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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The One God Controversy Revisited!

Is there just ONE single, all-powerful God?
Well.... No and YES!
Sound like a recipe for controversy? Yes it is and many former ministers and members of the World Wide Church of God have revamped or "rethought" their original beliefs about Jesus as a God also.

So what IS the truth on this very critical subject? How can we come to know and understand these web sites that promote the 'one god' belief which now exists and claim that Jesus is NOT God, but the Son of God?

As Herbert W. Armstrong always did, we must go back to the very beginning. We have to begin to re-evaluate the complete Bible to understand the truth here.

Please realize that WHAT I WRITE IS FROM MY OWN KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOD'S WORD! Just as any other human being, my knowledge and understanding is not complete. Even though there are many well-known ministers and writers who claim to have the FULL truth, I can only say that I have the truth that I believe God has given me.

My differences with other writers will come from that premise stated above.

Duality!

As many scholars and theologians have explained, I, too, state that duality exists throughout the whole Bible.

We have the PHYSICAL Word (our printed Bible) and we have the SPIRITUAL Word (the Word God).

The Bible is written in physical words so that we, as human beings can begin to know and understand how the writers are trying to explain  the spiritual word.... a VERY difficult task, to say the least.

Let me give you a short example of what I am talking about....

Gen. 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Here we see that God planted TWO trees in the Garden.

But what do they mean? What do they represent? These are physical trees that are supposed to tell us about something spiritual! But What?

Let's try another scripture to see if we can come to some understanding about this.

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

This, of course, puts a CRITICAL difference between the two trees, doesn't it?

However, just eating fruit from a physical tree should not condemn someone to death, or at least I don't think so.

The FRUIT of these two trees have a spiritual meaning that we must come to understand, don't we?

Of course, eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil represents partaking of the SPIRIT of Satan the Devil!! We can see that by what happened later.

Satan told Eve that by eating THIS fruit, they would be AS God knowing good and evil.

Knowledge is of the spirit, isn't it? Knowledge is part of the MIND of God and Man, so we see that the partaking of Satan's spirit caused God to drive them from the Garden of Eden AND AWAY FROM THE TREE OF LIFE!

Had they eaten from the tree of life, they would have attained eternal life IN SPITE OF THEIR DISOBEDIENCE  to God!!! They would live eternally in their SINS!!

Satan's spirit IS a spirit of total disobedience and that is what He teaches.

God COMMANDED the man NOT to eat of that tree!!! God gave mankind a COMMANDMENT!!! Adam and Eve placed themselves outside God's protection and THEY SINNED!!

Disobedience to God IS SIN!!!

Of course, the penalty of sin is death, and sin is .... "the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4)

If this fruit then represents the partaking of Satan's spirit, it naturally follows that the partaking of the fruit from the Tree of Life would be partaking of God's Holy Spirit.

God set before mankind a DECISION they had to make (Deut. 30:19), that of obeying God or obeying Satan, and they FAILED by making the wrong decision!!!

But is the knowledge of good and evil, SIN??

No, it isn't. God knows good and evil and He is not against His own laws, is He?

Then what is the problem with knowing good and evil?

In man's mind that knowledge places them on an equal plane with God WITHOUT the mind of God to help them discern true good and true evil, right from wrong!

That is why the knowledge from Satan's spirit is corrupt! God withdrew His spirit (His way of thinking) from Satan and his followers putting them in DARKNESS! (2 Pet. 2:4)

That darkness was the total removal of God's TRUTH from them and therefore the knowledge of good and evil they had was CORRUPTED because they had no discernment between the two!

Adam and Eve were left with this 'knowledge' and not able to know the vast difference between TRUE good and TRUE evil because of their lack of God's Spirit!

They had the same spirit as Satan and could not think outside those walls.

The lack of God's Spirit condemned them to PHYSICAL death!

However, I believe there is a GOOD side to all this! I BELIEVE they will be resurrected in the Second Resurrection to be able to eat from that Tree of Life ( God's Spirit) and be taken into His Kingdom!

AND THAT'S GOOD NEWS!

But what about us?

As I said above, the Bible is dual, physical to allow mankind to KNOW what the Bible is saying, and spiritual to allow mankind to UNDERSTAND spiritually what God is saying!

Once you understand this concept, you will begin to be able to ask God for His spiritual understand of the physical verses of His Word.

Then, of course, it is up to God as to whether or not He grants (through the Holy Spirit) that spiritual understanding, for truly, spiritual understanding can ONLY come from God through His Spirit (His MIND).

The 'ONE' God

Now, given the concept of duality of the Bible, let's approach the CONCEPT of ONE single, Almighty God.

Jesus told us that NO ONE had ever seen or heard God.......

Joh 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.

 

Joh 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.
 

Jesus, Himself, tells us that God was never seen NOR heard by mankind, and yet, throughout the Old Testament God was SEEN and HEARD, wasn't He?

Then either Jesus wasn't telling us the truth, OR The God of the Old Testament was NOT the one we have come to know as Almighty God!

How can that be????

We need to go to the New Testament to begin to answer that question.

John tells us in chapter one and verse one THIS puzzling statement.

Joh. 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.

Here we have something referred to as 'the word'. We see that the 'word' was in the beginning WITH God AND the 'word' WAS God.

Hmmmm. What do we have here? What is this 'word'? The Strong's Concordance tells us that the 'word' is:

3) In John, denotes the essential Word of God, Jesus Christ, the personal wisdom and power in union with God, his minister in creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the world’s life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man’s salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah, the second person in the Godhead, and shone forth conspicuously from His words and deeds.

However, the adherents to the 'one god theory' claim that this 'word' was just the spoken word of God since it is the Greek word ":Logos" which has been translated as "word" here in John 1:1.

Or, they will proclaim, The Word was "created" from the 'bosom' of God!

Is that true? How can we know? We can look at a number of other scriptures to find out!

Verse 3-4 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Notice: This Word is referred to as HIM! Not a spoken word, or a thought in God Almighty's mind, but a 'him', a PERSON, a BEING!

This "him" CREATED ALL THINGS! If that is so, and the scriptures tell us it is, then The Word would have had to create Himself, don't you see?

This Word, this HIM, was made FLESH and dwelt among us!!! This Word, that created all things, BECAME Jesus!

Verse 10-14 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

We see that The Word "was made flesh" and dwelt among us!

How was this transformation done? WE DON'T KNOW!! God performed this transformation! However, I will give you MY PERSONAL UNDERSTANDING of how it was done.

At the moment God begat Jesus in Mary's womb, The Word CEASED TO EXIST! The only thing God Almighty retained was the SPIRIT of The Word, that MIND which The Word had. This then was placed into Jesus at the instant of conception and JOINED with Mary's spirit (mind) to become Emmanuel .... God with us! And yet, this 'God with us' did not retain ANY of the glory, majesty, and power of The Word because He became a TOTAL human being in order to be able to DIE FOR OUR SINS!

The ONLY, the SUPREME, God!!

Yes, Almighty God was the ONLY SUPREME GOD at that time because The Word no longer existed!

I know this is VERY hard to accept by those who have built their entire religious life believing that Jesus was TWO people at the same time, the human Jesus, and the all powerful God, or who believed that The Word just took on a covering of flesh and lived a perfect life to save "our souls", but it is the TRUTH, none the less.

BUT ..... who WAS this JESUS?

Php 2:5-7 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Here we see that Jesus ... when He was in the FORM of God didn't think it robbery to be EQUAL with God!!!

WOW!!! At one time The Word was in the form of God (a spirit being) and was EQUAL with God!!!

Later The Word took on the FORM of a MAN (Jesus) and as we know from other scriptures DIED for out sins!!!

Now, here's the rub!! Jesus never existed before He was formed in the womb of Mary through the power of God's Holy Spirit!

So then, how could He have lived previously in the form of God and be equal with Him?

Jesus previously existed as The Word God, as John told us in chapter 1 and verse 1! THE WORD GOD GAVE UP HIS EXISTENCE AS THE WORD!

At the same instance in time, Jesus was formed in Mary's womb. What came through that transformation? The MIND, the SPIRIT that was The Word. That's all! The Word had given up EVERYTHING to become a TOTAL human being in order to live a perfect human life and show us it is possible, and to DIE for our sins!

That spirit in much restricted power was placed in Jesus at His conception. This is how He had so much spiritual knowledge at the age of 12 that He could sit with the powerful men of the Sanhedrin, asking questions and answering those who enquired of Him.

How do I know that God restricted the power of Jesus at His birth? Because God had to increase His power after His baptism and before He faced Satan in the Wilderness!

Acts 10:38 How God anointed (at His baptism) Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Here God the Father began to increase the Holy Spirit which Jesus had from conception and increased His power to do the JOB He had come to do! The FIRST part of that job was to face Satan in the wilderness to be tested and tried! Satan tested Jesus with the same things Eve was tested with, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life!

After these tests, effectively deposing Satan from his earthly throne, (which Jesus will assume at His COMING) Jesus returned to begin doing MIRACLES and preaching the COMING KINGDOM OF GOD!!!!

The ONLY God of the Old Testament

We have seen that during the time of Jesus' life there was only one Almighty God because The Word had ceased to exist at the conception of Jesus.

But what about the "only" God of the Old Testament?

Everyone needs to realize that, according to Jesus, NO ONE even knew about the other God of the Godhead! Jesus said He had come to DECLARE that God!!!

Joh 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.

Also, when Philip ask Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus replied thusly....

Joh 14:8-9 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Those who know Jesus know the Father because Jesus (as The Word) was the very same as God Almighty (remember Php. 2:6 quoted above!)

We even see in the Book of Isaiah that the God of the Old Testament had all the names attributed to Almighty God.

Isa. 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

This, of course, is talking about the risen Jesus to whom God Almighty had RESTORED the GLORY He once had as The Word!!

Remember, in the true Lord's Prayer, Jesus asked the Father to give Him back the GLORY He once shared with Him.

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:
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own Self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.

Yes, when Jesus was resurrected God gave Him back the glory He once had, that being the glory of The Word! He was then called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace!!!!

Jesus had once again become ONE with God Almighty and was again considered by God Almighty to be equal with Him!

To summarize:

In the beginning the God of the Old Testament was the ONLY God (who was The Word) that had been made known to the people therefore He could proclaim to all that there was ONLY ONE God! The Word was the only God working and talking with the Children of Israel. He was the ONLY God they knew when He declared His Commandments from the top of Mt. Sinai! That is also why Jesus could tell His New Testament followers, "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15) for they were truly HIS commandments, given at Mt. Sinai.

At the moment Jesus was conceived there was ONLY one Almighty God left in the Godhead which Jesus came to declare, that is, God the Father!

When Jesus was resurrected He received again the Glory which He had once enjoyed as being ONE WITH God Almighty and He was once again a member of the Godhead. (Rom. 1:20; Col. 2:9)

Arguments pro and con

I realize that no matter how many articles are written proclaiming the ONE GODHEAD, composed of The Word and God Almighty, there will still be those who continue to strive to find what some call "nuggets of truth" in God's Word, not realizing that the complete Bible is a PEARL OF GREAT PRICE! The whole Bible is not just a 'nugget' of truth but the complete "mine"!!! We must take it in it's complete context to be able to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH!

There will be those who continue to proclaim greater knowledge and understanding in order to cement their "position" at the front of the church and to promote themselves, therefore, as closer to God and in greater standing with God.

The FULL TRUTH!

Some ministers in some of the major church groups claim to have the FULL truth, or to be the recipients of the "mantle" from HWA.

To those I say, ONLY GOD AND JESUS (THE WORD) HAS THE FULL TRUTH!

Claiming to have those things doesn't mean they really do!

The salvation of every one of God's Children depends upon their personal relationship to Him and their submission and obedience to God's Laws and Statutes!

Please don't be fooled (deceived) by the self-proclaimed status that some people declare! They are as we are, just men trying to live a life that will finally place them in the Kingdom of God.

Col. 2:8-9 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Yes, there was only ONE God in the Old Testament that the people knew about, and there was only ONE God in the New Testament because The Word ceased to exist, and Jesus was born, leaving God Almighty to be DECLARED by His Son, Jesus! When Jesus declared Him, THEN people knew about Him and He was THE ONLY GOD! When Jesus was resurrected, He became ONE WITH GOD ALMIGHTY and again became the mighty spirit being He once was!! The Godhead was once again composed of TWO spirit beings with oneness (John 17) and IMMORTALITY! (1 Tim. 6:15-16).

May God truly bless your spiritual understanding and draw you very close to Him.

 

Ken

 

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