Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
May 2, 1997
Last Updated :
January 22, 2013
Greedy Jews Moneychangers And Other Merchants Earn Profits At The Temple In Jerusalem, Jesus Drives Out The Merchants, Apostle Peter Warns Early Christians To Beware Of Religious Profiteers, Money-Making Bible Hucksters And Filthy Lucre, Great Is Diana Of The Ephesians, Church Of Ephesus Loses Its First Love, Asia Minor = Anatolia = The Republic Of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Roman Catholic Fanatics With Cries Of "One True Faith", "Holy Blessed Mother" And "Mother Of God", Roman Catholic "Mother Of God" Doctrinal Error, Jesus Is The Son Of God And Not Actually God, God The Father Is Both The God And Father Of Jesus Christ, Paul Was Taught Directly By Jesus Christ, My God, The Father And Jesus Are Two Separate Distinct Spiritual Entities, God The Father Is Greater Than Christ, Jesus Was A Perfect Reflection Of His Father, Jesus Received A Full Measure Of His Father's Spirit, Jesus Will Ultimately Submit Himself To His Father's Will, Invention Of Holy Trinity Doctrine, God Has No Mother Or Father And He Is Eternal, There Is Only One God, God The Father Created All Things Through Christ, Old Testament Hebrew "Yasha" Appears To Signify "Deliverer" And Not "Saviour" As We Understand It
In thinking about the "Goddess Diana Idol Makers Union" that was present in the city of Ephesus, I suspect that it really was not that much different from how the greedy Jews were also profiting from the Temple that was in Jerusalem. As you will recall, the Lord clearly exposed the hypocrisy of those selfish moneychangers and other Jewish merchants when He went into the Temple courts with a whip, overturned their tables, and angrily drove them all out, as we see by these verses:
"And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."
John 2:13-16, KJV
In his second Epistle, the Apostle Peter likewise warned the Lord's flocks regarding those unscrupulous individuals who would endeavor to "make merchandise of [them]" for the sake of obtaining financial gain, as we see by these verses:
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
2 Peter 2:1-3, KJV
In the previous verses, the word "merchandise" is derived from the Greek word "emporeuomai", which means to trade, travel or traffick in business. In fact, if you look at it closely, you can easily see how we derive our English word "emporium" from it, which signifies a large retail store. Following are a few more verses which warn us to be wary of money-making Bible hucksters; that is, preachers who only use the Gospel as a means to obtain material gain. The New Testament refers to this practice as "filthy lucre":
"Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous . . . Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;"
1 Timothy 3:3, 8, KJV
"For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre . . . Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake."
Titus 1:7, 11, KJV
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;"
1 Peter 5:2, KJV
Please understand that the previous verses are not talking about the Lord's dedicated servants who accept voluntary, charitable donations to support their ministries. They are actually referring to people who commercialize God's Word and Work for the sake of profit alone. As I explain in the series "Money-Making Bible Hucksters and Mammon", in my view, this includes people who sell books, DVD's, videos, magazine subscriptions, statuettes, figurines and other religious trinkets, etc. In fact, even those so-called "partner" programs that some fast-talking preachers and ministries promote should be scrutinized. In other words, those verses are talking about people who refuse to share the Word of God with you -- or at least what they claim is the Word of God -- unless you pay them money first. That is not freely sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is selling it, and it is wrong to do so.
Returning to the problems that Paul encountered in Ephesus, as I mentioned a moment ago, the writer Luke informs us that making shrines to the goddess Diana was a very lucrative job for Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen. Thus, those pagans became rather upset when these strangers arrived in town and began to preach about a new God who could even raise people from the dead, beginning with the Son of God Himself. As a result of Paul and his companions preaching the Gospel in Ephesus, the pagan idol business apparently began to slump, and the local idol union was not about to take it lightly. Thus the last half of Acts chapter nineteen deals with the persecution which arose against Paul, Gaius and Aristarchus. Following are some of the key verses from Luke's account:
"Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians . . . But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?"
Acts 19:26-28, 34-35, KJV
Wow! Just imagine! Those spiritually blind pagan fanatics of Ephesus did not stop shouting their foolishness for almost two hours. It reminds me of a modern rock concert where the participants sometimes get into a real frenzy; almost as if they are possessed by demons! Well, the pagans of Ephesus were certainly mesmerized by the false goddess -- or perhaps a demoness? -- named Diana, or Artemis. Despite the obvious strong hold that Diana had on the people of Ephesus, we know from the Scriptures that Paul and his companions were still able to establish a Christian Church there. That is the good news. The bad news is that according to the Apocalypse -- or the Book of Revelation -- at some time they lost their first love for the Lord, as we see by the following verses:
"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
Revelation 2:1-7, KJV
Please note that the word "Asia" is not referring to Asia as we know it today. It is in fact referring to Asia Minor, or Anatolia, which are the historic names of the nation we know today as Turkey. I explain in other articles that the modern name of "Turkey" has only been used for about a century now. It is derived from Mustafa Kemal Ataturk -- a Turkish army officer -- who is attributed with being the founder and first president of the modern Republic of Turkey. The name "Ataturk" in fact means "Father of the Turks". The Seven Churches which are mentioned in the Book of Revelation were in fact located in this same geographical region.
At any rate, how similar the previous verses from the Book Of Acts sound to the sad situation which exists today within the Roman Catholic Church. Regardless of what the Vatican claims to believe and promote, the idol-worshipping practices I have described for you in this series are indeed real, and cannot be denied. These misguided practices are prevalent in every single Roman Catholic dominated area I have visited or lived in during the course of my life. I dare say that some Roman Catholics may be just as fanatical about worshipping Mary, as the Ephesians were about worshipping Diana two thousand years ago. I recall instances where certain Roman Catholic fanatics have endeavored to silence me with their misguided cries of the so-called "one true faith". Tragically, where I currently reside, I more often hear the phrases "Holy Blessed Mother!" or "Mother of God!" on the lips of Roman Catholics, than I do praises being offered to God the Father and Jesus. I find it quite revealing.
What also really disturbs me regarding this Catholic practice of vocalizing such high praise for Mary while seeming to just ignore the Father and the Son, is the fact that even stating that Mary is the "Mother of God" is a blatant inaccuracy. It clearly reveals a gross misconception amongst members of the Roman Catholic Church. Whether this is a result of personal ignorance, or is actually one of so many misguided doctrines which are taught and promoted by the Roman Catholic Church, I honestly do not know.
Whatever the case may be, as I explain in other articles, it is quite evident in the Scriptures that Jesus Christ was not, has never been, and is not, God. He is clearly the Son of God. In fact, while you may not be aware of it, even the Apostle Paul plainly informs us in his Epistle that not only does Jesus have a Father, but this Father is also Jesus' God as well. If you doubt that this is so, then consider the following revelatory verse:
"The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not."
2 Corinthians 11:31, KJV
Do you see it? Paul plainly states to his readers that God the Father is both the God, as well as the Father, of Jesus Christ. Why in the world would the Apostle Paul make such a statement if -- as so many misguided Christians believe today -- Jesus is God? In other words, if Jesus is God as a lot of Christians erroneously believe, how then can He have a God? Is Paul committing a grievous doctrinal error here, or are modern Christians and Roman Catholics the ones who have been deceived?
As I explain in a few other articles, I am firmly convinced that all of the primary doctrines that Paul taught and wrote about were personally taught to him by the Lord Himself. In fact, Paul tells us as much in his Epistle to the Galatians, as we see by these verses:
"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Galatians 1:11-12, KJV
That being the case, then Paul cannot be wrong when he says that God the Father is both the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, in his writings, Paul paraphrased what Jesus Himself had said and taught in the Gospels. What does this mean then? It simply means that somewhere in the Gospels, Jesus must have said that God the Father is His God, just as He is our God as well. As it turns out, not only did Jesus make such a statement in three of the Gospels, but He also said it in the Book of Revelation as well. Consider the following verses and learn the truth:
"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."
John 20:17, KJV
"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."
Revelation 3:12, KJV
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Matthew 27:46, KJV
"And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Mark 15:34, KJV
Just look at how many times in those verses Jesus refers to God the Father as "my God". This truth regarding the actual relationship between the Father and the Son has been in the Scriptures for the past two thousand years, yet so many of the Lord's children have failed to see it, because they have in fact been conditioned to not see it!
"Now, wait a minute!" some of you may be saying in protest. "If Jesus is calling His Father "God" in all of those verses, doesn't that actually mean that Jesus is not God, since the Bible teaches us that there is only one God?" If that is what you are thinking, you are absolutely correct. Jesus looks up to His Father as the one and only true God as well. Just by saying "My God", Jesus is indirectly stating that He Himself is not God, because there is only one God; yet how often do we hear this truth being proclaimed from the pulpits by the popular pastors, preachers and evangelists? Normally you do not; because they have all been poisoned by the so-called Holy Trinity doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, and they don't want to rock the boat by telling the Scriptural truth. They prefer to assign a position to the Lord, which even He never claimed. Jesus Christ was not so foolish as to usurp the position which belongs to His Father alone.
For my part, I have long taught that not only are God the Father and Jesus Christ two separate and distinct Spiritual Beings, but God the Father is superior to and greater than Jesus Christ. As I mention in articles such as "Birth of Jesus and the Star of Bethlehem", Jesus Himself informs us in the Gospel of John that His Father is greater than Him, as we see by the following verses:
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."
John 10:28-29, KJV
"Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."
John 14:28, KJV
"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel . . . I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
John 5:19-20, 30, KJV
If God the Father is "greater than all", that must likewise mean that He is greater than Jesus Christ. That is why the Lord also says "my Father is greater than I". The reason why He is greater, is because He alone is the one true God. That is why Jesus also states "The Son can do nothing of himself." These verses make it very plain that Jesus can only do or reflect what He sees His Father do. This is why Jesus also says the following:
"Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?"
John 14:9, KJV
Contrary to what so many Christians have been led to believe, Jesus is not saying that He is actually God the Father. He is simply saying that because He is such a perfect reflection of His Father's Will, Purpose and Divine Nature, in seeing Him, we have seen the Father. Furthermore, let us not forget that Jesus was given the Spirit without measure. While He was and is the Son of God, during His time on Earth, while He served as His Father's personal Ambassador to humanity, Jesus was given a full measure of His Father's Power and Authority. In other words, unlike us who receive just a small dose of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ was filled to overflowing with the Spirit of His Father. Despite the fact that His Father's Holy Spirit dwelt in His physical flesh in all of its Power, Jesus was -- and still remains -- the Son of God. He is not, and has never been, God the Father. Consider these verses:
"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him."
John 3:34, KJV
"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
Colossians 2:9, KJV
Please stop and think about this very carefully. If God the Father is giving His Son the Holy Spirit, that means -- as Jesus already said -- that God is greater than Him. As final proof that the God the Father is greater than Jesus Christ, consider also the following verses which clearly reveal that Jesus will ultimately submit Himself to His Father, after He has subdued all of His Father's enemies. Due to the manner in which these Scriptures have been translated into English -- with so many he's and him's -- they may be difficult for some Christians to understand. Therefore, I have taken the liberty to add certain explanatory words in brackets for the sake of clarification. These words are not a part of the original Bible text:
"Then cometh the end, when he [Jesus] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he [Jesus] shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he [Jesus] must reign, till he [Jesus] hath put all enemies under his [under Jesus'] feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he [God the Father] hath put all things under his [under Jesus'] feet. But when he [God the Father] saith all things are put under him [under Jesus], it is manifest that he [God the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under him [under Jesus]. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, [unto Jesus] then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [unto God the Father] that put all things under him [under Jesus], that God may be all in all."
1 Corinthians 15:24-28, KJV
I realize that this is a very difficult concept for some of my readers to grasp, because your minds have been polluted by the false Roman Catholic doctrine -- referred to as the Holy Trinity -- for many years now. Just like the Roman Catholics, you have been deceived into believing that Jesus is God, and that He is a part of a so-called "triune God", and the second person of a so-called "trinity", even though neither of these words is found anywhere in the pages of the King James Bible. As I explain in the series "Roman Catholicism, Water Baptism and the Holy Trinity", it is a false doctrine of men which was established during the Fourth Century by the misguided "church fathers" of the early Roman Catholic Church.
As a result of this deceptive trinity doctrine in which Jesus is made to be God, I understand why you may find it difficult to grasp how God can be greater than Jesus, or why Jesus must submit Himself to God if Jesus supposedly is God. However, as I have already made clear, the Scriptures really do not teach us that Jesus is God. Nevertheless, this is exactly why Roman Catholics erroneously call Mary the "mother of God"; that is, because they do believe that Jesus is God. Quite frankly, the idea of God having a mother is ludicrous to say the least. He has neither beginning nor end, and is eternal in the heavens. He has no mother or father. Furthermore, as I have already mentioned several times now, the Bible clearly teaches us that there is only one God. Consider the following sample verses:
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:" Deuteronomy
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God."
Isaiah 44:6, KJV
"Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any."
Isaiah 44:8, KJV
"I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:"
Isaiah 45:5, KJV
"Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me."
Isaiah 45:21, KJV
"Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me."
Hosea 13:4, KJV
"And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he . . . And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:"
Mark 12:32, 39, KJV
"Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith."
Romans 3:30, KJV
"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."
1 Corinthians 8:6, KJV
"Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one."
Galatians 3:20, KJV
"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
Ephesians 4:4-6, KJV
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"
1 Timothy 2:5, KJV
"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."
James 2:19, KJV
Please notice how some of the previous verses actually speak in pairs, reflecting the relationship between the Father and the Son: "the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts"; "there is but one God, the Father . . . and one Lord Jesus Christ"; "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus". This is similar to what we see in the Book of Genesis with the phrase "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness". As I explain elsewhere, the reason why the verse uses "us" and "our" is because the word "elohim" is actually plural. Thus, we can understand that Moses is actually saying that God the Father made all things through Jesus Christ -- including ourselves, as Paul notes in the previous verse with the phrase "we by him" -- and as we also see by the following verses as well:
"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"
Ephesians 3:9, KJV
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
Hebrews 1:1-3, KJV
You will also notice that in the previous "one God" verses, the word "saviour" is used a few times. If some of you are confused by this, I don't blame you. What makes it even more confusing is the fact that sometimes the translators chose to capitalize the word, while at other times they did not. Equally confusing is the fact that the original Hebrew word that is used there -- "yasha" -- is sometimes translated as save, saved, saviour, deliver, deliverer or delivered. For example, in the following verse, the words "deliverer" and "delivered are both translated from this same word "yasha":
"And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother."
Judges 3:9, KJV
In contrast, in the following verses, the very same word "yasha" is translated as "saviour", when in my opinion, the obvious intended meaning is "deliverer". After all, Israel was delivered from the Syrians, just as they were delivered out of Egyptian bondage as well:
"(And the LORD gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime."
2 Kings 13:5, KJV
"They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;"
Psalm 106: 21, KJV
"Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me."
Hosea 13:4, KJV
If you study enough of the Old Testament verses where the word "yasha" is used -- as I have done -- it becomes rather apparent that while the translators sometimes translated it as "saviour" -- with or without a capital "s" -- the intended meaning is that God saved or delivered the Israelites out of a bad situation; such as from Egyptian bondage, out of the hands of their foreign enemies, or from some other negative situation. In other words, in those particular verses, the word "saviour" is not meant to be understood in the Christian context of referring to Salvation and Eternal Life. Stated more plainly, the previous Old Testament "one God" verses do not seem to be referring to Jesus Christ, or to His role as the Savior of the world. It is my view that they are simply describing God the Father as a Divine Deliverer who saved the Israelites out of different difficult situations.
Please go to part five for the continuation of this series.
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