Say Not in Your Heart

Paul quoted Moses’ words from Deuteronomy, “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.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart” (Rom 10:6-8). After having given the First and Great Commandment, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deu 6:4-5), Moses said the same thing several times: “If thou shalt say in thine heart” (7:17); “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart” (8:5); “And thou say in thine heart” (8:17); “Speak not thou in thine heart” (9:4); “there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying” (15:9); “And if thou say in thine heart” (18:21); “that he bless himself in his heart, saying” (29:19); “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart” (30:14). Loving God with all our hearts isn’t just what we say out of our mouths, but what we say to ourselves in our hearts, “in thy mouth, and in thy heart.”

Abraham learned the hard way to NOT laugh at God, “Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac [laughter]” (Gen 17:17-19). Telling Abraham to name his son “laughter” indicated that God knew he had just laughed at Him in his heart. Abraham got the point.

Jesus and John the baptizer both taught: “And think not to say within yourselves” (Mat 3:9); “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart” (Mat 24:48); “and begin not to say within yourselves” (Luk 3:8); “he spake within himself, saying” (Luk 7:39); “And he thought within himself, saying” (Luk 12:17); “But and if that servant say in his heart” (Luk 12:45); “but afterward he said within himself” (Luk 18:4); “Then the steward said within himself” (Luk 16:3). We all speak to ourselves in our hearts. And since people don’t know what we’re saying, it’s very easy to forget that God does and begin speaking to ourselves evil things.

Jesus didn’t just suggest but commanded us, “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 no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? … Take therefore no thought for the morrow” (Mat 6:25,31,34). We can’t be saved if we’re sinning against Christ’s commandment by thinking to ourselves about tomorrow. To take no thought for tomorrow requires that we trust God—that He becomes the God of our lives: “I will be their God” (Gen 17:8; Jer 24:7,32:38; Eze 11:20,36:28,37:23,27; Zec 8:8), “I will be their God” (2Co 6:16); “I will be to them a God” (Heb 8:10); “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Heb 11:16); “God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev 21:3); “I will be his God” (Rev 21:7). For God to be our Savior, God must be our God. It means no longer running our lives and ruining our lives!

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Pro 3:5), requires that we don’t say anything to ourselves displeasing to God, try to figure out situations, or “help” God work things out. It means being truly at peace with any outcome and sincerely content in any circumstance we find ourselves, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Phl 4:11). And this isn’t just a better way to live—it’s the way we must live to be saved.

The Greek verb pisteuō appears about 250 times in the New Testament and is almost always translated as “believe” but actually means “trust.” Paul taught about salvation, “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. For with the heart man believeth [trusts] unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth [trusts] on him shall not be ashamed.” (Rom 10:9-11). That salvation isn’t by believing but by trusting is evident by what David said, “O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me … O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee” (Psa 25:2,20), “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed” (Psa 31:1). Salvation isn’t by believing but by trusting God. Our trust in Him won’t be put to shame, “Whosoever believeth [trusts] on him shall not be ashamed.”

Paul understood Moses’ words “Say not in thine heart … in thy mouth, and in thy heart,” that we confess the Lord publicly out of our mouths, and speak trust in God privately within our hearts. To be saved, we must trust the Father and obey His Son.

Absent from the Body, Present with the Lord?

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home [endēmeō 1736] in the body, we are absent [ekdēmeō 1553] from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent [ekdēmeō 1553] from the body, and to be present [endēmeō 1736] with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present [endēmeō 1736] or absent [ekdēmeō 1553], we may be accepted of him.” (2Co 5:6-9).

First, we should concede that this passage isn’t about what happens when we die but what happens when we’re resurrected. The statement “that mortality might be swallowed up of life” (5:4), corresponds to what he taught the Corinthians in his first letter, “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). Also, there’s nothing in this passage about an intermittent state where disembodied beings go prior to resurrection and nothing about heaven. But since it’s being approached with the assumption that disembodied beings go to heaven after death, then translations are biased to read that way. But Paul was simply comparing our current bodily state with that of our future bodily state.

This passage is being used to teach that we’re presently living inside our bodies like living in a tent or a house, but at death we’ll live outside our bodies. Likewise, that our bodies are like clothing we’re wearing, but at death we’ll be unclothed when we leave our bodies. However, these were simply figures of speech—a tent as opposed to a house, and naked or unclothed as opposed to clothed upon. In context, “For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (4:18), our current temporary state is like a tent while our future eternal state is like a house. Also, “being clothed we shall not be found naked” (5:3), alludes back to “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked” (Gen 3:10). The message is that we don’t want to be found naked when the Lord returns. This has nothing to do with our bodies covering us like clothing.

The Greek words endēmeō and ekdēmeō aren’t prepositions denoting location of either inside or outside the body because if we adopt those meanings and apply them consistently across the passage, it results in absurdity. The same word endēmeō in “at home in the body” is used in “present with the Lord,” and ekdēmeō in “absent from the body” is used in “absent from the Lord.” Thus, inside or outside our bodies correlates with inside or outside the Lord. Therefore, if Paul was saying we’re living inside our bodies, then he was also saying that after leaving our bodies we’ll be living inside the Lord’s body! Furthermore, it’s obvious that the parallel statements “at home in the body” and “present with the Lord” had to be mistranslated to avoid absurdity because “at home in the body” and “at home in the Lord,” or “present with the body” and “present with the Lord” don’t work.

Endēmeō and ekdēmeō are verbs denoting action with no English equivalents with which to be translated. Their root dēmos means “people.” They carry the idea of residing with or away from people. In this temporary state of our body, we’re residing with people away from the Lord, but when He returns our bodies will be in a permanent state residing with Him. The conclusion is “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present [endēmeō 1736] or absent [ekdēmeō 1553], we may be accepted of him” (v. 9). It’s all about being accepted by Him in this life and in the next.

Sandwiched between all of these endēmeō and ekdēmeō parallel statements, Paul interjected “For we walk by faith [pistis 4102], not by sight [eidos 1491]” (5:7). It’s being taught that he was saying we walk by what we believe and not by what we see. However, the Greek nouns are mistranslated—pistis means “faithfulness” or “loyalty” while eidos means “appearance” or “form.” He meant that we walk by faithfulness to the Lord and not by appearance to people which agrees with what he said just a few verses later, “them which glory in appearance, and not in heart” (5:12), as he also said to the Romans, “of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Rom 2:29). His point is that although we’re residing with people away from the Lord, and we’re being seen by them daily, we’re not walking in such a way to be seen by them. Jesus Christ taught against this, “that they may have glory of men,” “that they may be seen of men,” “that they may appear unto men” (Mat 6:2,5,16).

The bottom line is that this passage doesn’t teach disembodiment to live in heaven. Jesus Christ lives in heaven but not disembodied! This passage is about how we live right now in our current bodily state in preparation for the judgment, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2Co 5:10). It’s to live in the presence of the Lord in a permanent bodily state.

Examining Sola Fide

Habakkuk’s famous statement “but the just shall live by his faith [ĕmûnȃ 530]” (Hab 2:4), isn’t about faith but faithfulness as rendered correctly in some versions, “but the person of integrity will live because of his faithfulness” (NET), “but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness” (NIV). The Hebrew noun ĕmûnȃ appears about 50 times in the Old Testament and without exception, expresses faithfulness. The Greek noun pistis in “The just shall live by faith [pistis 4102]” (Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38) is wrongly translated as “faith” in accordance with the Reformer Martin Luther’s false salvation message of sola fide or faith alone.

The absurdity of sola fide becomes apparent when introduced into the context of everyday life. 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 perfect 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 performance has a direct bearing on their job 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!”

In his letter to the Romans, Paul was expounding the gospel Jesus Christ Himself preached, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” (Rom 1:16), “the preaching of Jesus Christ” (Rom 16:25). And the gospel Christ preached is faithful service 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” (Luk 19:17); “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luk 6:46).

Paul’s statement, “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), has been turned into a salvation formula—just call Him “Lord” from our mouths. However, Paul had already taught earlier, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey” (Rom 6:16). We’re servants of whom we obey as Lord, not just call “Lord.”

Furthermore, Romans 10:9 must be understood within the context of its preceding quotation: “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.” (Deu 30:12-14). Moses was prophesying about Christ’s coming as Lord, “heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth themheareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not” (Mat 7:24,26). Confessing Him as Lord is a commitment or pledge to do what He said. The pledge itself doesn’t save, faithfully keeping the pledge does.

The apostles and early church called themselves “servants,” “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ” (Rom 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). They never once called themselves “believers” but translations have been doctored to read as though they did.

We’ve been sold the lie of sola fide. And to discourage us even further from obeying the Lord, we’re told that anything we do is our own meritorious works and not faith. It’s a devious and absurd “gospel” message that assures we won’t be saved.

The Tactics of Trinitarian Ministers

By the time of Christ and His apostles, most of God’s people had become religious to the point they wouldn’t listen but the common people would: “thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Mat 11:25); “the common people heard him gladly” (Mar 12:37); “all the people were very attentive to hear him” (Luk 19:48); “all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him” (Luk 21:38); “the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath” (Act 13:42); “the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it” (Act 28:28). We’re living in the day Paul said would come, “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 3454]” (2Ti 4:3-4). The tactics of Trinitarian ministers keep us trusting their religious myths, away from the truth.

Because of their education, eloquence, experience, position, and prominence, the simple and trusting listen to them, “by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom 16:18). They boast of themselves by belittling those that aren’t degreed by a seminary, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” (Jhn 7:15), “Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men” (Act 4:13). They gain renown by endorsements from prominent ministers, “need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?” (2Co 3:1).

They discourage us from understanding the Scriptures on our own. They prescribe systematic theological resources and “Christian” books that supposedly keep us heading in the right direction. They’ll say it’s great to study the Bible on our own but we need to stay within a Bible study group—a group of Trinitarians of course!

One of their favorite sayings to hamper us from learning the truth in the Scriptures is, “If it’s new it’s not true, and if it’s true it’s not new.” However, it’s only “new” because they haven’t been teaching it! Everything Jesus Christ taught is the truth: “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). If He taught it, then it’s true and it’s not new. What’s new is what they’ve been teaching, and if it’s new it’s not true!

They instill the fear of damnation to keep us loyal to them. They claim that the Trinitarian view of God is essential for salvation to essentially keep us from salvation. And because they don’t want it exposed for what it truly is, they declare that Trinitarianism isn’t open for discussion. Anyone even beginning to question it is in danger of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit for which they will never be forgiven.

They teach all kinds of false doctrines that confuse, distract, and waste our precious time from doing anything fruitful for God. They concocted the doctrines of “faith alone” and “total depravity” to hinder us from living righteously according to the standard Jesus Christ taught in His Sermon on the Mount. They fabricated the false disputes of Protestantism vs. Catholicism and Arminianism vs. Calvinism that have squandered unfathomable amounts of time and resources over hundreds of years.

They portray themselves as champions of the truth by disparaging all others as blatantly false. The Council of Nicaea used Arias’ views as obviously false to tout the Trinity as apparently true. Similarly, they love denouncing Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons to bolster a pristine impression of themselves. By contrasting with what’s glaringly false, they magnify themselves as supposedly true.

They intimidate us from ever leaving Trinitarianism. They claim “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us” (1Jo 2:19) is that those who left their local church never were truly saved, when it’s actually about false teachers that went out from the Jerusalem church, “certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls” (Act 15:24). Those that reject Trinitarianism are said to be going out to start a cult, or else joining with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Oneness, or Unitarians. Sadly, rather than allowing themselves to be maligned for the name of Christ, many choose to stay and protect their own.

These are just a few of the many tactics used by Trinitarian ministers to keep us loyal to them and on the broad way leading to destruction. Let’s not be taken by them and their tactics. Let’s trust in the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He that Hath an Ear, Let Him Hear

The Son of God was in complete unity with His Father as John recorded in his Gospel: “the Word was God” (1:1); “I and my Father are one” (10:30); “the Father is in me, and I in him” (10:38); “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father … I am in the Father, and the Father in me” (14:9,10); “thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee … we are one” (17:21,22). He always did the will of His Father: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me” (4:34); “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (5:30); “not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (6:38); “I do always those things that please him” (8:29). And He always spoke what His Father had sent Him to speak: “he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God” (3:34); “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (7:16); “as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (8:28); “I speak that which I have seen with my Father” (8:38); “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (12:49); “the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself” (14:10); “I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me” (17:8).

God the Father sent His Son into this world to do and speak as He had been sent. Therefore, to be right with God we must fully submit to His Son—obey what He commanded and agree with what He taught. Our only hope is listening to God’s Son. But if we won’t listen to Him, we’re completely hopeless.

Jesus Christ concluded His Sermon on the Mount with an analogy of two men that both built houses. One house stood because its builder was wise and started with a foundation while the other collapsed because its builder was foolish and didn’t. The correlation of this story is that “whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them … every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not” (Mat 7:24-27). His message is clear—salvation is by obedience to Him. If we’ll obey what He taught in His Sermon we’ll be saved, but if we won’t obey Him we’ll perish. Paul and James both reiterated this, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Rom 2:13), “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (Jas 1:22). We must listen to the Son of God and do what He said to be saved.

The Son taught this about the worship of God His Father, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (Jhn 4:23-24). Because God sought true worshippers, He sent His Son to teach the truth about Him. Since His Son lived and suffered and died for the truth He was sent to teach, do we suppose God will accept anything otherwise? Why subject His Son to horrible suffering and death for that end purpose only to later fudge on it? That the Son said we MUST worship His Father in the truth He taught, then we MUST. If we can be saved with a false view of God such as the Trinity, then Christ lived and died in vain.

In the Son of God’s parable of the Sower, He is the Sower preaching the truth to people’s hearts. And He declared, “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Mat 13:9), “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Mar 4:9; Luk 8:8). Obviously, “to hear” doesn’t mean to have sound waves vibrate over the ear drums. It’s to heed, mind, and take to heart what is heard; to submit, succumb, and surrender to it. The Son later said to all seven churches in Asia, “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). Essentially, He was saying, “If you hear anything, you had better listen to what I’m telling you!”

The Son of God stated before His death, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (Jhn 18:37), “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (NIV). And John later wrote, “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth [breath], and the spirit [breath] of error” (1Jo 4:6). How do we know if we’re “of God” or not, if we belong to Him or not? It’s simple. Do we listen to His Son and His apostles or not? Those on the other side of the truth, speak against it: “spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming” (Act 13:45); “they opposed themselves, and blasphemed” (Act 18:6); “spake evil of that way before the multitude” (Act 19:9); “them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2Th 2:10); “resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2Ti 3:8); “he hath greatly withstood our words” (2Ti 4:15); “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2Pe 2:2). We MUST listen to the Son of God for any hope of salvation. If we won’t listen to Him, we’re completely hopeless.

Trinitarian Discipleship Programs

Christ’s great commission is to “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). In commanding us to “teach all nations” or “make disciples of all the nations” (NIV, NLT, NKJV), He left no doubt as to what we’re to be teaching them, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” But rather than teaching Christ’s commandments, Trinitarian ministers concocted their own religious discipleship programs that accomplish nothing of eternal value.

Their discipleship programs are simply doctrines and commandments of men: “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mat 15:9); “(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?” (Col 2:21-22); “Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth” (Tit 1:14). When Paul said, “Touch not; taste not; handle not,” he was alluding to the original deception, “God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it” (Gen 3:3). Commandments of men aren’t what God commanded.

I was a Trinitarian disciple for almost 30 years until my own study of the Scriptures finally led me to the truth taught by Jesus Christ and His apostles. Although I was a disciple of Trinitarian ministers, I wasn’t a very good one because I constantly questioned and bucked their program. I was an ongoing frustration to them because of my dogged pursuit of the truth in contention with their false doctrines.

Memorizing Scripture is one of the greatest dupes Trinitarian ministers lade on their disciples. They tout it by misusing certain statements: “thou shalt meditate therein day and night” (Jos 1:8); “Thy word have I hid in mine heart” (Psa 119:11); “Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart” (Pro 7:3). Memorizing verses helps us feel as though we’re accomplishing something, while wasting our time and mental energy accomplishing virtually nothing!

Another hoodwink is getting us on daily Bible reading plans by blended, canonical, chronological, historical, or Old and New Testament together. By immersing us into a daily reading plan, it soothes our consciences that we’re doing something of eternal value, and also keeps us from in-depth study of the Scriptures to discover the truth for ourselves. But if we really want to study, however, they direct us to their commentaries, theological works, study groups, and “Christian” books that keep us trudging down the broad way to destruction.

Memorizing verses, daily Bible reading, listening to sermons, attending Bible study groups, and reading “Christian” books are all aimed at occupying us with exactly what Christ warned against, “whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them … every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not” (Mat 7:24,26). Their programs simply spin our wheels hearing and hearing but not doing!

Apologetics is another huge deception of Trinitarian discipleship programs. It’s essentially training us to defend the very system that’s damning our own souls! Rather than “earnestly contend for the faith [faithfulness] which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jde 1:3), it’s contending for their false Trinitarian theological system. They misuse Peter’s directive, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1Pe 3:15), to convince us that we need to be trained with arguments against any objections. But Peter was quoting from Isaiah, “Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isa 8:13). When we fear God in our hearts and not men, He will give us what needs to be said: “take no thought how or what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit [breath] of your Father which speaketh in you.” (Mat 10:19-20); “Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist” (Luk 21:14-15); “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit [breath] by which he spake” (Act 6:10).

Trinitarian discipleship programs also include fasting, fellowshipping, giving time and money to Trinitarian ministries, husbands and wives praying together, keeping a journal, meditating, and sharing their “gospel” message with others. It’s all about keeping us busy doing anything except what Christ commanded. Rather than “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” they’re teaching them to observe their program on the broad way to destruction.

The Fallacy of the Trinity

The Greek theos for “god” is simply a position of authority, not a kind or type of being. The Father is God, not because of what He is as a being but because of His status as the highest authority over all, including over His Son Jesus Christ. That theos is a position of authority is evident by both Christ and Paul using this word for men and God within the same statement, “Is it not written in your law, 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 8:6-6).

As Emperor, King, and President are titles and positions of authority, so is God. The President’s son, for example, is just as much a human being as his father yet isn’t President. Similarly, the Son of God was begotten the same kind of divine being as His Father yet isn’t God Himself. As the same kind of divine being, the Son had the ability and power in Himself to create the entire universe and all life ex nihilo—out of nothing. However, after transitioning to a human kind of being, He could work no miracles of Himself: “I cast out devils by the Spirit [breath] of God” (Mat 12:28); “The Son can do nothing of himself” (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). Having been a 100% divine being, He became and forever will be a 100% human being.

Trinitarianism, however, conflates “position of authority” and “kind of being” into “God” as a singular concept which causes major problems in the incarnation. If God is a kind of being and the Son is God, then when becoming a human being He would have ceased to be God. Therefore, the illogical and nonsensical claim of hypostatic union had to be concocted—that He is both 100% God and 100% human at the same time. Utter nonsense! A red flag of the fallacy of the Trinity.

Since “god” is a position of authority, then three co-equal persons are three gods. That makes sense. But Trinitarianism purports that three co-equal persons are one God. Utter nonsense! Another red flag of the Trinitarian fallacy. Because Trinitarian ministers don’t want it exposed for what it truly is—polytheism—they mask its three gods under the guise of three persons.

Because “God cannot be tempted with evil” (Jas 1:13), yet the Son was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15), Trinitarian ministers must painstakingly explain this away. Ultimately they contend that it wasn’t the God part of Him that was tempted but the human part. Utter nonsense! Just another red flag that the Trinity is a fallacy.

Trinitarian ministers use various statements in Scripture to proof-text that the Son is God, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jhn 1:1). But the context of “the Word was God” includes several figures of speech or metaphors. The Son of God isn’t literally “the Word” (v. 1) or “the Light” (v. 7). These are figures of speech. And just as “the light was the life” (v. 4) is a metaphor, so is “the Word was God.” The Word Himself later stated, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (14:9). And Paul wrote, “Christ, who is the image of God” (2Co 4:4), “Who is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15). He represented God perfectly so that John could say that He “was God.”

Another proof-text is, “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). The writer of Hebrews was quoting a passage from Psalm 45:6-7, and that passage begins with “Thy throne, O God.” However, the part where God was speaking to His Son is, “God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” God wasn’t calling His Son “God” but calling Himself His Son’s God!

Finally, it’s claimed that our Savior Jesus Christ is called “God” in these places, “God my Saviour” (Lke 1:47), “God, who is the Saviour” (1Ti 4:10), “God our Saviour” (1Ti 1:1; 1Ti 2:3; Tit 1:3,2:10,3:4; Jde 1:25). But these statements are about the Father, not the Son. God the Father is our Savior by virtue of having sent His Son to save us: “there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour” (Isa 45:21), “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son … that the world through him might be saved” (Jhn 3:17), “the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1Jo 4:14).

That Trinitarian ministers must resort to proof-texting, is just one more red flag of the fallacy of the Trinity.

Walk not after the Flesh, but after the Breath

In Romans chapter 8, Paul used “flesh” and “breath” for the two contrary ways of living, “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [Breath]” (8:1), “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [Breath]” (8:4). These are simply expressions he defined earlier in his letter, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly [kryptos 2927]; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit [breath], and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (2:28-29).

Paul began Romans with “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth [trusts]; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (1:16). The gospel of Christ by which both Jews and Gentiles are saved is the message that Christ Himself preached: “that they may have glory of men … thine alms may be in secret [kryptos 2927]: and thy Father which seeth in secret [kryptos 2927] himself shall reward thee openly” (Mat 6:2,4); “that they may be seen of men … pray to thy Father which is in secret [kryptos 2927]; and thy Father which seeth in secret [kryptos 2927] shall reward thee openly” (6:5,6); “that they may appear unto men to fast … appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret [kryptos 2927]: and thy Father, which seeth in secret [kryptos 2927], shall reward thee openly” (6:18). Salvation consists of walking with conscience toward God in all we do, and never with any motives of receiving praise from people, “whose praise is not of men, but of God.” This is what Paul meant by “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [Breath].”

“For the law of the Spirit [Breath] of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2). This law of the Breath of life in Christ Jesus is the righteous requirements of the law He taught for the Breath of God to raise us to eternal life. The Breath of life comes by the law of Christ—the righteous standard of the law and the prophets as He defined it, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Mat 5:17), “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Mat 7:12). We must live by the righteous moral standard of the law that Jesus Christ taught in His sermon, “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).

Christ said that we must hear and do the moral righteousness of the law that He taught, “whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them … every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not” (Mat 7:24,26). And Paul said the same: “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Rom 2:13); “the things contained in the law” (2:14); “the work of the law” (2:15); “keep the righteousness of the law” (2:26); “fulfil the law (2:27); “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us” (8:4); “he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (13:8); “love is the fulfilling of the law” (13:10).

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” (8:3). The law couldn’t atone for our sins because of the weaknesses of its priests and sacrifices, “the weakness and unprofitableness thereof … were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death … offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins … high priests which have infirmity” (Heb 7:18,23,27,28). But God’s own Son “condemned sin” by His sacrifice so that “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [Breath]” (8:4). We’re now dead to our sins so that we should live righteously after the breath, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness” (1Pe 2:24).

“For they that are after the flesh do mind [phroneo 5426] the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit [Breath] the things of the Spirit [Breath]” (Rom 8:5). To “mind” the flesh is to “mind [phroneo 5426] earthly things” (Phl 3:19), the things of this world and the praise of men, “whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Rom 2:29). But to “mind” the breath, “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection [phroneo 5426] on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:1-2). It’s to live with good conscience toward God: “I have lived in all good conscience before God” (Act 23:1); “to have always a conscience void of offence toward God” (Act 24:16); “their conscience also bearing witness” (Rom 2:15); “my conscience also bearing me witness” (Rom 9:1); “the testimony of our conscience” (2Co 1:12); “a good conscience” (1Ti 1:5,19); “a pure conscience” (1Ti 3:9); “for conscience toward God” (1Pe 2:19); “Having a good conscience” (1Pe 3:16); “a good conscience toward God” (1Pe 3:21). Walking after the breath is living morally righteous with good conscience toward God.

Listen to Jesus!

We’re now living in the time Paul said would come, “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 3454]” (2Ti 4:3-4). The Greek mythos is where the English “myths” is derived. The myths being taught today that the one true God is a Trinity of co-equal Persons, that man is an immortal spirit living inside a body that goes to heaven or hell after death, and that salvation is by faith didn’t come from Jesus Christ. But people have been turned to such myths and don’t want to hear the truth. They won’t listen to Jesus!

Everything the Son said is the truth: “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).

Jesus claimed He was begotten of God, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son … because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jhn 3:16,18). His begetting was His beginning. Several times He called Himself the Son of God, and twice from heaven His Father called Him “My beloved Son.” However, He never called Himself “God,” and His Father never called Him “God.” Before His death, after His resurrection, and after being seating at God’s right hand, He called His Father “My God.” The doctrine of the Trinity is simply a myth that people want to hear. They won’t listen to Jesus!

Jesus never taught that people leave their bodies at death and go to heaven or a place of fire called hell. He taught the resurrection of the physical body, “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). And He taught that the resurrected body goes to a place of fire called geenna: “thy whole body should be cast into hell [geenna 1067]” (Mat 5:29); “having two eyes to be cast into hell [geenna 1067] fire” (Mat 18:9); “having two hands to go into hell [geenna 1067], into the fire that never shall be quenched” (Mar 9:43). But people want to hear the myth of going to heaven. They won’t listen to Jesus!

Jesus said that we must live according to the standard of righteousness He taught in His Sermon on the Mount or we won’t be entering 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). That “in no case enter” is that there absolutely will be no exceptions. We must live righteously.

Jesus also said that if we hear and do what He commanded, we’ll be like a house built upon a foundation that won’t fall, “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 the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Mat 7:24-25). But if we hear and won’t do what He commanded, then we’ll be like a house built upon sand that will be destroyed, “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: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Mat 7:26-27). But people want to hear the myth that we simply need to believe and have faith. They won’t listen to Jesus!

After having been seated at the Father’s right hand, the Son gave messages to seven churches and concluded each by calling Himself “the Breath” figuratively seven times, “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). These warnings were as if to say, “You had better listen to what I’m telling you because I’m the one that makes the final decision whether or not God will raise you to eternal life by His breath!” Eternal life is by God breathing life back into our bodies in resurrection. And since this determination has been given to the Son, He is the Breath metaphorically.

Being saved by the Savior is contingent upon listening to Him—agreeing with all He claimed, living by all He taught, and submitting to all He commanded. But if we won’t listen to Him, we have no hope of salvation. We’re utterly hopeless and can’t be helped. Paul prophesied of the situation today, “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables [mythos].” People are listening to myths. They won’t listen to Jesus!

The Good Message of Jesus Christ

Introduction

The euangelion or “good message” that the Lord Jesus Christ preached is the same message His apostles preached. There’s no difference whatsoever in message because the apostles were sent by the Lord to preach His message. And the message of the Lord is faithfulness to Him: “No man can serve two masters” (Mat 6:24); “No servant can serve two masters” (Luk 16:13); “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” (Mat 25:21); “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” (Luk 16:10); “And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities” (Luk 19:17).

About 500 years ago the Protestant Reformation introduced a new message—that we’re saved by faith or belief. And Bible translations have been “doctored” ever since to support and further this deception. It isn’t the message of faithful obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ that He preached.

The good message

The Greek noun euangelion is derived from the adverb eu for “good” and the noun angelos for “messenger.” It literally means “good message.” However, rather than transliterating it into English as “evangel” or something similar, it’s widely translated into the coined meaningless word “gospel.” When asked what “gospel” means, the typical answer is that it’s “good news.” What happened is that the broader meaning of euangelion has been diminished by replacing this word with something meaningless that could be instilled with a narrower definition. While “news” is strictly a report of information, “message” not only communicates news and information but other ideas as well—it has a broader meaning.

By limiting euangelion to simply “good news,” such statements as “But they have not all obeyed the gospel [euangelion]” (Rom 10:16), “them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel [euangelion] of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Th 1:8), are puzzling. Obey the news? When we pick up the newspaper from our driveway in the morning, we don’t think to ourselves about obeying it. In translating euangelion as “gospel” and ascribing the definition of “good news” to it, the directive of obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord has been expunged from the message He preached. Therefore, we’re taught that all we must do to be saved is receive the good news and believe the information.

The Messenger of the Lord

The Greek noun angelos transliterated as “angel” is the root of the noun euangelion for “good message.” This word angelos, and its Hebrew equivalent mal’ak, means “messenger,” one that is sent by another to deliver a message. Messengers can be celestial beings called “angels” in accordance with their primary created duty, or they can be human beings functioning as messengers. Although used as the name for the celestial messengers of God, angelos and mal’ak isn’t a type of being but a role, service, or function.

In the following passage, the same word mal’ak is used for celestial beings sent by God to Jacob, and for human beings sent by Jacob to Esau, “And Jacob went on his way, and the angels [mal’ak] of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim. And Jacob sent messengers [mal’ak] before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.” (Gen 32:1-3). In these next two verses, angelos is used for John the Baptizer sent by God as His messenger to His people ahead of Jesus, “As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger [angelos] before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee” (Mar 1:2), and is also used for celestial beings sent by God to minister to Jesus, “And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels [angelos] ministered unto him” (Mar 1:13).

In Abraham’s days, we’re introduced to a particular Messenger called “the angel [mal’ak] of the LORD [Yehovah]” (Gen 16:7, 9, 10, 11, 22:11, 15). This Messenger isn’t mentioned again until He appears to Moses in the burning bush, “And the angel [mal’ak] of the LORD [Yehovah] appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush” (Exo 3:2). This, of course, is the pre-incarnate Son of God sent by the Father as His Messenger.

However, the Jews that rejected Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah and as the Son of God, claimed that “the angel of the LORD” in their Scriptures was simply a great celestial being—one of God’s created angels. This is what the writer of Hebrews was disputing particularly in the first chapter, “For unto which of the angels [angelos] said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (Heb 1:5), “But to which of the angels [angelos] said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” (Heb 1:13). The Messenger of the Lord isn’t an angel because God called Him “my Son” and said to Him “Sit on my right hand.”

The writer of Hebrews went on to say, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle [apostolos] and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb 3:1). The Greek apostolos is someone sent as a messenger. In this case, it’s the Messenger of the Lord that called to Abraham from heaven, “And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven” (Gen 22:11), “And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven” (Gen 22:15). He also later quoted from the passage where the Messenger of the Lord called to Abraham, “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee” (Heb 6:13-14).

And the angel [mal’ak] of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 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. (Genesis 22:15-18)

The message that the Messenger of the Lord was sent to deliver to Abraham was that of praise for his obedience to God through this test, “God did tempt [test] Abraham” (Gen 22:1). God was testing or proving Abraham—if he would do what he had been commanded though stopped short of carrying it out.

James cited this event as an example of faithfulness, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith [faithfulness] without works [actions] is dead? 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 made perfect?” (Jas 2:20-22). The Greek pistis translated here as “faith” is actually “faithfulness,” and ergon translated as “works” is simply “actions.” He was saying that Abraham’s obedient actions showed his fear of God and faithfulness to Him, “And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” (Gen 22:11-12). That he was “justified by works [actions],” is that his fear of God was validated by this actions of obedience.

This same message of obedience delivered by the Messenger of the Lord to Abraham is the euangelion or “good message” delivered by the Lord in His ministry. The message delivered by God’s pre-incarnate Son is the message delivered by God’s incarnate Son—the good message of obedience to Him in the fear of God.

Obey the good message

The Greek verb hypakouo means “to obey” as with a servant obeying his master, “Servants, be obedient [hypakouo] to them that are your masters according to the flesh” (Eph 6:5), “Servants, obey [hypakouo] in all things your masters according to the flesh” (Col 3:22). Derived from the preposition hypo for “under” and verb akouo for “to hear,” this word carries the idea of “under the hearing” of someone. A servant is “under the hearing” of his master in the sense that he’s obligated to do whatever he hears his master say. Paul used the noun form hypakoe in these two parallel verses that form the bookends of his letter to the Romans, “obedience [hypakoe] to the faith [faithfulness] among all nations, for his name” (Rom 1:5), “made known to all nations for the obedience [hypakoe] of faith [faithfulness]” (Rom 16:26).

Paul stated several times that his writing to the Romans is the euangelion of God and of Jesus Christ which he was sent to deliver as his own message: “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel [euangelion] of God” (Rom 1:1); “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel [euangelion] of his Son” (Rom 1:9); “For I am not ashamed of the gospel [euangelion] of Christ” (Rom 1:16); “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel [euangelion]” (Rom 2:16); “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel [euangelion] of God” (Rom 15:16); “I have fully preached the gospel [euangelion] of Christ” (Rom 15:19); “I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel [euangelion] of Christ” (Rom 15:29); “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel [euangelion], and the preaching of Jesus Christ” (Rom 16:25).

Romans is the most detailed and thorough discourse on the euangelion or good message of Jesus Christ ever penned. From the introductory statement “obedience [hypakoe] to the faith [faithfulness]” (Rom 1:5), to the concluding one “the obedience [hypakoe] of faith [faithfulness]” (Rom 16:26), it’s all about faithful obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord. This is the good message of Jesus Christ.

Chapter six in particular defines obedience to Jesus Christ as His servants, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey [hypakoe], his servants ye are to whom ye obey [hypakouo]; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience [hypakoe] unto righteousness?” (Rom 6:16). He clearly stated that we’re servants of whom we obey, not necessarily of whom we claim to obey. Just calling Christ “Lord” doesn’t make Him our Lord if we’re not doing what He said, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luk 6:46). While it’s true that we obey the Lord Jesus Christ because we’re His servants, it’s not true that we’re His servants if we don’t obey Him. We obey Him because we’re His servants, but if we don’t obey Him we’re not His servants.

In chapter ten, confessing Jesus as our Lord isn’t empty speech or a magic formula, “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). Just confessing He’s our Lord doesn’t save us. The implication is that our confession of Him as Lord obligates our faithful obedience to Him as Lord. Our confession is our commitment to loyally and faithfully obey Him for the rest of our lives. This is also evident by Paul quoting from Moses earlier in this same chapter:

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 30:12-14)

By confessing Jesus as Lord, we’re stating from our mouths that we’ve heard Him and are committed in our hearts to do what He said. It’s a confession of commitment to Him, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word [rhema] of faith [faithfulness], which we preach” (Rom 10:8). Faithful obedience to the Lord is what Paul and his companions were preaching.

Obedience to Christ as Lord is also evident by the conclusion Paul drew from Isaiah’s prophecy, “But they have not all obeyed [hypakouo] the gospel [euangelion]. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” (Rom 10:16), “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (Isa 53:1), “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isa 53:4). The arm of the Lord is God’s power to work miracles, signs, and wonders. The healings Jesus performed in His ministry proved He was Israel’s Messiah in fulfilment of what Isaiah said, “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Mat 8:16-17). Although He proved to be their Messiah, yet they esteemed Him stricken and smitten by God in His crucifixion as a common criminal.

The conclusion is that He can only be one or the other—the living Lord at the right hand of God, or just another dead criminal in the grave. If He is alive today at God’s right hand, we should obey the good message He preached while on earth, “But they have not all obeyed [hypakouo] the gospel [euangelion]” (Rom 10:16). Otherwise, why obey what an executed criminal preached?

Trusting and committing

The Greek verb pisteuo appears almost 250 times in the New Testament. It’s consistently translated “believe” except in only seven verses where the contexts forced it to be rendered either “commit” or “trust”: “If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit [pisteuo] to your trust [pisteuo] the true riches?” (Luk 16:11); “But Jesus did not commit [pisteuo] himself unto them, because he knew all men” (Jhn 2:24); “Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed [pisteuo] the oracles of God” (Rom 3:2); “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me [pisteuo]” (1Co 9:17); “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust [pisteuo] with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts” (1Th 2:4); “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to [pisteuo] my trust [pisteuo]” (1Ti 1:11); “But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed [pisteuo] unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour” (Tit 1:3).

The point is that the contexts of these seven verses attest that pisteuo means “commit” or “trust.” However, in the 240 other places where there’s not a context that forces this meaning, the translators took the liberty of rendering it inaccurately as “believe.” This is one of the means by which we’ve been sold the bill of goods that salvation consists of only believing some facts while the directive to commit our trust in the Lord is suppressed.

The following verses all from the Gospel of John speak of trusting on Him: “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed [pisteuo] on him” (Jhn 2:11); “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth [pisteuo] in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jhn 3:16); “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe [pisteuo] on him whom he hath sent” (Jhn 6:29); “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth [pisteuo] on me hath everlasting life” (Jhn 6:47); “He that believeth [pisteuo] on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (Jhn 7:38); “As he spake these words, many believed [pisteuo] on him” (Jhn 8:30); “And many believed [pisteuo] on him there” (Jhn 10:42); “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth [pisteuo] in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (Jhn 11:25); “Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed [pisteuo] on him” (Jhn 11:45); “Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed [pisteuo] on Jesus” (Jhn 12:11); “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed [pisteuo] not on him” (Jhn 12:37); “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe [pisteuo] in God, believe [pisteuo] also in me” (Jhn 14:1); “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe [pisteuo] on me through their word” (Jhn 17:20).

We’re not saved by just believing Jesus Christ existed, believing some facts about Him, or even believing He rose from the dead. That isn’t what Paul meant by “shalt believe [pisteuo] in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom 10:9). It’s trusting Him to save us from death because He was saved from death. But we can only trust Him when we fulfill our commitment of obeying His good message, “But they have not all obeyed [hypakouo] the gospel [euangelion]” (Rom 10:16).

The two complementary Great Commission passages convey this same understanding, “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), “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel [euangelion] to every creature. He that believeth [pisteuo] and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not [apisteo] shall be damned.” (Mar 16:15-16). After hearing the good message of Jesus Christ, “preach the gospel [euangelion] to every creature,” we declare our trust in Him to save us by being publicly baptized, “He that believeth [pisteuo] and is baptized shall be saved,” and we commit ourselves to Him as our Lord to obey everything He commanded, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”

In addition to deceiving us into believing that we’re saved by believing, we’ve also been duped into calling ourselves “believers.” But there are only two verses in the KJV that include the term “believers” and both are mistranslations. In the first case, “And believers [pisteuo] were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women” (Act 5:14), the verb pisteuo is mistranslated as a noun. A few versions do render it correctly as a verb, “Yet more and more people believed” (NET), “Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed” (NIV), but still incorrectly as “believed.” It’s not saying they believed but that they trusted. In the second case, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers [pistos], in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1Ti 4:12), the adjective pistos for “faithful” is mistranslated as a noun. Paul wasn’t telling Timothy to be an example of the believers but of the faithful—faithful obedience to the Lord.

There’s no record in Scripture that Christians ever called themselves “believers.” There are, however, several places where they called themselves “servants”: “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:1); “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ” (Phl 1:1); “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ” (Col 4:12); “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).

We’re also told that they were called and called themselves “Christians,” “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Act 11:26), “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” (1Pe 4:16). Christians are Christ-like. Since Christ didn’t just believe some facts were true but always did the will of His Father, likewise we’re to always do the will of Christ.

Trusting in the Lord

Because we’ve all sinned, we can’t approach God on our own terms or merit. The only way God can be reached is through the one means He provided and will accept—His Son Jesus Christ. We must trust His Son to Justify us before God.

Justification under the Law of Moses meant that God’s people were trying to merit right-standing before God of themselves. They were endeavoring to establish their own way to Him rather than submitting to His, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth [pisteuo].” (Rom 10:3-4). And His way is trusting in His Son Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ at the right hand of God justifies us before God when we faithfully serve and obey Him. The Father will accept whoever the Son confesses before Him. Therefore, it’s all about doing what the Son says so that we can trust Him for access to the Father, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Eph 2:18). Trusting and obeying the Son justifies us before the Father.

Conclusion

The Son of God was sent into this world by His Father to deliver His message and to sacrifice Himself for our sins. The good message He proclaimed isn’t strictly news. It certainly includes news but also is comprised of His commandments that we must obey to be saved, “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb 5:9).

Obedience to the Lord has been obscured by translating euangelion as the coined word “gospel” then limiting the meaning of this word to that of news or information that only needs to be believed. Also, commitment and trust in the Lord has been shrouded by translating pisteuo as “believe.” We’re taught that all we need to do to be saved is become a “believer” by believing some facts are true. But this isn’t the good message that our Lord Jesus Christ preached. He preached obedience to Him as Lord, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luk 6:46).