Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD



Enjoy!


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Interview 3: A Letter to a Trinitarian (Hugh Knowlton)


Today Hugh Knowlton joins Restitutio to talk about how to handle important doctrinal differences with other Christians.  ...
In the course of the interview, Knowlton addresses five main questions from a biblical unitarian point of view:

  1. Based on John 1.1, do you believe that Jesus is eternal?
  2. Do you believe that Jesus is the creator?
  3. Does Isaiah 9.6 refer to Jesus when it calls him “God” and “eternal?”
  4. Why does Jesus receive worship if He is not God?
  5. If you do not believe that Jesus is God, who is he?
Here is the text of the letter he sent:
Dear Ben,
As I have mentioned I don’t come from a traditional Trinitarian background and as a result, I have a different paradigm or way of thinking in regards to the relationship of God and His son, Jesus. Even though there is a difference I sincerely pray that what I believe will not bring offense or cause you to think that I am diminishing the Son if I believe, as I do, that he is not exactly the same (identical) as the Father.
You will surely agree that Christology is a massive subject! I don’t consider myself a theologian or a master on this subject but do enjoy studying it occasionally; more so during the last several years when I have been attending an orthodox church where the Trinity is not questioned and alternative beliefs as to who Christ is are not generally welcomed. I am not out to change the Christian world to my beliefs but do like to do “a check up from the neck up” to see if what I hold true still makes sense or whether I need to consider changes.
By fellowshipping with men like you, Larry and many others at PBC I have grown in my respect and understanding of your mindset and beliefs. It is good to gain understanding even if it does not end up with agreement on all points.
Before I address your questions I want to say that my answers are, in my estimation, more of a summary of what I believe; they are certainly incomplete and are not as full an explanation with all the reasoning, historical evidence and scriptural support that I would like to include. I think that would take writing a book, which I want to avoid! I am sure more questions will be raised and if we want to continue a dialog, either in person or by email, we can both share more.
In your email below you express a concern about ‘agreeing on His nature’. I don’t see a similar concern shared by Jesus, Paul, John or the other writers in the New Testament. I am not saying the concern does not exist but I don’t recall scriptures that place an abundant emphasis on it other than what I read in Math 16:13-17 where Jesus asks his disciples ‘Who do you say that I am?’ and Peter’s reply ‘You are the Christ (the Messiah), the son of the living God’. I think this is a great start for having common ground.
And this is where I would like to start by addressing your last question as who I think Jesus is. I believe him to be the son of God, the Christ, the Messiah, the promised seed, my redeemer and savior, the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation, the resurrection, the way, the truth and the life, the bread of life, the living word of God; he declared the Father and reveals Him today.
Jesus has given me access to the Father, [he] is my mediator, my High Priest, my King, forgiver of my sins, given me the new birth of eternal life, has made me absolutely complete in him, has made unto me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, has filled me to capacity in all the fullness of God’s gift of Holy Spirit, has called me and set me in the heavenlies, and has given me his joy, peace and love. I’m sure there is more that can be added!
I like to think in simple terms and God uses the simplicity of a father – son relationship to communicate family, intimacy, and similarity and, also, distinct differences between himself, who I believe is the Father, and his only begotten son, Jesus. Things that are similar are not necessarily identical.
With your first question regarding John 1:1 the question that can be asked is who or what is the Word? The common answer is Jesus, but I have a problem with that interpretation (that understanding), because I don’t see the word ‘Jesus’ in the verse. It does not explicitly say Jesus but it is commonly supplied by inference.
I told you when we met that I have grown to disdain the phrase “Jesus is not God” because it does nothing to explain the deity connection between the Father and the Son. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” Col 2:9 (NIV). The word ‘deity’ or ‘Godhead’ is a translation of the Greek word ‘theotes’ (used only once in the Bible), which can be translated divinity or divine nature. How is this expressed in Jesus?
The word “Word” as you certainly know is ‘logos’ in the Greek. There is much that can be written about this word; it has a wide range of meanings along two basic lines of thought: products of the mind like reason and logic and the other is expressions of that reason as a ‘word’, ‘saying’, ‘command’, etc. My understanding of logos as it has been previously used in scripture (to mention only a few references: Psalm 33.6,9; Psalm 147:15,17-18; Isaiah 55:10-11) is that it refers to God’s creative self-expression … His reason, purposes, wisdom, and plans, especially, as they are brought into action. Jesus was God’s plan for man’s redemption as foretold in Genesis (the promised seed in Gen 3:15); Jesus was the manifestation, the reality in the flesh of that plan. What the ‘Word’ was, Jesus became. This is my understanding of ‘logos’
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (KJV)
And [now] in His own appointed time He has made manifest (made known) His Word and revealed it as His message through the preaching entrusted to me by command of God our Savior Titus 1:3 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)
I don’t understand incarnation as you do. I do not think that God literally became a man (Jesus). Similarly, I do not share the Catholics belief that we are literally eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus in communion. I believe that the plan of God, the word of God became incarnate in Jesus (he did nothing of his own but only what the Father told him).
I have difficulty understanding if Jesus was literally God how could he die (Philippians 2:8 if God “alone possesses immortality” (I Tim 6:16). Why did he say, “I can do nothing on my own initiative (John 5:30) while God “can do all things” (Job 42:2)? Why doesn’t he know the day and hour when he will return, and yet his Father, God does know (Matt 24:36)? How can he be tempted by the devil (Matt 4:1) when “God cannot be tempted by evil” (James 1:13)? Why should he be in subjection to the Father for all eternity (1Cor 15:28)? If Jesus is God how could he say that “my Father is greater than I” (John 14:28)? If Jesus is literally God how could Jesus call us brothers (Heb 2:11)? I am not asking you to answer these questions, but I simply want to express that orthodox Christology doesn’t make sense to me.
Jesus was a perfect man whose physical lineage was the line of believers as mentioned in Matthew chapter 1. His mother, Mary, believed the word of the Lord as delivered by Gabriel that she would conceive in her womb and bear a son and that she should call him Jesus. ... the second Adam (the son of man), a perfect man with no sin nature.
... Jesus did not have any sin nature but that was not enough. He had to learn obedience (Heb 5:8); he had to study the Word, the scriptures, to learn of himself and His Father’s mission for His life. He was tempted in all things but without sin (Heb 4:15). I believe Jesus could have sinned just like Adam did but (by the freedom of his will) he chose not to. Romans 5:11-21 tells us that by the disobedience of one man death was passed on to all and that by the obedience of one man, Jesus Christ, the gift of grace has abounded unto many.
Jesus had a beginning, a genesis, as told in Matt 1:18. ‘Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on the rise’. The word ‘birth’ is genesis the same root word in Gen 1:1 for beginning.
The personal pre-existence of Christ is fundamental to the doctrine of the Trinity. What needs to be determined is whether that pre-existence was as a person or as an idea or plan in the mind of God. I am not able now to give the subject adequate attention but what I believe is that Jesus existed in the foreknowledge of God as the pre-existent plan and purpose of God. God also foreknew us ‘He has chosen us before the foundation of the world … having predestinated us unto adoption of children …’ Eph 1:3,4. Also, Rom 8:29; 2Th 2:13; 2 Tim 1:9). God calls things that are not as though they are: Rom 4:17 (related verses to that idea are Isa 43:13; Isa 46:9-11; Jer 1:5).
“He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end times for your sake.” 1Peter 1:20. The word translated ‘destined’ literally means ‘to know beforehand’. From it we get the word ‘prognosis’ meaning ‘known in advance’, usually used of doctors in predicting the course of an illness. On the basis of his foreknowledge the doctor can offer a good or bad prognosis about the outcome of the disease. In this passage I believe Peter is telling us that Jesus was known in advance by God in the sense that His plan for him was predetermined and at the appropriate time Jesus was born. Peter does not indicate that Jesus personally existed before he was born. There are verses in John that do apparently indicate Jesus’s pre-existence, which should be examined, but I will need a separate email.
Do I believe Jesus is the creator? No and Yes is my answer. No to the first (old) creation but he plays an integral part in the new creation. There are abundant scriptures that indicate that the Lord God created the heavens and the earth with no explicit mention of Jesus (Gen 1; Neh 9:5-7; Ps 33: 6-9; Ps 104:30-33; Isa 45:3, 5, 8, 12, 18; Mal 2:10; Acts 7:48-50).
God delegated Christ His authority to create. Eph 2:15 (NKJV, NIV) refers to Christ creating “one new man” (his church) out of Jew and Gentile. In pouring out the gift of Holy Spirit to each believer (Acts 2:33,38), the Lord has created something new in each of them, that is the “new man,” their new nature (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Eph 4:24). The Church of the Body of Christ was a brand new entity, created by Christ out of Jew and Gentile. He also had to create the structure and position that would allow it to function both in the spiritual realm and the physical world (Rom 12:4-8; Eph 4:7-11). The Bible describes these physical and spiritual realities by the phrase, “things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible (Col 1:16).
I believe the passages that allude to a creative role for Jesus in Col 1:15-17 and in Hebrews 1:2 refer to the new creation and to a new perfect order on earth when Christ returns to rule on the earth and eventually paradise restored (Rev 21 & 22).
Col 1:15 (NASB) says Christ is “the firstborn of all creation”. I believe him to be the author, the firstborn of a new race of men and women. I believe that we will be the second, third, fourth born, etc. When he returns we will receive a new body fashioned like his glorious body.
Phi 1:20, 21 “For our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the savior: the Lord Jesus Christ who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned unto his glorious body according to the working whereby he is able to even subdue all things unto himself.”
In regards to Isaiah 9:6 there is way more that I would like to say than time permits. This verse gives 5 attributes of the son prophesied by Isaiah. I believe it is a basic tenet of the Trinitarian doctrine that Christians should “neither confound the Persons nor divide the Substance” (Athanasian Creed). I do not believe that this prophecy of the coming Messiah, Jesus, is equating him to God, the Father. I believe the phrase is mistranslated. The word translated ‘everlasting’ is actually ‘age’. I believe that Jesus will be called “father of the (coming) age”. Jesus ‘fathered’ eternal salvation. The words ‘everlasting life’ can also be translated ‘life in the age to come’.
I believe the phrase ‘Mighty God’ can also be better translated. The word “God” in the Hebrew culture had a much wider range of application than it does in our culture. English makes a clear distinction between “God” and “god”, but the Hebrew language, which has only capital letters, cannot make a clear distinction. In the Old Testament the original word for God, elohim, is used of God (Ps 19:1; Deut 6:4) but, also, of angels (Ps 8:5; Ps 89:6), rulers, judges, mighty men (Ex 21:6; Psalm 82:1-26. Note: in John 10:34 Jesus quotes Ps 82:6 in a way that confirms that the reference is to mortal men.) and the false gods and idols of the heathen (Ex 12:12; Ex 15:11; Ex 20:3; 1Kings 11:33) and it’s application to the Messiah is, in my opinion, no proof that he is the second person of the Trinity. A better translation would be “mighty hero” or “divine hero”. Both Martin Luther and James Moffatt translated the phrase as “divine hero” in their Bibles.
Regarding your comments concerning question 4 you see worshipping Jesus as a declaration of his divinity. I see worshipping Jesus as someone definitely worthy of worship as Rev 5:12 declares, “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”
The Father and the Son are deserving of equal honor. John 5:23 “That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.”
The way I understand Thomas’s words “My Lord and my God” is similar to the way I understand Jesus saying to Philip in John 14:9 “He that has seen me has seen the Father.”
John 1:18 “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.” You can’t see God (God is spirit John 4:24) but you can see Jesus who is the image of the invisible God (Col 1: 15). If Christ is God why doesn’t this verse just say so? The Father is plainly called God in dozens of places and this would have been a good place to say that Jesus was God. Instead it says that Christ is the image of God. If one thing is the ‘image’ of another thing, then the “image” and the “original” are not the same thing.
My understanding is that things that are similar are not necessarily identical. Jesus revealed the father in the senses world; I believe he was the exact representation (likeness, resemblance) of God’s will in a man. Jesus “being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person (Heb 1:3) There is so much more that could be shared on Jesus being the image of God.
You mention, Ben, that Jesus saying “Because you have seen me you believe” as equivalent to him labeling the declaration of his own Deity, belief. After reading the entire section of John 20:24-29 I think that the emphasis in not on his Deity but on Thomas believing that Jesus was alive … that Jesus was resurrected; he had been dead 3 days and nights but was brought back to life. I love verse 29 because it talks about us. We do not have the opportunity today of seeing in his hands the print of the nails or to be able to thrust our hands into his side but we are blessed because we believe without seeing.
My understanding of Christ is today he is the head of the body. He is Lord who has been given all authority and power. I believe that today Jesus functions as God in a relationship similar to what Joseph had with Pharaoh in Egypt, but some day in the future I Cor 15:28 tells us “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
I think doctrinally in the Scriptures there similarities and there are differences between the Father and the Son, but on the practical side or the relationship side there is little distinction between the Father and the Son (unless the Holy Spirit indicates otherwise). I John 1:3 says “truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
If you Google “greek prepositions diagram” and click on ‘images’ you will see a handy diagram which helps to explain the prepositions in I Cor 8:6 which says “Yet for us there is but one God, the father, from (ek = out of) whom all things came and for (eis = unto ) whom we live (unto God), and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through (dia w/ genitive) whom all things came and through (dia) whom we live.” (NIV)
I do not believe “all things came through him” is referring to the creation of all things in the beginning; rather, it is speaking of the Church. God provided all things for the Church via Jesus Christ. The whole of 1 Cor is taken up with Church issues. I believe the verse states clearly that Christians have one God who is the ultimate source of all things, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the way by which God provided all things to the Church. In my words Jesus is the ‘user friendly interface’ to God. Everything that comes from God to us comes through Christ and everything we do for God goes to Him through Christ.
Well, in conclusion, my prayer is that you don’t consider this an attack on what you believe but I offer my reply (as incomplete as it is) as a different understanding of Christology than the orthodox view … which believes Jesus is God; whereas, I believe it is God living/working in Christ. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is man; and the head of Christ is God.” (I Cor 11:3) “That God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:19)
I ask that you honor my request that the things I’ve shared are meant to be confidential between the four of us. This is not because I am embarrassed by what I believe, but I also have a pastor’s heart. I understand my beliefs can be divisive and cause confusion, which is not my intent at all. My mindset has been and will continue to be to place my differences in beliefs and understanding in subjection to His love and Lordship … to think more highly of others than myself. This is why I have kept silent on the subject and plan to continue with body of believers I fellowship with.
All my love in Christ Jesus, our Lord!
Hugh
Here are the books Hugh used in order of reliance:
  • One God & One Lord by Graeser, Lynn and Schoenheit
  • The Trinity: True or False? by James Broughton and Peter Southgate
  • One God: The Unfinished Reformation by Bob Carden
  • “To God Be The Glory” CD Series by Joel Hemphill
  • The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound by Anthony Buzzard and Charles Hunting
Also, look up explanations to commonly misunderstood verses at christianmonotheism.com

Note: some editing has been done 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

How the Bible View of God Was "Morphed" into a New Definition of God

Few seem to notice the subtle change 


How do you “morph,” cleverly change, one into two or three? And hope that no one has spotted what you are doing?! Churchgoers seem to be so little concerned about where their official beliefs come from. They have politely and tacitly taken on board a lot of tradition unexamined. But did not Jesus warn very severely about the danger of “tradition learned by heart”? Quoting Isaiah 29:13-14, Jesus tried to impress a powerful truth on us all: “Because this people draw near to Me with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, I will once again deal marvelously with them.” The warning is threatening and clear.

Yes, Jesus cited these words in Matthew 15:8 and Mark 7:6. Note also the frustration of Ezekiel (33:31-33, please read) who found his audiences stubborn and unresponsive! The distinguished Bible scholar F.F. Bruce wrote to me many years ago and observed most astutely:

“Evangelical Protestants can be as much servants of tradition as Roman Catholics or Greek Orthodox Christians; only they do not realize that it is ‘tradition.’ People who adhere to sola scriptura [‘the Bible only’] (as they believe) often adhere in fact to a traditional school of interpretation of sola scriptura” (correspondence, June 13, 1981). 

Back to our topic of subtly turning ONE into TWO, hoping that no one will spot the trick. You either omit to say clearly that you are dealing with ONE, or you make the ONE as vague and difficult as possible so that no one sees when you are turning it into TWO or THREE. The morphing then takes place by imperceptible, almost unnoticeable steps and shifts, via waffling language, full of foggy terms, to arrive at 2 or 3! Compare the Church of England bishop, A. H. Newman, who became a Roman Catholic. Here is what he admitted, with refreshing honesty, about the amazingly complex doctrine of the Trinity:

“The Trinity is a contradiction, indeed, and not merely a verbal contradiction, but an incompatibility in the human ideas conveyed. We can scarcely make a nearer approach to an exact enunciation of it, than of saying that one thing is two things
(Sadler’s Gloria Patri, p. 39, A. H. Newman). 

This clever moving from one idea to another, unnoticed, amounts to a conjuring, card shark trick — using misdirection! “Misdirection” is a term used by conjurers when they make you look in one direction so that you do not notice something else which they hope you will not see!

The danger over muddle, fudging or complexity concerning the most basic of all teachings, Who is God, needs our earnest attention, full and sustained concentration. It matters very much to a jealous God, the God of Israel and of Jesus, that we define Him truthfully and biblically with Jesus as our Master rabbi and teacher. That is why Jesus, when asked about the “Greatest Commandment of all” — the one which we really must not get wrong — replied with the monumentally and centrally important Shema (Mark 12:29, citing Deut. 6:4; 4:35): “Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is one.” He is One Person. “He is alone and there is no God besides Him.” He is the “our one Lord” of Daniel 3:17 (in the LXX, Greek). Thousands upon thousands of singular personal pronouns, I, Me, Myself, Thou, Thee, Thyself, He, Him, Himself, My, Thy, His, Mine, Thine, define who God is and how many He is. They define the true God in terms which your young children can understand easily. God did not “mess with us” when He insisted that we define Him accurately. To say that one has to be a learned scholar of languages or philosophy to understand who the true God is, is to imply that the Bible is not for us all!

The Bible is meant to be understood in its most basic propositions and truths. The Trinity is a teaching which most churchgoers cannot explain at all. They have in most cases no idea how the idea of a Triune God came to be the heart of what everyone must believe!

The Trinity took centuries of post-biblical, furious argumentation, before an Emperor finally insisted that the believers stop arguing and settle on the “only right” view. They then called this “orthodoxy,” right belief. Eventually the sword was used to enforce that “right view.”

But was any of this in any way justified? What do you think about these quotations from highly-schooled Bible experts:

“It must be admitted by everyone who has the rudiments of an historical sense that the doctrine of the Trinity formed no part of the original message. Paul did not know it, and would have been unable to understand the meaning of the terms used in the theological formula on which the Church ultimately agreed.” [1] 
“The evolution of the Trinity: No responsible NT scholar would claim that the doctrine of the Trinity was taught by Jesus, or preached by the earliest Christians, or consciously held by any writer of the NT. It was in fact slowly worked out in the course of the first few centuries in an attempt to give an intelligible doctrine of God.” [2]  
 Jesus was perfectly intelligible! 

Here is what happened after the death of the Apostles and the closing of the NT canon of Scriptures. Leadership of the church was transferred from Jewish followers of the Jew Jesus (yes, his father and mother were Jews!) to non-Jews. Under the influence of Greek philosophy, Jesus, the Son of God, who in Matthew and Luke is defined as coming into existence, beginning to exist in Mary, was “read back” into past history. Mary was then supposed to have taken into her womb an already existing Person. This followed a typical Greek idea. This was that the One God was too distant and had to be approached by one or more intervening “emanations” of that One God. This, it was thought, would bring us close to the one distant God. But the Bible does not teach this system of thinking. It was a pagan philosophical system, cleverly called “Gnosticism” (a system of “knowledge”).

What if those early post-Bible philosophically-minded teachers, “church fathers” fell for a deception which became an entrenched tradition and creed? What if the creed which Jesus announced seemed to them too “Jewish”? Did a hidden anti-Semitism take over, moving the Church away from Jesus, the master-rabbi and teacher? Jesus is the one we must always listen to (Acts 3:23).

Believers in a Triune God arrived at crypto-Gnosticism. That is, leaders began to think like this: “We reject blatant pagan Gnosticism, but we welcome it in a modified form at the back door. And this is our excuse: The Greek background and culture in which we are forced to preach necessitated all this!” Thus the “church fathers” unconsciously said, “Greeks will never accept a Jewish God!” The result: Jesus’/Judaism’s Shema (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29, 1 Cor. 8:4-6), unitary, not Trinitarian monotheism, was the inevitable victim and casualty. Polytheism entered the Church camouflaged. [3]

Amazingly, the “church fathers” admitted that they were rejecting Jesus’ Jewish view of God as one Person! It did not seem to trouble them that the creed of Jesus was being made redundant!

Note this carefully from a leading authority on what the church “fathers” did: “The Church Fathers’ conception of the Trinity was a combination of Jewish [i.e. Jesus’] monotheism and pagan polytheism, except that to them this combination was a good combination. In fact it was to them an ideal combination of what is best in Jewish monotheism [Jesus’ creed] and of what is best in pagan polytheism, and consequently they gloried in it and pointed to it as evidence of their belief…The Christian conception of God, argues Gregory of Nyssa [leading Church Father], is neither the polytheism of the Greeks nor the monotheism of the Jews [of Jesus!] and consequently it must be true.” [4]

Show this information to your good friends and invite some reflection on what Jesus called “the greatest of all the commandments” (Mark 12:28-34).

It is standard information in all the big dictionaries and encyclopedias that Judaism, based on its Scriptures, believed God to be a single Person, a single undifferentiated Divine Self. That is what I and many others call unitary monotheism or unipersonal monotheism. This is often referred to as strict monotheism, although this last phrase could be ambiguous for some.

The Bible is turned into chaos if one superimposes non-biblical, philosophical language onto its simple realism. God is said to be a single Self (He calls Himself a nephesh, soul, self) thousands and thousands of times. This is the massive, pervasive and obvious evidence to be dealt with.

Dr. Murray Harris in his intensive study of God and Jesus said this about the Hebrew Bible and its view of God and his personal name YHVH: “Being a proper noun and the covenant name of Israel, God (Yahweh) is invariably the name of a Person who sustains relationships with other persons.” [5]

The Shema (Deut. 6:4; 4:35; 1 Cor 8:4-6) and the whole of Scripture convinced Judaism and NT Christians always to believe in unitary monotheism. Thus at Oxford, the Regius Professor of Theology lecturing on the Trinity said of the OT, “Judaism was always unitarian.”

The major point to be taken in is that Jesus affirmed that unitary monotheism of Judaism (Mark 12:28-34). The Jew who agreed with Jesus showed that Jesus was entirely Jewish in his description of who God is. One single Self. The Jew echoed back Jesus words by saying “there is no other except Him.” It takes no special learning to know that “Him” is one “who” — one Self, one Person! Some would urge that the Shema makes no proposition one way or the other about how many Persons God is! This is not true at all. What good is a creed if it is so unclear? It really impugns the integrity of Holy Scripture (and Jesus said that “salvation is from the Jews”), if we are unable to give a clear meaning to the Shema.

I need only quote four sources which are echoed by many:

  • “Abraham, Moses and Elijah were all equally zealous monotheists and in none of their successors was there any retrogression from the highest and purest form of unitarian belief.” [6] 
  • “The monotheism of the Jews was then, as it is still, unitarian.” [7] 
  •  “Judaism has always been rigorously unitarian.” [8]
  • “Judaism [is] Unitarian.” [9]
Jesus agreed with the Jews in Mark 12:29, and as Dr. Dennis Nineham says in his commentary on Mark, this passage is meant to demonstrate that Jesus was thoroughly orthodox in his description of God. 

These non-complicated facts should settle our discussion, since we are all agreed that our Christian task is to follow the teaching of Jesus. 

Some Trinitarians suggest that in John 10:30 Jesus introduced something new. In this case Jesus was less than honest in his reply to the friendly Jew! But who today in commentary advances John 10:30 as any sort of Trinitarian proof? So the argument is defeated. Jesus did not change his mind on the definition of God. Nor did Paul when he affirms the same Shema in 1 Corinthians 8:4-6. Jesus said that he and the Father were working in perfect harmony as “one thing” in John 10:30. He desired the same harmony exactly for his followers (John 17:11, 22). 

What Jesus did so brilliantly, anticipating no doubt controversy about his own status in relation to the one GOD, YHVH, was to teach them immediately about Psalm 110:1:“The LORD says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’” 

That Psalm, verses 1-4, is alluded to or cited 33 times in the NT and was decisive and should be decisive for us too. In Psalm 110:1 YHVH is still one single self (as 7,000 times in the OT). He directs an oracle to some other self. This of course defeats Modalism, which says that the Father and Son are the same Person. Modalism shows how terribly mired in controversy and unnecessary complexity our subject can become! Surely one does not need a PhD to tell us that a Father cannot be his own Son! Jesus never imagined such a thing, and the Trinitarians agree. 

What Jesus shows in Psalm 110:1 is that the exalted Jesus is not a second YHVH or a second Person “in YHVH.” Rather he, the Messiah, is the supremely exalted man Messiah, my lord, tragically misrendered in many versions (not all) as “my Lord”! The capital letter on the second lord is a stunning mistranslation. Adoni, my lord, occurs 195 times and never means God

Paul said it all very easily in 1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”
One God and one man Messiah. Two selves. One of them is GOD. The Bible is about God and man, not God and another God! 

The issues we are discussing are simply huge, since billions of human beings deserve to hear who God and Jesus really are. At present the very complex philosophical Trinity smothers good information. And few seem to know that the church fathers, the orchestrators of the Trinity, admitted that they were deliberately eliminating the “Jewish error”! That “Jewish error” was in fact the teaching of Jesus. How much does the public know of what really went on? 

The word God in the NT means the Father 1300 times. “Do we not all have one Father? Has not one God created us” (Mal. 2:10). None of the roughly 11,000 occurrences of the various words for God (Elohim, YHVH, Adonai, Theos) ever means a Triune God. So in the Bible when someone says “God” he never means a Triune God. 

John A.T. Robinson: 

“John saw Christ as also being unique, a distinction he recognizes by reserving the word ‘Son’ for Jesus and ‘children of God’ for Christians. But, unlike later dogmaticians [church fathers], he shows no awareness of a contradiction or even of a tension at this point. ... Jesus can say in the same discourse that ‘the Father is in me and I in the Father’ (10:38) and ‘my Father and I are one’ (10:30), because he is acting as his Father would (10:37), and his deeds are done in His name (10:25). 
“Again he says in a later discourse (14:9-10), ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father because I am not myself the source of the words I speak to you: it is the Father who dwells in me doing his own work.’ He is ‘God’s only Son,’ the very ‘exegesis’ [explanation] of the Father (1:18). Indeed he is himself ‘theos,’ ‘what God is’ (1:1), because as a mere man (10:33) Jesus is utterly transparent to another, who is ‘greater than himself’ (14:28) and indeed ‘greater than all’ (10:29). The paradox is staggering, and it is no wonder that this Christology [John’s understanding of who Jesus is] later fell apart at the seams. But for John there is no antithesis, any more than there is for the author to the Hebrews, between humanity and divinity, the historical and the theological.” [10]


Jesus is fully expressive of God, his Father. But Jesus never, ever claimed to be GOD, which would have contradicted the unitary monotheism of his Hebrew heritage, agreeing with a fellow Jew (Mark 12:28-34). A claim to be GOD would have violated the greatest of all the commandments! Jesus is the man Messiah (1 Tim. 2:5), the “my lord” of Psalm 110:1, a text which will yet change the world.

[1] Dr. Matthews, D.D., D. Litt., God in Christian Experience, p. 180.
[2]  Dr. A. T Hanson, Professor of Theology, University of Hull, The Image of the Invisible God, SCM Press, 1982.
[3]  Paul Schrodt, The Problem of the Beginning of Dogma in Recent Theology, p. 121.
[4] Dr. H. Wolfson, The Philosophy of the Church Fathers, pp. 361-363.
[5] Jesus as God, p, 25.
[6] “Judaism,” Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics.
[7] Leonard Hodgson D.D., Regius Professor of Theology at Oxford, Christian Faith and Practice, 1952, p. 74.
[8] “Deism,” Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
[9] Dogmatics, Vol. 1. p. 205.
[10] Dr. John A.T. Robinson, Twelve More New Testament Studies, SCM Press, 1984, p.151.

The above was taken from
Focus On The Kingdom Vol. 19. No. 3



Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Biblical Blueprint


  • “That the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ” (Gal. 3:14).
  • “May God give you and your descendants the blessing of Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham” (Gen. 28:4). 


Those who make confident assertions about “what the Bible says” frequently overlook the presuppositions which they bring to the biblical text. James Dunn makes the excellent point that to read the Bible intelligently we must reckon seriously with “the taken-for-granteds” of both author and addressees. Where a modern reader is unaware of (or unsympathetic to) these shared assumptions and concerns, it will be impossible to hear the text as the author intended it to be heard (and assumed it would be heard). In this case (Romans, though the principle applies to any part of the New Testament), “a major part of that context is the self-understanding of Jews and Judaism in the first century...Since most of Christian history and scholarship, regrettably, has been unsympathetic, if not downright hostile to it, a proper appreciation of Paul [or Jesus] in his interaction with that self-understanding has been virtually impossible.” [1] We should not miss the amazing point that “most of Christian history and scholarship has been downright hostile” to the Jewishness of the Bible! A new approach would seem to be in order. This magazine attempts to offer you just that.

This failure to attune ourselves to the background themes of the New Testament will account for the consummate confusion that prevails about what Christianity is. Unfortunately many who approach the Bible bring to it an inbred antipathy to the Jewishness which saturates the Christian documents. Light will come when we first recognize that Gentiles have “made a hash” of trying to understand Jesus and the Apostles because of the un-Hebraic set of assumptions we start with. The Bible condemns these as “traditions learned by heart,” yet unbiblical!

Let us instead begin with a major presupposition drawn from the Old Testament: God has been working with His people to bring about a world in which justice and peace will abound (Isa. 2:1-4). To Abraham the land (and the world, Rom. 4:13) is promised forever (Gen. 13:14-15; 15:7-8; 17:8) — though he has not yet inherited it (Acts 7:5; Heb. 11:8, 9, 13, 39). To David (2 Sam. 7:13-16) the promise of a permanent dynasty, with the Messiah ruling over Israel and the world, was assured (though this has never yet been realized). The angel declares that Mary’s son is destined to assume “the throne of his father David and rule over the house of Jacob forever” (Luke 1:32). No promise could be more to the point than this simple summary of the national hopes of Israel, based squarely on the heritage they had received from the Hebrew Scriptures, uniting the promises to Abraham and David (Luke 1:55, 69, 73). The great promises of land and kingship (Gen. 12:1-5; 13:14-17; 15:18; 17:8; 2 Sam. 7:12-16) converge in Jesus as Messiah, King of Israel (John 1:41, 49; Luke 2:11: “Messiah lord”). The fulfillment of both strands of the promise will occur when Jesus returns to establish his Kingdom on the earth and take the meek to rule with him (Matt. 5:5; Rev. 5:10; 3:21; 2:26; 20:1-6, etc). 

Daniel 7 

In addition to these bedrock foundations of Christianity, Daniel, as a whole, and particularly his seventh chapter, supplies us with an invaluable blueprint for the New Testament story. The picture is not difficult to grasp. Hostile powers culminating in a final Antichrist will continue to persecute and wear out the saints of the Most High (Dan. 7:8, 19-21). Yet those saints will be vindicated. The time will come when the saints receive the worldwide Kingdom of God and all nations and peoples will serve and obey the saints (Dan. 7:18, 22, 27). It is against this backdrop of the divine plan in history that the New Testament drama is worked out. If we do not take account of the Messianic presuppositions of the New Testament writers, based on the covenant made with Abraham and David, we run the risk of inventing a false story, to which we add the name of Christ, but which Jesus would not have recognized as the faith.

Jesus fits into the picture quite obviously when he appears as the Son of Man, the predicted Messianic figure of Daniel 7:13, who is an individual human being representing a corporate body of saints, those destined to possess rulership of the world (Dan. 7:18, 22, 27). Rooted in the promise of Daniel 7, the entire New Testament is geared to the future triumph of the saints in a renovated earth (“the Kingdom under the whole heaven,” Dan. 7:27). Jesus sums up the promise of a glorious future when he announces the Gospel about the Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43; Matt. 4:17; 9:35; see also Acts 8:12; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31). 

The New Testament describes the career of the “chief saint” (“holy one”), the Messiah, who gathers around himself a circle of disciple-friends. Together they announce the coming Kingdom in the face of acute opposition mostly from established religion. But other rulers are no more friendly. Existing systems of government do not wish to yield to the government of the Messiah and his followers. The theme of suffering in view of future glory pervades and permeates the New Testament: “Through much tribulation we are destined to enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). “If we suffer with him we will also become kings with him” (2 Tim. 2:12). The saints, according to the plan laid out in Daniel 7, must expect persecution, even to death (“some are martyred,” Luke 21:16). “The horn [antichrist] wages war with the saints and overpowers them” (Dan. 7:21). The book of Revelation is the fitting summary of the Messianic story, culminating in the establishment of Messiah’s Kingdom on the earth (Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21; 5:10, 20:4, etc.).

Suffering prior to triumph at Christ’s return is reflected in the experience of Jesus and the leaders of the early Church. They are prepared to bear ignominy and shame at the hands of hostile authorities in view of the glorious prospect of being vindicated when the Messiah returns to rule: “Don’t you know that the saints are going to manage the world?” is the encouraging cry of Paul as he urges the troops forward. “And if the world is to come under your jurisdiction...” (1 Cor. 6:2, Moffat). “But the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9). This is the awful penalty which awaits the disciple who fails the test. “The inhabited earth of the future has been subjected to the saints” is the clear message of Heb. 2:5. That is what the Gospel is about (Heb. 2:2-4). On no account should the saints miss out on their destiny (Heb. 2:1). They are now to conduct themselves in a manner fitting their invitation to kingship, or as Paul puts it, “walk worthy of the God who is calling you into His own Kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2:12).

Throughout the gospels there are glimpses of the sparkling, brilliant future assured to the disciples. “When the world is reborn,” says Jesus, “when the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you who have followed me in my trials will also sit on thrones to rule over the [restored] tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28). “Just as my Father has covenanted a Kingdom for me, so I covenant a Kingdom to you so that you may eat and drink at my table and sit on thrones to rule the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29-30). James and John, sons of Zebedee and cousins of Jesus, recognize the nature of the Kingdom as a real government, when they hope for chief places in the Kingdom (Mark 10:35-40; Matt. 20:20-23). Jesus does not discourage their faith in the Kingdom nor rebuke them for misunderstanding the future reign and the reality of responsibility in it! He only warns them (again with Dan. 7 in mind) that these offices will be won at the cost of service and a bitter cup of suffering.

In Revelation the drama reaches its climax. The power of Antichrist-Beast is at full strength. Yet the lamb has purchased the saints from all the nations (not just the Jews) and has formed them into a band of royal priests (following the covenant promise made originally in Ex. 19:6). “They will reign as kings on the earth” (Rev. 5:10). The same exhilarating theme reappears in Revelation 20:1-6. Even death at the hands of Antichrist cannot hinder the blessed rule of the saints.
They come alive again in resurrection after being beheaded and “begin to rule with Christ for a thousand years,” while the rest of the dead, all those who were not Christians, remain in their graves (Rev. 20:5) to await the second resurrection (Rev. 20:12). 

The theme of royalty and of meteoric rise to fame and immortality at the first resurrection drives the New Testament and accounts for its irrepressible excitement. Such fervor has been dampened by the most unfortunate substitution of disembodiment in heaven at death as the Christian prospect (playing harps on clouds!). If that is what Christians may expect, there is no hope for the earth, no prospect of the nations ever beating their swords into farm implements (Isa. 2:1-4) and no hope of reigning with Christ in the new society of the coming Kingdom.

It is not surprising that Jesus concentrates his entire Gospel Message in the theme of the Kingdom of God. It was his mission to announce the Kingdom (Luke 4:43). Paul likewise sums up his whole ministry as a “proclamation of the Kingdom” (Acts 20:25). The Message has not changed. But Gentile philosophies and ideologies have continued to obscure the Davidic Messianic faith of Jesus and the early Church. Nevertheless the call of the Gospel of the Kingdom still goes out, summoning whoever wills to prepare for the privilege of ruling with Jesus in the Kingdom. “The sufferings of the present time [foreseen in the program laid out in Dan. 7] are not worthy to be compared” with the glory of the Kingdom to be “revealed in us.” A saint in the Bible is one appointed to rule with Messiah — an awesome destiny laid out in Daniel 7 as the culmination of all the Old Testament promises.

Try re-reading the New Testament with this royal motif and narrative in mind and see how it comes to life. God is one single individual (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29-34; John 17:3). Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (Matt. 16:16; Luke 1:35). The Gospel is about the Kingdom of God and Jesus (Acts 8:12; Luke 4:43; Acts 19:8; 28:23, 31). Christians are invited to reign with Messiah in the coming Kingdom. They are destined to inherit the land and the world (Matt. 5:5; 1 Thess. 2:12; Rom. 4:13). Converts were baptized in water when they received this knowledge of these basic building blocks of the Faith (Acts 8:12). This information will help to prevent us bringing our own imagined but false preconceptions to the study of Scripture.

 [1] Commentary on Romans 9-16, Word Books, 1988, p. xv, emphasis added.

The above article was taken from:The Biblical Blueprint




Resurrection Check: Are You Clear about the Christian Goal?

Resurrection in the Bible refers to the coming back to life of a person who has died. I am referring to the literal resurrection here. Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God (Luke 1:35) and Messiah was put to death by hostile unbelieving Jews and Romans. God, the Creator, restored him to life three days later, early on a Sunday morning. Proof of this is from witnesses “who ate and drank with him after he came back from death” (Acts 10:41).
A believer’s great objective is to be resurrected from death when Jesus returns to the earth.
1 Corinthians 15:23, part of Paul’s impassioned sermon against some “believers” who astonishingly were losing faith in resurrection, says: “Christ the firstfruits [was resurrected], then those who belong to Christ will be resurrected at his Second Coming” (Parousia). This will be the “resurrection of the just” (Luke 16:16). It was predicted as the awakening from the sleep of death of those now sleeping in the dust of the earth (Dan. 12:2).
The resurrection of the faithful of all the ages will happen at the 7th or last trumpet (1 Cor. 15:52). “The time will come for the rewarding of the dead” (Rev 11:15-18).
This is the same marvelous event as the coming to life of “those who had been beheaded…They came to life and began to reign as kings with the Messiah for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4). That will be the time when the Devil who is currently deceiving the whole world (Rev. 12:9; 1 John 5:19) will be imprisoned “so that he can deceive the world no longer” (Rev. 20:3). Never ever lose sight of the Christian objective! Never ever substitute for it a vague non-biblical transportation to heaven at death!
Why do you want to “go to heaven” when Jesus, who is coming back to the earth, won’t be there?!
This would be as nonsensical as thinking that in a soccer match the objective is to kick the ball as high as you can in the air, rather than into the goal in front of you.

The above article was taken from:Resurrection Check




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Jesus was a MAN attested/approved by God

Jesus was a MAN attested/approved by God (YaHWeH) with mighty works and wonders and signs that God (YaHWeH) DID through him
and not ‘The gods are come down’

During a visit to the Vatican in 2016, the Audio tour #25 had this phrase:
Jesus Christ who works miracles to confirm his divinity
Often Jesus’ extraordinary miracles is seen as sign of his divinity by trinitarians.
Response:
Jesus himself said:
Joh 14:12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
According to Jesus, any other human who believes can not only do the miracles he did, but he can do even greater miracles. So Jesus does not encourage the Trinitarians' argument for his divinity based on his miracles.
In fact, according to Peter, Jesus miracles showed him that Jesus was a MAN who was attested by God (YaHWeh) and not that Jesus was divine:
Act 2:22  “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—
Act 2:23  this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
Act 2:24  God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
e86412976bb2d42a3b3c498e290a99a0
The explanation is very simple:
  1. There is only one God – Adam, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, Stephen and Paul were not trinitarians. All these men prayed to their God – YahweH.
  2. God did great miracles though Moses, God did miracles through prophets like Elijah and Elisha and he also did miracles through the Jesus the Jew and and also through Paul and other apostles.
  3. In verse 24, Peter bears witness that God raised the dead man Jesus
  4. The Key point is that Jesus was ‘THE MAN’ who was the approved man of God. Jesus on account of his obedience and worship is chosen as the ‘IDEAL’ man and example for mankind. Therefore God did mighty miracles through Jesus.
  5. Like Joseph was the Approved brother, so also the greater Joseph is mankind’s approved man.
  6. Jesus was able to do these miracles because God had poured his spirit on Jesus just as God had poured out his spirit on the prophets.
When Jesus performed the miracles, he gave the glory to his Father, but when trinitarians explain the miracles they take away glory from the Father
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, (John 10:25 ESV)
Joh 5:36  But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
None of the prophets or Jesus boasted or self glorified themselves – For they all gave glory to God. ...
So according to Jesus the miracles he did proved that the Father was with him. When Jesus or any human does these miracles it proves that God is with that personThe miracles proved that God had send Jesus, not that Jesus was God. If the miracles of Jesus proves Jesus’ divinity, then Moses should also be divine. Can a man split the Red Sea or kill the first born of Egypt? God did those miracles through Moses.
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Can a man split the Red Sea? – Moses was God who came down from heaven?
Jesus, Elijah and Elisha did the miracles they did by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. 
Jesus was able to do the miracles because he was given the spirit without measure and through that anointing of the spirit, Jesus could do exceptional miracles:
Isa 11:2  And the Spirit of YAHWEH shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of YAHWEH.
Isa 42:1  Behold, my servantwhom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
Isa 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord YAHWEH is upon me; because YAHWEH hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Jesus gives the glory to the Father, but can trinitarians do likewise?
Can you trust Jesus’ words?
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, the son can do nothing of himself.” (John 5:19)
 “I do nothing of myself, but as my Father hath taught me; I speak these things and he that sent me is with me, the Father hath not left me alone, for I do always those things that please him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the son can do nothing of himself.” (John 8:28-29; 5:19)
Clearly trinitarian preachers are preaching LIES. They claim the son has power to do things himself, but Jesus claims otherwise. Jesus was a UNITARIAN and not trinitarian. Trinitarians have changed the gospel message and have changed truth to lies.
An argument made for the omniscience of the human Jesus is from:
Joh 1:48  Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Joh 1:49  Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
filipus-dan-natanael
Hence a trinitarian may conclude that Jesus was divine because Jesus knew who was under the fig tree without even being at that place.
Firstly, Jesus himself claimed he is NOT all knowing:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36 KJV)
Secondly, let us consider the miracles of Elisha v/s Jesus:
2Ki 5:25  He went in and stood before his master, and Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went nowhere.”
2Ki 5:26  But he said to him, “Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants?
2Ki 5:27  Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow.
From the above passage we note
  • Elisha had powers to be “ omniscient” (Jesus may have had more omniscient powers)
  • Elisha had the power to heal but also cause Leprosy on Gehazi.
Though Elisha raised people from the dead he also eventually died like Jesus! No doubt Jesus was more powerful but both Jesus and Elisha shared a common destination – death (Jesus for three days only).
Since no one believes Elisha is divine because he did astonishing miracles (that only God can do) it is commonly understand that Elisha got his powers from God. So also it is easy to understand that Jesus also got his powers from HIS God.
Thirdly, witnessing the miracle, Nathaniel gave a Unitarian expression of faith:
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
not
“Rabbi, you are truly a member of the triune God!”
The logic of trinitarians are as naive as the citizens of Lystra:
Act 14:8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:
Act 14:9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
Act 14:10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
Act 14:11  And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
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Barnabas they called Zeus
Act 14:12  Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.
Act 14:13  And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds.
This is exactly the trinitarian theology, their thinking is as ignorant citizens of Lystra.
  • The gods are come down” – Trinitarians claim Jesus came from heaven as a human
  • the people saw what Paul had done” – As the citizens of Lystra declared Paul God, so also by the same ignorant logic and misreading few passages from scriptures the trinitarians have declared Jesus as being part of Godhead!
If Paul had not corrected the people, the Lystraians would be still praying to Paul.
Performing a miracle is an easy task for anyone possessing God’s power and faith. How much power God gives a person, is directly proportional to the miracles he or she can do.
The difficult part is for the one doing the miracles – weather to take credit for it not or give credit to God. Jesus, John and Paul, the prophets, Moses and all gave glory & credit to the Father!
The focus of Jesus and the disciples was not do do a miracles every day of the week! Miracles was not used as a means to show off power. They were used in a very controlled manner to give glorify the One true God.
To conclude and to repeat Peter’s testimony on the miracles of Jesus:
Ye Trinitarian, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth,                                  a MAN APPROVED OF GOD among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.
...

Follow Jesus, follow also Paul, because Paul is an example of following in Jesus’ steps. For Paul also did great miracles because he also had God’s approval
1Co 4:16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
The goal of our existence is to gain attestation from God. When Jesus  returns to Judge let us be found as one who imitated Jesus Christ, for the one who imitates Jesus has the Father’s approval on his head.
Do you see similarity between Jesus’ words and Paul’s? Jesus also appealed to the people to trust his words because they were received from God, just like Paul appeals to the Corinthians:
1Co 4:17  That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
Let us then consider Jesus our “Supreme Example” – The perfect or “Ideal Human” in the sight of God. Jesus is our template! ... God is by the life and example of Jesus able to show the world how one aught to govern their lives. Adam is an example of failure, but the Man Jesus is an example of Victory!
The above article was taken from: 60 of 100