Where Our Treasure Is

Introduction

Matthew chapter 6 is the middle chapter and heart of Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, and the most definitive teaching in the entire Bible of how to enter His Kingdom and have eternal life. There’s an explicit characteristic distinguishing those on the two different paths in this life, “broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction … narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life” (Mat 7:13, 14). Christ taught us that it’s where our treasure is. What we treasure, value, or hold dear dictates the motives for our actions and ultimately our eternal destiny.

In this crucial passage, He revealed three polar opposite attributes dividing those onto the two paths: (1) whether the motives for our actions are to be seen by people or by God, “before men, to be seen of them … thy Father which seeth in secret” (vs. 1, 4); (2) whether our treasure is upon this earth or in heaven, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth … But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (vs. 19, 20); (3) whether we’re faithfully serving Him as Master or another master, “No man can serve two masters” (v. 24).

Praise from men or from God?

In the first half of Matthew chapter 6, Christ used the examples of giving, praying, and fasting to teach arguably the most fundamental distinction between those on the two paths: “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven … That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly” (vs. 1, 4); “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men … pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (vs. 5, 6); “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast … That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (vs. 16, 18).

What’s our motive for the things we do? We can do much good but with impure motives or intentions in our hearts, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Mat 5:8). God created us with natural and normal desires to receive praise, recognition, approval, honor, acclamation, and applause for the good things we do. It’s not wrong necessarily to receive praise from people for doing these types of things, only if it’s the reason we’re doing them. The motives in our hearts for our actions is a gauge of salvation.

Jesus questioned the corrupt Jewish leaders, “How can ye believe [trust], which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (Jhn 5:44). They wouldn’t put their trust in Him as their Messiah because they would be rejected by their fellow Jewish brethren for doing so. Because they didn’t want to lose the honor and acceptance they were receiving one another, they rejected Jesus instead and lost any honor and acceptance they would have received from God.

Hypocrites are those that pretend or feign serving God; whose actions contradict their public confession. According to what He had said earlier in His sermon “That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees” (Mat 5:20), Jesus was talking specifically about the scribes and Pharisees in His statements “as the hypocrites do … that they may have glory of men” (6:2), “as the hypocrites are … that they may be seen of men” (6:5), “as the hypocrites … that they may appear unto men” (6:16). In Matthew chapter 23 He exclaimed seven times “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” (vs. 13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29). And He described their hypocrisy in detail, “But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” (Mat 23:5-7). Hypocrisy consists not only of doing good deeds to be seen by people but also presenting oneself in such a manner as to be viewed by people, treated by people, greeted by people, and called by people in an elevated fashion. These ways of being regarded and treated by others can be summarized in the one word “praise.”

Paul began his letter to the Romans presenting its message as the gospel of Christ: “the gospel of God” (Rom 1:1), “the gospel of his Son” (v. 9), “preach the gospel” (v. 15), “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” (v. 16). And a little later he made the statement, “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Rom 2:29). Circumcision is a sign or token of being in covenant with God and being counted righteous before Him. But the circumcision God recognizes and counts is that of the heart. It’s doing all things with a pure heart—with the motive of receiving praise, not from men but from God.

He also wrote to the Corinthians, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels [boule] of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God” (1Co 4:5). The Greek boule appears 11 other times in the New Testament: “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel [boule] of God against themselves” (Luk 7:30); “The same had not consented to the counsel [boule] and deed of them” (Luk 23:51); “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel [boule] and foreknowledge of God” (Act 2:23); “For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel [boule] determined before to be done” (Act 4:28); “And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel [boule] or this work be of men, it will come to nought” (Act 5:38); “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will [boule] of God” (Act 13:36); “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel [boule] of God” (Act 20:27); “And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised [boule] to depart thence also” (Act 27:12); “And the soldiers’ counsel [boule] was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape” (Act 27:42); “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel [boule] of his own will” (Eph 1:11); “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel [boule], confirmed it by an oath” (Heb 6:17).

This word speaks of something decided or determined beforehand that is to be done. It’s the purpose or reason something is done. When Paul said that God “will make manifest the counsels of the hearts,” it is that He will make known openly the purpose or reason we determined in our hearts to do the things we did. But it won’t be “until the Lord come” that He does this. It will be then “shall every man have praise of God” (1Co 4:5). This is also what Peter said, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1Pe 1:7).

Circling back to what Jesus taught in His Sermon, “That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly” (v. 4), “pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (v. 6), “That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (v. 18). If our motive for the good things we’re doing is to please God and not people, then we won’t be trying to draw attention to ourselves but doing those things in secret without anyone but God knowing what we did. If this characterizes our walk with God the Father, then when His Son Jesus Christ returns and gathers us to Himself we will receive praise, recognition, approval, honor, acclamation, and applause from God. All the good things we did in secret that nobody knew about will finally be disclosed openly for everyone to hear and witness praise being given to us by God Himself.

What is our treasure?

When we hear the word “treasure” we tend to think about a treasure chest full of gold or financial wealth and riches. But its meaning in Christ’s Sermon is that of anything we value or hold dear to ourselves. When He said “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” He wasn’t talking about a wooden chest or a heavenly bank account but referring back to what He had said earlier, “your Father which is in heaven” (v. 1). It’s because our Father is in heaven that our treasure is said to be in heaven.

God told Abram, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Gen 15:1). He didn’t say that He would just give him a reward but that He is his reward. Both David and Jeremiah would later declare, “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot” (Psa 16:5), “I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living” (Psa 142:5), “The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him” (Lam 3:24).

What’s more valuable than God Himself? What should we cherish more than God Himself who gave us life and gives us eternal life? If He is our treasure, then pleasing Him and being right with Him will be the utmost important endeavor in our lives and the determining factor of which path we’re traveling. This is what Hebrews chapter 11 is all about. All of the “By faith [faithfulness]” statements are examples of men and women from the Scriptures that pleased God by their faithfulness to Him, “But without faith [faithfulness] it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe [trust] that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:6). He rewards those that diligently seek to please Him. And what’s their reward? It’s Him! Just prior to this chapter the writer reminded his audience that their treasure is in heaven, “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance” (Heb 10:34).

Where is our treasure?

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven” (Mat 6:1), “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Mat 6:19-20). Treasure upon earth is because people are on earth while treasure in heaven is because God our Father is in heaven. If we’re seeking praise from people, then our treasure is upon earth but if we’re seeking praise from God, then our treasure is in heaven.

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest [phroneo] not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:21-23)

The Greek verb phroneo means “to seek” and “to desire,” or “to focus on” and “to attend to.” Peter was yielding to Satan’s temptation of desiring praise from men. He wanted to look big in the eyes of his fellow disciples by correcting Jesus in front of them. But, of course, it was he that got corrected in front of them and got put in his place.

Paul used this word when writing similarly to the Colossians, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection [phroneo] on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col 3:1-2). Our desire, attention, and focus is to be on “things which are above.” It’s not that we’re to simply be “heavenly minded” in general but specifically focusing on “where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Everything we do needs to be with conscience toward God—faithful obedience to our Lord who is advocating, interceding, and mediating for us at God’s right hand. We’re shown favor by our Father in heaven when we obey His Son seated at His right hand.

Paul used both the verb phroneo and its corresponding noun phronema when writing this same message to the Romans, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [Breath]. For they that are after the flesh do mind [phroneo] the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit [Breath] the things of the Spirit [Breath]. For to be carnally minded [phronema tes sarkos] is death; but to be spiritually minded [phronema tou pneumatos] is life and peace.” (Rom 8:4-6). In both “carnally minded” and “spiritually minded,” the noun phronema is possessive—it’s literally “mind of the flesh” and “mind of the Breath.” He used the exact same statement a little later in the chapter, “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit [phronema tou pneumatos], because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom 8:27), “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Rom 8:34). Jesus Christ is “he that searcheth the hearts” because He said so Himself, “and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts” (Rev 2:23).

Unpacking all of this; the two converse lifestyles of either walking after the flesh or after the Breath, minding the things of the flesh or the things of the Breath, correspond to our treasure either being upon earth or in heaven. It goes back to what Paul had said earlier in his letter, “whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Rom 2:29). Since Jesus Christ searches our hearts, He knows the motives of our hearts for the things we do—whether we’re doing things to be seen by people and receive praise from them or to be seen by God in secret and receive praise from Him. He “knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit [phronema tou pneumatos],” or who it is that’s seeking, desiring, and focusing upon the things of the Breath. And it’s those walking after the Breath, minding the things of the Breath that He intercedes on their behalf at the right hand of God.

In His personal messages to the seven churches in Asia, Jesus said “These things saith the Son of God” (Rev 2:18), but also said seven times “the Spirit [Breath] saith” (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22). He called Himself “the Breath,” not just once or twice, but seven times! When we confess Him before men, then seated at the Father’s right hand, He confesses us and His Father obliges to breathe His Breath into our hearts. This reciprocity equates to the Son Himself being called the Breath. Since no human has God’s Holy Breath without the Son’s intercession for them at the right hand of God, the Son metaphorically is the Breath. It’s not some third Person but the Person of the Son of God by advocacy, intercession, and mediation.

Our treasure must be in heaven for Christ to intercede on our behalf at the right hand of God, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection [phroneo] on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col 3:1-2). Since He knows our motives for the things we do and that our treasure is in heaven, He intercedes for us before God. Salvation is all about whether or not we’re one of those that the Son is presently and actively interceding for. It’s not about us believing but about Him interceding! The devil’s ministers don’t want us to know that. They want us deceived into thinking we’re saved simply because we believe some facts are true.

Our hearts are where our treasure is

One of the most profound statements in all of Scripture is “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mat 6:21; Luk 12:34). The motives in our hearts correspond to the location of our treasure. Let’s repeat that again. The motives in our hearts correspond to the location of our treasure. If our treasure is on earth, we’ll have impure motives in our hearts for the things we do, but if our treasure is in heaven we’ll have pure motives in our hearts for the things we do. Therefore, for our hearts to be changed, our treasure must first be changed. Living the Christian life is all about keeping our focus on our treasure so that the motives in our hearts for the things we do will be pure.

“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” (Mat 12:34-35). According to Jesus, nobody has a mixture of part good and part evil in their hearts but everyone has an abundance of one or the other. And the determinant of whether our hearts are good or evil is whether our treasure is good or evil, “the good treasure of the heart” and “the evil treasure”—treasure in heaven or on the earth. There’s no gray area, middle ground, or neutral territory. Either our treasure is in heaven, our hearts are good, and we’ll have eternal life, or our treasure is on earth, our hearts are evil, and we’ll perish.

We can become very skilled at saying all the right things to convince others that our hearts are pure. But giving this false impression goes right back to the underlying problem of seeking praise from people. It’s because we want to look good to people that we train ourselves to speak humbly, graciously, and kindly when we need to. This is what James taught, “For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (Jas 3:7-8). We train all kinds of animals to do things that aren’t natural to them. The snake charmer trains a cobra to sway and entertain people without biting yet its mouth is still “full of deadly poison.” And it’s similar with the tongue. We can “tame” or subdue our tongues to a certain point but eventually we’ll be in a situation where pressure or urgency will bring out of our mouths what’s truly in our hearts, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”

What people say and don’t say identifies the location of their treasure—whether they’re seeking praise from people or from God. When we hear someone say “I don’t care what people think about me,” it means they do care what people think about them which is why they said that. If they really don’t care what people think about them, they wouldn’t have said anything. And why would someone say “God knows my heart” when we already know that? It’s because they’re concerned we think their heart isn’t right that they’re trying to convince us that it is. Our mouths betray our hearts. The main way to discern what’s in someone’s heart, and ultimately what it is they treasure, is by listening to how they talk. Do they say things to justify and defend themselves? Do they say things to make themselves look good or others look bad? Do they complain and talk negatively or are they thankful? Our mouths indicate what’s in our hearts and where our treasure is—seeking praise from people on earth or from God in heaven.

This same convention is what Jesus taught for identifying false ministers or wolves in sheep’s clothing, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Mat 7:15-16), “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Mat 12:33-34). Trinitarian ministers refusing to agree with the Son of God’s teaching about His Father was the crucible in which I finally concluded that they’re false ministers or wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s one thing for someone to be ignorant about what Christ taught but these men are highly educated with decades of ministry experience. What comes out of their mouths about God conflicts with what came out of the Son of God’s mouth about God. They’re known by their fruits—their mouths betray their hearts.

Our actions reveal what we treasure

Our actions in certain circumstances divulge what we treasure and therefore what’s in our hearts. James said that God tests our faithfulness to Him, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith [faithfulness] worketh patience” (Jas 1:2-3). He puts us in situations where there’s a distinct conflict of interest and we’re forced to decide one way or the other. What we do when pressured to obey God and suffer consequences or disobey God out of self-preservation, shows where our treasure is and therefore the motives of our hearts. James cited the time when “God did tempt [test] Abraham” (Gen 22:1):

Was not Abraham our father justified by works [ergon], when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith [faithfulness] wrought with his works [ergon], and by works [ergon] was faith [faithfulness] made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed [trusted] God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (James 2:21-23).

The Greek ergon translated here and in the majority of its 176 occurrences in the New Testament as “works” simply means “actions.” It rarely conveys meritorious actions of trying to earn righteousness before God under the Law of Moses. Only a few contexts impose that meaning while most of the time it’s simply about our everyday actions or the things we do. James was saying that Abraham’s faithfulness to God was tested when he was told to offer his son Isaac. And nobody else was on that mountain to witness what he was about to do, therefore he certainly wasn’t trying to be seen by people but only by God in secret. Of course, he was stopped short of carrying it out because it was only a test but he didn’t know that—he was going to following through with it. His actions, therefore, justified what had been said many years earlier, “Abraham believed [trusted] God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness.” He truly trusted God and it showed by his obedient actions, therefore justifying his righteous standing before Him.

We recognize this basic principle in everyday life. We say things like “Actions speak louder than words,” or “What you’re doing speaks so loudly that I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” Sometimes we’ll hear a sports team “trash talk” before a game but the other team responds with “We’ll do our talking on the field!” This is what James meant, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith [faithfulness], and have not works [ergon]? can faith [faithfulness] save him?” (Jas 2:14). What good is it to say we’re faithful yet we’re unfaithful? It isn’t what we say but what we do that counts, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith [faithfulness], and I have works [ergon]: shew me thy faith [faithfulness] without thy works [ergon], and I will shew thee my faith [faithfulness] by my works [ergon].” (Jas 2:18). If we’re truly being faithful, we don’t need to say anything—our actions speak for themselves.

Peter also said that our faithfulness is tested, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith [faithfulness], being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1Pe 1:6-7). And when we pass the testing of our faithfulness, we will receive praise, honor, and glory from God at Christ’s return.

God tests us regularly to build a case that will be used in the final judgment—either for us or against us. We must learn to appreciate these tests as opportunities to prove our faithfulness to Him and justify our entry into His kingdom. We have no idea the multitudes of situations we’ve been put through in our Christian lives that were orchestrated by God to test our faithfulness to Him. We thought things just happened the way they did or that people acted the way they did for no particular reason. We didn’t know that God was testing our faithfulness to Him.

The sheep and the goats

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:37-40)

When read in its plain sense, the “sheep and goats” judgment recorded in Matthew 25 sounds like some type of “social gospel”—that entering Christ’s Kingdom depends entirely on feeding and clothing the poor, taking in strangers, and visiting the sick or incarcerated. However, it all comes back to what Christ taught is the determining factor between those that are His and the hypocrites, or the sheep and the goats.

“That thine alms may be in secret [kryptos]: and thy Father which seeth in secret [kryptos] himself shall reward thee openly” (Mat 6:4). Those that are His give alms to the poor with conscience toward God the Father—to be seen by Him in secret. This principle is consistent with what He will say to the sheep in the judgment, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Mat 25:40). When the sheep do good deeds in secret toward God, they’re doing those deeds unto Him.

This is also what Paul taught, “In the day when God shall judge the secrets [kryptos] of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Rom 2:16), “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly [kryptos]; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Rom 2:29). The “sheep and goats” judgment will be the day when Jesus Christ reveals what was done in secret, “That thine alms may be in secret [kryptos]: and thy Father which seeth in secret [kryptos] himself shall reward thee openly” (Mat 6:4). And what was done in secret with conscience toward Him will be rewarded with praise and recognition by Him in that day.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Christ was teaching God’s righteousness, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mat 6:33). This is why the sheep are called “the righteous” in the judgment, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Mat 25:46). They’re righteous because their treasure was in heaven—they fed, clothed, lodged, and visited people with pure motives toward God to receive praise from Him.

Now, it’s not that the goats never did any of these same things that the sheep did but that their righteous deeds aren’t going to be recognized at the judgment, “But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.” (Eze 18:24). They’re not going to be rewarded for their good deeds because they were rewarded already, “Verily I say unto you, They have their reward” (Mat 6:2, 5, 16). The praise they received from people is the only reward they’ll ever receive.

It’s because the sheep and the goats weren’t aware they were being tested is the reason they’re going to ask Christ “When did we see you…?” God routinely puts us in situations that reveal what’s in our hearts by testing where our treasure is located. He imposes upon us conflicts of interest in which we must either make a sacrifice to remain faithful to Him or be unfaithful to reap a personal benefit.

Abraham’s sacrifice when nobody was watching proved His fear of God and trust in Him. And the same is true with us when we make sacrifices for others expecting and receiving nothing at all in return, “And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” (Luk 6:34-35), “But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” (Luk 14:13-14). This is what distinguishes the sheep from the goats.

No man can serve two masters

It was prophesied in a mystery from the very beginning, even before mankind had been created, that there would be two categories or classifications of people: “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” (Gen 1:4-5), “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Eph 5:8), “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (1Th 5:5).

These two classes would have one ruler or another over them, “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.” (Gen 1:16-18).

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Mat 6:24). Since every person belongs to one category or the other, ruled by one master or the other, then everyone not ruled by the Lord Jesus Christ is ruled by the devil. This is what it all comes down to. If our treasure is pleasing our Father in heaven, we’ll serve and obey His Son with pure hearts and be rewarded with eternal life. However, if our treasure is pleasing people on the earth, we won’t be serving and obeying His Son with pure hearts and we’ll perish.

Pastors of Protestant Trinitarian churches aren’t leading their flocks to eternal life but to destruction. They’re effective at this by teaching their definition of serving the Lord to convince their flocks that they’re serving Him. But their definition is not His. We can only serve Him, His way.

In Luke chapter 16, Jesus taught the parable of the Unjust Steward and concluded it with the same statement He had made in His Sermon on the Mount, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luk 16:13). The word “mammon” is an English transliteration of a noun from Aramaic origin. In the entire New Testament, it’s only used by Jesus and only in His Sermon on the Mount and His parable of the Unjust Steward. Lexicons and theological dictionaries define this word as “money,” “riches,” or “wealth,” but this isn’t how Jesus used it in His parable.

The parable is about a servant that was unfaithful to his master. He was given the responsibility of overseeing his master’s debts and collecting what was owed to him but was unfaithful in this duty by misappropriating the funds to make friends with his master’s debtors. He settled what they owed for pennies on the dollar for his own personal gain and benefit. This is the essential idea of mammon—it’s personal benefit at our mater’s expense.

A similar endeavor is true with Protestant Trinitarian elders, pastors, scholars, and theologians today. Rather than faithfully upholding the standard of righteousness our Lord commanded, they lower His standard by settling His debts for less than what is due. Such doctrines as original sin, a sin nature, sola fide, and once-saved-always-saved, lower the bar of what’s required to enter Christ’s Kingdom. And by keeping their flocks preoccupied with serving religiously—church attendance, a daily Bible reading plan, devotionals, journaling, memorizing verses, small group discussions, prayer groups, serving in positions, missionary trips—they delude them into believing they’re serving the Lord faithfully. They’re serving alright, but not necessarily serving the Lord.

A couple of life examples

My wife and I used to live in a condominium unit near an older Christian couple wanting to sell their unit to my wife’s mother. We had only known them passively for about a year but they were always warm and kind to us and attended a local church regularly. However, when it came to dealing with them over the sale of their property, they turned quite unpleasant very quickly. They pressured us to make an offer which we finally did but about a week after signing the contract and receiving their earnest money, another party made them a better offer. That was when things turned ugly. They began demanding to be released from their contract and for their money to be returned. We eventually did this. What I learned from the experience is that we get a glimpse into people’s hearts when their treasure is in jeopardy. Just start messing with people’s treasure and we’ll see pretty quickly where their hearts are at.

There’s a dear Christian lady my wife and I have known for many years that had a prolonged period where some family members were causing her problems. The times we would get together with her just to visit, she would inevitably bring up the latest things these family members were doing to her. And I never once heard her admit anything she had ever done wrong to them but it was always about what they were doing wrong to her. What she didn’t realize is that the entire situation could very well have been a test from God and she was apparently failing the test. James said, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell [geenna]” (Jas 3:6), “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” (Jas 3:14-15). The little tongue in our mouths can lead our entire bodies to geenna or the Lake of Fire. Envying and strife from the tongue is “earthly, sensual, devilish”—it indicates we’re treasuring what’s on the earth, yielding to the flesh, and serving the devil.

Conclusion

Within the heart of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ taught the distinguishing characteristic of those that will enter His Kingdom and have eternal life, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them … That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly” (vs. 1, 4), “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth … But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (vs. 19, 20), “No man can serve two masters” (v. 24). They do good deeds to be seen by God their Father and therefore to please Him. And because they live to please the Father in heaven, their treasure is said to be in heaven.

There’s nothing more valuable than God Himself. Therefore, there’s no greater endeavor in life than pleasing Him and being right with Him. And the only way we can please the Father and be right with Him is to faithfully serve His Son seated at His right hand. Salvation or eternal life is all about the Son presently and actively interceding for us at the Father’s right hand in heaven.

Hypocrisy is pretending or feigning; it’s acting contradictory to one’s confession. It consists of doing good deeds to be seen by people and presenting oneself in such a way as to be viewed by people, treated by people, greeted by people, and called by people in an elevated manner. The word that best expresses this is “praise.” Hypocrites seek praise from people while genuine servants of the Lord Jesus Christ seek praise from God, “whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Rom 2:29). The reason treasures are said to be upon the earth or in heaven is because people are upon the earth and God is in heaven. Therefore, the essence of laying up treasures upon the earth or in heaven is whether we’re seeking praise from people or from God.

The motives of our hearts coincide with the location of our treasure, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mat 6:21; Luk 12:34). It’s whether our treasure is in heaven or upon the earth—seeking praise from God or from people—that we’ll have a corresponding abundance of good or evil motives in our hearts for the things we do and say, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” (Mat 12:34-35). Christ’s statement “the good treasure of the heart” is simply an abbreviated form of “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” The only way the abundance of motives in our hearts can be changed is by changing what we treasure.

Our words divulge the motives of our hearts and what it is we treasure. As animals can be trained, we can coach ourselves to speak humbly and graciously to give the impression that we have good motives in our hearts. However, our idle words and small talk betray what we truly treasure.

God routinely tests our faithfulness to Him by putting us in situations with a conflict of interest to observe what we will do when pressured one way or the other. Our actions when tested justify our righteous standing before Him. Therefore, we’ll be judged by our actions, “I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works [ergon]” (Rev 2:23), “the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works [ergon] … and they were judged every man according to their works [ergon]” (Rev 20:12, 13).

Eternal life comes by being counted righteous by God. But to be counted righteous by God we must please God. The only way to please God is to confess His Son as Lord, then obey Him by our actions with the right motives in our hearts—genuinely, not hypocritically. And the determining factor of whether we’re genuine or hypocrites, righteous or unrighteous, sheep or goats, is the location of our treasure. What we treasure, value, or hold dear dictates the motives for our actions and ultimately our eternal destiny. Our trust in God is demonstrated when we’re willing to forego the praise, approval, recognition, and honor we could have received in this life from people in exchange for being criticized, mocked, belittled, and falsely accused instead. God is pleased when we’re willing to be shamed before people for His Son Jesus Christ’s sake—His glory, name, and honor. It’s difficult and discouraging to continue for years and even decades without getting any recognition or praise for the things we’re doing in secret. But Jesus Christ assured us that one day we’ll receive the treasure we’ve been seeking, “and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly” (Mat 6:4, 6, 18).

Learning from the Unlearned

Introduction

Trinitarian scholars, theologians, and pastors hold a tight grip over mainstream Christianity by masquerading as the purveyors of the truth and denouncing true teachers gifted by Christ as unlearned and uneducated. They’re full of tactics and schemes to magnify themselves and minimize others in the eyes of their followers. They persuade their followers against true teachers to keep them deceived and on the broad way that leads to destruction.

True teachers, on the other hand, are gifted by Jesus Christ and teach His message. They remain faithful to Him and His teaching regardless of being ridiculed, defamed, and silenced. While false teachers abound and can be easily heard, true teachers are few and they’re censored from public hearing.

Unlearned and uneducated men

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (Act 4:13). Instead of “unlearned and ignorant men,” other versions have “uneducated and ordinary men” (NET), “unschooled, ordinary men” (NIV). Two of the greatest disciples and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ were belittled by the religious leaders as unlearned and uneducated.

It’s true that Peter and John were uneducated when compared with the religious leaders of the day. They had both been fishermen before leaving behind the family business to follow Jesus. However, they became two of the three that were Christ’s “inner circle” of the 12, that witnessed His transfiguration on the mountain. Peter was the apostle that preached on the Day of Pentecost and established the Jewish body of Christians through the first half of the book of Acts. John was entrusted with the care of Christ’s mother and was the last living apostle to lead the Christians. Between them both, they wrote 7 of the 27 books in the New Testament.

Not only were two of greatest His disciples demeaned as unlearned but even Christ Himself, “Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” (Jhn 7:14-16). If Christ Himself had “never learned” according to the Jewish leaders, then it’s no wonder Peter and John were esteemed unlearned as well—they learned from the unlearned! But Christ replied, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” He hadn’t learned from them but from God.

Christ and His apostles were scorned by the religious leaders as unlearned and nothing has changed. Essentially, this same dynamic is at work today where the doctrines of men are disguised and hailed as the truth while any nonconformists are discredited. Trinitarian scholars, theologians, and pastors with their systematic theology boast of being the experts in Christian doctrine while degrading any outside their circle that didn’t graduate from seminary. They perpetuate their false doctrines to the simple under the façade of being the learned and educated.

Corrupt seminaries

As with the media feigning objectivity in order to push their liberal agenda, Trinitarian seminaries likewise are corrupt. When students go to these seminaries to get a theological degree, the doctrine of the Trinity is incessantly drilled into them. Anyone raising questions or objecting to this view of God is dealt with and eventually pressured to leave or even discharged if deemed nonconforming. The bottom line is that those finishing seminary and receiving a degree are pledged and devoted to Trinitarianism. It’s not that they’re necessarily smarter or know more than those that didn’t finish but that they succumbed and bowed the knee: “bowed down to their gods” (Num 25:2); “they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them” (Jdg 2:17); “fall down and worship the golden image” (Dan 3:10); “bowed the knee to the image of Baal” (Rom 11:4).

This doesn’t mean that every person graduating from seminary has passed the point of no return and can never repent and turn back to God. For many, this is the case but some might still have hope although it’s extremely difficult for them to ever depart. Leaving Trinitarianism means essentially losing everything into which they’ve invested their lives, then setting out like Abraham not knowing where they’re going, “and he went out, not knowing whither he went” (Heb 11:8). But this is what it means to walk in Abraham’s steps of faithfulness to God, “who also walk in the steps of that faith [faithfulness] of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised” (Rom 4:12). Abraham was faithful to God in obeying Him and walking away from everything into what appeared to be nothing.

Moses forsook his name, position, and wealth in Egypt in exchange for a life of suffering with the people of God, “By faith [faithfulness] Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward” (Heb 11:24-26).

Paul relinquished everything he had built his life upon, “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” (Phl 3:5-7). He not only gave up his life of wealth, power, and prestige but exchanged it for a life of tremendous persecution and suffering:

Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. (2 Corinthians 11:22-27)

Tactics of Trinitarian theologians

Rather than sincerely seeking the truth and submitting to it, Trinitarian theologians fight to defend their system of theology. They’re full of ploys to intimidate their followers and keep them dependent on themselves and their system. Their tactics alone should be enough to convince us that something is seriously wrong. They’re threatened by anyone trying to understand the truth from the Scriptures for themselves and will employ an arsenal of tactics against them.

They make their followers dependent on them. Their credentials and degrees are from Trinitarian seminaries and they’re endorsed by a strong support system of highly esteemed Trinitarians. Anybody not endorsed by them is a “nobody” and we shouldn’t listen to them. They use big words and theological jargon, “they speak great swelling words of vanity” (2Pe 2:18), “their mouth speaketh great swelling words” (Jde 1:16), to make their doctrines sound official and authoritative. They’re proficient in apologetics, not to defend the truth, but to defend their theological system.

They misuse the Scriptures. They start with their system of theology as their basis of “truth,” then impose it upon the Scriptures. They mistranslate certain words like pneuma as “spirit” rather than “breath” and pistis as “faith” rather than “faithfulness” to conceal what’s being said. They also find statements that sound like or can be made to sound like, support for their Trinitarian system such as “making himself equal with God” (Jhn 5:18), but ignore or explain away statements that disagree with their system such as the very next verse “the Son can do nothing of himself” (Jhn 5:19). And those sincerely trying to understand the truth from the Scriptures for themselves get scoffed that they’re not using sound hermeneutics or that they’re allegorizing the Scriptures.

They act as the arbiters of the truth. They appoint themselves to act as the “doctrine police” over everyone else to make it appear that they have the truth. They tell us which ministries and teachers to avoid. They tell us what beliefs are supposedly essential and non-essential for salvation. By fighting what’s false, they appear to be crusading for truth.

They make false claims. They claim that their system of theology is “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jde 1:3) and that the Trinitarian view of God is the historical view established by the early church. They also claim that Trinitarianism is essential for salvation and that blasphemy against the Spirit is denying that the Spirit is a Person. But these are simply false claims they’ve been largely successful at pawning as the truth.

They appeal to the majority. They point to large numbers and the majority as evidence of the truth. After all, they balk, hundreds of millions of Trinitarians couldn’t all be wrong, could they? But by the same argument, could one billion Muslims all be wrong? Of course! They’ll also appeal to great Christian men and women in history as being Trinitarians and that libraries and bookshelves are full of published works by Trinitarians.

They make false comparisons. By pointing to Arius as obviously wrong (and he was!), therefore the doctrine of the Trinity must be right. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are obviously wrong (and they are!), therefore the doctrine of the Trinity must be right. It’s simply a dishonest tactic posing as a champion for the truth.

They intimidate and instill fear. They make us fear falling into error by studying the Scriptures on our own when really they just don’t want us falling into the truth. We supposedly need a group consensus which, of course, must be a group of Trinitarians! They warn us that if we deny the doctrine of the Trinity we’ll be categorized with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Unitarians. Also, we’ll be branded a heretic and seen as leading our family into a cult.

They silence and censor. They proclaim that the doctrine of the Trinity is a closed case not open for discussion and even questioning this doctrine is the danger of blasphemy against the Spirit for which they will never be forgiven. They acclaim and praise those that agree with them but won’t recommend, acknowledge, or support anyone that’s not a Trinitarian.

They belittle and mock. They appeal to their credentials and discredit those without. They’ll say, “Why should anyone listen to you? Did you graduate from seminary? Are you smarter than the scholars and theologians? Why would God allow you to understand the truth?” Their favorite saying is, “If it’s new it’s not true, and if it’s true it’s not new.” However, when the truth is finally taught it only seems new because they haven’t been teaching it!

They sway the people

Corrupt religious leaders don’t fear God, they fear the people: “And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet” (Mat 14:5); “But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet” (Mat 21:26); “But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed” (Mar 11:32); “And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way” (Mar 12:12); “And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them” (Luk 20:19); “And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people” (Luk 22:2); “Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned” (Act 5:26).

Because of their power and influence over the people, religious leaders persuade and move them to accomplish their agenda: “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus” (Mat 27:20); “But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them” (Mar 15:11); “But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people” (Act 17:13).

The same is happening in churches today—leaders are swaying people to keep them loyal to the system. The name Barabbas means “son of a father” while, of course, Jesus Christ is the Son of the Father. People today are being moved and stirred to retain teachers that are called sons of God but reject the sons of God. This principle is what the writer of Hebrews was warning his readers about, “they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Heb 6:6). It’s tantamount to rejecting Christ when rejecting His gifted teachers that are delivering His message. But simple and trusting people in churches today are being told a narrative about the true teachers so that they’ll refuse them but keep Barabbas.

Christian bookstores are full of glossy paged books and commentaries that seem very appealing and helpful but ultimately communicate a different God and different message than the Lord Jesus Christ preached. It takes time and effort to find the truth. We love having study guides, outlines, modern translations, footnotes, devotionals, reading plans, and 30 days to this or that. But this is just another tactic of the devil and his ministers—to make his doctrine as easy, convenient, and appealing as possible. When speaking of false teachers Peter said “they allure through the lusts of the flesh” (2Pe 2:18). They appeal to our laziness by making things easy and comfortable. We work hard at our job to feed our stomachs yet don’t want to exert much effort for our soul. Our enemy is all too eager to make everything smooth and effortless so that we’ll stay blinded and belonging to him. If we’re not willing to work hard at finding the truth, to study for ourselves, and to ask God to help us, we’ll stay deceived and perish.

Letters of recommendation

We’ve been hoodwinked into believing that credentials issued by men is the main qualifier for teaching the Scriptures. But this is nothing new. The same trickery was peddled in the early church.

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. (2 Corinthians 3:1-3)

The Corinthians had begun looking to “credentialed” men to teach them. But Paul’s qualifications as a true minister of God didn’t come from any man’s writing on a piece of paper whether it be a signed letter of recommendation from an upper-echelon or a graduate diploma from a theological school. The Corinthians themselves were his “writing” of qualification so to speak. The fact that they even existed as a church is on account of the Lord calling Paul to them, “And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them” (Act 16:10). This made them “the epistle of Christ” or Paul’s letter of recommendation from Jesus Christ Himself!

The persecution and resistance Paul experienced on his way through Macedonia to reach the Corinthians also qualified him as a true minister of God: “And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely” (Act 16:23); “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea” (Act 17:10); “But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people” (Act 17:13). In general, delivering the truth requires suffering and sacrifice.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Mat 5:11-12). Here at the beginning of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was saying that the same pattern of persecution experienced by the true prophets in the Scriptures is what would also be endured by men of God in the church age. He carried forward this same idea toward the end of His Sermon when He said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Mat 7:15). These “false prophets” aren’t men professing to be prophets necessarily, but false teachers that don’t fit the pattern of the true prophets in the Scriptures, “for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” And this is how Peter understood Christ’s words, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you” (2Pe 2:1). True teachers fit the mold of the prophets—they’re persecuted in the same way.

The measure of faithfulness

For I say, through the grace [favor] given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith [faithfulness]. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace [favor] that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith [faithfulness]; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:3-8)

In the statement, “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith [faithfulness],” the Greek pistis is mistranslated, as in almost 250 other places throughout the New Testament, as “faith” instead of “faithfulness.” It makes no sense to have been given a measure of belief. What has been given, however, are different measures or portions of the Lord’s “goods” over which each of His servants have the responsibility of faithfulness, “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.” (Mat 25:14-15), “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Mat 25:21).

God’s people are shown common favor through His Son Jesus Christ over all other people on the earth—He forgives their sins and counts them right with Him. But within the collective body of His favored people, God also bestows varying measures of favored gifts to each individual member, “But unto every one of us is given grace [favor] according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Eph 4:7), “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Eph 4:11). Obviously, the apostles and prophets were highly favored and uniquely gifted with more “talents” than the rest of us. Consequently, Christ required more from them, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luk 12:48).

Those that teach the Scriptures will be held to a higher standard of judgment than other Christians, “My brethren, be not many masters [didaskalos], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (Jas 3:1). Personally speaking, teaching isn’t something that I chose to do or particularly care to do but it’s what I’ve come to recognize that I’ve been gifted with. I don’t relish the responsibility but approach it very seriously and soberly. I enjoy studying the Scriptures and teaching either in writing or speaking more than anything else in life. And I’ve learned that Christ has gifted me with being able to understand the truth communicated through the Scriptures beyond what others are capable of. It’s not a matter of intelligence or credentials but of gifting. I’m simply following the example of other unlearned men of God such as Peter and John.

True teachers are silenced

True teachers gifted by Christ are hard to find mainly because there aren’t very many—relative to the plethora of false teachers lurking everywhere—and they’re censored from public hearing by all of the false teachers. It’s similar to what’s playing out today in United States politics between conservatives and liberals. President Donald Trump continually denounces the liberal media for silencing and attacking him in order to push their agenda. The only viable alternative he has found to communicate to the people is through Twitter. It’s not that he prefers to do this but that he has been left with no other choice.

Likewise, those that bow the knee to the Trinitarian theological system get endorsed, supported, funded, and praised while the true teachers get derided, suppressed, and silenced. I’m not a fan of the internet at all. I would love to go back to the days during the first 25 years of my life when it didn’t exist. However, these are the times in which we now live and I’m left with no choice but to use the internet as my main tool for communicating the truth.

Conclusion

Peter and John, two of the greatest disciples and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, were derided as unlearned and uneducated men by the religious leaders of their day. And the same pattern is at work today—Trinitarian theologians, scholars, and pastors tout their credentials while belittling teachers truly gifted by Christ. Trinitarian leaders are full of tactics and ploys to exalt themselves and debase those esteemed as threat to their message and agenda.

We should be listening to the teachers Christ has gifted. These are men that have refused to bow their knee to the false view of God and false doctrines coerced by the Trinitarian leaders of mainstream Christianity. They fit the mold set by the prophets in the Scriptures, “for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Mat 5:12). They’ve walked away from everything into nothing, “and he went out, not knowing whither he went” (Heb 11:8). They don’t need to commend themselves or to be recommended by others, “Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?” (2Co 3:1). Their credentials aren’t in writing on paper—a diploma hanging on the wall or affirmation by other ministers. Their credentials are from Christ Himself by the gift He bestowed upon them.

No Man Can Serve Two Masters

Introduction

There’s only one way to eternal life and it’s through the only way God provided—His Son Jesus Christ. But even knowing and embracing that truth, we can still be falsely assured that we have the Son of God and that we’re on the way to eternal life yet headed for destruction, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Mat 7:14).

The popular gospel message preached today is that we have the Son if we’ve confessed Him as Lord and believe some facts about Him—essentially that salvation is by faith or belief in Him. But the true saving gospel is the message the Son Himself preached to the world. It matters not what millions or even billions of people say but only what one Person said. What He said is the truth and the final word and He told us what we must do to have Him and eternal life. We must listen to Him.

Now, the latter half of this writing isn’t intended to give inordinate attention to the devil but is simply addressing necessary issues so that we’re not ignorant of his devices. The more covertly he’s allowed to operate under the radar without detection, the more successful he is. Therefore, our souls depend on discussing and recognizing his sinister activity so that we won’t fall prey to him.

The Creator preached the message of salvation

The true message of salvation is known by what the Creator preached in the beginning in a mystery, and what the Creator preached again when He came into this world and revealed the mystery. The Son of God is the Creator: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (Jhn 1:3); “God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph 3:9); “For by him were all things created” (Col 1:16); “by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb 1:2); “for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev 4:11).

Within the creation account narrative itself, the Son of God interjected the message of salvation but kept the understanding of it hidden from us in a mystery: “according to the revelation of the mystery [mysterion], which was kept secret since the world began” (Rom 16:25); “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery [mysterion], even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory” (1Co 2:7); “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery [mysterion], which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph 3:9); “Even the mystery [mysterion] which hath been hid from ages and from generations” (Col 1:26).

The Creator Himself came into this world and revealed to our understanding the message of salvation He had hid in a mystery: “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries [mysterion] of the kingdom of heaven … I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world” (Mat 13:11, 35); “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery [mysterion]” (Rom 16:25); “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery [mysterion]; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery [mysterion] of Christ)” (Eph 3:3-4); “that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery [mysterion] of the gospel” (Eph 6:19).

The true message of salvation preached by the Creator

In the beginning, the Son of God preached the message of salvation but hid it from our understanding in a mystery—the creation of the sun and the moon contained a figurative message, “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night … And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness” (Gen 1:16, 18). The message contained in these heavenly bodies before man had even been created is that there would be two rulers over humanity and one would be greater than the other. Salvation is about which lord or master is our ruler.

About 4,000 years later the Son of God became a man and preached this same message of salvation—faithfulness to Him as our Lord and Ruler: “No man can serve two masters” (Mat 6:24); “Who then is a faithful and wise servant” (Mat 25:45); “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Mat 25:21); “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luk 6:46); “If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” (Luk 16:11); “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luk 17:10); “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (Jhn 13:13).

The apostle John began his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word [Message], and the Word [Message] was with God, and the Word [Message] was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (Jhn 1:1-3), “And the Word [Message] was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jhn 1:14). When the Son of God became a man, He exemplified the message He preached in the beginning. His life and preaching embodied that same message to such an extent that John spoke metaphorically of Him as the Message.

Later in his Gospel, John recorded Jesus foretelling of His Advocacy for us at His Father’s right hand: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever … But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit [Breath]” (Jhn 14:16, 26 NIV); “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit [Breath] of truth” (Jhn 15:26 NIV); “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you” (Jhn 16:7 NIV). The message the Son of God preached in the beginning, “the greater light to rule the day” (Gen 1:16), is the same message He later preached of His Rule and Advocacy at the right hand of God.

Because of His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, He is now “the greater light” or Ruler and Advocate at the right hand of God in heaven: “Sit thou at my right hand” (Psa 110:1); “he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God” (Mar 16:19); “being by the right hand of God exalted” (Act 2:33); “who is even at the right hand of God” (Rom 8:34); “set him at his own right hand” (Eph 1:20); “Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col 3:1); “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3); “who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb 8:1); “sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb 10:12); “is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2); “is on the right hand of God” (1Pe 3:22); “am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev 3:21); “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev 22:3).

The message of salvation has been detoured

The entire issue of salvation preached by the Son of God since the beginning is which lord, master, or ruler we’re serving. And since “No man can serve two masters” (Mat 6:24), if we’re not serving the Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re serving the devil and his cohorts. But to impede people from being ruled by the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore maintain his rule over them, the devil diverts the message preached to anything else. As long as people aren’t hearing the message of faithful service to the Lord Jesus Christ as Advocate at God’s right hand, they’re not being ruled by “the greater light” but by “the lesser light.”

The Protestant Reformation about 500 years ago was supposedly an enlightenment that the statement “the just shall live by his faith [emuwnah]” (Hab 2:4), “the just shall live by faith [pistis]” (Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38), is to simply believe and to only believe. But the Hebrew emuwnah and Greek pistis translated as “faith” means “faithfulness” which agrees with what was preached in the beginning—faithfulness and loyalty to the “the greater light.” The Reformation wasn’t a return to the message from the beginning but the beginning of a new message! It transferred the message preached to an entirely different context—from “faithful service to the Lord” to “faith or belief in the Lord.”

Within the context of faithful service to the Lord, water baptism is the point of change in lord, master, or ruler over our lives. We repent of our sinful past and commit ourselves to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ—to serve and obey Him faithfully to death. God breathes His Breath into our hearts and His Son becomes our Lord and Advocate at His right hand. We live daily obeying Him, submitting to Him, and agreeing with Him. And when we die in faithfulness to Him, we’re assured of being raised to eternal life at His return.

On the other hand, in the context of faith or belief in the Lord, an altar-call or sinner’s prayer is the point of “salvation.” We repent of our sins and make a confession of faith or belief in Jesus Christ. At that moment we’re born again as new creatures with eternal life inside—our spirit person changes from spiritual death to spiritual life. We’re saved right now and assured of going to heaven after we die.

Christians today call themselves “believers” but the apostles and early Christians called themselves servants: “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:1); “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ” (Col 4:12); “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ” (Phl 1:1); “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ” (Tit 1:1); “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Jas 1:1); “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ” (2Pe 1:1); “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ” (Jde 1:1).

Christianity has become a “Jesus” religion. By quoting Paul’s statement out of context, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom 10:9), salvation has become simply confessing Him as Lord and believing things about Him.

However, Jesus said that we must serve Him as Lord and do what He said: “No man can serve two masters” (Mat 6:24); “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them … And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not” (Mat 7:24, 26); “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luk 6:46). And Paul agreed, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom 6:16). We’re not servants of whom we confess as Lord but of whom we obey as Lord! Therefore, what he said later, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus” (Rom 10:9), wasn’t merely a confession but a commitment.

Although it’s good and necessary that we’re taught to believe the facts of Jesus Christ’s divinity and humanity, virgin birth, life and ministry, miracles, death, burial, and resurrection, hardly anything is being taught about His position and function today at the right hand of God. This isn’t by mistake but by design. Principalities and powers—the devil and his minions—don’t want the message preached about Christ’s position at the right hand of God with all power and authority over them: “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Eph 1:20-21); “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it … If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col 2:15, 3:1); “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (1Pe 3:22).

We wrestle not against flesh and blood

Paul revealed that flesh and blood isn’t what we’re ultimately struggling against, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [methodeia] of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6:11-12). The “rulers of the darkness” are “the lesser light to rule the night” (Gen 1:16) preached in the beginning. Paul had used the same Greek word methodeia earlier when speaking about the deceptions of men, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait [methodeia] to deceive” (Eph 4:14). The devil rules over flesh and blood people, then uses them as instruments to spread his wiles and deceptions.

The devil not only wants us to believe there is no God but also that there is no devil! He’s not trying to make himself known but exactly the opposite. His strategy is for us to forget all about him, live as though he doesn’t exist, and assume people just act from their own initiative. He gets us fighting with each other rather than against him.

He uses all people, including the very ministers in churches, as his instruments, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2Co 11:14-15). We’re quite naïve if we think this isn’t even more of a problem today than it was in the very churches established and overseen by the apostle Paul himself. If wolves ravished the church in Ephesus as soon as he left, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock” (Act 20:29), then they’re certainly wreaking more havoc almost 2,000 years later.

The devil understands salvation better than we do. He knows that as long as he’s ruling over us, then we’re on our way to destruction, “broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction” (Mat 7:13). And he knows very well what to have his ministers teach in church to keep people under his rule yet think they’re on their way to eternal life, “narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life” (Mat 7:14).

Protestant Trinitarian pastors are quite confident and relaxed that they’re doing a good job. But the “job” they’re doing depends on who they’re working for. Of course if they’re working for God, then their flocks are headed to eternal life. But if they’re working for the devil, then their flocks are bound for destruction so long as they keep them following their teaching. And since they’re teaching that God is a Trinity of Persons, man is an immortal spirit living in a body, and salvation is by believing, then it’s obvious who they must be working for. These highly intelligent men are embracing and advancing false views of the three primary and most important subjects. How can every one of them be wrong about what’s most crucial? Jesus Christ didn’t teach these things and if they won’t submit to what He taught, what other conclusion can be drawn about them?

One of the most accurate indicators of which “way” we’re going (to destruction or eternal life), is how we’re being treated by the devil’s ministers. Since the devil knows who is under his rule and who isn’t, his ministers conduct themselves differently toward both groups. Those under his rule are treated well in church to keep them going the wrong way while assuming they’re headed the right way. On the other hand, since those under the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ are seen as a threat, they’re dealt with in various ways including shunning, discouraging, intimidating, mocking, belittling, reprimanding, and employing an array of setups and stumbling blocks intended to make them fall or at least slow them down.

The devil’s ministers plot and scheme various traps for the godly to be entangled and snared thereby: “And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him” (1Sa 23:9); “The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth” (Psa 37:12); “They also that seek after my life lay snares for me” (Psa 38:12); “They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul” (Psa 56:6); “The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me” (Psa 140:5); “Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah” (Jer 18:18); “All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him” (Jer 20:10); “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom” (Dan 6:4); “Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk … But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?” (Mat 22:15, 18); “And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words … But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me?” (Mar 12:13, 15); “Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him” (Luk 11:54); “And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words … But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?” (Luk 20:20, 23); “But their laying await was known of Saul” (Act 9:24); “in perils among false brethren” (2Co 11:26); “by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14); “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in” (Gal 2:4); “For there are certain men crept in unawares” (Jde 1:4).

They set up stumbling blocks and snares to cause the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ fall into sin and fall away. And if they can’t get them out of the way entirely, they’ll at least work at slowing them down from effectively doing God’s work. They have an arsenal of tactics intended to distract them, discourage them, and discredit them.

However, the souls of those in church that simply flow with the system and don’t rock the boat are obviously in danger since they’re treated well by comparison. They’re recognized, encouraged, honored, esteemed, and placed in prominent positions. Sadly, it’s ominous evidence of the way they must be headed. As long as the devil’s system is flowing smoothly, his ministers are confident of the end result.

Conclusion

Our salvation isn’t just about faith or belief. It’s ultimately a spiritual battle that requires depending on God’s strength to overcome the evil spirits bent on destroying us. Jesus Himself exhorted all seven churches in the book of Revelation, “To him that overcometh,” “He that overcometh,” “Him that overcometh” (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21). It’s about staying faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ through the deceptions, temptations, and oppositions that come against us. It’s about being ruled by Him and not by “the god of this world” (2Co 4:4).

The devil doesn’t want us to know that. He wants us thinking that salvation is simply by believing some facts are true. But the main logical conclusion of a salvation that’s by “faith alone” is that ultimately we’re secure no matter what we do or don’t do—the very opposite of what Jesus taught, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock … And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand” (Mat 7:24, 26).

The devil doesn’t want us to know the depths of his involvement in our lives. He wants us thinking that we just make wrong choices and mistakes, and that we’re the victims of circumstance. He wants us thinking that the beliefs and teaching of his ministers is the fruit of their intelligence and academic achievement when it’s mainly out of their loyalty to him. After all, how can they be ministers of God while disagreeing with the teaching of the Son of God? If shown the truth that Jesus Christ taught, the fear of the Lord should compel them to change what they’re teaching. Otherwise, what other conclusion can be drawn? As long as the devil keeps us from serving the Lord Jesus Christ, he keeps us serving him. This is what the message of “faith alone” is intended to do. It’s meant to detour us from the message preached from the beginning—faithful service to the Lord Jesus Christ seated at the right hand of God. The true message that leads to eternal life is what was preached in the beginning by the Son of God and again when He came into this world.

10 Reasons the Doctrine of the Trinity is False

  1. Only God the Father and the Son of God know each other, and only the Son has seen the Father.
    • Only the Father and Son know each other: “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Mat 11:27); “Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also” (Jhn 8:19); “Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying” (Jhn 8:55); “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep” (Jhn 10:15); “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me” (Jhn 17:25).
    • Nobody but the Son has seen God the Father: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (Jhn 1:18); “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” (Jhn 5:37); “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father” (Jhn 6:46); “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see” (1Ti 6:16); “No man hath seen God at any time” (1Jo 4:12).
    • The Son called Himself “the Son of God” and the Father called Him “My Beloved Son.” The Son never called Himself “God” and the Father never called His Son “God.” Furthermore, the Son did call His Father “God” and even called Him “My God.” Finally, neither of them called the Holy Spirit [Breath] “God.” What the Father and Son said about each other is the final word. Who dare say otherwise?
  2. Jesus Christ taught that God is one Person.
    • Speaking to His Father, Jesus called Him the only true God, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jhn 17:3). He identified and categorized His Father as the only true God, and excluded Himself from the only true God.
    • Jesus affirmed what Moses wrote, “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord [kyrios] our God is one Lord [kyrios]” (Mar 12:29). The Greek kyrios appears about 750 times in the New Testament and is a lord, master, or ruler. Since “The Ruler” is “one Ruler,” therefore Jesus Himself attested that God is not three co-equal Rulers but one.
    • The Greek theos for “God” or “gods” is grammatically in the singular or plural form depending on the number of persons. One person requires theos to be singular while multiple persons requires it to be plural. This is simple grammar. And since Jesus always used theos in the singular when speaking about God, then God must be one Person. This is further bolstered by the fact that when He spoke about men as gods—more than one person as theos—He used the plural, “I said, Ye are gods [theos]? If he called them gods [theos]” (Jhn 10:34-35). Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul both used this word in plural and singular form even within the same statement, “I said, Ye are gods [theos]? If he called them gods [theos], unto whom the word of God [theos] came” (Jhn 10:34-35), “For though there be that are called gods [theos], whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods [theos] many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God [theos], the Father” (1Co 8:5-6). Paul also emphasized that the plural is “many” and the singular is “one.” Since both Jesus and Paul understood and used theos as either plural or singular based on the number of persons, then the singular Theos is one Person.
  3. Scripture is replete with statements identifying the Father as God with many of these same statements also distinguishing the Son in distinction from Him as the Lord Jesus Christ: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (Jhn 1:18); “but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (Jhn 5:18); “for him hath God the Father sealed” (Jhn 6:27); “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father” (Jhn 6:46); “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God” (Jhn 13:3); “For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God” (Jhn 16:27); “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” (Jhn 20:17); “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Act 2:33); “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:7); “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 15:6); “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (1Co 1:3); “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” (1Co 8:6); “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father” (1Co 15:24); “Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (1Co 1:2-3); “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not” (2Co 11:31); “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)” (Gal 1:1); “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Gal 1:3-4); “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:2-3); “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph 1:17); “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph 4:6); “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:20); “Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 6:23); “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phl 1:2); “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phl 2:11); “Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Phl 4:20); “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” (Col 1:2-3); “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col 3:17); “unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1Th 1:1); “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father” (1Th 1:3); “Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you” (1Th 3:11); “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1Th 3:13); “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2Th 1:1-2); “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace” (2Th 2:16); “Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1Ti 1:2); “Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (2Ti 1:2); “Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Tit 1:4); “Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phm 1:3); “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this” (Jas 1:27); “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God” (Jas 3:9); “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (1Pe 1:2); “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Pe 1:3); “For he received from God the Father honour and glory” (2Pe 1:17); “Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2Jo 1:3); “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called” (Jde 1:1); “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev 1:6).
  4. The throne of God is the Father’s while the Son is seated next to Him on His right hand. We’re never told that the Father is seated on the left hand of the Son and we’re never told of a third Person seated on the throne with them: “Sit thou at my right hand” (Psa 110:1); “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God” (Luk 22:69); “being by the right hand of God exalted” (Act 2:33); “who is even at the right hand of God” (Rom 8:34); “set him at his own right hand” (Eph 1:20); “Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col 3:1); “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3); “who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb 8:1); “sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb 10:12); “is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2); “is on the right hand of God” (1Pe 3:22); “am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev 3:21); “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev 22:3).
  5. The Father is Jesus Christ’s God.
    • Jesus Christ Himself called His Father “My God” twice before He died, once before He ascended to heaven, and four times after He had ascended to heaven: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mat 27:46; Mar 15:34); “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (Jhn 20:17); “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” (Rev 3:12).
    • The prophets and apostles wrote that the Father is the God of our Lord Jesus Christ: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? … O my God, I cry in the daytime … thou art my God from my mother’s belly” (Psa 22:1-2, 10); “I delight to do thy will, O my God” (Psa 40:8); “God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 15:6); “And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1Co 3:23); “the head of Christ is God” (1Co 11:3); “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Co 11:31); “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:3); “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory” (Eph 1:17); “God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Col 1:3); “therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Heb 1:9); “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Pe 1:3).
  6. The Father and Son aren’t co-equal. The Son derives His power and authority from the Father: “until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psa 110:1); “All things are delivered unto me of my Father” (Mat 11:27); “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Mat 28:18); “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God” (Luk 22:69); “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand” (Jhn 3:35); “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands” (Jhn 13:3); “for my Father is greater than I” (Jhn 14:28); “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted” (Act 2:33); “Him hath God exalted” (Act 5:31); “For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1Co 15:27-28); “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church” (Eph 1:22); “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (Phl 2:9); “he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Heb 1:4); “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet” (Heb 2:8); “angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (1Pe 3:22); “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Rev 5:12).
  7. The Trinitarian claim that Jesus was eternally begotten is an oxymoron. The normal and reasonable understanding of a father and son relationship is that a son begins existing at the time he is begotten or brought forth. The Son of God hasn’t always existed but had a beginning when He was begotten or brought forth by His Father before the creation of the universe: “When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth” (Pro 8:24-25); “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (Jhn 1:14); “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (Jhn 1:18); “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jhn 3:16); “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jhn 3:18); “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me” (Jhn 8:42); “For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” (Jhn 16:27-28); “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me” (Jhn 17:8); “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (1 John 4:19).
  8. The miraculous works Jesus Christ performed were not by any divine power He retained when He became fully human, but were by God the Father performing the works through Him.
    • Jesus Himself said that He couldn’t do the miraculous works but that His Father was doing them: “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God” (Mat 12:28); “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mar 13:32); “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (Jhn 5:19); “I can of mine own self do nothing” (Jhn 5:30); “the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (Jhn 14:10).
    • Jesus Christ performed miracles as the Prophet foretold by Moses, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet … I will raise them up a Prophet” (Deu 18:15, 18). God performed the miracles through Him as the Prophet: “This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee” (Mat 21:11); “That a great prophet is risen up among us” (Luk 7:16); “no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (Jhn 3:2); “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world” (Jhn 6:14); “When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? … Of a truth this is the Prophet” (Jhn 7:31, 40); “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know” (Act 2:22); “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Act 10:38).
  9. The Holy Spirit [Hagios Pneuma] is not a personal being but the Breath of God. The Greek pneuma should have been translated throughout the New Testament as “breath” not “spirit.”
    • The Greek pneuma is simply the noun form of the verb pneo which means “to blow” (Mat 7:25, 27; Luk 12:55; Jhn 3:8, 6:18; Act 27:40; Rev 7:1).
    • The Greek pneuma is where our English word “pneumonia” is derived which a respiratory infection in the air sacs of the lungs that causes difficulty in breathing and can be life-threatening. Another word is “pneumatics” which is the scientific study of compressed air, not of spirit beings!
    • Jesus Himself defined Hagios Pneuma as “breath” by literally breathing on His disciples, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [Hagios Pneuma]” (Jhn 20:22).
    • It’s the Breath of God the Father: “the Spirit [Breath] of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen 1:2); “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit [Breath] of your Father which speaketh in you” (Mat 10:20); “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit [Breath] to them that ask him?” (Luk 11:13); “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit [Breath] of truth, which proceedeth from the Father” (Jhn 15:26); “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit [Breath] of God dwell in you” (Rom 8:9); “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit [Breath] of God dwelleth in you?” (1Co 3:16).
    • It’s because Jesus Christ has been given full agency and proxy over God’s Breath that the presence of the Holy Breath in our hearts is the equivalency of Jesus Christ: “if so be that the Spirit [Breath] of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit [Breath] of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you” (Rom 8:9-10); “the Spirit [Breath] itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered … It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom 8:26, 34); “Now the Lord is that Spirit [Breath]: and where the Spirit [Breath] of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2Co 3:17); “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal 2:20); “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit [Breath] of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal 4:6); “to be strengthened with might by his Spirit [Breath] in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph 3:17); “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27).
    • Many years after His ascension and seating at the right hand of God, Jesus gave seven messages to seven churches in Asia. He declared “These things saith the Son of God” (Rev 2:18), and concluded each message with, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit [Breath] saith unto the churches” (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22). He called Himself “the Breath” not just once or twice but seven times!
  10. The doctrine of the Trinity is illogical: the one God consists of three co-equal Persons; Jesus is “God the Son” but also “the Son of God”; Jesus is both a 100% divine being and a 100% human being at the same time; Jesus was eternally begotten; although God can’t be tempted, Jesus is God and was tempted in all points; although God can’t die, Jesus is God and did die.

The Separated Breath

Introduction

Ask several Christians their view of the Holy Spirit and you’ll likely get an array of different answers. Most aren’t very confident in what they know and believe about this subject. Some say that it’s a force or a power while others maintain that it’s a personal being. The primary cause for the confusion is the Trinitarian teaching that the Holy Spirit is a person and the mistranslation of the Hebrew word ruwach and Greek word pneuma as “spirit” implying that it’s a person.

I was a Trinitarian the first 25 years of my Christian life, believing that the one God exists in three co-equal Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I didn’t reach this view of God through my own study of the Scriptures. Rather, it was imposed upon me by the teaching of my local church and theological books. Although it’s illogical that one God could exist as three Persons, I learned to just swallow that bitter pill and move on.

Eventually, I began studying the Scriptures concerning the Holy Spirit and concluded that it isn’t a person but God’s breath. The Hebrew “ruwach of God” in the Old Testament and Greek “pneuma of God” in the New Testament is the breath of God. It isn’t a personal being—a living, self-conscious, rational, and moral agent. It’s simply the breath of God or God’s breath from His mouth.

Concluding that the Holy Spirit isn’t a person is where my journey of learning the truth about God began. Once I came to that knowledge, then the entire doctrine of the Trinity was suspect. If Trinitarian teachers—scholars, theologians, and pastors—are wrong about one of the “persons” of the Trinity, then everything else they teach about God is on the table. In fact, everything else they teach about anything else is open for discussion. The doctrine of God is the most important subject of all. If highly intelligent and educated Trinitarian teachers are wrong about what’s most important, how can they be trusted to be right about anything else?

Introducing God’s breath

The first mention of God’s breath in the Scriptures is within the very first words, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit [ruwach] of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen 1:1-2). In its initial introduction through God’s revelation, the ruwach of God is identified as something belonging to Him as His possession. It’s “the breath of God” or His breath. In the beginning, there wasn’t a person flying over the water like superman! God was blowing from His mouth, His breath across the surface of the water.

The next occurrence of ruwach in Scripture, it’s the wind, “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool [ruwach] of the day” (Gen 3:8). Other Bible versions render it, “When the cool evening breezes were blowing” (NLT), “at the time of the evening breeze” (CSB), “at the breezy time of the day” (NET), “at the breeze of the day” (YLT). There’s no mistaking from the context that ruwach is simply air, wind, or breath.

The third time ruwach appears, God Himself is speaking about His breath, “And the LORD said, My spirit [ruwach] shall not always strive with man” (Gen 6:3). In its introduction it was “the breath of God” and now it’s Himself calling it “My breath.” Therefore, ruwach is of Himself, not an entirely separate being from Himself.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth occurrences of ruwach are about the breath of life from God in the nostrils of all living beings, “wherein is the breath [ruwach] of life” (Gen 6:17, 7:15), “All in whose nostrils was the breath [ruwach] of life” (Gen 7:22). This is referring back to the creation of man to life by God breathing into his nostrils, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath [neshamah] of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7). This is how God imparted life to man. We’re even told later in Scripture that the ruwach into man’s nostrils is simply God’s breath from His mouth, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath [ruwach] of his mouth” (Psa 33:6). It’s not a Person. It’s His breath from His mouth!

The ruwach and pneuma of God

In the Old Testament, the translators rendered ruwach as “breath,” “blast,” or “wind” when the immediate context forced it upon them: “And with the blast [ruwach] of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together” (Exo 15:8); “at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath [ruwach] of his nostrils” (2Sa 22:16); “By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath [ruwach] of his nostrils are they consumed” (Job 4:9); “by the breath [ruwach] of his mouth shall he go away” (Job 15:30); “all the host of them by the breath [ruwach] of his mouth” (Psa 33:6); “he causeth his wind [ruwach] to blow” (Psa 147:18); “with the breath [ruwach] of his lips shall he slay the wicked” (Isa 11:4). However, when various contexts allowed the translators a degree of freedom to render ruwach as “spirit” to imply a person, they always took that liberty. It’s simply translator bias—rendering statements to comport with their beliefs and what they wanted communicated.

In the New Testament, the Greek pneuma translated consistently as “spirit” is the noun form of the verb pneo which means “to blow.” The contexts of all seven occurrences of this word agree: “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew [pneo] … And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew [pneo]” (Mat 7:25, 27); “And when ye see the south wind blow [pneo]” (Luk 12:55); “The wind bloweth [pneo] where it listeth” (Jhn 3:8); “And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew [pneo]” (Jhn 6:18); “and hoised up the mainsail to the wind [pneo]” (Act 27:40); “that the wind should not blow [pneo] on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree” (Rev 7:1). There’s nothing inherent in the word pneuma that implies a conscious personal being. It’s simply breath or wind as its verb counterpart attests. Also, pneuma is neuter in gender, not masculine or feminine which would be required if referring to a person.

Furthermore, the Greek pneuma is where the English word “pneumonia”—a respiratory infection in the air sacs of the lungs that causes difficulty in breathing and can be life-threatening—is derived. Also, “pneumology” which is the medical study of the lungs and respiratory organs. And “pneumatics” which is a branch of engineering using systems of compressed air.

Lastly, Jesus Christ Himself is the highest authority with the final word and He defined pneuma as breath by literally blowing from His mouth onto His disciples, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [pneuma]” (Jhn 20:22). He also likened the new birth, “that which is born of the Spirit [pneuma] is spirit [pneuma]” (Jhn 3:6), to the wind blowing, “The wind [pneuma] bloweth [pneo] where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit [pneuma]” (Jhn 3:8). Jesus Christ Himself said that pneuma is like the wind blowing.

God’s Breath is our life

Man isn’t an autonomous immortal spirit being that can live outside the body. That’s simply Roman Catholic Church doctrine rooted in Greek philosophy and appropriated by the Protestant reformation. Man is simply a physical being formed from the earth and brought to life by God breathing into his nostrils, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed [naphach] into his nostrils the breath [neshamah] of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7).

The Hebrew verb naphach simply means “to breathe” or “to blow” as it’s used in all eleven of its other occurrences in Scripture: “a fire not blown [naphach] shall consume him” (Job 20:26); “I have caused to breathe out [naphach]” (Job 31:39 YLT); “Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething [naphach] pot or caldron” (Job 41:20); “Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth [naphach] the coals in the fire” (Isa 54:16); “I see a seething [naphach] pot” (Jer 1:13); “She hath breathed out [naphach] her spirit” (Jer 15:9 YLT); “to blow [naphach] the fire upon it … I will gather you, and blow [naphach] upon you in the fire of my wrath” (Eze 22:20-21); “O breath, and breathe [naphach] upon these slain, that they may live” (Eze 37:9); “I did blow [naphach] upon it” (Hag 1:9); “ye have snuffed [naphach] at it” (Mal 1:13).

The Hebrew noun neshamah in “the breath [neshamah] of life” is used synonymously with ruwach in several other places of Scripture: “All in whose nostrils was the breath [neshamah] [ruwach] of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Gen 7:22); “at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast [neshamah] of the breath [ruwach] of his nostrils” (2Sa 22:16); “By the blast [neshamah] of God they perish, and by the breath [ruwach] of his nostrils are they consumed” (Job 4:9); “All the while my breath [neshamah] is in me, and the spirit [ruwach] of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3); “But there is a spirit [ruwach] in man: and the inspiration [neshamah] of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 32:8); “The Spirit [ruwach] of God hath made me, and the breath [neshamah] of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4); “If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit [ruwach] and his breath [neshamah]” (Job 34:14); “O LORD, at the blast [neshamah] of the breath [ruwach] of thy nostrils” (Psa 18:15); “he that giveth breath [neshamah] unto the people upon it, and spirit [ruwach] to them that walk therein” (Isa 42:5); “for the spirit [ruwach] should fail before me, and the souls [neshamah] which I have made” (Isa 57:16).

Since man is from the earth and brought to life by God’s breath in his nostrils, then death is the departing of the breath and the returning of the body to the earth: “If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit [breath] and his breath; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust” (Job 34:14-15); “Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust” (Psa 104:29); “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish” (Psa 146:4); “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit [breath] shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecc 12:7).

Taking this further, since life and death consists of the imparting and departing of God’s breath in man’s nostrils, then resurrection from the dead to eternal life is consistent with this. God raises the dead by breathing life back into the body: “It is the spirit [breath] that quickeneth” (Jhn 6:63); “the Spirit [breath] of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2); “the Spirit [breath] of him that raised up Jesus from the dead” (Rom 8:11); “a quickening spirit [breath]” (1Co 15:45); “quickened by the Spirit [breath]” (1Pe 3:18); “the Spirit [breath] of life from God entered into them” (Rev 11:11).

The Son of God became fully human just as we are—a physical being with God’s breath in His nostrils. He isn’t a dual-being but a human being. The breath in His nostrils returned to God when He died, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit [pneuma]: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost [exhaled]” (Luk 23:46). And God’s breath returned to Him when He was raised, “the Spirit [breath] of him that raised up Jesus from the dead” (Rom 8:11), “quickened by the Spirit [breath]” (1Pe 3:18).

Our hope is eternal life

The hope of God’s people has always been bodily resurrection to eternal life: “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD” (Lev 18:5); “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:26); “my flesh also shall rest in hope” (Psa 16:9); “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psa 17:15); “The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death” (Pro 14:32); “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” (Isa 26:19); “And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them” (Eze 20:11); “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2); “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith” (Hab 2:4); “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (Jhn 5:29); “of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question” (Act 23:6); “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Act 24:15); “the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers” (Act 26:6); “for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain” (Act 28:20); “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:17); “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1Co 15:21-22); “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phl 3:21);  “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (1Th 4:13); “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Tit 1:2); “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Tit 3:7); “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power” (Rev 20:6).

The consequences of God’s breath as a person

God’s breath as a person isn’t the truth and isn’t reality. By making His breath into something it’s not, it encroaches upon His glory—that His breath is not only a person but even a person that is co-equal with Himself! Trinitarianism is somewhat analogous to the people of the United States affirming that the President’s son is co-equal with him and even the President’s breath from his mouth and nose is another person that’s also co-equal with him.

The primary ramification of misrepresenting God’s breath as a person is that it not only allows but also requires a different message of salvation. Because if ruwach and pneuma isn’t God’s breath, then it isn’t God’s breath in our nostrils that makes us alive—we’re inherently immortal spirit beings living inside a body. And if we’re inherently immortal spirit beings, then death isn’t the cessation of life and perishing isn’t annihilation. And if we’re inherently immortal spirit beings, then eternal life isn’t resurrection by God’s breath in our nostrils to never die again but an internal change of the immortal spirit being from spiritual death to spiritual life. Therefore, Christianity isn’t a life of faithful service to the Lord Jesus Christ in hope of eternal life at His return but a one-time faith confession to go to heaven after death. The consequence of a wrong view of God and a wrong view of man is a wrong message of salvation which is no salvation.

The Greater Light ruling the Day

A favorite saying of many is, “If it’s new, it’s not true!” Well, it doesn’t get any older than “In the beginning”! The gospel message of salvation was shown in a mystery from the very beginning to leave us without excuse.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided [badal] the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. (Genesis 1:1-5)

The Hebrew verb badal means “to divide,” “to separate,” or “to sever.” These very first words of God in the beginning were figurative and prophetic of what He would later perform by dividing, separating, or severing His people from all other people, “I am the LORD your God, which have separated [badal] you from other people … have severed [badal] you from other people, that ye should be mine” (Lev 20:24, 26). God’s people are light which He called “Day,” and all other people are darkness which He called “Night.” Then God proceeded to distinguish them both by a ruler over them.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide [badal] the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide [badal] the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:14-18)

This is what Paul meant by “in heavenly” at the beginning of Ephesians: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [epouranios] places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Eph 1:3-4). God’s chosen people were shown by the Greater Light in heaven ruling over them while all other people are ruled by the lesser light, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [epouranios] places” (Eph 6:12), “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Eph 5:8).

The Greater Light shown in the beginning is now sitting at the right hand of God, greater and far above all principalities and powers, “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly [epouranios] places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Eph 1:20-21). Paul earnestly wanted us to understand these things, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (Eph 1:18), but those ruled by the lesser light don’t want these things to be understood.

God’s people are saved by God’s favor, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace [favor] ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly [epouranios] places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:5-6). God divided His people from all other people, and extends favor to them by His Son Jesus Christ advocating for them at His right hand. Christ’s advocacy as our Mediator and Interceder is as if we’re sitting there ourselves! But the Greater Light only advocates for us when we’re being ruled by Him—we must obey His commandments.

John chapters 14-16 is Jesus Christ speaking figuratively of Himself in His future role as our Advocate at God’s right hand over all principality and power, “Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more” (Jhn 16:10). Yet it’s being taught that this is an entirely different Person than Jesus Christ—another Person that doesn’t even exist! Is this just an honest mistake? Well, it doesn’t agree with the message from the beginning. If it’s new, it’s not true!

The separated people of God

The Hebrew adjective qadowsh translated primarily as “holy” or sometimes as “saint” in the Old Testament means “separated,” “divided,” or “set apart.” God chose His people Israel and separated them from all other people: “For thou art an holy [qadowsh] people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deu 7:6); “For thou art an holy [qadowsh] people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth” (Deu 14:2); “Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy [qadowsh] people unto the LORD thy God” (Deu 14:21); “And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy [qadowsh] people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken” (Deu 26:19); “The LORD shall establish thee an holy [qadowsh] people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways” (Deu 28:9).

Throughout the New Testament, the Greek adjective hagios is translated as either “holy” or “saints” but means “separated” or “set apart.” The Hebrew qadowsh for “holy” is simply the adjective form of the verb qadash for “sanctify,” “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify [qadash] yourselves, and ye shall be holy [qadowsh]; for I am holy [qadowsh]” (Lev 11:44). God’s people were to be divided and separated from the sinful people around them because God is separate—He was not their God and He was not among them. Peter quoted this statement with its Greek counterpart hagios, “But as he which hath called you is holy [hagios], so be ye holy [hagios] in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy [hagios]; for I am holy [hagios]” (1Pe 1:15-16).

When used for God’s people in the New Testament, the translators rendered the adjective hagios as “saints” rather than “separated” which obscures the identity of the subjects. The “saints” are simply God’s people, separated or set apart from all other people in the world: “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints [hagios] which slept arose” (Mat 27:52); “thy saints [hagios] at Jerusalem” (Act 9:13); “the saints [hagios] which dwelt at Lydda” (Act 9:32); “Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints [hagios] did I shut up in prison” (Act 26:10); “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints [hagios]” (Rom 1:7); “Distributing to the necessity of saints [hagios]” (Rom 12:13); “But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints [hagios]” (Rom 15:25); “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints [hagios]” (1Co 1:2); “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints [hagios]” (1Co 14:33); “Now concerning the collection for the saints [hagios]” (1Co 16:1); “unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints [hagios] which are in all Achaia” (2Co 1:1); “and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints [hagios]” (2Co 8:4); “For as touching the ministering to the saints [hagios], it is superfluous for me to write to you” (2Co 9:1); “All the saints [hagios] salute you” (2Co 13:13); “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints [hagios] which are at Ephesus” (Eph 1:1); “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints [hagios], and of the household of God” (Eph 2:19); “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints [hagios]” (Eph 5:3); “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints [hagios] in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi” (Phl 1:1); “All the saints [hagios] salute you” (Phl 4:22); “To the saints [hagios] and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse” (Col 1:2); “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints [hagios] in light” (Col 1:12); “Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints [hagios]” (Phm 1:5); “in that ye have ministered to the saints [hagios], and do minister” (Heb 6:10); “Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints [hagios]” (Heb 13:24); “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints [hagios]” (Jde 1:3); “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints [hagios], and to overcome them” (Rev 13:7); “For they have shed the blood of saints [hagios] and prophets” (Rev 16:6).

Since hagios means “separated,” then hagios pneuma translated consistently as “Holy Spirit” should be “separated breath.” It’s not a holy spirit being or a reverent person. It’s God’s breath in the hearts of His people that separates or sets them apart from all other people.

The people of God have God’s breath dwelling in their hearts: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit [breath], if so be that the Spirit [breath] of God dwell in you” (Rom 8:9); “But if the Spirit [breath] of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit [breath] that dwelleth in you” (Rom 8:11); “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit [breath] of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15); “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [breath] which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1Co 6:19); “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit [breath] in our hearts” (2Co 1:22); “God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit [breath]” (2Co 5:5); “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit [breath] of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal 4:6); “ye were sealed with that holy Spirit [breath] of promise” (Eph 1:13); “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit [breath]” (Eph 2:22); “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost [breath] which dwelleth in us” (2Ti 1:14); “And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit [breath] which he hath given us” (1Jo 3:24).

Jude urged God’s people in his days to “earnestly contend for the faith [faithfulness] which was once delivered unto the saints [separated]” (Jde 1:3). They were to continue being faithful to God and distinct from all other people “having not the Spirit [breath]” (Jde 1:19). They were separated unto faithfulness by God’s breath, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy [separated] faith [faithfulness], praying in the Holy Ghost [separated breath]” (Jde 1:20).

The anointed one

Israel’s political structure became a Monarchy at the time that Samuel anointed Saul as their first King or Messiah by pouring oil upon his head, “Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed [mashach] thee to be captain over his inheritance?” (1Sa 10:1). Saul’s anointing was also the point when the breath of God came upon him, “And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit [ruwach] of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them” (1Sa 10:10). Saul was later rejected as King and David was anointed in his place with the breath of the Lord coming upon him, “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed [mashach] him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit [ruwach] of the LORD came upon David from that day forward” (1Sa 16:13).

The Hebrew word mashach is the verb form of the noun mashiyach which is transliterated into English as messiah. Messiah is the man that was anointed as king as David was called, “Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed [mashiyach], to David, and to his seed for evermore” (Psa 18:50), “For thy servant David’s sake turn not away the face of thine anointed [mashiyach]” (Psa 132:10)

Both the verb and noun forms were used by Daniel when prophesying of Jesus the Messiah:

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint [mashach] the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah [mashiyach] the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah [mashiyach] be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (Daniel 9:24-26)

The Son of God was anointed by God as the King or Messiah at His baptism when the breath of God came upon Him: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit [pneuma] of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mat 3:16-17); “And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit [pneuma] like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mar 1:10-11); Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost [pneuma] descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luk 3:21-22).

Isaiah had prophesied that the breath of God would be upon Him: “And the spirit [ruwach] of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” (Isa 11:2); “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit [ruwach] upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles” (Isa 42:1); “The Spirit [ruwach] of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed [mashach] me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isa 61:1).

The Spirit [pneuma] of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed [chrio] me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luk 4:18), “How God anointed [chrio] Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost [pneuma] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Act 10:38).

Jesus Christ is our Advocate at the Father’s right hand

The Father has given all things to His Son: “All things are delivered unto me of my Father” (Mat 11:27), “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Mat 28:18); “All things are delivered to me of my Father” (Luk 10:22); “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand” (Jhn 3:35); “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (Jhn 5:22); “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands” (Jhn 13:3); “As thou hast given him power over all flesh” (Jhn 17:2); “For he hath put all things under his feet” (1Co 15:27); “And hath put all things under his feet” (Eph 1:22); “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Phl 2:10); “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet” (Heb 2:8); “angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (1Pe 3:22).

Since all things have been given to the Son, the Son has been given full agency and proxy over God the Father’s breath. The Father will breathe life into whoever the Son confesses before Him: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Mat 10:32); “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jhn 14:6); “I will confess his name before my Father” (Rev 3:5). Therefore, the Son makes the final decision of who will be raised to eternal life.

It’s because Jesus Christ has full agency and proxy over God’s breath that it’s His prerogative for God’s Breath to dwell in our hearts. Therefore, the presence of God’s Breath in our hearts is the equivalency of Jesus Christ Himself: “Now if any man have not the Spirit [breath] of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you” (Rom 8:9-10); “the Spirit [breath] itself maketh intercession for us … It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom 8:26, 34); “Now the Lord is that Spirit [breath]: and where the Spirit [breath] of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2Co 3:17); “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal 2:20); “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit [breath] of his Son into your hearts” (Gal 4:6); “to be strengthened with might by his Spirit [breath] in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph 3:17); “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27).

An advocate is one that intercedes and pleads on behalf of another. Jesus Christ is our Advocate, Interceder, or Mediator at the right hand of the Father: “Sit thou at my right hand” (Psa 110:1); “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God” (Luk 22:69); “being by the right hand of God exalted” (Act 2:33); “the Spirit [breath] itself maketh intercession for us … who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom 8:26, 34); “set him at his own right hand” (Eph 1:20); “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1Ti 2:5); “Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col 3:1); “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3); “he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:25); “who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb 8:1); “he is the mediator of a better covenant” (Heb 8:6); “he is the mediator of the new testament” (Heb 9:15); “sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb 10:12); “is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2); “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant” (Heb 12:24); “is on the right hand of God” (1Pe 3:22); “am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev 3:21); “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev 22:3).

Prior to His death, Jesus spoke of His advocacy at the Father’s right hand, but figuratively of Himself as the breath: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate [parakletos] to help you and be with you forever … But the Advocate [parakletos], the Holy Spirit [breath], whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (Jhn 14:16, 26 NIV); “When the Advocate [parakletos] comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit [breath] of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me” (Jhn 15:26 NIV); “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate [parakletos] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (Jhn 16:7 NIV); “Though I have been speaking figuratively” (Jhn 16:25 NIV). That He was speaking of Himself as our Advocate before the Father, “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jhn 14:6), “Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more” (Jhn 16:10), Paul and John would later write, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit [breath] unto the Father” (Eph 2:18), “And if any man sin, we have an advocate [parakletos] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1Jo 2:1).

After His seating at the right hand of God, Jesus gave seven messages to seven churches concluding each message with, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit [breath] saith unto the churches” (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22). He was calling Himself “the breath.” Of course He was speaking metaphorically because He also called Himself the Son of God literally, “These things saith the Son of God” (Rev 2:18). His agency over the Father’s breath is likened to Him having “the keys of hell [the grave] and of death” (Rev 1:18). Therefore, His salutation at the end of each letter, “hear what the breath saith unto the churches,” was as if to say, “Hear what I’m telling you to do because I’m the one that makes the final decision whether or not the Father will raise you to eternal life by His breath!”

Conclusion

The very first words in Scripture attest to God’s breath, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit [ruwach] of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen 1:1-2). And Scripture is consistent in teaching this view throughout. The only passage where a “person” can be construed is John chapters 14, 15 and 16 where Jesus spoke figuratively of Himself as God’s breath. However, He later defined it literally by blowing from His mouth onto His disciples, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [pneuma]” (Jhn 20:22).

God’s breath gave us life and will give us eternal life. Man isn’t an autonomous immortal spirit being that can live outside the body. He’s simply a physical being formed from the earth and brought to life by God breathing into his nostrils, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed [naphach] into his nostrils the breath [neshamah] of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7). And God raises the dead by breathing life back into the body: “It is the spirit [breath] that quickeneth” (Jhn 6:63); “the Spirit [breath] of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2); “the Spirit [breath] of him that raised up Jesus from the dead” (Rom 8:11); “a quickening spirit [breath]” (1Co 15:45); “quickened by the Spirit [breath]” (1Pe 3:18); “the Spirit [breath] of life from God entered into them” (Rev 11:11).

The consequence of teaching that God’s breath is a person is that it compels a false view of man and the message of man’s salvation. Because if ruwach and pneuma isn’t God’s breath, then man isn’t alive by God’s breath in his nostrils but is an inherently immortal spirit being living inside a body. Therefore, death isn’t the cessation of life and perishing isn’t annihilation. And eternal life isn’t resurrection by God’s breath in the nostrils to never die again but an internal change of the immortal spirit being from spiritual death to spiritual life. It becomes something we already have now rather than what we’re hoping for at the return of the Lord. The message from the beginning is that God would have a people to Himself, separated from all other people by His breath in their hearts and submission to the Lordship of His Son. The hagios pneuma isn’t “Holy Spirit” but “separated breath.” It’s not a holy or reverent person. It’s God’s breath in the hearts of His people that separates or sets them apart from all other people.

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Introduction

Why do many ministers discourage us from trying to understand the Bible ourselves? Why do they warn us that we’ll fall into error unless we learn from them and their system of theology? Could it be that the opposite is the case? Could it be that they’re knowingly teaching us error and don’t want us to find the truth by studying on our own?

It was a long and difficult process over the span of 30 years for me to come to the realization about the utter depth and expanse of deception being swayed over people by many and possibly even all Protestant Trinitarian churches today. Why won’t the leaders of these churches agree with what Jesus Christ taught about God and about Himself? How can they disagree with Him yet still be walking with Him, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amo 3:3)? It’s one thing to be ignorant of what Christ taught but quite another to know His teaching but willingly teach something different.

The two litmus tests

Jesus told us two main ways to identify false ministers and false Christians, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Mat 12:30). Whoever is not in agreement with Jesus is against Him, and whoever is not working with Him is working against Him. Now, someone can be sincerely ignorant or confused about what Jesus Christ taught and not be overtly disagreeing with Him. God’s mercy and forgiveness is there when we come to the knowledge of the truth and repent, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luk 23:34). However, those that know and understand what Jesus Christ taught but teach something different are against Him and are working against Him.

Jesus Christ’s teaching about God and about Himself is very clear and straightforward. The Son called Himself “the Son of God” and the Father called Him “My Beloved Son.” The Son never called Himself “God” and the Father never called His Son “God.” Furthermore, the Son did call His Father “God” and even called Him “My God.” And neither of them called the Holy Spirit “God.” The Father and the Son aren’t co-equal because the Son said that His Father “doeth the works” (Jhn 14:10), “is greater than I” (Jhn 14:28), “the only true God” (Jhn 17:3), and that His Father is “My God” (Mat 27:46; Jhn 20:17; Rev 3:12). To be with Him, we must be in agreement with what He taught, otherwise we’re against Him.

Jesus told us to keep His commandments and to teach others His commandments to keep: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 5:19); “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Mat 28:20); “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jhn 14:15); “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (Jhn 14:21); “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (Jhn 15:14); “For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus” (1Th 4:2); “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1Jo 2:3); “Blessed are they that do his commandments” (Rev 22:14). To be working with Him for the good of His Kingdom, we must obey His commandments and teach others His commandments.

There are two reliable litmus tests that expose whether someone is with Christ or against Him: (1) Do they agree with His teaching about God and about Himself? (2) Do they teach His commandments to others? Ministers in particular that have been clearly shown the simple and straightforward teaching of Christ about God and about Himself yet stubbornly refuse to submit to Him aren’t with Him—they’re not ministers of God. And when they teach people anything except Christ’s commandments, particularly the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew chapters 5-7, they bear the fruit of wolves.

We’ll know them by their fruit

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)

Jesus said that their fruit is how we’ll know them—the only way we’ll know them. We might have known for years and even decades dear Christian ministers and fellow laborers that seemed the model and example of loving, serving, and teaching others. They poured their hearts out in tears and nurtured people almost as if their own children. They’re warm, kind-hearted, loving, and sacrificing. Yet they won’t agree with the clear teaching of Jesus Christ about God and about Himself, and they don’t teach others Christ’s commandments to help them walk in obedience. They’re not with Him and they’re not working with Him. Wolves in sheep’s clothing are extremely good at what they do! Let’s not be naïve in supposing we can spot them—because we can’t. As Jesus said, they can only be known by their fruit.

Jesus told the religious leaders that the words they speak betrays them, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Mat 12:33-34). Those that are evil cannot speak in agreement with the good things Jesus spoke, and they cannot teach others the commandments He taught. They won’t teach others to obey and submit to Him because they’re working against Him. Wolves don’t teach the flock His commandments because they’re purposely leading them down the broad road of destruction.

Jesus told us to not only hear but also do His commandments, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock … And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand” (Mat 7:24, 26). However, wolves want the sheep to only hear yet think they’re on the narrow road that leads to life. They want them hearing sermons, listening to podcasts, memorizing Bible verses, sticking to a daily Bible reading plan, meeting in small group Bible studies, reading Christian books, and on and on it goes. They love to quote, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17), because they want them hearing, and hearing, and hearing but not doing.

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2Co 11:14-15). They appear to be ministering righteousness—helping people to be right with God. But they’re not. They’re extremely subtle, cunning, and deceitful.

Which side of the truth are we on?

“Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (Jhn 18:37), “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (Jhn 18:37 NIV). When the truth comes to our knowledge and understanding, we’re forced to take sides. Those that choose the side of the truth listen to Jesus while those against the truth won’t listen to Him.

When we’re on the side of the truth, we’ll have adversaries on the other side, “And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.” (Phl 1:28-30). The opposite sides of the truth are evidence of salvation and destruction. Having adversaries helps assure us that we’re on the right side of the truth, the side of salvation.

Suffering for His sake comes with the territory—it comes with being on the side of the truth, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Mat 5:11). To affirm and stand for the truth that Jesus Christ taught and suffer the consequences is to suffer for His sake and His glory. When we stand for the truth Jesus taught, His adversaries become ours and God will bless us for it.

When Paul said, “Having the same conflict which ye saw in me,” he certainly didn’t mean that we’ll necessarily be beaten, flogged, stoned, and shipwrecked like he was. He meant that we’ll also experience the same conflict over the truth. We’ll have adversaries using the same kinds of tactics against us that they used against him. The particular conflict the Philippians saw Paul and Silas have is that they were falsely accused before multitudes of people which led to their punishment, “And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.” (Act 16:20-22). The people were told false things about them to stir up animosity, retaliation, and unjust punishment, “But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans” (Act 16:37).

This same conflict had happened to Paul earlier in other regions, “But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren” (Act 14:2), “And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead” (Act 14:19). And this same conflict happened later in other regions, “Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.” (Act 17:7-8), “But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people” (Act 17:13).

When we’re on the side of the truth, we’ll experience the same conflict as Paul. We’ll have adversaries in positions of authority that will stir up people against us. We won’t always know what people are being told about us or why they have suddenly turned against us.

When we’re reproached for Christ’s name and His sake, it’s evidence that God’s breath is in us but not in them, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified” (1Pe 4:14). These two “parts” or two sides of the truth reveal who belongs to God and who doesn’t.

Conclusion

“For I am not ashamed [epaischynomai] of the gospel of Christ” (Rom 1:16). Paul was not ashamed of the gospel Christ preached. He was not ashamed of Him and His words, “For whosoever shall be ashamed [epaischynomai] of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luk 9:26). Those that teach a different view of God than what Jesus Christ Himself taught should be suspect. If they’re sincerely ignorant by way of having been taught that view by men in seminary, then God will be merciful to them when they come to the knowledge of the truth and repent. However, when they’ve been shown the truth but refuse to change their teaching, they’re bearing the fruit of a wolf. They’re exhibiting the evidence of being ashamed of Him and of His words. Sanctification means “separated” or “set apart,” “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed [epaischynomai] to call them brethren” (Heb 2:11). Jesus separated His disciples from the rest of the world by the truth He taught them, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (Jhn 17:17). And He that separated them along with them that were separated by Him are “all of one,” they’re in unity and agreement about the truth. For that cause, for the cause of the truth, He’s not ashamed to call them His brethren, “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” (Jhn 20:17). And He’s not ashamed to call us His brethren when we’re not ashamed to call His Father our Father, and His God our God!

Reformation or Rebranding?

Introduction

Paul’s last words about the time that would come have indeed developed into the condition of the church today, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables [mythos]” (2Ti 4:3-4). The Greek noun mythos is where our English word “myths” is derived. The teaching of Protestant churches that God is a Trinity of Persons, man is an eternal spirit being, and salvation is by faith are myths. But because these beliefs have been taught consistently for hundreds of years, people have become acclimated and settled with them and now turn their ears away from hearing the truth.

This current plight is no accident. The devil is deceiving, confusing, and distracting with false doctrines to keep people from the truth so that they will perish. The Protestant Reformation wasn’t an initiative to return to the beliefs of the early church as it was acclaimed. It was a calculated and formulated deception by the enemy to infiltrate myths to the multitudes in a façade of the truth.

The Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation was an apparent split from the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) about 500 years ago and is hailed as the point where Christians finally returned to “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jde 1:3). However, it wasn’t so much a reforming as it was a rebranding. A reform is an improvement upon what is wrong to something better which would have been the case if it was a matter of getting a wrong gospel message right. But the errors of the RCC were far deeper and more pervasive—it had a wrong view of God, a wrong view of man, and a wrong gospel message. But rather than discarding the entire mess and truly reforming, the Reformation kept the same wrong view of God and man, then simply formulated another wrong gospel message out of it. Protestant churches today are essentially the RCC rebranded under a new name and image with a new message. It’s the same “product” but in new packaging—a subtle and devious marketing strategy.

Similarly, as the Protestant Reformation wasn’t a reformation, it also wasn’t a protest—it was by the agency and design of the RCC. Its own Martin Luther appeared to lead a dissent from the mother church after having come to the “enlightenment” that justification is by faith. The true intent of this event, however, was that in the course of diverting everyone’s attention to the noble endeavor of getting the gospel message right, it was covertly reinforcing the Trinitarian view of God as right! In other words, it was a deflection from the underlying issue while buttressing it in the process. Though both sides have been hotly debating for hundreds of years whether salvation is by faith plus works or by faith alone, hardly a peep has been chirped about the correct view of God. This was never in question. Fighting passionately against the things that were wrong left the false and fatal impression that everything else was substantially right.

Making all of this the more disheartening and discouraging is the fact that both sides of the “faith” debate are also wrong! Protestant churches contending “faith alone” and the RCC defending “faith plus works” has been two false gospel messages duking it out and accumulating myriads of converts to boot. The entire ordeal has proven to be a sinister and successful campaign by the enemy to destroy us.

The mother of harlots

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (Revelation 17:3-6)

Many have recognized and maintain that this woman is the RCC. She is decked in the pomp and pageantry of her popes and cardinals attired in purple and scarlet, gold and precious stones. She established the doctrine of the Trinity by anathematizing and putting to death those that stood for the truth taught by Jesus Christ. And she is “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS” by virtue of having given birth to thousands of Protestant Trinitarian churches all over the world committing fornication with a Trinity of Persons rather than knowing “the only true God” (Jhn 17:3) the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ.

The seven heads of the beast carrying the woman could possibly be the seven largest Trinitarian organizations: the RCC, Reformed, Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, and Baptist. We were told earlier, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” (Rev 13:1). If this is the true identity of the seven heads, then “the name of blasphemy” on the heads is the name “Trinity.”

In the end times, however, God’s people will come out from this woman, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev 18:4). Within the RCC and Protestant churches are many of God’s people that embrace the Trinitarian view of God in sincere ignorance—only because it was taught to them. But the day will come when they’ll no longer be ignorant of the truth and will be given a final opportunity to depart.

Now the Spirit [Breath] speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

Paul described the coming RCC quite descriptively. They forbid their priests from marrying and require abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays during Lent. And this is what the Breath spoke expressly or specifically would happen in the latter times.

Jesus Christ was sent by God and He taught that He is the Son of God and that His Father is God and even His God. The doctrine of a Triune God didn’t come from Him! Then where did it come from? What’s its source? Paul said that doctrines of devils come from those forbidding marriage and requiring abstinence from meat, and the doctrine of the Trinity came from the very organization that fits this description.

Vain babblings

The Protestant Reformation wasn’t about standing for the true gospel message, but about furthering the spread of the false Trinitarian view of God through another means. People seeking the narrow road that leads to life now had an option other than the RCC. And although this other option might have seemed more appealing, it’s still not the narrow road.

The subtlety behind the Reformation is that it continued the spread of the RCC false view of God and man primarily through diversion tactics. Its first and main diversion was that salvation isn’t by “faith plus works” as taught by the RCC but by “faith alone” or the Latin sola fide. But Martin Luther was wrong in this understanding of “The just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:17) because Habakkuk wasn’t talking about faith but faithfulness, “because of his faithfulness” (Hab 2:4 NET) “by his faithfulness” (Hab 2:4 NIV). Paul even clarified this later in Romans, “This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness” (Rom 3:26 NET). The just live—have eternal life—by Jesus Christ’s faithfulness to His Father sending Him as the sacrifice for our sins.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith [faithfulness] which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed [trusted] not. (Jde 1:3-5)

Trinitarian theologians claim that “the faith [faithfulness] which was once delivered unto the saints” is a body of doctrinal beliefs that was delivered to the early church by the apostles. And this body of beliefs, of course, is their system of theology that they teach today! But Jude wasn’t talking about a belief system but the faithfulness God delivered to His people at the time of the Exodus, “the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt.” God disciplined them to be faithful to Him and trusting in Him—the same way we’re saved today! Jesus Christ taught us to be faithful servants to Him as Lord: “No man can serve two masters” (Mat 6:24); “Who then is a faithful and wise servant” (Mat 24:45); “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Mat 25:21); “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luk 6:46).

The Protestant doctrine of justification by “faith alone” is just as false and damning as the RCC doctrine of “faith plus works.” It only sounds more appealing because it supposedly glorifies the finished work of Christ on the cross by excluding any of our own works. But this isn’t what it does. It’s just another false gospel message founded upon the RCC false view of God and intended to keep people from the truth.

By inventing the artificial issue of “faith alone” versus “faith plus works” and making such a racket about it, it underhandedly sold the bill of goods that the RCC had the correct view of God since that issue wasn’t even questioned. Paul warned Timothy several times about those spreading vain babblings or words to no profit: “From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling” (1Ti 1:5-6); “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1Ti 6:20); “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers” (2Ti 2:14); “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2Ti 2:16).

The devil is a master distractor. Sola Fide, Calvinism, the rapture, Once Saved Always Saved, speaking with tongues and many other popular mainstream doctrines are simply smokescreens intended to confuse and deceive, waste precious time and resources, and divert people’s attention away from the real issues of the false Trinitarian view of God and the false view of man as an eternal spirit being. Much of what’s being taught in Protestant Trinitarian churches today is simply vain babblings intended to distract and divert people away from the narrow road that leads to eternal life so that they will perish. These churches are not trying to help us get saved.

Calvinism has proven to be a huge distraction that has wasted unfathomable amounts of time and resources over hundreds of years. It’s simply a cloak to divert people’s attention away from the true gospel message hidden in a mystery from the beginning, “in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3), “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven … the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night” (Gen 1:17-16). Trinitarian theologians don’t want us to learn the truth hidden from the beginning, that becoming God’s child is by being joined to His chosen people in Christ Jesus, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph 1:4-5), “Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” (Deu 14:1-2).

The entire Calvinist and Arminian debate about whether “chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” (Eph 1:4) means God chooses which individuals will be saved, is simply a grand diversion to keep people from learning the truth that it’s about God’s chosen people. They don’t want people to learn that we’re saved by being joined to God’s people and faithfully serving their Lord and Messiah.

It’s an utter shock to come to the realization that Calvinists and Arminians are on the same side! They’re not trying to find the truth but fight the truth. They’re working together to keep people distracted from finding the truth themselves. In the process of endless debates endeavoring to debunk each other, they’re deliberately robbing our precious time from learning what Paul so earnestly wanted us to understand, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (Eph 1:18). The entire Calvinism and Arminianism debate is a sinister ruse to keep us blinded from the truth. It’s a deluge of questions, debates, and controversies along with disputes about the meaning of words, “doting about questions and strifes of words” (1Ti 6:4). Does God choose who will be saved? Do we have a free will? What’s the meaning of foreknowledge, predestination, and election? Are you supralapsarian or infralapsarian? It’s wasting people’s time and damning them in the process.

Another shrewd distraction from the truth is the doctrine of the rapture. The intent is to detour people’s hope away from the Lord’s return and the resurrection by inventing an independent rapture event. Rather than the living being caught up with the dead at the Lord’s return, it’s now about looking to escape the Tribulation period by a rapture up to heaven. It’s just a digression from our true hope to a false one.

Probably the most nefarious divergence of all is the detouring of honest seekers away from striving to keep the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus told us to teach new converts obedience to everything He commanded, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Mat 28:19-20). But this isn’t what’s happening today in Protestant churches.

As an unscrupulous substitute, Protestant leaders devised “discipleship” programs where new converts are taught to memorize Bible verses on index cards, stick to a daily Bible reading plan, and participate in small group Bible discussions, but to get their understanding of the Bible from their sermons, books, and commentaries. This isn’t simply an oversight or misunderstanding about what Jesus told us to do. Theologians and scholars are highly intelligent men with no problem understanding His simple statement. Rather, it’s a deliberate and intentional misleading of honest seekers to the path of destruction. By diverting them to a lifestyle of such religious practices, they’re effectively keeping them from a life of faithful obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord. They’re preventing their salvation.

Jesus taught that we’re to not only hear but also do the commandments He delivered in His Sermon on the Mount, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock … And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand” (Mat 7:24, 26). He said that if we’re not doing His commandments, He will banish us from His presence and we’ll perish, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Mat 7:23).

Conclusion

Protestant churches are steeped in myths about God, man, and salvation purposely intended to keep its members deceived, confused, and diverted away from the truth taught by Jesus Christ. The pastors of these churches teach and preach anything other than what will get people on the narrow road that leads to life, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Mat 7:14). They’ll teach topically, they’ll teach verse-by-verse, they’ll teach on marriage and family, they’ll teach apologetics, they’ll teach theology, they’ll teach against sin, they’ll teach on faith, they’ll even teach through the entire Bible, but they won’t teach the commandments of Jesus Christ and they won’t agree with what He declared about God and about Himself. Jesus said, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” (Mat 5:37). If someone doesn’t answer a simple Yes/No question—also called a polar question—with a simple “Yes” or “No” answer, then evil is involved in their motives. If you feel so inclined, just ask your Trinitarian pastor this simple polar question, “Is God the Father, Jesus Christ’s God?” If he answers “Yes,” then he isn’t a Trinitarian. If he answers “No,” then he’s disagreeing with Jesus because He called His Father “My God” before His death (Mat 27:46), after His resurrection (Jhn 20:17), and after His ascension to His Father’s right hand (Rev 3:12). If he answers something other than “Yes” or “No,” then according to Jesus, there’s evil in his motives. Not answering “Yes” or “No” to a polar question is dodging the question as to not be identified with one side or the other. But why wouldn’t a pastor want to be identified with Jesus Christ?

The Truth is in Jesus

Introduction

The Protestant Reformation was a split from the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) about 500 years ago. However, it wasn’t a complete break because it kept the RCC’s views of God and man—that God is a Trinity of co-equal Persons, and that man is an eternal spirit (non-physical) being living inside a physical body that leaves the body at death and goes to live forever either in heaven or hell. Assuming these to be the true views of God and man, the reformers proceeded to develop out of them the systems of theology that have become the foundation of Protestant Christian churches today. They claim that their systematic theology is “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jde 1:3), but it’s simply a revamp of what was developed and delivered by the RCC.

The apostle Paul likened individual Christians to stones in God’s temple that are built upon the established foundation, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:20-21), with the main stone in the foundation being Jesus Christ Himself. And Paul said the same to the Corinthians, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ … Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1Co 3:11, 16).

The Old Testament written by the prophets and the New Testament written by the apostles is our foundation with “Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” The Scriptures can only be properly understood by starting with what Jesus Christ Himself taught. He is the foundation, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Co 3:11). But rather than beginning with the foundational doctrines of Jesus Christ and building upon them, the reformers used for a foundation the doctrines of the RCC and built upon them instead. The finished product is the systematic theology of modern Protestant Christian churches.

If we’ll pay close attention to the methodology of modern Protestant preachers we’ll notice they start with assuming their system of theology is true, then impose that system upon how they understand and teach the Scriptures. The result is much confusion and contradictions because they’re trying to harmonize their false system with the truth of the Scriptures. The correct approach, on the other hand, is to start with understanding the truth Jesus taught, then use the truth itself as the rubric for understanding everything else in the Scriptures. This is the only way harmony and agreement across the Scriptures can be achieved.

The devil is a master deceiver. He wants Christians confused and giving up hope of ever finding the truth. Therefore, he wants to keep us bound in the false systems of theology taught today. But we don’t have to remain confused and disheartened about the truth because “the truth is in Jesus” (Eph 4:21).

Religious leaders don’t want the truth

The Jewish people had been devoid of a Messiah or King for hundreds of years but their Scriptures promised that the Messianic line would continue again at some point with the King being a descendant and rightful heir to the throne of David, born in the town of Bethlehem. What they hadn’t understood from their own Scriptures, however, is that the King would also be God’s only begotten Son from heaven! That their Messiah is the Son of God was what the religious leaders—priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees—didn’t want to acknowledge and confess because it meant repenting and submitting to Him. Since He is the Son of God, then everything He taught is the truth and final authority, thereby implicating their teaching as false and compelling them to either submit to Him or get rid of Him.

Christ’s Sermon on the Mount was particularly directed at exposing their lies and hypocrisy. What they had been teaching lowered God’s standard of righteousness, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 5:20). Repeatedly He stated what they said followed by what He says: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time … But I say unto you” (Mat 5:21-22), “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time … But I say unto you” (Mat 5:27-28), “It hath been said … But I say unto you” (Mat 5:31-32), “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time …  But I say unto you” (Mat 5:33-34), “Ye have heard that it hath been said … But I say unto you” (Mat 5:38-39), “Ye have heard that it hath been said … But I say unto you” (Mat 5:43-44).

Saul of Tarsus had been one of those corrupt leaders, trying to rid the world of Jesus’ teachings by destroying His followers. However, his Damascus Road experience brought him face-to-face with the Son of God and with his own hypocrisy. He would later write about the extent of what he forsook to follow Christ, “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” (Phl 3:5-7). His list doesn’t necessarily hit home with those of us far removed from his culture and historical setting. But what he had to renounce was essentially everything he had invested his entire life into achieving. Not only did he lose it all but he also exchanged it all for a life of suffering, persecution, and shame. Of course, the sacrifices he had to make is the farthest extreme yet still serves as a model and example to us, “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” (1Ti 1:16).

Only the apostles and a small remnant of the Jewish people were willing to forsake everything to gain Christ while the majority remained steeped in the false teaching of the religious leaders. And this schema has proven to have emerged today with mainstream Christianity bound by the false views of God and man compelled upon them from modern scholars and theologians. They want us listening to them, reading their books, studying their systems of theology, and graduating from their seminaries.

Like the religious leaders 2,000 years ago, the more invested into the system modern theologians have become, the harder it is for them to walk away from it. For fulltime ministers especially, denying the Trinity means not only being unemployed but unemployable. There’s nowhere to go! Therefore, they justify to themselves staying quiet and staying put. This is even more likely for those that believe the doctrine of Once Saved Always Saved. They rationalize that they can’t lose their salvation, therefore it’s not worth losing their job and reputation. Besides, people are coming to salvation, marriages are being saved, and children are learning about Jesus. They suppose that they can accomplish more by staying than by leaving.

Additionally, the more highly educated and scholarly they have become, the harder it is for them to submit to the truth. As the saying goes, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” They have a Doctorate degree in Theology, they’ve written published books and commentaries, they’ve taught in seminaries, they’ve taught thousands of lessons, and they’ve even pastored for decades. They just can’t contemplate having to go tell everyone, “Oops! I was wrong about God. Sorry!”

It’s the quandary of what to do with the monster that was created. If they keep feeding it, it’s just going to get bigger and stronger. On the other hand, if they stop feeding it, it’s going to feed on them. Therefore, out of self-preservation, they keep feeding the monster. We would be quite stunned to learn just how many people in mainstream Christian churches, including even the pastors and elders themselves, have serious doubts and frustrations about the doctrine of the Trinity and many other confusing doctrines. But it’s comfortable and convenient to stay, and difficult to depart. Therefore, they just keep feeding the monster.

The truth is in Jesus

Truth is reality. It’s the actual state of existence. It’s the way things really are. Truth always comports with logic and sound reason. Therefore, illogical and unreasonable teachings implicate themselves as untrue. Truth is consistent and harmonizes the whole. Therefore, inconsistencies, absurdities, and confusion are indicators that what’s being taught isn’t true. Truth is generally simple and easy to understand. Therefore, complex and sophisticated arguments using big words and theological jargon are red flags that what’s being argued isn’t true.

The truth is found in Jesus Christ: “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jhn 1:17); “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jhn 8:32); “And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?” (Jhn 8:46); “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jhn 14:6); “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (Jhn 18:37); “the truth is in Jesus” (Eph 4:21).

The teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ is the truth. It’s the required starting point and basis for knowing God, ourselves, and everything else in life. None of us are the arbiters of the truth and neither is any system of theology. Jesus Christ has the absolute power and authority to decide all matters of dispute. What He says is the final word.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Gen 1:1-3). The very first words of Scripture narrating the creation account were also prophetic about the ministry of Jesus Christ. God showed from the beginning what the spiritual condition of mankind would be 4,000 years later—darkness would be upon the hearts and minds of humanity but the Creator Himself would come into the world and shine light through His teaching, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (Jhn 1:3-5).

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:3-6)

Paul taught the Christians at Corinth this same truth. God commanding the light to shine into the darkness, in the beginning, was prophetic of the gospel that Christ preached to the world. And this was also his message to the Christians at Ephesus.

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: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus. (Ephesians 4:18-21)

When we don’t understand something or we’re ignorant of certain knowledge, it’s like being blind and in the dark. The solution is to attain understanding and obtain the correct knowledge so that we’ll no longer be confused and ignorant. Because we’re all blinded by the deceptions of the devil through false teaching, coming to the understanding and knowledge of the truth is like having light shine into our darkened hearts and minds, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2Co 4:6), “Having the understanding darkened … through the ignorance that is in them … the blindness of their heart … the truth is in Jesus” (Eph 4:18, 21). Our goal with studying the Scriptures is to no longer be confused and ignorant but to come to the understanding and knowledge of the truth, then govern our lives by it.

We shouldn’t be surprised by the false systems of theology dominating modern Christianity because it’s precisely what Paul foretold would happen, “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables [myths]” (2Ti 4:4). The concepts of God as a Trinity of co-equal Persons and man as an eternal spirit that goes to heaven or hell after death are just myths, fiction, and imagination. But if we love Christ we’ll stand on the side of the truth and live by it, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (Jhn 18:37 NIV). And if we love people, we’ll teach them the truth.

Jesus taught the truth about God

The correct view of God is what Jesus Christ taught about Him, not what any theological system alleges. Nobody but the Son of God has seen God, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (Jhn 1:18), “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father” (Jhn 6:46). Since He is the only one that has seen God, then what He declared about Him is the truth and the final word. Anything contradicting what He taught is false.

Speaking to His Father, Jesus called Him the only true God, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jhn 17:3). He identified and categorized His Father as the only true God while excluding Himself from the only true God.

Jesus called His Father “my God” twice before He died, once after His resurrection, and four times after having been seated at the Father’s right hand, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mat 27:46; Mar 15:34), “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (Jhn 20:17), “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” (Rev 3:12). According to Jesus Himself, His Father is the one true God and His Father is His God.

Jesus affirmed the Shema written by Moses, “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord [kyrios] our God is one Lord [kyrios]” (Mar 12:29). The Greek kyrios appears about 750 times in the New Testament and is a lord, master, or ruler. Since Jesus taught that “The Ruler” is “one Ruler,” then God is not three co-equal Rulers as Trinitarian theologians teach, but one Ruler.

Jesus taught that God is one Person. The Greek word theos for “God” or “gods” is grammatically in the singular or plural form depending on the number of persons. One person requires theos to be singular while multiple persons requires plural. This is simple grammar. And since Jesus always used theos in the singular when speaking about God, then God must be one Person. This is further bolstered by the fact that when He spoke about men as gods—more than one person as theos—He used the plural, “I said, Ye are gods [theos]? If he called them gods [theos]” (Jhn 10:34-35). He even used this word in both plural and singular form within the same statement, “I said, Ye are gods [theos]? If he called them gods [theos], unto whom the word of God [theos] came” (Jhn 10:34-35). And the apostle Paul also used both forms in the same statement, “For though there be that are called gods [theos], whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods [theos] many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God [theos], the Father” (1Co 8:5-6). Paul even emphasized that the plural is “many” but the singular is “one.” Both Jesus Christ Himself and His apostle understood and taught that theos is either plural or singular based on the number of persons. Therefore, the singular Theos can’t be multiple Persons. But Trinitarian theologians claim just that! They contradict what Jesus Christ taught and violate basic rules of grammar to do so.

Jesus taught the truth about Himself

Jesus taught that He is the Son of God: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (Jhn 3:16); “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” (Jhn 9:35); “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (Jhn 10:36); “that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (Jhn 11:4). He never called Himself “God the Son” as Trinitarian theologians do. In fact, the term “God the Son” isn’t found anywhere in Scripture. Jesus Christ called Himself “the Son of God” which is not calling Himself “God” but His Son. God is not His Son but has a Son, and His Son is not God but is His Son. This is simple and easy to understand because truth generally is.

Jesus taught that He is the only begotten Son of God that came out from God: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life … He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jhn 3:16, 18); “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me” (Jhn 8:42); “For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” (Jhn 16:27-28); “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me” (Jhn 17:8). Trinitarians teach that Jesus has always existed but this isn’t what He taught. Jesus taught that He was begotten of God and came out from God.

Jesus taught that He was with the Father in heaven before coming into the world: “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven” (Jhn 6:33); “For I came down from heaven” (Jhn 6:38); “Before Abraham was, I am” (Jhn 8:58); “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father” (Jhn 16:28); “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (Jhn 17:5); “for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (Jhn 17:24).

Jesus taught that His Father is greater than Himself and that His power and authority are derived from Him: “All things are delivered unto me of my Father” (Mat 11:27); “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Mat 28:18); “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God” (Luk 22:69), “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand” (Jhn 3:35); “for my Father is greater than I” (Jhn 14:28), “and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev 3:21). Jesus never taught that He is co-equal with the Father as Trinitarian theologians do.

Jesus taught that He couldn’t perform miracles Himself but that His Father did the works: “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (Jhn 5:19); “I can of mine own self do nothing” (Jhn 5:30); “the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (Jhn 14:10). His apostle Peter that witnessed many of His miracles testified the same, “miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him” (Act 2:22), “healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Act 10:38).

Jesus taught the truth about the Holy Breath

Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit [Hagios Pneuma] is breath by literally breathing on His disciples, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [Hagios Pneuma]” (Jhn 20:22). The Holy Spirit [Hagios Pneuma] is not a personal being but simply breath. Much confusion could have been avoided by simply translating the Hebrew ruwach and Greek pneuma throughout the Scriptures as “breath” instead of “spirit.” The Greek pneuma is where our English word “pneumonia” is derived which a respiratory infection in the air sacs of the lungs that causes difficulty in breathing and can be life-threatening. This is also the root of the word “pneumatics” which is the scientific study of compressed air.

In John chapters 14-16, Jesus spoke about Himself as the Holy Breath in His future role as our Advocate or Intercessor at the right hand of God (Jhn 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7). And He stipulated that He was speaking figuratively, “These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs” (Jhn 16:25). Although Jesus Himself qualified His speech as figurative, Trinitarian theologians say otherwise and take Him literally instead. Of course, they do take Him figuratively when He called the Holy Breath “rivers of living water” earlier, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (Jhn 7:38-39). They apparently take His speech however it works in their own best interest.

Although He had been speaking figuratively of the Father’s Breath before His death, He also told His disciples that the time would come when He would “shew you plainly of the Father.” That time came after His resurrection, “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Jhn 20:21-22). It was now that He taught His disciples plainly about the Father’s Breath by literally breathing on them. Paul and John would both later affirm that Jesus Christ Himself is indeed the Advocate or Interceder of which He had spoken, “the Spirit [Breath] itself maketh intercession for usIt is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom 8:26, 34), “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1Jo 2:1).

Many years after His ascension and seating at the right hand of God, Jesus gave seven messages to seven churches, concluding each one with “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit [Breath] saith unto the churches” (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22). He called Himself the Breath not just once or twice but seven times! And Paul said the same, “Now the Lord is that Spirit [Breath]” (2Co 3:17). Trinitarian theologians, however, teach that the Holy Breath is another Person than Jesus Christ Himself.

Jesus taught the truth about eternal life

Jesus never taught that we go to heaven after death. In fact, there’s nowhere in the entirety of Scripture that teaches we ever go to heaven. It’s simply an RCC doctrine. Since Jesus didn’t teach this, then it’s not true. What Jesus did teach is bodily resurrection from the grave to live forever: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life … Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (Jhn 5:24, 28-29); “raise it up again at the last day … I will raise him up at the last day … I will raise him up at the last day … Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life … Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jhn 6:39, 40, 44, 47, 54); “Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:24-25).

Jesus taught the truth about death

The Scriptures speak of life as seeing light and death as darkness: “To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living” (Job 33:30); “He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light” (Psa 49:19), “For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?” (Psa 56:13); “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (Jhn 1:4); “These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever” (2Pe 2:17), “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jde 1:13).

Jesus taught light or darkness in conjunction with the body: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Mat 6:22-23); “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” (Luk 11:34-35). He taught that if we’ll commit the light we see now in this life with singleness of heart and loyalty to Him, then our whole body will be full of light forever. But if we’re using this life and the light we see for evil, then our whole body will be full of darkness. Therefore, we should take heed to not squander the precious light we have and end up in full darkness.

He taught that humans are physical beings either alive seeing light or dead in darkness bodily. He never spoke of man as a spirit (non-physical) being that can live disembodied after death. Rather, life and death are in conjunction with the body.

Jesus spoke of death as darkness: “But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mat 8:12), “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mat 22:13), “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mat 25:30). It’s called “outer darkness” because the dead are cast outside the renewed Jerusalem, banned from the tree of life, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without [outside] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Rev 22:14-15).

The Greek geenna or gehenna is the word translated as “hell” in the New Testament. Jesus spoke about this place in six different passages: Matthew 5:22-30, 10:28, 18:9, 23:15-33; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 12:5. He taught that it’s a material place where people are thrown bodily:

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell [geenna] fire. … And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell [geenna]. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell [geenna]. (Matthew 5:22, 29-30)

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [geenna]. (Matthew 10:28)

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell [geenna] fire. (Matthew 18:9)

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell [geenna], into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell [geenna], into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell [geenna] fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:43-48)

According to Jesus, geenna is a material place where people are thrown bodily or physically which corresponds to the lake of fire where the resurrected dead are cast: “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [the grave] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell [the grave] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev 20:13-15)

Jesus also said that the lake of fire is where people are cast after they have been killed, “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell [geenna]; yea, I say unto you, Fear him” (Luk 12:5). The lake of fire isn’t a place of eternal torture for disembodied spirits, but a mass grave where dead bodies are thrown to be cremated and annihilated.

Jesus also contrasted eternal life with annihilation: “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish [apollymi], but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish [apollymi], but have everlasting life.” (Jhn 3:15-16); “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish [apollymi], neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (Jhn 10:28); “He that loveth his life shall lose [apollymi] it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (Jhn 12:25). According to Jesus, the two destinies of man are either eternal life or annihilation. And He taught that the majority will be annihilated while only a few will have eternal life, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction [apoleia], and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Mat 7:13-14).

Jesus taught the truth about salvation

Jesus taught that we must live to His standard of righteousness to enter His kingdom, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 5:20). His standard is His teaching and commandments embodied in the Sermon on the Mount. We must hear Him and do what He says, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock … And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand” (Mat 7:24, 26).

Jesus taught faithfulness to Him as Lord: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Mat 6:24); “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.” (Mat 10:24-25); “Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt” (Mat 18:27); “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?” (Mat 24:45); “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord … His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Mat 25:21, 23); “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” (Luk 12:42-43); “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” (Luk 16:10-12); “Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.” (Luk 17:9); “Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities” (Luk 19:17); “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour” (Jhn 12:26); “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him” (Jhn 13:16); “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (Jhn 15:20).

Jesus taught that we must deny ourselves and lose our life for His sake, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Mat 16:24-25), “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luk 9:23-24).

Conclusion

Jesus taught that we can’t be ashamed of Him or ashamed of His words, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luk 9:26). What will we do with the doctrine of the Trinity? If Jesus Christ is truly our Lord and we’ve come to the knowledge of what He taught about God and man, how can we continue to embrace modern systematic theology founded upon RCC doctrine? How can we be ashamed of His words and still be serving Him?

It’s one thing to embrace something false that we sincerely believe is true, but quite another to learn the truth Jesus taught yet continue to embrace what is false. How can Jesus Christ be our Lord when we’re refusing to humble ourselves and submit to His teaching? We can be sincerely deceived and God will forgive us when we repent. However, we’re in grave danger when we’ve come to know the truth Jesus taught but willingly fight against it, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed.” Jesus taught that the religious leaders of His day worshipped God in vain by teaching their own doctrines as commandments, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mat 15:9), “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mar 7:7). Trinitarian theologians teach that the doctrine of the Trinity is essential for salvation and that it’s a closed case not open for discussion. They’re commanding unquestioned loyalty to their doctrine to be saved. But why don’t they want to discuss it? Why don’t they want it questioned? Why do they hush and censor those that disagree? Could it be that they don’t want their doctrine exposed as false? Truth doesn’t demand silence because it silences, “And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions” (Mat 22:46).

Salvation, Eternal Security, and Assurance

Introduction

A false view of the essence or composition of man—mankind or human beings—will always lead to a false view of the salvation of man. The mainstream Protestant Christian understanding is that man is an eternal non-physical being living inside a physical body, and at death the non-physical being leaves the body and continues living eternally either in heaven or hell. And since man lives eternally regardless, salvation must consist of something other than living eternally. Therefore, the concept of salvation is that the eternal non-physical being becomes transformed from an unsaved state to a saved state before death.

On the other hand, if man is a mortal physical being destined for annihilation after death, then salvation isn’t a change in state but getting victory over death to live eternally as Scripture teaches, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jhn 3:16); “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (Jhn 10:28); “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

Our conclusion about the essence of man—whether man is an eternal non-physical being or a mortal physical being—has great implications on our understanding of salvation and assurance or lack thereof. In the view that man is an eternal non-physical being, salvation is a change of state the moment a confession of faith in Jesus Christ is made—the person passes from an unsaved state to a saved state as a born again new creature. But Jesus’ teaching, “Ye must be born again” (Jhn 3:7), and Paul’s statement, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature” (2Co 5:17), are simply misunderstood and misapplied. The entire concept that salvation is a change in the state of being and that this change is a new birth to a new creature is bogus.

This wrong view of man, and consequently man’s salvation, is the reason Christians contend with each other about security—whether salvation can or can’t be forfeited—and wrestle with themselves about assurance. It’s the fruit of the doctrines of devils originating with the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). The reformers essentially kept the RCC view of man and developed a modified version of man’s salvation. Although the reformers intended to get it right, but since they were still beginning with a wrong view of man, they inevitably arrived at just another wrong view of salvation.

The faulty foundation of the RCC

Deceiving people into believing that man is an eternal non-physical or spirit being that continues to live disembodied after death was necessary for the RCC to sell indulgences. They invented a temporary place called purgatory where departed spirits are kept in limbo for a long period unless their loved ones gave financially to get them out sooner. But to round out this delusion, there had to also be two alternate places of permanent residence. There needed to be a permanent abode of bliss for the saints that bypassed purgatory altogether and for the others that finally got out. And there needed to be a permanent place of suffering for everyone else that perished. This is where the concepts of heaven and hell were introduced as man’s permanent destinies. The RCC essentially modified heaven to be not only God’s residence but also man’s and invented a spiritual place of suffering called hell distinct from the physical mass grave called the lake of fire (see my writing “Man and Eternal Life”). Thus, with man perceived as a non-physical being that continues to live disembodied after death in one of these three places, the stage was set for the money to begin pouring in.

The reformers were successful in protesting against the selling of indulgences and refuting the existence of purgatory. However, their efforts didn’t go far enough. They still kept the same view of man along with his two permanent destinies of either heaven or hell. Consequently, they couldn’t arrive at the correct view of salvation. The RCC and Protestants continue arguing today about which has the correct view of salvation. Is it faith plus works, or faith alone? The answer is neither! Though Protestants vehemently claim their teaching and preaching is “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jde 1:3), it’s just “a faith” they devised from what was once delivered by the RCC.

For dust thou art

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7). When we read the account of Adam’s creation, we just assume he knew all along that he had been formed from the ground. But how could he have known? He didn’t know what he was until God told him, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen 3:19). He learned from his Creator that he is dust. Like Adam, we also need to learn from our Creator that we are dust—mortal physical beings that were taken from the ground and will return to the ground.

Who knows better what we are than our Creator? He said “dust thou art.” Who can say otherwise? That we are dust is also evident by our lives being inextricably bound to the biological system of the planet. Plants grow from the ground, animals eat the plants or each other, and we eat the plants and the animals. When the plants and animals die, their lives cease and they return to the ground. Likewise, our lives cease at death and we return to the ground to never live again unless resurrected from death.

Abraham and David both confessed that they were dust, “And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes” (Gen 18:27), “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). And Jesus Christ is the Seed or Son of both, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Mat 1:1).

He is the Seed of Abraham: “And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be” (Gen 15:5); “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Gen 22:17-18); “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Gal 3:16); “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham” (Heb 2:16).

He is the Seed of David: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom” (2Sa 7:12); “His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me” (Psa 89:36); “Thou Son of David, have mercy on us” (Mat 9;27); “Is not this the son of David?” (Mat 12:23); “O Lord, thou Son of David” (Mat 15:22); “Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.” (Mat 22:42); “That Christ cometh of the seed of David” (Jhn 7:42); “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus” (Act 13:22-23); “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom 1:3); “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel” (2Ti 2:8).

He became a man exactly like we are: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom 8:3); “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phl 2:7-8); “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren” (Heb 2:16-17).

Since Jesus Christ became a man just like we are, and since man is dust, then He became dust. He is not some kind of dual being consisting of both non-physical and physical combined but is strictly a physical being. As a physical being His death meant that He was no longer alive but dead, and His resurrection meant that He was no longer dead but alive.

The Protestant view adopted from the RCC is that God is a Trinity of Persons and man is an eternal non-physical being living inside a body that will live forever either in heaven or hell. And to be consistent with this view of God and man, they must claim that the Son of God became a dual-being in His incarnation—both a 100% divine being and a 100% human being—an eternal non-physical being living inside a physical body. This supposed hypostatic union of two beings into one Person in the incarnation is necessary to maintain their Trinitarian view of God. Therefore, as a dual being, only the physical part of Jesus Christ died on the cross while the non-physical part was still alive, and His resurrection was simply the non-physical part re-entering the physical part. Furthermore, since His resurrection is the exemplar of man’s, this wrong view of the Savior results in a wrong view of the saved. If the Savior is an eternal non-physical being that simply re-entered His body in resurrection, then man is also an eternal non-physical being that re-enters his body at the resurrection.

The problem with this view of man as an inherently eternal being that lives forever somewhere is that it forces a redefinition of eternal life. When annihilation is denied, eternal life must be redefined because if everyone, even the unsaved, live forever then everyone by definition has eternal life. Therefore, to maintain this wrong view of man (and ultimately the RCC wrong view of God as a Trinity of Persons), an entirely fictitious concept of eternal life had to be invented. It had to be something man obtains and already has right now in this life.

Scripture is replete with teaching that eternal life isn’t something we already have but are trying to obtain: “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? … and shall inherit everlasting life” (Mat 19:16, 29); “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Mat 25:46); “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luk 10:25); “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jhn 3:15-16); “And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal” (Jhn 4:36); “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life” (Jhn 5:39); “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life” (Jhn 6:27); “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life” (Jhn 6:40); “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (Jhn 10:28); “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (Jhn 12:25); “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (Jhn 17:2); “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life” (Rom 2:7); “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 5:21); “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 6:22-23); “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal 6:8); “for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” (1Ti 1:16); “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1Ti 6:12); “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Tit 1:2); “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Tit 3:7); “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life” (1Jo 2:25); “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jde 1:21).

In the Protestant view of man adopted from the RCC, if everyone lives eternally regardless, then eternal life can’t mean living eternally. Therefore, the redefining of eternal life became necessary. But to accomplish this, it couldn’t just be life that was redefined but also its antithesis—death. We understand death as the cessation of life, that when a living being is no longer alive, it’s dead. However, consistency within the RCC system of the Trinity of God and the eternality of man requires a different understanding. Rather than death as “the end of life,” it was redefined as “separation” and also partitioned into multiple types—physical death (separation of the non-physical being from the physical body); spiritual death (separation from relationship with God); eternal death (eternal separation from God).

In this system of life and death, Adam was supposedly created inherently eternal and in a state of spiritual life that changed to spiritual death when he sinned, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17). This spiritual death state of being was consequently passed down to his descendants, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom 5:12). Although man is still inherently eternal as he was created, but because of Adam’s sin everyone is born in a state of spiritual death that must change to spiritual life to have eternal life in heaven with God.

In this view of salvation, since everyone lives eternally whether or not they’re saved, the distinction between the saved and unsaved is if they’re spiritually alive or spiritually dead. Therefore, salvation is a change from a state of spiritual death to spiritual life as a new creature by a second birth. Those that have been born again will live forever with God in heaven, while those that didn’t experience the new birth will be burned alive forever in hell. But this view of salvation is wrong because it’s necessitated by a wrong view of man.

Are we born again as new creatures?

The teaching that salvation is a new birth from spiritual death to spiritual life as a new creature is based upon the false assumption that man is an eternal non-physical being living inside a physical body. With this view of man, the new birth is understood as a re-birth of a supposed inner being. But if the correct view of man is that he is a physical being, that he is dust, then there’s nothing inside to be reborn! The new birth of an inner being into a new creature is simply a false concept concocted to proof-text and support a false view of man and his salvation.

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisee Nicodemus when He taught, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jhn 3:3). And John emphasized on three different occasions that Nicodemus had come to Jesus by night, “The same came to Jesus by night” (Jhn 3:2), “he that came to Jesus by night” (Jhn 7:50), “which at the first came to Jesus by night” (Jhn 19:39). This must have been important to repeat it. Like Gideon, it seems Nicodemus feared man more than God, “Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night” (Jdg 6:27). But Jesus explained to him that he must be “born of water and of the Spirit [Breath]” (Jhn 3:5). He must be baptized in water where he would no longer be ashamed but make a public confession of Jesus Christ in broad daylight for everyone to witness.

He went on to explain the new birth with an analogy, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit [Breath] is spirit [breath]” (Jhn 3:6). All creatures “born of the flesh,” are of the same flesh from which they were born—horses have horses, and dolphins have dolphins. This is also what Paul taught about the resurrection, “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds” (1Co 15:39). Since the only way to get a horse is from a horse, the correlation of “born of the Spirit [Breath] is spirit [breath],” is that the only way to get eternal life is from someone else that has eternal life, “I am the resurrection, and the life” (Jhn 11:25), “because I live, ye shall live also” (Jhn 14:19); “in Christ shall all be made alive” (1Co 15:22). We’ll be raised to eternal life by the same Breath that raised Christ, “But if the Spirit [Breath] of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit [Breath] that dwelleth in you” (Rom 8:11). The new birth, therefore, isn’t some kind of internal change from spiritual death to spiritual life, but resurrection from death to eternal life.

In Paul’s statement, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2Co 5:17), the words “he is” are italicized indicating they’re not in the Greek text but added by the translators with the intent of clarifying what was being said. However, this is simply a case of bias and imposing upon the Scriptures something Paul didn’t say. Because the view of the translators was that man is a non-physical being that becomes spiritually alive to a saved state at conversion, they understood this statement to be describing man transformed into some kind of a new creation. However, it’s not about man but about the creation itself being renewed from the curse.

Jesus Christ later revealed to John, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea … And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev 21:1, 4). The “old things are passed away” are death, sorrow, crying, and pain, while the “all things are become new” are the renewed heavens and earth.

Eternal life means no more death

We must begin with a correct view of man to be in a position to apprehend a correct understanding of man’s salvation. Since man is a physical being, he’s no longer alive when he dies. Life and death are quite simple and easy to understand. When living beings die, including human beings, they’re no longer alive. Therefore, we don’t have eternal life right now because we all will die and no longer be alive. Death is the cessation of life, and eternal life is living perpetually without ever dying again.

Paul defined eternal life in Romans, “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord … Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him … For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 5:21, 6:9, 23). Jesus Christ died but was raised from the dead to never die again. This is eternal life! He said of Himself, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore” (Rev 1:18).

Many times we’re told that there will come a day when there is no more death: “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces” (Isa 25:8); “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues” (Hos 13:14); “Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection” (Luk 20:36); “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1Co 15:26); “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1Co 15:54); “For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life” (2Co 5:4); “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2Ti 1:10); “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb 2:14-15); “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” (Rev 2:11); “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power” (Rev 20:6); “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death” (Rev 21:4).

Eternal life is no more death. It’s living perpetually without fear of ever dying again. And this correct view of eternal life comes from the correct view of man, “for dust thou art” (Gen 3:19).

Death from the beginning

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen 3:19). Adam’s life began from the ground and ended by returning to the ground. Returning to the ground meant that he would no longer be alive because he wasn’t already alive before being created from the ground. This is how life and death were defined from the beginning and this is also what Paul taught:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (Romans 5:12-17)

In the view that man is an eternal non-physical being, this passage must be understood that it was some type of spiritual death that passed upon mankind as the result of Adam’s sin. Therefore, the corollary is that Jesus Christ saved us from spiritual death. But Paul drew this same parallel between Adam and Christ when writing to the Christians in Corinth about the resurrection from death, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1Co 15:21-22). It’s not some abstract concept of spiritual death that Christ saved us from, but the only type of death there is—returning to the ground. And it’s within this context and understanding of life and death that Paul defined eternal life, “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord … Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him … For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 5:21, 6:9, 23). Christ saved us from death that passed upon us from Adam—returning to the ground from which we were taken.

The dead that take part in the first resurrection when Christ returns will not die a second time, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Rev 20:6). They will have eternal life at this point because they will never die again. It will be after the millennium that the entire creation itself will be renewed from the curse of death pronounced upon it, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea … And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev 21:1, 4).

Salvation is future

Salvation is simply deliverance or rescue from danger or peril. The Greek noun soteria for “salvation” and verb sozo for “save,” are used in the New Testament for deliverance from various afflictions such as sickness, demon possession, drowning, and deliverance from enemies, slavery, and prison: “Lord, save [sozo] us: we perish” (Mat 8:25); “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole [sozo]” (Mat 9:22); “He saved [sozo] others; himself he cannot save [sozo]” (Mat 27:42); “and as many as touched him were made whole [sozo]” (Mar 6:56); “That we should be saved [soteria] from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us” (Luk 1:71); “Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save [sozo] life, or to destroy it?” (Luk 6:9); “They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed [sozo]” (Luk 8:36); “And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved [sozo] thee” (Luk 18:42); “For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver [soteria] them” (Act 7:25); “Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health [soteria]: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you” (Act 27:34); “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation [soteria] through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phl 1:19).

When used for the salvation we have in Christ, sozo and soteria mean deliverance from death. Since we’re delivered from death at the resurrection, then that’s the point we’ll be saved. It’s not Scripturally correct to call ourselves “saved” right now because we all still die. Salvation isn’t an internal change that happens in this life, but the event of deliverance from death when Christ returns.

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:19-21)

Peter preached the first evangelistic sermon and started by quoting from the prophet Joel about our future salvation. Our salvation “shall come to pass” after the sun is turned to darkness and the moon to blood. Since the sun hasn’t turned to darkness or the moon to blood, then none of us are saved yet. He wasn’t teaching that we’re saved the moment we call on the name of the Lord, but rather that it’s those that call on the name of the Lord that shall be saved when the Lord returns. These end-time events must transpire before the event of our salvation from the dead is consummated. And this very first evangelistic salvation message set the precedence for the correct view of salvation ever since. Paul quoted the same prophecy of Joel concerning salvation:

For with the heart man believeth [is being trusted] unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made [is being confessed] unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth [trusting] on him shall not be ashamed [kataischyno]. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call [calling] upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:10-13)

The verbs in this passage are present-continuous, “is being trusted,” “is being confessed,” “trusting,” and “calling.” Paul was indicating that we continually trust and call upon the Lord until the day we’re finally saved, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13). The Greek kataischyno in his quote from Isaiah, “Whosoever believeth [trusting] on him shall not be ashamed [kataischyno],” means “to put to shame,” “to disappoint,” or “to let down.” He was saying that those trusting in Him for salvation from death will not be put to shame, disappointed, or let down. Salvation is the resurrection where our hope of eternal life will not be disappointed or let down.

Earlier in Romans, Paul said that the redemption of the body is our hope of salvation, “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved [sozo] by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (Rom 8:23-24). Later he will say, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed [trusted]” (Rom 13:11). It’s not that we became “saved” the moment we trusted God, but rather that we’re trusting God until the day we’re saved. Though our salvation is in the future, it’s drawing nearer every day. Peter also taught that the salvation of our souls will be at the return of Christ:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing [trusting], ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith [faithfulness], even the salvation of your souls. (1Pe 1:7-9)

The writer of Hebrews said the same, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb 9:27-28). Salvation from our appointment with death will be at Christ’s appearing. And when were we appointed to die? It was at the time of the curse, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen 3:19). He had taught earlier that this salvation will be in the world to come when all things are finally put under Christ’s feet:

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (Hebrews 2:3-8)

Paul told the Corinthians that it will be at the resurrection when all things are put under Christ’s feet, “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1Co 15:25-26). Our salvation, therefore, will be at the resurrection when death is forever put beneath our feet through Christ. Paul also taught this to the Ephesians, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:7-9). He placed our salvation at the time of “the ages to come.”

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. … But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:8-10)

Paul taught the Thessalonians that salvation is what we hope to obtain when the Lord returns. When the Lord comes, the dead in Christ will be raised first and those alive will be caught up together with them. The helmet of salvation, “And take the helmet of salvation” (Eph 6:17), “and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” (1Th 5:8), is our hope of salvation from death at Christ’s return. It’s the heads of the devil’s children that will be bruised because they’re not wearing the helmet, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen 3:15).

We need forgiveness of sins and salvation from death

Everyone has sinned against God: “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecc 7:20); “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23); “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin” (Gal 3:22); “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1Jo 1:8).

Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for our sins: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa 53:5); “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mat 20:28); “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jhn 1:29); “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom 4:25); “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6); “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1Co 15:3); “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2Co 5:21); “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Eph 5:2); “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb 9:28); “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb 10:10); “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1Pe 2:24).

Scripture is consistent from beginning to ending that death—not living eternally in a place of fire—is the penalty for our sins: “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17); “every man shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deu 24:16); “but every man shall die for his own sin” (2Ch 25:4); “he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin” (Eze 3:20); “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Eze 18:4, 20); “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (Jhn 8:24); “and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom 5:12); “That as sin hath reigned unto death” (Rom 5:21); “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23); “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law” (1Co 15:56); “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die” (Rom 8:13); “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (Jas 1:15); “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Rev 20:14); “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev 21:8).

Christ’s resurrection from the dead and His return to raise the dead is our victory over death: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jhn 6:40); “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me” (Jhn 6:57); “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (Jhn 11:25); “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also” (Jhn 14:19); “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom 8:11); “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power” (1Co 6:14); “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” (1Co 15:22-23); “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Co 15:55-57); “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you” (2Co 4:14); “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1Th 4:16).

Salvation consists of two separate events: (1) forgiveness of our sins to be in a right relationship with God now, (2) obtaining eternal life at Christ’s return. But the Protestant view conflates the two—that salvation is forgiveness of our sins to be in a right relationship with God now and also obtaining eternal life by an internal change from spiritual death to spiritual life now. It’s this false view of man and salvation that’s the cause for the confusion and false teaching about eternal security and assurance.

Our sins separated us from God

Our sins severed our relationship with God and made us His enemies: “And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods” (Deu 31:18); “And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith” (Deu 32:20); “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous” (Pro 15:29); “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isa 59:2); “Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings” (Mic 3:4); “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Rom 5:10); “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom 8:7); “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” (Col 1:21); “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Jas 4:4).

Because our sins are against Him, it’s His prerogative to decide how our relationship with Him can be reconciled. We’re not in any position to “call the shots” so to speak and decide how we can be made right with Him again. He provided the only way of restoring that relationship and it’s through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. The Lamb that He provided, “God will provide for himself a lamb” (Gen 22:8), “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jhn 1:29), is the only sacrifice He will accept. This is why there’s only one way of salvation.

We’re forgiven now and have peace with God

God forgives our sins: “and it shall be forgiven” (Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35; Lev 5:10, 13, 16, 18; Lev 6:7); “Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now” (Num 14:19); “and it shall be forgiven” (Num 15:25, 26); “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psa 32:1); “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities” (Psa 51:9); “Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin” (Psa 85:2); “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Psa 130:4); “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy” (Mic 7:18); “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mat 9:2); “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mar 2:5); “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee” (Luk 5:20); “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven” (Luk 7:47); “to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Act 5:31); “through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins” (Act 13:38); “that they may receive forgiveness of sins” (Act 26:18); “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” (Rom 4:7); “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph 1:7); “God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph 4:32); “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:14); “having forgiven you all trespasses” (Col 2:13); “and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (Jam 5:15); “your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake” (1Jo 2:12); “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev 1:5).

God reconciled us to Himself through His Son Jesus Christ: “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1); “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Rom 5:10); “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ” (2Co 5:18); “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross” (Eph 2:16); “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself” (Col 1:20); “to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Heb 2:17); “Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2Jo 1:3).

Faithfulness and trust

The Hebrew noun emuwnah in the famous statement “but the just shall live by his faith [emuwnah]” (Hab 2:4), means “faithfulness” not “faith” as it’s translated. Several Bible versions, however, render it correctly: Complete Jewish Bible, God’s Word, Lexham English Bible, Names of God Bible, New English Translation, New International Version, New Living Translation, and The Voice. Habakkuk’s statement, of course, was quoted three times in the New Testament, “The just shall live by faith [pistis]” (Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38), and was instrumental in Martin Luther’s protest against the RCC in the Protestant Reformation.

The Greek noun pistis in “The just shall live by faith [pistis],” appears almost 250 times in the New Testament and is always translated as “faith” in the King James Version except in just three places where the contexts forced it to be rendered “faithfulness” or “fidelity”(Rom 3:3; Gal 5:22; Tit 2:10). Likewise, its verb form pisteuo also appears almost 250 times and is almost always translated “believe” except in just a few places where the contexts forced it to be rendered “trust” or “commit” (Luk 16:11; Gal 2:7; 1Th 2:4; 1Ti 1:11; Tit 1:3).

The point is that in almost 500 occurrences—other than a few times when the contexts forced the meaning of faithfulness or trust—the translators took the liberty of rendering pistis as “faith” and pisteuo as “believe.” But why? It’s because of an erroneous view of salvation based on a false view of man. Since Luther continued to embrace a wrong view of man as taught by the RCC, his effort to attain the right view of salvation was doomed to failure from the beginning. His faulty conclusion was that “The just shall live by faith [pistis]” means salvation is by faith or belief.

In the view that man is already inherently eternal, salvation cannot be living eternally but must be something else. That something else is an internal change from spiritual death to spiritual life. Rather than hoping to have eternal life at Christ’s return to raise the dead, eternal life is a change in the state of being before death—that we have salvation now and faith or belief is the criterion for having it.

In this mainstream Protestant Christian view, we’re saved simply by believing some facts about Jesus Christ are true, and even call ourselves “believers” in distinction from the unsaved. Salvation has essentially been dwindled-down to a formula—do ‘A’ to have ‘B.’ All we must do is make a faith-confession and we’re now saved, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe [trust] in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom 10:9).

Since faith is the criterion for salvation in this view, then faith must be the security and assurance of salvation. If we’ve done ‘A,’ then we have ‘B.’ If we doubt having ‘B,’ we just remind ourselves of having done ‘A.’ And since God does ‘B,’ then we can’t lose ‘B’ if we’ve done ‘A.’ The formula is simple and convenient. But the problem arises about those that did ‘A’ but no longer have ‘B.’ What about them? In response, the concepts of “believing in the heart” versus “mental assent,” or “heart faith” versus “head faith” were contrived. Though it seemed they did ‘A’, they didn’t, therefore never had ‘B.’ Those that believed all along never did, therefore they never were saved.

The problem with this view of salvation by faith is that it’s based on the false assumption that man is an eternal non-physical being. Therefore, salvation consists of a change in the state of being and whether or not we’ve truly had that change. It’s more focused on the saved than the Savior—who we are, what we have, and what we can do, rather than who He is, what He has, and what He can do. And assurance of this salvation comes by affirming who we are: “I’m a believer,” “I’m born again,” “I’m a new creature,” and “I’m the righteousness of God in Christ.” But the salvation taught in the Scriptures isn’t a change in who we are but whose we are!

It’s not who we are but whose we are

The theme of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is the mysterion or mystery. It’s about the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ that had been hidden by God within the narrative of the creation account itself but was now made known: “Having made known unto us the mystery [mysterion] of his will” (Eph 1:9), “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery [mysterion]; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery [mysterion] of Christ)” (Eph 3:3-4), “the fellowship of the mystery [mysterion], which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph 3:9), “This is a great mystery [mysterion]: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph 5:32), “to make known the mystery [mysterion] of the gospel” (Eph 6:19).

The hidden message within the creation that Paul featured in Ephesians is the Lordship of Jesus Christ shown figuratively within the heavens, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [epouranios] places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). God created light and called it “Day” and the darkness “Night,” “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” (Gen 1:5). He then set two great lights in the heavens to rule over one or the other, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven … And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night” (Gen 1:14, 16). The mystery that was “made known” to Paul was that this represented our transition from one ruler to another, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Eph 5:8).

The Greater Light in the epouranios or heavenly is the Lord Jesus Christ represented by the sun during the day, while the lesser light is the devil represented by the moon during the night, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [epouranios] places” (Eph 6:11-12).

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly [epouranios] places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith [faithfulness]; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:5-9)

Now we can understand what Paul meant in this passage by “saved through faith [faithfulness]” (Eph 2:8). He wasn’t saying that we’re saved by our faith, but by Christ’s faithfulness! This is what he will reiterate a little later, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [epouranios] places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith [faithfulness] of him” (Eph 3:10-12), “because of Christ’s faithfulness” (Eph 3:12 NET).

It’s because Christ was faithful to His Father in shedding His precious blood for our sins, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph 1:7), that the Father raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). And when we submit to Him as our Lord and Ruler, He represents us at the Father’s right hand as though we were seated there ourselves! This is the gospel message of salvation. This is the “mystery [mysterion] of the gospel” (Eph 6:19), as Paul concluded his letter. It’s Christ’s faithfulness to die for our sins, and our faithfulness to now serve Him as Lord—the Greater Light ruling the Day.

It’s not a change in us, but a change of us. It’s a change from out of one lordship or kingdom into another: “to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Act 26:18); “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col 1:13); “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1Pe 2:9). Salvation isn’t an internal change of being but a positional change in standing.

The problem isn’t that we’re spiritually dead with some kind of sinful nature within us that must be changed. The problem is that we need a change in ruler over us. Because we’ve all sinned against God, we’re all under the lordship of the devil unless we submit ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re not autonomous beings, “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself” (Rom 14:7).

Salvation is belonging to Jesus Christ and being known by Him: “For I know him” (Gen 18:19); “I never knew you” (Mat 7:23); “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them” (Jhn 10:27); “And all mine are thine” (Jhn 17:10); “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom 8:9); “And ye are Christ’s” (1Co 3:23); “But if any man love God, the same is known of him” (1Co 8:3); “they that are Christ’s” (1Co 15:23); “as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s” (2Co 10:7); “And if ye be Christ’s” (Gal 3:29); “ye have known God, or rather are known of God” (Gal 4:9); “they that are Christ’s” (Gal 5:24); “The Lord knoweth them that are his” (2Ti 2:19).

Salvation from death at Christ’s return comes to those that belong to Him and go to their deaths in faithful service to Him: “whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:8); “fallen asleep in Christ” (1Co 15:18); “in Christ shall all be made alive” (1Co 15:22); “they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1Co 15:23), “the dead in Christ” (1Th 4:16); “the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus” (2Ti 1:1); “These all died in faith [faithfulness]” (Heb 11:13); “be thou faithful unto death” (Rev 2:10); “the dead which die in the Lord” (Rev 14:13).

Many times Paul used variations of the terms “in Christ,” “in him,” or “in whom” to express the concept of salvation as belonging to Jesus Christ. He used these terms about a dozen times in the first two chapters of Ephesians alone. Salvation isn’t a change of nature within us, but a change of position into Him. The only nature we have is human nature because we’re dust! Being “in him” is safety, security, and salvation.

Confessing the Lord Jesus

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom 10:9). Confessing with the mouth the Lord Jesus isn’t some kind of magic formula that takes us from point ‘A’ to ‘B,’ that instantly changes us internally into a saved state of being. It’s a public confession of our commitment to faithfully serve Jesus Christ as Lord and obey everything He commanded. Understanding this statement within context, Paul had just quoted these words from Moses concerning Jesus Christ:

For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)

God was taking away all excuses from His people for disobedience. Earlier Moses had given them instructions for what they were to do once they crossed the Jordan, “And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Deu 27:2), “These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin: And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali” (Deu 27:12-13). After the reading of all the blessings and curses the people were to affirm they had understood the consequences for not keeping the commandments, “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deu 27:26). And this is what they did under Joshua’s leadership, “And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law” (Jos 8:34).

By making His people affirm “Amen” out of their own mouths that they had heard His commandments and understood the consequences for not keeping them, they would be left without excuse. It’s similar to waiver agreements we sign today releasing liability from another party—it puts the responsibility back on us. His people wouldn’t be able to say later, “You never told us,” “You didn’t make it clear,” “Your commandments were out of our reach.” The bottom line was, “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it” (Deu 30:14).

Paul taught that all of this was prophetic of what God would do through His Son Jesus Christ, “Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)” (Rom 10:6-7). This statement covers the gamut of Christ’s mission to mankind on the earth—His incarnation to His resurrection. He is our example of faithfulness and He also takes away all excuses from us—because He was faithful, we must be faithful. We’re to have His same mindset and go to our deaths in faithfulness, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phl 2:5), “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phl 2:8).

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:3-4). To be baptized or immersed into His death means that baptism is committing ourselves to die as He did. It doesn’t mean necessarily that we will be put to death but simply that we will suffer after the same image—being falsely accused, maligned, and reproached. God the Father raised His Son from the dead because His death glorified Him, “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee” (Jhn 17:1). Likewise, we’ll be raised from the dead if we go to our deaths glorifying His Son. This is what it means to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phl 2:12). It certainly doesn’t mean that we save ourselves. It’s that our salvation from death is patterned after His by having the same mindset as Him.

Circling back to Romans, Paul drew this conclusion, “So then faith [faithfulness] cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). Hearing about Christ’s faithfulness to His Father—that He came down from heaven, always did His Father’s will, went to His death in obedience, then was raised from the dead—this hearing came by the apostles being sent by Him to preach, “the word of faith [faithfulness], which we preach” (Rom 10:8), “And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” (Rom 10:15).

Now, we can’t make excuses, “that we may hear it, and do it?” (Deu 30:12, 13). When we “confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus” (Rom 10:9), the word is “in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it” (Deu 30:14). Salvation consists of affirming from our mouths that we’ve heard of Christ’s faithfulness and we’ve heard His commandments. We’re now committed to faithfully serve Him as our Lord unto death. We’ve heard it and we’ll do it.

Repentance in baptism is the prescribed point of conversion

Jesus preached repentance: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat 3:2); “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat 4:17); “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mar 1:15); “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luk 5:32); “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luk 13:3).

He commanded repentance and water baptism, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luk 24:47), “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Mat 28:19-20). He didn’t command an altar call, a sinner’s prayer, or a faith-confession but repentance and baptism.

In conclusion of the very first evangelistic sermon, Peter told his hearers to repent of their sins and be baptized, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Act 2:38). He said nothing about believing or having faith. Of course believing is certainly involved, but conversion to Christianity isn’t about going from unbeliever to believer but unforgiven to forgiven. Peter’s second sermon recorded in Scripture was also about repentance and forgiveness of sins, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Act 3:19). Conversion isn’t about becoming a believer but becoming forgiven. And he continued to preach and teach repentance and forgiveness, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Act 5:31), “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Pe 3:9). According to Peter, repentance is the point of conversion, not believing.

Paul also preached and taught repentance: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Act 17:30); “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Act 20:21); “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance” (Act 26:20); “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Rom 2:4).

Conversion isn’t an internal change from spiritual death to spiritual life, but a change in relationship—from an enemy of God to right with Him. The Greek dikaiosyne, translated throughout the New Testament “righteousness,” denotes a right relationship with God. And to be right with Him, our sins must first be forgiven, “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Rom 4:6-8). God imputes or counts us right with Him when He no longer imputes or counts our sins against us. Thus, conversion is repenting of our sins and being forgiven by God on account of the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ. We’re not saved at this point but only forgiven of our sins and in a right relationship with Him. Our salvation from death will come later when Christ returns to raise the dead.

Baptism is the turning point from a life of sin to a life of obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ as Lord, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Mat 28:19-20). Paul also taught that baptism is the point at which we obey from our hearts the teachings of Jesus Christ, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?’ (Rom 6:3), “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Rom 6:17).

Being baptized into Christ

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Rom 6:3), “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom 13:14), “For ye are all the children of God by faith [faithfulness] in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal 3:26-27). Baptism “into Christ” means that we repent of our sins and commit ourselves to faithfully serve Him. And when we’re living faithfully to Him, He clothes the shame of our nakedness, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen 3:7), “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Gen 3:21).

Baptism is our commitment to live as He did and die as He did, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Rom 6:3). And the Lord’s Supper is the continued reminder of our commitment, “For by one Spirit [Breath] are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit [Breath]” (1Co 12:13), “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (1Co 11:26), “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt … O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done” (Mat 26:39, 42).

Peter said that Noah’s flood was figurative and prophetic of water baptism, “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1Pe 3:20-21). Before baptism, the imaginations and thoughts of our hearts were evil, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). Baptism is the turning point where we purify the imaginations and thoughts of our hearts in His sight, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Mat 5:8), “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Mat 5:28). We commit ourselves to serve Jesus Christ with a good conscience toward Him recognizing that He sees everything.

Earlier Peter wrote that having a good conscience toward God means that we suffer wrongfully knowing that He sees it and will justify us, “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully” (1Pe 2:19). It’s following the example of Christ’s suffering, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1Pe 2:21-23). When falsely accused, He didn’t open His mouth in His defense but trusted His Father and committed His defense to Him. This is what Peter meant by “baptism doth also now save us … a good conscience toward God” (1Pe 3:21).

Jesus Christ died as a convicted criminal yet never tried to defend Himself. And before He breathed His last breath, He committed His life into His Father’s hands, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit [breath]: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost [exhaled]” (Luk 23:46). Isaiah prophesied that He would commit to His Father the vindication of His wrongful execution, “He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.” (Isa 50:8-9). As He committed His breath to His Father, we also commit our breath to Him, “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit [breath]” (Act 7:59).

It’s because we’re dust—physical beings animated by God breathing into us—that salvation is having life breathed back into us at the first resurrection. Because the “saved” are dust, the Savior had to become dust. He had to become just like we are, so we could become just like He is. Paul taught a parallel between our initial creation to life and our subsequent resurrection to life, “The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit [breath]” (1Co 15:45). As the first Adam was raised from the dust and quickened by God’s Breath, we’ll be raised from the dust and quickened by God’s Breath at the return of the last Adam.

Christ trusted His Father to breathe life back into Him, and we also trust, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed [trusted], and therefore have I spoken; we also believe [trust], and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you” (2Co 4:13-14). He spoke His trust in His Father to breathe life back into Him, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit [breath]: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost [exhaled]” (Luk 23:46). To be raised after the likeness of His resurrection, we must also be conformed to the likeness of His death, “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phl 2:8), “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Phl 3:10-11).

Water baptism itself only gets us wet. It’s simply a tangible act or event that serves as the turning point of our lives. It’s not getting wet that saves us but what we do after getting dried off. The commitment of faithful service to the Lord that we make in baptism isn’t what saves us, but it’s the fulfillment of that commitment through a life of faithful service to the Lord that does.

Paul likened this turning point as though we’re now a completely new person from the old person we used to be: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Rom 6:6); “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph 4:22-24); “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col 3:9-10). But nothing changes in our state of being. We’re still the same dust! What changes is that we now have God’s Breath in our hearts giving us the strength to turn from a life of sin to righteousness. In all three of these passages, the new person is no longer living a life of sin but has put away the former lifestyle with its lusts and deeds.

Some fear their family or friends perished when they died without ever getting baptized. My dear mom came to Christ just a few months before her death from cancer but wasn’t baptized. We take great comfort reminding ourselves that the thief on the cross didn’t perish.

God won’t allow anyone to perish on a technicality. This isn’t relegating baptism to a mere formality nor is it alleging it to be unimportant. It’s very important because Jesus Christ commanded it. But this is simply recognizing its proper place and purpose. For example, if someone repented and was serving Christ as Lord but didn’t get baptized before death for various reasons—they were sincerely ignorant that Christ commanded it, they were in the desert, they died in a car crash on the way to be baptized—that person didn’t perish. On the other hand, someone that knew Christ’s commandment to be baptized and had the opportunity but stubbornly refused, how can we have confidence that they’ll be raised when Christ returns? If they wouldn’t even obey His initial commandment to be baptized, how could He have been their Lord? It’s not our place to judge their salvation but it certainly doesn’t make us feel very good about it.

God doesn’t need baptism to save us—it’s for our benefit not His. It serves as a public confession that we’re not ashamed of Jesus Christ but acknowledge who He is and commit ourselves to turn from a life of sin to serve Him unto death. It’s the turning point of living as if a new person distinct from the old person we used to be.

Being born from above

What has become known as the new birth or being born again is more correctly stated as being born from above, “Except a man be born again [anothen]” (Jhn 3:3), “He that cometh from above [anothen] is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all” (Jhn 3:31). And Paul taught the same about the resurrection when the Lord returns from heaven, “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven” (1Co 15:47). It’s not some kind of internal change from spiritual death to spiritual life, but birth back to life when the Lord “cometh from above” or “cometh from heaven” to raise the dead. It’s being born from above when the Lord returns from above.

Jesus used the wind as an analogy of those born from above, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again [from above]. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit [Breath]” (Jhn 3:7-8). Like it is with the wind, we must recognize where Jesus came from and where He went, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (Jhn 3:13). If we’ll live our lives in conformity to the truth of who He is and where He is right now at the right hand of God, then we’ll be born to life when He returns.

In the view that we’re already born again right now from a state of spiritual death to life, statements like this are problematic, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1Jo 3:9). Once we’re “born of God,” we cannot sin. Of course this has to be explained away as if the apostle didn’t know what he was talking about. Therefore, what John really meant is that we don’t habitually sin. But he said in the prior verse, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1Jo 3:8). The works of the devil haven’t been destroyed yet because he’s still working now. But once we’re “born of God” at Christ’s return, we won’t be tempted or deceived any further because the devil will be locked up and eventually destroyed: “And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Rev 20:3), “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Rev 20:10). It’s when we’re no longer being tempted and deceived that we cannot sin. That’s eternal security!

Faithfulness to the Lord

Many have noted an obvious disconnect between the “saved through faith” (Eph 2:8) gospel taught by the apostle Paul and what the Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught about faithfulness to Him as Lord: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant” (Mat 24:45), “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Mat 25:21), “Who then is that faithful and wise steward” (Luk 12:42), “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much” (Luk 16:10), “Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little” (Luke 19:17). The apparent discrepancy is caused by the translators rendering the Greek noun pistis throughout the New Testament as “faith” instead of “faithfulness” to be consistent with their view of salvation. Because Paul’s writings are mostly doctrinal in the genre, it’s fairly easy for the translators to accomplish this undetected. But Jesus Christ taught parables about faithful servants which force a context that can’t be effectively mistranslated. The bottom line is that if we’ll just replace “faithfulness” for “faith” in all occurrences of pistis, we’ll see that Paul indeed taught faithfulness. His gospel of “saved through faith [faithfulness]” (Eph 2:8), is the truth he learned from Jesus Christ, “But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph 4:20-21).

Now, “faithfulness” doesn’t exclude “faith” at all. That’s not even possible because there’s an element of faith or belief in any good relationship. We can’t have a faithful and trusting relationship with someone yet not believe a word they say! But the reformers made “faith” the sine qua non of salvation—that everything stands or falls with “faith.” We’re saved by “faith alone” or sola fide and anything that’s not faith is supposedly our works, or trying to save ourselves. However, the three main passages used to argue this “faith” versus “works” contention say nothing of the sort.

For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:20-23 NET)

We are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. … I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside God’s grace, because if righteousness could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing! (Galatians 2:15-16, 20-21 NET).

More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness – a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christ’s faithfulness. (Philippians 3:8-9 NET)

There is no “faith” versus “works” issue in Scripture. It’s simply an artificial distinction necessary for supporting sola fide. Because if we’re saved by faith alone, then there must be a term to call everything else that’s not faith—that term became known as “works.” But this isn’t what Paul was teaching in these three passages. He was arguing that righteousness is by Christ’s faithfulness to give Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, not by the works of the Law of Moses. The real issue is Christ’s faithfulness versus the works of the Law. Therefore, it would be more Scripturally accurate to say sola fidelitas! Salvation is by “faithfulness alone” because Christ’s faithfulness to die for our sins is the only way to be right with God.

The absurdity of sola fide becomes apparent when introduced into the context of human relationships. Take the workplace as somewhat of an example of our walk with God. Our time belongs to our employer. We abide by the company rules. We do the work we’re told to do while being dependable, honest, and faithful. We don’t always know why our employer wants us to do specific things but we trust that they know the bigger picture and how it will positively affect the overall health of the company and the community. We also know that since we’re simply doing what we’re told, we trust that our employer has our back if we were to experience any repercussions from doing an assignment. If we’re doing a good job we’ll be rewarded but if we’re doing poorly, then it can result in disciplinary action and possible termination. All of that makes sense.

Now, let’s interject “faith” or “belief” as the sole requisite for employment. Employees get hired because they express belief in their employer. After getting hired many of them argue among themselves about whether they were hired because they believe the employer, or if they believe the employer because they were hired. Some even dare to claim that their employer gave them the belief they needed to get hired. They also squabble about whether they do a good job because they believe the employer, or if they believe the employer because they do a good job. Of course some claim that job performance has a direct bearing on their security but others claim Once Employed Always Employed. Therefore, when someone quits or gets let go, those that embrace OEAE have to say, “Well, I guess they never really were employed, because if they had been they would have continued to be employed. Therefore, they never truly believed the employer!”

Trusting God

As with the noun pistis almost always translated as “faith” instead of “faithfulness,” the verb pisteuo is consistently rendered throughout the New Testament as “believe” instead of “trust.” Why is this? It’s because of bias toward the doctrine of salvation by faith or belief. When Paul cited Abraham’s righteousness before God, “Abraham believed [trusted] God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Rom 4:3), it wasn’t to claim that he simply believed what God said but that he trusted God to do what He said. James wrote that his trust in God was displayed by obeying what He commanded, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works [actions], when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith [faithfulness] wrought with his works [actions], and by works [actions] was faith [faithfulness] made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed [trusted] God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” (Jas 2:21-23).

Abraham’s actions of obedience, “because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Gen 22:18), justified what had been said about him years before, “And he believed [trusted] in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen 15:6). This is what James meant by “justified by works [actions].” It accomplishes nothing to say we’re faithful yet not be faithful, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith [faithfulness], and have not works [actions]?” (Jas 2:14). It’s better to say nothing at all and let our actions speak for themselves, “I will shew thee my faith [faithfulness] by my works [actions]” (Jas 2:18).

That Abraham “believed [trusted] in the LORD” (Gen 15:6), isn’t that he simply believed whatever God said—sure he did. It was that he put his trust in God and obeyed Him. It took tremendous trust to follow through with what God told him to do to his son Isaac, and not understanding how it was all going to work out. We’re even told, “Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” (Heb 11:19). It’s the preeminent kind of trust Solomon would later pen, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Pro 3:5).

That pisteuo should be translated “trust” rather than “believe” is also consistent with the Psalms being replete with injunctions to trust God: “Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psa 2:12); “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD” (Psa 4:5); “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice” (Psa 5:11); “O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust” (Psa 7:1); “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee” (Psa 9:10); “In the LORD put I my trust” (Psa 11:1); “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” (Psa 16:1); “O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee” (Psa 17:7); “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust” (Psa 18:2); “I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings” (Psa 61:4); “He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust” (Psa 91:2); “My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust” (Psa 144:2); “O my God, I trust in thee” (Psa 25:2);  “let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee” (Psa 25:20); “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed” (Psa 31:1); “I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD” (Psa 31:6); “[Psa 37:3, 5, 40 KJV] 3 “Trust in the LORD, and do good” (Psa 37:3); “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him” (Psa 37:5); “he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him” (Psa 37:40); “Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust” (Psa 40:4); “I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever” (Psa 52:8); “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust” (Psa 56:3-4) “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me” (Psa 56:11); “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him” (Psa 62:8); “The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him” (Psa 64:10); “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion” (Psa 71:1); “For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth” (Psa 71:5); “I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works” (Psa 73:28); “Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield” (Psa 115:11); “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psa 118:8); “But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust” (Psa 141:8); “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust” (Psa 143:8).

When Paul said, “and shalt believe [trust] in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom 10:9), he meant that we’re to believe Christ’s resurrection happened as a historical event. That’s a given. However, his predominant point was that we’re to trust God that raised Christ, “Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe [trust] on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Rom 4:23-24). God counted Abraham in a right relationship because he trusted Him, “Abraham believed [trusted] God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Rom 4:3). To “believe [trust] in thine heart” is to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Pro 3:5). Salvation is not by belief but by trusting God with all our hearts.

“For with the heart man believeth [trusts] unto righteousness” (Rom 10:10). We’re right with God by a continued trusting relationship with Him. If we can’t trust Him for our necessities of daily life, how can we trust Him for eternal life? If we can’t trust Him for our lesser needs, how can we trust Him for our greatest need—salvation from death? If we spend our lives taking matters into our own hands, then when the day of our death comes, how can we commit our breath into His hands, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit [breath]” (Luk 23:46)?

Paul went on to say, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth [trusts] on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom 10:11). And this is what David did, “O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me” (Psa 25:2); “O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee” (Psa 25:20); “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed” (Psa 31:1). Salvation is living our lives and finally going to our deaths trusting that we’re not going to be put to shame or let down. It takes trust to suffer wrongfully with only God seeing it, “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully” (1Pe 2:19). But He’s not going to let us down—our hope of the resurrection isn’t going to be put to shame, “And hope maketh not ashamed” (Rom 5:5). When we recognize that salvation is getting victory over death when Christ returns to raise the dead, then we’ll trust God unto death with confidence that we won’t be let down but will be raised to eternal life.

It’s faithfulness and trust that pleases God, “But without faith [faithfulness] it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe [trust] that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:6). All of the “By faith …” examples in Hebrews chapter 11 are really “By faithfulness …” examples. Their faithfulness to God consummated with Christ’s faithfulness, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith [faithfulness]; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). Christ’s faithfulness to endure the cross is the beginning and ending purpose for the faithfulness of everyone before Him. There’s no explanation for their faithfulness apart from His.

The distinction of a Christian

At the conclusion of the first evangelistic message of the church age, Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Act 2:38-39). The distinction of a Christian is that our sins have been forgiven, and that we have the gift of the indwelling Holy Breath as a pledge of salvation from death. Our salvation is twofold because we need to be saved from two things—sin and death. We need our sins forgiven so we can have a right relationship with God, but we also need victory over death so we can live forever with God. Of course Christ saved us from both sin and death but we only have forgiveness of sins right now. We have yet to experience salvation from death for the obvious reason that we all still die.

True Christians have God’s Breath dwelling in their hearts: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit [Breath], if so be that the Spirit [Breath] of God dwell in you” (Rom 8:9); “But if the Spirit [Breath] of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit [Breath] that dwelleth in you” (Rom 8:11); “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit [Breath] of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15); “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [Breath] which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1Co 6:19); “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2Co 6:16); “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit [Breath] of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal 4:6); “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit [Breath]” (Eph 2:22); “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost [Breath] which dwelleth in us” (2Ti 1:14); “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit [Breath] which he hath given us.” (1Jo 3:24).

Since we’re physical beings, there is no internal change from some kind of spiritual death to spiritual life at conversion. Nothing changes inside because there’s nothing to change. We do, however, begin receiving God’s Breath into our hearts at conversion. His Breath is not a one-time deposit as if dropping a quarter into a jukebox. But as with our natural breathing, it’s a continual breathing and infilling in our hearts: “Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Luk 1:41); “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Luk 1:67); “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Act 4:8); “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Act 4:31); “that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Act 9:17); “Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Act 13:9).

God’s Breath in our hearts is the earnest, guarantee, or pledge that we will be resurrected from the dead: “But if the Spirit [Breath] of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit [Breath] that dwelleth in you” (Rom 8:11); “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit [Breath] in our hearts” (2Co 1:22); “God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit [Breath]” (2Co 5:5); “ye were sealed with that holy Spirit [Breath] of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance” (Eph 1:13-14).

We continue in Him by His Breath continuing in us

In his first letter, John spoke of the anointing or Holy Breath continuing in us, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth [continues] in you” (1Jo 2:27), “And hereby we know that he abideth [continues] in us, by the Spirit [Breath] which he hath given us” (1Jo 3:24), “Hereby know we that we dwell [continue] in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit [Breath]” (1Jo 4:13).

Jesus’ parable of the Vine and Branches was a directive to the remaining eleven disciples to continue in Him, “Abide [continue] in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide [continue] in me” (Jhn 15:4). Judas Iscariot didn’t continue in the Son, therefore the Breath of the Father didn’t continue in him, “If a man abide [continue] not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (Jhn 15:6). Jesus had said that he was a child of the Father by His Breath, “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit [Breath] of your Father which speaketh in you” (Mat 10:20), “how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit [Breath] to them that ask him?” (Luk 11:13). But the Father’s Breath left him and the enemy entered, “And after the sop Satan entered into him” (Jhn 13:27).

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit [breath] is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits [breaths] more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Luke 11:21-26)

Because we’ve all sinned, we’ve all become slaves to sin: “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (Jhn 8:34); “For when ye were the servants of sin” (Rom 6:20); “I am carnal, sold under sin” (Rom 7:14); “for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2Pe 2:19); “He that committeth sin is of the devil” (1Jo 3:8). Because we’re slaves to sin, we have an unclean breath in our hearts and we’re held by this “strong man” that’s stronger than ourselves. We’re simply powerless to overcome this bondage. But when we come to Christ, God gives us His Holy Breath that is stronger than the unclean breath and drives it out. His Breath in us is greater than the unclean breath in the rest of the world, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1Jo 4:4).

We depend on the strength of His Breath continually to overcome the enemy: “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Eph 3:16); “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Eph 6:10); “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phl 4:13); “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Col 1:11).

However, if we don’t continue in Him, then God’s Breath won’t continue in us and that unclean breath will return and bring more: “I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits [breaths] more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” (Luk 11:24-26); “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2Ti 2:25-26); “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning” (2Pe 2:20).

Jesus said that blasphemy against the Breath will never be forgiven, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost [Breath] shall not be forgiven unto men” (Mat 12:31). This is what happened to King Saul, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1Sa 15:23), “But the Spirit [Breath] of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit [breath] from the LORD troubled him” (1Sa 16:14). God knows our hearts and is merciful to sincere ignorance of the truth. But once we’re no longer ignorant yet stubbornly rebel, we’re in danger of blaspheming against His Breath for which there will never be mercy or forgiveness. David knew that this is what happened to Saul and feared greatly that his sin would result in the same fate, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit [breath] from me” (Psa 51:11).

John wrote that until Christ returns, remaining or continuing in fellowship with the Son and the Father is conditional, “If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain [continue] in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father” (1Jo 2:24), “And now, little children, abide [continue] in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1Jo 2:28). However, once we’ve been “born of God” at His coming, remaining or continuing is unconditional, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth [continues] in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1Jo 3:9). We absolutely will remain and continue in Him at that point because we can never sin again.

Once we’ve been resurrected after the same likeness as Christ’s resurrection, we’ll be in the same state of righteousness. In other words, there’s no more possibility of us sinning than Him sinning. We’ll truly be that secure! For something to happen to us, it would have to happen to Him too which is what He meant when He said, “By myself have I sworn” (Gen 22:16). He is the promise and guarantee of our eternal life.

Paul taught that resurrection from death is like a seed springing from the ground to life, “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body” (1Co 15:36-38). A seed produces after its kind and it’s in the fruit, “the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself … the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind” (Gen 1:11-12). Therefore, like a seed, if we’re faithful to death “after his kind,” we’ll be resurrected from the dead “after his kind.” Our security will be in Him forever because the seed is in the fruit, “his seed remaineth [continues] in him” (1Jo 3:9).

Finishing the race in faithfulness

Salvation from death at Christ’s return comes to those that belong to Him and go to their deaths in faithful service to Him: “whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:8); “fallen asleep in Christ” (1Co 15:18); “in Christ shall all be made alive” (1Co 15:22); “they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1Co 15:23), “the dead in Christ” (1Th 4:16); “the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus” (2Ti 1:1); “These all died in faith [faithfulness]” (Heb 11:13); “be thou faithful unto death” (Rev 2:10); “the dead which die in the Lord” (Rev 14:13).

Several times Paul likened salvation to running a race: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain” (1Co 9:24); “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Gal 5:7); “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” (Phl 2:16); “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith [faithfulness]” (2Ti 4:7).

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:10-14)

Here in Philippians, Paul didn’t count himself to have apprehended the resurrection but viewed it as a prize that he was striving to attain. He had said earlier in his letter, “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” (Phl 2:16). The prize at the finish line is resurrection “in the day of Christ.”

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith [faithfulness]: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Although earlier in his life Paul didn’t count himself to have apprehended, before his death he did. He considered at this point his race to be finished and had been faithful to death. And he saw his reward coming on the day of “his appearing.”

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith [faithfulness]; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

The men and women in the Old Testament “died in faith [faithfulness]” (Heb 11:13). They had a race set before them and finished by being faithful unto death. Of course Jesus Christ Himself is the quintessential example of dying in faithfulness which is why we should be “looking unto” Him.

God designed the creation itself to teach us about salvation, “In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it” (Psa 19:4-6). From man’s perspective, the sun rises in the east and shines its light, then sets in the west leaving us in darkness. It’s seemingly on a fixed course of travel from beginning to end. And this is similar to a race. The course is set and strong men or athletes must run the entire circuit and cross the finish line at the end.

Salvation isn’t so much about how we start as it is how we finish, and the finish line is the same for all of us—death. We must cross the finish line in faithfulness. This doesn’t mean necessarily that we must die a martyr. We’re told “These all died in faith [faithfulness]” (Heb 11:13), yet some of them—even the greatest of them, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David—died natural deaths. It’s that we live in a faithful and trusting relationship with God until the day we die.

Once Saved Always Saved is dangerous

The doctrine of unconditional eternal security or Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS) is the fruit of an erroneous view of salvation based on a faulty view of man. If man is an eternal non-physical being that is spiritually dead, then salvation and eternal life is a change from spiritual death to spiritual life that we have now. And since we have eternal life now, then we’re eternally secure now. After all, as proponents of OSAS jeer, since eternal life is eternal, how could it be forfeited or lost? It’s eternal by very definition.

Advocates of OSAS are right that salvation can’t be lost but wrong about what and when it is. Salvation or eternal life isn’t an inner change from spiritual death to spiritual life now. It’s resurrection from the dead to eternal life at the return of the Lord. It’s at that point we’ll truly be OSAS! It’s correct to recognize that eternal life truly is eternal, but incorrect to suppose we have it right now.

Jesus’ statement, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (Jhn 10:28), is a favorite those championing OSAS. And He was speaking of eternal security but once we have eternal life. It’s because we can never die again that nobody can ever harm us again, “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do” (Luk 12:4). Eternal security is being in the presence of the Lord forever, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1Th 4:17). Once we’re born of God, we’ll continue in Him forever, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth [continues] in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1Jo 3:9). And this security is unconditional because we cannot sin ever again.

Salvation isn’t a formula. It isn’t doing ‘A’ to get ‘B.’ Yet a faith-confession formula is essentially what’s being taught today in mainstream Protestant Christianity. But if salvation is by a formula, then assurance of salvation is by the same formula. If we’re saved by 4 Steps to Peace with God, then assurance comes by stressing to ourselves that we completed the 4 Steps.

Salvation comes to those that have a right relationship with God, and relationships don’t function by formulas. Just try using formulas on your spouse. I found it doesn’t work! In this life Christians are forgiven and have a right relationship with God that will consummate in salvation from death when Christ returns. Since we’re not even saved at this point, there’s no such thing as losing or forfeiting salvation. We can’t lose what we don’t have. What we have is a right relationship with God and relationships can be severed or broken.

Some hold a misconception that God is obligated to save us—not just that He can but that He must. If we’ve performed the faith-confession formula, then we’re saved and always will be. It’s almost as though we’re now in control and God must always nod in agreement. But it’s God that saves us and He is in control. He sent His only begotten Son to sacrifice Himself for our sins so that we could be forgiven and have a right relationship with Him. But we’re still at His mercy even after we’ve been forgiven. He doesn’t have to do anything for us.

Wisdom begins with fearing God, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Psa 111:10; Pro 9:10). It’s the fear that He absolutely will exact the punishment for our sins that prompts our obedience to His Son Jesus Christ. The reason the false doctrine of OSAS is so dangerous is that it diminishes the fear of the Lord. If we’re already saved right now and can never lose it, then the consequences for our sins have forever been removed. Why fear God anymore? If we’re eternally secure right now, then there are no more consequences for our sins. It doesn’t matter if we sin, or how we treat each other. Nothing we do or don’t do ultimately matters because we’re “getting in” no matter what. Now, of course, few Christians would ever admit thinking this way.

The fear of possibly falling away from Christ is a good thing not a bad thing. The warning passages in Scripture, most notably, “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Heb 6:6), “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,” (Heb 10:26), are for our benefit to help prevent us from falling away. God doesn’t want us to ultimately perish and gave such warning passages to help prevent this from happening. They act somewhat like a safety net. But OSAS is dangerous because it voids and nullifies the warnings and contributes to Christians falling away. Those who teach OSAS are unwittingly helping facilitate the falling away of Christians!

The real question we should ask isn’t if we’re OSAS but rather if we’re Once Forgiven Always Forgiven. In Matthew 18, Jesus told a parable about a king that forgave one of his servants a tremendous debt but then later put all of the debt right back on his account, “Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt” (Mat 18:27), “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him” (Mat 18:34). Jesus then stated that this is likewise how God the Father will do to us, “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (Mat 18:35). We can be forgiven and at peace with God but then later no longer forgiven and become His enemy again.

Though we’ve been forgiven by God, He won’t continue to forgive us if we don’t forgive others: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mat 6:14-15); “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mar 11:25-26); “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph 4:32); “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col 3:13); “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (Jas 2:13).

We do a disservice to people by simply helping them feel at ease and more comfortable about their salvation. We should be helping them be saved even if they have to be made quite uncomfortable and possibly fearful. It’s not about making people happy but keeping them from perishing.

Our salvation from death in resurrection is contingent upon a continued right relationship with God unto our deaths. Proponents of OSAS like to badger that if salvation can be lost, then at what point does it happen? But that question is a ruse because we’re not even saved. We can’t lose what we don’t have. As far as the possibility of our relationship with God being permanently broken—at what point it happens, what causes it to happen, how it can be known that it happened—there’s no simple answer because relationships aren’t simple! It’s God’s prerogative to allow our relationship to continue, or to severe it at any point along the way. He can decide to cast us from His presence and take His Breath away, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit [breath] from me” (Psa 51:11).

Assurance of salvation

Many Christians are desperate for assurance of salvation because they’ve been wrongly taught that the destiny of the unsaved is eternal burning alive. When the consequences of being unsaved are that unimaginably horrifying, assurance becomes highly critical. But learning the truth that annihilation is the antithesis of eternal life puts assurance or lack thereof in its proper context and perspective. Annihilation certainly isn’t a desirable destiny either yet is far more palatable.

When it comes to assurance, the first thing we need to concede is that having it isn’t always a good thing because of false assurance. Being falsely assured of having something we don’t have is not only unconstructive but also destructive. Because wrongly supposing we already have what we want prevents us from ever getting it. False assurance we’re already saved almost guarantees we never will be.

People belonging to false religions and cults many times have an assurance of salvation but it’s false. Assurance is good only when it’s true. Rather than seeking assurance necessarily, our pursuit should be for further knowledge of the truth. The more truth we gain—knowledge of reality or the actual state—the better off we’ll be.

The main reason many Christians struggle with assurance of salvation is because they’ve been taught a wrong view of man and his salvation—a false view of reality or its actual state. Therefore, they’re trying to gain assurance of something that isn’t true and get something that can’t be had. The first step toward having the kind of assurance God intends for us to have is acknowledging the truth that man is a physical being whose final destiny is either eternal life with Christ in His Kingdom or complete annihilation from existence. Next, we must recognize that none of us are saved right now but will be saved and have eternal life once we’re raised from the dead at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The starting point of assurance, therefore, is identifying exactly what we need assurance of. Since salvation isn’t an inner change in the state of being, we shouldn’t be pursuing assurance of that. We simply can’t have true assurance of something we don’t have. What we do have is forgiveness of sins and a right relationship with God the Father. And the assurance that we’re right with Him and belong to Him as dear children, comes only from Him.

It’s walking with God daily in a faithful and trusting relationship that strengthens our assurance that we’re forgiven and right with Him. Jesus told us, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on … Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Mat 6:25, 34). Trusting God to sustain our daily lives assures us He’s going to give us eternal life. Experiencing Him is the greatest assurance! We can know we’re His children when we trust Him and He takes care of us as our loving Father.

I’ll share a personal experience that bolstered my assurance tremendously. There was a time when I was in a dire situation that I had tried and tried to fix myself rather than trusting God. Finally, the day came that everything was about to fall apart and I was greatly disturbed and shook up about what was going to happen. At the end of my ropes so to speak, I was sitting in my car and just cried out in tears for God to help me. At that very instant He spoke this verse to my mind, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Mat 6:34). It was the most real encounter with God I’ve ever experienced. There was no doubt that He spoke to my mind. It made me realize that I hadn’t been trusting God with all my heart, or even very much at all. At that moment I committed to start trusting Him every day and no longer worry about tomorrow. What’s more is that for the rest of that day, He gave me peace inside that passes all understanding, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phl 4:7). It didn’t make sense that I could have peace through that particular situation yet I wasn’t the least bit worried. In the end, the entire circumstance worked itself out without doing anything myself. The assurance I received that day, as well as many other times since, were from God Himself.

On the negative side, God’s discipline also assures us of being His children, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Heb 12:6-7). I could also tell of a time when I went through a long period of His discipline because I wasn’t living right before Him. Enduring that span of difficulty certainly wasn’t pleasant yet was effective at not only getting me back on track but also assuring me of being His child.

God tries and tests our faithfulness to Him, and proven faithfulness is great assurance: “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10); “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts” (Pro 17:3); “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zec 13:9); “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith [faithfulness] worketh patience” (Jas 1:2-3); “That the trial of your faith [faithfulness], being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1Pe 1:7).

Our prayer life is another tremendous source of assurance. Of course I’ve had times when my prayers weren’t answered, but other times they were answered and even almost immediately. I can remember numerous occasions when I needed an answer to something urgently and it was given to my mind and heart right away in answer to prayer. But then there have also been times when the answer wasn’t needed urgently and God gave it to me days, months, or even years later when I wasn’t even thinking about it. What great assurance of belonging to Him when we receive the right answer to something and we weren’t even trying to get it.

The final means of assurance we’ll mention is forgiveness when we repent of sin. That feeling of the burden of guilt lifting and having a clear conscience is a great assurance that God is continuing to count us right with Him. Of course the ideal scenario is to not sin in the first place. However, a clear conscience after repenting of a sin is a great assurance of our continued relationship with God.

Conclusion

Pastors watch for the souls of the flock they oversee, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you” (Heb 13:17). If they truly love Jesus Christ and His flock, they’ll make every effort to be sure they’re teaching the truth about salvation. It’s not their fault they were taught a false view in seminary. However, they become culpable once they come to the knowledge of the truth.

Saul of Tarsus was shown mercy because he had been sincerely ignorant, “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (1Ti 1:13). But after he came to the knowledge of the truth, Christ required him to embrace it along with the accompanying sufferings. With knowledge comes a decision that we’re held accountable for. We can decide to either continue teaching what we’ve come to know is false, or begin teaching what we now know is the truth.

Christians are confused, fearful, and deceived about salvation. They’ve been taught truthfully that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ, but falsely about what they are and what salvation is. They’ve been taught that they’re an eternal non-physical being that will leave the body at death and go to either heaven or hell forever, and the prospect of burning alive forever is unthinkable. Therefore, since they’re saved by faith alone and they’ve made the faith-confession, they’re good to go! They’ve had the internal change in the state of being from spiritual death to spiritual life—born again to a new creature. They’re now saved and always will be. But if doubts creep in about their salvation, they only need to remind themselves that they made the faith-confession.

If we love the Lord Jesus Christ and we love people, we’ll tell people the truth about salvation, “But speaking the truth in love” (Eph 4:15). We’ll tell them what the Creator Himself said that they are, “for dust thou art” (Gen 3:19), and we’ll tell them what salvation is—that it’s being forgiven and right with God now, then getting the victory over death at Christ’s return. We’ll tell them that being right with God comes by repenting of their sins and declaring that Jesus Christ is their Lord in public water baptism. At that point they’ll begin receiving God’s Breath into their hearts to live by His strength as if they’re a completely new person from the old. They’ll live in faithfulness and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, and a trusting relationship with God as their Father. Their assurance will come from their continued relationship with God—remaining in Christ and God’s Breath remaining in them. But along with this blessed relationship also comes suffering for Christ’s sake, for His name and glory. Their faithfulness will be tested many times but if they’ll remain faithful and die “in Christ,” if they’ll finish this “race” they started, they’ll be born from above—raised to eternal life at Christ’s return from above. They’ll be with the Lord forever in His Kingdom on this earth in the renewed creation. They won’t go to live with God, He will come to live with them, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev 21:3).

True Theology – Part 2

Introduction

The doctrine of the Trinity is illogical and simply doesn’t make sense. Even many of the most highly intelligent Trinitarian theologians admit, albeit reluctantly, that they just can’t understand this doctrine. But the reason they can’t understand it is because even God can’t understand it! But seriously, since truth is logical but the doctrine of the Trinity is illogical, it’s not true. Just a few of its main illogical claims: the one God consists of three Persons; Jesus is both “God the Son” and “the Son of God”; Jesus is both a 100% divine being and a 100% human being at the same time; Jesus was eternally begotten; although God can’t be tempted, Jesus is God and was tempted in all points; although God can’t die, Jesus is God and did die.

The correct view of God, on the other hand, is quite simple and logical. One Person is God and has always existed. At some point before the creation, God begat His Son equal to Himself in substance and kind but under His direct submission and authority. Therefore, the one true God became the Father by having begotten His Son. He then directed His Son to create the heavens, the earth, and all living creatures including all principalities and powers. After man sinned, God began His plan of salvation to reconcile the world to Himself through His Son. The Son of God willingly relinquished His divinity and was made flesh—He transitioned from a 100% divine being to a 100% human being. As a human being, He worked miracles, signs, and wonders by the anointing of His Father’s Breath upon Him. He lived a perfect and sinless life then died on the cross for the sins of the world, committing Himself to His Father to raise Him from the dead. After His resurrection, He ascended back to heaven and sat down at the right hand of His Father having been given all power in heaven and earth, ever living to make intercession for the saints. And He will return one day to raise all of His own to eternal life in His Kingdom.

Although the doctrine of the Trinity is the landslide majority view of Christians today, history has been consistent in the majority view being wrong while only a small remnant is following the one true God. In Paul’s last words to the world he said, “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me” (2Ti 1:15). It’s quite unfathomable that everyone in Asia had turned away from the apostle Paul himself. Surely the majority couldn’t have been wrong! If this was true of the majority even in the days of the apostles themselves then how much more it could very well be true today almost 2,000 years later.

We don’t realize just how utterly pervasive and thorough the devil has corrupted the truth over the last 2,000 years. There are thousands of Protestant Christian denominations worldwide and within many of these denominations abound factions, divisions, and disagreements about the truth. New denominations are formed usually by splits within the existing ones.

Jesus Christ taught the truth, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jhn 14:6), “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (Jhn 18:37), and His teaching is quite simple and easy to understand. But Trinitarian theologians peddle a complex and illogical mess that confuses people, leaving them frustrated and sometimes even giving up on ever knowing the truth. Modern theologians are the main perpetrators of the false doctrine of the Trinity. They’ve been taught by the previous generation and continue the cycle by teaching and training the next generation of theologians and pastors in seminaries. And once they’ve immersed them into the system, they train them in apologetics to skillfully defend any attacks against the system. But instead of submitting to Jesus Christ and agreeing with the simple truth that He taught, Trinitarian theologians continue to push their complex and illogical system. Therefore, in this writing, I don’t refer to Trinitarians in general but Trinitarian theologians specifically. A wise man once said, “Lucy… You’ve got some splainin’ to do!”

What is our authority?

Paul taught that Jesus Christ is the Head, the highest authority over the church, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph 1:22-23), “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” (Eph 5:23), “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col 1:18).

The church is under the authority of the Head and should submit to the truth He taught: “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jhn 1:17); “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jhn 8:32); “And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?” (Jhn 8:46); “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jhn 14:6); “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (Jhn 18:37); “the truth is in Jesus” (Eph 4:21). What Jesus taught about God and about Himself is the truth and the final authority that settles all disputes.

Trinitarian theologians, on the other hand, appeal to church councils and creeds as their authority for the doctrine of the Trinity. They claim that the “truth” of the Trinity was established by the church hundreds, and some even say 2,000 years ago. They also invoke the majority mainstream view of Protestant Christian churches today for support. But these tactics just appeal to the church as their authority rather than to its Head. Why not submit to the truth taught by our Lord Jesus Christ? If we know the truth He taught yet won’t submit to it, is He really our Lord? Is He really the Head, or is the church?

Jesus declared the Father

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (Jhn 1:18), “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” (Jhn 5:37), “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father” (Jhn 6:46), “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see” (1Ti 6:16), “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (1Jo 4:12).

None of us has seen God. Therefore, when it comes to the knowledge of God, none of us knows what we’re talking about! Only the Son of God has seen God the Father because He was with God before coming into this world, “and the Word was with God” (Jhn 1:1), “the Word of life … which was with the Father” (1Jo 1:1, 2). Since He’s the only one that was with God and has seen God then He is the only one that knows what He’s talking about. We must listen to what He said about God and what He said about Himself. Trinitarian theologians, although having never seen God, teach something different than what the Son of God taught yet want us to listen to them!

“All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Mat 11:27); “Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” (Jhn 8:19); “Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying” (Jhn 8:55); “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep” (Jhn 10:15); “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me” (Jhn 17:25).

No man knows the Son, and no man knows the Father—only the Father knows the Son, and only the Son knows the Father. What they said about each other is the final word. And there is nothing here about a third Person knowing either of them or being known by either of them. The pressure isn’t on those of us that agree with what the Father and Son said about each other. The pressure is on Trinitarian theologians that disagree with them and teach something else.

What the Father and Son declared about each other is very clear and understandable. The Son called Himself “the Son of God” and the Father called Him “My Beloved Son.” The Son never called Himself “God” and the Father never called His Son “God.” Furthermore, the Son did call His Father “God” and even called Him “My God.” Finally, neither of them called the Holy Breath “God.” Both God the Father and the Son of God agree with each other completely. Why do Trinitarian theologians teach something different about them? Why won’t they agree with them? Do they know more about the Father and the Son than even the Father and the Son know about their own selves?

The proper knowledge of God begins with the words of the Son of God. His words about God and about Himself are the lens through which we are to understand and view everything else about God in the Scriptures. He said, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luk 9:26). To know and understand His words about God and about Himself yet teach something different is to be ashamed of Him and of His words. And He said that if we’re ashamed of Him and of His words, He will be ashamed of us—He will deny us before the Father and we will perish. Do any really suppose we can knowingly and willingly disagree with Jesus Christ and still be saved by Him?

The lens of Trinitarian theologians

Rather than starting with what Jesus Christ taught about God and about Himself, Trinitarian theologians start with their own theological system and use it as the lens by which they view what the Scriptures say about God. That they begin by assuming the doctrine of the Trinity is true then impose it upon the Scriptures is most glaringly obvious by them forcing the simple meaning of the plural from “more than one” to exactly three! The statements, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen 1:26), “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language” (Gen 11:7), “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isa 6:8), supposedly prove a Triune God. Instead of following evidence to where it leads, they’re leading it to where they want it to go. But staying faithful to Jesus’ teaching, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (Jhn 3:13), “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (Jhn 17:5), we conclude that the plurality of divine beings in the Scriptures are two—the Father and the Son.

By using the doctrine of the Trinity as their lens, the places Paul wrote of “God our Saviour” (1Ti 1:1, 2:3; Tit 1:3, 2:10, 3:4) supposedly indicate that since Jesus is our Savior then Jesus is God. However, if we’ll begin with Jesus Christ’s own words and stay true to what He taught about God then we’ll understand that God the Father is our Savior because He sent His Son to save us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (Jhn 3:16-17). The Father and the Son can both be spoken of as our Savior because they both are. In fact, Paul even distinguished God our Savior from our Lord Jesus Christ, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope” (1Ti 1:1).

Another example is the claim that the Holy Breath must be a Person co-equal with God because Peter said that lying to the Holy Breath is lying to God, “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost [Breath] … thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Act 5:3-4). But this is simply grasping at straws to make the Scriptures affirm Trinitarian doctrine. By reminding ourselves what Jesus taught about the Holy Breath, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (Jhn 14:23), we understand that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are present in the hearts of men by the indwelling Breath. Therefore, lying to these men indwelt by the Breath was tantamount to lying to God.

The last example is when Paul said “God was manifest [phaneroo 5319] in the flesh” (1Ti 3:16), this supposedly proves that Jesus is God in the flesh. However, he was simply saying that God the Father was being made known, recognized, understood, or actualized through the incarnation of His Son Jesus Christ. This agrees with what His Son said, “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me” (Jhn 12:45), “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (Jhn 14:9), and with what John said, “the Word of life; (For the life was manifested [phaneroo 5319] … eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested [phaneroo 5319] unto us” (1Jo 1:2). Jesus Christ in the flesh manifested God to us.

What God said about Jesus Christ

Twice God the Father spoke from heaven calling Jesus His beloved Son—first at His baptism and second at the Mount of Transfiguration, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mat 3:17), “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Mat 17:5).

The apostle John, present at both occasions and also at Christ’s crucifixion when He shed His blood, wrote about these events, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood” (1Jo 5:5-6). He went on to say, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son” (1Jo 5:9). Since we accept the witness of two or three men as the truth then how much greater is the witness of God Himself? Especially since God testified twice from heaven about His Son? Saying something different about the Son than what God testified is to make God a liar, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son” (1Jo 5:10). For Trinitarian theologians to say that Jesus is “God the Son” is tantamount to making God a liar because He didn’t call Him “God” but His Son.

What Jesus Christ said about Himself

Jesus never called Himself “God the Son” but “the Son of God”: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (Jhn 3:16); “Dost thou believe on the Son of God? … Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee” (Jhn 9:35, 37); “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (Jhn 10:36); “that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (Jhn 11:4); “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee” (Jhn 17:1).

Even many years after His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back to heaven and seating at the right hand of God, this is what He continued to call Himself, “These things saith the Son of God” (Rev 2:18). Trinitarian theologians, however, call Him “God the Son.” How do they know something different about Him that even He didn’t know about Himself?

What John said about Jesus Christ

The apostle John stated the reasons he wrote his Gospel and his first letter, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (Jhn 20:31), “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1Jo 5:13). He wrote, not so that we would believe Jesus is “God the Son,” but that He is “the Son of God.”

He taught throughout his first letter that Jesus Christ is the Son: “and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1Jo 1:3); “and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1Jo 1:7); “He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father … ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” (1Jo 2:22-24); “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1Jo 3:8); “That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ” (1Jo 3:23); “because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1Jo 4:9-10); “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God” (1Jo 4:14-15); “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1Jo 5:5); “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ” (1Jo 5:20).

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:9-13)

In these five consecutive verses alone, John mentioned the Son eight times! It seems he wanted to emphasize repeatedly to make it absolutely clear that He is the Son of God. And his second letter began with, “Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2Jo 1:3).

No other man in history knew Jesus Christ better than the apostle John. He lived with Him for over three years and was personally taught by Him. He heard with his own ears what God declared about Him at His baptism and also at the Mount of Transfiguration. He ate with Him at His last supper, watched Him hang on the cross, took His mother into his own home, was an eyewitness of Him after His resurrection, and saw Him ascend back into heaven. He wrote five books of the Bible including one of the four Gospels and the very last book of the entire canon of Scripture. And John was the last man on this earth to ever see Him when He was given the final revelation of Jesus Christ.

The apostle John knew Him better than anyone ever has, and he never called Jesus “God the Son” but always “the Son of God,” “the only begotten Son,” and “the Son.” How can anyone suppose they know better about Jesus Christ than he did? Why should we listen to Trinitarian theologians rather than to John?

Confessing the Son of God

The apostle Peter’s great confession was “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mat 16:16). And the apostle John also wrote, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (Jhn 20:31). This is also what the apostle Paul and his companions preached, “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God” (Act 9:20), “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea” (2Co 1:19). Trinitarian theologians, however, teach and preach that He is “God the Son”—a term found nowhere in Scripture.

The confession of salvation is that Jesus is the Son of God, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mat 16:16), “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God” (1Jo 4:15). But the Trinitarian confession that He is “God the Son” actually denies He is “the Son of God” because He can’t be both. If He is God then He can’t be God’s Son, but if He is God’s Son then He can’t be God because they are two distinct Persons. There’s no way around this.

Although Trinitarian theologians teach both—that He is “God the Son” and “the Son of God”—they can’t mean both because He can’t be both. They can only mean one or the other because He can only be one or the other. It’s how they define Him that actually counts. Though they might say He is “the Son of God,” but because they define Him as “God the Son” they’re actually denying that He is “the Son of God”—the very confession of salvation! It isn’t just what we say but what we mean by what we say. It’s both the mouth and the heart.

More is not always better

The typical false views of Jesus deflate Him and make Him something less—that He is only a man or that He is an angelic being. But the doctrine of the Trinity is even more subtle and sinister altogether because it actually inflates Him and makes Him something more—that He is “God the Son,” co-equal with God the Father. Therefore, according to Trinitarian theologians, denying this view of Jesus is denying God. This is why it’s incredibly difficult for Christians to ever repent of this false doctrine even after they’re aware of the overwhelming evidence of Scripture against it. It’s even made more difficult by the fact that it also entails going against the landslide majority view of Christianity and thereby being labeled a heretic. Furthermore, there’s always the looming fear of being wrong about this and therefore forever doomed to eternal fire. It’s a horrible deception and bondage indeed.

As noble as it might seem, making Jesus to be “God the Son” doesn’t glorify Him or the Father. Making someone or something else to be God—either the Son of God or the Holy Breath of God—actually impinges upon the glory of the one true God the Father, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isa 42:8). More Persons doesn’t improve upon God! As if too much oil in a car is better than the right amount. What if, hypothetically, some Christians were to claim that God is four Persons? Would that be better? Trinitarians would then be the ones anathematized for denying one of the Persons.

Making the Son of God to be co-equal with God the Father actually violates the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exo 20:3). This commandment is not broken by obedience to gods, rulers, or lords under the authority of the one true God, “Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people” (Exo 22:28). Obedience to Jesus Christ as our Lord glorifies God because Jesus Himself is under the authority of God the Father, “my Father is greater than I” (Jhn 14:28), “Christ is God’s” (1Co 3:23), “the head of Christ is God” (1Co 11:3). Maintaining this hierarchy of authority is essential for a correct view of God while making anyone or anything co-equal with God breaks the First Commandment.

It’s because of this hierarchy of authority that Jesus said, “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (Jhn 20:17), then Thomas subsequently called Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (Jhn 20:28). We call both the Son of God “my God” and also the Father “my God” because the Son rules over us and the Father rules over the Son. The Son is our God because He is our Lord, and the Father is our God because He is our Lord’s God. Similarly, it’s because of the hierarchy in the workplace that both our boss and our boss’s boss are our bosses. Both are our bosses not because they’re equal but because they’re not equal!

Hierarchy is the reason that in the following statement the Son is God over His own Kingdom, while God that anointed Him is His own God, “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” (Heb 1:8-9).

God the Father is glorified when His Son Jesus Christ is given the proper glory, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee … that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jhn 17:1, 3). Paul said that God the Father is glorified, not by confessing Christ is “God the Son,” but Lord, “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phl 2:11). Christ’s Lordship is the confession of salvation, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom 10:9). Paul also declared that his one God is the Father and his one Lord is Jesus Christ, “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” (1Co 8:6), “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all” (Eph 4:5-6).

Another argument Trinitarian theologians make is that Jesus must be “God the Son” because He is worshipped as God. However, we’re told that He is worshipped because He is the Son of God and because He is Lord, “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Mat 14:33), “Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me” (Mat 15:25), “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him … And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted” (Mat 28:9, 17), “And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luk 24:52).

Claiming that Jesus is more—that He is more than the only begotten Son of God but has always existed from eternity past, and that He is more than a human kind of being but continues to be a divine kind of being, and that He is more than “the Son of God” but is “God the Son,” and that He is more than Lord but is also co-equal with God—might seem virtuous but is dangerous. An embellished view of Jesus Christ is still a false view of Jesus Christ. Making Him more is not better.

Opposite sides of the ditch

Trinitarians and Unitarians both have a false view of Jesus Christ from the same root cause—a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word “God” translated from the Greek theos. Since they both understand theos as a type of being, then the Son begotten of God must also be God or else wasn’t begotten the same type of being. Trinitarian theologians fall into the ditch that He is God and therefore are forced to claim that He has always existed, that His incarnation was a hypostatic union of two types of beings, that His miracles were by His own power, and that He even resurrected His own self! Unitarian theologians, however, fall into the ditch on the other side of the road. Since they correctly understand that only the Father is God, then the Son of God can’t be the same type of being as His Father because this would mean that the Son is also God as Trinitarians teach. Therefore, they’re forced to claim that Jesus is only a man that didn’t pre-exist His humanity but was begotten by God in the womb of Mary.

Correctly understanding that theos isn’t a type of being but a position of authority solves the entire problem, harmonizes all of Scripture, and glorifies the Father and the Son. There is only one God the Father in the position of the highest supreme authority. The Son of God Jesus Christ was begotten of God as the same type of being before the creation of the universe yet is not God Himself because only His Father occupies that highest position. In His incarnation, Jesus transitioned from the same type of divine being as His Father into a human being in the womb of His mother Mary, “And the Word was made flesh” (Jhn 1:14). He is now a different kind of being than before but still the Son of God because He was born of a virgin. Trinitarian theologians make Him more than He is (co-equal with God), while Unitarian theologians make Him less than He is (just a man).

Why did Jesus speak figuratively?

The main argument Trinitarian theologians make for the Holy Breath being a Person are the occurrences in John chapters 14, 15, and 16 where Jesus spoke of the Breath using personal pronouns: “Even the Spirit [Breath] of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (Jhn 14:17), “the Spirit [Breath] of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (Jhn 15:26), “Howbeit when he, the Spirit [Breath] of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (Jhn 16:13).

However, Jesus Himself finished His discourse by stating that He had been speaking figuratively, “These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs [figuratively]: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs [figuratively], but I shall shew you plainly of the Father” (Jhn 16:25). The apostle Paul later confirmed this to be his understanding of what Christ taught because he used neuter pronouns for the Breath (however some Bible versions incorrectly translate his statements with personal pronouns), “The Spirit [Breath] itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom 8:16), “Likewise the Spirit [Breath] also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit [Breath] itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom 8:26).

This is also how the apostle John later understood Christ because He called the Breath “the anointing” and used a neuter pronoun as well, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (1Jo 2:27). The anointing teaches us just as Christ had said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost [Breath], whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things” (Jhn 14:26).

Although before His death Jesus spoke to His disciples about the Breath figuratively as if it’s a Person yet after His resurrection, He showed them plainly that it is Breath, “he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Jhn 20:21-22). The obvious question is why He didn’t just tell them plainly at the start? Why lead them to understand one thing initially then clarify the correct understanding later?

The first thing we should recognize is that throughout His ministry, Jesus had only told them what they needed to hear up to any given point, “And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you” (Jhn 16:4). Too much information too soon is not always a good thing. They didn’t need to hear this discourse about the Holy Breath three years earlier because Jesus Himself was with them all the time. It was because it was now time for Him to go away that they needed to hear it now.

And even now at this point, there were many more things He wouldn’t tell them because they couldn’t handle them yet, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now” (Jhn 16:12). He would later teach these things to them through the Breath, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost [Breath], whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things” (Jhn 14:26), “Howbeit when he, the Spirit [Breath] of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (Jhn 16:13).

Putting ourselves in the disciples’ shoes so to speak, they had left everything to follow Jesus Christ and now after only about three years He was breaking the news to them that He was leaving! Understandably they would be troubled, afraid, and full of sorrow, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jhn 14:27), “But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart” (Jhn 16:6).

It certainly would have seemed they were now being abandoned and left without hope had He not spoken of someone else—another Person—coming to take His place. On the other hand, at this point He still couldn’t just tell them plainly either. He couldn’t explain that He was going to die, rise the third day, appear to them many times, ascend back to heaven, give them the Holy Breath on the Day of Pentecost, and then they would go out and preach the gospel to the world. They couldn’t handle all of that yet. It was because God’s plan of salvation had to be kept hidden in a mystery beforehand that Jesus communicated to them figuratively about the Holy Breath as if another Person. They would understand later that it’s actually Himself, His own Person indwelling them through the Breath.

Yet He needed to tell them enough “that my joy might remain in you” (Jhn 15:11), “that ye should not be offended” (Jhn 16:1), “that in me ye might have peace” (Jhn 16:33). Also, He wanted to give them evidence for their trust in Him, “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe” (Jhn 14:29), “But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them” (Jhn 16:4). As the saying goes “Hindsight is always 20/20.” They wouldn’t see clearly now but would later. By telling them beforehand, they would know that He had not been a victim but had in fact laid down His own life as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jhn 1:29).

The Holy Breath according to Jesus

Our English word “pneumonia”—a respiratory infection in the air sacs of the lungs that causes difficulty in breathing and can be life-threatening—is derived from the Greek pneuma. Another word is “pneumatics” which is the scientific study of compressed air, not of spirit beings! The Hagios Pneuma typically translated as “Holy Spirit” is literally “Holy Breath.” But because pneuma is consistently mistranslated as “spirit” throughout the New Testament, Trinitarian theologians continue reigning over mainstream Christianity with their teaching that the Hagios Pneuma is a Spirit being or a Person, “a living, self-conscious, rational being; a moral agent.”

After His resurrection, Jesus Himself defined the Hagios Pneuma by literally breathing His own breath out of His own mouth onto His disciples, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Jhn 20:22). He didn’t just say that Hagios Pneuma is breath, but that there would be no misunderstanding or grounds for arguing whatsoever, He even demonstrated that it is breath! Trinitarian theologians, however, define Hagios Pneuma as a Person that is even co-equal with God. Where did they get this? Why won’t they just agree with Jesus Christ’s definition? If He is truly their Lord then why not submit to the teaching of the Lord?

Many years after His ascension and seating at the right hand of God, Jesus gave seven personal messages to seven churches in Asia. He declared “These things saith the Son of God” (Rev 2:18), and concluded each message with “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit [Breath] saith unto the churches” (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22). He called Himself the Breath, not just once or twice but seven times! Trinitarian theologians, on the other hand, teach that the Pneuma is an individual Person—a Peron distinct from the Person of the Son of God. But this isn’t what Jesus Himself taught.

Before His death Jesus had said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit [Breath] of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (Jhn 16:13). This is consistent with Him later giving John the final writing of the Scriptures, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass” (Rev 1:1). His disciples were not ready to be given the book of Revelation earlier, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” He told them beforehand “whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak,” then later spoke, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him.” Christ is the Breath that heard these things from God then spoke them to John. That “he will show you things to come” are the “things which must shortly come to pass” recorded in the book of Revelation.

The Breath of the Father

That the Holy Breath is the Father’s Breath is supported by what Mary and Joseph were both told, “The Holy Ghost [Breath] shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luk 1:35), “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost [Breath]” (Mat 1:20). If God is a Trinity of Persons with the Holy Breath being the Third, then the Third Person is the Son’s Father, not the First Person. But if the Holy Breath is simply God’s Breath, then God the Father is indeed the Son’s Father.

God the Father’s Breath is also what anointed and empowered Jesus Christ: “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit [Breath] descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit [Breath] descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” (Jhn 1:32-33); “The Spirit [Breath] of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luk 4:18); “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit [Breath] by measure unto him” (Jhn 3:34); “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost [Breath] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Act 10:38).

Christ performed miracles by the Breath of His Father God: “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit [Breath] of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Mat 12:28); “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (Jhn 3:2); “the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (Jhn 14:10); “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know” (Act 2:22); “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost [Breath] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Act 10:38).

Christ declared that His Father was in Him: “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him” (Jhn 10:37-38); “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” (Jhn 14:10-11); “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (Jhn 17:21).

Prior to Christ sending the Holy Breath on the Day of Pentecost, it was the Father’s Breath that was also in the disciples, “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit [Breath] of your Father which speaketh in you” (Mat 10:20), “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit [Breath] to them that ask him?” (Luk 11:13).

In His incarnation, the Son of God forever relinquished His divine power—the incredible power by which He created the entire universe and all its fullness—and became a human being exactly like us. Therefore, His breath now as a human being has no more power than ours. The Holy Breath is the Father’s own Breath, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit [Breath] of truth, which proceedeth from the Father” (Jhn 15:26). But because the Father sent His Breath in Christ’s name, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost [Breath], whom the Father will send in my name” (Jhn 14:26), it’s also called “the Spirit [Breath] of Christ” (Rom 8:9), “the Spirit [Breath] of the Lord” (2Co 3:17), “the Spirit [Breath] of his Son” (Gal 4:6).

The Breath is God the Father’s because He will raise us from the dead by His Breath as He raised Christ from the dead, “But if the Spirit [Breath] of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit [Breath] that dwelleth in you” (Rom 8:11), “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power” (1Co 6:14), “I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things” (1Ti 6:13).

The Breath of the Son

Christ said that He would be in us and with us: “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him” (Jhn 6:56); “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (Jhn 14:18); “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (Jhn 14:20); “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him” (Jhn 15:4-5); “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one … that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (Jhn 17:23, 26); “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Mat 28:20).

Christ is now within us by the Breath as His Father was within Him by the Breath: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit [Breath] of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit [Breath] of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you” (Rom 8:9-10); “the Spirit [Breath] itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered … It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom 8:26, 34); “Now the Lord is that Spirit [Breath]: and where the Spirit [Breath] of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2Co 3:17); “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal 2:20); “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit [Breath] of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal 4:6); “to be strengthened with might by his Spirit [Breath] in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph 3:17); “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27).

Trinitarian theologians capitalize upon the few times when personal qualities are attributed to the Breath to claim it as proof of personhood. But any personal qualities are on account of the presence of Jesus Christ through the Breath—the Breath is His presence and He is a Person. For example, it’s argued that the Holy Breath must be a Person because it can be grieved, “And grieve not the holy Spirit [Breath] of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30). However, Paul had just stated earlier that the Breath is Christ dwelling in our hearts, “strengthened with might by his Spirit [Breath] in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts” (Eph 3:16-17). It’s Christ that can be grieved because He is a Person. It was Christ that was the Messenger of the Lord grieved by His people in the days of Moses: “How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!” (Psa 78:40); “Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways” (Psa 95:10); “But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them” (Isa 63:10).

Likewise the Spirit [Breath] also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit [Breath] itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit [pneuma phronema], because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. … Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:26-27, 34)

Another example of using Scripture to proof-text personhood to the Breath is the statement in this passage “the mind of the Spirit [pneuma phronema],” that it must be a Person because it has a mind of its own. But Paul used the same Greek phrase pneuma phronema just a little earlier in this same chapter, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded [pneuma phronema] is life and peace” (Rom 8:6). He was referring back to what he had just taught about those that are spiritually-minded as opposed to those that are carnally-minded. The spiritually-minded are “not in the flesh, but in the Spirit [Breath]” because they have “the Spirit [Breath] of God” or “the Spirit [Breath] of Christ” dwelling in them (Rom 8:9).

This has nothing to do with the Breath as a Person with a mind. It’s because Christ is “he that searcheth the hearts” that He knows the pneuma phronema–He knows who is spiritually-minded and who is not. By the Holy Breath, He knows not only what we do but the very motives of our hearts for what we do, “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12). The spiritually-minded are those with the indwelling Holy Breath that do what’s right and with the right motives.

When Jesus said, “and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works” (Rev 2:23), He was quoting from Jeremiah, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer 17:10). Although He relinquished His divine powers and is now a human being like us in every regard, He is able to see our hearts by the Breath of God in us. He said to the church at Thyatira, “These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire … I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts … let him hear what the Spirit [Breath] saith unto the churches” (Rev 2:18, 23, 29). He is the Breath because the indwelling Breath is a limited manifestation of His presence within us.

Man is alive by God’s Breath

That Hagios Pneuma is God’s own Breath and not a separate individual Spirit being or Person is substantiated by comparing man’s initial creation to life with his subsequent resurrection back to life. In fact, Paul even appealed to the creation of man when teaching about the resurrection, “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit [breath]” (1Co 15:45), “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7). Man was created as a physical being and brought to life by God breathing into his nostrils. Since man was initially brought to life by God breathing into his lifeless body, it follows that man is brought to life in resurrection by God once again breathing into his lifeless body.

Many times we’re told that the Breath quickens or gives life: “It is the spirit [breath] that quickeneth” (Jhn 6:63); “the Spirit [Breath] of life” (Rom 8:2); “the Spirit [Breath] is life” (Rom 8:10); “quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit [Breath]” (Rom 8:11); “a quickening breath [breath]” (1Co 15:45); “the spirit [breath] giveth life” (2Co 3:6); “If we live in the Spirit [Breath]” (Gal 5:25); “of the Spirit [Breath] reap life everlasting” (Gal 6:8); “quickened by the Spirit [Breath]” (1Pe 3:18); “the Spirit [Breath] of life from God” (Rev 11:11).

Also, we’re told many times that it was God that raised Jesus from the dead: “whom God hath raised up” (Act 2:24); “This Jesus hath God raised up” (Act 2:32); “whom God hath raised from the dead” (Act 3:15); “God, having raised up his Son Jesus” (Act 3:26); “Him God raised up the third day” (Act 10:40); “But God raised him from the dead” (Act 13:30); “him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Rom 4:24); “Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Rom 6:4); “And God hath both raised up the Lord” (1Co 6:14); “he which raised up the Lord Jesus” (2Co 4:14); “God the Father, who raised him from the dead” (Gal 1:1); “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead” (Eph 1:20); “God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12); “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead” (1Th 1:10); “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus” (Heb 13:20); “God, that raised him up from the dead” (1Pe 1:21).

The reasonable and logical conclusion is that since the Breath quickens or gives life, and since it was God that raised Jesus from death to life, then the Hagios Pneuma is God’s Breath and not a Person. This reasoning is corroborated by Paul, “the Spirit [Breath] of him that raised up Jesus from the dead” (Rom 8:11). Jesus was raised from the dead by “the Breath of him”—God’s Breath.

The Son of God became a human being just like we are—a physical being alive by God’s breath in His nostrils. When He died, He committed His breath to the Father and breathed His last, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit [breath]: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost [exhaled]” (Luk 23:46). He then “received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit [Breath]” (Act 2:33), and was “quickened by the Spirit [Breath]” (1Pe 3:18). Since His resurrection is the exemplar of ours, we also will be raised this same way, “But if the Spirit [Breath] of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit [Breath] that dwelleth in you” (Rom 8:11).

Trinitarian theologians claim that Jesus is “God the Son” and that He actually raised Himself from the dead. They use this verse as a proof-text, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (Jhn 2:19). But since His resurrection is the exemplar of ours, if He really did raise Himself from the dead then there’s no hope for us because we can’t raise ourselves from the dead! There are two main reasons Jesus made that statement. First, it was to set up the corrupt religious leaders so that they would have a false accusation to put Him to death, “At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days” (Mat 26:60-61). Second, it was a prophecy intended to strengthen the faith of His disciples after its fulfillment, “When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said” (Jhn 2:22).

Rather than all of the Trinitarian claims about spirit persons—that the Holy Spirit [Breath] is a Person, and that man is a spirit person living inside a body, and that Christ covered His Spirit Person with flesh in the incarnation—what makes more sense is that man is a physical being alive by God’s Breath in his nostrils. Christ became a human being and breathed His last when He died, but was brought back to life by God breathing into His nostrils. Our only hope of eternal life, therefore, is having God’s indwelling Breath as an earnest or pledge that after we breathe our last, God will breathe life into us again as He did with His Son Jesus Christ.

Blasphemy against the Breath

The Holy Breath is “the Spirit [Breath] of truth” (Jhn 14:17, 15:26, 16:13). Once we’ve come to the knowledge of the truth and are no longer ignorant, God requires it of us. Blasphemy against the Breath is blasphemy against the truth for which God will never forgive, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost [Breath] shall not be forgiven unto men” (Mat 12:31).

But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:45-46)

God kept His own people ignorant of the truth in order to fulfill His plan of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Here in Antioch of Pisidia, once the Jews heard the truth about Jesus Christ from Paul and Barnabas, they were no longer ignorant. For them to now contradict and speak maliciously against the truth they had heard was blasphemy against the Breath—the presence of Jesus Christ Himself in Paul and Barnabas—for which they would never be forgiven. They judged themselves and forever forfeited eternal life. Once we’ve been given a clear line of demarcation between truth and error, God requires a judgment or decision from us.

Trinitarian theologians, on the other hand, claim that blasphemy against the Breath is denying that the Breath is a Person. Essentially, it’s denying what they teach! In that case, although blasphemy against the Breath cannot be forgiven, blasphemy against Trinitarian theologians can be forgiven! But seriously, the sobering reality is that once we come to the knowledge of the truth that Jesus taught yet willingly contradict and speak against it, we’re in danger of blasphemy against Him. Therefore, and sadly, it’s the Trinitarian theologians that are in danger of committing this unpardonable sin once they’re no longer sincerely ignorant of the truth taught by Jesus Christ. Willful sin against the truth will never be forgiven, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Heb 10:26).

Those against the King

The Greek christos transliterated into English as “Christ” is the equivalent of the Hebrew mashiyach transliterated as “Messiah.” It means “anointed” and is the title of the king. Saul was called mashiyach by both Samuel and David, “The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed [mashiyach]” (1Sa 12:5), “the LORD’S anointed [mashiyach] … he is the anointed [mashiyach] of the LORD” (1Sa 24:6). David was also called mashiyach, “the anointed [mashiyach] of the God of Jacob” (2Sa 23:1). And it was prophesied by both David and Daniel that Jesus would be mashiyach, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed [mashiyach]” (Psa 2:2), “unto the Messiah [mashiyach] the Prince shall be seven weeks … And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah [mashiyach] be cut off” (Dan 9:25, 26).

The verb “anoint” simply means “to rub,” “to smear,” or “to pour upon.” Samuel anointed both Saul and David to be king by pouring oil upon their head, “Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? …  And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit [Breath] of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.” (1Sa 10:1, 10), “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit [Breath] of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah” (1Sa 16:13). But the oil was only symbolic. It was the Breath of God that came upon them at that time which set them apart as the king.

Jesus of Nazareth was anointed by God at His baptism, “the Spirit [Breath] descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him” (Jhn 1:32). But the water was only symbolic. It was God’s Breath that came upon Him that sanctified or set Him apart as the Christ, the Anointed, the King, “The Spirit [Breath] of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me” (Luk 4:18), “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost [Breath] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Act 10:38).

Trinitarian theologians teach that Christ cast out devils by His own divine power as “God the Son,” but Jesus Himself said that He cast them out by the Breath of God, “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit [Breath] of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Mat 12:28). Who should we believe, Christ or the theologians? The power of God’s Breath to heal, work miracles, and cast out devils were signs that the King and the Kingdom of God had come. Denying that His supernatural power was by the anointing of the Breath of God is by implication denying Him as the King.

Furthermore, teaching that we are nonphysical beings that go to heaven after death, disallows our true destiny of resurrection to eternal life and inheritance in Christ’s Kingdom on this earth. Christ and His apostles never taught that we go to heaven but that we enter into, or inherit the Kingdom: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 7:21); “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 18:3); “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 19:23); “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mat 25:34); “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1Co 6:9), “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1Co 15:50); “that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:21); “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph 5:5); “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col 1:13); “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory” (2Th 2:12); “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (Jas 2:5); “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2Pe 1:11); “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:9).

Jesus blessed Peter’s confession that He is the Christ or King, the Son of God, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona” (Mat 16:16-17). In harmony with this confession, the apostle John wrote, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist [antichristos], that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father” (1Jo 2:22-23). An antichristos is literally an adversary or opponent of the king!

Antichrists deny that Jesus is the King and that He is the Son. Although Trinitarian theologians affirm both, taken to its logical conclusion, the doctrine of the Trinity actually infringes upon both. Teaching that His miracles were by His own divine power, and teaching that we go to heaven after death by implication deny His Kingdom and Him as King. And teaching that God is three co-equal Persons, “God the Father,” “God the Son,” and “God the Holy Spirit,” denies the Father as the one true God and Jesus as the Son of God. Trinitarian teaching, by logical deduction, denies what Peter affirmed that Jesus is the King, the Son of God.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Mat 24:4-5). Jesus wasn’t talking about those who falsely claim to be the Christ themselves. He was saying that many will rightly affirm that Jesus is the Christ, but will deceive many with false teachings about Him. They will affirm Him as Christ or King, but teach things that are against Him as King—the very thing that Trinitarian theologians are doing. “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” (Col 2:8).

Jesus told the parable of the nobleman who went away to receive a kingdom, “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luk 19:12-13). As servants of the King, we are to be using the “pounds” He delivered to us for His purposes in furthering His kingdom until He returns, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Mat 6:33). Trinitarian theologians teach that Christ worked miracles, not by the anointing of God’s Breath as the King but by His own power as “God the Son.” They teach, not that we’re raised from the dead at Christ’s return to inherit His kingdom but that we all go to heaven after we die. By not submitting to what He taught in furthering His kingdom, they’re essentially saying “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luk 19:14).

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28)

Here Paul taught that God is the Father, and that His Son will forever be subject to Him. This is not the “co-equal” doctrine that Trinitarian theologians teach. Who is right, the apostle Paul or the theologians?

That God has “put all things under his feet” is a quote from David about Adam, “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas” (Psa 8:6-8). Adam was given dominion over every creature he named, “And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him” (Gen 2:20). This was figurative and prophetic of Christ’s Kingdom—His authority over every name that is named and all things being put under His feet, “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet” (Eph 1:21-22). Now we understand what He meant by “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mat 25:34). Christ’s Kingdom was prepared from the very beginning as seen in a mystery in the dominion given to Adam. Therefore, God’s plan of salvation and the true gospel message from the very beginning has always been Christ’s Kingdom, “In the beginning was the Word” (Jhn 1:1).

The saving gospel message is the preaching of the Kingdom of God. This is what Christ preached throughout His ministry: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Mat 4:23); “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Mat 9:35); “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat 10:7); “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Mat 24:14); “And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent” (Luk 4:43); “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him” (Luk 8:1); “And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick” (Luk 9:2); “And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you” (Luk 10:9).

This is also what was preached from the first chapter of the book of Acts through the last: “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Act 1:3); “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Act 8:12); “And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Act 19:8); “And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more” (Act 20:25); “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God” (Act 28:23); “And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God” (Act 28:30-31).

Antichrists are adversaries or opponents of the king. Trinitarian theologians don’t teach the kingdom of God in which the Father is God and the Son is forever subject to Him, “when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father … then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1Co 15:24, 28). Instead, they teach co-equality. And they don’t teach that Jesus was anointed by God’s Breath as King to cast out devils and heal the sick, “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit [Breath] of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Mat 12:28), “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost [Breath] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Act 10:38), but that He did these things by His own divine power as a 100% divine being in the flesh. Whether or not they truly are antichrists is Christ’s decision but their teaching essentially implicates them as such.

The Roman Catholic Church

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (Revelation 17:3-6)

It has been astutely noted that this woman is likely the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Her attire is the pomp and pageantry of her popes and cardinals decked in purple and scarlet, gold and precious stones. She established the doctrine of the Trinity by anathematizing and putting to death any that disagreed with her. She is drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs that stood for the truth taught by Jesus Christ. And she is “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS” by virtue of having given birth to multitudes of Protestant Trinitarian churches all over the world, committing fornication with the Trinity rather than worshipping “the only true God” (Jhn 17:3) the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The reason the Trinity is the majority mainstream Protestant Christian view of God is that her mother established it by force hundreds of years ago. And the reason it remains the majority mainstream view is because of overwhelming pressure to stay conformed to it. Anyone denying the Trinity will be removed, publicly shamed as a blasphemer and heretic, categorized with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and given over to the fear of burning in fire forever. The bottom line is that nobody should dare question this doctrine. They claim it as part of “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jde 1:3), though it was delivered by the RCC.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

Paul described the RCC here quite descriptively. They forbid their priests from marrying and require abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays during Lent. And this is what the Breath spoke expressly or specifically would happen in the latter times.

Jesus Christ was sent by God and never taught the doctrine of the Trinity. He taught that He is the Son of God and that His Father is God and even His God. The doctrine of a Triune God didn’t come from Him! Then from whom did it come? What’s its source? The Breath said that “doctrines of devils” come from those forbidding marriage and requiring abstinence from meat, and the doctrine of the Trinity came from the very organization that fits this description.

We’re told, however, that in the end times God’s people will come out from this woman, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev 18:4). Within the RCC and Protestant churches are many of God’s people in spite of holding to the doctrine of the Trinity. It’s because they embrace this doctrine in sincere ignorance that God is gracious and merciful to them. But the day will come when they’ll no longer be ignorant of the truth and will be required to either come out or stay and receive of her plagues.

Conclusion

The dilemma faced by Trinitarian theologians is that the more educated, scholarly, and intelligent they are, the less excuse they have for being wrong about this most important doctrine of all—the doctrine of God. Especially since this doctrine is quite simple, logical, and easy to understand:

At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Matthew 11:25-27)

It’s easy enough to understand what God the Father and the Son of God said about each other that even a child can understand it! Since theologians are so brilliant, why can’t they? Why reject the simple and logical for the complex and illogical? Why teach a view of God that’s illogical and requires complex and lengthy arguments to attempt to explain? In fact, many of them even surrender and claim that it’s some kind of mystery that nobody can understand. Could it be that “the wise and prudent” just have too much to lose?

By the time Christ came, the Jewish people had developed a religious system with which they had grown comfortable, and it became very difficult to turn away from and forsake. They were in bondage to the doctrines of men and didn’t want to repent and submit to the doctrines of Jesus Christ. They loved the praise of men and didn’t want to be removed from the synagogue, scorned by their own family, and persecuted for following the truth. Unlike most Gentiles, they had too much to lose. The Pharisees in particular, with Saul of Tarsus as the prime example, had the most to lose:

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. (Philippians 3:5-8)

In a similar way as the Pharisees (and not implying that Trinitarian theologians are Pharisees), Trinitarian theologians and ministers have grown comfortable with the theological and denominational systems to which they belong and have much to lose if they were to admit that the doctrine of the Trinity is false. The far-reaching implications are that if they agree with what the Father and Son said about each other, not only will their theological system topple to rubble but possibly their own ministry and reputation. They earned seminary degrees, wrote books, taught multitudes of messages, established a reputation and name for themselves, and raised untold amounts of money in the process. It’s extremely difficult for them to now tell everyone, “I’m sorry, I was wrong about God.”

What are they going to do? Are they willing to forsake it all in order to continue following Christ, or will they speak against Christ and continue defending their system? “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mat 16:26). Many ministers are sincerely innocent in their ignorance. They truly believe what they had been taught in the seminaries and have already built their lives and ministries upon it. Once they come to learn that the doctrine of the Trinity and much of the accompanying theological system is false, it’s extremely difficult for them to forsake it all.

I recognize this dilemma personally because it was very difficult for me to repent of this false doctrine and I’m not even in the ministry. I didn’t have nearly as much to lose as ministers yet it was still a long and difficult process. Therefore, I’m striving to be patient, understanding, and merciful toward those struggling with a similar predicament. I hope to see them free as well.

The names of the 12 apostles will be written on the foundation stones of the wall around the city of Jerusalem that will come down from heaven, “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev 21:14). Jesus said that if we overcome then our names will be written on one of the stones in the wall, “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 hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Rev 2:17).

Where do we want to see our names written? Do we want our names on a church membership roll, on a book, on a building, on the big screen, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or on the wall surrounding the New Jerusalem? Until we’re willing to let our own name and reputation become trash, “I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Phl 3:5-8), we’re not worthy of being called by His glorious name. For Him to one day give us a stone in the wall with a new name written, we must forsake our own name and live for the glory of His.

Trinitarian theologians declare that the fight against the doctrine of the Trinity is unrelenting which supposedly indicates that what they teach must be true otherwise people wouldn’t be fighting against it so persistently. But the real reason the fight is unrelenting is because the doctrine of the Trinity is false and they won’t stop teaching it! They claim that history proves Trinitarians have always come out the winners. But of course they’ve always won—they’ve simply cast out any that opposed them. The true winners, however, are not the self-declared but the Christ-declared.

Trinitarian theologians tell us to not only read the Bible but also the books they recommend. This is how they keep everyone on an even-keel with their theological system, ensuring that the Bible continues to be read through the lens of their doctrines. But following the Lord is not about following a theological system or a denomination. It’s about sincerely seeking the truth and submitting ourselves to it once we find it. Their books are not intended to help us with doing that.

He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (Jhn 8:47), “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit [breath] of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1Jo 4:6). If we are “of God” and “know God” then we will hear the teaching of His Son Jesus Christ and His apostles. We will hear the truth and love the truth that glorifies the Lord and blesses people. This is how we know “the Spirit [Breath] of truth” (Jhn 14:17, 15:26, 16:13; 1Jo 4:6). But if we stubbornly cling to what we know is false, we demonstrate that we really don’t love the Lord or people. We’re more concerned about self-preservation—our own name and reputation, praise from people, comfort, and support.

Paul said that the first piece of “the whole armour of God” (Eph 6:11, 13) is the truth, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth” (Eph 6:14). And he had written earlier that the truth is what Jesus Christ taught, “But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph 4:20-21). The truth that Jesus taught and what Paul wrote in this same letter is “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:3), “One God and Father of all” (Eph 4:6). If we’re not submitted to the truth about God that Jesus taught, then we’re not protected with the whole armor but vulnerable to the devil. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Mat 5:11-12). But those that are standing for the truth that Jesus Christ taught are doing it for His sake, for His glory and not for themselves. They’re blessed by Him and rejoice exceedingly because of the reward He will give them one day. On the other hand, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luk 9:26).