God - page 2
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DISCOUNTING HERETICAL FORMS OF MONOTHEISM
1) If you believe there is only one God, let us look at the alternatives for those who believe the new testament scriptures. This fact alone discounts the views of God from other world religions. Islam for instance believes in monotheism, but denies the inspiration of both the new testament scriptures and the old testament scriptures, and so their common view, that God is neuter, is of no account to us here. Muslims deny the inspiration of both the new and old testaments (in my opinion), because they do not want to compare their teachings to those of Moses or Jesus, both of which Mohammed contracted in his teachings that he supposedly received from an angel while he was illiterate. We also immediately discount the Hindu view of God and multiple gods, whose views are not shared by new covenant believers either. And so this theme is repeated throughout all other world religions. The views to be considered then are:
opposing Trinity are:
a) Sabellianism (also called the Oneness heresy or modalism)
c) "We cannot tell"
d) Some strange, new, as yet unexpressed view of God.
SABELLIANISM (+): is a heresy attributed to the double apostate Sabellius, who is thought by some to have been a black priest, others say he is associated with Libya or the Pentapolis (see also Praxeas and Noetus). His heresy was that God the Father masquerades as God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. This doctrine is literally an antichrist doctrine as it denies Jesus even exists, and it denies the Holy Spirit even exists. When Jesus prayed the doctrine is that he prayed to himself, and when Jesus said "Father, glorify thy name" and a voice came from heaven saying "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again" it is similarly supposed and imagined that God the Father was having a conversation with himself.
Indeed Every time Jesus prayed, such as: “My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” where there is a clear distinction in the persons of the Trinity it is supposed to be God the Father talking to himself.
Also when Jesus met Moses and Elijah and it is written: “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matt 17:5) duplicated at his baptism (a Trinity event) “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt 3:17) it is farcically and inanely supposed to be God saying what amounts to “He is me.”.
Indeed every time Jesus is praying and communicating with the Father he is supposedly talking to himself just as you or I might mutter to ourselves, which is entirely implausible. Indeed if it is “impossible for God to lie” masquerading and deceiving people in this way is in effect the same, and as such it can be completely and easily discounted.
Similarly when it says let us make man in our image, and after our likeness" (plurality) it is supposed to really mean "let me make man in my image" (singularity). This heresy is believed by certain pseudo Pentecostal churches.
In order to show who God is to heretics it is sometimes necessary to defeat two polar opposite heresies, that of the Sabellianist or Oneness heresy, and the Christian Unitarian heresy. The inequity if the unsaved mind is that when Christians firmly achieve showing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinguishable in one God (in order to defeat Sabellianism) they then vainly claim this on the contrary proves Unitarianism is true, as Jesus must therefore just be a man separate from God, or that it even proves polytheism. They cannot hold on to the concept that Christ is indeed God, and that he is one with the Father.
My statement about Sabellianists is clear: such people are literally ANTICHRISTS. "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." 1 John 2:22. It is a direct statement that the Jesus and Holy Spirit of the Christian Faith do not even exist, and in that sense I would call those who believe this heresy not only antichrists but anti-Christians as well.
This heresy is sometimes called by other names such as Patripassianism, modalism and the Oneness heresy.
BINITARIANISM: is the belief that only two members of the Trinity are God, that is the Father and Jesus (God the Son). They deny the existence of the Holy Spirit as who is termed in Trinitarian terminology "the third person of the Godhead". It is a heresy distinguishable and entirely different from Bitheism (the belief in two separate Gods) or Ditheism (the belief in two Gods that oppose each other). Binitarianism then preaches the "twoness of God" that is the Father and Son, and, in so doing, getting around the accusation of the proponents or exponents of this being antichrists. None other than the Holy Spirit himself is the object of their attack.
I think it may be wise to point out two variants of the Binitarian heresy, as the subject of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is so important. One variation might be to call the Holy Spirit a "force" which amounts to a "thing". I have always thought such a belief (calling the Holy Spirit a "thing") to be very blasphemous. The other might be to say (similar to Sabellianism) that the Holy Spirit is another term for their perceived "twoness of God", where (in effect) this time the Father and Son masquerade as the Holy Ghost.
1) This can be refuted by such scriptures as John 7:39 which says "(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" As if Christ was the Spirit he was present already (or alternatively, how can Jesus “send” the Father anywhere? When in the Trinity he submits to the Father?)
2) What greater proof is there that the Holy Spirit is God than the large number of times he is called “The Spirit of God”? Including in the first few verses of Genesis.
3) He is the Creator. “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2). If you want to believe the Holy Spirit was spectating on the Creation process it is your Judgement Day, but many versions of the bible rightly capitalise “By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens;” in Job 26:13. Also when it says “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” you would have to try to hypothesise this was the Father and Son only communicating, and the Spirit of God was not involved.
4) The Holy Spirit is a person not a thing, and speaks as such:
“Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.” Acts 8:29.
“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” Acts 13:2
“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;” Acts 15:28 etc.
5) Relationship/communion/comfort/teacher. The Comforter is an attribute of a person not a thing, and he also has the attribute of a teacher,
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26.
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” John 16:7.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” 2 Cor 13:14.
This also works in the negative sense: Acts 5: 3-4 "Ananias, why hath
Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost ........ thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God"
6) The rebirth of our souls to be “born again” is directly from the Holy Spirit. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6. We are born of life not of lifelessness.
7) Blasphemy is against God himself: “And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.” Luke 12:10 and is proof of the Holy Spirit’s deity. It is worth mentioning some people commit the lesser sin of grieving the Holy Spirit “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Eph 4:30, which incidentally is yet another proof of his deity, as to grieve is to “cause deep sorrow”.
There are huge numbers of scriptures about the Person of the Holy Spirit, but as this is a study about Trinity I think this suffices for a person of Faith.
One way deceivers complicate the subject of the Spirit is to try to draw attention to examples “the spirit” is a possible or a definite reference to the SECOND definition in secular dictionaries in relation to bible subjects.
The first definition is “spirit=the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; OED” .
The second is: “spirit=those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period. OED.”
For instance, a verse in the KJV that has been omitted from the false modern versions of the bible is: “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” This strong anti-war scripture could be a reference to the Holy Spirit, but equally to the second impersonal definition of “the spirit” of something, and by such clever means cults and sects hope to depersonalise the Holy Spirit and thus deny his existence as an identifiable member of the Godhead. They twist many scriptures in this fashion and ignore the huge number of scriptures referring directly to him as a person or “he”.
One argument against Binitarianism is that the heresy has no history of having many adherents over the centuries, and when it has appeared in recent times it was always part of corrupted doctrine. Binitarianism also has little (or rather nothing) to do with the martyrs who died for the Faith in the Reformation, or those who died in numbers before the Reformation, such as the Lollards. Binitarianism is a modern heresy therefore when it comes to attaching numbers of people to it, as if God went to sleep for 1,800 years and only recently started to manage to spread the so called truth of it.
It is now associated with firstly Armstrongism and his bogus prophecies of the End of the Age, and secondly with Ellen White, the false prophetess who started the heretical cult now called SDA or Seventh Day Adventism. The SDA cult is heretical not only for erroneously saying that the old Jewish sabbath day is a strict law today, but far worse they have a false gospel called Annihilationism, where the gospel of "Jesus Saves" professed in 1 Cor 15:1-4 and Luke 24:44-48 is replaced by being saved only from annihilation. This means people are told by the SDA members that no matter how many sins they commit they will only ever suffer the same fate, that is annihilation, whereas scripture says "it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for you".
Again after the death of Herbert Armstrong (another preacher of Sabbatarianism) the cult split up into various other organisations, as many of the believers in it rejected the Binitarian two-fold God idea for the more conventional Christian belief in God.
DISCOUNTING THE "WE CANNOT TELL" HERESY
"We cannot tell" is a quotation spoken by the Pharisees debating with Christ (Matthew 21:25-27). With the prophecies in the holy bible about preachers in the last times living more for money than for God, or "filthy lucre" we have a similar tactic used. It is refuted VERY STRONGLY by a scripture about the new covenant:
"And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
Jeremiah 31:34=Quote "for they shall all know me" it says clearly. So how is that "we cannot tell"?
A new generation of preachers is emerging, especially among the Hebrew Roots Movement and Messianic Judaism, who want to syphon money from both Jews and Christians, and convert both into a syncretic new false religion that makes a kind of spiritual hodgepodge of Jewish and Christian beliefs, but the difficulty for them is the two distinctive views on God. If they say they believe in the Trinity up front and in the open, they lose out on Jewish proselytes, donations and tithes. If they say they are Unitarian they lose out on Christian proselytes, donations and tithes. Yet both Christians and Jewish people are often so doctrinally alert that trying to propose an new view of God that is also somehow syncretic (an amalgam of the two beliefs) simply finishes up with them falling between two stools and deceiving even less people into their legalistic beliefs. So, like the Pharisees they reply "we cannot tell"! (which is just another proof that Judaizers are modern day Pharisees!).
The "we cannot tell" heresy seems like it is paving the way for the antichrist to claim he is God. Or are they trying to say "We don't know who God is, but Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only other two on a short list other than the Father?" It sounds facetious of me to say it like that, but I think rather it is a reflection of the absurdity of the belief "we cannot tell". Jesus was either God in the flesh or he wasn't. The Holy Spirit is either God or he isn't. Those who say “We cannot know who God is” forget about Faith, yes the carnal mind cannot know God, but the witness of scripture is “for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
STRANGE NEW VIEWS OF GOD - I have heard some other strange new views of God, but I'm not sure I should advertise the beliefs and doctrines of various cults and sects here. A main criticism is the "God Sleep" theory that ALL CULTS and sects ask us to believe. That is that God seems to have effectively fallen asleep for 1,800 years and that only some modern cult is preaching the truth to us. It is possible to have a sneaking admiration for someone who has the courage to believe some new thing against all historical evidence and against all the odds, but discretion is the better part of valour, and it is not admirable to disdain as unspiritual all the martyrs in such tomes as "Foxes Book of Martyrs" and "The Martyrs Mirror" as if they were fundamentally flawed in their beliefs, or the clear witness of God's Holy Word.
TRINITY - IS THE ONLY THING LEFT!
As all other explanations of God go into an heretical meltdown, leaving only the Holy Trinity left, all Christians have no trouble believing it, after all, it is simply believing the bible - like Matthew 28:19. Trinity is the only explanation that does not contradict ONE GOD, that does not contradict ONE SAVIOUR and is IN HARMONY with scripture instead of mismatching scripture and in so doing going into confusion and heresy.
From the very outset of my faith I understood that in accepting that Jesus was my Saviour I was accepting he was and is God. To "believe in" Jesus means "to trust in and rely upon" HIM for your Salvation. It was JESUS who was flogged, crowned with thorns, and beaten by a whole band of Roman soldiers and finally crucified and then resurrected to SAVE OUR SOULS. I have accepted HIM as my Saviour. Both the Father and the Holy Spirit took part in his resurrection. GOD is our Saviour, and if Christ is Saviour he simply has to be God. In the end we come back to a simple belief in what this scripture means:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
To me this is a plain, straightforward declaration, that is present in all Greek New Testaments and in all Christian bibles, that Jesus is simply God, and Creator. If you chose to ignore the meaning I know I do not chose to do that. I choose to believe the evidence of scripture, and the evidence of scripture is that Jesus is God, the Creator of the universe, and the Saviour of all those that believe. Amen.
*Incidentally, most of Revelation chapter 1:11 is missing from the modern versions of the bible.
+ Theologists say that Sabellianism (or modalism) is a second form of Monarchianism, the other being called Adoptionist or Dynamic Monachianism.