Can You Face Reality
By Joel Hemphill
Biblical Facts Concerning the Lord God and His Son Jesus Christ
The Creed of Israel through the centuries, since their awesome encounter with the Lord God at Mt. Sinai, is stated so clearly in Deut. 6:4, “Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. This is their greatest gift to mankind, monotheism, the belief that God is one (entity, being, person)”. Jesus affirmed this as his Creed as well in Mark 12:2930. When asked by a scribe which commandment he considered the greatest, Jesus bypassed the obvious ten and went to the Creed of Israel: “And Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is, Hear, 0 Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” It seems that somewhere along the way, many in Christianity have acquired a serious misunderstanding regarding the relationship between God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Please consider prayerfully the following solid Scriptural truths.
1. Jesus is the anointed, appointed, approved, virgin-born, righteous Son of God: Savior, Redeemer, Messiah and soon coming King, and the only way to God. But how can he be God? “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 2:5).
2. Jesus never one time said that he is “God.” He said many times, “I am the Son of God” and he is, but “Son of God” and “God” are not interchangeable terms. “Adam, which was the son of God” (Luke 3:38). When Jesus is called “God” four times in Scripture, it means that he, like Moses, the elders of Israel, and the Davidic kings, is God over all that his God, the Lord God of Heaven (his Father), has placed him over. (See Ex. 4:15-16, 7:1, Psalms 45:1-17, Psalms 82:1, 6, Heb. 1:8-9).
3. Jesus denied being God. “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God” (Matt. 19:7). Not once in Scripture is Jesus called the Lord God (Adonai), Almighty (El Shaddai), Most High (El Elyon), or Lord of Hosts (Sabaoth). Hallelujah or Alleluia (God be praised) are never spoken to Jesus, but always to God, his Father (Rev. 19:1-6).
4. Jesus denied saying he is God. “Because thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (the Pharisees speaking). Jesus answered, `1 said I am the Son of God” (John 10:33, 36).
5. Jesus denied that he is the Creator. “Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matt. 19:4). “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). The prophet Malachi agrees, “Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us” (Mal 2:10). If Jesus preformed the original creation, why did God rest? (Gen. 2:3; Heb. 4:4). “By the word of the Lord (God) were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Ps. 33:6). “In the beginning was the word” (John 1:1).
6. Jesus and the Father are one, just as he desires believers to be one. “That they might be one, even as we are one” (not one person) (John 17:11, 22). “Not any man hath seen the Father” (Jesus speaking) (John 6:46).
7. Jesus said he is a man. “Ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God” (John 8:40). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends” (John 15:13-14).
8. Jesus said his Father is “the one and only God” (John 5:44 – NASB).
9. Jesus said his Father is “the only true God” (John 17:3).
10. The apostle Paul said ‘to us there is but one God, the Father” (1 Cor. 8:6). “One God and Father of all, who is above all” (Eph. 4:6). “My Father…is greater than all,” “My Father is greater than I” (Jesus speaking) (John 10:29; 14:28). (Jesus referred to God as “Father” 170 times in the N.T.)
11. Paul said ‘Me only wise God” is the God who is “invisible” (I Tim. 1:17). Jesus was not invisible, he was seen by thousands. (These statements by Jesus and Paul are not Trinitarian statements).
12. Paul said “God” over 500 times in his epistles and not one time was he referring to Jesus, it was always God the Father. “Paul, an apostle…by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead; Grace to you…from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal 1:1, 3). “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give you the spirit…” (Eph. 1:3, 17). Who was Paul’s God? “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Not Christ Jesus, but “by Christ Jesus.” Verse 20 says, “Now unto God and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen…”One is your Father, which is in heaven” (Jesus speaking) (Matt. 23:9).
13. Paul prayed 34 prayers in Acts and his thirteen epistles and not one of those prayers were directed to Jesus. ‘We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” (Col. 1:3). “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:14). This is in accord with Jesus’ statement in John 16:23, ‘In that day ye shall ask me nothing. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” So, we should pray to God the Father, in Jesus name.
14. Peter said “God” 46 times in his two epistles and not once was he speaking of Jesus. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:3). Listen to Peter’s understanding. ‘Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God…” (Acts 2:22). “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost…for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). (Christ) “verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, (“foreordained” not pre-existent), but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” (I Peter 1:20-21).
15. Jesus cannot be the Supreme God, as he has a God. “My God, my God, why halt thou forsaken me” (Matt. 27:46)? “Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (this was the resurrected Jesus speaking) (John 20:17). Jesus had been in heaven with the Father for some sixty years when he said in Revelation 3:12, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God…name of my God…city of my God…out of heaven from my God.” Jesus is our brother, thus we are “Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). (See Deut. 18:18; Heb. 2:11-12, 17).
16. The ascended Jesus said in Revelation 3:14, “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. The word “beginning” is “arche” in Greek and means “first in order of time.” Jesus was spoken by God as the “logos” (“word’), God the Father’s first creative act! Just as his birth was spoken from the “beginning” in the unchangeable plan of God, so his crucifixion was pre-ordained. He is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8).
17. Paul said that Christ “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col. 1:15). An image is not the original but a “representative likeness.” Paul says Jesus is in the creature class, not in the Godhead. “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of Christ is God” (I Cor. 11:3). Paul says in I Cor. 15:24-28 that Christ will be eternally subject to the Father. ‘Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father…then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him (God the Father), that God may be all in all.”
Who Is The Supreme God?
To Jesus, the Apostles and Gospel writers, the Supreme God is the Lord God of the O.T. and N.T. This view was changed in the post-Biblical times by Church Councils that decided that God existed in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, “co-equal, co-eternal, of one substance,” the Holy Trinity. (Councils of Nicea 325 A.D. – Calcedon 451 A.D.). The Bible doctrine of God as one person was changed to a mistaken concept of three persons as God. The Bible contains over 10,000 singular pronouns and verbs referring to the one God (I, me, him – never we, them; “He was” not ‘they were’). Not one place does the Bible say “God” when it has reference to three persons.
The Historical Record.
The historical record says the same. Look at these statements by the most credible non-Biblical sources.
“The doctrine of the Trinity did not form part of the apostles preaching, as this (preaching) is reported in the N.T” (Ency. International; U. of Glasgow; 1982 Ed.; Vol. 18; p. 226).
“The doctrine (Trinity) is not found in its fully developed form in the Scripture. Modem theology does not seek to find it in the O. T. At the time of the Reformation the Protestant Church took over the doctrine of the Trinity, without serious examination.” (New International Ency.; 1916 Ed; Vol. 23; p. 47, 477).
Today scholars generally agree that there is no doctrine of the Trinity as such in either the O. T. or the N.T. It would go far beyond the intention and thought-forms of the O.T. to suppose that a late-forth century…Christian doctrine can be found there. Likewise, the N.T. does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity” (Harper Collins Ency. of Catholicism; p. 564-565).
Believers in God as a single person (God the Father), were ‘at the beginning of the third century still forming the large majority” (Ency. Britannica; 11th Ed; Vol. 23; p. 963).
A famous Christian author, whom Dr. Billy Graham calls his favorite Evangelical writer, said in a letter to me last week: “As you know, the Trinity was one of the most hotly debated topics of the first 5 centuries, and still it has us scratching our heads.”
A Worship Issue.
You may ask, “How important is this?” It is only as important as God the Father makes it. It may not be a salvation issue, but it certainly is a worship issue! Jesus said in John 4:23, ‘The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” Jesus said to the scribe who asked him which is the greatest commandment (Mark 12:30), “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God (God the Father) with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first (most important) commandment.” Are you keeping this commandment? Are you absolutely in love with God the Father? We learn from Holy Scripture that He is loveable, and approachable through His Son Jesus (See John 3:16).
Can You Face Reality?
Have you been saved by the blood of Jesus and his finished work at Calvary? Jesus said, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). “(Jesus) is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Heb. 7:25). “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jesus speaking) (John 17:3). “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17).
What Must We Do?
Repent of our sins! Paul said to the Gentiles on Mars Hill in Athens, “(God) now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man (Jesus) whom he hath ordained; whereof he (God) hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). Note: Jesus had been in heaven with the Father for some 20 years, yet Paul still calls him “that man.”
Be Baptized In Jesus Name.
“Repent, and be baptized every one of your in the name of Jesus Christ” (Peter speaking) (Acts 2:38). “They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:16). (See also Acts 10:48; 19:5; 22:16). “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Jesus speaking) (Mark 16:16).
Get Our Worship In Order!
The great end-time message that the mighty angel proclaimed in the midst of heaven, in Rev. 14:7 was, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and the earth and the sea, and the fountain of waters. Let’s praise Jesus our Savior and Redeemer, and worship God the Father as the Supreme God! The results will be more answered prayers (“If any man be a worshiper of God…him He heareth” John 9:31), and power and favor with God like we have never known! “And Jesus increased in favor with God” (Luke 2:52). “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
A Minister of Jesus Christ
For further understanding of this awesome subject let the Holy Spirit guide you as you read the Bible. Also, may I recommend my book `To God Be the Glory, available from Trumpet Call Books, wherever fine books are sold.
From, www.thehemphills.com By Joel Hemphill