1 = 3, 3 = 1. The Plurality and Mathematics of God

 

And The Iglesia Ni Cristo

 

By Jason Stevens


http://www.dk777.com/inctrinity.pdf

http://www.dk777.com/trinityfaq.pdf

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

This document has been written and compiled in order to express and discuss the mathematics of God, that our one true and amazing God is one entity, being and Lord. But while our gracious God is one entity it is the belief of most Christians that He is comprised of three unique and distinct persons as will be demonstrated and analyzed in this document.

 

While in discussion about the deity of Jesus Christ with a great friend the comment was made that 1 + 1 +1 = 1? How could this be that just does not add up? The conclusion is that when a person who believes in the plurality of God makes the statement that the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit are one they are making 3 different gods or do not know how to do math. This is not the case of the Christian whom is labeled as a Trinitarian. Trinitarian Christians believe that all of the verses where Jesus makes claims to be “one” with the Father and “equal” with the Father, where followers and disciples refer to Jesus as “Our God and Savior” and verses that describe the plurality of God all are in agreement with each other and are of the fact that all three are truly One. That God = the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. 1=3, 3=1. In this study many verses will be discussed and analyzed as to what the Bible and scripture says about this issue and whether or not the conclusions of those who reject the trinity make solid, biblical and rational arguments. If you are a Biblical Unitarian (belief that God is only the Father) I encourage you to note down all of their/your doctrinal beliefs and compare them to all of the verses I point out and discuss.

 

Believing in Jesus Christ means believing who he is and who he claimed himself to be. Jesus is clear that you must believe 100% who Jesus Christ claimed himself to be or you will die in your sins unsaved.

 

John 8:21
But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

Acts 2:21 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

 

It is extremely important for us to know who exactly Jesus Christ is because it is through Jesus Christ we are saved. I hope this study will give everyone the clear understanding of these facts in the Bible as God has spoken them to us.

 

Secondly this study will cover certain areas of religious groups that are called “One true” churches, focusing on one. These churches consider themselves to be the one and only true church of God and that all other churches and doctrines are either false or apostatized and going to hell. These “One true” churches have many doctrinal similarities the main one being most all deny the deity of Jesus Christ.

 

Before we begin there are a few baseline understandings that must be made in order to properly debate this issue from a Christian or anti-Trinitarian position. The first is that there is one true God (Jehovah) of the Bible. It must be made clear that the Bible emphatically states that there is one God and one Creator and that no other gods may be worshiped. God has many different names that describe His many attributes.

 

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD (Yahweh) our God, the LORD (Yahweh) is one (Echad).”

 

Secondly is that the Holy Scriptures in the Bible are inerrant and infallible. They are God breathed and fully inspired by God without error. There is no greater book of truth that has stood up over thousands of years as that of the Holy Scriptures. This means that there are no conflicts between any verses or parts in the Bible. When a debate occurs around what a particular verse means it is important to read the verse in context.  Meaning to read before and after the verse or the entire section or the entire chapter. We must read the word of God in consistency and context. We cannot just pick and choose what we want to read and believe, as this is how many people become lost and misled.

 

Here are some common descriptions of churches that are considered to be a “One True Church”:

 

1.”They all claim to be the restoration of Christianity; they are the only true Church, the remnant, movement, and only organization of God. All others are in error.”

 

2.”They all have extra biblical authority. The Bible is never enough; it cannot be understood apart from the messenger or leaders and that they can only interpret the Bible correctly or that God has revealed only to them additional necessary information of salvation.”

 

3.”They all deny the deity of Jesus Christ. They all deny that Jesus is the eternal God made flesh.”

 

4.”They all deny salvation by grace alone. OTC’s emphasize that works are absolutely necessary for salvation and membership or involvement in their church is required.”

 

 

The primary way to tell if your church or religion is a false religion or cult is to test and review their teachings against what the Word of God says. Many verses will be twisted, taken out of context, miss-interpreted or greatly falsified to conform to the false teachings and ideas that the founder had created. For your own spiritual health and salvation you must test your churches teachings and search deep down with the power of the Holy Spirit whether or not what they teach is the truth of God. Please try to understand what the verse says, not what your church or religion says it means, what if they are wrong? Many are.

 

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”

 

 

 


 

 

WHO CAN UNDERSTAND THE WORD OF GOD?

 

I would like to briefly expound upon number 2 “They all have extra biblical authority. The Bible is never enough; it cannot be understood apart from the messenger or leaders and that they can only interpret the Bible correctly or that God has revealed only to them additional necessary information of salvation.”

 

Most all OTC’s, sects and aberration church groups teach the doctrine that only the messenger who founded their church or those in its administration can know and understand the Word of God and no one else. The main reason for this is control and concealment. If one is teaching something un-Biblical one must conceal it and not let the flock or congregation question what the administration and pastor is teaching. A sign of a truly inspired church of God is one who is open to the Scriptures and encourages its members to search and study the Word of God on their own. Are you encouraged to bring your Bible to church? Do people who attend your services bring Bibles or do they not? A sign of a truly Bible believing church is one where the attendees bring their Bibles and are encourage to read it and test the message they receive from their minister against it. What does the Word of God say about this? Are we able to understand the Word of God ourselves or only by the private interpretation of a messenger of God?

 

The first step is to have faith that it was by divine inspiration that the authors of Scripture wrote from. The words in the Bible are not just those of narrators but of God himself.

 

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

 

Peter 1:19-21  And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

 

Private means by one person alone, everyone who can read the Word of God can understand the Word of God. If one can read the Word of God, they can understand it.

 

2 Corinthians 1:13

For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand.

 

And it is only what is written in the Bible that is the Word of God.

 

1 Corinthians 4:6

Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.

 

Romans 16:25 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him

 

How does one understand the Word of God?

 

1 Corinthians 2:10-14  “but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.

      The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

 

What OTC’s fail to tell you is that even during the time of Jesus and in the first days of the Apostles founding the early church there were many false teachers and deceivers. Jesus and the Apostles warned the churches many times of this. Satan started on day one trying to create confusion, miss-interpretation and lies to deceive people. Does not every Christian have the Holy Spirit inside of them? Is not every believer told to know the scriptures?

 

Romans 8:9-11

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

 

1 Cor 6:19-20

19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

 

Matthew 22:29 "Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."

 

Luke 24:45 "Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures."

 

God allows all of our minds to understand the Scriptures through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches, councils and guides us. We are encouraged to do so just like the Bereans did.

 

Luke 12:12 “for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."

 

John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

 

Acts 4:31 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

 

Acts 17:10-12 In Berea “As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.”

 

1 Timothy 4:13 “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”

 

Everyone, all public are to read and learn the Word of God. For the Scriptures are not for “private interpretation”! The reason why people stay in these false religions and cults is because they do not read and understand Scripture for themselves. They do not devote themselves to the reading of Scripture. I encourage everyone to take what your church and leaders say and apply the test of Scripture against it just like the Bereans did. I also encourage you to do the same for this study.

 

2 Peter 3:15-17 “Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.”

 

There are some scriptures that ignorant and unstable people distort. The reason why God just does not appear out of the sky and make Himself known and crystal clear is that he wants our decision to follow him to be from the heart and be real. There are some people who needed to see miracles to believe, but God wants us to believe by faith and faith alone, for that is the greatest.

 

We are commanded to be stewards of God.


1 Corinthians 4:1-3

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.

 

 

And now a few words about Bible translations, most all cults either create or generate their own translation or use many different (true and perverted) translations to make their points. Debate on the validity of certain Bible translations, especially the modern new age translations is a study in itself. I do cover one of them later on. I am sticking to the three translations that I consider to be the most valid and accurate, the KJV, NKJV and NIV. I say this for the following reasons; I believe strongly that only translations based primarily on the Textus Receptus are valid. Those translations that choose to render translations based on Alexandrian manuscripts or the Vaticanus or the Sinaiticus I consider to be suspect and at the worst perverted and incorrect. While the NIV does this the general meaning of all of these verses are 95% consistent between the three I am using.

 

As a reference I only consider translations listed at www.bible.com and www.biblegateway.com to be accepted in rebuttals (not Lamsa or Moffatt). If one translation has a widely varying meaning in contrast to the general consensus of all others, that translation is considered suspect. As always it would be best to go back to the Greek of the Textus Receptus to get the full original meaning of the word or verse but that is a bit beyond the scope of this study. At the above web sites you may compare many different Bible translations against each other. The great news is that 99% of the time they are all in agreement.

 

 


 

 

WHAT TRINITARIANS DEFINE THE TRINITY TO BE

 

Since “One true” churches, cults and other groups have varying doctrine and theology of God and permutations or perversions of the Trinity a true Trinitarian definition needs to be defined for reference in this study. While OTC”s and anti-Trinitarians will disagree and challenge the plurality or definition of the plurality of God for this study you must understand our (Trinitarian) beliefs and what we believe the Word of God says and means.

 

We believe that God is One (Echad). That there is no other God but God (Elohim) and Lord (Adonai, Yahweh) and all creation and life was created by Him and that he is Lord and Master of all. We believe that God is comprised of three unique, co-equal, and co-eternal individual persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Trinity is tri (three) unity (one), tri+unity= Trinity. One is defined as “being a single entity, unit, object, or living being”

 

We do not believe that there are three different gods. We do not say the Father is the Son, the Son is the Spirit or the Spirit is the Father because they are distinct. We believe that they are three eternal persons and that these persons are distinct from one another and are differentiated as Persons but are of one being. We believe that “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all deity, fully equal and God. God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God”.

 

Here are some common simple examples for reference. Lets take an egg for example. An egg consists of the eggshell, the egg yoke and the egg white. But it is one egg. Another simple example is H2O, it can exist as water, ice or steam, but in any form it is all H20. Another example would be a human. Lets take Bob for example; Bob has a brother named Dan, a son named Tim and a grandson named Paul. Bob is Dan’s brother but he not Tim’s brother. Bob is Paul’s grandfather but he is not Tim’s grandfather. As you can see, an entity can be more than one thing all at the same time of being in itself one. This is how we view God. God is one but is also three distinct Persons all at the same time. When Bob is being a grandfather to Paul he is not being a grandfather to Dan but he is still being himself, Bob. When a person or church denies one of the three aspects of the plural God other schisms are created and this is how many different false doctrines are created.

 

 

 

 

There are many times where Jesus Christ claims to be “One” with the Father and where it is mentioned that God is one, or there is one God. I would like to give an English definition of the word “one” for use in the rest of this study.

 

one  (wun)
adj.

  1. Being a single entity, unit, object, or living being.
  2. Characterized by unity; undivided: They spoke with one voice.
  3.  
    1. Of the same kind or quality: two animals of one species.
    2. Forming a single entity of two or more components: three chemicals combining into one solution.
  4. Being a single member or element of a group, category, or kind: I'm just one player on the team.
  5. Being a single thing in contrast with or relation to another or others of its kind:

 

 


 

 

THE PLURALITY OF GOD – EVIDENCE OF THE TRINITY

 

To begin this study on the deity of Jesus Christ and the belief by Trinitarians that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are one lets start at the beginning and work our way through. I will underline the verses in order as I go from Genesis to Revelation. For all members of “One true” churches just one verse typically is not going to convince you or change your mind. However you will need to weigh all of the verses with inductive and deductive logical reasoning and make the decision and conclusion, do they all agree with one another and mean what they say, and say what the mean? Please review all of the verses I present with a deep concern and love for the truth of God.

 

There are some people unfortunately who will not take the time to read through this entire study on their own I have found out. While I hope this is not the case and I encourage all to read this study fully, I have created a Trinity FAQ that summarizes in much shorter form most of the main body content of this study.

 

http://www.dk777.com/trinityfaq.html

 

 

 Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

 

Question, if God created Jesus Christ and Jesus did not exist before his time on earth, how could these following verses be correct and also who then exactly did the creating of the universe?

 

Hebrews 1:1-2 “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

 

Question, if God created the heavens and the earth but through Jesus the universe was made, doesn’t that signal Jesus is God? Or did God just use Jesus to make the universe by giving him special powers? The thought of special powers is not anywhere in the Bible. Many verses in the OT talk about how God, Elohim, created the universe. Is the simple conclusion that, God created, Jesus made, and they are one?

 

The following verses about Jesus all inductively confirm and backup the above thought. Again reading these verses in context it is clear that the subject of these verses is Jesus Christ.

 

John 1:3 “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

 

Colossians 1:16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

 

Jude 1:25 “To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

 

Hebrews 1:10 “He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.”

 

John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

 

 

This following quote is confirming that it is God who made. God did not endow a separate Jesus with special powers to create the universe. God saw all that He had made. Do these verses conflict or do they confirm? They only conflict if one believes that the Son and the Father are not one.

 

Genesis 1:31” God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”

 

 




Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness,”

Genesis 3:22 "Then God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil"

Genesis 11:7 "Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech."

 

Question, if God is only God the Father, singular, then why does He refer to himself in plural form?

 

“The majority of the time in the Old Testament God referred to Himself in the plural form. (i.e, "Elohim", which is the plural of "Eloha"). There are many OT scriptures where God refers to Himself as "Us" and "We" in plural form. The two plural nouns that are applied to God: God and Lord are almost always plural. These two plural nouns (God - Elohim, Lord - Adonai) are the two most frequently used nouns of God in the Old Testament. Not only are the nouns plural but also the verbs such as make are plural. The plurality of Hebrew verbs follow the noun (us). This is not the case in English.”

 

The second critical point about this verse is the words image and likeness. Man is created in the plural likeness of God. The question is if you do not believe that the Son and the Holy Spirit are the other components of the plurality of God what is? Many OTC’s veer off in many directions at this point. Some think it was angels, other spirits, and even other gods. Besides some made up ideas we can know through the Bible that at least three entities existed at the time man was created, God, Cherubim and Angels. So the question is can man or Jesus be made by Angels or in the image of angels? We are certainly not made in the image of Cherubim.

 

1 Corinthians 6:3 “Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!”

 

How can man judge that which created him? If angels are included in "Let US make", then angels AND God are equally our creator. Does it directly say anywhere in the bible that angels created anything or are the creator of man? I cannot find any. Also if God created the angels why would He need the angles to create man?

 

Does the Bible say angels are the image of God or is Jesus the image of God?

 

2 Corinthians 4:4 "see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. "

 

Colossians 1:15 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. "

 

Hebrews 1:3 "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, "

 

We are told not to worship angels. We are also told that the Son is superior to angels. I am going to skip ahead and quote the entire chapter of Hebrews 1. These words are so great and pertinent I will highlight in red.

 

8But about the Son He says,

"Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,””

 

 

This is quoting Psalm 45:6-7

 

6 Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever;

       a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

 

7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;

       therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions

       by anointing you with the oil of joy.

 

God the Father is calling God the Son (Jesus) GOD!!!!

 

 

Psalms 110:1

The LORD says to my Lord:

       "Sit at my right hand

       until I make your enemies

       a footstool for your feet."

    2 The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion;

       you will rule in the midst of your enemies.

 

There are many references of God the Father to God the Son in the Old Testament specifically in prophetic verses about the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

 

 


 

 

Hebrews 1

The Son Superior to Angels

 

    “1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

    5For to which of the angels did God ever say,

   "You are my Son;

      today I have become your Father"? Or again,

   "I will be his Father,

      and he will be my Son"? 6And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, He says,

   "Let all God's angels worship him." 7In speaking of the angels he says,

   "He makes his angels winds,

      his servants flames of fire." 8But about the Son he says,

   "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,

      and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

    9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

      therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions

      by anointing you with the oil of joy." 10he also says,

   "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,

      and the heavens are the work of your hands.

    11They will perish, but you remain;

      they will all wear out like a garment.

    12You will roll them up like a robe;

      like a garment they will be changed.

   But you remain the same,

      and your years will never end." 13To which of the angels did God ever say,

      "Sit at my right hand

   until I make your enemies

      a footstool for your feet"? 14Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

 

 

The answer is rhetorical. The conclusion from reading all of these verses is the simple and clear one that Jesus is not an angel, angels are not in the likeness or image of God but Jesus is, that God is plural and that the plurality of God is not angels, other spirits or gods but Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God even calls the Son, God!

 

Lastly every place God has a conversation with angels, he never uses a plural we or us. A good example is Genesis 18. If there ever were a place or time to use us/we/our this would be it. However as you will see that does not happen.

 

Genesis 18:16-17 "Then the [three] men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. Yahweh said, "Shall I [not we] hide from Abraham what I am about to do,"

 

The question is who then was this person walking on earth, in the flesh, with Abraham? Lets move on.

 

 


 

 

Genesis 18, 19 - Genesis 19:24 “Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens.”

 

It is clear that one of these three “men” in this passage of Genesis was God, Yahweh.

 

Genesis 18:13 “And Yahweh said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’"

 

Genesis 18:17 "Yahweh said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do"

 

There were also two angels present.

 

Genesis 19:1 "Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. "

Genesis 19:13 "for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before Yahweh that Yahweh has sent us to destroy it."

Right here the angels who are apart and away from the third man (Who was God in the flesh) state that God sent them and the word Yahweh that was used for the third man, was not used here on these two to describe them. These two angels and the third man, who is God, are separate and are not one. Otherwise a plural form would have been used in the case if angels and God were one, the plural of God. This did not happen.

 

Now here is the main point of this passage I am getting to:

 

Genesis 19:24 “Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens.”

 

Genesis 19:24 "Then Yahweh [on earth in human form] rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahweh [in spirit form in heaven] out of heaven."

 

There are two different and unique Yahweh’s present, one on earth, speaking with Abraham and the other in Heaven. “Then the Lord, from the Lord.” That is the use of the differentiating word from. The common understanding is that God became flesh on Earth, as God the Son, Jesus Christ at this time. The word Yahweh is used for both the God on earth and the God in heaven, as they are one, but the word from in this context represents two different persons. What did the early church, the “non-apostatized” church understand this to say?

 

180 AD Irenaeus "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the LORD out of heaven." For it here points out that the Son, who had also been talking with Abraham, had received power to judge the Sodomites for their wickedness.”

 

200 AD Tertullian "That is a still grander statement [of Christ’s deity] which you will find expressly made in the Gospel: A much more ancient testimony [of Christ’s deity] we have also in Genesis: "Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven." Now, either deny that this is Scripture; or else (let me ask) what sort of man you are, that you do not think words ought to be taken and understood in the sense in which they are written, especially when they are not expressed in allegories and parables, but in determinate and simple declarations?"

 

When God manifests Himself in the flesh on Earth, He uses God the Son when he does so. Jesus has dominion and power on Earth, is the Creator of the Earth and universe and is God in the Flesh (John 1:14)

 

 




Deuteronomy 6:4-6

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.

 

 

I have stressed and underlined the word Echad previously in quoting this verse. The following quote is why this is so important and expresses the understanding of the word one (Echad). Excuse the missing words.

 

Biblical Oneness Defined

“The third word that needs to be examined in the opening statement of the Shema is the word (…). This word is a combination of two Hebrew words in construct form: (…) anachenu, which means "we" or "our," and (…) Elohiym, pronounced Eloheem, which is one of the names of God. When the final! or mem sophit is dropped from the word (…) and the (…) ending is added, the result is the constructed word (…) which means "our God" or "God of us." We want to consider the word as it appears before the construct form. This would be the word (…) which is usually translated "God" but which has a greater meaning of "God above all Gods." The root of this word is (…) (El) and this word, which is in the singular form, is often translated "God" as well. El also has a deeper meaning of power, strength, and might, conveying the idea that our God is a God of strength and power.

It is not our intention to delve into Hebrew grammar, but some points need to be made for the purpose of further discussion. The word El as stated above is in the singular form. The word Elohiym (pronounced Eloheem) is in the plural form. Hebrew words are unique because they can show number, gender, and direction depending upon the prefixes and suffixes that are attached to the root word. For the sake of this discussion, we will only consider the gender and number of the words (…) and (…). Again, we must start with the root of the word, which in this case is (…) (El) and defined as "God." If we wanted to make the word El dual (that is, plural showing more than one but less than three), we could simply add the ending (…) making the word (…) (Eloheyim). This would make the word plural (dual), two in number. Since the word ends with the dual ending of (…) and the final mem (…) or mem sophit, this word is also masculine. In order to make the word plural with reference to "three" as well as masculine, we would write it (…). The (…) ending makes the word masculine and plural, three or more. This is a very important fact in the opening verse of the Shema and would almost make the Shema obscure without this understanding. Understanding this plurality in the Godhead is a very different concept than polytheism. To believe in the plurality in one God does not make one a believer in polytheism. With this understanding, we can see that the first part of the Shema could read, "Hear, understand, and act on the fact, O Israel, the Lord, the God of us [three in number, masculine], the Lord is echad." “

One In Unity

“Now we are ready to consider the most important word in this passage, (…), (pronounced echad). It is this word that brings the richness of understanding and sets the stage for a concept that is developed throughout the rest of the Word of God. Echad has been translated "one" in the Bible. While it certainly does convey the numerical meaning of "one," it should be pointed out again that in Biblical Hebrew, we do not really need a separate word to show a number. This can be done quite easily by the suffix that is added to the root of a word. Once again, a Hebrew word can show not only number, but gender and direction. Since we have a word already present that shows both plurality and gender, there is really no need to specify the number one. Stated another way, the use of the word echad to specify number is not only redundant but contradictory. There must be a deeper meaning to this word. According to Gesenius Hebrew/Chaldee Lexicon To The Old Testament, (…) (echad) means, "to unite, to join together, to be in unity."2 Echad also conveys the idea of being "bound together" like the cords of a rope. The tighter the cords are bound, the greater the strength produced. Echad does indeed mean "one" but it is a oneness that is produced by unity. We see this idea of echad in Genesis 2:23-24 when Adam said, "This is now bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one ((…) echad) flesh." Here we see two distinct individuals declared as "one" flesh. This is not talking about one in number but one in unity, harmony, peace, and the sharing of common goals. Adam and Eve were joined together, twisted, bound, and wrapped together in singleness of purpose.

In Matthew 19:3-6 Jesus says that when a man and woman are married, the two of them become one (…) flesh. They are united, joined, and wrapped together like the cords of a rope. They have singleness of purpose in marriage, and no man should try to destroy that unity. This unity does not destroy the diversity nor the individuality of the people in the relationship.

This is the very idea presented in the Shema. We have seen that Eloheem (…) is both plural and masculine. What is being said in this statement, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one"? Israel: hear, understand, and act on the fact that our God is a God of unity, and that this plurality and unity of the Godhead is tightly bound together like the cords of a rope. They have singleness of purpose, and you should partake of this unity by sharing the same goals with God.”

http://www.restorationfoundation.org/volume%2011/44_17.htm

Douglas A. Wheeler, Ph.D., TH.D

 

 


 

 

Job 40:6-9 “Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm: 7 “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 8 Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? 9 Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his?””

 

Hmm, to whom is the ‘Lord’ (God) speaking / referencing to with Job out of the storm here? Why reference externally, “like God’s” not like mine, “thunder like his” not thunder like mine”? If God is not plural and God is only the Father this verse seems to make no logical sense. However for those who believe in a plural and triune God, it makes perfect sense.

 

The Lord God continues speaking to Job in the following verses out of the storm:

 

Job 40:15-19 “Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. 16 What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! 17 His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. 18 His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. 19 He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.”

 

“His Maker” not Me or I. We see the same externally referenced non-singular use of nouns here. In the Genesis section above we clearly see who our “Maker” is, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who sits at the right arm of God the Father.

 

 

A now a word from God on those who cunningly and with error and folly spread lies about God such as the cults and false religions this study references to:

 

Job 42:7-8 “After the Lord has said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.”

 

Reading Job one can see how many foolish and false men preach and teach utterly false notions of God just as the friends of Job did. They may sound like they know what they are talking about and their debating skills may be in such a way as to be very convincing. However look at the serious response that God has to such men. Does God stop accepting the prayers of these types of people? It is wise to be 100% certain of that what you preach and teach. I for one do not want God angry with me for teaching falsities.

 

 

 


 

 

Isaiah 6:1 “In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.”

 

Isaiah 6:8 "Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?""

 

Besides of the use again of the plural “Us” and Elohim, this verse as well as Isaiah 53:1 are referenced in the New Testament by John in John 12.

 

John 12:37-45 “37Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:

   "Lord, who has believed our message

      and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

    39For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

    40"He has blinded their eyes

      and deadened their hearts,

   so they can neither see with their eyes,

      nor understand with their hearts,

      nor turn—and I would heal them.] 41Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him.

 

    42Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

 

    44Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.”

 

The logical conclusion as it was of John, scripture and Biblical truth is that when Isaiah was speaking with God (Yahweh) in chapter 6, when he “saw the Lord sitting on a throne” and heard the voice “who will go for US” that “Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.”

 

Or course I had to include verse 44 in this context. Verse 44 is plain simple English that anyone should be able to understand the simple words and meaning behind it. “When he (any man) looks (physically) at me (Jesus), he sees (physically) the one who sent me (God the Father).” This is not only one of many instances where Jesus claims to be God but also is another clear scripture example that says God the Son and God the father are one. You see one you see the other. It’s that simple.

 

 


 

 

Isaiah 7:14 “ Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (God with us).“

 

The name of God’s son, Jesus Christ, is also called Immanuel which means……………God with us!

 

Mathew 1:23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."

 

The definition of ‘with’ can be many things but here are the first and second definitions:

 

1) In the company of; accompanying

2) Next to; alongside of

 

Being in the company of or next to is a physical definition. God was physically “with us” as Jesus Christ in the flesh!

 

 

And now for my favorite verse in Isaiah

 

Isaiah 9:6

 

For to us a child is born,

       to us a son is given,

       and the government will be on his shoulders.

       And he will be called

       Wonderful Counselor,  Mighty God,

       Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 

The Son, Jesus Christ = Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace! God truly was with us at the time of Jesus of Nazareth Isaiah prophesized it. The good news is Jesus is coming back. Are you ready?

 

 


 

Is God three?

 

Isaiah 6:1-3

 

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!'"

 

This tri plurality is also echoed in Revelation.

 

Revelation 4:8

 

"And the four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!'"

 

God is Holy, Holy, Holy.

 

 


 

 

Isaiah 40-55 “I AM”

 

There have been many books and commentary written on Jesus’ use of “I am”. A full or in-depth analysis of this particular example is beyond the scope of this document. I will however quote a pretty good summary from one of my sources that I have been using.

 

http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-i-am.htm (Steve Rudd)

 

One paragraph introduction:

 

“Jesus deliberately echoes a pattern of themes that are unique to Jehovah by using the expression "I AM" (Greek: ego eimi; Hebrew: ani hu). The high density of I AM sayings of Jehovah found in Chapters 40-55 of Isaiah match the high density of I AM sayings of Jesus in the gospel of John. The vast majority of these sayings are only found in Isaiah 40-55 and John because the theme of Isaiah 40-55 is the identity of Jehovah and the theme of John is the identity of Jesus. When Jesus echoes the sayings of Jehovah in Isaiah, he is clearly applying this "language of deity" to himself as Jehovah. If we see one elephant in a cloud, it may be a coincidence, but 15 elephants linked trunk to tail is a pattern of design. So too with Jesus saying "I AM". By itself "I AM" would prove little, but the pattern of His use in various themes that exactly match Isaiah, create an unmistakable mosaic that is a powerful and irrefutable proof of his deity.”

 

The 10 times "ego eimi" is used without a predicate in John.

 

John 4:26 Jesus *said to her, "I who speak to you am He [ego eimi]."

John 6:20 But He *said to them, "It is I [ego eimi]; do not be afraid."

John 8:24 "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am [ego eimi], you shall die in your sins."

John 8:28 Jesus therefore said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [ego eimi]"

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am. [ego eimi]"

John 9:9 He [man born blind] kept saying, "I am [ego eimi] the one."

John 13:19 "From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am" [ego eimi].

John 18:5 They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazarene." He *said to them, "I am [ego eimi]." And Judas also who was betraying Him, was standing with them.

John 18:6 When therefore He said to them, "I am," [ego eimi] they drew back, and fell to the ground.

John 18:8 Jesus answered, "I told you that I am [ego eimi]; if therefore you seek Me, let these go their way,"

 

These “echo” passages stand on their own in proving the deity of Christ:

 

John 6:20 echoes Isaiah 41:10,13 (fear not)

Phil 2:6-8 echoes John 13:19 which echoes Isaiah 43:10-12 (savior/God incarnate)

John 14:5-6 echoes Isaiah 40:3 (the way)

John 4:25-26 echoes Isaiah 52:6 (quoted by Jesus)

John 8:58 echoes Isaiah 40-55; Ex 3:14; Psalm 90:2 (eternal)

John 18 echoes Isaiah's "I AM"

Rev 22:12-13 echoes Isaiah 44:6 (first and last)

Acts 26:15-18 echoes Isaiah 42:6-8 (calls to service)

John 1:1-5 echoes Isaiah 44:24 (only creator)

1 Cor 10:4 echoes Isaiah 44:8 (only Rock)

King of Babylon echoes Jehovah: Isa 47:8-10; 46:9 (quote)

 

The above link provides a great detailed analysis and comparison of the “I AM” usages in Isaiah / John

 

The conclusion is that Jesus’ use of “I am” is clear that he was claiming to be God.

 

 


 

 

Isaiah 45:23-24 "I have sworn by Myself, The WORD has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. They will say of Me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.’ Men will come to Him, And" all who were angry at Him shall be put to shame.

 

Philippians 2:9-11 "Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

 

Romans 14:9-12 “For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written:

   " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,

   'every knee will bow before me;

      every tongue will confess to God.' " So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

 

Uh oh, we have a problem here. If “every knee will bow, and every tongue will swear allegiance” to God, Jehovah then how can every knee bow and every tongue confess to Jesus Christ? The simple answer is because every knee can; the Father and Son are one. If they were different or not equal and separate then this would be a conflict, and it is not. The correct answer is “Jesus Christ is Lord”, God. Please make special note of the word “WORD” used here. The “Word” will have special meaning later.

 

 

 

Micah 5:2-3 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity. Therefore, He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child.”

 

This verse is talking about the Messiah, Jesus Christ. It states first “One will go forth for Me”. This does not necessarily state that Jesus is God but then again, why if God is God, would he need someone else, let alone a mere human, to do His work (Salvation) for Him? Jesus Christ as human and flesh on earth went forth from God and was / is the atoning final sacrifice for salvation. God is our Savior, through the blood of Jesus Christ.

 

Isaiah 43:3 “For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;”

Isaiah 43:11 “I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.”

 

The second point is that the Messiah existed “from the days of eternity” that is, Jesus existed for all of eternity. If Jesus was created in his entirety or even partially then this verse is not true. Who or what is the only thing to exist for all of eternity, something without a beginning or end? Yes, that would be only God.

 

 

Jeremiah 23:5-6

"The days are coming," declares the LORD,

"when I will raise up to David  a righteous Branch,

a King who will reign wisely

and do what is just and right in the land.

 

6 In his days Judah will be saved

and Israel will live in safety.

This is the name by which he will be called:

The LORD Our Righteousness.

 

            Above is another example of God calling Jesus, the Messiah, Lord and God (Yahweh). “declares the LORD, this is the name by which he will be called: the LORD (Yahweh) Our Righteousness.”

 

 

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

 

It was God himself “ME” who was pierced on the cross!

 

 


 

 

Mark 2:5-12  “And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Arise, and take up your pallet and walk’? "But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—He said to the paralytic— "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."”

The Jews were correct, only God can forgive sins. This brings up the point where a lot of times OTC’s and cults will say the Jews being spoken to in scripture did not know, were wrong, or did not understand Old Testament scripture or what was being said. This is a false lie. Most of the times the Jews whom Jesus and the disciples were speaking directly to were the Pharisees, Levites, and other religious groups who had a perfect understanding of OT scripture. That is why many times when an average person did not fully understand what was being said, the scriptural educated Jews were greatly offended and went to stone and kill Jesus and the disciples for the claims they were making.

 

Isaiah 43:25 "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

 

Here is a good quote summarizing this passage:

 

“It was a common practice for the Levitical priests to pronounce forgiveness of sins based upon the law of Moses. (Lev 4:20 "So the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven.") Levitical Priests pronounced forgiveness of sins quite commonly every day. It was well understood that these priests were not "absolving from sin", for absolution from sin is strictly a function of deity. (Isa 43:25) But it was clear to the Jews that Jesus was claiming a personal, direct power of absolution from sin, never seen before in any man. Jesus made the claim that no Jewish priest would ever make, that He Himself, had the power to forgive sins, hence the power of absolution. Jews and Christians never have the power to forgive sins in the mind of God. No man can, by personal grace, change a man's eternal destiny, apart from the mind of God. This is why they accused Jesus of blasphemy.”

 

“Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal: Jesus power to forgive sins was given to him from God proving that it was not inherent in Him and therefore not God.”

 

“One of the biggest deceptions that anti-Trinitarians use to prove Jesus was a creature is to say that because his authority was derived while on earth, that he is not God. But such a view completely misses the grand theme of "glory - servant - glory" that Jesus underwent by coming to earth… the incarnation. Jesus relinquished all his inherent rights, and took orders from the Father. God the Son, gave up his glory, came to earth and instead of acting like a head of state, acted like a slave saying, "I will only do what I am told". Therefore this silly rebuttal is invalid, because obedience does not determine what rights you have inherently. Jesus had many inherent divine rights before he became man, but chose to relinquish personal claim to these rights and act as a perfect slave towards the Father. 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.”

 

Jesus relinquished some of his deity to become the blood sacrifice for man but he is still God. He did so in order to be in the presence of sin and to be the bearer of it on the cross. Jesus became subservient to God the Father while performing his work of saving grace on earth. It is still clear by all accounts that Jesus is God.

 

Further on down there is another great verse:

 

Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

 

What do you think Jesus is claiming here?

 

 


 

 

 “John chapter 1 - God Became a Human Being”

 

John 1:1-4 “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”

 

John chapter 1 is an introduction to Jesus Christ. It is painfully clear that John is describing and talking about Jesus Christ. John is equating the Word (Isaiah 45:23) with Jesus Christ. “In the beginning was Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ was with God, and Jesus Christ was God.” How do we know that John is equating Jesus Christ with “the Word”? Remember that hint from Isaiah I gave earlier? Well the following is much more clear.

 

John 1:14-18  “14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' " 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

 

No one has seen God the Father, but they have seen God the One and Only, Jesus Christ, who has made God the father known (when you see the Son, you see the Father), because they are one.

 

Let me highlight this verse again in case you missed it.

 

 

“No one has ever seen God, but GOD THE ONE AND ONLY, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”

 

 

Jesus Christ is the One and Only God!

 

 

Here is exactly what happened, God, in the person of Jesus Christ aka the Word “became flesh and made HIS dwelling among us.” These verses perhaps are the most powerful exclamation that Jesus Christ is God, Jehovah and Yahweh. There really is no other logical conclusion to make but as we all know, there are many that other OTC’s and cults have made. The only way to get around this verse is to inject a false and foreign notion.

 

Lets reiterate again, there are no conflicts, contradictions or errors in the Bible. Either this verse is true, that “the One and Only” (Jesus Christ) is God and has made the father known, physically on earth by becoming flesh and making his dwelling among us or its not? The biggest lies that Satan is trying to spread are lies about Jesus Christ. The reason is Jesus Christ is the ONLY WAY of salvation. If Satan can cause confusion, cloud or create fallacies surrounding Jesus Christ, then he has caused people to teach “another Jesus” and has brought people to fall in disrepute with God. This is a very serious issue and is the reason why I am writing this. There is nothing more serious than false teachers and prophets teaching the lies of Satan concerning Jesus Christ.

 

I am going to have to quote from one of my primary sources again as it is very good.

The irrefutable argument stated:

“This verse is so simple it is impossible to get it wrong. An illustrated paraphrase of the text would be:

  • "In the beginning was EVE, and EVE was with MAN, and EVE was MAN. SHE was in the beginning with MAN."

Even adopting the Jehovah's Witnesses paraphrase, the New World Translation's, (NWT hereafter) unscholarly insertion of "a god" of the text makes no difference:

  • "In the beginning was EVE, and EVE was with MAN, and EVE was a MAN.

Just as "man" can refer specifically to male to the exclusion of female, So also God can refer to the Father to the exclusion of the Son. However, just as "man" can include both male and female as a class of being, (Gen 5:2 "He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man"), so too "God" can include both Father and Son as a class of being, as in John 1:1.””

 

Here is what my Zondervan study Bible correctly states:

 

“What Jesus taught and what he did are tied inseparably to who he is. John shows Jesus as fully human and fully God. Although Jesus took upon himself full humanity and lived as a man, he never ceased to be the eternal God who has always existed, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, and the source of eternal life. This is the truth about Jesus, and the foundation of all truth. If we cannot or do not believe this basic truth, we will not have enough faith to trust our eternal destiny to him. That is why John wrote this Gospel – to build faith and confidence in Jesus Christ so that we may believe that he truly was and is the Son of God.”

 

“What does John mean by the Word? The Word was a term used by theologians and philosophers, both Jews and Greeks, in many different ways. In Hebrew Scripture, the Word was an agent of creation (Psalm 33:6), the source of God’s message to his people through the prophets (Hosea 1:2), and God’s law, his standard of holiness (Psalm 119:11). In Greek philosophy, the Word was the principle of reason that governed the world, or the thought still in the mind, while in Hebrew thought; the Word was another expression for God. John’s description shows clearly that he is speaking of Jesus (see especially 1:14) – a human being he knew and loved, but at the same time the Creator of the universe, the ultimate revelation of God, the living picture of God’s holiness, the One in whom “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). To Jewish readers, “the Word was God” was blasphemous. To Greek readers, “the Word became flesh” (1:14) was unthinkable. To John, this new understanding of the Word was gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

 

For an in-depth analysis of Greek grammatical errors that lead some to miss-interpretations of John 1 please follow up on this link:

 

http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-texts-john1-1.htm (Steve Rudd)

 

I will again quote some of the pertinent information as it is fit for this study. The biggest and greatest fallacy by miss-interpretations is that the Word was a god, and not thee God or has deity. The Jehovah Witnesses are the biggest culprit here and their mistake has been evident by the following email by William Barclay who the JW’s used to make their translation and conclusions:

 

“Letter written by William Barclay to Donald Shoemaker of Biola College after Shoemaker informed Barclay how the Watchtower had misquoted him:

 

Dear Professor Donald Shoemaker,

 

Thank you for your letter of August 11th. The Watchtower article has, by judicious cutting, made me say the opposite of what I meant to say. What I was meaning to say, as you well know, is that Jesus is not the same as God, to put it more crudely, that he is of the same stuff as God, that is of the same being as God, but the way the Watchtower has printed my stuff has simply left the conclusion that Jesus is not God in a way that suits themselves.

 

If they missed from their answer the translation of Kenneth Wuest and the N.E.B., they missed the whole point.

 

It was good of you to write and I don't think I need say anything more to make my position clear.

 

With every good wish.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

William Barclay. “

 

“When Barclay says in his book, Many Witnesses, One Lord: "John is not here identifying the Word with God. To put it very simply, he does not say that Jesus was God", Barclay is refuting Modalism. Modalism states that the Father and the Son are the same person. Barclay is saying, with our brackets added for emphasis, "John is not here identifying the Word with God [the person of the Father]. To put it very simply, he does not say that Jesus was God [the person of the Father]". Jehovah's Witnesses deliberately confuse their readers by misinterpreting anti-Modalist comments. Such is the "deception of wickedness". When Barclay says in his book, Many Witnesses, One Lord: "The Word was in the same class as God, belonging to the same order of being as God." It is obvious that Barclay is viewing that Jesus is just as much VERY God as the Father. In Barclay's letter to Shoemaker, he says, "that he is of the same stuff as God, that is of the same being as God" which is echoing the Athanasian creed.”

 

            Concerning the translation that the Word was a god or is not God here are some reputable Greek scholars:

  1. Barclay: Dr. William Barclay, a leading Greek scholar of the University of Glasgow, Scotland: "The deliberate distortion of truth by this sect is seen in their New testament translations. John 1:1 is translated: '...the Word was a god, ' a translation which is grammatically impossible...It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest."
  1. Bowman, Robert Bowman, All scholars agree that in John 1:1 "logos" is the subject and "theos" is the predicate. This sets the translation of John 1:1c as, (The Word was God" not "God was the Word". Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of John.)
  1. Colwell: Dr. Ernest C. Colwell of the University of Chicago: "A definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb...this statement cannot be regarded as strange in the prologue of the gospel which reaches its climax in the confession of Thomas. 'My Lord and my God.' - John 20:28"
  1. Wescott: Dr. B. F. Wescott (whose Greek text - not the English part - is used in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation): "The predicate (God) stands emphatically first, as in IV.24. It is necessarily without the article...No idea of inferiority of nature is suggested by the form of expression, which simply affirms the true deity of the Word...in the third clause 'the Word' is declared to be 'God' and so included in the unity of the Godhead."

Some questions to answer: Trinitarians as stated in the introduction do not believe that the Son is the Father, that the Father is the Spirit, and that the Spirit is the Son, that is Modalism but we believe all three are one God, Yahweh. Three separate persons but one entity and being. Jesus is with the Father but is not the same person as the Father. This is the only logical and proper way of translating John 1:1:

  • "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (equal class of being God), and the Word was God (equal class of being God)."

“Here is an argument on John 10:33 “The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God." "God" lacks the definite article as in John 1:1. Here the NWT renders it "a god" because the Jews obviously were accusing Jesus of being a polytheistic type of god typical of pagans.”

 

“The real clincher is that the Jews were accusing Jesus of making himself out to be Jehovah, not some polytheistic demi-god. In fact every major translation, renders it, "make yourself out to be God". Only the NWT uses "a god". Any one who knows even the most basic elements of reading Greek text knows that John 10:33 cannot be used as proof that John 1:1c should be translated "a God". In John 10:33 "a god" [theon] is accusative case as the direct object of the verb "making", hence somewhat similar to an anarthrous predicate nominative with a form of the verb "to be". But again, like Acts 28:6, the noun "theon" follows the verb instead of preceding it as in John 1:1. Remember, many places refer to Jehovah as God where the definite article is lacking, just as in John 10:33”

 

 

Another argument that is scriptural unfounded is the idea that the Word is not really referring to Jesus Christ but to the spirit that God sent or something else besides Jesus. Denying the following verses of John 1:14-18 usually makes this error. As I have stated previously many OTC’s and cults who have their own man made doctrine inject false notions and meaning to try and prove their ideas as correct. However reading this verse and chapter I still cannot see any argument different from the one that John as “God Breathed” was making. The idea that the Word was something other than Jesus Christ is not found anywhere in this passage or anywhere else in the Bible. In verses 14-18 John clearly states that he is referring to Jesus Christ as the Word.

 

 

UNDENIABLE VERSES THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE WORD

 

 

John states in Revelation 19:13 that “the Word of God” is Jesus Christ!

 

Revelation 19:11-16

The Rider on the White Horse

11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

 

The Rider on the White Horse, the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” is Jesus Christ. Who else would be dripped in blood? Whose blood has more significance? Jesus is the one given power to judge and is referred to as King of Kings and Lord or Lords. It is Jesus who will establish the heavenly Kingdom on earth. It is the blood of Jesus that matters!

 

1 Timothy 6:13-15

13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

 

John references Jesus Christ as the Word multiple times:

 

1 John 1-2 (The Word of Life)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

 

Jesus Christ name is the Word and the Word is God.

The Greek word used for Word, is Logos which means

 

 


1 Corinthians 1:24
but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.


 

 

 


 

 

 

John 5:16-23  “16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself EQUAL with God.

    19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

 

 

Does your church or doctrine honor the Son as they honor the Father? Or do they lessen Jesus Christ to something unequal and less than the Father? If they do they are in great error. Rejecting the Sons equality with the Father is greatly dishonoring Him.

 

Let me restate the fact that the Jews here were heavily educated and fully versed in the Old Testament. They knew fully what Jesus was saying and claiming. They did not misunderstand what Jesus was saying. They knew fully and that is why they went to kill him. Also it is John narrating / retelling the story, “God breathed”.

 

“Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #1 "Another scripture offered as support for the Trinity is John 5:18. It says that the Jews (as at John 10:31-36) wanted to kill Jesus because "he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God." But who said that Jesus was making himself equal to God? Not Jesus. He defended himself against this false charge." (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Watchtower, "Should You Believe in the Trinity?")”

 

“Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #1 refuted

 Jehovah’s Witnesses know they are in deep trouble with this verse and resort to tricks. They imply that Jesus did not teach he was equal with God, but the Jews said this as a false charge because they misunderstood what Jesus was actually saying. Problem is that it is John the apostle who said Jesus was "calling God his Father, making himself out equal with God." This in fact is true! "So take careful note that John, as the narrator the Gospel of John, flat out states that Jesus was "calling God his Father, making himself out equal with God."”

 

"My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working. Here Jesus is claiming to be the same as the father where he states, “and I too”.

 

“ because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

 

This is possible if you look at if from the perspective that the Father and Son are one being. Whatever one does, the other does also, because they are one, in perfect unity. Here is another verse where Jesus claims to be God.

 

“God revealed Himself to us in the form of a Man, so that we could better understand the things of God from our limited, human mindsets. Yeshua came to teach us all about how God wanted us to live for Him, and how to live with each other, and He also revealed to us that He WAS God Incarnate (in the flesh):”

 

“After Christ came, people could know God fully because he became visible and tangible in Christ. Christ is the perfect expression of God in human form. The two most common errors people make about Jesus are to minimize his humanity or to minimize his divinity. Jesus is both God and man.” Zondervan Study Bible

 

 


 

 

John chapter 8 is Jesus’ second testimony and defense of who He truly is, chapter 5 being the first in the book of John. It all leads to the climax in verse 58. This chapter is another that is debated heavily because for those who seek to weaken and lessen Jesus Christ they must attack this particular chapter. However a simple reading from verse 1 to 59 one can see hopefully the message Jesus was making. Jesus builds up and up until his climax in verse 58 where once again he states, “before Abraham was born, I am!” Notice the exclamation mark used! This was not just a casual statement by Jesus. The second to last verse in this chapter summarizes what Jesus was preaching from verse 1. What was Jesus talking about then?

 

John 8:12-30 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." The Pharisees challenged him, "Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid."

 

Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."

 

Here is how I read these particular verses. From Jewish law testimony was required by two or more persons and this is what the Pharisees were challenging Jesus on “your testimony is not valid”. Jesus answers in this way paraphrased “I am right because I am not alone. I stand with the Father. I can testify for myself because my other witness is the Father, who is here, in me, and is me”.

 

19Then they asked him, "Where is your father?"

 

"You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also." 20He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come.”

 

Jesus answered, the Father is right here, “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” because we are one, right here.

 

21 Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come." This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, 'Where I go, you cannot come'?" But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

 

 

 

If you do not believe all that Jesus claims to be, do you believe your salvation is secure?

 

 

 

"Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied. "I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world."

 

“They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.”

 

God is with Jesus. Remember the definition of with, with denotes physical or tangible presence.

 

 

John 8:38 “I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

 

John 8:41-43 “ Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.”

 

This particular sentence is most times overlooked but I really love it, as it is very powerful. ‘Am’ is the first person singular present indicative of be, to be, to exist in a particular point or time. The sentence starts out with “God” and “Father” and ends with “I came from God” and “am here”. To connect the dots just connect God, Father, I, am here.

 

Some people take verse John 8:40 that states, “As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.” and say here that “Jesus is claiming to be only or just a man. Well does Jesus say or are the words “only” or “just a” man present anywhere in the Bible? Read this entire chapter to understand what Jesus is really claiming. However to answer this point, Jesus Christ is 100% fully man. Read verses 41-43 over again. Jesus came from God and says “NOW I AM HERE!” The Jews again, would not have stoned Jesus for being, physically here, Jesus was claiming to be God, physically here and on Earth.

 

John 8:58-59 : "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

 

Jesus is eternal. If Jesus was only a creation and had a beginning this statement would be a lie. The great lie is that Jesus is a creation and not God. Does your church or doctrine teach this lie? This delusion is Satan’s greatest trick, to blind you from the truth of Jesus Christ, the truth that saves. That Jesus Chris is God for how can a mere man, creation or angel forgive the sins of all mankind? The Word of God clearly shows that Only God can forgive, by the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross.

 

Jesus summarizes his preaching with the heart piercing statement, “I AM!” (ego eimi). This was such a strong statement that the Jews then attempted to stone and kill Jesus. The Jews again were not confused or miss-understood what Jesus was summarizing and saying they knew fully well that he was claiming to be, God! The Jews were unclear earlier like some people are even today however Jesus then clearly summed it up with “ego eimi”!

  • “John 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am. [ego eimi - predicateless absolute]"
  • Isaiah 43:10-13,25 "You are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am. [Heb: 'ani hu' - ‘ego eimi’ in LXX, predicateless absolute] Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. "I, even I, am [ego eimi, predicateless absolute] the Lord; And there is no savior besides Me.”

As with most all usages of ego eimi there is debate. Here is some quoted commentary from the early “non-apostatized church”:

  1. In what follows, some may imagine that he says something plausible against us. "If," says he, "these people worshipped one God alone, and no other, they would perhaps have some valid argument against the worship of others. But they pay excessive reverence to one who has but lately appeared among men, and they think it no offence against God if they worship also His servant." To this we reply, that if Celsus had known that saying," I and My Father are one," and the words used in prayer by the Son of God, "As Thou and I are one, he would not have supposed that we worship any other besides Him who is the Supreme God. "For," says He, "My Father is in Me, and I in Him." And if any should from these words be afraid of our going over to the side of those who deny that the Father and the Son are two persons, let him weigh that passage, "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul," that he may understand the meaning of the saying, "I and My Father are one." We worship one God, the Father and the Son, therefore, as we have explained; and our argument against the worship of other gods still continues valid. And we do not "reverence beyond measure one who has but lately appeared," as though He did not exist before; for we believe Himself when He says, "Before Abraham was, I am." Again He says, "I am the truth; " and surely none of us is so simple as to suppose that truth did not exist before the time when Christ appeared. We worship, therefore, the Father of truth, and the Son, who is the truth; and these, while they are two, considered as persons or subsistence’s, are one in unity of thought, in harmony and in identity of will. So entirely are they one, that he who has seen the Son, "who is the brightness of God's glory, and the express image of His person," has seen in Him who is the image, of God, God Himself. (Origen Against Celsus, book 8, chapter 12, 225 AD)

 


 

 

John 10:22-39 (The Unbelief of the Jews)

 

22Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. 24The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."

 

25Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one."

 

31Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"

 

33"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

 

34Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'? 35If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— 36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? 37Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." 39Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

 

Whoa, is this not so clear and so undeniable? This is, in my opinion, one of the best and most clear points where Jesus claims to be God and confirms equality with Him. There is not anything more I can add to make these sentences any clearer. If you are still in doubt, read and re-read the underlined words. However as with all aberration and OTC groups their eyes are continually blinded. I will quote again to answer some of the rebuttals that have been created by man but first here is the definition of  “one” again.

 

one 

Being a single entity, unit, object, or living being.
Characterized by unity; undivided: They spoke with one voice.
Of the same kind or quality: two animals of one species.
Forming a single entity of two or more components: three chemicals combining into one solution.
Being a single member or element of a group, category, or kind: I'm just one player on the team.
Being a single thing in contrast with or relation to another or others of its kind:

Jesus Christ and the Father are one single Entity.

Jesus Christ and the Father are one Object.

Jesus Christ and the Father are one Living Being!

Jesus Christ and the Father are one in unity (Echad) and Undivided.

 

How do we know this? JESUS CHRIST SAYS SO HIMESELF!!!!

 

 

http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-texts-john10-30.htm (Steve Rudd)

 

Rebuttal #1 by Anti-Trinitarian Modalists (United Pentecostal Church, UPCI)

When Jesus said in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one.", it proves that Jesus is the same person as the Father.

 

Anti-Trinitarian Modalist rebuttal refuted

The word for "one" is the Greek word "Hen". It is used of both mathematical "1" as well as a synonym for the word "unity".

"HEN" is used for "unity" (and not mathematical "1") in Mt 19:5 "the two shall become one flesh" and Jn 17:22-23 "that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity".

Husband and wife are one in unity (one flesh) but remain two separate persons. The disciples one in unity but remain many separate persons. God is one in unity, but remain three separate persons in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is the meaning in James 2:19 "You believe that God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is one (HEN = unified). You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder."

"Since He said 'one' thing, let the heretics understand that He did not say 'one' person. For one placed in the neuter, intimates the social concord, not the personal unity. . . . Moreover, that He says one, has reference to the agreement, and to the identity of judgment, and to the loving association itself, as reasonably the Father and Son are one in agreement, in love, and in affection." (Novatian, Treatise Concerning the Trinity, chapter 27, 225 AD)

This doesn't help Arians one bit, for the expression, "I and the Father are one" is clearly intended by Jesus to be taken as a claim of equality with the Father.

 

Rebuttal #2 by Anti-Trinitarian Modalists (United Pentecostal Church, UPCI)

If unity of purpose is all that is meant by "I and the Father are one", the Jews would not stone Jesus, for Moses was one in purpose with God in the Old Testament.

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

Jesus said more than "I and the Father are one". Jesus also said, "My Father", Yet the Jews replied in John 8:41 "we have one Father, even God." So Jesus calling God his Father was not viewed by them as fundamentally offensive or a claim of deity. It is the statements like: "I give eternal life to MY sheep" combined with the other statements that caused the Jews to view, "I and the Father are one" to be a claim of deity! We have not problem admitting that taken by itself, "I and the Father are one" would not likely be viewed as a claim of deity, but taken together with the other statements, it certainly was. Jesus clearly made claims that only deity would claim and the Jews got the distinct impression that Jesus was claiming to be God. "You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God." A claim Jesus DID NOT DENY!

 

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #3

The Jews mistakenly thought that Jesus was claiming to be God and that is why they wanted to stone him.

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

In fact the Jews wanted to stone Jesus for two things: blasphemy and making himself out to be God. Did they also misunderstand the blasphemy… that Jesus "gives eternal life" to men? Not at all! In fact they fully understood this to be something only God can do. Only God is the source of eternal life!

 

But if you stop and think about this Jesus had done too good a selling job teaching the Jews he was more than an ordinary man. When Jesus says to the Jews "you are not my sheep" was this because they had too high an opinion of Jesus? Talk about overdoing the Job! This means that the Jews first impression of Jesus was too high, rather than too low! Jesus might have said to them, "downgrade your first impression of who you think I, (THE God) to what I really am (a god)". Only a Jehovah's Witness could think this makes sense! Remember, the Jews were expecting the messiah. A prophet designated by God who could perform miracles was a well accepted long-standing tradition. But Jehovah's Witnesses would have us believe that Jesus was unable to convey Himself in a way that would not confuse his listeners that he was not divine! They would not stone him for even being a created angel. They believed in angels! So again we say, it is ridiculous to suggest that the Jews "were not Jesus' sheep" because they walked away with the impression that Jesus was more than he claimed to be rather than less. They fully understood what Jesus was saying, but rejected Jesus claims of being God!

 

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #4

"I and the Father are one" is not a claim of deity.

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

Then why did the Jews interpret it that way? Whose fault was it? The Jews for misunderstanding, or Jesus' for being a poor teacher? No! The Jews correctly understood this to be a claim of death!

 

(Also please remember, this was not just related to stoning, the Jews persecuted Jesus all the way to crucifixion and death on the cross, the final course of salvation. Was Jesus’ death on the cross a mistake or done through confusion and miss understanding?)

 

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #5

All Jesus was really claiming is that Jesus was "in step with God", not that He was divine.

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

This makes no sense because the Jews thought that they were "in step with God". At the very worst, they would have viewed him as the new kid on the block, as competition on an equal playing field as creatures. The fact they wanted to stone him shows they thought Jesus was claiming to be God. The Jews were accustomed to inspired prophets and angels who were "in step with God". If this were all he was saying, they never would have wanted to stone him. They wanted to stone him because he was making a claim of deity that no man or angel had ever made before!

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #6

We note there is no article before the theon (God) in 10.33 so this could be translated "a god." The Jews said, "because you being a man make yourself a god." Jesus wasn't claiming to be THE God.

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

Then the Jews correctly understood what Jesus was teaching and this was exactly what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, yet they still wanted to stone Him! This would prove that Jesus WAS claiming to be A GOD. Sounds like Jn 10:33 it is right out of the Watchtower! Jehovah's Witnesses are illogical and hypocritical because they want to claim the Jews misunderstood Jesus on one hand, yet argue he was merely claiming to be "A GOD" on the other. The truth is Jesus was claiming to be equal to the Father, and that is why they wanted to stone Jesus.

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #8

John records what the Jews mistakenly thought, not what Jesus was actually teaching. The Jews misunderstood many things and John merely records this misconception.

 

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

It has completely escaped the notice of Arians that there are no examples of where Matthew, Mark Luke or John ever records a misconception without pointing out that it was an error. Jn 21:22-23 is an example of where a misconception was corrected by John, the narrator. When they thought Jesus was a spirit after resurrection, (Like Jehovah's Witnesses believe) Jesus corrected them: Jn 24:39. John 5:18 is not an example of uncorrected error with regards to the charge Jesus broke the Sabbath.””

 

 

 

The primary reason why the Jews wanted to kill and crucify Jesus was for one reason:

 

John 19:7

The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God."

 

The Jews understood that Jesus made the claim that he was God and equal to God the Father. If Jesus were only claiming to be a son of God or a prophet of God they would not have pursued all the way to crucifixion. The Jews understood that the title Jesus was claiming as the “Son of God” equated him with God. For a son is of the same species of his Father. If one says that the Jews were mistaken and Jesus was crucified for a mistake, then that makes the death of Jesus a mistake. Is your salvation a mistake? It is definitely not. Also to note, nowhere in the Bible does Jesus ever say he is a creation or he is not God. The Bible always says Jesus Christ appeared. If there ever were a time to do so, during his trial before Pilate would have been a good time to make any corrections.

 

Also Jesus was directly stated to /said to the meaning and thought that He was truly Jehovah who came into the world, that Jesus claimed to be God. If this was a miss conception Jesus would have corrected it, and of course, He did not. If the narrator John knew there was a miss conception here don’t you think he would have noted so? The fact is, the truth of the Bible is, Jesus Christ claimed to be God, because he IS God.

 

 


 

 

John 11:21-27

Martha therefore said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother shall rise again.” Martha asid to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.

27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (NKJV)

 

Now is a good time to restate the fact that the Word of God means what is says and says what it means. There is no confusion, miss-understanding or hidden secrets. No errors, conflicts, fallacies or falseness. All scripture is “God Breathed” and is useful for teaching, rebuking and correcting. Jesus is “Christ” and Messiah, “Son of God” and “even He who comes into the world”, God! If this was wrong, Jesus did not correct it, Jesus did not correct it because, it is the truth!

 

Secondly, in this verse is one of many statements that Jesus makes concerning salvation. Jesus, being the Messiah, knew everything possible about salvation. He is salvation. So, like all other places where Jesus talks about salvation and the requirements for salvation, what does Jesus teach? Here are a few words on salvation.

 

“he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.”

 

He who believes in Me and joins the Church of Christ? He who believes and is baptized? He who believes, joins the Church of Christ, is baptized, and does this that and the other thing is saved and is given eternal life, nope. “Do you believe this” or do you believe that there are additional requirements for salvation? If you do, you should perform a Biblical study on Grace. Every single place Jesus Christ, the Messiah, preaches and teaches about salvation, what are His words, God’s requirements? Does Jesus always say one must do in order to be saved?

 

John 3:16-19

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

 

I am emphasizing this because all OTC’s and cults themselves make salvation into something other than the Grace of God. I feel that all OTC’s do this for control and power. You must join the church, do what they say or you are going to hell. This is just a method of control. For all who are in an OTC or cult I strongly encourage you to do a study on Salvation, Grace and “In the Name of Jesus Christ”. As with the Trinity you will see that what all of these OTC’s teach are not the truth of God.

John 20:31
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This verse can throw people off if they fail to read it correctly. “Repent and be baptized”, (comma) “everyone one of you”, (comma) “in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins”. (period) “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Multiple thoughts here, this is how I read it. Repent and be baptized and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (one thought), second one is “forgiveness of sins” = “name of Jesus Christ”. Repent and be baptized and you will receive the gift (gifts) of the Holy Spirit, not the Holy Spirit itself.

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

 

Acts 15:10-11 “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."

 

 


 

John 12:37-45
37Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:

   "Lord, who has believed our message

      and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

    39For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

    40"He has blinded their eyes

      and deadened their hearts,

   so they can neither see with their eyes,

      nor understand with their hearts,

      nor turn—and I would heal them." 41Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him.

 

    42Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

 

    44Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.

 

Getting back to our main topic. At this point I am hoping that you, the reader, can see what is being said in verse 44 and 45. Even though I have listed this verse previously it is definitely worth a review again. What is Jesus saying and confirming in these verses? I pray that it is clear to you now. I am hoping that from all of the scriptural evidence I have shown you here, you can see the consistent and clear message of who Jesus Christ is in relation to God the Father.

 

John 13:31-32

When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

{all at once (adverb) [All at the same time]} Plural

This verse should be obvious but let me restate. God is glorified In Jesus Christ, God will glorify the Son in Himself and will glorify Him at once. God is in Jesus, Jesus is in God and they are all in each other all at once and at the same time. They are one!

 


 

John 14:5-20 
5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."

9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

I really love this verse. God says what he means and means what he says through scripture. This is crystal clear. Unfortunately there are many people in this world who are like Philip. They cannot or will not see the plurality of God. It all makes sense when you view this in the framework of the Trinity.

 

15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

How is this possible? Amazingly so the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth will live in us and be in us. I guess some can argue what the definition of “in” is and how it is applied in this verse. Those who are ‘in’ agreement with scriptural consistency on the Trinity know what is being said here. But lets define in regardless. In can be used many ways in English, as an adverb, adjective, preposition or noun. I will list those that I think are appropriate.

[In]
prep.
Having the activity, occupation, or function of: a life in politics; the officer in command.
During the act or process of: tripped in racing for the bus.
With the arrangement or order of: fabric that fell in luxuriant folds; arranged to purchase the car in equal payments.
After the style or form of: a poem in iambic pentameter.
With the characteristic, attribute, or property of: a tall man in an overcoat.
Made with or through the medium of: a statue in bronze; a note written in German.

adv.
Within a place, as of business or residence: The manager is in before anyone else.
So as to include or incorporate: Fold in the egg whites.
In a particular relationship: got in bad with their supervisor.

adj.
Located inside; inner.
Incoming; inward: took the in bus.
Relating to, understandable to, or coming from an exclusive group: an in reference.

They all sound good to me. Search your heart and soul and see what you think this verse means. I will quote what my study Bible says and what I agree with.

“The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God within us and all believers, helping us live as God wants and building Christ’s church on earth. By faith we can appropriate the Sprit’s power each day.”

 


 

 

John 16:14-15

He (the Holy Spirit) will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

 

If viewing this verse in consistent principle of the Trinity, one can see how this is possible, since they are one.

 

Acts2 :34-36

34For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,

   " 'The Lord said to my Lord:

      "Sit at my right hand

    35until I make your enemies

      a footstool for your feet." '

 

36"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

 

This verse is most likely where a lot of OTC’s and cults derive their false notion that Jesus was a creation only. From all of the preceding verses and information I have given it should be clear the true nature of Jesus Christ. I read this verse as saying the physical man of Jesus was made by God both Lord (God) and Christ (the Messiah). It is beyond human understand to know how exactly Jesus became both fully man and fully God at the virgin birth in Mary but there are many aspects of God and Christianity that we have to take on as faith. We don’t know exactly how, but we know for sure it did.

 

We can be sure however that Jesus is fully Lord God and Christ the Messiah. This verse also quotes again where God is referring to Jesus as Lord (God) and Christ (Messiah). To recap a little, 1 + 1 + 1 = 1. By this point I hope we can agree that both the Father and the Son are one, but what about that last one, the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit also God? We will see a bit later.

 

 

NIV Romans 1:3-4 “regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God, by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

NKJV Romans 1:3-4 “concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”

 

 

Christ has two natures:

 

Man – “who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh”

 

GOD - declared and not made "declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness”

 

 


 

 

Acts 20:28 NIV

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God , which he bought with his own blood.

 

“Church of God”, emphasizing that “God” is the noun here, and the verse does not state Church of Christ. “Which He bought”, God bought “with HIS OWN BLOOD.” God’s Blood. So why then may you say I am highlighting this verse? Who’s actual blood was it on the cross, Jesus Christ’s blood! It is by the blood of Jesus Christ we are saved.

 

Acts 20:28 NKJV

Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

 

This brings up the topic. Is there really a difference between Lord and God, both Lord and Christ, my Lord and God? Does not Lord and God refer to Jehovah? Is not the Father equally called Lord (Lord God) in the OT numerous times? Is not Jesus Christ called Lord numerous times in the NT? It is beyond the scope of this study to compare and contrast this idea but it is evident to me that there is no difference. Both the Father and Son are both Lord and God.

Genesis 2:4
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens-

Colossians 3:24    
since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

We have already touched on the verse that has both Lords in it, the Father and the Son.

 

Genesis 19:24 “Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens.”

 

 

Peter has a few more important “God Breathed” sayings to make about the most important aspect of Jesus Christ:

2 Peter 1:1-2
1Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Is God not Peter’s Lord? No, both God the Father and Son Jesus Christ are Peter’s and our God, our Savior and our Lord, because they are one, Jehovah, Yahweh, Adonai!

 

 

We have one Lord and God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!

1=3,3=1

 

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

 

God is the FatherAND” the SonAND” the Holy Spirit!

 

Baptized in one NAME not names.

 

I hope it is clear to you Peter’s position on the deity of Jesus Christ.

 


 

 

Ephesians 4:1-6

1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

 

The consistency of scripture is great, one Spirit, One Lord, One God and Father, they are one. It gets better!

 

 

7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it says:

   "When he ascended on high,

      he led captives in his train

      and gave gifts to men." 9(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10He who descended is the VERY ONE who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

 

“He who descended” (Jesus Christ, the Word, the Son of God) IS THE VERY ONE who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.

 

“He who descended” is distinct from the one referred to as "the very one who fills the universe" in this verse. BUT, while they are distinct, they are the same. "IS". "He who descended"  "IS" "THE VERY ONE who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.

 

WHOA, who is Paul talking about here? My bet is God himself! Who else can it be? This description fits no one else!

 

And what does Paul mean by "reaching unity in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God"?

 

What unity of knowledge of the Son of God would that be? "Attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ". The whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

 

Fullness:

Containing all that is normal or possible.

Complete in every particular: a full account.

 

I hope that those with an open mind will see what the fullness of Christ is. I hope that those who do not give the whole measure, but only a half measure or none at all of the fullness (deity) of Christ, that you will re-evaluate your ways.

 

 

 

Ephesians 4:30-31

30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

The Holy Spirit is “of” God just as the Son and Father are. The neat thing is that we “were sealed” with the great Counselor and Holy Spirit inside of each and every one of us. How cool! In verse 32 there is another reference of the deity of Christ, Christ God. Christ God is one name just as George Washington is. Christ Jehovah! I am going to do another quote here again as it sums up the unity of the Holy Spirit very well.

 

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”

 

2 Corinthians 13:14

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

 

Philippians 2:1-2

If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

 

1 Corinthians 1:9

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Acts 5:3-4
3Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."

2 Corinthians 3:17-18
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit

Now the Lord (Yahweh) is the Holy Spirit. (Spirit of the Lord is).

Not only is the Father eternal, Jesus Christ is eternal, but the Holy Spirit is also eternal. Makes perfect sense because again God is comprised of all three.

Hebrews 9:14
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Romans 8:9-11
9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

I think that rocks! But we can also see that the Spirit of God is exactly the same as the Spirit of Christ!

 

“Three different things are given to Christians by three different persons of the Godhead. This verse is so powerful in proving the Holy Spirit is a person, that anti-Trinitarians are at a loss what to do with it! They are forced into the most uncomfortable position of having to render the meaning of the verse as: " The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the sharing of electricity, be with you all." “

“2 Cor 13:14 and Mt 28:19 both prove the personality of the Holy Spirit. In both passages, there is a "person, person, person" sequence. (Father, Son, Spirit) Arians are forced into the most uncomfortable position of having to teach that both these passages follow a "person, person, thing" sequence. It just doesn't make sense to suggest that Paul is blessing them by saying, "May you be encouraged knowing that the person of God and Jesus and an the alkaline battery are with you!"”

“2 Cor 13:14 concludes with these important words: "be with you all". But what? Well three things are to be with you: "May Christ's grace be with you. May God's love be with you. May the Spirit's fellowship/sharing/companionship be with you." This exactly echoes the promise of the "comforter" in John 14:16-17, "And I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and He will give you another [Gr. allos: of the same kind as Jesus] Helper, that He [the Holy Spirit] may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you." So Paul's desire in 2 Cor 13:14 for Christians to have the "fellowship of the Holy Spirit" is EXACTLY what Jesus promised in John 14:17 of the Spirit: "He abides with you, and will be in you".”

“2 Cor 13:14 also echoes what Paul explained in great detail in his first letter to the Corinthians, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." 1 Cor 12:13 Here we see that the Holy Spirit is the agent of salvation, by placing us into the body of Christ. In this way we all are made to "drink of the one Spirit". Hence, "drink of the one Spirit" = "communion of the Holy Spirit" = "He abides with you, and will be in you". “

“The verse says that the "person of Jesus Christ" is the source and supplier of grace, the "person of God" is the source and supplier of Love and the "person of the Holy Spirit" is the source and supplier of fellowship. This is the only logical and consistent way to read the text.””

http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-texts-2corinthians13-14.htm (Steve Rudd)

 

 


 

 

While I am focusing on Jesus Christ the importance of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity of God should not be over looked. There are also many great verses that talk about the purpose and role that the Spirit plays in each of our lives. Since we are getting a bit long here I will bring it back to the primary reason of redemption, Jesus Christ. The first verse below is a dire warning to those of the OTC’s and anti-Christian cults. Most all cults take emphasis away from Jesus Christ and place it on themselves, either the church, their doctrine, certain acts and deeds one must do and even on baptism for salvation. It is another study on salvation and whether a person has to do more than just “believe on the Name of Jesus Christ” to be saved. Perform a keyword search on the words “name of Jesus” and see what I mean. Study what I have mentioned previously. The point I am getting to is all OTC’s and cults have man made and hollow deceptive philosophies that put the emphasis of salvation on their own deeds rather than on Christ’s saving grace. From this point in our study here, have you been able to determine if your church or doctrine falls into that category of deceptive philosophy?

 

Colossians 2:8-10

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

 

 

Wow, another great verse that is consistent with all the rest. All the fullness of the Deity, God, lives in bodily form in Christ. What is also neat is this verse also touches on the Holy Spirit. “And you have been given fullness in Christ,” how might you ask? Well by the Holy Spirit of course!

 

 

1 Timothy 3:15-16

“15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:

   God appeared in the flesh,

      was vindicated by the Spirit,

   was seen by angels,

      was preached among the nations,

   was believed on in the world,

      was taken up in glory.”

 

1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

God was manifested in the flesh,

Justified in the Spirit,

Seen by angels,

Preached among the Gentiles,

Believed on in the world,

Received up in glory.

 

This is yet another verse in the consistency of the God. I hope we can all see by now who the subject of this verse is, “Beyond all question”. Who is the living God? Who is the pillar and foundation of the truth of salvation and of the church? Jesus Christ! Was it not Jesus who was “preached among the nations, believed on in the world, and was taken up in glory.”?

 

 

GOD APPEARED AND WAS MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH, AS JESUS CHRIST!!!!

 

 

James 2:19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder."

 

“This is a most unusual thing to say about the demons who do not question if God exists, having seen Him with their own eyes. Instead, this verse is saying that the demons understand that the three persons of the Trinity are in perfect unity, without difference of opinion, plan or authority. The unity between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is what makes the demons shudder, not the fact that God exists. The verse makes no sense if the demons shudder merely because they believe in God. Its God's unity that makes them shudder.” (JR)

 

Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

 

God = Savior = Jesus Christ = Savior = God. God “appeared to all men” in the human form as Jesus Christ.

 

 

John 15:27-28 I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father."

God entered the world as the Word, Jesus Christ and left the world and went back into heaven. Clearly, Jesus Christ is not a creation, as he existed in heaven with the father since the beginning. God appeared to all men.

 

 




The Book Of Titus

 

 

In the book of Titus the apostle Paul clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is God and that the Grace of God is God the Father and our God and Savior Jesus Christ. He also has a few choice words for those who do not teach correctly.

 


1:3 and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

1:11 They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.

1:13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith.

1:15-16  To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

2:1 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.

2:10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

and that is

2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

2:15
These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

3: 4-7  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

3:15 15Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all


No furt
her comments are needed by me, Paul sums up the unity of the Grace of God perfectly and clearly. Now if you believe that Paul was inspired by the Spirit of God to speak the inerrant and infallible words of God, then how can you deny these verses if you believe that Jesus Christ is not God? No the fact of Jesus Christ is, Jesus Christ is our “great God and Savior”! That our God and Savior appeared and that our Savior is “Jesus Christ”.

 




Revelation 21:22 "I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple (singular)."

 

Revelation 22:1-5 "Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever."

 

Quoting from Mr. Steve Rudd yet again:

“The Father and the Son themselves are a single temple not two and with one light they shine, not two! Oh how this confuses Jehovah's Witnesses. 2 Cor 6:16 + Eph 2:21 = Rev 21:22

The Father and the Son, although two distinct persons, are seen sitting one throne not two. (Rev 3:21; 22:1-3) It says throne not "thrones." This is a fatal blow to Jehovah's Witnesses who would logically expect there to be two thrones. They just cannot understand how the father and son are sitting on ONE throne at the same time.

Christians are called, "bond-servants" (common word for slave) who serve the Father and the Son who are referred to as "Him" rather than "them." Yet we also know that the very first statement in the book of Revelation 1:1 is that Christians are bondservants of Christ. Then again Jesus calls Christian’s, "His bondslaves". Then again in Rev 2:20 we are called bondservants of Christ. Interestingly, in Revelation 7:3; 11:18; 19:2,5 the Christians are called bondslaves of the Father. This is very significant, because when we finally get to the end of the book, we see Christians called bondslaves of both the Father and the son USING THE SINGLULAR twice in Rev 22:3 and Rev 22:6. Revelation 22:6 Another is the continued use of the singular to refer to both the Father and the Son: "And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. " (Revelation 22:6) This is doubly emphasized by Rev 22:16, where Jesus says it was He who sent his angel to Christians.

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

Revelation 2:20 ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel , who calls herself a prophetess , and she teaches and leads My [Christ’s] bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols .

Revelation 22:3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him [both Father and Son]

In Rev 22:3 they will serve the Father and Son as "him" rather than "them".

It uses the singular "face" that they see, rather than faces. Yet if both are sitting on the throne, it is obvious they see the faces of both at the same time.

Both the Father and the Son's name is to be marked on the foreheads of Christians. (Rev 3:12; 14:1) Yet Revelation 22:4 uses the singular "His name" on the forehead, proving it refers to both although it sounds like it refers to a single individual. Another interesting observation is that Rev 14:1 uses the plural names, yet in Rev 22, where the unity is strongly emphasized, the singular name is used. This powerfully proves that both the Father and Son are served by Christians in Rev 22:3.

In Rev 22:5, The Father and Son reign forever. Yet in Rev 20:6 the singular "Him" is applied to the two of them, as though they are one.” (Steve Rudd)

 


 

 

And now I have saved the best for last. I have been quoting out of the NIV translation because it rests in the middle between literal and thought (paraphrased of meaning). Also at www.biblegateway.com it is the most easily searched and browsed. However for this verse one must go back to the best and most accurate translation, the KJV. It is my belief that the follow is the full and correct translation of this verse.

 

 

1 John 5:7-13 KJV

7 For there are THREE that bear record in heaven, the Father, the WORD, and the Holy Ghost: and these THREE are ONE. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the NAME of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the NAME of the Son of God.


1 John 5:6-13 New King James Version
6This is He who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

The above verse is in question and highly debated. Here is the NIV.

1 John 5:6-7
6This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three that testify: 8the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

How can this verse be so much different? Reading each verse, which one makes more sense? In the NIV and others doesn’t it seem like there is a big section missing? There is, “There are three that testify:” and then the verse stops! Then verse 8 starts. This verse is called the
Comma Johanneum, which is worth a study on its own. What does the received text state? I will take the clearest and most complete reading. The NIV really does not make any sense as in this case it’s missing the half of the verse, the most important part. Here is a link on this verse http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/vindicationof.htm

 


John 16:25-32

25"Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father." 29Then Jesus' disciples said, "Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God."  31"You believe at last!" Jesus answered. 32"But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

Colossians 1:15-22
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

 

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Heb 1:3

 

 

JESUS CHRIST IS GOD!

DO YOU BELIEVE AT LAST

 

 

 


 

WHY THEN?

 

 

Why then did God come to earth as a man in Jesus Christ? Why did God come as a servant?

 

Philippians 2:6

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
    6Who, being in very nature God,
     did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
    7but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
    8And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      and became obedient to death—
         even death on a cross!
    9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
    10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

 

Romans 8:1-4

Life Through the Spirit

    1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

 

 


 

Conclusion

 

 

I hope this study has been as convincing to you as it has been an encouragement to me. I hope that you will see the consistency of scripture and that the truth and meaning of God and Jesus Christ is fully evident to you now. For those who are in one true churches and cults of all different types the conclusion of this study will be a concern and shock to you or I hope it will be. I encourage you to pray deeply and search your heart and Spirit to confirm the truth, as it should be. I encourage you to read and re-read these scriptures before applying what your church, leader or teacher says they should mean. I encourage you to put your faith in God and Christ alone, not in a particular church, religion, acts or deeds. Let God speak to you directly through these verses for each and every Christian has a direct and personal relationship with God through Christ and the Holy Spirit.

 

I hope you can see the simple and consistent truth. Is it that all these verses have the same truth and underlying meaning, or that each and everyone has a special, unique and different meaning? I pray that you will see the underhanded deceit and technique of OTC’s and cults who purposely alter and change the meaning behind a verse to suit their own doctrine and desires for that is not of God. For those who come to the same conclusion as I have concerning the mathematics of God and are in a group or cult that teaches false doctrine; for many cults and aberration groups there are usually multiple web sites that you can turn to for further information on the false teachings of the group you are in and also to find support groups and others who have gone through the same feelings and challenges you have. To understand God’s mathematics one must not “judge by human standards” and limit themselves to “human tradition” and understanding. One does so when they rely on their own intellect and intelligence of human understanding. God in his grand awesomeness and mathematics has revealed the truth of who He is in Scripture. Our awesome God cannot be fully comprehended by our mere human intellect and mind. However the Words of God reveal much and we can know much.

 

Some say the greatest lie Satan has ever said is that he doesn’t exist; I say the greatest lie that Satan has ever said is to say that Jesus Christ is not God. There is only one plan of salvation and that is Jesus Christ. If you are under a different plan than the one scripture teaches, I highly encourage you to get on the right one for your salvation and eternal life depends on it! We must believe in who Jesus Christ is and who he claimed himself to be in order to be saved.

 

1 John 4:1-3 NKJV

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

 

1 John and 2 John are both letters written to confirm the Deity of Jesus Christ to those who had other heresies being taught to them. John is clear, those with the Spirit of God confess that Jesus Christ, God himself has come in the flesh. If you do not confess and believe that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, you are not under the true Spirit of God.

 

Your salvation is a most serious concern.

 

John 8:21
But he continued, "You are from below; I AM FROM ABOVE. You are of this world; I AM NOT OF THIS WORLD. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

The person who does not believe what Jesus Christ claims to be will surely die in their sins. That is why it is extremely important if you are reading this study and are in a church or religion that teaches that Jesus Christ is not God, to take action. Otherwise your beloved brothers and sisters in the church or also your family will suffer a terrible fate. I encourage you to pray to God for guidance so that your actions will be in accordance with His great will.

John 10:33
"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."


1 John 2:21-23

Warning against antichrists

“ I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

 

2 Peter 2:1-3

False Teachers and Their Destruction

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”

 

Have you been able now to determine that the religion or church you are attending is not in accordance with God? If you have you have many difficult choices to make. I encourage you to hold onto the promises of God where he states that he will not give us a burden heavier than we can carry. Through the love of God and his strength He will guide and encourage you on your decisions whether to leave your church or try and affect change within it.

 

2 Corinthians 11:3-4

“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”

 

I greatly encourage you not to put up with false teachings and heresies. As a believer in God and Jesus Christ I encourage you to honor Him always and in every way.

 

I would like to now give a small response to the question, is the word “Trinity” in the Bible?

The thought for “Trinity” is mentioned in the Bible. In the Bible “Godhead” is the Trinity.

Romans 1:20 (KJV-NKJV)
 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

Colossians 2:9 (KJV-NKJV)
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

 

GODHEAD = TRINITY (Full Divinity and Essence of God)

 

Romans 1:20 (KJV-NKJV)
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and
Godhead (Theiotees), so that they are without excuse.

Colossians 2:9 (KJV-NKJV)
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the
Godhead (Theotees) bodily;

Both Theiotees and Theotees are used only once in the Bible in these two verses. Both words are taken from Theos which is God. The common understanding that these two words mean is the total essence and completeness of God’s divinity. The writers of the KJV knew what the fullness and complete essence of God’s divinity was and that is why they choose to use the word Godhead. However it must be said that no other translation uses the word Godhead but this is what the early church believed.

I hope I have given you enough Biblical evidence proving that the Trinity is a Biblical fact. That God is plural and that God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I am just totally amazed of the fact that God himself, God came down from heaven to die a terrible death on the cross for us, because He loves us so much. What an amazing and loving Lord we have. God himself died for us.

 

 


Here are some quotes from the early church fathers relating to the Deity of Jesus Christ

 

50 AD The Huleatt Manuscript

  • 50 AD The Huleatt Manuscript "She poured it [the perfume] over his [Jesus'] hair when he sat at the table. But, when the disciples saw it, they were indignant. . . . God, aware of this (referring to Jesus), said to them: 'Why do you trouble this woman? She has done [a beautiful thing for me.] . . . Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priest and said, 'What will you give me for my work?' [Matt. 26:7-15]" (Huleatt fragments 1-3).

74 AD The Letter of Barnabas

  • 74 AD The Letter of Barnabas "And further, my brethren, if the Lord [Jesus] endured to suffer for our soul, he (referring to Jesus) being the Lord of all the world, to whom God said at the foundation of the world, 'Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness,' understand how it was that he endured to suffer at the hand of men" (Letter of Barnabas 5).

80 AD Hermas

  • 80 AD Hermas "The Son of God is older than all his creation, so that he became the Father's adviser in his creation. Therefore also he is ancient" (The Shepherd 12).

140 AD Aristides

  • 140 AD Aristides "[Christians] are they who, above every people of the Earth, have found the truth, for they acknowledge God, the creator and maker of all things, in the only-begotten Son and in the Holy Spirit" (Apology 16).

150 AD Justin Martyr

  • 150 AD Justin Martyr "The Father of the universe has a Son, who also being the first begotten Word of God, is even God." (Justin Martyr, First Apology, ch 63)

160 AD Mathetes

  • 160 AD Mathetes "[The Father] sent the Word that he might be manifested to the world . . . This is he who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old . . . This is he who, being from everlasting, is today called the Son" (Letter to Diognetus 11).

170 AD Tatian the Syrian

  • 170 AD Tatian the Syrian "We are not playing the fool, you Greeks, nor do we talk nonsense, when we report that God was born in the form of a man" (Address to the Greeks 21).

177 AD Athenagoras

  • 177 AD Athenagoras "The Son of God is the Word of the Father in thought and actuality. By him and through him all things were made, the Father and the Son being one. Since the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son by the unity and power of the Spirit, the Mind and Word of the Father is the Son of God. And if, in your exceedingly great wisdom, it occurs to you to inquire what is meant by `the Son,' I will tell you briefly: He is the first- begotten of the Father, not as having been produced, for from the beginning God had the Word in himself, God being eternal mind and eternally rational, but as coming forth to be the model and energizing force of all material things" (Plea for the Christians 10:2-4).

177 AD Melito of Sardis

  • 177 AD Melito of Sardis "It is no way necessary in dealing with persons of intelligence to adduce the actions of Christ after his baptism as proof that his soul and his body, his human nature, were like ours, real and not phantasmal. The activities of Christ after his baptism, and especially his miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the deity hidden in his flesh. Being God and likewise perfect man, he gave positive indications of his two natures: of his deity, by the miracles during the three years following after his baptism, of his humanity, in the thirty years which came before his baptism, during which, by reason of his condition according to the flesh, he concealed the signs of his deity, although he was the true God existing before the ages" (Fragment in Anastasius of Sinai's The Guide 13).

 

Polycarp (70-155/160). Bishop of Smyrna. Disciple of John the Apostle.
     "O Lord God almighty...I bless you and glorify you through the eternal and heavenly high priest Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be glory to you, with Him and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever" (n. 14, ed. Funk; PG 5.1040).

Justin Martyr (100?-165?). He was a Christian apologist and martyr.
      "For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water" (First Apol., LXI).

Ignatius of Antioch (died 98/117). Bishop of Antioch. He wrote much in defense of Christianity.
      "In Christ Jesus our Lord, by whom and with whom be glory and power to the Father with the Holy Spirit for ever" (n. 7; PG 5.988).
      "We have also as a Physician the Lord our God Jesus the Christ the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin. For ‘the Word was made flesh.' Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passable body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts." (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The ante-Nicene Fathers, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975 rpt., Vol. 1, p. 52, Ephesians 7.)

Irenaeus (115-190). As a boy he listened to Polycarp, the disciple of John. He became Bishop of Lyons.
      "The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: ...one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father ‘to gather all things in one,' and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess; to him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all...'" (Against Heresies X.l)

Tertullian (160-215). African apologist and theologian. He wrote much in defense of Christianity.
      "We define that there are two, the Father and the Son, and three with the Holy Spirit, and this number is made by the pattern of salvation...[which] brings about unity in trinity, interrelating the three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are three, not in dignity, but in degree, not in substance but in form, not in power but in kind. They are of one substance and power, because there is one God from whom these degrees, forms and kinds devolve in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit." (Adv. Prax. 23; PL 2.156-7).

Origen (185-254). Alexandrian theologian. Defended Christianity and wrote much about Christianity.
      "If anyone would say that the Word of God or the Wisdom of God had a beginning, let him beware lest he direct his impiety rather against the unbegotten Father, since he denies that he was always Father, and that he has always begotten the Word, and that he always had wisdom in all previous times or ages or whatever can be imagined in priority...There can be no more ancient title of almighty God than that of Father, and it is through the Son that he is Father" (De Princ. 1.2.; PG 11.132).
      "For if [the Holy Spirit were not eternally as He is, and had received knowledge at some time and then became the Holy Spirit] this were the case, the Holy Spirit would never be reckoned in the unity of the Trinity, i.e., along with the unchangeable Father and His Son, unless He had always been the Holy Spirit." (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975 rpt., Vol. 4, p. 253, de Principiis, 1.111.4)
      "Moreover, nothing in the Trinity can be called greater or less, since the fountain of divinity alone contains all things by His word and reason, and by the Spirit of His mouth sanctifies all things which are worthy of sanctification..." (Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 4, p. 255, de Principii., I. iii. 7).

 

 

 

For a complete look at the early Christian writings please visit http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/

 

 


 

 

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Tarsians

 

Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which is at Tarsus, saved in Christ, worthy of praise, worthy of remembrance, and worthy of love: Mercy and peace from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, be ever multiplied.

 

Chapter I.-His Own Sufferings; Exhortation to Stedfastness.

From Syria even unto Rome I fight with beasts not that I am devoured by brute beasts, for these, as ye know, by the will of God, spared Daniel, but by beasts in the shape of men, in whom the merciless wild beast himself lies hid, and pricks and wounds me day by day. But none of these hardships "move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself,"1 in such a way as to love it better than the Lord. Wherefore I am prepared for [encountering] fire, wild beasts, the sword or the cross, so that only I may see Christ my Saviour and God, who died for me. I therefore, the prisoner of Christ, who am driven along by land and sea, exhort you: "stand fast in the faith,"2 and be ye steadfast, "for the just shall live by faith; "3 be ye unwavering, for "the Lord causes those to dwell in a house who are of one and the same character."4

Chapter II.-Cautions Against False Doctrine.

I have learned that certain of the ministers of Satan have wished to disturb you, some of them asserting that Jesus was born [only5 ] in appearance, was crucified in appearance, and died in appearance; others that He is not the Son the Creator, and others that He is Himself God over all.6 Others, again, hold that He is a mere man, and others that this flesh is not to rise again, so that our proper course is to live and partake of a life of pleasure, for that this is the chief good to beings who are in a little while to perish. A swarm of such evils has burst in upon us.7 But ye have not "given place by subjection to them, no, not for one hour."8 For ye are the fellow-citizens as well as the disciples of Paul, who "fully preached the Gospel from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum,"9 and bare about "the marks of Christ" in his flesh.10

Chapter III.-The True Doctrine Respecting Christ.

Mindful of him, do ye by all means know that Jesus the Lord was truly born of Mary, being made of a woman; and was as truly crucified. For, says he, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of the Lord Jesus."11 And He really suffered, and died, and rose again. For says [Paul], "If Christ should become passible, and should be the first to rise again from the dead."12 And again, "In that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God."13 Otherwise, what advantage would there be in [becoming subject to] bonds, if Christ has not died? what advantage in patience? what advantage in [enduring] stripes? And why such facts as the following: Peter was crucified; Paul and James were slain with the sword; John was banished to Patmos; Stephen was stoned to death by the Jews who killed the Lord? But, [in truth, ] none of these sufferings were in vain; for the Lord was really crucified by the ungodly.

Chapter IV.-Continuation.

And [know ye, moreover], that He who was born of a woman was the Son of God, and He that was crucified was "the first-born of every creature,"14 and God the Word, who also created all things. For says the apostle, "There is one God, the Father, of whom are all things; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things."15 And again, "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus; "16 and, "By Him were all things created that are in heaven, and on earth, visible and invisible; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."17

Chapter V.-Refutation of the Previously Mentioned Errors.

And that He Himself is not God over all, and the Father, but His Son, He [shows when He] says, "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God."18 And again, "When all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall He also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."19 Wherefore it is one [Person] who put all things under, and who is all in all, and another [Person] to whom they were subdued, who also Himself, along with all other things, becomes subject [to the former].

Chapter VI.-Continuation.

Nor is He a mere man, by whom and in whom all things were made; for "all things were made by Him."20 "When He made the heaven, I was present with Him; and I was there with Him, forming [the world along with Him], and He rejoiced in me daily."21 And how could a mere man be addressed in such words as these: "Sit Thou at My right hand? "22 And how, again, could such an one declare: "Before Abraham was, I am? "23 And, "Glorify Me with Thy glory which I had before the world was? "24 What man could ever say, "I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me? "25 And of what man could it be said, "He was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world: He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not? "26 How could such a one be a mere man, receiving the beginning of His existence from Mary, and not rather God the Word, and the only-begotten Son? For "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,27 and the Word was God."28 And in another place, "The Lord created Me, the beginning of His ways, for His ways, for His works. Before the world did He found Me, and before all the hills did He beget Me."29

Chapter VII.-Continuation.

And that our bodies are to rise again, He shows when He says, "Verily I say unto you, that the hour cometh, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live."30 And [says] the apostle, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."31 And that we must live soberly and righteously, he [shows when he] says again, "Be not deceived: neither adulterers, nor effeminate persons, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor fornicators, nor revilers, nor drunkards, nor thieves, can inherit the kingdom of God."32 And again, "If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; our preaching therefore is vain, and your faith is also vain: ye are yet in your sins. Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. If the dead rise not, let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die."33 But if such be our condition and feelings, wherein shall we differ from asses and dogs, who have no care about the future, but think only of eating, and of indulging34 such appetites as follow after eating? For they are unacquainted with any intelligence moving within them.

Chapter VIII.-Exhortations to Holiness and Good Order.

May I have joy of you in the Lord! Be ye sober. Lay aside, every one of you, all malice and beast-like fury, evil-speaking, calumny, filthy speaking, ribaldry, whispering, arrogance, drunkenness, lust, avarice, vainglory, envy, and everything akin to these. "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."35 Ye presbyters, be subject to the bishop; ye deacons, to the presbyters; and ye, the people, to the presbyters and the deacons. Let my soul be for theirs who preserve this good order; and may the Lord be with them continually!

Chapter IX.-Exhortations to the Discharge of Relative Duties.

Ye husbands, love your wives; and ye wives, your husbands. Ye children, reverence your parents. Ye parents, "bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."36 Honour those [who continue] in virginity, as the priestesses of Christ; and the widows [that persevere] in gravity of behaviour, as the altar of God. Ye servants, wait upon your masters with [respectful] fear. Ye masters, issue orders to your servants with tenderness. Let no one among you be idle; for idleness is the mother of want. I do not enjoin these things as being a person of any consequence, although I am in bonds [for Christ]; but as a brother, I put you in mind of them. The Lord be with you!

Chapter X.-Salutations.

May I enjoy your prayers! Pray ye that may attain to Jesus. I commend unto you the Church which is at Antioch. The Churches of Philippi,37 whence also I write to you, salute you. Philo, your deacon, to whom also I give thanks as one who has zealously ministered to me in all things, salutes you. Agathopus, the deacon from Syria, who follows me in Christ, salutes you. "Salute ye one another with a holy kiss."38 I salute you all, both male and female, who are in Christ. Fare ye well in body, and soul, and in one Spirit; and do not ye forget me. The Lord be with you!

 

 


 

 

Iglesia ni Cristo (INC)

 

I strongly do not believe in coincidence of life. God’s power, control and purpose are greater than we can even begin to fathom. When I look back at things I see God’s hand in them and I just love that feeling. We, with our own eyes, can see God’s active work in the world and in us. This entire study was created because I was introduced to the INC by a great friend of mine. This person is a member of the INC, which before hand I had never heard of. Once learning more and delving into the doctrine of the INC the need and purpose of this study for my best friend was very evident.

 

At the very end of this study will be many Internet links to my sources and links on the INC. If you are a member of the INC or a member of an OTC I cannot recommend highly enough the desperate need for you to review the information at these links. One of my favorite movies is Contact, with Jodie Foster. This movie touches on God and faith and one of the great points to the movie is the discussion on ‘Occam's Razor’: the simplest explanation, all things being equal, tends to be the correct one.

 

Question, all things being equal what is more probable and likely, if your church or religion has multiple credible websites and literature stating that your organization is a cult and contains many false doctrine and ideas with factual evidence as backup, is it most likely true or just hysteria and attacks? I encourage you to view the information on the links I provide that are critical of your organization. If what they say is false then their content should not bother your soul. However if the information they contain is true, then your eyes may be opened to the truth of error occurring in your church or religion. One if not thee most respected cult web sites is The Bereans.

 

http://www.thebereans.net/

http://www.thebereans.net/prof-inc.shtml

 

There are many websites dedicated to issues with the INC and even current INC members who realize the errors within and are trying to change the false teachings of the INC from inside. For my study with my INC member I have picked what I consider to be the most important issue, Jesus Christ and his deity.

 

http://members.tripod.com/insiders_inc/

 

However sometimes a person will only hear and see something coming from one they love and trust. I will try and answer some of the claims and interpretations made in the INC’s magazine Pasugo, also known as “God’s Message”. Here is a quick summary of the false teachings of the INC.

 

Vehemently oppose the Biblical revelation of the Triune God.

Believes in the absolute oneness of God the Creator in the Person of the Father.

Believes the Son as the literal Word (which has no pre-existence) who became man. He was given power by the Father to do supernatural miracles. He is not God.

Believes in an impersonal Holy Spirit, a power sent by the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is not God but one of the spirits sent by God.

Believes the Father (Creator) and Son (creature) must be worshipped. The Son must be worshipped because the Father says so.

Believes a person must hear the "gospel" from authorized INC messengers and INC ministers. They are the only ones who have God's Holy Spirit in order for them to understand the Bible. 

Believes the official name of the church is "Iglesia ni Cristo" while other names are not.

Believes a person must be a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), be water baptized, follow the church rules (must avoid the eating of "dinuguan," avoid joining labor unions, avoid court sessions, do block voting, be under compulsory church attendance, practice giving to the church) and perform his good deeds as an INC member in order for him to be saved.

Believes Felix Y. Manalo is the fulfillment of Isaiah 43:5-7; 46:11, and Rev. 7:2-3 prophecies.

Prospects must pass a 27 point doctrine course and a 6 month trial before being accepted into the Church, being saved.

 

 

The core doctrine of the INC is based on the false heresy of Gnosticism. This false doctrine is what the NT writes tried to warn the new believers against. Unfortunately we still have modern day Gnostics as that of the INC. I will not repeat the readily available information on the web about this false heresy.

 

http://www.triumphpro.com/antichrist.htm

 

 

There are many factors that added up to the large amount of false doctrine created by the founder of the INC, Felix Manalo. The first and foremost is that Felix used many inaccurate sources, primarily Lamsa. Here is a large quote on Lamsa.
 
http://www.letusreason.org/Iglesia7.htm

 

”The George Lamsa translation is from the Aramaic language. Lamsa believed the original texts were written in Aramaic and were latter changed to Greek. That the Aramaic were more authoritative, but he is wrong. While it may be true that many things were spoken in the Aramaic language (though the bible makes the point of the Greek being used as well). There is no evidence for what Lamsa presupposes.

 

This is upheld despite all the manuscript evidence that contradicts his theories.   Although the language principally spoken by Jesus was Aramaic almost all Jews were bi or tri lingual. This is even upheld by the fact that the Hebrew scriptures were translated into the Greek language ( Septuagint) 200 years before Christ. The Aramaic text (the Pershitta) is a later 4th century Syriac translation,  a Semitic language used in Syria. All the earliest manuscripts are of the Greek and the majority of manuscript scholars agree. Lamsa intentionally ignores this stating that Greek was never the language of Palestine saying" Josephus states that even though a number of Jews had tried to learn the language of the Greeks, hardly any of them were succeeded." (Lamsa p.9) This is not what Josephus said in his antiquities of the Jews. "What Josephus wrote was that he had failed to attain precision in the pronunciation of Greek. "Lamsa also claims" Indeed the teaching of Greek was forbidden by Jewish rabbis. It was said that it was better for a man to give his child meat of swine than to teach him the language of the Greek's." (Lamsa p.10) (Cited in Greek , Hebrew Aramaic, or Syriac? A critique of the claims of G.M Lamsa by Edwin M.Yamauchi)

 

Then how does he explain the Septuagint? All this is contradicted by the facts of Greek manuscript evidence found in the Quamrun caves and quotes from the Septuagint in the New testament which are more in number than quotes from the Masoretic text (the Hebrew)

He was a man who was into psychic phenomenon, this alone should disqualify him from being a reputable source for the Scriptures. He denied the Trinity which is clearly expressed in his translation, which is why it is accepted by certain churches. This is why it is the most popular translation among the cults. He believed sin was error and he was a universalist believing all would be saved (not even the Iglesia ni Cristo church would accept this). He also believed the Holy Spirit was a influence or power. Like the Sadducee's he denies a belief in personal angels or demons. He also had a view of Christ as 2 persons in one body (Nestorian heresy which some trace to his upbringing) not 2 natures in Christ the one person. Lamsa also claimed to be the sole competent interpreter of the scriptures. "Moreover, the author was educated under the care of learned priests of the church of the east who knew no other language but Aramaic,..the author, through God's grace, is the only one with the knowledge of Aramaic, the bible customs and idioms, and the knowledge of the English language who has ever translated the Holy bible from the original Aramaic texts into English and written commentaries on it, and his translation is now in pleasingly wide use" (G. Lamsa More light on the Gospel (NY 1968). Certainly Iglesia would not agree with Lamsa's position on salvation since they teach one MUST join their Church to be saved. So why use a man who they would discredit for these things as well? Because He's one of  the few published authors they can find that can agree with their position.

Lamsa was anti supernatural and found natural explanations for  his understanding Scripture. For example the floating axe head with Elisha Lamsa thought the axehead came to the top of the water because Elisha put the stick in its hole. He translates this verse, And he cut off a stick and thrust it in there; and it stuck in the hole of the axehead (George Lamsa, translator, The Holy Bible Translated from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts, 1961, p. 417).

 

Secondly, Felix took many teachings, true and false from many different religions and denominations and conjured up his own doctrine. That is why we see many similarities between the INC and other anti-Christian cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons rooted in an ideology of the Arians. I will try to not defame Mr. Manalo too much however he is ultimately responsible for his actions and the lives he has affected including his son Erano. Felix Manalo grew up in Catholicism. When he reached his teenage years he went through 5 different denominations including a far out spiriting sect called the Colorum. Felix then left organized religion and became an atheist. After witnessing a debate he later joined and became a minister of the Methodist Episcopalian church. After the death of this mother he began studying at a Presbyterian Bible School. Manalo then began study at the Manila College of Bible for four years being greatly influenced by the Christian Mission Group (Church of Christ). It is from the COC that Manalo formed his strict ideals on baptism, restoring the New Testament Church and the other un-Biblical legalism that consists of many of the INC’s false doctrine.

 

In 1911 Felix took part in a debate with a 7th day Adventist and lost. He then decided that they were correct, left the COC and converted to Seventh Day Adventism. During this time his wife died and he later eloped with a 7th day Adventist named Honorata de Gusman which he was later disciplined for in 1913.

 

Felix Manalo started the INC in 1914. He had a vision or calling, not unlike Mohammed and other false prophets, went into seclusion for 3 days and came back with “the only correct Biblical truth”. Now here is where it gets weird, in 1919 Manalo left the Philippines and went to the United States to study with Protestants. Why, if Manalo were a prophet of God, the last prophet, would he need to go away and study with Apostates? During his away time a rift had formed within the INC started by Teogilo Ora, a long time minister. Manalo then came back and decided to then say he was God’s final messenger to gain control of the situation.

 

The big problem with Manalo’s final messenger story is for it and him to be true, we would have had to be in the tribulation in 1922 which is when Manalo says it was happening. Well if one performs a study on end time prophesy it’s beyond all obviousness that this is not the case. We are certainly getting closer to the end times but many groups were mistaken into belief that the time of the First and Second World War was the tribulation. As we know now that is not the case.

 

Lastly, after Felix’s Manalo’s death his son Erano took over and has added many more false teachings the primary being that Jesus Christ is not God (purpose of this study) and additional legalism practices. Like all false cults and religions their doctrine changes and gets added to just like Islam, Mormonism and the rest.

 

 

Felix Manalo claims to be God’s final messenger, the 5th angel. Here is a quote:

 

“His message is no different than the 7th day Adventists 3rd angels message of which he probably was influenced from when he studied with them. Rev 7:2: "Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea." Manalo claims to be this angel.

How do they apply this prophecy to a Manalo? They claim the angel in this context means a human messenger. Angels do not preach the gospel so this must refer to a man. But we do find an angel preaching the gospel in Revelation from mid heaven Rev.14:6 "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth-- to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people." I don't think he's using a plane! Angels are creatures that are spirits that dwell in heaven and do Gods bidding to mankind on earth.

Rev.7:1: "After these things" Which they believe is the war described in Rev.6:12-15 which is the first world war, then Rev.7:1  there are four angels mentioned which are then  interpreted as men.

Rev 7:2-3: "Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." Who are these other 4 angels who hold back the wind (war) they are 1. Lloyd George of great Britain 2. Clemenceau of France 3. Orlando of Italy 4. Wilson of the U.S..

Manalo was already preaching "the gospel" in the Philippines so by deduction he is identified as the 5th angel to arise out of the east. Never mind that these other men were not believers, or part of Iglesia’s church. The logic of this claim completely fails when in v.2 states "He cried out to the other 4 angels "their is absolutely no evidence he (Manalo) communicated to these other 4 who are called by them angels. The U.S. did not enter the war until 1917 but Manalo points to the date of 1914 as crucial for the fulfillment, this would mean if he spoke to any it was 3 not 4. Not only this, but they participate in sealing 144,000 Jews for the tribulation. Did these 4 men do this? Did Manalo do this, I don’t think so. Since when are sinful men called angels that come from heaven?

Angels spoken of in the end of time in the book of Revelation come from heaven. Even if it says from the east it still  has its origin in heaven Rev.10:1 "I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire."

http://www.letusreason.org/Iglesia5.htm

 

Revelation 7:1-4

144,000 Sealed

1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3"Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." 4Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

 

It is really beyond all logical evidence to conclude that we were/are in the great Tribulation back in 1922 or back to 1914 and Manalo is God’s final messenger. If he was, he certainly has failed as the world population of Protestant Christians far beyond exceeded the membership of the INC. The majority of the INC are Filipinos. Now I have nothing against Filipinos, my dearly loved one is Filipino. However it absolutely makes no rational, logical and Biblical sense to state that God’s only remnant are primarily Filipinos. It makes no logical or Biblical sense to say that God has forsaken the entire population of the world since Christ and has only allowed only 144,000 or just the INC to be saved. We also know that the 144,000 are Jews, not Gentiles.

 

Also, if reading Rev 7 in context, did Manalo ever prove or show that he had the “seal of the living God”? Now, if Manalo being this 5th angel, spoke out to these 4 other angles to hold off their destruction until the 144,000 were sealed, would that not have happened in his lifetime? Is there any evidence that he spoke to these other angels holding back their judgment? Are they still holding back their judgement since 1922 or soon after? Is the INC only going to be the 144,000? Did the sealing of the 144,000 already occur? No it obviously has not. The timeline of end time prophecy and the Tribulation is clear enough to prove that Manalo certainly is not the 5th angel.

 

 

For an absolute great summary by “Bob” on the INC and Manalo please view this link at:

 

http://www.network54.com/Forum/message?forumid=70213&messageid=1123097219

 

 


 

 

Getting back to Occam's Razor what is the simplest answer to the following question? At  www.bible.com and www.biblegateway.com why is the Lamsa translation not listed? As stated earlier there are many great web sites that discuss all of the false doctrine and issues of the INC. http://www.letusreason.org/igleidir.htm is a good one. Ask any INC members, are we really in the Tribulation, are there worldwide famines, wars and heavenly judgment occurring since 1922? What I am going to do is analyze some of the comments in the Pasugo as it concerns to the Trinity and deity of Jesus Christ and apply their comments to what scripture says.

 

 

 

OCT 2004-VOL 56-NUM10  Does the “I AM” statement of Jesus in John 8:58 prove that He is God?

 

 

INC claim 1: “Why did they come up with this line of reasoning – that Jesus is God – simply because Christ uttered, “I am?” Because God also made the same statement in Exodus 3:14

 

INC refutation: This understanding came from the facts of the mirroring of all “I AM” statements that Jesus makes echoing those in Isaiah for His intended purpose of establishing definition of equality with God. It is a misunderstanding to state that “Trinitarians conclude that Jesus is God simply because Christ spoke the same terms uttered by God”, especially minimized in this case in one verse, and is inaccurate.

 

“By itself "I AM" would prove little, but the pattern of His use in various themes that exactly match Isaiah, create an unmistakable mosaic that is a powerful and irrefutable proof of his deity.”

 

Of course this entire study gives more than enough scriptural evidence why Trinitarians believe in the tri-unity of God. Please reference the section and link earlier concerning the use of “I am”.

 

 

INC claim 2: “This type of reasoning was utilized by Josh McDowell and Bart Larson, two defenders of the alleged divinity of Christ, in their book…”

 

INC refutation: It is a logical fallacy to attempt to disprove one particular group, persons or books information and apply that result to the entirety of the question or issue at hand. The goal of this article is in effect to disprove the claims made by these two people in their book and then the INC successfully defends their position and can claim their position as correct and truth. In all matters related to Biblical discussion, one must debate what the Word of God says.

 

Secondly, because these two authors make claims and attempt to substantiate them it is a logical fallacy to say that they speak for all Trinitarians. There is only one fully God inspired scripture and that is the Bible.

 

 

INC claim 3: “What was He affirming in this verse? That He was before Abraham…He is before Abraham because He was foreordained by God even before the foundation of the world. It is in this sense that He was before Abraham.”

 

INC refutation: The word foreordained and its corresponding thought is a foreign idea inserted to justify the INC’s doctrine in this particular verse. Simple question, why would the Jews, when Jesus said, “before Abraham was born, I am!” “pick up stones to stone him”? It makes absolute no logical sense that the Jews would stone Jesus for claiming to be only foreordained by God. What does the scripture say as to why the Jews would stone Jesus?

 

John 10:33 “The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God."

 

The true answer is the Jews, correctly so, understood Jesus to be making “Yourself out to be God”. As stated above, the Jews were not misunderstanding Jesus or anyone. The concept of scriptural misunderstanding is false. In every case there is a misunderstanding, it is pointed out and corrected.

 

 

INC claim 4: “There is nothing we can glean from the chapter that Jesus was claiming to be God”

 

INC refutation: “To recount John 8 from above: “because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."

 

Here is how I read these particular verses. From Jewish law testimony was required by two or more persons and this is what the Pharisees were challenging Jesus on “your testimony is not valid”. Jesus answers in this way paraphrased “I am right because I am not alone. I stand with the Father. I can testify for myself because my other witness is the Father, who is here, in me”.

 

19Then they asked him, "Where is your father?"

 

"You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also."

 

Jesus answered, the Father is right here, “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” because we are one, right here.

 

“Nothing we can glean”?

 

John 8:38 “I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

 

John 8:41-43 “42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.”

 

John chapter 8 is Jesus second testimony on who He truly is, God.

 

 

INC claim 5: “Rather, He told the Jews that He is “a man”

 

INC refutation: This is not anywhere in this chapter. The only mention of man is when He calls himself and is referred to as “the Son of Man”. But Jesus never said, I am just a man, or I am only a man. Jesus anywhere in the Bible never spoke those words. This is a false statement. Secondly, the expression or thought that he was only a man is never made in this chapter or in the Bible. Jesus never states that he is “Not God” in words or thought.

 

 

INC claim 6: “Jesus was not telling the Jews that His name is “I AM” Likewise, He never told them, “I am God.” If Jesus were God, He would have plainly told them so. On the contrary, Jesus clarified to them that He came from and was sent by God.

 

INC refutation: The first statement is true; the use of  “I AM” is not used as a name. However it is a logical and, by all of the evidence I have shown, a scriptural error to state, “He never told them “I am God”. He did so by in fact using the statement “I AM”. The Jews correctly understood this and began to stone him.

 

Wow, what a false statement this is, “If Jesus were God, He would have plainly told them so.” ARE YOU GOD, are you to say how God should reveal Himself and what He should say. How blasphemous and egregious a statement this is.

 

“Jesus clarified to them that He came from and was sent by God” statement is false that Jesus was clarifying that He came from and was sent by God, that is not what Jesus was talking about. He was associating himself before in time and also greater in substance and identity than Abraham. The Jews protested, “The only Father we have is God himself.” Jesus was correcting them and making a claim to His deity. The entire argument of John 8 is Jesus’ claim to be God and his testimony defending his deity.

 

“Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.”

 

 

INC claim 7: Paraphrased, other uses of ego eimi are used in Scripture for other people. “Does that make him or qualify him as the God of the Old Testament because he uttered what God declared in Exodus 3:14? Let our Trinitarian friends answer that question”

 

INC refutation: I have already stated the underlying usage of “I AM” as Jesus was paralleling and echoing Isaiah. The false injection of the INC that makes the reader believe that only because the words “I AM” are said is the reason why we understand the meaning to be a claim of deity. NO, it is because how, why and where “I AM” is used, in this chapter and in all of John and how Jesus intentionally echoes the use of “I AM” throughout all of his testimony. Refer to the “I AM” link for a detailed analysis of all of the “I AM” usage and echo’s in John.

 

 

INC claim 8: “If Jesus were the God who spoke to Moses in the burning bush, then who would be His servant by the name of Jesus in Acts 3:13? Are we prepared to accept that there are two Jesus’, one who is the God of Abraham and one who is the servant of Jesus”?

 

INC refutation: I am having trouble following the logic of this comparison.

 

Exodus 3:14-15

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you;”

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you. This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

 

Acts 3:13

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.

 

Peter, as a Jew was referring to God as the only God the other Jews knew in terms that they could relate, God the Father. The Jews did not know who the additional plurality of Us, We, and Our was. Peter was referring to their limited mindset of who they only knew God to be. Continue reading that chapter to see what Peter clarifies and teaches.

 

 

INC’s claim is “The Jesus who is the servant of God is truly different from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jesus is not the Jehovah of the Old Testament.” Again this is a false dilemma logical fallacy. The first statement is true, God the father is a different and unique person of God the Son but the conclusion cannot be made that Jesus is not God. God the Son, while on earth, became a servant to God the Father. Jesus by all scriptural evidence I have given is still God. These verses do not conflict.

 

Are there any verses where the Bible states the Father glorified the Son?

 

John 8:54 Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.

 

John 17:5   

And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

 

John 17:24   

"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

 

I guess it’s possible that God glorified and loved Jesus, even before the creation of the world, before Jesus was created here on earth, only in God’s mind? Oh wait that sounds horribly illogical.

 

 

INC claim 9: “Moreover, Apostle Paul teaches that Jesus is the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16). How could Jesus be the seed of Abraham and at the same time his God (Mt. 22:32). Therefore, serious theological implications would result if we accept the Trinitarians view that Jesus was the YHWH or God who spoke to Abraham in Exodus 3:14.

 

INC refutation: Simple answer, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God the Son is fully, 100% man and 100% God.

 

I take it the “serious theological implications” would be bad ones?

 

 

INC claim 10: “The most precise rendering (of Ehyeh-asher-ehyeh) is “I shall be what I shall be”

 

INC refutation: http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-texts-john8-58.htm#iam

“As we refute their previous arguments, anti-trinitarians adopt new positions. Problem is they argue against themselves! First they argue that the "I am" of Ex 3:14 is different than the "I am" of John 8:58. When that is refuted, they change their mind and say Ex 3:14 should really be translated "I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be". The fact is that Ex 3:14 is no more future tense, than John 8:58 is perfect tense. Both Ex 3:14 and John 8:58 are present tense. These are the facts of the original languages. The LXX confirms that the NWT is wrong.

  • Perhaps the strongest proof that the correct translation of "hayah" is "I am" rather than "I shall prove to be", is the Septuagint translation (LXX)! This translation of Hebrew to Greek was done in 250 AD! We question whether modern "Hebraists" knew more than the "Hebraists" who translated the LXX. Strong's lists a wide range of meaning for "hayah", including past present and future tenses of the word: "was, come to pass, came, has been, were happened, to be, become, exist, happen". The LXX translators understood this and chose "ego eimi" and "ho on". Neither of these two Greek words could be translated into English as "I shall prove to be"
  • The Hebrew for the simple "I will be" is very different than what we find in Ex 3:14. Exod 33:19 echoes Ex 3:14 and actually uses "I will be", and the Hebrew is very different. "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion." Ex 33:19
  • If someone asked, "Who are you" the two expressions "I am what I am" and "I will be what I will be" are almost identical in meaning. Both suggest self-determination or sovereignty.
  • Commenting on "I am what I am", Zimmerli says, "In this figure of speech resounds the sovereign freedom of Yahweh, who, even at the moment he reveals his name, refuses simply to put himself at the disposal of humanity to comprehend him ... In the only passage where the Old Testament itself attempts to provide an explanation of the name "Yahweh" it refuses to explain the name in a way that would confine it within the cage of a definition." (Walther Zimmerli, Old Testament Theology in Outline, p 20-21)
  • Yahweh's response to Moses in Ex 3:14, suggests that He does not have a "name" in the same way that the pagan gods had names, for he was not one god among many (a situation which would call for distinctive names), but the only real God. In light of the apparent meaning of the name "Yahweh" and the expression EHYEH ASHER EHYEH, it would seem that the Old Testament itself laid the foundation for the eventual obsolescence of the name "Yahweh" in Christian piety. This is confirmed by the fact YHWH or anything like it, is not used even once anywhere in the New Testament. If God had intended to continue using YHWH as his personal name, it would be have been found in the New Testament. However, we see a gradual revelation of the name of God. First, "El Shaddai" was revealed to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Second, Jehovah (Literally YHWH) was first revealed to Moses (Ex 6:3). Finally we arrive at the New Testament where the highest name given is that of Jesus: Acts 4:12, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."
  • Jehovah's Witnesses do agree that God is self-existent. Regardless of how Exodus 3:14 is translated into English, general consensus among scholars is that the word "EHYEH" used in Ex 3:14, signifies sovereignty, absolute independence, and self-determination. Therefore Ex 3:14 does speak of Yahweh's self-existence and eternality, meaning that the wording "I am what I am" is not wrong, after all. This anti-trinitarian rebuttal fails to disprove the obvious connection between Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58.”

 

INC Final Conclusion: In view of these things, there is no parallelism between John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14. Although Jesus uttered the Greek terms ego eimi, there is no concrete proof that He is the same God who said this term in the Hebrew Bible…His utterance of the Greek term ego eimi is not a proof of His alleged divinity.”

 

Exodus 3:14

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.’”

 

John 8:58

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

 

Your Conclusion:_______________

 

 


 

 

NOV 2004-VOL56-NUM11 “How should we understand Thomas’ statement in John 20:28?”

 

 

INC claim 1: Paraphrased, In John 20:17 Jesus states, “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” This states that Jesus is not God because he referred to the Father as his God. “The God of Jesus is also the God of the disciples whom Jesus considers to be His brethren.”

 

INC refutation: Jesus Christ is 100% man and 100% God. For the human and physical man on earth God the Father is God to the Son of Man, not the Son of God. You must know if you have read the names of Jesus, he is equally called the Son of God, and the Son of Man because he is equally Man and God. While on earth as stated in the main study Jesus gave up some of His deity and became a servant to God the Father to perform the work of salvation. However this is not the only meaning behind this verse.

 

“To my Father and your Father, to my God and your God: this echoes Ruth 1:16: "Your people shall be my people, and your God my God." The Father of Jesus will now become the Father of the disciples because, once ascended, Jesus can give them the Spirit that comes from the Father and they can be reborn as God's children (John 3:5). That is why he calls them my brothers.”

 

This statement is one of the many prophesies that Jesus Christ fulfilled while on Earth in the flesh.

 

 

What was the early churches understanding of this verse:

 

“Now, does this mean, I ascend as the Father to the Father, and as God to God? Or as the Son to the Father, and as the Word to God? Wherefore also does this Gospel, at its very termination, intimate that these things were ever written, if it be not, to use its own words, "that ye might believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? "

 

 

INC claim 2: “Christ’s statements in Luke 24:39 is also tacitly teaching them that He is not God.”

 

INC refutation: This is another false lie and interpretation.

 

Luke 24:37-39

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

 

Jesus corrected their false impression that Jesus, who appeared before them, was a ghost and not physically the Son of God, Son of Man.

 

 

INC claim 3: “Prior to this event, Christ had earlier instructed the disciples about the nature of God. He taught that God is a spirit, (Jn. 4:24)” Inferring that since God is a spirit, and Jesus was man, Jesus is not God.

 

INC refutation: What was Jesus really teaching in this paragraph?

 

John 4:19-26

"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."

 

Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

 

The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

 

Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."

 

Zondervan study bible:

 

“The woman brought up a popular theological issue – the correct place to worship. But her question was a smoke screen to keep Jesus away from her deepest need. Jesus directed the conversation to a much more important point: the location of worship is not nearly as important as the attitude of the worshipers.”

 

““God is spirit” means he is not a physical being limited to one place. He is present everywhere and he can be worshiped anywhere, at any time. It is not where we worship that counts, but how we worship.”

 

This verse is not teaching that God is only Spirit; it is teaching how to worship God. True believers will worship the father in spirit and truth. How exactly is this done? What is spirit and what is truth?

John 14:16-18
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.

John 16:13
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

These verses are discussing the Holy Spirit of God. So we can see worshiping in spirit and truth is worshiping with the Holy Spirit. God is Spirit and so is the Holy Spirit. Unbelievably yet again, this verse confirms the plurality and Trinity of God. Yes, God the Father is spirit, but also the Holy Spirit is God.

 

 

INC claim 4: Others ask: “Why did Jesus not rebuke Thomas if his statement was wrong?”…Is it true that Thomas was rebuked and was blessed later? “Have you believed because you have seen me?” Jesus was rebuking him, not blessing him!

 

INC refutation:  What deception! The INC is guilty of miss-quoting scripture. Here is what the Word of God really says.

 

John 20:26-29

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

 

Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

 

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

 

First off reading in chronological order its simple to see the course of events. 1 Thomas is doubting, 2 Jesus comes in, 3 Jesus tells Thomas to put his finger in His hands and in His side, 3 Jesus tells Thomas to stop doubting and believe that the man before him was Jesus Christ, 4 Thomas believes!

 

What does Thomas believe, that the man standing before him, Jesus Christ, is his “Lord and God”. Jesus does not correct or rebuke Thomas let alone the statement of Thomas calling Jesus his God. Jesus comments, “because you have seen me, you have believed”. Believed what, not that Jesus Christ is God but that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Those who have strong faith that Jesus did rise from the dead from not seeing the physical facts as Thomas did they are blessed. But being blessed in this context is not a final or singular statement. Believing in Christ’s resurrection is not the only way of being blessed. This sentence is not excluding Thomas from being blessed.

 

 

INC claim 5: “Unfortunately, there are still those who insist on submitting the doubting apostle’s statement in John 20:28 as their alleged evidence in proving their thwarted belief on Christ’s state of being. The reason is simple. In the absence of explicit biblical evidences that could substantiate their claim, they have no other recourse but to give much credit to the testimony of a doubting person.

 

INC refutation: Hopefully the INC and the person who wrote this article will feel differently after reading this study in terms of “absence of explicit biblical evidences”. This verse is one fact and example that is evidence of Jesus being addressed as God, a fact that Jesus does not correct or rebuke Thomas for. The final fact is after Thomas physical inspected Jesus, he doubted no more, “you have believed”.

 

 

INC Final Conclusion: Thomas was under the wrong conclusion of Christ’ nature and in a state of disbelief.

 

Your Conclusion:_______________

 

Was Thomas left in a state of disbelief or did he believe? Did Thomas have the wrong conclusion that Jesus Christ is God? If so why did Jesus not correct him?

 

 


 

 

DEC 2004-VOL56-NUM12 “Do you really know who Jesus Christ is?

 

 

INC claim 1: “Make sure that your knowledge about Christ is right, lest you be among those who the Bible forewarns would be deceived and doomed for believing in a “different Jesus” or a Jesus whom the apostles did not preach.”

 

INC refutation: I wonder if they apply this to themselves? They/you should after reading this study and I hope the answer is clear of who is in the wrong and who is teaching a different Jesus. The problem with all cults with mind control techniques is that members are not allowed to question or challenge the doctrine and in the INC’s case the administration under fear of expulsion or discipline. Secondly the INC teaches another false idea that only the church’s administration or leader actually can know, understand, interpret and reveal the truth of God. That is a bold face lie.

 

 

INC claim 2: “While it is true that Christ’s attributes make Him greater than ordinary men, these should not be misconstrued as proofs that He is God, for the Bible teaches that the Father is the one and only true God. Christ is not the Father; they are different from each other.”

 

INC refutation: The main material of this study shows this statement to be false. It is true that Christ is not the Father and they are different persons, but the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are all one in unity, God.

 

 

INC claim 3: “Consider these testimonies made by no less than Christ Himself and His apostles: A Man who speaks God’s truth. Christ Himself said: “But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. (Jn. 8:40) The one Mediator, a Man. Apostle Paul said: “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” (I Tim. 2:5) A very special Man. Apostle Peter said: “My Jewish brothers, listen to these words: Jesus from Nazareth was a very special man. God clearly showed this to you…”(Acts 2:22)”

 

INC refutation: Jesus Christ has been called a few different things in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is 100% man. That is why he is called the Son of Man. But Jesus Christ is called by many other names as well. Also, I do not read anywhere in the Bible, the word only a man, do you?

 

Names found in the New Testament

 

Title

Meaning/Significance of names

Bible reference


Son of God

The special relationship of Jesus to God

Mark 1:1

Son of Man

The human identity of Jesus

Matthew 8:20

Son of David

Jesus is descendant of King David

Matthew 15:22

Word

Jesus revealed God

John 1:1

Lamb of God

Jesus is the sacrifice for world’s sin

John 1:29

Christ

The Greek for ‘Anointed One’

Matthew 16:16

Savior

The one who saves

John 4:14

Rabbi/Teacher

Jesus taught people about God

John 1:38, Mark

5:35

Author of life

One who gives life

Acts 3:15

Alpha and Omega

 

The first and last letters of the Greek alphabets,

meaning that Jesus is the beginning and the end

Revelation 1:8

Lion of Judah

A title of the Messiah

Revelation 5:5

King of Kings/Lord of Lords

The ruler of all people

Revelation 19:16

Bright Morning Star

The one who gives light

Revelation 22:16

Word of God

Jesus is the voice of God

Revelation 19:13

Holy and Righteous

Attributes of Jesus

Acts 3:14

Head of the Church

The leader of all Christians

Ephesians 5:23

 

Names found in the Old Testament

 

Title

Meaning/Significance of names

Bible reference 


Immanuel

God with us

Isaiah 7:14

Prince of Peace

Jesus will bring everlasting peace

Isaiah 9:6

Wonderful Advisor

Jesus will always rule with honesty and justice

Isaiah 9:6

Mighty God

Jesus is supreme

Isaiah 9:6

Eternal Father

Jesus is eternal

Isaiah 9:6

 

 

The INC must have skipped over all the other names of Jesus and their meaning in the Old and New Testaments. My favorite verse in Isaiah again.

 

Isaiah 9:6

 

For to us a child is born,

       to us a son is given,

       and the government will be on his shoulders.

       And he will be called

       Wonderful Counselor,  Mighty God,

       Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 

INC claim 4: “To accept Jesus Christ while having a wrong notion of Who He really is, is tantamount to not recognizing Him at all.”

 

INC refutation:  Well, this statement is true. “if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."(Jn. 8:24) There are dire warnings about those false teaches and prophets who teach a false Jesus and doctrine, for their warning is very grim.

 

Revelation 22:18-19

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

 

This is why it is crucially important that if you find yourself in a cult or church that teaches false doctrine. You must leave and absolve yourself from the corrupting influence or, take action to not accept the false teachings and fight from with inside.

 

For the INC there is a great group of insiders who are trying to do just this. I pray that God will give them the strength and courage to fight the good fight!

 

http://members.tripod.com/insiders_inc/

 

 


 

 

DEC 2004-VOL56-NUM12 “Distinguishing God from Christ”

 

 

INC claim 1a: God who created all things has no beginning; He is from everlasting to everlasting.

 

INC refutation: This is partially true. Yes God created all things and has no beginning, but Jesus Christ actually did the creating, and also has no beginning.

 

John 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Jude 1:25 To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

 

 

INC claim 1b: “Jesus Christ came from God; “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. (Jn. 8:42)”””

 

INC refutation 1b: This translation expresses the meaning more clearly. John 8:42 NIV Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. However, what the INC is failing to realize is the term “proceeded forth” and “come of Myself.” What do these terms mean?

 

Here is a good example. Lets say in the air is a large cloud and in this cloud is water. This water is special in that those who drink of it “will never thirst” (Jn. 4:12-14) again. The cloud is made up of water it is just in a different form. However, when the cloud decides to do so, it releases and sends forth water from it, down to the ground. When the water hits the ground, it came from the cloud, but the water never ceased to be of the same substance as the cloud.

 

Jesus came from God, was sent by God, and even was separated from God while on the cross while the sins of mankind were placed upon Him, but Jesus never ceased to be God.

 

 

INC claim 1: Paraphrased, God has no beginning, Jesus came from God hence, Jesus is not God.

 

INC refutation: Jesus has no beginning as God does. Jesus created the universe, but so did God, that’s because they are one. Jesus came from God and is a different person than God the Father, but Jesus Christ is God, Jehovah.

 

 

INC claim 2a: “God is immortal. 1 Tim. 1:17”

INC claim 2b: “Jesus Christ died on the cross.  (Jn 19:30, 33)”

INC claim 2: “God is immortal, Jesus Christ died, Jesus is not God.”

 

INC refutation: Jesus Christ is both 100% man (Son of Man) and 100% God (Son of God). What happened when Christ “gave up his spirit” and when Jesus Christ, who died, Came Back To Life and Rose From the Dead (hello) by whose power did that (the resurrection) happen?

 

Matthew 27:50-53

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

 

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

 

The Father

Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places (Eph 1:20)

 

The Son

Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. (Jn. 2:19)

 

No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (Jn. 10:18)

 

And,

The Holy Spirit

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison. (1 Peter 3:18-19)

 

When Christ died, he went into Hades. Here is a good quote.

 

“The passages in which the word occurs (Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27, 31) make it clear that Hades was formerly in two divisions, the abodes respectively of the saved and the lost.  The former was called “Paradise” and “Abraham's bosom.” The lost were separated from the saved by a "great gulf fixed" (Luke 16:26).  The Paradise side of Hades has been emptied.  When Jesus ascended to Heaven, he took the occupants of Paradise (believers) with Him.  The lost side of Hades has remained unchanged.  All unbelieving dead go there awaiting their final judgment in the future.

 

Some of the confusion has arisen from such passages as Psalm 16:10-11.  This is a Messianic Psalm (referring to Jesus Christ) which reads, "For thou (Father God) wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption....Thou wilt show me the path of life..."  This word hell here is used in the sense of the grave (Hades).  Jesus said years later on the Cross to the thief beside Him, "Today, thou shalt be with Me in Paradise" (Hades).  His body was in the tomb; His soul/spirit was in Paradise.  A New Testament passage is Acts 2:27 which says, "Because Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  Christ in His humanity "went and preached to the spirits in prison" (the lost fallen angels, in my opinion).  Christ in His deity, would not look upon the corruption side of Hades (the sinful lost).  Christ the God-Man could do this in His sovereignty.”

http://www.gotquestions.org/did-Jesus-go-to-hell.html

 

The suggested idea of the INC that because Christ died on the cross, makes him not God, is not true from the scriptural evidence I have shown here. It’s clear that Jesus went into Hades and brought back the occupants. “The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.” Could only a mere man or creation do that?

 

This is another fascinating study but I will continue on. Bottom line is, only God could do such a thing, not a dead man Jesus Christ.

 

 

INC claim 3a: “The Almighty God neither grows tired nor weary. (Is 40:28)

INC claim 3b: “Jesus Christ wearied or grew tired. Jn.4:6”

INC claim 3: “Jesus grew tired hence, he is not God”

 

INC refutation: From all of the evidence I have shown so far, this should be an easy one. Jesus Christ, became 100% man. As a man, he had many experiences, challenges and temptations as man. While Jesus is 100% man, he is also 100% God. Jesus became 100% man to be the final sin offering sacrifice, to be able to relate and teach to mankind, to be an example on how to live, as God wants us to. Jesus Christ is still 100% God.

 

 

INC claim 4a: “God is spirit, (Jn. 4:24) without flesh and bones. (Lk. 24:39)

 

INC refutation: This trick is a false ploy. First off I have clarified the meaning behind Jn. 4:24. This verse is stating that the Holy Spirit is God. Secondly, Luke 24:39 is taken so far out of context, the INC is greatly miss-quoting scripture and should be ashamed!

 

Luke 24:37-39NIV

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

 

Luke 24:37-39 NKJV

But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

 

The disciples thought they saw a ghost. This in no way is referring to God, the spirit of the Father or the Holy Spirit. The truth is, God became flesh and bones. “God appeared in the flesh” 1 Timothy 3:15-16

 

 

INC claim 4: “Jesus Christ is a man having flesh and bones” hence he could not possibly be God.

 

INC refutation: This false notion has been thoroughly dealt with in this study. The facts and evidence of God becoming flesh and bones in the man Jesus Christ has been substantially shown. Jesus Christ is 100% man, and 100% God.

 

 

INC claim 5: “God knows no other God besides Himself”(Is, 44:8), “Jesus Christ called upon the Father and acknowledged Him as the only true God”(Mk. 15:34 and Jn. 17:1,3), hence Jesus is not God.

 

INC refutation: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three distinct persons of Jehovah. The Son references the Father, and the Father speaks about the Son, and both the Father and Son speak and reference about the Spirit. The facts are true; there is no God besides Himself. However God is three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Here is John 17 in context.

 

John 17:1-5 (NIV)

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

 

Reading this verse in context and within scriptural unison you can see how this verse confirms the Trinity. Jesus is addressing the Father and states “that they may know you, the only true God, AND Jesus Christ.” One can debate the meaning of  ‘and’ and the comma usage in this verse however if you read the next few words one should understand the meaning of and. “in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” Jesus was with God in His presence and glory. What does this mean to you?

 

Now this is eternal life: (COLON)

Use of a colon "after a complete statement in order to introduce one or more directly related ideas, such as a series of directions, a list, or a quotation or other comment illustrating or explaining the statement."

DIRECTLY RELATED IDEAS

Use of the word AND:

"Together with or along with; in addition to; as well as. Used to connect words, phrases, or clauses that have the same grammatical function in a construction"

The use of the Colon denoting that all of the ideas stated are directly related and the word ‘and’ brings together all thoughts in this verse and connects all the statements.

So there is no grammatical way or basis to state that there is a differing or disjoining meaning anywhere in this verse. Hence, reading this verse in proper context from 1-5 and with proper grammar this verse is confirming and Jesus Christ is quoted as stating that he is God and the only way of salvation is through Him but also that He is the same, is connected to, is together with and along with, the Father because they are one.

When Jesus returned he returned in all of his glory, the glory that he had before the world began. This verse clearly shows that Jesus was not a creation of God at the time Jesus appeared on earth. Nor was he a pre-ordained thought because he was "in your presence". He was in God's physical presence.

 

For many INC members they say because Jesus said “,the only true God,” that Jesus is saying that the Father is the only true God. Many people rest their entire faith on these four words. However, I do not read any words that say Jesus Christ is NOT the only true God. The Son is making the comment about the Father. One has to ask what glory did the Son have with the Father before the world began. If you have read this entire study you would know what that glory and position Jesus had and has, was and is. As stated before, Jesus gave up claim to his glory when he became a servant here on earth. He never lost it.

 

However there is definite scriptural proof that the Son is called the True God.

 

1 John 5:20

We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

 

Subject of this verse “the Son of God”, final thought, He (the Son of God) is the true God and eternal life.

Who is and gives eternal life:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.

John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

The point here is that scripturaly one cannot exclude Jesus from eternal life. Since "He is the true God and eternal life" and Jesus Christ is and gives eternal life, Jesus Christ is fully contained in the "He" of this verse. Conversely since Jesus Christ is contained in the "He" of this verse we can see that Jesus Christ is the true God.

Another example of the Bible explicitly stating that Jesus Christ is God is 2 Peter 1:1

2 Peter 1:1
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as our:

 

INC claim 6: “God is above all; He is subject to no one.”(Eph. 4:6) “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is subject to God the Father.”(1 Cor. 15:28;11:3) hence he can not be God.

 

INC refutation: When God became flesh as the Son in Jesus Christ the Son submitted to the Father for the purpose of redemption and salvation. There are many reasons for this and I have previously mentioned some of them. When Jesus returned back to the Father, from which he came from, He returned in all his Glory. Jesus Christ as the Son of God never ceased to be God.

 

Your Conclusion:_______________

 

 


 

 

FEB 2005-VOL57-NUM2 “Are you worshiping the true God?”

 

INC claim 1: “However, if the God that you believe in is not one but three distinct beings, each one of whom is supposed to be God, and called by the term Trinity, how certain are you that you are worshiping the true God?”

 

INC refutation: How certain are you now after reading this study? I do have to take continued issue with the use of “distinct beings”.

 

Being (n)

 

1) The state or quality of having existence

2) The totality of all things that exist.
3) All the qualities constituting one that exists; the essence.

4) One's basic or essential nature; personality.

 

To state correctly there is one “being” not three distinct beings, there is only one distinct being, and that is God. However all the qualities, totality, essential nature; and personality is that of three persons, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

 

INC claim 2: “Should man believe in many gods manifested in myriads of form or in only one God? We must consult the Holy Scripture to determine if we are indeed worshiping the true God.

 

INC refutation: I hope this study has helped you in doing this.

 

 

INC claim 3: “When God speaks, He alone is speaking. He is not speaking as one God among the three, as the Trinity doctrine suggests. Those who are worshiping a triune God are not worshiping the true God.”

 

INC refutation: What is your conclusion to this statement? Is God plural? Does God refer to Himself and talk to Himself as only one person? Did Jesus ever claim to be God? Did his followers ever worship and claim Him to be God? Was Jesus Christ crucified for the mistake of the Jews thinking he claimed to be God? Have you been able to see the evidence of equality and purpose in the scriptures I have pointed out? Have you been able to see the eternal timelessness of Jesus Christ even before creation? Where do you think the Son came from or was sent from?

 

 

INC claim 4: “He likewise proclaimed that the one God is the Father: “Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us?…”(Mal, 2:10)”

 

INC refutation: Lets try reading this in the order of which it was written shall we. 1) “Have we not all one Father?” 2) “Did not one God create us?”

 

True statement (We all have one Father), true statement (God created us), false conclusion (Only the father is God). All of the scriptural evidence I have given thus far should clear up who did the actual creating.

 

Colossians 1:16 “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

 

 

INC claim 5: “There was no mention in the Old Testament of a triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as one God. It is ridiculous and absurd to teach that the Israelites believed in more than one God, that is, other than the Father, they recognized two more gods-the Son and the Holy Spirit!”

 

INC refutation: Oh really? I wonder if Jose J. Ventilacion would think different after reading this study?

 

 

INC claim 6: “…If this statement were correct, then we would expect to find in the New Testament explicit teaching about the Trinity. However, the author of the book was honest enough and quick to admit at the beginning of his discourse on the Trinity that the term itself could not be found in the Bible:”

 

INC refutation: “Explicit”? Again, who are YOU to say how God should reveal himself. Blasphemy. Hopefully, after reading all the evidence that has been stated in this study, one should understand the true nature of God. God did not make it explicitly clear and use the word Trinity for a reason. Hopefully when you make it into heaven you can ask Him. However for those like myself who actually read all the scripture and verses concerning and referring to the true nature, plurality and tri-unity of God, it is explicitly clear to us. Also, is the word Philippines mentioned in the Bible?

 

 

INC claim 7: “In John 17:1,3…that there is only one true God and He is the Father. Jesus emphasized the absolute oneness of God by the use of the term “only”

 

INC refutation: Not exactly. I have previously quoted John 17:1-5 above and dealt with the INC’ mistranslation of it. Please refer back to that section on John 17.

 

 

INC claim 8: “John 5:44-45 Verse 45 tells us that the only God is the Father,”

 

INC refutation: Lets see if this is true:

 

A few verses earlier what was said?

 

18…, making himself equal with God.

 

19 he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

 

21For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.

 

22Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,

26For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

41"I do not accept praise from men, 42but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?

45"But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"

I probably do not need to point this out, but I will anyway. Did Moses write about the Messiah or about Jehovah? What does verse 46 teach? What does the entire chapter of John 5 teach and what is its meaning and purpose? I think it should be understandable to you now.

 

INC claim 9: “The Apostle Paul, did teach and emphasize that the Father is the only God. 1 Cor 8:5-6 “But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.” (NLT)

INC refutation: Did Paul really teach that God is only the Father? Not that I completely disregard the NLT but here is what the NKJV reads, very similar to the NLT: The first line tells us what Paul was teaching about but he also confirms something else.

1 Cor. 8:4-6 NKJV
Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

So we can see that Paul was teaching about false idols that people worshiped as gods and lords. But when he teaches who the one true God is that we alone should worship, what does he actually say? Who does he include and group together as the one true God that we should worship?

“yet for us there is one God, the Father,…and one Lord Jesus Christ.” Is not Paul grouping and combining both the Father and Jesus Christ as one here? Does not even Paul state their similarities? “of whom are all things and through (or by whom) are all things”?

This is a grouping, a combining, a statement of similarity not differentiation is it not? Paul is teaching that the Father and Son are the one true God.

Yet for us there is but one God,

The Father (whom all things came and for whom we live);

AND

there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ (through whom all things came and through whom we live).

There is one God, the Father, AND Jesus Christ.

INC claim 10: “The same people “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator”(Rom. 1:25)

INC refutation: Who is guilty here of worshiping only the creature? That would be one who states that Jesus Christ is only a creature, a creation of God and not the Creator Himself. INC, JW, other cults?

 

INC claim 11: “..still the world does not know God. It is for this reason that Jesus Christ came-to make known to them and to us who the true God is (1 Jn. 5:20), as He emphasized in His prayer: “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you know to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”(Jn 17:25-26)

INC refutation: But how? How exactly did Jesus make the Father known? The Father came in the flesh, as Jesus Christ. What better way to make yourself known, since the Son and the Father “are one”. Of course one cannot necessarily link these two verses, they are not even in the same book of the Bible let alone chapter. However they do agree with one another. Again here is a coupler, a combiner, a similarity of common unity, God’s love in them, and Jesus in them. The Father, God’s love is in them, Jesus is in them, and they are all one!

 

INC claim 12: “Today, the Iglesia ni Cristo proclaims to the world that there is no other true God except the Father. Why was the Iglesia ni Cristo singled out to carry on this task? God, through the prophet Isaiah, declared: “The Lord says, ‘You are my witnesses and the servant I chose, I chose you so you would know and believe me, so you would understand that I am the true God, There was no God before me, and there will be no God after me…” (Isa. 43:10 NCV)

INC refutation: Well I was not going to touch on this subject but since it was brought up, lets do. Felix Manalo, the founder of the INC claims to be a special messenger of God. He also claims a few verses in Revelation to justify his claim as well. But, as always, what was the context of Isaiah and does it fit, reasonably and rationally being applied to Manalo?

This verse sums up Manalo and all the other OTC and cult leaders in the world such as Mohammed, Joseph Smith and others:

Hebrews 1:1-2 “1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

Does this verse say there will be additional “messengers” of God, no. Does the Bible say there will be many false teachers and prophets, yes.

II Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

 


 

Additional Anti-Trinitarian JW Claims

Sourced from Charlie Campbell

 

 

Unitarian/JW Claim 1:  Colossians 1:15 says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”  This is telling us that Jesus was a creation and was born (firstborn). That Jesus is not eternal but had a beginning. And since God the Father is eternal that clearly states that Jesus Christ is not God.

 

UJW refutation:  I have discussed this verse in detail above. Jesus Christ is the “Physical Image” of the invisible God “in the flesh”. This first statement in itself shows that Jesus Christ is God; he is the image and “exact representation” of God. Secondly, Jesus Christ is firstborn over “all creation”. What exactly does this statement mean, “firstborn over all creation” and what does the word firstborn mean?

 

The Greek word for the word ‘firstborn’ is prototokos. Prototokos means “heir, superior, pre-eminent in rank or above”. Paul is stating that Jesus Christ is superior, pre-eminent in rank and above “All Creation”. Jesus is superior over and the heir of all creation!

 

Hebrews 1:1-2  (The Son Superior to Angels)

1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

 

Now since Jesus is superior and has “supremacy” and is above all creation the following verses 16 through 19 of Colossians 1 equally confirm this thought and meaning.

 

Colossians 1:16-19  (The Supremacy of Christ)

16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

 

What exactly does “all his fullness” mean? Does it mean God’s full nature and deity?

 

Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.

 

Yes it does.

 

 

Unitarian/JW Claim 2: Revelation 3:14 (NKJV) “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:” Here Jesus says himself that he is a creation of God, the beginning and first creation of God, the firstborn creation of God. Hence Jesus says that he is not God.

 

UJW refutation:  Lets find out exactly what the word Beginning (capitalized also) means and conversely this verse in context. The Greek work for Beginning is arche. Arche is the root from where we get the English word architect. The Greek meaning for arche is “origin, source, designer, supervisor, cause”. Lets plug all of these five words back into this verse and we will see that they all agree.

 

These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Origin of the creation of God:

These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Source of the creation of God:

These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Designer of the creation of God:

These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Supervisor of the creation of God:

These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Cause of the creation of God:

 

Jesus is saying that he is the “beginner” the one who began the creation of God, the one who created, the source, the designer, supervisor and the cause of all creation. Jesus is the Architect of all creation.

 

John 1:2-3 He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

 

Colossians 1:16 “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

 

Also, very interesting to note are the words Faithful and True.

Revelation 21:5-6 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

This is God the Father talking by the way. God also calls Himself the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega. Both the Father and Son are Beginning and the End, because they are one. Is Jesus Christ ever directly called the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, even the Almighty?

Revelation 1:7-8   Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

 

Unitarian/JW Claim 3:  John 14:28 “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.” Here Jesus clearly states that he is not God and teaches that God the Father is greater than he is. If God the Father is greater than Jesus then the claim cannot be made that Jesus is equal to God.

 

UJW refutation:  Lets take a closer look at what the word “greater” means. The Greek word for greater is Meizon. This is a quantitative term, not qualitative term. Here is an example of using the word great in a qualitative usage in reference to a bottle of water: “The water in this bottle is great”. The word great would describe the nature and quality of the water comprised in the bottle. Now lets see how the meaning changes when using the word great in a quantitative usage: “The amount of water in this bottle is great”. In this usage we are referencing the quantity of water.

 

In the Greek quantitative terms describes the “quantities, levels and positions” and qualitative terms describe “qualities, character and nature”.

 

Jesus was speaking of His Father as positional and authoritatively greater which is true. Jesus as the Son of God gave up his full Glory as God and became servant to God the father while on earth as our blood sacrifice. When Jesus returned from where he was sent (not created) he returned to His fully glory as God.  A higher or greater level of authority does not detract from ones nature or substance. As I have said many times submission does not change what you inherently have or are.

 

The same is true in marriage. The woman is to submit herself to the husband, but in her essence, nature and person, she is not any lesser than the male.

Ephesians 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Unitarian/JW Claim 4:  John 5:25 “I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” Jesus never refers to himself as God but only as the Son of God. Jesus Christ never claimed to be God and is not God he is only the Son of God, a lesser being or creation.

UJW refutation:  John chapter 5 is Jesus’ first testimony of who he is and who he claimed himself to be. The Bible in John chapter 5 clearly tells us what Jesus was claiming in reference to being the Son of God.

John 5:17-18 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

I have exhaustively covered John 5. Please reference those sections above for a more detailed dissection. Son of God means God is literally his Father (as the Jews understood the comment) and that a Son is of the same nature and substance of his Father. If one is a Son of God, they are in essence, species and nature, God. But Jesus is not only the Son of God he is also the Son of Man. Jesus Christ is fully 100% man and 100% God.


Unitarian/JW Claim 5:  Matthew 19:16-17 16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Here Jesus states that he is not good but only God the Father is and that he is not God. Jesus was correcting the false heresy of the Trinity.

 

UJW refutation:  Let me ask you two questions: is it true according to the scriptures that God alone is good? Yes, in that verse Jesus states that no one is good but One, that is God. Second question is was Jesus Christ good? Yes, you have to say yes “Good Teacher”. Did Jesus Christ every say that he is good?

 

Hebrews 7:26 Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

 

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

 

Jesus is perfect and without sin, he is very good. So then why would Jesus make this statement? He wanted the man to realize what the implications of calling him Good Teacher was. Jesus was not correcting this man that he was not good and was not God as we have seen from the previous two verses but that the implications and meaning of being the Good Teacher is that he was God.

 

Unitarian/JW Claim 6:  Mark 13:31-32  “31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. 32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” If Jesus Christ is God and equal to God then how can it be that only the Father knows certain things and the Son does not. Since God is omniscient and the Son is not, then the Son is not God.

 

UJW refutation:  One has to remember that Jesus Christ in nature is fully God and fully Man. When Jesus Christ was sent to earth and became God in the flesh he became fully man and became a servant to the Father.

 

Philippians 2:5-7

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

    6Who, being in very nature God,

      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

    7but made himself nothing,

      taking the very nature of a servant,

      being made in human likeness.

    8And being found in appearance as a man,

      he humbled himself

      and became obedient to death—

         even death on a cross!

 

Jesus, who being in very nature God, choose not to be equal with God, something he did not need to grasp for because it was right in his hands but decided to empty himself and make himself nothing, taking the nature of a servant and being made in human likeness. Many theologians and myself believe that when God the Son came to earth in the flesh he voluntarily choose to give up some of his attributes of deity in order to become obedient to death on the cross and become a servant.

 

Unitarian/JW Claim 7:  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Begotten in the English dictionary means to cause to exist or to occur. This teaches us that Jesus Christ was a creation and not God.

 

UJW refutation:  The original language of this verse was in Greek. What is the meaning of the word for begotten in Greek? The Greek word for begotten is monogenes and the definition is “single of its kind, only, sole, unique, special”.

 

He gave His only sole Son,

He gave His only unique Son,

He gave His only special Son,

 

Unitarian/JW Claim 8:  Proverbs 8:22-25 22 “ The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,

      Before His works of old.

       23 I have been established from everlasting,

      From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.

       24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,

      When there were no fountains abounding with water.

       25 Before the mountains were settled,

      Before the hills, I was brought forth;

 

This chapter is about the Messiah. Jesus talking here says that he was established from the everlasting God, that he was brought forth and created and hence is not God.

 

30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;

      And I was daily His delight,

      Rejoicing always before Him,

 

Jesus was beside God as a master craftsman and was rejoicing always before Him as the Angels do. Jesus is an angle and is certainly not God.

 

UJW refutation:  This passage is not a passage about the Messiah but Solomon personifying wisdom. Verse 12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion”. Secondly wisdom is personified as a female. “Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?” The Messiah of course, was a man. This verse is not about Jesus Christ but Solomon’s personification of wisdom.

 

 

This section was sourced copied from the very educating and inspiring Charlie Campbell whom I have had the pleasure to listen to in person.

 

This study can be found at http://www.alwaysbeready.com/

 

 

 

 


 

Felix Manalo

 

The following section is discussion on some the verses that Manalo takes to justify his Biblical authority: Felix believed that the following verse applied to him, that he was the prophet of God who was to gather the children from the east.

 

Isaiah 43:5-6
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east,
and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-

It could be just me but does not this verse state west, and the next verse north and south also? The children are gathered from the east, west, north and south, even the ends of the earth. Exactly who gathers them? Let’s see.

Isaiah 43:10-11
10 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD,
"and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from me there is no savior.

Who was God’s servant who He had chosen, so that people would believe and understand that “I am” he? Who is the Savior? Who was the one who would bring all of God’s children, from all over the earth, back to God?

That would be Jesus Christ, the Messiah, not Felix Manalo. Felix Manalo, by using Isaiah 43 to try and establish his authority, is blaspheming the true subject of Isaiah 43, Jesus Christ! Secondly, who is this chapter addressed to, Gentiles or the Israelites? In the NIV, KJV, NKJV the title of this chapter is Israel's Only Savior, The Redeemer of Israel.

 

MANALO IS CLAIMING TO BE THE MESSIAH, JESUS CHRIST!!!!

 

Here is a good quote on this issue:

“While they claim the word Trinity is not found in the bible neither is the Island Philippine's, but no one would deny that it does exist!

Iglesia is so determined to convince its followers of this "fact," that it quotes Isaiah 43:5 from an inexact paraphrase by James Moffat which reads: "From the far east will I bring your offspring." Citing this mistranslation, one Iglesia work states: "Is it not clear that you can read the words 'far east'? Clear! Why does not the Tagalog Bible show them? That is not our fault, but that of those who translated the Tagalog Bible from English--the Catholics and Protestant" (Isang Pagbubunyag Sa Iglesia ni Cristo, 1964:131). The Iglesia thus accuses everyone else of mistranslating the Bible, when in fact it is Iglesia who is taking liberties with the original language. They use the translations that have infamously been used by other cults such as Lamsa’s and Moffatts. Prior to 1923 the Moffat translation was the first to mention this term and is the only one that does, none did before 1923 nor after. This could only be true if the tagalog version used by INC was translated from Moffatts but it was not, so their claim of wrong translation is false.

The "far east" argument is that by saying that the Philippines are the geographic center of the Far East, so the restored Church would come from the Philippines. The problem is that Philippine islands are not the geographic center of the Far East. The Far East includes China, Korea, Japan, East Siberia, the Indo-Chinese countries, and the Philippines. On a map of the Far East the Philippines is on the lower right hand corner. The geographic center would be in Southern China, not in the Philippines. Not only this but the question is who is he calling,  Israel. Certainly Filipino's’s are not Semetic or Israel. Isaiah is speaking of a regathering into their homeland "I will bring your descendants.

They also teach Gods messenger will be called from a far country in the east from the Islands of the sea using Isa.46:11: "Calling a ravenous bird from the east. A man who executes my counsel from a far country."

In Iglesia's’s doctrine Manalo is that bird who is to preach the true gospel and snatch the true believers as a ravenous bird from the false religions. If one looks at the way birds are used in scripture especially one of prey it is almost unanimously of Satan (Mt.13, Mk.4). As far as executing Gods counsel because one does Gods purpose does not mean he is Gods messenger. Look a Pharaoh that was raised up to accomplish his purpose. Also Joel 2 in it they are called Gods army and yet they destroy and bring judgement on his people, and are destroyed by God in the end.

5861 `ayit-a bird of prey, a swooper (Brown driver briggs ) to scream, to shriek; (Qal) to scream 2) to dart greedily, to swoop upon, to rush upon; (Qal) to dart greedily

Isaiah 46:11 refers to Cyrus as "a ravenous bird (called) from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country"; "probably in allusion to the fact that the griffon was the emblem of Persia; and embroidered on its standard" (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, I, 632) This is correct as far as history goes. Cyrus was used to have the Jews return from Babylon and although he is called Gods shepherd, (Isa. 45) he is not a good shepherd even though he was used by God. He allows Israel to rebuild the temple showing this all already took place in 539-536 B.C.. (compare Isa.46:11 and 44:28, 45:1)

This needs no comment and is self evident: if they want to wear this shoe it certainly fits.”

http://www.letusreason.org/Iglesia5.htm

 

Here is a quote from INC members:

“Our Brother Felix Manalo was baptized a Catholic, but he left the Church as a teenager. He became a Protestant, going through five different denominations including the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. After denouncing all established churches worldwide, he became an Atheist.

A NON-BELIEVER OF GOD.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT GOD WOULD TAKE AN ATHEIST and make him the LAST MESSENGER on the face of this planet? If you believe that, then you are very easily FOOLED.

Finally, unsatisfied with the denominations he had encountered, Brother Felix Manalo (respect for the deceased) decided to start his own church, which he did in 1914, but he didn't begin with all current Iglesia doctrines in place. In 1919, Brother Felix Manalo left the Philippines because he wanted to learn more about religion.

If he were the Last Messenger, all he had to do was ask GOD for guidance, he would not need to study religion with anyone else. Instead he went to America to study with Protestants, whom Iglesia would later declare to be apostates, just like Catholics. (Please answer this question or explain this in service)

Why, five years after being called by God to be his "last messenger" did Brother Felix Manalo go to the U.S. to learn from apostates? What could God's messenger learn from a group that, according to Iglesia, had departed from the true faith? (Please answer this question or explain this in service)

The reason is that, contrary to his later claims, Brother Felix Manalo did not believe himself to be God's final messenger back in 1914. He didn't use the last messenger doctrine until 1922. He adopted the messenger doctrine in response to a schism in the Iglesia ni Cristo leadership. He had lost control of the church to Brother Teofilo Ora.

Brother Felix had been convicted in court of abusing his authority in the church to satisfy his own immoral desires, which have been documented and posted. He compared himself to the Messiah.”
http://members.tripod.com/insiders_inc/messenger.html

 

The power of false prophets and teachers are woefully evident in Mr. Manalo. Millions have been deceived in the INC. Millions others in other cults such as the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons and others. The warnings for those like Manalo are very dire and alarming. That is why when one finds themselves under the power and influence of a false prophet one must take action. I pray that those of you in the INC will take action to reform the false and blasphemous teachings of the INC.

 

Some Additional INC claims

 

Online INC claim: “Jesus says the Father is GREATER than all (John 10:29). Jesus says that the Father is GREATER than he (John 14:28)." Jesus said "the Father is GREATER (not co-equal) than him" (John 14:28).”

Online INC refutation: Lets review these two verses again shall we.

John 10:29
29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one."

I have already discussed this verse in detail above but all anyone has to do is continue reading to understand the point Jesus Christ is making.  The Father is greater than all, but “I and the Father are one.” I have discussed what the Son willingly choose to do in becoming a servant. When Jesus returned to God he returned in all His complete Glory and deity.

If no one can snatch them out of the Fathers hand, and no one can snatch them out of Jesus’ hand doesn’t that mean Jesus and the Father are one!

John 14:28
28"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”

I have stated the idea behind Jesus becoming a servant and that applies to this verse. Jesus gave up his claim and glory but never lost it. He returned to His full glory. Jesus Christ never became not God. He willingly chose to take the role of a servant to be the final sacrifice for our eternal lives.

 

Online INC claim: What it takes to understand. We do not agree with the belief that the Bible is an “open book” or that it can be understood by simply reading it. To illustrate this point, lets turn to the Bible and examine the case of the Ethiopian eunuch:

"The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, "Go over and walk along beside the carriage." Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah; so he asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" The man replied, "How can I, when there is no one to instruct me?" And he begged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him." (Acts 8:27-31, NLV)

In the preceding biblical passage we see that the eunuch was already reading the book of Isaiah. But, when asked if he understood what he was reading, his reply was, " How can I, when there is no one to instruct me?"


Online INC refutation:

Is this really the point of the passage or is the INC using this verse, out of context, to justify their false doctrine? Is verse 31 the end of this story?

Secondly, does this verse apply to everyone or was the man making this statement as a question on his own? What was the answer to the question?

As I have stated many times, the number one tool of cults is to take the Word of God, out of context to fool and trick poor people who do not read for themselves.

Lets do what I claim the Bible encourages us to do, read the Word of God, on our own and in full context.


Philip and the Ethiopian
26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[d]eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
30Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.

31"How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture:
"He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before the sheerer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
33In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth."

34The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" 35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.


Was "unless someone explains it to me" a statement and conclusion of the Eunuch or of an apostle or God? Was the Eunuch’s statement a biblical message of truth and fact that applies to everyone from God? Hardly. This statement was the conclusion and understanding of the Eunuch not of Philip or Paul.

The obvious point of this passage was this "35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus."

The Eunuch was reading the prophecy of Jesus Christ. He was unaware that Jesus Christ the messiah had come (as were many Jews at the time of Christ), and Philip had some great news for him. The Eunuch was unaware of Jesus Christ, and Philip gave him the good news and explanation of that verse.

We know the fulfillment of that verse and know that Jesus Christ is the messiah! Your claim is extremely weak if you try and prove your idea on this verse alone rejecting all of the other verses given in the first section of this study on who can understand the Word of God. The good and encouraging news is, yes, all those who seek God’s truth will find it. All who seek God will find Him!

 

Online INC claim: Therefore, no mater how educated we are, we need someone to instruct us. This is because the words of God written in the Bible has been hidden in mystery (Rom. 16:25).

Online INC refutation:

This is a false statement and conclusion on Acts and also Romans 16:25. We already have the good news in the Word of God. Of course at the time of this passage, there was no New Testament. Not everyone knew about Jesus Christ. That is why the Eunuch did not know the meaning of that verse exactly. We do now. Everyone who reads the Word of God can know in detail. We do not need a false messenger to tell us the only truth. The truth is there for everyone to see and read in the Bible! If you can read, you can understand.

Ah, one could be tricked here if they do not read the next few verses.

25Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— 27to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

BUT NOW REVEALSED AND MADE KNOWN!

IT IS NO LONGER A MYSTERY!

 

Online INC Claim:

Romans: 10 :14-15
15 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
14 And how will they preach if they are not sent.
Clearly, a preacher who sent is sent by God (a messenger) is necessary to hear and understand the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Online INC refutation:

Lets read this verse in context:

Romans 10
1Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. 4Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

5Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them."[a] 6But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'[b]" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7"or 'Who will descend into the deep?'[c]" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,"[d] that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."[e] 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."[f]

14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"[g]

16But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?"[h] 17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
"Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world."[i] 19Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
"I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding."[j] 20And Isaiah boldly says,
"I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."[k] 21But concerning Israel he says,
"All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people."[l]



Subject of Chapter 10
1Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.

The subject of this entire chapter is the Israelites not gentiles.

Two verses in this chapter proves the false claim that one must do more than just believe in Jesus Christ to be saved:

"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Everyone.

That is all there is to it. Jesus Christ teaches exactly the same truth. Jesus Christ, eternal life and salvation himself, never taught any further requirements. Only man adds false deeds, work and regulations to obtain salvation.

Now after that truth of God, the quote comes up

14How, then, can they (The Israelites) call on the one they have not believed in And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent (physically sent to preach to them - aka feet, going there)? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

18But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:

If you continue reading you see that these questions are rhetorical.

Even though it takes someone to go, physically, and in order for someone to go, they must be sent, and once they reach where they are going, in order for someone to hear, someone must preach, and in order for someone to believe, they must have heard the good news that was preached.

The main point that is being made is

"16But not all the Israelites accepted the good news"

Even though all of the above occurred, the Israelites still did not believe.

"I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."[k] 21But concerning Israel he says,
"All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people."[l]


Online INC Claim:

The Bible states that Jesus Christ is only a man:

! Timothy 2

Instructions on Worship

1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.

 

Online Refutation:

Not only do the words only or just a not appear here again it’s clear to me, when Paul states "and please God our Savior, he is referring to our Savior, who is Jesus Christ. Does Paul ever refer to Jesus Christ as our Savior and God? Trick question of course. The fact is both God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is our savior as one God.

Jesus Christ was a man. He was full, 100% man. But again all you have to do is read this verse it states that Jesus Christ is God.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men,

The man Christ Jesus!

 

For there is one God, the man Christ Jesus!

For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus!

 

 

 


 

Trinity Summary

 

[1] God is plural, not singular or only the father

 

Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness,”

 

Genesis 3:22 "Then God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil"

 

Genesis 11:7 "Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech."

 

Isaiah 6:8 "Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?""

 

Secondly, the two most used names of God, Elohim (God) and Adonai (Lord) are plural nouns not singular. Elohim is the plural form of Eloha.

 

  

 

 

[2] In the Old Testament God calls the Son God, Jesus is called God in the OT

 

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 

 

Psalm 45:6-7

6 Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

 

7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.

 

 

Isaiah 7:14 “ Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

 

Mathew 1:23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."

 

The Name of Jesus actually means God was physically with us.

 

 

  

 

[3] Jesus Christ has the same power and wisdom as God, making him God

 

Mark 2:5-12

”And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming, who can forgive sins but God alone?”

 

1) Jesus is claiming the divine power of the forgiveness of sins directly, the absolution from sin is strictly a function of deity:

 

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

 

 

2) Jesus Christ is eternal, was before creation and never had a beginning and never has an end just as God the Father:

 

Hebrews 1:10He (God) also says, "In the beginning, O Lord (Jesus Christ called God), you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

 

John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

 

1 Corinthians 1:24

But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the Wisdom of God.

 

Revelation 2:8

To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.

 

3) Jesus Christ has full power and deity:

 

Philippians 3:20-21

20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

 

Colossians 2:9

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

 

 

 

 

[4] Jesus Christ is the creator of the Universe, which makes him God

 

Genesis 1:31” God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”

 

However while God created, it was actually Jesus Christ who did the making:

 

Hebrews 1:1-2 “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

 

John 1:3 “Through him (Jesus Christ) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

 

Colossians 1:16 “For by him (Jesus Christ) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

 

 

 

[5] John 1:1 / 1:14 teach that Jesus Christ is God

 

John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

 

John 1:14-18

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' " 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

 

1 John 1-2 (The Word of Life)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

 

Revelation 19:13

He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.

 

 

 

[6] The word for word is Logos, which means Wisdom, and Jesus is that Wisdom

 

1 Corinthians 1:24

but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

 

”In John, denotes the essential Word of God, Jesus Christ, the personal wisdom and power in union with God, his minister in creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the world's life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man's salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah, the second person in the Godhead, and shone forth conspicuously from His words and deeds.” Strongs 3056

 

QUESTION:

 

Since John states that he physically saw and touched the Word who is God, if that person in the flesh was not Jesus Christ who was it?

 

 

 

[7] In relation to John equating the Word with Jesus Christ, God is Three

 

This is the most powerful verse in the Bible (well those it has not been deleted from) that clearly proves the Trinity.

 

1 John 5:7-13

7 For there are THREE that bear record in heaven, the Father, the WORD, and the Holy Ghost: and these THREE are ONE. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one

 

  

 

 

[8] Jesus claims directly that he is God

 

John 5:17-18

17 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

 

John 8:21

21 Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come." This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, 'Where I go, you cannot come'?" But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

 

John 8:41-43 “ Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here.

 

John 8:58-59 : "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds

 

Revelation 1:8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

 

The word for “Almighty” is pantokrator which means “Almighty God”.

 

 

 

[9] Additional verses in the Bible that prove Jesus Christ is God.

 

John 10:28-30

28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one."

 

And again, what were the Jews reaction?

 

John 10:31-33

31Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"

33"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

 

John 17:11

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.

 

John 10:38-39

38But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." 39Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

 

John 12:44-45

44Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.

 

John 14:6-7

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

 

 

 

[10] Verses that explicitly call Jesus Christ God

 

John 1:18

No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

 

2 Peter 1:1-2

1Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

 

Titus 2:13

while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

 

1 Corinthians 1:3

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

John 20:28

And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

 

 

  

[11] Verses that prove Jesus was not a creation, but is God manifested in the flesh

 

Colossians 2:9

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

 

1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

God was manifested in the flesh,

Justified in the Spirit,

Seen by angels,

Preached among the Gentiles,

Believed on in the world,

Received up in glory.

 

Titus 2:11

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

 

John 7:16

They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people."

 

 

  

[12] The word for "Trinity" is actually in the Bible.

 

Romans 1:20 (KJV-NKJV)

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead (Theiotees), so that they are without excuse.

 

Colossians 2:9 (KJV-NKJV)

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead (Theotees) bodily;

 

Both Theiotees and Theotees are used only once in the Bible in these two verses. Both words are taken from Theos which is God. The common understanding that these two words mean is the total essence and completeness of God’s divinity.

 

 

 

[13] The Bible teaches that Jesus came down from heaven and from God, he is not a created man

 

John 16:25-30

25"Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father."

 

29Then Jesus' disciples said, "Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God."

 

 

John 6:46

No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.

 

John 13:3

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;

 

John 8:42

Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.

 

 

John 7:16

They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people."

 

1 John 3:5

But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

 

John 8:16

But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.

 

John 3:13

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.

 

John 6:38

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

 

John 14:10

Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

 

2 Corinthians 5:19 (NKJV)

That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

 

Jesus existed with the Father in heaven and in the presence of the Father before the world began.

 

John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

 

Zacharias' Prophecy

Luke 1:67-69

Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people."

 

 

 

[14] God is plural, but God has one name.

 

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

 

One God, one name, three persons that comprise that name.

 

 

 

 

 

[15] Jesus is God and the same nature of God

 

Philippians 2:6

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

7but made himself nothing,

taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

8And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

and became obedient to death—

even death on a cross!

 

 

 

[16] The early church believed in the Trinity. The word Trinity was used as far back as 200ad.

 

80 AD Hermas "The Son of God is older than all his creation, so that he became the Father's adviser in his creation. Therefore also he is ancient"

 

140 AD Aristides "[Christians] are they who, above every people of the Earth, have found the truth, for they acknowledge God, the creator and maker of all things, in the only-begotten Son and in the Holy Spirit"

 

150 AD Justin Martyr "The Father of the universe has a Son, who also being the first begotten Word of God, is even God."

 

170 AD Tatian the Syrian "We are not playing the fool, you Greeks, nor do we talk nonsense, when we report that God was born in the form of a man"

 

98/117AD Ignatius of Antioch "We have also as a Physician the Lord our God Jesus the Christ the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin.

 

115-190AD Irenaeus "The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: ...one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father ‘to gather all things in one,' and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess; to him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all...'"

 

185-254AD Origen "Moreover, nothing in the Trinity can be called greater or less, since the fountain of divinity alone contains all things by His word and reason, and by the Spirit of His mouth sanctifies all things which are worthy of sanctification..."

 

 

 

 

[17] One must accept the Trinity and Jesus as God in order to be saved.

 

John 8:21

21 Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come." This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, 'Where I go, you cannot come'?" But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

 

John 10:28-30

28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one."

 

John 10:33

33"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

 

John 5:16-23

“So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself EQUAL with God.

 

1 John 4:1-3

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

 

2 Peter 2:1-3

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”

 

2 Corinthians 11:3-4

“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”

 

Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

 

 

 

 


 

Final Remarks

 

Cars and Trucks

I would like to end with a symbolic story about salvation, baptism, and grace. Lets say that you or I are a vehicle, like a car or truck. More so, we are a vehicle that has run out of gas and has 4 flat tires. We are not going anywhere. God, seeing the predicament we are in, decided to give us an endless supply of gas, for free. This life giving fluid is Jesus Christ. Gas is the lifeblood of your vehicle. With no gas, the motor does not run. Without the motor running, the alternator does not charge the battery; the air conditioning does not run. The vehicle is useless, unable to meet its design and purpose. However, with a endless supply of life giving gas the vehicle springs to life as the motor runs, the battery charges, the air blows, the radio plays. The operation and functionality of the vehicle is now restored. It can move and drive to where it needs to go.

However, with four flat tires, it sure can’t move very fast. Depending on the purpose of the vehicle, the purpose may still not be met, even though the vehicle is alive and running. If the vehicle is a large truck that is heavy, the vehicle may only move very slowly. Baptism gives the car four new tires of which to complete its purpose with. With four new tires, the speedy car can drive fast; the big truck can haul a heavy load. However, even without 4 new tires, which are very important, the car is still alive. It is running and can drive.

The same parallel applies to salvation by grace and baptism. The only lifeblood is the saving blood of Jesus Christ. That is ALL that is needed to get our motors started and cars running. Baptism is very important and allows our purpose to be fully met, by submitting fully to God’s will, but baptism has nothing to do with salvation. God’s plan of salvation is a free gift to us. However it cost God everything, the sacrifice of His Son, even Himself.

Now lets also not forget about the driver behind the wheel. He is the Holy Spirit. He instructs when to turn left and right. The Holy Spirit being God, and “in us” we have God directing our lives. God is in control.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read through this study. My prayers are that God will use this study for His Will and Purpose. May God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be glorified.

God Bless
In Jesus Christ our Savior
Jason Stevens (mailto:jstevens1@dc.rr.com)

www.dk777.com

 

Last Updated: July 2, 2006

 


 

 

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LINKS

 

http://www.bible.ca/trinity/

http://www.thebereans.net/ref-trinity.shtml

http://www.thebereans.net/prof-inc.shtml

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/i20.html

http://www.alwaysbeready.com/

http://www.alwaysbeready.com/library/campbell-charlie/studies-topical/deity/deity-a.wmv

 

http://www.carm.org/index.html

http://www.network54.com/Forum/message?forumid=70213&messageid=1123097219

http://ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-28.htm#P2643_435221

http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=220

http://www.jude3.net/trinitygen.htm

http://www.theholdemans.com/Compare.htm

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/

http://www.aomin.org/trinitydef.html

http://members.tripod.com/insiders_inc/

http://www.dtl.org/trinity/article/jesus-god.htm

http://www.dtl.org/trinity/article/john-1-1.htm

http://www.jesusanswers.com/bible/names.htm

http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/resurrectionofchrist.html

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0059/0059_01.asp

http://www.examineiglesianicristo.com/

http://www.ex-churchofchrist.com/

http://www.freedomofmind.com/resourcecenter/groups/i/iglesia/

http://jesus-messiah.com/philippines/inc/inc.html

http://www.letusreason.org/igleidir.htm

http://dshortt.homestead.com/files/cults_iglesia_ni_cristo_tony_costa.htm

http://www.bible.org/assets/netbible/2NB_Joh1.pdf

http://www.towerwatch.com/Witnesses/New_World_Translation/john_11.htm

http://www.wcg.org/lit/God/wordwasgod.htm

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusclaims/jesusclaimshub.html

http://www.everystudent.com/wires/whodoyousay.html

http://www.yeshua.com/AnswerQuestion.php?ID=13

 

http://www.biblegateway.com/

http://www.bible.com/

 

 

 


 

Tertullian Against Praxeas (200AD)

In which he defends, in all essential points, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity

CHAPTER 1 -- SATAN'S WILES AGAINST THE TRUTH. HOW THEY TAKE THE FORM OF THE PRAXEAN HERESY. ACCOUNT OF THE PUBLICATION OF THIS HERESY.

In various ways has the devil rivalled and resisted the truth. Sometimes his aim has been to destroy the truth by defending it. He maintains that there is one only Lord, the Almighty Creator of the world, in order that out of this doctrine of the unity he may fabricate a heresy. He says that the Father Himself came down into the Virgin, was Himself born of her, Himself suffered, indeed was Himself Jesus Christ. Here the old serpent has fallen out with himself, since, when he tempted Christ after John's baptism, he approached Him as "the Son of God;" surely intimating that God had a Son, even on the testimony of the very Scriptures, out of which he was at the moment forging his temptation: "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Again: "If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning you" -- referring no doubt, to the Father -- "and in their hands they shall bear you up, that you not hurt your foot against a stone." Or perhaps, after all, he was only reproaching the Gospels with a lie, saying in fact: "Away with Matthew; away with Luke! Why heed their words? In spite of them, I declare that it was God Himself that I approached; it was the Almighty Himself that I tempted face to face; and it was for no other purpose than to tempt Him that I approached Him. If, on the contrary, it had been only the Son of God, most likely I should never have condescended to deal with Him." However, he is himself a liar from the beginning, and whatever man he instigates in his own way; as, for instance, Praxeas. For he was the first to import into Rome from Asia this kind of heretical pravity, a man in other respects of restless disposition, and above all inflated with the pride of confessorship simply and solely because he had to bear for a short time the annoyance of a prison; on which occasion, even "if he had given his body to be burned, it would have profited him nothing," not having the love of God, whose very gifts he has resisted and destroyed. For after the Bishop of Rome had acknowledged the prophetic gifts of Montanus, Prisca, and Maximilla, and, in consequence of the acknowledgment, had bestowed his peace on the churches of Asia and Phrygia, he, by importunately urging false accusations against the prophets themselves and their churches, and insisting on the authority of the bishop's predecessors in the see, compelled him to recall the pacific letter which he had issued, as well as to desist from his purpose of acknowledging the said gifts. By this Praxeas did a twofold service for the devil at Rome: he drove away prophecy, and he brought in heresy; he put to flight the Paraclete, and he crucified the Father. Praxeas' tares had been moreover sown, and had produced their fruit here also, while many were asleep in their simplicity of doctrine; but these tares actually seemed to have been plucked up, having been discovered and exposed by him whose agency God was pleased to employ. Indeed, Praxeas had deliberately resumed his old (true) faith, teaching it after his renunciation of error; and there is his own handwriting in evidence remaining among the carnally-minded, in whose society the transaction then took place; afterwards nothing was heard of him. We indeed, on our part, subsequently withdrew from the carnally-minded on our acknowledgment and maintenance of the Paraclete. But the tares of Praxeas had then everywhere shaken out their seed, which having lain hid for some while, with its vitality concealed under a mask, has now broken out with fresh life. But again shall it be rooted up, if the Lord will, even now; but if not now, in the day when all bundles of tares shall be gathered together, and along with every other stumbling-block shall be burnt up with unquenchable fire.

CHAPTER 2 -- THE CATHOLIC DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY AND UNITY, SOMETIMES CALLED THE DIVINE ECONOMY, OR DISPENSATION OF THE PERSONAL RELATIONS OF THE GODHEAD.

In the course of time, then, the Father forsooth was born, and the Father suffered,God Himself, the Lord Almighty, whom in their preaching they declare to be Jesus Christ. We, however, as we indeed always have done and more especially since we have been better instructed by the Paraclete, who leads men indeed into all truth), believe that there is one only God, but under the following dispensation, or oikonomia, as it is called, that this one only God has also a Son, His Word, who proceeded from Himself, by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made. Him we believe to have been sent by the Father into the Virgin, and to have been born of her -- being both Man and God, the Son of Man and the Son of God, and to have been called by the name of Jesus Christ; we believe Him to have suffered, died, and been buried, according to the Scriptures, and, after He had been raised again by the Father and taken back to heaven, to be sitting at the right hand of the Father, and that He will come to judge the quick and the dead; who sent also from heaven from the Father, according to His own promise, the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost. That this rule of faith has come down to us from the beginning of the gospel, even before any of the older heretics, much more before Praxeas, a pretender of yesterday, will be apparent both from the lateness of date which marks all heresies, and also from the absolutely novel character of our new-fangled Praxeas. In this principle also we must henceforth find a presumption of equal force against all heresies whatsoever -- that whatever is first is true, whereas that is spurious which is later in date. But keeping this prescriptive rule inviolate, still some opportunity must be given for reviewing (the statements of heretics), with a view to the instruction and protection of divers persons; were it only that it may not seem that each perversion of the truth is condemned without examination, and simply prejudged; especially in the case of this heresy, which supposes itself to possess the pure truth, in thinking that one cannot believe in One Only God in any other way than by saying that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are the very selfsame Person. As if in this way also one were not All, in that All are of One, by unity (that is) of substance; while the mystery of the dispensation is still guarded, which distributes the Unity into a Trinity, placing in their order the three Persons -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: three, however, not in condition, but in degree; not in substance, but in form; not in power, but in aspect; yet of one substance, and of one condition, and of one power, inasmuch as He is one God, from whom these degrees and forms and aspects are reckoned, under the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. How they are susceptible of number without division, will be shown as our treatise proceeds.

CHAPTER 3 -- SUNDRY POPULAR FEARS AND PREJUDICES. THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY IN UNITY RESCUED FROM THESE MISAPPREHENSIONS.

The simple, indeed, (I will not call them unwise and unlearned,) who always constitute the majority of believers, are startled at the dispensation (of the Three in One), on the ground that their very rule of faith withdraws them from the world's plurality of gods to the one only true God; not understanding that, although He is the one only God, He must yet be believed in with His own oikonomia. The numerical order and distribution of the Trinity they assume to be a division of the Unity; whereas the Unity which derives the Trinity out of its own self is so far from being destroyed, that it is actually supported by it. They are constantly throwing out against us that we are preachers of two gods and three gods, while they take to themselves pre-eminently the credit of being worshippers of the One God; just as if the Unity itself with irrational deductions did not produce heresy, and the Trinity rationally considered constitute the truth. We, say they, maintain the Monarchy (or, sole government of God). And so, as far as the sound goes, do even Latins (and ignorant ones too) pronounce the word m such a way that you would suppose their understanding of the monarkia (or Monarchy) was as complete as their pronunciation of the term. Well, then Latins take pains to pronounce the monarkia (or Monarchy), while Greeks actually refuse to understand the oikonomia, or Dispensation (of the Three in One). As for myself, however, if I have gleaned any knowledge of either language, I am sure that monarkia (or Monarchy) has no other meaning than single and individual rule; but for all that, this monarchy does not, because it is the government of one, preclude him whose government it is, either from having a son, or from having made himself actually a son to himself, or from ministering his own monarchy by whatever agents he will. Nay more, I contend that no dominion so belongs to one only, as his own, or is in such a sense singular, or is in such a sense a monarchy, as not also to be administered through other persons most closely connected with it, and whom it has itself provided as officials to itself. If, moreover, there be a son belonging to him whose monarchy it is, it does not forthwith become divided and cease to be a monarchy, if the son also be taken as a sharer in it; but it is as to its origin equally his, by whom it is communicated to the son; and being his, it is quite as much a monarchy (or sole empire), since it is held together by two who are so inseparable.

Therefore, inasmuch as the Divine Monarchy also is administered by so many legions and hosts of angels, according as it is written, "Yousand thousands ministered to Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him;" and since it has not from this circumstance ceased to be the rule of one (so as no longer to be a monarchy), because it is administered by so many thousands of powers; how comes it to pass that God should be thought to suffer division and severance in the Son and in the Holy Ghost, who have the second and the third places assigned to them, and who are so closely joined with the Father in His substance, when He suffers no such (division and severance) in the multitude of so many angels? Do you really suppose that Those, who are naturally members of the Father's own substance, pledges of His love, instruments of His might, nay, His power itself and the entire system of His monarchy, are the overthrow and destruction thereof? You are not right in so thinking. I prefer your exercising yourself on the meaning of the thing rather than on the sound of the word. Now you must understand the overthrow of a monarchy to be this, when another dominion, which has a framework and a state peculiar to itself (and is therefore a rival), is brought in over and above it: when, e.g., some other god is introduced in opposition to the Creator, as in the opinions of Marcion; or when many gods are introduced, according to your Valentinuses and your Prodicuses. Then it amounts to an overthrow of the Monarchy, since it involves the destruction of the Creator.

CHAPTER 4 -- THE UNITY OF THE GODHEAD AND THE SUPREMACY AND SOLE GOVERNMENT OF THE DIVINE BEING. THE MONARCHY NOT AT ALL IMPAIRED BY THE CATHOLIC DOCTRINE.

But as for me, who derive the Son from no other source but from the substance of the Father, and (represent Him) as doing nothing without the Father's will, and as having received all power from the Father, how can I be possibly destroying the Monarchy from the faith, when I preserve it in the Son just as it was committed to Him by the Father? The same remark (I wish also to be formally) made by me with respect to the third degree in the Godhead, because I believe the Spirit to proceed from no other source than from the Father through the Son. Look to it then, that it be not you rather who are destroying the Monarchy, when you overthrow the arrangement and dispensation of it, which has been constituted in just as many names as it has pleased God to employ. But it remains so firm and stable in its own state, notwithstanding the introduction into it of the Trinity, that the Son actually has to restore it entire to the Father; even as the apostle says in his epistle, concerning the very end of all: "When He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; for He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet;" following of course the words of the Psalm: "Sit You on my right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool." "When, however, all things shall be subdued to Him, (with the exception of Him who did put all things under Him,) then shall the Son also Himself be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all." We thus see that the Son is no obstacle to the Monarchy, although it is now administered by the Son; because with the Son it is still in its own state, and with its own state will be restored to the Father by the Son. No one, therefore, will impair it, on account of admitting the Son (to it), since it is certain that it has been committed to Him by the Father, and by and by has to be again delivered up by Him to the Father. Now, from this one passage of the epistle of the inspired apostle, we have been already able to show that the Father and the Son are two separate Persons, not only by the mention of their separate names as Father and the Son, but also by the fact that He who delivered up the kingdom, and He to whom it is delivered up -- and in like manner, He who subjected (all things), and He to whom they were subjected -- must necessarily be two different Beings.

CHAPTER 5 -- THE EVOLUTION OF THE SON OR WORD OF GOD FROM THE FATHER BY A DIVINE PROCESSION. ILLUSTRATED BY THE OPERATION OF THE HUMAN THOUGHT AND CONSCIOUSNESS.

But since they will have the Two to be but One, so that the Father shall be deemed to be the same as the Son, it is only right that the whole question respecting the Son should be examined, as to whether He exists, and who He is and the mode of His existence. Thus shall the truth itself secure its own sanction from the Scriptures, and the interpretations which guard them. There are some who allege that even Genesis opens thus in Hebrew: "In the beginning God made for Himself a Son." As there is no ground for this, I am led to other arguments derived from God's own dispensation, in which He existed before the creation of the world, up to the generation of the Son. For before all things God was alone -- being in Himself and for Himself universe, and space, and all things. Moreover, He was alone, because there was nothing external to Him but Himself. Yet even not then was He alone; for He had with Him that which He possessed in Himself, that is to say, His own Reason. For God is rational, and Reason was first in Him; and so all things were from Himself. This Reason is His own Yought (or Consciousness) which the Greeks call logos, by which term we also designate Word or Discourse and therefore it is now usual with our people, owing to the mere simple interpretation of the term, to say that the Word was in the beginning with God; although it would be more suitable to regard Reason as the more ancient; because God had not Word from the beginning, but He had Reason even before the beginning; because also Word itself consists of Reason, which it thus proves to have been the prior existence as being its own substance. Not that this distinction is of any practical moment. For although God had not yet sent out His Word, He still had Him within Himself, both in company with and included within His very Reason, as He silently planned and arranged within Himself everything which He was afterwards about to utter through His Word. Now, whilst He was thus planning and arranging with His own Reason, He was actually causing that to become Word which He was dealing with in the way of Word or Discourse. And that you may the more readily understand this, consider first of all, from your own self, who are made "in the image and likeness of God," for what purpose it is that you also possess reason in yourself, who are a rational creature, as being not only made by a rational Artificer, but actually animated out of His substance. Observe, then, that when you are silently conversing with yourself, this very process is carried on within you by your reason, which meets you with a word at every movement of your thought, at every impulse of your conception. Whatever you think, there is a word; whatever you conceive, there is reason. You must needs speak it in your mind; and while you are speaking, you admit speech as an interlocutor with you, involved in which there is this very reason, whereby, while in thought you are holding converse with your word, you are (by reciprocal action) producing thought by means of that converse with your word. Thus, in a certain sense, the word is a second person within you, through which in thinking you utter speech, and through which also, (by reciprocity of process,) in uttering speech you generate thought. The word is itself a different thing from yourself. Now how much more fully is all this transacted in God, whose image and likeness even you are regarded as being, inasmuch as He has reason within Himself even while He is silent, and involved in that Reason His Word! I may therefore without rashness first lay this down (as a fixed principle) that even then before the creation of the universe God was not alone, since He had within Himself both Reason, and, inherent in Reason, His Word, which He made second to Himself by agitating it within Himself.

CHAPTER 6 -- THE WORD OF GOD IS ALSO THE WISDOM OF GOD. THE GOING FORTH OF WISDOM TO CREATE THE UNIVERSE, ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE PLAN.

This power and disposition of the Divine Intelligence is set forth also in the Scriptures under the name of Sofia, Wisdom; for what can be better entitled to the name of Wisdom than the Reason or the Word of God? Listen therefore to Wisdom herself, constituted in the character of a Second Person: "At the first the Lord created me as the beginning of His ways, with a view to His own works, before He made the earth, before the mountains were settled; moreover, before all the hills did He beget me;" that is to say, He created and generated me in His own intelligence. Then, again, observe the distinction between them implied in the companionship of Wisdom with the Lord. "When He prepared the heaven," says Wisdom, "I was present with Him; and when He made His strong places upon the winds, which are the clouds above; and when He secured the fountains, (and all things) which are beneath the sky, I was by, arranging all things with Him; I was by, in whom He delighted; and daily, too, did I rejoice in His presence." Now, as soon as it pleased God to put forth into their respective substances and forms the things which He had planned and ordered within Himself, in conjunction with His Wisdom's Reason and Word, He first put forth the Word Himself, having within Him His own inseparable Reason and Wisdom, in order that all things might be made through Him through whom they had been planned and disposed, yea, and already made, so far forth as (they were) in the mind and intelligence of God. This, however, was still wanting to them, that they should also be openly known, and kept permanently in their proper forms and substances.

CHAPTER 7 -- THE SON BY BEING DESIGNATED WORD AND WISDOM, (ACCORDING TO THE IMPERFECTION OF HUMAN THOUGHT AND LANGUAGE) LIABLE TO BE DEEMED A MERE ATTRIBUTE. HE IS SHOWN TO BE A PERSONAL BEING.

Then, therefore, does the Word also Himself assume His own form and glorious garb, His own sound and vocal utterance, when God says, "Let there be light." This is the perfect nativity of the Word, when He proceeds forth from God -- formed by Him first to devise and think out all thinks under the name of Wisdom -- "The Lord created or formed me as the beginning of His ways;" then afterward begotten, to carry all into effect -- "When He prepared the heaven, I was present with Him." Thus does He make Him equal to Him: for by proceeding from Himself He became His first-begotten Son, because begotten before all things; and His only-begotten also, because alone begotten of God, m a way peculiar to Himself, from the womb of His own heart -- even as the Father Himself testifies: "My heart," says He, "has emitted my most excellent Word." The father took pleasure evermore in Him, who equally rejoiced with a reciprocal gladness in the Father's presence: "You art my Son, today have I begotten You;" even before the morning star did I beget You. The Son likewise acknowledges the Father, speaking in His own person, under the name of Wisdom: "The Lord formed Me as the beginning of His ways, with a view to His own works; before all the hills did He beget Me." For if indeed Wisdom in this passage seems to say that She was created by the Lord with a view to His works, and to accomplish His ways, yet proof is given in another Scripture that "all things were made by the Word, and without Him was there nothing made;" as, again, in another place (it is said), "By His word were the heavens established, and all the powers thereof by His Spirit" -- that is to say, by the Spirit (or Divine Nature) which was in the Word: thus is it evident that it is one and the same power which is in one place described under the name of Wisdom, and in another passage under the appellation of the Word, which was initiated for the works of God? which "strengthened the heavens;" "by which all things were made," "and without which nothing was made." Nor need we dwell any longer on this point, as if it were not the very Word Himself, who is spoken of under the name both of Wisdom and of Reason, and of the entire Divine Soul and Spirit.

He became also the Son of God, and was begotten when He proceeded forth from Him. Do you then, (you ask,) grant that the Word is a certain substance, constructed by the Spirit and the communication of Wisdom? Certainly I do. But you will not allow Him to be really a substantive being, by having a substance of His own; in such a way that He may be regarded as an objective thing and a person, and so be able (as being constituted second to God the Father,) to make two, the Father and the Son, God and the Word. For you will say, what is a word, but a voice and sound of the mouth, and (as the grammarians teach) air when struck against, intelligible to the ear, but for the rest a sort of void, empty, and incorporeal thing. I, on the contrary, contend that nothing empty and void could have come forth from God, seeing that it is not put forth from that which is empty and void; nor could that possibly be devoid of substance which has proceeded from so great a substance, and has produced such mighty substances: for all things which were made through Him, He Himself (personally) made. How could it be, that He Himself is nothing, without whom nothing was made? How could He who is empty have made things which are solid, and He who is void have made things which are full, and He who is incorporeal have made things which have body? For although a thing may sometimes be made different from him by whom it is made, yet nothing can be made by that which is a void and empty thing. Is that Word of God, then, a void and empty thing, which is called the Son, who Himself is designated God? "The Word was with God, and the Word was God." It is written, "You shalt not take God's name in vain." This for certain is He "who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." In what form of God? Of course he means in some form, not in none. For who will deny that God is a body, although "God is a Spirit?" For Spirit has a bodily substance of its own kind, in its own form. Now, even if invisible things, whatsoever they be, have both their substance and their form in God, whereby they are visible to God alone, how much more shall that which has been sent forth from His substance not be without substance! Whatever, therefore, was the substance of the Word that I designate a Person, I claim for it the name of Son; and while I recognize the Son, I assert His distinction as second to the Father.

CHAPTER 8 -- THOUGH THE SON OR WORD OF GOD EMANATES FROM THE FATHER, HE IS NOT, LIKE THE EMANATIONS OF VALENTINUS, SEPARABLE FROM THE FATHER. NOR IS THE HOLY GHOST SEPARABLE FROM EITHER. ILLUSTRATIONS FROM NATURE.

If any man from this shall think that I am introducing some probolh -- that is to say, some prolation of one thing out of another, as Valentinus does when he sets forth AEon from AEon, one after another -- then this is my first reply to you: Truth must not therefore refrain from the use of such a term, and its reality and meaning, because heresy also employs it. The fact is, heresy has rather taken it from Truth, in order to mould it into its own counterfeit. Was the Word of God put forth or not? Here take your stand with me, and flinch not. If He was put forth, then acknowledge that the true doctrine has a prolation; and never mind heresy, when in any point it mimics the truth. The question now is, in what sense each side uses a given thing and the word which expresses it. Valentinus divides and separates his prolations from their Author, and places them at so great a distance from Him, that the AEon does not know the Father: he longs, indeed, to know Him, but cannot; nay, he is almost swallowed up and dissolved into the rest of matter. With us, however, the Son alone knows the Father, and has Himself unfolded "the Father's bosom." He has also heard and seen all things with the Father; and what He has been commanded by the Father, that also does He speak. And it is not His own will, but the Father's, which He has accomplished, which He had known most intimately, even from the beginning. "For what man knows the things which be in God, but the Spirit which is in Him?" But the Word was formed by the Spirit, and (if I may so express myself) the Spirit is the body of the Word. The Word, therefore, is both always in the Father, as He says, "I am in the Father;" and is always with God, according to what is written, "And the Word was with God;" and never separate from the Father, or other than the Father, since "I and the Father are one." This will be the prolation, taught by the truth, the guardian of the Unity, wherein we declare that the Son is a prolation from the Father, without being separated from Him. For God sent forth the Word, as the Paraclete also declares, just as the root puts forth the tree, and the fountain the river, and the sun the ray. For these are probolai, or emanations, of the substances from which they proceed. I should not hesitate, indeed, to call the tree the son or offspring of the root, and the river of the fountain, and the ray of the sun; because every original source is a parent, and everything which issues from the origin is an offspring. Much more is (this true of) the Word of God, who has actually received as His own peculiar designation the name of Son. But still the tree is not severed from the root, nor the river from the fountain, nor the ray from the sun; nor, indeed, is the Word separated from God. Following, therefore, the form of these analogies, I confess that I call God and His Word -- the Father and His Son -- two. For the root and the tree are distinctly two things, but correlatively joined; the fountain and the river are also two forms, but indivisible; so likewise the sun and the ray are two forms, but coherent ones. Everything which proceeds from something else must needs be second to that from which it proceeds, without being on that account separated: Where, however, there is a second, there must be two; and where there is a third, there must be three. Now the Spirit indeed is third from God and the Son; just as the fruit of the tree is third from the root, or as the stream out of the river is third from the fountain, or as the apex of the ray is third from the sun. Nothing, however, is alien from that original source whence it derives its own properties. In like manner the Trinity, flowing down from the Father through intertwined and connected steps, does not at all disturb the Monarchy, whilst it at the same time guards the state of the Economy.

 

 

CHAPTER 9 -- THE CATHOLIC RULE OF FAITH EXPOUNDED IN SOME OF ITS POINTS. ESPECIALLY IN THE UNCONFUSED DISTINCTION OF THE SEVERAL PERSONS OF THE BLESSED TRINITY.

Bear always in mind that this is the rule of faith which I profess; by it I testify that the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit are inseparable from each other, and so will you know in what sense this is said. Now, observe, my assertion is that the Father is one, and the Son one, and the Spirit one, and that They are distinct from Each Other. This statement is taken in a wrong sense by every uneducated as well as every perversely disposed person, as if it predicated a diversity, in such a sense as to imply a separation among the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit. I am, moreover, obliged to say this, when (extolling the Monarchy at the expense of the Economy) they contend for the identity of the Father and Son and Spirit, that it is not by way of diversity that the Son differs from the Father, but by distribution: it is not by division that He is different, but by distinction; because the Father is not the same as the Son, since they differ one from the other in the mode of their being. For the Father is the entire substance, but the Son is a derivation and portion of the whole,x as He Himself acknowledges: "My Father is greater than I." In the Psalm His inferiority is described as being "a little lower than the angels." Thus the Father is distinct from the Son, being greater than the Son, inasmuch as He who begets is one, and He who is begotten is another; He, too, who sends is one, and He who is sent is another; and He, again, who makes is one, and He through whom the thing is made is another.

Happily the Lord Himself employs this expression of the person of the Paraclete, so as to signify not a division or severance, but a disposition (of mutual relations in the Godhead); for He says, "I will pray the Father, and He shall send you another Comforter. ... even the Spirit of truth," thus making the Paraclete distinct from Himself, even as we say that the Son is also distinct from the Father; so that He showed a third degree in the Paraclete, as we believe the second degree is in the Son, by reason of the order observed in the Economy. Besides, does not the very fact that they have the distinct names of Father and San amount to a declaration that they are distinct in personality? For, of course, all things will be what their names represent them to be; and what they are and ever will be, that will they be called; and the distinction indicated by the names does not at all admit of any confusion, because there is none in the things which they designate. "Yes is yes, and no is no; for what is more than these, comes of evil."

CHAPTER 10 -- THE VERY NAMES OF FATHER AND SON PROVE THE PERSONAL DISTINCTION OF THE TWO. THEY CANNOT POSSIBLY BE IDENTICAL, NOR IS THEIR IDENTITY NECESSARY TO PRESERVE THE DIVINE MONARCHY.

So it is either the Father or the Son, and the day is not the same as the night; nor is the Father the same as the Son, in such a way that Both of them should be One, and One or the Other should be Both, -- an opinion which the most conceited "Monarchians" maintain. He Himself, they say, made Himself a Son to Himself. Now a Father makes a Son, and a Son makes a Father; and they who thus become reciprocally related out of each other to each other cannot in any way by themselves simply become so related to themselves, that the Father can make Himself a Son to Himself, and the Son render Himself a Father to Himself. And the relations which God establishes, them does He also guard. A father must needs have a son, in order to be a father; so likewise a son, to be a son, must have a father. It is, however, one thing to have, and another thing to be. For instance, in order to be a husband, I must have a wife; I can never myself be my own wife. In like manner, in order to be a father, I have a son, for I never can be a son to myself; and in order to be a son, I have a father, it being impossible for me ever to be my own father. And it is these relations which make me (what I am), when I come to possess them: I shall then be a father, when I have a son; and a son, when I have a father. Now, if I am to be to myself any one of these relations, I no longer have what I am myself to be: neither a father, because I am to be my own father; nor a son, because I shall be my own son. Moreover, inasmuch as I ought to leave one of these relations in order to be the other; so, if I am to be both together, I shall fail to be one while I possess not the other. For if I must be myself my son, who am also a father, I now cease to have a son, since I am my own son. But by reason of not having a son, since I am my own son, how can I be a father? For I ought to have a son, in order to be a father. Therefore I am not a son, because I have not a father, who makes a son. In like manner, if I am myself my father, who am also a son, I no longer have a father, but am myself my father. By not having a father, however, since I am my own father, how can I be a son? For I ought to have a father, in order to be a son. I cannot therefore be a father, because I have not a son, who makes a father. Now all this must be the device of the devil -- this excluding and severing one from the other -- since by including both together in one under pretence of the Monarchy, he causes neither to be held and acknowledged, so that He is not the Father, since indeed He has not the Son; neither is He the Son, since in like manner He has not the Father: for while He is the Father, He will not be the Son. In this way they hold the Monarchy, but they hold neither the Father nor the Son. Well, but "with God nothing is impossible." True enough; who can be ignorant of it? Who also can be unaware that "the things which are impossible with men are possible with God?" The foolish things also of the world has God chosen to confound the things which are wise." We have read it all.

Therefore, they argue, it was not difficult for God to make Himself both a Father and a Son, contrary to the condition of things among men. For a barren woman to have a child against nature was no difficulty with God; nor was it for a virgin to conceive. Of course nothing is "too hard for the Lord." But if we choose to apply this principle so extravagantly and harshly in our capricious imaginations, we may then make out God to have done anything we please, on the ground that it was not impossible for Him to do it. We must not, however, because He is able to do all things suppose that He has actually done what He has not done. But we must inquire whether He has really done it.

God could, if He had liked, have furnished man with wings to fly with, just as He gave wings to kites. We must not, however, run to the conclusion that He did this because He was able to do it. He might also have extinguished Praxeas and all other heretics at once; it does not follow, however, that He did, simply because He was able. For it was necessary that there should be both kites and heretics; it was necessary also that the Father should be crucified. In one sense there will be something difficult even for God -- namely, that which He has not done -- -not because He could not, but because He would not, do it. For with God, to be willing is to be able, and to be unwilling is to be unable; all that He has willed, however, He has both been able to accomplish, and has displayed His ability. Since, therefore, if God had wished to make Himself a Son to Himself, He had it in His power to do so; and since, if He had it in His power, He effected His purpose, you will then make good your proof of His power and His will (to do even this) when you shall have proved to us that He actually did it.

CHAPTER 11 -- THE IDENTITY OF THE FATHER AND THESON, AS PRAXEAS HELD IT, SHOWN TO BE FULL OF PERPLEXITY AND ABSURDITY. MANY SCRIPTURES QUOTED IN PROOF OF THE DISTINCTION OF THE DIVINE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY.

It will be your duty, however, to adduce your proofs out of the Scriptures as plainly as we do, when we prove that He made His Word a Son to Himself. For if He calls Him Son, and if the Son is none other than He who has proceeded from the other Himself, and if the Word has proceeded from the Father Himself, He will then be the Son, and not Himself from whom He proceeded. For the Father Himself did not proceed from Himself. Now, you who say that the Father is the same as the Son, do really make the same Person both to have sent forth from Himself (and at the same time to have gone out from Himself as) that Being which is God. If it was possible for Him to have done this, He at all events did not do it. You must bring forth the proof which I require of you -- one like my own; that is, (you must prove to me) that the Scriptures show the Son and the Father to be the same, just as on our side the Father and the Son are demonstrated to be distinct; I say distinct, but not separate: for as on my part I produce the words of God Himself, "My heart has emitted my most excellent Word," so you in like manner ought to adduce in opposition to me some text where God has said, "My heart has emitted Myself as my own most excellent Word," in such a sense that He is Himself both the Emitter and the Emitted, both He who sent forth and He who was sent forth, since He is both the Word and God. I bid you also observe, that on my side I advance the passage where the Father said to the Son, "You art my Son, this day have I begotten You." If you want me to believe Him to be both the Father and the Son, show me some other passage where it is declared, "The Lord said to Himself, I am my own Son, today have I begotten myself;" or again, "Before the morning did I beget myself;" and likewise, "I the Lord possessed Myself the beginning of my ways for my own works; before all the hills, too, did I beget myself;" and whatever other passages are to the same effect. Why, moreover, could God the Lord of all things, have hesitated to speak thus of Himself, if the fact had been so? Was He afraid of not being believed, if He had m so many words declared Himself to be both the Father and the Son? Of one thing He was at any rate afraid -- of lying. Of Himself, too, and of His own truth, was He afraid. Believing Him, therefore, to be the true God, I am sure that He declared nothing to exist in any other way than according to His own dispensation and arrangement, and that He had arranged nothing in any other way than according to His own declaration. On your side, however, you must make Him out to be a liar, and an impostor, and a tamperer with His word, if, when He was Himself a Son to Himself, He assigned the part of His Son to be played by another, when all the Scriptures attest the clear existence of, and distinction in (the Persons of) the Trinity, and indeed furnish us with our Rule of faith, that He who speaks; and He of whom He speaks, and to whom He speaks, cannot possibly seem to be One and the Same. So absurd arid misleading a statement would be unworthy of God, that, widen it was Himself to whom He was speaking, He speaks rather to another, and not to His very self. Hear, then, other utterances also of the Father concerning the Son by the mouth of Isaiah: "Behold my Son, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom I am well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." Hear also what He says to the Son: "Is it a great thing for You, that You shouldest be called my Son to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the dispersed of Israel? I have given You for a light to the Gentiles, that You mayest be their salvation to the end of the earth." Hear now also the Son's utterances respecting the Father: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to men." He speaks of Himself likewise to the Father in the Psalm: "Forsake me not until I have declared the might of Your arm to all the generation that is to come." Also to the same purport in another Psalm: "O Lord, how are they increased that trouble me!" But almost all the Psalms which prophesy of the person of Christ, represent the Son as conversing with the Father -- that is, represent Christ (as speaking) to God. Observe also the Spirit speaking of the Father and the Son, in the character of a third Person: "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit You on my right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool." Likewise in the words of Isaiah: "Thus saith the Lord to the Lord mine Anointed." Likewise, in the same prophet, He says to the Father respecting the Son: "Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? We brought a report concerning Him, as if He were a little child, as if He were a root in a dry ground, who had no form nor comeliness." These are a few testimonies out of many; for we do not pretend to bring up all the passages of Scripture, because we have a tolerably large accumulation of them in the various heads of our subject, as we in our several chapters call them in as our witnesses in the fulness of their dignity and authority. Still, in these few quotations the distinction of Persons in the Trinity is clearly set forth. For there is the Spirit Himself who speaks, and the Father to whom He speaks, and the Son of whom He speaks. In the same manner, the other passages also establish each one of several Persons in His special character -- addressed as they in some cases are to the Father or to the Son respecting the Son, in other cases to the Son or to the Father concerning the Father, and again in other instances to the (Holy) Spirit.

CHAPTER 12 -- OTHER QUOTATIONS FROM HOLY SCRIPTURE ADDUCED IN PROOF OF THE PLURALITY OF PERSONS IN THE GODHEAD.

If the number of the Trinity also offends you, as if it were not connected in the simple Unity, I ask you how it is possible for a Being who is merely and absolutely One and Singular, to speak in plural phrase, saying, "Let us make man in our own image, and after our own likeness;" whereas He ought to have said, "Let me make man in my own image, and after my own likeness," as being a unique and singular Being? In the following passage, however, "Behold the man is become as one of us," He is either deceiving or amusing us in speaking plurally, if He is One only and singular. Or was it to the angels that He spoke, as the Jews interpret the passage, because these also acknowledge not the Son? Or was it because He was at once the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, that He spoke to Himself in plural terms, making Himself plural on that very account? Nay, it was because He had already His Son close at His side, as a second Person, His own Word, and a third Person also, the Spirit in the Word, that He purposely adopted the plural phrase, "Let us make;" and, "in our image;" and, "become as one of us." For with whom did He make man? and to whom did He make him like? (The answer must be), the Son on the one hand, who was one day to put on human nature; and the Spirit on the other, who was to sanctify man. With these did He then speak, in the Unity of the Trinity, as with His ministers and witnesses In the following text also He distinguishes among the Persons: "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He him." Why say "image of God?" Why not "His own image" merely, if He was only one who was the Maker, and if there was not also One in whose image He made man? But there was One in whose image God was making man, that is to say, Christ's image, who, being one day about to become Man (more surely and more truly so), had already caused the man to be called His image, who was then going to be formed of clay -- the image and similitude of the true and perfect Man. But in respect of the previous works of the world what says the Scripture? Its first statement indeed is made, when the Son has not yet appeared: "And God said, Let there be light, and there was light." Immediately there appears the Word, "that true light, which lights man on his coming into the world," and through Him also came light upon the world. From that moment God willed creation to be effected in the Word, Christ being present and ministering to Him: and so God created. And God said, "Let there be a firmament, ... and God made the firmament;" and God also said. "Let there be lights (in the firmament); and so God made a greater and a lesser light." But all the rest of the created things did He in like manner make, who made the former ones -- I mean the Word of God. "through whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made." Now if He too is God, according to John, (who says.) "The Word was God," then you have two Beings -- One that commands that the thing be made. and the Other that executes the order and creates. In what sense, however, you ought to understand Him to be another. I have already explained, on the ground of Personality, not of Substance -- in the way of distinction, not of division. But although I must everywhere hold one only substance in three coherent and inseparable (Persons), yet I am bound to acknowledge, from the necessity of the case, that He who issues a command is different from Him who executes it. For, indeed, He would not be issuing a command if He were all the while doing the work Himself, while ordering it to be done by the second. But still He did issue the command, although He would not have intended to command Himself if He were only one; or else He must have worked without any command, because He would not have waited to command Himself.

CHAPTER 13 -- THE FORCE OF SUNDRY PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATED IN RELATION TO THE PLURALITY OF PERSONS AND UNITY OF SUBSTANCE. THERE IS NO POLYTHEISM HERE, SINCE THE UNITY IS INSISTED ON AS A REMEDY AGAINST POLYTHEISM.

Well then, you reply, if He was God who spoke, and He was also God who created, at this rate, one God spoke and another created; (and thus) two Gods are declared. If you are so venturesome and harsh, reflect a while; and that you may think the better and more deliberately, listen to the psalm in which Two are described as God: "Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the sceptre of Your kingdom is a sceptre of righteousness. You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore God, even Your God, has anointed You or made You His Christ." Now, since He here speaks to God, and affirms that God is anointed by God, He must have affirmed that Two are God, by reason of the sceptre's royal power. Accordingly, Isaiah also says to the Person of Christ: "The Sabaeans, men of stature, shall pass over to You; and they shall follow after You, bound in fetters; and they shall worship You, because God is in You: for You art our God, yet we knew it not; You art the God of Israel." For here too, by saying, "God is in You, and "You art God," he sets forth Two who were God: (in the former expression in You, he means) in Christ, and (in the other he means) the Holy Ghost. That is a still grander statement which you will find expressly made in the Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." There was One "who was," and there was another "with whom" He was. But I find in Scripture the name LORD also applied to them Both: "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit You on my right hand." And Isaiah says this: "Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" Now he would most certainly have said Your Arm, if he had not wished us to understand that the Father is Lord, and the Son also is Lord. A much more ancient testimony we have also in Genesis: "Then the Lord rained upon Sodore and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven." Now, either deny that this is Scripture; or else (let me ask) what sort of man you are, that you do not think words ought to be taken and understood in the sense in which they are written, especially when they are not expressed in allegories and parables, but in determinate and simple declarations? If, indeed, you follow those who did not at the time endure the Lord when showing Himself to be the Son of God, because they would not believe Him to be the Lord, then (I ask you)call to mind along with them the passage where it is written, "I have said, You are gods, and ye are children of the Most High;" and again, "God stands in the congregation of gods;" in order that, if the Scripture has not been afraid to designate as gods human beings, who have become sons of God by faith, you may be sure that the same Scripture has with greater propriety conferred the name of the Lord on the true and one-only Son of God. Very well! you say, I shall challenge you to preach from this day forth (and that, too, on the authority of these same Scriptures) two Gods and two Lords, consistently with your views. God forbid, (is my reply.) For we, who by the grace of God possess an insight into both the times and the occasions of the Sacred Writings, especially we who are followers of the Paraclete, not of human teachers, do indeed definitively declare that Two Beings are God, the Father and the Son, and, with the addition of the Holy Spirit, even Three, according to the principle of the divine economy, which introduces number, in order that the Father may not, as you perversely infer, be Himself believed to have been born and to have suffered, which it is not lawful to believe, forasmuch as it has not been so handed down. That there are, however, two Gods or two Lords, is a statement which at no time proceeds out of our mouth: not as if it were untrue that the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, and each is God; but because in earlier times Two were actually spoken of as God, and two as Lord, that when Christ should come He might be both acknowledged as God and designated as Lord, being the Son of Him who is both God and Lord. Now, if there were found in the Scriptures but one Personality of Him who is God and Lord, Christ would justly enough be inadmissible to the title of God and Lord: for (in the Scriptures) there was declared to be none other than One God and One Lord, and it must have followed that the Father should Himself seem to have come down (to earth), inasmuch as only One God and One Lord was ever read of (in the Scriptures), and His entire Economy would be involved in obscurity, which has been planned and arranged with so clear a foresight in His providential dispensation as matter for our faith. As soon, however, as Christ came, and was recognised by us as the very Being who had from the beginning caused plurality (in the Divine Economy), being the second from the Father, and with the Spirit the third, and Himself declaring and manifesting the Father more fully (than He had ever been before), the title of Him who is God and Lord was at once restored to the Unity (of the Divine Nature), even because the Gentiles would have to pass from the multitude of their idols to the One Only God, in order that a difference might be distinctly settled between the worshippers of One God and the votaries of polytheism. For it was only right that Christians should shine in the world as "children of light," adoring and invoking Him who is the One God and Lord as "the light of the world." Besides, if, from that perfect knowledge which assures us that the title of God and Lord is suitable both to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, we were to invoke a plurality of gods and lords, we should quench our torches, and we should become less courageous to endure the martyr's sufferings, from which an easy escape would everywhere lie open to us, as soon as we swore by a plurality of gods and lords, as sundry heretics do, who hold more gods than One. I will therefore not speak of gods at all, nor of lords, but I shall follow the apostle; so that if the Father and the Son, are alike to be invoked, I shall call the Father "God," and invoke Jesus Christ as "Lord." But when Christ alone (is mentioned), I shall be able to call Him "God," as the same apostle says: "Of whom is Christ, who is over all, God blessed for ever." For I should give the name of" sun" even to a sunbeam, considered in itself; but if I were mentioning the sun from which the ray emanates, I certainly should at once withdraw the name of sun from the mere beam. For although I make not two suns, still I shall reckon both the sun and its ray to be as much two things and two forms of one undivided substance, as God and His Word, as the Father and the Son.

CHAPTER 14 -- THE NATURAL INVISIBILITY OF THE FATHER, AND THE VISIBILITY OF THE SON WITNESSED IN MANY PASSAGES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. ARGUMENTS OF THEIR DISTINCTNESS, THUS SUPPLIED.

Moreover, there comes to our aid, when we insist upon the Father and the Son as being Two, that regulating principle which has determined God to be invisible. When Moses in Egypt desired to see the face of the Lord, saying, "If therefore I have found grace in Your sight, manifest Yourself to me, that I may see You and know You," God said, "You canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me, and live:" in other words, he who sees me shall die. Now we find that God has been seen by many persons, and yet that no one who saw Him died (at the sight). The truth is, they saw God according to the faculties of men, but not in accordance with the full glory of the Godhead. For the patriarchs are said to have seen God (as Abraham and Jacob), and the prophets (as, for instance Isaiah and Ezekiel), and yet they did not die. Either, then, they ought to have died, since they had seen Him -- for (the sentence runs), "No man shall see God, and live ;" or else if they saw God, and yet did not die, the Scripture is false in stating that God said, "If a man see my face, he shall not live." Either way, the Scripture misleads us, when it makes God invisible, and when it produces Him to our sight. Now, then, He must be a different Being who was seen, because of one who was seen it could not be predicated that He is invisible. It will therefore follow, that by Him who is invisible we must understand the Father in the fulness of His majesty, while we recognise the Son as visible by reason of the dispensation of His derived existence; even as it is not permitted us to contemplate, the sun, in the full amount of his substance which is in the heavens, but we can only endure with our eyes a ray, by reason of the tempered condition of this portion which is projected from him to the earth. Here some one on the other side may be disposed to contend that the Son is also invisible as being the Word, and as being also the Spirit; and, while claiming one nature for the Father and the Son, to affirm that the Father is rather One and the Same Person with the Son. But the Scripture, as we have said, maintains their difference by the distinction it makes between the Visible and the Invisible. They then go on to argue to this effect, that if it was the Son who then spake to Moses, He must mean it of Himself that His face was visible to no one, because He was Himself indeed the invisible Father in the name of the Son. And by this means they will have it that the Visible and the Invisible are one and the same, just as the Father and the Son are the same; (and this they maintain) because in a preceding passage, before He had refused (the sight of) His face to Moses, the Scripture informs us that "the Lord spake face to face with Moses, even as a man speaks to his friend;" just as Jacob also says, "I have seen God face to face." Therefore the Visible and the Invisible are one and the same; and both being thus the same, it follows that He is invisible as the Father, and visible as the Son. As if the Scripture, according to our exposition of it, were inapplicable to the Son, when the Father is set aside in His own invisibility. We declare, however, that the Son also, considered in Himself (as the Son), is invisible, in that He is God, and the Word and Spirit of God; but that He was visible before the days of His flesh, in the way that He says to Aaron and Miriam, "And if there shall be a prophet amongst you, I will make myself known to him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream; not as with Moses, with whom I shall speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, that is to say, in truth, and not enigmatically" that is to say, in image; as the apostle also expresses it, "Now we see through a glass, darkly (or enigmatically), but then face to face." Since, therefore, He reserves to some future time His presence and speech face to face with Moses -- a promise which was afterwards fulfilled in the retirement of the mount (of transfiguration), when as we read in the Gospel," Moses appeared talking with Jesus" -- it is evident that in early times it was always in a glass, (as it were,)and an enigma, in vision and dream, that God, I mean the Son of God, appeared -- to the prophets and the patriarchs, as also to Moses indeed himself. And even if the Lord did possibly speak with him face to face, yet it was not as man that he could behold His face, unless indeed it was in a glass, (as it were,) and by enigma. Besides, if the Lord so spake with Moses, that Moses actually discerned His face, eye to eye, how comes it to pass that immediately afterwards, on the same occasion, he desires to see His face, which he ought not to have desired, because he had already seen it? And how, in like manner, does the Lord also Say that His face cannot be seen, because He had shown it, if indeed He really had, (as our opponents suppose.) Or what is that fade of God, the sight of which is refused, if there was one which was visible to man? "I have seen God," says Jacob, "face to face, and my life is preserved." There ought to be some other face which kills if it be only seen. Well, then, was the Son visible? (Certainly not, ) although He was the face of God, except only in vision and dream, and in a glass and enigma, because the Word and Spirit (of God) cannot be seen except in an imaginary form. But, (they say,) He calls the invisible Father His face. For who is the Father? Must He not be the face of the Son, by reason of that authority which He obtains as the begotten of the Father? For is there not a natural propriety in saying of some personage greater (than yourself), That man is my face; he gives me his countenance? "My Father," says Christ, "is greater than I." Therefore the Father must be the face of the Son. For what does the Scripture say? "The Spirit of His person is Christ the Lord." As therefore Christ is the Spirit of the Father's person, there is good reason why, in virtue indeed of the unity, the Spirit of Him to whose person He belonged -- that is to say, the Father -- pronounced Him to be His "face." Now this, to be sure, is an astonishing thing, that the Father can be taken to be the face of the Son, when He is His head; for "the head of Christ is God."

CHAPTER 15 -- NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES QUOTED. THEY ATTEST THE SAME TRUTH OF THE SON'S VISIBILITY CONTRASTED WITH THE FATHER'S INVISIBILITY.

If I fail in resolving this article (of our faith) by passages which may admit of dispute out of the Old Testament, I will take out of the New Testament a confirmation of our view, that you may not straightway attribute to the Father every possible (relation and condition) which I ascribe to the Son. Behold, then, I find both in the Gospels and in the (writings of the) apostles a visible and an invisible God (revealed to us), under a manifest and personal distinction in the condition of both. There is a certain emphatic saying by John: "No man has seen God at any time;" meaning, of course, at any previous time But he has indeed taken away all question of time, by saying that God had never been seen. The apostle confirms this statement; for, speaking of God, he says, "Whom no man has seen, nor can see;" because the man indeed would die who should see Him. But the very same apostles testify that they had both seen and "handled" Christ." Now, if Christ is Himself both the Father and the Son, how can He be both the Visible and the Invisible? In order, however, to reconcile this diversity between the Visible and the Invisible, will not some one on the other side argue that the two statements are quite correct: that He was visible indeed in the flesh, but was invisible before His appearance in the flesh; so that He who as the Father was invisible before the flesh, is the same as the Son who was visible in the flesh? If, however, He is the same who was invisible before the incarnation, how comes it that He was actually seen in ancient times before (coming in) the flesh? And by parity of reasoning, if He is the same who was visible after (coming in) the flesh, how happens it that He is now declared to be invisible by the apostles? How, I repeat, can all this be, unless it be that He is one, who anciently was visible only in mystery and enigma, and became more clearly visible by His incarnation, even the Word who was also made flesh; whilst He is another whom no man has seen at any time, being none else than the Father, even Him to whom the Word belongs? Let us, in short, examine who it is whom the apostles saw. "That," says John, "which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life." Now the Word of life became flesh, and was heard, and was seen, and was handled, because He was flesh who, before He came in the flesh, was the "Word in the beginning with God" the Father, and not the Father with the Word. For although the Word was God, yet was He with God, because He is God of God; and being joined to the Father, is with the Father. "And we have seen His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father;" that is, of course, (the glory) of the Son, even Him who was visible, and was glorified by the invisible Father. And therefore, inasmuch as he had said that the Word of God was God, in order that he might give no help to the presumption of the adversary, (which pretended) that he had seen the Father Himself and in order to draw a distinction between the invisible Father and the visible Son, he makes the additional assertion, ex abundanti as it were: "No man has seen God at any time." What God does he mean? The Word? But he has already said: "Him we have seen and heard, and our hands have handled the Word of life." Well, (I must again ask,) what God does he mean? It is of course the Father, with whom was the Word, the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, and has Himself declared Him. He was both heard and seen and, that He might not be supposed to be a phantom, was actually handled. Him, too, did Paul behold; but yet he saw not the Father. "Have I not," he says, "seen Jesus Christ our Lord?" Moreover, he expressly called Christ God, saying: "Of whom are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever." He shows us also that the Son of God, which is the Word of God, is visible, because He who became flesh was called Christ. Of the Father, however, he says to Timothy: "Whom none among men has seen, nor indeed can see;" and he accumulates the description in still ampler terms: "Who only has immortality, and dwells in the light which no man can approach to." It was of Him, too, that he had said in a previous passage: "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to the only God;" so that we might apply even the contrary qualities to the Son Himself -- mortality, accessibility -- of whom the apostle testifies that "He died according to the Scriptures," and that "He was seen by himself last of all," -- by means, of course, of the light which was accessible, although it was not without imperilling his sight that he experienced that light. A like danger to which also befell Peter, and John, and James, (who confronted not the same light) without risking the loss of their reason and mind; and if they, who were unable to endure the glory of the Son, had only seen the Father, they must have died then and there: "For no man shall see God, and live." This being the case, it is evident that He was always seen from the beginning, who became visible in the end; and that He, (on the contrary,) was not seen in the end who had never been visible from the beginning; and that accordingly there are two -- the Visible and the Invisible. It was tthe Son, therefore, who was always seen, and the Son who always conversed with men, and the Son who has always worked by the authority and will of the Father; because "the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do" -- "do" that is, in His mind and thought. For the Father acts by mind and thought; whilst the Son, who is in the Father's mind and thought, gives effect and form to what He sees. Thus all things were made by tile Son, and without Him was not anything made.

CHAPTER 16 -- EARLY MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SON OF GOD, AS RECORDED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT; REHEARSALS OF HIS SUBSEQUENT INCARNATION.

But you must not suppose that only the works which relate to the (creation of the) world were made by the Son, but also whatsoever since that time has been done by God. For "the Father who loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand," loves Him indeed from the beginning, and from the very first has handed all things over to Him. Whence it is written, "From the beginning the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" to whom "is given by the Father all power in heaven and on earth." "The Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son" -- from the very beginning even. For when He speaks of all power and all judgment, and says that all things were made by Him, and all things have been delivered into His hand, He allows no exception (in respect) of time, because they would not be all things unless they were the things of all time. It is the Son, therefore, who has been from the beginning administering judgment, throwing down the haughty tower, and dividing the tongues, punishing the whole world by the violence of waters, raining upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone, as the LORD from the LORD. For He it was who at all times came down to hold converse with men, from Adam on to the patriarchs and the prophets, in vision, in dream, in mirror, in dark saying; ever from the beginning laying the foundation of the course of His dispensations, which He meant to follow out to the very last. Thus was He ever learning even as God to converse with men upon earth, being no other than the Word which was to be made flesh. But He was thus learning (or rehearsing), in order to level for us the way of faith, that we might the more readily believe that the Son of God had come down into the world, if we knew that in times past also something similar had been done. For as it was on our account and for our learning that these events are described in the Scriptures, so for our sakes also were they done -- (even ours, I say), "upon whom the ends of the world are come." In this way it was that even then He knew full well what human feelings and affections were, intending as He always did to take upon Him man's actual component substances, body and soul, making inquiry of Adam (as if He were ignorant), "Where art thou, Adam?" -- repenting that He had made man, as if He had lacked foresight; tempting Abraham, as if ignorant of what was in man; offended with persons, and then reconciled to them; and whatever other (weaknesses and imperfections) the heretics lay hold of (in their assumptions) as unworthy of God, in order to discredit the Creator, not considering that these circumstances are suitable enough for the Son, who was one day to experience even human sufferings -- hunger and thirst, and tears, and actual birth and real death, and in respect of such a dispensation "made by the Father a little less than the angels." But the heretics, you may be sure, will not allow that those things are suitable even to the Son of God, which you are imputing to the very Father Himself, when you pretend that He made Himself less (than the angels) on our account; whereas the Scripture informs us that He who was made less was so affected by another, and not Himself by Himself. What, again, if He was One who was "crowned with glory and honour," and He Another by whom He was so crowned, -- the Son, in fact, by the Father? Moreover, how comes it to pass, that the Almighty Invisible God, "whom no man has seen nor can see; He who dwells in light unapproachable;" "He who dwells not in temples made with hands;" "from before whose sight the earth trembles, and the mountains melt like wax;" who holds the whole world in His hand "like a nest;" "whose throne is heaven, and earth His footstool;" in whom is every place, but Himself is in no place; who is the utmost bound of the universe; -- how happens it, I say, that He (who, though) the Most High, should yet have walked in paradise towards the coal of the evening, in quest of Adam; and should have shut up the ark after Noah had entered it; and at Abraham's tent should have refreshed Himself under an oak; and have called to Moses out of the burning bush; and have appeared as "the fourth" in the furnace of the Babylonian monarch (although He is there called the Son of man), -- unless all these events had happened as an image, as a mirror, as an enigma (of the future incarnation)? Surely even these things could not have been believed even of the Son of God, unless they had been given us in the Scriptures; possibly also they could not have been believed of the Father, even if they had been given in the Scriptures, since these men bring Him down into Mary's womb, and set Him before Pilate's judgment-seat, and bury Him in the sepulchre of Joseph. Hence, therefore, their error becomes manifest; for, being ignorant that the entire order of the divine administration has from the very first had its course through the agency of the Son, they believe that the Father Himself was actually seen, and held converse with men. and worked, and was athirst, and suffered hunger (in spite of the prophet who says: "The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, shall never thirst at all, nor be hungry;" much more, shall neither die at any time, nor be buried!), and therefore that it was uniformly one God, even the Father, who at all times did Himself the things which were really done by Him through the agency of the Son.

CHAPTER 17 -- SUNDRY AUGUST TITLES, DESCRIPTIVE OF DEITY, APPLIED TO THE SON, NOT, AS PRAXEAS WOULD HAVE IT, ONLY TO THE FATHER.

They more readily supposed that the Father acted in the Son's name, than that the Son acted in the Father's; although the Lord says Himself, "I am come in my Father's name;" and even to the Father He declares, "I have manifested Your name to these men;" whilst the Scripture likewise says, "Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord," that is to say, the Son in the Father's name. And as for the Father's names, God Almighty, the Most High, the Lord of hosts, the King of Israel, the "One that is," we say (for so much do the Scriptures teach us) that they belonged suitably to the Son also, and that the Son came under these designations, and has always acted in them, and has thus manifested them in Himself to men. "All things," says He, "which the Father has are mine." Then why not His names also? When, therefore, you read of Almighty God, and the Most High, and the God of hosts, and the King of Israel the "One that is," consider whether the Son also be not indicated by these designations, who in His own right is God Almighty, in that He is the Word of Almighty God, and has received power over all; is the Most High, in that He is "exalted at the right hand of God," as Peter declares in the Acts; is the Lord of hosts, because all things are by the Father made subject to Him; is the King of Israel because to Him has especially been committed the destiny of that nation; and is likewise "the One that is," because there are many who are called Sons, but are not. As to the point maintained by them, that the name of Christ belongs also to the Father, they shall hear (what I have to say) in the proper place. Meanwhile, let this be my immediate answer to the argument which they adduce from the Revelation of John: "I am the Lord which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty;" and from all other passages which in their opinion make the designation of Almighty God unsuitable to the Son. As if, indeed, He which is to came were not almighty; whereas even the Son of the Almighty is as much almighty as the Son of God is God.

CHAPTER 18 -- THE DESIGNATION OF THE ONE GOD IN THE PROPHETIC SCRIPTURES. INTENDED AS A PROTEST AGAINST HEATHEN IDOLATRY, IT DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE CORRELATIVE IDEA OF THE SON OF GOD. THE SON IS IN THE FATHER.

But what hinders them from readily perceiving this community of the Father's titles in the Son, is the statement of Scripture, whenever it determines God to be but One; as if the selfsame Scripture had not also set forth Two both as God and Lord, as we have shown above. Their argument is: Since we find Two and One, therefore Both are One and the Same, both Father and Son. Now the Scripture is not in danger of requiring the aid of any one's argument, lest it should seem to be self-contradictory. It has a method of its own, both when it sets forth one only God, and also when it shows that there are Two, Father and Son; and is consistent with itself. It is clear that the Son is mentioned by it. For, without any detriment to the Son, it is quite possible for it to have rightly determined that God is only One, to whom the Son belongs; since He who has a Son ceases not on that account to exist, -- Himself being One only, that is, on His own account, whenever He is named without the Son. And He is named without the Son whensoever He is defined as the principle (of deity) in the character of "its first Person," which had to be mentioned before the name of the Son; because it is the Father who is acknowledged in the first place, and after the Father the Son is named.

Therefore "there is one God," the Father, "and without Him there is none else." And when He Himself makes this declaration, He denies not the Son, but says that there is no other God; and the Son is not different from the Father. Indeed, if you only look carefully at the contexts which follow such statements as this, you will find that they nearly always have distinct reference to the makers of idols and the worshippers thereof, with a view to the multitude of false gods being expelled by the unity of the Godhead, which nevertheless has a Son; and inasmuch as this Son is undivided and inseparable from the Father, so is He to be reckoned as being in the Father, even when He is not named. The fact is, if He had named Him expressly, He would have separated Him, saying in so many words: "Beside me there is none else, except my Son." In short He would have made His Son actually another, after excepting Him from others. Suppose the sun to say, "I am the Sun, and there is none other besides me, except my ray," would you not have remarked how useless was such a statement, as if the ray were not itself reckoned in the sun? He says, then, that there is no God' besides Himself in respect of the idolatry both of the Gentiles as well as of Israel; nay, even on account of our heretics also, who fabricate idols with their words, just as the heathen do with their hands; that is to say, they make another God and another Christ. When, therefore, He attested His own unity, the Father took care of the Son's interests, that Christ should not be supposed to have come from another God, but from Him who had already said, "I am God and there is none other beside me," who shows us that He is the only God, but in company with His Son, with whom "He stretches out the heavens alone."

CHAPTER 19 -- THE SON IN UNION WITH THE FATHER IN THE CREATION OF ALL THINGS. THIS UNION OF THE TWO IN CO-OPERATION IS NOT OPPOSED TO THE TRUE UNITY OF GOD. IT IS OPPOSED ONLY TO PRAXEAS' IDENTIFICATION THEORY.

But this very declaration of His they will hastily pervert into an argument of His singleness. "I have," says He, "stretched out the heaven alone." Undoubtedly alone as regards all other powers; and He thus gives a premonitory evidence against the conjectures of the heretics, who maintain that the world was constructed by various angels and powers, who also make the Creator Himself to have been either an angel or some subordinate agent sent to form external things, such as the constituent parts of the world, but who was at the same time ignorant of the divine purpose. If, now, it is in this sense that He stretches out the heavens alone, how is it that these heretics assume their position so perversely, as to render inadmissible the singleness of that Wisdom which says, "When He prepared the heaven, I was present with Him?" -- even though the apostle asks, "Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counsellor?" meaning, of course, to except that wisdom which was present with Him. In Him, at any rate, and with Him, did (Wisdom) construct the universe, He not being ignorant of what she was making. "Except Wisdom," however, is a phrase of the same sense exactly as "except the Son," who is Christ, "the Wisdom and Power of God," according to the apostle, who only knows the mind of the Father. "For who knows the things that be in God, except the Spirit which is in Him?" Not, observe, without Him. There was therefore One who caused God to be not alone, except "alone" from all other gads. But (if we are to follow the heretics), the Gospel itself will have to be rejected, because it tells us that all things were made by God through the Word, without whom nothing was made. And if I am not mistaken, there is also another passage in which it is written: "By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the hosts of them by His Spirit." Now this Word, the Power of God and the Wisdom of God, must be the very Son of God. So that, if (He did) all things by the Son, He must have stretched out the heavens by the Son, and so not have stretched them out alone, except in the sense in which He is "alone" (and apart) from all other gods. Accordingly He says, concerning the Son, immediately afterwards: "Who else is it that frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes diviners mad, turning wise men backward, and making their knowledge foolish, and confirming the words of His Son?" -- as, for instance, when He said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him." By thus attaching the Son to Himself, He becomes His own interpreter in what sense He stretched out the heavens alone, meaning alone with His Son, even as He is one with His Son. The utterance, therefore, will be in like manner the Son's, "I have stretched out the heavens alone," because by the Word were the heavens established. Inasmuch, then, as the heaven was prepared when Wisdom was present in the Word, and since all things were made by the Word, it is quite correct to say that even the Son stretched out the heaven alone, because He alone ministered to the Father's work. It must also be He who says, "I am the First, and to all futurity I AM." The Word, no doubt, was before all things. "In the beginning was the Word;" and in that beginning He was sent forth by the Father. The Father, however, has no beginning, as proceeding from none; nor can He be seen, since He was not begotten. He who has always been alone could never have had order or rank. Therefore, if they have determined that the Father and the Son must be regarded as one and the same, for the express purpose of vindicating the unity of God, that unity of His is preserved intact; for He is one, and yet He has a Son, who is equally with Himself comprehended in the same Scriptures. Since they are unwilling to allow that the Son is a distinct Person, second from the Father, lest, being thus second, He should cause two Gods to be spoken of, we have shown above that Two are actually described in Scripture as God and Lord. And to prevent their being offended at this fact, we give a reason why they are not said to be two Gods and two Lords, but that they are two as Father and Son; and this not by severance of their substance, but from the dispensation wherein we declare the Son to be undivided and inseparable from the Father, -- distinct in degree, not in state. And although, when named apart, He is called God, He does not thereby constitute two Gods, but one; and that from the very circumstance that He is entitled to be called God, from His union with the Father.

CHAPTER 20 -- THE SCRIPTURES RELIED ON BY PRAXEAS TO SUPPORT HIS HERESY BUT FEW. THEY ARE MENTIONED BY TERTULLIAN.

But I must take some further pains to rebut their arguments, when they make selections from the Scriptures in support of their opinion, and refuse to consider the other points, which obviously maintain the rule of faith without any infraction of the unity of the Godhead, and with the full admission of the Monarchy. For as in the Old Testament Scriptures they lay hold of nothing else than, "I am God, and beside me there is no God ;" so in the Gospel they simply keep in view the Lord's answer to Philip, "I and my Father are one;" and, "He that has seen me has seen the Father; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me." They would have the entire revelation of both Testaments yield to these three passages, whereas the only proper course is to understand the few statements in the light of the many. But in their contention they only act on the principle of all heretics. For, inasmuch as only a few testimonies are to be found (making for them) in the general mass, they pertinaciously set off the few against the many, and assume the later against the earlier. The rule, however, which has been from the beginning established for every case, gives its prescription against the later assumptions, as indeed it also does against the fewer.

CHAPTER 21 -- IN THIS AND THE FOUR FOLLOWING CHAPTERS IT IS SHEWN, BY A MINUTE ANALYSIS OF ST. JOHN'S GOSPEL, THAT THE FATHER AND SON ARE CONSTANTLY SPOKEN OF AS DISTINCT PERSONS.

Consider, therefore, how many passages present their prescriptive authority to you in, this very Gospel before this inquiry of Philip, and previous to any discussion on your part. And first of all there comes at once to hand the preamble of John to his Gospel, which shows us what He previously was who had to become flesh. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God: all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made." Now, since these words may not be taken otherwise than as they are written, there is without doubt shown to be One who was from the beginning, and also One with whom He always was: one the Word of God, the other God although the Word is also God, but God regarded as the Son of God, not as the Father); One through whom were all things, Another by whom were all things. But in what sense we call Him Another we have already often described. In that we called Him Another, we must needs imply that He is not identical -- not identical indeed, yet not as if separate; Other by dispensation, not by division. He, therefore, who became flesh was not the very same as He from whom the Word came. "His glory was beheld -- the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father;" not, (observe,) as of the Father. He "declared" (what was in) "the bosom of the Father alone;" the Father did not divulge the secrets of His own bosom. For this is preceded by another statement: "No man has seen God at any time." Then, again, when He is designated by John (the Baptist) as "the Lamb of God," He is not described as Himself the same with Him of whom He is the beloved Son. He is, no doubt, ever the Son of God, but yet not He Himself of whom He is the Son. This (divine relationship) Nathanael at once recognised in Him, even as Peter did on another occasion: "You art the Son of God." And He affirmed Himself that they were quite right in their convictions; for He answered Nathanael: "Because I said, I saw you under the fig-tree, therefore do you believe?" And in the same manner He pronounced Peter to be "blessed," inasmuch as "flesh and blood had not revealed it to him" -- that he had perceived the Father -- "but the Father which is in heaven." By asserting all this, He determined the distinction which is between the two Persons: that is, the Son then on earth, whom Peter had confessed to be the Son of God; and the Father in heaven, who had revealed to Peter the discovery which he had made, that Christ was the Son of God. When He entered the temple, He called it "His Father's house," speaking as the Son. In His address to Nicodemus He says: "So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." And again: "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believes in Him is not condemned; but he that does not believes is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God." Moreover, when John (the Baptist) was asked what he happened to know of Jesus, he said: "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He that believes on the Son has everlasting life; and he that does not believes the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." Whom, indeed, did He reveal to the woman of Samaria? Was it not "the Messias which is called Christ?" And so lie showed, of course, that He was not the Father, but the Son; and elsewhere He is expressly called "the Christ, the Son of God," and not the Father. He says, therefore," My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work;" whilst to the Jews He remarks respecting the cure of the impotent man, "My Father works hitherto, and I work." "My Father and I" -- these are the Son's words. And it was on this very account that "the Jews sought the more intently to kill Him, not only because He broke the Sabbath, but also because He said that God was His Father, thus making Himself equal with God. Then indeed did He answer and say to them, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for what things soever He does these also does the Son likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will also show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises up the dead and quickens them, even so the Son also quickens whom He will. For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honours not the Son, honours not the Father, who has sent the Son. Verily, verily, I say to you, He that hears my words, and believes on Him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life. Verily I say to you, that the hour is coming, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and when they have heard it, they shall live. For as the Father has eternal life in Himself, so also has He given to the Son to have eternal life in Himself; and He has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man" -- that is, according to the flesh, even as He is also the Son of God through His Spirit. Afterwards He goes on to say: "But I have greater witness than that of John; for the works which the Father has given me to finish -- those very works bear witness of me that the Father has sent me. And the Father Himself, which has sent me, has also borne witness of me." But He at once adds, "You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape;" thus affirming that in former times it was not the Father, but the Son, who used to be seen and heard. Then He says at last: "I am come in my Father's name, and you have not received me." It was therefore always the Son (of whom we read) under the designation of the Almighty and Most High God, and King, and Lord. To those also who inquired "what the should do to work the works of God," He answered, This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent." He also declares Himself to be "the bread which the Father sent from heaven;" and adds, that "all that the Father gave Him should come to Him, and that He Himself would not reject them," because He had come down from heaven not to do His own will, but the will of the Father; and that the will of the Father was that every one who saw the Son, and believed on Him, should obtain the life (everlasting,) and the resurrection at the last day. No man indeed was able to come to Him, except the Father attracted him; whereas every one who had heard and learnt of the Father came to Him." He goes on then expressly to say, "Not that any man has seen the Father;" thus showing us that it was through the Word of the Father that men were instructed and taught. Then, when many departed from Him, and He turned to the apostles with the inquiry whether "they also would go away," what was Simon Peter's answer? "To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we believe that You an the Christ." (Tell me now, did they believe) Him to be the Father, or the Christ of the Father?

CHAPTER 22 -- SUNDRY PASSAGES OF ST. JOHN QUOTED, TO SHOW THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE FATHER AND THE SON. EVEN PRAXEAS' CLASSIC TEXT -- I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE -- SHOWN TO BE AGAINST HIM.

Again, whose doctrine does He announce, at which all were astonished? Was it His own or the Father's? So, when they were in doubt among themselves whether He were the Christ (not as being the Father, of course but as the Son), He says to them "You are not ignorant whence I am; and I am not come of myself, but He that sent me is true, whom you know not; but I know Him, because I am from Him." He did not say, Because I myself am He; and, I have sent mine own self: but His words are, "He has sent me." When, likewise, the Pharisees sent men to apprehend Him, He says: "Yet a little while am I with you, and (then) I go to Him that sent me." When, however, He declares that He is not alone, and uses these words, "but I and the Father that sent me," does He not show that there are Two -- Two, and yet inseparable? Indeed, this was the sum: and substance of what He was teaching them, that they were inseparably Two; since, after citing the law when it affirms the truth of two men's testimony, He adds at once: "I am one who am bearing witness of myself; and the Father (is another,) who has sent me, and bears witness of me." Now, if He were one -- being at once both the Son and the Father -- He certainly would not have quoted the sanction of the law, which requires not the testimony of one, but of two. Likewise, when they asked Him where His Father was, He answered them, that they had known neither Himself nor the Father; and in this answer He plainly told them of Two, whom they were ignorant of. Granted that "if they had known Him, they would have known the Father also," this certainly does not imply that He was Himself both Father and Son; but that, by reason of the inseparability of the Two, it was impossible for one of them to be either acknowledged or unknown without the other. "He that sent me," says He, "is true; and I am telling the world those things which I have heard of Him." And the Scripture narrative goes on to explain in an exoteric manner, that "they understood not that He spake to them concerning the Father," although they ought certainly to have known that the Father's words were uttered in the Son, because they read in Jeremiah, "And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth;" and again in Isaiah, "The Lord has given to me the tongue of learning that I should understand when to speak a word in season." In accordance with which, Christ Himself says: "Then shall you know that I am He and that I am saying nothing of my own self; but that, as my Father has taught me, so I speak, because He that sent me is with me." This also amounts to a proof that they were Two, (although) undivided. Likewise, when upbraiding the Jews in His discussion with them, because they wished to kill Him, He said, "I speak that which I have seen with my Father, and you do that which you have seen with your father;" "but now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth which I have heard of God;" and again, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God" (still they are not hereby separated, although He declares that He proceeded forth from the Father. Some persons indeed seize the opportunity afforded them in these words to propound their heresy of His separation; but His coming out from God is like the ray's procession from the sun, and the river's from the fountain, and the tree's from the seed); "I have not a devil, but I honour my Father;" again, "If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honours me, of whom you say, that He is your God: yet ye have not known Him, but I know Him; and if I should say, I know Him not, I shall be a liar like to you; but I know Him, and keep His saying." But when He goes on to say, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad," He certainly proves that it was not the Father that appeared to Abraham, but the Son. In like manner He declares, in the case of the man barn blind, "that He must do the works of the Father which had sent Him;" and after He had given the man sight, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" Then, upon the man's inquiring who He was, He proceeded to reveal Himself to him, as that Son of God whom He had announced to him as the right object of his faith. In a later passage He declares that He is known by the Father, and the Father by Him; adding that He was so wholly loved by the Father, that He was laying down His life, because He had received this commandment from the Father. When He was asked by the Jews if He were the very Christ (meaning, of course, the Christ of God; for to this day the Jews expect not the Father Himself, but the Christ of God, it being nowhere said that the Father will come as the Christ), He said to them, "I am telling you, and yet you do not believe: the works which I am doing, in my Father's name, they actually bear witness of me." Witness of what? Of that very thing, to be sure, of which they were making in-quiry -- whether He were the Christ of God. Then, again, concerning His sheep, and (the assurance) that no man should pluck them out of His hand, He says, "My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all;" adding immediately, "I am and my Father are one." Here, then, they take their stand, too infatuated, nay, too blind, to see in the first place that there is in this passage an intimation of Two Beings -- "I and my Father;" then that there is a plural predicate, "are," inapplicable to one person only; and lastly, that (the predicate terminates in an abstract, not a personal noun) -- "we are one thing" Unum, not "one person" Unus. For if He had said "one Person," He might have rendered some assistance to their opinion. Unus, no doubt, indicates the singular number; but (here we have a case where) "Two" are still the subject in the masculine gender. He accordingly says Unum, a neuter term, which does not imply singularity of number, but unity of essence, likeness, conjunction, affection on the Father's part, who loves the Son, and submission on the Son's, who obeys the Father's will. When He says, "I and my Father are one" in essence -- Unum -- He shows that there are Two, whom He puts on an equality and unites in one. He therefore adds to this very statement, that He "had showed them many works from the Father," for none of which did He deserve to be stoned. And to prevent their thinking Him deserving of this fate, as if He had claimed to be considered as God Himself, that is, the Father, by having said, "I and my Father are One," representing Himself as the Father's divine Son, and not as God Himself, He says, "If it is written in your law, I said, You are gods; and if the Scripture cannot be broken, say you of Him whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, that He blasphemes, because He said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not; but if I do, even if you will not believe me, still believe the works; and know that I am in the Father, and the Father in me." It must therefore be by the works that the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father; and so it is by the works that we understand that the Father is one with the Son. All along did He therefore strenuously aim at this conclusion, that while they were of one power and essence, they should still be believed to be Two; for otherwise, unless they were believed to be Two, the Son could not possibly be believed to have any existence at all.

CHAPTER 23 -- MORE PASSAGES FROM THE SAME GOSPEL IN PROOF OF THE SAME PORTION OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH. PRAXEAS' TAUNT OF WORSHIPPING TWO GODS REPUDIATED.

Again, when Martha in a later passage acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, she no more made a mistake than Peter" and Nathanael had; and yet, even if she had made a mistake, she would at once have learnt the truth: for, behold, when about to raise her brother from the dead, the Lord looked up to heaven, and, addressing the Father, said -- as the Son, of course: "Father, I thank You that You always hear me; it is because of these crowds that are standing by that I have spoken to You, that they may believe that You have sent me." "But in the trouble of His soul, (on a later occasion,) He said: "What shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause is it that I am come to this hour; only, O Father, do You glorify Your name" -- in which He spake as the Son. (At anothher time) He said: "I am come in my Father's name." Accordingly, the Son's voice was indeed alone sufficient, (when addressed) to the Father. But, behold, with an abundance (of evidence) the Father from heaven replies, for the purpose of testifying to the Son: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him." So, again, in that asseveration, "I have both glorified, and will glorify again," how many Persons do you discover, obstinate Praxeas? Are there not as many as there are voices? You have the Son on earth, you have the Father in heaven. Now this is not a separation; it is nothing but the divine dispensation. We know, however, that God is in the bottomless depths, and exists everywhere; but then it is by power and authority. We are also sure that the Son, being indivisible from Him, is everywhere with Him. Nevertheless, in the Economy or Dispensation itself, the Father willed that the Son should be regarded as on earth, and Himself in heaven; whither the Son also Him. self looked up, and prayed, and made supplication of the Father; whither also He taught us to raise ourselves, and pray, "Our Father Who art in heaven," etc., -- although, indeed, He is everywhere present. This heaven the Father willed to be His own throne; while He made the Son to be "a little lower than the angels," by sending Him down to the earth, but meaning at the same time to "crown Him with glory and honour," even by taking Him back to heaven. This He now made good to Him when He said: "I have both glorified You, and will glorify You again." The Son offers His request from earth, the Father gives His promise from heaven. Why, then, do you make liars of both the Father and the Son? If either the Father spake from heaven to the Son when He Himself was the Son on earth, or the Son prayed to the Father when He was Himself the Son in heaven, how happens it that the Son made a request of His own very self, by asking it of the Father, since the Son was the Father? Or, on the other hand, how is it that the Father made a promise to Himself, by making it to the Son, since the Father was the Son? Were we even to maintain that they are two separate gods, as you are so fond of throwing out against us, it would be a more tolerable assertion than the maintenance of so versatile and changeful a God as yours! Therefore it was that in the passage before us the Lord declared to the people present: "Not on my own account has this voice addressed me, but for your sakes," that these likewise may believe both in the Father and in the Son, severally, in their own names and persons and positions. "Then again, Jesus exclaims, and says, He that believes on me, believes not on me, but on Him that sent me;" because it is through the Son that men believe in the Father, while the Father also is the authority whence springs belief in the Son. "And he that sees me, sees Him that sent me." How so? Even because, (as He afterwards declares,) "I have not spoken from myself, but the Father which sent me: He has given me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak." For "the Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know when I ought to speak" the word which I actually speak. "Even as the Father has said to me, so do I speak." Now, in what way these things were said to Him, the evangelist and beloved disciple John knew better than Praxeas; and therefore he adds concerning i his own meaning: "Now before the feast of the passover, Jesus knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God, and was going to God." Praxeas, however, would have it that it was the Father who proceeded forth from Himself, and had returned to Himself; so that what the devil put into the heart of Judas was the betrayal, not of the Son, but of the Father Himself. But for the matter of that, things have not turned out well either for the devil or the heretic; because, even in the Son's case, the treason which the devil wrought against Him contributed nothing to his advantage. It was, then, the Son of God, who was in the Son of man, that was betrayed, as the Scripture says afterwards: "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him." Who is here meant by "God?" Certainly not the Father, but the Word of the Father, who was in the Son of man -- that is in the flesh, in which Jesus had been already glorified by the divine power and word. "And God," says He, "shall also glorify Him in Himself;" that is to say, the Father shall glorify the Son, because He has Him within Himself; and even though prostrated to the earth, and put to death, He would soon glorify Him by His resurrection, and making Him conqueror over death.

CHAPTER 24 -- ON ST. PHILIP'S CONVERSATION WITH CHRIST. HE THAT HATH SEEN ME, HATH SEEN THE FATHER. THIS TEXT EXPLAINED IN AN ANTI-PRAXEAN SENSE.

But there were some who even then did not understand. For Thomas, who was so long incredulous, said: "Lord, we know not where You goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus says to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have known the Father also: but henceforth you know Him, and have seen Him." And now we come to Philip, who, roused with the expectation of seeing the Father, and not understanding in what sense he was to take "seeing the Father," says: "Show us the Father, and it suffices us." Then the Lord answered him: "Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip?" Now whom does He say that they ought to have known? -- for this is the sole point of discussion. Was it as the Father that they ought to have known Him, or as the Son? If it was as the Father, Praxeas must tell us how Christ, who had been so long time with them, could have possibly ever been (I will not say understood, but even) supposed to have been the Father. He is clearly defined to us in all Scriptures -- in the Old Testament as the Christ of God, in the New Testament as the Son of God. In this character was He anciently predicted, in this was He also declared even by Christ Himself; nay, by the very Father also, who openly confesses Him from heaven as His Son, and as His Son glorifies Him. "This is my beloved Son;" "I have glorified Him, and I will glorify Him." In this character, too, was He believed on by His disciples, and rejected by the Jews. It was, moreover, in this character that He wished to be accepted by them whenever He named the Father, and gave preference to the Father, and honoured the Father. This, then, being the case, it was not the Father whom, after His lengthened intercourse with them, they were ignorant of, but it was the Son; and accordingly the Lord, while upbraiding Philip for not knowing Himself who was the object of their ignorance, wished Himself to be acknowledged indeed as that Being whom He had reproached them for being ignorant of after so long a time -- in a word, as the Son. And now it may be seen in what sense it was said, "He that has seen me has seen the Father," -- even in the same in which it was said in a previous passage, "I and my Father are one." Wherefore? Because "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world" and, "I am the way: no man comes to the Father, but by me;" and, "No man can come to me, except the Father draw him;" and, "All things are delivered to me by the Father;" and, "As the Father quickens (the dead), so also doth the Son;" and again, "If you had known me, you would have known the Father also." "For in all these passages He had shown Himself to be the Father's Commissioner," through whose agency even the Father could be seen in His works, and heard in His words, and recognised in the Son's administration of the Father's words and deeds. The Father indeed was invisible, as Philip had learnt in the law, and ought at the moment to have remembered: "No man shall see God, and live." So he is reproved for desiring to see the Father, as if He were a visible Being, and is taught that He only becomes visible in the Son from His mighty works, and not in the manifestation of His person. If, indeed, He meant the Father to be understood as the same with the Son, by saying, "He who sees me sees the Father," how is it that He adds immediately afterwards, "Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?" He ought rather to have said: "Don't you believe that I am the Father?" With what view else did He so emphatically dwell on this point, if it Were not to clear up that which He wished men to understand -- namely, that He was the Son? And then, again, by saying, "Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me," He laid the greater stress on His question on this very account, that He should not, because He had said, "He that has seen me, has seen the Father," be supposed to be the Father; because He had never wished Himself to be so regarded, having always professed Himself to be the Son, and to have come from the Father. And then He also set the conjunction of the two Persons in the clearest light, in order that no wish might be entertained of seeing the Father as if He were separately visible, and that the Son might be regarded as the representative of the Father. And yet He omitted not to explain how the Father was in the Son and the Son in the Father. "The words," says He, "which I speak to you, are not mine," because indeed they were the Father's words; "but the Father that dwells in me, He does the works." It is therefore by His mighty works, and by the words of His doctrine, that the Father who dwells in the Son makes Himself visible -- even by those wards and works whereby He abides in Him, and also by Him in whom He abides; the special properties of Both the Persons being apparent from this very circumstance, that He says, "I am in the Father, and the Father is in me." Accordingly He adds: "Believe -- " What? That I am the Father? I do not find that it is so written, but rather, "that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for my works' sake;" meaning those works by which the Father manifested Himself to be in the Son, not indeed to the sight of man, but to his intelligence.

CHAPTER 25 -- THE PARACLETE, OR HOLY GHOST. HE IS DISTINCT FROM THE FATHER AND THE SON AS TO THEIR PERSONAL EXISTENCE. ONE AND INSEPARABLE FROM THEM AS TO THEIR DIVINE NATURE. OTHER QUOTATIONS OUT OF ST. JOHN'S GOSPEL.

What follows Philip's question, and the Lord's whole treatment of it, to the end of John's Gospel, continues to furnish us with statements of the same kind, distinguishing the Father and the Son, with the properties of each. Then there is the Paraclete or Comforter, also, which He promises to pray for to the Father, and to send from heaven after He had ascended to the Father. He is called "another Comforter," indeed; but in what way He is another we have already shown, "He shall receive of mine," says Christ, just as Christ Himself received of the Father's. Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These Three are, one essence, not one Person, as it is said, "I and my Father are One," in respect of] unity of substance not singularity of number. Run through the whole Gospel, and you will find that He whom you believe to be the Father (described as acting for the Father, although you, for your part, forsooth, suppose that "the Father, being the husbandman," must surely have been on earth) is once more recognised by the Son as in heaven, when, "lifting up His eyes thereto," He commended His disciples to the safe-keeping of the Father. We have, moreover, in that other Gospel a clear revelation, i.e. of the Son's distinction from the Father, "My God, why have You forsaken me?" and again, (in the third Gospel,) "Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit." But even if (we had not these passages, we meet with satisfactory evidence) after His resurrection and glorious victory over death. Now that all the restraint of His humiliation is taken away, He might, if possible, have shown Himself as the Father to so faithful a woman (as Mary Magdalene) when she approached to touch Him, out of love, not from curiosity, nor with Thomas' incredulity. But not so; Jesus saith to her, "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren" (and even in this He proves Himself to be the Son; for if He had been the Father, He would have called them His children, (instead of His brethren), "and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." Now, does this mean, I ascend as the Father to the Father, and as God to God? Or as the Son to the Father, and as the Word to God? Wherefore also does this Gospel, at its very termination, intimate that these things were ever written, if it be not, to use its own words, "that you might believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?" Whenever, therefore, you take any of the statements of this Gospel, and apply them to demonstrate the identity of the Father and the Son, supposing that they serve your views therein, you are contending against the definite purpose of the Gospel. For these things certainly are not written that you may believe that Jesus Christ is the Father, but the Son.

CHAPTER 26 -- A BRIEF REFERENCE TO THE GOSPELS OF ST. MATTHEW AND ST. LUKE. THEIR AGREEMENT WITH ST. JOHN, IN RESPECT TO THE DISTINCT PERSONALITY OF THE FATHER AND THE SON.

In addition to Philip's conversation, and the Lord's reply to it, the reader will observe that we have run through John's Gospel to show that many other passages of a clear purport, both before and after that chapter, are only in strict accord with that single and prominent statement, which must be interpreted agreeably to all other places, rather than in opposition to them, and indeed to its own inherent and natural sense. I will not here largely use the support of the other Gospels, which confirm our belief by the Lord's nativity: it is sufficient to remark that He who had to be born of a virgin is announced in express terms by the angel himself as 'the Son of God: "The Spirit of God shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also the Holy Thing that shall be born of you shall be called the San of God." On this passage even they will wish to raise a cavil; but truth will prevail. Of course, they say, the Son of God is God, and the power of the highest is the Most High. And they do not hesitate to insinuate what, if it had been true, would have been written. Whom was he so afraid of as not plainly to declare, "God shall come upon you, and the Highest shall overshadow thee?" Now, by saying "the Spirit of God" (although the Spirit of God is God,) and by not directly naming God, he wished that portion of the whole Godhead to be understood, which was about to retire into the designation of "the Son." The Spirit of God in this passage must be the same as the Word. For just as, when John says, "The Word was made flesh," we understand the Spirit also in the mention of the Word: so here, too, we acknowledge the Word likewise in the name of the Spirit. For both the Spirit is the substance of the Word, and the Word is the operation of the Spirit, and the Two are One (and the same). Now John must mean One when he speaks of Him as "having been made flesh," and the angel Another when he announces Him as "about to be born," if the Spirit is not the Word, and the Word the Spirit. For just as the Word of God is not actually He whose Word He is, so also the Spirit (although He is called God) is not actually He whose Spirit He is said to be. Nothing which belongs to something else is actually the very same thing as that to which it belongs. Clearly, when anything proceeds from a personal subject, and so belongs to him, since it comes from him, it may possibly be such in quality exactly as the personal subject himself is from whom it proceeds, and to whom it belongs. And thus the Spirit is God, and the Word is God, because proceeding from God, but yet is not actually the very same as He from whom He proceeds. Now that which is God of God, although He is an actually existing thing, yet He cannot be God Himself (exclusively), but so far God as He is of the same substance as God Himself, and as being an actually existing thing, and as a portion of the Whole. Much more will "the power of the Highest" not be the Highest Himself, because It is not an actually existing thing, as being Spirit -- in the same way as the wisdom (of God) and the providence (of God) is not God: these attributes are not substances, but the accidents of the particular substance.

Power is incidental to the Spirit, but cannot itself be the Spirit. These things, therefore, whatsoever they are -- (I mean) the Spirit of God, and the Word and the Power -- having been conferred on the Virgin, that which is born of her is the Son of God. This He Himself, in those other Gospels also, testifies Himself to have been from His very boyhood: "Didn't you know," says He, "that I must be about my Father's business?" Satan likewise knew Him to be this in his temptations: "Since You art the Son of God." This, accordingly, the devils also acknowledge Him to be: "we know You, who You are, the Holy Son of God." His "Father" He Himself adores. When acknowledged by Peter as the "Christ (the Son) of God," He does not deny the relation. He exults in spirit when He says to the Father, "I thank You, O Father, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent." He, moreover, affirms also that to no man is the Father known, but to His Son; and promises that, as the Son of the Father, He will confess those who confess Him, and deny those who deny Him, before His Father. He also introduces a parable of the mission to the vineyard of the Son (not the Father), who was sent after so many servants, and slain by the husbandmen, and avenged by the Father. He is also ignorant of the last day and hour, which is known to the Father only. He awards the kingdom to His disciples, as He says it had been appointed to Himself by the Father. He has power to ask, if He will, legions of angels from the Father for His help. He exclaims that God had forsaken Him. He commends His spirit into the hands of the Father. After His resurrection He promises in a pledge to His disciples that He will send them the promise of His Father; and lastly, He commands them to baptize into the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, not into a unipersonal God. And indeed it is not once only, but three times, that we are immersed into the Three Persons, at each several mention of Their names.

CHAPTER 27 -- THE DISTINCTION OF THE FATHER AND THE SON, THUS ESTABLISHED, HE NOW PROVES THE DISTINCTION OF THE TWO NATURES, WHICH WERE, WITHOUT CONFUSION, UNITED IN THE PERSON OF THE SON. THE SUBTERFUGES OF PRAXEAS THUS EXPOSED.

But why should I linger over matters which are so evident, when I ought to be attacking points on which they seek to obscure the plainest proof? For, confuted on all sides on the distinction between the Father and the Son, which we maintain without destroying their inseparable union -- as (by the examples) of the sun and the ray, and the fountain and the river -- yet, by help of (their conceit)an indivisible number, (with issues)of two and three, they endeavour to interpret this distinction in a way which shall nevertheless tally with their own opinions: so that, all in one Person, they distinguish two, Father and Son, understanding the Son to be flesh, that is man, that is Jesus; and the Father to be spirit, that is God, that is Christ. Thus they, while contending that the Father and the Son are one and the same, do in fact begin by dividing them rather than uniting them. For if Jesus is one, and Christ is another, then the Son will be different from the Father, because the Son is Jesus, and the Father is Christ. Such a monarchy as this they learnt, I suppose, in the school of Valentinus, making two -- Jesus and Christ. But this conception of theirs has been, in fact, already confuted in what we have previously advanced, because the Word of God or the Spirit of God is also called the power of the Highest, whom they make the Father; whereas these relations are not themselves the same as He whose relations they are said to be, but they proceed from Him and appertain to Him. However, another refutation awaits them on this point of their heresy. See, say they, it was announced by the angel: "Therefore that Holy Thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God." Therefore, (they argue,) as it was the flesh that was born, it must be the flesh that is the Son of God. Nay, (I answer,) this is spoken concerning the Spirit of God. For it was certainly of the Holy Spirit that the virgin conceived; and that which He conceived, she brought forth. That, therefore, had to be born which was conceived and was to be brought forth; that is to say, the Spirit, whose "name should be called Emmanuel which, being interpreted, is, God with us." Besides, the flesh is not God, so that it could not have been said concerning it, "That Holy Thing shall be called the Son of God," but only that Divine Being who was born in the flesh, of whom the psalm also says, "Since God became man in the midst of it, and established it by the will of the Father." Now what Divine Person was born in it? The Word, and the Spirit which became incarnate with the Word by the will of the Father. The Word, therefore, is incarnate; and this must be the point of our inquiry: How the Word became flesh, -- whether it was by having been transfigured, as it were, in the flesh, or by having really clothed Himself in flesh. Certainly it was by a real clothing of Himself in flesh. For the rest, we must needs believe God to be unchangeable, and incapable of form, as being eternal. But transfiguration is the destruction of that which previously existed. For whatsoever is transfigured into some other thing ceases to be that which it had been, and begins to be that which it previously was not. God, however, neither ceases to be what He was, nor can He be any other thing than what He is. The Word is God, and "the Word of the Lord remains for ever," -- even by holding on unchangeably in His own proper form. Now, if He admits not of being transfigured, it must follow that He be understood in this sense to have become flesh, when He comes to be in the flesh, and is manifested, and is seen, and is handled by means of the flesh; since all the other points likewise require to be thus understood. For if the Word became flesh by a transfiguration and change of substance, it follows at once that Jesus must be a substance compounded of two substances -- of flesh and spirit, -- a kind of mixture, like electrum, composed of gold and silver; and it begins to be neither gold (that is to say, spirit) nor silver (that is to say, flesh), -- the one being changed by the other, and a third substance produced. Jesus, therefore, cannot at this rate be God for He has ceased to be the Word, which was made flesh; nor can He be Man incarnate for He is not properly flesh, and it was flesh which the Word became. Being compounded, therefore, of both, He actually is neither; He is rather some third substance, very different from either. But the truth is, we find that He is expressly set forth as both God and Man; the very psalm which we have quoted intimating (of the flesh), that "God became Man in the midst of it, He therefore established it by the will of the Father," -- certainly in all respects as the Son of God and the Son of Man, being God and Man, differing no doubt according to each substance in its own especial property, inasmuch as the Word is nothing else but God, and the flesh nothing else but Man. Thus does the apostle also teach respecting His two substances, saying, "who was made of the seed of David;" in which words He will be Man and Son of Man. "Who was declared to be the Son of God, according to the Spirit;" in which words He will be God, and the Word -- the Son of God. We see plainly the twofold state, which is not confounded, but conjoined in One Person -- Jesus, God and Man. Concerning Christ, indeed, I defer what I have to say. (I remark here), that the property of each nature is so wholly preserved, that the Spirit s on the one hand did all things in Jesus suitable to Itself, such as miracles, and mighty deeds, and wonders; and the Flesh, on the other hand, exhibited the affections which belong to it. It was hungry under the devil's temptation, thirsty with the Samaritan woman, wept over Lazarus, was troubled even to death, and at last actually died. If, however, it was only a tertium quid, some composite essence formed out of the Two substances, like the electrum (which we have mentioned), there would be no distinct proofs apparent of either nature. But by a transfer of functions, the Spirit would have done things to be done by the Flesh, and the Flesh such as are effected by the Spirit; or else such things as are suited neither to the Flesh nor to the Spirit, but confusedly of some third character. Nay more, on this supposition, either the Word underwent death, or the flesh did not die, if so be the Word was converted into flesh; because either the flesh was immortal, or the Word was modal. Forasmuch, however, as the two substances acted distinctly, each in its own character, there necessarily accrued to them severally their own operations, and their own issues. Learn then, together with Nicodemus, that "that which is born in the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit."

Neither the flesh becomes Spirit, nor the Spirit flesh. In one Person they no doubt are well able to be co-existent. Of them Jesus consists -- Man. of the flesh; of the Spirit, God -- and the angel designated Him as "the Son of God," in respect of that nature, in which He was Spirit, reserving for the flesh the appellation "Son of Man." In like manner, again, the apostle calls Him "the Mediator between God and Men,"" and so affirmed His participation of both substances. Now, to end the matter, will you, who interpret the Son of God to be flesh, be so good as as to show us what the Son of Man is? Will He then, I want to know, be the Spirit? But you insist upon it that the Father Himself is the Spirit, on the ground that "God is a Spirit," just as if we did not read also that there is "the Spirit of God;" in the same manner as we find that as "the Word was God," so also there is "the Word of God."

CHAPTER 28 -- CHRIST NOT THE FATHER, AS PRAXEAS SAID. THE INCONSISTENCY OF THIS OPINION, NO LESS THAN ITS ABSURDITY, EXPOSED. THE TRUE DOCTRINE OF JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO ST. PAUL, WHO AGREES WITH OTHER SACRED WRITERS.

And so, most foolish heretic, you make Christ to be the Father, without once considering the actual force of this name, if indeed Christ is a name, and not rather a surname, or designation; for it signifies "Anointed." But Anointed is no more a proper name than Clothed or Shod; it is only an accessory to a name. Suppose now that by some means Jesus were also called Vestitus (Clothed), as He is actually called Christ from the mystery of His anointing, would you in like manner say that Jesus was the Son of God, and at the same time suppose that Vestitus was the Father? Now then, concerning Christ, if Christ is the Father, the Father is an Anointed One, and receives the unction of course from another. Else if it is from Himself that He receives it, then you must prove it to us. But we learn no such fact from the Acts of the Apostles in that ejaculation of the Church to God, "Of a truth, Lord, against Your Holy Child Jesus, whom You have anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together." These then testified both that Jesus was the Son of God, and that being the Son, He was anointed by the Father. Christ therefore must be the same as Jesus who was anointed by the Father, and not the Father, who anointed the Son. To the same effect are the words of Peter: "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ," that is, Anointed. John, moreover, brands that man as "a liar" who "denies that Jesus is the Christ;" whilst on the other hand he declares that "every one is born of God who believes that Jesus is the Christ." Wherefore he also exhorts us to believe in the name of His (the Father's,) Son Jesus Christ, that "our fellowship may be with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." Paul, in like manner, everywhere speaks of "God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ." When writing to the Romans, he gives thanks to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. To the Galatians he declares himself to be "an apostle not of men, neither by man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father." You possess indeed all his writings, which testify plainly to the same effect, and set forth Two -- God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father. (They also testify) that Jesus is Himself the Christ, and under one or the other designation the Son of God. For precisely by the same right as both names belong to the same Person, even the Son of God, does either name alone without the other belong to the same Person. Consequently, whether it be the name Jesus which occurs alone, Christ is also understood, because Jesus is the Anointed One; or if the name Christ is the only one given, then Jesus is identified with Him, because the Anointed One is Jesus. Now, of these two names Jesus Christ, the former is the proper one, which was given to Him by the angel; and the latter is only an adjunct, predicable of Him from His anointing, -- thus suggesting the proviso that Christ must be the Son, not the Father. How blind, to be sure, is the man who fails to perceive that by the name of Christ some other God is implied, if he ascribes to the Father this name of Christ! For if Christ is God the Father, when He says, "I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God," He of course shows plainly enough that there is above Himself another Father and another God. If, again, the Father is Christ, He must be some other Being who "strengthens the thunder, and creates the wind, and declares to men His Christ." And if "the kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ," that Lord must be another Being, against whose Christ were gathered together the kings and the rulers. And if, to quote another passage, "Thus saith the Lord to my Lord Christ," the Lord who speaks to the Father of Christ must be a distinct Being. Moreover, when the apostle in his epistle prays, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give to you the spirit of wisdom and of knowledge," He must be other (than Christ), who is the God of Jesus Christ, the bestower of spiritual gifts. And once for all, that we may not wander through every passage, He "who raised up Christ from the dead, and is also to raise up our mortal bodies," must certainly be, as the quickener, different from the dead Father, or even from the quickened Father, if Christ who died is the Father.

CHAPTER 29 -- IT WAS CHRIST THAT DIED, THE FATHER IS INCAPABLE OF SUFFERING EITHER SOLELY OR WITH ANOTHER. BLASPHEMOUS CONCLUSIONS SPRING FROM PRAXEAS' PREMISES.

Silence! Silence on such blasphemy. Let us be content with saving that Christ died, the Son of the Father; and let this suffice, because the Scriptures have told us so much. For even the apostle, to his declaration -- which he makes not without feeling the weight of it -- that "Christ died," immediately adds, "according to the Scriptures," in order that he may alleviate the harshness of the statement by the authority of the Scriptures, and so remove offence from the reader. Now, although when two substances are alleged to be in Christ -- namely, the divine and the human -- it plainly follows that the divine nature is immortal, and that which is human is mortal, it is manifest in what sense he declares "Christ died" -- even in the sense in which He was flesh and Man and the Son of Man, not as being the Spirit and the Word and the Son of God. In short, since he says that it was Christ (that is, the Anointed One) that died, he shows us that that which died was the nature which was anointed; in a word, the flesh. Very well, say you; since we on our side affirm our doctrine in precisely the same terms which you use on your side respecting the Son, we are not guilty of blasphemy against the Lord God, for we do not maintain that He died after the divine nature, but only after the human. Nay, but you do blaspheme; because you allege not only that the Father died, but that He died the death of the cross. For "cursed are they which are hanged on a tree," -- a curse which, after the law, is compatible to the Son (inasmuch as "Christ has been made a curse for us," but certainly not the Father); since, however, you convert Christ into the Father, you are chargeable with blasphemy against the Father. But when we assert that Christ was crucified, we do not malign Him with a curse; we only re-affirm the curse pronounced by the law: nor indeed did the apostle utter blasphemy when he said the same thing as we. Besides, as there is no blasphemy in predicating of the subject that which is fairly applicable to it; so, on the other hand, it is blasphemy when that is alleged concerning the subject which is unsuitable to it. On this principle, too, the Father was not associated in suffering with the Son. The heretics, indeed, fearing to incur direct blasphemy against the Father, hope to diminish it by this expedient: they grant us so far that the Father and the Son are Two; adding that, since it iS the Son indeed who suffers, the Father is only His fellow-sufferer.

But how absurd are they even in this conceit! For what is the meaning of "fellow-suffering," but the endurance of suffering along with another? Now if the Father is incapable of suffering, He . is incapable of suffering in company with another; otherwise, if He can suffer with another, He is of course capable of suffering. You, in fact, yield Him nothing by this subterfuge of your fears. You are afraid to say that He is capable of suffering whom you make to be capable of fellow-suffering. Then, again, the Father is as incapable of fellow-suffering as the Son even is of suffering under the conditions of His existence as God. Well, but how could the Son suffer, if the Father did not suffer with Him? My answer is, The Father is separate from the Son, though not from Him as God. For even if a river be soiled with mire and mud, alhough it flows from the fountain identical in nature with it, and is not separated from the fountain, yet the injury which affects the stream reaches not to the fountain; and although it is the water of the fountain which suffers down the stream, still, since it is not affected at the fountain, but only in the river, the fountain suffers nothing, but only the river which issues from the fountain. So likewise the Spirit of God, whatever suffering it might be capable of in the Son, yet, inasmuch as it could not suffer in the Father, the fountain of the Godhead, but only in the Son, it evidently could not have suffered, as the Father. But it is enough for me that the Spirit of God suffered nothing as the Spirit of God, since all that It suffered It suffered in the Son. It was quite another matter for the Father to suffer with the Son in the flesh. This likewise has been treated by us. Nor will any one deny this, since even we are ourselves unable to suffer for God, unless the Spirit of God be in us, who also utters by our instrumentality whatever pertains to our own conduct and suffering; not, however, that He Himself suffers in our suffering, only He bestows on us the power and capacity of suffering.

CHAPTER 30 -- HOW THE SON WAS FORSAKEN BY THE FATHER UPON THE CROSS. THE TRUE MEANING THEREOF FATAL TO PRAXEAS. SO TOO, THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, HIS ASCENSION, SESSION AT THE FATHER'S RIGHT HAND, AND MISSION OF THE HOLY GHOST.

However, if you persist in pushing your views further, I shall find means of answering you with greater stringency, and of meeting you with the exclamation of the Lord Himself, so as to challenge you with the question, What is your inquiry and reasoning about that? You have Him exclaiming in the midst of His passion: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" Either, then, the Son suffered, being "forsaken" by the Father, and the Father consequently suffered nothing, inasmuch as He forsook the Son; or else, if it was the Father who suffered, then to what God was it that He addressed His cry? But this was the voice of flesh and soul, that is to say, of man -- not of the Word and Spirit, that is to say, not of God; and it was uttered so as to prove the impassibility of God, who "forsook" His Son, so far as He handed over His human substance to the suffering of death. This verity the apostle also perceived, when he writes to this effect: "If the Father spa. red not His own Son." This did Isaiah before him likewise perceive, when he declared: "And the Lord has delivered Him up for our offences." In this manner He "forsook" Him, in not sparing Him; "forsook" Him, in delivering Him up. In all other respects the Father did not forsake the Son, for it was into His Father's hands that the Son commended His. spirit. Indeed, after so commending it, He instantly died; and as the Spirit remained with the flesh, the flesh cannot undergo the full extent of death, i.e., in corruption and decay. For the Son, therefore, to die, amounted to His being forsaken by the Father. The Son, then, both dies and rises again, according to the Scriptures. It is the Son, too, who ascends to the heights of heaven, and also descends to the inner parts of the earth. "He sits at the Father's right hand" -- not the Father at His own. He is seen by Stephen, at his martyrdom by stoning, still sitting at the right hand of God? where He will continue to sit, until the Father shall make His enemies His footstool. He will come again on the clouds of heaven, just as He appeared when He ascended into heaven." Meanwhile He has received from the Father the promised gift, and has shed it forth, even the Holy Spirit -- the Third Name in the Godhead, and the Third Degree of the Divine Majesty; the Declarer of the One Monarchy of God, but at the same time the Interpreter of the Economy, to every one who hears and receives the words of the new prophecy; and "the Leader into all truth," such as is in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, according to the mystery of the doctrine of Christ.

CHAPTER 31 -- RETROGRADE CHARACTER OF THE HERESY OF PRAXEAS. THE DOCTRINE OF THE BLESSED TRINITY CONSTITUTES THE GREAT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY.

But, (this doctrine of yours bears a likeness) to the Jewish faith, of which this is the substance -- so to believe in One God as to refuse to reckon the Son besides Him, and after the Son the Spirit. Now, what difference would there be between us and them, if there were not this distinction which you are far breaking down? What need would there be of the gospel, which is the substance of the New Covenant, laying down (as it does) that the Law anti the Prophets lasted until John the Baptist, if thenceforward the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not both believed in as Three, and as making One Only God? God was pleased to renew His covenant with man in such a way as that His Unity might be believed in, after a new manner, through the Son and the Spirit, in order that God might now be known openly," in His proper Names and Persons, who in ancient times was not plainly understood, though declared through the Son and the Spirit. Away, then, with those "Antichrists who deny the Father and the Son." For they deny the Father, when they say that He is the same as the Son; and they deny the Son, when they suppose Him to be the same as the Father, by assigning to Them things which are not Theirs, and taking away from Them things which are Theirs. But "whosoever shall confess that (Jesus) Christ is the Son of God" (not the Father), "God dwells in him, and he in God." We believe not the testimony of God in which He testifies to us of His Son. "He that has not the Son, has not life." And that man has not the Son, who believes Him to be any other than the Son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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