I'm looking for specific answers for the 5 questions I asked. I don't see how those scriptures or truths fit into the doctrine of the Trinity.
| 2006/12/6 15:32|
So Blake..how do you understand God?
(Note: All scripture references taken from NAS)
Explaining the depths of God in this area is complex and abstract. How should we who are but limited beings understand a God of unlimited possibilities? In this discussion, you must remember that we can only understand God in metaphor, and though I may present words and ideas, they are insufficient for explaining this entirely. Though this is true, we can come to an understanding of God as given through the testimonies of those who have known Him. I will make an attempt to explain, and pray that the Lord might grant you understanding. Truth can only come through Him.
Before there was anything, there was God. In our earthly minds, we like to think of this as a time. I myself imagine it as the point before creation. In truth, however, this is outside of time. This is neither before nor after. It is both current and past. However, in order to explain it in terms that we might understand, I will say, before.
Before God created anything, before reality and existence as we know it, there was God and only God. All things were possible for God. There was no rules or reality. There was nothing but God and only God. By this, we can easily say, God is. The sentence is finished. There is nothing else.
As we know, God has passions and desires. He has a heart. He has a will. God has a mind with thoughts, plans, and purposes. Think for a minute of your own imagination. Almost anything is possible. As humans, our imaginations are limited. However, the imagination of God is unlimited. He can dream anything. Quite obviously, whatever you imagine is not real. It is just in your head and heart. Your dreams are yours alone. If you wished to share them, they would need to be expressed.
In the heart of God, He had an immense desire to share, express, and create. This was His desire. He chose this. Unlike God, this desire in us comes from being created in His image. However, God chose this desire in Himself. He wanted to give. And so He did.
In order to create, He first had to establish the most important thing of all. He had to first establish Himself. Who is God? Unlike you and I, God chose His own being. He chose His own person. All things are possible for God. Though this is true, God chose to be God. This means, God limited Himself to a particular nature and being.
In your own imagination, you have the ability to imagine whatever you want to be. You can imagine that you are a bird flying through the air. You could even imagine you are God. However, does this mean it is true? God had developed a sense of Himself in His heart. He set forth His will, as we might say. In His heart He knew who He was. However, in order for this to become a reality it would need to be expressed. At this point, God brought forth His Word. God spoke.
Gods Word is the perfect expression of Gods Will. The heart and mind of God are limitless. However, the Word of God obeys Gods Will exactly. The Word of God is the perfect expression of Gods person. The Word of God is the form of God.
This truth is explained in countless ways in the bible. In Genesis 1, the very first thing God does is speak saying, Let there be Light. When reviewing this chapter, we quickly realize that God is not speaking of physical light. The second thing God says brings about the creation of Heaven. The third brings about earth. The fourth brings about physical light. When God says, Let there be Light, God has brought forth His Word. The Word of God is the basis for all things.
The word Light here is a perfect way of describing the role of Gods Word at this point. Light provides shape and identity. When light hits a surface, the surface is given shape and form in our eyes. What was once dark becomes apparent. The universe was given shape and identity by God through His Word. It was given form and reality. In addition, we see a particular wisdom governing all things. God is not a god of confusion, but a God of order.
This idea of Gods Word being filled with wisdom is spoken of in Proverbs 8 where we also gain insight to this beginning. In Proverbs 8, it begins by speaking of Wisdom as a person. As we read, we discover that Wisdom is better than jewels, And all desirable thing cannot compare with her. In addition, we discover salvation comes through Wisdom. It says in verse 35, Wisdom says For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the Lord. In verse 22, we learn of the origin of Wisdom. The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. From everlasting I was established
Wisdom spoken of in this verse is the same Light spoken of in Genesis 1.
In the New Testament, the apostle John makes the connection between the Word, the Son, and the Light. We read in the first verse, In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
After knowing the above, we can now begin to understand the meaning of this scripture. God, who is greater than all things, brought forth His Word at the beginning to be the basis for all things. In my mind, I picture God sitting silently. He has many thoughts and desires that need to come to pass. His Word is with Him. His Word is in His heart and mind. He then speaks, and His Word goes forth doing the Will of God exactly. All things come into being by His Word. In other words, all things have been given a reality by light of God.
Another way we might understand all this relationship is by comparing it to a Father and Son. God the Father brought forth a Son. The Son is the perfect representation of the Father. The Son obeys the Father precisely. The Son shares everything with the Father; however, the Father will always be greater.
The danger of solely describing this relationship as Father and Son is that false doctrines such as the trinity arise. When we describe God and His Word as Father and Son, we are tempted to say they are two persons. We think of a Father as one person, and the Son as another person. This is entirely false. They are not two persons, but one person. God is one. Gods Word is the expression of Gods Will. They are one just as you are one individual and person with both a mind and voice. The bible, as shown above, describes this relationship in various ways. Let us continue to look at these.
In Colossians 1:15 Paul says, He is the image of the invisible God
We see here Paul continues with these concepts of light and word. An image needs light to be seen. The Son is the Light. The Son portrays perfectly the Father. He is the image of God. Additionally, the Word of God expresses the Will of God. An image is an expression. When light hits a substance, it reflects and enters our eyes. In our mind, we see an image expressing the reality of something in space and time.
Paul continues in this verse by saying, the firstborn of all creation. If you recall, the first thing God said was Let there be light. Later in Proverbs 8, we read that Wisdom was brought forth first before all things. When God set forth to create the heaven and earth, He had to first establish the basis of all things. You might say God had to setup the rules. What is good? What is pleasing to the Father? God first established what good is. He first gave birth to a Son who was pleasing in His sight. This Son is the basis for all creation. Paul establishes this truth by saying in verse 17, He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
The Son is the perfect expression of the Father. Again, this continued in the book of Hebrews in verse 1:3, And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. The Word of God represents God exactly.
The Word of God is the form of God. Paul says in Philippians 2:6, although He existed in the form of God. God is greater than all things with unlimited possibility. By this, He cannot be limited by a form. Forms have boundaries and properties that become obvious when struck by light. They have characteristics unique to their being. Thus, God gave birth to a son who is the form of God. Another way to picture this is to consider your own body. Internally, you have a spirit that allows you to think and feel. This spirit is expressed in the form of your body. They are not two different or distinct beings. They are one being. Likewise, the Word of God is the form of God. The Fathers perfect being is expressed in His Son.
At this point, some might be tempted to say that this proves the Son 1) was created and 2) was not God. The Son was not created. All things were created by God through the Son. However, the Son was brought forth. God gave birth to a Son. What this implies is that the very being of God has been implanted into the Son. The Son has always existed with God for all eternity. However, the Son was with God in the beginning. It is like speaking in your head. Your words do not become a reality until they are spoken. However, your words can reside in your mind. Likewise, the Word was with God. The Word was God. And then, before anything else was created, the Word was spoken. It came forth. It brought light to darkness and God saw that it was good.
The relationship between Father and Son is unique, unlike anything we have encountered on earth. They are not two separate entities or beings. They are one. The only distinction made between the two is in the throne. This truth was highlighted in scripture through Joseph. The Pharaoh elected Joseph to manage all his affairs. He said to Joseph as recorded in Genesis 41:40 " You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you." The Father is only greater than the Son in the throne. This means they are equal in all ways, except one: The Father is greater. John 14:28 "
for the Father is greater than I.
Unlike humans, however, the Son is without error. The Son is the perfect expression of the Father. The Son does not act independently. Rather, the Son does what the Father tells Him. In John 12:49, Jesus is recorded as saying, For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.
God, the Father, and the Word of God, the Son, are one. In our limited human minds, we cannot fully grasp or understand this oneness. If they were one and the same, there would be no distinction whatsoever. However, a distinction has been made. Christ clearly identified having a Father whom was greater than He. At the same time, Christ established this unity by saying as it is recorded in John 10:30 "I and the Father are one." How is it they are one? How should we understand this connection and relationship?
Before we can really continue, we must have an understanding of the Spirit and the Incarnation.
In John 4:24, Jesus is recorded as saying, God is Spirit. There very substance of God is Spirit. This is the stuff of God. Human beings are made of flesh. God is Spirit.
As we know, there are many spirits besides for God. The bible indicates that humans have a spirit. Job 32:8 says, "But it is a spirit in man
King David said in Psalms 31:5, Into Your hand I commit my spirit; In addition, there are other spirits. In 1 Kings 22:21, it says "Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD
Some of these spirits are unclean. Mark 1:26 says, Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him.
Spirit is the substance of God. The form of God is His Spirit. The Spirit proceeds out of the mouth of God, and is often referred to in the bible as His breath. The breath of God gives life and is the provider of life. This is also evident throughout scripture. What is not quite so evident is that all spirit is from God. In Job 34:14-15 we realize this truth when Job says, If He should determine * to do so, If He should gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, All flesh would perish together, And man would return to dust.
Spirit is the substance of God and He gives it in measure to give life. As we know, there are many different spirits. However, there is only one Holy Spirit. We call this Spirit Holy, because of all spirits; this Spirit has been designated as sacred. This is Gods Spirit. Though all Spirit belongs to God and is of His substance, only the Holy Spirit bears His person.
Spirit is given by God and taken away by God. He chooses whom to give the measure of His Spirit. In order to be a Spiritual being, God must give you a spirit. As beings of flesh, we are not a spirit. We have spirit, but we are not a spirit. In order to understand this, let us turn to the bible.
In Genesis 2:7, it says, Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and man became a living being. We see here that God formed man of the dust of the ground. In other words, He took matter and energy to create our physical form or body. He created for us a body. Then, God breathed life into us by the way of His Spirit. We have life because the Spirit of God sustains us. The Spirit gives us a life. As such, we have a spirit. However, we are not a spirit. Together, the combination of spirit and body, came the birth of a living being. The Hebrew word used here is Nephesh. In our modern day language, we have many different words that correlate to the Nephesh. This Hebrew word can be translated: soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, and passion. For the Hebrews, however, there was no confusion. There was one word that represented a soul. A soul was the combination of earthly dust and Gods breath. This formed a soul.
The importance of this comes in life and death. When God withdraws His breath from the body, the soul dies. In modern day, we see this come about as people age. As Gods breath slowly recedes from flesh, it decays and dies. When the breath of God leaves the body, the soul is dead. The bible speaks of both living and dead souls. Leviticus 21:1, Leviticus 21:1, Numbers 5:2, Numbers 6:6, Numbers 6:1, Numbers 9:6, Numbers 9:7, Numbers 9:10, and Ezekiel 44:25 all speak of dead Nephesh (translated person in NAS).
Since man is not a spirit, but merely flesh, we can die. Other spiritual beings, such as angels and demons cannot die. Hell was created as a place to hold demons eternally in punishment. They are immortal beings. Hell, thus, needs to be eternal to hold them eternally. Of course, they are tortured in Hell for lies and murder.
Humans, however, are fleshly souls dependent on Gods Spirit to have life. Without Gods spirit giving life, we die. We become nothing more than dust. This is illustrated in Genesis 6:3 Then the LORD said, My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years. The word strive used here is the Hebrew word Diyn which means to judge, contend, plead. As we live and age, the Spirit of God is judging us for our sin and pleading with us that we should turn from our sin. We live because of Gods grace. If God did not show mercy, our death would be instant. However, because God is contending with us, we are given a short time to live. This scripture clearly indicates it will not be longer than 120 years.
In the beginning, God had created Adam and Eve. They were made of flesh. At the time of creation, the flesh was under complete subjection to man and God. As we know, however, God gave dominion of the earth and all its hosts to Adam and Eve. They were to be Gods designated authority over the earth including all flesh. They were to rule and maintain Gods representational authority. They were to care for the earth as God cared for them. However, when they sinned, they were separated from God, and they lost authority over the flesh.
All authority comes from God. We have no authority apart from God. While we under Gods authority, we too had authority. While Adam and Eve served God in the garden, all of earth obeyed their command. They had complete rule and authority. However, when they rebelled against God, they were no longer under Gods authority. Instead, they became an enemy of God. As such, they also lost authority over earth. While we do have some authority in that we can push dirt around with our hands, we are also slaves to the flesh. When Adam and Eve sinned, since we were no longer under Gods rule, the flesh also was no longer under Gods rule. This should be quite apparent in animals. They are made of flesh just the same, and their flesh is selfish. Though we train dogs as our pets, and think that they obey us, at any moment they can turn and cause immense harm.
The flesh was to be sustained by God through His Spirit. The Spirit gives life, and it was the Spirit of God that was supposed to give life to the flesh. However, when Adam and Eve sinned, the flesh was no longer under Gods subjection. Without Gods authority, we could not maintain subjection. This is our story. We attempt to be God on earth. We try to bring all things under our dominion and subjection. We do so by force, pushing and manipulating the earth and its hosts. We even try to maintain self-control. However, we fail and sin. We have missed the mark. We are not God who gives out of love. We are instruments of evil succumb to the Devil and our flesh.
How does all this relate to the Son of God?
The Holy Spirit conceived a Son in the womb of Mary. The father of this Son is God. The mother of this Son is Mary. The Word of God who lived in Heaven, came down to earth, and was born as a human in flesh.
Jesus Christ was born as a man in the flesh just like you or I. However, unlike you or I, Jesus was born of the Spirit from birth. As said above, man has a spirit but is not a spirit. When we were created, we were created of flesh. We have a spirit, but we are not a spirit. We are flesh. We need the flesh to have a soul. Our soul is dependent on our fleshly body to have a being. If our body dies, our spirit returns to God and we are a dead soul.
Jesus Christ, however, was born a spirit. Christ clearly made this distinction as recorded in John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Jesus was not born only in the flesh like the first Adam. Rather, Jesus was born in both flesh and spirit. Jesus was a Nepesh, a soul. Jesus was also a Spirit.
Christ was born in the flesh. Because of this, He could be tempted. The flesh, as shown above, was not under the authority of God. And so, because of this, Christ struggled in the flesh. His Spirit which had all authority and rule battled against His flesh which did not serve God. However, because Jesus is God, He was victorious. The flesh, though it tempted Him, could not cause Him to fall.
Christ was born in the Spirit. Christ was a spirit. Because of this, death could not hold Him. When He died, death could not keep Him in the grave. Christ was not only flesh. He was a Spirit. And so, when Christ died, He ascended to Paradise where He waited for three days until His resurrection.
Upon His resurrection, Christ was given a new spiritual body. The old fleshly body, which was no longer under the rule of God, was cast off. And so, Christ was given a new spiritual body that was completely under the rule of God. This means that Christ was no longer tempted. He was a new creation throughout. He could walk the earth and reign as King.
Along with this, it is important to recognize that the Spirit of Christ, His Spirit is the Holy Spirit. This is how Christ is both God and man. When Christ came to earth, He lived in both flesh and Spirit. The Spirit inside of Him was the Holy Spirit. The flesh, as we know, battled against His Spirit.
This is quite apparent by the words of John the Baptist. In John 3:34 (KJ) For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Holy Spirit was upon Jesus without measure. There was no limit. All other spirits and lives have the spirit upon them with measure. Because of this, the very words that proceeded from the mouth of Jesus were the words of God. Jesus was God incarnate. His Spirit was the Holy Spirit.
As told above, man was created in flesh. We have life, but are not a spirit. Jesus, however, was a spirit. Not only this, but all life was in Christ. The Holy Spirit was upon Christ without measure. If we return to John 1:4, it says, In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
We were created in the image of God. I am sure you know this statement well. However, what many dont understand is the meaning of this verse. We were created IN the image of God. We were NOT created to be the image of God. Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Word of God, IS the image of God. We were created in HIS image. We were created in the image of Christ. (Remember Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God.)
We were to be a reflection of Christ. Jesus Christ is the light, and we were created to reflect that light. An excellent illustration of this is the moon and the sun. The sun shines and gives light so that all life on earth might exist and have form. At night, the moon reflects the light of the sun. The moon is beautiful in the night sky when it is full and illuminated because of the sunlight. However, without the sun, the moon is just a ball of dust. There is no life on the moon. It is nothing. The sun makes the moon what it is. Without Christ, the true Light, we are but dust. We are flesh.
Our light shines because it comes from the Son of God. John 5:26 says, For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; The father has bestowed life upon His Son so that all things might have life through Him. However, when we sinned we were separated from the Son. We were no longer clothed in the light. We were naked. We were exposed for the dust we are, and so we hid.
As a result of this separation, we have suffered death and decay. Our lives have been shortened and limited. We live in amidst Gods judgment where He quarrels with us.
Christ, however, came to earth to redeem and save us. He came to claim authority over all of us. Indeed, He came to claim lost Israel, but God did not merely lose Israel. He lost all mankind the moment we sinned. He so desires to bring us all back to Him. And so, whoever believes in Christ, the Word of God, may be redeemed. In John 6:40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."
If we believe in Christ, we may be born again. We are born in the flesh. As said above, flesh is not spirit. We are not born a spirit. We have the spirit of life in us, but we are not a spirit. However, when we are born again, we are born a spirit. Christ clearly made this distinction as recorded in John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Before we were only flesh, after we are a spirit and flesh. In Paul says, 1 Corinthians 15:45 So also it is written, The first MAN , Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
This transformation happens on a spiritual level. We cannot see this birth in action. We can only see the results of it happening in a person. We do not fully understand it, but we know it happens by experiencing the change inside. Because we now have a spirit, we can now live on past death just as Christ did. We will ascend to Heaven upon our death. In addition, we will be raised and given a new spiritual body. But until that last day, we live in both flesh and Spirit. Like Christ before His death, we suffer the flesh and the Devil to resist. We face temptation and hardship. We struggle just as Paul describes in Romans 7.
Upon our rebirth, the Holy Spirit enters into us and we become a spirit. At this point, we have been united as one with God in Spirit. This union is essential. It is made possible by and through Christ. In John 17:11, Christ prayed, "I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.
How is it that we should know or understand God? He is unlimited in possibilities. He is unseen and greater than all things. He is beyond our reach and grasp. His throne is above all things. We can know God, just as we know everyone else. How can we know someone else? We cannot enter their thoughts, explore their heart, or see their spirit. We learn to know someone through their words and actions, through a life of communion with them. If we are to know God, we can only know Him through His Word. The Word of God expresses God perfectly. Christ is recorded as saying in John 5:30 "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
The relationship between Father and Son is that of unparalleled unity. Christ does not act apart from His father. Christ obeys His father. Until Christ is commanded, He does nothing. He is nothing. His glory comes from being united as one with His father. God chose His Son to be His perfect expression and representation before the beginning of all things.
Jesus Christ is the image of God. Because of this, Christ is recorded as saying in John 14:9 Jesus said to him, Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip ? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father '? Again, in John 12:45, Jesus is recorded as saying, "He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.
Jesus and the Father are one. The very name of Christ is the name of the Father. In John 17:11, Jesus says, Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me.
In Luke 10:22, Jesus is recorded as saying "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." And in John 5:23, Jesus is recorded as saying, He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
The important thing to realize in all this is that Christ is our all in all. The Father has bestowed all things unto Christ, and by this, we need only to seek out Christ in order to have union with the Father. We are to be one with Christ, as Christ is one with the Father. In this, we will know, honor, and love the Father.
We must be weary of any doctrine or teaching that offers distinction between Christ and the Father. It is in the distinction that evils arise. If a person does not understand that Christ is God in full and we are to surrender all to Christ, they will be lead astray. So many false religions have arisen making others, including the Father, into false Gods. They do not understand the truth where Christ says, The only way to the Father is through me. We can only know the Father through Christ.
In order to know God, we must come to Christ. All our prayers, worship, and love go to Christ. God has established it this way for a good reason. Jesus is the Word of God; He is the exact representation of the Fathers Will. We were created in the image of Christ, to be a reflection of Gods Word. In other words, we were created to be the bride of Christ. Together, united as one with Christ, we are complete. Only then will God be all in all.
In the name of Christ,
| 2006/12/6 15:36||Profile|
I don't know. I sense there are some hints here of Sabellianism oneness. I may be wrong and totally off course here, and I am certainly not labeling you a heretic. But something just seems amiss - can't put my finger on it - with your explanations, views, theories. Especially how you keep maintaining that Jesus was a "spirit", and that there is no distinction to you (at least this was how I perceived it) between the offices of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Can you please clarify these points, and correct me? I hope I am wrong.
Paul Frederick West
| 2006/12/6 16:02||Profile|
Especially how you keep maintaining that Jesus was a "spirit"
That smacks of Gnosticism. If I'm not mistaken, I believe Blake has a JW back ground, which would explain why he is still struggling with this. (it's possible that I may have him confused for someone else on this forum)
The phrase "The trinity is a man-made doctrine" is straight from the JW's. These could also be the writings of Herbert Armstrong...
I doubt that Blake is going to clarify anything because he's not discussing this with us... he is merely posting articles he got from somewhere.
Blake, again, what are the sources of these articles? Attributing these articles to your name like you are is called plagerism.
I think if you would tell us who wrote them then perhaps we could discuss this a little more intelligently. If you dont reveal the source, then I have to wonder what you're hiding.
| 2006/12/6 16:09|
I believe Blake has a JW back ground
Yes, this would certainly explain the Arian concept of Christ being a created "spirit" and coming to earth. The Russellites didn't invent anything new; they just dug up an old, previously-rejected heresy and put a few new spins on it.
Funny, how just last week I was solicited by a JW unawares. The topic of our discussion was that Jesus being "begotten" by Jehovah, meant the same as Jesus being "created" by Jehovah - Arianism. We had a gracious conversation, but neither side, of course, was won over. Her mouth was stopped, however, when I offered to delve into the Greek implications of the term [i]eternally[/i] begotten. The discussion here came to an abrupt end. Satan knows when to pull out. I didn't have to whip out all the false Watchtower prophecies to end the discussion! God is so good. The Word is truly the Sword of Truth.
Paul Frederick West
| 2006/12/6 16:18||Profile|
Can we keep acting in love though please,
perhaps this is actually the best expression of the Trinity - that God is love.
In my personal understanding (back to the original question) I only understood the trinity as I began to witness and experience the elements of the trinity working in my life. It's not a cop-out to say that it really isn't a matter of mind but more of heart.
scott? Have you prayed about it?
| 2006/12/6 16:33||Profile|
Can we keep acting in love though please
Has someone [i]not[/i] acted in love on this thread?
Blake and I have a bit of a history together on this forum, and altho I think it's good to discuss things like this, he has been warned in the past concerning some of the things he has posted... such as his position on the Trinity. If he wants to make proclamations which most of us here agree are heretical, then he must also be ready to be called on the carpet for it.
So if he wants to post articles, I think thats fine... but at least tell us who authored them.
| 2006/12/6 16:36|
And to think - I didn't have to whip out all the false Watchtower prophecies to end the discussion! God is good.
Thats the difference between JW's and Mormons. I never delve into Russell or their history because with JW's they need to be convinced by God's Word. Mormons are different... the first step into Mormonism is accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet, and at that point it is very important to discuss what kind of a man Smith was. Arguing scripture with Mormons is usually a waste of time because scripture has been trumped by Joseph Smith. So Joe Smith is the pivot point.
The JW holds the Bible as inspired scripture (tho they grossly misinterpret it)... the Mormon holds the Book of Mormon, Doctrines & Covenants, and the Pearl Of Great Price as perfectly inspired Word of God... and the Bible as "inspired"... but not so much. Any point you make with the Bible is shrugged off by Mormons because when the Bible contradicts their other books, they go with their other books.
| 2006/12/6 16:43|
We had a gracious conversation, but neither side, of course, was won over. Her mouth was stopped, however, when I offered to delve into the Greek implications of the term eternally begotten.
Could you explain to me "eternally begotten"? That seems to be an oxymoron. Begotten implies a starting point from a source. Eternally begotten seems to be an expalination for something people either cannot explain or do not like what it implies. I would like to hear what your understanding of that is.
| 2006/12/6 17:00|
Could you explain to me "eternally begotten"?
I believe that the term "eternally begotten", though not paired together verbatim in the Bible, is clearly inferred by comparing scripture with scripture, and conducting a thorough investigation of the Greek text with the implications that arise from the terms taken in their respective contexts.
The term "begotten" in the Greek of John 1:14 indicates Jesus as the sole representive of the Being and Character of God. It does not imply the beginning of Sonship. The "begetting" in John 3:16 is irrespective of time (the "only begotten" Son of God), showing that Jesus did not become, but has always been, eternally, the Son of God in relationship. In John 1:18 "The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father" expresses both his eternal union with the Father and the inexpressible intimacy of loving union they both share. The Greek word for all these mentionings of "begotten" is [b]monogenes.[/b] Much of what I have written here comes straight out of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. I highly encourage you to research this word yourself, and the different implications it takes on when referring to Jesus Christ, instead of, say, the widow of Nain's son (where, for example, monogenes is translated here as simply "only").
We can go further, but this discussion will quickly morph into a study of establishing the deity of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God - God the Son - which I am fully prepared to do, should you have any doubts. Remember, God was manifest in the flesh, seen by angels, justified in the Spirit. The mystery of God. In Jesus - God with us - the fulness of the Godhead dwells. "Before Abraham was, I AM." Jesus is God our Savior, not some created "spiritual" being.
The eternal majesty Jesus Christ shared in the bosom of the Father before the creation of time is too great a thought for me. That God would send His Eternal Son to this trashcan of rebels, forsake His dearly beloved, and bruise Him for guilty worms of dust...oh, what inexpressible bliss for men to comprehend! I put my hand to my mouth and bow my worm head to the dirt from where I was formed and confess I know nothing as I ought.
Paul Frederick West
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