Monday, 15 January 2018

Why is the Jesus Only Movement Wrong?

Though God is one, as many scriptures attest, we can easily see how errant the "Jesus Only" doctrine is through the scriptures. Even in the Old Testament, as I pointed out earlier, we read where the Ancient of Days met the Son of Man. Jesus also took on that title to show that it referred to him in his incarnation.

One case of him adopting that title is in Matthew 9:6 (KJV) which reads, "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house." Christ said this to Pharisees who condemned him for blasphemy.

Another point against Modalism and the "Jesus Only" folks is that Christ kept telling his disciples  to pray to the Father. Look at what John 14:16 (KJV) says. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;" What? Was Jesus praying to himself?

Furthermore, Jesus would have been a ventriloquist, and a really good one, if the following verse meant Jesus and God were the same person. John 12:28 (KJV) records him as saying, "'Father, glorify thy name.' Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, 'I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.'"

The best proof of the Trinity is recorded at Christ's baptism. Matthew 3:16 (BBE) says, "And Jesus, having been given baptism, straight away went up from the water; and, the heavens opening, he saw the Spirit of God coming down on him as a dove; And a voice came out of heaven, saying, 'This is my dearly loved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'"

I could write so much more on this subject but I'll save it for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Many people think their denominational affiliation will save them. But the scriptures show that it's by faith we are saved and no human works can atone for sins.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Saturday Song: The Beatles, "There's a Place"

This was one of many songs I heard while I was in Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind. We had no privacy in the dorm so I often wandered off alone outside. A lovely forest behind the school grew wild and I often resorted there to get away from other boys. Being alone gave me some measure of comfort. In fact, I felt more lonely with those supervisors and children.

Hear this song here.

We who trust in Christ are never alone. As Jesus instructed and promised his disciples in Matthew 28:20 (KJV), "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."

We also have the Holy Spirit who will never leave us. Jesus promised in John 14:16 (KJV), "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;"

We also have the promise of Christ's return in John 14:3 (KJV) which says, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

So, what do you think of this song and what I wrote? Please leave me a comment. But if you'd rather not, I hope you have a wonderful weekend anyway.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

What is the Jesus Only Movement?

I've mentioned before that the "Jesus Only" movement is the modalistic belief that God isn't one WHAT and three WHOs but one who appears in three different forms throughout history.

Believers in the "Jesus Only" doctrine also claim that he and he only is the one we should worship since he's a manifestation of God. Furthermore, they use all those Old Testament scriptures declaring that God is the one and only deity to bolster their case.

The "Jesus Only" folks are right that verses like Deuteronomy 4:35 (KJV) plainly state, "Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him."

We likewise read in 1 Kings 8:60 (KJV) that God does what he does so, "That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else."

Furthermore, Isaiah 45:22 (KJV) shows that God is a saviour of humanity. "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."

It's no wonder then that "Jesus Only" proponents claim that Jesus is God and there are no other members of the Trinity. They even believe that the Holy Spirit is a mere force emanating from God. And as I've mentioned before, their pride prevents them from even imagining that they could be wrong.

For this and other reasons, I hope to finish my book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? My hope is that I can reach those individuals who are actually searching for the truth rather than gainsaying God's message.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Why Is Modalism Dangerous?

Now that I've explained why Modalism is wrong, I need to warn every one about its dangers. These people who hold to it concentrate on external issues while taking the focus away from the renewal of people's hearts and minds. Since sanctification is the goal of every believer, thwarting the Holy Spirit's work in us is sinful. That's what Modalism does.

Many of these Pentecostal offshoots stress clean living to the point that it becomes an external measurement of holiness. Because some churches insist that congregants come dressed in only their finest clothes, people end up judging others who might not own fine garments.

I know this from personal experience. When I attended that aberrant house church, I was constantly chided for having long hair, wearing jeans and T shirts, and similar external actions. I was their most faithful attendee but the elders still got on my case about these supposed lapses in holiness.

We can see the utter stupidity of legalism exposed in the Apostle Paul's letters. Colossians 2:20-23 (BBE) says, "If you were made free, by your death with Christ, from the rules of the world, why do you put yourselves under the authority of orders Which say there may be no touching, tasting, or taking in your hands, (Rules which are all to come to an end with their use) after the orders and teaching of men? These things seem to have a sort of wisdom in self-ordered worship and making little of oneself, and being cruel to the body, not honouring it by giving it its natural use."

And as he wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:12 (KJV), "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

As the Bible says in 1 Peter 5:5 (KJV), "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."

The worst thing about legalism is that it makes people proud. They feel that the rest of the churches are wrong or immature so they take pride in their doctrines. James 4:10 (KJV) says, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."

We know from a multitude of scriptures that it's pride which sends people to hell. The most blatant case of spiritual arrogance is seen in the Pharisees but it also happens today in people who feel they're good enough to go to heaven. That's why I want to write my book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Maybe God will use it to steer folks away from prideful self-reliance.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Saturday Song: Telex, "We Are All Getting Old"

I discovered this group's records in the delete bin at a local record store back in 1988. Costing only a dollar each, I figured I couldn't lose much. When I played both disks, I fell in love with the band's electronic music.

Hear this song here.

It certainly is true that we are all getting old. We feel it in our muscles and bones as we age. Even so, God is eternal.

As the Bible says in Isaiah 51:6 (KJV)  "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished."

Though we die physically, we who have our trust in Christ's work of atonement still have hope. As 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (KJV) reminds us, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:"

Even the Old Testament saints knew they would be resurrected to new life someday. Job 19:26 (KJV) says, "And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:"

So, what do you think of this song and what I wrote? Please comment below. But if you don't want to or the site won't let you write anything, have a wonderful weekend anyway.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Why Is Modalism Wrong?

Now that you know what Modalism is, here's why it's biblically incorrect. God has revealed himself in three distinct and eternally-existent persons. In many scripture passages, we see all three interacting, an impossible and ridiculous feat if God only was one but revealing himself in three different historical ways.

Modalists take their notions from the King James Version of the Bible. Though it's a well-respected translation, the translators didn't have the wealth of scripture fragments which we have today. Consequently, Modalists mistakenly assume that their doctrines are true.

Oneness folks use Acts 2:38 as their major proof text. "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.'" Thus, they assume only Jesus' name must be used in baptism.

Modalists also quote all the verses in the Old Testament where God says he's it and there's none else. What those folks forget is that many verses have God and the Son together. Daniel 7:13 (KJV) says, "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him." How could the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man be in the same scene together?

Jesus often referred to himself as the Son of Man. We see that perfectly in Matthew 16:13 (KJV). "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, 'Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?'"

Furthermore, we see all three members of the Trinity present at Christ's baptism. Luke 3:22 (KJV) says, "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." Unless God used stand-ins, this couldn't happen with a modalist deity.

I could provide many more explanations and scriptures which prove the utter impossibility of Modalism but I'll save those for my next book. We must have a proper understanding of the Trinity in order to realize the love between three distinct beings in the Godhead. Otherwise, we would worship  a deity who talks to himself and is a narcissist. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Monday, 1 January 2018

What is Modalism?

This month, I want to examine churches which aren't exactly cults but have aberrant teachings which send people to hell. Though denominations differ on secondary doctrines, such as when Christ will return, the primary tenets are what determine somebody's eternal destiny.

Modalism is a doctrine held by assorted Pentecostal groups. Often called Oneness Pentecostals or Jesus Only, they deny the traditional understanding of the Holy Trinity. Adherents claim that God revealed himself as Jehovah in the Old Testament. Then he became Jesus in the gospels. Finally, he became the Holy Spirit after the resurrection. Some denominations don't believe that the Holy Spirit is a person but a force sent out from God.

This isn't a recently-discovered doctrine but an ancient heresy from the second century. Modalism, also called Sabellianism, was popular among Gnostic sects who felt that the flesh was evil and that only the spirit was pure.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Churches which began practicing speaking in tongues also became convinced that there was one God who manifested himself in three periods of time. Emphasis on repentance and following Christ became secondary as these people strove to get spiritual gifts and perform miracles.

Some denominations even believe that Christians weren't fully saved unless they spoke in tongues. This, they claimed, would happen to believers when they were baptized in Jesus' name. Saying "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," disqualified that baptism, according to the beliefs of certain charismatic sects.

In subsequent posts, I'll mention the scriptures these Oneness people twisted and why the doctrine of the Trinity is true. As I learned from being in a Pentecostal offshoot cult, these beliefs were accepted because of human pride and not because of any new revelation from God.

This subject and many others regarding eternity will be part of my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? This is thee most important decision each one needs to make. Will we obey God or will we decide we know better than him? That's what determines where we'll spend eternity.