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!


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Interesting Quotes - Series 2

  • Adam Clarke
    ... the doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ is, in my opinion, anti-scriptural, and highly dangerous ... This doctrine of the eternal Sonship, I MUST and DO consider as an AWFUL HERESY.
  • Adam Clarke
    To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is, in my opinion, absurd; and the phrase 'eternal Son' is a positive self contradiction.
  • (Author unknown)
    DIVINE INSANITY: God killed himself on the cross to save his own creation from his own wrath !
  • Anthony Buzzard
    Jesus' Message about the Kingdom of God. ... that God, in the person of His Son and Agent, Christ, the promised Messiah, intends to establish just government and universal peace on earth and to grant immortality to those who love Him.
  • Dr. J.R. BEARD, 1846
    ... the Anti-trinitarianism here spoken of is exclusively Christian. We have no fellowship or sympathy with any opinions which deny that Jesus received a superhuman commission, and was endowed with superhuman qualities and powers."
  • Donald R. Snedeker, 1998
    Unitarianism is not synonymous with Unitarian-Universalism. The latter involves little emphasis on Scripture or even the need to believe in God or Jesus, whereas the former depends heavily upon Scripture and receiving Jesus as God's only-begotten Son.
  • Colin Brown - EX AUDITU, 7, 1991 (pgs. 87-89)
    The crux of the matter lies in how we understand the term “Son of God” and the questions that it poses about the relation of Jesus to the one whom he called Father… One may well ask whether the term Son of God is in and of itself a divine title at all. ... the title “son of God” is not in itself a designation of personal deity or an expression of metaphysical distinctions within the Godhead. Indeed, to be a “Son of God” one has to be a being who is not God. It is a designation for a creature indicating a special relationship with God. In particular, it denotes God’s representative, God’s vice-regent. It is a designation of kingship, identifying the king as God’s Son. Therefore I take the application of the title “Son of God” at his baptism to be an affirmation of Jesus as God’s Son-king in virtue of his anointing by the Spirit. ... The designation of Jesus as “Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4) is a reaffirmation of that Son-kingship with divine authority, insofar as by the resurrection the Spirit has overturned the negative verdict of the Sanhedrin in condemning Jesus to death as a blasphemer who sought to lead Israel astray. ... It is a common but patent misreading of the opening of John’s Gospel to read it as if it said: “In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with God and the Son was God” (John 1:1). What has happened here is the substitution of Son for Word (Greek logos), and thereby the Son is made a member of the Godhead which existed from the beginning. But if we follow carefully the thought of John’s prologue, it is the Word that preexisted eternally with God and is God. The same Word that made all things and is the light that enlightens human kind “became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:14; cf. vv. 3 and 8). In other words Son-language in John denotes the Word made flesh in Jesus who as such speaks God’s Word to human beings on earth.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Which Gospel? Which Jesus? by Anthony Buzzard

Which Gospel? Which Jesus?


The word “gospel” bombards the American churchgoing public from every quarter. Yet there appears to be very little analysis of what the Bible means by the Gospel. There is no more important and urgent matter demanding our attention than this: to discover what Jesus and the Apostles taught as the Gospel . Believing the Gospel is everywhere in the New Testament directly connected to salvation. Salvation means gaining immortality in the future resurrection and helping to supervise a new world order, with the returned Messiah as its governor.

There are cosmic forces at work attempting to prevent us from understanding the vital message of salvation. In Luke 8:12 Jesus brilliantly describes what happens when some hear the biblical Gospel. The Messiah's intelligence report lifts the lid on Satan's counter-Gospel activity: “Then the Devil comes and snatches away the message [the Gospel of the Kingdom, Matt. 13:19] which was sown in their hearts, so that they may not believe it [the Gospel] and be saved .”

Another devastatingly destructive system, known as ultra-dispensationalism, boldly proclaims that the Gospel of the Kingdom is not for us today at all! It claims, contrary to the plainest biblical evidence, that Paul introduced another and different Gospel for us now: the Gospel of grace. Paul however makes the Gospel of the Kingdom identical  with the Gospel of grace. For this fact, simply read Acts 20:24, 25. Paul here summarizes with crystal clarity his whole Gospel-preaching career. It was to proclaim the Gospel of the grace of God which in the next breath he says is the preaching of the Kingdom!

Salvation, we learn, is gained by believing and obeying the Gospel message. The linkage of the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matt. 13:19) and salvation is obvious. Satan aims to obstruct belief in that Gospel. One strategy open to him is to remove the Gospel from the heart of the potential believer. Another clever way of achieving his goal is by distorting the message.

Paul warned his Corinthian converts that it is all too easy to believe in a pseudo-Jesus, a counterfeit spirit, and a fake Gospel: “If he who comes preaches another Jesus , whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit , which you have not received, or a different gospel , which you did not receive, you bear this beautifully!” (2 Cor. 11:4).

Christians are to be alert and instructed. If they are not, they will fall for “other gospels” and “other Jesuses.” There are lots around and they can be very appealing.

“Another Jesus. Another spirit. A different gospel.” Paul here “blows the whistle” on the Satanic methods. He unmasks the Devil's subtle tactics. Satan's seductive plan is to “preach Jesus, Spirit and Gospel,” using these New Testament terms as a camouflage for his own twisted message. Satan's Gospel will sound biblical enough. The name “Jesus” will be prominent in the message. Yet in a subtle way this pseudo-gospel will divert its well-meaning recipients from the real message of the real Jesus.

According to another translation of 2 Corinthians 11:4, Satan offers “another way to be saved.” Observe that Satan's business is “salvation.” But it is “salvation” on his terms. The reason why the yet inexperienced Corinthians were, as Paul said, “putting up with the pseudo-gospel beautifully” was that they could not see the difference between the true and the false versions of the Gospel.

In these immensely instructive verses Paul exposed Satan's deceptive techniques. Paul was giving his own commentary on the warning words of Jesus in Luke 8:12. Satan's business is to get rid of the saving Gospel as Jesus preached it.

Paul went on to say that Satan “dresses himself up” as an angel of light (implying that he is actually an angel of darkness), and that he works through his ministers, who also appear to be ministers of light, to mislead the unwary: “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:14, 15).

Nothing alarmed or angered Paul more than the preaching of a distorted Gospel — and with good reason. For a message of salvation which is untrue to the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles inevitably lulls its recipients into a false sense of security. They will think they have “received Jesus,” but the Jesus presented to them will be a cunningly devised misrepresentation of the real Jesus who alone can save . When Paul found Satan at work among young believers whom he had reached with the true message, he rushed to their rescue:

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the Gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven [suggestive of the ‘angel of light' of 2 Cor. 11:14] should preach to you a gospel other than the one which we preached to you, let him be accursed”
(Gal. 1:6-8).


Beware of a Distorted Gospel

The reason for Paul's strong words is clear. Acceptance of “another gospel” and “another Jesus” (the pseudo-Jesus would of course be offered as Savior and Lord) could not possibly lead to the desired salvation. But the victims of such preaching would be convinced that they had come to believe God's message. They would think that they were being saved, when in fact the genuine message of salvation had been hidden from them. They would have fallen prey to Satan's policy of opposition by imitation.

A shrewd observer of the history of religion has observed that the fact “that any religion works does not mean that it is right. It is in the nature of all religions that they should work for those who are persuaded that they represent the determined vehicle of communication between the Seen and the Unseen.” [1] A faith which seems to work, and a Jesus who seems to produce results, do not necessarily correspond with the Jesus proclaimed by Paul and his colleague Apostles. It is essential to understand the subtlety of Satan's strategy of deception, and to realize that he conceals himself under religious, biblical terminology.

By a subtle shift in the meaning of words, we suggest, the biblical Gospel has been, in many quarters, deprived of its principal and fundamental ingredient: the Kingdom of God . This has come about in two ways. Firstly, the content of the popular Gospel has been derived almost exclusively from isolated verses in Paul's epistles (usually Romans, cp. “The Roman Road”) and the gospel of John. In these writings, because writer and audience already understood  the meaning of “Gospel,” the precise terminology of the Gospel appears less often, or appears under different terms, and there is thus more room for us to misunderstand. Paul was not writing (in Romans) to people who had never heard the Gospel. He was not writing to make converts out of non-Christians. Paul could assume that his audience knew what the Gospel was. This allowed him to concentrate on certain elements of the Gospel and treat other parts of it with less detail and clarity.

The loss of a clear perception of the Gospel message has come about because Jesus' original words describing and defining the Gospel, recorded by Matthew, Mark and Luke, have been ignored or rejected. Jesus has been presented to the public as one who died and rose, but not as the original and definitive preacher and teacher of the saving Gospel — the Gospel about the Kingdom of God.

Almost all “Gospel-talk” has centered around the person of Jesus, to the exclusion of the saving message he taught . Churches speak of the messenger, Jesus, but usually fail to tell us about the Gospel message which he proclaimed. This practice is devastating. The abundance of talk about “Jesus” gives the impression that the Jesus of the New Testament is being presented. What many do not notice is that Jesus' saving message about the Kingdom is quietly omitted!

“Test the spirits,” John urged as the New Testament period was ending (1 John 4:1). Listen to the words being announced as “gospel.” Do you hear the Kingdom of God as central in the Gospel presentation? If not, beware: the voice of Jesus and his Kingdom Gospel are absent. Jesus had remarked, “My sheep know my voice” (John 10:27).

Matthew, Mark and Luke unanimously record that Jesus and the disciples always proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matt 4:23; 9:35; Luke 4:43; Mark 1:14, 15; Luke 16:16). Mark calls this Gospel the “Gospel of God” (Mark 1:14). It is a message sent by God Himself through His spokesman Jesus, the promised Messiah. Once this critically important definition of the Gospel — the Gospel of the Kingdom — has been established, Matthew, Mark, and Luke refer to it by a kind of “shorthand” as “the Word” or “the Message.” Luke makes this crucial equation in his first volume: “He said to them, ‘I must preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose .' And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. Now it came about that while the multitude were pressing around and listening to the Word of God ...” (Luke 4:43, 44; 5:1).

Matthew and Mark also use the terms “Word (message) of the Kingdom” and “the Word” respectively when they record the parable of the sower. This parable, of course, is the prototype of all good evangelism, though it is seldom referred to by contemporary evangelists. The Gospel of the Kingdom in the three versions of the same parable appears as follows: “Whenever anyone hears the word of the Kingdom ...” (Matt 13:19). “And they hear the word ” (Mark 4:16). “The seed is the word of God ” (Luke 8:11).


The Gospel Fully Defined

The “word” in question is fully defined in Luke 4:43 and Matthew 4:23 and 9:35 as the Gospel of the Kingdom of God . (Note that the KJV expression “preaching the Kingdom” means in the original “preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom,” as modern translations and commentators make clear.)

After the resurrection of Jesus, the Apostles, in obedience to Jesus, went out to proclaim exactly the same message of the Kingdom . They added to the message, under the guidance of the spirit of Christ, the new facts about Jesus' death and resurrection, of which Jesus had said very little (and when he did he was not understood — Luke 18:31-34) when he preached the Gospel. In Acts 8:12, therefore, we have a perfect formula which covers the whole ground of the Gospel message. There are two components in the Gospel — the Kingdom of God and “the name of Jesus”: “When they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news [Gospel] about the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus, they were being baptized” (Acts 8:12).

This comprehensive definition of the Gospel is the one which should be constantly instilled in the minds of those who go out to preach. The fact is, however, that this model text in Acts (repeated in Acts 19:8; 20:24, 25; 28:23, 31) is seldom, if ever, quoted. What is often quoted is another verse from Acts: “Philip...preached Christ to them” (Acts 8:5).

This is another of Luke's “shorthand” summaries of the Gospel. He intends to remind us of Jesus' own preaching of the Kingdom of God and the Apostles' preaching about the Kingdom and the name of Jesus (Acts 8:12). By itself, however, the expression “preaching Christ” is unclear. Explained by Acts 8:12 — “the Gospel about the Kingdom and the name of Jesus” it is easily understood. By forgetting Acts 8:12 evangelists almost always omit the principal subject matter of Jesus' own preaching — the Kingdom of God! Thus they subtract from the message one of its two major components.

An illustration will make the matter clearer. In Acts 15:21 James stated that “Moses has in every city those who preach him.” We have no difficulty in seeing that “preaching Moses” means that the law of Moses and his teaching were being proclaimed. In the same way “preaching Christ” involves not only telling the facts about the person of Jesus, but also giving an accurate account of his message — what he taught.

Now it would be very strange to say that “Moses is  the law,” unless we explained that we were using language in a special way. Yet this sort of “Jesus is the Gospel” or “Jesus is the Kingdom” language has been introduced, and with disastrous consequences. It may sound good to say that “Jesus is  the Gospel,” but the objective reality of the Kingdom as the future reign of Christ on earth (with strong implications for the present period of preparation for the Kingdom) has been lost from the Gospel message. Jesus' version of the Gospel is thus eclipsed.

It is commonly said that Paul did not preach the Kingdom of God, though Jesus did. Imagine the chaos into which New Testament Christianity would be thrown if this assertion were true. If Paul did not relay the same Gospel of the Kingdom as Jesus had preached he would be in violation of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19, 20), which is obviously binding on all who preach. Jesus' final words were these: “Go and make disciples and baptize them and teach them everything I taught you.” It could not be clearer. Apostolic Christianity is based on the preaching of the historical Jesus. If Jesus preached the Kingdom as the foundation of the Gospel (and no one could argue with this fact) then the Apostles also taught that same Kingdom Gospel, with the addition of the new facts about the death and resurrection of Jesus. To suggest that Paul did not concentrate on the Gospel of the Kingdom is to say that he was in direct disobedience to the Great Commission. Paul was intent on Christ living in him, and the Christ who lived in him was the risen historical Jesus who continued to preach the same Gospel of the Kingdom everywhere. Paul says this quite expressly: “I went about preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Acts 20:25). He makes no difference at all between the Gospel of grace and the Gospel of the Kingdom (Acts 20:24, 25). It would be completely false to assert therefore that the Gospel of Jesus did not continue in Acts. Luke intended that we never forget this. Acts 28:23, 31 describes the evangelistic ministry of Paul as the preaching of the Kingdom of God, both to Jews and to Gentiles. There is no preaching of Christ without the preaching of the Message of Christ, the Kingdom of God.


The Blurring of the Message

It was Origen, a philosophically-minded “church father” of the third century, who began to say that “the good things the apostles announce in the Gospel are simply Jesus. Jesus Himself preaches good tidings of good things which are none other than Himself. [2] With this kind of poetic, allegorizing language the Kingdom was turned into “good things” and the message about the Kingdom of God was swallowed up in the term “Jesus.” The Kingdom disappeared behind the word “Jesus.” This trend has continued to the present day.

Origen set a fashion of speaking of the “Gospel” yet saying nothing about the Messianic Kingdom of the future which was the heart of Jesus' saving message. Jesus' use of the term “Kingdom” in its Hebrew, Old Testament sense as a “concrete” reality of the future was frittered away, dissolved into thin air. The spell which was thus cast over the churches resulted in what one contemporary writer has called “the hopeless confusion of evangelicals over eschatology.” [3] Another theologian warned of the catastrophe which occurred when the Greek incomprehension of the Messianic Kingdom caused it to be dropped from the Gospel message. The loss was not a legitimate transformation of the message, as some would have us believe; it was a suppression of the apostolic Gospel of the Kingdom : “When the Greek mind and the Roman mind, instead of the Hebrew mind, came to dominate the Church, there occurred a disaster from which the Church has never recovered, either in doctrine or practice.” [4]

Propositions about Jesus being the Kingdom or the Gospel sound plausible or “spiritual,” but they are misleading. Jesus did not come into Galilee saying, “Repent and believe the Gospel about me .” He commanded belief first and foremost in the Gospel of the Kingdom, God's Gospel  (Mark 1:14, 15). Jesus did not say that the sower went forth to sow himself! He went out to sow “the Message of the Kingdom” (Matt. 13:19). Jesus spoke also of giving up everything for him and the Gospel  (Mark 8:35; 10:29). Origen — and the evangelical world has often followed him — confused the biblical message by practically equating Jesus with the Gospel Message, the messenger with the message. The result was the loss of the Message about the Kingdom, of which Jesus will become the ruler as Messiah, and into which Jesus invites his followers as co-rulers (Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:28-30; Rev. 2:26; 3:21; 5:10; 20:4-6).

Our point is well made by a commentator who challenges the traditional idea that Jesus proclaimed himself rather than the Kingdom of God:

“Attempting to read the gospels unshackled by the conventional wisdom or dogma of the past leads to some startling conclusions. Nowhere is this more obvious than when we ask the central question, What was Jesus' message? The various churches still operate on the axiom that His message concerned Himself. Here, they say, is God-in-the-flesh, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, walking about the Holy Land with a group of former fishermen, proclaiming Himself as the only way of salvation. He is the content of the message; or rather, he is the message itself…

“As I realized, however, the moment I could read the New Testament with any seriousness...this is not what the Gospels say at all. If you begin with the Gospel of St. Mark...you will find that Jesus came preaching the ‘good news of God' and saying: ‘The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent [have a change of heart] and put your trust in this good news' (1:14-15)...If you take the combined witness of Mark, Matthew and Luke, it is obvious that Jesus came to proclaim what is translated as the Kingdom of God or Heaven — the two are synonymous.” [5]


Misleading Terminology

“Preaching Christ,” “proclaiming Jesus,” “receiving the Lord” and “giving your heart to the Lord” may have a religious ring about them. But they may also be a “front” for a message which tells you nothing about Jesus' Gospel about the Kingdom of God. Remember that throughout the book of Acts where the indispensable information about the apostolic presentation of the Gospel is given, the Kingdom of God was still the first item on the agenda (Acts 8:12; 28:23, 31). This is true of preaching from the beginning of Acts to the end. It is true also of the message which was given to Jew and Gentile alike:

“So they [the Jews] fixed a day and came to him [Paul] at his quarters in large numbers. From morning to evening he expounded and testified the Kingdom of God and persuaded them concerning Jesus from the law of Moses and the prophets...He stayed two whole years in his own rented home and welcomed all who came to see him [Jews and Gentiles], preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, with all boldness, none forbidding him” (Acts 28:23, 30, 31).


A Word from the Scholars

A New Testament professor from Harvard has subjected the writings of Luke in Acts to a minute analysis. He reports that what Luke says about the future Kingdom is “natural and spontaneous” and therefore most revealing as a guide to the apostolic Gospel. Professor Cadbury notes that Acts includes “many of the familiar elements” in New Testament preaching. “The preachers preach the Kingdom of God or the things about it” (Acts 1:3; 8:12; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31 — these texts should be examined carefully). The term “Kingdom of God appears from almost the first verse to the last verse in the book.” “Kingdom of God” “constitutes a formula apparently parallel to the writer's more characteristic single verb ‘evangelize.'” “ Nothing obviously distinguishes the term Kingdom of God in Acts from such apocalyptic use as it has in the synoptic gospels. For example one enters into it [in the future] through much tribulation (Acts 14:22).” [6] We find this scholar in complete agreement that the Kingdom of God is everywhere in Acts the heart and center of the Gospel. And by Kingdom of God the Apostles do not mean a present reign of Christ “in the heart” but the worldwide Kingdom of God to be inaugurated by the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of the age and introducing a new society on earth — “the inhabited earth of the future about which we speak” (Heb. 2:5). This point is most essential for anyone who sets out to make converts through the Gospel message. The Kingdom of God, as the future Kingdom, is the core of the message. It was when potential converts expressed an understanding of and a belief in the Kingdom of God and the things concerning the name of Jesus that they were ready to be baptized (Acts 8:12). Clearly any preaching which does not have the Kingdom of God as a major component of its content has little relation to the New Testament Gospel.


No Kingdom, No Gospel

When in the book of Acts Luke refers to “preaching Jesus” or “evangelizing,” both phrases must be amplified and illuminated by the fuller description of what the Apostles were saying. They were proclaiming the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus (Acts 8:12; 28:23, 31). The loss of the facts about the Kingdom of God would amount to a loss of a major part of the Gospel itself. A gospel without the Kingdom of God would appear to be even “another gospel.” Even though the name “Jesus” might still be heard, his message about the Kingdom would have disappeared. A gospel deprived of essential information will not have the powerful converting energy necessary to make healthy, well-instructed Christians.

When Paul preached in Ephesus he “reasoned and persuaded them about the Kingdom of God” for three months (Acts 19:8). He later described his whole ministry at Ephesus as a “solemn testimony about repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). What then is Paul's definition (not ours!) of “faith in the Lord Jesus”? Paul immediately gives us two further clarifying descriptions of the Gospel. He equates “faith in Jesus” with “the Gospel of the grace of God” (v. 24) or a “declaration of the whole purpose of God” (v. 27). But none of these phrases must be divorced from verse 25. There Paul sums up his ministry as the “ preaching of the Kingdom .” Could contemporary evangelists so describe their own ministries when they speak of “heaven”? Where did any New Testament preacher promise his audience that they would “go to heaven”?

Paul's preaching in Derbe, Lystra, Iconium and Antioch followed the same pattern. After preaching the Gospel, he exhorted the converts to endure trial patiently before they “enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22), i.e., at the Second Coming. Our final glimpse of Paul is in Rome where once again we find him “solemnly testifying about the Kingdom of God and trying to persuade them about Jesus” from dawn till dusk (Acts 28:23). Luke ends where he began in Acts with Jesus discussing the affairs of the Kingdom of God for six weeks with the disciples (Acts 1:3). Indeed Luke concludes his second volume where he began his first, the gospel of Luke: Jesus is destined to receive the Kingdom of his father David (Luke 1:32, 33) and rule in it forever. Luke's last word is that Paul was preaching the Kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 28:31).

The message is clear beyond any doubt. It is the Good News about the Kingdom and about Jesus Christ which must be proclaimed (Acts 8:12). These are distinct but closely related topics. The great mistake is to merge them so that the Kingdom is lost!

When Paul wrote to his converts he most often simply referred to the “Gospel” without further definition. Both writer and reader knew what was meant. We must be careful to go back to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts to find out exactly what that Gospel is. It is interesting to note that Paul avoids in his epistles the full phrase “Gospel of the Kingdom.” Talk of the “Kingdom” in opposition to Caesar could very well create unnecessary trouble in the Roman empire. In Thessalonica Paul was mobbed for having dared to say that “there is another king, Jesus” (Acts 17:5-7). When Paul wrote from prison he used terms to describe the Kingdom which were less provocative: “glory,” “age to come,” “light,” “life,” “inheritance.” But he still mentions the Kingdom in contexts where he has just mentioned the Gospel: “We proclaimed to you the Gospel of God ...God calls you into His own Kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2:9, 12. Cp. Mark 1:14, 15: Gospel of God = Gospel of the Kingdom). “...you may be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God …Those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thess. 1:5, 8). “I became your father through the Gospel ... The Kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power” (1 Cor. 4:15, 20). “The word of truth, the Gospel ...He transferred us into the Kingdom ” (Col. 1:5, 13). Note that we have not yet inherited the Kingdom (Col. 3:24; 1 Cor. 15:50).


A Bible Dictionary Documents the Loss of the Kingdom from the Message

Despite the very clear evidence that the New Testament Christians always proclaimed the Kingdom of God, both before and after the resurrection of Jesus, Unger's Bible Dictionary attempts to divide the Gospel into two different messages. It speaks of “forms of the Gospel to be differentiated.” [7] Contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture, the article maintains that the Gospel of the Kingdom ceased to be preached when the Jews rejected their Messiah and that a different form of the Gospel — the Gospel of grace — then came into force. The proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom, we are told, will be resumed during the tribulation just prior to the return of Jesus.

However, this is to create a distinction which is not in the New Testament. The Gospel of the Kingdom definitely did not cease to be preached when Jesus was rejected. The Kingdom of God remained the central theme of apostolic teaching after the resurrection (Acts 1:3; 8:12; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31). What's more, the Gospel of grace is exactly the same Gospel as the Gospel of the Kingdom (Acts 20:24, 25).

That many do try to create a distinction between two forms of the Gospel is not disputed. The distinction, however, is based on a man-made “dispensationalist” theory, which denies that the Gospel of the Kingdom has always been and always will be the Christian message.


The Indispensable Word of the Kingdom

Throughout the New Testament, the “shorthand” expression “word” (message) stands for the “Gospel of the Kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12). Sometimes the message is simply “the truth” (Col. 1:6). All these abbreviated descriptions of the Gospel must be referred back to Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom (Luke 4:43; Matt. 4:23).

If these simple principles are kept in mind, Christians will not run the risk of losing or distorting the Gospel, which is the greatest tragedy that could befall them (Gal. 1:7, 8). They must insist that Jesus' own message about the Kingdom is always at the heart of evangelism. This can be done best by maintaining a “sound pattern of words” (2 Tim. 1:13). This does not mean that preaching should be wooden or unimaginative, controlled by a mere formula. It will mean, however, that we will not be misled into thinking that Christ has been preached when nothing has been said about his Good News of the Kingdom , Jesus' own Gospel, the Gospel of salvation.

The Good News of the Kingdom has to do with God's purpose to bring peace and international harmony to our war-torn earth by sending Jesus to rule the world at his Second Coming. The earth is going to be filled with the knowledge of God and the nations are going to beat their awful weapons of mass destruction into farm implements (Is. 2:1-4). In preparation for that great day, believers are to repent and believe the message (Mark 1:14, 15), be baptized and receive the Spirit of God (Acts 2:38). Some will say: “What good is that knowledge of the future for me now ?” The answer is that God is intensely interested in the future of the world and the great reversal in world politics which is going to come when Jesus returns with his Kingdom. If the spirit of God and Christ is in us, that spirit will convey the same intense interest in the Kingdom as motivated the entire ministries of Jesus and the Apostles. God speaks to the present from the future. Hope is a powerful energy. But hope is no hope unless it is given content. That content is the Kingdom of God coming on earth and our inheritance of the new land/earth (Matt. 5:5).

We conclude by reflecting on the strange phenomenon that a leading writer of Bible notes quotes Matthew 24:14 and twice on the same page (his only references) omits the words “of the Kingdom” from Matthew's (and Jesus') prediction that the Gospel of the Kingdom is going to be preached worldwide. Readers are permitted to see only that “this gospel...will be preached.” [8] The Kingdom, which describes the content of the Gospel, has been dropped from the text!

Another evangelical writer refers to “preaching Christ” and “preaching the word,” but omits altogether Luke's illuminating explanation of these phrases as “the Gospel of the Kingdom and the name of Jesus” (Acts 8:12). Recently a leading spokesman for evangelicalism delivered a lecture on the topic “What is the Gospel?” During the course of an hour he managed not to mention the word “kingdom” once! Discussing Acts 20:24-27 he referred to the “gospel of the grace of God” (v. 24) and equated it correctly with “declaring the whole purpose of God” (v. 27). Can anyone explain why he skipped verse 25 which tells us that it was the Gospel of the Kingdom which Paul called the Gospel of Grace and the whole purpose of God? Clearly no one is going to understand the Gospel fully until he is instructed in the meaning of the term Kingdom of God and invited to believe the Good News connected with that Kingdom (Mark 1:14, 15).

To cap it all, at an international meeting of evangelists in Lausanne in 1974 a spokesman asked: “How much have you heard here about the Kingdom of God? Not much. It is not our language. But it was Jesus' prime concern.” [9] Next time you hear an evangelist, in spoken word or tract, summon the public to belief in the Kingdom of God and the things concerning the name of Jesus (Acts 8:12), take careful note. You will be hearing the language of Jesus and the Apostles. If offers of salvation contain no word about the Kingdom of God, remain suspicious — and reread 2 Corinthians 11:4 and Luke 8:12! And Mark 4:11, 12, where the intelligent reception of the Kingdom Gospel is a condition for repentance and being forgiven.


By Prof. A Buzzard


[1] Hugh J. Schonfield, Those Incredible Christians , Bernard Geis Associates, 1968, p. 217, 218.

[2] Commentaries on Matthew and John , emphasis added.

[3] Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation , Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1970, p. 244.

[4] H.L. Goudge, “The Calling of the Jews” in the collected essays on Judaism and Christianity , Shears & Sons, 1939.

[5] Tom Harpur, For Christ's Sake , McClelland and Stewart, 1994, p. 21.

[6] H.J. Cadbury, “Acts and Eschatology,” in The Background of the New Testament and its Eschatology , ed. Davies and Daube, Cambridge University Press, 1956, p. 311, emphasis added.

[7] Unger's Bible Dictionary , Chicago: Moody Press, 1969, p. 420.

[8] Selwyn Hughes, Every Day with Jesus .

[9] Tom Sine, The Mustard Seed Controversy , Waco, TX: Word Books, 1981, pp. 102-103, emphasis added.

Can we “worship” Jesus Christ?

Can we “worship” Jesus Christ?

 

What is worship? The answer to this question is important, not only because Christians should know what worship is, but in discovering what worship is, we also find out who can be worshipped. Since the Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek, we need to begin our study of worship by looking at the Greek and Hebrew words that are translated “worship.” Unfortunately, because of the way the Greek and Hebrew words for “worship” have been translated into English, it can be difficult to learn correctly about worship from an English version of the Bible.

 

The Hebrew word shachah and the Greek word proskuneo account for more than 80% of the appearances of the word “worship” in most English versions of the Bible, so these are the two words with which we want to concern ourselves. There are a few other words that are occasionally translated “worship” but have a more specific meaning outside of the idea of worship, and really should be translated differently. An example would be the Greek word latreuo, which means “to serve,” but in a few cases is translated “to worship.”

A study of the Hebrew word shachah and the Greek word proskuneo reveals that both these words mean “to bow down.” The Hebrew word shachah (Strong’s number 7812) is used of bowing or prostrating oneself, often before a superior or before God. [1] In the King James Version, it is translated by a number of different English words, including: “worship” (99 times), “bow” (31 times), “bow down” (18 times), “obeisance” (9 times), and “reverence” (5 times).

The Greek word proskuneo (Strong’s number 4505) comes from the Greek words pros, “to” or “toward,” and kuneo, “to kiss.” It literally means to kiss the hand to (toward) someone in token of reverence, and among the Orientals, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence. Hence, in the New Testament it means kneeling or prostration to do homage or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication. [2]

The examples of “worship” in the Bible confirms that in the biblical culture, people bowed down before those to whom they wanted to show respect or honor. Lot “worshipped” (shachah) the strangers who came to Sodom even though he had never seen them before. He prostrated himself before them to show them respect (Gen. 19:1). Moses “worshipped” (shachah) his father in law, whom he respected and honored (Ex. 18:7). Abigail “worshipped” (shachah) David. She honored him by prostrating herself before him. These three examples can be multiplied many times over, but they show that when someone wanted to honor another, he would fall down before him. The act of falling down is called “worship,” and reveals the heart of the worshipper—respect and honor towards the one being worshipped.


Many cultures besides the biblical culture have the custom of bowing to show respect or honor. The Japanese and Chinese bow to those they respect. In the courts of Europe it was customary to bow (or for women, to curtsy) to those of higher rank. In fact, even in the colonial culture of the United States it was common for men to bow in respect of one another and for the women to curtsy to show honor or respect, and occasionally we still see bowing and curtsying today.

In some churches the custom of bowing before God has been modified into kneeling or genuflecting. For example, in the Roman Catholic Church people often genuflect, a shallow bow of the knee, to show their respect to God. In most protestant churches although people no longer perform a full bow before the Lord, people “bow” their heads in prayer as a sign of respect. It is important to realize that in both biblical and modern “worship” (bowing down), the outward act of bowing reveals the inner heart of respect and honor.


Why do we use the English word “worship” at all? Our word “worship” comes from the Old English “weorthscipe,” which means worthiness. We “worship” someone because they are “worth” the respect they receive. In British English, “Worship” was actually used as a title for various officials, usually magistrates and some mayors. Thus even in the derivation of the English word “worship” we see that it was not exclusively used of God or Jesus, but was used to designate someone worth the respect they received.

When the words shachah appears in the Hebrew text, or proskuneo in the Greek text, they usually refer to the action of bowing down, and we can translate them that way into English, as the following examples show.

Genesis 23:7 (NIV)
Then Abraham rose and bowed down [shachah] before the people of the land, the Hittites.

Genesis 33:3 (NIV)
He himself [Jacob] went on ahead and bowed down [shachah] to the ground seven times as he approached his brother [Esau].

Genesis 42:6 (NIV)
Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the one who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down [shachah] to him with their faces to the ground.

Matthew 18:26 (NIV)
“The servant fell on his knees [proskuneo] before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’


It is clear from the verses above that people “bowed down to,” or “worshipped” other people. A study of the Greek and Hebrew words and how they are translated shows something else—something that has misled many Christians. In many Bible versions, when the words shachah or proskuneo are used of one person to another, the translators use the English words “bow down” or something similar. However, when shachah or proskuneo refers to a person “bowing down” before God or Jesus, the translators almost always use the English word “worship.” The three examples below are typical.

Exodus 24:1
Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the L
ORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship [shachah] at a distance,

Exodus 33:10 (NASB)
When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship [shachah], each at the entrance of his tent.

John 4:24
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship [proskuneo] in spirit and in truth.”


The verses above reveal a pattern that has caused many Christians to misunderstand “worship.” When the Hebrew or Greek words for worship refer to men “worshipping” men, the translators use the English words “bow down.” However, when the act of worship is toward God or Jesus, then the translators use the English word “worship” in their Bibles. This way of translating understandably leads the English reader to believe that only God and Jesus are “worshipped.” How can a person reading the English Bible be expected to know that biblical “worship” is not just for God and Jesus when in his Bible the word “worship” is only used in reference to them? He cannot. Thus, although it is sad, it is understandable that people reading the English Bible conclude that Jesus must be God because Jesus is “worshipped.”


As Bible students, we must get the facts straight. “Worshipping,” i.e., bowing down to someone, shows honor and respect. It can be toward anyone the person wants to honor, even, as we saw earlier in the case of Lot, a total stranger. People “worshipping” Jesus does not make him God any more than Abraham “bowing down” before the Hittites makes them God. The Greek and Hebrew need to be translated consistently. When they are, we can see that people “worshipped” other people and God (or they “bowed down to” other people and God). In practical application, superiors, kings, God, and Jesus get most of the honor or worship.

There are times when it is not appropriate to honor or “worship” someone. God says that it is wrong to bow down before (shachah; worship) other gods (Ex. 23:24). That makes perfect sense. How could a person with any sincerity honor both God and demons? A different case involved Peter, who recognized that it was not appropriate for Cornelius to bow down to (proskuneo; worship) him, even though Cornelius respected Peter. Peter felt he was not superior to Cornelius, and accepting the worship would have sent the wrong message to Cornelius, so he stopped him (Acts 10:25 and 26). Similarly, the angel stopped John from “worshipping” him. John felt the angel was superior and started to “worship” him. The angel had to correct him and remind him that the angel was only a “fellow servant” (Rev. 22:8 and 9).

In the following verse we find an account of the prophet Nathan coming in to see King David.

1 Kings 1:23 (NIV)
And they told the king, “Nathan the prophet is here.” So he went before the king and bowed [shachah] with his face to the ground.

Nathan was a prophet of God and yet he had no problem with “worshipping” King David, i.e., bowing down before him. It is perfectly appropriate to bow down to (worship) a king. However, it would have been improper for Nathan to bow down to David and then to someone in David’s court that he knew was plotting against David. “Worship” is not a hollow act. True worship comes from the heart. That is why Mordecai would not bow down before Haman, because Haman was an enemy of the Jews (Esther 3:2; 9:10). However when Jesus met the women who had come to his tomb, they “worshipped” him and were correct in doing so because he was their king, and they honored and respected him.

The act of placing oneself facedown at the feet of the king showed respect and honor. 2 Samuel 14:22 provides a good example.

2 Samuel 14:22 (NIV)
Joab fell with his face to the ground to pay him honor [shachah], and he blessed the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, because the king has granted his servant’s request.”

In this verse the NIV translators chose to translate the Hebrew word shachah (bowing down or worshipping) with the phrase “to pay him honor” to reflect the nature of Joab’s actions. Although the phrase “to pay him honor” shows the purpose of Joab’s action, since the Hebrew word shachah is not translated “worship,” the English reader never sees that Joab “worshipped” David. No doubt, had Joab fallen on his face before God, the English translations would have said that Joab “worshipped” God.

1 Samuel 24 contains a record of David “worshipping” Saul.

1 Samuel 24:8 (NIV)
Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down [shachah] and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

Saul had been pursuing David in order to kill him. David and his men had been avoiding Saul. One time Saul went into a cave to use the bathroom, not realizing that David and his men were also in the cave. David’s men urged him to kill Saul, but instead he simply cut off a piece of Saul’s clothing. After Saul left the cave, David came out and bowed before Saul and showed him the piece of clothing to demonstrate that he would never hurt Saul. David bowed before Saul as part of his effort to convince Saul that he still honored Saul and that he was not trying to usurp Saul’s throne.

Bowing to the king, worshipping him, was a way of demonstrating respect to the king, which, of course, meant that the person had an intent to obey the king. Obedience, then, is an integral part of the worship of God or a king. The outward show of bowing is not really true worship if there is no intent in the heart to obey. If a person comes before a king and bows before him but has no intention of obeying him, then the bow is hollow and deceitful. We see this in action with Adonijah. He bowed before King Solomon but he was still scheming against him.

1 Kings 1:53 (NIV)
Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed [shachah] down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, “Go to your home.”

Adonijah was a half-brother of Solomon and had plotted to usurp David’s throne. But Solomon sent word that if Adonijah would do what was right, then Adonijah’s life would be spared. So Adonijah came and worshipped, bowed down to, Solomon the king as an act of honor and respect, implying that he would be obedient. Actually, Adonijah’s gesture was insincere, and he ended up being put to death (1 Kings 2:25). Bowing insincerely would be similar to calling Jesus “Lord” but then not doing what he said to do (Matt. 7:21-23). It should be that the act of worship comes from a heart of worship.


As we have seen, because the English word “worship” is often only used in Scripture of God and Jesus, it is often believed that only they can be “worshipped,” or even that Jesus must be God. This short study should have made it clear that anyone deserving of honor and respect can be “worshipped.” In the biblical culture, the “worship” was evidenced by bowing. However, in our Western society today it is not our custom to bow down to authority figures. Nevertheless, we do honor them, respect them, and in some cases should obey them. If we today honor a notable person by addressing him as “Sir,” singing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” and giving him presents, we do not call that “worship,” but in fact those acts are one way we in Western society would “worship” someone.

In modern Western society we “worship” our authority figures differently than biblical people worshipped their authority figures, but the essence of honoring and respecting is the same. We need to understand how the biblical custom of bowing down before someone as an act of worship can be brought into our modern world. If we see that in the biblical culture the act of bowing was the outward form produced by an inward heart of respect and honor, then we are in a position to ask, “How would we today show someone that we respect and honor him?”

Here are a few ideas to consider:

If we honor and respect a friend, then our actions show that by us focusing on him and not just only on ourselves. Similarly, we show our respect and honor for God and Jesus by giving them our focus, our time and attention. This is especially important when participating in a spiritual or religious function. For example, a person in church should be focused on them instead of allowing his mind to wander to the trials and troubles of life that occupy the rest of the day.

If we honor and respect a friend, then we spend time with him, especially doing things that he wants to do. Similarly, we show our respect to God by doing things He wants us to. We should take an inventory of our lives and see what we spend our time doing. Is it something that brings glory to the Lord or is it something that is just fun? For instance, do we spend more time watching TV than doing something that would serve God or the Lord? By simply taking an inventory of our time we can easily identify what is most important to us. If we find that we are not giving enough time to God, then we should make the commitment to change.

Biblically, if we “worshipped” the king, we would make an effort to obey him. Jesus said “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” ... In fact there are many of them that we need to obey. For example, love your brother (1 John 4:21); pray continually (1 Thess. 5:17); do not lie (Col. 3:9); do not steal (Eph. 4:28). If we say we worship God and Jesus then we should obey them.

These suggestions are by no means comprehensive. Every Christian who wants to worship God and the Lord Jesus must find a way in which he can outwardly demonstrate the respect and honor he has in his heart.

 

Footnotes.

1. F. Brown, S. Driver, C. Briggs, The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, reprinted 2000), p. 1005.

2. Joseph Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, reprinted 2000), p. 548.

 

The above article was taken from

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=198

A Short Dissertation on the Christology of the Bible

A Short Dissertation on the Christology of the Bible
by a gentleman who goes by the name of "Seeker"
Taken from the Net

 

This is an attempt to bring some clarification to all of the unproven and misleading theories on the personhood of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Please read and prayerfully consider what is written herein and approach it with an open mind. The scriptures used throughout are from the NASB, but please feel free to look them up using any version you like. I pray that God will help you to truly KNOW the Messiah, the Son of God.

Shouldn’t we know our Savior? The One who redeemed us unto eternal life and shed His blood for us? But how can we know Him if we have the wrong perception of who or what He actually is? How can we be like Him as we’re commanded to, if we think He’s something He’s not? In order to know Christ we must first lay the groundwork of knowing who or what God is.

1. How Many Gods or Persons within God?


Let’s see what the Old Testament says:

Deuteronomy 6:4, Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!

Isaiah 43:10, Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.

Isaiah 44:6, … there is no God besides Me.

Isaiah 45:5, I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God…

Isaiah 46:9, For I am God, and there is no other; {I am} God, and there is no one like Me,

Let’s see what the New Testament says:

Mark 10:18, And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.

Mark 12:29, Jesus answered, The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD';

John 5:44, How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the {one and} only God?

John 17:3, This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

1 Corinthians 8:6, yet for us there is {but} one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we {exist} for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we {exist} through Him.

1 Timothy 2:5, For there is one God, {and} one mediator also between God and men, {the} man Christ Jesus,

The Jews of Jesus time, and apparently Jesus and Paul (from the scriptures above), thought God was one being; it was the bedrock of their faith. As Anthony Buzzard [& Charles Hunting] state in [their] book
[1] The Doctrine of the Trinity – Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound,
“Not once do we find Jesus criticizing his fellow countrymen for holding an inadequate understanding of the number of persons in the Godhead.”

If there is only one God (and according to the above mentioned scriptures there is), then who is this one God?

Let’s see what the Old Testament says:

NOTE: we must remember that when the Old Testament uses LORD in all capital letters, it is a place where the Tetragrammaton
(YHVH or YHWH - Yahweh) was used in the original.

As quoted earlier:

Deuteronomy 6:4, Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!

Isaiah 45:5, I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God…

So YHVH (LORD) is the one true God. There are many, many examples from the Old Testament, but for the sake of space and time these two should suffice. They clearly say that YHVH (LORD) is the only God.

Let’s see what the New Testament says:
Mark 12:29, Jesus answered, The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD (YHVH) OUR GOD IS ONE LORD (YHVH)';

Since Jesus quotes Deut. 6:4 in Mark it is clear that the one God – YHVH in the Old Testament is the same one God in the New Testament. As we have already quoted, Jesus said the following, in John, while praying to the Father:

John 17:3, This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

And Paul says:
1 Corinthians 8:6, yet for us there is {but} one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we {exist} for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we {exist} through Him.

John and Paul in 1 Corinthians tell us who this one God – YHVH – is; He is the Father. So the Father in the New Testament is synonymous with YHVH in the Old Testament. Both Testaments say that YHVH, or the Father, is the ONLY God.

Some will say “I thought Jesus was God the Son”? No, the Bible says Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man (“God the Son” is a term invented by men and is not found in the Bible). He is the Son of Man because His mother was Mary (human, mankind), and He is the Son of God because His father was God.

Granted, many beings are called god: Angels, OT judges, Moses, Jesus, Satan, etc, but not in the sense that John means it in the above passage. Did this make them co-equal with God?

Was Christ co-equal with God while on earth or was He subordinate to God while on earth? Most people would say he was subordinate simply because the evidence in scripture is overwhelming, but while many would say He was subordinate, a good portion of these would also add that “His human side was subordinate – not His God side”. Is this splitting of Christ’s nature into a “God” side and a “human” side Biblical - separating Jesus into two parts? Here is an interesting scripture:

1 John 4:2, By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;

An ancient text for 1 John 4:1-2 is reconstructed from Irenaeus (Ch. 16:8, ANF, Vol. 1, fn. p. 443); it gives a slightly different reading:
Hereby know ye the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth Jesus Christ came in the flesh is of God; and every spirit which separates Jesus Christ is not of God but is of antichrist.

Socrates the historian says (VII, 32, p. 381) that this passage (from Irenaeus) is the true reading and that it became corrupted by those who wished to separate the humanity of Jesus Christ from his divinity. Is this separation Biblical?

Let’s see what the scriptures say about His position while on earth:

Matthew 20:23, …but to sit on My right and on {My} left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.

Matthew 26:39,… My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.

Matthew 26:53, Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

Mark 10:18, And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.

Mark 13:32, But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father {alone.}

Mark 15:34, Jesus cried out with a loud voice… "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"

John 4:34, Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

John 5:19, …Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless {it is} something He sees the Father doing…

John 5:20, For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing…

John 5:22, For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,

John 5:26, For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;

John 5:30, I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 5:36, But the testimony which I have is greater than {the testimony of} John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish--the very works that I do--testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.

John 7:16, So Jesus answered them and said, My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.

John 7:28, Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.

John 8:26, …but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.

John 8:28, …and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

John 8:40, But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God...(notice he doesn’t say “which I heard from the Father” – but “God” – I thought Jesus was God?)

John 8:54, Jesus answered, If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God';

John 10:35-36, 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'?

John 12:49, For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment {as to} what to say and what to speak.

John 14:10, Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

John 14:28, …If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

John 17:3, This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 18:11, …the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?

No hint of a “man side” and a “God side”. We shouldn’t try and make scripture fit our doctrine, but we should make our doctrine fit scripture. It is interesting that the majority of texts come from John – the one gospel that Trinitarians and others like to use to prove Jesus is God.

Let us now look to see if Christ was subordinate to the Father after His resurrection and ascension:

1 Timothy 2:5, For there is one God, {and} one mediator also between God and men, {the} man Christ Jesus, - notice he’s still called a man after his resurrection and ascension.

1 Corinthians 8:6, yet for us there is {but} one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we {exist} for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we {exist} through Him.

1 Corinthians 11:3, But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:24,28, then {comes} the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

Revelation 1:1, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him…

Thus far we have seen that there is only ONE TRUE GOD and that this one God is YHVH of the Old Testament and the Father of the New Testament. We have seen that Jesus was subordinate to this one God both while on earth and after His resurrection and ascension. If Jesus is not the ONE TRUE GOD then what is He? Was Jesus a pre-existent being or an angel? If Christ was a pre-existent being above the angels, he could not have been eternal; only God is eternal. If He is been here from sometime before the creation of the earth then why do we never hear from him or about him in the Old Testament? Some would say that we do! They would counter that He was Michael the Archangel; others would say He was the Angel of YHVH. The chances of this are so remote that we won’t consider them in too much depth other than to quote a couple of scriptures:

Hebrews 1:1-2, God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son…

1 Peter 1:20, For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.

When the Apostles in the New Testament go to such great lengths to explain to us who Jesus is, why do they not say He was Michael? Why do they not say He was the Angel of YHVH? In the beginning the Apostles didn’t understand everything Jesus was telling them, but by the time they wrote the New Testament (which I’m sure most reading this believe is inspired) they had been endowed by the Holy Spirit.

What about the passages that say Jesus created the world? Let’s look at them:

Eph. 2:10, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Eph. 3:9, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; (the KJV has the words “by Christ Jesus” at the end of this verse, but the earliest manuscripts do not have this).

Col. 1:16, For by Him all things were created, {both} in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him.

The only one that says anything was created BY Christ is Col. 1:16.

Here the Greek word “en” occurs twice. The first time it is translated as “by”, and the second time it is translated as “in”. The normal use of this Greek word is “in”. This word should be translated as “in” just as it is in Eph. 2:10 and its second occurrence in Col. 1:16 by the same translators. Here it is in the Revised Standard Version (RSV):

Col. 1:16, for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.

The word that is translated as “through” in Col. 1:16 is the Greek word “dia”. It can have the meaning of “because of” or “on account of”. Jesus is the reason for all of creation – both physical and spiritual. Many reputable Greek scholars such as J.H.Moulton in Grammar of New Testament Greek say that Colossians 1:16 should be rendered “for because of him”, and the Expositor’s Greek Commentary says on this verse: “en auto: This does not mean ‘by him’ ”. You’ll also notice that Col. 1:16 does not say that Christ created the Heavens and the earth. It says “in him all things were created, IN heaven and ON earth…”. It then goes on to tell us that these are thrones, dominions, principalities, and authorities. Christ was put over everything and given the authority to restructure the arrangements of spiritual powers and rankings.

I Peter 3:22, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

Eph 1:21-22, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

Col 2:10, …He is the head over all rule and authority;

Phil 2:9-11, For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

As for Eph. 3:9, the KJV has extra wording on the end of Eph. 3:9 in which they translate the Greek word “dia” as the English word “by”, when, once again, it should be translated either as “through” or as highlighted below (if the words are really supposed to be there, which is highly doubtful), just as the NASB and RSV translators do in Col. 1:16 near the end of the verse. Here are the definitions of both words in Strong’s:

En – a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest (intermediate between 1519 and 1537)
-- in, by, with etc

Dia - a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act
-- through a) of place 1) with 2) in b) of time 1) throughout 2) during c) of means 1) by 2) by the means of 2) through a) the ground or reason by which something is or is not done 1) by reason of 2) on account of 3) because of for this reason 4) therefore 5) on this account

Here are just a few scriptures that show God – YHVH – created everything.

Gen. 1:1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Isa. 42:5, Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it,

Isa. 45:12, It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands And I ordained all their host.

Isa. 45:18, For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it {and} did not create it a waste place, {but} formed it to be inhabited), I am the LORD, and there is none else.

Even if Jesus did not take part in creation did He pre-exist (can one exist before they exist)? The Old Testament type was “a lamb from among the flock”; one without spot or blemish. Jesus had to be one of us, not God masquerading as a man who was not really “tempted in every way as we are” and who could not really die, and not some Angel or pre-existent being.

As [2] J.A. Baker states:
“It simply is not possible at one and the same time to share the common lot of humanity and to be aware of oneself as one who has existed from everlasting with God”. And as stated in [3] “One God and One Lord – Reconsidering the Cornerstone of the Christian Faith”: …if Jesus were aware of being “God” in some way, or could remember his former state of glory in heaven, then his experience of earthly life would be very different from ours. Consequently, our ability to identify with both his overcoming temptation and leaving us a righteous path to follow is seriously compromised. We are then essentially left without a “mediator”, but are being asked to be like God Himself, instead of developing absolute trust in God, our heavenly Father, as Jesus did, and becoming like him as he said we could and should.


Did He pre-exist in God’s mind as the Word – Logos – Reason – Plan for everything that would happen? Yes! Did God foreknow Jesus in a very real way? Yes:

1 Peter 1:20, For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.

Here’s what Strong’s says the definition of the word “foreknown” (proginosko) is:
1) to have knowledge before hand
2) to foreknow
a) of those whom God elected to salvation
3) to predestinate

How do you foreknow someone who has always existed?
Did God foreknow us? Yes!

Romans 8:29, For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

Eph. 1:4, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

2 Tim. 1:9, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

God did foreknow us, but we did not pre-exist except in His heart and mind.

Did the Apostle John pre-exist?
John 1:6, There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.

We know the Apostle John did not pre-exist, but when we see this same type of wording (“sent from God”) applied to Jesus, we somehow read pre-existence into it.

 

2. Did/Does Jesus have a God?

Let’s see what the scriptures say:

Matt 27:46, About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?" (also in Mark 15:34)

John 17:3, This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 20:17, Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.' "

Some may say that Jesus made these comments in the flesh while on earth. Even though this is not a good argument – this splitting of Christ into two natures (as we have seen), this argument certainly doesn’t hold water for the remainder of these verses, which are after his Death, Burial, and Resurrection.

Romans 15:6, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Cor 1:3, Blessed {be} the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

2 Cor 11:31, The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.

Eph 1:17, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

1 Peter 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Heb 1:9, "YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS."

Rev 1:1, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated {it} by His angel to His bond-servant John,

Rev 1:5-6, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood-- and He has made us {to be} a kingdom, priests to His God and Father--to Him {be} the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Rev 3:12, He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

Many Trinitarians subconsciously read the word “Father” in place of God when they see Jesus and God in juxtaposition; reading their own theology back into the scriptures.

 

3. Was He a Man?

Let’s see what the Old Testament says:
Deut. 18:15, The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,

Numbers 24:17-19 "I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult. 18 And Edom shall be a possession; Seir also, his enemies, shall be a possession, While Israel does valiantly. 19 Out of Jacob One shall have dominion, And destroy the remains of the city."

II Samuel 7:12-13 When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Isaiah 11:1-3, There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The Spirit of the LORD 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 the LORD. 3 His delight is in the fear of the LORD,

Isaiah 49:1-8, "...The LORD hath called me [Jesus] from the womb; from the bowels of my mother [Mary] hath he made mention of my name [Matthew 1:20-21, Luke 1:28-33]....in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me...And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant... to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth [referring to Christ Jesus]...have I [God] heard thee...have I [God] helped thee: and I [God] will preserve thee [Jesus, the Christ], and give thee for a covenant
[New Testament]..."

Jer. 23:5, "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

The following verse in Daniel is a prophecy of the future ascension of Jesus to God to receive his dominion and glory. Daniel is seeing this vision from a Heavenly point of view; hence the “coming with the clouds of heaven” is actually a vision of Jesus’ coming to the Father after His resurrection ... Here He is called the Son of Man.

Daniel 7:13-14 I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

Zech. 6:12-13, Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD; 13 Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both." '

There are many more Messianic prophecies but it is widely known that the Jews never expected anything other than a human Messiah. However, couldn’t the Jews have gotten it wrong (as they often did in Jesus time)? They may have gotten it wrong in their extra-biblical writings and musings, but not in the inspired Word of God. Some might say it was simply veiled in the Old Testament that the Messiah was actually going to be God himself and this wasn’t revealed until the New Testament; let’s take a look at the following passage in the Old Testament:

Psalm 110:1, The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."

Let me again quote from Anthony Buzzard’s [& Charles Hunting's] book [1] The Doctrine of the Trinity – Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound.

It has been argued by some that this verse should be rendered ‘God said to my God…’ They insist that David knew of a duality in the Godhead and under inspiration declared the eternal Sonship and Deity of the one who was to become the man Jesus. Such a theory involves a misuse of the Hebrew language which can easily be cleared up. The two words for ‘lord’ in the sentence ‘the LORD said to my lord’ are significantly different. The first ‘LORD’ is Yahweh… [and] refers to God, the Father, the One God of Israel (as it does on some 6700 occasions). The second word for ‘lord’ (here, ‘my lord’) is adoni, meaning according to all standard Hebrew lexicons, ‘lord,’ ‘master,’ or ‘owner,’ and it refers here, by way of prediction, to the Messiah. If David had expected the Messiah to be God, the word used would not have been adoni, but adonai, a term used exclusively for the One God. Psalm 110:1 provides a major key to understanding who Jesus is. The Hebrew Bible carefully distinguishes the divine title adonai, the Supreme Lord, from adoni, the form of address appropriate to human and angelic superiors. Adoni, ‘my lord,’ ‘my master’ on no occasion refers to the deity. Adonai, on the other hand, is the special form of adon, Lord, reserved for address to the One God only. A reader of the Hebrew Bible is schooled to recognize the vital distinction between God and man. There is an enormous difference between adoni, ‘my master,’ and adonai, the Supreme God. No less than 195 times in the Hebrew canon adoni marks the person addressed as the recipient of honor but never as the Supreme God. This important fact tells us that the Hebrew Scriptures expected the Messiah to be not God, but the human descendant of David, whom David properly recognized would also be his lord. It is unusual for scholarly writing actually to misstate the facts about a word appearing in the Hebrew or Greek text. Astonishingly, however, a remarkable error crept into statements on high authority regarding the identity of the Messiah in this crucial Christological passage in Psalm 110:1. Notice now the evidence of widespread confusion in the treatment of this Psalm. The status of Jesus as the human adoni has proved to be an embarrassment to later ‘orthodoxy.’ A Roman Catholic writer, in an effort to support his traditional doctrine of the eternal Son, states: In Psalm 110:1 ‘Yahweh said to Adonai: Sit thou at my right hand.’ This passage is cited by Christ to prove that he is Adonai, seated at the right hand of Yahweh (Matt. 22:44). But Adonai ‘my master,’ as a proper name is used exclusively of the Deity, either alone or in such a phrase as Yahweh Adonai. It is clear, then that in this lyric Yahweh addresses the Christ as a different Person and yet identical in Godhead. The information is incorrect. The second lord of the Hebrew text is specifically not adonai but adoni. The latter is never a divine title. The former always designates the Deity. The whole Trinitarian argument from this Psalm fails because the facts of the language are wrongly reported.

That pretty much says it all. The Old Testament seems pretty clear that the Messiah who was to come was going to be a true, flesh-and-blood, man.

Let’s see what the New Testament says:
Can God be tempted? Not according to James:

James 1:13, "God cannot be tempted with evil" Jesus was tempted…"

Luke 4:1-2, "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil."

Luke 22:28, "Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations."

Hebrews 2:18, "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted..."

Hebrews 4:15, "...but was in all points tempted like as we are..."

If his temptations weren’t real then he wasn’t “in all points tempted like as we are”. If there was no real possibility of Jesus giving in to these temptations, then they weren’t really temptations. Do any other New Testament scriptures insinuate he was a man?

John 8:40, "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God..."

The rest of these verses are the Apostles speaking after Jesus’ resurrection.

Acts 2:22-24, 22 Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know-- 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

Acts 2:36, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

Acts 3:22, "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren..."

Acts 13:23, "Of this man's seed (David's) hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:"

Romans 5:19, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (one man, Jesus Christ, verse 15) shall many be made righteous."

1 Corinthians 15:21-23, "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam (a man) all die, even so in Christ (a man) shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward..."

1 Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"

The above verse in 1 Timothy should be clear enough. Notice it does not say “one mediator between ‘the Father’ and men”, but “between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”. If Jesus were God, this scripture wouldn’t make any sense.

Hebrews 1:4, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Hebrews 1:11-12, For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You."

Hebrews 5:7-9, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

Hebrews 7:14, For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.

Rev. 5:5, and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals."

For Christ to truly come from the tribe of Judah, he had to be of Mary’s egg. Not an angel put in her womb and not God himself entering Mary’s womb, but an actual baby conceived in her womb from her egg (not from Joseph, but from God – virgin birth). The KJV uses the words “sprang out of Juda” in Hebrews 7:14. The Greek word is “anatello” and means “rise – to cause to rise – of the earth bringing forth plants – etc.”

Luke records the conversation between the Angel and Mary in this way:
Luke 1:35, The angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

The Greek word here translated as “for that reason” (therefore in the KJV) is dio, and it means “wherefore; on account of”. The reason Jesus would be called the Son of God was because the Power of the Most High God was going to overshadow Mary and she would conceive, and for that reason, or on account of this, He would be called the Son of God.

We have seen that Jesus was a man, a mediator between God and man; we are to be like Christ – heirs with Him; God is our Father and Christ is our Brother:

Acts 3:22, Moses said, 'THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you.

Romans 8:17, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with {Him} so that we may also be glorified with {Him.}

Romans 8:29, For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

Hebrews 2:11-12, For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one {Father;} for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, "I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE."

This should have thoroughly proven that Christ was a man; not a half man, not sort-of-a-man, not possessing a man’s body, not God masquerading as a man, but a real flesh-and-blood man. There is nothing to make us think He is one-third of a triune being. He is not co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. He is the Son of Man and the Son of God – He is our Lord and Savior.

1 Corinthians 8:6, "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."

Phil. 2:11, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

4. Why a Man?

First of all when man sinned God required that blood be shed to pay for those sins.

Gen. 9:4-6, 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man. 6 Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.

Blood had to be shed; without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins:

Hebrews 9:22, without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

But God cannot shed blood; He is not flesh and blood.

Matt. 16:17, And Jesus said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal {this} to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Because blood is required, God set up the whole sacrificial system, but it was only a shadow or type pointing to the Messiah. This is the reason that the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament did not truly atone for sins.

Hebrews 10:4, For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

Man sinned, so man’s blood is required. Again, God’s blood is not required – God is not a man and He cannot die.

Numbers 23:19, God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent.

By looking at Adam Christology we can see another reason Jesus had to be a true man (another Adam). The first Adam messed things up and the second Adam came to fix them.

1 Cor 15:45, So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam {became} a life-giving spirit.

Romans 5:14-19, Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One [man], Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.

1 Cor. 15:21-22, For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Do you see the pattern emerging here? Man sinned so man has to pay for those sins. Therefore God, in his amazing foreknowledge and grace, had a contingency plan from the foundation of the world. He would have a man be born in the fullness of time. God’s Spirit would overshadow Mary and she would conceive and give birth to the Messiah who would pay for man’s sins.

The first Adam was called the Son of God because he was made by God; he was a true man, made by God

Luke 3:38, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Therefore, the second Adam had to be a true man, made by God. God created man (Adam) who had the capability of sinning (human nature), but not a propensity toward it (sin nature). He made him genetically perfect and hoped he would be behaviourally perfect. Once he disobeyed and ate of the forbidden fruit, sin nature entered the picture. The birth of our Savior was from God impregnating Mary, creating another genetically perfect man and hoping he would be behaviourally perfect. God was responsible for the flawless genetics, but he could not be responsible for the flawless behaviour. Man is a free will being and as such must choose to obey or disobey. The first Adam chose to disobey; the second Adam was obedient in every way. We again quote from [3] “One God and One Lord – Reconsidering the Cornerstone of the Christian Faith”:

In essence, God took a risk and trusted that the Last Adam would trust Him. This is love in action: taking a risk, giving second chances, demonstrating commitment to a promise.

The Bible is basically a story about two Adams and the two “races” they fathered. Romans 5:12-21 could be summarized like this:

Two Adams
Two Sons of God
Two men
Two gardens
Two temptations
Two decisions
Two results
Two races

 

Remember this?
Hebrews 4:15, "...but was in all points tempted like as we are..."

Can we really say he was “tempted like as we are” if he existed from eternity past, had a knowledge of this existence, and knew he would return to being God himself? I quote [4] J.A.T. Robinson:

The traditional supranaturalistic way of describing the Incarnation almost inevitably suggests that Jesus was really God Almighty walking about on earth, dressed up as a man. Jesus was not a man born and bred – he was God for a limited period taking part in a charade. He looked like a man, he talked like a man, he felt like a man, but underneath he was God dressed up – like Father Christmas…Indeed, the very word “incarnation” (which, of course is not a Biblical term) almost inevitably suggests it. It conjures up the idea of a divine substance being plunged in flesh and coated with it like a chocolate or silver plating…The supranaturalist view of the Incarnation can never really rid itself of the idea of the prince who appears in the guise of a beggar. However genuinely destitute the beggar may be, he is a prince; and that in the end is what matters.

If it is a requirement that we believe in a Trinitarian God, a Binitarian God, or a God Family; if it is a requirement that we believe Jesus was anything other than the Son of God; why didn’t Peter mention it when he preached this sermon to JEWS (who were extremely Monotheistic and had no conception of the Trinity) in Acts chapter 2 right after he had received the promised Holy Spirit (which should have led him into all truth)?

Acts 2:22-42, Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know-- 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25 For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the Lord always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. 27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.' 29 Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." ' 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

As stated earlier, these people listening to Peter were from all over the known world (Roman Empire), but were of the Jewish religion and were in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. The Jewish religion had no concept of a Trinity. These 3000 people could not have had any concept that Jesus was God himself, yet 3000 people were saved and baptized that day! Amazing isn’t it!

It is amazing how the Jews were disingenuously trying to drum up charges against Jesus. At one point they say the following:

John 8:41, "You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God."

And then at another point they say Jesus was making himself equal with God because He said that God was His Father:

John 5:18, "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."

They were speaking out of both sides of their mouth – anything to try and trap Him.


5. Conclusion

Let us not destroy the historical Lord, Jesus Christ by making Him an eternal, pre-existent, omnipotent, untemptable, co-equal God who masqueraded as a man for a short time. He was a man in whom God dwelt, and through whom God spoke and worked and manifested Himself; a man who’s Father was God; a man who submitted to and God - "Not my will, but Thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). The doctrine of the Trinity is not scriptural. The idea of 3 co-equal, co-eternal members of a Godhead is not to be found anywhere in the scripture; to quote Anthony Buzzard [& Charles Hunting] one last time from [their] book [1]
The Doctrine of the Trinity – Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound:

“Could it be that today’s Trinitarians inadvertently, and in sincerity desiring to exalt Jesus, fall into the trap of ascribing to the Messiah a position as God which he never claimed for himself? A claim to be Deity in the Trinitarian sense would actually be blasphemous by Jesus’ own standards, since he repeatedly affirmed that his Father was the only true God."


Footnotes
1. This book by Sir Anthony Buzzard [& Charles Hunting] can be purchased either by logging on to http://www.abc-coggc.org/coggc/books.htm or by calling 1-800-347-4261.

2. This quote is from the book, ‘The Use of the Fourth Gospel for Christology Today’, by J.A. Baker

3. To read excerpts from this book or to purchase, log on to http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=47

4. This quote is from the book, “Honest to God” pg. 65-66