Friday, April 27, 2018

1 John 2:22-24 – Was John Writing About Denial That Jesus Is Jehovah?

Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist: he who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son, the same does not have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. As for you, let that remain in you which you heard from the beginning. If that which you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son, and in the Father. — 1 John 2:22-24, Restoration Light Improved Version.

One author states concerning the above verses: ‘According to 1 John 2:22-23, belief in the blessed Trinity is not optional but critical to having a true faith toward God.” Another states regarding “apostates”: “According to 1 John 2:22-23 they will deny the Trinity.” Another states: “Beware when you deny the trinity your [sic] not TRULY saved 1 John 2:22.” Another applies 1 John 2:22,23 with belief that Jesus is the Archangel, evidently with the thought that belief in the archangel means one is denying the Father and the Son. Another states concerning 1 John 2:22,23: “Their heresy—they denied the Trinity!” One provides 1 John 2:22,23 as support of the statement: “To deny the Trinity is a mark of an antichrist and a cult, and it is a denial of God.” Another claims regarding 1 John 2:22, “if you take it at face value, whoever denies the Trinity is antichrist.” One states in relation to 1 John 2:22: “It is clear to me that Satan will do everything in his power to deny the trinity of God and will cause many people to fall into deception to believe this lie that there is not a trinity.”

Thus, it would seem that many see either the “the trinity” in 1 John 2:22-23, and/or that they see Jesus as being the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:13,14) in 1 John 2:22-23. The trinitarian often furthers sees in 1 John 2:22-23 that the Father is one person of the triune God, and that Jesus is another person of the triune. And then, based on what they “see” in 1 John 2:22-23, they would claim that anyone else who does not “see” this must be antichrist, or, at least not Christian. It should be obvious, however, that many trinitarians and oneness believers are “seeing” something in what John wrote that is not stated. As of yet, we have not found anyone who has ever attempted to explain what it is in 1 John 2:22-23 that refers to any triune God, or that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Indeed, it appears to be simply presumed, and the presumption is taken for granted.

Actually, John wrote nothing at all about denying the trinity; he wrote noting at all about denying that Jesus is Jehovah; he wrote nothing at all about there being two, or three persons, in one God; he wrote nothing at all about Jesus as being the God of Abraham. Indeed, throughout the New Testament, the Father of Jesus is always presented as being the God of Abraham; not once do we find any scripture that identifies Jesus as being the God of Abraham (although many read that thought into many scriptures).

Thus, plainly there is nothing 1 John 2:22-24 that says anything at all about denying belief in an alleged “Blessed Trinity"! There is nothing at all in 1 John 2:22-24 about a trinity nor is there anything there at all that says anything about Jesus being the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Does 1 John 2:22-24 mean that if one believes that Jesus is the Archangel, that one is denying the Father and the Son? Absolutely not! There is nothing at all in 1 John 2:22-24 nor anywhere else in the Bible that would mean that Jesus is not Michael the Archangel.

See our studies on Michael the Archangel

We can only conclude that that many are presuming that the dogma of men is the basis of faith and thus that they imagining beyond what is written that 1 John 2:22-24 condemns any who disagree that dogma. — 1 Corinthians 4:6.

Do the scriptures ever present such an idea that Jesus has to be the God of Abraham in order to save mankind? Absolutely not! Such has been imagined, assumed, added to, and read into some scriptures, but in reality, the only requirement for the sent savior is that he be a sinless man, who unlike Adam, is kept righteous by obedience to the God of Abraham. Indeed, by adding to the Scriptures that Jesus is the God of Abraham, one, in effect, annuls the scripture tells us that Jesus condemned sin in the flesh, for Jesus would have, in effect, demonstrated that in order to obey Jehovah, that man has to be Jehovah. This would not condemn sin in the flesh, but rather it would justify sin the flesh, proving that the only way that Adam could have obey Jehovah was that Adam would have needed to have been Jehovah.

Did Jesus Have to Be Both God and Man in Order to be the Mediator? (Study not yet restored)

No, John did not write about denying any doctrine of men that has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into the scriptures, such as the triune God dogma. He was talking about denying the Son, which, in effect, also denies the Father, since it was the only true God who sent the Son (John 17:1,3), and the only true God performs His works through His Son. — 1 Corinthians 8:6.

Jesus was sent by the Lord Jehovah, speaks for Jehovah as one person who is God and Father, Jesus represents Jehovah, and it was only one person who is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who raised and glorified His Son. Jesus never claimed to be, nor do the scriptures present Jesus as, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whom Jesus represents and speaks for. — Deuteronomy 18:15-22; Matthew 22:32; 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; 12:26; Luke 13:35; 20:37; John 3:2,17,32-35; 4:34; 5:19,30,36,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; 20:17; Acts 2:22,34-36; 3:13-26; 5:30; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 8:6; 11:31; Colossians 1:3,15; 2:9-12; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:1.

Let us examine further. John wrote: “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?” “Christ” means “anointed”. Who anointed Jesus, making him the Christ? We find that the Messiah is quoted in Isaiah 61:1 as prophetically stating, “Jehovah ... has anointed me.” (Isaiah 61:1) Jesus applied that prophesy to himself. (Luke 4:18-21; see also: Psalm 45:7; Acts 2:36; 10:38; Hebrews 1:9)  Thus, to deny that Jesus is the Christ is not to deny that Jesus is Jehovah, but to deny that Jesus is the one whom Jehovah anointed and sent.

Indeed, it is the trinitarian that tends toward denying that Jesus really is the Anointed of God, since it would add to what is written in the bible that Jesus is a person of a triune God. Likewise, any who claim that Jesus is Jehovah (Yahweh, as some prefer) would, in effect, tend toward denial that Jesus is the Anointed by Jehovah. Trinitarians try to explain this away by calling upon the spirit of human imagination so as to add to the scriptures that it was not their triune God who anointed Jesus, but that it was only one person of their triune God, the Father, who anointed another person of their triune God, both of whom they claim are “fully God”. Some of the oneness believers, with their spirit of human imagination, have claimed that it is one aspect of God who anointed another aspect of God, etc. Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and some other groups, on the other hand, claim that Jesus is Jehovah, and the Father is not Jehovah, and thus, according to their reasoning, the Lord Jehovah of Isaiah 61:1 could not have possibly anointed Jesus.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

1 John 1:1-3 – That Which Was From The Beginning

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life
1 John 1:2 (and the life was revealed, and we have seen, and testify, and declare to you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us).
1 John 3:3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us. Yes, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. – World English
That was from beginning, which we have heard, what we have seen to the eyes of us, which we viewed, and the hands of us felt, about the Logos of Life, and the life was manifested, and we have seen and we hearing witness and we are reported back to you the life everlasting which was with the Father and it was manifested to us, — which we have seen and we have heard, we are reporting back also to you, in order that you sharing, you may be having with us: the sharing with our Father and the Son of him, Jesus Christ. — 1 John 1:1,2, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible translation.

1 John 1:1-3 is often cited to support the trinity doctrine, and sometimes to support the oneness doctrine. Actually, anyone who refers to this as proof that Jesus is Jehovah has to call upon his imagination so as add assumptions to, and read those assumptions into what John was stating, in order to “see” such  in what John stated. Let us examine the verse carefully to see if John was writing about a triune God.

“That which was from the beginning.” It is often assumed that by “the beginning”, John was writing about the same “beginning” that he wrote of in John 1:1. We highly doubt this, since in 1 John 2:7, John again refers to “from the beginning”, but in the latter verse it should be obvious that the commandment  those to whom John wrote had “from the beginning” is not speaking about their existence in the beginning before the world of mankind was made through Jesus.  -- John 1:10; 17:5.

1 John 2:7 - Brothers, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. -- World English

Likewise in 1 John 1:1-3, the “beginning” evidently is referring to the time period of when Jesus was yet in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), since John speaks of seeing the Logos with his eyes, and handling him with his hands (John 1:14); likewise, it was while Jesus was in the days of his flesh that he gave his commandments. -- John 13:34,35; 15:12,17/

1 John 1:1,2 expresses in different words basically the same thing John spoke of elsewhere in his Gospel. In the human Jesus was life, a life in himself given to him by his God (John 1:4; 5:26; 6:57), a life which brought to light life and incorruption (1 Timothy 1:10), since, unlike Adam, who also had life in himself given to him by God yet gave up that life in disobedience, Jesus never disobeyed, and retained the right to that human life for eternity, but which life he willingly sacrificed for all who are dying due to Adam’s disobedience. — Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 10:10.

As a result of Jesus’ sacrifice of his rights to eternal human life, he became the means of such life to those who are dying in Adam, so that those who figuratively eat of his flesh and drink of his blood in faith may also be accounted, reckoned, imputed, as having been justified, having life in themselves as human sons of God, awaiting an actual placement as sons in the resurrection. — John 6:53; Romans 4:3-24; 6:11.

Some imagine that this reads “that which was from eternity”, and from that read that Jesus had an eternal past. However, the Hebrew word for “beginning” does not mean eternity, nor is there any reason to imagine such an idea as related to what John wrote (except that one would wish to satisfy the added-on dogma of man beyond what is written).

The life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us. – The word “with” here is from the Greek word often transliterated as “pros” (Strong’s #4314). It is the same word that is usually translated “with” in John 1:1.  The word does not mean exactly the same as “with” in the sense as we often use that word in English, but it does express an intimate relationship. “The life” spoken in 1 John 1:2, however, is not the “life” that Jesus had when he was in celestial glory before the world of mankind was made through him. (John 1:10; 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:40) John did not see the former (before he became flesh) celestial glory of Jesus while Jesus was in the days of his flesh, since Jesus did not possess that glory at that time. John did see the glory of terrestrial life, as Adam could have had it if Adam had remained obedient. While Jesus was in the days of his flesh, “in him was life” (John 1:4), and it was that glory that John saw, felt and touched. (John 1:14) Adam’s life, before he sinned, was “with God”, in intimate relationship with God, but that relationship became severed through sin. After his sin, Adam fell short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that fallen condition spread to all men through Adam; the effects of what Adam did are reversed in the life of Jesus. Jesus never disobeyed, and had the right to everlasting life in him as a human, but he gave up that life in sacrifice to redeem what had been lost through Adam. — Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

The scripture states, "Our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ."  (John 1:3, World English) Some read into this that John was saying that the Father and his Son are equal to each other, and that they are therefore two persons of the one triune God.  For the oneness believers, we suppose they might read into this that it speaking of two aspects or manifestations of the "one God." Actually, there is no scriptural reason for assuming that the Son is equal to his Father, and certainly nothing in this that gives anyone reason to imagine and assume that Jesus and his Father are two persons of a triune God, or that the Son is the one God who is his Father. -- 1 Corinthians 8:6.

Now with regards “the Father” and the word “God”.  In 1 John 1:5, the word “God” is used, but does it refer to a triune God, or is Jesus included as being "God"? It should be obvious that “God” in 1 John 1:5 identifies only person, and that is “the Father”, since 1 John 1:7 identifies Jesus Christ as the Son of this “God”. Thus, Jesus Christ is distinguished from "God" and is not being spoken of as a person of “God” or any other way as being "God", but is, in fact, being excluded from being the “God” that is referred to by John.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

1 John 2:20,27 – No Need For Anyone To Teach

Did John teach that one who has God's Holy Spirit knows absolutely everything, and/or that the one who has been anointed has absolutely no need of a teacher?

1 John 2:20 -  But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
1 John 2:27 -  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. -- King James Version.

1 John 2:20 - You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know the truth.

1 John 2:27 - As for you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you don't need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in him.   -- World English.

1 John 2:20 - But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know.

1 John 2:27 - but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him. -- Revised Standard Version.

These verses, often quoted from the King James Version and taken in isolation, are sometimes quoted as though it says, once you have the “Holy Ghost”, you have no need for anyone in the church to teach you, for the “Holy Ghost” will tell you all things. Many use this verse to support their belief in the trinity doctrine or the oneness doctrine. This verse is often even quoted to condemn those who do accept whichever of these doctrines, claiming that one does not have the Holy Spirit if one does not agree with whichever doctrine is being claimed. In reality, such usually spurn any direction to the Word of God that does not agree with whatever dogma or doctrine that they claim the spirit they have has "revealed" to them.* However, the scriptures show In other words, they would place their “Holy Ghost” or their “Holy Spirit” above the Bible itself, for, by means of whatever thoughts that their spirit or ghost has given them beyond what is written, these spirits are very clever in making it appear that such thoughts are in harmony with the Word of God.
*Mormons (the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints") often claim something similar for their beliefs. The Mormons claim Jesus is Jehovah, that Jehovah is not the Father, despite the overwhelming testimony of scripture that reveals Jehovah as being the God and Father of Jesus.

We have come across some, who, based on the KJV rendering of 1 John 2:20, who actually claim that they know all things, since they have the "Holy Ghost" or "Holy Spirit'. No human can legitimately claim to know absolutely everything there is no about everything in the entire universe, although we have come across some who have made that very claim, based on the KJV rendering as above. In reality, such would, in effect, make themselves equal to God Almighty Himself; it would be a claim to omniscience! In reality, the Greek word transliterated as “pantwn” (Strong’s #3956, a form of “pas”) rarely ever means absolutely everything in the universe, but is always related to both the context as well as common evidence for all is included or excluded in the “all” that is being spoken of. What is John speaking of in the context as related to the rest of God’s Word?

The Greek of 1 John 2:20 literally is "you know all".  The Koine Greek syntax, however, could be all applying the word "all" to "you", rather than the word "know", and thus, in English, we could say, "all of you know." Several translations render it with this in mind. 

The word “things”, in both verses above, is not in the Greek, it has been supplied by translators. If the word "all" is applied to know, it would assume something as related to what is included or not included in the all referred to. In English, this could be presented as "all this," thus, "and you know all this." Nevertheless, the "all" is restricted to all pertaining to the truth of what John had been referring in context, as can be seen from the next verse (1 John 2:21). Thus, the World English supplies "the truth" in 1 John 2:20.

Nevertheless, many do insist that this says that once one has received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, they do not need anyone on earth to teach them. Thus, many of God’s best and humblest children have read with amazement the words from the KJV, “The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you and ye need not that any man teach you!” Many of God's children may possibly be led to think, 'Since I do not know all, and need someone to teach me, I must not have this anointing.' Indeed, those who DO believe that they need no human teacher, and who promote whatever message they claim is revealed to them, may even try to make others feel that they do not have this anointing, except that they agree with them. It is similar to the stance many had begun to take even while the apostles were alive, and which began to flourish greatly after the apostles died. Some began to claim to have "apostolic" authority and to understand things revealed to them beyond what was written by the apostles. While they sought make what they were teaching to be in harmony with the apostles, their new teachings, almost always ended up in conflict with the basis of atonement as written by the apostles. Among these teachings were those that are often called "docetism," "Marcionism," "trinitarianism," "modalism" (also referred to as "Sabellianism"),  "Montanism," "gnosticism," and probably others. Usually, once one has come under the influence of such a spirit, they become blinded in such a way that they cannot read the scriptures except through the tint of whatever teaching is "revealed" to them beyond what is written, which, in effect, blinds them to what the scriptures actually do say. Through the centuries, others have claimed various revealings from "the Holy Spirit," or the "Holy Ghost," or from "Mary," or others, with even more alleged revealings, etc. Should we just accept such "revealings" as being from God? Obviously, we cannot accept all of them, since they contradict each other. The only true test of such revealings is the Bible.

Nevertheless, today we do come across some who misuse 1 John 2:20,27 so as to claim that they have learned nothing of men but have been taught all they know by direct inspiration of the holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost).  Evidently, those who claim to know everything, however, do not realize that they are claiming infallibility for their thoughts and words, in the most absolute sense. They fail, too, to see that their errors of thought, word and deed, claimed to be under plenary inspiration of the Holy Spirit, actually reflect against God’s holy spirit, as the author of their errors and follies. Additionally, they fail to comprehend that they have been taught by men, although they misunderstand, in that they misuse what John himself taught. If their idea truly represents what John wrote, they would first be accepting John as being their teacher; and/or, they are accepting the translators of the King James Version as being their teacher in that they are the ones who provide this rendering in English.

Taking these verses in isolation, especially as they appear in the KJV, it would seem to contradict the general testimony of Scripture. For instance, the apostle Paul tells us that God through His spirit HAS given gifts to the church as apostles, prophets [orators], pastors [shepherds], teachers, evangelists. (Ephesians 4:11) Obviously, there would be no need for any of these if the anointed saint need absolutely no one to teach them anything. Note also what Paul tells us is the reason for giving these special gifts to the church:  “For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God.” (Ephesians 4:11-13) Compare 1 Corinthians 12:28-31.

Nevertheless, we should not suppose the apostle John was contradicting the apostle Paul and the other apostles — all of whom were teachers and who instructed the church to seek out the Spirit’s choice of pastors, teachers and overseers, and to honor those who thus had the “rule over” the church and who were to watch for the interests of souls as those who must give an account to the Lord. (Hebrews 13:17) It was undoubtedly in full accord with the apostle Paul’s advice that the church had need to select as its servants men “apt at teaching,” “able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers,” and when necessary to “rebuke sharply that they may be sound in faith.” All in the church were to recognize under-shepherds, who would not “lord it over God’s heritage,” but would “feed the flock” with what is appropriate — while seeking to avoid teachers who would teach doctrine contrary to what is written or who were teaching to please man. -- 1 Corinthians 4:6;1 Peter 5:2-4; 1 Timothy 3:2; 2 Timothy 2:25; Titus 1:9,13.

Furthermore, John himself was a teacher, and in this very epistle was teaching what he and we appreciate as sound doctrine – necessary to be taught. Surely no one reading John’s writings could draw the inference that he meant them merely as social letters, devoid of doctrine or teaching. Does he not open the epistle by saying, “That which we have seen and heard declare [teach] we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us?” (1 John 1:3) Again he says, “These things write I unto you [to teach you] that ye sin not.” (1 John 2:1) Again, “A new commandment [teaching] I write unto you.” (1 John 2:8) Again, “Little children, let no man deceive you [but heed my teaching]: he that doeth righteousness is righteous.” (1 John 3:7) Again, “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us [obeys our instructions, our teachings].” (1 John 4:6) Again, “These things have I written unto you…that ye may know [be taught].” (1 John 5:13) He closes his epistle with a very important teaching, saying, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols [permit no person or thing to supplant God himself in your affections and reverence].” — 1 John 5:21.

Furthermore, John warns against spirits that would lead one away from the truth that had been given by Jesus and his apostles. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." (1 John 4:1-3) The point here is that Jesus came in the flesh to give that flesh for the life of world, and yet many, by their new teaching would deny this. (John 6:51) Any teaching that would deny this would be a teaching, as the apostle Paul put, that preaches "another Jesus." -- anti "instead of" Christ who did come in the flesh in order to give that flesh as an offering to God for the sin of the world. -- Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:19; Romans 3:25; Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 2:9; 9:14; 10:10; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5.

Seeing then that the apostle cannot be understood as meaning that the church has no need of human teachers — seeing on the contrary that he recognized human teachers as the agency employed by the Holy Spirit specially “set in the church” for this very service, what can he mean by these words, “Ye need not that any man teach you,” and “the same anointing teacheth you all things”? The proper answer to this query will be readily seen by examining the context in the light of facts already discussed.

This epistle is supposed by scholars to have been written in or about the year A.D. 90. By that date Christianity had attained considerable reputation in the world. It had gathered the “remnant” of fleshly Israel and drawn upon itself the hatred and persecution of the vast blinded majority of that people and been scattered everywhere throughout the then civilized world. Many things in Christianity commended it to the Greek philosophers of that time who sought to combine with it and to become philosophic Christians and Christian philosophers --  in effect, still holding their heathen philosophies which the apostle Paul points out were “falsely so-called.” (1 Timothy 6:20) Many of these philosophers were quite willing to acknowledge Jesus as a good man and a wise teacher but not as the Son of God who left the glory of the celestial realm (John 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:39-41) and was “made flesh,” -- a little lower than the angels (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:9), to thereby become man’s Redeemer, and the forerunner of eternal life to all who obey him. Many of these philosophers were, however, teaching a future, eternal life and were glad to find Christians teaching the same: the difference being that the philosophers (Plato and others) taught that eternal life is a human quality, an inherent power in mankind — deathlessness, immortality, whereas the apostles taught that eternal life was not inherent in man but a gift of God through Christ, intended only for those who accept him. — Romans 2:7; 5:15,21; 6:23; 2 Corinthians 9:15

These philosophers, in effect, said to the Christians, "We are glad to meet so respectable and sensible and free a people. Your great teacher, Jesus, surely did make you free from many of the customs and superstitions of the Jews and we congratulate you accordingly. But you are still in a measure of bondage: when you have investigated our philosophies you will have still more liberty and will find that much you still hold in common with the Jews — their hopes of a Messianic kingdom, their peculiar ideas of one God and your peculiar ideas that your Teacher, Jesus, was his only Son, etc., these things you will soon outgrow, with the aid of our philosophy." — 2 Peter 2:19; Jude 1:4.

John’s epistle is written to fortify Christians against these subversive doctrines. He exhorts them in this chapter (John 2:24) to hold fast the teachings heard by them from the beginning and to consider these philosophizing teachings as lies and all such false teachers representatives of the Antichrist which they had so often heard would be manifested in the Church. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-7; 1 John 2:18) He says, “These things have I written unto you concerning them that [seek to] seduce you [from the truth in Christ].” — John 2:26

Then comes the peculiar language of verse 27, now under discussion, which we paraphrase thus in order to acknowledge its context:

But, dearly beloved, the true children of God cannot be seduced by any such philosophies: with us no philosophy can take the place of Christ in our hearts–no theory could cause us to question the fulness and the correctness of the great message which we received as the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ — the Father’s Beloved, the Father’s Anointed. Besides the reasonableness of “the faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3), consider the marvelous effect of that message upon you: it was accompanied by miraculous “gifts” of “tongues,” “miracles,” etc., which these philosophers declare are duplicated by the fakirs of the East; but aside from this you have another testimony in your own new hearts– in the anointing which has transformed and renewed your minds, producing in your daily life fruits of the Spirit of holiness which the fakirs cannot fully duplicate and which the philosophers who would seduce you cannot deny.

On these fundamentals of our holy religion — that Christ Jesus was not an impostor but the very Son of God and our Redeemer; and that eternal life can be obtained only through vital union with him — you have no need of instruction, neither from these false teachers nor from me. And so long as you have this holy Spirit of love abiding in you, it will serve as a guard against all such blasphemous, antichristian theories. So long as you remember that “the peace of God which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) came to your hearts through an acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God and the only power of God unto salvation, so long will this spirit hold you firm, steadfast, on this point. And you will find this same test (of loyalty to the holy Spirit of love received through the Father and the Son) helpful in proving all matters: for whatever contradicts or ignores this Spirit of love is an unholy spirit -- a false teaching. And remember that its teaching is that if we would receive any reward we must “abide in him” -- to abandon Christ is to abandon all.

By Ronald R. Day, Sr., Restoration Light Bible Study Services.

Some of the above was adapted from The Atonement Between God and Man,  pages 283-287.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Galatians 3:20 - Is God the Mediator?

Galatians 3:20 - Now a mediator is not between one, but God is one.

Some evidently see in this verse that God is being said to be the mediator, and that, since Jesus is the mediator, they evidently are reading into that the Jesus is God. 

Actually, "God" here is presented as being only one person, the same one person who is the "one God" in 1 Corinthians 8:6. "God" in Galatians 3:20 is the same one person who is the "only true God" in John 17:1,3. It is the same one person who is the "the Lord Jehovah" of Isaiah 61:1, who anointed and sent the Messiah. 
"God" in Galatians 3:20 is the same one person who is "God" in 1 Timothy 2:5,6:

{1 Timothy 2:5} For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men. It was the man Christ Jesus 
{1 Timothy 2:6} who gave himself as a ransom for all to be witnessed in its own times

The "one mediator" is Jesus, who came as a man in order to sacrifice his humanity as the ransom (offsetting, corresponding price) on behalf of all mankind. Jesus is not the "one God" of whom are all, but Jesus, being a sinless, fully obedient human being, had the price necessary to satisfy God's justice, which sacrificed to buy back what Adam lost for himself and for all his offspring. -- Romans 3:23-27; 5:10-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 2 Corinthians 5:18,19; 1 John 2:1,2; 4:9,10.

God is thus not the mediator between Himself and man, but God is the one to whom man is reconciled by means of a mediator. Man is not reconciled to Jesus, but rather to the God and Father of Jesus.

Some related studies:
Did Jesus Have to be Both God and Man in Order to be the Mediator?

The man Jesus - Still a Man?
The Price of Redemption -- God or Man?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Jeremiah 17:10; Revelation 2:23 - Jesus' Ability to Search Men's Hearts

Jeremiah 17:10 - I, Jehovah, search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. -- Green's Literal.

Revelation 2:23 - I will kill her children with Death, and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

The above two scriptures have been placed together with the claim this proves that Jesus is Jehovah of Jeremiah 17:10. Is this true?

Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus, is the "one God" who is the source of all. (1 Corinthians 8:6) It is the God and Father of Jesus who has made Jesus both Lord and Christ (Ezekiel 34:23,24; Isaiah 61:1,2; Acts 2:36), and has exalted him to the highest position in the universe, far above the angels, next to the only Most High.-- Acts 2:33,36; 5:31; Philippians 2:9; Ephesians 1:3,17-23; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Hebrews 1:4,6; 1 Peter 3:22.

It the "one God" of 1 Corinthians 8:6 who has given to His Anointed One His Spirit in a special way, giving him the power to "not judge by the sight of his eyes, nor decide by the hearing of his ears." (Isaiah 11:1-4) Of Jesus, it is prohesied:"He shall stand and feed in the strength of Jehovah, in the majesty of the name of Jehovah His God. And they shall sit, for now He is great to the ends of the earth." (Micah 5:4, Green's Literal) Thus, his power to judge men's hearts is because he stands in the strength of Jehovah, his God.

Jehovah comes to judge through -- by means of -- His son. -- Psalm 96:13; 98:9; Isaiah 40:10; 62:11; Luke 1:32,35; John 5:22,23; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Revelation 22:12.

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob now speaks to us through His Son. -- Acts 3:13-26; Hebrews 1:1,2.

Nothing in this means that we need to imagine, assume, add to, and read into, the scriptures that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Monday, November 20, 2017

1 Peter 2:3 – Tasted That The Lord Is Gracious

1 Peter 2:3 – If you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
1 Peter 2:4 – To whom we are approaching. He is a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God chosen, precious.
1 Peter 2:5 –  You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. — World English.
Psalm 34:8 – Oh taste and see that Yahweh is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. — World English.

The above verses are often placed together in effort to prove that Jesus is Jehovah. Many assume that when Peter wrote “the Lord is gracious” that he was quoting Psalm 34:8, “Jehovah is good”, and that therefore by “the Lord” in 1 Peter 2:3, Peter meant Jehovah. The following verse applies “the Lord” to Jesus, and therefore Jesus is assumed to be Jehovah, and thus it would have to be further assumed that Jehovah is the stone that Jehovah chose, and that Jehovah is Jehovah that laid the stone (Jehovah) in Zion. (1 Peter 2:6) To keep this from being self-contradictory, the trinitarian then has to call upon human imagination so as to imagine, assume and add to the scriptures that Jehovah is more than oneperson, so that it would mean that there is one person who is Jehovah who laid the stone, who is another person of Jehovah. But it woud have to be then further assumed and read into the scriptures that these two who are both Jehovah are not two different Jehovahs, but that they are both the one same Jehovah, etc.

The trinitarian would, in effect, by use of the spirit of human imagination and formed assumptions that have to added to, and read into, the scriptures, have the verses understood as:

1 Peter 2:3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord [the alleged second person of the triune Jehovah] is gracious:
1 Peter 2:4 coming to him [the alleged second person of the triune Yahweh], a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God [not the triune Jehovah, but rather only the first person of the triune Jehovah], precious.
1 Peter 2:5 You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God [not the allged triune God, but only the alleged first person of the triune God] through Jesus Christ [the allged second person of the triune God].
1 Peter 2:6 Because it is contained in Scripture, “Behold, I [not the alleged triune Jehovah, but rather only the alleged first person of the triune Jehoah] lay in Zion a chief cornerstone [the alleged second person of the triune Jehovah], elect, precious: He who believes in him [the alleged second person of the triune Jehovah] will not be put to shame.”

Of course, in reality, we have no scriptural reason to use the spirit of human imagination so assume, add, and read all of the above into the scriptures as shown.

If Peter had Psalm 34:8 in mind when he wrote the words of 1 Peter 2:3, at most one might assume it to be an indirect reference, since Peter did not use the word “good”, and since what Peter stated is not in the same structure as stated in Psalm 34:8. Rather than assume all that the trinitarian would assume, one would best assume in line with what is revealed in the Bible, that Peter is speaking of Jesus as the one who speaks and represents Jehovah.  — — Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 22:32; 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; 12:26; Luke 13:35; 20:37; John 3:2,17,32-35; 4:34; 5:19,30,36,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; 20:17; Acts 2:22,34-36; 3:13-26; 5:30; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 8:6; 11:31; Colossians 1:3,15; 2:9-12; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:1.

Whether Peter had Psalm 34:8 in mind or not, the context, however, would indicate that Peter, by use of “the Lord” in 1 Peter 2:3, did not mean that as stating that Jesus is Jehovah. Such a claim that Peter was stating that Jesus is Jehovah in 1 Peter 2:3 would make the context totally confusing, to say the least, and even self-contradictory.

Some points we might consider: As all the Bible writers do, Peter depicts “God” — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:14,15) — as one person, and not as more than one person, and he distinguishes “God” from Jesus. “God” is depicted in 1 Peter 1:3 as “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”. In Acts 3:13-26, Peter depicts the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as one person who raised up Jesus as a prophet like Moses. In 1 Peter 1:21, “God” is depicted as having raised Jesus from the dead, and having giving glory to Jesus. In 1 Peter 2:4, “God” is depicted as one person who chose Jesus. In 1 Peter 2:5, the sacrifices of the church are acceptable to “God” through Jesus, and thus Jesus is not included in “God”. In 1 Peter 3:18, “Christ” is distinguished from “God”, as Jesus is depicted as the one who brings us to “God”. In 1 Peter 3:22, we find that Jesus is at the right hand of “God”, is thus being excluding from being “God”. Indeed, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is depicted as only one person throughout Peter’s letter, as we find to be true throughout the entire Bible.

If we belong to the Lord Jesus, we taste of his graciousness. We can say: “His fruit was sweet to my taste.” (Song of Solomon 2:3) As we come to Jesus and sit down under his shadow with great delight, we hear his words as recorded in the Bible, and learn of his sacrifice and of his resurrection. Nevertheless, to taste of this graciousness of Jesus is same as tasting of the goodness of his God and Father, since it is through Jesus that one can gain access to the Father. (John 14:6) Jesus has declared his God to us. (John 1:18) Jesus has given us the words of His God. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 3:34; 14:10) Jesus, in the days of his flesh, demonstrated the goodness of his God and Father, and he has shown that goodness to those who believe on him; and will yet show that goodness to the world in the coming age when the glory of Yahweh will fill the earth.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Acts 20:28 – Whose Blood?

Does what is stated in Acts 20:28 give reason to imagine and assume that Jesus is God Almighty, or that God is more than one person?
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. – Acts 20:28, King James Version.
Many of our trinitarian neighbors (and some others) would have us believe that this text means that the Almighty God himself died for the church. If so, then, the Almighty God himself died, which of course, scripturally is totally impossible. If God Almighty had flesh and blood, this would make him lower than the angels. — Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7.

We first want to point out that it was the only true God (John 17:1,3) who prepared the body of flesh and blood for Jesus by means His Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18,20; Hebrews 10:5) Since Jesus, while in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), was directly the Son of God, the blood running through the veins of Jesus' flesh was indeed the blood of his God and Father, for that blood came from him. This, however, does not mean that we need to imagine that Jesus is God Almighty, etc.

We might note that the Alexandrine manuscript as well as some other manuscripts read as “to shepherd the church of the Lord which…” Thus the New English Bible renders this verse: “Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has given you charge, as shepherds of the church of the Lord, which we won for himself by his own blood.” The Antigua Version de Casidoro De Reina, Revisada por Cipriano de Valera (1602), Revision de 1960, reads “iglesia del Senior”, that is, “church of the Lord” instead of “iglesia de Dios” (Church of God).

However, let us look at how several other translations render this verse:

Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. — New Revised Standard Version.
Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. — Revised Standard
So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God, {F32 } which he made his own through the blood of his Son. {F33} — Today’s English
F32: God; [some manuscripts have] the Lord.
F33: through the blood of his Son; [or] through the sacrificial death of his Son; [or] through his own blood.
Be careful for yourselves and for all the people the Holy Spirit has given to you to care for. You must be like shepherds to the church of God, which he bought with the death of his own son. — New Century Version
Take heed, therefore, to yourselves and to all the flock, in which you the Spirit Holy placed overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased through the own blood. — Jay Green’s Interlinear.
Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchased F184 with the blood of his own. F185
F184: Middle voice; reflexive: see Note e, Heb. 1.3.
F185: I am fully satisfied that this is the right translation of ver. 28. To make it a question of the divinity of Christ (which I hold to be of the foundation of Christianity) is absurd. It has been questioned whether ‘of his own’ can be used thus absolutely in the singular. But we have it in John 15.19, and in the neuter singular for material things, Acts 4.32. The torturing of the passage by copyists arose, I believe, from not seeing, the real sense of it; a touching expression of the love of God. — Darby Translation
Thus Darby, although believing that Jesus is God Almighty, realizes that it is “absurd” to look to this scripture as proof of the trinity doctrine, although we know many do so.

Regarding this, Mark Miller states on his website:

The Greek words tou i·di’ou follow the phrase “with the blood.” The entire expression could be translated “with the blood of his own.” A noun in the singular number would be understood after “his own,” most likely God’s closest relative, his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ. On this point J. H. Moulton in A Grammar of New Testament Greek, Vol. 1 (Prolegomena), 1930 ed., p. 90, says: “Before leaving [i’di·os] something should be said about the use of [ho i’di·os] without a noun expressed. This occurs in Jn 1.11; 13.1; Ac 4.23; 24.23. In the papyri we find the singular used thus as a term of endearment to near relations . . . . In Expos. VI. iii. 277 I ventured to cite this as a possible encouragement to those (including B. Weiss) who would translate Acts 2028 ‘the blood of one who was his own.'”
Alternately, in The New Testament in the Original Greek, by Westcott and Hort, Vol., 2, London, 1881, pp. 99, 100 of the Appendix, Hort stated: “it is by no means impossible that [hui·ou’, “of the Son”] dropped out after tou i·di’ou, “of his own”] at some very early transcription affecting all existing documents. Its insertion leaves the whole passage free from difficulty of any kind.”
Regarding the above choices which would agree with 1 John 1.7: ‘The blood of Jesus (God’s) Son cleanses us from all sin.’ (See Re 1.4-6l Jn 3.16)

If it was actually the blood of God rather than the blood of the man Jesus Christ, then there has been no ransom, for it is the blood of one lower than the angels — a human — that was needed to make satisfaction for the sin of Adam. (Of course, I realize the trinitarians claim that Jesus was both a spirit being in nature and a human being in nature at the same time, and thy style this the “dual nature” of Christ, but no scripture says such a thing.) Jesus, being our high priest appointed by the only true Supreme Being, offers his own blood to the only true Supreme Being; he is not the the only true Supreme Being who receives the sacrifice. — Psalm 8:5; John 17:1,3; Hebrews 2:9; 3:1,2; 9:14.

Nevertheless, in reality, God Almighty is a spiritual being and does not have flesh and blood. (John 3:24; 2 Corinthians 3:17) Jesus was made a spiritual being in his resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:45) He was not a spiritual being while he was a human being. — 1 Corinthians 15:38.

Yet many claim that if one applies the dual natures of Jesus to Acts 20:28, one could see that the verse is referring to Jesus as God (Supreme Being). This would assume that "the blood" refers the God's blood. Of course, as pointed out, the Supreme Being, who is spirit, does not have blood. So how does one actually apply the idea of dual natures to the verse?  Many, although in some vague way they try to apply their "dual natures" (or, hypostatic union) of Jesus to this verse, never really try to reason as to how it could be applied and make sense. Evidently one would have assume that  "God" in the verse refers to the alleged Supreme Being Jesus. But as Jesus, the Supreme Being, Jesus would not have any blood. How does one get from the Supreme Being Jesus to the blood of the human being Jesus? If it is referring to the blood of the human Jesus, then it is not the blood of the alleged God being Jesus, since the alleged God being Jesus never had any blood.

The Greek wording, however, indicates that the verse does not refer directly to the blood of the Supreme Being (who, being a spirit being, has no blood), but rather to the blood of the human being Jesus, who is God's own (son, servant, prophet, etc.). Being that God provided the blood to his son, it is his own blood. Similarly, we often may hear it be said that a son has the blood of his father running through his veins. This does not make a son the same human being as his father.

Nothing in the verse says that Jesus is God Almighty. There is definitely nothing in the verse about three persons in one being or three persons in God Almighty, or that God is more than one person, or that Jesus exists on two levels of consciousness at the same time, etc.