Discerning errors about the Godhead.
One of the most misunderstood doctrines in the church world today is the doctrine of the Godhead. There is a vast amount of confusion, when there really shouldn’t be any confusion. The doctrine of the Godhead isn’t a frivolous doctrine, that doesn’t have any implications, but on the contrary it has vast implications.
One man recently told me that the children should be taught early in age the truth about the Godhead, so that they can avoid the different heresies that are in the world today. I think he is right. A five year old child can understand the basics to the truth, and then as they mature they can be shown the intricacies of the bible doctrine. If you can understand the basics, then the heresies will be easy to spot.
Now what simple doctrine would I suggest to teach a five year old? Teach him the following:
God the Father has a Son named Jesus, who was with him when he created every thing.
God sent his Son to earth, and he was born a baby to Mary.
Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day, and now he is back in heaven with his Father.
You may not believe it but this simple teaching is a strong foundation against a host of errors. And I can show you how.
GOD AS FATHER
Most children think of GOD as a singular Fatherly figure who sits upon the throne of the universe. And this is fine, this is the basic teaching of the bible.
2 John 1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
“God the Father” is a phrase found through out the New Testament, and Jesus wants us to realize that GOD is truly our Father.
John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
1 Corinthians 8:6 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.
THE SON-SHIP OF CHRIST
Then in that simple statement we see that Jesus is the Son of GOD. Which is something we MUST believe.
1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1 John 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
“THE SON OF GOD” is the DIVINE answer to the question “Who is Jesus Christ?”
Matthew 16:13-17 ¶ 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? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Most children hold to John 3:16 as their favorite verse, and when you ask them: “Who is God’s Son?” They will answer: “Jesus”. When you ask them, “Who is Jesus’ dad?” They will answer “GOD”. Thank God for the simplicity of a child.
THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF CHRIST.
“God the Father has a Son named Jesus, who was with him when he created every thing.”
Now here is a statement that is vastly important, because it draws a line between truth and error.
This statement teaches:
The Pre-existence of Christ. That he existed as a person in heaven, with GOD, before he came to this earth.
It teaches the eternal Son-ship of Christ, since it places his existence prior to creation.
And it proves his Divinity, and thus equality with the Father in the Godhead.
So lets look at these three doctrines. First the pre-existence of Christ. Did Christ exist as a person, with the Father before he came to earth?
Where did Jesus say he lived before?
John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
John 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
Jesus said to be where he was before he would have to ascend up. The heavens are up aren’t they?
Did Jesus have to come down from heaven to be born as a man?
John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me
Clearly Jesus came down from heaven, in fact, he was sent down from heaven by his Father.
Does Jesus want us to believe that he was with God and that he came into the world?
John 16:27-30 The Father loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I left the Father and came into the world. Again, as I've said, I'm going to leave the world and go back to the Father." His disciples said, "Now you're talking in plain words and not using examples. Now we know that you know everything. You don't need to wait for questions to be asked. Because of this, we believe that you have come from God."
Abraham lived over a thousand years before Jesus was born of Mary, did Jesus exist before Abraham was born?
John 8:56-59 Your father Abraham was pleased to see that my day was coming. He saw it and was happy." The Jews said to Jesus, "You're not even fifty years old. How could you have seen Abraham?" Jesus told them, "I can guarantee this truth: Before Abraham was ever born, I am." Then some of the Jews picked up stones to throw at Jesus
Was Jesus Christ the SON OF GOD before he came from heaven?
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Does the bible teach that Jesus was begotten before GOD sent him into the world?
1John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Did the ancient men of GOD, who lived before Christ became a man KNOW he had a Son?
Proverbs 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?
Psalms 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Daniel 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
Now, was this SON OF GOD, there when GOD created the world?
Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Colossians 1:15-16 Who is the image of the invisible God, the FIRSTBORN OF EVERY CREATURE: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Proverbs 8:22-31 ¶ The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up (anointed/Christ) from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth (Begotten/Born); when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth (Begotten/Born): While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
Thus because Christ existed before Creation, he is from eternity.
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Because Jesus existed before all creation, it proves that he is Divine, and not a created being:
Let’s read the first two verses of John and see what he tells us about the Word.
John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Divine). The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by HIM; and without HIM was not any thing made that was made.
John tells us that this word that was with GOD in the beginning of time is not an impersonal 'message', but a personal being, he is called HIM. God created all things by/through this person called the WORD. Also note that John is not saying that the "WORD" was a 'god', but he was God. He has the very nature of the one he was with.
Now I want us to “THINK” a little, God tells us to come and reason with him. The bible teaches that Christ existed with the Father before all creation, and was actually the channel by which God created all things.
This means that Christ is not a “Creature”, because he pre-existed all creation! Now a “Creature” is something whose substance was brought forth from NOTHING. Humans are creatures because we are made of dirt, and dirt was created from nothing. Everything we see in this world is a part of creation.
Now Christ isn’t a creature, he wasn’t brought forth from nothing, so where did he come from?
There is but one place he could come from, and that is the substance of GOD. He was begotten from GOD before all creation. As Children are brought forth from the substance of their parents, Christ was brought forth from the substance of his Father. For example when my wife gave birth to my daughter, she didn’t give birth to a ‘foreign’ substance; Stacy was made up of the same material as her Mother. They were both of the same flesh and bone. When God brought forth his Son from his bosom, he had to be of the same substance as his Father.
Thus by teaching the child that Christ pre-existed creation as the Son of GOD, you actually prove his Divinity. You PROVE that Christ is of the Father’s Substance and nature, or is of the Godhead.
By saying: “God sent his Son to earth, and he was born a baby to Mary”.
You are professing the incarnation. That the Divine Son of GOD, came to earth and became a man.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Philippians 2:5-8 Let the same disposition be in you which was in Christ Jesus. Although from the beginning He had the nature of God He did not reckon His equality with God a treasure to be tightly grasped. Nay, He stripped Himself of His glory, and took on Him the nature of a bondservant by becoming a man like other men. And being recognized as truly human, He humbled Himself and even stooped to die; yes, to die on a cross. (WEYMOUTH)
THE ATONING DEATH, AND THE BODILY RESURRECTION
By saying: “Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day, and now he is back in heaven with his Father”.
We profess belief in the true gospel. That Christ was put to death for our sins, and he rose from the grave. It also teaches his ascension.
1st Corinthians 15:1-4 ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Was Christ resurrected? Luke 24:39 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.
To deny that the body of Christ was raised from the grave is to deny the resurrection. A resurrection is the lifeless body receiving life. Having a resurrection without a body, is like having a sunless sunrise, which is impossible. If you deny the bodily resurrection, then you deny the gospel.
LOVE OF THE FATHER AND THE SON
John 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The word WITH means NEAR TO, the Word whom we have seen is the pre-incarnate Christ was NEAR TO GOD; that is he was not only there with God but near him. No doubt the Father and Son loved one another, before the world was..
John 17:24 ¶ Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
John 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
This LOVE is the type of love that can only exist among persons. Agape is not a love of self, but love of another. Just the fact that the Father and Son love one another proves that they are two distinct persons. When Christ was baptized, the Father spoke from heaven and told the world, “This is my beloved Son”...
Now with these simple doctrines in mind, the young person can quickly spot error.
When the Arian (like a Jehovah’s Witness) tells a person: “Jesus was created by GOD”. The person will quickly see error for he knows that Christ created all things, and thus is not a creature.
When the Tritheist comes and tells the child that Christ became the only begotten Son at the virgin birth... or that the Sonship of Christ is a ROLE and not ontological, he will remember that GOD sent his Son to earth, he sent his Son from heaven! Christ didn’t take the ‘role’ of the Son, but he is truly the Son of GOD.
When the Modalist comes and tells the Child: “That the Son and the Father are the same person!” or “The Son is only the human body”. The Child will KNOW that Christ existed with his Father in heaven before the virgin birth, and was sent by his Father.
When the Generationist tells the person that “Christ is an extension of the Father, not a truly distinct person”, the Child can say “Christ is truly the Son of GOD, there is truly a Father and a Son, who truly love one another”.
When those who teach another gospel come and say, “Christ was raised as a spirit creature, the body evaporated”,, the person will know that this is a lie, for Christ did indeed rise from the dead. .
BACK TO; THE GODHEAD
"Come out of her My people" - Jesus Christ