Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
May 2, 1997
Last Updated :
January 22, 2013
The Father Is One True God, No Man Hath Seen God At Any Time, Testimonies That Jesus Is The Son Of God, God Prepared A Body For His Son, President And The Vice President, Spirit Of God The Father Was In Jesus, "Christ" Means One Who Is Anointed, Holy Spirit Is An Extension Of God The Father, Our Treasure In Earthen Vessels: God The Father Dwells In Us By Presence Of Holy Spirit, Kingdom Of God Is Within You, Hard Questions Be Set Free By The Truth Of God's Word, Spiritual Blindness, Beware Of The Traditions Of Men, Be A Berean And Carefully Compare All Doctrines And Beliefs To The Scriptures, Test My Teachings, Study God's Word Directly To Discover The Answers, Beware Of Denominations With Confusing Doctrinal Divisions, Doctrinally-Rigid Self-Contained Cookie-Cutter Churches And Denominations, They Will Change You, You Won't Change Them, Faithfully Study The Word To Show Yourself Approved To God, Recap Of Important Points Discussed, Apostle John Arrives On Isle Of Patmos In Order To Receive The Book Of Revelation, God's Divine Chain Of Command, Twenty-Two Amazing Chapters, John Attempts To Worship The Angelic Messenger, Old Testament Prophet, First Century Resurrection, Lesson: Worship God Only, Shadrach, Meshach And Abednego And Test In The Fiery Furnace
The reason why it is so important for you to understand this point, is because as we have already seen, there is only one true God, and that God is not Jesus Christ. The one true God is God the Father, who as we saw earlier, the Apostle Paul informs us is also the God and Father of Jesus Christ. As we learned previously, even Jesus Himself confessed that there is only one God. If you are still not fully convinced that Jesus is not God, but is rather the Son of God, then please realize that you are contradicting what both Jesus and the Apostle John tell us in the following two verses:
"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."
John 1:18, KJV
"No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."
1 John 4:12, KJV
It isn't difficult to conclude that if "no man hath seen God at any time", then Jesus obviously was not, and is not, God, because everyone clearly saw Him, talked to Him, touched Him, ate with Him, etc. So by saying that "no man hath seen God at any time", Jesus was indirectly stating that He was not God. Isn't that simple enough for you to understand? Furthermore, to say that Jesus is God, is basically to claim that there are two Gods; which itself is a very clear contradiction of the Scriptures which we have already examined.
As I point out in the series entitled "Is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God?", in the Gospels and other Books which form a part of the New Testament, everyone from the Archangel Gabriel, to the Apostles and Disciples, to the demons which Jesus cast out, to the unbelieving Jews themselves, referred to Jesus as the "Son of God". Jesus also referred to Himself as the "Son of God" and the "Son of man". Contrary to popular belief, not one single time did Christ ever say "I am God". The simple act of calling Jesus the Son of God -- as so many of the New Testament witnesses did -- is itself a very clear statement that He is not God; because He cannot be both God and the Son of God at the same time. He is one or the other.
In a word, either Jesus Christ truly is who He and so many other witnesses in the New Testament say He is -- that is, the Son of God -- or else He is who misguided Roman Catholics and so many other deceived Christians say He is; that is, God Himself. Do you believe the Scriptures, or do you accept the traditions of men? If we accept the truth of the Scriptures, then we can properly say that Mary was the mother of the Son of God, but we cannot say -- as Roman Catholics say -- that she was the "mother of God". Even the Scriptures themselves inform us that God prepared a special body for His Son, which He then placed in Mary's womb by the Creative Power of His very own Holy Spirit. Consider the following verses in which Jesus speaks prophetically to His Father -- who He addresses as "O God" and "O my God" -- regarding His appearance in the world in a body of human flesh:
"Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God."
Hebrews 10:5-7, KJV
"Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."
Psalms 40:6-8, KJV
As I have already made clear, while Jesus was fully empowered with the indwelling of His Father's Spirit, nevertheless, He still remained the Son of God. I have mentioned before how it is similar to when a president leaves his country in order to temporarily engage in political business in a foreign nation. During the president's absence from his home country, it is customary for the nation's vice president to temporarily take on or assume the authority and powers of the president. The vice president does not actually become the real president; he merely has the authority to act on behalf of the president. This is an easy way to understand how Jesus had the full power of His Father dwelling in Him, while still remaining the Son of God. That is why the Apostle Paul writes as follows:
"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
2 Corinthians 5:19, KJV
Exactly what does Paul mean when he says "that God was in Christ"? How was God in Christ? As I have already made clear, it simply means that the Spirit of His Father was dwelling in Jesus without reservation or measure. Jesus possessed a full anointing of the Holy Spirit, as the previous verses revealed. As you may know, this is in fact what the word "Christ" -- or "Christos" in Koine Greek -- actually means; that is, one who is anointed. After all, as Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John:
"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
John 4:24, KJV
That is why I have long taught that it is my personal belief that the Holy Spirit is merely an extension of God the Father Himself. It is not the third person of some imaginary "Holy Trinity" which was dreamed up by the Roman Catholic "church fathers" many centuries ago. I believe that the Holy Spirit is God's very essence or spiritual substance with which He empowered His Son while He fulfilled His Mission on the Earth two thousand years ago. It is the same Divine Anointing which empowered the Apostles and Disciples afterwards. Finally, it is the same Spiritual Gift which still empowers us today when we are obedient to His Will. The Holy Spirit is like a small portion of the Father which dwells within each of us. It is our treasure in earthen vessels, as I explain in an article of the same name. Consider what the Apostle Paul states in the following two verses:
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
2 Corinthians 4:7, KJV
"One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
Ephesians 4:6, KJV
So as I mentioned a moment ago, while Jesus Christ was filled to overflowing with the Spirit of His Father, in contrast, we Christians only receive a small portion of the very same Holy Spirit. In the previous verses, Paul makes it clear that the Spirit which dwells in us is in fact the Spirit of the Father when he writes "and in you all". Perhaps now you will better understand why Jesus made the following profound statement in the Gospel of Luke. I will humbly confess that even I have struggled with it for quite a long time. The truth is that we want so badly to see a physical Kingdom of God on Earth, but consider what Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
Luke 17:20-21, KJV
There is an abundance of other evidence in the Scriptures which clearly confirms that Jesus is not God, but is rather the Son of God. For those of you who may still be having a difficult time accepting this solid Scriptural truth, allow me to share the following list of ten questions with you. As your spiritual eyes are opened, you will no doubt discover that there are many other questions which expose the error of the "Jesus is God" doctrine:
1. If Jesus is God, who repeatedly said at different places in the Gospels "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"?
2. If Jesus is God, who gave Him the Spirit without measure?
3. If Jesus is God, why did He say "My Father is greater than I"?
4. If Jesus is God, to whom did He pray in John chapter seventeen?
5. If Jesus is God, to whom was He praying in the Garden of Gethsemane when He asked His Father to remove the cup from Him?
6. If Jesus is God, to whom did He cry out "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"?
7. If Jesus is God, to whom did He say "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit"?
8. If Jesus is God, why does the Apostle Paul inform us in the fifth chapter of his Epistle to the Hebrews that Jesus learned obedience by the things which He suffered? In other words, If Jesus is truly God as the false doctrine claims, why would He have to learn obedience, and who would He have to learn to obey?
9. If Jesus is God, why did He tell Mary that He had to ascend "to my God, and your God"? in John chapter twenty?
10. If Jesus is God, why did He say "O God", "O my God" and "my God" in so many other places in the Bible as well?
If you are really sincere in your desire to know the truth, questions such as these will force you to admit that Jesus is not God. To reiterate, if there is only one God as the Scriptures clearly indicate, then Jesus cannot possibly be that God, because that God is in fact His very own God and Father.
If you are still with me after having read the meaty material which I presented in the previous parts of this series, I must commend you. Why? Because I know for a fact that there are a lot of Christians -- including some of my own online friends -- who will not be able to accept the Scriptural truths which I have shared herein. Sadly, as a result of their spiritual blindness, and their dogmatic adherence to the misguided and false doctrines of men, they will not allow the plain truth of God's Word to penetrate their hearts and set them free. As the Lord Himself said to the unbelieving Jews of His own day:
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free . . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
John 8:31-32, 36, KJV
This sad situation is really nothing new. As I mention in a number of my other articles, some people have made it their practice to reject the truth of God's Word since it was first delivered to humanity by His holy Prophets, Apostles, Saints and Disciples millennia ago. Such individuals do not have the Spirit of God dwelling in them. As a result, they are simply darkened of both mind and heart, and they cannot even begin to comprehend the marvelous truths which are expounded upon in God's Holy Word. Consider the following Scriptures which describe some of these people:
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear."
Matthew 13:10-16, KJV
"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
Matthew 15:14, KJV
"Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! . . . Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."
Matthew 23:16, 24, KJV
"And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other."
Mark 3:5, KJV
"And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."
John 9:39-41, KJV
"(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day . . . For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
Romans 11:8, 25, KJV
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
1 Corinthians 2:14, KJV
"Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:"
Ephesians 4:18, KJV
As we have seen through our discussion regarding the Roman Catholic Church, Mary and saint worship, and various aspects of our Christian faith, rather than embrace the plain truth of the Scriptures, such people will invent their own range of erroneous doctrines and practices, and promote them as God-inspired truth. They will even go so far as to elevate their own traditions, as a means to smother and conceal the true light of God's Word. I am reminded of what the Apostle Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Colossians:
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
Colossians 2:8, KJV
As I mentioned in part one of this series, if people would take the time to read the Bible for themselves, instead of relying upon secondhand knowledge and opinions, they would begin to see through the many false and misguided doctrines and practices which have corrupted and perverted our faith. By carefully studying God's Word, and comparing Scripture with Scripture -- as the wise people of Berea did in the seventeenth chapter of the Book of Acts -- you will be able to rightly divide the truth from the lie, and thus guard yourself from deception, so that you do not so easily fall into doctrinal error.
I expect my readers to follow the very same practice with my own writings as well. While I personally believe that what I share with you is true, based on the current knowledge which I possess, nevertheless, I still expect you to question it, and to compare it with the Scriptures for yourself, in order to determine whether or not what I say and teach conforms to God's Word. As my regular readers will already know, I always strive to support my views with the Bible, but this does not mean that I am infallible or perfect in my understanding. In fact, in the article entitled "Humility in Our Understanding of God's Word", I point out that despite my many years of studying God's Word, I still feel like a spiritual babe in my understanding, because God's Word is just that profound.
To reiterate, when it concerns Christian doctrine and other aspects of our faith, the Scriptures should be the primary source and authority to which we all should refer, and not some local priest, pastor, shepherd, deacon, bishop, Sunday school teacher or anyone else. Please don't forget that the reason why different denominations exist in the first place, is because of their differences of opinion regarding proper interpretation of the Scriptures. As a result, no matter who you go to, they are going to have a strict set of doctrines and practices which they will adamantly adhere to and defend at all cost. After all, their very legitimacy as a church or denomination depends on defending those particular doctrines, regardless of whether they are right or wrong.
If you approach a certain church or denomination in the hope of acquiring answers to your questions, you should be mindful of something. If you demonstrate that you believe contrary to the way that they believe, they will not hesitate to tell you that you are wrong, and they will endeavor to convince you to believe as they believe. Do not fool yourself into believing that they are going to come around to your way of thinking, because it is very doubtful that they ever will. You need to realize that churches and denominations are extremely rigid institutions. More than likely, they have probably embraced their particular doctrines and practices for decades, if not for centuries. They are not about to change, even if you do point out an obvious error in their thinking.
The bottom line is this. Either you conform to their set of doctrines and practices, and become just another sardine in their can, or you might as well forget it, because you will never fit in otherwise. While this may seem harsh to some of you, the simple truth of the matter is that each denomination is very similar to a self-contained, cookie-cutter religion which mass produces members who think, believe and act just like themselves. It is very much a group-think environment. Whether we are talking about churches, denominations or even cults, they are all pretty much the same in that regard.
So again, if you really want to know the truth, then please go directly to the Word of God for yourself in order to find the answers, and don't be spiritually lazy. If you truly and sincerely want to know the truth, I have no doubt that God will reveal it to you by His Spirit through His Word. As I shared with you in part one:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15, KJV
Through a preponderance of Scriptural evidence which I have now shared with you, we have seen that the Roman Catholic practice of creating statues and figurines in the likeness of Mary and the Roman Catholic saints is wrong, and is in fact a form of modern idolatry. We have likewise seen that to refer to Mary as Co-Mediatrix, Co-Redemptress and Mother of God is a seriously-misguided, not to mention unbiblical practice. Contrary to Roman Catholic beliefs, Mary is not the mother of God; our Salvation is in no way related to the worship of her; and we are not to use her as any kind of mediator or intercessor with our Heavenly Father. We have also learned that we are not to pray to, or to try to communicate with, dead saints, because this really amounts to necromancy, which is strongly forbidden in the Bible.
In contrast to the aforementioned Roman Catholic practices and beliefs, the Bible plainly teaches us that Jesus alone is the manner of Salvation which God has chosen for the world. His was a complete work of Salvation, and nothing and no one else needs to be added to it. As the Scriptures also inform us, it is only in Jesus' Name that we should ever petition our Heavenly Father, because He is our Mediator, High Priest and Intercessor before the Throne of God. He purchased us with His own Blood which was shed on the Cross, and we each belong to Him now.
As I pondered the Roman Catholic practice of kneeling down before and basically worshipping and talking to the deaf and dumb idols of their saints, I was reminded of certain verses which are found in the Book of Revelation. In this ancient manuscript -- which is also known as the Apocalypse -- the Apostle John is now rather aged. While the exact time frame is a source of debate amongst theologians, we can agree that it is sometime during the latter half of the First Century. John has spent his entire life being a faithful witness for the Lord. In the Book of Revelation, he informs us that he is on a small island in the Aegean Sea called Patmos. From what I recall reading quite some time ago, Patmos -- which is located off of the western coast of the nation of Turkey -- was a Roman penal colony.
Despite his old age, it seems that God still had plans for John. Even though he had written the Gospel of John, as well as his various short Epistles, his greatest revelation and most mysterious prophecy was yet to be given. As many of you will already know, this is precisely what we find written in the pages of the Book of Revelation. What is most important to our current discussion, is exactly how John received this amazing revelation. Please consider the following opening verse of the Apocalypse:
"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John."
Revelation 1:1, KJV
As you can see, this verse reveals God's chain of command. God the Father Himself gave this profound revelation to His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus in turn handed the prophecy to one of His Angels. This Angelic Messenger was then responsible for delivering this important revelation to John. Following the previous verse are twenty-two chapters of what has to be the most amazing revelation which has ever been given to the human race. This prophecy is so profound, that it has been analyzed, discussed, debated and been the subject of various interpretations for the past two thousand years. In the very last chapter of this Book, it is again confirmed for us that this important message was brought to the Apostle John by an Angelic Messenger who was under the direct orders of Jesus Christ Himself, as we can determine by the following verse:
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."
Revelation 22:16, KJV
How these events relate to our current discussion regarding the worship of Mary and the Roman Catholic saints becomes quite obvious when we examine the following verses which are found in this same chapter:
"And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God."
Revelation 22:8-9, KJV
As you can see, dear John displayed typical human behavior. He found himself in the presence of a wonderful Celestial Being, and he automatically assumed that he was supposed to show respect for this Angelic Messenger by bowing down and worshipping him. However, please notice what happened next. To John's surprise, the Angel told him "Don't do it, John. Don't worship me; worship God instead." What is interesting is why the Angel told John to not worship him. According to the text, this particular Angelic Messenger was actually a departed Saint. He was one of the Old Testament Prophets. I suspect -- but obviously cannot conclusively prove -- that he may have been resurrected during the amazing resurrection which occurred following Jesus' Crucifixion. Consider the following verses:
"Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
Matthew 27:50-53, KJV
Whatever the case may be, the important lesson we can learn from this event is that the Angelic Messenger clearly told John that it was wrong to bow down before and worship anyone but God. The Old Testament Prophet demonstrated humility and specifically told John to worship God only, and not himself. In light of this clear Scriptural example, how can anyone who claims to be a Bible-believing Christian justify bowing down before and praying to deaf and dumb idols of departed Roman Catholic saints? There is absolutely no Biblical basis for engaging in such idolatrous practices. In fact, as we have already seen, there is quite a bit of Scriptural evidence which says the exact opposite.
I am likewise reminded of the account of the three Jews who are discussed in the third chapter of the Book of Daniel. As you may recall, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down and worship the great golden statue which was set up by pagan Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in the plain of Dura. Even upon being threatened with being cast into the fiery furnace, they still refused to obey the king's orders, which would have incurred the wrath of their own God. Thus, into the fiery furnace the three of them went. But, as you may also know, God honored their faith and their dedication, and He delivered them from the flames without even the smell of smoke on their clothes, as we see by these verses:
"Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God."
Daniel 3:24-28, KJV
Please go to part six for the conclusion of this series.
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