Church of Pensacola
Church of Pensacola

Unbiblical Trinity teaching (part 3)

Chapters 63 - 69

 

63) "And I will manifest to him who obeys my commands."

64 ) John 1:1 'The Word' See also John 1:1
65) Does John 1:1 indicate that God and Christ (the Logos) are one and the same?
66) More about the Logos
 
 
67) If the Word (LOGOS) is "not being identical with God" , then how can the Word be literally God?
68) The subtle and elusive error of the doctrine of the deity of Christ.
69) Focus on the 'Trinity'.
70) Back to the Nicene Council, where church and state married.  
71) Review of the fascinating book, "The Pilgrim church" by E.H. Broadbent.
72) Other misunderstood scriptures.
73) Exhortation and encouragement. 
74) More commonly misunderstood scriptures.
75) Some final scriptures about Jesus.
76) The dilemma of some our modern church leaders.
 
Chapter 63)“AND I WILL MANIFEST MYSELF TO HIM WHO OBEYS MY COMMANDS."

 

We can’t know God on our own initiative, for He is self revealed according to His conditions. Let us more completely look at the cost and conditions of knowing the Lord Jesus, and through Him our awesome God and Father. The Master says, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. HE WHO LOVES ME WILL BE LOVED BY MY FATHER, and I too will love Him AND WILL MANIFEST MYSELF TO HIM... If anyone loves me, HE WILL OBEY MY TEACHING. My Father will love him, and WE WILL COME TO HIM AND MAKE OUR HOME WITH HIM” (Jn.14:21-23). IF WE OBEY CHRIST’S TEACHING, God AND Jesus will love us (all the “IF”s in the Bible don’t sound like unconditional love to me) come to us and make their home with us, by the Holy Spirit coming into us to live with us forever (Jn.14:16, Ac.5:32). Loving God and doing His will includes the absolute necessity of continuing in the obedience, (Rom.1:5, 16:26, Heb.5:9, Jms.2:14-26) (however imperfectly that may be), obedience that comes from continuing in the real faith (1Cor.15:2, Gal.6:9 ,Col.1:22,23, Heb.chapters 3, 5:11,12,15,18,19, 10:35-39).

 

SO THEREFORE BELIEVING IN JESUS THIS WAY IS THE CONDITION FOR ETERNAL LIFE that we so often ignore, to many of our own very great loss. This is why so many do not receive the real gift of the Holy Spirit, for “ IF YOU LOVE ME, YOU WILL OBEY WHAT I COMMAND, and I will ask the Father, and HE WILL GIVE YOU ANOTHER COUNSELOR TO BE WITH YOU FOREVER - the Spirit of TRUTH” (Jn.14:15-17). And, “We are witnesses of these things, and so is THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN TO THOSE WHO OBEY HIM” (Ac.5:32). This is not some absolute perfect obedience without which we cannot earn Gods favor. This is merely the practical minimum required response of a genuine faith that learns to trust God and take the next step, even if after many failings. Many learn from experience the futility of trying to obey by willpower, and so some give up and shrink back unto destruction. Instead we should be humbly seeking God, studying the Scriptures to learn how to pray and exercise our faith in order to obtain God’s grace to overcome. In fact, Jesus can only save those whose faith leads them to learn to obey Him as Lord (Heb.5:9). He said, “Why do you call me 'Lord’, ‘Lord’, and do not DO WHAT I SAY?” (Lk.6:46).

 

Again, as Joshua and Caleb told the whole church of Israel, though NOT ONE OF THEM BELIEVED THEM, (and this is obviously my loose paraphrase): “Yes, the giants are there and they are very real and strong, but WE CAN REALLY TAKE THE LAND! IT ISN’T TOO HARD! WE CAN DO IT WITH GOD’S HELP! GOD PROMISED TO GIVE IT TO US! HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR US!” WE CAN’T GIVE UP WITHOUT OVERCOMING THOSE OBSTACLES! Those of God’s people who didn’t believe Caleb and Joshua were refusing to believe God, and were grumbling and complaining against God (Num.14:1-11,27,29,35,36), who HAD PROMISED TO GIVE THEM, AND TO HIMSELF BRING THEM INTO THEIR OWN WONDERFUL LAND (Num.14:8,9,16,23)! Not one of those many hundreds of thousands of Israelites, some estimate over two million Jews who were over the age of twenty entered the Promised Land, because they had not believed and obeyed God, and had grumbled and complained against their God given leader, and therefore against God.

 

To sum up Joshua and Caleb’s ‘good report’ in modern New Testament language: “...HISCOMMANDMENTS ARE NOT BURDENSOME (TOO HARD) (1Jn.5:3). “MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU” (2Cor.12:9). Jesus put it this way, “COME TO ME, all you who are weary and burdened, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST. TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU AND LEARN FROM ME, FOR I AM GENTLE AND HUMBLE IN HEART, and you will find REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT” (Mt.11:28-30). And, to sum up God’s simple commands that WE CAN OBEY: “AND THIS IS HIS COMMAND: TO BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, AND TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS HE COMMANDED US. THOSE WHO OBEY HIS COMMANDS LIVE IN HIM, AND HE IN THEM. AND THIS IS HOW WE KNOW THAT HE LIVES IN US: WE KNOW IT BY THE SPIRIT HE GAVE US” (1Jn.3:23,24). This is how we will find ourselves becoming more intimately and experientially acquainted with the Lord Jesus Himself, by obeying His commands and teachings. This is also how we will find Him being formed in our hearts (by our faith in Him) (Eph.3:17, Gal.4:19). And if you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit, it is not a one time thing. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit daily (Eph.5:18). The most joyous way to get to know Jesus is to see Him in your mirror and deeds, to hear Him in your words, and similarly in all those you love.

 

Chapter 64 ) JOHN 1:1 'THE WORD'

 

The following is a list of translations whose translators, I believe, have better understood the deeper issues involved in more correctly translating John 1:1:

 

The New English Bible, (NEB) 1970, Oxford/Cambridge University Press

Rendering: "...and what God was, the Word was."

 

The New Testament, in An Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome's New Translation: With a Corrected Text 1808, LONDON

Rendering: "...and the word was a god"

 

The Monotessaron; or, The Gospel History, According to the Four Evangelists 1829, BALTIMORE (by John S. Thompson)

Rendering: "...and the Logos was a god"

 

The Emphatic Diaglott 1864, NEW YORK, LONDON (by Benjamin Wilson)

Rendering: "...and a god was the Word"

 

The Bible - An American Translation 1935, CHICAGO (by J.M.P. Smith and E.J. Goodspeed)

Rendering: "...and the Word was divine"

 

Das Evangelium nach Johannes 1975, GOTTINGEN (GERMANY) (by Sigfried Schulz)

 

"...und ein Gott (oder, Gott von Art) war das Wort"

Rendering: "...and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word"

 

Das Evangelium nach Johannes 1978, BERLIN (GERMANY)(by Johannes Schneider)

 

"...und goettlichen Wesens war das Wort"

Rendering: "...and god-like sort was the Word"

 

Das Evangelium nach Johannes 1979, WURZBURG (GERMANY) (by Johannes Schneider)

 

"...und ein Gott war das Wort"

Rendering: "...and a god was the Word"

 

Revised English Version

 Rendering: “ …and what God was, the word was.”

 

Good News For Modern Man, The New Testament in Today's English Version 1966 (before they compromised and changed it!), New York, American Bible Society:

"...what God was, the word also was."

 

The preceding list is not exhaustive, but it is sufficient to indicate clearly that reasonable debate against the popular rendering is considerable, and for good reason. The authors of the King James Version, and therefore the authors of some of the subsequent versions whose publishers greatly hoped would become accepted, translated this pivotal verse in this way: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn.1:1). Then verse two confirms: “He was in the beginning with God”. Because the King James Version became the most significant 'standard' English Bible for so long, this particular rendering of the passage has become 'immortalized'. How could it be possible that this verse is not translated exactly correct, since most are so conditioned to hearing it preached this way. But remember, the Trinitarian ‘victory’ had long been established as being orthodox by the time the Catholic Erasmus translated his Greek text that was the basis for the KJV Bible. Many have wisely asked, how could the ‘logos’ be “with God” and “be God” if there is truly only one God? Modern ignorance birthed from indifference rooted in sin says, “Don’t try to understand it. You can’t understand it. It shouldn’t be logical. It’s beyond our reasoning.” But THIS LEGITIMATE QUESTION is one reason why they had to create the doctrine of the ‘Trinity’ in the first place, while some began arguing that Jesus is absolute God. Their ‘solution’ only solved things for those who didn’t continue to look too deep, or for those who wanted to go along with the crowd.

 

It turns out that this is a mistranslation of the original Greek text, and a surprising number of Bible translations verify this, along with some of the most credible koine Greek scholars. In fact, many of the Trinitarian Greek scholars who believe in Christ’s absolute deity have even had to agree that this scripture is more accurately rendered: “...and what God was, the Word was”. This only proves that Jesus was like God before His incarnation, a FACT that I am veryglad about. This scripture actually says that the Word was Divine, a God, like God. Oh how people want to cling to this last straw, this last domino. Keep in mind that most Jews and Muslims know how ludicrous the doctrine of the ‘Trinity’ is. Even demons knew Jesus was the Holy one SENT BY GOD (Mk.1:24,34), and called Him the Son of God quite a few times. Now look into this matter more fully, and then you should pray about it, for the Spirit will lead you into all truth (1Jn.2:27). God will answer your persistent prayers concerning any important subject like this, but is it really important to you? We’ll see to what degree it was important to everyone in the reruns on Judgment Day. Until then our fruit tells the story.

 

First you need to remember that through many hundreds of years most of the scholars have been paid or expected to argue and prove why this verse should be translated conventionally, in order to defend Christ's deity and the 'Trinity’. And some have done so out of other purely selfish interests, for who wants to be labeled a heretic and censored? Because of the great pressure to comply, financial, social and otherwise, it is amazing thatthere are any translators at all who have attempted to translate this verse correctly, bearing the brunt of harsh criticism that they knew was surely to come from the intolerant religious ‘orthodoxy’ (and we should be intolerant, in the right way, of genuine heresy). Translations are often censored based largely upon their rendering of key controversial passages such as this one. It is therefore a wonder and a testimony to the integrity of the few responsible, such as Moffatt and Goodspeed and others, that there are versions of the Bible which JEOPARDIZE THE PERCEIVED INTEGRITY OF THEIR ENTIRE COLOSSAL WORK BASED UPON THEIR COSTLY ATTEMPT TO TRANSLATE THIS CONTROVERSIAL VERSE ACCURATELY, AGAINST THE ‘STATUS QUO’.

 

“En archee een ho logos, kai ho logos een pros ton theon, kal Theos een ho logos.”

“In beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and a god was the Word.”

 

We can see here that there is a major difference between the two words that are both translated ‘God’ in the KJV. The first is ‘ton theon’, meaning (THE) GOD, or (absolute) God. The definite article (ton) preceding ‘theon’, a form of the word ‘Theos’, unquestionably indicates our God, the Father Himself. The second word that many versions here translate ‘God’ is ‘Theos’, which often means GOD, especially when accompanied by the definite article, in this case it would be ‘ho‘. WITHOUT the definite article, AS IT OCCURS HERE, it SOMETIMES means God, and SOMETIMES IT IS QUALITATIVE, MEANING ‘DIVINE’, ‘LIKE GOD’, ‘A GOD‘. Greek is a very exact language, and the rule for understanding what this word means in this case IS DETERMINED BY THE CONTEXT. Because the context HAD JUST STATED THAT “THE LOGOS WAS WITH THE GOD”, THE CONTEXT HERE CLEARLY DEMANDS THAT THE LOGOS CANNOT ‘BE’ THE SAME GOD WHOM THE LOGOS WAS ‘WITH’. COMPOUNDING THE CERTAINTY IS THE CLEAR CONTEXT OF THE ENTIRETY OF SCRIPTURE THAT CONSISTENTLY TEACHES THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE ABSOLUTE GOD, THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

 

Kenneth Wuest, former Professor Emeritus of New Testament Greek at Moody Bible Institute demonstrates throughout his writings how the use of the definite article, before the noun, or the lack thereof, is a regular distinguishing feature of the very specific nature of the Greek language. In ’Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, Volume I’, on the first page he wrote (technically pg. 11) detailing the beginning of the gospel of Mark, "The word ’Son’ is without the article in the Greek text. Emphasis is therefore upon character or nature.

 

Two pages later he wrote, “'The voice'; no definite article in the Greek text. (John) The Baptist was not the only mouthpiece of God sent to Israel. John only claimed to be ’ a voice’, not  ’the voice'.  Then on the next page he wrote, “ The word ‘Lord’ is without the article, the emphasis being upon character or quality .“ Throughout all three volumes he continuously makes these kind of distinctions. On pg. 63 of volume two, he writes concerning Phil. 2:6, where it says that the Logos subsisted in the form of God: “The word 'God' here is without the definite article in the Greek text, and therefore refers to the divine essence...our Lord, as toHis nature is the possessor of the divine essence of Deity...” On the next page he writes, concerning the same verse where it says that the Logos did not consider equality with God something to be grasped: “ The word 'God' is used again without the article. Had the article preceded it, the meaning would be 'equal with God (the Father).'” So again he admits that no definite article proves that it doesn’t literally mean “God”.

 

You can do a little word study and prove how this works to yourself, and also discover an interesting example of the deceptiveness of the Trinitarian slant in many Bibles, concordances, and study guides in the process. You can purchase ’The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English’, by Alfred Marshall in most Christian bookstores pretty cheap, and this one revelation, in my opinion, is worth the purchase price. On pg. 265 it quotes John 1:1 as saying that in the beginning the Word was with "τὸν θεόν” (“THE GOD“), and that the Word was "θεὸς" (although according to the context the exact translation should be “divine”, or the equivalent, they here translate “Theos”, without the definite article, into English as “GOD“). Now you can look up 2 Thessalonians 2:4 on pg. 609 where they translate the exact same word, used exactly as it is in John 1:1, "θεὸς", without the definite article, as “a god”. Theos, without the definite article is also translated as “a god” in Acts 12:22 and 28:6. Why then do they translate it “God” in John 1:1 when it makes absolutely no sense that the Logos was with God and also was the God he was with?

 

It is therefore a sure certainty that the word ‘Theos’ in this instance IS INDEFINITE AND QUALITATIVE, that it DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE LOGOS WAS DEFINITE GOD, but is DESCRIBING THE GOD GIVEN DIVINE NATURE AND QUALITIES OF the Logos. This would demand that it must be properly translated as some Bibles bravely render it, in spite of he great risk of public and ecclesiastical rejection of the translation: “...the Logos was with God, THE LOGOS WAS DIVINE” (“brilliant Scottish scholar” {15} James Moffatt’s ‘The New Testament’). And, "THE WORD WAS DIVINE” (The New Testament: An American Translation).

 

The following is possibly the most clear and accurate translation that I have found, which I think may give the best equivalent definition of ‘Theos’ in this context without the definite article (and it means the same as ‘divine’, ‘like God’, ‘a God’), and some modern experts of New Testament Greek agree: “...WHAT GOD WAS, THE WORD WAS” (NEB). Again I remind, when the accuracy of the years of work involved in translating these complete Bibles can lose credibility based upon one rendition of a hotly controversial verse like this one, extreme certainty must have been assured before going against the crowd on such a sacrosanct issue. It should be easy to see why other translations chose to safely agree with the majority rather than face such a risk. The modern NEB is no longer in print. I insert this next explanation that my wife Stephanie found on the internet,  several years after I wrote this work, because it is so clear. I have added to the article, which we found at greeklatinaudio.com Austin TX June 2000.  

 

Chapter 65) Does John 1:1 Indicate that God and Christ (the Logos) are one and the same?

 

Satisfactorily resolving this question requires that one have a clear understanding of THREE basic, simple, yet rarely-understood, concepts relating to the exercise of language translation in general; and Greek-to-English translation in specific. These are:

 

Concept A: The comparative use of DEFINITE and INDEFINITE articles in translation from Greek to English.

 

Concept B: The necessity of varying degrees of "LITERALNESS" in language translation in general, such that aesthetics may be maintained without compromising accuracy.

 

Concept C:The subtle treatment which language accords to common titles of intimacy, and how this must be handled in translation from Greek to English.

 

These three concepts and how they relate to one another (and to a proper understanding of John 1:1) will be explained fully in this narrative. To this end, and...to keep issues clear and manageable for the reader... this narrative is presented in 5 progressively-developed segments below, with each segment providing a clear and solid foundation for its successor segment - with the end result being coherent and easily-understood presentation of the question at hand. Although the language translation concepts presented here are applicable in many language translation contexts, they are discussed here specifically in the context of translation from Greek to English. There will be short illustrative passages of Greek presented here. However, this need NO cause any concern, because these passages are fully translated and clarified such that, even those who know no Greek will have no problems following the concepts presented... Thus, one need NOT be a scholar, a linguist, a Greek grammarian, etc., to follow along. It is absolutely unreasonable to think that God would impose such requirements on anyone who is seeking to get to the truth of the matter under consideration here. (Matthew 18:1-6)

 

Furthermore, inasmuch as God undertook very personal and painful measures to open the way to accurate knowledge concerning himself and his son Jesus Christ, (John 17:3) one may safely presume that such knowledge is fully intended to be attainable and clearly understandable. The 5 progressively developed segments comprising this commentary are summarized as follows:

 

Segment 1: A clarification of the question introducing this commentary, and WHY the question is even asked: Does John 1:1 indicate that God and Christ (the Logos) are one-and-the-same?

Segment 2: A discussion of Concept A: The comparative use of DEFINITE and INDEFINITE articles in translation from Greek to English.

Segment 3: A discussion of Concept B: The necessity of varying degrees of "LITERALNESS" in language translation in general, such that aesthetics may be maintained without compromising accuracy.

Segment 4: A discussion of Concept C: The subtle treatment which language accords to common titles of intimacy, and how this must be handled in translation from Greek to English.

Segment 5: Review and obvious conclusion.

 

SEGMENT 1: A clarification of the question introducing this commentary, and WHY the question is even asked: Does John 1:1 indicate that God and Christ (the Logos) are one-and-the-same? John 1:1 in the original Greek follows: en arch hn o logoV kai o logoV hn proV ton qeon kai qeoV hn o logoV An acceptable variation of the most common English translation of this verse is: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. An acceptable variation of the opposing English translation of this verse is: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was a god

 

The not-so-subtle difference between the above opposing translations is:- The former suggests that Christ (the Logos) is God himself.  The latter suggests that Christ (the Logos) is a god (i.e., NOT God himself, but one like God). Obviously(!) the implications raised by these opposing translations of John 1:1 are enormous.

 

One is, therefore, absolutely justified in asking: "Which one is correct?" And, in actuality, the REAL point of contention here is the little red "a" in the latter translation...DOES IT BELONG THERE? - OR NOT?

The issue raised, of course, has to do with getting to know the very nature of God and his son Jesus Christ. (They are either one-and-the-same...or they are not!) The warning raised by the apostle Paul at 2nd Thessalonians 1:6-8 attaches a mortal tempo to this issue. The remaining 4 segments of this narrative deal with the little red "a" and the propriety or impropriety of its presence in the English translation of John 1:1. (Once this minor logistics problem is solved, everything else falls into place.)

 

SEGMENT 2: A discussion of Concept A: The comparative use of DEFINITE and INDEFINITE articles in translation from Greek to English. [The little red "a" mentioned in the previous segment is known grammatically as an " article "More specifically, it is an indefinite article ." Because the controversy being discussed here cannot be apprehended intelligently without having a clear understanding of articles and their role in English and Greek expression, the following is provided...] Webster's dictionary defines an " article" as "...the words "the" and "a," (or "an ") in English, that are linked to nouns and that typically function in identifying nouns as nouns and in indicating definiteness or indefiniteness of reference." As mentioned here, English has two articles: The DEFINITE article " the ," and the INDEFINITE article " a." (or "an ") These articles are invariable in form, i.e., they always occur as " the," and "a." (or "an ") They do not change. Greek, on the other hand, has only ONE article, the DEFINITE article. This article is quite variable in form, i.e., it changes (or morphs itself) regularly into as many as 30 different variations of itself. REGARDLESS, it is STILL Greek's single DEFINITE article, and in all of its forms, it is translated simply as " the ."

 

Thus, in both English and Greek, the article, as Webster's definition above suggests, simply assigns the notion of grammatical "definiteness" or "indefiniteness" to associated nouns. In the material immediately following, we will examine the difference between HOW English and Greek use their respective articles to assign the notion of grammatical " definiteness " or " indefiniteness " to associated nouns.

 

English first...Notice the subtle shades of meaning generated by use of these articles in the sentences below as they express grammatical "definiteness" and "indefiniteness" with regard to the man

and the woman being discussed... AND, to provide a beneficially meaningful dimension to these sentences, imagine that you are in a park in an unfamiliar locale, and you encounter two tourists whom you do not know. One of the tourists is telling the other about an event he witnessed at a picturesque gazebo in the park. With this in mind, imagine that the tourist who witnessed this event tells 4 different one-sentence versions of what he saw...as follows:

 

"A man married a woman."

 

Notice what is implied by the indefinite article preceding both man and woman in this sentence: Neither tourist knows the man or the woman. That is, they are indefinite entities. All we know about them is that they are human and of opposite gender.

 

"The man married a woman."

 

Now notice what is implied by the definite article preceding man and the indefinite article preceding woman in this sentence: Both tourists know the man. They don't necessarily know him well, but they know who he is, e.g., the man in the room down the hall at their hotel. Thus, the mam becomes a definite entity. He has a prior contextual place in the minds of the tourists. They recognize him! On the other hand, neither tourist

knows the woman. She is still an indefinite entity.

 

"A man married the woman."

 

In this example, we have the exact opposite of the previous example: Neither tourist knows the man. HE is now the indefinite entity...and now both tourists know the woman. SHE is the definite entity. She has a prior

contextual place in the minds of the tourists. They recognize her! (e.g., from the hotel, etc...)

 

"The man married the woman."

 

And finally, notice what is implied by the definite article preceding both man and woman in this sentence: Both tourists know the man and woman. Both are now definite entities with a prior contextual place in the minds of the tourists. The tourists recognize them! (e.g., from the hotel, etc...) Regarding the 4 examples above, there is absolutely nothing foreign or mystical about their meaning. They simply illustrate HOW the English language uses its definite and articles to express notions of "definiteness" and "indefiniteness."

 

Now, Greek... In the Greek language, however, there is a different variation on this theme: As stated above, Greek has only the definite article. IT DOES NOT HAVE THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE! Therefore, although Greek can use the same grammatical mechanism as English to express definiteness, it MUST obviously (!) use a DIFFERENT grammatical mechanism to express indefiniteness. This will be clearly illustrated in the following examples. These examples will take advantage of the park wedding scenario given above. However, we will experience it from the Greek perspective, via the accompanying word-for-word LITERAL English translations. Note that, because we are thinking in Greek, ALL of the articles here are DEFINITE articles - and theu will be high-lighted in blue so that their comparative use may be immediately evident. AGAIN, remember that, because Greek DOES NOT HAVE AN INDEFINITE ARTICLE, its grammatical mechanism for expressing the notion of "indefiniteness" will be seen here to be DIFFERENT from English. ALSO, BEAR IN MIND THAT THE GREEK SENTENCES WHICH FOLLOW ARE PROPER GREEK. DO NOT be put off by their seeming "incompleteness." If you are not used to thinking in Greek, then that is the way they will sound...incomplete! This is perfectly normal. Simply keep in mind that you are experiencing proper Greek thought via word-for-word literal English translation. WITH THIS IN MIND... We will repeat the park wedding scenario above - thinking in Greek this time! It will be seen that we come to exactly the same conclusions about the man and the woman as we did in the previous English scenario. The conceptual pattern is the same - only the grammatical mechanism is different. It is Greek.

 

anqrwpoV egamhse gunaika

man married woman

 

Notice what is implied to a Greek speaker by the LACK OF Greek definite articles preceding anqrwpoV and gunaika: Neither tourist knows the man or the woman. That is, they are indefinite entities. All we know about

them is that they are human and of opposite gender.

 

o anqrwpoV egamhse gunaika

the man married woman

 

Now, notice what is implied to a Greek speaker by the Greek definite article preceding anqrwpoV and the LACK OF the Greek definite article preceding gunaik: Both tourists know the man. They don't necessarily know him well, but they know who he is, e.g., the man in the room down the hall at their hotel. Thus, the man becomes a definite entity. He has a prior contextual place in the minds of the tourists. They recognize him! On the other hand, neither tourist knows the woman. She is still an indefinite entity.

 

anqrwpoV egamhse thn gunaika

man married the woman

 

In this example, we have the exact opposite of the previous example: Neither tourist knows the man. HE is now the indefinite entity...and now both tourists know the woman. SHE is the definite entity. She has a prior

contextual place in the minds of the tourists. They recognize her! (e.g., from the hotel, etc...)

 

o anqrwpoV egamhse thn gunaika

the man married the woman

 

And finally, notice what is implied by the Greek definite articles preceding anqrwpoV and gunaika in this sentence: Both tourists know the man and woman. Both are now definite entities with a prior contextual place in the minds of the tourists. The tourists recognize them! (e.g., from the hotel, etc...) At this point the reader should see clearly that, inasmuch as Greek does NOT have an INDEFINITE article, it nevertheless perfectly expresses the notion of "indefiniteness" by simply NOT using its DEFINITE article! This mechanism is very typical of Greek in its elegant efficiency of expression. However, as seen in our examples above, this peculiarity of Greek, if conveyed literally in English translation, presents aesthetic problems to English speakers. This is simply because English utilizes a different grammatical mechanism for expressing "indefiniteness," and the failure to employ that mechanism in translation to English (i.e., by NOT using the English indefinite article where necessary) is quickly "sensed" by the English speaker, such that he feels something is "incomplete." There is an aesthetic glitch which must necessarily be fixed by the translator before his job is done. This necessary fix is discussed in the next segment.

 

SEGMENT 3: A discussion of Concept B:

 

The necessity of varying degrees of "LITERALNESS" in language translation in general, such that aesthetics may be maintained without compromising accuracy. Given the park wedding scenario illustrated in the previous segment, we saw that, as it pertains to "indefinite" expressions, conveying LITERAL Greek thought in English leaves a bit to be desired. With this in mind, it is important to understand that, in general, NO word-for-word literal

translation of thought from one language to another will do aesthetic justice to the source language (e.g., Greek) when conveyed thus in the target language. (e.g., English) Therefore,

the concept of "literalness" with regard to language translation must be understood as a relative concept.

 

In view of this, it should be clear that, even the best "literal" English translation of the Bible is only relatively literal. If it were word-for-word literal, then its English would sound strange and "incomplete" to the English reader, as was the case in our Greek park wedding scenario above. To avoid this, translators must ROUTINELY exercise their considerable expertise to balance literalness with aesthetics by the application of a connective linguistic "glue"... This linguistic "glue" is quite simply the addition of "connective" language to (or the omission of "disconnective" language from) a base literal translation such that, the result is a relatively literal translation which conveys full aesthetic soundness to the target language speaker, WITHOUT compromising accuracy. This application of linguistic "glue" is a very serious matter in the realm of language translation. And it occurs in many varied and complex circumstances. In this commentary, however, we are discussing ONLY its application to the problem of transferring correct notions of definiteness and indefiniteness from Greek thought to English thought - via the proper use of articles. To see examples of this, we will recall the park wedding scenario above with its Greek expressions and their literal English translations. All articles, as previously, will still be highlighted in blue . In addition, however, we will now include a 2nd English translation for each Greek expression. This 2nd translation will illustrate the use of the linguistic "glue" necessary to make the 1st translation (the word-for-word literal translation) sound correct to the English speaker. You will notice that the "glue" in this case is simply the application of the indefinite article (the little red " a ") where appropriate...

 

anqrwpoV egamhse gunaika

man married woman

 

a man married a woman

 

o anqrwpoV egamhse gunaika

the man married woman

 

the man married a woman

 

anqrwpoV egamhse thn gunaika

man married the woman

 

a man married the woman

 

o anqrwpoV egamhse thn gunaika

the man married the woman

 

the man married the woman

 

(no change necessary) Notice that in the 2nd translation for each Greek expression above, (except the last) English indefinite articles (i.e., little red "a"s) were added to provide the linguistic "glue" which gives

proper sound and feeling to the English translation. NOTE that these English indefinite articles were added by the translator, EVEN THOUGH NO SUCH ARTICLES EXIST IN THE GREEK EQUIVALENT. Remember! Greek has no such (indefinite) articles. This translational practice is perfectly acceptable, ROUTINE, and indeed necessary, if the translation is to convey correct thought in correct English. As a matter of fact, bearing the above concept in mind, it should be clear to the reader that EVERY TIME HE SEES THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE IN THE ENGLISH NEW TESTAMENT, he is seeing an application of the above-mentioned linguistic "glue!" (i.e., the little red " a ") added by the translator!

 

Now, as a formative conceptual exercise, please open your English Bible and browse randomly through the New Testament and contemplate the number of times you encounter the indefinite article. (i.e., the little red " a ") And REMEMBER! That little "a" has NO literal equivalent in the Greek language! It is necessary linguistic "glue" added by the translator to help convey Greek thought in palatable English without compromising translational accuracy.

 

Thus, the little red "a" has an honored, necessary, and abundant place in the process. HOWEVER! The translator's job is still not complete! We must now consider a sterling rule of conduct in language translation which has critical applicability to our discussion: This sterling rule of conduct states, in essence, that aesthetics MUST take a back seat to accuracy of meaning IF accuracy of meaning is critical...ESPECIALLY if it affects

doctrinal understanding!

 

With this rule of conduct in mind, and applying what we have learned thus far, we will again recall JOHN 1:1 in Greek and this time provide the word-for-word literal translation in English.

We will also apply the color scheme introduced earlier to modify our optic of the language of JOHN 1:1. (At the moment, we will be looking at this verse from the Greek perspective. So REMEMBER: Greek has only the DEFINITE article! There is no indefinite article. Therefore, our color scheme (as above) will high-light the definite article in blue .) John 1:1 in the original Greek:

 

en arch hn o logoV kai o logoV hn proV ton qeon

 

kai qeoV hn o logoV

 

...Note that, because we are dealing with actual Greek along with a word-for-word literal English translation to express the equivalent Greek thought, the only articles we see high-lighted are DEFINITE articles. AND, we notice immediately that, because we are experiencing literal Greek thought here, we see (from an English perspective) at least two aesthetic irregularities which will require fixing with our linguistic "glue:"

 

The 1st irregularity: "in beginning" sounds a little strange to an English speaker. The 2nd irregularity: "with the god" also sounds a little strange to an English speaker. The translator must, therefore, apply his linguistic "glue" to these two irregularities such that they may sound aesthetically proper to the English speaker. AND he must bear in mind his sterling rule of conduct as well: Accuracy of critical meaning must NOT be compromised... So what did the Apostle John mean when he said " en arch?" (that is, "in beginning ") He was thinking in Greek, therefore he was thinking of an indefinite "beginning" because he did NOT use the Greek definite article here. Based on what we learned earlier, the translator must, therefore, put the little red "a" before "beginning." to convey accurately what John (thinking in Greek!) meant, e.g., " in a beginning." But that STILL sounds strange to an English speaker! However, if the translator puts the DEFINITE article "the" before "beginning," then it sounds correct. (e.g., "in the beginning ") But this is NOT what John said or meant!

 

So... If the translator leaves the "the" there for aesthetic purposes, will it compromise critical meaning? Surprisingly enough, NOT REALLY! This is because the difference in meaning can be shifted semantically in English to mean what John said anyway. Thus, even though a very subtle difference in meaning is conveyed now to an English speaker, (a meaning which John did not really intend) it is, nevertheless, aesthetically sound, AND the difference in meaning is not really critical - it can be compensated for semantically. Therefore, the translator may apply his "glue" here (depicted in red) and we end up with a satisfactory phrase in English: " in the beginning NOW, what about the 2nd irregularity?: "with the god" which also sounds a little strange to an English speaker. What did John (thinking in Greek) mean by "with the god?" He used the Greek Definite article. Therefore, he meant his God, the one and only God Almighty. (In the NEW TESTAMENT, this Greek construction ("god" preceded by the Greek definite article) ALWAYS means the one and only God Almighty.) However, it sounds strange to the English speaker!

 

English speakers with a Christian background ROUTINELY refer to the one and only God almighty as simply "God!" There is no need for the definite article here to convey to the English speaker what John (thinking in Greek) meant... Therefore, the translator may again apply his "glue:" "with * god." (The red asterisk here simply reminds us, for the sake of this discussion, that "glue" was applied, by virtue of the omission of a definite article.)

At this point, we have satisfactorily dealt with the two irregularities mentioned above, and the resulting English translation, with linguistic glue in place, now appears as follows: in the beginning was the word and the word was with * god and god was the word.

 

It was demonstrated in the previous SEGMENT that English speakers ROUTINELY refer to God Almighty as simply "God" (without a definite article) and, in so doing, leave no ambiguity as to WHO is meant. This peculiar mode of address in English is at the crux of the controversy swirling around John 1:1. (And English is certainly not the only language which evokes this controversy!) To appreciate the subtle translational disaster which this causes with regard to understanding John 1:1 properly, we must carefully contrast the way that English treats the following three forms of nouns when assigning notions of "definiteness" or "indefiniteness" to them via articles...(or the LACK of articles):

 

These three forms of nouns are: Titles, common nouns and proper names.  Let's be clear on what these are:

 

TITLES are special nouns which convey a categorical or functional notion to the subjects which they "tag." For example, the following are TITLES. Notice how these titles clearly convey category or function to those who might be "tagged" by them...e.g., Mayor Smith. (Mr. Smith is "tagged" with the title of mayor. (We know his category (of office) or function by virtue of his TITLE. The same applies to the other TITLES in this list.) mayor policeman father mother teacher professor god.

 

COMMON NOUNS are nouns which are slightly more generic than TITLES. We need only understand here that there is considerable conceptual overlap between these two types of nouns, (e.g., all of the above are common nouns as well as titles...) Some examples of other common nouns are: dog cat boy ball cab.

 

PROPER NAMES are nouns which uniquely "tag" their subjects as identifiable in a crowd of like nouns of the same category or function. For example, Mike Canada Paris Mary Texas.

 

Now notice carefully in the following sentences how differently English treats some of the nouns taken from the above lists - particularly, with regard to assigning notions of "definiteness" and "indefiniteness" to them via articles...(or the LACK of articles) The dog bit mayor. The dog bit policeman. The dog bit cat. The dog bit mother. The dog bit father. The dog bit Stephanie. The dog bit Mike.

 

Notice that, in English, the 1st three victims of the dog require either a indefinit or a definite article before them in order to meet English aesthetic standards, e.g., The dog bit (a/the) mayor. The dog bit (a/the) policeman. The dog bit (a/the) cat. Contrastingly, however, the last four victims of the dog require no such "articular" intervention to meet English aesthetic standards! (Note particularly, that one of these victims is God.)

 

WHY do these nouns not need an article?! Theories and variations of theories abound on matters such as this. The bottom line, however, is that such nouns or titles DON'T NEED ARTICLES IN ENGLISH - or in many other languages. This undoubtedly has to do with the implied intimate linguistic contexts in which such titles have been developed over thousands of years of language evolution...such that, they have acquired the near status of PROPER NAMES, (WHICH ALSO DON'T NEED ARTICLES IN ENGLISH) e.g., TOM, MARY, PARIS. For the sake of discussion, we may simply refer to such titles as titles of intimacy.

 

Now note another subtle peculiarity regarding such titles of intimacy: As stated, they DON'T need articles to be aesthetically correct in the contexts which we have discussed above. HOWEVER, THEY MAY FREELY TAKE ON ARTICLES AT ANY TIME AND NOT SUFFER ANY LOSS OF AESTHETIC CORRECTNESS IN SUCH CONTEXTS! In so doing, however, they lose a degree of intimacy. AND, their MEANING in context is definitely altered. For example... The dog bit Mother. (The speaker's mother is implied here: quite intimate! Notice that no article is used.) The dog bit a mother. (...as opposed to a policeman. (How rude and unfeeling!) The speaker's mother is NOT implied here: less intimate. Notice that an indefinite article ("a") is used.) The dog bit the mother. (...as opposed to her child. The speaker's mother is NOT implied here either, however, there is slightly more specificity of meaning. This example too, is less intimate than the 1st example. Notice that a definite article ("the") is used.)

 

DO WE APPRECIATE THE FULL IMPACT OF WHAT HAS JUST BEEN DEMONSTRATED HERE?... particularly with regard to the 1st example using "god"? The original Greek of John 1:1 has commonly been translated to suggest that God and Jesus Christ (the Word) are one-and-the-same, e.g., In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Contrastingly, this verse has far less commonly been translated to suggest that God and Jesus Christ (the Word) are distinct and separate beings - that the Word is "a god," or a godlike (or divine) one, e.g., In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. The very valid question is then posed: Which of these translations is correct? Or, more succinctly: Does the little red "a" belong there or not? Because the critter in question (the little red "a") is an indefinite article, a discussion of theconcept of the comparative use of DEFINITE and INDEFINITE articles in Greek and English was presented.We learned that, although English has BOTH a definite and an indefinite article, Greek has ONLY a definite article. Therefore, the mechanisms which both languages use to convey the notion of indefiniteness MUST, of necessity, be functionally different. This difference was clearly demonstrated via the use of literal Greek to English phrase translations in which it was illustrated that when Greek omits its single definite article with respect to a related noun, it (Greek) is indicating that noun's INDEFINITENESS.

 

We learned that these nouns in literal translation necessarily cause aesthetic irregularities which must be fixed by the translator via the judicious and honest application of "linguistic glue" in English...AND that this must be done WITHOUT compromising meaning. And finally, we learned that this is true particularly with regard to titles of intimacy (such asbgod) which, if NOT tagged properly with the English INDEFINITE article, can freely bounce back and forth between Greek and English, switching their noun status from indefinite to definite, WITHOUT even being noticed, while at the same time significantly altering intended meaning. However, if the translator does his duty and "catches" this quick "in-transit costumechange" by applying the little red "a" like he's supposed to, then the apostle John's intended meaning at John 1:1 is accurately conveyed to the English reader, i.e., THAT JESUS CHRIST IS A GOD-LIKE ENTITY DISTINCT FROM GOD HIMSELF: HE IS LIKE GOD IN CHARACTER AND NATURE AND QUALITY. As such, his role as God's son takes on a completely different and far more sensible meaning than that commonly presented in "acceptable" Christian theology: He becomes, quite simply, God's son, WITHOUT all the usual mystic doctrinal accoutrements…” The Bible says, “Yahweh is …a great King above all Gods“(Ps.95:3).

 

Chapter 66) MORE ABOUT THE LOGOS

 

As further witness on this issue, I introduce Origen, although I am not commending all he taught, because I do not agree with all of his teachings about the Lord. According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia: “Origen (ca. 182ca. 251) was a Christian scholar and theologian and one of the most distinguished of the Fathers of the early Christian Church… His writings are important as one of the first serious intellectual attempts to describe Christianity“. Now I don’t believe any teacher after Christ is infallible (although Paul was most probably as close as one gets), and I repeat that I do not intimate that everything Origen taught was true, but Origen was a true Christian scholar. He devoted himself to the study of the Scriptures, to preaching, teaching and writing, with such seriousness that he castrated himself for the Lord Jesus. He learned who Jesus was from the Scriptures as one who studied the Greek and Hebrew, and he also learned from elders who were some of the first disciples of Christ. I believe that some of his beliefs about God and Jesus were not completely accurate. However, Origen recognized and taught that the Bible proves there are Gods who have God as their God. In his books, ‘Commentary on John’, Book 1 and Book 2, Origen wrote about just how Jesus is God in this way, by participation in (the) God’s divinity, and yet that He isn’t to be called “simply God“, period, as if He were very God. He is God, without the article, meaning He is divine, like God, but not literally the God, not absolute God.

 

Origen wrote: "There are some gods of whom God is god, as we hear in prophecy, "Thank ye the God of gods," and "The God of gods hath spoken, and called the earth." Now God, according to the Gospel, "is not the God of the dead but of the living." Those gods, then, are living, of whom God is god. The Apostle, too, writing to the Corinthians, says: "As there are gods many and lords many," and so we have spoken of these gods as really existing. Now there are, besides the gods of whom God is god, certain others, who are called thrones, and others called dominions, lordships, also, and powers in addition to these." (Book 1) Origen also wrote the following about how the Bible teaches that there is one literal God, and other Gods of whom Christ is preeminent. Notice he understood that the lack of the Greek definite article in John 1:1 demonstrates that the Logos is not literally “God with the article“, but is “God without the article” by essence of His sharing in God’s divine nature. He wrote: “IN WHAT WAY THE LOGOS IS GOD. ERRORS TO BE AVOIDED ON THIS QUESTION:

 

We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He does not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article, and in some he omits it. He adds the article to the Logos, but to the name of God he adds it sometimes only. He uses the article, when the name of God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when the Logos is named God. Does the same difference which we observe between God with the article and God without it prevail also between the Logos with it and without it? We must enquire into this. As the God who is over all is God with the article not without it, so "the Logos" is the source of that reason (Logos) which dwells in every reasonable creature; the reason which is in each creature is not, like the former called par excellence The Logos. Now there are many who are sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods, and their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked. Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own besides that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God all but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence fall outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each other. To such persons we have to say that God on the one hand is Very God (AutoTheos, God of Himself); and so the Savior says in His prayer to the Father, "That they may know Thee the only true God;" but that all beyond the Very God is made God by participation in His divinity, and is not to be called simply God (with the article), but rather God (without article). And thus the first-born of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and to attract to Himself divinity, is a being of more exalted rank than the other gods beside Him, of whom God is the God, as it is written, "The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth." It was by the offices of the firstborn that they became gods, for He drew from God in generous measure that they should be made gods, and He communicated it to them according to His own bounty.

 

The true God, then, is "The God," and those who are formed after Him are gods, images, as it were, of Him the prototype. But the archetypal image, again, of all these images is the Word of God, who was in the beginning, and who by being with God is at all times God, not possessing that of Himself, but by His being with the Father, and not continuing to be God, if we should think of this, except by remaining always in uninterrupted contemplation of the depths of the Father." (Book 2)

 

It is worth re-reading the last paragraph from Origen to gain a truly biblical understanding of this issue from one of the early Christian fathers. In the above paragraph we can see how Christ is divine but not absolute deity of Himself, as God is. Origen also taught that God the Father was stronger and greater than the Logos, and that the Father is the only being who has not been created. He wrote: “And the Apostle Paul says in the Epistle to the Hebrews: "At the end of the days He spoke to us in His Son, whom He made the heir of all things, 'through whom' also He made the ages," showing us that God made the ages through His Son, the" through whom" belonging, when the ages were being made, to the Only-begotten. Thus, if all things were made, as in this passage also, through the Logos, then they were not made by the Logos, but by a stronger and greater than He. And who else could this be but the Father? Now if, as we have seen, all things were made through Him, we have to enquire if the Holy Spirit also was made through Him. It appears to me that those who hold the Holy Spirit to be created, and who also admit that "all things were made through Him," must necessarily assume that the Holy Spirit was made through the Logos, the Logos accordingly being older than He. And he who shrinks from allowing the Holy Spirit to have been made through Christ must, if he admits the truth of the statements of this Gospel, assume the Spirit to be uncreated.

 

There is a third resource besides these two (that of allowing the Spirit to have been made by the Word, and that of regarding it as uncreated), namely, to assert that the Holy Spirit has no essence of His own beyond the Father and the Son. But on further thought one may perhaps see reason to consider that the Son is second beside the Father, He being the same as the Father, while manifestly a distinction is drawn between the Spirit and the Son in the passage, "Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him, but whosoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, he shall not have forgiveness, either in this world or in the world to come." We consider, therefore, that there are three hypostases, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and at the same time we believe nothing to be uncreated but the Father. We therefore, as the more pious and the truer course, admit that all things were made by the Logos, and that the Holy Spirit is the most excellent and the first in order of all that was made by the Father through Christ.” (Book 2)

 

On this issue, Josh McDowell and Bart Larson serve as the ultimate hostile witnesses, from information in their book, ‘JESUS - A Biblical Defense of His Deity'. In their book they teach that Jesus is literally Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament Himself {16} and God the Son, the second member of the ‘Trinity’. On page 29 of their book, they quote Bruce M. Metzger relating a study of the Greek definite article done by Dr. Ernest Cadman Colwell, himself trying to prove that Jesus is literally God. This Trinitarian Greek expert honestly admits, as the inadvertent ‘hostile’ witness to prove my point, the undeniable truth for any honest Greek scholar concerning the proper interpretation of the word ‘Theos’ when it lacks the definite article, as in John 1:1. He states, “A definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb... The opening verse of John’s Gospel contains one of the many passages where this rule suggests the translation of a predicate as a definite noun. The absence of the article (before Theos) does not make the predicate indefinite or qualitative when it precedes the verb; it is indefinite in this position only when the context demands it. The context makes no such demand in the Gospel of John, for this statement cannot be regarded as strange in the prologue of the gospel which reaches its climax in the confession of Thomas." {17} He refers to the very easily misunderstood statement that Thomas made, “‘My Lord’, and ‘My God”’, to try to prove his assertion that the context of the Gospel of John does not demand that ‘Theos’ be here rendered indefinitely (‘Theos’ here lacking the definite article and meaning ’like God’, as opposed to being ’The God’) and qualitatively (‘Theos’ here lacking the definite article and therefore denoting character or nature, not literally being God). Why would he choose one verse at the end of the book to determine context, unless the immediate context proved him to be wrong. The very meaning of the word ‘context’, especially in the application of translating Holy Scripture, is most specifically concerning the immediate context first. After the immediate context has been recognized in the full weight of its implications, then (since it deals with Holy Scripture, which follows a divinely inspired continuity) the broader context at large should be considered and factored in accordingly. How can an intelligent Christian scholar with a view of the sacred duty to be accurate, translate this Scripture “...the Word was WITH GOD AND the Word WAS GOD”, and then say that “...this statement cannot be regarded as strange...” It doesn’t take a scholarly intelligence to notice that the immediate context screams that the common rendering is “strange” and errant, for the Word cannot be with (The) God AND BE (The) God AT THE SAME TIME! This Greek scholar, while trying to prove the opposite conclusion, goes on to admit that the set rule for Greek grammar dictates that when the word ‘Theos’ is used without the definite article, it should be translated as indefinite and qualitative “only when the context demands it”.

 

This agreed rule of grammar, along with the obvious conflict of the common rendering of this verse against its context (and against reason, logic and Scripture), proves that the popular rendering warrants re-evaluation with extra careful scrutiny. The conventional translation of this verse is at the very least highly suspect. Therefore according to my assertions throughout this work, and especially the immediate context of John 1:1, I declare my certainty of belief that the context proves the NEB and the other versions I have cited are much more correct in their translations of this verse. I propose that with the help of the Holy Spirit you too study and determine what you believe the context dictates in this case. Throughout John the Father Himself is proved to be the only God. I introduce more evidence from another inadvertent ‘hostile’ witness. Josh McDowell and Bart Larson themselves have inevitably consulted enough scholars in one way or another to have actually determined the consensus concerning the proper translation of this verse. Although they had just argued that this verse should be translated, “...and the Word was God” {18} , they afterward amazingly admit the correction to the contrary, though not noticeably to the casual observer. Then afterwards they seem to have ‘adopted’ the accurate rendition,

grafting it into their original assertions, as if it were synonymous with their contentions! They wrote, “The construction (of Jn.1:1) has been discussed by many of the world’s great Greek and biblical scholars. We might paraphrase the verse something like this: Before anything came into existence, the Word was already in existence. He enjoyed a close relationship to God, and what God was, the Word was.”’!! {19} THEY ADMIT THAT THE GREEK REALLY SAYS, ...AND WHAT GOD WAS, THE WORD WAS”. So JOSH AND BART, in the end, AND at least some apparently highly credible GREEK SCHOLARS, AGREE WITH THE NEB AND EXACTLY WHAT I AM SAYING THIS VERSE REALLY MEANS. Scripture says that Jesus is the image and exact representation of God's invisible person, His Son who shared His glory before the world existed. But that is much different from being literally God. In fact, if Jesus were God, then God would be His own Son, His own image, His own Word, His own representation, His own High Priest, His own Witness and Servant, and at His own right hand, to name just a few absolute inconsistencies.

 

Now I submit for your consideration testimony from another inadvertent hostile witness. Roger L. Fredrikson, in “The Preacher’s Commentary” on the Gospel of John, who although he states that the Logos was very God, also agrees with several of my main points concerning this passage. He states, “’And the Word was God.’ Here is the climactic statement in John’s speaking of the Word and God. All that can be said about God can be said about the Word. That Word partakes of the innermost being of God. It is only the One ‘who is in the bosom of the Father’ who can declare Him.” {20} He is admitting that this verse should be translated, “And what God was, the Word was.” By adding the all inclusive word, “all”, he technically disqualifies his statement from complete accuracy, however, for not all that can be said about God can be said about Jesus. To name a few to prove the point, it cannot be said that Jesus sent His only begotten Son to be the Savior of the world, nor that no man has seen Jesus at any time, nor that Jesus could not be tempted by evil, nor that Jesus was immortal, for He died. (Of course He will never die again, He is now immortal like God, and so shall we be).

 

Then Mr. Fredrikson demonstrates some scriptural integrity by boldly declaring the contradictory truth, even though he had just said that Jesus was very God. On the next page in this same book he states, “Yet the Word is not identical to God. The Greek grammatical construction of this phrase underlines this. Ordinarily the definite article ho is used before Theos, God. Had John done so here, he would have been saying the Word is identical with God. But he says the Word was Theos, with no definite article. Thus the noun, God, almost becomes an adjective. So John is saying that the Word was of the very essence, the very character, of God, while not being identical with God.” {21} Now I say, isn’t this shocking! He states that the Word is very God (in the very sentence before this quote) and then he states that the Word is not identical to God. How can Mike Mayo be human and not be identical to human? How can my wife be Stephanie but not be identical to Stephanie? But thank God for another ‘hostile’ witness who apparently knows enough about koine Greek to admit the truth, even though I don’t believe he follows the truth in this matter through to it’s inevitable conclusion. He admits that the Greek grammar dictates that Theos here in John 1:1 describes the essence and character of the Word being like God. Yet he restrains himself from speaking the obvious as fact by saying that the word ’Theos’ without the article “ALMOST becomes an adjective“. I say there is no “almost” about it, and that he unwillingly admits this truth overall to anyone who will notice. “Theos” used in this way, especially since the context demands it, is not a noun literally meaning ‘God‘, but an adjective describing the Word as being like God, which is what the Logos was.

 

Chapter 67) IF THE WORD (LOGOS) IS “NOT BEING IDENTICAL WITH GOD”, THEN HOW CAN THE WORD LITERALLY BE GOD?

 

In their same book, Josh and Bart discuss the incident recorded in John chapter 10 that I have already addressed, where Jesus reminds the Jews that men were called “Gods” in Scripture, so why can’t He claim the truth about being God’s Son? Josh and Bart are intelligent enough to know that Jesus’ response seems to prove that He was a man and not literally God. And they say so. This amounts to another admission to the truths I am teaching from the same inadvertent ‘hostile’ witnesses. Please follow carefully, because what Jesus issaying is very clear, and the substitute meaning offered by the authors doesn’t make any sense. I join the story in John 10:30, where Jesus said to the Jews, “‘…I and the Father are one’. Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’ ‘We are not stoning you for any of these’, replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.’ ‘Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming’, because I said, ‘I am the SON OF God’? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.' Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him; and He eluded their grasp." (Jn.10:30-39).

 

Now I again quote Josh and Bart from their same book. They say, “Much of the confusion has to do with Jesus’ use of the word gods (v.34). Was He saying: ‘Other men have been called “gods”. Why cannot I call myself the “Son of God”?’ (thereby indirectly calling Himself a man, not divine)?” {22} . Josh and Bart right here admit that this may seem to be saying what I say is obvious, that Jesus is here proving scripturally that JUST AS OTHER MEN were rightfully called ‘gods’ by God, SO ALSO HE, AS A MAN, can rightfully declare the divinity He shares as the Son of God who is truly one in Spirit with the Father. They admit in parenthesis that if this were the true meaning of this passage, then Jesus IS THEREBY INDIRECTLY CALLING HIMSELF A MAN, NOT DIVINE”.

 

After this acknowledgement they go on trying to prove that this was not the case. I have shown the Bible proves that Jesus is a complete man whose personal identity pre-existed as the divine Logos OF God, in whom the fullness of God’s divinity then and now dwells bodily. I have shown the Bible proves that this man Jesus shares God’s divine nature as being God’s Son who is fully in God and in whom God fully lives, by the unlimited fullness of His Spirit. Jesus had declared His absolute and complete intimate union with God by saying, “I and the Father are one.” The Jews had never understood Jesus as claiming to literally be God, or they would have crushed Him with the obvious truth that most of us cannot even see, and they would have mentioned it over and over, especially at His crucifixion. The Jews had understood His declaration to demand that Jesus was claiming to share God's divine nature, and therefore accused Him of blasphemy. Jesus was answering the accusation that He, a man, was making Himself out to be God. He responded to this specific accusation first by proving scripturally that some men are ‘Gods’ if God says they are, and so why was He blaspheming because He claimed to be the Son of God. He indirectly but clearly acknowledged that He is a man, and He specified that His divinity was as being the SON OF God. The implication is clearly that as such he is ‘God’ to the highest degree possible while still being human, and while not being literally God. And we shall be like Him! Josh and Bart admit that men were called gods, and then they write, “Obviously, they were not literally ‘God’.” {23}

 

Now remember, that same word ‘elohim’ is the exact word that usually means Almighty God’ throughout the whole Old Testament. If Josh and Bart could use this same obvious logic to correct some hypothetical over-strict fundamentalist who might insist that this scripture meant that these men were literally God, why can’t some of us apply the same logic and principles to understand what I have been saying all along? Why can’t more of God’s people see, through this portion of Scripture (or why don’t they want to see?), that Jesus is here proving that He as a man can call Himself the literal Son of God. Remember, the ‘Son of Man’ IS ‘the Son of God’ (Mt.16:13,16). It is the same issue as when God calls His Son ‘God’ in Hebrews 1:8. “Obviously”, He is “not literally ‘God”’, for THE God is mentioned in the very next verse as being this God‘s God! We must not continue to make the mistake of confusing the special uniqueness of “the Lord of Glory” as meaning that He is literally God. Yes, He’s as close as He can be, thank God. And we shall be like Him!

 

Chapter 68) THE SUBTLE AND ELUSIVE ERROR OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE DEITY OF CHRIST

 

I have already noted some of the detriments of this false teaching IN IT‘S MODERN FORM, but there are other very elusive and subtle heresies to this whole false teaching about Christ’s deity that I would like to try to expose while I have the opportunity. I know how wrong that sounds to most of us who have been completely accustomed to regarding the doctrine of the ‘deity of Christ’ with the highest possible validity and sanctity. Many Christians would rather die than to deny the doctrine of the deity of Christ, and rightly so if you don’t yet realize who Jesus really is. Don’t violate your conscience to believe what I am teaching! SEEK GOD! I will not allow the certainty that many will misunderstand, and/or not see the seriousness of this issue, to stop me from pointing it out to the ones who may. Please notice this deadly heresy that many proponents of the Trinitarian version of the ‘deity of Christ’ end up accidentally perpetrating. Put on your thinking cap and reread this next section a couple times if necessary.

 

Notice Josh and Bart wrote concerning Jesus: “Was He saying: ‘Other men have been called “gods”. Why cannot I call myself the ‘Son of God‘ (THEREBY INDIRECTLY CALLING HIMSELF A MAN, NOT DIVINE)?” After admitting that this could seem to be Christ’s admission to being a man, and not God, they then go on to try to prove this false (go back , AND IN DOING SO DIRECTLY DENY THE COMPLETE TOTAL HUMANITY OF JESUS, A FACT THAT MANY CONSIDER IGNOMINIOUS, BUT UPON WHICH FACT OUR VICARIOUS SALVATION IS COMPLETELY DEPENDENT! If your Jesus wasn’t really a man, then you have the wrong Jesus. And if the Jesus you believe in was literally GOD, then He could not have been FULLY and literally man. How could someone become like you in all ways to become your substitute if He were God and not fully man as you are? For the Scripture says, “FOR THIS REASON HE HAD TO be madeE LIKE HIS BROTHERS IN EVERY WAY, IN ORDER THAT HE MIGHT BECOME a merciful and faithful high priest IN SERVICE TO GOD, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people” (Heb.2:17).

 

Let me give you Josh and Bart’s amazingly lame explanation of why they say Jesus was NOT here using this example from Psalms in a way that was “indirectly calling Himself a man, and not divine". They answer this supposed anomaly of WHY HE WOULD USE AN EXAMPLE FROM SCRIPTURE CONCERNING MEN BEING CALLED GODS IF HE WERE NOT RELATING IT TO HIMSELF AS BEING A MAN in the following way. They wrote: “WHY? SEEMINGLY , JESUS WAS ASKING THEM WHY THEY WERE SO UPSET BY THE USE OF THE TERM ‘SON OF GOD’. THEY HAD BEEN EXPOSED TO IT BEFORE (I.E. MEN BEING CALLED GODS IN PSALM 82)." {24} Now I say, while this is part of the truth, why would Jesus classify Himself with men, and identify Himself with these men in this scripture if He were not again distinguishing Himself as a real man, and therefore, contrary to popular modern error, obviously not God? As the scripture says, …“he owed to become like His brothers in every way…” Heb. 2:17. The Jews recognized Jesus’ statements to indicatethat this man Jesus was claiming intimate familial union with GOD, EVEN THOUGH HE WAOBVIOUSLY A MAN, and they were ‘offended’. THIS WHOLE ISSUE CENTERED ON THeEFACT THAT A MAN (in this case Jesus, who is here admitting the obvious - being a man) CAN POSSIBLY BE CALLED 'GOD' SCRIPTURALLY, AND THEREFORE CAN TRULY BE 'GOD' IN ACTUALITY, WHILE OBVIOUSLY NOT BEING GOD LITERALLY!

 

Understand that these are often people who had been truly born again who are writing these things, who are sincere and who think they are doing Jesus a big favor by their teachings. They do not even begin to realize that false teaching from their past, their television watching, lack of prayer, proper Bible study and/or their secret sins are affecting the purity of their teaching. Their deception is compounded because they know that most who ‘attack’ the ‘deity of Christ’ are enemies of Christ and do not do so according to the truth. Josh and Bart elsewhere in their book admit the obvious, that Jesus was a man, because so many clear scriptures compel them to, but yet also deny His full humanity both past and present in several places. For another example, they say, “...Jesus is clearly said in the Bible to have been a man.” {25}

 

Then they give First Timothy 2:5 as one of their examples. The problem is, they only admit to Jesus having “BEEN a man”, and yet this scripture they quote (and other Scriptures) prove that He IS A MAN. Then they actually say, “Jesus was a ‘man’, but also Yahweh..." {26} Then later as I have just shown, they indirectly but clearly admit that if Jesus was calling Himself a man, then He couldn’t be God. Actually they use the word ‘divine’ as meaning to literally be God, which is part of their mistake, because Jesus really was showing He is a man who is divine as being God’s Son without literally being God. And

then they try to prove that Jesus wasn't really acknowledging being a man by saying that He was “SEEMINGLY” using Ps.82:6 only to remind them that they had been exposed to the term ‘Son of God’ before. AS IF JESUS’ ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF BEING A MAN (a fact they said they agreed with earlier) WOULD CONTRADICT THE WHOLE ASSERTION OF THEIR BOOK (AND IT DOES!). This is the same thing many end up doing who insist that Jesus is fully God, while partially admitting and yet really completely denying that He is truly a man. This is the very serious nature of the beast concerning this most subtle (by far) of all the false teachings. And we’d never have dreamed unless the Lord pointed it out for us, and clarified it for us. Thanks be to God for His indescribable love and grace and goodness!

 

Chapter 69) FOCUS ON THE 'TRINITY'

 

So how do Josh and Bart answer the question of how Jesus could possibly be “with God” and BE “God” at the same time? Let us look: They wrote: “Sometimes people ask how Jesus could be ‘God’ and ‘with God’ at the same time. The response to that is found in the concept of the Trinity: one God in three eternal persons. The Word of John 1:1 was with the other persons of the Trinity and is Himself God by nature.”{27} Now I say this doesn’t come close to properly explaining things. Let’s look at their very shallow explanation of God, ‘God the Trinity’, and please notice the COMPLETE lack of any real scriptural proof that the one true God is in fact made up of three persons who are each fully God. The next two paragraphs are quoted from their same book. They write, "The biblical doctrine of the Trinity can be summarized as follows. The one true God, as already established (Isaiah 43:10; Deuteronomy 6:4), is made up of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each member of the godhead is called ‘God’ in the Bible. The Father bears the name God (Galatians 1:1; Titus 1:4; etc.). The Son, or Word (logos), is repeatedly called God in verses like John 1:1, 14; Acts 20:28; John 20:28; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8, etc. The Holy Spirit is identified as God in various Scriptures (Acts 5:3-4; 1 John 4:2,3; Hebrews 10:15,16). The concept of the unity within the Trinity is seen in a verse such as Matthew 28:19, where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit comprise one ‘name’ (singular in Greek).

 

For the purposes of this book we are not attempting to defend the doctrine of the Trinity. Once a person comes to believe in the divinity of Christ, belief in God’s existence as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is usually not a problem. For the person wanting to research what the Bible says on the Trinity, many verses can be studied (Matthew 3:16,17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 1:35; 3:21,22; John 3:34-36; 14:26; 16:13-15; Acts 2:32,33; 38,39; Romans 15:16,30; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 13:14; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:18-22; 3:14-17; 4:4-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14; 1 Timothy 3:15,16; Hebrews 9:14; 10:7;10-15; 1 Peter 1:2; to name a few).” {28} They began by mentioning the biblical “one true God”, and had no problem finding accurate scriptural support to prove that the Father is God. That is easy since that is the clear apostolic truth: “There is.. .one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all and in all.” (Eph.4:4,6). Then they try to prove that Jesus is also literally God by using the combination of the several scriptures that I attempt to prove in this work are either mistranslations or misunderstood. And then please notice the very tragic lack of scriptural integrity when giving their so called scriptural proof that the Holy Spirit is also literally God (of course He is the Spirit OF God, and therefore He is as God).

 

The first passage they give in Acts 5:3-4 does not say that the Holy Spirit is God at all. It does show the obvious, that if you lie to the Holy Spirit, you are lying to God. That only makes sense, because the Holy Spirit IS the Spirit OF the one and only true God. The second scripture that they give to ‘prove’ that the Holy Spirit is God is 1 John 4:2,3. Someone has to be pretty desperate to try to pass this scripture off as their number two choice to prove something so important as this. If it were true that the Holy Spirit is God, the third member of ‘God the Blessed Trinity’, then the Scriptures should be full of clear proof. This passage does not even begin to allow any honest person to misconstrue that it is saying anything about the Holy Spirit being God. The third and last proof they can manage to give to support this major assertion is Hebrews 10:15,16. Again, this scripture doesn’t even hint that the Holy Spirit is God!

 

What happened to Christian honesty? Do the ends justify the means here, as the Jesuits are infamous for adhering to. In other words, is it okay to fudge with the truth a little as long as you believe you are defending God’s honor, if you are sure you are right? It should be admitted by all that there is a very conspicuous absence of any scriptural proof that the Holy Spirit is literally God, or ‘God the Holy Spirit, the third member of God, the Blessed Holy Trinity’. And if you will notice, the doctrine of the deity of Christ is not established in the Bible in any form as being a detailed central doctrine crucial to believe and confess, as we have made it out to be today.

 

And I am greatly saddened that they, as Christian leaders and teachers, offer scriptures that supposedly ‘prove‘ that God is a ‘Trinity‘, whatever that is supposed to be in their definition. These only show evidence that the one God operates through and reveals Himself through the Son OF God, and by His Holy Spirit, the Spirit OF God. These listed verses teach many things true, none of which resemble anything like the modern doctrines cumulatively called the ‘Trinity’. If God is truly a triune being, and God became a man, then that means Jesus is the ‘Trinity’ incarnated in the flesh. That would mean that when Jesus prayed to God, ‘the Trinity’ manifest in the flesh was praying to ‘the Trinity’ in heaven, if Trinitarians were consistent with what they insist is true. And that would mean that when God forsook Jesus, ‘the Trinity’ forsook ‘the Trinity’ in a body, or that only two-thirds of ‘the Trinity’ could have forsaken Him, because He was ‘God the Son’, Himself the second member of ‘the holy Trinity’, and the Son of ‘the Trinity‘. If man were truly made in God’s image, and God was a triune being made up of three persons, why aren’t we unified beings consisting of three persons? We are taught that God eternally subsists of three persons, yet the number three is never even once spoken of in the Bible in reference to God’s person in any way. And how can Jesus be the image of the invisible ‘Trinity’, since part of ‘the Trinity‘, ‘God the Son’, was visible? And while He was visible, was He still the image of the invisible ‘Trinity’ while He was dead? I assert that it is simply absurd that some will continue to believe things like this, especially once things have been spelled out like this. The New International Bible Dictionary writes this in their entry for “Trinity": "The biblical teaching of the Trinity is, in a sense, a mystery...There is no systematic explanation of the doctrine of God as Trinity in the New Testament. The dogma of the Trinity found in the Nicene Creed may be said to be the systematic presentation of the implications of the Trinitarian suggestions, hints, and patterns of the N.T...The classic formula is that there is one God and three persons, and that each Person shares the one Being or Godhead with the two other Persons.” {30}

 

Now again we see where this teaching came from, not from the Bible, but from the source of the ‘Nicene Creed’. And why would the Bible only include “IMPLICATIONS OF THE TRINITARIAN SUGGESTIONS, HINTS AND PATTERNS...” if this central foundational doctrine were really Biblical? The revelation of who God and His Messiah really are is the most important subject there is, and is therefore repeatedly explained throughout the whole Bible, without one single expression of a ‘Trinity’ in any kind of terms whatsoever.

 

Chapter 70) BACK TO THE NICENE COUNCIL, WHERE CHURCH AND STATE MARRIED

 

Has the church really been restored from the errors of Catholicism through the reformation? Let me relate some very interesting history you wont hear in most churches, but the information which follows will help to clarify things greatly, I believe. The Lord plopped it in my lap recently. The information that follows was gleaned from “The Age of Faith”, by Will Durant, Pt. 4 of "The Story of Civilization", Simon and Schuster, New York 1950 (NOT AN ANTI-TRINITARIAN BOOK!) The doctrine "...of a triune spirit binding all reality..." promoted by Plotinus was pagan, from Neoplatonism. p. 9 "New ideas are welcomed only if promising early material advantage..." p. 164 "Truth cannot be contrary to truth, Abelard pleads; the truths of Scripture must agree with the findings of reason, else God who gave us both would be deluding us with one or the other." p. 938 "In this Mediterranean world of the fourth century, where the state depended so much on religion, ecclesiastical affairs were in such turmoil that government felt called upon to interfere even in the mysteries of theology. The great debate between Athanasius and Arius had not ended with the Council of Nicaea (325). Many bishops - in the East a majority - still openly or secretly sided with Arius; i.e., they considered Christ the Son of God, but neither consubstantial nor coeternal with the Father. Constantine himself, after accepting the Council's decree, and banishing Arius, invited him to a personal conference (331), could find no heresy in him, and recommended the restoration of Arius and the Arians to their churches, Athanasius protested; a council of Eastern bishops at Tyre deposed him from his Alexandrian see (335); and for two years he lived as an exile in Gaul. Arius again visited Constantine, and professed adherence to the Nicene Creed, with subtle reservations that an emperor could not be expected to understand. Constantine believed him, and bade Alexander, Patriarch of Constantinople, receive him into communion. The ecclesiastical historian Socrates here tells a painful tale:

 

'It was then Saturday, and Arius was expecting to assemble with the congregation on the day following; but Divine retribution overtook his daring criminality. For going out from the imperial

palace...and approaching the porphyry pillar in the Forum of Constantine, a terror seized him, accompanied by violent relaxation of his bowels... Together with the evacuations his bowels protruded, followed by a copious hemorrhage, and the descent of the smaller intestine; moreover, portions of his spleen and his liver were eliminated in the effusion of blood, so that he almost immediately died.' Hearing of this timely purge, Constantine began to wonder whether Arius had not been a heretic after all. But when the Emperor himself died, in the following year, he received the rites of baptism from his friend and counselor Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia, an Arian." "Constantius took theology more seriously than his father. He made his own inquiry into the paternity of Jesus, adopted the Arian view, and felt a moral obligation to enforce it upon all Christendom. Athanasius, who had returned to his see after Constantine's death, was again expelled (339); church councils, called and dominated by the new Emperor, affirmed merely the likeness, not the consubstantiality, of Christ with the Father; ecclesiastics loyal to the Nicene Creed were removed from their churches, sometimes by the violence of mobs; for half a century it seemed that Christianity would be Unitarian, and abandon the divinity of Christ.

 

In those bitter days Athanasius spoke of himself as solus contra mundum; all the powers of the state were opposed to him, and even his Alexandrian congregation turned against him. Five times he fled from his see, often in peril of his life, and wandered in alien lands; through half a century (323-373) he fought with patient diplomacy and eloquent vituperation for the creed as it had been defined under his leadership at Nicaea; he stood firm even when Pope Liberius gave in. To him, above all, the Church owes her doctrine of the Trinity."

 

"Athanasius laid his case before Pope Julius I (340). Julius restored him to his see; but a council of Eastern bishops at Antioch (341) denied the Pope's jurisdiction, and named Gregory, an Arian, as bishop of Alexandria. When Gregory reached the city the rival factions broke into murderous riots, killing many; and Athanasius, to end the bloodshed, withdrew (342). In Constantinople a similar contest raged; when Constantius ordered the replacement of the orthodox patriot Paul by the Arian Macedonius, a crowd of Paul's supporters resisted the soldiery, and three thousand persons lost their lives." p. 7-8 The next emperor, Julian, who although was raised as a Christian, secretly rejected Christ and became a devout pagan. Julian eventually openly revealed himself as a very zealous pagan, who then restored paganism throughout the Empire, and interestingly he also "recalled the orthodox bishops exiled by Constantius." (p. 10-18) The pagans killed the Arian Bishop George in Alexandria, and "Athanasius now came out of hiding, and resumed his episcopal seat..." p. 18.

 

"In 380 the Emperor Gratian, won to a passionate orthodoxy by the eloquent Ambrose, proclaimed the Nicene Creed as compulsory 'on all the peoples subject to the governments of our clemency', and denounced as 'mad and insane' the followers of other faiths." p. 34 "Once triumphant, the Church ceased to preach toleration; she looked with the same hostile eye upon individualism in belief as the state upon secession or revolt... as Church and State were now united, the rebellion was against both... Arianism, overcome within the Empire, won a peculiar victory among the barbarians... The 'apostle' Ulfilas (311?-381) was not quite an apostle. He was the descendant of a Christian captive from Cappadocia, and was born and raised among the Goths who lived north of the Danube. About 341 he was consecrated as their bishop by Eusebius, the Arian prelate of Nicomedia. When the Gothic chieftain Athanaric persecuted the Christians in his dominions, Ulfilas obtained permission from the Arian Constantius to bring the little community of Gothic Christians across the Danube into Thrace. To instruct and multiply his converts he patiently translated, from the Greek into Gothic, all the Bible except the Book of Kings, which he omitted as dangerously martial; and as the Goths had as yet no written language, he composed a Gothic alphabet based upon the Greek. His Bible was the first literary work in any Teutonic tongue.

 

The devoted and virtuous life of Ulfilas generated among the Goths such confidence in his wisdom and integrity that his Arian Christianity was accepted by them without question. As other barbarians received their Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries from the Goths, nearly all the invaders of the Empire were Arians, and the new kingdoms established by them in the Balkans, Gaul, Spain, Italy, and Africa were officially Arian. Conquerors and conquered differed by only an iota in their faith: the orthodox held Christ to be identical in being ( homoousios), the Arians considered Him only similar in being (homoiousios ), with God the Father; but the difference became vital in the politics of the fifth and sixth centuries. By this chance concatenation of events Arianism held its ground till the orthodox Franks overthrew the Visigoths in Gaul, Belisarius conquered Vandal Africa and Gothic Italy, and Recared (589) changed the faith of the Visigoths in Spain." p. 46-47 "Orthodoxy triumphed, toleration ceased; and the Council of Narbonne (1229) forbade the possession of any part of the Bible by laymen." p. 776 Now I say the disaster of so called ‘Orthodoxy’ based upon Trinitarianism has had long enough to prove it is the truth by uniting all Christians, as Jesus prayed in John chapter 17, but quite to the contrary the church is wretched.

 

Chapter 71) REVIEW OF THE FASCINATING BOOK, “THE PILGRIM CHURCH“, BY E. H.BROADBENT http://www.gracenotes.info/documents/TOPICS_DOC/PilgrimChurch(Broadbent).pdf

 

These are some amazing quotes from the book, “The Pilgrim Church”, by E. H. Broadbent, which gives us some more very interesting history of the church, again from a book that is from a Trinitarian author. All the comments in quotes are from Mr. Broadbent. He writes, "The prominence of the Bishops and especially of the Metropolitans in the Catholic churches made for ease in communication between the Church and civil authorities. Constantine himself, while retaining the old imperial dignity of chief priest of pagan religion, assumed that of arbitrator of the Christian churches. The Church and State quickly became closely associated, and it was not long before the power of the State was at the disposal of those who had the lead in the Church, to enforce their decisions. Thus the persecuted soon became the persecutors." (p.43)

 

"In later times those churches which, faithful to the Word of God, were persecuted by the dominant Church as heretics and sects, frequently refer in their writings to their entire dissent from the union of Church and State in the time of Constantine and of Sylvester, then bishop in Rome." (p.43,44) Also remember, almost all the writings that seemed to contain any "Arian" leanings were destroyed throughout the time the Catholic church ruled official Christendom. So now the persecution no longer came predominantly "...from the pagan Roman Empire, but from what claimed to be the Church, wielding the power of the Christianized State." (p.44) Now I summarize that in other words, the so called orthodox church began to severely persecute the so called (by their enemies) Arians, and any other Christian group that wouldn't submit and bend to their control and beliefs. It seems to me that as Trinitarians learn about more about these things, and recognize all the corruption, wickedness, murder and unbiblical teachings that developed in the so called orthodox church after the church and State married, that they should determine to carefully investigate the beginnings of this major deviation, find the root cause and make sure it's fixed. I am certain that it was in fact in large part due to the official church adoption of this seemingly innocuous teaching that, point blank, Jesus is God, and of the unbiblical Trinity doctrine. I think that was the root cause, the foundational change that allowed for the church to deviate so far that it was soon even torturing and burning real Christians because they believed in one God, the Father, and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It seems like we would all more easily recognize that any church that can take people's homes, wealth and children away, and torture and kill people to force them to believe in Christ their way, or for any reason, is a church that should be suspect in the things they teach or do, and that we should be extra vigilant to make sure that we do not still have any residue of their false beliefs, teachings or ways.

 

It seems ironic that, although there started out being many bishops who were in agreement with Arius in the beginning, "... the (Nicene) Creed gradually began to win acceptance." (p.84 Josh McDowell and Bart Larson's "Jesus - A Biblical Defense of His Deity") But by the end of the "three months of painstaking deliberation" (2) there were only "two dissentients" ("Jesus-A Biblical Defense of His Deity"p.44) in the end, amazingly the exact same number that rightly disagreed with the ten spies when all of Israel missed out on entering the Promised Land by agreeing with the erroneous yet popular majority. The two who believed God's testimony entered into the Promised Land, and all the others wandered in the desert till they died. As a born again 'believer' in the Lord Jesus Christ I wandered as a slave to worldliness and sin until God restored my foundational beliefs according to His testimony, that Jesus is in fact His Son, and now by God's grace I have entered into a type of partial rest, of overcoming the world through my faith in the Son of God (1 Jn.5:5), by becoming a slave to obedience and righteousness (Rom. 6:2,4,6,7,10-18) unto holiness. This has been wrought by the Holy Spirit as God answers my prayers and teaches me that Christ is my righteousness and holiness and life.

 

I find it very sad that those modern day Christians who consider themselves to be the true Christians through a lineage of unbroken continuity from the apostles, who claim to have existed under various names while resisting the errors of the Catholic church, such as Mennonites, Brethren and certain other primitive Baptists and Evangelicals, still almost entirely give credence to the unbiblical doctrine of the Trinity, and teach that Jesus is God without proper explanation. This proves that they are not the continuity of the original true church teaching the unadulterated apostolic truth as they claim, but have merely become another denomination like all the rest, some better, and some worse. I am not saying that they cannot be genuine churches if they believe in the Trinity, I am only contending that the doctrine of Christ's absolute deity and the Trinity are telltale signs that a group is still under the old deviations of the false teachings deriving from the original schism within the early Church of Christ, to whatever degree. The Trinitarian churches will usually be poor, wretched, naked, miserable and/or blind. 'The Pilgrim Church', which I have been quoting from in this section, is a book that, among other things, records the horrors that happened throughout the church after "over 300 bishops... with their numerous attendants..." (p.44) were wined and dined and subjected to three months of arguments, political promises and pressures before agreeing with the Emperor Constantine and those bishops he clearly favored. And yet the author of this otherwise excellent book, and those whose denominations are promoted by it (although they often insist they are nondenominational), don't even seem to realize that they are only advocating another attempt at revising the same broken Trinitarian church system that they pity and claim to reject as being corrupt for other obvious reasons. We must put two and two together here.

 

Mr. Broadbent agreeably wrote, "The Nicene creed was framed to express the truth of the real divine nature of the Son and His equality with the Father." (p. 44) Now I ask, does not the Bible express the truth about Jesus clearly enough, without having to introduce man made creeds with man made words not found in Scripture? Next he writes, "Although the decision reached was right, the way of reaching it by the combined efforts of the Emperor and the bishops and enforcing it by the power of the State, showed the departure of the Catholic church from Scripture." (p.44) Mr. Broadbent recognizes that this 'new and improved' church had strayed far from Scripture, and he admits that their tactics were also  seriously wrong, yet he says confidently that their decision was right!! Isn't it possible that Mr. Broadbent is also wrong, himself an unwitting product of the far reaching effects of these doctrinal deviations, and that the new amalgamation of the church and state called the Catholic Church was also just as wrong in some of the main decisions they reached, along with their many other obvious wrongs committed throughout their hundreds of years of apostasy? He continues, "Two years after the Council, Constantine, altering his view, received Arius back from exile, and in the reign of his son Constantius, all the bishoprics were filled by Arians." (p.44)

 

"ALL" the bishoprics were filled by Arians?? Where did all the Arian bishops come from?  Mr. Broadbent admits that at this time the government was now Arian (p.44 ). If "Arianism" was simply an isolated view held by Arius and a small minority of other misguided souls, who were teaching contrary to the original apostolic teachings of the true church, then why the huge fuss that ensued for so many hundreds of years, and why did these beliefs endure so long in so many under such great risk of poverty, torture and death? Why were there three full months of intense debates at the first council, and then three hundred and fifty years of so many more councils about the same issues afterwards? And why was Arianism so prevalent, so powerful, and so widespread just two years after the Nicene Council supposedly successfully crushed this so called misguided heresy? 'The Pilgrim Church' also records that, "...there was such violent agitation about them (the Council of Nicea, Arius and Athanasius) among the churches of the West." p.92 How could there be so much "violent agitation" among the churches if all the churches were so established from the beginning in the so called orthodox teachings about the Trinity, as some modern trinitarians presume to assert? I believe that part of the answer is this: The apostles taught the truths I propound and espouse from the clear scriptures from the beginning, truths that were being misunderstood and challenged and denied by a new small but growing group of people as the church started to stray. The apostolic church was being infiltrated and attacked by the very savage wolves that Jesus, Paul and other apostles predicted would come.

 

These dissenters ended up allying their selves with the Emperor to win their battle, and the church lost, temporarily. This alien teaching was the perfect tool that out of pure conveniencewas employed by the dupes of Satan (for the most part unwitting but sinfully negligent).  It was successful mainly because it was so deceptively attractive, since it seemed to honor Christ in the highest degree without necessarliy requiring obedience to Him.  THEREFORE IT BECAME EXTREMELY POPULAR VERY QUICKLY, FUELED BY THE IGNORANCE AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS OF MANY, AND BY THE COMPLICATED INTRICACIES OF SEEMINGLY CONTRADICTORY SCRIPTURES AND PERSONAL OPINIONS.

 

Concerning this time of great transition for the church, 'The Pilgrim Church' states, "Among the writings which remain from that time are the ' Homilies of Afrahat', called 'The Persian Sage'...The first homily is on faith, and it teaches: 'For this is faith: When a man shall believe in God the Lord of all, that made the heaven and the earth and the seas and all that in them is, who made Adam in His image. Who gave the Law to Moses. Who sent of His Spirit in the Prophets. Who sent moreover His Messiah into the world. And that a man should believe in the coming to life of the dead. And believe also in the mystery of baptism. This is the faith of the Church of God. And that a man should separate himself from observing hours and Sabbaths and months and seasons and enchantments and divinations and chaldaism and magic and from fornication and from reveling and from vain doctrines, the weapons of the Evil One, and from the blandishment of honeyed words, and from blasphemy and from adultery. And that no man should bear false witness and that none should speak with double tongue. These are the works of the Faith that is laid on the true Rock, which is the Messiah, upon whom all the building doth rise... Only this we know: that God is One, and His Messiah One, and One the Spirit, and one the Faith and one Baptism.'" p. 92 He sure sounds biblical, and it sure doesn't sound like he believed in the so called Trinity concept.

 

The consolidation of the power block formed at the Council of Nicea began to be imposed in various stages throughout the world. Mr. Broadbent records: "The Eastern churches kept their simple and scriptural character longer that those of the West." p 90 For example, at the Synod of Seleucia in 410 AD, 40 bishops of the Persian church were summoned by Bishop Maruta (with permission from the new Persian king Yezdegerd I), whom the Roman emperor had sent to Persia to call a synod to reorganize the Persian church. "The letter (from the bishops of the west) laid down that there should not be, unnecessarily, two or three bishops in one town, but one bishop in each town and its district. Bishops were not to be appointed by less than three bishops acting with the authority of the Metropolitan. The dates of feasts were settled. All the canons of the Council of Nicea in the time of Constantine were read and were signed by all present." "Mar Isaak (whom two royal officials had presented as 'Head of the Christians') said: 'Anyone who does not agree with these praiseworthy laws and excellent canons and does not accept them, may he be accursed from all the people of God and may he have no power in the Church of Christ.' It is recorded further: 'All we bishops together confirmed it after him with Amen, and we all spake as he.' Then Mar Maruta said: 'All these explanations, laws, and canons, shall be written, and at the close we will all sign them and confirm it in an everlasting covenant.' Mar Isaak said: 'I subscribe at the head of all.' Then all the bishops from different places promised after him: 'We also all accept it with joy and confirm what has been written above by our signature at the foot'" "... The regulations were then given for the appointment of future Heads by Isaak and Maruta or their successors, with the approval of the reigning king. Further, of the Head they said: "And no one shall form a party against him. If anyone shall rise against him and contradict his will it must be told to us. We will then tell the Great King and the evil that he has done, whoever it may be, shall be judged by him.' Then we left, Isaak and Maruta saying to us that all these things should be written, all that is useful for the service of the Catholic Church. This was gladly accepted, and it was agreed that anyone who set his own will against these ordinances should be utterly excluded from the Church of Christ, and his wound should never be healed, also the king should bring bitter punishment upon him." "There were many other ordinances, such as: the clergy should be celibate and not married as before; bishops unable to be present on account of distance should be bound by what had been agreed upon; while some bishops, who from the beginning had opposed Isaak, were condemned as rebels. Meetings in private homes were forbidden, the boundaries of parishes were fixed, and only one church was to be permitted in each." "Thus were East and West united, bishops being sent to various parts to regulate all differences. Parties and divisions were to exist no more." p 93-95 Concerning this last assertion, the reverse is actually true, although you probably won't find it in very many remaining books, historical or otherwise. 'Arianism' is the usually derogatory name given to the real Christians who continued believing and teaching what Jesus and the apostles taught concerning Himself, to whatever degree they believed and taught correctly, along with many true heretics alongside, as the majority of the official church deviated. Jesus said, and so they believed and taught, that "My Father is greater than I." He said, "... me, a man that has told you the truth that I heard from God", and "... I came from God", and so they believed (Jn.8:40,42).

 

Then Mr. Broadbent wrote, "Arianism lasted nearly three centuries as the state religion in a number of countries..." (p.45) WHAT?! Even after the Nicene Council, and so many official machinations, Arianism was the national religion in a number of countries for almost three hundred years! Where did all these Arians come from in the early church?? Whole countries didn't officially maintain that God was God the Father, and not a Trinity, and that Jesus was God's Son, and not literally God without lots of Christians believing it and teaching it! Many hundreds of years after Christ ascended to the Father, when Arianism was finally stamped out (for all practical purposes) through politics and intense persecution, we should have seen a church back to it's original pristine glory and power, but we saw the exact opposite. It doesn't take much study to reveal the great corruption throughout the entire history of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Now today the corruption of the 'orthodox' denominational churches is much more subdued, polished and hidden, but it is still just as real, and in some ways worse than before. On page 84 he notes, "... the pope again encouraged the king of Hungary, promising him aid against the... Arians." It was open season on Arians for many hundreds of years, and while I am sure that many were heretics, I am certain that many were real saints. The believers who tried to stay faithful to the Lord during these many centuries of misunderstanding and persecution have had the added disadvantage, when it came to maintaining their faith in and understanding of these truths I am highlighting from the Scriptures, of losing their leaders who often had a more clear grasp of these truths that actually helped them become leaders, yet also made them targets of their persecutors as well. Because the charge of being an 'Arian' was so vilified and harshly punished, those men who believed the truth about God and Jesus could easily be removed in one way or another, because the congregations of independent believers were made up of saints who didn't want to be persecuted either. The natural tendency for leaders to shrink from controversial subjects that could cause them disfavor, or to be killed, combined with the pressure from men to conform, both inside and outside the church, along with the outright persecution of these brave Christians who risked their lives for what they were obviously certain was the gospel truth, insured that the continuity of this very unpopular truth would eventually be stopped. With their presumably more godly leaders often being killed over and over again, it was inevitable that lesser quality leaders would arise who would be just as apt to deviate as any of us, or worse. This bode even worse for the future, and caused a 'snowball effect' that gradually got worse and worse.

 

Although he is not writing specifically about so called Arian churches, Mr. Broadbent makes some very applicable points in “ The Pilgrim Church”.He mentions that "... the systematic slaughter of the wisest and best, those who were elders and leaders of the (independent) churches, removed the very men most capable of checking extravagance and fanaticism and left large opportunity to inferior men to exercise their influence." (p.194) He also wrote concerning these independent churches, "They were so numerous that both the State Church parties (Catholic and Protestant) feared they might come to threaten their own power and even existence. The reason that so important a movement occupies so small a place in the history of those times is, that by the relentless use of the power of the State, the great Churches- Catholic and Protestant- were able almost to destroy it, the few adherents who were left being driven abroad or remaining only as weakened and comparatively unimportant companies.The victorious party was also able to destroy much of the literature of the brethren, and, writing their history, to represent them as holding doctrines which they repudiated, and to give them names to which an odious significance was attached." (p.181, bold emphasis mine)

 

I believe these things were true in both the 'orthodox' independent churches, and especially in the 'Arian' independent churches. This phenomenon led to further weakness in the churches, and allowed Trinitarianism to slowly gain the ascendancy even in these groups that had originally remained faithful to the Lord in so many ways. Of course, as more and more succumbed to these more popular beliefs, they continued to remain faithful to other truths that were still at odds with the Catholic Church, but nevertheless their foundation was altered, and they are all crumbling now. In the Mennonite and Brethren churches, for example, you will rarely, if ever, find any groups who are devoted to any fervent praying at all, much less prolonged fervent praying, nor will you find very many who even believe in praying in tongues, although in many ways these denominations have tried to perfect the proper "form of godliness". What happened? They are united under Trinitarian creeds or statements of beliefs that are on this point unbiblical, and no one even seems to notice anything is wrong. Oh they know their congregations are experiencing similar attrition rates as the other 'orthodox' churches, and they know that they have other major problems, to whatever degree, but they don't even question the Catholic roots of their sacrosanct Trinity doctrine. Of course you wont get much of a following if you are aspiring to leadership in these groups if you find out that the Trinity teaching is a man made doctrine, now that it is a long ago completely established dogma that cannot be questioned, so it is an easily propagated error that goes unchecked. In these denominations there is great pressure to conform for the sake of unity, to the point where disagreement and independent thinking such as I am teaching is considered to be rebellion and heresy, but that is the sure way to insure that any unpopular changes that need to be made probably wont ever be. Mr. Broadbent then very interestingly writes, "Not only the first, but the first six General Councils, of which the last was held in 680, were occupied to a large extent with questions as to the divine nature, and the relations of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the course of endless discussions, creeds were hammered out and dogmas enunciated in the hope that the truth would by them be fixed and could then be handed down to succeeding generations. It is noticeable that in the Scriptures this method is not used." (p.45)

 

We can see here that changing the direction and apostolic teaching of the true church did not happen easily, but it took SIX GRAND COUNCILS, in "great state" (p.44) and all their earthly power, over the course of 350 years, with everything else that was employed between all these councils, to redirect the church to following the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, etc., instead of the teachings of Scripture alone. Mr. Broadbent, on the one hand, admits that this method of formulating creeds was not ever used by God's people throughout the Scriptures, yet he seems to agree with the Nicene Creed and the decisions of the Nicene Council! He acknowledges the detriment of human creeds in the church (p.94,95,236,240,264,273,321,322,325,326) and in many places in his book echoes the call for a return to the Scriptures as the only measuring stick, the only proper creed, the only truth for the genuine church of God, but yet he does not seem to recognize the unbiblical nature of such a foundational doctrine as the Trinity teaching. On page 55 he also admits that, "The effort to save the churches from disunion and heresy by means of the episcopal and clerical system not only failed but brought great evils in its train." This understatement would necessarily include 'the Big Bang' of that effort, the Nicene Council and its edicts, so he again admits the tragedies that followed the efforts of the Nicene Council and of the church system it produced, but again fails to recognize the cause of those tragedies, and the still currently missing pieces of the puzzle.

 

Again in “The Pilgrim Church”, Mr. Broadbent also wisely wrote, "Disputes as to doctrine have not always been founded on the defense of truth by one party and of error by the other. Frequently dissention has arisen because one side has emphasized one aspect of the truth, while the other side has laid stress on a different aspect of the same truth. Each side has then made much of those portions of Scripture which support the view it favored, and minimized or explained away those parts which the other side has considered important. Thus the reproach has arisen that anything can be proved from Scripture, which on this account has been looked upon as an unsafe guide. This characteristic of Scripture, on the contrary, exhibits its completeness. It is not one-sided, but presents in its turn every phase of truth. Thus the doctrine of justification by faith alone, without works, is plainly taught, but so, in its own place, is the balancing doctrine of the necessity of good works, and that they are the consequence and proof of faith... Indeed, every great doctrine revealed in Scripture has a balancing truth, and both are necessary to a knowledge of the whole truth." (p.181) So therefore I say that the truth of Christ's God given divinity must be balanced with the truth of His complete humanity, and only in a way that does not contradict what Scripture clearly teaches. We must incorporate both truths from Scripture properly, or our Jesus is a different Jesus, to whatever degree we believe wrongly. Christ's divinity is God in Christ, not Christ as God. Almighty God cannot be a man who can honestly and absolutely attribute everything He has and does to His God and Father. Let us abandon the man made creeds and return to the real Lord Jesus Christ, and to only what the Bible says about Him, leaving off speculation or anything we don't yet understand. Jesus Himself taught us when He taught Peter, that we should not look to men to teach us who Jesus really is, but instead to God, who will reveal His Son to us and in us, and that revelation will be the foundation for His true assembly of called out saints.

 

Mr. Broadbent says of the writings of Gottfried Arnold: "His first book, ' First Love, that is a True Picture of the First Christians according to their Living Faith and holy Life', was a history of the Church in apostolic times and until the time of Constantine, in which he showed the evils brought in by the union of Church and State." (p. 290) He also records that "The decisions of the Second Council of Nicea... had established the service and adoration of the images..." (p. 70) We can see that the downhill slide came very fast after the introduction of the doctrines of the deity of Christ, and of the Trinity, that changed the foundation of the apostolic church. Not long after the Nicene Council the church was worshipping statues and pictures and icons, and burning genuine Christians, among other abominations. The Second Nicene Council had apparently also produced teachings that "... God can only be worshiped in the three languages- Latin, Greek, and Hebrew..." (p. 71) Then speaking of the gross spiritual ignorance that I maintain grew out from these doctrinal changes, among other things, Mr. Broadbent quotes John Robinson's warning that we should not assume that the Protestant Reformation fixed all the errors that needed to be fixed. Mr. Robinson wisely and humbly, if not over graciously and optimistically wrote, "I charge you before God and His blessed angels, that you follow me no further than you have seen me follow the Lord Jesus Christ. If God reveals anything to you by any other instrument of His, be as ready to receive it as you were to receive any truth by my ministry, for I am verily persuaded the Lord hath more truth yet to break forth out of His holy Word. For my part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of those reformed Churches which are come to a period in religion, and will go, at present, no further than the instruments of their reformation. The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw; whatever part of His will our God has revealed to Calvin, they will rather die than to embrace it; and the Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they were left by that great man of God, who yet saw not all things. This is a misery much to be lamented, for though they were burning and shining lights in their times, yet they penetrated not into the whole counsel of God; but were they now living, would be as willing to embrace further light as that which they first received, for it is not possible the Christian world should come so lately out of such thick anti-Christian darkness and that perfection of knowledge should break forth at once." (p. 257)

 

Writing of Martin Luther's day, Mr. Broadbent wrote, "The dull hopelessness with which men had seen the ever increasing corruption and rapacity of the Church, was exchanged for a vivid hope that now, at last, the time of revival had come, the time of a return to apostolic, primitive Christianity. Christ Himself was seen afresh, revealed in the Scriptures as the Redeemer and immediate Saviour of sinners and the Way to God for suffering humanity... but the old system of the Roman Church was not to be changed without a struggle." (p.161) He also wrote, "Luther by his mighty strokes hewed a way through long consecrated privileges and abuses, so that reform became possible. He revealed Christ to countless sinners as the Saviour to whom each one was invited to come... to find in Christ, through faith in Him, perfect salvation founded in the perfect work of the Son of God. Instead, however, of continuing in the way of the Word, Luther then built up a church, in which some abuses were reformed, but which in many respects was a reproduction of the old system... Many, seeing that he did not continue in the way of return to the Scriptures which they had hoped for, remained where they were, in the Roman Catholic Church, and the hopes awakened among the brethren gradually faded away as they saw themselves placed between two ecclesiastical systems, each of which was ready to enforce conformity in matters of conscience - by the sword." (p.164,165) Yet these brethren, as they evolved, embraced a foundation of "1. A Triune God... 4. that He let His Son become man..." (p.133) Now here we again see the inconsistencies of the Trinity Doctrine. God is a Trinity, and "He", the Trinity, let 'His' Son become man.

 

The Trinity let His Son become man?? That sounds quite different than the original gospel! And today this group also, as so many others, believes that they are the continuity of the original apostolic church, which have maintained the original apostolic teachings! Doesn't it make a tremendous amount of sense that THE VERY DOCTRINES THAT WERE SO SUBTLE AND DECEPTIVE SO AS TO FINALLY BE ACCEPTED BY SO MANY BISHOPS IN THE EARLY CHURCH ARE THE SAME SUBTLE AND DECEPTIVE DOCTRINES THAT WILL BE THE LAST TO BE RESTORED TO THE TRUTH!!! If we simply go back to defining God and Jesus with only Scripture, even if we keep the additions and alterations that have made their way into the Bible, the Trinity doctrine would have to go.

 

In “The Pilgrim Church”, when writing about the unpopularity of what Wycliff was teaching, its author states that "...those who thought to use him as an important ally for their own purposes, fell from him as they came to see the consequences of the principles he taught, and he became the leader of those who sought deliverance in a return to Scripture and in following Christ." (p.138) If very many ever come to read this book, there will be a great temptation for most to shrink from it as they contemplate the consequences of these truths, and yet the church cannot be restored until some noble people step out first and finally make a stand concerning this vital issue where so many of us have gone wrong. In Mr. Broadbent's summation of Wycliffs teachings in his book, “Of the Truth of Holy Scripture”, “The Pilgrim Church” states "By the observance of the pure law of Christ, theChurch grew very rapidly, but since the admission of tradition into it the Church has steadily declined... To place above Scripture and prefer to it, human traditions, doctrines and ordinances, is nothing but an act of blind presumption... The history of the Church shows that departure from evangelical law and mixture of later tradition was at first slight and almost imperceptible, but as time went on the corruption grew ever ranker." (p.139)

 

Well I say that the Trinity Doctrine is the ultimate human tradition and man made doctrine, and its introduction into the church was hardly slight and imperceptible. The absolute necessity of rebuilding the church's only true foundation as it is clearly enunciated in Acts 2:22, 1 Cor. 8:6, Eph.4:4-6, 1 Tim.2:5-6, 6:14-16, 2 Tim.2:8, Mt. 16:13-18, etc., is almost completely undiscovered, even by those who preach and write about fixing the foundations of the church. Mr. Broadbent relates a wonderful quote from a book by Peter Celtschizki entitled “The Net of Faith”, where he wrote: "Nothing else is sought in this book but that we, who come last, desire to see the first things and wish to return to them insofar as God enables us. We are like people who have come to a house that has been burnt down and try to find the original foundations. This is the more difficult in that the ruins are grown over with all sorts of growths, and many think that these growths are the foundation, and say, 'This is the foundation' and that in the novelties that have grown up they think to have found the foundation, whereas they have found something quite different from, and contrary to, the true foundation. This makes the search more difficult, for if all said, 'the old foundation has been lost among the ruins', then many would begin to dig and search for it and really to begin a true work of building upon it, as Nehemiah and Zerubabel did after the destruction of the temple. It is much more difficult now to restore the spiritual ruins, so long fallen down, and get back to the former state, for which no other foundation can be laid than Jesus Christ, from whom the many have wandered away and turned to other gods and made foundations of them..." (p.146, 147) He was so right! And since Jesus is the foundation, any teaching that deviates from the sum of what the Scriptures teach about Him will be devastating in the short and long run. Jesus told His disciples that they had one Father, and that was God who was in heaven, and that they had one Teacher, and that was Christ (Mt.23:9,10). Apostolic Christianity started with Christ's teaching, and He never taught that He was God. The apostles never taught that Jesus was God. We must return to the biblical Jesus, the real Christ.

 

Mr. Broadbent quotes Comenius, who wrote in his book “One Thing Needful”, "...Christendom has become a labyrinth. The faith has been split into a thousand little parts and you are made a heretic if there is one of them you do not accept...What can help? Only the one thing needful: return to Christ, looking to Christ as the only Leader, and walking in His footsteps, setting aside all other ways until we all reach the goal, and have come to the unity of the faith (Eph.4:13) As the Heavenly Master built everything on the ground of the Scriptures, so should we leave all particularities of our special confessions and be satisfied with the revealed Word of God which belongs to us all." (p.158) Now I add the reminder that the verse Comenius quotes from in Ephesians continues by saying that we may all reach the unity in the faith AND IN the knowledge of the SON OF God, and that in this way we will become mature and attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ! And I also remind you that "the revealed Word of God" that Comenius asserts we should all be satisfied with is that revelation from God that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Mt.16:13-18), upon which revelation to each individual believer Christ would build His church. We had to believe on the Son of God to be born again, and we necessarily must continue to build on the real Jesus Christ or our faith wont work properly.

 

I again quote from Mr. Broadbent's book, where he records the writings of Balthazar Hubmeyer: "The holy universal Christian Church is a fellowship of the saints and a brotherhood of many pious and believing men who with one accord honor one Lord, one God, one faith and one baptism." (p.173) If we would in fact honor the one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and also honor the one God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not a triune God of three equal Gods as being the One, we would be able to come into the unity of the Spirit to an ever increasing degree. Again according to Mr. Broadbent, "Departure from the commands of Christ and from apostolic doctrine had been very great, and had extended to every particular of the teachings of Scripture, therefore the long way back was not found all at once; first one truth was recovered, then another." (p.294) In a summation of Wycliffs teachings in his book, “Of the Truth of Holy Scripture”, it also says in “The Pilgrim Church” ,"By the observance of the pure law of Christ, the Church grew very rapidly grew, but since the admission of tradition into it the Church has steadily declined." (p.139)

 

According to “The Pilgrim Church”, discussing the continuation of the Protestant Reformation, says this of things in John Calvin's day: "The City Council had absolute power in matters religious as well as civil, and it became the instrument of Calvin's will. The citizens were required to sign a confession of faith or to leave the city. Strict rules were enforced regulating the morals and habits of the people. The churches that had begun to grow up in obedience to New Testament teaching almost disappeared in the general organization, for papal rule was replaced by that of the Reformer and liberty of conscience was still withheld. One form of prevalent error which Calvin hoped to suppress by his strict rule was Unitarian in character. It was of ancient origin, resembling Arianism in some respects, but at this time began to be described as Socinianism on account of the association with it of Lelio Sozini (1525-1562) and Faustus Sozini (1539-1604), uncle and nephew, natives of Siena in Italy. The latter lived much in Poland, since there as in Transylvania - Unitarian teaching was permitted and was widespread. He united the divided sections of Unitarians in Poland; they were called 'Polish Brethren' and the 'Racovian' Catechism expressed their views. Socinianism spread from them as a center. It early affected some in the Protestant churches, and later gained a commanding influence, especially over the Protestant clergy... A Spanish physician, Servetus, holding and teaching doctrines allied to these, reached Geneva on a journey, and, as he traveled through, came into conflict with Calvin and the Council, and refusing to renounce his error, was burnt (1553). This was but a logical outcome of the system that had been established." (p.237 bold emphasis mine ) I find the information cited in this last paragraph especially interesting. Israel has always been strictly Unitarian in their beliefs and in their Scriptures, and so was the early church (1 Cor. 8:9, 1 Tim. 2:5, Eph. 4:6, Jms. 2:19,etc.). Here we see more proof that these biblical truths I am enumerating were not relatively unknown occasional deviations of religious crackpots. Notice that even many hundreds of years after the Catholic church had ruthlessly stamped out what they villianized and called 'Arianism', (although again I say, admittedly, that many so called ‘Arians‘, including those who today believe such as the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses” teach, were and are in serious error), here we find again a very large acceptance of these truths by a great many people, however imperfectly they understood the truth. These Unitarian beliefs were truly " OF ANCIENT ORIGEN", and probably "resembling Arianism in some respects " because the truth that God is God the Father, and that Jesus is God's Son, the Lord and Christ, is the truth taught by Scripture and, to whatever degree, 'Arianism' It says that these Unitarian, Arian type beliefs were "PREVALENT ", especially in these areas of Poland and Transylvania. It also said that Unitarian ( not to be confused with the absolute tragedy of almost all of what I will call ‘Modern Unitarianism', which denominations, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I believe the Jesuits may have helped to subvert ") teaching was "WIDESPREAD ". When the truth finally catches on it

spreads like wildfire.

 

It also very interestingly says that these beliefs " GAINED A COMMANDING INFLUENCE (AMONG PROTESTANTS), ESPECIALLY OVER THE PROTESTANT CLERGY"!!! Not just some kids off the street, but A MAJORITY of the very leaders who risked life and limb to oppose the heresies and sometimes vicious power of the Roman Catholic Church for the truths of Christ. And then it is recorded that the 'orthodox' Protestant leaders also help to stamp them out by torturing and burning Michael Servetus to death because he believed and taught that God is one, the God and Father of our Glorious Lord Jesus Christ, and that Jesus is the Most Highly Exalted Son of God, the Messiah, and not literally God. John Calvin is one of the most highly revered Protestant leaders of our day, the father of all Calvinistic Christian denominations, including most of the Baptists, yet the historical facts seem to overwhelmingly prove that he at the very least assented to Michael Servetus' murder, or more likely that he was directly responsible for it to whatever degree. Is it any wonder that the most popular and one of the most destructive doctrines ever (in my opinion), the one that has caused so many new or carnal believers to shrink back in their faith unto apostasy, the so called 'Eternal Security Doctrine", or "Once Saved Always Saved" Doctrine, is one of the main tenants of Calvinism? Is it any wonder that the Calvinist churches preach a relatively cross less, easy believism that twists the truth that we can't do anything to earn our salvation into a lie that teaches people that we don't have to do anything to be saved, just come down the isle and give your heart to Jesus to receive Christ at one point in your life, and then become convinced you are saved no matter how you live thereafter. These false teachers are usually among those who forbid speaking in tongues, often even saying it is of the devil. These extremely ear tickling teachings have built the colossal Protestant denominations like most of the modern Baptist churches, and many other so called evangelical churches. See also False teachings versus the Truth 

 

It is further recorded in the Trinitarian book, "The Pilgrim Church": "The burning of Servetus had not prevented the persistence of some of the doctrines he taught, and the theological professors and ministers of the Church of Geneva had fallen under the influence of Socinian and Arian doctrines..." Here again we see fascinating historical proof that the clear and simple biblical truths that God is God the Father, not some unscriptural Trinity, and that Jesus is the Son of God, and not very God, was much more prevalent that we are led to believe. Again, these are not rebellious amateurs, but theological professors and ministers of the Church of Geneva who became convinced that these vital truths also needed to be restored to the whole church for the Reformation to be complete. Mr. Broadbent said that they "...had fallen under the influence of Socinian and Arian doctrines...", as if they had believed heresy, and he further stated, "... with deadening consequences to spiritual life", but he offers no proof. The Bible says that he who has the SON has life, and also that "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God." (1 Jn. 4:15). Anyway, we can see that some in the church took reformation very seriously, and I recognize that it demonstrates that many did go all the way back to the true apostolic foundation. However, these believers soon found that the persecution against the truths they had become sure of was doubly fierce, not only from the established Catholic Church, but now also from the growing group of splinter groups from Catholicism now known as the modern Protestant denominations. The Great Prostitute of Revelation 17 is said to be the Mother of Prostitutes, and if the Roman Catholic Church is the entity alluded to, which sits on many waters and on the seven hills (of Rome) decked in purple, scarlet and gold, with whom the kings of the earth commit adultery, filled with excessive luxuries and the blood of the saints, then the Trinitarian Protestant Denominations must be the other prostitutes she mothered (Rev.17:5). Have the mainline Protestant denominations remained faithful, pure and true to the example and teachings of Christ and the Apostles, or have they, for the most part, deviated en mass to follow money, power, politics and secret sin?

 

Again quoting from “The Pilgrim Church”, we find these interesting portions from the historical account of a saint named Kaspar von Schwenckfeld: "The study of the Scriptures became his great delight. He reckoned that if he read four chapters a day he would read the Bible through once a year, and at first made this a rule, though afterwards he left it to the Holy Spirit to direct his reading and did not bind himself to a certain number of chapters daily. 'Christ," he said, is the 'summary of the whole Bible' and 'the principal object of the whole of Holy Scripture is that we may fully know the Lord Christ.' Faith in the accuracy and inspiration of the whole Bible was to him not holding onto an old and doubtful dogma but a new discovery of unlimited possibilities; not ancient superstition but modern progress. He described his reading of Scripture as 'a brooding over, seeking, boring into; indeed a reading and re-reading of all, chewing, meditating, turning over and thoroughly thinking out everything.' 'For there, undiluted treasure is revealed to the believer, pure pearls, gold and precious stones.' As a 'safe rule' for the expositor, he says, 'where disputed passages occur, the whole context must be taken into account, Scripture brought to bear on Scripture, single passages brought to the whole, compared with one another and the application found, not only by the outward appearance of a single passage, but according to the sense of the whole of Scripture.' He studied Hebrew and Greek and in his work made use not only of Luther's translation but also of 'the old Bible' (used by the Anabaptists) and the Vulgate. He found the key to much that is contained in the Old Testament in the typical use made of it in the New. He determined to yield himself to the guidance of the Scriptures in doctrine and in practice, and, 'if we do not understand everything,' he said, 'do not let us blame the Scriptures for it, but rather our own ignorance.' Eight years after his first 'visitation' he had a further experience which seemed to him to affect his life even more. Up to this time he had been zealous in proclaiming the Scriptures and Lutheranism; but now what he had intellectually believed turned to an entire persuasion of the heart. He was made aware of his heavenly calling, received an overwhelming assurance of salvation, yielding himself to God as a 'living sacrifice'.

 

A deep sense of sin and appreciation of the sufficiency of the redemption wrought for us in Christ, by His death and resurrection, captured his will, transformed his mind, and brought him to that obedience in which he found liberty to do the will of God. He also made the discovery that the Scriptures not only give sure guidance as to personal justification and sanctification, but that they also contain definite instruction with regard to the Church. 'If we would reform the Church,' he said, 'we must make use of the Holy Scriptures and especially of the Acts, where it is clearly to be found how things were in the beginning, what is right and what is wrong, what is praiseworthy and acceptable to God and to the Lord Christ. He saw that the Church in the time of the apostles and their immediate successors, was a glorious gathering, not only in one place but in many. He asks where such assemblies are to be found today, for, he says, 'the Scripture knows no others than those which acknowledge Christ as their Head and willingly yield themselves to be ruled by the Holy Spirit, who adorns them with spiritual gifts and knowledge.' Jesus Himself directs through the spiritual gifts which He dispenses, not only to the whole Church, but also to the separate assemblies. In these assemblies spiritual gifts are manifested for the common good; the same Spirit divides the gifts, but they are manifested in each one of the members.

 

The Spirit has untrammeled liberty. If one, led by the Spirit, rises, the one already speaking must cease. The churches are not perfect: it is always possible that hypocrites may creep in unobserved, but when detected they must be excluded. Schwenckfeld could not therefore recognize the Reformed religion as a Church, because the great mass of the baptized Christians were without the Spirit of Christ and took the Sacrament without the grace of God. 'It is clear and evident,' he says further, 'that all Christians are called and sent to praise their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to publish His virtues who has called them from darkness to His wonderful light, and to confess His Name before men.' Any restrictions of the universal priesthood of all believers is a limitation of the Holy Spirit. 'If in the time of Paul they had acted thus, and only those appointed by the magistrate had been allowed to preach, how far would the Christian faith have reached?' How would the gospel have reached to our times?'

 

Some are chosen from among the believers to special service, and are fitted for and separated to their office, not by study, election, or ordination, but by the thrust, revelation and manifestation of the Spirit, 'that Christ is with them being shown in grace, power, life, and blessing.' Since their calling and sending is soley from od, in the grace of Christ, they act with power and with great assurance in the Holy Spirit, souls are born again, hearts are renewed, the kingdom of Christ is built up. He continues: 'The believers can never be tired of such apostolic, spiritual preachers, nor hear them enough, for they find with them the power of God and food for their souls; it is of such that the Lord Christ said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me" (Jn.13:20). No unconverted person or one of unholy conduct can be a right minister for the increase of the church, even though he might be Doctor and Professor, know the Bible off by heart, and be a great orator... What sort of ministry is that, where the teacher is himself untaught in his heart... and does not believe what he teaches, that is, does not himself do or act what he says, whereas, in the right ministry of the New Covenant, according to the instruction of all apostolic Scriptures and the example of the Lord Christ Himself, these two must always go together.' '... He did not attach himself to those called Anabaptists. Though he describes them as a God-fearing people, separate from the great mass of those who were indifferent to religion, distinguished by their upright conduct and deep religious earnestness, yet he accuses them of legalism and ignorance... He says they had little well-grounded knowledge as to sin, salvation through the grace of God, and assurance of salvation, and especially that they had not grasped the ideal of the true Apostolic Church. He wrote, 'They persuade themselves that... as soon as they are received outwardly ... into their own self-gathered assemblies, they are the holy people of God, a people that He has chosen out from among all others, a pure, unblemished church... although the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the ornament and beauty of Christian assemblies and churches, as described in the Holy Scriptures, are very little in evidence among them.' An outward orthodoxy is to them the mark of the true Church of Christ. Therefore an unbiblical spirit of judging, and spiritual pride, are characteristic of them. 'They are so well pleased with themselves in all that they do, that all others, who are not of their way of thinking, that is, who have not accepted their baptism and will not join their assemblies, are condemned by them, separated from the fellowship of the saints of God, as they regard it, and considered as under Satan's power.

 

Even if they were as full of faith as Stephen, filled with the Spirit and godly wisdom, that counts for nothing among the Baptists, so fast are they fixed, especially the leaders, in frivolous judgements, in self-love and in spiritual pride.' They are always breaking bread in their assemblies, and this, and water baptism, take the place of that which is inward and more important. 'If you were to see one of their companies you would take them for the people of God, for there is no doubt as to the piety of their outward conduct.' He points out, however, that the Pharisee in the parable had a more pious outward appearance than the publican. 'Not,' he adds, 'that we wish to blame outward piety, either in Baptists or monks,' but 'more is required than just, "Come here and be baptized." ' He complains also that tyranny was exercised over the consciences of the members, that there was legality as regards habits, dress and outward things...', ...and reminds his hearers that there were true Christians among them, who, in spite of lack of knowledge, had life from God... 'Oh would to God we were truly the body of Christ, united in the bonds of love... but alas there is as yet no sign of anything that could be compared with the first church, where the believers were of one heart and of one mind... We will, however, stand fast in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and not enter into any human sect, nor turn away from the universal Christian Church; we will not be bound by any yoke of bondage but only cling to the one divine sect of Jesus Christ... My desire and the wish of my heart is that I might help everyone to the truth and unity of Christ and His Holy Spirit and not that I should be a cause of sectarianism, division, or falling away

from Christ... As there are now four that are called churches, the Papal, Lutheran, Zwinglian, and Baptist or Pickard, and each condemns the other...

 

So the more these churches condemn one another so much the more will those who fear God and live uprightly and Christianly, be, in the sight of God, unexcluded and uncondemned (Acts 10:34-35)... Although I have so far fully joined myself to no church... yet I have not despised any church, persons, leaders or teachers. I desire to serve everyone in God, to be the friend and brother of each who has a zeal for God and loves Christ from the heart... Therefore I pray God to lead me aright in all things, to enable me, according to the Apostolic rule, rightly to recognize all spirits, especially the Spirit of Jesus Christ; to teach me to prove all things and to distinguish, and to accept and hold what is good, so that in this present state of divisions and separations, I may attain, with a clear, sure conscience in Christ, to truth and unity... My liberty does not suit all... some call me an eccentric... and many look on me with suspicion... but God knows my heart... I am... no sectarian, and with God's help, will not be a disturber of peace. Rather than destroy anything good, I would die. And therefore I have not fully attached myself to any party, sect, or church, so that I might, in the will of God, though His grace, apart from party serve all parties.' ... They prayed and looked for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit before the Lord's coming, which would unite His Church." (p.213-219)

 

Now although it seems like our dear brother Kaspar eventually ended up erring somewhat about Christ to whatever degree, maybe partly due to his apparent failure to embrace the unpopular proper conclusions about God and the Lord Jesus in respect to the Trinity doctrine, what he wrote here is powerful. Of course we are all ignorant of Christ to such a large degree, and I believe that we will be amazed when we learn the degree of the depth of knowledge Paul was given concerning Christ. Nonetheless, Brother Kaspar had a very interesting grasp of many truths, and he recognized the same things that my wife Stephanie and I realized after attending a local Mennonite fellowship for a while. The things he wrote about the Anabaptists is so perfectly applicable to many of the modern Mennonite, Brethren and probably Amish congregations, that it amazes me how he hits the nail right on the head so many times. One point I would like to stress here is that all denominations, even those who insist that they are not, become controlled and corrupted when they are built upon the wrong foundation of God the Trinity and God the Son. Even those who seem to have so many outward things down to a science are themselves lacking so much that they don't realize. The gates of hell will not prevail against the church that is built on the foundation of the corporate revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. We must build on the exact, correct and experiential knowledge of the specific Lord Jesus Christ, and you cannot believe properly about Christ if you don't accept His teachings that God is His and our God. Even if we get religion down to a science, it becomes, to whatever extent, empty of the power of the Spirit of Christ if we believe and preach the wrong Jesus.

 

Enter Thomas Campbell, a Presbyterian minister who came to America from Ireland in 1807. Of him Mr. Broadbent records, "He was well received by the Synod then sitting in Philadelphia and sent to Western Pennsylvania, where his unusual gifts and spiritual character made him acceptable. Some, however, doubted his loyalty to the 'Secession Testimony' as he taught that the Scriptures alone provide the true basis of faith and conduct, and deprecated the prevailing party spirit in the churches. Being sent to visit in a sparsely populated district in the Alleghany Mountains, he received at the Lord's Supper believers who, though Presbyterians, did not belong to this particular circle. For this he was censured, and, defending his action as being in accordance with the teachings of Scripture, he was treated in so hostile a spirit as to induce him to withdraw from the Seceder body.

 

Many Christian people of different denominations continued to attend his ministry, being dissatisfied with the divided state of religion and sympathizing with his teaching that union could only be obtained by a return to the Bible, and that a better understanding of the difference between faith and opinion would lead to a forbearance likely to do much toward checking divisions. In a house between Mount Pleasant and Washington a meeting was held (1809) where those present conferred as to the best means of putting these principles into practice. Thomas Campbell spoke of the evil of divisions, showing that they are not inevitable, since God has provided in His Word a standard and guide sufficient for the needs of the churches in all times. It is by building up religious theories and systems outside of the Scriptures that strife and dissention have come in, therefore it is only by a return to the teachings of the Word that true unity can be regained. As a rule for their guidance he proposed that 'where the Scriptures speak, we speak; and where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent.' A Presbyterian present said, 'If we adopt that as a basis, then there is an end of infant baptism', to which Thomas Campbell replied, 'If infant baptism be not found in Scripture, we can have nothing to do with it." (p. 317, 318)

 

According to Mr. Broadbent, they together decided and declared that, "... Each one is bound by the Word of God but not by any human interpretation of it. Tired of party strife, they desired to take and recommend such measures as would give rest to the churches. They despaired of finding this in a continuance of party contention or discussion of human options; it can only be found in Christ and His unchanging Word. Let us therefore return (they wrote) to the original pattern and take the Word of God alone as our rule. They had no intention of forming a church, but only a society for the promotion of Christian unity and of 'a pure evangelical reformation by the simple preaching of the gospel, and the administration of its ordinances in exact conformity to its Divine standard.' ... It had become clear to him (Alexander Campbell) that to join any party would be contrary to the principle of return to the teachings of Scripture... As they were not able to transform the existing churches, they hoped that the example of a church outside of all parties and exhibiting the principles of the New Testament would give further effect to the truth of unity by a return to the Scriptures in which they believed. This church was solemnly formed (1811) at Brush Run. An elder, an evangelist, and deacons were chosen. The Lord's Supper was taken on the first day of the week, and this was done each week. There were about thirty members. Rejecting all claims to apostolic succession, they found that in each of the New Testament churches there were several elders (or bishops, or overseers) and deacons (or servants) for the building up of the church, and there were evangelists sent out to preach the truth in the world. The form of ordination was not regarded as conferring authority but as a testimony that those ordained had authority from God. There was no distinction of clergy and laity." (p. 318-321)

 

He goes on to further record in “The Pilgrim Church”, about the development of a movement among Methodists in North Carolina and Virginia, "... which at first took the name of 'Republican Methodists', but soon abandoned this and decided to take no name but that of 'Christians'. They acknowledged no head of the church but Christ, formulated no creed or rules, but accepted the Scriptures alone for their guidance. Soon after this a similar movement originated among Baptists. A doctor, Abner Jones, and a Baptist preacher, Elias Smith, founded churches in the Eastern States, where faith and godliness were made the basis of reception and not membership of any particular sect (from 1800). Other preachers from among the Baptists joined them and gifted men were raised up in the new churches who carried the gospel for afield. All these took the name of 'Christians' only and accepted the Scriptures alone as their sufficient guide." (p. 322, 323)

 

Then he records a Presbyterian movement that started after "... the succession of five ministers , who formed the Springfield Presbytery and declared their abandonment of all confessions and creeds and their acceptance of the Scriptures alone as the guide to faith and practice. (Barton Warren) Stone gathered his congregation and told them that he could no longer support any religious system but would work henceforth for the advancement of Christ's Kingdom and not for any party. He gave up his salary and worked hard at his little farm, while continuing to preach. After a year, during which he acted in unison with the Springfield Presbytery, they all came to see that such an organization was unscriptural, so gave it up. Their reasons are recorded in a document entitled 'The last Will and Testament of Springfield Presbytery.' They took the name of 'Christian,' which they believed to have been given by divine appointment to the disciples at Antioch. This company, meeting thus at Cane Ridge in 1804, thought it was the first church that had met on the original apostolic principles since the great departure from them in the time of Constantine. Similar churches soon multiplied and each congregation was considered as an independent church. Believers' baptism began to be taught among them, was accepted, and became their practice.

 

The movement spread rapidly through the Western States and coming into touch with the two others in the East and South, combined with them to form the 'Christian Connection,' all being of one mind to leave the bondage of human creeds, take the Scripture only as their guide and walk in the simplicity of the primitive churches... It had been generally held that man is incapable of doing anything toward his own salvation, cannot even believe except by an operation of the Holy Spirit. Therefore there was much waiting for some inward spiritual experience which would be evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart. Then some began to point out that man's will must be exercised, that when he hears the gospel he is responsible to accept it by faith, and that the responsibility for refusing or neglecting it, with consequent abiding loss, also lies on him. Walter Scott... felt that much preaching is apparently ineffective because it is not sufficiently impressed on the hearers that they are responsible to accept Christ by faith as their Saviour on the testimony of Scripture and apart from any feelings in themselves which they might consider were evidence of the working of the Spirit. He noticed in the New Testament that those who believed were baptized; they were not afraid to take that definite action." (p. 325- 327)

 

It sounds to me like they get it right in many ways, yet apparently not quite. It seems to me that this misconception of the sacredness of defending Christ's divinity, i.e. that He is literally God, has at least been a major factor in tripping up almost every sincere effort to restore the church to its original condition and function. Mr. Broadbent writes concerning this same aforementioned group, those associated with Thomas and Alexander Campbell, and those who were called the 'Christian Connection, "... They preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified... Their opponents liked to call them 'Stonettes' or 'Campbellites,' but they rejected these and all sectarian names. They spoke of themselves as 'Christians,' 'Disciples,' 'Churches of Christ.' One of their leaders in the second generation, Isaac Errett (1820-1888) describes them thus: 'With us the divinity and Christhood of Jesus is more than a mere item of doctrine---it is the central truth of the Christian system, and in an important sense the creed of Christianity. It is the one fundamental truth which we are jealously careful to guard against all compromise. If men are right about Christ, Christ will bring them right about everything else. We therefore preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We demand no other faith, in order to baptism and church membership, than the faith of the

heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; nor have we any term or bond of fellowship but faith in the divine Redeemer and obedience to Him. All who trust in the Son of God and obey Him are our brethren, however wrong they may be about anything else; and those who do not trust in the divine Saviour for salvation, and obey His commandments, are not our brethren, however intelligent and excellent they may be in all beside... Tendencies towards the development of a denominational system naturally showed themselves in time." (p.327, 328) They recognized the great fact that we must believe the truth about Jesus to have the foundation right, and yet go to talking about "the divinity of Jesus" and "the divine Saviour" being "the creed of Christianity", when these half truths are not terms found in the Bible even once.

 

Of course, as I have mentioned already, Jesus is divine in the proper perspective, yet most equate Christ's divinity with the false belief that it means that He is literally very God. Yet we have much to learn from the things they taught and did rightly, and they seem to have emphasized that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

 

If the doctrine that Jesus is God is THE Creed of Christianity, why isn't that creed spelled out clearly even once in the Bible, and why is there so much that contradicts it? It seems to me that the biblical creed of Christianity about God and the Lord Jesus would be 1 Cor. 8:6, 1 Tim. 2:5, and Eph. 4:4-6. If we would only stop sinning and fast and pray and study these truths long enough for God to give us great confidence in these truths about the real Jesus, we would be thankful to step out and get this last duck in the row, then finding out that it is really the first duck, so to speak. Then the revival would last. Now that persecution has greatly slowed in the Western world, affluence, self indulgence and worldliness and secret sin has taken over in keeping the church bound from discovering these things and acting on them.

 

Concluding my review of this book, I quote from page 406 to demonstrate this particular shortcoming of those such as our seemingly dear brother Broadbent, who learn and teach such excellent truths yet who do not go far enough in this matter. Most modern Christians, in fact, stumble over the Great Stumbling Stone in a different way that is nowadays so common, yet is so foreign and strange to the Old and New Testament saints. He wrote, "... God is of such nature that the misery of fallen man has constrained Him to lay aside His heavenly glory, to become Man, to bear all our sin..."!! It sounds so right because we have almost all become accustomed to believe that this is biblical. Notice the different gospel this fallacy would absolutely necessitate: "For God so loved the world that He laid aside His heavenly glory and became a Man, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The only unity that is possible for the church is given by God's grace to those who recognize the God and Father of (over) our Lord Jesus Christ, who follow the real Lord Jesus Christ, and who are filled with the same Holy Spirit. Notice these truths in this verse:

 

"May the God... give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom.15:5,6) There will be no unity where people cannot recognize that God is God the Father, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is His Son who was sent by God to save sinners who believe, and that is one of the greatest reasons why Christianity is splintered in over twenty two thousand different, yet still warring within themselves, denominations and sects. Oh that we would all live as one in Christ, and finally love one another.

 

Chapter 72) OTHER MISUNDERSTOOD SCRIPTURES

 

Peter mentioned that some of the things that Paul said were “hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2Pt.3:16). I am absolutely astounded at the power of error and deception, and am convinced that pride and sin are at the root of long term darkness of understanding, if from nothing else but the self confidence that deters us from seeking God for understanding. I believe that this particular misunderstanding I have been addressing constitutes the greatest doctrinal error in all the history of Christendom, and perfectly exemplifies the truth that our light can become GREAT darkness (Mt.6:23) in certain areas of our understanding, while in many other ways we may be enlightened and correct, just as the Pharisees were. God often uses us in spite of our incorrectness of doctrine, but we must be on guard against pride when God sends correction that we don’t immediately recognize as such. The fact that God has blessed us and used us thus far must never be allowed to cause us to lower our guard against complacent apathy and/or overconfidence. We are responsible for what we hear, and to act on anything that warrants action, one way or another. This is one of the greatest tests that God allows His servants to experience, and one of the greatest opportunities to become as children, learning painful yet enriching humility and teachableness. The degree we can engage in fruitful labor for the Lord Jesus in the future is always affected by the paths we choose today.

 

There is actually a spirit of error that operates within the world and within the church. For it is written, “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error”. (1Jn.4:6). Do you know Him? Don’t be too sure. For the Scripture says, “No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known Him” (1Jn.3:6). And, “The man who says, ‘I know him’, but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1Jn.2:4). Isaiah 9:6: “He will be called, ‘Wonderful Counselor’, ‘Mighty God’, ‘Eternal Father’, ‘Prince of Peace’.” Jesus came in the Father’s name, and Himself has been and will be called these names. We should understand that any biblical error is usually because the truth is not as obvious as the error is deceptive. We will always find it easy to believe our previous misconception about something if we want to, especially if it is what most people believe. It will seem so right because that is what we have religiously believed about it already. To believe that this name ‘Mighty God’ means that Jesus is literally God is forgetting that every scripture must be understood by the rest of Scripture. I have already very clearly portrayed from the confluence of Scripture that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, the spiritual and heavenly man who is like God, and is called "God" by His God, God Himself (Heb.1:8). It is commonly agreed that both Hebrews 1:8,9 and Isaiah 9:6 both refer to Jesus. So that means that the reference to this ‘God’s’ God in Heb.1:9 would also have to apply to this same ‘Mighty God’ in Isaiah 9:6, since they both refer to the same person. JUST LIKE Hebrews 1:9 tells us that this ‘God’, Jesus, has a God who set Him above His companions,

 

So also this same ‘MIGHTY GOD’, Jesus, spoken of here in Isaiah, has a God, the  same SAME GOD THAT SET HIM ABOVE HIS COMPANIONS, who Himself is the one true God. Jesus talks about His God many times, so this is nothing new to God’s truth. This is exactly the same phenomenon that I discussed in detail concerning Heb.1:8,9, so I will not go on repeating the same truths here. The man Christ Jesus is also the Mighty God, Lord of heaven and earth. His throne, in other words, His ‘mighty’ rule, will never end. When God calls someone ‘God’, it is not because they are a little weak pseudo god. The term Mighty, in connection with God, is redundant. Any real God is mighty. Jesus is the MIGHTY GOD, and we shall be like Him! I refer again to Josh and Bart’s book, to relate their quote from Herbert C. Leupold concerning these names from Isaiah 9:6. While trying to prove that Jesus is literally God, and that these verses demonstrate as much, they quote him as saying, “This is the type of character that will be his...he is called these names because he actually is the kind of person the names say he is." {31} This confirms what I am saying. Jesus' name is called MIGHTY GOD because His character is just LIKE GOD'S, HE IS OF GOD, IN GOD, FILLED WITH GOD AND ONE WITH GOD. JESUS IS THE “EXACT REPRESENTATION OF THE SUBSTANCE” AND THEREFORE “THE TYPE OF CHARACTER” OF ALMIGHTY GOD (Heb.1:3). HE IS EXACTLY ‘THE KIND OF PERSON” THAT GOD THE FATHER IS, AND HE RULES AS GOD DOES, AS BEING THE MIGHTY GOD THAT HE TRULY IS, while of course not being the one and only true God. If we mistake His being named ‘Mighty God’ to mean that Jesus is literally God, which cannot be true, then we must likewise take the name ‘Eternal Father’ to mean that Jesus is the Father Himself, Yahweh, which similarly cannot be true. Conversely, for anyone to assume that Jesus is not nor will ever be a father because He was crucified before He had any children is also a mistake. The Scripture says, “...he will see his descendants...” (Is.53:10). And, “Here am I, and the children GOD HAS GIVEN ME” (Heb.2:13). It was only as being in Christ that Paul could say, “...for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel” (1Cor.4:15). Therefore Jesus is already our spiritual father much more than Paul.

 

Also, “...Abraham is the spiritual father of all who believe in God and are accepted as righteous by him” (Rom.4:11). And how much more than Abraham is Jesus our spiritual father? And, of course Jesus will have children throughout eternity, and so will we. For it is written, “ALL THINGS ARE YOURS...”, and this includes THE THINGS WE HAVE NOW, EVEN LIFE and death itself (1Cor.3:22). And that definitely includes the ability to have children, among very many other joys and thrills. God has given all the animals and sinful man the ability to have children, and we greatly underestimate His love and plans for us if this concept shocks us. If you think that we shall never have children just because our marriage to Christ will preclude us from marrying one another, then just ask God about it. It is not important that you believe or understand this now. We shall be like Him, and He is like God, and God is The Father who has many children. But there are actually whole denominations built upon the belief that Jesus IS the Father Himself. That advanced level of deception can even come to people who have been filled with the Holy Spirit and then become warped by pride and contention, or to those who have just been taught wrong. At least the original Trinitarians had sense enough to attempt to create a detailed doctrine to accommodate their error, trying to reconcile it with modified scriptures where they could, and calling the rest “a great mystery“. Instead, this ‘Oneness’ Doctrine of the so called ‘Apostolic Faith’, as taught by the United Pentecostals, for example, just leaves many of the anomalies created by their error without even a pretence of a rational explanation. Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14: “...He will be called Immanuel, which means ‘God (is) with us”’ (TCNT,TEV). Again, this does not mean that Jesus would literally BE God Himself. This is what it means when the Scriptures say that Jesus came in the name of the Father. GOD WAS AND STILL IS WITH US IN THE PERSON OF HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST. God the Father was not with us in a body, whom they named Jesus. And, please think, God was not in God. And think, if God is truly a Trinity, then the Trinity was not in the Trinity incarnate. No, God was in Christ by the fullness of the Holy Spirit dwelling in Him. And God still is with us in Christ, and will always be! Joshua, son of Nun, who was Moses’ successor, is called Joshua which means “YAHWEH (is) OUR SAVIOR”. Yet that does not mean that He IS Yahweh our Savior Himself. He personally exemplified Yahweh’s deliverance, but Jesus does so completely. He is the exact personification of Yahweh our salvation, of Yahweh our healer, of Yahweh our righteousness, etc. In Jesus, the reality of God's name and salvation was and is fully exemplified. John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.”

 

Here is one of the many examples of a scripture that is clearly explained by other scriptures. Was Jesus claiming to be one and the same person as God? He cannot possibly be claiming that, because that would contradict all of the scriptures I have included in this work, and many more. Jesus explains just what He means by this 'oneness’ in His prayer for all of us recorded in John chapter 17. He prayed, "...that all of them may be one, Father, JUST AS ARE IN ME AND I AM IN YOU. May they also BE IN US...I have given them the glory that you gave me, that THEY MAY BE ONE AS WE ARE ONE : I IN THEM AND YOU IN ME. MAY THEY BE BROUGHT TO COMPLETE UNITY...” (Jn.17:21-23). Was Jesus asking God that we may all be the same person "just as”He and Jesus were the same person? No, He was praying for our perfect spiritual unity by each being filled with the same Holy Spirit unto complete maturity and unity. He is given to us TO BE WITH EACH OF US FOREVER (Jn.14:16), unifying us all together with God as new spiritual men in Christ (1Cor.12:13,Eph.4:4). We will all together be revealed as God’s sons (Rom.8:19), forever one with Jesus as God's glorious temple, the body and bride of Christ, our head, in whom God will dwell forever (Eph.2:21,22,2Cor.6:16)! Jesus and God are ONE IN SPIRIT, just as we are now united with the Lord and therefore “one with him in Spirit” (1Cor.6:17). Acts 18:25,26: “...the way of the Lord...the things concerning Jesus (vs.25) have been pointed out to be synonymous with “...the way of God...” (vs.26). Some then draw the conclusion that this must mean that Jesus is synonymous with and therefore IS THE GOD of the “way of God’. There are QUITE A FEW SIMILAR ASSOCIATIONS MADE IN THIS SAME WAY, which many twist to jump to the same erroneous contusions (sic). Jesus and God are both called ‘Lord’, the ‘Alpha and Omega, ‘the First and the Last’, our righteousness, sanctification, Redeemer, Judge, Shepherd, Healer, giver of life, Savior, Husband, etc. Every knee will bow to both, both are prayed to, forgive sins, walk on the water, received worship, are eternal, will never change, were in the beginning, said ‘I AM, fill the universe, created the world and raised the dead, etc. These facts are often cleverly (though not usually in a deliberately deceitful effort) combined and offered as proof that Jesus is absolute God, all using the same shallow but ‘believable at first glance’ logic. These assumptions are based upon truths mixed with misunderstandings, which together are used to form the faulty foundational premise upon which the predetermined false conclusion is forced to sit.

 

This type of faulty reasoning often goes something like this: God is called “light” in First John 1:5. We Christians are also called “light” in Ephesians 5:8. Therefore, these two scriptures ‘prove’ that WE ARE GOD! Now of course this kind of logic is obviously faulty in this example, but it is much easier to fall for this kind of reasoning WHEN WE WANT to believe something or to prove a predetermined conclusion. These kinds of ‘proofs’ by association fail to take into consideration many of the things I have been teaching and exposing in this work, such as how God is our Creator, Savior, Healer, Shepherd, Sanctification, Redeemer, etc. THROUGH Jesus. God is the original, primary source and initiator of everything through the vehicle of His Word, His Expression, His Son Jesus. Again, when God saved us through Jesus, it was God Himself who was saving us. And so Jesus can be said to have saved us, without Him constituting ‘another’ Savior ‘apart’ from God, for He is not ‘another’ nor ‘apart’ from God in that way. Many who use these kinds of ‘proofs’ often negligently fail to consider that Christ Jesus is like God, being His Son, image, exact representation, and heir of all that God has and has given Him . They ignore, or are ignorant (to whatever degree) of the fact that He therefore, IN, OF AND BY GOD CAN DO AND SAY MOST OF THE SAME THINGS AS GOD HIMSELF. And because of their oneness Jesus can be spoken of as God. Of course Jesus cannot, nor would He want to say certain things that only God can say. For example, Jesus wouldn't say that He is literally God, the originating source of all things. He wouldn't say that He has no God, that He’s never died, that He is the head of Christ, that He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, that He raised Christ from the dead or that the Messiah is His Son, etc., as only God could say.

 

For example, forgiving sins committed against God is something only God can do, or someone who is doing so while acting as God’s proper representative doing God's will by God’s Spirit. Jesus told His disciples after He blew on them, commanding them to receive the Holy Spirit, “If you forgive anyone His sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven” (Jn.20:23). After they were born of the Spirit they were given the same authority that Jesus was accused of blasphemy for exercising, yet this does not prove that they are each God! It is very important to note that Jesus NOW “...lives by God’s power’ (2Cor.13:4). And I am not saying that Jesus is still the humble Servant, only saying and doing what God tells Him and shows Him, in the obedient “weakness” with which He allowed Himself to be crucified (2Cor.13:4). He acts on His very own every holy desire and well intentioned impulse, for HE IS OF SUCH A NATURE THAT HE NOW LIVES AND RULES AS ABSOLUTE LORD OF THE UNIVERSE, yet “BY GOD'S POWER” (2Cor.13:4). WHAT HE CHOOSES AS LORD IS ALWAYS GOD’S WILL, and that is putting His power and liberty very mildly! He sounds like a Mighty God to me, and He will certainly look so when we see Him! And we shall be like Him!

 

I would like to interject to anyone who thinks it is wrong to aspire to be like Jesus when the plain scriptures promise that this is our destiny, may be failing to address the clear implications of these plain scriptures. But if they believe that Jesus is very God, then when they address the clear implications of verses that say that we shall be like Him, they will realize that they are actually much more extreme than I by believing that created beings could actually be just like God Himself. Of course we will be like God in many ways when we become like Jesus in most ways. We are commanded even now to imitate God (Eph.5:1), and are told that our new self is already created to be like God (Eph.4:24), that is in real righteousness and holiness.

 

So, of course ‘the way of the Lord’, ‘the things concerning Jesus’, and ‘the way of God’ are the same way and things, and none who have read this far should need to be reminded why. To say that this fairly obvious fact proves that Jesus is literally God is jumping to hasty conclusions based on similar facts, while ignoring or failing to consider the rest of the facts. We are light because we are in the Lord (Eph.5:8), who is the light of the world. Jesus is light because He is of, in and filled with God (Jn.10:38,14:10,20), who is Himself light and the INDEPENDENT SOURCE OF ALL THINGS. Jesus is spoken of as Yahweh, and God, yet I repeat again, all of Scripture teach us that He is not literally Yahweh God Himself.

 

Chapter 73) EXHORTATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

The Bible says, “encourage one another daily“... (while you still have time to make the ‘now’ count), …“so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfullness. We have come to share in Christ IF…” (Col.1:23,Rom.11:21,22) “…we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first” (Heb.3:13,14). When examining issues such as these, I reiterate, we must never automatically assume safety in numbers, for the masses are often wrong, and God’s genuine followers have often deviated en masse in some of the most important and sometimes deadly ways (1Cor.10:1-12, Num.14:10, 30, Ac.7:35, 41-43, 51-53, Jdgs.2:11-13, 1Kg.19:10, Lk.23:18, 20, 23, Heb.3:16).

 

For a very important reason I address this issue again: How many Christians are today regularly indulging in pagan entertainments while excusing and rationalizing it, even sacrificing their own children to the god of this world? Then some have the audacity to complain as these kids grow up to live like the heathen, who don‘t know God. Then they furthermore condone the practice in others whom they are supposed to be loving, in other words helping them to live holy and righteously. Pure religion, we may forget, involves KEEPING YOURSELF UNPOLLUTED FROM THIS WORLD (Jms.1:27,4:4). And, we are supposed to “...PURIFY OURSELVES FROM EVERYTHING THAT CONTAMINATES body AND SPIRIT, PERFECTING HOLINESS OUT OF REVERENCE FOR GOD” (2Cor.7:1), while setting our “minds on things above, NOT ON EARTHLY THINGS”, for we died with Christ to loving our lives in this world (Col.3:2). Those who continue to follow their example and join in the same corrupted worldly Christian lifestyle will share their fate, to whatever degree they each deserve. And those who believe any of the false teachings that result from (or are perpetuated by) their deviations will also reap the consequences to their own faith, that same faith which is the very vehicle through which they will be saved or not.

 

Keep in mind that just as in Jesus’ day, the religious experts are oftentimes deceived by their own pride in their generally agreed upon ‘knowledge’ and ‘wisdom’. They are sometimes thereby wrong in the most important of ways, sometimes compromising because of wanting to please the crowd. They accordingly can end up unintentionally deceiving those who lazily trust in them, for they usually represent the current convenient whims of the compromised religious general public. Most of us learn our beliefs about God BEFORE we begin to study the facts thoroughly, so IF we have learned or been taught wrongly (never me, always someone else), then history and wisdom dictate that ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THAT NUMBER WILL OVERCOME ‘the odds’ to learn and obey the unexpurgated truth (Rom.6:17,18). ONLY those who by EARNEST PRAYER AND EXERCISING THEIR FAITH IN CHRIST BECOME WILLING TO HUMBLE THEMSELVES TO LEARN TO BELIEVE AND ‘DO’ WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY TEACHES. Oh how most of us hate to do what we are told by a fellow peer, often the very grace bearing vessel God sent to lead, teach or correct us (1Pt.5:5). Only the ones who are DILIGENTLY SEEKING GOD (Heb.11:6) WHILE LEARNING TO BE LED BY THE SPIRIT make it. Only those who LEARN HONESTY AND OBEDIENCE while DENYING THEMSELVES are following the real Jesus on the road He walked. Only those who by grace through faith keep PRAYING effectually, AND LOVING ONE ANOTHER in deed and in truth, hopefully while studying the Bible, ever come out of the man pleasing and mutually confirming (I’m OK, You’re OK) crowd alive, LOVING NOT THEIR LIVES IN THIS WORLD UNTO DEATH (Rev.12:11).

 

I am trying to emphasize that many of us who SAY THAT WE BELIEVE IN AND LOVE CHRIST, EVEN SAYING THAT HE IS GOD, OFTEN LACK CORRESPONDING OBEDIENCE WHERE IT HURTS, WHICH WOULD PROVE THAT LOVE TO BE LESS THAN GENUINE AGAPE. HOW AND WITH WHOM WE SPEND most of OUR ‘FREE’ TIME AND MONEY, AND WHAT WE SPEND OUR ‘FREE’ TIME THINKING AND TALKING ABOUT MOST, TRULY INDICATES WHAT AND WHOM WE LOVE. WE MUST BE BUSY BELIEVING PROPERLY IN JESUS AND LOVING GOD BY LOVING ONE ANOTHER AS WE’VE BEEN COMMANDED. His grace is enough to help us to learn what that REALLY means and to get busy daily doing it, FOR LOVING ONE ANOTHER AND OBEYING GOD’S COMMANDS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING (Gal.5:6,13,14,1Cor.7:19,1Jn.3:16-24,4:7-21). IT MEANS US LEARNING to be led by the Spirit to WILLINGLY LAY DOWN OUR LIVES IN THIS WORLD (Jn.15:13,1Jn.3:16) WITH A VIEW TO BEARING FRUIT (Christ’s character becoming ours). ONLY IN THIS WAY ARE WE ABLE TO TRULY BE HELPING OUR BROTHERS IN CHRIST FOR THEIR ETERNAL PRIORITIES AND BENEFITS.

 

For it is written, “UNLESS a kernel of wheat FALL TO THE GROUND AND DIES, IT REMAINS ONLY A SINGLE SEED. BUT IF IT DIES, IT PRODUCES MANY SEEDS” (Jn.12:24). YOU CAN DO IT! THIS IS THE TRUE ‘PROMISED LAND’. IT IS A SPIRITUAL LAND THAT YOU WILL DAILY BE LED THROUGH, RICH WITH OPPORTUNITIES OF SPIRITUAL ‘MILK AND HONEY’, TO HUMBLE YOURSELF BY BEING CORRECTABLE, TO PROVE YOUR FAITH IN JESUS BY DENYING YOURSELF, AND TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH SOMETIMES COSTLY SERVICE. THEN YOU WILL FIND THAT CHRIST HAS BEEN FORMED IN YOUR HEART, LIVING THERE BY YOUR FAITH THAT YOU’VE BEEN EXERCISING IN HIM (Gal.4:19,Eph.3:17). REMEMBER, CHRIST IN YOU IS THE PROMISED LAND! (Col.1:27,3:3,4,1Jn.5:11,12). BE COURAGEOUS AND GO AND TAKE THE LAND, FOR GOD HAS PROMISED TO GIVE IT TO US, LEADING AND HELPING US EVERY STEP OF THE WAY! (Num.13:16-14:45). START BY PRAYING ABOUT ALL THIS NOW. SPEAK YOUR FAITH (Rom.10:6- 11,2Cor.4:13), not just for ‘prosperity’ or ‘your healing, but first for what God wants.

 

Say these things out loud: “Christ is in me, and I am in Christ“. “I am dead to sin with Christ“. “I am alive to God in Him.” “I have been crucified with Christ and ‘I’ no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, WHO LOVED ME AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME” (Gal.2:20). “I have been joined to Christ by baptism and I am one in spirit with the Lord Jesus” (1Cor.6:17). “As He is, so also are we in this world” (1Jn.4:17). “Jesus is the Son of God, the true Messiah whom God sent, and I overcome the world by faith in Him” (1Jn.5:1,5). “It is God who works in me to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil.2:13). “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28).

 

Those who continue living a ‘Christian life’ without some degree of real fasting, witnessing to others about Jesus, and a developing ‘prayer life’ have missed learning to be led by the Spirit (Rom.8:1-18,Gal.5:16-26), to whatever degree. They are avoiding "the cross", to whatever degree, and it's implications for their life somewhere, probably in front of the T.V. or dining table, in financial or sexual matters. Or it could be by an untamed tongue (Jms.1:26), or a mind wandering on self centered earthly things (Phil.3:19), sometimes even religious things, but usually a combination thereof. The important thing is to be seeking God to learn how to exercise our faith to be able to obey all God’s commands, that is truly loving God and one another. Especially important to this process is loving God by pulling Him first in faithful morning VERBAL prayer, when you seek and draw close to Him, presenting your SPECIFIC requests according to His will so He can answer them all day. And if you are not immersing yourself in the Holy Scriptures, especially the New Testament, you are wasting a condensed and absolute supreme treasure that some of our precious brothers, including Jesus, suffered and died to ‘freely’ set in our laps!

 

Chapter 74) MORE COMMONLY MISUNDERSTOOD SCRIPTURES

 

John 2:19,10:18: “Destroy this temple (referring to His body - vs. 21) and in three days I will raise it up” (2:19). And, concerning His life Jesus said, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I HAVE AUTHORITY TO LAY IT DOWN AND AUTHORITY TO TAKE IT UP AGAIN” (10:18). Some say that Jesus would seem to have to be God to be able to raise His own body up from the grave. That might at first seem plausible unless you considered all the facts. God raised Jesus’ body up the way He chose. He apparently EMPLOYED THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE HIMSELF (Jn.11:25) BY BEFOREHAND GIVING HIM THE COMMAND AND THE AUTHORITY (Jn.10:18), actuated by God upon Jesus’ inevitable spiritual vindication (1Tim.3:16) and subsequent spiritual revival (1Pt.3:18). Anyone who tries to explain this apparent paradox by saying that Jesus was able to raise Himself from the dead because He was God is creating many more impossibilities than they attempted to solve. For one, anyone who had truly died could not, by sheer definition of TRULY being dead, raise their self from the dead, if that resurrection were not initiated and empowered by some other living source of resuscitating life. If we would remember how clearly all the rest of Scripture mutually confirms that GOD IS THE FATHER, and that HE HAS GRANTED ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY TO HIS SON, then we could also realize that there must be a true explanation for this enigma that coincides with the rest of Scripture. And you would be right. If we look at the rest of the very same verse we would find part of the key. Jesus went on to say, "THIS COMMAND I RECEIVED FROM MY FATHER”. I believe that God had given Jesus the authority and the coinciding command to raise His own body from the dead, of course at the right time, when God Himself raised Christ from death.

 

This at first glance seems contradictory, for we may not understand how Jesus could be employed in His own resurrection. It would have to have been by God’s design and initiation. Jesus said that He Himself is The Resurrection and The Life. The Scriptures are very clear in many places that God raised the same man, Jesus, from the dead. The Bible says that through the eternal Spirit Jesus offered Himself TO GOD (Heb.9:14), and that Jesus committed His own human spirit into God’s hands (after having been forsaken by God) before He died (Lk.23:46). It says that He “...was vindicated by the Spirit...” (1Tim.3:16). It also says that “He was made alive by the Spirit” (1Pt.3:18). I believe that as soon as Jesus was vindicated by the Spirit He was automatically revived spiritually by God through the same Spirit of God (Rom.8:10). For it is written, "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, HE WHO RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD will also give life to your mortal bodies THROUGH HIS SPIRIT, who lives in you" (Rom.8:11). Just as God created the world through Jesus, He also raised Jesus from the dead through Jesus taking back up His own life with great power and dignity. As I've shown, God had already commanded Jesus to lay down AND to take back up His own (God given) life. And He did just that. He deliberately "gave up his spirit" (Jn.19:30) on the cross, which was the only way ‘The Life’ could unjustly die. He had said, “No one takes it from me…I lay it down by my own accord. And on the third day after being declared righteous and resuscitated by the Spirit of God Himself, He took up His own soul life and revitalized His own body by His own (God given) power. Notice the Scriptures always speak of God creating the world and raising Christ from the dead, because both were done by God’s initiation, power and command. But it is also true that the pre-incarnate Christ, the Logos, in union with God, formed and fashioned all things with His own hands, as being God’s hands so to speak, because God created all things through Him (Heb.1:10). So when the Bible talks about God creating the universe, and living forever, and many other things, it is speaking about the Son as well (Heb.1:10-12).

 

I believe that Christ’s bodily resurrection was similar. As I quoted, Jesus had to exert His God given authority to even be able to die (Jn.10:18), for He is the Eternal Life Himself who had never sinned. It was a deliberate choice of obedience to God on both counts. He had said, “...I lay down my life ONLY TO TAKE IT UP AGAIN. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. THIS COMMAND I RECEIVED FROM MY FATHER” (Jn.10:17,18). So regardless of all else, JESUS CLEARLY SAID THAT HE HAD RECEIVED ALL AUTHORITY AND POWER FROM GOD, AND SPECIFICALLY THE AUTHORITY TO TAKE HIS LIFE BACK UP AGAIN AS COMMANDED BY GOD, SO HE DEFINITELY DID NOT DO SO AS BEING ‘GOD THE SON’, ABSOLUTE COEQUAL OF GOD HIMSELF. So far I have never seen anyone try to explain any of the actual particulars of JUST EXACTLY HOW THEY PROPOSE THAT JESUS COULD BE GOD, DIE, AND THEN RAISE HIMSELF FROM THE DEAD, MUCH LESS RECONCILE THAT THEORY WITH ALL THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, INCLUDING ALL THOSE THAT SAY THAT GOD RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD? As always, the Bible says nothing about God the Father raising God the Son while they are still one God along with the Holy Spirit, etc. Nor does the Bible say that God resurrected Himself after He died.

 

We can also learn or remember here that Christ was chosen and destined to die on the cross “...before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God (1Pt.1:20). That whole last sentence would be completely unnecessary, and even contradictory if Jesus were literally God in any way. But Peter goes to great length to assure us that when we put our faith and hope in this man Jesus, we are really trusting in and hoping in God Himself, whom Jesus completely represents in every way. So through this scripture we can see that the reason we are believing in God when we believe in Christ is not because Christ is God, but because Christ is the intermediary object for our faith in God, who sent Him, raised Him from the dead and glorified Him. In fact everything that the apostles wrote were written in the belief that it would be clear to anyone who studied the Scriptures and sought God sincerely that Jesus was a man. They made sure to let us know that He was and is a real man whose God is our God, and yet that He is no ordinary man, but God‘s very Son. But they surely did not see the need to make the obvious any clearer concerning His humanity, and God in His great wisdom left many things less than completely clear. God foreknew this whole theological disaster would happen, but they probably didn’t. Jesus was actually chosen and destined to die BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD. Scripture calls Jesus, “…the Lamb SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDING OF THE WORLD” (Rev.13:8). I believe that this happened in the mind and purposes of God as He developed the whole plan of creation, redemption and beyond, and therefore it happened in reality before it happened in time and space as we know it.

 

So then, God is not subject to time in the same way we are, as we might have suspected. This whole thing has already happened, in a way, and that accounts for God's foreknowledge and predestination. We don’t have to understand everything, but it behooves us to believe everything that the Scriptures say. Philippians 2:5-11: "...Christ Jesus: Who existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, having TAKEN THE VERY NATURE OF a servant, having BECOME like men, and having been found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death of the cross.

 

Therefore also God highly exalted him and GRANTED to him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER”. Amazingly, although this scripture proves very clearly that Jesus is not absolute God, yet it is often offered as being primary ‘proof’ that Jesus is fully God. God is mentioned four times in this passage, and not one time does the term refer to Christ! Notice the rendering of the Amplified Bible, which shows exactly what John 1:1 really says, that Jesus, being spiritually one with God, possessed the fullness of the attributes which make God God while existing in the same form as God: “Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God, (possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God)…”

 

From my admittedly very limited understanding of this part of this verse, I see it in either one of two ways: Either Jesus did not consider it to be profit (literal Greek- “booty“, i.e. plunder eagerly grasped from a robbery) to forcibly grasp at equality with God, maybe by rebelliously refusing when being sent to Earth, as the Devil had rebelled at some point in time, but instead willingly gave up all His wealth (2Cor.8:9) and divine glory to become like a poor human servant (Phil. 2:6-8) in a post-fall type of body to obediently die on the cross, or that Jesus did not consider it profit to try to forcibly retain His God given (limited) equality with God. Neither view, nor anything else in this passage says that Jesus was or is literally God. Wuest’s New Testament expands on the meaning of the literal Greek of the next part of this passage this way: “ …having taken the outward expression of a bond slave, which expression comes from and is truly representative of his nature, entering into a new state of existence, that of mankind.” So the Logos became a real flesh and blood human, not just a body, a sacrifice, an appearance or a literal manifestation of God Himself. And the Bible says, “…and being recognized as truly human he humbled himself and even stooped to die the death of the cross,” (Phil.2:6-8Wey). We should notice a very important point here. Even in His pre-incarnate divine state, HE WAS NEVER SAID TO BE GOD, but HE WAS EXISTING IN THE FORM OF GOD. HE THEN ENTERED A NEW STATE OF EXISTENCE BY EMPTYING HIMSELF AND BECOMING A MAN, TAKING HUMAN NATURE UPON HIMSELF. Jesus is thereby again proven to be human by nature, not God by nature. And nowhere does the Bible say that Jesus stopped being human after He was resurrected human with His same human body (Lk.24:39), transformed though it was! But instead the Scriptures THROUGHOUT confirm that HE IS A MAN (1Tim.2:5)! His true identity never changed. He remained that same divine person who was from the beginning, The Logos OF God, who was with God and who had existed in the form of God even after He was made to exist in the form of a man of flesh. And just as the divine essence of His person didn’t change when being made into human form, neither did it change when He willingly was made to be sin and laid down His life. For it says that He, “...through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God...” (Heb.9:14). He committed His spirit into God’s hands as His flesh (body and soul) died. Now God has exalted Him back to His pre-incarnate glory and mode of existence even as the most highly exalted Man Christ Jesus. The Word who BECAME a man of flesh has BECOME a spiritual man (1Cor.15:45) who is like God in every possible way.

 

The Last Adam again now lives in the form of God, who is spiritual. JESUS CHANGED HUMAN NATURE WHEN, AS THE LAST MAN, HE BECAME A LIFE GIVING SPIRIT, as it says, “The last Adam (BECAME) a life giving Spirit“ (1Cor.15:45). The Man from Heaven BECAME a life giving Spirit (1Cor.15:47). So now we can become “...partakers of the divine nature...” (2Pt.1:4) in union with Him. Now we who are in Christ can become like Him when we see Him as He really is (1Jn.3:2), for then we shall realize who we are in Him. Before we leave this we should note that God GRANTED to Jesus the name at which every knee shall bow, not as being God, but as being the worthy Lord whom God exalted (Phil.2:9-11).

 

In this last passage we can learn more about the Logos. Please think of our modern word, “logos”, also spelled “logo”. The logo of a company, brand or product epitomizes the essence of the product or service it represents. But notice that the logos itself is not the literal thing it represents. The ‘Golden Arches’ is all we need to see and we recognize that it stands for ‘McDonald’s’ Restaurant. Of course, much more THE LOGOS is the exact representation of the God He represents and embodies. We see in this scripture that when the Logos BECAME FLESH and dwelt among us (Jn.1:14), He became human in His very form and nature (Phil.2:7). So then, according to His humanity He became a descendant of David through Mary, and through Joseph‘s marriage-not sexual union with Mary. Apparently, when Christ became a man, His essential person and therefore true identity was transplanted into Mary by the Holy Spirit. This miracle transformed the nature of His person and His mode of existence from being a purely spiritual being like God into becoming a servant, a flesh and blood real human being who appeared to be as fallen man, though He had no 'original sin'.

 

So He was still the same person in the real essence of His God like identity, though He found Himself to be a man whose God like person had been transformed into a developing God like man who was learning through the Scriptures and by the Holy Spirit just who He really was. And as a man He was learning to seek, know, love, depend upon and obey God, perfecting holiness in body and spirit out of reverence for God (Jn.17:19,2Cor.7:1,Lk.2:52). Both angels and other men are witnesses that He was and is a real man (1Tim.3:16,Lk.24:39,1Jn.1:1). The only way that we could undeservedly become like God as His sons (Eph.5:1,1Jn.3:2) was for Jesus, who was like God, to become like us, so that now as a man He could again be restored to His former divine glory. He identified with us, was even made to be our sin and then died to it (Rom.6:10), thus taking our sins away. He became accursed for us, so that the blessings of Abraham, and the promise of the Spirit, to which He was heir, would come to all of us who put our faith in Him (Gal.3:13,14). He was raised up as a man in new life to God (Rom.6:10), giving us His new life and thus exalting those of us who join ourselves to Him in vital spiritual union by baptism (Rom.6:3-5).

 

As was briefly mentioned, the Word who became flesh did not become sinful man when entering this world, assuming Adam’s sinful nature at birth. The first Adam demonstrates that one can be completely human in nature without being sinful in nature. Jesus was made human in EVERY WAY LIKE US, and was even eventually tempted in every way like us, yet was without sin. So when God’s commandment came to Jesus, there was no sin in His nature to spring to life and deceive Him (Rom.7:8-11). God’s commandment brought the intended life to Him (Rom.7:10), and the second Adam obeyed God till it hurt, all the way to the death, purchasing (redeeming) our salvation by His life’s blood. This reversed the whole process of sin and death that Adam’s disobedience initiated and passed on to his children (Rom.5:12-21). But the Lamb on the cross was actually MADE TO BE SIN AND TO BECOME A CURSE FOR US (2Cor.5:21,Gal.3:13,Lev.16:20-22). I remind you that GOD CANNOT POSSIBLY BE MADE TO BE SIN NOR A CURSE IN ANY WAY, so this whole misunderstanding is really crazy in this and many other ways. Jesus had to become fully human, like us in every possible way, so that He could become our substitute and take our sins upon Himself (Heb.2:17). So we can see the significance of the "brass" or “bronze” snake that was lifted up in the desert, so that any who were dying in the plague could look to it and be saved (Num.21:8,9). "Brass", or “bronze” sometimes signifies the brittleness of human strength, men being strong but much weaker than we seem (Ps.107:16,Is.45:2,60:17,Dan.2:35-45). Jesus being symbolized as a brass serpent shows us that the MAN Jesus, as our sinful substitute, died while being lifted up in the desert (Jn.3:14,Heb.13:13) in His very own human weakness (2Cor.13:4), but this also indicates to us that the immortal GOD DIDN’T DIE! Jesus has now been exalted to the highest supremacy, not because He is literally ‘God’, but because He humbled Himself to die on the cross (Phil.2:9,Rev.5:9,Jn.10:17). True God doesn’t need to be exalted by anyone. God IS already exalted by divine right, and has never been abased from His exaltation. And thank God now we, by being justified (declared righteous) by our faith in Him, can share in His life (Jesus Himself) and glory forever.

 

Titus 2:13: ”...the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (NIV). Not all versions of the Bible agree with this translation. Obviously THE WHOLE of Scripture always separates the literal God and Jesus, except for one other Scripture similar to this one (noted next) that the same version (NIV) translates in this same manner. These seem to be translated this way by Trinitarian translators who again seem to be trying to create more scriptural support for Christ’s supposed “deity”. The old faithful King James Version seems to have no trouble translating this verse in a seemingly correct manner: “...of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ”. This agrees with all the very numerous places in Scripture where God and Jesus are always differentiated, such as, “...of God our Savior AND OF Christ Jesus our hope” (1Tim.1:1-NIV). The Jerusalem Bible has in the footnote under Tit.2:13 that it can also be correct to translate this verse much like the KJV does, “...our Great God and our Savior, Christ Jesus.” J. B. Phillips (The New Testament in Modern English) also translates this in consistent accord with the rest of the Bible, “...the great God and of Christ Jesus our Savior.” Even if this NIV translation is correct, it would still be accurate according to the teaching I am presenting from the Scriptures throughout this work, because when our Great God appears in and through His visible image and exact representation, the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall see Him and the Lord Jesus in all their glory (it says Jesus comes in the glory of the Father, and His own glory, and the glory of the angels). 2 Peter 1:1: “...our God and Savior Jesus Christ...” (NIV). This same version of the Bible correctly separates God and Jesus in the very next verse, and every other place where they occur like this except for these two spots. There seems to be a great demand for scriptures like this or like the Comma Johanneum that would in some way indicate that Jesus is absolute God, since there are no substantial others.

 

The very next verse after this one in the NIV says, “...of God AND OF Jesus our Lord” (2Pt.1:2). About this first verse, J. B. Phillips again translates things consistently, and I believe accurately, by his punctuation, “...of our God, and Savior Jesus Christ.” And again, the often trustworthy KJV translates this one, “...of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” In this same disputed version (NIV), in verse 17 of this same chapter Peter clearly, for the second time (also in 2Pt.1:2), separates God and Jesus, calling the Father ‘God’, and Jesus God’s Son, “...we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father...’This is my Son...”’ Colossians 1:16: “...by him all things were created...all things were created by him...” (NIV). I have already shown that it was Jesus “... BY WHOM also HE (GOD) made the worlds” (Heb.1:2 NIV).

 

In this passage in Hebrews the NIV clearly distinguishes between God, who is correctly attributed with making the worlds, and His Son, by or through whom God effected the creation. The words ‘by’ and ‘through’ are often used interchangeably in this capacity, and interestingly almost every version of the Bible translates this very scripture in Colossians, “...through him...”, which is clearly the accurate rendering. 1 Timothy 3:16: “God was manifest in the flesh”, or “God appeared in a body...” This is a rare rendition where some decided to go by a few altered, predominantly Byzantine manuscripts after the 8th century, apparently again trying to help God out by substituting the word ‘God’ for ‘he’. After the accumulation of more and more copies of ancient manuscripts confirmed the obvious changes, most versions translate this verse correctly, “He ”, or “He who”, clearly meaning Christ, who is Himself spoken of as being “the mystery of God“, as I earlier quoted. This is the supposed reason that the modern translations do not read as the King James Version: While he was examining the Alexandrine Manuscript in London (a Greek manuscript dating from the fifth century C.E., which contains most of the Bible), Wetstein made a startling discovery. Up till that time, according to the King James Version (1611), 1 Timothy 3:16 was rendered: “ God was manifest in the flesh.” This rendering was reflected in most other bibles in use.’ However, Wetstein noticed the Greek word translated, ‘God,’ which was abbreviated to QC, had originally looked like the Greek word OC, which means ‘who.’ But a horizontal stroke showing through faintly from the other side of the vellum page, and the addition by a later hand of a line across the top, had turned the word OC (‘who’) into the contraction QC (‘God’). With many other manuscripts now confirming Wetstein’s reading, accurate translations of this passage read: ‘He who was made manifest in the flesh’, or, ‘He who…’, referring to Jesus Christ. (American Standard, Moffatt, Weymouth, Spencer, The New English Bible) {32} (Italics from source)

 

Micah 5:2: “...whose origins are from everlasting.” Study the Hebrew and I believe you will see that this really says that Christ’s origins are from the extremely distant past, yes before the beginning, as most versions of the Bible agree, and is in no way saying that He has always existed, nor that He is literally God. The term may mean from extremely early times, and yes, maybe from the indefinite past, yet I am not sure the possible references to ‘indefinite past’ means that Jesus has always existed. Even if that is the case, according to the whole Bible, Jesus is not literally God, simple fact. Proverbs chapter 8 clearly portrays a time of origin, a bringing forth. “I was given birth” is confirmed throughout the Scriptures. How can you have an origin of any kind if you indeed have no origin? The Bible says of Jesus, “…Christ: God’s power and God’s wisdom.” (1Cor.1:24 literal Greek). This truth was not a new revelation from God through the apostle Paul, but was clearly portrayed in the Old Testament. Proverbs, chapter 8 specifically details the Wisdom of God personified. Because Wisdom speaks in the feminine gender, many disregard the remarkable similarities between Wisdom and the Messiah. Paul didn’t disregard it, for by revelation he understood that Christ is that very Being, the Wisdom of God Personified, who was with God in the beginning. John called Him the Logos. When God created man in His image, included in Adam was the femininity of Eve, who was afterward taken out of Adam, and the two together became one flesh. It is no surprise to women that God is both masculine and feminine, two aspects of the one God, who is primarily the ultimate in masculinity, but also of femininity. So don’t be surprised or misled by the fact that God allegorically compared Wisdom and Folly as being two women in the book of Proverbs, one wise and one foolish, for it was an excellent way to highlight the extreme contrasts between wisdom and folly. We can learn a lot about Christ’s pre-incarnate beginning and activities by reading this chapter, and it is fascinating to read different translations of it. Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Logos of God, was birthed, brought forth by God a very long time before the creation of the universe. In Proverbs, chapter eight, Wisdom declares: “For my mouth shall speak truth (vs.7).” Similarly, Jesus said, “I am …the truth”, and He is called the “True Witness”. Wisdom says, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength (vs.14). The Bible says, “…Christ Jesus, WHO HAS BECOME for us WISDOM from God…” 1 Cor.1:30 NIV). And, “ CHRIST : the power of God and THE WISDOM OF GOD .” (1Cor.1:24).

 

Wisdom says, “Riches and honor are with me; yea durable riches and righteousness.” (vs.18). The Bible speaks of “…the unreachable riches of Christ” (Eph.3:8). And Christ is called our righteousness (1Cor.1:30). Wisdom says, “I lead in the way of righteousness.“ (vs.20). Jesus said, “I am the way…“ If this being called Wisdom is not the Logos, then who is it, and why is Christ called the wisdom of God? Now notice some things that should make every dedicated Trinitarian cringe to accept. Wisdom is speaking. “I, Wisdom…” (Prov.8:12)

 

Proverbs 8:22:

 

“The LORD made me as the beginning of His way, the first of His works of old.” JPS

“The LORD created me at the beginning of His work, the first of His acts of old.” RSV

“The LORD begot me, the firstborn of his ways, the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago.” NAB

“The Lord made me as the start of his way, the first of his works in the past.” Bas

“The Lord formed me in the beginning, before he created anything else.” Tay

“The Lord made me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old.” Ber

“The LORD formed and brought me (Wisdom) forth at the beginning of His way, before His acts of old.” Amp

“The Lord created me first of all, the first of His works, long ago.” TEV

 

I believe that the Logos was given birth uniquely, and then through Him God created everything that was created. Yet all things are “of God” as source, and this is why Jesus calls God His God, because He is Jesus' God. Therefore technically the Lord Jesus is not a created being, but a begotten Son of God, set apart as being God's very own unique Son. Yet His birthing from God is a kind of being made or created. The KJV in this verse translates the Hebrew word “qanah” as "possessed". The Strong’s Concordance, the faithful Bible dictionary, translates it as “created”. It is the same word that the NIV translates “created” in Ps. 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” David had not been possessed by God always, he had been formed in some way in his mother’s womb, just as wisdom had been birthed by God in some way. It doesn’t seem as if it could mean, ‘possessed’ here, but it must be something synonymous with “knit me together”. The KJV normally translates a completely different Hebrew word for “possessed” in almost every other place.

 

Proverbs 8:23: “I was set up from everlasting…” KJV There’s the same phrase: “from everlasting” as in Micah 5:2. Let’s see what some other Bibles say.

 

 “I was made in the very beginning, at the first, before the world began.” TEV

“At the outset of the ages had I been established, in advance of the antiquities of the earth. Rhm

“In the earliest ages was I fashioned…” AAT

“Before this age he founded me; in the beginning; before he made the earth.” Septuagint, the Bible of Jesus’ day, and quoted from in the New Testament

“…I was fashioned in times long past, at the beginning, long before earth itself.” NEB

“…from ages past…” Ber

“Ages ago I was set up…” RSV

 

The phrase, “from everlasting’ seems to me to be a very ambiguous term, and not usually,

if ever, what the original Hebrew conveys at all. It seems to me that God would say that

Christ had no beginning and had always been with Him much more clearly and more often if

that’s what He meant. Jesus is spoken of as being “the one from the beginning“ (1Jn.2:14).

 

Proverbs 8:24:

“When there were no depths, I was brought forth.” KJV

“…when I was born…” Jerus

“…I was given birth… Bas

“…I was born.” Mof

 

Proverbs 8:25:

“…was I conceived.” Lam

“…was my birth.” Bas

“…I was born…” Knox

“…I was brought forth.” RSV

“…I was born.” Mof

 

Proverbs 8:27:

“When he prepared the heavens, I was there.” KJV

 

Proverbs 8:30:

“Then I was by him, as a master workman: and I was daily his delight…” ASV

“I was by his side a master craftsman, delighting him day after day…” Jerus

 

The Bible says that God made the world through Jesus, His master craftsman. It says that Jesus is His dearly beloved Son, in whom He delights. Colossians 1:19: “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.” This scripture is often used to show that Jesus must be God (in the literal sense). However, it clearly proves the exact opposite. This verse, and the beginning of this chapter in verse 2 and 3, shows that God is the Father of our Lord Jesus, and that it was God who WAS PLEASED TO have all HIS fullness dwell IN CHRIST. Colossians 2:9: “For in Christ all the fullness of (the Godhead-KJV) divinity lives in bodily form.” Again, this scripture doesn’t teach that Christ is literally God at all. As I have already noted, this word that is translated ‘Godhead’ is ‘theotes’, and it singularly means ‘divinity’. Look it up in the Strong‘s Concordance. The word ‘Godhead’, in my opinion, is an extremely vague and ambiguous term that really means “God ship” or “Godhood”. Yet through abuse the term has become synonymous with the term ‘Trinity’, I believe because it sounds like a group that comes to a head as being one ‘God’. Because THE TERM HAS COME TO BE USED in association with a Trinitarian God, naive or innocently ignorant people fall for it. I believe that the Greek word ‘theotes’, (‘divinity’), really means ‘the nature of God’, ‘the essence of the Spirit of God‘. Therefore the FULLNESS OF ‘the nature and Spirit of God’, or God's divinity, dwelled and continues to dwell in this heavenly man Christ Jesus bodily. The divinity is God’s, and from God, and IS OBVIOUSLY AND COMPLETELY DEMONSTRATED in Christ’s person and character forever (in other words, ‘AND IT SHOWS!’). And in Christ we have been filled with God’s Spirit and are now new people infused with the life of Christ.

 

We are thus partakers in this new production process that sanctifies us and makes us more and more like God (Eph.4:24,5:1,2Pt.1:4) as we partake of the divine nature of God in union with Christ. This process is a natural growth that is intrinsic to the new life of Christ in us (Eph.4:23,24), WHO IS THE LIFE GIVING SPIRIT WHO FEEDS AND GIVES US LIFE, in whom all the fullness of divinity still dwells bodily. We shall be like Him! Revelation 7:10-12,17: “And they cried out in a loud voice: "‘Salvation belongs to OUR GOD, WHO SITS ON THE THRONE, AND to the Lamb’. All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne AND WORSHIPED GOD, saying: ‘Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!...For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water.” This again clearly shows that God and the Lamb are completely distinct persons, not God the Father and God the Son, which are man made distinctions never used once in all the Bible (nor ‘God the Holy Spirit‘ either). God is not the Lamb, and THE LAMB IS NOT GOD again in this verse!! Some need to wake up in the name of Jesus and stop sinning, and they too can more easily see this truth! (1Cor.15:34). YOU CAN OVERCOME BY FAITH IN JESUS, THE SON OF GOD.

 

Acts 5:3-4: "Then Peter said. ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied (we usually lie by first choosing an excuse to sin) to the Holy Spirit and have KEPT FOR YOURSELF some of the money you received for the land (notice that we often exchange money or temporary selfish indulgences for ‘the Promised Land')...You have not lied to men but to God.” First, in consideration of this passage I would like to ask, ARE YOU ALLOWING SATAN TO FILL YOUR HEART WITH ANYTHING DURING YOUR DISCUSSIONS WITH WORLDLY FRIENDS OR FAMILY, WHILE YOUR MIND WANDERS, WHILE IN FRONT OF THE TV, STEREO OR INTERNET, THAT WILL HELP CAUSE YOU TO DO THINGS THAT MAY END UP COSTING YOU YOUR LIFE ONE DAY SOON? Consider this: Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of His brothers, we do it to Him, but that does not mean that Jesus' least brother is literally Jesus. This is the main, or only scripture that seems to really have possible merit used by some to try to prove that the Holy Spirit is literally GOD, the third member of ‘the blessed holy Trinity’, while ignoring the fact that NOT ONE SINGLE SCRIPTURE TEACHES THIS. And worse, IGNORING THAT THE ENTIRETY OF SCRIPTURE TEACHES TO THE CONTRARY, that the Holy Spirit is OF GOD, WHO IS THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. IT TAKES A VERY PRESUMPTUOUS LEAP OF LOGIC TO ASSUME THAT, DESPITE ANY LACK OF SUPPORTING SCRIPTURAL PROOF AND ALL SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS HERE DESIGNATED AS BEING GOD. AND PLEASE CONSIDER, THE WHOLE LIE OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE ‘TRINITY', AND THEREFORE OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE ABSOLUTE DEITY OF CHRIST, stands or falls (although it falls in MANY WAYS) in this obvious failure as being any kind of ABSOLUTE LONE STATEMENT OF PROOF that the Holy Spirit is God.

 

This lack of any real scriptural basis for saying that the Holy Spirit is God, despite the obvious fact that He is the very Spirit of The True God, therefore, is more proof that this whole ‘Trinity’ thing is untrue! Colossians 3:11: “Christ is all, and in all.” If we study the context of this verse, we will see that it is no way saying that Jesus is God. It is saying that, as the second and last Adam, Christ is the new MAN, the beginning of the (new) creation of God. In Him ALL THE OLD DISTINCTIONS of nationality and class, even those based on the Law, are fulfilled and superseded. Christ is all, and in all as being Lord, pre-eminent, the sum total of new life, as God has MADE HIM TO BE (Ac.2:36), until He one day hands the Kingdom back over to God the Father, so that God can again be all, and in all (1Cor.15:24-28). Genesis 18:1,2,9: The three men present when the LORD appeared to Abraham are sometimes used to try to bolster the extremely sparse scriptural case for the doctrine of the 'Trinity’. Fewer and fewer nowadays even recognize the importance of having a scriptural basis for establishing truth about God. The false confidence of our natural human pride doesn’t need to take into account what God has said very carefully. However, upon closer inspection of this passage (vs.10,14,22) we can ascertain, especially in verse 22, that the LORD (YAHWEH GOD) IS ONLY ONE OF THEM, NOT ALL THREE! The other two are spoken of as being men, whoever they really are or represent. Genesis 34:24,30,Hos.12:3: We can see here an interesting example of how a man was a messenger of God, and how that messenger could be confused with being God Himself if someone wanted to do so, by wrongfully employing the convenient simple logic of basic fundamental interpretation. “A man” wrestled with Jacob. Then in verse 30 Jacob says, “I have seen God face to face.”

 

A very few Bible versions translate Hos.12:3 to say, “...he wrestled against God.” So some ignorantly or foolishly deduce from all this that it was therefore literally God who Jacob physically wrestled. A similar misunderstanding is happening in this whole controversy that I address. I wonder to what degree each of us who even care enough to really look into it will GIVE OF THEMSELVES TO SEEK GOD AND GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE ISSUE. BUT, there seems no great need to sacrificially seek God about an issue that most are already absolutely certain they are ‘right’ about. But of course love for God, His truth and for His people should strongly motivate us to do just that. In Exodus 4:16, God is speaking to Moses about Aaron. He says, “...he shall be to you instead of a mouth, and YOU SHALL BE TO HIM AS GOD” (R.V.). The Bible also says that God made Moses “Elohim”, or “God” to Pharaoh (Ex. 7:1). Moses was a type of Christ, who was to come. Moses predicted that God would be sending a crucially important prophet similar to himself. Jesus is AS God to us much more than Moses was to Aaron, and much more than Moses was to Pharaoh. In Christ we too can see the invisible God “face to face” (Jn.14:9,Heb.11:27). And some of us, especially myself, have actually been foolish enough to have contended with God, as Jacob did when he wrestled with the angel (Hos.12:3,4). And it’s only thanks to God through Jesus that we have come out of the contest alive and even a winner, for Jesus took our shame and great loss upon Himself and gives us the mercy and grace of God!

 

Acts 20:28: “The church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.” Again, this seems to be an almost certain case of some manuscripts' copies being altered (including the often corrupted Latin Vulgate), because MANY Greek manuscripts say “church of the Lord” here instead of “God”. I am very confident that this was originally written “church of the Lord...”, as many Greek manuscripts read (see foot note in NIV for one reference), and as some translations read (such as The Amplified Bible, The New Testament-Moffatt’s, The Greek New Testament, and the often accurate in controversial spots NEB). The Notes on Variant Readings in ‘The Greek New Testament’ states: “…By a majority vote it was decided to read in the text τοῦ κυρίου (“he Lord”, found in A, C, D, E, d, gig, Syr., hkl. (margin), and Cop. Sah…he decision was influenced by the following considerations:  church of the Lord), though very rare, is not unparalleled, and the common phrase (the church of God) may well have been substituted for it when the idea of ‘he blood of God’(through Ignatius and others) became less startling.”Even if this rendering, ‘he church of God’ were genuine, it would only confirm that, just as Jesus said, everything God has is His, and everything He has belongs to God (Jn.17:10). Jesus’ blood is obviously God’ s blood.

 

Romans 9:5 " Christ, who is God overall, forever praised!”NIV This seems to be another genuine instance of a mistranslation determined by preconceived notions. Please notice how some other translations interpret the original Greek manuscripts:

 

 “lessed for evermore be the God who is over all!”A New Translation of the Bible, James Moffatt

“od, who is over all be blessed forever.”RSV

“ay God, supreme above all, be blessed for ever!”NEB

“ho now rules over all things and is blessed of God forever”Tay

“ay God, who rules over all, be praised forever!”TEV

“od who is over all be blessed through the ages!”The Riverside New Testament

“ pray that God, who rules over all, will be praised forever!”CEV

 

Notice this explanation taken from the book, “esus- God or the Son of God?” by Brian Holt, the first part being a quote from the appendix to the NWT: “hese translations take (ho on) as the beginning of an independent sentence or clause referring to God and pronouncing a blessing upon him for the provisions he made. Here and in Psalms 67:19 LXX the predicate…eu-lo-ge-tos’ “lessed” occurs after the subject (The-os’ “od”. (See Psalms 68:19 ftn) In his work A Grammar of the Idiom of the New Testament, 7th ed., Andover, 1897, p. 551, G. B. Winer says, “hen the subject constitutes the principal notion, especially when it is

antithetical to another subject, the predicate may and must be placed after it, cf. Psalms lxvii. 20 Sept [Psalms 67:19 LXX]. And so in Romans ix 5, if the words…ho on e-pi’pan’on Theos’eu-lo-ge-tos’and so forth] are referred to God, the position of the words is quite appropriate, and even indispensable.”

 

A detailed study of the construction in Romans 9:5 is found in The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel and Other Critical Essays (Ezra Abbot, pp. 332-438). http://archive.org/details/authorshipoffour00abbo

 

On pp. 345, 346, and 432 he says: “ut here…ho on] is separated from ho khri-stos’ by…to ka--at’sar’a], which in reading must be followed by a pause, a pause which is lengthened by the special emphasis given to the…ka-at’sar’a]… and the sentence which precedes is complete in itself grammatically, and requires nothing further logically; for it was only as to the flesh that Christ was from the Jews. On the other hand, as we have seen (p. 334), the enumeration of blessings which immediately precedes, crowned by the inestimable blessing of the advent of Christ, naturally suggests an ascription of praise and thanksgiving to God as the Being who rules over all; while a doxology is also suggested by the …A-men’ at the end of the sentence. From every point of view, therefore, the doxological construction seems easy and natural…he naturalness of a pause after…sar’a] is further indicated by the fact that we find a point after this word in all our oldest MMS that testify in the case, namely, A, B, C, L,… can now name, besides the uncials A, B, C, L,…t least twenty-six cursives which have a stop after (sar’a), the same in general which they have after…ai-o’as] or A-men’.”(Appendix to the NWT)

 

Mr. Holt then comments, “e also note the same expression is used elsewhere by Paul and it is undeniably given to the Father. At Galatians 1:4, 5 Paul states, “ccording to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”(See also Romans 1:25 and 2 Corinthians 11:31.) In addition, the term “od”appears in the book of Romans 154 times and the other 153 times Trinitarians agree Paul meant the Father when he said God. Now Trinitarians ask us to believe Paul, in this one instance, switches the meaning of the term from the Father to the Son, even when a similar expression in the same book is applied to the Father! This verse does not say Jesus is God. It is the theology of Trinitarians that cause them to translate this verse in a way to show Jesus is God, of which they then turn around and use that translation to justify their theology.”{33}

 

Chapter 75) SOME FINAL SCRIPTURES ABOUT JESUS

 

Notice again the absoluteness of Christ’ humanness: “nd he has given him authority and granted him power to execute (exercise, practice) judgment because he is a son of man (very man).”(Jn.5:27 Amp, parenthetical insertions theirs). Jesus often told us that He was human, both by saying that He is the “on of Man”’ and also by spelling it out even more plainly. As I have already quoted, He said, “.. ME A MAN who has told you the truth that I heard FROM GOD”(Jn.8:40,etc.). We must give due weight to Christ’ own testimony concerning who He is. And, He has never told us anything different, nor did the apostles. Please read that one again, and understand. “…E A MAN…”, very man, as the Amplified Bible confirms, “… heard from God.”Jesus told His disciples, “‘..the Father Himself loves you because you have loved me and HAVE BELIEVED THAT I CAME FROM GOD...’Then Jesus’disciples said, '...This makes us BELIEVE THAT YOU CAME FROM GOD'. ‘OU BELIEVE AT LAST!’Jesus answered" (Jn.16:27-31). Notice that Jesus did not say, “..because you HAVE BELIEVED THAT I AM GOD” but He said, "...because you have ...believed that I CAME FROM GOD”(Jn.16:27). And please notice that His disciples didn’ say, “his makes us BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE GOD” but rather, “his makes us BELIEVE THAT YOU CAME FROM GOD” and Jesus confirmed the correctness of their faith IN HIM BY SAYING, “OU FINALLY BELIEVE!”(Jn.16:30,31) They had said this because He was finally speaking clearly about God. They finally recognized that He knew everything He needed to know about anything pertinent, without anyone needing to correctively question Him. (Jn.16:30,31).

 

The Bible says, “..by His power God raised the Lord from the dead...”(1Cor.6:14). I believe this again very clearly shows the truth of this matter to anyone who has eyes to see. See that for us there really is only one true God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live, and there is really one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came, and through whom we live unto God. This again also clearly proves that the title ‘Lord’when used concerning Jesus is referring to the MAN Christ Jesus, not to some reputed ‘od half‘of Jesus. God did not raise God from the dead, nor did the Trinity raise God the Son from the dead. God will never need to be raised from the dead. God “lone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no one of men did see, nor is able to see…literal Greek 1Tim.6:16)“

 

Some say that Jesus was God even as a baby, having all knowledge and all power. The truth is that Jesus "...grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Lk.2:52). Jesus was not playing games when He prayed three times, “ather, IF you are willing, take this cup from me...” for it had not been fully revealed to Him if there were another possible way or not. Nor was He lying when He said that “nly the Father”knew the day of His return, “ot the Son” (Jn.16:30,31). When the woman who had the issue of blood had touched Jesus to become healed, Jesus wasn’ being deceptive when He asked who had touched Him, He obviously genuinely didn‘ know. The Bible is not being deceptive when it proves that the reason Jesus asked who had touched Him was because He had felt power go out from Him, not because He was omniscient God. Nor was He playing games when He said, “o you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”(Mt.26:53). If He had all power as being God, He could have mopped up by Himself without having to ask God for the angel‘ help. And, think of the obvious implications when Jesus said “ TELL YOU THE TRUTH, THE SON CAN DO NOTHING BY HIMSELF (Jn.5:19). The Son cannot be very God and say this.

 

God, by the very definition of His being, is always self sufficient and acts with complete independence. Can you honestly believe that ‘od the Son’cannot do anything by Himself? IF JESUS WAS REALLY THE ALL KNOWING, ALL POWERFUL GOD, THEN NONE OF THESE STATEMENTS COULD POSSIBLY BE APPROPRIATE. Jesus talked about “..everything that I learned from my Father...”(Jn.15:15). Was Jesus, being God, omniscient during His lessons? He also mentioned “..the times or dates that the Father has set by His own authority.”That does not sound like any decision of the council of the coequal ‘rinity’that I have heard taught. In reality, Jesus knew absolutely everything about anything He needed to know from the Father by the Holy Spirit. And He had all the power He ever needed to do anything God wanted Him to do. And in union with Him, on both counts, so can we. Someone has recently written intimating that since God has limited Himself by forgetting our sins, then it is understandable that God has limited Himself in these other (what I say are unbiblical) ways. The Bible doesn’ say that God cannot choose to forget something, but we need to understand who God defines Himself as being so we can know who is God, of whom are all things, and who is of God (“hrist is of God“. He forgets in regard to His relationship to us, and His perception of us, not because He chose to not be able to recall them anymore.

 

When Jesus forgave and healed the paralytic, “..they praised God who had given such authority to men”(Mt.9:8). The Scripture also says, “e will be great and will be called the Son of the most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David" (Lk.1:32). We know that God is called, “he Father of spirits”(Heb.12:9). God was the Father of Jesus’spirit, and David was Jesus’human ancestor according to the flesh (Rom.1:3, Lk.1:32). This composite man is not called God but He is confirmed to be man over and over. And consider also this verse confirming Jesus to be God‘ messenger, “hink about THIS JESUS WHOM WE DECLARE TO BE GOD’ MESSENGER AND HIGH PRIEST, FOR HE WAS FAITHFUL TO GOD WHO APPOINTED HIM”(Heb.3:I,2). It is “his Jesus”whom I declare, the real Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God. The Bible also says that during their trek through the desert, the Israelites “..drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ”(1Cor.10:4,5). Here again we can see that God was not the rock, and THE ROCK WAS NOT GOD, but the rock was Christ who accompanied them while God led them in the pillar of cloud and fire. We will be like Him.

 

And it says, “or those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness f His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers... it is God who justifies. Who s he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us”(Rom.8:28-34). Again we should clearly see that JESUS WHO DIED IS NOT GOD who justifies. And, if Jesus is God, then we, His brothers, who are all being conformed into His likeness, would each be becoming literally God by nature as He supposedly is! And who is Jesus still interceding for us TO except His God and ours?

 

The wonderful truth is that we who continue in the true faith are being conformed into the likeness of our very great and very big elder brother! Now that Jesus has been glorified, we, in Him, can be born again of God’ Spirit and “illed to the measure of all the fullness of God”(Eph.3:19). Every one judged worthy of eternal life will receive their new, glorified, heavenly, spiritual body as NEW spiritual human sons of God in Christ forever. For the Scripture says, “It is not to angels that he (God) has subjected the world to come...’ WHAT IS MAN that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet. In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. But we see Jesus (here mentioned as being the representative man  ), who WAS MADE a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor (as a man) BECAUSE He suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation (not God) perfect through suffering. BOTH THE ONE WHO MAKES MEN HOLY AND THOSE WHO ARE MADE HOLY ARE OF THE SAME (HUMAN) FAMILY. SO Jesus is not ashamed to call them BROTHERS. He says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me. Since the children have flesh and blood, HE TOO SHARED IN THEIR HUMANITY...MADE LIKE HIS BROTHERS IN EVERY WAY, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest IN SERVICE TO GOD...”(Heb.2:5-17). It is clearly spelled out again right here brothers, in these very significant verses.

 

You cannot in truth say that you recognize that God and Jesus are two different (yet similar) persons, yet still say that Jesus is ‘od by nature’ This is a complete twist that is spelled out nowhere in Scripture. As I keep emphasizing, only the one true God is God, the Father. Jesus lived in fellowship with God, recognizing, praying to and teaching Him to be the true God (Mt.11:25-27, Lk.10:21,22, Jn.10:29, 2Cor.1:3,11:31). And in very many places in Scripture, so did Paul and the other apostles (i.e.Rom.14:6, etc.). And remember, after His resurrection Jesus said, “ AM RETURNING TO MY FATHER AND YOUR FATHER, TO MY GOD AND YOUR GOD”(Jn.20:17). And it says, “esus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God”(Jn.13:3). Jesus is not God as far as the Bible keeps talking about the one true God, for it is always God or Jesus, or God and Jesus. Jesus said, “ust as the living Father sent me and I LIVE BECAUSE OF THE FATHER, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me’(Jn.6:57). The Lord is now with us in our spirit as God is with Christ in His spirit (Gal.6:18,2Tim.4:22,Phile.25). Jesus said that He would be in us while God was in Him (Jn.17:23). He also prayed, “s you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world”(Jn.17:18). Jesus also gave His true disciples the glory which God gave Him (Jn.17:22), and He actually told His disciples, “ confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me so that you may eat and drink at my table in

my kingdom and sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel”(Lk.22:29). This thing is a lot bigger than we ever dreamed. We who endure and overcome will also reign with Him as kings from the most prime mountain of real estate in the center of the restored pristine universe, the city where God lives with His family, the New Jerusalem, Mount Zion. Forever the new heavens will be as God envisioned, not lifeless, cold, poisonous and distant, but like the new earth it will be compact and teeming with vibrant intelligent life of all kinds that live for God’ glory, and unto the Lamb.

 

Chapter 76) DILEMMA OF SOME OF OUR MODERN CHURCH LEADERS

 

Many of our preachers of today have rushed ahead, like Ahimaaz (2Sam.18:22) to presume to preach and teach before God properly teaches, approves and sends them. It is considered an easier job than digging ditches, and often pays much better. They go to Bible colleges and seminaries to get their (human) religious credentials. These things are not necessarily bad, but anyone with insight can see how that has added to and caused new problems in the church. God tries to help and use them as best He can, but things are accordingly a real mess in the church. And God’s purposes will inevitably be served by it all. How else can the approved few learn to share in Christ’s rejection and religious persecution, being misunderstood and criticized even by our own brothers (Ac.7:25,27). How else can we learn to love and stand up for the truth even when ‘everyone else’ disagrees. As Jesus said about the uncorrectable religious leaders of His day, “Do what they say, and not what they do” is still a rule that applies. But don’t just sit there and stay part of the problem, speak out in love, come out in holiness and live separate from corrupted religion, or the leaven will end up infecting you with hypocrisy also (Mt.16:11, 12 ,Lk.12:1, 1Cor.5:6, Gal.5:9).

 

Even “a little bit of yeast works through THE WHOLE BATCH OF DOUGH”. “Come out from the worldly religious system” (Rev.18:4), with its Trinitarian teachings, idol worship, pagan holiday celebrations and television watching, and gather together with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2Tim.2:22). Now days in the richer industrialized nations this will usually be in very small groups, for it is very unpopular to follow the crucified Christ to share His sufferings on the way to glory in these days of ease, luxury and accommodating religious teachings. The Biblical formula for doing this is to first repent yourself and seek God, then to continue to live a righteous life while praying for others who are living in serious sin or teaching false doctrines. Then when God leads you, speak the truth in love and try to help others to see what the Bible says. This doesn’t include rebellion or being unduly divisive, so things must be done in the open by speaking out and then leaving peacefully if the majority willfully remain in darkness.

 

The way things are in most of our churches, if God does send us someone who teaches the pure truth, they will seem so foreign and wrong on certain things we are convinced of that they will be immediately rejected by leaders and congregations alike. Those whom God sends have the habit of pointing out the unpopular scriptures we as a whole tend to ignore, warning us to repent, REVEALING IN SPECIFIC DETAIL those issues that are relevant to our day and time (like our T.V. watching habits). God can straighten things out ONE OF US AT A TIME, but we need to all do this together, for we are all the one church of Jesus Christ. It wont properly happen until we lay down our denominational barriers and decide to obediently listen to the Spirit, the Scriptures, and those God sends to sometimes grievously serve us by preaching and teaching the truth in tough agape love. Remember, there is no need for us to give Jesus any greater glory than the ultimate glory God has already given Him, a glory which was His from the beginning, and which He has earned by dying on the cross to purchase sinful humans to belong to God forever. All of us in the church, especially the leaders, must be very careful to be on guard against the stubborn, set in your ways confidence that can cause us to miss the real Jesus and His truth. This is not always easy, as we all know. JUST LIKE WITH KING SAUL,the first human king of Israel, THE DESIRE TO PLEASE MEN FOR SELFISH GAIN, HONOR AND LOVE feeds human pride, which always causes our spiritual downfall by promoting secret sin and hypocrisy. Saul's independence and pride caused him to inevitably disobey God. Let’s examine ourselves.