Bible Believers' Newsletter 627
"We focus on the present Truth – what Jesus is doing now. . ."
Christian greetings in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; we are pleased you could join us in fellowship around God's unchanging Word.
As we have a number of new subscribers and many new readers, some of whom are not as yet divorced from religious dogma and tradition to enter the unity of the faith it is appropriate that at this time when many are conscious of the death and resurrection of our Lord that we teach on the Godhead. Our article builds upon an essay published years ago by Canadian Pastor Terry Sproule. May the Lord edify your soul as the greatest and most important of all revelations is the supreme deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; Ephesians 1:20-23).
This Newsletter serves those of like precious faith. Whoever will receive the truth is welcome to feed their soul from the waters of the River of Life. Everything here presented should be confirmed personally in your own Bible.
Your brother-in-Christ, Anthony Grigor-Scott
7.2 Quake in Baja California may pose Threat of Large Aftershocks
April 8, 2010 Last Sunday’s earthquake occurred on a family of fault lines that continue up into Southern California and eventually merge with the San Andreas Fault system, said David Jackson, a UCLA professor of geophysics.
"Mechanically, the earthquake down in Mexico could put stress on the Imperial fault, which could put stress on the San Andreas fault . . . An earthquake on either fault line would be felt in the Los Angeles area. . . The Laguna Salada Fault is the most likely culprit for Sunday’s earthquake . . . the similarities between these three make it easier for them to trigger each other. . . the low probability will remain present for a long time . . . the 1992 Landers earthquake [triggered] . . . an earthquake of a similar magnitude . . . 30 miles away some years later, in 1999. . ."
Full story: dailybruin.com
Comment: The image shows clouds of dust rising from mountains in Baja, California, trembling from the earthquake. A Brother from Colombia wrote, God bless the rich and powerful. God the creator of heaven and earth never brings man to judgment without first sending a prophet with warning and a way of escape, because without prophecy the people perish (Proverbs 29:18). Listen as Brother Branham warns of the sinking of Los Angeles and a 1,500 x 300-400-mile segment of earth's crust realistically portrayed on film youtube.com
The Passion of Jesus Christ
Our Brother David Mills has created several Christian video clips. The following 4.38 minute movie tells the blessed story of Jesus Messiah's vicarious death and victorious resurrection which purchased our redemption 2,000 years ago. Please take a look youtube.com.
Brother Mills has written a computer program called "Genesis PRO," which is a church administrative system for Windows using MS SQL for its data engine. For screen shots, information and a special deal for your Message Church, visit DM2.ca.
The Bible is the story of the sole Person of One God changing His form or unfolding Himself from the eternal Spirit alone with His thoughts (Genesis 1:26-28; Isaiah 37:16; 44:24; 45:5-8; John 1:3; I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:15-27; Hebrews 1:1-2; Revelation 3:14) to the flesh of His glorified Familynot a second or third person but Himself (singular) manifest in one many membered Body as explained in I Corinthians 12:12-27. Throughout eternity the "saved" will worship God manifest in the form of His glorified FamilyNew JerusalemJesus Messiah and His Bride of all Ages. Jesus Christ is "the beginning [Beginner or Author] of the creation of God." He is not the beginning of God's creation, which is the universe, rivers and trees, He is their Creator. He is Godhead.
John 1:3, "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing that exists came into being." It is He of Whom it is said, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). "For in six days (or eras, Heb. 'yowm'; II Peter 3:8) the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea and everything in them, and rested the seventh day" (Exodus 20:11). He is the Creator of a FINISHED PHYSICAL CREATION. Any other interpretation would be an oxymoron. God is the Creator, only in Jesus Messiah and His Bride in God a creation.
As foreseen in Daniel 7:13, Revelation 1:13 describes the 'parousia' of the Son of man standing in the midst of the Church revealing Who He is in this last age. He calls Himself the "Beginner or Author of the creation of God." This is ANOTHER CREATION, a special designation of Himself called the Church. He is her Creator. The heavenly Bridegroom created His own Bride. As the Spirit of God, He created the very cells in the womb of Mary for that body. Had He simply given life to Mary's human ovum that body would not have produced the acceptable sacrifice of the "Last Adam," God's "Holy One," but sinful flesh (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 51:5). Speaking as Christ, David said, "You (Father) have prepared this body for Me to lay as an acceptable sacrifice on Your altar" (Psalm 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:4-8). God (not Mary) provided that body. Mary was the human incubator who carried that Holy Child and brought Him to birth. It was a God-man. He was the Son of God. He was of the NEW creation. Man and God met and joined; He was the first and He is the head of this new race.
Colossians 1:18, "He is the Head of the Body, the Church: He is its beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence."
II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, the nature of the old creation has passed away, behold the new has come".
Although man was of the OLD creation, in UNION WITH CHRIST he becomes the NEW creation of God. Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship CREATED IN UNION WITH CHRIST JESUS for good works." Ephesians 4:24, "Put on the NEW NATURE [not new soul] created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." The Church is made from the Holy Spirit taken from His side when God put Him to sleep on Calvary (I Corinthians 5:13-21) as Eve was created in Adam (Genesis 5:2) and made from a rib taken from his side when God put him to sleep in the garden of Eden. We are the continuation of the creation of God as Eve was the continuation of the creation of Adam (Genesis 2:21-25) as will be seen by a prayerful review of "The Creation of God and His One Eternal Purpose" in Newsletters 520 524.
Since God's thoughts are eternal and they are real, they are the Attributes of His nature and character (Proverbs 23:7). The Logos is those eternal thoughts expressed: being eternal they are Absolute and will manifest in their designated and decreed season and time. As the Logos, Jesus Christ is the beginning of God creating Himself a part of creation to display His Attributes as Saviour, Redeemer, Prophet, Priest, King, Judge, and so-on (Revelation 3:14; John 1:1-5). By faith the Virgin Mary received the Word which became baby "Jesus, whose Name is called Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD with us." Only as Jehovah-Saviour, could God who is Spirit manifest as the KINSMAN Redeemer and Saviour for Adam and believers of his fallen race foretold in prophecies, shadows and types (Genesis 3:21; 22:13; Leviticus 25:47-55; Ruth; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; 42; 43:3, 11, 44:6; 45:15, 21-22; 53; Matthew 1:21-25). The first Adam was created a living soul in the image of God; the last Adam was created a human being in the image of man. Like the first Adam, His body was created without sin but He was born of a woman by the spoken Word without human male instrumentality because death came through Eve who learned to procreate by lust and Satan's wisdom instead of awaiting God's revelation. Thus every man is "made a little lower than his angel [foreknown from the foundation of the world Genesis 1:26-28]; even the Son of man, who is now crowned with glory and honour, and set over the works of God's hands with all things in subjection under His feet (Psalm 8:6; I Corinthians 15:25-28; Ephesians 1:20-23). For in subjecting all things under Him, God left nothing that is not subject to Him, however we do not yet see all things subjected to Him. But we do see Jesus, ranked lower than our theophanies for a little while, crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by divine grace He might taste death [as Kinsman Redeemer, overcome the Adversary and recover the inheritance Adam forfeited] for everyone in Adam's race" (Hebrews 2:7-9; II Corinthians 5:14-15).
Even sinners have angels, "fallen angels . . . but as God's elect have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (I Peter 3:18-20; II Peter 2:4-5; Jude 6; I Corinthians 15:49; John 17:5; Romans 8:28-30). Denominational ministers are "fallen angels," for an angel is a messenger and these portray themselves as angels of Light when they are in fact impersonating the Word for a day gone by.
God cannot be an eternal "Father" anymore than He can be an eternal "Son," for a son is begotten of a father and one does not become a father until he has begotten his firstborn. God's first son Adam (Genesis 2:7; Luke 3:38) was created not begotten or born. God became known as "Father" in His incarnation as "the only begotten Son and intimate Presence of the Father, He and none else interpreted and made Him known by unfolding the nature and character of the invisible Spirit in flesh" (John 1:18). This is not to say that He is never called "Father" or likened to a father in the Old Testament but it proves that "Father" is an office or dispensation claim and not His Name, as confirmed by the agreement of Matthew 28:19 and Acts 3:38-39.
In the Old Testament, "Father" described God's relationship to His creation (Deuteronomy 32:6; Malachi 2:10), to Israel as Covenant-maker (Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 1:31; 8:5; 14:1; Isaiah 64:8; Malachi 2:10), and as suzerain over the Davidic kings, but not His relationship to another divine person as in Trinitarian theology.
If God is an eternal Father through His relationship to an eternally divine person known as "Son," why have we never read of this Son in the Old Testament with whom the Father is in eternal relationship? We would expect the Old Testament to mention such a Son if He existed prior to the incarnation, however we find no mention of Him until after the incarnation in the New Testament. Could this explain why there are very few references to God as "Father" in the Old Testament, but a multitude of references in the New Testament? Thus we have no reason to suppose that the Man Jesus pre-existed, since He "was conceived in Mary by the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 1:20).
If Holy Ghost and Father are two divine persons, Jesus has two fathers and is illegitimate. Were there two or three divine persons, God's eternal Fatherhood and the eternal Son would be mentioned throughout the Old Testament, but as we do not find a divine Being "Father" in relationship to another divine Being "Son," we have no reason to conclude that God is eternally Father, or that there is an eternal Son, which are oxymorons. That would have us worshipping many gods rather than One ALL-mighty God "The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8; Genesis 17:1; Isaiah 13:6), which is the recognition 144,000 elect Israelites will give our Lord Jesus Christ at their new birth (Revelation 15:3).
"Father" is a relational term with relational significance as the Office or Title God received when His first Son, Adam, was formed (Genesis 2:7; Luke 3:38). Since Jesus came in His Father's Name, the compound redemptive Name of the Father is Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:43; 17:26).
Holy Ghost is what God is. God is one Spirit, not two Spirits and one Man as He would be if "the Father" were a person other than the Holy Spirit (Numbers 23:19; Matthew 1:20; John 4:24; Acts 17:24). The compound redemptive Name of the Holy Spirit is Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:16, 26).
"Son "is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the virgin-born Jesusthe only means whereby God could fulfill the part of Kinsman Redeemer and Saviour of Adam's race (Isaiah 7:14; I Timothy 3:16). Scripture states that the fullness of the character and nature of the Godhead was expressed bodily in Jesus Christ, not that the fullness of Jesus Christ dwelt in the Godhead (I John 18; II Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 2:9). When He was born, Joseph called His Name Jesus which means "Jehovah-Savior." As Jehovah means "the Self-existent One," not two or three, Jesus means, "the Self-existent One who is the Savior." Joseph so-named Him because Isaiah had prophesied, "they shall call His Name Immanuel" which means "God with us," or Jesus (Matthew 1:21-25).
When John baptized Jesus in the Jordan He was anointed for His ministry by the Shekinah or Pillar of Fire in the form of a Dove, and became the Christ or Anointed One (John 1:31-34). Later, when He overcame in the garden of Gethsemane, He became Lord (John 17; Acts 2:36; 5:31). He is Lord Jesus Christ.
Father, Son and Holy Ghost are the key offices or dispensation claims upon which God manifests numerous Titles. Both Old and New Testaments demonstrate Jesus Christ of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old manifest in flesh so He could fulfill the part of Redeemer and Saviour:
Jehovah Jireh the Lord will provide Genesis 22:13-14; Matthew 14:15-21 Jehovah Rapha the Lord that heals Exodus 15:26; Matthew 4:24 Jehovah Nissi the Lord our banner Exodus 17:8-15; Revelation 19:11-16 Jehovah Shalom the Lord our Peace Judges 6:23-24; Luke 19:38 Jehovah Raah the Lord my Shepherd Psalm 23:1; Matthew 26:31 Jehovah Tsidkenu the Lord our righteousness Jeremiah 23:6; Romans 10:4 Jehovah Shammah the Lord is Present Ezekiel 48:35; Revelation 21:3
The many different Names or Titles by which God revealed Himself in the Old Testament described different offices or manifestations of One God as He revealed Himself to His people. These names and attributes were again expressed when the fullness of the nature and character of God dwelt bodily in our Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-3).
"Jehovah," the One Lord of the Old Testament who was many things to Israel finally became our Savior, manifesting all of these Attributes in "Jesus," which means "Jehovah-Savior." The Angel told Joseph, "Call His Name Jesus, for He shall SAVE His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21 and Isaiah 45:15, 21).
Jesus is Prophet, Priest, and King, Son of man, Son of God, and Son of David. This does not make Him one of a "Trinity" of three persons or three gods. These are simply the three major offices or dispensation claims of the first God-Man from His birth to the Millennium, just as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three offices or dispensation claims of one God who has revealed Himself as the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and the Holy Ghost in regeneration (Isaiah 41:4; Revelation 1:8, 17-18).
Elohim and Jehovah
The Jewish superstition that man may not pronounce the Name of Jehovah arose from a false exposition of Exodus 20:7 and a misinterpretation of the word "blaspheme" in Leviticus 24:11, 16, which became "utters distinctly." By elevating and hallowing the punishment above partisan fanaticism it became apparent that Israelites and strangers must suffer the same punishment: "And the Israelitish woman's son named (which should read "blasphemed") the Name [of the LORD] (i.e. Jehovah), and cursed. And they brought him to Moses: and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan: and he that blasphemed the Name [of the LORD] (i.e. Yaweh/Jehovah) shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he names (which should be "blasphemes") the Name [of the LORD], (i.e. Yaweh/Jehovah), he shall be put to death".
The aftereffect of this superstition based on an erroneous translation is continued in the Septuagint, German, and in our English Old Testament where (except in four places) Jehovah is translated "LORD" in upper case and used exclusively for God. "LORD" in smaller font indicates the Hebrew, Adonai. Out of a superstitious reverence for the Name Jehovah, Jewry always pronounce "Adonai" where "Yahweh" is written, which they now translate "the Eternal." Hebrew and Semitic writing in general is essentially consonantal; vowels are written in English, yet they omit the vowel from the word "G_d." This law for the punishment of blasphemy in verse 16 is perfectly clear: it was from a wrong conception of fact, not of the Law, that the Jews stoned Stephen, and would gladly have stoned Messiah. The capital punishment of the guilty in verses 17-21 in not to be considered part of the law of revenge (lex talionis), but rather a positive, divine command given in accordance with Genesis 9:6, "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed." The lex talionis, on the other hand is permissive and restrictive. In Biblical Israel, the indulgence of unlimited revenge is restricted to retaliation in kind equivalent to the injury suffered (as per Genesis 9:6). For Talmudic Jewry, no restrictions exist as attested by worldwide media reportage of the unprovoked aggression and atrocities by their City of London's NATO in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and post World War II by the 'City of London'-controlled Russia and Allied nations who systematically raped and robbed the ruined and prostrate German Reich (including Austria); millions of Germans who survived the war were either killed in cold blood or deliberately left to die of disease, cold, malnutrition or starvation (ihr.org). Not to mention Jewish blood lust in Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Gaza, and the callous theatre of Guantanamo Bay and "black' facilities worldwide where innocent men are imprisoned and tortured to strike fear in the hearts of any who would question their god Lucifer.
The names Elohim (El Eloah, El Elyown, El Shaddai, Elohim Sabaoth) and Jehovah throughout Genesis are distinguished so that Elohim prevails in passages which speak of the general relationship of God to the world; Jehovah-Elohim to those in living relationship through revelation and the covenant with the One personal God to His people and Kingdom. Likewise in the New Testament, Christ is a more distant, universal, less personal Name than Jesus. The "God of Truth" of the Old Testament, properly translated "God of the Amen," is more illustriously revealed in covenant-faithfulness in the God "Amen," of the New Testament: Jesus Christ"Him who is, and who was, and who is coming""Immanuel" (Revelation 3:14; 1:4; Isaiah 65:16-19; 7:14).
In Genesis 14:18-22, "Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and He was the priest of the [universal] Most High God" (El Elyown). And He blessed him in this Name, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God (El Elyown), possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the Most High God, (El Elyown), who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And Abram gave Him tithes of all".
"And the king of Sodom said to Abram, Give me the people who were captured, and take the booty stolen from my city for yourself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have sworn to the [covenant God] LORD, the Most High God (Jehovah-Elyown), the possessor of heaven and earth. . ."
In Genesis 20:3-4 Elohim punished Abimelech, who addresses Him as Adonai. "But God [of the universe] (Elohim) came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said, Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman you have taken; for she has a husband. However Abimelech had not touched her: and said, Lord (Adonai), will You slay an innocent nation"? In verses 1-18, Abraham speaks of the fear of God (Elohim) and prays to Elohim for Abimelech's house, "for the [covenant] LORD (Jehovah) had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham's wife".
The Hebrews said the Elohim, in opposition to false gods; but never the Jehovah, for Jehovah means the One true God. Again, My God, Elohai, but not My Jehovah, for Jehovah by itself means this covenant relation exists. Again, the Elohim of Israel; but not the Jehovah of Israel, for there is no other Jehovah. Again, the living Elohim, but not the living Jehovah; for Jehovah means this without the epithet. Jehovah in the Old Testament is the God of redemption. The correlative of Elohim is man, of Jehovah it is redeemed man. Elohim is God in nature, Jehovah is God in grace (Exodus 34:6-7). Elohim is the God of providence, Jehovah is the God of promise and prophecy; hence the prophets' formula is, "thus saith Jehovah," NOT "thus saith Elohim." Elohim is wider in meaning, embracing the representatives of Deity, angels, judges and rulers (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34-35); Jehovah is the deeper, incommunicable Name (I Corinthians 12:3; Revelation 2:17; 14:3; 19:12).
Elohim expresses the might of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Isaiah 44:24, John 1:1, and Colossians 1:13-16 all speak of the same God. Elyown expresses "His sublimity" the Most High (Genesis 14:22). El Shaddai, "His all sufficiency" as the Almighty (Genesis 17:1; Philippians 4:19; II Corinthians 3:5; 12:9). Jehovah expresses His "unchangeable faithfulness to His covenant promises to His people." Adonai, His "lordship," which being delegated to others as also is His might as Elohim, Adonai and Elohim are used occasionally of His creatures, angels and men in authority (Psalm 8:5; 97:7).
Elyown, Shaddai and Jehovah are used exclusively for God. The plural Elohim signifies that He combines in Himself all the fullness of Divine perfections in their manifold powers and operations (which the heathen divided among a variety of gods). These Attributes are concentrated in the One true God, and besides those, others which fallen man never of himself imagined, such as infinite love, goodness, justice, wisdom, creative power, inexhaustible riches of excellence; unity, self existence, grace, and providence are especially dwelt on.
Jehovah: Jahaveh or Yahaveh (the probable correct pronunciation) is from the verb "havah," a word from a time anterior to the division of the Semitic languages and obsolete in Moses' time, or from the more modern word hayah, "to be," indicates the great antiquity of the Name: "I AM that I AM," which expresses unchanging Being (Exodus 3:14; Malachi 3:6; Revelation 1:4. See newadvent.org). Had Yahweh been a Name of more recent introduction, the whole nation of Israel would never have accepted it with such universal reverence.
Exodus 6:2-3 "God said to Moses, I am the LORD (i.e. Jehovah, "the self-existent One"): And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, by the Name of God Almighty (i.e. El Shaddai) but by My Name JEHOVAH was I not known to them".
The full and precious import of the Name Jehovah was only now about to be revealed. When giving the promises to the patriarchs He was known as GOD, Almighty to fulfill them (Genesis 17:1); to Moses as Jehovah, unchangeably faithful in keeping them (Malachi 3:6). Hebrews 13:8 identifies Jesus of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old. Elohim can do all that He wills; Jehovah will do all that He has promised. Elohim (the plural of Eloah, expressing the fullness of God's powers) is appropriate to creation (Genesis 1:1 2:3); Jehovah-Elohim to paradise and to the covenant of grace at the fall (Genesis 2:7 3:24); the combination of these names identifies the Jehovah of the moral government with the Elohim of creation.
Elohim appears in the trial of Abraham's faith (Genesis 22); Jehovah, in its triumph. The last nineteen chapters of Genesis, from Jacob's meeting the angels and Esau (Genesis 32) have Elohim alone (except in the history of Judah and Pharez (Genesis 38); and Joseph's first entrance into Egypt (Genesis 39); and Jacob's dying exclamation (Genesis 49:18); the beginning and close of the long period of sorrow and patient waiting) to prepare by contrast for the fuller revelation to Moses, when the Name Jehovah is made known in its full and experimental preciousness. To be made "known" (Exodus 6:3) means to be manifested in act, making good in fact all that was implied in the Name (Ezekiel 20:9). The Name was not new to Israel, for it occurs before in Exodus 3:16 and 4:1; "My Name" instead of "the Name" points to the previous use of the Name, it is just that God had not been understood in the character represented by the Name Jehovah, the personal God in covenant with His people, manifesting boundless mercy, righteousness, and faithfulness to His Word. Thus "Immanuel" is used of His proving in fact to be what the Name means: "God with us" (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). The "I AM" of Exodus 3:14 is to be filled up thus: I AM to My people all whatsoever they want, prayer in faith pleading God's covenanted promises: Light, Life, peace, salvation, glory, their exceeding great reward, etc. to supply the ellipsis. I AM all that My Word declares, and all that their threefold nature, body, spirit, and soul, requires. I am always all this to them (John 8:58). "Before Abraham was I AM" (Matthew 28:20).
The Letter kills, but the Spirit gives Life
My Thompson Chain-Reference Bible contains a history of "The Origin and Growth of the English Bible," which upon close examination does not list a single Hebrew Old Testament, and the oldest texts in the Samaritan Pentateuch (Torah) date back only to the twelfth century AD. In the last few centuries before Christ, Israelite scholars produced a translation of their Scriptures in Greek, the common language of the Eastern portion of the Roman Empire since Alexander the Great's conquests in the fourth century BC. The Greek Septuagint was translated directly from the Hebrew by Israelites and is the text quoted in the Gospels and Epistles. (See bible-researcher.com). Other than the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Jews' Masoretic text is the only existing representation of the Old Testament in Hebrew and is not Israelite literature.
From the sixth century AD when the codification of the Babylonian Talmud was completed, until the eleventh century, the center of Jewish scholarship transferred from Babylon in the East to North Africa and Spain. Between AD500 and AD1030, these Talmudic Jews created the counterfeit Masoretic Hebrew text of the Old Testament, first published in 1427. (See Newsletters 186, 205 and 325 for information regarding the Masoretes).
Pastor V.S. Herrell writes: One of the most famous examples of how the Jews attacked the Greek Septuagint regarded the word virgin. The particular verse in question is Isaiah 7:14, which reads in the Greek Septuagint:
"Therefore, the Master Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will conceive in the womb, and will bring forth a son, and you will call His Name Emmanuel".
In the Greek, the word for virgin is 'parthenos,' and it literally means a virgin. In the Masoretic Text, however, the word is 'almah' which means a young girl. The usual Hebrew word for virgin, and the word in every case translated virgin in the Revised Version, is 'bethuwlah.' This verse is quoted from Isaiah in the Christian Scriptures in Matthew 1:23. The Jews attacked the Septuagint from the beginning because they claimed that it had been corrupted by the Christians and that the Christians changed the word in the Septuagint to read virgin instead of young woman so that it would support the reading in Matthew. Of course, the Edomite Jews did not believe that Jesus was the true Messiah; this was why they were attacking the Septuagint. The Jews are the ones who changed the Hebrew, replacing the word virgin with young woman. The early motive of the Edomite Jews was to destroy Christianity, not just the Septuagint. But the Christians did not give in, so the Jews changed their strategy. They instead decided to corrupt the Old Testament and gain control of the Christians by giving them a corrupted Old Testament. By the 3rd century they began collecting every Hebrew manuscript they could, and this was easy to do because the Christians used the Greek Septuagint and cared little for the Hebrew. They then began revising the Hebrew documents to support their Jewish contentions. By the time of Jerome, they began taking the soft approach and gave Jerome their new Hebrew for him to use in his translation. But, as we said before, the Christians at first rejected the Vulgate. So the Jews continued working on their text. From the 1st century to the middle of the 5th century, they called themselves Talmudists; from the 5th century to the completion of their text [of the counterfeit Hebrew Old Testament - Ed] in the 10th-11th centuries, they called themselves Masoretes.
At the end of this time, all other Hebrew manuscripts except for the Masoretic Text disappeared. The fact is that they were destroyed by the same people who had gathered them upthe Talmudic, Masoretic Jews. Then the Jews began presenting themselves as the diligent preservers of the Hebrew Bible and began deceiving . . . Christians. They no longer blatantly attacked the Septuagint but rather touted themselves as being faithful servants of God. . . (See V.S. Herrell, The History of the Bible, p. 51-57 for a more complete account).
In their Preface to the New Revised Standard Version the Committee of translators state in part: "While it is almost if not quite certain that the Name was originally pronounced "Yahweh," this pronunciation was not indicated when the Masoretes added vowel sounds to the consonantal Hebrew text. To the four consonants YHWH of the Name, which had come to be regarded as too sacred to be pronounced, they attached vowel signs indicating that in its place should be read the Hebrew word Adonai meaning "Lord" (or Elohim meaning "God"). Ancient Greek translators employed the word Kyrios ("Lord") for the Name. The Vulgate likewise used the Latin word Dominus ("Lord"). The form "Jehovah" is of late medieval origin; it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name and the vowels attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word. Although the American Standard Version (1901) had used "Jehovah" to render the Tetragrammaton (the sound of Y being represented by J and the sound of W by V, as in Latin), for two reasons the Committees that produced the RSV and the NRSV returned to the more familiar usage of the King James Version. (1) The word "Jehovah" does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew. (2) The use of any proper name for the one and only God, as though there were other gods from whom the true God had to be distinguished, began to be discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church." (See bible-researcher.com).
Those claiming a literal translation of the letter without regard to the Spirit and "the present Truth" (II Peter 3:12; I John 1:7) should note that "w," the twenty-third letter and eighteenth consonant in the English alphabet was first introduced by French scribes during the 1000's in the rounded form as a double uu, gaining its present double "VV" shape by the 1500's; and that there is no letter equivalent to "J" in either Hebrew or Greek even today. "J," the tenth letter and seventh consonant in the English alphabet, is the latest addition to English script and has been inserted in the alphabet after "I," from which it was developed. Petrus Ramus (1515-1572) is credited as the first to distinguish I and J as representing separate sounds. Not until the middle of the seventeenth century did the use of "j" become universal in English books. And the new word Jew, which contradicts the meanings of the two words it has replaced did not enter the Bible until the latter part of the eighteenth century). Moreover it should be seen that the probable pronunciation of the word Jehovah differs from the common usage, so that this feigned piety is in vain.
God sent us a prophet in these last days to "restore the heart of His children to the faith of their apostolic fathers," all of whom were Israelites (Malachi 4:6; Matthew 17:11). William Branham (1909-1965) was vindicated as this prophet; neither he, Paul nor any of the other five angels, whose Messages alone brought new birth to the New Testament saints taught us to address the Lord in a foreign language, to observe the Law of sin and death, sabbath days, and feasts given to Israel exclusively as shadows and types of good things to come to us under the covenant of grace given to Abraham in Genesis 12.
Brother Branham taught, "You've got to say that right Word, the right thing to God." For instance, if you are baptized in the Titles Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and presume Christ is in the Office of Son of God and Mediator in this day, your sins are not remitted but retained and you have no personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ because you are without faith. "Saved," perhaps, but NOT a Christian. Jesus demonstrated this when the woman of Canaan implored, "Thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil"! Jesus was in the Office of Son of Man, not Son of David, besides which, had He been Son of David, she being a Gentile, would have no claims upon Him. But when she paid homage, crying, "Lord, help me"! He honoured her faith, for He was her Lord through creation, "And her daughter was made whole from that very hour" (Matthew 16:15-28).
Do you understand that people claiming to be Christians yet observing the sabbath day given to Israel under the Law are ignorantly denying the resurrection of Jesus Messiah? And if we are addressing God as YHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah we are not saying the right thing to God? Jesus came in His Father's Name, and the Holy Ghost was sent in His Name, which in this present dispensation is LORD JESUS CHRIST (John 5:43; 14:26). If you are a Christian you will be resting in this holy convocation of the antitype of the fiftieth day of Israel's Pentecostal Feast with the mind of Christ in you, not labouring your way to the tribulation by reasoning against His revealed Word. James 4:4, "You adulterers and adulteresses (i.e. idolaters), don't you know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God".
In Exodus 6:3, God told Moses He would reveal or make Himself "known" by His Name Jehovah by manifesting in deeds the Attributes implied in the Name. As we explained above, every time there is a victory or dispensation change a new name is given. Son of Abraham, Son of man, Son of God, and Son of David, are among the Names, Offices and Titles God takes in performing His work. As the Man Jesus Christ, Jehovah's Name is called "Immanuel"; as Saviour and Redeemer His Name is "Lord Jesus Christ . . . there is salvation in no other: for there is no other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12; Isaiah 45:21). "And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 5:20).
God's Names describe His works as your name, Butcher, Smith, or Bishop represents your character, personality, or trade. Brother Branham said, "The greatest of all the revelations is the Deity, the Supreme Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. You can't get to first base until you believe that. That's what Peter said, "Repent, and then see the Deity. Be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and then you're ready to go in the Spirit." The first thing you have to know is the Deity of Christ. "I am Alpha and Omega. I'm from A to Z; there's no more but Me. I was at the beginning; I'll be at the end. I'm He that was, which is, and shall come, the Almighty" Think of it. That's what the trumpet said" (Patmos Vision, p. 97:144; Acts 2:39-39; Revelation 1:8, 11).
The idea of a new name is a familiar one. Abram was changed to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter, and Saul to Paul. These names either brought about a change, or were given because of a change. It was only after Abram and Sarai had their names changed by the Lord that they were made ready to receive the coming son. In Jacob's case, he had to overcome and then he was called a prince. In the case of Simon and Saul, when they had received the Lord, their change came. And today each one of us true believers has had a change in name. We are Christians because we have changed from what we were, to what we are, and "we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18). One day Jesus is going to give the overcomer a white stone and in (not on) the stone a new name, which the owner alone knows.
Jehovah's compound redemptive Name is "LORD JESUS CHRIST" (Matthew 1:20-23; 28:19 (Isaiah 9:6); Luke 24:47; John 5:43; Acts 2:38-39; 4:12; Ephesians 2:21; 3:15; Colossians 2:9; 3:11). Compare John 2:19 with Acts 5:30. Jesus is the Creator, and His Name is NOT Jehovah, it is Jehovah-Saviour: The Word Interpreted is the Manifestation of the Name of God. He is LORD Jesus Christ. Christ's NEW name is His OLD NameMelchisedec (Genesis 14, Hebrews 7 and Malachi 3:6). Jesus Christ is God.
The Uniqueness of the Son of God
Jesus is the visible manifestation of the invisible God. I Timothy 3:16, "Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory".
The key word in understanding the supreme Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ is "manifestation." Jesus is the fullness of the nature and character of God manifest in virgin-born flesh in order to meet the requirements of a sinless, spotless kinsman Redeemer for Adam's race. Prior to His birth by the Virgin Mary, the Man existed only in God's foreknowledge.
Luke 1:35, "The Angel told Mary, The Holy Ghost will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God".
When Mary told her espoused husband Joseph of her Supernatural pregnancy he was minded to quietly divorce her as a dishonorable woman. Matthew 1:20-23, "But the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus: for He will save His people from their sins. Now all this was done, that the Words of the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is translated, God with us".
In the Old Testament the Son of God is only mentioned in a prophetic sense because He did not exist other than in the mind of God as One who was to come. No Scripture speaks of an eternal Son; the begotten son is familiar to all. In John 14:10-14, Jesus clearly explains who He is, "Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The Words I speak are not My own, they are spoken on authority of the Father who dwells in Me and does His work through Me. Believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or believe it because of the mighty works you have seen Me do. In solemn truth I tell you, anyone believing in Me shall do the same miracles I have done, and even more, because I [will be raised for your justification and] go to the Father. And whatsoever you ask in My Name, I will do it that the Father may be glorified in the Son".
Our Father condescended to reveal Himself in His first begotten Son, a man born of a virgin, the first God-man in the new creation. To see the Son is to see the Father. Jesus said, "Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). To know the Father is to know the Son (I John 2:21-23). Since Pentecost, the same God dwells in His elect. John 14:19-20, "When you are born-again you shall know that I am in My Father and you in Me, and I in you".
Jesus Christ was the "Beginning of the creation of God" (John 1:3; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 3:14). His elect Church is the continuation and His end-time Word Bride is the Capstone that is ending and completing the same creation (Hebrews 2:10-18). Thus Jesus Christ is "the Alpha and the Omega, the (Word at the) beginning and the (same Word restored and manifest in the Sons of God at the) ending" (Revelation 1:8; Romans 8:19).
We will briefly review what appear to be the major arguments presented by the Trinitarians to support their doctrine:
1. The Use of Plural Pronouns in the Old Testament
Genesis 1:26 says, "Let us make man in our image." And Isaiah 6:8 says, ". . . I heard the Voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"
In such references, Trinitarians have tendered the use of the plural pronoun as conclusive proof of a plurality of persons in the Godhead. They forget that the Bible is the story of the One eternal Spirit unfolding Himself, His eternal thoughts expressed as Word, into the flesh of that Word in the form of His glorified FamilyJesus Christ and the New Testament saints. But when God says "us," He is speaking of the Logos or Word which is the expressed attributes of Himself: His eternal thoughtsyou and I and all of His elect Seed. Once we understand this revelation, the mystery of the Godhead becomes wonderfully clear, and we see how we as His elect were with Him in eternity, for by foreknowledge He knew who would become "written epistles" manifesting His Word in their flesh.
As His elect we are eternal with God. Ephesians 1:4-5, "God has chosen us in Jesus before the foundation of the world. Having predestinated us [by His foreknowledge of how we would exercise our free moral agency when presented with His Word] to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will".
This means that we were right there with Jesus in the mind and thoughts of God before the foundation of the world. That gives an eternal quality to the elect. . . In very plain language the True Bride of Christ was in the mind of God eternally, though not expressed until each came forth in their designated, decreed season. As each member was born-again by expressing the Word for their Age, they took their place in the Body (II Corinthians 3:2-3). Thus this Bride is the literal Spoken Word Seed Bride. And though she is feminine in designation she is also called the "Body of Christ." It is very apparent that she ought to be so called for she was predestinated in Him, came from the same source, was eternal with Him, and is now manifesting God in a many membered Body whereas once God was manifested in One Member, even our Lord Jesus Christ (William Branham, An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 150).
Another illustration of the plural pronoun is found in John 14:23, "If a man loves Me and keeps My Words, the Father will love him too, and We will come to them, and make our abode with them".
As shown in I Corinthians 12:13 and Acts 2:4, there is in fact One Person who came in to us at our new birththe Holy Spirit (to this the Trinitarians agree). Yet Jesus said, "We will come," so who is this "We?" It is the sum of Deity in revelation of the Father, who is the Holy Spirit, manifest in the flesh of the Son, quickening and reuniting with the soul of His elect upon regeneration.
The One God, One Person manifesting Himself in three offices or dispensation claims is Savior, Healer, Baptizer, Judge, Mediator, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Ephesians 4:5)!
2. The Use of the Plural Word Elohim
Elohim is a plural word. The abbreviated word "El" means "powerful" or "mighty," and occurs in many primitive languages, always referring to deity. "El" is found many times in the Old Testament, usually in compound form, as in the following examples:
El Elyon God most high Genesis 14:18 El Roi God of seeing Genesis 16:13 El Shaddai God Almighty Genesis 17:1 El Bet'el God of Bethel Genesis 31:13, and so-on.
El is expanded to "Eloah," a masculine singular noun, which occurs 57 times in the Old Testament, mostly in the book of Job. The plural form of this word is produced by adding the suffix "im" and deleting the "a" thus "Elohim," which occurs about 3,000 times in the Old Testament. More than 2,500 times it refers to the Deity Himself. It is also applied to human dignities and pagan deities such as Baal and Beelzebub (Judges 6:31; II Kings 1:2). In English we would call these pagan elohim "gods." With respect to the One Creator God, Elohim expresses an emphatic superlative degree as in El Shaddai, God Almighty, rather than a plurality, meaning ONE God who is the sum of all Deity, so in English we say "God" singular. And one day Jesus Christ and His glorified New Testament Church will be the manifestation of those glorious attributesElohim in the flesh of His glorified Family.
Trinitarians mistakenly maintain this word indicates a plurality of persons in the Godhead. Elohim's best known Name is "Jehovah," the modern spelling and pronunciation of "Yahweh," meaning "the Self-Existent ONE," who, when manifest in the flesh as our Kinsman Redeemer was named "Jesus," which means "Jehovah Savior." Jesus Christ is not a second or third person but the One Person of the Holy Spirit MANIFEST in virgin-born flesh. The burning bush, the Pillar of Cloud and Fire that led Israel through the wilderness and the created Men who spoke with Abraham and Jacob, were manifestations of the same Holy Spirit.
Aside from pagan deities there is no indication of a Trinity in the entire Old Testament. As in the New Testament, all evidence supports the singularity of God as in Israel's "Shema" (Deuteronomy 6:4). And there is no similitude to the word "Trinity," a term attributed to Tertullian late in the Second Century and adopted by Roman Catholic church councils in later centuries.
Trinitarians sometimes link Genesis 1:26 with Colossians 1:13-19 to prove to their satisfaction Jesus of Nazareth created the world with the Father and Holy Spirit, but "Thus saith the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb, I am the Lord who makes all things; who stretched forth the heavens ALONE; who spread abroad the earth by Myself" (Isaiah 44:24; 37:16; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalms 33:6-8).
God created all things by the Logos or spoken WORD when time and space began, NOT by that Man from Galilee Who is the Word made flesh, born of a virgin trillions of years later. As the first resurrected son and firstborn in the new creation, Jesus has preeminence over all things. To make Jesus the beginning of God's creation, as Trinitarians teach, is to make Him less than God. The beginning of God's creation is the sun, the planets, the rivers and trees. Jesus is the beginning of ANOTHER Creation. He is the beginning of God creating HIMSELF a part of a finished NEW creation redeemed to original perfection (Revelation 3:14).
Ralph E. Knudsen: "The word Elohim is one of the more general names for God and is plural in form. This is what is usually known as the plural of 'majesty or eminence,' or the plural of 'fullness or greatness.' It is not uncommon in the East to use the plural to express the idea of the singular in an intensified form. The singular of Elohim means strength, power, or might, and the plural is simply an intensifying of the singular meaning. There is no idea of making God more than one by the use of the plural form Elohim" (Christian Beliefs, 1947, p. 26).
The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia: "By far the most frequent form of the Old Testament writers is the plural Elohim, but they use it regularly with singular verbs and adjectives to denote a singular idea" (p. 1,254).
Dr. William Smith: "The plural form of Elohim has given rise to much discussion. The fanciful idea that it referred to the Trinity of persons in the Godhead hardly finds now a supporter among scholars. It is either what grammarians call the plural of majesty, or it denotes the fullness of divine strength, the sum of the powers displayed by God" (Dictionary of the Bible, p. 216).
"For in Him (Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power" (Colossians 2:9-10).
3. The Water Baptism of Jesus Christ
It is pointed out by Trinitarians that there were three present at the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. The Father was in heaven, the Holy Spirit was somewhere between heaven and earth, and Jesus the Son, was on earth. There is no clearer proof of God's majesty and manifestations than this picture of Jesus in the River Jordan. Do you see that God can be in heaven and manifested on earth at the same time? Jesus claimed Himself to be just that (John 1:18; 3:13), as does every Christian, for we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 2:6).
In John 14:10 Jesus claimed it was the Father who dwelt in Him that did the marvelous works. But if the Father remained in heaven while the Spirit descended, where and how did the Father finally get into Christ? The Spirit is the Father, for "God is a (ONE) Spirit"He is the Holy Spirit (John 4:24).
Trinitarians invariably overlook the evidence that the Pillar of Fire in the form of a dove was a SIGN promised to John to identify the One he was to introduce. The Voice and the sign were seen and heard by John alone. Furthermore, Scripture does not say the dove was the Holy Ghost but that it was a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, and that the voice sounding from heaven spoke from within Jesus saying, "this is My beloved Son, in whom I am pleased to dwell is." So the concept of a presence of three persons evaporatesyet there were three witnesses (I John 5:7).
4. To Whom did Jesus Pray?
Incidents in the Gospels such as when Jesus prayed to the Father from the Cross have been used to support the idea that there must be at least two in the Godhead. A Trinitarian would ask, "Did Jesus pray to Himself? If not, then there must be twoone praying to the other." The key that makes understanding simple is to distinguish His Deity from His humanity. The Man Jesus was not praying to Himself.
"O You who hear prayer, to You shall all flesh come" (Psalms 65:2). Prayer is defined in the Bible as flesh praying to Deity. Like EVERY Son of God, the humanity of Jesus was praying to the Divinity dwelling within Himself. To Whom do you pray? If you are born again, you speak to the Holy Spirit Who dwells "in" you. Isn't that true? "You are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in you" (I Corinthians 3:16). "In Jesus dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily," He was the manifestation of God in the physical Form of a Man. Yet God is not a man but a Spirit, alone with His eternal thoughts in another dimension we call heaven (John 14:10; Matthew 12:50).
"In the days of His flesh, He offered prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His godly fear" (Hebrews 5:7).
"As a man," Jesus hungered, slept, wept, learned, prayed, and experienced all that is common to mankind. "As God," He healed the sick, raised the dead, calmed the seas and forgave sins. When the disciples were at sea and a storm threatened their lives, it was a man who was fast asleep in the boat, but when He awoke and lifted His voice to rebuke the wind and waves, then it was God who spoke! As a man, He wept before the tomb of Lazarus, as God He cried, "Lazarus, come forth!" It should not be difficult to comprehend that as a man Jesus prayed, but as God, He heard and responded to those prayers.
"The vessel or manifestation of God can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner" (John 5:19; 14:19). And is this not so with His brethren who are written epistles of the Word God is manifesting in THIS hour? A life lived by the Word is the Word expressed. "It is no longer I that live but Christ living through me by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20).
You might question, if the Father is the Holy Spirit and He is in heaven alone with His thoughts, how can He be dwelling in me? His revealed Word is living in you by faith. God's Word is Spirit is a form we can receive by faith.
The only way God can be ever-present is by the manifestation of His Word. This is how He was in Jesus and that is how He is in His saintsthe New Testament Churchtoday. We receive the Spirit as we receive the understanding of the Wordby faith. We can only receive the Spirit in Word Form (Galatians 3:2, 5).
5. John 1:1 "The Word was with God"
Trinitarians maintain that because the Word was with God, that makes two persons. For those who feel that John 1:1 indicates two divine persons, let us read it as Trinitarians, bearing in mind, God, by their definition, is a Trinity.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Trinity, and the Word was Trinity." If the Word was with the Trinity, we now have four persons. If we say that in this verse, God stands not for trinity but for Father, we would read, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with the Father and the Word was the Father." The Word then is not the Son but the Fatherit was His eternal thoughts yet unexpressedand the Holy Spirit was not at that time a Father, which is precisely what we maintain.
The simplest paraphrase of John 1:1, 14 would state: "In the beginning Elohim, the Self-existent One, was alone with His eternal thoughts . . . and Elohim was manifest in flesh and dwelt among us".
What is true for God is true for man also. How can you separate a man's word from himself? Your word is with you and it is you, but that does not make you two persons. God's thoughts He has always had; we know them as Logos or thought in speech, they are Eternal and they are real, they cannot be added to or taken from. A thought expressed is a Word. In Jesus the fullness of the nature, character and purpose of God was manifest bodily, which is why He is called the "Word" or "Logos." This verse substantiates that the One Person of God manifest in the flesh Jesus Christ who is the beginning of God making Himself a part of creation.
6. New Testament Usage of the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
Frequently in the epistles we find a variety of expressions embodying the words Father or God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. For example, Ephesians 1:2, "Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." To whom, asks the Trinitarian, can this refer if not to two divine persons? We will illustrate it in one source and it will suffice for all others, because the meaning is the same.
I Peter 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead".
Notice what is being expressedthe Father and Jesus Christ who is risen from the dead. God and the Man who died and rose again. Very simple, when we realize that God desires to reveal to the Church, not only His Deity, but also His justice in meeting sin's penalty and His righteousness and grace fulfilled in the humanity of the last Adam who was raised for our justification. It identifies the sinless Source of the Son, for since Adam, "all are born in sin and shapen in iniquity." NOT a second person in the Godhead but THE Person. Our Kinsman Redeemer was GOD manifest in the flesh, or we are all lost. The Bible calls Him "Emmanuel" meaning, "God with us," not a second, third or any other fraction of God (Matthew 1:18).
7. John 17:5 "The Glory I had with Thee before the World was"
This verse of Scripture, understood in the Light of God's foreknowledge cannot be interpreted to mean a preexistent glorified Son. Such an interpretation would contradict all other passages of Scripture which reveal the Son in relation to time and humanity.
However, Jesus was glorified before the world was, He was also a Lamb before the world was, and was slain before the world was (Revelation 13:8). The whole plan of salvation including Christ's redemptive Work was established in the mind of God from eternity. This is the glorification for which Jesus prayed.
Even we as redeemed sons of God are ALREADY glorified. "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified" (Romans 8:29-30).
We are even now glorified because it is established in the mind of God that we shall be glorified. He foreknew who they would be, therefore we too can pray like Jesus, "Father glorify Me with the glory I had with You before the world was".
8. How many did Stephen see?
"Behold I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:56). It is ridiculous to suppose that Stephen, as his life was being dashed out of him, beheld two divine persons standing side by side. It is ridiculous because:
(a) "NO man has seen God at anytime" (John 1:18; I John 4:12).
(b) God "The Father," is a Spirit and as such is invisible (Colossians 1: 15; I Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:27).
Stephen did not see two gods and He did not say, "I see Jesus standing beside God." The term, "right hand of God" provides us with the key that gives the explanation. In Exodus 15:6 Moses and the Israelites claimed to have "seen the right hand of God." But God is a Spirit with neither right nor left hand; what they saw was a manifestation of God's power and glory. As an Israelite Stephen knew what "the right hand of God" meant. He saw the Son of Man in power and glory. He saw the Son of Man on the right hand of God. When Jesus ascended, "ALL power was given unto Him in heaven and in earth," He was God's right hand Man, His first adopted son with all the Authority of His Father."
9. John 10:30 "I and My Father are One"
Jesus is actually saying "I and the Father are in perfect agreement by faith, or at-one with each other." His prayer for the New Testament saints was, "That they ALL might be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, THAT THEY MIGHT BE ONE IN US. . ." (John 17:21-26). God and the soul that's joined together with God is ONE Spirit manifest in a many-membered Body (I Corinthians 6:17). And "ALL the saints speak the same thing" because they are each a manifestation of the same (One) Spirit of God (I Corinthians 1:10; 12:4-12.)
Not "three in one" but "thousand thousands" in One (Daniel 7:10; Hebrews 12:22-24; Revelation 5:9-13).
What perfect clarity and certainty comes to the heart of the believer when he begins to rest on the majesty of the revelation that there is One God with One Name! And through the Spiritual Marriage Union or new birth, that Name is the Name of the Bride alsoChrist is the Head and She the Body (Ephesians 1:21-23).
Holy Spirit is "what" God is, Father is a Title or Office He received when He formed His first son, Adam (Genesis 2:4); Son is what He became when He began unfolding HIMSELF into the flesh of His Family (John 4:24; Revelation 3:14). "Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God is ONE Lord," unfolding Himself from the eternal Spirit alone with His thoughts to the Flesh of those thoughts in the Form of His Glorified sons and daughters among whom Jesus is the firstborn of many (Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 1-3; 2:9-18).
Comparing the Words of Isaiah and Paul we can see that Jehovah of the Old Testament is Jesus of the New:
"Take counsel together, argue your case and state your proofs that idol-worship pays. Who but God has said from ancient times that these things concerning Cyrus would come true? Who has told it from that time; have not I the Lord: and there is no other God but Mea just God and a Saviorno, not one! Let all the world look to Me for salvation! For I am God, there is no other! I have sworn by Myself, and I will never go back on My Word, for it is truethat unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear" (Isaiah 45:21-23).
At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth; and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father" (Philippians 2:10-11).
The believer longs to behold the face of the Son in glory; when he falls at Jesus' feet, he will be at the feet of JehovahHIS GOD AND HIS SAVIOR.
One God or Trinity
James Hastings: "It has been customary to trace the institution of the practice to the Words of Christ in Matthew 28:19, but the authenticity of this passage has been challenged on historical as well as textural grounds. It must be acknowledged that the formula of the threefold name, which is here enjoined, does not appear to have been used by the primitive church, which so far as our information goes, baptized 'in' or 'into' the Name of Jesus, or Jesus Christ, or the Lord Jesus, without any reference to the Father or the Spirit" (Dictionary of the Bible, p. 88).
Scribners: "The original form of words were into the Name of Jesus Christ or Lord Jesus. Baptism into Trinity was a later development" (Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. I, p. 241).
Canney Encyclopaedia: "The early church always baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus until the development of the Trinity; afterward they were baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" (p. 53).
American Encyclopaedia, International Edition: "The term Trinity was used by Theophilus of Antioch in AD 180" (Vol. 27, p. 116).
Encyclopaedia Britannica: "The triune and Trinity formula was not uniformly used from the beginning, and up until the third century, baptism in the Name of Christ only was so widespread that Pope Stephen, in opposition to St. Cyprian, said that baptism in the Name of Christ was valid. But Catholic missionaries, by omitting one or more persons of the Trinity when they were baptized, were anathematized by the Roman church. Now the formula of Rome is, "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and in the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Ghost" (11th Ed., Vol. 3, p. 365-366).
Encyclopedia of Religions: "Persons were baptized at first in the Name of Jesus Christ, or 'in the Name of the Lord Jesus.' Afterwards, with the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, they were baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost" (p. 53).
New International Encyclopaedia: "The Trinity doctrine. The Catholic faith is this: 'We worship one in Trinity, but there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. The glory equalthe majesty co-eternal.' The doctrine is not found in its fully developed form in the Scriptures. Modern theology does not seek to find it in the Old Testament. At the time of the Reformation, the Protestant Church took over the doctrine of the Trinity without serious examination" (Vol. 22, p. 476).
Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion: "Christian baptism was administered by using the words 'in the Name of Jesus.' The use of a Trinity formula of any sort was not suggested in the early Church history. Baptism was always in the Name of the Lord Jesus until the time of Justin Martyr when the Triune formula was used" (Vol. 2, p. 377-378, 389. )
"NAME was an ancient synonym for "Person." Payment was always made in the name of some person referring to ownership. Therefore one being baptized in Jesus' Name became His personal property. "Ye are Christ's." (Acts 1:15; Revelation 3:4; I Corinthians 3:23).
LIFE Magazine: "The Catholics made this statement concerning their doctrine of the Trinity to defend the dogma of the assumption of Mary in an article by Graham Green: 'Our opponents sometimes claim that no belief should be held dogmatically which is not explicitly stated in the Scripture but the Protestant churches have themselves accepted such dogma as the Trinity for which there exists no such authority in the Gospels'" (October 30, 1950, Vol. 29, Number 18, p. 51).
Catholic Encyclopaedia: "The true doctrine of the sacrament of baptism is not taught by the Roman church. Baptism given by heretics in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost with the intention of performing what the church performs, is not true baptism" (Vol. 2, p. 259).
New Catholic Encyclopedia: "With regard to the form used for Baptism in the early church, there is the difficulty that although Matthew (28:19) speaks of the Trinitarian formula, which is now used, the Acts of the Apostles (2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5) and Paul (I Corinthians 1:13; 6:11; Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3) speak only of Baptism 'in the Name of Jesus.' Baptism in titles cannot be found in the first centuries. . ." (McGraw Hill Publishing, p. 59).
William Phillips Hall: "In this very ancient version (Syriac Peschito Version) which is believed by good authorities (Gwilliam, Boners, and others) to represent a text much older that of the Greek manuscript from which our English Old Testament was largely derived, 'The Name of the Lord Jesus Messiah or Christ' appears in all four readings given (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5)" (A Remarkable Discovery, p. 70).
International Encyclopaedia: "The doctrine of the Trinity did not form part of the Apostles' preachings, as this is reported in the New Testament" (First Edition, Vol. 18, p. 226).
New International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: "The term 'Trinity' was originated by . . . Tertulian, a Roman Catholic church father. No record of the Trinitarian formula can be discovered in the Acts of the Apostles. . . At the time of the Reformation, the Protestant Church took over the doctrine of the Trinity without serious examination" (Vol. 1, p. 396).
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Brother Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister who has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations overseas. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to teach in your church.