Jehovah's Witnesses are true disciple...
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34330 May 12, 2013
Dogen wrote:
<quoted text>
There are a multitude of books that point out the false doctrines of the Watchtower cult. No one need restrict himself to one or even one thousand sources.
But the watchtower cult, like all cults, attempts to keep the wagons circled and to keep reality from infringing upon their Satan inspired dogma.
As a disciple (Student) Jesus gave us instruction. Like in How vital it is to gain accurate knowledge of what the resurrection is and what it means for mankind! Also essential is knowledge of God and Christ, for in prayer Jesus said:“This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”(John 17:3)

First, they were to search out those who were “deserving.” But how were the disciples to treat those who did not receive them favorably?

Jesus told them to ‘shake the dust off their feet’ and go on their way. This means that they would get on with their work of declaring the “good news” and not waste time in angry disputes that would only irritate the householder and rob the disciple of his peace and joy.(Matt. 10:13; Acts 13:50-52)
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34331 May 12, 2013
Jesus Christ—God’s Beloved Son

“Also, there was a voice from the heavens that said:‘This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.’”—MATTHEW 3:17.

JESUS CHRIST was baptized at the age of 30 by being immersed in water. When he came up out of the water, a voice from heaven said:“This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.”(Matthew 3:17) That voice was God’s voice. On another occasion, in prayer to God, Jesus said:“Father, glorify your name.” And when Jesus had said that, God’s “voice came out of heaven:‘I both glorified it and will glorify it again.’”—John 12:28.

From these accounts, even a child can understand that the relationship between almighty God and Jesus Christ was that of a father and his beloved son, two different individuals. Yet, this simple Bible truth is denied by the religions of Christendom.

They insist that Jesus Christ is God Almighty himself, the second person of a Trinity, the third person being the holy spirit.

That teaching has caused great confusion among the people of Christendom’s religions, which is one reason why the New Catholic Encyclopedia calls the Trinity a mystery.

Indeed, it causes confusion even among the clergy, for that encyclopedia also says:“There are few teachers of Trinitarian theology in Roman Catholic seminaries who have not been badgered at one time or another by the question,‘But how does one preach the Trinity?’ And if the question is symptomatic of confusion on the part of the students, perhaps it is no less symptomatic of similar confusion on the part of their professors.”

That confusing doctrine is the central belief of Catholic and Protestant religions. The Catholic Encyclopedia states:“The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion . . . Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed:‘the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God.’”

Similarly, in a court case involving Jehovah’s Witnesses in Greece, the Greek Orthodox Church said:“The fundamental doctrine of Christianity, in which all Christians confess belief . . . regardless of sect or dogma, is . . . the Trinity, that God is One in three persons.” The Greek Orthodox Church also stated:“Christians are those who accept Christ as God.” It said that those who do not accept the Trinity are not Christians but heretics.

However, if this “fundamental” Trinity teaching of Christendom is not true, if it is a lie, then the opposite would be the case. True Christians would reject it. Those who have apostatized from Christianity would cling to it. With what consequences for the latter group?

In the last book of the Bible,“a revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him,” we read concerning those who are disqualified from eternal life in God’s Kingdom:“Outside are the dogs and those who practice spiritism and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone liking and carrying on a lie.”—Revelation 1:1; 22:15.

Because of its importance, we should be informed as to where this Trinity concept originated and why it originated. Who is really behind it? What does modern Bible scholarship have to say about it? But before discussing these matters, let us examine further what God’s own inspired Word says.—2 Timothy 3:16, 17.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#34332 May 12, 2013
Student wrote:
<quoted text>
As a disciple (Student) Jesus gave us instruction. Like in How vital it is to gain accurate knowledge of what the resurrection is and what it means for mankind! Also essential is knowledge of God and Christ, for in prayer Jesus said:“This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”(John 17:3)
First, they were to search out those who were “deserving.” But how were the disciples to treat those who did not receive them favorably?
Jesus told them to ‘shake the dust off their feet’ and go on their way. This means that they would get on with their work of declaring the “good news” and not waste time in angry disputes that would only irritate the householder and rob the disciple of his peace and joy.(Matt. 10:13; Acts 13:50-52)
Finally, something that I agree with 100%. I urge you to go to the nearest Church of Christ and get right with God by becoming a christian, take care.
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34333 May 12, 2013
Not ‘God the Son’ but “God’s Son”

Never did Jesus claim to be almighty God himself.

Any impartial reading of the Bible without preconceived ideas about the Trinity will verify that. For example, at John 3:16, Jesus said:“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son.” Just two verses later, Jesus again said that he was “the only-begotten Son of God.”(John 3:18)

When the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy, he answered:“Do you say to me whom the Father sanctified and dispatched into the world,‘You blaspheme,’ because I said, I am God’s Son?”(John 10:36) Jesus did not say that he was ‘God the Son’ but that he was “God’s Son.”

When Jesus died, even the Roman soldiers standing by knew that Jesus was not God:“The army officer and those with him watching over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things happening, grew very much afraid, saying:‘Certainly this was God’s Son.’”(Matthew 27:54) They did not say,‘this was God’ or ‘this was God the Son,’ because Jesus and his disciples taught that Jesus was the Son of God, not God Almighty in human form.

God himself testified that Jesus was his beloved Son, as the Bible writer Matthew noted when Jesus was baptized.(Matthew 3:17) Other Bible writers noted the same. Mark wrote:“A voice came out of the heavens:‘You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.’”(Mark 1:11) Luke said:“A voice came out of heaven:‘You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.’”(Luke 3:22) And John the Baptizer, who baptized Jesus, testified:“I have borne witness that this one [Jesus] is the Son of God.”(John 1:34)

So God himself, all four Gospel writers, and John the Baptizer clearly state that Jesus was the Son of God. And some time later, at the transfiguration of Jesus, a similar thing happened:“A voice [God’s] came out of the cloud, saying:‘This is my Son, the one that has been chosen. Listen to him.’”—Luke 9:35.

In these accounts, was God saying that he was his own son, that he sent himself, and that he approved himself?

No, God the Father, the Creator, was saying that he had sent his Son Jesus, a separate individual, to do God’s work.

Hence, throughout the Greek Scriptures the phrase “Son of God” is used to refer to Jesus. But not once do we see the phrase ‘God the Son,’ for Jesus was not almighty God. He was the Son of God. They are two different persons, and no theological “mystery” can change that truth.
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34334 May 12, 2013
The Father Superior to the Son

Jesus knew that he was not equal to his Father but in every way was in a subordinate position. He knew that he was a beloved Son who had deep love for his Father.

That is why, time and again, Jesus made statements such as the following:

“The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing.”(John 5:19)

“I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me.”(John 6:38)

“What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him that sent me.”(John 7:16)

“I know him [God], because I am a representative from him, and that One sent me forth.”(John 7:29)

The one who does the sending is the superior. The one who is sent is the lesser, the servant. God is the sender. Jesus is the one who is sent. They are not the same.

As Jesus expressed it:“A slave is not greater than his master, nor is one that is sent forth greater than the one that sent him.”—John 13:16.

This is also made clear in an illustration Jesus gave. He likened his Father, Jehovah God, to the owner of a vineyard who traveled abroad and left the vineyard in the charge of cultivators—who obviously picture the Jewish clergy. In time, the owner sent a slave to get some of the fruit from the vineyard, but the cultivators beat the slave and sent him away empty. Then the owner sent a second slave, and the same thing happened. He sent a third slave, who got the same treatment. Then the owner (God) said:“I will send my son [Jesus] the beloved. Likely they will respect this one.” But the corrupt cultivators said:“‘This is the heir; let us kill him, that the inheritance may become ours.’ With that they threw him outside the vineyard and killed him.”(Luke 20:9-16)

Again, this makes it plain that Jesus is subject to the Father, sent by the Father to do the Father’s will.

Jesus himself said:“The Father is greater than I am.”(John 14:28)

We should believe Jesus, for he surely knew the truth about his relationship to his Father. The apostle Paul also knew that God was superior to Jesus, and he said:“The Son [Jesus] himself will also subject himself to . . . God.”(1 Corinthians 15:28)

This is further seen in Paul’s statement at 1 Corinthians 11:3:“The head of the Christ is God.” Jesus acknowledged that he had a superior God when he said to his disciples:“I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.”—John 20:17.

Cont...
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34335 May 12, 2013
Jesus mentioned God’s superiority when the mother of two of the disciples asked that her sons sit one at the right and the other at the left of Jesus when he came into his Kingdom.

He answered:“This sitting down at my right hand and at my left is not mine to give.”(Matthew 20:23)

If Jesus had been almighty God, it would have been his to give. But it was not. It was his Father’s to give.

Similarly, when relating his prophecy about the end of this system of things, Jesus stated:“Concerning that day or the hour nobody knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, but the Father.”(Mark 13:32) Had Jesus been God Almighty, he would have known that day and the hour. But he did not know because he was not the All-knowing God. He was God’s Son and did not know everything that his Father knew.

When Jesus was about to die, he showed subjection to his Father in praying:“Father, if you wish, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, let, not my will, but yours take place.”(Luke 22:42)

To whom was Jesus praying?

To himself? No, he was praying to his Father in heaven. This is clearly shown by his saying:“Let, not my will, but yours take place.” And then, at his death, Jesus cried out:“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”(Mark 15:34)

To whom was Jesus crying out?

To himself? No, he was crying out to his Father who was in heaven.

After Jesus died, he was in the tomb for about three days.

Who resurrected him?

Since he was dead, he could not resurrect himself. And if he was not really dead, then he could not have paid the ransom for Adam’s sin. But he did die, and was nonexistent for about three days.

The apostle Peter tells us who resurrected Jesus:“God resurrected him by loosing the pangs of death.”(Acts 2:24) The superior, God Almighty, raised the lesser one, his beloved Son, Jesus, from the dead.

To illustrate: When Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the dead, who was superior?

Jesus was superior, since he could bring Lazarus back from the dead.(John 11:41-44) It was the same when God resurrected Jesus. God was superior, since he could bring Jesus back from the dead.

Jesus could not possibly be God himself, for Jesus was created by God.

Note how Benjamin Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott renders Apocalypse (Revelation) chapter 3, verse 14:“These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness [Jesus], the beginning of the creation of God.”

Similarly, Colossians 1:15, 16 says of Jesus:“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth ... All other things have been created through him and for him.”

So in heaven almighty God directly created his Son and then “by means of him,” or “through him,” created other things, much as a skilled workman might have a trained employee do work for him.

Those things created “by means of him” did not include Jesus himself, for God had already created him. Thus, he is called the “firstborn,” the “only-begotten.” When a child is the firstborn, the only-begotten, it never means that the child is the same as the father. It always means that there are two different personalities involved, father and child.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#34336 May 12, 2013
John 10:30-33 - Jesus answered them,“I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them,“Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying,“For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
Matthew 1:23 -“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated,“God with us.”
John 14:9-11 - Jesus said to him,“Have I been with you so long and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say,'Show us the Father'?”
Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 43:10,11 -“You are My witnesses,” says the Lord,“And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior.”
Revelation 1:17-18; Revelation 2:8 -(Jesus is the First and the Last)
2 John 1:7 - For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist
1 Timothy 3:16 - 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.
Isaiah 44:6 -(God is the Redeemer)
2 Peter 1:1 (Jesus is the Redeemer)-“To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”
Isaiah 44:24 -(God created the world by His self alone)
John 1:3; Colossians 1:16 -(Jesus made all things)
John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... 1:14 - And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
John 5:17,18 -“My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” Therefore the Jews sought to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
John 5:23 - that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
John 8:24 -“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM He, you will die in your sins.”
John 8:58 - Then Jesus said to them,“Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
John 14:6-7 - Jesus said to him,“I AM the way, the truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 20:28 - And Thomas answered and said to Him,“My Lord and my God!”
Acts 4:12 -“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 20:28 -(God purchased us with His own blood)
Revelation 1:5,6; Revelation 5:8-9 -(Jesus' blood purchased us)
Philippians 2:5-7 - Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men.
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34337 May 12, 2013
Holy Spirit—A Person or an Active Force?

What about the supposed third person of the Trinity, the holy spirit, said to be equal in power, substance, and eternity to Father and Son?

Nowhere in the Bible is the holy spirit mentioned with God and Christ as being equal to them. For instance, on the occasion of Jesus’ baptism, Mark 1:10 shows that the holy spirit came down upon Jesus “like a dove,” not in a human form.

The holy spirit was not some person coming upon Jesus but was God’s active force. That power from God enabled Jesus to heal the sick and resurrect the dead. As Luke 5:17 says in the Diaglott:“The Mighty Power of the Lord [God] was on him [Jesus] to cure.” Later, at Pentecost, the apostles also were given the power from God to heal the sick and raise the dead.

Did that make them part of some “godhead”?

No, they were simply given power from God, through Christ, to do what humans ordinarily could not do.

That same active force is mentioned at Ephesians 5:18, where Paul counsels:“Keep getting filled with spirit.” Similarly, Acts 7:55 says that Stephen was “full of holy spirit.” And at Pentecost, the followers of Jesus “all became filled with holy spirit.”(Acts 2:4)

Can a human get filled with another person?

No, but he can get filled with the power that comes from God. That holy spirit is the same force that God used to create the universe. As Genesis 1:2 says:“God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters.”

After Jesus was resurrected, Stephen had a vision of heaven and “caught sight of God’s glory and of Jesus standing at God’s right hand.”(Acts 7:55)

Thus, two separate persons were in evidence in heaven:(1) God and (2) the resurrected Jesus Christ.

No holy spirit is mentioned in this vision because it was not any third person of a Trinity.

The holy spirit, being God’s active force, would proceed from God but not as a separate being. That is why Stephen saw only two persons, not three.

Regarding the holy spirit, the New Catholic Encyclopedia admits:“The O[ld] T[estament] clearly does not envisage God’s spirit as a person, neither in the strictly philosophical sense, nor in the Semitic sense. God’s spirit is simply God’s power. If it is sometimes represented as being distinct from God, it is because the breath of Yahweh acts exteriorly.”

It also states:“The majority of N[ew] T[estament] texts reveal God’s spirit as something, not someone; this is especially seen in the parallelism between the spirit and the power of God.”

In view of all these facts, this “fundamental” Trinity doctrine of Christendom cannot be true.

God’s own Word refutes that claim.

It shows clearly that Jehovah God is the loving Father and that Jesus Christ is his beloved Son, a Son who had such love for his Father that he was willing to be obedient to the death.

However, some contend that there are scriptures that seem to indicate support for the Trinity, so in our next article, we will examine some of them. Also, we will discuss why this doctrine has become such an important part of Christendom and where it originated.(w88 6/1 Jesus Christ--God's Beloved Son, pp 10-15)
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34338 May 12, 2013
Accurate Knowledge of God and His Son Leads to Life

“This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”—JOHN 17:3.

ACCURATE knowledge of God and his Son, Jesus Christ, is vital for those who want everlasting life.“[God’s] will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”(1 Timothy 2:4)

Such knowledge from God’s inspired Word, the Bible, will equip us to know who God is and what our obligations are toward him.(2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 1 John 2:17) It will also enable us properly to identify Jesus Christ and our relationship to him.—Psalm 2:12; Philippians 2:5-11.

Without accurate knowledge, we may become ensnared by false teachings promoted by God’s opposer, Satan the Devil, who is “a liar and the father of the lie.”(John 8:44)

Therefore, if a doctrine contradicts God’s Word, if it is a lie, then believing it and teaching it discredits Jehovah and brings us into opposition to him. So we need to examine the Scriptures carefully to distinguish truth from falsehood.(Acts 17:11) We do not want to be like those who are “always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”—2 Timothy 3:1, 7.

As we have seen in the previous article, the doctrine of the Trinity is not a Bible teaching.

In God’s own Word, he clearly tells us that he is the Creator of all things and that his first creation in heaven was his Son.(Revelation 4:11; Colossians 1:15, 16)

God sent his Son to earth as a human to provide the ransom sacrifice, which served as the basis for forgiveness of mankind’s sins, and to enlighten sincere persons further about God and his purposes.(Matthew 20:28; John 6:38)

Yet, the simple, clear teaching that God and Christ are two separate persons, and that the holy spirit is not a person but is God’s active force, has been twisted down through the centuries.

Instead, the Trinity teaching has become the fundamental doctrine of Christendom.
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34339 May 12, 2013
“I and the Father Are One”

The churches often cite John 10:30 to try to support the Trinity, although no mention is made of any third person in that verse. There Jesus said:“I and the Father are one.”

But did Jesus mean that he was God Almighty himself, just in a different form?

No, that could not be since Jesus always said that he was God’s Son, inferior to Him and in subjection to Him.

What, then, did Jesus mean at John 10:30?

Jesus meant that he was one in thought and purpose with his Father. This can be seen at John 17:21, 22, where Jesus prayed to God that his disciples “may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us . . . that they may be one just as we are one.”

Was Jesus praying that all his disciples would become one person?

No, he was praying that they would be in unity, of the same mind and purpose, just as Jesus and God were.

The same idea is expressed at 1 Corinthians 1:10, where Paul states that Christians ‘should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among them, but that they should be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.’

So when Jesus said that he and his Father were one, he did not mean that they were the same person, just as when he said that his disciples should become one he did not mean that they were the same person.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#34340 May 12, 2013
Student wrote:
I will try to explain the trinity to you in a way thatI feel is easier to understand. The trinity consists of three distinct personalities God, jesus and the Holy Spirit are one in the same spiritually in a way that many can't seem to comprehend because people tend to relate it to our own structure, which isn't the same as the trinity is as we are one human body with one spirit. The trinity having three in one with each able to express their own feelings, and the main ingredient in the trinity are their lives are in complete harmony with each other. It works like this, God cois the architectl, God gives his plans to Jesus to put it together, and the holy spirit is like a project engineer who gets everything needed to get the job done and oversees the job until completion, this is as simple as I can get it for people to understand the workings of the trinity. You and I are not completely privy on exactly how the three are one because its beyond our human ability to fully understand.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#34341 May 12, 2013
God is a trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the same person as the Son; the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is not the same person as Father. They are not three gods and not three beings. They are three distinct persons; yet, they are all the one God. Each has a will, can speak, can love, etc., and these are demonstrations of personhood. They are in absolute perfect harmony consisting of one substance. They are coeternal, coequal, and copowerful. If any one of the three were removed, there would be no God.(See also, "Another Look at the Trinity")

Jesus, the Son, is one person with two natures: Divine and Human. This is called the Hypostatic Union. The Holy Spirit is also divine in nature and is self aware, the third person of the Trinity.

There is, though, an apparent separation of some functions among the members of the Godhead. For example, the Father chooses who will be saved (Eph. 1:4); the Son redeems them (Eph. 1:7); and the Holy Spirit seals them,(Eph. 1:13).

A further point of clarification is that God is not one person, the Father, with Jesus as a creation and the Holy Spirit as a force (Jehovah's Witnesses). Neither is He one person who took three consecutive forms, i.e., the Father, became the Son, who became the Holy Spirit. Nor is God the divine nature of the Son (where Jesus had a human nature perceived as the Son and a divine nature perceived as the Father (Oneness theology). Nor is the Trinity an office held by three separate Gods (Mormonism).

The word "person" is used to describe the three members of the Godhead because the word "person" is appropriate. A person is self aware, can speak, love, hate, say "you," "yours," "me," "mine," etc. Each of the three persons in the Trinity demonstrate these qualities.

The chart below should help you to see how the doctrine of the Trinity is systematically derived from Scripture. The list is not exhaustive, only illustrative.

The first step is to establish the biblical doctrine that there is only one God. Then, you find that each of the persons is called God, each creates, each was involved in Jesus' resurrection, each indwells, etc. Therefore, God is one, but the one God is in three simultaneous persons. Please note that the idea of a composite unity is not a foreign concept to the Bible; after all, man and wife are said to be one flesh. The idea of a composite unity of persons is spoken of by God in Genesis (Gen. 2:24).

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#34342 May 12, 2013
The Trinity can be a difficult concept to understand. Some think it is a logical contradiction. Others call it a mystery. Does the Bible teach it? Yes it does (see Trinity), but that doesn't automatically make it easier to comprehend.

The Trinity is defined as one God who exists in three eternal, simultaneous, and distinct persons known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Such a definition may suffice for some, but for others this explanation is insufficient.

Therefore, to help understand the Trinity better, I offer the following analogy that, I think, is hinted at in Rom. 1:20: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

Notice that this verse says God's attributes, power, and nature, can be clearly seen in creation. What does that mean? Should we be able to learn about God's attributes, power, and nature by looking at what He has made? Apparently, according to the Bible, this is possible.

When a painter paints a picture, what is in him is reflected in the painting he produces. When a sculptor creates a work of art, it is from his heart and mind that the source of the sculpture is born. The work is shaped by his creative ability. The creators of art leave their marks, something that is their own, something that reflects what they are. Is this the same with God? Has God left His fingerprints on creation? Of course He has.
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34343 May 12, 2013
Who Was “the Word”?

However, what about John 1:1, which says in the King James Version:“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”?

John 1:14 tells us that “the Word became flesh and resided among us.” Christendom claims that this “Word”(Greek, logos) who came to earth as Jesus Christ was God Almighty himself.

Yet, notice that even in the King James Version John 1:1 says “the Word was with God.” Someone who is with another person is not the same as that other person.

So even from this translation, two distinct personalities are shown. Also, no third person of any Trinity is mentioned at all.

As for the King James Version’s saying in the latter part of John 1:1 that the “Word was God,” other translations say something different. Some are as follows:

1808:“and the word was a god.” The New Testament, in an Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text, London.

1864:“and a god was the Word.” The Emphatic Diaglott, by Benjamin Wilson, New York and London.

1935:“and the Word was divine.” The Bible—An American Translation, by J. M. P. Smith and E. J. Goodspeed, Chicago.

1935:“the Logos was divine.” A New Translation of the Bible, by James Moffatt, New York.

1975:“and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word.” Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Siegfried Schulz, Göttingen, Germany.

1978:“and godlike sort was the Logos.” Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider, Berlin.

1979:“and a god was the Logos.” Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Jurgen Becker, Würzburg, Germany.

Also, in 1950 the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., rendered the phrase,“and the Word was a god.”

Cont...
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34344 May 12, 2013
Do such renderings agree with the grammatical construction of John 1:1 in the Greek language?

Yes, they do. At John 1:1 there are two occurrences of the Greek noun theos (god). The first occurrence refers to almighty God, with whom the Word was—“and the Word [logos] was with God [a form of theos].”

This first theos is preceded by a form of the Greek definite article ho. The noun theos with the definite article ho in front of it points to a distinct identity, in this case almighty God—“and the Word was with [the] God.”

But in the latter part of John 1:1, such translations as listed in paragraph 8 render the second theos (a predicate noun) as “divine” or “a god” instead of “God.”

Why? Because the second theos is a singular predicate noun occurring before the verb and without the definite article ho in Greek.

In this verse, such a sentence construction points to a characteristic or quality of the subject. It highlights the nature of the Word, that he was “divine,”“a god,” but not the almighty God.

This is in harmony with the many scriptures that show that “the Word” was God’s spokesman, sent to earth by God. As John 1:18 states:“No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god [the Son created in heaven by almighty God] who is in the bosom position with the Father is the one that has [come to earth as the man Jesus and] explained him [almighty God].”

There are many other Bible verses where those who translate from the Greek into another language insert the article “a” before the predicate noun although there is no article in the Greek text. This insertion of the article in the translation brings out the characteristic or quality of the noun. For example, at Mark 6:49, when the disciples saw Jesus walking on water, the King James Version says,“they supposed it had been a spirit”(Greek, phantasma). The New World Translation more correctly renders the phrase,“They thought:‘It is an apparition!’” In the same way, the correct translation of John 1:1 shows that the Word was not “God,” but “a god.”

Two similar examples are found at John chapter 8, verse 44. There Jesus, speaking of the Devil, says:“That one was a manslayer when he began ... He is a liar and the father of the lie.” Similar to John 1:1, in the original Greek the predicate noun in both these expressions (“manslayer,”“liar”) precedes the verb and has no definite article.

In each case, a quality or characteristic of the Devil is being described and in many modern language translations, it is necessary to insert the indefinite article (“a”) in order to convey this. Thus, the King James Version renders these expressions,“He was a murderer ... he is a liar and the father of it.”—See also Mark 11:32; John 4:19; 6:70; 9:17; 10:1, 13, 21; 12:6.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#34345 May 12, 2013
By Wayne Jackson
Some conservative writers have attempted to defend the idea that the second Person of the Godhead, at the time of the “incarnation”(i.e., when “the Word became flesh”—John 1:14), laid aside “the form of God.” They contend that the concept of an infinite God being clothed within a human body is illogical. Though these authors undoubtedly mean well, their position is quite erroneous as to the nature of the incarnate Christ.
Several arguments have been employed in attempting to buttress this position. For example, it has been argued: God cannot be tempted (James 1:13); but Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1ff; Luke 4:1ff ). The conclusion is thus supposed to be: Jesus did not exist in the form of God.
The logical consequence of this position is that Jesus Christ was not deity in the flesh. Advocates of this view usually do not mean to affirm explicitly that conclusion, but that is where the reasoning leads. What these writers have failed to realize, with reference to James 1:13, is that God the Father—not Christ the Son—is in view in that context. James was not discussing the nature and/or role of Christ. Thus, it is improper to generalize regarding the nature of the Lord from this brief reference.
The text commonly appealed to as proof that Jesus did not exist on Earth in “the form of God” is Philippians 2:6. Here is the full context of what Paul wrote:
Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8, ASV).
But the position advocated is incorrect for the following reasons.
In Philippians 2:6, Paul spoke of Christ as “existing in the form of God” The term “existing” is not a past tense form. It translates the Greek term huparchon, a present tense participle. The present tense reveals that the Savior’s existence, in the “form of God,” is a sustained mode of being, not one that was interrupted by the incarnation. A.T. Robertson called attention to the difference between the present tense, huparchon (denoting “eternal existence in the morphe [form] of God”), and the Lord’s “becoming”(aorist tense) in the likeness of man (1931, 445). There was a time when the second Person of the Godhead did not exist as man; there has never been a time when he was not in “the form of God.”
W.E. Vine commented that this grammatical form denotes “an existence or condition both previous to the circumstances mentioned and continuing after it”(1991, 279). Another scholar noted that the word expresses “continuance of an antecedent state or condition”(Abbott-Smith 1923, 457). Hendriksen was quite correct when he asked:“[O]f what did Christ empty himself? Surely not of his existence ‘in the form of God’”(1962, 106). Wuest amplified the present tense form of the participle by suggesting that Jesus “has always been and at present continues to subsist” in the form of God (1961, 462). It is unnecessary to multiply additional examples.
Contrary to the evidence, however, it has been alleged that whereas Christ existed in the form of God prior to the incarnation, he divested himself of that status while on Earth. Finally, according to the theory under review, Jesus resumed the form-of-God nature when he returned to heaven. There is no biblical support for this concept, which violates the explicit testimony of Scripture.
The Greek word for “form” is morphe. This term denotes that which is “indicative of the interior nature” of a thing (Green 1907, 384), or as Kennedy observed, morphe “always signifies a form which truly and fully expresses the being which underlies it”(1956, 436). Trench commented that “none could be en morphe theou [in form of God] who was not God”(1890, 263).
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34346 May 12, 2013
“My Lord and My God”

Trinitarians also cite John 20:28 to support their claims. There Thomas said to Jesus:“My Lord and my God!” As shown above, there is no objection to Thomas’ referring to Jesus as a god. Such would be in harmony with the fact that Jesus, in his prehuman existence, certainly was a god, that is, a powerful, divine person. And he certainly has been that since his death and resurrection to heavenly life. Jesus even quoted from the Psalms to show that powerful humans were addressed as “gods.”(Psalm 82:1-6; John 10:34, 35)

The apostle Paul noted that there were “many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords.’”(1 Corinthians 8:5) Even Satan is called “the god of this system of things.”—2 Corinthians 4:4.

Christ occupies a position far higher than imperfect men, or Satan. If such can be referred to as “gods,” surely Jesus can be, and was, referred to as a god. Because of his unique position in relation to Jehovah, Jesus is “the only-begotten god”(John 1:18), a “Mighty God”(Isaiah 9:6), and “a god”(John 1:1). So there was nothing improper about Thomas’ referring to Jesus in that way. Thomas was saying that Jesus was a god to him, a divine, powerful one. But he was not saying that Jesus was Jehovah, which is why Thomas said,“my” God and not “the” God.

Just three verses later, at John 20:31, the Bible states:“But these have been written down that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God.” All doubt as to what Thomas may have meant is dispelled here. The Bible writer John clearly says that Jesus is the Son of God, not almighty God himself.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#34347 May 12, 2013
By Wayne Jackson

Some conservative writers have attempted to defend the idea that the second Person of the Godhead, at the time of the “incarnation”(i.e., when “the Word became flesh”—John 1:14), laid aside “the form of God.” They contend that the concept of an infinite God being clothed within a human body is illogical. Though these authors undoubtedly mean well, their position is quite erroneous as to the nature of the incarnate Christ.

Several arguments have been employed in attempting to buttress this position. For example, it has been argued: God cannot be tempted (James 1:13); but Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1ff; Luke 4:1ff ). The conclusion is thus supposed to be: Jesus did not exist in the form of God.

The logical consequence of this position is that Jesus Christ was not deity in the flesh. Advocates of this view usually do not mean to affirm explicitly that conclusion, but that is where the reasoning leads. What these writers have failed to realize, with reference to James 1:13, is that God the Father—not Christ the Son—is in view in that context. James was not discussing the nature and/or role of Christ. Thus, it is improper to generalize regarding the nature of the Lord from this brief reference.

The text commonly appealed to as proof that Jesus did not exist on Earth in “the form of God” is Philippians 2:6. Here is the full context of what Paul wrote:


Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8, ASV).

But the position advocated is incorrect for the following reasons.

In Philippians 2:6, Paul spoke of Christ as “existing in the form of God” The term “existing” is not a past tense form. It translates the Greek term huparchon, a present tense participle. The present tense reveals that the Savior’s existence, in the “form of God,” is a sustained mode of being, not one that was interrupted by the incarnation. A.T. Robertson called attention to the difference between the present tense, huparchon (denoting “eternal existence in the morphe [form] of God”), and the Lord’s “becoming”(aorist tense) in the likeness of man (1931, 445). There was a time when the second Person of the Godhead did not exist as man; there has never been a time when he was not in “the form of God.”

W.E. Vine commented that this grammatical form denotes “an existence or condition both previous to the circumstances mentioned and continuing after it”(1991, 279). Another scholar noted that the word expresses “continuance of an antecedent state or condition”(Abbott-Smith 1923, 457). Hendriksen was quite correct when he asked:“[O]f what did Christ empty himself? Surely not of his existence ‘in the form of God’”(1962, 106). Wuest amplified the present tense form of the participle by suggesting that Jesus “has always been and at present continues to subsist” in the form of God (1961, 462). It is unnecessary to multiply additional examples.

Contrary to the evidence, however, it has been alleged that whereas Christ existed in the form of God prior to the incarnation, he divested himself of that status while on Earth. Finally, according to the theory under review, Jesus resumed the form-of-God nature when he returned to heaven. There is no biblical support for this concept, which violates the explicit testimony of Scripture.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#34348 May 12, 2013
Final part,


The Greek word for “form” is morphe. This term denotes that which is “indicative of the interior nature” of a thing (Green 1907, 384), or as Kennedy observed, morphe “always signifies a form which truly and fully expresses the being which underlies it”(1956, 436). Trench commented that “none could be en morphe theou [in form of God] who was not God”(1890, 263). All of this simply means that if Jesus gave up the “form of God” when he became incarnate, then he ceased being God at that time. This is equivalent to the doctrine advocated by Jehovah’s Witnesses, namely, that Christ was “nothing more than a perfect man.” I must say, in the kindest way possible, that the position under review is unrepresentative of the teaching of the New Testament.

But it is alleged that Jesus could not have existed in “the form of God” because the New Testament speaks of the Lord being led of the Spirit, protected by angels, etc. Obviously, therefore, Christ was not “infinite God.”

The thing that seems to be at the root of this misunderstanding is a failure to recognize that the Lord’s earthly limitations were not the consequence of a less-than-God nature; rather, they were the result of a self-imposed submission reflecting the exercise of his sovereign will. Of what did Christ “empty” himself when he became flesh?

A.H. Strong expressed it well when he noted that, by means of the incarnation, Jesus “resigned not the possession, nor yet entirely the use, but rather the independent exercise, of the divine attributes”(1907, 703). To say the same thing in another way, the Lord’s incarnate status involved, not a divestment of divine form/essence or attributes, but rather a subordination of those attributes to the Father in terms of role function. When Jesus affirmed,“[T]he father is greater than I”(John 14:28), he was not disclaiming divine nature; rather, he was asserting that he had subjected himself voluntarily to the Father’s will.

Think about this for a moment. How could Christ be void of the divine attributes, and still be divine? A thing is the sum of its attributes. This is an insurmountable difficulty for those who argue that the incarnate Christ was not in the “form of God.”

If Christ was not fully God, i.e., existing in the “form of God,” exactly what was he? Quasi-God? Half-God? Merely appearing to be God (as certain Gnostics held)? Only perfect Man? What?

Moreover, if Jesus did not exist in the “form of God” while he lived on Earth, how could he claim to be “one”(neuter gender, suggesting unity of nature) with the Father (John 10:30)? Why did the Lord allow Thomas to call him “God”(John 20:28)? Why did Jesus accept worship (Matthew 8:2), when he plainly taught that only God is worthy of worship (Matthew 4:10)?

Finally, if it is to be argued that Christ laid aside his status of being in “the form of God” by virtue of his humanness and his subordination to the Father, then one must likewise contend, if consistent, that Jesus does not possess the “form of God” now, because as our Mediator, he is “the man, Christ Jesus”(1 Timothy 2:5), and he is still in subjection to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:27).

Some may feel that this is simply a matter of inconsequential semantics. However, sometimes semantics is quite important. Gospel truth is a message of words, and the Christian teacher needs to be accurate in the language he employs. May the Lord help us to be precise in the expression of biblical truth
Student

Beavercreek, OR

#34349 May 12, 2013
Not Equal to God

Another scripture the churches use is John 5:18.

It says that the Jews wanted to kill Jesus because “he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.”

Who was saying that Jesus was making himself equal to God? Not Jesus.

He clears this up in the very next verse (19) by stating:“The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing.”

So Jesus did not claim that he was almighty God or equal to Him. He was showing the Jews that they were mistaken, that he was not God, but that he was the Son of God, and as God’s spokesman, he could not act on his own initiative.

Can we imagine the almighty God of the universe saying that he could do nothing of his own initiative?

So the Jews made a charge, and Jesus refuted it.

Thus, from the testimony of God in his own inspired Word, from the testimony of Jesus, and from the testimony of the disciples of Jesus, the overwhelming evidence clearly shows that almighty God and Jesus Christ are two separate personalities, Father and Son.

That evidence also clearly shows that the holy spirit is not the third person of any Trinity but God’s active force.

It is futile to take scriptures out of context or to try twisting them to support the Trinity. Any such scriptures must be harmonized with the rest of the Bible’s clear testimony.

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