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Installment #8 in my “Common Sense” series.


Biblical Common Sense – Jesus – Not Equal, Not the Same!

The following common sense arguments regarding how The Bible clearly demonstrates that God and Jesus are not the same being are ones that tend to come up quite often among those promoting Jesus as God. Many times I have been told in discussions with those wishing to support a Trinitarian or even a Oneness/Modalist viewpoint that these are simply tired old arguments.  Yes, the arguments are centuries old and people often tire of them. But that doesn’t mean that they still aren’t valid objections. And their validity remains all the more significant due to the fact each of these are easily answerable when one uses common sense as their guide.

This is a phrase that has been heavily thumped to us by churches, ministries, denominations, pastors and the like. The warning and pleading to take hold of truth and discard tradition. You’ve now got books, sermons, documentaries and websites that all use this phrase as their title and label. What does this all mean? What is the message behind this phrase? How are we to respond to it all?

Pontius Pilate said it very well when he asked Jesus “What is truth?” (Joh 18:38). No matter which Christian you speak with, nearly all of them will claim to know the truth. No one would dare admit that the doctrines they adhere to are merely traditions! Well, what does this all mean and how are we to accurately know whether we have truth or tradition – or both?

ktistis, ktisis: a creator; to create something which has not existed before (creation ex nihilo – “creation out of nothing”)

ktistis, ktisis, ktiso, ektisen, etc… are all singular nouns, adjectives or verbs. (all point to a single creator – one person)

The doctrine of the trinity says that God is a triune deity and that all 3 persons that comprise of the “godhead” were co-creators of the physical universe, the earth, everything in it – and mankind! The OT though, clearly reveals something different.

Yahweh God (God the Father in NT) is clearly revealed as the sole Creator of the genesis creation! He had no co-creators! The NT follows the same trend!

Heb: bara – to create, to bring into existence, out of/from nothing (creation ex nihilo (latin) – “creation out of nothing”)

This is a singular verb (evidence that the Creator [God] is a single entity [one person]). Are the 3 persons of the trintiy co-creators, or did the one person God do it alone?

Genesis 1:1, 20 – 21, 26 – 27

V1 (beresit bara elohim) – universe brought into existence by God – out of nothing; prior to this, there was no universe.

V21 (wayyibara elohim) – sea creatures brought into existence by God – out of nothing.

Introduction

One of the beliefs that most Christians have is that God is “omniscient” – that is, that God knows everything. Some of the passages that are used to demonstrate this belief are as follows:

1 Samuel 2:3 (ESV):

3Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.

Proverbs 5:20-21 (ESV):

20Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
and he ponders all his paths.

Joel Hemphill was a presenter/speaker at this year’s 19th Annual Theological Conference held in Atlanta, GA 4/25-4/28.  Joel did a terrific presentation on the need for “Removing Greek Philosophy From Christianity“.  If you’d like to view a video of it recorded there at the conference, you can watch it for free at Dan Gill’s wonderful 21st Century Reformation website: http://21stcr.org/multimedia/removing_greek_philosophy/removing_greek_philosophy.html.  On that same page you’ll find a down-loadable PDF version of another one of Joel’s tracts – this one about some “Shocking Admissions” from various Trinitarian scholars. I like it so much, I thought I’d publish it here in the KR blog.  I hope you enjoy as well.

He is Risen!Easter Sunday is tomorrow. And as such we must clearly focus on “the reason for the season” (to borrow a line from Christmas time) – that it is really all about the resurrection of Jesus.  This was THE proof that he was indeed God’s Messiah.  This was the proof that he was who he said he was. The sign of Jonah was fullfilled.  After three days and three nights in the belly of the earth, God would not allow his holy one to see corruption and raised Jesus back to life.  And not just mortal life, but to eternal life. Just as those of us who follow Jesus will also be elgible for at Jesus’ return in power one future day (I Corinthians 6:14).

Thirty yeas ago this June while attending summer church camp as young teen, I sat in the open-air tabernacle listening to the evening evangelist give a dynamic and passionate sermon about Jesus’ 2nd coming.  The words he spoke, the Scripture verses he read aloud, the entire tone of his message struck a chord in my inner being.  In fact his sermons each previous night of the week-long camp were just as good and weighed heavily in my mind progressively.  But this final sermon of the week – on the final night of camp, seemed like God Himself was speaking through this man to give that particular sermon to ME.  At the alter call at the end of that service this minister asked if anyone else there in attendance wanted to accept Christ as their Lord & Savior (many had the previous nights & were also baptized).  A warmness overtook me and though at first my feet felt like they were nailed to the ground, the moment I decided I had to walk towards the front of the tabernacle, I could have sworn I floated like a feather down the aisle and up the front.  With tears in my eyes I knelt and confessed with my words and every emotional fiber within me, that I believed in and accepted Jesus of Nazareth as my Savior.  The next day before camp broke up, I was baptized in the same stream that my own grandmother had been baptized in some 50 years before.

Many of us here at Kingdomready have talked about “Agency” in Scripture before and how much it is a part of the Hebrew thought world & the culture of the biblical writers. A “shaliach” or agent/emissary represented someone and was treated as that individual because legally they were.  In our modern society, the closest we get to that is to appoint “Power of Attorney” to someone.  They can make legally binding decisions for us because we have designated them to serve in that capacity for us.  But in ancient Hebrew culture, the shaliach (or sheliah) wasn’t just that person in a legal sense only.  They were also respected, treated, and thought of AS THE ONE THEY REPRESENTED.  Back in 2005 a man by the name of David Burge of New Zealand wrote a terrific article about how much this Hebrew “law of agency” plays out in God’s dealing with man throughout Scripture and how vital it is to understand the concept in order to prevent a host of biblical errors.  Here’s the article in its entirety.  It is long, but extremely well done!

Over the holidays I was at my father-in-law’s house and we were talking about the new “one God” books that had just been released. As we spoke it became clear that it was hard to keep them all straight (since there are now so many). As a result of this conversation I decided to put together a list of books that specifically address the idea of Christian monotheism. Perhaps this post will be of help to those looking to research this topic in the future. Let me know if I missed any. (These books are ordered alphabetically by the author’s last name)

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