ONE GOD OR THREE?
By Samuel E. West
Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.–Deut. 6:5
There is no subject of greater importance than a correct knowledge of God and Jesus. Jesus advised us: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” (Matt. 6:33)
We must ask ourselves how important it is to enter the kingdom and be counted among the saints of God that have hope of the first resurrection, enjoying the Millennium with Jesus, and inheriting the earth with God and Jesus at the end of the thousand years. There are no blessings without sacrifice. Ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice for your salvation and that of your family.
There is only one God. “6 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. 7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.” (1 Cor. 8)
God is eternal, without beginning, changes not, and is immortal. “15 Which in his [Jesus] times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 WHO ONLY HATH IMMORTALITY.” (1 Tim. 6) Jesus was the first and only spirit organized by God for this creation. He was the beginning of this creation and through Him came everything in this creation; including our spirits. “1 In the beginning [of this creation] was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God [the Father], and the Word was God [of this creation]. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1) “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” (John 5:26)
Yet, there are hundreds of different churches with different teachings on God, Jesus, and salvation.” The Bible tells us: there is only “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph. 4:5,6) Every religion on earth believes there is a God. They know OF God; but they do not KNOW God. This knowledge can only come through personal revelation. “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Jesus, Matt. 16:17) The greatest blessing in mortal life is to know God and Jesus and enter the Kingdom of God.
BEFORE BEGINNING, it is essential to clear our minds, leave all preconceived ideas behind us like a little child, and examine the Bible with a heart earnestly seeking truth. “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Jesus, Matt. 18:3) The King James Bible will be used as our primary reference. LET US BEGIN.
It could be said to KNOW God is to love Him; and therefore, only knowing OF Him cannot fulfill the law and is without hope. “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.” (Matt. 22) Jesus will soon return, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that KNOW NOT GOD, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 1:8)
Can any deny that all Prophets of God knew God? Abraham mistook Him for a man, washed His feet, and dined with Him (Gen. 18). Jacob wrestled with God and tells of seeking Him face to face (Gen. 32:224, 28, 39). Moses knew God as a familiar friend, conversed with Him face to face, and beheld His back parts in all His glory (Ex. 33:22, 23). When God appeared to Ezekiel, He was in the form of man (Ezek. 1:26, 27). Can any deny Jesus knew God? He knew God before Adam walked on the earth. “And God said, Let us [God and Jesus] make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen. 1:26) Jesus was creator of this world. “1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE WORLDS; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the EXPRESS IMAGE of his person.” (Heb. 1)
Knowledge and belief in the TRUE GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was removed from the Christian church in 325 A.D., by Constantine—an unbaptized, pagan Roman Emperor who was not even a Christian. Constantine took the Roman Empire by the sword. His kingdom was divided on religious grounds. He killed his wife, first-born son, cousin and hundreds of others in his conquest. When he went to the pagan priest Sopator for forgiveness, he was told there is no forgiveness for such atrocities. But a so-called Christian Bishop told him he could be forgiven through baptism. Not true! “No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15) He chose Christianity as the state religion.
Constantine was a loyal follower of the sun God. “As seen in Constantine’s originating piety, that supreme deity would have been associated with the sun, and pagans would have recognized, with reason, their own solar cult in such [new] Christian practices as orienting churches to the east, worshipping on ‘sun day,’ and celebrating the birth of the deity at the winter solstice [December 25].” (James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword, p. 183)
When he established his new Catholic Church, he simply took pagan names and doctrines and gave them Christian names. Pagans believed in the Trinitarian sun god; so, he converted the true God to conform with the pagan doctrine of the Trinity. This doctrine is found nowhere in the Bible. Jesus had to be the son of David—according to the flesh to be the Messiah. He made Jesus the bastard son of ghost to agree with the pagan demi-god doctrine.
In 325 A.D, he called the first church council; and created the first creed of the Christian church. This Creed of St. Athanasius established three points of doctrine: (1) it established the Catholic faith as the only acceptable religion, (2) it changed the identity and nature of God with the Trinity as the foundation of his new Catholic church, and (3) it changed the identity and nature of Jesus.
(1). Constantine stood as the absolute head of the Catholic Church; and as god on earth. “Constantine wanted to unify the empire in every way… His political impact on Christianity is widely recognized, but his role as a shaper of its central religious idea is insufficiently appreciated.” (James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword, p. 173) “The unity of the empire–under himself–was to him the absolute political virtue… So in turning to religion, unity of belief and practice, not tolerance of diversity, had to seem paramount… Constantine really understands himself by now as ‘the vice-regent of god.’ ” (Ibid., p. 187) God on earth.
The Trinitarian Creed states, “This is the Catholic Faith; which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.” Prior to Constantine it had been the Church of Christ. Constantine made it heresy (a civil crime punishable by death) for anyone to hold contrary beliefs; and he had many thousands killed and banished to enforce this law. “What never varied in Constantine’s otherwise fluid religious self-understanding, something that carried over from Apollo to Christ, was that it was divinely commissioned ‘that the rule of the whole world should belong’ to him.” (Ibid., p. 181) “…unification was by definition a matter of domination…For Constantine, religious differences were impediments to the power that had replaced Maxentius and Licinius. In this way, the choice (‘heresy’) to be religiously different defined as treason, a political crime.” (Ibid., pp. 179, 189)
The Church of Christ afforded people the opportunity of choice between the delights of mortality and an eternity in the kingdom of heaven. Although Jesus had twelve legions of angels at His command (Matt. 26:53), He never forced anyone to believe the good news of the gospel. God will not force anyone to either believe, or perform any given act. God will not even tempt man with evil. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (James 1:13) Jesus was tempted.
Satan cannot force anyone; except through unholy rulers. “28 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.” (Matt. 10) Even then, men have the choice between their beliefs and mortal death. Thousands of early Christians took the second alternative. We do not know how many thousands were killed under Constantine and his successors. It has been estimated that 50,000,000 were martyred under the direction of the Papacy for holding beliefs contrary to Catholic doctrine.
(2). The Creed of St. Athanasius embodied the Trinity; which changed the nature of God to that of paganism. It originated with Nimrod–a grandson of Noah and King of Babylon. “So utterly idolatrous was the Babylonian recognition of the Divine unity, that Jehovah, the Living God, severely condemned His own people for given any countenance to it: ‘They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens, after the rites of the ONLY ONE, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together.’ (Isaiah 66:17). In the unity of that one Only God of the Babylonians, there were three persons, and to symbolize that doctrine of the Trinity, they employed, as the discoveries of Layard prove, the equilateral triangle, just as it is well known the Romish Church does at this day. In both cases such a comparison is most degrading to the King Eternal, and is fitted utterly to pervert the minds of those who contemplate it, as if there was or could be any similitude between such a figure and Him who hath said, ‘To whom will ye liken God, and what likeness will ye compare unto Him?’” (Rev. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 16)
Constantine called a great council of so-called Christian Bishops. “It took place in 325, only a year after Chrysopolis. In response to the emperor’s mandate, the bishops did, in fact, agree to a formulaic statement of belief, DEFINING especially, and in explicit terms, HOW JESUS IS GOD. Those who dissented were exiled by Constantine. (More than one bishop—and most famously Athanasius, banished later—would serve out his exile in Trier.)” (James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword, p. 189)
The Creed of Saint Athanasius states, “And the Catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity… Such as the Father is, such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost… The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal… The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible… So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty… And yet they are not three Gods, but one God… The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another… He therefore that will be saved, must think of the Trinity. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ… This is the Catholic Faith; which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.”
This new Trinitarian doctrine was not accepted in the early church. It was not until 381 A.D. that the doctrine was formulated. Marcello Craveri in his “Life of Jesus Christ” notes: “The doctrine of Jesus as the Son of God was not readily accepted–or, at any rate, understood–in the same way by all of Christendom. For centuries it was the theme of violent quarrels among the Fathers and Doctors of the Church.
“A synod convoked in Antioch in 264 attempted to resolve the controversy by declaring that Jesus had been begot my God ab aeterno, and therefore was eternal, like God. The absurdity of this definition (it is impossible to beget, ab aeterno, because the fact necessarily requires a time when the begetter already existed and another on that which is created begins to exist).” (Page 327)
“For Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, and others, the Holy Spirit was a “creation” of God, like Jesus… The first official definition of the Trinity came only in 381, in the First Council of Constantinople, which established the creed that the divine nature (ousia) is identical, but there are three eternally distinct substances (hypostasuis): the Father was not begot (he exists of himself), the Son was begot, but ab aeterno, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father. However, this did not put an end into the disputes.” (page 332)
Three Gods or One? The Bible makes it clear there is one God, the Father, and one Savior, Jesus Christ. Neither Jesus nor the Holy Ghost are never spoken of as God. “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: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:1-3)
“Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.” (Deut. 4:35) “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Cor. 8:6 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5) “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” (2 Cor. 13:14)
The Bible teaches the Father has a physical body similar to ours; although man cannot look upon the face of God in all His glory. Moses spoke with God face to face and knew Him as a familiar friend; but he wanted more. He asked to see God in all His glory. “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend… And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” (Ex. 33:11, 18-23)
Bishop Ambrose in the early days of the Catholic church said of God: “when God is thought of, our thoughts should dwell on no material reality whatsoever.”
In this Trinitarian creed, God the Father was neither created nor begotten. Jesus was begotten by the Father. “The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten.” It is evident that the Father must have existed before Jesus to beget Him. Yet it claims Jesus was co-eternal with the Father. It is virtually impossible to be both the begetter and the begotten and both be co-eternal.
Who was Almighty God when Jesus was a one celled entity–and then an embryo–when He was carried about in His mother’s womb? Who was Almighty God while Jesus was a helpless infant? Why did Jesus learn from the Father if He was identical with the Father? Why did Jesus pray to the Father, if he was equal to the Father? Why was He ordained a prophet like Moses by the Father (Heb. 5:5; Acts 3:22), if He was the Father? The lesser is blessed of the greater. Who was God Almighty, while the Son lay dead for three days? Did God die; although He alone has immortality? Jesus was raised from the dead by the Father. “…whom God raised from the dead.” (Acts 4:10) Did He raise Himself? Now He sits on the right hand of God. “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God.” (1 Pet. 3:22) Does He now sit at His own right hand? How can the Son be equal to the Father, when only the Father knows the exact time of His return? “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matt. 24:36) Jesus told us He was not equal with the Father; as “my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)
In this creed, God the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and Son. “The Holy Ghost is… proceeding.” The Holy Spirit, then, could not exist until the Father had begotten the Son. Three different gods, coming into existence at different times but are co-eternal and co-equal. The Father was first, the Son was second, and the Holy Ghost last. Three gods! Yet, they are supposed to be identical.
The Bible clearly teaches of only ONE GOD; and of His Son, and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus, throughout his whole mission, taught that the Father was superior to Himself. God alone has a name never known among Gentiles. It was never spoken above the breath; and then, only between three High Priests, after the order of Melchisedec (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 2, ch. 12:4). God alone has immortality (1 Tim. 6:16). Jesus, who was a spirit similar to us, became mortal like us, died like us, and was then resurrected; even as we will be resurrected. God alone never changes. God alone has perfect knowledge. Jesus tells us that only the Father knows the day and the hour of His return. (Matt. 24:36) God alone holds all power. Jesus received power from the Father. God alone is one. “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; AND one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Cor. 8:6)
This creed would have us worship the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as one god. Yet, throughout the Bible men prayed only to the Father. Jesus commanded, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matt. 6:9) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” (John 16:23) The Bible never speaks of either the Son, or the Holy Ghost as God. Who are we to believe?
All alike? “Such as the Father is, such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost… The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.” The creed admits the “The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten.” The Son was begotten of the Father. The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Father is the only GOD spoken of in the Bible.
Jesus is made the Son of God by this creed. Yet, Jesus never called Himself the Son of God. Jesus inquired of Peter: “Whom say ye that I am?” Peter said: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus was obviously disturbed by so strange an assertion and sternly ordered the Apostles never again to say such a thing of Him. Jesus is called the SON OF MAN over seventy times; even as Isaiah others were so called. Jesus is the Son of God through His ordination as a Prophet like Moses. “5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father who ordained Him] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5) This only applies to His priesthood.
The Father is obviously the first personage to exist in this Trinity. The Son being begotten of the Father cannot be either identical or eternal with the Father. The Holy Ghost is not even recognized as a personage; but, only as proceeding. How can they be the same? The Father had to exist before the Son; as the Son was begotten by the Father. The Father and Son had to both exist before the Holy Ghost; as the Holy Ghost proceeds from both. The Son also existed by the substance of His mother. Does that make Him half God? “And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.” By this creed, Jesus was not the Son of God; but, the son of a ghost through an adulterous union with a married woman. Both the Father and the Son have individual physical bodies.
All three gods Almighty? “So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty.” Jesus was not Almighty. Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus addressed as the Almighty. During his whole ministry, He submitted His will to the Father. A person can submit their will only to a superior. Even in death, Jesus subjected His will to God, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
I call Jesus as my witness, “my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28) Jesus is also inferior in knowledge to God. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32) The very fact that Jesus was begotten of the Father renders Him unequal and not coeternal.
Nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Ghost spoken of as God. If the Holy Ghost is God Almighty, he begat seed upon one of His creatures to become the Son Almighty. Where is the real Almighty during all these carryings on? Jesus received the Holy Ghost; and yet they so supposed to be identical. Believers receive the Holy Ghost. “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:17) Do they become identical with God?
There are many occasions in the Bible where the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are in different places. “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 of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven [Father], saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:16, 17) Jesus spent three days in the grave. Did God the Father and God the Holy Ghost follow? Did God die? If so, how did God raise Jesus (Himself) from the grave? “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” (Acts 4:10)
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Luke 2:52) How can an Almighty increase in wisdom? “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 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.” (Acts 2:32, 33) How can God receive the Holy Ghost if He is the Holy Ghost? How can an Almighty receive more power?
Were both Jesus and the Holy Ghost Almighty when Jesus received the Holy Ghost, and when He was anointed by the Holy Ghost? “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.” (Acts 10:38) If Jesus was the Father, how could He anoint Himself? Was the Holy Ghost Almighty when Jesus bestowed the Holy Ghost on others? “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.” (John 20:21, 22) How can He give others the Holy Ghost when HE is the Holy Ghost?
If Jesus is Almighty, why did He pray to the Father and cry to Him on the cross? “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46)
If Jesus was Almighty from all eternity, how could He be begotten by Himself? How could He be Almighty in His mother’s womb, as an infant, and as an alien to the kingdom of God until He was baptized? Was He Almighty in death? If He was Almighty, why was He raised and resurrected by the Father? Does he sit at His own right hand? “For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord [Father] said to my Lord [Jesus], Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Mark 12:36)
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb. 1:3)
One can only be blessed by a superior. Jesus was ordained and sent by the Father. “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [Father] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5:5, 6)
All equal? “And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another.” The Father had to be “afore;” as the Son was begotten of the Father. The Holy Ghost was “after” both. The Holy Ghost could not proceed from the Father and Son until the Son was begotten.
As the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and Son, he must be “less” than both and certainly not co-eternal. The very mortality and death of Jesus demonstrates a personage of inferior nature. Jesus was carried in his mother’s womb as a fetus, born as a helpless infant, learned obedience from the things he suffered (Heb. 5:8), died on the cross, spent three days in death with the spirits in prison (hell), was resurrected, and sits at the right hand of the Father. Not so of God. “For I am the LORD, I change not.” (Mal. 3:6) “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him… Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” (Deut. 4:35, 39)
“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. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.” (1 Cor. 8:6, 7)
The Bible consistently teaches there is only one God; and that Jesus is inferior to the Father. He was begotten by the Father. He submitted His will to the Father. He prayed to the Father. He received His divine authority from the father. “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” (Acts 10:42) Jesus was raised from the dead by the Father. “But God raised him from the dead.” (Acts 13:30)
All incomprehensible? This creed defines the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as incomprehensible. Does it not seem a little more than strange that such a doctrine is found nowhere in the Bible during four thousand years of personal relationships between man and God? By defining the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost as incompressible, this creed removes from man the opportunity of eternal life. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) Can you know an incomprehensible?
Was the Father incompressible when he walked, talked, and knew Adam as a familiar friend (Gen. 2:3)? Was He incomprehensible when he walked with Enoch (Gen. 5:24)? When He spoke with Noah (Gen. 6:14-21)? When Abraham mistook him for a man? (Gen. 18)? When He wrestled with Jacob (Gen. 32:30)? When He conversed with Moses face to face (Ex. 33:11; Deut. 5:4)? Soon, He will gather His people and again plead with them “face to face.” “And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezek. 20:34-36)
Was Jesus incomprehensible when He worked with the Apostles during His ministry? They knew Him only as a man. Simply read the New Testament. Was Jesus incomprehensible when he appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, and dined with them? (Luke 24:43) Was He incomprehensible when He said to the disciples, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:39)
How can man have faith in an incomprehensible? “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6) How can man love an incomprehensible “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”? (Matt. 22:37)
“The Apostles, who lived with Jesus through every day, who knew his parents and his brothers, who observed his exultations and his despairs, who rejoiced in the sublime manifestations of his greatness of soul, and who endured his violent outbursts of anger, could not consider him other than a human being… it is clear that Jesus was considered a prophetically inspired man.” (Life of Jesus, Marcello Craveri, p. 321)
I will grant Constantine the fact his Trinity is incomprehensible. Not so the Biblical God. The whole Bible is a story of God’s direct association with man. Which god in this Trinity is incomprehensible, the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost? Or, is it the Trinity itself which is the mystery?
(3). Constantine also changed the very nature of Jesus–the son of David according to the flesh–to that of pagan gods begotten by gods on virgin females. Oh, that is what Constantine believed. The most grievous form of blasphemy is against the Holy Ghost. “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Matt. 12:31) Yet, Bishops under Constantine added Matthew 1:18-25 to the Bible in order to embody the pagan doctrine of gods born of virgins. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 1:18)
What an imposing statement of blasphemy. A direct denial that Jesus was of the seed of Abraham; as required to be the Messiah. Matthew spent seventeen verses proving the lineage of Jesus as the seed of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, and house of David through Joseph. This doctrine MAKES JESUS THE BASTARD SON OF A GHOST that only proceeds from the Father and Son and not even the son of the Father. Or, did He beget Himself?
Joseph and Mary were married (espoused) when this conception took place. An espousal/betrothal in the days of Jesus was a marriage without the ceremony. Marriage consisted of three parts: (1) contract, (2) consummation, and (3) ceremony. The public ceremony was often held at a later time. They came together (consummation) on the day they were espoused/married. “Among the Hebrews, betrothal was not, as it is today, a simple promise of marriage in the future that could be rescinded with ease, but a complete legal contract, so binding that if the future husband died before the marriage the woman had a full status of a widow… In these cases, the betrothal could not easily be broken; the law required a “bill of divorce,” signed by two witnesses, exactly as if the woman were a wife.” (The Life of Jesus, Marcello Craveri, p. 17) Martin Luther’s Bible referred to Mary as “yungfrau.” It is interpreted as a “young woman”—married or not. No inference as to being a virgin. Verse 19 admits “Joseph her husband.”
A full appreciation of the fable of the Virgin Birth doctrine requires a study of Constantine’s Creed of Saint Athanasius, the Bible, and pagan doctrine. With a little effort, the deception can be uncovered. Matthew states in the first verse, this is “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ.” In the first seventeen verses, he traces the genealogy of Jesus through Abraham, Judah, David, and Joseph. This was the bloodline required for Jesus to have any claim to being the Messiah. “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (Rom. 1:3; Acts 2:30)
Constantine–entangled with pagan and demi-god doctrines–most likely knew nothing about the laws of God and the Jews. Consider Matthew 1:18, which states “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused [married] to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Mary was the wife of Joseph when she was found with child. It was required by Jewish law and tradition that they came together on the night of their marriage (espousal). Verse 18 states that Joseph was a just man; and when he found her with child and did not want to make her a public example. If Joseph was a just man (one who keeps the law of God) he was required to take her back to her father’s house and have her stoned to death. “20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: 21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones.” (Deut. 22)
Verses 22 and 23 are direct fabrications. “22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” First, the child was not named Emmanuel; but, Jesus. This prophecy had nothing to do with Jesus. It was a sign given through Isaiah to Ahaz; and fulfilled in those days. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.” (Isa. 7:14-16)
Young’s Analytical Concordance To The Bible, notes, “Immanuel, A symbolic name given to the child who was announced to Ahaz and the people of Judah as the sign that God would give them deliverance from their enemies.” The sign was to Ahaz; and had no reference to Jesus. The sign was fulfilled in the next chapter; over 700 years before Jesus. The child’s name was not Immanuel; but, “Maher-shalal-hash-baz.” The addition of Immanuel to Isaiah and Matthew was is a fraud. This fabrication calls the whole account after verse 17, into question. Truth has no fellow with anything counterfeit. The first 17 verses support the law of God on the lineage of Jesus. The next verses actually deny that Jesus was the Messiah.
First, the basic question is whether Jesus was the legitimate son of Abraham. Or, was He the offspring of adultery; and the illegitimate son of a ghost that proceeds from Himself? This deception claims, “she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” The Creed of Saint Athanasius declares, “The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son.” If this deception were true, Jesus was not “of the Father alone;” but, was a fourth the son of Himself, considering he was half of the blood of Mary. Blood can never be eternal. Blood coursed in His veins resulting in His death. When Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, blood then flowed in their veins and became mortal. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (1 Cor. 15:50)
Luke notes that Joseph and Mary were espoused/married in verse 27, “virgin espoused [married] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David;” and then in verse 31, at a later date, notes, “thou shalt conceive in thy womb.” (Luke 1:31) How many other women in the Bible conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost? Abraham’s wife Sarah conceived Isaac by the power of the Holy Ghost. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was barren when she conceived John the Baptist. Both conceptions were normal through the POWER of the Holy Ghost and not BY the Holy Ghost. How many more were there?
The word virgin in the English language has different connotations. The word translated virgin in the Bible can be either a woman (or man) that has not had sexual intercourse outside of marriage. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled.” (Heb. 13:4) “Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.” (Joel 1:8)
Adultery was forbidden by the law of God, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Ex. 20:14) God cannot violate His own law. Had the Holy Ghost beget seed upon a married woman, GOD would be guilty of adultery and therefore subject to death, “the wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23) “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” (Lev. 20:10)
The creed states, “The Son is of the Father alone.” This supposed conception by the Holy Ghost denies this doctrine and makes Jesus the son of the third person in the Trinity and not by “the Father alone.” It would have God violate His own laws and commit adultery on one of His creation. Further, it would make Jesus the bastard son of a ghost; and not the Messiah of the house of David–according to the flesh. Jesus was not the offspring of adultery.
Second, the law of nature is another of God’s laws. Genetics are much better understood today than by the pagans of Constantine’s day. The woman carries only half the genetic code required for human reproduction. Only the male seed carries the X/Y chromosome. Without this, Jesus could not have been a male–like begets like. A gorilla, the closest to man in genetic code, cannot beget seed upon man.
A spirit is not flesh, blood, and bones. According to the Creed of Saint Athanasius, the Holy Ghost only proceeds. “The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.” The best definition, supporters of the creed have provided, is that “proceeding” is like heat from a fire.
A spirit cannot beget seed upon mortal woman; any more than a beam of light. Satan and his angels (spirits) have been visiting earth since Adam. If spirits can beget seed upon women, imagine what evil Satan’s angels would work upon women. Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven to the earth after the resurrection of Jesus (Rev. 12:4). If this creed be true, no man could know who is the father of his wife’s children? Jesus called himself the son of Man over seventy times in the Bible.
Third. All the prophets in the Bible, who spoke of the Messiah, wrote that He had to be of the royal line of King David—according to the flesh. Only Joseph carried the proper seed of Abraham, Judah, and David; as noted by both Matthew and Luke. God promised Abraham, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Gen. 22:18) No woman is given in the lineage of Jesus from Adam to Mary. The seed of man, “according to the flesh,” is carried only through the male line. “And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.” (Heb. 7:9, 10) ALL genealogy in the Bible is through the male line. Jesus could only fulfill the law on lineage through his father Joseph. If Joseph was not the father of Jesus, the whole story of the Messiah is a fabrication.
Paul declared Jesus was the seed of David, “according to the flesh.” “Therefore being a prophet [David], and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.” (Acts 2:30) The only one way to be the seed of any man is by natural conception. Matthew declared at the beginning of his book, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ.” The first seventeen verses give a clear account of the lineage of Jesus from Abraham, through Judah, David, and his father Joseph (Matt. 1:16).
Luke does the same; except beginning with Adam. Mary was a cousin of Elizabeth (Luke 1:36) of the tribe of Levi. The claim of Jesus of the house of David would not have been illegitimate through Mary. Jesus had to identify with the correct lineage to have any claim as the Messiah. That was possible only through Joseph.
When telling a lie, it is often impossible to cover all your tracks. Many references remain that identify Jesus as the legitimate son of Joseph. I call Mary as my first witness. “And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” (Luke 2:48) I call Jesus as my second witness. “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2:17)
In the King James Version of the Bible Matthew 1:16 is rendered, “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” In the Sinaitic Manuscript Matthew reads, “And Jacob begat Joseph, and Joseph, to whom was betrothed Mary the Virgin, begat Jesus, who is called Christ.” Joseph is called the father of Jesus. “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the SON OF JOSEPH.” (John 1:45)
Surely, the friends and family of Jesus would have been aware of this miraculous conception and calling–had it been true. Of course, this would have been grounds to reject Him.Yet, on Jesus first missionary trip to Nazareth, He encountered friends and neighbors who were offended with Him and sought to kill Him. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22; read 16-30) “18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he [God] 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.”
Consider the source. Demi-gods were a tradition in Babylon, Greece, and Rome. The story of the virgin mother and her child were an integral part of paganism long before being adopted by Constantine. “Now, when the mother of the Pagan Messiah came to be celebrated as having been thus ‘Assumed,’ then it was that, under the name of the ‘Dove,’ she was worshipped as the Incarnation of the Spirit of God, with whom she was identified. As such as she was regarded as the source of all holiness, and the grand ‘PURIFIER,’ and of course, was known herself as the ‘Virgin’ mother, ‘PURE AND UNDEFILED’… The purity of this ‘Holy Virgin’ did not consist merely in freedom from actual sin, but she was especially distinguished for her ‘immaculate conception.'” (The Two Babylons, p. 126)
By adopting the Babylonian doctrines of the Mother and Child, Constantine turned Christianity into a people guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. The beast which John saw rising out of the sea, “having seven heads,” was none other than Pagan Christian Rome. Only Rome has been synonymously known as the city of seven hills. “9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen [Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece], and one is [Pagan Rome], and the other is not yet come [Pagan Christian Rome begun by Constantine]; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space [325 to 476]. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth [Papal Rome], and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” (Rev. 17)
Who is this beast? None other than the Catholic Church. Here is the mother of pagan mysteries. “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Rev. 17:5) Who are these harlot daughters? “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” (Rev. 17:9) Only Rome has synonymously been known as the city of seven hills.
What is to happen to Christians who become entangled with the mysteries of Babylon? This is like a mark. “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Rev. 19:20)
The pagan doctrine of the Trinity–with its corollary the Virgin Birth–has been the foundation doctrine of the Catholic Church since its inception in 325 A.D. under Constantine. When Luther rebelled against the church 1,200 years later, he retained the same pagan doctrines as the mother church.
LOSS AND RESTORATION OF DIVNE AUTHORITY.
The Apostle John told us the Church of Christ and the gospel were to be lost. “5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [1,260 years]. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him OVER ALL kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Rev. 13)
The 1,260 years were to begin when one claiming to be a minister of God stood as God on earth and head of the church–although he was never called of God. “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thess. 2:4)
He was the Bishop of Rome who made this claim in 570 A.D.—the first pope. “The pope is of so great dignity and excellence, that he is not merely man, but as if God. The pope alone is called most holy, divine monarch, and supreme emperor, and King of Kings. The pope is of so great dignity and power, and he constitutes one and the same tribunal with Christ, so that whatever the pope does seems to proceed from the mouth of God. The pope is as God on earth.” (Guiness, Romanism and the Reformation, pp. 25, 26)
The Apostle John also wrote of the RESTORATION OF AUTHORITY AND THE GOSPEL after the 1,260 years. “6 And I saw another ANGEL fly in the midst of heaven, HAVING THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to EVERY nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” (Rev. 14) This was only possible through angelic administration; as John noted.
The Bible tells us of two prophets and two works in the latter/last days. “19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph [Book of Mormon], which is in the hand of Ephraim [Joseph Smith], and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah [Book of the Law of the Lord], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” (Ezek. 37)
Now take the 570 when all authority of God was to be lost and add it to the 1,260 years when not one person was to enter the Kingdom of God and we get 1830. Joseph Smith was called of God and ordained a Prophet like those of old and organized the Church of Christ in 1830. The Book of Mormon does not replace the Bible. It is another testimony of the truth of Jesus Christ and supports the doctrines taught in the Bible. Joseph became the first to condemn these pagan doctrines and restore a correct understanding of God and Jesus. He was murdered in 1844, with the help of the government.
TWO PROPHETS. Joseph received four revelations (beginning in 1831) that he would die in office and in the event of his impending death that he would appoint his successor and that successor would have to be ordained under the hands of angles like himself. Nine days before his martyrdom he appointed James J. Strang as his successor. The same hour he was killed on June 27, 1844, James claimed to have been ordained under hands of angels according to this law—although he was 400 miles away and could no knowledge of his death. The first knowledge of Joseph’s death came on July 9th with delivery of the Letter of Appointment. The revelation of his death on office, of his impending death, and James ordination without any knowledge of his death are prophetic in their own right.
Joseph Smith taught the critical importance of knowing God. He taught, “that three things are necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation. First, the idea that he actually exists. Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes. Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing, is according to his will.” (1835 Doctrine and Covenants, Part One, Lecture Three)
Joseph described the Father and the Son as two distinct personages. Imagine, a young farm boy restored knowledge of God and Jesus that had been lost since Constantine. Some people believe that God is only a spirit (John 4:24). All men are spirits. When their spirit is joined with a physical body, they become living souls; and are said to have a tabernacle (physical body). In 1842, the official church journal of the church–which Joseph edited–clearly described both the Father and the Son as having physical bodies and separate identities. “Joseph Smith opposes vice and error, and supports his positions from revelation: no odds whether there be two, three, or ‘Gods many.’ The Father and the Son are persons of Tabernacle; and the Holy Ghost a spirit, besides the sons of God: for the scriptures say: ‘Ye are Gods.’” (Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, p. 926)
When Constantine reorganized the Christian Church, he adopted all the doctrines, mysteries, and traditions of paganism. He changed the identity of both God and Jesus. He died two years before the birth of Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, who became a leading writer of Catholic doctrine. He gave a definition of this new god of Christianity in The Confessions, “when God is thought of, our thoughts should dwell on no material reality whatsoever.” Truly, the Trinity leads one to worship the unseen god of mystery Babylon. “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22)
Joseph Smith went to great lengths to teach a correct understanding of God in his Lectures on Faith (1835 Doctrine and Covenants, Part One). He explained that God is (1) merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, long suffering, of a forgiving disposition, (2) without change, (3) love, (4) no respecter of persons, (5) a God of truth, (6) a God of Justice, (7) a God of Judgment, (8) possessed of all knowledge, and (9) holds supreme power over all things.
James J. Strang taught the same as Joseph. He taught that truth has no fear of investigation. He taught of the perfections of God in the Book of the Law. God alone has (1) immortality, (2) omniscience, (3) omnipotence, (4) is omnipresent, and (5) is one. It is imperative that we have a correct understanding of God. God alone has IMMORTALLITY. “15 Which in his [Jesus] times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality.” (1 Tim. 6) God alone hath OMNISCIENCE. He is the source of all intelligence and knowledge. God alone has OMNIPOTENCE. He is the source of all power. God alone is OMNIPRESENT. God alone is ONE. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” (Deut. 6:4) “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29)
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is a literal personage. He is called the “living God” thirty times in the Bible. In James’ notes on the True God, he wrote, “9. The God who created Adam had a body, with all its parts; for as truly as Adam, when he begat a son, begat him in his own likeness, after his image, (Gen. v, 3) so truly God, when he created Adam, made him in the likeness and after the image of God. (Gen. i, 26, 27. v, 1. ix, 6. 1st Cor. xi, 7. Jas. iii, 9.)
“10. Abraham worshipped the same God; for when God visited him, Abraham at first mistook him for a man; and, with genuine Patriarchal hospitality, invited him into the tent to eat, and offered to wash his feet. (Gen. xviii.)
“11. Jacob also, worshipped the same God; for after wrestling with him, he tells us he saw him face to face. (Gen. xxxii, 24, 28, 30.) Surely the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has a body and parts, face and feet.
“12. The God who spoke to Moses from the fire in the bush, and in a voice of thunder in Sinai, gave the Commandments; wrote the Commandments on tables of stone, with his finger; (Deut. ix, 10;) conversed with Moses face to face, as a man converses with his friend; (Ex. xxxii, 11;) passed by covering Moses with his hand, and allowed him to behold his back parts. (Ex. xxxiii, 22, 23.) Truly this is not the God without body or parts, which Episcopalians, Methodists, and all other Christians worship.
“13. The God of the Prophets and Apostles was in bodily form, with all the appropriate parts, as imaged in his creature man.” (Book of the Law, p. 54)
He wrote concerning the Creed of Saint Athanasius: “25. This is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Ye shall not bow down to the God of Babylon, for the God who spoke in Sinai, said, ‘Thou shalt not bow down unto, nor adore anything that thy imagination conceiveth of; but the Lord thy God only.’ 26. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was not the offspring of adultery; nor was he born of woman; he was not carried about in a nurse’s arms, nor dependent on his mother’s milk for sustenance; he never died, nor did he cry to himself, and find no helper. (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34.) Eternal ages are but pulsations in his lifetime, and his might is omnipotence.” (Book of the Law, p. 58)
He wrote of Jesus: “He has BECOME PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERING, Heb. ii. 10. v. 9, obtained the keys of hell and of death, Rev. i. 18, received power from God, John v. 19 to 30. Acts xvii. 31, ascended on high, Acts i. 9, 10, 11, and being perfect as his Father in heaven is perfect, has set down, not in place of God, but at his right hand, Heb. i. 3. Eph. i. 20, as the principal viceroy and highest minister unto him, Heb. i. 4, 9. Eph. i. 20, 21, 22, being one with God, not in person, essence or individuality, nor in any mysterious sense, but in the same manner in which the saints are all likewise required to be one with him and each other, John xvii. 11, 21, 22, 23. Gal, iii. 28; that is, one in faith, one in purpose, one in interest and one in possession and enjoyment. And he, as son, being heir of God; that is, as high priest having an inheritance in the power of God’s kingdom, seeks to bring us to a like perfection, that we also may be sons, that is, high priests after the power of an endless life, that we may be also heirs of God, joint heirs with him in this inheritance, Rom. viii. 17. James ii. 5, setting down with him on thrones in the kingdom of God, Matt. xix. 28. Luke xxii. 29, 30. 1 Tim. vi. 15. Rev. i. 6. Y. 10. xx. 6; retaining to Christ his double portion as first begotten, because whereas we shall be kings, princes and lords, he will be king of kings and Lord of Lords, Rev. xvii. 14. xix. 16. And in this inheritance, as he is so like his father as to be declared the express image of his person, and the brightness of his glory, Heb. i. 3, so we shall be like him, Phil. iii. 21.
“Christ constantly spoke of himself personally as “the son of man,” Matt. xvi. 13, &c. As the redeemer he is expressly declared to be a “man,” 1 Cor. xv. 21. In that greatest treatise on priesthood, the epistle to the Hebrews, it is said that because he loved righteousness (and of course not till he had done so) God exalted him in power above all others, Heb. i. 9; became a son of God by being made an high priest by the oath of God, Heb. v. 5, 6. vii. 21, and it was by the word of the oath, and not by the act of carnal generation, that he became God’s Son, Heb. vii. 28.
“For what trash have men bartered away the truths of God? All for want of the proper priesthood, which God set therein as a perpetual and unerring standard of truth.” (see Catholic Discussion, Gospel Herald, April 13, 1848)
He wrote of the Trinity: “And, as by their faith, these three gods are one and the same god, it follows that the Lord God Almighty, uncreate, incomprehensible, and eternal, became a Priest unto himself, and offered himself a sacrifice unto himself, to make propitiation unto himself for sins against himself, and became a mediator between himself and his rebellious creatures; and has risen from the dead, though he alone hath immortality, and ascended on high, where he has received all power from himself, and sat down at his own right hand; where, with his human body, flesh and bones, and all that pertains to the perfection of man’s nature, raised to immortality and everlasting life, he ‘is the express image of the invisible God,’ (Col. i, 15. 2d Cor. iv, 4,) ‘and the express image of his Father’s person,’ (Heb. 1, 3,) who has not any such body or any part of it, and is nevertheless the same identical person with himself.”
“To make these creeds utterly, hopelessly, and irrevocably false and impossible, impossible with Omnipotence, as well as with man, it is next asserted that these three are one God, being and substance; that they are all like one another and alike eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent; though the second emanated from the first, and the third emanated from both the others. I do not, I will not, speak of this as a mystery. It is a lie. A lie absolutely and immutably. A lie that OMNIPOTENCE CANNOT MAKE TRUE. As well might you talk that three times four does not make twelve in abstract mathematics, but that it makes ten in a mysterious sense, and that we ought to subscribe to it as a Christian mystery, which we can believe but not comprehend.”
“To make the matter as ridiculous as it is infidel, heathenish as it is false, Catholics tell us of the ‘mother of God,’ as though it was God that was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary; begotten by himself on a creature he had made, that he might be eternally begotten. And Protestants not willing that the Catholics should monopolize all the folly and falsehood, have trumped up, or borrowed from their mother, the Catholic church, the doctrine of an ‘infinite atonement’ by means of infinite sufferings in the crucifixion and death of one of the three Gods. And as they still insist that these three Gods are verily and in truth but one God, self-existent, indivisible and eternal, it follows that the eternal uncreated and self existent God became a PRIEST unto HIMSELF, and offered HIMSELF a SACRIFICE unto HIMSELF, to make propitiation unto himself for sins against himself, and became Mediator between himself and his rebellious subjects.” (Gospel Herald, Nov. 25, 1847)
How is it that I have understood these truths when almost all of Christendom follow pagan doctrines? Jesus advised us: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) Peter repeated the same commandment on the Day of Pentecost when the gospel went to gentiles. “Then Peter said unto them, 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.” (Acts 2:38)
Constantine removed both from the church. Not one person in catholicity has received a gift of the Holy Ghost. Catholics only sprinkle or pour a little water on the candidate and claim to baptize innocent children. Protestants claim that baptism is not even required—that they are saved only by grace alone—without even obeying the laws of God. Not true! “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.” (Rev. 22:14)
Those who are properly born of the Spirit are led by the Spirit to understand truth. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit 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.” (John 16:13) “9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor. 2)
During the life of the Prophet James J. Strang, he ordained L. D. Hickey one of the Twelve Apostles to the gentiles of the last days. Apostle Hickey ordained Samuel Martin a high priest—the next lower office in the priesthood of God. Martin ordained Lloyd Flanders a high priest and he ordained me an elder on July 8, 1956. Elders hold divine authority to administer all of the ordinances of the gospel. I have ordained other elders in America and in the Eastern Hemisphere; where the gospel is being preached to the nations for the last time. “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.” (Jesus, Matt. 24:14) Then, Israel will be gathered and become the people of God. “37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: 38 And they shall be my people , and I will be their God.” (Jer. 32)
What of gentiles? “15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen [gentile]: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.” (Obad.)
The only hope for gentiles is a proper baptism by one holding authority from God; as this adopts a person as the seed of Abraham. “27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ… 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3)
Jesus advised us: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) These ordinances can only be administered by one with a legitimate claim to the Melchisedec Priesthood. That is why Jesus ordained all of these offices. “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors [high priests and elders] and teachers; 12 FOR the perfecting of the saints, FOR the work of the ministry, FOR the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 TILL we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (Eph. 4)
Jesus advised us to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate [the priesthood of God]: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way [through obedience to the laws of God], which leadeth unto life, and FEW THERE BE that find it.” (Matt. 7) YOU can know God and Jesus, enter through the straight gate (gospel), and have hope of the first resurrection and inheriting the earth with God and Jesus by walking on that narrow path [obedience to God’s laws].
YOU COULD BE ONE OF THOSE FEW.
Samuel E. West