by Frederick Hoehn, copyright 2012. |
There are individuals, and churches, and at least one denomination that have been deceived about the Godhead. I'm referring to "Jesus Only" people who think that God the Father, and the Holy Ghost (or, Holy Spirit, or Comforter) are just different forms of Jesus. In other words, they think that all of God is Jesus.
Wrong. God the Father existed before Jesus did, as we can see from John 3:16, where Jesus is called the only begotten Son of God. Thus Jesus had a beginning, and God the Father pre-existed Jesus.
That should be enough right there. But there's plenty more evidence.
We see where Jesus prayed all night. To whom was he praying, to himself? Of course not. Jesus was praying to God his Father, who remained behind in heaven when the Father sent his Son Jesus to earth to live in a man's body, to teach and preach and heal and cast out demons. Then Jesus died for our sins.
On the third day, God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. It's all right there in the New Testament part of the Holy Bible, which has a total of 66 books, while the New Testament is the 27 books from Matthew to Revelation.
Among those who are aware that there's a separate God the Father and a separate Lord Jesus Christ, some think the two are equal. I attended a church service once where they handed out some literature that said Jesus is coequal with God. I'm not sure there is such a word as coequal, and it certainly seems redundant, but they mean the two are equal, and they're wrong.
Jesus said, "My Father is greater than I am." Since the Father is greater, they're not equal. Also, this statement shows that God the Father and Jesus are two separate individuals.
Another time, Jesus said in Mark 13:32 that no man knows when Jesus will return, nor Jesus himself, but only God the Father. This again shows the Father is greater than Jesus, and separate from Jesus.
A voice was heard from God in heaven, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." You Jesus Only people, what happened there? Was Jesus using ventriloquism and throwing his voice? No, God the Father spoke from heaven about his Son on earth.
Look at Psalm 110:1, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” Here are both God the Father and Jesus in the same verse. Was someone talking to himself? No, God the Father was speaking to his son Jesus, and the Father was doing the making for his son Jesus.
There is another scripture where Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” Now let’s try hard not to be confused by this scripture. Jesus is not saying that he and the Father are the same person. He is saying that he and the Father are united; they are in total agreement; there is no difference of opinion, as when a jury votes unanimously, with one voice.
In another place, Jesus and Philip are talking. Philip says, “Show us the Father, and that will be sufficient.” Jesus said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”
Jesus Only people would probably say, “See, Jesus is the Father.” Wrong. You’re not rightly dividing the word of truth. Jesus is not the Father. Jesus is telling Philip that the Father is just like Jesus, and Jesus is just like the Father. Jesus spoke the words the Father wanted him to speak. Jesus did the works the Father wanted him to do. The Father was back in heaven while Jesus walked the earth.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to the Father, “If it be thy will, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.”
It has happened many times that a child wanted candy, but the parent said no. There is the will of the child who wants the candy, and there is the will of the parent, who says no, it’s not good for you.
The child and the parent each have their own wills, what they want, because the child and the parent are two different people.
Jesus and God the Father are two different beings who are very much alike, except that the Father is greater than his son Jesus. John 3:16 tells us Jesus had a beginning. But that beginning was not around 2000 years ago. It was more like 6000 or more years ago when God the Father begot his Son, Jesus. At that begetting, no woman was involved. There were not yet any women. The first woman was Eve, Adam's wife. Adam was created before Eve, and Adam didn't yet exist when God the Father begot Jesus.
So then, if there were no women, how did God the Father beget Jesus? Well, you see, God speaks things into existence. And when God decided it was the right time for there to be his only begotten son, all He had to do was say, "I speak into existence my Son Jesus, in my image and likeness." At another time during the creation process, God said, "Let there be light," and there was light: the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. (Gen 1:3)
Jesus was present at the creation of the world, for it is written, "by whom he made the worlds." (Hebrews 1:2) God made the worlds by his Son, Jesus.
Now the followers of Islam, the Muslims, say that Jesus was a good man and a prophet, but not the Son of God. But Jesus said he's the Son of God--to the Jewish High Priest, and to Peter. So, if the Muslims are right that Jesus is not the Son of God, then Jesus is not a good man, but a liar; not a prophet, but a false prophet. Thus, the Muslims have contradicted themselves.
I used to play chess with a Muslim man who lived in the same building as I did in Houston, TX. When I tried to explain to him that the Muslims contradict themselves with the above statement, he surprised me with his answer. He said, "Jesus didn't say that," meaning that Jesus didn't say he's the Son of God. The Muslims say that Jesus is one of their prophets. But if they give him the status of a prophet, why don't they bother to find out what the prophet Jesus said while he was on earth?
The explanation, of course, is that the Muslims read the wrong book, and fail to read the Holy Bible, where Jesus words that he spoke on earth are recorded. If they were students of the Bible, they'd know that Jesus said he's the Son of God. If they'd believe the Bible, they'd know the Muslim statement Jesus is not the Son of God is dead wrong.
In Hosea 4:6, God says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Muslims also are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
After God created the world, and birds, fish, animals, man and woman, sin got so bad on earth that God said, "I will destroy man from off the face of the earth." But Noah, who was "perfect in his generations" found grace in the sight of God. Perfect in his generations sounds to me like Noah was perfect in his sex life.
God had Noah build an ark. Eight people and animals went into the ark. Then God brought the flood. The water covered the highest mountains.
The human race started over with Noah and sons.
But people went back to sinning. So, about two thousand years ago, God sent his Son Jesus down to earth to teach and preach and heal the sick and raise the dead and cast out demons from people. He was betrayed by one of his own disciples, Judas Iscariot, condemned to death by a wicked governor, Pontius Pilate, and executed by crucifixion.
It is not perfectly correct, however, to say Jesus was executed because Jesus said, "No man takes my life from me." That execution could not have worked if Jesus had not "yielded up the ghost" (or, yielded up his spirit). Our bodies are the houses that we live in. When the body dies, then you, the person who had been living in that body go somewhere else.
You'll go one of only two possible places: heaven or hell. And Jesus said most people go to hell. What a pity. And they didn't have to go there. They could have gotten born again as per John chapter 3, and gone to heaven. In the Old Testament, they could go to heaven by fearing God and keeping his commandments.
Jesus started his earthly life as a baby, born of a virgin. It was the first time in history that the child was older than his mother, since Jesus had been around for thousands of years before Mary, but just not in a man's body walking on earth.
After Jesus crucifixion and death, the third day Jesus rose from the dead. You Jesus Only people, who raised Jesus from the dead? Acts 13:30, "But God raised him from the dead." That means God the Father raised Jesus from the dead.
There is really no advantage in pretending that all of God is Jesus, and there's abundant evidence to show that is bad theology and false doctrine.
I wondered whether Jesus Only people were really Christians until I heard one of them speak in unknown tongues. The speaking in unknown tongues is the evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, which one obtains from Jesus. Jesus doesn't do that for non-Christians. So, Jesus will tolerate some false doctrine. He doesn't want us to have false doctrine, but he'll tolerate some of it.
But you can't go concoct a bunch of false doctrine and start a new religion and expect to go to heaven. No, that's a sure road to hell. And the Bible says, "All liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone." (Rev 21:8)
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus said the Christians should go into all the world and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son (Jesus) and of the Holy Ghost. This again shows that God is a three-in-one God. That's how I was baptized in water.
The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is the unforgivable sin. But a young Jesus Only man told me I'd probably go to hell 'cause I wasn't baptized in the name of Jesus, like Peter said. But when I was baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, "Son" there is another name for Jesus.
Who died for our sins, Peter or Jesus? If Peter had tried to die for the sins of the world, it wouldn't have paid the required price with God because that sacrifice had to be a lamb without spot or blemish, and Peter, by his own admission was a sinful man. But Jesus was without sin.
A Jesus Only Denomination has been United Pentecostal Church. Also, many of the churches that call themselves Apostolic. I'm somewhat apostolic myself, in that I follow the Apostles and those who've written books of the New Testament, except that I'm well aware of the fact that Jesus is greater than any of the Apostles, and greater than all of them put together.
So, if there seems to be a difference in what Peter has said and what Jesus has said, I'll follow Jesus every time. It's the wiser thing to do. It's the safer thing to do, and far less presumptuous than those who follow Peter more than Jesus.
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