and ministries of all, especially including the godly women. We will each identify with our Jewish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, African, Korean, Australian, Asian, Canadian, Mexican, American and European and all other brothers, all one in Christ. And we will be proud of our glorious Lord, ESPECIALLY of the fact that He is the man Christ Jesus, the Son of God, until He comes again soon to judge the world and receive us unto Himself.

 

Chapter 53) MORE ABOUT JESUS AND GOD

 



The more we learn by the Spirit about who Jesus really is (Jn.15:26), and what belongs to Him (Jn.16:14,15), the more we will rejoice in Him (Phil.4:4). We will greatly rejoice because we will better understand the reality of the inestimable, unfathomable, limitless riches of the Messiah (Eph.1:18,3:8), and that we who are truly in Him are joint heirs with Him (Rom.8:17) of all things. “ALL THINGS ARE YOURS, whether Paul or Apollos or Peter or THE WORLD or LIFE or death or THE THINGS OF THE PRESENT or THE THINGS OF THE FUTURE - ALL are yours, and YOU ARE OF CHRIST, and CHRIST IS OF GOD (1Cor.3:21-23). Notice that “you are OF CHRIST“, but that necessarily means that you are not Christ. And notice too, “Christ is OF GOD”, AND BY THE SAME TOKEN CANNOT THEREFORE BE GOD, WHOM HE IS “OF”!

 

Jesus told His disciples, “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me (Mt.10:40). Likewise, a true disciple can potentially say, “If you listen to me, you listen to Jesus”, and, “If you reject me, you reject God the Father”, according to Matthew 10:40, and Luke 10:16. If we use the same logic in this matter that many use when saying that some of Jesus’ statements (Jn.14:9,etc.) prove that He is literally God, we would have to conclude, based on these two verses, that every true disciple IS Jesus and IS God!

 

Not surprisingly, Jesus taught the same thing that all Scripture teaches about God. I pray that we will do the same. He taught that God is the Father (Jn.20:17,Mt.6:9,etc.), as Paul did (1Cor.8:6,Eph.4:6,etc.), and as did the Prophets (Dt.32:6,Is.63:16,Mal.2:10,etc). Jesus taught His disciples that they had ONE FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN, AND ONE MASTER AND TEACHER, WHO IS THE MESSIAH (Mt.23:9,10). Paul prayed, “I keep asking THAT THE GOD OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE GLORIOUS FATHER, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better” (Eph.1:17). Is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ ‘the Trinity’, which includes ‘God the Son”? Obviously not, and neither is mine. My God is “the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father.“ IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS, PLEASE NOTICE AGAIN HERE THAT “THE GOD OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE GLORIOUS FATHER”, IS NOT A ‘TRINITY’! Jesus’ God is God, God the Father Himself. Look carefully at this next scripture, which explains what hinders us from knowing rightly about God: “WAKE UP TO LIVING RIGHTEOUSLY, AND DO NOT SIN, FOR SOME OF YOU HAVE IGNORANCE OF GOD, I SAY THIS TO YOUR SHAME” (1Cor.15:34). Our sinning interferes with knowing God.

 

Scripture also says, “For through Him (Jesus) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Eph.2:18), but remember that it is the MAN CHRIST JESUS who as our High Priest mediates to give us this free and easy access to God (1Tim.2:5,Eph.3:12,Heb.5:1). Jesus wasn’t absolute God when He was here on earth, rather HE PRAYED TO AND OBEYED GOD. And now He is still not very God, but rather, HE IS INTERCEDING FOR US AS OUR HIGH PRIEST FOREVER. As the Scripture says, “He is able to save completely those WHO COME TO GOD THROUGH HIM, BECAUSE HE ALWAYS LIVES TO INTERCEDE (to God) FOR THEM. The oath "...appointed the SON (TO BE OUR HIGH PRIEST), WHO HAS BEEN MADE PERFECT FOREVER” (Heb.7:25,28). Hebrews 5:5 and 7:28 (also Mt.16:13,16) again prove God's Son is human, NOT A GOD-MAN, for only a human-human can be high priest according to Hebrews 5:1. Only a human-human, could take my place as my perfect substitute. Although He is the man from heaven, the Son of God, now the life giving spiritual man, Jesus is still a very real and complete human being.

 

God is the Father, and the Father is God, without depending upon Jesus to complete His deity. In other words, the Father is not “co-dependant” upon Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit, as ‘the Trinity doctrine’ alleges. But by contrast Jesus is not independent of His God, “for TO BE SURE, He was crucified in weakness, yet HE LIVES BY GOD’S POWER” (2Cor.13:4). And Jesus said, “I live because of the Father” (Jn.6:57). The God, by definition, is independent. He does not live by anyone else’s power. He is the self existent one. David knew the difference between Yahweh (the LORD) and his Lord, the Messiah. “THE LORD (GOD) SAID TO MY LORD (CHRIST), ‘Sit at my right hand...” (Ac.2:34). And, “God placed all things under his (Christ’s) feet AND APPO1NTED HIM TO BE HEAD OVER EVERYTHING for the church” (Eph.1:22). And, “...GOD made us alive with CHRIST...and GOD raised us up with CHRIST and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in CHRIST JESUS...” (Eph.2:5,6). Over and over we see, not just the Father distinguished from Christ, not God and the human part of Christ, but GOD HIMSELF AND CHRIST HIMSELF.

 

Jesus wasn’t crucified for blasphemy because He claimed to be God, but because He had called God His ‘Father’, and had claimed to be the Son of God (Jn.10:36). “Let God rescue him if he wants him, for HE SAID, ‘I AM THE SON OF GOD’” (Mt.27:43). IF JESUS OR ANY OF HIS DISCIPLES HAD EVER PURPORTED THAT HE WAS GOD, WOULD IT NOT HAVE BECOME A MAJOR ISSUE? This is an extremely noteworthy proof. We have John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus as well: “...the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘THE MAN on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is He who will baptize with the Holy Spirit’. I HAVE SEEN AND TESTIFY THAT THIS (man) IS THE SON OF GOD” (Jn.1:33,34).

 

And it says, “...regarding HIS SON, WHO CAME FROM THE ANCESTRY OF DAVID ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, WHO WAS DECLARED ‘SON OF GOD’ in power, ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS by the resurrection of the dead - Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.1:3,4). Jesus is the spiritual man from heaven who came in a body of flesh, like our sinful flesh. Of course He is no longer according to the flesh. Jesus’ true divinity is predicated upon the fact that He is a man who is God’s pre-existent Son as to the very essence of His person, not by being so called ‘God by nature’. It is as being God’s Son that He is divine, not by being God. As God’s Son He has a glory that is God given, yet His own (Jn.1:14).

 

Chapter 54) JESUS CANNOT BE GOD, YAHWEH GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

 



Many teach that Jesus is ‘Jehovah’ God of the Old Testament, which is what those who say that Jesus is very God are really saying, for there is only one God. Jesus said, “I praise you, O Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth…“ (Lk.10:21). He always taught that the Father was God, not a Trinity that included Himself. Although Jesus is not Yahweh Himself, I have said that as God’s Son, Jesus is often included when we discuss God, for He is fully in God and God is fully in Him. Jesus is not significantly “other” than God, for His relationship as God’s uniquely begotten Son means that He is truly one Spirit with God, intimately part of God‘s family. So when God created the world through Jesus, He created it alone, so to speak, for He did not employ ‘another’. Jesus is not ‘other’ in the full sense of the word, for He is of God, in God, one with God, like God and filled with God. Therefore, when God gave Jesus glory (2Pt1:17), He was not giving His glory to ‘another’ (Is.42:8,2Pt.1:17,Jn.17:22). Again, this accounts for the many similarities between God and His Son I mentioned earlier, such as the fact that the church of God is the Church of Christ, God is our savior and so likewise is Jesus, etc. Therefore Jesus can be spoken of synonymously with Yahweh God His Father without it confusing us.

 

Of course the whole Old Testament distinguishes between God and the Messiah, YAHWEH and Yahweh’s Anointed, the LORD and the Lord’s Christ (Lk.2:26), whom God has made ‘Lord“. I have already shown that the Old Testament speaks of Jesus as God’s Holy Servant. It also says, concerning God and His Christ: “The LORD is.. .a fortress of salvation for his Anointed One” (Ps.28:8). And, “HE grew up before the LORD like a young plant...yet we considered HIM stricken, smitten of GOD...the LORD has laid on HIM the iniquity of us all...It pleased the LORD to bruise HIM" (ls.53:2-10). And to Christ He says, “I, the LORD, have called YOU in righteousness, and will hold your hand and keep you, and I will give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes” (ls.42:6-8). The Spirit of Christ says, “...‘MY GOD shall be my strength', and the Father says of Christ...'I will also give YOU for a light to the Gentiles, that YOU MAY BE MY SALVATION unto the ends of the earth”’ (Is.49:5,6). Also of Christ it says, “The LORD God has given ME the tongue of the learned...The LORD God has opened MY ear...“ (Is.50:4,5). Again, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon ME; because the LORD has anointed ME to preach..." (ls.61:1). Jesus cannot be understood as being part of God Almighty if He is ‘of God‘, or ‘from God’.

 

Chapter 55) THE 'NAME' OF GOD AND JESUS MEANS MUCH MORE THAN IT SOUNDS

 



When the Bible speaks of ‘name’, it usually means much more than our unenlightened understanding of the term. Because most of the people on earth are dead spiritually, most of our names carry very little real significance. God’s name, and therefore our Lord’s name, represents all they are, think, say, and do. Their name represents their intent, reputation, power, and authority. Jesus came in His Father’s name as a complete reflection of God’s person. Jesus fully represents God, therefore His name completely and authoritatively represents God, and all that God has ever revealed about Himself to man. The Scripture says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Ac.4:12). Jesus confirmed, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn.14:6).

 

When Jesus’ appearance was changed on the ‘Mount of Transfiguration’, Moses and Elijah appeared to talk with Him. Peter blurted out that they could build three shelters for each of them. Then God spoke, saying that Jesus is His Son and that we are to listen to Him. “When they looked up, they saw no one but Jesus” (Mt.17:1-8). In this way God corrected the mistaken idea that Jesus is only one incomplete aspect of God’s revelation to His people. Jesus is the complete revelation of God to man, manifested in these last days of the end of this age (1Pt.1:20) to destroy sin and death, saving us and thus reconciling all things to God. It is not the Law (represented by Moses), the Prophets (represented by Elijah), AND Jesus, all on equal footing, as if Jesus were only one indispensable part of God’s dispensation of truth. But it is Jesus, the truth personified, who reveals God to us in all His character and truth. This is why the disciples preached, healed, cast out demons and baptized in the name of Jesus. The Bible says that we should do the same. “Whatever you do, whether in WORD or DEED, do it ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH HIM” (Col.3:17).

 

The name of Jesus Christ is the specific, authoritative and noble name of our Lord, which fully declares the name of our Great God and Father. God used to be called ‘Elohim’, ‘God’. Then through His progressive self revelation to Abraham and then Moses, He revealed Himself by revealing His name, “Yahweh”, along with predominant aspects of His person and character. God also identified Himself with those whom He loved and chose to belong to Himself by blood covenant. He called Himself “the God of Abraham”, “The God of Isaac”, and “the God of Jacob”. And He identified Himself with them collectively by calling Himself “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”, and “the God of Israel”. He has now much more fully revealed Himself as “the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father” (Eph.1:17), and “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph.1:3,1Pt.1:3,etc.).

 

You will not see anyone in the whole story of the early church history recorded in the book of Acts doing anything, much less a miracle, in “the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. But you do see quite a few times where the name of Jesus is invoked as the name by which God is now fully represented on this earth. The Bible says, “Then they (the religious leaders of the apostate church) called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Ac.4:18). And then, "The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for ‘the Name”’ (Ac.5:41). It is only the name of the Son of God, who is also in reality the Son of Man, spoken by a saint that is obeying Jesus, that now carries any final authority on earth. That is one reason why the spirit of anti-Christ is so adamantly opposed to His specific name, and to the teaching that Jesus is a real man incarnated in a real human body (1Jn.4:3).

 

Some believe that since God has given Jesus “the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…” means that Jesus must be God since His name is the highest name and everyone must bow before Him and confess Him as Lord. However, again we would have to ignore the rest of the context of the Bible along with the fact that it is God Himself who made Jesus Lord and gave Him His name and authority, which is why this passage ends with the phrase, “…to the glory of God the Father.“

 

Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (Col.1:15). This Greek word for image, ‘eikon’, means 'representation’, ‘resemblance’, as when a coin is stamped with the same ‘eikon’ as its press. The Bible calls Him “Christ, the wisdom OF GOD and the power OF GOD” (1Cor.1:24). And, “It is because of Him (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1Cor.1:30). Jesus is very much one with God AS HIS EXACT REPRESENTATION, before, during (though not according to the flesh), and after His earthly ministry. Again, this is why Jesus is God, in a way. SO, WE CAN’T JUST SAY THAT JESUS ISN’T GOD WITHOUT PROPER EXPLANATION as well!

 

Chapter 56) HOW CAN JESUS NOW BE GOD AND STILL HAVE A GOD?

 

Some maintain that Jesus used to be a man who was also God, but that now He is no longer a man, He is God the Son, the second member of ‘God the Trinity’. Not one of these things are ever mentioned in Scripture. Instead, to the contrary, Scripture teaches much differently. I have already shown to those who accept God’s word as the standard of truth, that Jesus was a man who had a God, and now is The Man who still has a God. I will continue to try to prove these things to the lover of truth. Decades after His ascension into heaven, Jesus revealed Himself (thus the name for the book - ‘Revelation’) and certain things which will soon come to pass. It says that Jesus “has made us kings and priests TO HIS GOD AND FATHER.“ (Rev.1:6). And in His messages to the churches, Jesus says, “...I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of MY GOD…to him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of MY GOD...l will write on him the name of MY GOD and the name of the city of MY GOD, which is coming down out of heaven from MY GOD...These things says ‘the Amen’, ‘the Faithful and True WITNESS’, ‘THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD’” (Rev.3:2,12,14). So therefore no one can accurately say that Jesus was only speaking of God as being His God from His human nature, or only while being a man of flesh on this earth. Jesus declared these things concerning Himself long after His ascension back into heaven. So, God’s record shows, and therefore let our record show, that Jesus was then a man under the headship of God, and JESUS IS NOW STILL A MAN, yes a divine, new and very glorious spiritual man, UNDER THE HEADSHIP OF HIS GOD (1Cor.11:3,1Tim.2:5,etc). Peter once told Jesus, “…we have believed and have known that you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Jn.6:69). None of them ever believed Jesus to be very God, not John, Thomas or any of the others. It is very dangerous not to believe in Jesus as God‘s very own Son, for it says, “…but He that does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten SON OF God.” (Jn.3:18). “THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD”, “THE FIRSTBORN OF ALL CREATION”

 

The Greek word for ‘beginning’ (in Rev.3:14) is ‘arche’, the same word used throughout the New Testament for ‘beginning’ in its conventional meaning. It seems to have two primary meanings: ‘commencement‘, and ‘chief‘. In God's order the first is also the chief (and the type). Jesus is the “beginning“, the “FIRSTBORN“, “the beginning of God's creation“. He is "THE FIRSTBORN OF ALL CREATION" (Col.1:15), "THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BROTHERS" (Rom.8:29).When God raised Christ from death He became “THE FIRSTBORN FROM AMONG THE DEAD” (Col.1:18). The Bible calls Jesus “the Lamb slain from the founding of the world“ (Rev.13:8). I believe this means He was slain in the heart and mind of God, and therefore in reality. Scripture also speaks of God bringing His “Firstborn” into the world (Heb.1:6).

 

This word “firstborn” means exactly that in the Greek, it does not mean promotion to rank of ‘ruler’. In the same way, “beginning” does not mean promotion to the rank of ‘ruler’. The word “firstborn” USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH this word “beginning” helps to confirm it’s definition. Concerning Jesus the literal Greek says, “...who is the BEGINNING, FIRSTBORN from among the dead THAT he might be in all things holding the first place” (Col.1:18). Notice the order of sequence in cause and effect. Jesus holds the preeminence in all creation BECAUSE He is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead. Jesus is not OF this world, but He is the man from above, the man from heaven, the man sent from God (Jn.3:31,1Cor.15:47). Jesus is “The beginning of the creation of God” (Rev.3:14). The Scripture elsewhere literally says, “If anyone (be) in Christ: new creation: the old things passed away, lo, all things become new, and all things are of God...” (2Cor.5:17,18).

 

Those who teach that Jesus is 'fully God' sometimes say that this word “beginning” means “origin”, i.e. the source from which something develops. This seems to be a fabrication with only an apparent basis of truth. Although the word ‘origin’ has similarities to the word ‘beginning’, ‘arche’ is never once used as ‘origin’ in any scripture, but to the contrary it always means either ‘commencement’ or ‘chief‘. In fact, the original Greek clearly says that Jesus is the “arche” of the Creation OF GOD (Rev.3:14), AGAIN CONFIRMING GOD HIMSELF AS THE ORIGIN, THE SOURCE OF CREATION. AS JESUS’ GOD AND FATHER, GOD IS JESUS’ ORIGINATING SOURCE. This is why He is called the Son, Lamb and Logos OF God (Rev.19:13). All we need to know and believe about Him can be learned by trusting what we're clearly told in the Bible. We should be careful about being so sure about the rest. In this case we're told that as the Logos He was with God in the beginning (Jn.1:1), and that all things were created through (by) Him and for Him, and without Him nothing was made that has been made (Jn.1:3). I can be sure that God is the originating source for all creation (1Cor.8:6,Eph.3:9). And I can be sure that there was a specific day, called “Today“, that God “begat” His Son, thus becoming His Father (Heb.1:5). That day seems to refer to the day God raised Christ from the dead, when He became the firstborn from the dead, but I believe that Jesus was God’s Son before that day. God sent His Son, not a man who became His Son. We know that Christ was foreknown to God before the foundation of the world, yet revealed to us in these last days(1Pt.1:20), and we know that He was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev.13:8), so it seems possible to me that His sonship may similarly not be bound to chronology as we perceive it. More probably the answer to this issue surrounds the apparently three different types of births concerning Christ, which can all be attributed to God’s Fatherhood. We see these in Proverbs 8:22-25, Matthew 1:18 and then lastly in Romans 1:4 together with Acts 13:33. Concerning these less crucial matters of which I am unclear, I do not worry, for I feel no compulsion to claim to know more than has been revealed to me pertaining to the details about our glorious God and Lord Jesus, about whom my knowledge is obviously much less than a first grader who has begun learning about the intricacies of 'life'. We are all learning every day if we are continuing in the faith.

 

Chapter 57) 'BEGOTTEN' MEANS 'BORN'

 



Begotten means ‘born’, or ‘birthed’, in no uncertain terms. What else does ‘begotten’ mean? Many who maintain that Jesus is absolute God try to detract from this obvious truth, but can not do so accurately from the Scriptures. Many say that Jesus has been God’s Son from 'eternity past', that Jesus was never begotten at any point in time, and that He has always been WITH GOD WHILE BEING GOD as 'God the Son', the second person of ‘God the Trinity’. But how can someone say that “FIRSTBORN” doesn’t mean ‘born’? How can we ignore, “TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU” (Heb.1:5,Ps.2:7)?

 

The normal Greek word translated ‘born’ in the New Testament, including ‘born’ again, ‘born’ of the flesh, and ‘born’ of the Spirit, is ‘gennao’, meaning to ‘procreate (mainly of the father)’, and to regenerate’, ‘beget’, ‘be born’, etc. This is the exact same word used when talking about God ‘begetting’ Jesus in Ac.13:33, Heb.1:5, 5:5, and 1Jn.5:18. Of course God did not birth Jesus through sexual procreation, but the idea of some kind of a paternal birthing is intrinsic in the word 'begotten' when used about God and Jesus, thus it must mean ‘born’. If this term only meant ‘intimacy’ or ‘unique position with God‘, then neither God nor Jesus would use this term, nor ‘Son’ so often, but instead would describe His identity without being so misleading. But actually to the contrary, the Bible is very clear that Jesus was born of God at a particular time in history, called “TODAY”. For it is written, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER" (Heb.1:5). This actually means in the literal Greek, “I TODAY HAVE PROCREATED YOU”. The Greek word that is translated “only begotten” is ‘monogenes’, meaning ‘only-born’. It is used about Jesus in Jn.1:14,18, 3:16,18, 1 Jn.4:9, and about Isaac in Heb.11:17. If none of these terms, ‘only-born’, ‘firstborn’, or ‘begotten’ convey being born, then what does? We must be careful to let the Bible speak for itself, unless it is very clear that a particular word is not to be understood by it’s conventional meaning. We do not have to fear believing what the Bible clearly says, worrying if we are understanding it’s true cryptic meaning. Of course we must study to insure that the seemingly obvious meaning applies, comparing a passage with all of Scripture. This way we allow the totality of Scripture to define ambiguous scriptures, while asking for and depending upon the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment as we study. Beware when your beliefs necessitate changing the obvious meanings of regular words!

 

Some say that what God begets is God, and what man begets is man, when trying to prove that Jesus,being the Son of God, is literally God. They base their logic on the scripture that says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”, but their premise, logic and conclusion is faulty. Maybe they forget to factor in that there is only one God, and that man was created in the image of God when God gave birth to “…Adam, son of God” (Lk.3:38). Their logic, if applied across the board, would mean that Adam was God, because He was a literal Son of God. Then likewise we who are truly born of the Spirit, sons of God in Christ, would each have to also be considered God. ABSOLUTE GOD CANNOT BE BORN! Adam was a true Son of God (Lk.3:38) while being a man of flesh. Both Adam and Jesus had human spirits that were born of God, for God is called “the Father of spirits” (Heb.12:9). Jesus, the second and last Man, the spiritual man from heaven, came as a man of flesh, although He is now no longer a man of flesh. And we are still fleshly men, though not mere men any longer (1Cor.3:3). Because we are in union with Christ, the Son of God, we are now spiritual sons of God even while still in our bodies of flesh. We who continue in the faith will soon be adopted as perfected, righteous, completely spiritual sons of God. Jesus was a resurrected spiritual man of flesh before He ascended back to heaven. God can birth spiritual sons who share His nature. God’s perfected sons are Gods in all practical reality, for they are created in His image, and are like Him. But none of them are to be called a God without the clarification that they have a God who is the one and only true God. Jesus is the firstborn of many brothers, and He is a God. Any brother of Jesus who becomes a perfected son of God is ‘a God’ to a certain degree, because they are born of God, made in His image, and are therefore like Him to whatever degree.

 

One of our problems in understanding this is that we are so accustomed to our old worldly thinking that we think of ‘being born’, and ‘birthing’, as the crude animalistic process common to our fleshly existence. Paul said that he had begotten Onesimus (Phile.10) and the Corinthians through the gospel (1Cor.4:15). We can see that this is a much different process of birthing than we are accustomed to associate with the term. Likewise, when God became Jesus’ Father by ‘begetting’ Him, it was a very holy, dignified, and much more advanced process than we could ever conceive (no pun intended). We have been born again by the Word of God (1Pt.1:23). Men can be born of the Spirit and still be men, even as Jesus is. Scripture proves men can be called Gods, as I have highlighted. During rebirth we are quickened to become spiritually alive (Rom.8:10), although our body is still flesh, spiritually dead because of sin (Rom.8:10). We await our official adoption as sons, when we will finally experience our new destiny as glorified sons of God in Christ. When this earthly tent of flesh is gone, or for those who are still alive when Christ returns (1Thes.4:17), we will find we have an eternal heavenly home (2Cor.5:1-4,Rom.8:23) to live in forever, which is our spiritual body (1Cor.15:44). It will then be like Christ’s glorious body (1Cor.15:48,49,53) forever.

 

So the truth is that there is and will always be only one true absolute God, but that HE HAS FULLY SHARED HIS DIVINE NATURE WITH HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, AND THROUGH HIM TO ALL HIS SONS (Jn.10:33-36,2Pt.1:4,1Jn.3:2), ALL WHO ARE ONE WITH CHRIST. This is why the good news is so good, because He has fully (Col.2:9,10) shared everything He has with Jesus, and thus with us as adopted sons in Him (Rom.8:17,19,23). This is the major aspect of our fellowship and inheritance with God and the Lord Jesus (Rom.8:17). Remember that Adam was a real, but fleshy son of God. I believe we greatly underestimate the implications of Adam’s likeness to God before his sin. Likewise, we seem to greatly underestimate his villainy in sinning against God, compared to our view of other infamously despised criminals such as Judas or Hitler. Also of interest, we cannot rule out the possibility that Adam and Eve were reconciled to God when He sacrificed the animal, probably a lamb to symbolize the coming Lamb, to make clothes for Adam, and for Eve, and that they continued seeking and worshipping God. They may have taught their children how to call upon the LORD, and how to sacrifice to God, as Cain and Able were doing. However unlikely it may seem, it does not seem impossible that God could have brought them to faith in the coming Lamb, and that we will see them in the Heavenly Jerusalem.

 

Chapter 58) WHO SHOULD WE PRAY TO?

 

Many Christians today don’t seem to know who they are praying to. We use ‘God’, ‘Father’, ‘Lord’, ‘Jesus’, and ‘Lord Jesus’, often interchangeably, and often in a seemingly arbitrary manner. Some even pray to the Holy Spirit. What does the Bible say about it? Jesus prayed and taught us to pray to God, the Father. Paul prayed to and taught us to pray to God, the Father. Yet Scripture confirms that we can pray to our Lord Jesus, for He is truly Lord. He is our Lord who bought and owns us, whom we love, serve, obey, live to and die to. The Bible says, “God...has called you into FELLOWSHIP WITH His Son Jesus Christ our Lord...” (1Cor.1:9). The fellowship with Jesus the Bible is talking about is not our modern idea of fellowship, meaning to talk intimately to Him all day, though that is now our privilege, but it means sharing all pertinent things in common with Him, the benefits of his death to sin and of His resurrection life. This communion with Christ also involves our sharing in His sufferings (Phil.3:10, Rom.8:17,32, Jn.16:14,15), and soon also sharing in His glory. Since “...our fellowship (sharing in common) is with the Father AND with His Son, Jesus Christ” (1Jn.1:3), we can now know Jesus by the Spirit, and God our Father because of our union with Christ. Jesus prayed to God, not the Trinity, very often, both in vocalized, intensely focused prayer, and throughout the day in His heart. In union with Him we now also share that same privilege of praying to God as He did, for through His mediation and priesthood we have instant access to God’s throne of grace.

 

The early church prayed to God the Father, believing in and mentioning the name of Messiah Jesus, and at times they also prayed to the Lord Jesus. Both types of praying are also apparently referred to as calling on the name of the Lord (Ac.2:21,9:14,Rom.10:12). Calling on the name of the Lord apparently includes praying to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus while invoking Jesus’ name (Ac.4:24-30), AND praying to Jesus Himself as Lord, though NEVER AS BEING ‘THE’ GOD. When quoting Scriptures from the Old Testament, and at least once in recorded prayer, they would still call God the Father ‘Lord’ (Ac.4:29), although they progressively grew to use the title primarily to denote the Lord Jesus, as their revelation and understanding grew. Some may have first learned from Peter that GOD HAS MADE THIS MAN JESUS BOTH “LORD AND CHRIST” (Ac.2:22,23,36).

 

We can see Saul and Ananias talking back to the Lord Jesus when He revealed Himself to them both through a vision (Ac.9:3-5,10-14). We can see Stephen pray to Jesus when again Christ was revealed to him during or just after his vision of God's glory (the "unapproachable light” of majesty and splendor of His invisible presence) AND Jesus. He prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”, and, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” as he was dying (Ac.7:59,60). We can know certainly that Stephen did not mistake Jesus for God when he prayed to Jesus, for the Scripture says, “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and SAW THE GLORY OF GOD, AND JESUS STANDING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. ‘Look!’, he said, ‘I SEE heaven open and THE SON OF MAN STANDING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD'” (Ac.7:55,56). His prayer to the Lord Jesus during or just after this vision was very appropriate, because he had just seen Jesus, and the Spirit led him to address the Lord, “for none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord” (Rom.14:7,8). And Paul asked the Lord (Jesus) to take away the thorn in his flesh.

 

Although there are so very few examples in the whole Bible of anyone praying to Jesus, I believe that it is very valid to pray to the Lord Jesus when we recognize that it is appropriate. I do at times, and I have much to learn about this subject. When we pray to God we are also praying through and to our Lord Jesus. And any prayer to Jesus is a prayer to God. But it seems that according to the Bible proper official praying was and is normally to be done by praying to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, through and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ac.4:24-30). Many pray to Jesus erroneously, as literally being God. Praise God that He does not reject a prayer just because it is prayed to Jesus as literally being God. God knows that it is confusing for us, and He loses no honor when we pray to Jesus, either as Lord or as if He were God Himself. I believe that when we are in Christ, praying in faith according to God’s will in the name of Jesus, God receives any prayer prayed to Jesus as being God. Jesus FULLY represents God. And since God’s identity is fully tied up in Jesus’ identity, and vice versa, we don’t have to be OVERLY concerned about technical perfection in prayer in this matter. The problem is that when we don’t know Jesus from God, as Jesus, Peter and Paul did, it is often because we don’t love God enough to want to find out, and it’s an indication that there may be other things in our heart and life that can be detracting from, or even nullifying our prayers. It is usually indicative of a lack of love for truth and devotion to Christ for us to neglect to find out who He and the Father really are, according to the Scriptures. We are expected to grow up and progressively learn who Jesus really is, both in His relation to us and to God, so that as in a mirror we find out who we really are in Him.

 

Of course we should try to pray in the most effective way that most pleases God. We can do that by praying according to how we are taught by Jesus, the apostles and the Holy Spirit. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive “the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, ‘Abba!’, ‘Father!’. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom.8:15,16). When we come to truly believe in the real Jesus, this Jesus of the Bible, we should soon obey Him in repentance and baptism, and then we should ask God for the gift of the Holy Spirit (Lk.11:13,Ac.5:32,Jn.14:15,16), for the endowment of power for witnessing . We should also start learning to be led by the Spirit, and thus come to recognize, love and serve God as our Father, Jesus as our Lord, and our fellow Christians as our true brothers.

 

Chapter 59) "IN THAT DAY YOU WILL NO LONGER ASK ME ANYTHING"

 

“Calling on the Name of the Lord” Jesus means to invoke the Name of the Lord, either in prayer to God or by invoking Jesus’ name directly. Biblically, I believe it is done properly by praying to God while mentioning His Son Jesus (see Ac.4:24,27,30), while the petitioner is in proper vital union with Christ at the time. There is a scripture that upon first glance seems to indicate that we are to pray to Jesus, asking Him for anything we want, which He promises to give. Jesus tells His disciples, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (Jn.14:13,14). But the context immediately preceding and directly after this promise confirms what the rest of Scripture says. This promise was given to the twelve, to whom He had just said, “...I am going to the Father” (Jn.14:12). I believe that this promise may have been given right before Christ’s crucifixion concerning that period of time between Christ’s ascension, when He went back to the Father, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, during which time Christ Himself answered their prayers as Lord. I believe that this may have been one of God’s ways of allowing Jesus to bring Him glory, while also distinguishing Jesus as Lord. Therefore I believe it’s possible that the apostolic company of believers may have prayed primarily to Jesus during this interim, during which time their prayers would have been directly answered by Jesus. Immediately after this promise Jesus made to His disciples, He tells them the conditions of receiving the Holy Spirit: “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (Jn.14:15,Ac.5:32). Then He immediately says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of Truth’ (Jn.14:16). Then after talking more about this time of the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus tells His disciples, “IN THAT DAY YOU WILL NO LONGER ASK ME ANYTHING. I tell you the truth, MY FATHER WILL GIVE YOU WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME…IN THAT DAY YOU WILL ASK (HIM) IN MY NAME. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. NO, THE FATHER HIMSELF LOVES YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE LOVED ME AND HAVE BELIEVED THAT I CAME FROM GOD” (Jn.16:22-27). Here we can see that asking in Jesus’ name isn’t the same as asking Jesus.

 

I believe that we are still in that day, after the Holy Spirit was given, where we generally should ask the Source Himself, through and in the name of our great mediator and High Priest, while also ministering unto the Lord Jesus in fellowship, praise and prayer.

 

Chapter 60) "PRESENT YOUR REQUESTS TO GOD"

 

The Apostle Paul writes by the Holy Spirit, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests TO GOD” (Phil.4:6). During Jesus’ general teaching about this subject He said, “...PRAY TO YOUR FATHER, who is unseen” (Mt.6:6). Then He also said, THIS THEN IS HOW YOU SHOULD PRAY: ‘OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN…” (Mt.6:9). We are CLEARLY supposed to PRAY TO GOD (Rom.10:1,Lk.6:12,1Cor.11:13,etc.). And, Paul writes, “...WE constantly PRAY for you, THAT OUR GOD MAY..." (2Th.1:11). Jesus told his disciples that this day would come, and besides this aforementioned provision Jesus made for His disciples, whatever that reason may have been,

 

Interestingly, THERE IS NOT ONE SCRIPTURE THAT TELLS US TO NOW ASK OR PRAY TO JESUS for our requests, but MANY examples and admonitions to pray to God, the Father. Jesus Himself said about the time after the Holy Spirit was given that we would not ask Him for anything, but that the Father Himself would give us whatever we asked Him for when we asked Him in Jesus’ name. That is part of the truth of the ‘good news’ (gospel), that CHRIST CAME TO RECONCILE US BACK TO A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP TO GOD HIMSELF! As I just demonstrated, to ask the Father in Jesus’ name doesn’t mean praying, “Lord Jesus, please do such and such.” Although this is technically incorrect, I believe God overlooks these things, especially from a new believer who doesn’t know any better, or from one who has been taught wrongly. But older believers should learn how to pray more correctly, and should pray to God, the Father, as Jesus and Paul did, as well as learning to thank and praise and talk to our Lord, who is one with us.

 

In summary, I firmly believe that any otherwise legitimate prayer to the Lord Jesus is recognized as a prayer to our Lord and to the God He so perfectly represents. But I am also sure that it is important that we learn to pray to the God that Jesus died on the cross to reconcile us back to, our Heavenly Father, in accordance to and recognition of all Jesus is and taught. Praying in Jesus’ name does not necessarily mean that we must end all our prayers to God with the legitimizing phrase, “,,,in Jesus name we pray, amen.” Although this can, in at least one respect, help serve that purpose, it in no way assures that we are properly praying in Jesus’ name. Nor should we think of that phrase in any way as being the validating words that make the prayer work. We pray in Jesus’ name by believing, obediently living and then praying according to the Spirit of everything the real Jesus taught, is and represents.

 

After the apostle Paul saw and responded (prayed) to the Lord on the road to Damascus, he was (probably much later) caught up to Paradise in the heavenly realm above the universe where, among other things he heard inexpressible revelations. He was given great insight into the mystery of Christ by revelation from the Holy Spirit (Eph.3:4,5). As I have already shown, he afterwards primarily prayed to and repeatedly teaches us to primarily PRAY TO GOD THE FATHER: “... I KNEEL BEFORE THE FATHER... I PRAY that out of HIS glorious riches HE may strengthen you with power through HIS SPIRIT in your inner being, so that CHRIST may dwell in your hearts. TO HIM BE GLORY IN THE CHURCH AND IN CHRIST JESUS..." (Eph.3:14-21, also see Rom.10:1,1Cor.11:13,Col.1:3). WE HONOR AND GLORIFY GOD AND JESUS “God has made this (man-vs.22)Jesus, whom you crucified, to be Lord and Christ.“ (Acts2::36) And, God has appointed “A MAN“, (Ac.17:31) Jesus, to execute “all judgment, SO THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON, EVEN AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER” (Jn.5:22,23). And that is exactly what will happen when people tremble at the awesome majesty and power of our Lord Jesus on that great and terrible day (2Th.1:7-10). We are supposed to begin honoring Jesus now with the respect that we owe Him, EVEN AS WE HONOR THE FATHER. It does not say we are to do this because He is God, or because He is equal to God in every way. As Acts 17:31 proves, and it was written long after Christ’s ascension, God appointed A MAN, YES JESUS, to execute all judgment, which is the very reason we are given for honoring the Son in the context of this verse in John 5, BECAUSE HE IS A MAN GOD HAS APPOINTED TO EXECUTE ALL JUDGEMENT SO THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON, EVEN AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER, NOT AS HIM BEING GOD THE FATHER. We are to do this by thankfully trusting, loving and obeying Jesus (Jn.15:14) as our beloved Lord, for this is the only way to truly honor God (Jn.5:23).

 

One problem many Christians have with honoring Jesus as they honor God is that they often don’t SPECIFICALLY HONOR GOD, THE GOD WHO IS THE FATHER HIMSELF AND WHO IS ONLY THE FATHER HIMSELF! And often when they try, their superficial attempts are mostly in word, and aimed at a Trinity or ‘Jesus only‘. Or by doing certain good deeds. As I have written, many have the mistaken understanding that they should worship Jesus AS BEING GOD, AND BELIEVING HE IS LESS SEVERE THAN THE FATHER HAVE PINNED THEIR HOPES ON PRAISING AND PLEASING HIM, ESPECIALLY IF THEY FEEL GUILT FROM MANY SINS.

 

Any proper thanks, praise, glory and worship that we direct to Jesus honors God. However, we should please the Lord by learning the correct emphasis that He Himself has given us through His own teachings, the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures and the holy apostles. We should therefore give the proper praise, honor and glory due, first and foremost unto God the Father (Rom.15:6,9,1Cor.6:20,2Cor.9:13,1Pt.2:12,4:16,etc) through and in the name of our Lord Jesus, as well as to our glorious Lord Jesus (2Pt.3:18,2Th.4:18), both now and forever, let it be so.

 

The Bible says that we should be “...ALWAYS GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER FOR EVERYTHING, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST” (Eph.5:20). And, “WE ALWAYS THANK GOD, THE FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHEN WE PRAY for you...” (Col.1:3). Here in Colossians, again, God is identified as being the Father of Jesus. There are at least sixty times the New Testament records thanksgiving SPECIFICALLY to God the Father, and so we should likewise focus our thanksgiving to God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. Here is another example of this proper emphasis: "I ALWAYS THANK GOD for you because of HIS GRACE GIVEN YOU IN CHRIST JESUS" (1Cor.1:4). We can and should also thank our Lord Jesus, as Paul did when he thanked Jesus for the personal favor he had extended to Paul when He, as Lord, appointed Paul to such an important ministry normally reserved for the faithful. Saul had been persecuting Jesus Himself when he had persecuted even "the least of these my brethren". Christ had mercifully forgiven him because, being ignorant, he did it in unbelief. He afterward esteemed Paul faithful and appointed him to His service, considering him faithful in his life of consistent obedient service because of his former ignorance. WE ALSO CAN AND SHOULD BE THANKING THE LORD JESUS FOR ALL HE HAS DONE FOR US.

 

But we should first and foremost truly thank God for everything Jesus did for us while here on earth, for God, as the God and source of all things, gave and sent His Son to save us: “...GOD, who is rich in mercy, MADE US ALIVE WITH CHRIST... and GOD RAISED US UP WITH CHRIST... it is the GIFT OF GOD... For “WE ARE GOD’S WORKMANSHIP...” (Eph.2:4-10). And, “IT IS BECAUSE OF HIM (GOD) THAT YOU ARE IN CHRIST JESUS...” (1Cor.1:30,Col.1:12,13,22). And, “HE (God) CHOSE to give us birth through the word of truth” (Jms.1:18). Jesus clearly said that God was the source of all His words and deeds (Jn.5:19). And he very significantly said that He did not come on His own initiative, but that God had sent Him (Jn.8:42). He also said that He came from God (Jn.7:29), telling us that His God and Father was His source from whom He came and who gave Him everything. We should be able to see that God is the originating source, and therefore the one responsible for all that Christ has done for us. In chapters 5-8 of the book of John alone there are 21 proofs that Jesus was sent by God on His mission as our Great Apostle. Also the Bible says, “...your generosity will result in THANKSGIVING TO GOD. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of THANKS TO GOD... MEN WILL PRAISE GOD FOR...your generosity in sharing with them... THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS INDESCRIBABLE GIFT!” (2Cor.9:11-15). Of course we should honor all those to whom it is due (Rom.13:7) with sincere thanks, but in doing so we should also recognize that “every good and perfect gift is from above, COMING DOWN FROM THE FATHER...” (Jms.1:17). If Jesus’ death on the cross has truly had it’s proper effect in your life, then you will be in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit and praying ‘Abba’, ‘Father’... You will be truly reconciled to God in a restored relationship with your Creator Himself, loving Him and giving Him the thanks and the glory due to Him as the great God He is (Rom.1:21). Knowing God as our Father is an indispensable part of knowing Christ. Only then can we properly serve and relate to our Lord Jesus, giving Him the praise and glory due to Him.

 

I believe that we should talk to our ever present Lord Jesus daily, and this constitutes a kind of prayer. But why is there not one scripture that tells us that we should officially pray to Jesus? And why is there not one scripture that tells us to worship our Lord Jesus, especially as though He were literally God, even though Jesus received worship when He was here (as I will soon address)? Why would Satan ask Jesus to worship him if he knew that worship can only be directed to God alone? And why would Satan ask Jesus to worship him if he knew Jesus were literally God? It would be impossible for God to worship anyone, much less be tempted. The reason for this interesting lack of scriptural basis for so many of our customs and songs is because they are built upon the unscriptural belief that Jesus is literally our God. Not one scripture can be found that TRULY tells us to treat Jesus as if He were absolute God in any form. Because He is God’s Son, exalted to God’s right hand, He has a God given, but not absolute equality, and therefore all will come to honor Jesus AS they honor God. But that doesn’t mean that we will honor Jesus AS BEING GOD Himself. Again, I believe that God receives any prayer, praise, or worship given to our Lord Jesus as if He were literally God, to whatever degree that it is otherwise acceptable, but we must learn to grow up into maturity in Christ. So then, we must give to Jesus the service and honor due Him as our beloved, worthy Lord of Glory, and give “to God what is God’s” (Mt.22:21).

 

By teaching these same truths the prophets, Jesus, Paul and Peter taught, I don’t believe I am in any way detracting from Christ’s supreme and eternal glory, nor from the supreme debt we owe to Him as our Lord who bought us with His holy life’s blood. As our Lord, Jesus deserves and rightly wants to be the object of our faith, love, devotion and obedience, yet not worshiped as God Almighty. God wants the same from us for Himself, and He desires us to glorify and honor Jesus, yet Jesus said that the Father seeks for us to worship Him as God, in deed and in truth (Jn.4:23,24). I do not advocate that the pendulum swing too far in the other direction, as so often happens when a formerly underemphasized truth becomes overemphasized to the neglect of other priorities and facts. I am hoping that your service to the Lord Jesus may be according to proper knowledge (Rom.10:2), so that you will not be “...ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Pt.1:8). If we truly love God and the truth, these facts will not anger us, for Jesus is not dishonored when we give God His rightful place in our hearts, the very thing Jesus died to restore to us. It is only fitting that we also praise, glorify and bow before our Lord Jesus. Mere men have been properly praised (Rom.13:3), worshiped (1Chron.29:20) and glorified (Rom.8:30), so how much more our glorious Lord Jesus, who is God‘s Son. The words translated ‘worship’ in the Greek do not always mean ultimate homage to God Almighty. There are reasons why Christ rightly received worship. He is our very worthy Lord, the Messiah, God’s Son and perfect demonstration. Don’t be so sure that because Jesus accepted worship that He did so because He was in fact supreme deity Himself. I will elaborate on this more very soon.

 

So Jesus Himself, and the apostles, teach us to direct our prayers, praise and worship first and foremost to God, the Father, THE ultimate source of ALL goodness and THE ultimate object of all praise and glory. When we come to believe correctly about Jesus, He reconciles us to and reveals the Father to us as our God and Father (Mt.11:27). Jesus reveals Himself to us who have and obey His commands (Jn.14:21), in us (2Cor.13:5) who continue in the faith, and through us to others (Gal.1:16). We must seek God and consider all the Scriptures to find the proper balance of truth, and let the Spirit lead us.

 

Chapter 61) "WORTHY IS THE LAMB"

 

In the Book of Revelation there is a fascinating view given to us of God and the Lord Jesus, that can give us much insight into this issue. John sees "a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it... Surrounding the throne were twenty four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty four elders... Before the throne seven lamps were blazing. These are THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD...In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures...saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, who was, and is, and is to come. Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE AND WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER, the twenty four elders FALL DOWN BEFORE HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE, AND WORSHIP HIM WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘YOU ARE WORTHY, OUR LORD AND GOD, to receive glory and honor and power, FOR YOU CREATED ALL THINGS, AND BY YOUR WILL THEY WERE CREATED AND HAVE THEIR BEING.’ Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?...Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne...HE CAME (from the center of the throne) AND TOOK THE SCROLL FROM THE RIGHT HAND OF HIM WHO SAT ON THE THRONE. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty four elders FELL DOWN BEFORE THE LAMB (but it doesn't say they worshiped Him)...And they sang a new song: YOU ARE WORTHY to take the scroll and to open its seals, BECAUSE YOU WERE SLAIN, AND WITH YOUR BLOOD YOU PURCHASED MEN FOR GOD...You have made them to be a kingdom and priests TO SERVE OUR GOD...’ Then I heard every creature...singing: ‘TO HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE AND TO THE LAMB be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’ The four living creatures said, ‘Amen’, and the elders FELL DOWN AND WORSHIPED HIM WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER.” (Rev.4:2-5:14).

 

There is no delineation of the Trinity doctrine here either. I believe that the ‘Received Text’, or ‘Textus Receptus’, the Greek text from which the King James Version was translated, must be correct to keep these last few words in Rev. 5:14. The ‘Nestle Text’, which is the revised Greek text used by many modem translations, left these last few words out, of course based upon certain other manuscript copies that did not contain the words. I believe that the deletions were intended to try to manufacture scriptural evidence that Jesus is also being worshiped as being very God, thus lending credence to the exceedingly sparse so called scriptural ‘proof’ that Jesus is literally God. The meaning according to some of the modern translations seems to indicate that Jesus is worshiped as being God. The meaning according to the rendering in the KJV is consistent throughout this whole section, and with the rest of Scripture, whereas many modern versions break the continuity on both counts. Revelation 4:10 shows that “the twenty four elders fall down before HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE, AND WORSHIP HIM (GOD) WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER.” Then in Revelation 5:8 they “FELL DOWN BEFORE THE LAMB”. The phrase “and worship him" (as they did God in 4:10), and the phrase “and worshiped him (as they did God in 5:14) are not here, for the elders are rendering due homage to the Lamb, who is worthy of being honored as God is honored, not as being God, but it says because He was slain to purchase men FOR GOD. Then in the last verse, the elders fall down before the throne and “WORSHIPED HIM (God) WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER". They worship God as being God AND give the Lamb the honor due Him as well, just as we should do.

 

Chapter 62) JESUS RECEIVED WORSHIP; DOESN'T THAT MEAN THAT HE IS GOD?

 

Be careful here to have “ears that hear”, because this is one of those areas that so many are certain they are right about, but will later find that it was just one of those things that was very easy to misunderstand. As God’s Son and direct earthly representative, who was “in the Father” and in whom the Father fully dwelled, Jesus received worship as Himself being the very Son of God, completely holy and worthy, God’s perfectly ultimate representative, not as God Himself in any way. Jesus received the homage He deserves Himself as being God’s Son, our Lord, the Messiah, the King of Israel, not as being God. I believe that some will be pleased to find that I can prove this scripturally. In the depths of the wisdom and knowledge of God, I am sure that He foresaw this whole last days theological fiasco. And He graciously left to those of us who get this far in unraveling the truth, the scriptural proof we need to understand how Jesus could have received worship as the new kind of man He really is. I don’t have to pull out some obscure scripture with a manufactured meaning. God has not left us out on a limb on this issue, for He is a very real God, and great is His faithfullness! Among all the numerous scriptures pertinent to this issue, many of which I have underscored in this treatise, we have the following revelations:

 

When the Lord Jesus walked on the water, and then climbed into the boat with His disciples, and the wind died down, the Bible says, “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Surely you are the Son of God!” Notice they did not worship Him saying, ‘Surely you are God!” This scripture speaks for itself, and it proves that they did not worship Jesus as being God, but as being the Son of God. And then at the end of First Chronicles we find the classic precedent, as it is written: “And David said to all the congregation, ‘Now bless the LORD your God’. And all the congregation blessed the LORD GODof their fathers, and bowed down their heads, AND WORSHIPED (PROSTRATED THEMSELVES BEFORE) THE LORD AND THE KING" (1 Chron.29:20). “…AND (WORSHIPED) THE KING (DAVID)?!!!“ This is a ‘type’ and a foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus being worshiped when believing Jews WERE WORSHIPING GOD WHEN WORSHIPING JESUS AS LORD AND KING of Israel. HOW COULD THE JEWS RIGHTLY WORSHIP THE KING WHEN HE WAS ONLY A MAN, FOR THEY KNEW THAT THEY MUST ONLY WORSHIP GOD? They weren’t condemned as violating God’s command to worship only Him. The words used for worship denote an act of extreme reverence, whether to a created being, on the low end, or to God Himself in the ultimate sense. If worship was only rightly possible towards God in absolute strictness, then Israel’s worshipping King David would have been noted as having been very wrong. David and his heir to the throne, Jesus, were both worshiped by Israel as King, while worshipping God as God.

 

Let me back up to remind some of a potentially misleading term. Some may be confused by our use of the same English word ‘Lord' to represent several different original words, languages and meanings, so I will expand on my earlier explanation. The most common of these includes the Hebrew words ‘Yahweh' and ‘Adonoi’, and the Greek word ‘kurios’. The Jews sometimes used the normal Hebrew word for ‘Lord’, ‘Adonoi’, for God, because Yahweh is truly the ultimate Lord. I’ve mentioned that they also began substituting the word ‘Lord’ for the name of God, ‘Yahweh’. When either of these two Hebrew words translated ‘Lord’ (in English) was translated into the Greek New Testament, the same Greek word ‘kurios’ is used for both. This same Greek word ‘kurios’ is used not only to represent these Hebrew words, but also as the Greek way of conveying: ‘God’ as Supreme Lord of Lords, ‘Jesus’ (as our supreme Lord of lords), human lords, and as a respectful human title, such as ‘Master’, ‘Mister’ or ‘Sir’. So when Jesus quotes this scripture from David out of the Old Testament: “The Lord said to my Lord...”, the Greek text uses the same word ‘Lord’ in two different meanings. The first word ‘Lord’ is referring to David’s LORD AND GOD, Yahweh, and the second word ‘Lord’ is referring to David’s Lord, Messiah, whom He had come to know by spiritual revelation.

 

The congregation of Israel were worshipping the LORD, meaning Yahweh God, “AND DAVID THE KING“, in this passage quoted in 1 Chronicles. MEN WORSHIPED THE MAN KING DAVID AND IT WAS ACCEPTABLE! THE BIBLE SAYS THAT ONLY GOD CAN RECEIVE WORSHIP, YET AS GOD’S REPRESENTATIVE, KING DAVID RECEIVED WORSHIP ALONG WITH GOD AND THE BIBLE SAYS NOTHING AGAINST IT. Later, and in a similar way the real man Jesus received worship, and much more than David He represented God to Israel. Jesus fully lived in God and God fully lived in Him, and He fully represented God being God‘s only begotten Son. Like David, the Son of Man, Jesus, received worship as the anointed King of Israel, but much more than David, Jesus was designated by God as Lord and the Anointed One. In fact, Jesus is declared by David himself as being David’s Lord, this same David who Israel was worshipping along with Yahweh God. If David could be rightly worshiped along with God as being the legitimate earthly representative of God and the anointed King of Israel, how much more should Jesus be expected to accept worship? But He absolutely did not ever receive worship as being Yahweh God, or absolute God in any way, except as being the God under His God and Father that He is as the Son of Man. When the cleansed leper returned and thanked Jesus, Jesus said that he was praising God by doing so (Lk.17:16,18). Similarly, when men bowed to Jesus as God’s holy Son, their Lord, He received that worship as being completely in God and of God, and also for God who was in Him fully, but not as being God Himself in any way.

 

The Amplified Bible adds light by rendering this former passage (parenthetical content theirs): “... bowed down and did obeisance to the LORD, and to the king (as His earthly representative)”. Now, 'did obeisance to' means 'worshiped by bowing down to'. King David was representative and indicative of Messiah, the eternal King of Israel. Messiah is David’s descendant according to the flesh (Rom.1:3), and is actually called David in some prophetic portions of Scripture (Jer.30:9,Ez.34:23,24,37:24,25,Hos.3:5). Sadly, most of us don’t even truly bow down much to God now days in the ultra-modern Christian church mixed with love of self, money, entertainment, lust and comfort. We don’t bow much by consistent obedience nor do we bow much physically. We sometimes say we bow to Him in certain songs, and sometimes even in certain prayers, but in our actions we often truly bow only to Satan himself. We really worship Satan, in a very real way, as we enjoy watching his worldly television shows. There are many other ways we worship the god of this world, by letting our minds be dominated by our desires and self interests, when we indulge our hearts in any immoral sexual fantasies, when we live for what pleases us, our friends and families, by bowing in our sinfully compromising conversations with worldly people, and by our relentless pursuit of money and leisure. Most of us are becoming enemies of the true cross of Christ (our share of His sufferings and death Phil.3:18,19,Lk.9:23,24,Gal.2:20,5:24,6:14), and DON’T WANT to find out more about how WE CAN change, because ITIS EASIER TO AUTOMATICALLY DENY AND DISREGARD THESE ASSERTIONS than it is to find out what is meant by them and then to humbly confess, pray and repent about these things. “Ask, and you shall receive”, including the grace that will help us to learn any truths we have believed and possibly taught erroneously, and also for the revelation and ‘want to’ that will lead us to repentance concerning the sins which so easily beset us.

 

The King of Israel was not said to be sinning, Israel was not said to be sinning, nor was the human king David accepting worship as being God! Those who bowed before David and Jesus were Jews, and therefore knew enough not to be worshipping them as BEING God. They knew God was not a man. Why would it constitute worshipping ‘another’ than God if Jesus, Son of David and King of Israel, allowed people to bow before Him, since He was God’s ultimate and perfect “earthly representative” (as the Amplified Bible called David). Again, Israel was not here worshipping the king as being God, nor did anyone in the future Israel (that we have record of) ever mistake Jesus for God. Jesus was very aware of this scriptural precedent, and it proves that people were not wrong to worship God in and through Him, nor to worship Him as God‘s holy Son, the Messiah and King of Israel.

 

The way Israel was worshipping before their God and their Lord the King is also a perfect example of what Thomas did when he addressed Jesus as his Lord, “AND’ addressed his God who was very near (Ac.17:27,Jn.8:16) in Jesus, as his God. SOMEONE WHO WAS WATCHING ISRAEL WORSHIPPING GOD AND THE KING WOULD HAVE ONLY SEEN ALL ISRAEL BOWING BEFORE KING DAVID, JUST AS WE ONLY SEE THOMAS SPEAKING TO JESUS. THEY WOULD HAVE SEEN AND HEARD WHAT SO CLEARLY SEEMED LIKE ALL ISRAEL BLESSING DAVID AS BEING GOD WHILE BOWING BEFORE HIM IN UNRESTRAINED WORSHIP. ANY UNINFORMED SPECTATOR WOULD HAVE EASILY BECOME CERTAIN THAT THE JEWS WERE WORSHIPPING AND HERALDING KING DAVID AS GOD, AND WOULD HAVE JUST AS EASILY ASSUMED THAT DAVID WAS SURELY ACCEPTING WORSHIP AND ACCOLADES AS BEING GOD HIMSELF. The hypothetical spectator in this case would have been just as wrong as anyone who assumes that Thomas was later worshipping Jesus or proclaiming Jesus AS being his God. In 1 Samuel 20:41, David falls on his knees and bows with his face to the ground three times before Jonathan, King Saul‘s son! He was not worshipping Jonathan as being God, nor did the number three times indicate any Trinitarian concept.

 

When Thomas believed who Jesus really was, and said, “My Lord!, AND My God!” (Jn.20:28-proper punctuation is always a matter of proper interpretation and is not supplied nor always obvious in the Hebrew and Greek texts), that word “AND” is the same word that many scriptures use to distinguish between God and the Lord Jesus (1Chr.29:20, Rom.1:7, 1Cor.1:3, 2Cor.1:2, Gal.1:3, Eph.1:2, Phil.1:2, etc.). From what Jesus had said to him, and maybe from feeling Jesus, Thomas had realized that Jesus still had a body of flesh and bones, which a spirit doesn’t have (Lk.24:39). He most certainly did not mistake Jesus for being God,for He had been consistently taught correctly about God and Jesus by Jesus Himself, for example that, “God is Spirit...” (Jn.4:24), and that God is the Father who was in heaven (Mt.16:17,etc.). Thomas also had the obvious confirmed repeatedly from Jesus Himself, that Jesus was a real and complete man. Philip had failed to recognize who Christ was, and did not recognize God as being in Christ, but Thomas by revelation now had. He knew very well that God is not a man! “I AM GOD, AND NOT MAN" (Hos.11:9). We cannot continue to believe unbiblical doctrines built from extracted verses independent from the whole of Scripture. Three verses after Thomas' famous statement, the Bible sums up what Thomas and the rest of the apostles believed about Jesus even while Thomas spoke those words. Three verses after Thomas’ recorded statement, “My Lord, and my God”, it says, "THESE THINGS ARE WRITTEN SO THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, AND THAT BY BELIEVING (THESE THINGS) YOU MAY HAVE LIFE" (Jn.20:31). “These things” that were written to help us to believe that Jesus is God’s Son included Thomas’ words three verses prior.

 

In the Book of Revelation JESUS IS SAID TO BE WORTHY to open the seals of the scroll, and to receive power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and praise BECAUSE HE SUFFERED DEATH to purchase men FOR GOD, (Rev.5:9,12,Heb.2:9), NOT BECAUSE HE IS GOD, or ‘God by nature’, etc. God, however, is said to be worthy to receive glory, honor and power because He is the creator and source of all things (Rev.4:11). The only way we can worship God acceptably is because of Christ’s high priestly mediation, through our faith in His atoning blood, and through our union with Him by baptism. Christ died to give us access to worship God the way God desires to be worshiped (Heb.9:14,4:16,Eph.2:8). As the disciple’s Lord, part of His ministry was to teach them how to worship God acceptably. You cannot find one example of Jesus setting Himself up as being God, the object of worship, nor did He teach His disciples to bow before Him to fulfill their duty to worship God, nor did He teach them to direct their prayers to Him daily, nor does the Bible teach us that we should worship Jesus as God. They went to the Temple together regularly to worship and pray to God. We are to serve our Lord Jesus by believing on His name and lovingly obeying everything He teaches us by His teachings, His Spirit, the apostles, and the Scriptures. I worship and bow before my Lord Jesus as my awesome Lord and King, my owner and ruler, and I obey Him because I love Him. But Iam learning to do as He teaches me by worshipping our Father God as God Almighty, with my body, soul and spirit, in the beauty of Christ's holiness.

 

Scripture confirms that we can pray to our Lord Jesus, for He is truly Lord. He is our Lord who bought and owns us, whom we love, serve, obey, live to and die to. The Bible says, “God...has called you into FELLOWSHIP WITH His Son Jesus Christ our Lord...” (1Cor.1:9). The fellowship with Jesus the Bible is talking about is not our modern idea of fellowship, meaning to talk intimately to Him all day, though that is now our privilege, but it means sharing all pertinent things in common with Him, the benefits of his death to sin and of His resurrection life. This communion with Christ also involves our sharing in His sufferings (Phil.3:10,Rom.8:17,32,Jn.16:14,15), and soon also sharing in His glory. Since “...our fellowship (sharing in common) is with the Father AND with His Son, Jesus Christ” (1Jn.1:3), we can now know Jesus by the Spirit, and God our Father because of our union with Christ. Jesus prayed to God, not the Trinity, very often, both in vocalized, intensely focused prayer, and throughout the day in His heart. In union with Him we now also share that same privilege of praying to God as He did, for through His mediation and priesthood we have instant access to God’s throne of grace.

 

The early church prayed to God the Father, believing in and mentioning the name of Messiah Jesus, and at times they also prayed to the Lord Jesus. Both types of praying are also apparently referred to as calling on the name of the Lord (Ac.2:21,9:14,Rom.10:12). Calling on the name of the Lord apparently includes praying to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus while invoking Jesus’ name (Ac.4:24-30), AND praying to Jesus Himself as Lord, though NEVER AS BEING ‘THE’ GOD. When quoting Scriptures from the Old Testament, and at least once in recorded prayer, they would still call God the Father ‘Lord’ (Ac.4:29), although they progressively grew to use the title primarily to denote the Lord Jesus, as their revelation and understanding grew. Some may have first learned from Peter that GOD HAS MADE THIS MAN JESUS BOTH “LORD AND CHRIST” (Ac.2:22,23,36).

 

Chapter 63) WHY SO FEW COME TO REALLY KNOW GOD AND THE LORD JESUS; THE “OFFENCE” AND “ENEMIES OF THE CROSS”

 



WE CAN 'KNOW' GOD, AND JESUSHIS SON, but the reason so few really do is because there is a cost to knowing our Lord Jesus, and through Him our God and Father. But of course there is an ultimate reward in truly knowing Jesus. “...The Son of God is come and has given us an understanding, that we might know HIM THAT IS TRUE; and we are in him that is true, IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. HE IS THE TRUE GOD, AND ETERNAL LIFE” (1Jn.5:20). Some people are actually brazen enough with the truth that they try to use this scripture to try to 'prove’ that Jesus is “THE TRUE GOD” that the verse is talking about here. The Bible is clear throughout that God the Father is THE TRUE GOD (Jn.17:3), and that Jesus is the life of God, the “eternal life (1Jn.1:2,5:20,11,12,Jn.1:4,5:40,6:54,10:28,11:25,14:6,Col.3:4).

 

Paul explained the costly requisites for knowing and gaining Christ Jesus: “...whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of KNOWING CHRIST JESUS MY LORD, FOR WHOSE SAKE I HAVE LOST ALL THINGS. I CONSIDER THEM RUBBISH, THAT MAY GAIN CHRIST… I WANT TO KNOW CHRIST AND THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF SHARING IN HIS SUFFERINGS, BECOMING LIKE HIM IN HIS DEATH...” (Phil.3:7-10). Many Christians accidentally ignore this aspect of the gospel, called “the cross”, because of the phenomenon called “the offence of the cross”, AND MANY DESPISE BEING REMINDED (Gal.5:11, 1Pt.2:8). This scripture clearly explains the practical meaning of “the cross” for us: “SINCE CHRIST SUFFERED IN HIS BODY, ARM YOURSELVES ALSO WITH THE SAME ATTITUDE, BECAUSE HE WHO HAS SUFFERED IN HIS BODY IS DONE WITH SIN. AS A RESULT, HE DOES NOT LIVE THE REST OF HIS EARTHLY LIFE FOR EVIL HUMAN DESIRES, BUT RATHER FOR THE WILL OF GOD” (1Pt.4:1,2, see also 1Pt.2:21). If you have never spent much time in prayer and study for the truth about this controversial subject I am discussing, don’t be too certain you are right just because the majority agrees with you, and you with them. “BUY THE TRUTH AND SELL IT NOT” (Prov.23:23).

 

Because this being crucified with Christ, this losing all things, our family, even our very lives in this world, is so vital to properly knowing and gaining Christ, I think it is crucial that I delve into this issue deeper. We should remember that Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord’, ‘Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, BUT ONLY HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER who is in heaven” (Mt.7:21). I just demonstrated from the Apostle Peter’s sacred writing that we must actually learn to share in Christ’s physical sufferings to some degree to result in our experiencing freedom from sin’s bondage and doing the will of His Father who is in heaven. Of course we do not need to suffer in some sort of monastic asceticism, but only while learning to obey what the Spirit wants when it conflicts with what we want (Gal.5:16-21). “Then he said to them all: ‘IF ANYONE WOULD COME AFTER ME, HE MUST DENY HIMSELF AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY AND FOLLOW ME. FOR WHOEVER WANTS TO SAVE HIS LIFE WILL LOSE IT, BUT WHOEVER LOSES HIS LIFE FOR ME WILL SAVE IT‘” (Lk.9:23,24).

 

The Lord through Paul warned us about this future phenomenon, that MANY Christians would avoid and be antagonistic towards this message about the absolute requirement of dying with Christ to our self centered life, to ‘our lives in this world’. GOD WORKS IT IN US AS WE CONTINUE IN THE FAITH. Paul, through the Scriptures, warns us by the Spirit as he “often” warned his disciples, sometimes “with tears”, interestingly in the same chapter I just quoted about the cost of gaining Christ. He writes, “...I HAVE OFTEN TOLD YOU BEFORE, AND NOW SAY AGAIN, EVEN WITH TEARS, ‘MANY LIVE AS ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST. THEIR DESTINY IS DESTRUCTION, THEIR GOD IS THEIR STOMACH, AND THEY ARE PROUD OF THINGS THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF. THEIR MIND IS (PRIMARILY) ON EARTHLY THINGS” (Phil.3:18,19). The “cross” spoken of here refers to this same absolutely essential but painful part of our salvation that many Christians have learned how to avoid to their own total loss, while still convincing themselves that they are ‘going to heaven’. It involves our sharing of Christ’s sufferings as we share His death to sin and this ‘world’ (Rom.6:1-14,) IN OUR ACTUAL EXPERIENCE! GOD MAKES US WILLING BY GIVING PLENTY OF GRACE TO THE HUMBLE, AND HE LEADS US STEP BY STEP. For it is written, “THOSE WHO BELONG TO CHRIST JESUS HAVE CRUCIFIED THE SINFUL NATURE WITH ITS PASSIONS AND DESIRES” (Gal.5:24). And, “MAY I NEVER BOAST EXCEPT IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THROUGH WHOM THE WORLD HAS BEEN CRUCIFIED TO ME, AND I TO THE WORLD” (Gal.6:14). We so often have not because we ask not.

 

I BELIEVE THAT MANY CHRISTIANS WHO BECOME ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST BY CONTINUING IN SLAVERY TO SECRET (OR OPEN) SIN NATURALLY END UP EMBRACING A DIFFERENT JESUS, COMPENSATING FOR THEIR LACK OF OBEDIENCE BY GIVING HIM EXTRA (false) HONOR THAT REQUIRES NO REAL DEATH, such as proclaiming and defending His deity. GOD NEVER ONCE ASKED FOR THAT! The cross involves ultimate obedience, suffering and death. Those who overcome “… loved not their lives, even unto death.” (Rev.12:11).

 

So then, do not fear to suffer when God leads you by His Spirit to resist the devil by saying ‘NO!’ (in your mind and by your actions) to evil desires. God’s grace demands that we say no to our evil desires and live self controlled, upright and godly now in this life, it’s not just license to sin again and ask God to forgive us again (Tit.2:11-14). As I pointed out from Romans chapter 6, all Christians who overcome go through this sanctification process of faith and suffering. The Apostle Peter addresses this necessary phenomenon: “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT YOUR BROTHERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ARE UNDERGOING THE SAME KIND OF SUFFERINGS. And the GOD OF ALL GRACE, who CALLED YOU TO HIS ETERNAL GLORY IN CHRIST, AFTER YOU HAVE SUFFERED A LITTLE WHILE, WILL HIMSELF RESTORE YOU and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1Pt.5:9,10). So don’t be afraid to endure suffering when you choose not to look at lustful pictures, indulge in pagan entertainments, or engage in "godless chatter" or intimate fellowship with pagan ‘friends’ and family that continue to refuse to obey the good news (1Th.6:20,2Tim.2:16,Lk.8:19-21). We should not fear the suffering involved in fasting, praying, ‘witnessing’ and reading the New Testament, RECKONING OURSELVES TO BE “DEAD INDEED TO SIN BUT ALIVE TO GOD IN CHRIST JESUS” (Rom.6:11). And likewise don’t fear to embrace these truths I propound about the real Jesus, if you recognize them as the truth, even though it will probably cost you much.

 

Many say that we don’t have to stop sinning because we cannot do so. They say, "everyone sins", “we’re only human”, and "nobody’s perfect". They are like ancient Israel, who believed the 10 spies who said the promised holy righteous life was impossible, and not really necessary. The Bible, like Caleb and Joshua, says differently. It says that these things were written so that we would not sin(1Jn.2:1). It says we should live (the context means ‘without sinning”) as Jesus lived (1Jn.2:6). It says that we should stop sinning, period (1Cor.15:34). These people live for the best of both worlds. They ‘believe’ in Jesus and 'go to church' so they can ‘go to heaven’, wanting Him especially to enhance their enjoyment of life now. So they take the easy path of least resistance in this life, avoiding any real repentance concerning their fantasizing, television watching, godless associations and lying, while encouraging or condoning others to do the same. Many choose to believe the very popular heresy “once ‘saved’ always ‘saved”’, and declare that God wants us to "enjoy life" (a deadly lie based on an obvious truth). Many emphasize that godly living will make you financially rich, and imply that most suffering is usually from the devil or from a lack of faith, and is to be avoided if at all possible. Their leaders pack their churches with people who are told to come to Christ without telling them to repent (Ac.17:30).

 

Many Christians, like the ten spies who said that the Promised Land could not be conquered, today indirectly say that we can’t really be expected to live a truly holy and righteous life. They emphasize grace (Jude4), forgiveness and the so called ‘unconditional’ (Ps.103:3-8, 139:22, Jn.14:23, 15:9,10, Jude21) love of God. They say that they are righteous ‘by faith’ (1Jn.3:7-10), and love sayings like: "be patient with me, God’s not finished with me yet". They may say things to themselves like, “no one else is submitting to their husbands in all things”, and “everyone else watches television”, but of course they also may say, “oh, yes, we are very careful what we watch”, claiming to only indulge in the ‘good’ part of the “fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. They are ignorant that even the ‘good’ from that fruit kills, it’s all infected, being from the wrong tree, for only

 

Christ is the tree of life. There are truths within all these errors, but let’s all love the whole truth. Many will one day find out that they did not truly believe in the real Jesus because they did not TRUST HIM ENOUGH TO OBEY HIS TEACHINGS AND COMMANDS. Many will find that their faith never grew to transcend their dinner plate and their love of their self life here and now, the love of money, pleasure, family, friends, entertainment and comfort more than God. Many will find that the spiritual road on which they traveled was the “broad road” of presuming upon God’s grace and forgiveness, ‘serving the Lord’ while continuing in slavery to pride, greed, rebelliousness, idolatry, complaining, secret sexual sin or fantasies. Yes God can and does forgive us and cleanse us from sin when we sincerely confess our sins, but no true child of God continues as a slave to sin that leads to death (1Jn.3:7-10,5:4,1Cor.10:1-11). This salvation works if we learn to exercise our faith in Jesus as being the Son of God, and to trust and obey Him(1Jn.5:4,5). His death on the cross, His holy blood, His grace and new life in us is sufficient.

 

The Scriptures are full of warnings and admonitions to BE CAREFUL HOW YOU listen, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, to humble yourself, to make every effort to make your calling and election sure, and to be obedient. The element of deception is very strong for those who become 'accidental' hypocrites. They are not completely aware of their folly, nor its consequences, but we will all reap exactly what we have sown. For it is written, “DO NOT MERELY LISTEN TO THE WORD AND SO DECEIVE YOURSELVES. DO WHAT IT SAYS(Jms.1:22). I have shown why the “message of the cross” is offensive, sometimes stirring up scathing denunciation from others. It's because most don’t want to be told that they wont live forever and share in His glory unless by faith they suffer and die with Him to sin now in this life (2Tim.2:11, Rom.6:8, 8:17). That’s how you can tell if you are really believing in Jesus with a saving faith, if you find that Christ is being formed in you as you see yourself loving God and others as He loved God and others, in humility, honesty, self denial and sacrificial obedience. Most would rather hear a sermon on our liberty and freedom in Christ, and will find many preachers who will gladly supply the demand. For it is written, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through HYPOCRITICAL LIARS, WHOSE CONSCIENCES HAVE BEEN SEARED as with a hot iron” (1Tim.4:1,2). This sounds distant and impersonal, but could so easily apply to some of us. The leaven of hypocrisy is very slow acting, and very difficult for one part of the ‘loaf’ to notice in themselves because the rest of the ‘loaf’ is acting similarly. Do you excuse your ‘little’ lies? The hypocrite’s portion of hell is a horrible punishment, so let us each make completely sure we have a realistic understanding of how easy it is to become a deceitful pretender. Jesus clearly and ominously warned the seemingly ‘good Christians’ when He said, “MANY will say to me on that day, ‘Lord’, ‘Lord’, DIDN’T WE PROPHESY in your name, and in your name DRIVE OUT DEMONS and PERFORM MANY MIRACLES? Then Iwill tell them plainly, I NEVER KNEW YOU. AWAY FROM ME, YOU EVILDOERS!” (Mt.7:22,23).

 

A very important side issue we must not ignore is this: JOSHUA AND CALEB WERE VERY ‘UNORTHODOX’, in the eyes of ALL THE REST OF THE LEADERS AND BELIEVERS, YET THEY WERE RIGHT. As Joshua and Caleb reported, though NONE of God’s people believed them, but instead wanted to kill them, WE CAN TAKE THE PROMISED LAND (Num.13:30-14:11). I believe they were persecuted as being judgmental, false teachers, unloving, self righteous, or holier than thou. They were probably looked down on by many who were confident that their universally accepted and confirmed majority view was right. But even so also today WE CAN know Christ and overcome the world through our faith in Him, living a truly righteous and holy life by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit! So be it unto you according to your faith. All things are possible to him who believes. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. If we continue seeking God in prayer and studying the Scriptures, we will learn that “...our present sufferings ARE NOT WORTH COMPARING with THE GLORY THAT WILL BE REVEALED IN US” (Rom.8:18). We will have the FOCUSED HOPE OF THE PROMISED REWARD STRENGTHENING OUR FAITH to endure, like Moses did. “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, REFUSED TO BE KNOWN AS THE SON OF Pharaoh’s daughter. HE CHOSE TO SUFFER AFFLICTION WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD RATHER THAN TO ENJOY THE PLEASURES OF SIN FOR A SHORT TIME. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, BECAUSE HE WAS LOOKING AHEAD TO HIS REWARD” (Heb.11:24-26). (It is not evil to properly expect rewards from God, if He has promised and you truly meet the conditions.)

 

Continued at part 3 of Unbiblibal Trinity teaching

 

50) God's name is also in the Holy Spirit.

51) Saved through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the Truth.

52) Will the Son of man find faith on Earth when He returns?

53) More about Jesus and God.

54) Jesus cannot be God, Yahweh, God of the Old Testament. 

55) The 'name' of God and Jesus means much more than it sounds. 

56) How can Jesus now be God and still have a God?  

57) 'Begotten' means 'born'.

58) Who should we pray to?

59) "In that day you will no longer ask me anything"

60) "Present your requests to God"

61) "Worthy is the Lamb" 

62) Jesus received worhip; doesnt that mean the He is God? See also Jesus is worshiped

 

Chapter 50) GOD’S NAME IS ALSO IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

 



Now the Holy Spirit has also been given to us through Jesus as another perfect messenger and witness from God (Ex.23:20,Jn.14:26,15:26,16:7,8,13,1Jn.5:6-8) to help, guide, and empower us. The very Spirit of God the Father who fully lives in Jesus, the Holy Spirit teaches us about Jesus and reminds us of Jesus’ words (Jn.14:26). He guides us into all truth and shows us what is to come (Jn.16:13). He takes what belongs to Jesus and reveals it to us (Jn.16:14,15). He is to be obeyed, and not grieved, for He is the very Spirit of God Himself, and God’s name is in Him (Ex.23:21). Blasphemy against Him is unpardonable (Ex.23:21). In other words, God has revealed Himself, His name, through a dispensation of His very own Spirit personified, the Spirit who is OF GOD, who is Spirit Himself (Jn.4:24).

 

He is the Spirit of God the Father that fully lived in Jesus, perfectly uniting Him with the Father, so that He is also the Spirit of God’s Son (Gal.4:6), the Spirit of Christ (Rom.8:9,1Pt.1:11). It's by the Holy Spirit that God and Jesus both come to live in us (Jn.14:23). The Spirit of Truth goes out from the Father, and Jesus has sent Him to us from the Father (Jn.15:26,16:7). And it is said that the Father sends the Spirit in Jesus’ name (Jn.14:26). Of course the Father sends the Spirit to us through Jesus, so both are true. Of course that does not mean Jesus is literally God Himself, as so many other similar Trinitarian comparisons assert.

 

This is how the absolutely holy God can possibly dwell in us, by means of His Holy Spirit who dwells in the ‘sanctified glove’ of Christ in us, so to speak. I am using metaphorical language to try to convey a very wonderful concept. God is so absolutely holy that He cannot even look upon evil (Hab.1:13). He so loved the fallen world that He wanted to make a way for us to be reconciled back to Himself. But we were not only sinners, but sinful in the very essence of our nature. That’s why Jesus had to be made “to BE sin for us” (2Cor.5:21) instead of just paying for our sins.

 

Men without Christ were unacceptable vessels for God to touch or fill. God solved this by doing what He had planned from the beginning, by sending His Son to be made a curse for us (Gal.3:13) on the cross, enduring the necessarily fatal cost of that propitiatory identification, so that we could now be made the righteousness of God in union with Him (2Cor.5:21) through our faith and baptism in Him. This was God’s marvelous plan to forgive, cleanse, sanctify and glorify us, creating a new person in our hearts so that God can now dwell in “the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph.4:24,Tit.3:5). Our reborn human spirits are now one with Christ as His Spirit is one with God’s Spirit. That’s why “He who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (1Cor.6:17). It’s why, “If Christ is in you, ...your spirit is alive because of righteousness” (Rom.8:10). As it says “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col.1:27).

 

Chapter 51) SAVED THROUGH THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE SPIRIT AND BELIEF IN THE TRUTH

 

This sanctification process is only possible for us because Jesus was also filled with the Holy Spirit and sanctified Himself (Jn.17:19). Now, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you” (Rom.8:11). God has revealed Himself perfectly and saved us through His Son Jesus, and by the working of His Holy Spirit, through whom He regenerates us and administers this great salvation to us all (Tit.3:5). Jesus has been given all that God has, including His Spirit without limit. The reason Jesus spoke God’s words perfectly was not because He was God. Jesus said, ‘The one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, FOR God gives (him) the Spirit without limit” (Jn.3:34). That is also how Jesus and the Father are perfectly united as one, and we have been given the same Spirit of glory (1Pt.4:14), that we might all be unified together with Him and in Him (Jn.17:22). This priceless gift of the Holy Spirit is a seal, foretaste and guarantee of our future inheritance (Eph.1:14,2Cor.1:21,22), and will remain with us forever (Jn.14:16).

 

Although Messiah was God’s Son, yet for our sakes He was perfected (Heb.5:9), learning obedience from the things which He suffered (Heb.5:8). He sanctified Himself for us, especially at Gethsemane and on the cross, so that we can now be born again and become able to obey Him as He obeyed God (1Pt.1:14,22,23,Heb.2:10,11,5:9,Ez.36:26,27,Jn.15:10). He did this to pioneer the only way for us to be saved, by our following His example (1Pt.2:21,Jn.17:19). Now by trusting and obeying Him, those who really believe are being (not yet once and for all-Ac.2:47,1Cor.1:18) saved (Heb.5:9,Rom.1:5,16:26) by God’s true grace, which “teaches us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age...” (Tit.2:12). Thus we experience Christ’s death to sin through our faith in and identification with Him in His death, burial and resurrection life (Rom.6:1-11). This identification is what our baptism signifies. The sanctification of the Spirit is the process by which we get to prove our faith in Christ and love for God, appropriating God's great salvation, all by God’s grace and power working in us. This sometimes means our sharing in the sufferings that He endured, so that we can share in His glory (Rom.8:17). Through this very sanctification process our souls are being saved (1Pt.1:2,2Th.2:13,Heb.5:9,Rom.6:5,8,17,18,22), and therefore without it's resulting holiness we will not see the Lord (Heb.12:14). Only “...those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom.8:14). The Spirit renews our thinking and teaches us to follow Jesus' example of doing what pleases God, instead of what the flesh wants (Rom.ch.8,Gal.5:16,17).

 

I have already delineated some of the reasons why belief in the truth is so critical to a saving faith. The true sanctification process that saves our soul can only continue successfully to the degree that we are believing the truth about Jesus. That is why we need to continue to study and seek God concerning the truth about Jesus. The apostles never stopped teaching that JESUS IS THE MESSIAH (Ac.5:42), the Son of God. Unless our teaching about Jesus emphasizes that same apostolic focus, we have deviated from Christ to whatever degree our teaching differs.

 

We should be teaching God’s people to confess what the Bible says about Jesus, for there is great power in confessing, as did the apostles, that “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God” (Rom.10:10). Paul started out his ministry by immediately preaching that “JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD” (Ac.9:20). Interesting focus, and notice quite different from the “Jesus is God” teaching of today. He also taught by “proving from the Scriptures that Jesus IS (NOT “WAS” AS MANY TRANSLATIONS TRANSLATE THIS VERSE) the Messiah” (Ac.18:28). The literal Greek says, “…showing by the Scriptures Jesus TO BE THE CHRIST.” So Ac. 2:22 has been changed from the original Greek (by many translations) to read “Jesus…was a man” instead of “Jesus…, a man…“, and now we see that Jesus BE the Christ (present tense of the ‘be’ verb). And also please notice, that here it is again, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!“. This exact same focus and declaration of Peter (Mt.16:16) to Jesus about Jesus’ person was preached by Paul (9:20,Acts18:28), and by John (1Jn.4:15,5:1). Christ means Messiah, the Anointed One, the Promised Anointed King of Israel. We commonly use the name “Christ” in association with Jesus, and of course we 'believe' that Jesus is the Christ. But these focal points of Peter, Paul and John’s preaching are not what most of us really believe about Jesus today. Our whole emphasis and focus has changed. The teaching today is that Jesus is God and man, the God-Man, God.

 

The real good news does not proclaim a Messiah who is God, but it teaches that the Messiah is the Servant of God, the man Jesus, the descendant of David, the Son of God who was sent by God. So those whose main emphasis is that ‘Jesus is God’ are believing and teaching wrongly about our Lord, doing themselves and the body of Christ harm. That is one main reason why there are so many carnal Christians who are not overcoming the world in these last days (1Jn.5:5). “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 SonHe who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1Jn.5:10-13).

 

Chapter 52) WILL THE SON OF MAN FIND FAITH ON EARTH WHEN HE RETURNS?

 



When we read Jesus’ question concerning the last day’s state of the church, it is so easy to wonder what He could really mean. It sure seems like Christianity has engulfed the world, with supposedly multiple hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide. And many preachers predict a great outpouring of God’s Spirit called ’the latter rain’ that will bring world revival just before Jesus returns. So what could Jesus possibly mean when He says “...when the SON OF MAN comes, WILL HE FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH?” (Lk.18:8). I BELIEVE ONE OF THE REASONS THAT JESUS DELIBERATELY USES THE TERM “SON OF MAN” HERE WAS TO EMPHASIZE THAT IN THE LAST DAYS, THE CRISIS OF FAITH WILL PRIMARILY BE THAT MOST WILL NOT HAVE CONTINUED IN FAITH IN THE REAL JESUS, THE MAN CHRIST JESUS, THE SON OF MAN WHO IS THE SON OF GOD! Without that proper aspect of faith in Christ, our faith will not be effective enough to overcome the world, and we can so easily settle on remaining a slave to loving this world and secret sin, repeatedly praying and hoping for forgiveness because, after all, ‘no one’s perfect’. But I believe that there will be a remnant who will believe these truths about Jesus in the last days. They‘ll believe that they can live holy and righteously. They will pray much more than just saying token prayers, and will not merely ’go to church’. They will also cry out to God for apostolic truth and power to be restored to the church.

 

We will collectively pray for Israel to repent from their wickedness and be restored during their soon coming great disaster from the northern alliance of Russia, Iran and Libya (Ez.38:1-17). We will learn to love one another in large and small communities of true believers, who have repented of worldliness to be the true separate called out ones of the Lord Jesus Christ. We’ll preach the true gospel and disciple those who respond, living as examples of true servants of our Lord Jesus. We will each give up our worldly lives to worship the living God in true holiness. We will learn to respect and obediently submit to our leaders in the Lord, as doing so to the Lord Himself, emulating their example of faith, prayerfullness, love and humility. We will repent from being rebellious and stubborn, so often trying to get our own way, and instead learn to lay down our lives for each other. We will overcome together, praying, studying God’s Word and helping each other with forbearance and gentleness. We will be few in number in the richer western nations, but more numerous elsewhere throughout the world.

 

We will in this way again see God reveal the real Jesus in power (2Cor.13:3,4), when the Lord is manifested among us in Christian communal love as we regularly pray, teach and preach the gospel publicly. It will not be a demonstration of people falling down into each other’s arms saying that God knocked them down, or playing ‘drunk in the Spirit’, but it will be a demonstration of the real miraculous power of God that helps us to humble ourselves to confess our sins, submit to our elders and husbands, and to be taught how to rebuild the foundations of the genuine faith, along with the true love it produces (Gal.5:6,1Tim.1:5). It will not be a group dominated by one dictator, or by a group of worldly wealthy Christians, but by elders who know God, men of prayer, filled with faith and the Holy Spirit. God is now training men who love the truth, who will foster and utilize the obvious gifts and ministries of all, especially including the godly women. We will each identify with our Jewish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, African, Korean, Australian, Asian, Canadian, Mexican, American and European and all other brothers, all one in Christ. And we will be proud of our glorious Lord, ESPECIALLY of the fact that He is the man Christ Jesus, the Son of God, until He comes again soon to judge the world and receive us unto Himself.

 

Chapter 53) MORE ABOUT JESUS AND GOD

 



The more we learn by the Spirit about who Jesus really is (Jn.15:26), and what belongs to Him (Jn.16:14,15), the more we will rejoice in Him (Phil.4:4). We will greatly rejoice because we will better understand the reality of the inestimable, unfathomable, limitless riches of the Messiah (Eph.1:18,3:8), and that we who are truly in Him are joint heirs with Him (Rom.8:17) of all things. “ALL THINGS ARE YOURS, whether Paul or Apollos or Peter or THE WORLD or LIFE or death or THE THINGS OF THE PRESENT or THE THINGS OF THE FUTURE - ALL are yours, and YOU ARE OF CHRIST, and CHRIST IS OF GOD (1Cor.3:21-23). Notice that “you are OF CHRIST“, but that necessarily means that you are not Christ. And notice too, “Christ is OF GOD”, AND BY THE SAME TOKEN CANNOT THEREFORE BE GOD, WHOM HE IS “OF”!

 

Jesus told His disciples, “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me (Mt.10:40). Likewise, a true disciple can potentially say, “If you listen to me, you listen to Jesus”, and, “If you reject me, you reject God the Father”, according to Matthew 10:40, and Luke 10:16. If we use the same logic in this matter that many use when saying that some of Jesus’ statements (Jn.14:9,etc.) prove that He is literally God, we would have to conclude, based on these two verses, that every true disciple IS Jesus and IS God!

 

Not surprisingly, Jesus taught the same thing that all Scripture teaches about God. I pray that we will do the same. He taught that God is the Father (Jn.20:17,Mt.6:9,etc.), as Paul did (1Cor.8:6,Eph.4:6,etc.), and as did the Prophets (Dt.32:6,Is.63:16,Mal.2:10,etc). Jesus taught His disciples that they had ONE FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN, AND ONE MASTER AND TEACHER, WHO IS THE MESSIAH (Mt.23:9,10). Paul prayed, “I keep asking THAT THE GOD OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE GLORIOUS FATHER, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better” (Eph.1:17). Is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ ‘the Trinity’, which includes ‘God the Son”? Obviously not, and neither is mine. My God is “the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father.“ IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS, PLEASE NOTICE AGAIN HERE THAT “THE GOD OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE GLORIOUS FATHER”, IS NOT A ‘TRINITY’! Jesus’ God is God, God the Father Himself. Look carefully at this next scripture, which explains what hinders us from knowing rightly about God: “WAKE UP TO LIVING RIGHTEOUSLY, AND DO NOT SIN, FOR SOME OF YOU HAVE IGNORANCE OF GOD, I SAY THIS TO YOUR SHAME” (1Cor.15:34). Our sinning interferes with knowing God.

 

Scripture also says, “For through Him (Jesus) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Eph.2:18), but remember that it is the MAN CHRIST JESUS who as our High Priest mediates to give us this free and easy access to God (1Tim.2:5,Eph.3:12,Heb.5:1). Jesus wasn’t absolute God when He was here on earth, rather HE PRAYED TO AND OBEYED GOD. And now He is still not very God, but rather, HE IS INTERCEDING FOR US AS OUR HIGH PRIEST FOREVER. As the Scripture says, “He is able to save completely those WHO COME TO GOD THROUGH HIM, BECAUSE HE ALWAYS LIVES TO INTERCEDE (to God) FOR THEM. The oath "...appointed the SON (TO BE OUR HIGH PRIEST), WHO HAS BEEN MADE PERFECT FOREVER” (Heb.7:25,28). Hebrews 5:5 and 7:28 (also Mt.16:13,16) again prove God's Son is human, NOT A GOD-MAN, for only a human-human can be high priest according to Hebrews 5:1. Only a human-human, could take my place as my perfect substitute. Although He is the man from heaven, the Son of God, now the life giving spiritual man, Jesus is still a very real and complete human being.

 

God is the Father, and the Father is God, without depending upon Jesus to complete His deity. In other words, the Father is not “co-dependant” upon Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit, as ‘the Trinity doctrine’ alleges. But by contrast Jesus is not independent of His God, “for TO BE SURE, He was crucified in weakness, yet HE LIVES BY GOD’S POWER” (2Cor.13:4). And Jesus said, “I live because of the Father” (Jn.6:57). The God, by definition, is independent. He does not live by anyone else’s power. He is the self existent one. David knew the difference between Yahweh (the LORD) and his Lord, the Messiah. “THE LORD (GOD) SAID TO MY LORD (CHRIST), ‘Sit at my right hand...” (Ac.2:34). And, “God placed all things under his (Christ’s) feet AND APPO1NTED HIM TO BE HEAD OVER EVERYTHING for the church” (Eph.1:22). And, “...GOD made us alive with CHRIST...and GOD raised us up with CHRIST and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in CHRIST JESUS...” (Eph.2:5,6). Over and over we see, not just the Father distinguished from Christ, not God and the human part of Christ, but GOD HIMSELF AND CHRIST HIMSELF.

 

Jesus wasn’t crucified for blasphemy because He claimed to be God, but because He had called God His ‘Father’, and had claimed to be the Son of God (Jn.10:36). “Let God rescue him if he wants him, for HE SAID, ‘I AM THE SON OF GOD’” (Mt.27:43). IF JESUS OR ANY OF HIS DISCIPLES HAD EVER PURPORTED THAT HE WAS GOD, WOULD IT NOT HAVE BECOME A MAJOR ISSUE? This is an extremely noteworthy proof. We have John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus as well: “...the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘THE MAN on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is He who will baptize with the Holy Spirit’. I HAVE SEEN AND TESTIFY THAT THIS (man) IS THE SON OF GOD” (Jn.1:33,34).

 

And it says, “...regarding HIS SON, WHO CAME FROM THE ANCESTRY OF DAVID ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, WHO WAS DECLARED ‘SON OF GOD’ in power, ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS by the resurrection of the dead - Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.1:3,4). Jesus is the spiritual man from heaven who came in a body of flesh, like our sinful flesh. Of course He is no longer according to the flesh. Jesus’ true divinity is predicated upon the fact that He is a man who is God’s pre-existent Son as to the very essence of His person, not by being so called ‘God by nature’. It is as being God’s Son that He is divine, not by being God. As God’s Son He has a glory that is God given, yet His own (Jn.1:14).

 

Chapter 54) JESUS CANNOT BE GOD, YAHWEH GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

 



Many teach that Jesus is ‘Jehovah’ God of the Old Testament, which is what those who say that Jesus is very God are really saying, for there is only one God. Jesus said, “I praise you, O Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth…“ (Lk.10:21). He always taught that the Father was God, not a Trinity that included Himself. Although Jesus is not Yahweh Himself, I have said that as God’s Son, Jesus is often included when we discuss God, for He is fully in God and God is fully in Him. Jesus is not significantly “other” than God, for His relationship as God’s uniquely begotten Son means that He is truly one Spirit with God, intimately part of God‘s family. So when God created the world through Jesus, He created it alone, so to speak, for He did not employ ‘another’. Jesus is not ‘other’ in the full sense of the word, for He is of God, in God, one with God, like God and filled with God. Therefore, when God gave Jesus glory (2Pt1:17), He was not giving His glory to ‘another’ (Is.42:8,2Pt.1:17,Jn.17:22). Again, this accounts for the many similarities between God and His Son I mentioned earlier, such as the fact that the church of God is the Church of Christ, God is our savior and so likewise is Jesus, etc. Therefore Jesus can be spoken of synonymously with Yahweh God His Father without it confusing us.

 

Of course the whole Old Testament distinguishes between God and the Messiah, YAHWEH and Yahweh’s Anointed, the LORD and the Lord’s Christ (Lk.2:26), whom God has made ‘Lord“. I have already shown that the Old Testament speaks of Jesus as God’s Holy Servant. It also says, concerning God and His Christ: “The LORD is.. .a fortress of salvation for his Anointed One” (Ps.28:8). And, “HE grew up before the LORD like a young plant...yet we considered HIM stricken, smitten of GOD...the LORD has laid on HIM the iniquity of us all...It pleased the LORD to bruise HIM" (ls.53:2-10). And to Christ He says, “I, the LORD, have called YOU in righteousness, and will hold your hand and keep you, and I will give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes” (ls.42:6-8). The Spirit of Christ says, “...‘MY GOD shall be my strength', and the Father says of Christ...'I will also give YOU for a light to the Gentiles, that YOU MAY BE MY SALVATION unto the ends of the earth”’ (Is.49:5,6). Also of Christ it says, “The LORD God has given ME the tongue of the learned...The LORD God has opened MY ear...“ (Is.50:4,5). Again, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon ME; because the LORD has anointed ME to preach..." (ls.61:1). Jesus cannot be understood as being part of God Almighty if He is ‘of God‘, or ‘from God’.

 

Chapter 55) THE 'NAME' OF GOD AND JESUS MEANS MUCH MORE THAN IT SOUNDS

 



When the Bible speaks of ‘name’, it usually means much more than our unenlightened understanding of the term. Because most of the people on earth are dead spiritually, most of our names carry very little real significance. God’s name, and therefore our Lord’s name, represents all they are, think, say, and do. Their name represents their intent, reputation, power, and authority. Jesus came in His Father’s name as a complete reflection of God’s person. Jesus fully represents God, therefore His name completely and authoritatively represents God, and all that God has ever revealed about Himself to man. The Scripture says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Ac.4:12). Jesus confirmed, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn.14:6).

 

When Jesus’ appearance was changed on the ‘Mount of Transfiguration’, Moses and Elijah appeared to talk with Him. Peter blurted out that they could build three shelters for each of them. Then God spoke, saying that Jesus is His Son and that we are to listen to Him. “When they looked up, they saw no one but Jesus” (Mt.17:1-8). In this way God corrected the mistaken idea that Jesus is only one incomplete aspect of God’s revelation to His people. Jesus is the complete revelation of God to man, manifested in these last days of the end of this age (1Pt.1:20) to destroy sin and death, saving us and thus reconciling all things to God. It is not the Law (represented by Moses), the Prophets (represented by Elijah), AND Jesus, all on equal footing, as if Jesus were only one indispensable part of God’s dispensation of truth. But it is Jesus, the truth personified, who reveals God to us in all His character and truth. This is why the disciples preached, healed, cast out demons and baptized in the name of Jesus. The Bible says that we should do the same. “Whatever you do, whether in WORD or DEED, do it ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH HIM” (Col.3:17).

 

The name of Jesus Christ is the specific, authoritative and noble name of our Lord, which fully declares the name of our Great God and Father. God used to be called ‘Elohim’, ‘God’. Then through His progressive self revelation to Abraham and then Moses, He revealed Himself by revealing His name, “Yahweh”, along with predominant aspects of His person and character. God also identified Himself with those whom He loved and chose to belong to Himself by blood covenant. He called Himself “the God of Abraham”, “The God of Isaac”, and “the God of Jacob”. And He identified Himself with them collectively by calling Himself “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”, and “the God of Israel”. He has now much more fully revealed Himself as “the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father” (Eph.1:17), and “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph.1:3,1Pt.1:3,etc.).

 

You will not see anyone in the whole story of the early church history recorded in the book of Acts doing anything, much less a miracle, in “the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. But you do see quite a few times where the name of Jesus is invoked as the name by which God is now fully represented on this earth. The Bible says, “Then they (the religious leaders of the apostate church) called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Ac.4:18). And then, "The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for ‘the Name”’ (Ac.5:41). It is only the name of the Son of God, who is also in reality the Son of Man, spoken by a saint that is obeying Jesus, that now carries any final authority on earth. That is one reason why the spirit of anti-Christ is so adamantly opposed to His specific name, and to the teaching that Jesus is a real man incarnated in a real human body (1Jn.4:3).

 

Some believe that since God has given Jesus “the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…” means that Jesus must be God since His name is the highest name and everyone must bow before Him and confess Him as Lord. However, again we would have to ignore the rest of the context of the Bible along with the fact that it is God Himself who made Jesus Lord and gave Him His name and authority, which is why this passage ends with the phrase, “…to the glory of God the Father.“

 

Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (Col.1:15). This Greek word for image, ‘eikon’, means 'representation’, ‘resemblance’, as when a coin is stamped with the same ‘eikon’ as its press. The Bible calls Him “Christ, the wisdom OF GOD and the power OF GOD” (1Cor.1:24). And, “It is because of Him (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1Cor.1:30). Jesus is very much one with God AS HIS EXACT REPRESENTATION, before, during (though not according to the flesh), and after His earthly ministry. Again, this is why Jesus is God, in a way. SO, WE CAN’T JUST SAY THAT JESUS ISN’T GOD WITHOUT PROPER EXPLANATION as well!

 

Chapter 56) HOW CAN JESUS NOW BE GOD AND STILL HAVE A GOD?

 

Some maintain that Jesus used to be a man who was also God, but that now He is no longer a man, He is God the Son, the second member of ‘God the Trinity’. Not one of these things are ever mentioned in Scripture. Instead, to the contrary, Scripture teaches much differently. I have already shown to those who accept God’s word as the standard of truth, that Jesus was a man who had a God, and now is The Man who still has a God. I will continue to try to prove these things to the lover of truth. Decades after His ascension into heaven, Jesus revealed Himself (thus the name for the book - ‘Revelation’) and certain things which will soon come to pass. It says that Jesus “has made us kings and priests TO HIS GOD AND FATHER.“ (Rev.1:6). And in His messages to the churches, Jesus says, “...I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of MY GOD…to him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of MY GOD...l will write on him the name of MY GOD and the name of the city of MY GOD, which is coming down out of heaven from MY GOD...These things says ‘the Amen’, ‘the Faithful and True WITNESS’, ‘THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD’” (Rev.3:2,12,14). So therefore no one can accurately say that Jesus was only speaking of God as being His God from His human nature, or only while being a man of flesh on this earth. Jesus declared these things concerning Himself long after His ascension back into heaven. So, God’s record shows, and therefore let our record show, that Jesus was then a man under the headship of God, and JESUS IS NOW STILL A MAN, yes a divine, new and very glorious spiritual man, UNDER THE HEADSHIP OF HIS GOD (1Cor.11:3,1Tim.2:5,etc). Peter once told Jesus, “…we have believed and have known that you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Jn.6:69). None of them ever believed Jesus to be very God, not John, Thomas or any of the others. It is very dangerous not to believe in Jesus as God‘s very own Son, for it says, “…but He that does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten SON OF God.” (Jn.3:18). “THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD”, “THE FIRSTBORN OF ALL CREATION”

 

The Greek word for ‘beginning’ (in Rev.3:14) is ‘arche’, the same word used throughout the New Testament for ‘beginning’ in its conventional meaning. It seems to have two primary meanings: ‘commencement‘, and ‘chief‘. In God's order the first is also the chief (and the type). Jesus is the “beginning“, the “FIRSTBORN“, “the beginning of God's creation“. He is "THE FIRSTBORN OF ALL CREATION" (Col.1:15), "THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BROTHERS" (Rom.8:29).When God raised Christ from death He became “THE FIRSTBORN FROM AMONG THE DEAD” (Col.1:18). The Bible calls Jesus “the Lamb slain from the founding of the world“ (Rev.13:8). I believe this means He was slain in the heart and mind of God, and therefore in reality. Scripture also speaks of God bringing His “Firstborn” into the world (Heb.1:6).

 

This word “firstborn” means exactly that in the Greek, it does not mean promotion to rank of ‘ruler’. In the same way, “beginning” does not mean promotion to the rank of ‘ruler’. The word “firstborn” USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH this word “beginning” helps to confirm it’s definition. Concerning Jesus the literal Greek says, “...who is the BEGINNING, FIRSTBORN from among the dead THAT he might be in all things holding the first place” (Col.1:18). Notice the order of sequence in cause and effect. Jesus holds the preeminence in all creation BECAUSE He is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead. Jesus is not OF this world, but He is the man from above, the man from heaven, the man sent from God (Jn.3:31,1Cor.15:47). Jesus is “The beginning of the creation of God” (Rev.3:14). The Scripture elsewhere literally says, “If anyone (be) in Christ: new creation: the old things passed away, lo, all things become new, and all things are of God...” (2Cor.5:17,18).

 

Those who teach that Jesus is 'fully God' sometimes say that this word “beginning” means “origin”, i.e. the source from which something develops. This seems to be a fabrication with only an apparent basis of truth. Although the word ‘origin’ has similarities to the word ‘beginning’, ‘arche’ is never once used as ‘origin’ in any scripture, but to the contrary it always means either ‘commencement’ or ‘chief‘. In fact, the original Greek clearly says that Jesus is the “arche” of the Creation OF GOD (Rev.3:14), AGAIN CONFIRMING GOD HIMSELF AS THE ORIGIN, THE SOURCE OF CREATION. AS JESUS’ GOD AND FATHER, GOD IS JESUS’ ORIGINATING SOURCE. This is why He is called the Son, Lamb and Logos OF God (Rev.19:13). All we need to know and believe about Him can be learned by trusting what we're clearly told in the Bible. We should be careful about being so sure about the rest. In this case we're told that as the Logos He was with God in the beginning (Jn.1:1), and that all things were created through (by) Him and for Him, and without Him nothing was made that has been made (Jn.1:3). I can be sure that God is the originating source for all creation (1Cor.8:6,Eph.3:9). And I can be sure that there was a specific day, called “Today“, that God “begat” His Son, thus becoming His Father (Heb.1:5). That day seems to refer to the day God raised Christ from the dead, when He became the firstborn from the dead, but I believe that Jesus was God’s Son before that day. God sent His Son, not a man who became His Son. We know that Christ was foreknown to God before the foundation of the world, yet revealed to us in these last days(1Pt.1:20), and we know that He was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev.13:8), so it seems possible to me that His sonship may similarly not be bound to chronology as we perceive it. More probably the answer to this issue surrounds the apparently three different types of births concerning Christ, which can all be attributed to God’s Fatherhood. We see these in Proverbs 8:22-25, Matthew 1:18 and then lastly in Romans 1:4 together with Acts 13:33. Concerning these less crucial matters of which I am unclear, I do not worry, for I feel no compulsion to claim to know more than has been revealed to me pertaining to the details about our glorious God and Lord Jesus, about whom my knowledge is obviously much less than a first grader who has begun learning about the intricacies of 'life'. We are all learning every day if we are continuing in the faith.

 

Chapter 57) 'BEGOTTEN' MEANS 'BORN'

 



Begotten means ‘born’, or ‘birthed’, in no uncertain terms. What else does ‘begotten’ mean? Many who maintain that Jesus is absolute God try to detract from this obvious truth, but can not do so accurately from the Scriptures. Many say that Jesus has been God’s Son from 'eternity past', that Jesus was never begotten at any point in time, and that He has always been WITH GOD WHILE BEING GOD as 'God the Son', the second person of ‘God the Trinity’. But how can someone say that “FIRSTBORN” doesn’t mean ‘born’? How can we ignore, “TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU” (Heb.1:5,Ps.2:7)?

 

The normal Greek word translated ‘born’ in the New Testament, including ‘born’ again, ‘born’ of the flesh, and ‘born’ of the Spirit, is ‘gennao’, meaning to ‘procreate (mainly of the father)’, and to regenerate’, ‘beget’, ‘be born’, etc. This is the exact same word used when talking about God ‘begetting’ Jesus in Ac.13:33, Heb.1:5, 5:5, and 1Jn.5:18. Of course God did not birth Jesus through sexual procreation, but the idea of some kind of a paternal birthing is intrinsic in the word 'begotten' when used about God and Jesus, thus it must mean ‘born’. If this term only meant ‘intimacy’ or ‘unique position with God‘, then neither God nor Jesus would use this term, nor ‘Son’ so often, but instead would describe His identity without being so misleading. But actually to the contrary, the Bible is very clear that Jesus was born of God at a particular time in history, called “TODAY”. For it is written, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER" (Heb.1:5). This actually means in the literal Greek, “I TODAY HAVE PROCREATED YOU”. The Greek word that is translated “only begotten” is ‘monogenes’, meaning ‘only-born’. It is used about Jesus in Jn.1:14,18, 3:16,18, 1 Jn.4:9, and about Isaac in Heb.11:17. If none of these terms, ‘only-born’, ‘firstborn’, or ‘begotten’ convey being born, then what does? We must be careful to let the Bible speak for itself, unless it is very clear that a particular word is not to be understood by it’s conventional meaning. We do not have to fear believing what the Bible clearly says, worrying if we are understanding it’s true cryptic meaning. Of course we must study to insure that the seemingly obvious meaning applies, comparing a passage with all of Scripture. This way we allow the totality of Scripture to define ambiguous scriptures, while asking for and depending upon the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment as we study. Beware when your beliefs necessitate changing the obvious meanings of regular words!

 

Some say that what God begets is God, and what man begets is man, when trying to prove that Jesus,being the Son of God, is literally God. They base their logic on the scripture that says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”, but their premise, logic and conclusion is faulty. Maybe they forget to factor in that there is only one God, and that man was created in the image of God when God gave birth to “…Adam, son of God” (Lk.3:38). Their logic, if applied across the board, would mean that Adam was God, because He was a literal Son of God. Then likewise we who are truly born of the Spirit, sons of God in Christ, would each have to also be considered God. ABSOLUTE GOD CANNOT BE BORN! Adam was a true Son of God (Lk.3:38) while being a man of flesh. Both Adam and Jesus had human spirits that were born of God, for God is called “the Father of spirits” (Heb.12:9). Jesus, the second and last Man, the spiritual man from heaven, came as a man of flesh, although He is now no longer a man of flesh. And we are still fleshly men, though not mere men any longer (1Cor.3:3). Because we are in union with Christ, the Son of God, we are now spiritual sons of God even while still in our bodies of flesh. We who continue in the faith will soon be adopted as perfected, righteous, completely spiritual sons of God. Jesus was a resurrected spiritual man of flesh before He ascended back to heaven. God can birth spiritual sons who share His nature. God’s perfected sons are Gods in all practical reality, for they are created in His image, and are like Him. But none of them are to be called a God without the clarification that they have a God who is the one and only true God. Jesus is the firstborn of many brothers, and He is a God. Any brother of Jesus who becomes a perfected son of God is ‘a God’ to a certain degree, because they are born of God, made in His image, and are therefore like Him to whatever degree.

 

One of our problems in understanding this is that we are so accustomed to our old worldly thinking that we think of ‘being born’, and ‘birthing’, as the crude animalistic process common to our fleshly existence. Paul said that he had begotten Onesimus (Phile.10) and the Corinthians through the gospel (1Cor.4:15). We can see that this is a much different process of birthing than we are accustomed to associate with the term. Likewise, when God became Jesus’ Father by ‘begetting’ Him, it was a very holy, dignified, and much more advanced process than we could ever conceive (no pun intended). We have been born again by the Word of God (1Pt.1:23). Men can be born of the Spirit and still be men, even as Jesus is. Scripture proves men can be called Gods, as I have highlighted. During rebirth we are quickened to become spiritually alive (Rom.8:10), although our body is still flesh, spiritually dead because of sin (Rom.8:10). We await our official adoption as sons, when we will finally experience our new destiny as glorified sons of God in Christ. When this earthly tent of flesh is gone, or for those who are still alive when Christ returns (1Thes.4:17), we will find we have an eternal heavenly home (2Cor.5:1-4,Rom.8:23) to live in forever, which is our spiritual body (1Cor.15:44). It will then be like Christ’s glorious body (1Cor.15:48,49,53) forever.

 

So the truth is that there is and will always be only one true absolute God, but that HE HAS FULLY SHARED HIS DIVINE NATURE WITH HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, AND THROUGH HIM TO ALL HIS SONS (Jn.10:33-36,2Pt.1:4,1Jn.3:2), ALL WHO ARE ONE WITH CHRIST. This is why the good news is so good, because He has fully (Col.2:9,10) shared everything He has with Jesus, and thus with us as adopted sons in Him (Rom.8:17,19,23). This is the major aspect of our fellowship and inheritance with God and the Lord Jesus (Rom.8:17). Remember that Adam was a real, but fleshy son of God. I believe we greatly underestimate the implications of Adam’s likeness to God before his sin. Likewise, we seem to greatly underestimate his villainy in sinning against God, compared to our view of other infamously despised criminals such as Judas or Hitler. Also of interest, we cannot rule out the possibility that Adam and Eve were reconciled to God when He sacrificed the animal, probably a lamb to symbolize the coming Lamb, to make clothes for Adam, and for Eve, and that they continued seeking and worshipping God. They may have taught their children how to call upon the LORD, and how to sacrifice to God, as Cain and Able were doing. However unlikely it may seem, it does not seem impossible that God could have brought them to faith in the coming Lamb, and that we will see them in the Heavenly Jerusalem.

 

Chapter 58) WHO SHOULD WE PRAY TO?

 

Many Christians today don’t seem to know who they are praying to. We use ‘God’, ‘Father’, ‘Lord’, ‘Jesus’, and ‘Lord Jesus’, often interchangeably, and often in a seemingly arbitrary manner. Some even pray to the Holy Spirit. What does the Bible say about it? Jesus prayed and taught us to pray to God, the Father. Paul prayed to and taught us to pray to God, the Father. Yet Scripture confirms that we can pray to our Lord Jesus, for He is truly Lord. He is our Lord who bought and owns us, whom we love, serve, obey, live to and die to. The Bible says, “God...has called you into FELLOWSHIP WITH His Son Jesus Christ our Lord...” (1Cor.1:9). The fellowship with Jesus the Bible is talking about is not our modern idea of fellowship, meaning to talk intimately to Him all day, though that is now our privilege, but it means sharing all pertinent things in common with Him, the benefits of his death to sin and of His resurrection life. This communion with Christ also involves our sharing in His sufferings (Phil.3:10,Rom.8:17,32,Jn.16:14,15), and soon also sharing in His glory. Since “...our fellowship (sharing in common) is with the Father AND with His Son, Jesus Christ” (1Jn.1:3), we can now know Jesus by the Spirit, and God our Father because of our union with Christ. Jesus prayed to God, not the Trinity, very often, both in vocalized, intensely focused prayer, and throughout the day in His heart. In union with Him we now also share that same privilege of praying to God as He did, for through His mediation and priesthood we have instant access to God’s throne of grace.

 

The early church prayed to God the Father, believing in and mentioning the name of Messiah Jesus, and at times they also prayed to the Lord Jesus. Both types of praying are also apparently referred to as calling on the name of the Lord (Ac.2:21,9:14,Rom.10:12). Calling on the name of the Lord apparently includes praying to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus while invoking Jesus’ name (Ac.4:24-30), AND praying to Jesus Himself as Lord, though NEVER AS BEING ‘THE’ GOD. When quoting Scriptures from the Old Testament, and at least once in recorded prayer, they would still call God the Father ‘Lord’ (Ac.4:29), although they progressively grew to use the title primarily to denote the Lord Jesus, as their revelation and understanding grew. Some may have first learned from Peter that GOD HAS MADE THIS MAN JESUS BOTH “LORD AND CHRIST” (Ac.2:22,23,36).

 

We can see Saul and Ananias talking back to the Lord Jesus when He revealed Himself to them both through a vision (Ac.9:3-5,10-14). We can see Stephen pray to Jesus when again Christ was revealed to him during or just after his vision of God's glory (the "unapproachable light” of majesty and splendor of His invisible presence) AND Jesus. He prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”, and, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” as he was dying (Ac.7:59,60). We can know certainly that Stephen did not mistake Jesus for God when he prayed to Jesus, for the Scripture says, “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and SAW THE GLORY OF GOD, AND JESUS STANDING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. ‘Look!’, he said, ‘I SEE heaven open and THE SON OF MAN STANDING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD'” (Ac.7:55,56). His prayer to the Lord Jesus during or just after this vision was very appropriate, because he had just seen Jesus, and the Spirit led him to address the Lord, “for none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord” (Rom.14:7,8). And Paul asked the Lord (Jesus) to take away the thorn in his flesh.

 

Although there are so very few examples in the whole Bible of anyone praying to Jesus, I believe that it is very valid to pray to the Lord Jesus when we recognize that it is appropriate. I do at times, and I have much to learn about this subject. When we pray to God we are also praying through and to our Lord Jesus. And any prayer to Jesus is a prayer to God. But it seems that according to the Bible proper official praying was and is normally to be done by praying to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, through and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ac.4:24-30). Many pray to Jesus erroneously, as literally being God. Praise God that He does not reject a prayer just because it is prayed to Jesus as literally being God. God knows that it is confusing for us, and He loses no honor when we pray to Jesus, either as Lord or as if He were God Himself. I believe that when we are in Christ, praying in faith according to God’s will in the name of Jesus, God receives any prayer prayed to Jesus as being God. Jesus FULLY represents God. And since God’s identity is fully tied up in Jesus’ identity, and vice versa, we don’t have to be OVERLY concerned about technical perfection in prayer in this matter. The problem is that when we don’t know Jesus from God, as Jesus, Peter and Paul did, it is often because we don’t love God enough to want to find out, and it’s an indication that there may be other things in our heart and life that can be detracting from, or even nullifying our prayers. It is usually indicative of a lack of love for truth and devotion to Christ for us to neglect to find out who He and the Father really are, according to the Scriptures. We are expected to grow up and progressively learn who Jesus really is, both in His relation to us and to God, so that as in a mirror we find out who we really are in Him.

 

Of course we should try to pray in the most effective way that most pleases God. We can do that by praying according to how we are taught by Jesus, the apostles and the Holy Spirit. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive “the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, ‘Abba!’, ‘Father!’. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom.8:15,16). When we come to truly believe in the real Jesus, this Jesus of the Bible, we should soon obey Him in repentance and baptism, and then we should ask God for the gift of the Holy Spirit (Lk.11:13,Ac.5:32,Jn.14:15,16), for the endowment of power for witnessing . We should also start learning to be led by the Spirit, and thus come to recognize, love and serve God as our Father, Jesus as our Lord, and our fellow Christians as our true brothers.

 

Chapter 59) "IN THAT DAY YOU WILL NO LONGER ASK ME ANYTHING"

 

“Calling on the Name of the Lord” Jesus means to invoke the Name of the Lord, either in prayer to God or by invoking Jesus’ name directly. Biblically, I believe it is done properly by praying to God while mentioning His Son Jesus (see Ac.4:24,27,30), while the petitioner is in proper vital union with Christ at the time. There is a scripture that upon first glance seems to indicate that we are to pray to Jesus, asking Him for anything we want, which He promises to give. Jesus tells His disciples, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (Jn.14:13,14). But the context immediately preceding and directly after this promise confirms what the rest of Scripture says. This promise was given to the twelve, to whom He had just said, “...I am going to the Father” (Jn.14:12). I believe that this promise may have been given right before Christ’s crucifixion concerning that period of time between Christ’s ascension, when He went back to the Father, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, during which time Christ Himself answered their prayers as Lord. I believe that this may have been one of God’s ways of allowing Jesus to bring Him glory, while also distinguishing Jesus as Lord. Therefore I believe it’s possible that the apostolic company of believers may have prayed primarily to Jesus during this interim, during which time their prayers would have been directly answered by Jesus. Immediately after this promise Jesus made to His disciples, He tells them the conditions of receiving the Holy Spirit: “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (Jn.14:15,Ac.5:32). Then He immediately says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of Truth’ (Jn.14:16). Then after talking more about this time of the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus tells His disciples, “IN THAT DAY YOU WILL NO LONGER ASK ME ANYTHING. I tell you the truth, MY FATHER WILL GIVE YOU WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME…IN THAT DAY YOU WILL ASK (HIM) IN MY NAME. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. NO, THE FATHER HIMSELF LOVES YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE LOVED ME AND HAVE BELIEVED THAT I CAME FROM GOD” (Jn.16:22-27). Here we can see that asking in Jesus’ name isn’t the same as asking Jesus.

 

I believe that we are still in that day, after the Holy Spirit was given, where we generally should ask the Source Himself, through and in the name of our great mediator and High Priest, while also ministering unto the Lord Jesus in fellowship, praise and prayer.

 

Chapter 60) "PRESENT YOUR REQUESTS TO GOD"

 

The Apostle Paul writes by the Holy Spirit, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests TO GOD” (Phil.4:6). During Jesus’ general teaching about this subject He said, “...PRAY TO YOUR FATHER, who is unseen” (Mt.6:6). Then He also said, THIS THEN IS HOW YOU SHOULD PRAY: ‘OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN…” (Mt.6:9). We are CLEARLY supposed to PRAY TO GOD (Rom.10:1,Lk.6:12,1Cor.11:13,etc.). And, Paul writes, “...WE constantly PRAY for you, THAT OUR GOD MAY..." (2Th.1:11). Jesus told his disciples that this day would come, and besides this aforementioned provision Jesus made for His disciples, whatever that reason may have been,

 

Interestingly, THERE IS NOT ONE SCRIPTURE THAT TELLS US TO NOW ASK OR PRAY TO JESUS for our requests, but MANY examples and admonitions to pray to God, the Father. Jesus Himself said about the time after the Holy Spirit was given that we would not ask Him for anything, but that the Father Himself would give us whatever we asked Him for when we asked Him in Jesus’ name. That is part of the truth of the ‘good news’ (gospel), that CHRIST CAME TO RECONCILE US BACK TO A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP TO GOD HIMSELF! As I just demonstrated, to ask the Father in Jesus’ name doesn’t mean praying, “Lord Jesus, please do such and such.” Although this is technically incorrect, I believe God overlooks these things, especially from a new believer who doesn’t know any better, or from one who has been taught wrongly. But older believers should learn how to pray more correctly, and should pray to God, the Father, as Jesus and Paul did, as well as learning to thank and praise and talk to our Lord, who is one with us.

 

In summary, I firmly believe that any otherwise legitimate prayer to the Lord Jesus is recognized as a prayer to our Lord and to the God He so perfectly represents. But I am also sure that it is important that we learn to pray to the God that Jesus died on the cross to reconcile us back to, our Heavenly Father, in accordance to and recognition of all Jesus is and taught. Praying in Jesus’ name does not necessarily mean that we must end all our prayers to God with the legitimizing phrase, “,,,in Jesus name we pray, amen.” Although this can, in at least one respect, help serve that purpose, it in no way assures that we are properly praying in Jesus’ name. Nor should we think of that phrase in any way as being the validating words that make the prayer work. We pray in Jesus’ name by believing, obediently living and then praying according to the Spirit of everything the real Jesus taught, is and represents.

 

After the apostle Paul saw and responded (prayed) to the Lord on the road to Damascus, he was (probably much later) caught up to Paradise in the heavenly realm above the universe where, among other things he heard inexpressible revelations. He was given great insight into the mystery of Christ by revelation from the Holy Spirit (Eph.3:4,5). As I have already shown, he afterwards primarily prayed to and repeatedly teaches us to primarily PRAY TO GOD THE FATHER: “... I KNEEL BEFORE THE FATHER... I PRAY that out of HIS glorious riches HE may strengthen you with power through HIS SPIRIT in your inner being, so that CHRIST may dwell in your hearts. TO HIM BE GLORY IN THE CHURCH AND IN CHRIST JESUS..." (Eph.3:14-21, also see Rom.10:1,1Cor.11:13,Col.1:3). WE HONOR AND GLORIFY GOD AND JESUS “God has made this (man-vs.22)Jesus, whom you crucified, to be Lord and Christ.“ (Acts2::36) And, God has appointed “A MAN“, (Ac.17:31) Jesus, to execute “all judgment, SO THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON, EVEN AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER” (Jn.5:22,23). And that is exactly what will happen when people tremble at the awesome majesty and power of our Lord Jesus on that great and terrible day (2Th.1:7-10). We are supposed to begin honoring Jesus now with the respect that we owe Him, EVEN AS WE HONOR THE FATHER. It does not say we are to do this because He is God, or because He is equal to God in every way. As Acts 17:31 proves, and it was written long after Christ’s ascension, God appointed A MAN, YES JESUS, to execute all judgment, which is the very reason we are given for honoring the Son in the context of this verse in John 5, BECAUSE HE IS A MAN GOD HAS APPOINTED TO EXECUTE ALL JUDGEMENT SO THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON, EVEN AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER, NOT AS HIM BEING GOD THE FATHER. We are to do this by thankfully trusting, loving and obeying Jesus (Jn.15:14) as our beloved Lord, for this is the only way to truly honor God (Jn.5:23). One problem many Christians have with honoring Jesus as they honor God is that they often don’t SPECIFICALLY HONOR GOD, THE GOD WHO IS THE FATHER HIMSELF AND WHO IS ONLY THE FATHER HIMSELF! And often when they try, their superficial attempts are mostly in word, and aimed at a Trinity or ‘Jesus only‘. Or by doing certain good deeds. As I have written, many have the mistaken understanding that they should worship Jesus AS BEING GOD, AND BELIEVING HE IS LESS SEVERE THAN THE FATHER HAVE PINNED THEIR HOPES ON PRAISING AND PLEASING HIM, ESPECIALLY IF THEY FEEL GUILT FROM MANY SINS.

 

Any proper thanks, praise, glory and worship that we direct to Jesus honors God. However, we should please the Lord by learning the correct emphasis that He Himself has given us through His own teachings, the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures and the holy apostles. We should therefore give the proper praise, honor and glory due, first and foremost unto God the Father (Rom.15:6,9,1Cor.6:20,2Cor.9:13,1Pt.2:12,4:16,etc) through and in the name of our Lord Jesus, as well as to our glorious Lord Jesus (2Pt.3:18,2Th.4:18), both now and forever, let it be so.

 

The Bible says that we should be “...ALWAYS GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER FOR EVERYTHING, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST” (Eph.5:20). And, “WE ALWAYS THANK GOD, THE FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHEN WE PRAY for you...” (Col.1:3). Here in Colossians, again, God is identified as being the Father of Jesus. There are at least sixty times the New Testament records thanksgiving SPECIFICALLY to God the Father, and so we should likewise focus our thanksgiving to God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. Here is another example of this proper emphasis: "I ALWAYS THANK GOD for you because of HIS GRACE GIVEN YOU IN CHRIST JESUS" (1Cor.1:4). We can and should also thank our Lord Jesus, as Paul did when he thanked Jesus for the personal favor he had extended to Paul when He, as Lord, appointed Paul to such an important ministry normally reserved for the faithful. Saul had been persecuting Jesus Himself when he had persecuted even "the least of these my brethren". Christ had mercifully forgiven him because, being ignorant, he did it in unbelief. He afterward esteemed Paul faithful and appointed him to His service, considering him faithful in his life of consistent obedient service because of his former ignorance. WE ALSO CAN AND SHOULD BE THANKING THE LORD JESUS FOR ALL HE HAS DONE FOR US.

 

But we should first and foremost truly thank God for everything Jesus did for us while here on earth, for God, as the God and source of all things, gave and sent His Son to save us: “...GOD, who is rich in mercy, MADE US ALIVE WITH CHRIST... and GOD RAISED US UP WITH CHRIST... it is the GIFT OF GOD... For “WE ARE GOD’S WORKMANSHIP...” (Eph.2:4-10). And, “IT IS BECAUSE OF HIM (GOD) THAT YOU ARE IN CHRIST JESUS...” (1Cor.1:30,Col.1:12,13,22). And, “HE (God) CHOSE to give us birth through the word of truth” (Jms.1:18). Jesus clearly said that God was the source of all His words and deeds (Jn.5:19). And he very significantly said that He did not come on His own initiative, but that God had sent Him (Jn.8:42). He also said that He came from God (Jn.7:29), telling us that His God and Father was His source from whom He came and who gave Him everything. We should be able to see that God is the originating source, and therefore the one responsible for all that Christ has done for us. In chapters 5-8 of the book of John alone there are 21 proofs that Jesus was sent by God on His mission as our Great Apostle. Also the Bible says, “...your generosity will result in THANKSGIVING TO GOD. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of THANKS TO GOD... MEN WILL PRAISE GOD FOR...your generosity in sharing with them... THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS INDESCRIBABLE GIFT!” (2Cor.9:11-15). Of course we should honor all those to whom it is due (Rom.13:7) with sincere thanks, but in doing so we should also recognize that “every good and perfect gift is from above, COMING DOWN FROM THE FATHER...” (Jms.1:17). If Jesus’ death on the cross has truly had it’s proper effect in your life, then you will be in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit and praying ‘Abba’, ‘Father’... You will be truly reconciled to God in a restored relationship with your Creator Himself, loving Him and giving Him the thanks and the glory due to Him as the great God He is (Rom.1:21). Knowing God as our Father is an indispensable part of knowing Christ. Only then can we properly serve and relate to our Lord Jesus, giving Him the praise and glory due to Him.

 

I believe that we should talk to our ever present Lord Jesus daily, and this constitutes a kind of prayer. But why is there not one scripture that tells us that we should officially pray to Jesus? And why is there not one scripture that tells us to worship our Lord Jesus, especially as though He were literally God, even though Jesus received worship when He was here (as I will soon address)? Why would Satan ask Jesus to worship him if he knew that worship can only be directed to God alone? And why would Satan ask Jesus to worship him if he knew Jesus were literally God? It would be impossible for God to worship anyone, much less be tempted. The reason for this interesting lack of scriptural basis for so many of our customs and songs is because they are built upon the unscriptural belief that Jesus is literally our God. Not one scripture can be found that TRULY tells us to treat Jesus as if He were absolute God in any form. Because He is God’s Son, exalted to God’s right hand, He has a God given, but not absolute equality, and therefore all will come to honor Jesus AS they honor God. But that doesn’t mean that we will honor Jesus AS BEING GOD Himself. Again, I believe that God receives any prayer, praise, or worship given to our Lord Jesus as if He were literally God, to whatever degree that it is otherwise acceptable, but we must learn to grow up into maturity in Christ. So then, we must give to Jesus the service and honor due Him as our beloved, worthy Lord of Glory, and give “to God what is God’s” (Mt.22:21).

 

By teaching these same truths the prophets, Jesus, Paul and Peter taught, I don’t believe I am in any way detracting from Christ’s supreme and eternal glory, nor from the supreme debt we owe to Him as our Lord who bought us with His holy life’s blood. As our Lord, Jesus deserves and rightly wants to be the object of our faith, love, devotion and obedience, yet not worshiped as God Almighty. God wants the same from us for Himself, and He desires us to glorify and honor Jesus, yet Jesus said that the Father seeks for us to worship Him as God, in deed and in truth (Jn.4:23,24). I do not advocate that the pendulum swing too far in the other direction, as so often happens when a formerly underemphasized truth becomes overemphasized to the neglect of other priorities and facts. I am hoping that your service to the Lord Jesus may be according to proper knowledge (Rom.10:2), so that you will not be “...ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Pt.1:8). If we truly love God and the truth, these facts will not anger us, for Jesus is not dishonored when we give God His rightful place in our hearts, the very thing Jesus died to restore to us. It is only fitting that we also praise, glorify and bow before our Lord Jesus. Mere men have been properly praised (Rom.13:3), worshiped (1Chron.29:20) and glorified (Rom.8:30), so how much more our glorious Lord Jesus, who is God‘s Son. The words translated ‘worship’ in the Greek do not always mean ultimate homage to God Almighty. There are reasons why Christ rightly received worship. He is our very worthy Lord, the Messiah, God’s Son and perfect demonstration. Don’t be so sure that because Jesus accepted worship that He did so because He was in fact supreme deity Himself. I will elaborate on this more very soon.

 

So Jesus Himself, and the apostles, teach us to direct our prayers, praise and worship first and foremost to God, the Father, THE ultimate source of ALL goodness and THE ultimate object of all praise and glory. When we come to believe correctly about Jesus, He reconciles us to and reveals the Father to us as our God and Father (Mt.11:27). Jesus reveals Himself to us who have and obey His commands (Jn.14:21), in us (2Cor.13:5) who continue in the faith, and through us to others (Gal.1:16). We must seek God and consider all the Scriptures to find the proper balance of truth, and let the Spirit lead us.

 

Chapter 61) "WORTHY IS THE LAMB"

 

In the Book of Revelation there is a fascinating view given to us of God and the Lord Jesus, that can give us much insight into this issue. John sees "a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it... Surrounding the throne were twenty four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty four elders... Before the throne seven lamps were blazing. These are THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD...In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures...saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, who was, and is, and is to come. Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE AND WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER, the twenty four elders FALL DOWN BEFORE HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE, AND WORSHIP HIM WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘YOU ARE WORTHY, OUR LORD AND GOD, to receive glory and honor and power, FOR YOU CREATED ALL THINGS, AND BY YOUR WILL THEY WERE CREATED AND HAVE THEIR BEING.’ Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?...Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne...HE CAME (from the center of the throne) AND TOOK THE SCROLL FROM THE RIGHT HAND OF HIM WHO SAT ON THE THRONE. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty four elders FELL DOWN BEFORE THE LAMB (but it doesn't say they worshiped Him)...And they sang a new song: YOU ARE WORTHY to take the scroll and to open its seals, BECAUSE YOU WERE SLAIN, AND WITH YOUR BLOOD YOU PURCHASED MEN FOR GOD...You have made them to be a kingdom and priests TO SERVE OUR GOD...’ Then I heard every creature...singing: ‘TO HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE AND TO THE LAMB be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’ The four living creatures said, ‘Amen’, and the elders FELL DOWN AND WORSHIPED HIM WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER.” (Rev.4:2-5:14).

 

There is no delineation of the Trinity doctrine here either. I believe that the ‘Received Text’, or ‘Textus Receptus’, the Greek text from which the King James Version was translated, must be correct to keep these last few words in Rev. 5:14. The ‘Nestle Text’, which is the revised Greek text used by many modem translations, left these last few words out, of course based upon certain other manuscript copies that did not contain the words. I believe that the deletions were intended to try to manufacture scriptural evidence that Jesus is also being worshiped as being very God, thus lending credence to the exceedingly sparse so called scriptural ‘proof’ that Jesus is literally God. The meaning according to some of the modern translations seems to indicate that Jesus is worshiped as being God. The meaning according to the rendering in the KJV is consistent throughout this whole section, and with the rest of Scripture, whereas many modern versions break the continuity on both counts. Revelation 4:10 shows that “the twenty four elders fall down before HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE, AND WORSHIP HIM (GOD) WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER.” Then in Revelation 5:8 they “FELL DOWN BEFORE THE LAMB”. The phrase “and worship him" (as they did God in 4:10), and the phrase “and worshiped him (as they did God in 5:14) are not here, for the elders are rendering due homage to the Lamb, who is worthy of being honored as God is honored, not as being God, but it says because He was slain to purchase men FOR GOD. Then in the last verse, the elders fall down before the throne and “WORSHIPED HIM (God) WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER". They worship God as being God AND give the Lamb the honor due Him as well, just as we should do.

 

Chapter 62) JESUS RECEIVED WORSHIP; DOESN'T THAT MEAN THAT HE IS GOD?

 

Be careful here to have “ears that hear”, because this is one of those areas that so many are certain they are right about, but will later find that it was just one of those things that was very easy to misunderstand. As God’s Son and direct earthly representative, who was “in the Father” and in whom the Father fully dwelled, Jesus received worship as Himself being the very Son of God, completely holy and worthy, God’s perfectly ultimate representative, not as God Himself in any way. Jesus received the homage He deserves Himself as being God’s Son, our Lord, the Messiah, the King of Israel, not as being God. I believe that some will be pleased to find that I can prove this scripturally. In the depths of the wisdom and knowledge of God, I am sure that He foresaw this whole last days theological fiasco. And He graciously left to those of us who get this far in unraveling the truth, the scriptural proof we need to understand how Jesus could have received worship as the new kind of man He really is. I don’t have to pull out some obscure scripture with a manufactured meaning. God has not left us out on a limb on this issue, for He is a very real God, and great is His faithfullness! Among all the numerous scriptures pertinent to this issue, many of which I have underscored in this treatise, we have the following revelations:

 

When the Lord Jesus walked on the water, and then climbed into the boat with His disciples, and the wind died down, the Bible says, “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Surely you are the Son of God!” Notice they did not worship Him saying, ‘Surely you are God!” This scripture speaks for itself, and it proves that they did not worship Jesus as being God, but as being the Son of God. And then at the end of First Chronicles we find the classic precedent, as it is written: “And David said to all the congregation, ‘Now bless the LORD your God’. And all the congregation blessed the LORD GODof their fathers, and bowed down their heads, AND WORSHIPED (PROSTRATED THEMSELVES BEFORE) THE LORD AND THE KING" (1 Chron.29:20). “…AND (WORSHIPED) THE KING (DAVID)?!!!“ This is a ‘type’ and a foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus being worshiped when believing Jews WERE WORSHIPING GOD WHEN WORSHIPING JESUS AS LORD AND KING of Israel. HOW COULD THE JEWS RIGHTLY WORSHIP THE KING WHEN HE WAS ONLY A MAN, FOR THEY KNEW THAT THEY MUST ONLY WORSHIP GOD? They weren’t condemned as violating God’s command to worship only Him. The words used for worship denote an act of extreme reverence, whether to a created being, on the low end, or to God Himself in the ultimate sense. If worship was only rightly possible towards God in absolute strictness, then Israel’s worshipping King David would have been noted as having been very wrong. David and his heir to the throne, Jesus, were both worshiped by Israel as King, while worshipping God as God.

 

Let me back up to remind some of a potentially misleading term. Some may be confused by our use of the same English word ‘Lord' to represent several different original words, languages and meanings, so I will expand on my earlier explanation. The most common of these includes the Hebrew words ‘Yahweh' and ‘Adonoi’, and the Greek word ‘kurios’. The Jews sometimes used the normal Hebrew word for ‘Lord’, ‘Adonoi’, for God, because Yahweh is truly the ultimate Lord. I’ve mentioned that they also began substituting the word ‘Lord’ for the name of God, ‘Yahweh’. When either of these two Hebrew words translated ‘Lord’ (in English) was translated into the Greek New Testament, the same Greek word ‘kurios’ is used for both. This same Greek word ‘kurios’ is used not only to represent these Hebrew words, but also as the Greek way of conveying: ‘God’ as Supreme Lord of Lords, ‘Jesus’ (as our supreme Lord of lords), human lords, and as a respectful human title, such as ‘Master’, ‘Mister’ or ‘Sir’. So when Jesus quotes this scripture from David out of the Old Testament: “The Lord said to my Lord...”, the Greek text uses the same word ‘Lord’ in two different meanings. The first word ‘Lord’ is referring to David’s LORD AND GOD, Yahweh, and the second word ‘Lord’ is referring to David’s Lord, Messiah, whom He had come to know by spiritual revelation.

 

The congregation of Israel were worshipping the LORD, meaning Yahweh God, “AND DAVID THE KING“, in this passage quoted in 1 Chronicles. MEN WORSHIPED THE MAN KING DAVID AND IT WAS ACCEPTABLE! THE BIBLE SAYS THAT ONLY GOD CAN RECEIVE WORSHIP, YET AS GOD’S REPRESENTATIVE, KING DAVID RECEIVED WORSHIP ALONG WITH GOD AND THE BIBLE SAYS NOTHING AGAINST IT. Later, and in a similar way the real man Jesus received worship, and much more than David He represented God to Israel. Jesus fully lived in God and God fully lived in Him, and He fully represented God being God‘s only begotten Son. Like David, the Son of Man, Jesus, received worship as the anointed King of Israel, but much more than David, Jesus was designated by God as Lord and the Anointed One. In fact, Jesus is declared by David himself as being David’s Lord, this same David who Israel was worshipping along with Yahweh God. If David could be rightly worshiped along with God as being the legitimate earthly representative of God and the anointed King of Israel, how much more should Jesus be expected to accept worship? But He absolutely did not ever receive worship as being Yahweh God, or absolute God in any way, except as being the God under His God and Father that He is as the Son of Man. When the cleansed leper returned and thanked Jesus, Jesus said that he was praising God by doing so (Lk.17:16,18). Similarly, when men bowed to Jesus as God’s holy Son, their Lord, He received that worship as being completely in God and of God, and also for God who was in Him fully, but not as being God Himself in any way.

 

The Amplified Bible adds light by rendering this former passage (parenthetical content theirs): “... bowed down and did obeisance to the LORD, and to the king (as His earthly representative)”. Now, 'did obeisance to' means 'worshiped by bowing down to'. King David was representative and indicative of Messiah, the eternal King of Israel. Messiah is David’s descendant according to the flesh (Rom.1:3), and is actually called David in some prophetic portions of Scripture (Jer.30:9,Ez.34:23,24,37:24,25,Hos.3:5). Sadly, most of us don’t even truly bow down much to God now days in the ultra-modern Christian church mixed with love of self, money, entertainment, lust and comfort. We don’t bow much by consistent obedience nor do we bow much physically. We sometimes say we bow to Him in certain songs, and sometimes even in certain prayers, but in our actions we often truly bow only to Satan himself. We really worship Satan, in a very real way, as we enjoy watching his worldly television shows. There are many other ways we worship the god of this world, by letting our minds be dominated by our desires and self interests, when we indulge our hearts in any immoral sexual fantasies, when we live for what pleases us, our friends and families, by bowing in our sinfully compromising conversations with worldly people, and by our relentless pursuit of money and leisure. Most of us are becoming enemies of the true cross of Christ (our share of His sufferings and death Phil.3:18,19,Lk.9:23,24,Gal.2:20,5:24,6:14), and DON’T WANT to find out more about how WE CAN change, because ITIS EASIER TO AUTOMATICALLY DENY AND DISREGARD THESE ASSERTIONS than it is to find out what is meant by them and then to humbly confess, pray and repent about these things. “Ask, and you shall receive”, including the grace that will help us to learn any truths we have believed and possibly taught erroneously, and also for the revelation and ‘want to’ that will lead us to repentance concerning the sins which so easily beset us.

 

The King of Israel was not said to be sinning, Israel was not said to be sinning, nor was the human king David accepting worship as being God! Those who bowed before David and Jesus were Jews, and therefore knew enough not to be worshipping them as BEING God. They knew God was not a man. Why would it constitute worshipping ‘another’ than God if Jesus, Son of David and King of Israel, allowed people to bow before Him, since He was God’s ultimate and perfect “earthly representative” (as the Amplified Bible called David). Again, Israel was not here worshipping the king as being God, nor did anyone in the future Israel (that we have record of) ever mistake Jesus for God. Jesus was very aware of this scriptural precedent, and it proves that people were not wrong to worship God in and through Him, nor to worship Him as God‘s holy Son, the Messiah and King of Israel.

The way Israel was worshipping before their God and their Lord the King is also a perfect example of what Thomas did when he addressed Jesus as his Lord, “AND’ addressed his God who was very near (Ac.17:27,Jn.8:16) in Jesus, as his God. SOMEONE WHO WAS WATCHING ISRAEL WORSHIPPING GOD AND THE KING WOULD HAVE ONLY SEEN ALL ISRAEL BOWING BEFORE KING DAVID, JUST AS WE ONLY SEE THOMAS SPEAKING TO JESUS. THEY WOULD HAVE SEEN AND HEARD WHAT SO CLEARLY SEEMED LIKE ALL ISRAEL BLESSING DAVID AS BEING GOD WHILE BOWING BEFORE HIM IN UNRESTRAINED WORSHIP. ANY UNINFORMED SPECTATOR WOULD HAVE EASILY BECOME CERTAIN THAT THE JEWS WERE WORSHIPPING AND HERALDING KING DAVID AS GOD, AND WOULD HAVE JUST AS EASILY ASSUMED THAT DAVID WAS SURELY ACCEPTING WORSHIP AND ACCOLADES AS BEING GOD HIMSELF. The hypothetical spectator in this case would have been just as wrong as anyone who assumes that Thomas was later worshipping Jesus or proclaiming Jesus AS being his God. In 1 Samuel 20:41, David falls on his knees and bows with his face to the ground three times before Jonathan, King Saul‘s son! He was not worshipping Jonathan as being God, nor did the number three times indicate any Trinitarian concept.

 

When Thomas believed who Jesus really was, and said, “My Lord!, AND My God!” (Jn.20:28-proper punctuation is always a matter of proper interpretation and is not supplied nor always obvious in the Hebrew and Greek texts), that word “AND” is the same word that many scriptures use to distinguish between God and the Lord Jesus (1Chr.29:20, Rom.1:7, 1Cor.1:3, 2Cor.1:2, Gal.1:3, Eph.1:2, Phil.1:2, etc.). From what Jesus had said to him, and maybe from feeling Jesus, Thomas had realized that Jesus still had a body of flesh and bones, which a spirit doesn’t have (Lk.24:39). He most certainly did not mistake Jesus for being God,for He had been consistently taught correctly about God and Jesus by Jesus Himself, for example that, “God is Spirit...” (Jn.4:24), and that God is the Father who was in heaven (Mt.16:17,etc.). Thomas also had the obvious confirmed repeatedly from Jesus Himself, that Jesus was a real and complete man. Philip had failed to recognize who Christ was, and did not recognize God as being in Christ, but Thomas by revelation now had. He knew very well that God is not a man! “I AM GOD, AND NOT MAN" (Hos.11:9). We cannot continue to believe unbiblical doctrines built from extracted verses independent from the whole of Scripture. Three verses after Thomas' famous statement, the Bible sums up what Thomas and the rest of the apostles believed about Jesus even while Thomas spoke those words. Three verses after Thomas’ recorded statement, “My Lord, and my God”, it says, "THESE THINGS ARE WRITTEN SO THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, AND THAT BY BELIEVING (THESE THINGS) YOU MAY HAVE LIFE" (Jn.20:31). “These things” that were written to help us to believe that Jesus is God’s Son included Thomas’ words three verses prior.

 

In the Book of Revelation JESUS IS SAID TO BE WORTHY to open the seals of the scroll, and to receive power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and praise BECAUSE HE SUFFERED DEATH to purchase men FOR GOD, (Rev.5:9,12,Heb.2:9), NOT BECAUSE HE IS GOD, or ‘God by nature’, etc. God, however, is said to be worthy to receive glory, honor and power because He is the creator and source of all things (Rev.4:11). The only way we can worship God acceptably is because of Christ’s high priestly mediation, through our faith in His atoning blood, and through our union with Him by baptism. Christ died to give us access to worship God the way God desires to be worshiped (Heb.9:14,4:16,Eph.2:8). As the disciple’s Lord, part of His ministry was to teach them how to worship God acceptably. You cannot find one example of Jesus setting Himself up as being God, the object of worship, nor did He teach His disciples to bow before Him to fulfill their duty to worship God, nor did He teach them to direct their prayers to Him daily, nor does the Bible teach us that we should worship Jesus as God. They went to the Temple together regularly to worship and pray to God. We are to serve our Lord Jesus by believing on His name and lovingly obeying everything He teaches us by His teachings, His Spirit, the apostles, and the Scriptures. I worship and bow before my Lord Jesus as my awesome Lord and King, my owner and ruler, and I obey Him because I love Him. But Iam learning to do as He teaches me by worshipping our Father God as God Almighty, with my body, soul and spirit, in the beauty of Christ's holiness.

 

Scripture confirms that we can pray to our Lord Jesus, for He is truly Lord. He is our Lord who bought and owns us, whom we love, serve, obey, live to and die to. The Bible says, “God...has called you into FELLOWSHIP WITH His Son Jesus Christ our Lord...” (1Cor.1:9). The fellowship with Jesus the Bible is talking about is not our modern idea of fellowship, meaning to talk intimately to Him all day, though that is now our privilege, but it means sharing all pertinent things in common with Him, the benefits of his death to sin and of His resurrection life. This communion with Christ also involves our sharing in His sufferings (Phil.3:10,Rom.8:17,32,Jn.16:14,15), and soon also sharing in His glory. Since “...our fellowship (sharing in common) is with the Father AND with His Son, Jesus Christ” (1Jn.1:3), we can now know Jesus by the Spirit, and God our Father because of our union with Christ. Jesus prayed to God, not the Trinity, very often, both in vocalized, intensely focused prayer, and throughout the day in His heart. In union with Him we now also share that same privilege of praying to God as He did, for through His mediation and priesthood we have instant access to God’s throne of grace.

 

The early church prayed to God the Father, believing in and mentioning the name of Messiah Jesus, and at times they also prayed to the Lord Jesus. Both types of praying are also apparently referred to as calling on the name of the Lord (Ac.2:21,9:14,Rom.10:12). Calling on the name of the Lord apparently includes praying to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus while invoking Jesus’ name (Ac.4:24-30), AND praying to Jesus Himself as Lord, though NEVER AS BEING ‘THE’ GOD. When quoting Scriptures from the Old Testament, and at least once in recorded prayer, they would still call God the Father ‘Lord’ (Ac.4:29), although they progressively grew to use the title primarily to denote the Lord Jesus, as their revelation and understanding grew. Some may have first learned from Peter that GOD HAS MADE THIS MAN JESUS BOTH “LORD AND CHRIST” (Ac.2:22,23,36).

 

Chapter 63) WHY SO FEW COME TO REALLY KNOW GOD AND THE LORD JESUS; THE “OFFENCE” AND “ENEMIES OF THE CROSS”

 



WE CAN 'KNOW' GOD, AND JESUSHIS SON, but the reason so few really do is because there is a cost to knowing our Lord Jesus, and through Him our God and Father. But of course there is an ultimate reward in truly knowing Jesus. “...The Son of God is come and has given us an understanding, that we might know HIM THAT IS TRUE; and we are in him that is true, IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. HE IS THE TRUE GOD, AND ETERNAL LIFE” (1Jn.5:20). Some people are actually brazen enough with the truth that they try to use this scripture to try to 'prove’ that Jesus is “THE TRUE GOD” that the verse is talking about here. The Bible is clear throughout that God the Father is THE TRUE GOD (Jn.17:3), and that Jesus is the life of God, the “eternal life (1Jn.1:2,5:20,11,12,Jn.1:4,5:40,6:54,10:28,11:25,14:6,Col.3:4).

 

Paul explained the costly requisites for knowing and gaining Christ Jesus: “...whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of KNOWING CHRIST JESUS MY LORD, FOR WHOSE SAKE I HAVE LOST ALL THINGS. I CONSIDER THEM RUBBISH, THAT MAY GAIN CHRIST… I WANT TO KNOW CHRIST AND THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF SHARING IN HIS SUFFERINGS, BECOMING LIKE HIM IN HIS DEATH...” (Phil.3:7-10). Many Christians accidentally ignore this aspect of the gospel, called “the cross”, because of the phenomenon called “the offence of the cross”, AND MANY DESPISE BEING REMINDED (Gal.5:11, 1Pt.2:8). This scripture clearly explains the practical meaning of “the cross” for us: “SINCE CHRIST SUFFERED IN HIS BODY, ARM YOURSELVES ALSO WITH THE SAME ATTITUDE, BECAUSE HE WHO HAS SUFFERED IN HIS BODY IS DONE WITH SIN. AS A RESULT, HE DOES NOT LIVE THE REST OF HIS EARTHLY LIFE FOR EVIL HUMAN DESIRES, BUT RATHER FOR THE WILL OF GOD” (1Pt.4:1,2, see also 1Pt.2:21). If you have never spent much time in prayer and study for the truth about this controversial subject I am discussing, don’t be too certain you are right just because the majority agrees with you, and you with them. “BUY THE TRUTH AND SELL IT NOT” (Prov.23:23).

 

Because this being crucified with Christ, this losing all things, our family, even our very lives in this world, is so vital to properly knowing and gaining Christ, I think it is crucial that I delve into this issue deeper. We should remember that Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord’, ‘Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, BUT ONLY HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER who is in heaven” (Mt.7:21). I just demonstrated from the Apostle Peter’s sacred writing that we must actually learn to share in Christ’s physical sufferings to some degree to result in our experiencing freedom from sin’s bondage and doing the will of His Father who is in heaven. Of course we do not need to suffer in some sort of monastic asceticism, but only while learning to obey what the Spirit wants when it conflicts with what we want (Gal.5:16-21). “Then he said to them all: ‘IF ANYONE WOULD COME AFTER ME, HE MUST DENY HIMSELF AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY AND FOLLOW ME. FOR WHOEVER WANTS TO SAVE HIS LIFE WILL LOSE IT, BUT WHOEVER LOSES HIS LIFE FOR ME WILL SAVE IT‘” (Lk.9:23,24).

 

The Lord through Paul warned us about this future phenomenon, that MANY Christians would avoid and be antagonistic towards this message about the absolute requirement of dying with Christ to our self centered life, to ‘our lives in this world’. GOD WORKS IT IN US AS WE CONTINUE IN THE FAITH. Paul, through the Scriptures, warns us by the Spirit as he “often” warned his disciples, sometimes “with tears”, interestingly in the same chapter I just quoted about the cost of gaining Christ. He writes, “...I HAVE OFTEN TOLD YOU BEFORE, AND NOW SAY AGAIN, EVEN WITH TEARS, ‘MANY LIVE AS ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST. THEIR DESTINY IS DESTRUCTION, THEIR GOD IS THEIR STOMACH, AND THEY ARE PROUD OF THINGS THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF. THEIR MIND IS (PRIMARILY) ON EARTHLY THINGS” (Phil.3:18,19). The “cross” spoken of here refers to this same absolutely essential but painful part of our salvation that many Christians have learned how to avoid to their own total loss, while still convincing themselves that they are ‘going to heaven’. It involves our sharing of Christ’s sufferings as we share His death to sin and this ‘world’ (Rom.6:1-14,) IN OUR ACTUAL EXPERIENCE! GOD MAKES US WILLING BY GIVING PLENTY OF GRACE TO THE HUMBLE, AND HE LEADS US STEP BY STEP. For it is written, “THOSE WHO BELONG TO CHRIST JESUS HAVE CRUCIFIED THE SINFUL NATURE WITH ITS PASSIONS AND DESIRES” (Gal.5:24). And, “MAY I NEVER BOAST EXCEPT IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THROUGH WHOM THE WORLD HAS BEEN CRUCIFIED TO ME, AND I TO THE WORLD” (Gal.6:14). We so often have not because we ask not.

 

I BELIEVE THAT MANY CHRISTIANS WHO BECOME ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST BY CONTINUING IN SLAVERY TO SECRET (OR OPEN) SIN NATURALLY END UP EMBRACING A DIFFERENT JESUS, COMPENSATING FOR THEIR LACK OF OBEDIENCE BY GIVING HIM EXTRA (false) HONOR THAT REQUIRES NO REAL DEATH, such as proclaiming and defending His deity. GOD NEVER ONCE ASKED FOR THAT! The cross involves ultimate obedience, suffering and death. Those who overcome “… loved not their lives, even unto death.” (Rev.12:11).So then, do not fear to suffer when God leads you by His Spirit to resist the devil by saying ‘NO!’ (in your mind and by your actions) to evil desires. God’s grace demands that we say no to our evil desires and live self controlled, upright and godly now in this life, it’s not just license to sin again and ask God to forgive us again (Tit.2:11-14). As I pointed out from Romans chapter 6, all Christians who overcome go through this sanctification process of faith and suffering. The Apostle Peter addresses this necessary phenomenon: “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT YOUR BROTHERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ARE UNDERGOING THE SAME KIND OF SUFFERINGS. And the GOD OF ALL GRACE, who CALLED YOU TO HIS ETERNAL GLORY IN CHRIST, AFTER YOU HAVE SUFFERED A LITTLE WHILE, WILL HIMSELF RESTORE YOU and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1Pt.5:9,10). So don’t be afraid to endure suffering when you choose not to look at lustful pictures, indulge in pagan entertainments, or engage in "godless chatter" or intimate fellowship with pagan ‘friends’ and family that continue to refuse to obey the good news (1Th.6:20,2Tim.2:16,Lk.8:19-21). We should not fear the suffering involved in fasting, praying, ‘witnessing’ and reading the New Testament, RECKONING OURSELVES TO BE “DEAD INDEED TO SIN BUT ALIVE TO GOD IN CHRIST JESUS” (Rom.6:11). And likewise don’t fear to embrace these truths I propound about the real Jesus, if you recognize them as the truth, even though it will probably cost you much.

 

Many say that we don’t have to stop sinning because we cannot do so. They say, "everyone sins", “we’re only human”, and "nobody’s perfect". They are like ancient Israel, who believed the 10 spies who said the promised holy righteous life was impossible, and not really necessary. The Bible, like Caleb and Joshua, says differently. It says that these things were written so that we would not sin(1Jn.2:1). It says we should live (the context means ‘without sinning”) as Jesus lived (1Jn.2:6). It says that we should stop sinning, period (1Cor.15:34). These people live for the best of both worlds. They ‘believe’ in Jesus and 'go to church' so they can ‘go to heaven’, wanting Him especially to enhance their enjoyment of life now. So they take the easy path of least resistance in this life, avoiding any real repentance concerning their fantasizing, television watching, godless associations and lying, while encouraging or condoning others to do the same. Many choose to believe the very popular heresy “once ‘saved’ always ‘saved”’, and declare that God wants us to "enjoy life" (a deadly lie based on an obvious truth). Many emphasize that godly living will make you financially rich, and imply that most suffering is usually from the devil or from a lack of faith, and is to be avoided if at all possible. Their leaders pack their churches with people who are told to come to Christ without telling them to repent (Ac.17:30).

 

Many Christians, like the ten spies who said that the Promised Land could not be conquered, today indirectly say that we can’t really be expected to live a truly holy and righteous life. They emphasize grace (Jude4), forgiveness and the so called ‘unconditional’ (Ps.103:3-8,139:22,Jn.14:23,15:9,10,Jude21) love of God. They say that they are righteous ‘by faith’ (1Jn.3:7-10), and love sayings like: "be patient with me, God’s not finished with me yet". They may say things to themselves like, “no one else is submitting to their husbands in all things”, and “everyone else watches television”, but of course they also may say, “oh, yes, we are very careful what we watch”, claiming to only indulge in the ‘good’ part of the “fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. They are ignorant that even the ‘good’ from that fruit kills, it’s all infected, being from the wrong tree, for only

 

Christ is the tree of life. There are truths within all these errors, but let’s all love the whole truth. Many will one day find out that they did not truly believe in the real Jesus because they did not TRUST HIM ENOUGH TO OBEY HIS TEACHINGS AND COMMANDS. Many will find that their faith never grew to transcend their dinner plate and their love of their self life here and now, the love of money, pleasure, family, friends, entertainment and comfort more than God. Many will find that the spiritual road on which they traveled was the “broad road” of presuming upon God’s grace and forgiveness, ‘serving the Lord’ while continuing in slavery to pride, greed, rebelliousness, idolatry, complaining, secret sexual sin or fantasies. Yes God can and does forgive us and cleanse us from sin when we sincerely confess our sins, but no true child of God continues as a slave to sin that leads to death (1Jn.3:7-10,5:4,1Cor.10:1-11). This salvation works if we learn to exercise our faith in Jesus as being the Son of God, and to trust and obey Him(1Jn.5:4,5). His death on the cross, His holy blood, His grace and new life in us is sufficient.

 

The Scriptures are full of warnings and admonitions to BE CAREFUL HOW YOU listen, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, to humble yourself, to make every effort to make your calling and election sure, and to be obedient. The element of deception is very strong for those who become 'accidental' hypocrites. They are not completely aware of their folly, nor its consequences, but we will all reap exactly what we have sown. For it is written, “DO NOT MERELY LISTEN TO THE WORD AND SO DECEIVE YOURSELVES. DO WHAT IT SAYS(Jms.1:22). I have shown why the “message of the cross” is offensive, sometimes stirring up scathing denunciation from others. It's because most don’t want to be told that they wont live forever and share in His glory unless by faith they suffer and die with Him to sin now in this life (2Tim.2:11,Rom.6:8,8:17). That’s how you can tell if you are really believing in Jesus with a saving faith, if you find that Christ is being formed in you as you see yourself loving God and others as He loved God and others, in humility, honesty, self denial and sacrificial obedience. Most would rather hear a sermon on our liberty and freedom in Christ, and will find many preachers who will gladly supply the demand. For it is written, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through HYPOCRITICAL LIARS, WHOSE CONSCIENCES HAVE BEEN SEARED as with a hot iron” (1Tim.4:1,2). This sounds distant and impersonal, but could so easily apply to some of us. The leaven of hypocrisy is very slow acting, and very difficult for one part of the ‘loaf’ to notice in themselves because the rest of the ‘loaf’ is acting similarly. Do you excuse your ‘little’ lies? The hypocrite’s portion of hell is a horrible punishment, so let us each make completely sure we have a realistic understanding of how easy it is to become a deceitful pretender. Jesus clearly and ominously warned the seemingly ‘good Christians’ when He said, “MANY will say to me on that day, ‘Lord’, ‘Lord’, DIDN’T WE PROPHESY in your name, and in your name DRIVE OUT DEMONS and PERFORM MANY MIRACLES? Then Iwill tell them plainly, I NEVER KNEW YOU. AWAY FROM ME, YOU EVILDOERS!” (Mt.7:22,23).

 

A very important side issue we must not ignore is this: JOSHUA AND CALEB WERE VERY ‘UNORTHODOX’, in the eyes of ALL THE REST OF THE LEADERS AND BELIEVERS, YET THEY WERE RIGHT. As Joshua and Caleb reported, though NONE of God’s people believed them, but instead wanted to kill them, WE CAN TAKE THE PROMISED LAND (Num.13:30-14:11). I believe they were persecuted as being judgmental, false teachers, unloving, self righteous, or holier than thou. They were probably looked down on by many who were confident that their universally accepted and confirmed majority view was right. But even so also today WE CAN know Christ and overcome the world through our faith in Him, living a truly righteous and holy life by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit! So be it unto you according to your faith. All things are possible to him who believes. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. If we continue seeking God in prayer and studying the Scriptures, we will learn that “...our present sufferings ARE NOT WORTH COMPARING with THE GLORY THAT WILL BE REVEALED IN US” (Rom.8:18). We will have the FOCUSED HOPE OF THE PROMISED REWARD STRENGTHENING OUR FAITH to endure, like Moses did. “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, REFUSED TO BE KNOWN AS THE SONOF Pharaoh’s daughter. HE CHOSE TO SUFFER AFFLICTION WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD RATHER THAN TO ENJOY THE PLEASURES OF SIN FOR A SHORT TIME. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, BECAUSE HE WAS LOOKING AHEAD TO HIS REWARD” (Heb.11:24-26). (It is not evil to properly expect rewards from God, if He has promised and you truly meet the conditions.)

 

Continued at part 3 of Unbiblibal Trinity teaching