Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Questions I Could Not Answer As A Trinitarian

I used to believe in the doctrine of the Trinity – One God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: Each one being co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent. That was until I opened up the scriptures for myself and found that the mystery of the Godhead had been revealed: Jesus Christ was the manifestation of God the Father in human flesh, and The Holy Spirit was simply another expression of the One Eternal Spirit of God. My belief in The Trinity could not hold up to these questions:

1. If Jesus (God the Son) was eternally and physically present on the right hand of The Father since the beginning of time, how did God send him down to earth to become the begotten Son of Mary? Where did the body of Jesus go for the gestation period? Did He disappear to become an embryo? Were there only two members of The Trinity in operation during this period?

2. If God the Son existed eternally and physically (or even spiritually) with God the Father before time began, how did they get the relation of Father and Son? How did a “son” exist without a mother? And how was God the Holy Spirit related to them?

3. Where did you get the terms, “God the Son” and “God the Holy Spirit”? Any Scripture reference?

4. What is the name of The Father? What is the name of The Holy Spirit? Why is it that those who accuse Oneness believers of being “Jesus only”, can only come up with ONE name – Jesus?

5. If the commission by Jesus in Matthew 28:19 was to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, why did the Apostles (who had their minds opened to understand all scriptures Luke 24: 45) proceed to baptize every New Testament Church convert in the name of Jesus Christ? ( See Acts 2: 38; 8: 16; 10: 48; 19: 5; 22: 16; Rom. 6: 3; 1 Cor. 1:13)
a. Water baptism in Jesus’ name: Is it from God or is it from men? (If from God, have YOU been baptized in Jesus’ name, and do you teach it? If from men, please explain why God approved of it being the only mode of baptism recorded in The New Testament Church)
b. Do you believe that the Apostles were in error by baptizing in the name of Jesus Christ?

6. The word, “trinity”, in and of itself, means “a group of three”. Could we, in essence, then call God “The Holy Three”? Would this not be in direct opposition to The Holy ONE of Israel? Before you write that off as blasphemy, what would be the difference between Holy Trinity and Holy Three?

7. Why didn’t God the Father ever introduce “God the Son” or “God the Holy Spirit” to His people in the Old Testament? Why did He not tell them to teach their children about One God in three persons?

8. Why didn’t the Apostles, who had their minds opened that they might understand the scriptures (Luke 24: 45; Matt. 16: 19), or Paul, who received his revelation straight from God (Acts 9: 5; Gal. 1: 11,12), ever tell us that God existed in three persons? I challenge you to look up “The origin of The Trinity” in any credible, historical resource. The earliest mention you will find comes at least 150 years after the NT Church began.

9. How many Spirits live inside of you? The Spirit of The Father? (Romans 8: 11) The Holy Spirit? (Acts 2: 38) The Spirit of Christ? (Romans 8: 9)

10. What is the difference between 3 Gods, and 3 persons? Do you pray to and praise three separate and distinct persons, each called God; each being fully God apart from the other? Each with three distinct personalities, wills, roles and intellects? Do you call each one of the three persons, “God”?

11. If God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are two different persons, then who really is the Father of Jesus Christ? Luke 1: 35 “…The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Matthew 1: 20 “…for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” Can The Father really be the father of a child He did not conceive?

12. Jesus is called the image of the invisible God. (Col. 1: 15) How are you going to see more than one “person” if God is invisible, and the Holy Spirit is a Spirit? John, the only person recorded in scripture to get a glimpse of the throne room, saw only ONE throne and ONE sitting on it.(Rev. 4:2)

13. If the three persons of the Godhead are co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent, why is it that Salvation can only be found in Jesus Christ? (Acts 4: 12)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Three Ways to Tell God Thanks.

We have all heard the saying, "He has done so much for me that I don't know how
to thank Him." Let's take a look at three easy ways: 1) Be faithful. (NIV) 1 Samuel
12:24 says, "But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your
heart; consider what great things He has done for you." Be faithful to God in all
things. Show your faithfulness by attending services regularly, by giving of money
or time, and by doing what the Bible commands us to do. This not only is a way to
be faithful to God, but is also a way to teach your family. The Bible says "Train up
a child in the way it should go and they will not depart." 2) Be diligent. (NIV)
Proverbs 13:4 says, "A sluggards appetite is never filled, but the desires of the
diligent are fully satisfied." Whatever we do for God being big or small we need
to do it with our whole heart. It doesn't matter if you teach a Sunday school class,
drive the van, or clean the toilets you need to do your work at 100%. Because
when you are doing these things you are doing this unto God. 3) Be responsive to
His presence. (NIV) Psalms 150:6 says, "Let everything that hath breath praise the
Lord." Nobody is excluded from worshipping God. We are all commanded to do
so. There should not be a service that goes by that we do not worship our God.
Our worship is not based on our feelings, but it is based on Him being worthy. It
is a sad day when we talk more to our friends in church then we do to God. If God
is the center of our lives surely we can focus on Him three times a week at our
church services. When we worship God this also creates an atmosphere for new
people to be born into the kingdom. We have what people want and are looking
for. NOW is the time for the true church of the living God to stand up and be the
church God has called us to be. Yes, being faithful, diligent, and responding to his
presence tells God thank you. However, it also tells Him we are doing what we
are created to do. If we ever get these three things down, God will give us the
revival that He intends for us to have.
Gene Brown
Youth Pastor

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sometimes We Forget--But The Fire Still Burns

In 1906, a major earthquake hit San Francisco.  It was estimated at 7.8 and 8.3 magnitudes.  Aftershocks persisted and fires broke out in the city destroying many of the remaining buildings.  This event caused widespread destruction.  It created a surface rupture that extended continuously for 200 miles.  Infernos swept the city for three days.

In 1988, Yellowstone National Park saw the largest wildfire in the recorded history of the park.  Flames from individual fires spread out of control and burned for several months.  Drought and winds were other factors that affected the fires.   More than 793,000 acres were affected. 

Revival fires of the Holy Ghost have occurred over the centuries, such as Azusa Street revival, in California in the early 1900’s, and many revivals and outpourings of the Holy Spirit in many countries around the world.

We find use of fire by God in both the Old and New Testament.  Sometimes it is constructive and sometimes it is destructive.

“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.  And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” Exodus 3: 1-2.

“And the Lord went before them by day in the pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way: and by night in the pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.”  Exodus 12: 21

“Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.” Genesis 19:24

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.”  Matthew 3:11

“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  Acts 2: 3-4

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”  Revelations 20: 10

From Genesis to Revelations, we see the power of God used through fire.  The fires in San Francisco and Yellowstone were extinguished; however for those of us who have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God within us still burns.   Sometimes we let the flame die down and forget to stir up the gift that is within us.   Sometimes we lose sight of our goal and forget the goodness of God.

Apostle Paul in writing to Timothy admonishes him to remember and stir up the gift.
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of hands.  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  (II Timothy 1: 6-7)

 Peter also called the church to remember and to be established in truth and not to follow after fables. 
“Wherefore, I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the truth.  Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shewed me.”  (II Peter 2: 12-14)

Yes, let us remember where we have come from, what we have received, and stir up the Spirit within. Let us keep the flame ever burning. Study the Word of God, build up our faith, be kind to others, and spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.