Christ Equals the One God!
An Answer to Tertullian
Recently I have seen before God the importance of believing in the Deity of Christ. This site is about assembly life. REAL assembly life depends on REAL experience of the unsearchable riches of Christ as Head flowing as body-life supply to and through His members. If there is not this, there is nothing. This also has very much to do with the fellowship flowing between the Father and the Son. This fellowship is the Spirit and this Spirit is the very life and heartbeat of His Body. But if folks come in that are not believing in the deity of Christ, it makes all of this impossible. They are to be regarded as unbelieving lost souls. Jesus said we must honor Him, the Son EVEN AS we honor the Father. That about says it all. How could Christ be the unsearchable riches of God in you and me both and flow between us if He was not Almighty God?? Jesus said "unless you believe that I AM you shall die in your sins." So this at least means you must believe that Jesus is God to be saved, but did Jesus make a mistake by not saying He was PART of the I AM???? Sounds like He is the WHOLE I AM!!! Wow! So, I have chosen to reply to a guy who, although he seems to be on my side because in this writing he is a Trinitarian fighting against a heretical modalist, still, he is wrong on some things. That is why, in his book he does not mention Isaiah 9:6 even once. I speak of Tertullian.
OK. so there are some things I beg
to differ with Tertullian (see http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0317.htm
in I Corinthians concernig the Son delivering the kingdom back to the
"Now, from this one passage of the epistle of the inspired apostle, we have been already able to show that the Father and the Son are two separate Persons, not only by the mention of their separate names as Father and the Son, but also by the fact that He who delivered up the kingdom, and He to whom it is delivered up -- and in like manner, He who subjected (all things), and He to whom they were subjected -- must necessarily be two different Beings."
Now how could 2 omnipresent and omniscient entities be TWO DIFFERENT BEINGS??? IMPOSSIBLE! This I do not believe since there is only ONE God. Besides he has NO Biblical ground as the scripture NEVER once mentions the word "persons" or 2 beings concerning them!!!!! Not there! Now there was truth to this during the time of the kenosis (which means the self emptying of the Son to limit Himself to humanity so he could overcome AS A MAN, beat the devil as a man and become the Way and Path for us, but only concerning His humanity which has the limitations of space and time is His being different than the divine). Now we must realize His manhood is still an ongoing reality, however, it is now VERY much more mingled with the Divine Being than in His days on earth so that there are no longer changes like there were pre ascension.
"When He prepared the heaven," says Wisdom, "I was present with Him; and when He made His strong places upon the winds, which are the clouds above; and when He secured the fountains, (and all things) which are beneath the sky, I was by, arranging all things with Him; I was by, in whom He delighted; and daily, too, did I rejoice in His presence."
Now some have quoted this saying it is not Christ - but Paul in I Cor says wisdom IS Christ saying that Christ is our wisdom, redemption and righteousness which, by the way corresponds to the 3 parts of our being: 1. righteousness divinely imputed to us as Christ justifying us so our spirit (the spirits of Christians have NEVER been unrighteous or sinful - that part of a born again person's being is absolutely unspotted and holy) can receive the very life of God (zoe, John 3:16). 2. Wisdom - this is the HARD part and believers are more or less willing. Christ as our wisdom relates to the soul, our mind, will and emotion. Bit by bit we have to deny our soul to have it transformed so our choices will be wise. The only wise choice, of course is Christ. 3. Redemption - has to do with future resurrection - easy as pie for God to do - no problem. The fact that Proverbs represents wisdom as female makes perfect sense in that the rib part of Christ having been taken from Him in crucifixion is His life and nature which is being worked into us: building His she who has always been in Him from eternity but could not be released or built till His side was opened at Calvary's cross.
"formed by Him first to devise and think out all thinks under the name of Wisdom -- "The Lord created or formed me as the beginning of His ways;" then afterward begotten, to carry all into effect -- "When He prepared the heaven, I was present with Him." Thus does He make Him equal to Him: for by proceeding from Himself He became His first-begotten Son, because begotten before all things; and His only-begotten also, because alone begotten of God, in a way peculiar to Himself, from the womb of His own heart -- even as the Father Himself testifies: "My heart," says He, "has emitted my most excellent Word." The Father took pleasure evermore in Him, who equally rejoiced with a reciprocal gladness in the Father's presence: "You art my Son, today have I begotten You;" even before the morning star did I beget You."
Here Tertullian wrongly associates something other than the man Jesus with beginnings. This is a false teaching. As God there was no beginning. The begetting as God has ALWAYS been taking place as the Son has ALWAYS BEEN THE EXPRESSION OF THE FATHER: HIS WORD. THE FATHER HAS NEVER BEEN SEPARATED OR WITHOUT HIS WORD. In this passage he also uses the word "nativity" which word should only be used of the creation Jesus (yes, Jesus WAS a created being because MAN is one of God's creatures: anyone who denies Christ is one of the creations of the Creator, God Almighty is a false teacher) and His birth as a man in Bethlehem. AS MAN ONLY He began and because all things are in Him, He is counted as the 1st of creation or the FIRSTBORN. This does NOT mean He is indeed the ROOT of all created things as a CREATURE as well as being the CREATOR HIMSELF. Also He takes " You art my Son, today have I begotten You" out of context. Here is the context: Acts 13:30 ....
but God raised him from among the dead,
31 who appeared for many days to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people.
32 And *we* declare unto you the glad tidings of the promise made to the fathers,
33 that God has fulfilled this to us their children, having raised up Jesus; as it is also written in the second psalm, *Thou* art my Son: this day have *I* begotten thee.
34 But that he raised him from among the dead, no more to return to corruption, he spoke thus: I will give to you the faithful mercies of David.
35 Wherefore also he says in another, Thou wilt not suffer thy gracious one to see corruption.
The context is speaking of His resurrection: He was born again THAT DAY AS A MAN NOT AS GOD. The man part of Jesus till that day had not been fully processed or Sonized or He would not have needed a second birth. The GOD He was was the Son of God from eternity past and did not need sonizing but as a man He needed this: thus a MAN has been brought into the Godhead (because He already was this as Deity from eternity past: Micah 5:2) and the rest of born again men have been brought into God, though not the Godhead. It is still true that as a man during his earthly life the fullness of the Godhead still was in Him because God nature was still there.
Now, there exists an accusation that the concept of Trinity comes from heathen sources instead of the Word of God, Tertullian is correct when he says "Truth must not therefore refrain from the use of such a term, and its reality and meaning, because heresy also employs it. The fact is, heresy has rather taken it from Truth, in order to mould it into its own counterfeit ." So this argument about the nations having their own versions of idolotry and false god trinities of various kinds contains no water. In fact, if you are at all aware of Satan's usual tactics and tricks, he USUALLY employs much truth (maybe even exciting and enlightening truth!!) to draw men in (this INCLUDES Christians and so-called Chrsitians!)so he can deceive them with lies. He may even tell 99% truth to pawn off a 1% lie if his purposes can be obtained by doing so. Let's face it, the devil sometimes just does some things out of pure spite. Jesus said "he is a liar from the beginning."
So what do I think about all this? I don't agree with the term Trinity!!! As it is wrongly understood, the general concepts concerning this word are so false that the word ought to be thrown out. I adhere somewhat to the term "Triune God", however, I will have to explain why in this very difficult article to write. About 2 years ago, I revised this article based on the fact that I came accross information which proved that Jesus being the Son was based on space|time continuum because the Man Jesus is, of course, a space|time creature and the term "son" is a begetting and start time reality and Jesus DID have that reality. So then, a dear freind of mine in Christ sent me a couple of articles about the eternal aspect of the Sonship of Christ. And although I may not have agreed with everything in those articles, I realized that just as God experienced the cross BEFORE the foundation of the world according to the book of Hebrews and Revelation as a very real foundation preceding the creation of all things as a life insurance policy for future events to come to our human race, so also is His relatedness to all things and all times. This is because God created ALL things "in Son" according to the scripture (if you study the original language of Greek hard enough in the book of Collosians you will see this!)!! Why? Because the Son is God Himself Who is endless and infinite and there was just no place else to put EVERYTHING except in God because inside God was all there was and there could be no place outside of Him as that would be IMPOSSIBLE!!!! SO!!! Because there cannot be time without matter because the passage of time can only be related to related to events|energy passages between various items of matter and also there would be no space without objects of matter, THAT means all time was created INSIDE of God so that would put Him AT the beginning and ending at the same time for Him of and over all things in all places and all times!!!!! This is wayyyy beyond and above our human minds to understand. However, it is logical and meets basic logic. So, YES! I do believe God has intersected with this Father|Son relationship eternally so, in a very real sense these TWO have always existed and interacted within the Godhead, however, the Bible is very careful to have never used the term "Trinity", neither is there ANY MENTION of the term "persons" plural as pertaining to the Godhead or God Himself. But since God is LOVE, HOW COULD THERE NOT BE LOVE BETWEEN FATHER AND SON ALWAYS HAVING BEEN GOING ON FOR ETERNITY PAST??? On the other hand when God said about man "it is not good for man to be alone, He was speaking of Himself in Whose image He made man, and so, the meaning did exist that He really did have the thought from eternity past: "it is not good for GOD to be alone!" This is why I have written so much on this site about the symbolism of God taking the rib out of the lonely man to build a woman (not that it did not happen: it did happen.) meaning and pointing to the metaphorical (actually THAT, as referring to GOD, is false!!! The act of Christ and HIS BRIDE is NOT the metaphorical event, it is our marriages that are metaphorical!!! HE is THE REALITY! We are just a picture at best of the REALITY!) so actually NOT metaphorical reality of what the event with Adam pointed to which was the blood and water flowing the from the side of Jesus Christ at Calvary is to bring God a worthy and absolutely wonderful COUNTERPART to God Himself! There is always and only has ever been one God. So is the word person in the singular ever used of God in scripture? YES!!! ONCE and once only! It is in Hebrews 1, vs 3 and says: "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;" but you could argue that I am wrong because many of the versions of the Bible out there use the word 'subsistence' or other words, but if there is any reference at all to person concerning God in the Bible: "that's all folks!"! I mean that is really IT.
Continuing with Tertullian: in Ch 9 he says: "For the Father is the entire substance, but the Son is a derivation and portion of the whole, as He Himself acknowledges: "My Father is greater than I." In the Psalm His inferiority is described as being "a little lower than the angels." Thus the Father is distinct from the Son, being greater than the Son, inasmuch as He who begets is one, and He who is begotten is another; He, too, who sends is one, and He who is sent is another; and He, again, who makes is one, and He through whom the thing is made is another. "
This is true only from the standpoint of His humanity and self emptying to be born into this world. But Tertullian is speaking heresy by being one-sided and disagreeing with Isaiah in Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. - where the Son is called the Father and the child Who was sent is called the mighty God Who did the sending. By the way this means that He was on earth and same time in the heavens, yeah, in all places and all times. He did NOT SAY before Abraham was I was for that would be understandable if He were mere creature but rather He said before Abraham was I AM meaning He was at the same time (His kind of time-eternity) talking to the Pharisees and with Abraham and even in times before Abraham He was and IS and IS TO COME!!!! (this means He is already in all future times and ages unto eternity!! His greatness? Endlessly infinite!!!!!!!! HALLELUUUJAH!!!!) Turtullian here, however is calling Isaiah a liar. Maybe not intentionally, but that is the logical conclusion.
Here I must insert a new paragraph showing that Christ is the whole God and that the whole God is also Christ, however, the humanity part was subjected to limitations for timing, salvation, economic and processing purposes. Several scriptures in the Old Testament cite Yahweh (when you see the term LORD in all caps, it is actually in the Hebrew Yahweh) saying or others saying of Him Yahweh or LORD is or has become my Yeshua or translated salvation. See Isaiah ch. 12 as an example of this. Now this may be hidden to many, but that word is the same word as the old testament name Joshua and the NT term Jesus, and if you actually understand the meaning of that word when you read it and don't get the fact the Jesus is the Messiah, you are an idiot. Excuse the harsh language, but it is true. At least you understand that the Bible really IS saying this whether you believe it or not. So WHO became Yeshua? Yahweh! Just the Son part? NO! Yahweh. ALL of Yaweh is Yeshua!!!!
However, is Tertullian correct in ch. 10 saying there are distinctions between the Father and the Son? Yes! This also is biblical. And here is where you have to leave your limited human understanding and receive the Word BY FAITH. HE WHO USES MERE UNDERSTANDING TO APPROACH THE SCRIPTURES IS USING ONLY HALF THE FACULTIES GOD GAVE HIM. Here I'm going to say this is far more serious than you think. I really do think that anyone who does not believe in the absolute Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is lost. I think the enemy has suceeded in fooling folks possibly 1st by making you believe he doesn't exist and 2nd by then deceiving you to think that your thoughts and feelings of types you never had before you got baptized in the Holy Spirit could only be of one kind since there is really no such thing as demons and devils so all these new feelings in the spiritual realm and revelation must be of God. NOT!!!!!! There are 2 sides in the heavenlies and a big fight in Canaan and not all thoughts and feelings spiritual or supernatural are God. You have to know not only how to test spirits, you have to know the scriptures and understand them. However, God has ordained that all of us have different levels of blindness. You ask, EVERYONE? Right! Except for God Himself. So, there are very serious tests to test these things. So if you do not realize that satanic spirits can counterfeit the things of God and the feelings of God ect. ect. , then the enemy has an open door to deceive you. But beware! I had a horrible dream about someone being lost like an abducted child - it was awful and I had to test it over and over. But JESUS SAID: "If you do not believe that I AM, you shall die in your sins." This is your future if you deny the Deity of Christ. I will not shy away: I WILL TELL YOU THE TRUTH!!!
He goes on in human reasoning: " Moreover, inasmuch as I ought to leave one of these relations in order to be the other; so, if I am to be both together, I shall fail to be one while I possess not the other. For if I must be myself my son, who am also a father, I now cease to have a son, since I am my own son. But by reason of not having a son, since I am my own son, how can I be a father? For I ought to have a son, in order to be a father. Therefore I am not a son, because I have not a father, who makes a son. In like manner, if I am myself my father, who am also a son, I no longer have a father, but am myself my father. " What he is fogetting here is that the being of God is so much higher than the being of man that human logic is a sorry sorry EXTREMELY limited way to appraoch the mystery of the Triune processed and consumated God. The main atrtributs of God are omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. Now, how can 2 distinct ones be everywhere, have all power and know all things without being ONE??????? IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!! Those two CANNOT even think a thought without knowing what the other one was thinking or be anywhere without the other and because they are both INFINITE and have access to ALL thoughts, feelings, intents, times,events and plans, it is impossible that they would not be one in EVERY WAY. There CANNOT BE any disagreement. This contradicts reality!!!!!! Does "seeing eye to eye" make sense here?!!!! NO! Now AS A MAN there could have been at that time a problem (see Gethsemane for instance) because He CHOSE to empty Himself of divine powers for a season to beat the devil. So now there IS really TWO! Now, some may ask "Why wouldn't He just use His divine powers to do so?" What? What's the accomplishment of that? He had to beat the devil as a man to pave the way for us and to be the process and be processed so we could be processed through Him so we can be mingled with God in his divine life and divine nature. "God became man THAT man might become God." Though NOT in the Godhead or as the One Who is to be worshipped. SO, IF ALL THE ABOVE IS TRUE, how could there be more than ONE God?? No way Hosea! Here is another reality: because God chose to empty Himself temporarily to really take on the limitations of a man and really truly live man's life, does that mean He ceased to sit on the throne and give up the exercise of His omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience? Of course not! That also would not only be impossible but disastrous!! Since He holds all things together by the word of His power (Scientists still do not understand what holds things together and why they do not fly apart!), He cannot just cease to do this. So if God created cells to divide into 2 yet remain part of one being, why cannot God Himself have a divide expecting oneness once again at a later time? Even the first man became two then became one flesh again.
In ch 11 "You must bring forth the proof which I require of you -- one like my own; that is, (you must prove to me) that the Scriptures show the Son and the Father to be the same, just as on our side the Father and the Son are demonstrated to be distinct; I say distinct, but not separate " ... hmmm ....
He is correct to say they are distinct but they are also the same at the same time: So He was WITH but He also WAS. John chapter 1 shows the reality of this because of the eternalness of God that the Word WAS God BEFORE all things were even made, but at the same time WITH God!!! WOW!! This means He was 2 because He was with God but He was also 1 because He WAS GOD. This is why Isaiah 9:6 is absolutely correct. DO NOT twist that verse!!! Leave it alone and leave it be what IT IS. Jesus Christ IS the Father because He is God and God IS our Father and there is only ONE Father. PERIOD! There is a scripture which says "God EVEN our Father." No ifs, ands or buts. So what does that mean? Well lets say that EVEN means EQUALS! So you do the math. The WHOLE GOD is our Father! So if Jesus is God, He IS our Father also. The WHOLE Father! But again to prove his onesidedness on the 3 side but fogetting the one side, he again quotes out of resurrection context the verse "You art my Son, this day have I begotten You."
"Still, in these few quotations the distinction of more than one is clearly set forth. For there is the Spirit Himself Who speaks, and the Father to Whom He speaks, and the Son of Whom He speaks. In the same manner, the other passages also establish each one of more than one in special characteristics -- addressed as they in some cases are to the Father or to the Son respecting the Son, in other cases to the Son or to the Father concerning the Father, and again in other instances to the (Holy) Spirit ."
OK, here I will quote Christ concerning the sending of the Spirit in 2 different verses spoken the same evening before Calvary. 1st: John 14:26: but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, *he* shall teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all the things which I have said to you.
2nd: John 15:26: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from,(actually the Greek term here means from/with the Father which would indicate that when and where the Father sends the Spirit, He goes with Him! Why? Because He IS Him and yet the scripture points out a distinction!)the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes forth from with the Father, *he* shall bear witness concerning me; Now, the word from in these verses is from-with in the Greek!!! In the first the name denotes the person of Jesus! In the 2nd the Son does the sending. So Who sent the Spirit here? The Son sends the Spirit from/with the Father. So the One sending came along with the One He sent!!! These three are three and are one and cannot be separated!!! Here I must try to explain the distinction between the Spirit and the Father. This is not easy. First of all: in God there is no distinction. The same scriptures that say "God even our Father" also say "God is Spirit" so God EQUALS Spirit! Now, do you see this? Yet Jesus talks in John chapters 14, 15 and 16 as if there are distinctions between Father, Son and Spirit. It is easy to see the disctinction between Father and Son because it is entirely related to Jesus' humanity and manhood, however, it is not so easy to see why there came to be a disctintion between the Father and the Spirit. Again you must understand that it IS ONLY IN RELATION TO HUMANITY!!!!!! Hard to understand but if follow my line of reasoning and study this very closely in the scriptures, you might be able to get it. There was a change in the Holy Spirit! Not on the GODside but ONLY in relation to mankind! How? Because Jesus Who IS the Spirit according to I Cor. 15: 45 (and how could He NOT be the Spirit being that He is God and God IS SPIRIT?)BECAME the life-giving Spirit!!! How? 1st of all humanity was added to the Spirit because it was not there before! Then crucifixion was added!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then RESURRECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So you see? Maybe. Maybe not. The distinction is only in relation and relationship to mankind, nowhere else. Did Father have humanity added to Him? Of course!!! That is way beyond the scope of this writing, yeah, and beyond the scope of the human brain!
So, speaking almost absolutely truthfully, except for his use of the Trinity word, Tertullian says "If the number of the Trinity also offends you, as if it were not connected in the simple Unity, I ask you how it is possible for a Being who is merely and absolutely One and Singular, to speak in plural phrase, saying, "Let us make man in our own image, and after our own likeness;" whereas He ought to have said, "Let me make man in my own image, and after my own likeness," as being a unique and singular Being? " That's right! He is THREE! The quote in Genesis is correct. BUT This brother forgot the reality of the other verse in this same passage quoting the ONE side of God: " And God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. " Hmmmm .. .. here the him is them and vice versa because we were all in Adam WHEN he was created. So in the verse I just quoted Moses writes the terms He created him but then immediately says them. Let us not forget that He is three and ONE at the same time!! Isaiah quoted Him: "whom shall I send and who will go for us? " So is He I or is He US?? HE IS BOTH!! Did He not say so? Yes, He did! So the I = US and the US = I!!! But on the other hand, WHY does Turtullian quote the us verse but ignores the fact of the singular side of God? He forgets: "And God created Man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
To this I must add a revelation given by Ken Reilly, an associate of Stephen Jones of God's Kingdom Ministries who is the greatest teacher on this planet, however, Stephen has deemed it wise, I do believe to avoid this controversial subject. Anyhow, Ken struggled and struggled with this and God finally gave him a vision of a big head with a word in the head's tongue and breath visibly proceeding from his mouth. This is obvious, is it not? This is one Head of One God and the Word is in His mouth, however, when the Word comes forth it is the Holy Breath or pnuema of God: the Holy SPIRIT.
He says "as Christ came, and was recognized by us as the very Being who had from the beginning caused plurality (in the Divine Economy), being the second from the Father, and with the Spirit the third, and Himself declaring and manifesting the Father more fully (than He had ever been before), the title of Him who is God and Lord was at once restored to the Unity (of the Divine Nature), even because the Gentiles would have to pass from the multitude of their idols to the One Only God, in order that a difference might be distinctly settled between the worshippers of One God and the votaries of polytheism." ... indeed in the same passage in Hebrews quoted above the Father says "let all the angels of God worship Him." Yet I recently heard of someone who had a supposed vision of Christ turning away in disgust when she tried to worship Christ??? There must really BE demonic spirits then!! Because that vision is false!!!!! According to the Word of God it is false! Also if after calming the storm his disciples worshipped Him ... and they did, why did He not rebuke them? He rebuked the DEVIL, not them! We must ONLY worship ONE GOD because there IS only one God. You'll find Tertullian uses the word "economy" often. It is based on the Greek NT term Economia. Witness Lee wrote SEVERAL books on the subject of God's economy and those books are the best writings almost ever written besides the scriptures. Almost nothing written comes close. Anyhow the economy is how the "Triune" God relates to us - so usually in this economy the Father is called God and Christ the Lord, BUT few know how to rightly divide the word of truth and understand this. They interpret this into the false doctrine of the Trinity. But there are NOT 3 persons in God and there certainly is not 3 gods, 2 Spirits and 2 divine Fathers! But the fact He dispenses Himself into us through this economy of the 3 does NOT mean we worship and adore and love and pour our affection upon more than one God!!!! There is only one God and He is Triune. To say there is ANY kind of plurality of gods is the principle of fornication. And so Turtullian correctly says " but I shall follow the apostle; so that if the Father and the Son, are alike to be invoked, I shall call the Father "God," and invoke Jesus Christ as "Lord." But when Christ alone (is mentioned), I shall be able to call Him "God," as the same apostle says: "Of whom is Christ, who is over all, God blessed for ever." For I should give the name of" sun" even to a sunbeam, considered in itself; but if I were mentioning the sun from which the ray emanates, I certainly should at once withdraw the name of sun from the mere beam. For although I make not two suns, still I shall reckon both the sun and its ray to be as much two things and two forms of one undivided substance, as God and His Word, as the Father and the Son. " Awesome job Tertullian! Can you see how the plural is ONLY in economical relation to man?
He says "Now the Word of life became flesh, and was heard, and was seen, and was handled, because He was flesh who, before He came in the flesh, was the "Word in the beginning with God " the Father, John 1:1-2 and not the Father with the Word. For although the Word was God, yet was He with God, because He is God of God ; and being joined to the Father, is with the Father ." OK - I say THE SCRIPTURE DOES NOT SAY THIS!!!! AND IT DOESN'T! It didn't use the word Father in that sentence. But Tertullian did! When it says the Word was God it meant God!!!! But you deny it even meant God!!! It means ALL of God - the Triune God! Because Tertullian does not see this, he defeats his own arguments. Just thought I'd help him out a bit. There cannot be God without Christ and God IS Spirit so the Word must be the Spirit if He was God because God = Spirit and the Spirit = God. Now I did NOT just say that Jesus did not mean exactly what He said when He spoke of the Spirit as ANOTHER COMFORTER. He DID mean exactly what He said and meant for you to understand it that way. But you have to realize that He spoke this in the days of His flesh. And also, the same Bible says "the Lord is the Spirit" (II Cor. 3). Hallelujah!!!!!! Again in I Cor 15:45b it says "the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit." Hallelujah!!!!!!! In and through His resurrection, the God imprisoned in the holy of holies was released so that the very zoe-life and DNA of God can be dispensed into men! Hallelujah!!!! This is why Peter in II Peter 1:4 says we can become partakers of the divine nature. This has become possible only through the death and resurrection of the God-Man Christ.
At this point Tertullian has a lot of words that men can see God as the Son but not as the Father. However, I think he wastes a lot of time at this and his words are not accurate. He would have been wiser to say that if God is in a intermediary form such as the man Jesus Christ or even the glorified forms but FINITE, then we might be able to apprehend it but finite cannot EVER take in infinite or it would explode. That is all that needs to be explained on the subject. An example of this is that electricity must be broken down for us by transformers to our level at our house as our appliances could not take the full power of the power plant.
In ch 16 he says "Thus was He ever learning even as God to converse with men upon earth, being no other than the Word which was to be made flesh. But He was thus learning (or rehearsing), in order to level for us the way of faith, that we might the more readily believe that the Son of God had come down into the world, if we knew that in times past also something similar had been done ." This also is an inaccurate statement - because He was not yet man but God only (although He, being timeless, had access to His future humanity because He IS in ALL times and all places - that is why He could visit Abraham as a man and eat food with him and say to the Pharisees later "Abraham saw my day" even though they retorted "you are not even 50 years old" Hmmm.... seems they understood what He said in their language better than you do! THEY PICKED UP STONES!!) because AS GOD He does not need to learn ANYTHING! He already knows it all. As man, later on of course, He had to learn, grow and develop. But that is NO LONGER TRUE!!!!!!! There came a day where the Man Jesus no longer changes: so it says in Hebrews: "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever." Yesterday is NOT eternity past! But this about the man side of Christ NOT about the God side. But even the man part of Him solidified and was Sonized into the Godhead in the resurrection and ascension and became unchangeable. With Christ there was changes and processes and learning so we could have complete salvation, but there are changes no more!
"For "the Father who loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand," loves Him indeed from the beginning, and from the very first has handed all things over to Him. Whence it is written, "From the beginning the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" to whom "is given by the Father all power in heaven and on earth." "The Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son" -- from the very beginning even. For when He speaks of all power and all judgment, and says that all things were made by Him, and all things have been delivered into His hand, He allows no exception (in respect) of time, because they would not be all things unless they were the things of all time. It is the Son, therefore, who has been from the beginning administering judgment, throwing down the haughty tower, and dividing the tongues, punishing the whole world by the violence of waters, raining upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone, as the LORD from the LORD. For He it was who at all times came down to hold converse with men, from Adam on to the patriarchs " LORD FROM THE LORD ... Remember? One was on earth having just spoken with Abraham - the other sent the fire and brimstone from above at the order of the One to Whom all judgment has been commited.
OK he says "the Son also, and that the Son came under these designations, and has always acted in them, and has thus manifested them in Himself to men. "All things," says He, "which the Father has are mine." Then why not His names also? When, therefore, you read of Almighty God, and the Most High, and the God of hosts, and the King of Israel the "One that is," If Jesus were not the very BEING of God, how could all things be in His hand??? He would have to be infinite and only God has that capacity!! Or at least His capacity would have to be a big as the ocean. Now is THAT what you believe?
In ch 18 he says " The fact is, if He had named Him expressly, He would have separated Him, saying in so many words: "Beside me there is none else, except my Son." In short He would have made His Son actually another, after excepting Him from others. Suppose the sun to say, "I am the Sun, and there is none other besides me, except my ray," would you not have remarked how useless was such a statement, as if the ray were not itself reckoned in the sun? He says, then, that there is no God' besides Himself in respect of the idolatry both of the Gentiles as well as of Israel; nay, even on account of our heretics also, who fabricate idols with their words, just as the heathen do with their hands; that is to say, they make another God and another Christ. " Now this is an awesome statement except, once again, he is denying Isa. 9:6 which also gives the Son the title "Father" God IS our Father and since Christ is God He IS our Father. I'm not saying Christ is not mainly the Son or that there are not 2: the Father and the Son. I am merely quoting the Word of God and WHAT IT SAYS!!!
In ch 20: "For as in the Old Testament Scriptures they lay hold of nothing else than, "I am God, and beside me there is no God ;" so in the Gospel they simply keep in view the Lord's answer to Philip, "I and my Father are one;" and, "He that has seen me has seen the Father; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me." No problem here if you go back to what Tertullian said before about the sun and it's ray being one sun. God is 3-1 and 1-3. But this does not mean there are three Gods. There is only one. Since God is infinite, there is only room for one. There is no God beside Him. Jesus said "baptizing them into the NAME (ONE name) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." There is only one name for all three: JESUS CHRIST!
CH 21: to the Jews He remarks respecting the cure of the impotent man, "My Father works hitherto, and I work." "My Father and I" -- these are the Son's words. And it was on this very account that "the Jews sought the more intently to kill Him, not only because He broke the Sabbath, but also because He said that God was His Father, thus making Himself equal with God. " NOW DON'T YOU THINK THE JEWS UNDERSTOOD THE LANGUAGE HE WAS SPEAKING HERE BETTER THAN YOU DO??? Yup! They picked up stones because they KNEW what He meant!!! Also "But He at once adds, "You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape;" thus affirming that in former times it was not the Father, but the Son, who used to be seen and heard. " WOW!!!! Did you get that???? EVERY appearance in the OT was by the Son - ALL of them. Because the Father was not the visible One - the Son is!! OK, go read your OT again now!
Here is another problem though. He says: " 'Yet a little while am I with you, and (then) I go to Him that sent me.' When, however, He declares that He is not alone, and uses these words, 'but I and the Father that sent me,' does He not show that there are Two -- Two, and yet inseparable? Indeed, this was the sum: and substance of what He was teaching them, that they were inseparably Two; since, after citing the law when it affirms the truth of two men's testimony, He adds at once: "I am one who am bearing witness of myself; and the Father (is another,) who has sent me, and bears witness of me." Now, if He were one -- being at once both the Son and the Father -- He certainly would not have quoted the sanction of the law, which requires not the testimony of one, but of two." I'm not arguing with His words here at all. However, they are still ONE!! NOT in the sense Praxeus was saying BUT AT THE SAME TIME they were BOTH 2 they were both ONE. Isaiah 9:6 again. Again, I don't care whether your brain likes and/or comprehends this or not: THIS IS THE TRUTH!!
Near the end of 22: "Then, again, concerning His sheep, and (the assurance) that no man should pluck them out of His hand, He says, "My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all;" adding immediately, "I and my Father are one." Here, then, they take their stand, too infatuated, nay, too blind, to see in the first place that there is in this passage an intimation of Two Beings -- "I and my Father;" then that there is a plural predicate, "are," inapplicable to one person only; and lastly, that (the predicate terminates in an abstract, not a personal noun) -- "we are one thing" Unum, not "one person" Unus. For if He had said "one Person," He might have rendered some assistance to their opinion. Unus, no doubt, indicates the singular number; but (here we have a case where) "Two" are still the subject in the masculine gender. " OK, here I got a problem with the "2 BEINGS" thing. God is only one being. So, now, here again, you have to realize that when Jesus said this, He was in the days of His flesh so yeah, the difference between the man and His God aspect was then present. But is He still in flesh? YES! Although glorified, still, YES! I got not much problem with the rest of what Tertullian said except that in the Bible the word "person" is only mentioned in the singular concerning God and that verse is talking about Christ although, if you read it closely, it seems it is speaking of Father! For the Father and Son to be 2 distinct entities is absolutely true but since both know ALL each others thoughts and both are in all places at all times it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to be 2 beings!!!! (except in the limited sense of the temporary humanity of Christ. But for the 3 Divine Ones to be separate Beings? Impossible. Again I point to omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. Only the human part of Christ has limitations, beginings (though not ending any more) and boundaries, although they are vastly extended.
"Are there not as many as there are voices? You have the Son on earth, you have the Father in heaven. Now this is not a separation; it is nothing but the divine dispensation. We know, however, that God is in the bottomless depths, and exists everywhere; but then it is by power and authority. We are also sure that the Son, being indivisible from Him, is everywhere with Him. Nevertheless, in the Economy or Dispensation itself, the Father willed that the Son should be regarded as on earth, and Himself in heaven; whither the Son also Himself looked up, and prayed, and made supplication of the Father; whither also He taught us to raise ourselves, and pray, "Our Father Who art in heaven," etc., -- although, indeed, He is everywhere present." Very good indeed!
Problem: "It was, then, the Son of God, who was in the Son of man, that was betrayed, as the Scripture says afterwards: "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him." Who is here meant by "God?" Certainly not the Father, but the Word of the Father, who was in the Son of man -- that is in the flesh, in which Jesus had been already glorified by the divine power and word. "And God," says He, "shall also glorify Him in Himself;" that is to say, the Father shall glorify the Son, because He has Him within Himself; and even though prostrated to the earth, and put to death, He would soon glorify Him by His resurrection, and making Him conqueror over death. " Meant by God? The WHOLE Triune God is meant by the term God. This is where Tertullian misses it. God cannot be separated. Here I will share one of the only visions of Christ I have ever had where there was not great emotion attached to it. most times in a vision of Christ, I would be on my face leaving a pool of tears, but not this time! Why? It was a vision of things from a different viewpoint on a different plain of reality. I never saw the man's face, but I saw a man enter into a room in his house: it was the pantry. Then he went to the deep sink and simply ran the water into the deep sink moving the faucet back and forth a little bit to make some dirt go down the drain thus cleaning the sink. Then he walked out of the room. The interpretation was given to me immediately (by the way more Christians I talk to got offended by this vision with it"s interpretation than any other vision I have ever shared!) - the interpretation was: the Man of the House was done with this dirt cleaning distraction and was going back into His house to 1st of all chase His Woman! Then help with changing His babies diapers and also help with setting His table and feeding His household. Now He was a tall slender man with short hair and just Who was this Man? Well I knew it was Jesus. At this point the Holy Spirit reminded me of another revelation I had had about being on my knees praying and praying - in fact - I was praying at the time and saw a cloud but it was not like Elijah's cloud with physical rain but rather spiritual rain containing the final continuing revival just before and carrying into the Millenium which will save most of humanity - indeed, the vast majority during the end of this age and the next coming age and I got to see into the cloud and the CHAOS I saw was WAY beyond any move of the Spirit there has EVER been!!! WAAAAAYYYYYYYYY BEYOND WHAT YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And THIS was GOD'S view of THAT revival and indeed His saving work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cleaning a little bit of dirt out of a deep sink???!?!?!?!!!!!!!?? Well! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well well! what was His point? Obvious to me and if you"ve read the rest of my web site, then it would make sense. The eternal purpose is NOT saving man and cleaning him up! NOT!!! THAT is a side job! The MAIN eternal purpose of God which will never end is His eternal purpose which is to build His Temple, build His Body, build His Bride and take her (and continue to chase her!)and bring up more and more the kids of His family! So the point though is something else as pertains to this article. The man I saw in that pantry was the Chaser of the Bride, but He was also THE Man of the house and obviously the Dad. So do you see this? This Jesus HAS to be the Husband of the Wife in order to BE the Father of His kids. This is NOT 2 separate individuals! The separation only came about because of becoming humanity for temporary salvation reasons and concerns only his economy related to processing and transforming mankind with His life and nature.
OK, another problem: "it was not the Father whom, after His lengthened intercourse with them, they were ignorant of, but it was the Son; and accordingly the Lord, while upbraiding Philip for not knowing Himself who was the object of their ignorance, wished Himself to be acknowledged indeed as that Being whom He had reproached them for being ignorant of after so long a time -- in a word, as the Son. And now it may be seen in what sense it was said, "He that has seen me has seen the Father," -- even in the same in which it was said in a previous passage, "I and my Father are one." Wherefore? Because "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world" and, "I am the way: no man comes to the Father, but by me;" and, "No man can come to me, except the Father draw him;" and, "All things are delivered to me by the Father;" and, "As the Father quickens (the dead), so also doth the Son;" and again, "If you had known me, you would have known the Father also." "For in all these passages He had shown Himself to be the Father's Commissioner," through whose agency even the Father could be seen in His works, and heard in His words, and recognised in the Son's administration of the Father's words and deeds. " Although everything said here is correct, it is STILL TRUE THAT WHEN YOU SEE CHRIST YOU SEE THE FATHER BECAUSE HE IS THE FATHER! So believe everything Tertullian said above except that which contradicts that He is the Father at the same time because Isaiah 9:6 says so!!!!
Also "Nothing which belongs to something else is actually the very same thing as that to which it belongs. Clearly, when anything proceeds from a personal subject, and so belongs to him, since it comes from him, it may possibly be such in quality exactly as the personal subject himself is from whom it proceeds, and to whom it belongs. And thus the Spirit is God, and the Word is God, because proceeding from God, but yet is not actually the very same as He from whom He proceeds." ... well it is and is not both at the same time. Tertullian should listen to himself.
Here : "After His resurrection He promises in a pledge to His disciples that He will send them the promise of His Father; and lastly, He commands them to baptize into the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, not into a unipersonal God. And indeed it is not once only, but three times, that we are immersed into the Three Persons, at each several mention of Their names. " I have explained this already - the NT practice was to call upon the name "Lord Jesus" when men were baptized. ONE NAME.
Good: "if the Word became flesh by a transfiguration and change of substance, it follows at once that Jesus must be a substance compounded of two substances -- of flesh and spirit, -- a kind of mixture, like electrum, composed of gold and silver; and it begins to be neither gold (that is to say, spirit) nor silver (that is to say, flesh), -- the one being changed by the other, and a third substance produced. Jesus, therefore, cannot at this rate be God for He has ceased to be the Word, which was made flesh; nor can He be Man incarnate for He is not properly flesh, and it was flesh which the Word became. Being compounded, therefore, of both, He actually is neither; He is rather some third substance, very different from either. But the truth is, we find that He is expressly set forth as both God and Man; the very psalm which we have quoted intimating (of the flesh), that "God became Man in the midst of it, He therefore established it by the will of the Father," -- certainly in all respects as the Son of God and the Son of Man, being God and Man, differing no doubt according to each substance in its own especial property, inasmuch as the Word is nothing else but God, and the flesh nothing else but Man. Thus does the apostle also teach respecting His two substances, saying, "who was made of the seed of David;" in which words He will be Man and Son of Man. " Yeah!!! Correct! He is both 100% man and 100% God at the same time!!! His human nature did not alter His divine nature; vice versa, though He DID choose to NOT tap into His divine powers for awhile that He might beat the devil up and overcome AS A MAN by the Holy Spirit so we can follow along HIM as the pathway.
Quote: " And so, most foolish heretic, you make Christ to be the Father, without once considering the actual force of this name, if indeed Christ is a name, and not rather a surname, or designation; for it signifies "Anointed." But Anointed is no more a proper name than Clothed or Shod; it is only an accessory to a name ." According to Praxeus definition and taking the ONE side too far: yes!! He was a foolish heretic BUT THE BIBLE STILL SAYS JESUS IS THE FATHER!! So foolish Tertullian: QUIT CALLING THE BIBLE AND GOD A LIE AND A LIAR. GOD IS ONE AND THREE AT THE SAME TIME!!!
Here's something else: "These then testified both that Jesus was the Son of God, and that being the Son, He was anointed by the Father. Christ therefore must be the same as Jesus who was anointed by the Father, and not the Father, who anointed the Son. To the same effect are the words of Peter: "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ," that is, Anointed." Tertullian is missing something here. Wasn't Jesus Lord BEFORE this ascension already?? Yes!! How then, did God MAKE Him Lord and Christ??????? Pay attention here!! This is a big point! Well He already was Lord and Christ as GOD, but NOT AS A MAN TILL THE ASCENSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha! Now how are you going to handle that one!!!!?? This is waaayyyyy off the charts! Can't touch this! A man is now the Lord of the universe sitting on the throne of the universe (GOD'S throne, by the way!!!!!)!!!!!!
Conclusion: men who do not believe Christ is God need to repent. If not you will
die in your sins. This Jesus promised: "John 8:24 I said therefore to
you, that ye shall die in your sins; for unless ye shall believe that
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