December 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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Blaspheming Jesus The Christ!!

Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

There are times when I become very sad, especially when I see those who call themselves Christian being blown about with every wind of doctrine!

There is a movement resurrected from the past that is now seemingly taking hold of some within the Church of God proclaiming that Jesus WAS NOT GOD!! That is so absolutely amazing to me that I almost can't get my mind around it, but then I remember the scripture in Revelation 12 verse 9 that states:

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

Satan is able to deceive THE WHOLE WORLD! Sadly, God's Church is in this world, and therefore is subject to Satan's deception, in varying degrees due to their belief or unbelief as the case might be.

I know that is a saying that will be hard on some who have been taught that those in God's Church cannot be deceived, and have accepted that! Every human being is subject to deception. In point of fact, we can even deceive ourselves. (1 John 1:8) We have to remember that Satan is the GOD OF THIS WORLD (2 Cor. 4:4) and has MUCH POWER!!

What can we in the church do about this? Good question!

There was a time in the past when I had begun having spiritual problems. I could not pray, couldn't do anything right seemingly. It got so bad that I finally called for a minister to come and counsel me. When he arrived a couple of hours later, we sat down to talk, and he asked me what was wrong. My reply was, "I don't know."

At this response, he told me he had been praying about my problem all the way to my house, and the only thing that came to his mind was the phrase, "just believe God!" He said I don't know what else to tell you.

However, that was enough because it was RIGHT ON THE TARGET!! I realized I had quit believing God!! The realization hit me like a ton of bricks and I replied, "That's ok. You were exactly right." How magnificent God is who knows our very deepest thoughts that we don't even recognize!!

We can overcome deception by BELIEVING GOD!! We must believe what He has written in His Book, the Holy Bible. We should have proven long ago that the Bible is God's inspired word to mankind, and that He has performed what He has promised up to this time, fulfilling many prophecies down through the ages. We should have long ago come to the conclusion that God is all powerful and that with Him NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!! (Mat. 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37; 18:27)

What does that have to do with Jesus being God? It's about the movement which is afoot to blaspheme Jesus the Christ by saying He WAS NOT GOD!! That's what!!!

At first I intended to rewrite the article I have on our web site entitled, "Was Jesus REALLY God?" but as I read it again, I decided to try to write a complementary article which could hopefully add to what is written in that article. There will, of course, be some redundant statements made, and scriptures quoted but we can all use the repetition to get these things into our minds more solidly.

WAS JESUS GOD?

Scripture says He was. (Matthew 1:23)

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

Now..... the question is DO WE BELIEVE GOD or do we fall into that old Satanic trap of twisting scriptures or ignoring them when they don't agree with what we think? Do we shade the meanings of the scriptures to try to make them fit what we want to believe, or because we consider ourselves better or closer to God than someone else?

You KNOW what to do when MAN'S theories and ideas DISAGREE with scripture, don't you? You MUST DISCARD MAN'S IDEAS!!! But that is too simple isn't it?

Some will ask, "How can I throw away the teachings that I have received from someone I have proven is one of God's ministers?"

That's easy!! MEN MAKE MISTAKES (even ministers), don't you see? GOD NEVER DOES!!!

A long time ago I heard a taped sermon by Evangelist Ronald L. Dart where he discussed this very problem. The core statement from his sermon was that when mankind disagrees with God's Word, we must REJECT what man says!! One scripture He quoted was Romans 3:4:

"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."

Many have quoted the first part of that scripture, but we need to also emphasize the last part as well.

"... That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."

The connotation of the word "justified" in this text is to be made right with God and to "tell the truth."

As we have learned in quite a number of articles here, justification is the setting apart of someone for Holy Use and Purpose! In order to be justified, we must have been called by God, repented of our sins, been baptised into the Body of Christ, and been given God's Holy Spirit.

God knows the deepest reaches of our mind (our heart) and whether or not we are striving to serve Him and Him only! He then will open our minds to His Truth as He sees fit to do so.

We MUST realize that everyone will be JUDGED by God ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS! (Rev. 20:12-13)

That also takes care of those who claim that there are no works associated with being saved!!!

Yes, make no mistake about it, salvation IS a gift of God. HOWEVER, GOD WILL NOT SAVE ANYONE WHO WILL NOT OBEY HIM!!!! Don't you know that faith without works is a DEAD FAITH?

Jas. 2:14 "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Jas 2:20 "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Jas 2:26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

NOW, WHAT ABOUT JESUS BEING GOD?

There was a seminar held recently called "the One God Seminar" that PROMOTES the idea that Jesus WAS NOT GOD!!

Let me quote for you some of the statements made in that seminar. I will NOT try to rebut each statement, but I will go over some of them which are so atrociously off the mark.

In one part of the seminar, one of the presenters talked about the "agents" of God. That speaker's presentation, titled "The Principal and His Agents," focused on the practice of writers of Scripture to refer to some of God's "agents" or representatives, as if they were God himself.

The speaker said, "Examples of agents are angels, prophets, priests, kings (including Cyrus) and even a donkey (Balaams's)."

"We know from the New Testament scriptures that Jesus - Hebrew Yahoshua- the Messiah, is our Saviour," the speaker said. "Jesus' identity as Messiah and Saviour "is fundamental to our faith.""

Citing Isaiah 49:26, the speaker also said that "we also know from the Old Testament that God is the Savior."

This speaker's point was that Jesus, the Son, can display many of the attributes of the Father. "Christians can even properly bow to Him-without Jesus being very God, the speaker said".

(The Editor -- then since an angel is an agent of God, and has been recorded by Bible writers as representing themselves as God, why did they tell those who tried to worship to them, NOT TO DO IT??? Rev. 19:5, 9-10; 22:8-9)

"But the most apropo example of this kind of agency, said the presenter, is Jesus."

That speaker has thusly reduced Jesus to the level of angels, priests, prophets, kings, AND DONKEYS!!

What does God's Bible say about something like that?

Rom. 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Equating The Word God (John 1:1) with a donkey certainly fits what those scriptures in Romans was talking about, I think!!

It is true that Jesus was an agent of God the Father. He brought a message of Salvation and the soon coming Kingdom of God to all mankind, predicated upon Jesus' sacrifice. However, He WAS NOT in the same catagory as all the other 'agents' of God!! HE was EMMANUEL, God with us!!

PLEASE... as you read, pay close attention to the subtlety of what you read. Satan is the MOST SUBTLE of all beings (Gen. 3) . These twists and spins come in sentences and phrases that most will just GLOSS OVER as they read, since most people have their attention fixed upon those things of which they, hemselves, believe or want to believe.

Another presenter asked the question, "What is the glory of God?"

He answered that, saying the glory of God was the Word of God, which, at the conception of Mary, became the Son of God; that is, Jesus.

"God's "glory," said the presenter, "is analogous to the "Word" of John 1. Neither term, he said, refers to a literal "being," be he God or angel.>"

Rather, God's glory, as is God's Word, he said, is personified in the being who came into literal existence at His conception in Mary.(Editor -- "literal existence". He is saying here that Jesus was just a thought in God's Mind before this. See the next statement.)

The next presenter was a theology student. In his presentation, "Literal or Notional Preexistence?," the young man, who was the only presenter lacking a World Wide Church of God background, talked mainly about concepts implicit and explicit in the first chapter of John's Gospel. "Yes," he said, "the Bible teaches a "preexistence" of Jesus. But said preexistence is notional rather than literal."

He said notional preexistence is another way of talking about God's thoughts and the events leading up to Jesus' conception in Mary. "Yes," he said, "Jesus (the Son, the Word) preexisted, but not literally. "

He also talked about what he called a "problem" of a Jesus who, if fully God and fully man, would have "dual natures."

(I will comment on that toward the end of the article -- Editor)

The man who started these "One God Seminars" made a statement that flies in the face of many New Testament scriptures.

He said, "His post-resurrection manifestations never depict Him as a heavenly being now returned to a preexistent state ... When He was raised from the dead He was raised as a man, not a pneuma, a spirit, or a ghost, which would lack the physical accoutrements Christ clearly had: flesh and bones."

Of the nine presenters, the only person invited to the seminar to give the "other side of the story" was a former minister of the Worldwide Church of God.

He stated that his premise is that the New Testament is "the inspired word of God" and that it is "very, very reliable." He said it was "the essential revelation of things that are known about things that are not known without it."

He criticized what he perceived in the seminars as "a heavy emphasis on Jewish thought."

Other presenters brought up many other human reasonings.

What about all this? Was Jesus just a thought in God's Mind? Did Jesus live before he was Jesus? Was He a part of the God Head? If so how was He a part of the God Head? At what level did He participate as a part of the God Head?

As I have shown above, the scriptures call Jesus, God! He was called Emmanuel ... meaning God with us.

Then the question should NOT BE was Jesus God, but HOW was He God!! In order to answer this, let us consider some scriptures in the New Testament to see IF he existed previously and HOW He existed previously if He did.

In the Apostle Paul's letter to the Phillipians, he states this:

Phil. 2: 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God (as a Spirit Being), thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Paul tells us here in quite flowery language that when Jesus existed in (spirit) form as The Word, He (The Word) didn't consider it robbery that He was EQUAL with God!!

The phrase in verse 7 "but made himself of no reputation" is translated from the original Greek in many bibles as "but he EMPTIED HIMSELF." He took upon himself the form of a servant and was MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN: He was MADE a HUMAN BEING!!

When He found himself in the fashion (form or existence) as a man, He became humble to the God who had become the Father, and obeyed The Father. He was then sacrificed for the sins of mankind.

In answering the question "How was He God?" we see that Jesus WAS GOD IN NAME ONLY!! He had "emptied himself", He had divested Himself of ALL His glory, power, majesty, divinity, and honor, TO BECOME A MAN, in order to be able to DIE!! If, as one of the presenters stated, He had remained very God, He would NOT have been able to die!! Therefore He GAVE ALL THAT UP SO THAT HE COULD DIE FOR US!!

He was equal with God Almighty, but was willing to give all that up to become a human being just like us so He could DIE for our sins, and thereby SAVE US!!!!

He was equal with God Almighty, but was willing to give all that up to become a human being just like us so He could DIE for our sins, and thereby SAVE US!!!!

What a magnificent gift He gave us!! He was willing to become just like us, so He could SAVE US!!

In one of the main presenter's quotes he said that Jesus was raised from death "as a man."

This flies in the face of scripture which shows that the grave clothing and spices with which the body of Jesus was wrapped was still laying where the body had lain! He had been resurrected through them, NOT BODILY!! (John 20:5-7) The cloth which had been wrapped around His head was folded and laid apart from the rest.

Can all the "presenters" argue with the things I have said? Sure they can! What they are teaching "argues" with everything most of them have learned down through the years. They have THROWN ALL OF IT AWAY because they have rejected the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong and they have devised their own BRAND of religious belief.

It isn't that Herbert W. Armstrong made NO mistakes, for he certainly DID! It is just that the TRUTHS which he taught STRAIGHT FROM THE SCRIPTURES should be retained. Those truths are from GOD!

These presenters claimed that the God of the Old Testament was NOT The Word God. They claim He was the one who BECAME THE FATHER of Jesus!!

Is that true? IF IT IS, JESUS IS A LIAR AND COULD NOT BE OUR SAVIOR!!

Tough words? YOU BET!!

Jesus made a statement that throws ALL the presenters "ideas" and "notions" into the garbage can (where they belong).

John 1:18 "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

If I have read my Bible correctly, Adam and Eve SAW GOD, Moses SAW GOD, 70 Elders of Israel SAW GOD, Abraham SAW GOD. And OTHERS SAW GOD!!

If they SAW GOD, and IF He was the God who became The Father at the birth of Jesus, then Jesus lied, did He not?

IF what the presenters said is true, then we will need to also tear more scriptures out of our Bibles, such as:

John 5:37 "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape."

I guess they could claim He was talking about just those present at that time, but coupled with all the other scriptures, that 'dog won't hunt!'

There is more scripture that bears witness against these "presenters!"

It is in Hebrews 7:

1 "For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils."

Here is a 'man' called Melchizedek who is described as ever-living. He had neither beginning of days, nor end of life.

IF God (who became The Father) was the ONLY SPIRIT BEING who was ETERNAL, then who was this? This being was SEEN BY MANKIND and was heard by them!!

We MUST realize that angels are NEVER spoken of in this way! This could only have been a God Being appearing in manifested bodily form to Abraham. There is also that phrase "made like unto the Son of God". What was the Son of God made like?

At His resurrection, The Son of God was given back the glory (that includes his deity, power, honor, etc.) which He once had with God when He existed with Him as The Word previous to becoming the human Jesus!! That is what Melchizedek was like!!

That is in John 17:

1 "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."

With the glory He had with God "before the world was?" Looks to me like He existed WITH God (just as John 1:1 says) before anything was created! Or was He just wanting to go back to being a "thought" in God's Mind?

If a person can claim that God's Glory is only some "idea" or "thought" about Jesus, and not a literal being, as one presenter claimed, then what about His Deity, Power, Honor, and all that?

As you can see, to claim that the God of the Old Testament was the one who became The Father just isn't true! Once a person takes on this belief, there comes the twisting and turning of scripture to try to "prove" what they believe.

It cannot be true when the Lamp of God's Word (the scriptures) is shined upon their beliefs and proves them false. Of course, if one tears the New Testament out of the Bible, they are left primarily with Judaic thinking.

In closing I would like to make a statement that I have made several times in my articles.

Revelation 12:9 states "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

Satan DECEIVES the whole world, this whole society of people!! Even those in God's Church are subject to being deceived because they are IN THE WORLD and they are human!!

John 17: 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (One).
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;"

We believe on Jesus through the words of the Apostles and so are included in this prayer which Jesus offered to The Father on the night He was to be betrayed.

In order for God's Church to NOT BE DECEIVED they must stay close to God, pray often, repent mightily in order to be one of God's Elect.

Mat. 24: 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

Yes, Satan is trying to deceive God's very elect. We must stay close to God, asking Him to protect our minds and to fill our minds with HIS THOUGHTS so that Satan CANNOT deceive us!! We must be ever studying, praying, meditating, and fasting in order to be close to God. We must resist Satan! We must be WARY of him, knowing that he is "as a roaring lion" walking about "seeking whom he may devour!!" (1 Pet. 5:8)

God and Jesus WILL PROTECT US if we ask them to do so.

Please, be ever watchful and don't fall into the trap which those who SPIN the scriptures are laying for us. Don't let vanity get the best of us, causing us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think as most of these presenters have done!

May God bless your understanding of His Word AND His Holy Scriptures.

Your friend in Christ,

Ken

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