Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14
Vol. 13, No. 1 Straight and Narrow January 2004
The Everlasting Gospel
by Lynnford Beachy
The term “everlasting gospel” is found only once in the Bible, in Revelation 14:6. In context of the crisis of the “mark of the beast,” an angel appears on the scene with the solution that will enable God’s people to gain “the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.” (Revelation 15:2)
John described, “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.” (Revelation 14:6) This angel represents God’s work through human agents to preach a message to “them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” This is the same message Jesus referred to when He said, “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.” (Matthew 24:14)
Just before the end comes, the everlasting gospel will be preached in all the world. What is the everlasting gospel? The word gospel means “glad tidings” or “good news.” In Romans 10:15, Paul states, “As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” So this message, that is to go to all the world at this time, is everlasting good news. What news could be everlasting good news? Someone might tell you, “I’ve got good news! You’ve just won a million dollars!” This might be good news, but it is not everlasting good news. Everlasting good news is good news that will be good news throughout all eternity.
Paul shed light on this question when he wrote, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” (Romans 1:16,17) The gospel reveals the righteousness, or the goodness, of God. Truly this is everlasting good news; good news that will still be good news a million years from now, and for all eternity.
Paul stated something else in these verses, which we need to particularly notice. He said the gospel is “the power of God unto salvation.” When the goodness and love of God is revealed to you it becomes the motivating power that changes your life. Paul expressed it in another place in this way: “the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.” (Romans 2:4) Understanding the goodness of God, His love, compassion, gentleness, and mercy, leads us to repentance and motivates us to continue serving God. Love is the agent that God uses to remove sin from our lives.
Now that we have a good understanding of what the everlasting gospel is designed to do, we can look at what this angel with the everlasting gospel has to say to us. He cried “with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Revelation 14:7) Two more angels immediately follow this angel, with additional information to help us gain the victory over the mark of the beast, but this is the only one that directly instructs us to take action. There are three things we are instructed to do: 1.) “Fear God;” 2.) “Give glory to Him;” and 3.) “Worship Him that made heaven and earth.”
We can see that the first angel’s message is calling people to the acknowledgment and worship of the true God of heaven. Based upon what we just learned about the everlasting gospel, we know that this message is designed to reveal the goodness and love of God. Let’s analyze each of these commands.
To fear God does not mean to be afraid of Him as someone would be afraid of an enemy who is seeking to harm them. In fact, those who “fear the LORD, trust in the LORD” (Psalms 115:11) and love Him. “What doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” (Deuteronomy 10:12)
When we “fear” God as He wishes us to, we will respect, reverence, love, and trust Him with all our heart. Fearing God means to respect Him for who He is, and be in awe of Him, realizing His greatness, power, and position. When we contemplate how great God is and realize that He tenderly loves us as a father pities his children, then we will love Him in return. This godly fear causes us to hate sin and turn from it. Solomon explained it in this way: “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil.” (Proverbs 8:13) “By the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” (Proverbs 16:6)
Fearing and loving God will cause us to turn from our sins and keep God’s commandments. Again Solomon wrote, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
The first part of this angel’s message is calling us to love, honor, respect, and fear the true God of heaven, which will cause us to turn from our evil ways.
Give Glory to Him
Man was made to give glory to God. God said, “Every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:7) It is our highest privilege to give glory to God. But how can we do this? Is it accomplished by singing praises to God? That is part of it, but giving glory to God includes much more. In order to give glory to God we must first understand what glory is.
One day Moses pleaded with God to show him His glory. He said, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.” (Exodus 33:18) God, in His tender love and compassion, honored the request of Moses. He answered, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee.” (Exodus 33:19) Notice how this directly relates to what we have learned about the everlasting gospel being the good news about God’s goodness and love. God’s glory is primarily His goodness; His character of love.
God has given us a clear revelation of His glory through the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. John wrote, “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.” (John 1:14)
The glory of God’s wonderful character of love was manifested in the life of Jesus Christ. When Jesus reached out His hand to lift a leper to His feet and give him healing; when He touched the eyes of the blind to give them sight; when He saw the multitude and was “moved with compassion,” it was merely a reflection of what God the Father would do if He were in the same situation. For Jesus said, “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” (John 14:10)
Paul wrote, “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) God has shined His light into our hearts for the purpose of giving us the knowledge of the goodness of God, which is revealed in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ reflected God’s character perfectly. Of all the people who lived upon this earth, Jesus Christ gave glory to God more fully and perfectly than anyone else ever has. No wonder the Bible says that Jesus is “the express image” of the Father. (Hebrews 1:3) He is our example. His life is the one after which we are to mold our lives.
Paul explained to us how we can give glory to God when He wrote, “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Corinthians 3:18) As we behold the goodness and love of God, we will naturally begin to reflect that goodness in our own lives. John put it this way, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” (1John 3:1) The more we see the goodness and love of God, the more we will love, praise, and give glory to Him. The only way we can truly give glory to God is by first beholding His glory; His goodness and love.
The second part of this message is calling us to behold God’s character of love and reflect that character in our lives.
The first angel finally comes to the climax of his message: worship. Notice the order in which this message goes forth. First we are called to fear, respect, and honor the true God of heaven. Secondly, we are called to give glory to Him by beholding His goodness and love, which will produce a corresponding goodness and love in our own lives. Finally, we are called to worship the only true God who made heaven and earth. If we do not fear the only true God, and give Him glory, we cannot possibly worship Him correctly.
Notice how David said we are to worship: “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” (Psalms 29:2) To worship God correctly we must give Him the glory He deserves, and worship Him in “the beauty of holiness;” with a holy life representative of the holy God we worship.
God commanded us, “There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.” (Psalms 81:9) A stranger is someone we don’t know. If God is a stranger to us, our worship is in vain. Paul said to the men on Mars’ hill, “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” (Acts 17:23)
Jesus encountered a similar situation when He met a woman in Samaria. He said to her, “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:22-24) Jesus rebuked this woman for worshiping someone she didn’t know. In order to worship God correctly we must know Him, including who He is, and what He is like. Jesus said the true worshipers “worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” In spirit because their hearts have been softened and subdued by the transforming power of beholding God’s love, and in truth because they are worshiping the only true God (the Father) whom they have come to know in truth.
It is clear that the first angel’s message is calling us:
This message comes at a time when most of the world is worshiping strange gods. It comes at a time when soon “all that dwell upon the earth… whose names are not written in the book of life” “shall worship” the beast. (Revelation 13:8) Worship is the testing point upon which God’s true followers will be distinguished from the majority of the world who worship the beast.
(This study first appeared in the January, 2002 issue of Present Truth.)
Today we are thankful to report that the truth is making progress in new and old fields. We currently have several requests for us to visit areas to hold meetings. Sadly, we are not able to fill all the requests.
Due to health issues among my personal family, I am not able to be away much at this time. Please keep all my family in prayer, especially my dad, Robert, who is challenged with lung disease. Lynnford has been a great help taking some meetings that I could not attend. However, his wife, Kendra, is currently pregnant and is due near the first of the year.
Jesus said, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2) Let us pray that more will respond to the calling of the Lord and allow the Master Worker to fit them for His service.
Please also pray for a special need in the family of Howard Williams. Editor
How Many God’s Are There?
by Lynnford Beachy
We read in the Bible of the heathen who had many gods. They made gods of wood and stone who could not see or hear, yet they worshiped them, ignorant of the fact that they were worshiping devils. “What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” (1Corinthians 10:19,20)
We learn from these verses that if we are serving a false god we are actually serving Satan, and we certainly don’t want to do that. Satan desired to be like the Most High. He said, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:14) It has been Satan’s purpose to make himself equal with God, the Father. You may ask, “How do you know that Satan’s goal was to be equal with God, the Father, and not Jesus Christ?” Notice it says that he would be like the Most High. Who is the Most High? A devil possessed man came up to Jesus, “And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.” (Mark 5:7) Jesus is the Son of the Most High God. John had a vision of the New Jerusalem and wrote, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” (Revelation 21:22) Christ is the Lamb, and the Almighty is His Father.
The Most High is God, the Father, and this is who Satan is seeking to be equal with. If he can get you and me to worship a false god, then he knows that he is the one who gets the worship; and if he can make you and me think that this false god is equal with God, the Father, then he has succeeded in his attempt to make it appear that he is like the Most High. As you can see we must take special care that we are not worshiping a false god.
Do You Serve a False God?
Just prior to his death, Moses was commanded to teach the children of Israel a song. Moses said of Israel, “They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they Him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” (Deuteronomy 32:16,17) Before Moses’ time the Israelites followed after strange gods. However this applied much more to them after the death of Moses. In fact one commentary calls this song a “prophetic song.” (John Gill’s Commentary on Deuteronomy 32:28) It was prophesied that new gods would come up, and that many people would worship these gods. It is true that this prophecy was for the Jews, but it is just as applicable to us today. Do we know of any new god that has come up, which no one had heard of before?
Just as prophesied, a new god has arisen. Not a god made of wood and stone, but one who claims to be equal with the Most High God, for this is Satan’s ultimate goal. Satan cannot fulfill his desires and be thought of as equal with the Most High God, unless He makes himself out to be the God of the Bible, or equal to that God. This he cannot do using pagan deities. Therefore he has successfully transplanted a pagan concept of God right into the “Christian church.” This may seem too hard for you to believe, but read on. It is the truth!
Pagan God Transplanted Into “Christianity”
In the book of Daniel we read of a “little horn” that arises and speaks great things against the Most High. “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time [3 ½ years].” (Daniel 7:24,25) “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 [3 ½ years]. And he opened His mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” (Revelation 13:5,6)
The amount of time given in each of these verses is exactly the same; obviously referring to the same power. The angel Gabriel, speaking of this same power, told Daniel, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” (Daniel 11:36, 37)
Notice the insight John Gill has concerning these verses:
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, &c. Of the apostles of Christ, from whom he pretends to descend, and whose successor he would be thought to be: …though he would be thought to be his [Christ’s] vicar on earth; yet slights him, yea, opposes and acts contrary to him, in his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, and therefore is rightly called antichrist:
“nor the desire of women; or ‘wives’ … not desirous of having wives, or enjoying women in lawful marriage; but forbidding his priests to marry, as is notoriously a tenet of antichrist, and foretold by the apostle, in agreement to this prophecy, 1 Timothy 4:3, otherwise, none more lustful or desirous of women in an unlawful way than the Romish priests:
“nor regard any god; either the true God, and his laws, or any god in a metaphorical sense, any king or potentate on earth; showing no respect to any authority, or to any laws, divine or human:
“for he shall magnify himself above all; above all gods, real or nominal, as in 2Thessalonians 2:4.” (John Gill’s Expositor on Daniel 11:37)
Gabriel explained that this little horn power would not “regard the God of his fathers.” He goes on to say, “a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour… a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory.” (Daniel 11:37-39) The Scriptures foretold that when the papacy arose to power it would reject the true God and honor a “strange god” in His place. Has this happened?
The Papacy Invents a False God
In the fourth century a new teaching concerning God arose. Prior to the papacy coming to full power she formulated a doctrine about God that was contrary to what Christ and His apostles taught. This “strange god” would come to be known as the “Trinity.” This doctrine was thrust upon the world with power. All those who rejected this “strange god” were threatened with persecution and even death.
This new concept of God removed Christ as being the actual Son of God and distorted Christ’s work as our Mediator and High Priest. The Scriptures state, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5) The papacy says, “No, there is one God; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” We need a mediator between God and us, and if Christ is exactly equal with His Father we must also need a mediator between Christ and us. Hence the papacy instituted Mary and dead saints as mediators between Christ and us.
As if that were not enough, the papacy then instituted her own priesthood to take the place of Christ ministering as our High Priest in heaven. The papacy certainly has spoken great words against the Most High.
Here is a brief history of the events associated with how this doctrine surfaced and became widely held as truth, though it is without Scriptural backing. (For an in-depth study into the formulation of the Trinity doctrine, contact us and ask for the booklet entitled, The Formulation of the Doctrine of the Trinity.)
In 325 AD a council was held in a town called Nice (known as the Council of Nicaea). In this council a group of people led by Athanasius pressured Constantine, the Roman Emperor, to accept their creed that they had written. This creed was not in existence prior to the Council of Nicaea. The so-called “Christian” doctrine of the Trinity had its beginning right there in that council. Much dispute was raged, both during, and for many years after the council, as to whether or not this creed was correct. Both sides gained the advantage at different times during the years that followed. Finally in 380 AD the Athanasians won the upper hand, though they were still very much in the minority, by gaining power of the government. The Athanasians drafted a law commanding all to adhere to their creed or suffer severe persecution. The word “trinity” was applied to their creed and passed off as gospel truth, however, many would not submit to such confusing terms and suppositions.
This law stated: “… let us believe the sole deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; under an equal majesty, and a pious Trinity. We authorize the followers of this doctrine to assume the title of Catholic Christians; and as we judge, that all others are extravagant madmen, we brand them with the infamous name of Heretics; and declare that their conventicles shall no longer usurp the respectable appellation of churches. Besides the condemnation of divine justice, they must expect to suffer the severe penalties, which our authority, guided by heavenly wisdom, shall think proper to inflict upon them.” (Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 3, chapter 27, paragraph 6)
The Arian Heresy or the Trinitarian Heresy, Which?
Many have said that the idea that “Christ came into existence before anything was created,” arose in the fourth century, and they like to call it the “Arian heresy,” or the “Semi-Arian heresy.” This teaching was around in the fourth century, this is true, but it was also around in the third century, the second century, and even the first century. In fact, this teaching was around hundreds of years before Jesus was born on earth, clearly spelled out in Proverbs chapter 8. Jesus, speaking of Himself, said, “Before the hills was I brought forth [born].” (Proverbs 8:25) There is plenty of evidence that this teaching was all that was known to man from Adam on down to the fourth century, and known by the angels before man was created.
From the evidence about to be presented, it will be clearly seen that the teaching that Christ was not the real begotten son of God is the new teaching that arose in the fourth century. This teaching was modified and re-modified until finally they formulated the doctrine called the Trinity. This is one of the “new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” (Deuteronomy 32:17)
The teaching that Christ was begotten of His Father before anything was created existed long before the fourth century. If you take time to study the events of the controversy that took place back in the fourth century, you will see that the teaching that, Christ was not the Son of God was a new teaching in the fourth century, and many people were shocked to hear such speculations. Read carefully this letter written by Eusebius of Nicomedia (a man who was at the Council of Nicaea): “We have never heard, my Lord, of two beings unbegotten, nor of one divided into two; nor have we learnt or believed that He could suffer any thing corporeal, but that there is one unbegotten, and another truly from Him,… We believe not only that His origin cannot be explained in words, but that it cannot be comprehended, …” (A letter written by Eusebius of Nicomedia as quoted in A Historical View of the Council of Nice, by Isaac Boyle, p. 41)
The strange idea that the Father and the Son were both unbegotten (without beginning) was new to the people of that time. They had always understood that there is one unbegotten (without beginning), the Father, and another begotten by Him (with a beginning), Jesus Christ. This was the common understanding of the majority of people at the time of, and prior to, the Council of Nicaea.
The Creed Used Before the Council of Nicaea
Also notice what Eusebius of Caesarea has to say about this subject. He was in the Council of Nicaea, and presented a creed before the assembly “that had been largely in use before this dispute ever arose. He stated that this confession of faith was one which he had learned in his childhood, from the bishop of Caesarea, and one which he accepted at his baptism, and which he had taught through his whole career, both as a presbyter and as a bishop.…
“As soon as this was read in the council, the party of Arius all signified their willingness to subscribe to it. But this did not suit the party of Alexander and Athanasius; it was rather the very thing that they did not want, for ‘they were determined to find some form of words which no Arian could receive.’ They hunted about, therefore, for some point or some word, upon which they could reject it.…” (A.T. Jones, The Two Republics, pp. 347,348)
As you can see, the statement of beliefs that Eusebius presented was the widely held standard long before the Trinitarian heresy ever arose. Notice also that it was agreeable with the Arians for they did not object to saying that Christ was begotten before anything was created, as outlined in the creed of Eusebius of Caesarea, who was highly regarded in his day for wisdom. Not only that, but this belief was one that was taught as far back as anyone could remember, and the teaching “of two beings [the Father and the Son] unbegotten,” was unheard of at that time.
Eusebius of Caesarea completed a book called Ecclesiastical History in the year 325 AD—the same year the Council of Nicaea was held. In this book he states the views that he held since his childhood, which were believed by the majority long before the Trinitarian controversy ever arose. Carefully read the following quotations:
“For as no one hath known the Father, but the Son, so no one on the other hand, can know the Son fully, but the Father alone, by whom He was begotten. For who but the Father hath thoroughly understood that Light which existed before the world was — that intellectual and substantial wisdom, and that living Word which in the beginning was with the Father, before all creation and any production visible or invisible, the first and only offspring of God,… the true and only Son of the Father,… who has received power, and dominion with divinity itself, and power and honour from the Father… the second after the Father,… intrusted with the second rank of sovereignty and rule over all, ‘the captain of the Lord’s host,…’” (Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, pp. 15-17)
This is the teaching of the Bible. This is the faith for which we are to earnestly contend. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3) Not only did Eusebius believe that Christ was born of the Father, he used Proverbs chapter 8 as a proof text for his position. [For a thorough study on this subject contact us and request the study entitled, “The Truth About God.”]
As you can clearly see, the Trinitarian idea is the false doctrine that surfaced in the fourth century, and not the other way around.
The Central Doctrine of the Catholic Faith
Benjamin G. Wilkinson wrote, “The burning question of the decades succeeding the Council of Nicaea was how to state the relations of the Three Persons of the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The council had decided, and the papacy had appropriated the decision as its own.” (Truth Triumphant, p. 91) To this day, the papacy admits that the doctrine of the Trinity was formulated by her.
“The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the Church…
“The Church studied this mystery with great care and, after four centuries of clarification, decided to state the doctrine in this way: in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons,—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…” (Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 16)
Graham Green, a Catholic writer, noted: “Our opponents [Protestants] sometimes claim that no belief should be held dogmatically which is not explicitly stated in Scripture… But the Protestant churches have themselves accepted such dogmas as the Trinity for which there is no such precise authority in the Gospels…” (Life Magazine, October 30, 1950)
The Catholic church arose in the fourth century on the strength of this false doctrine, and is spoken of by Paul in this way: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 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.” (2Thessalonians 2:3,4)
By introducing a false god that is supposed to be the God of the Bible Satan has succeeded, in the minds of most men, to “be like the Most High,” “so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” But praise God, because the Bible says that the man of sin will be revealed. God is making known His truth more and more so that His people will be ready for His soon return. Thank God that He has sent this message to you. Thank God that now you can share it with others.
Let’s Look at Another Issue
There are many people who believe that the Father and His Son are the same being; that they are not two separate beings but rather one with two, or three, titles or roles. Notice this quote from a Catholic Trinitarian named St. Austin: “The Son is one Person, and the Father is another; they do not, however, constitute two Beings, but the Father is the same Being that the Son is, that is, the only true God.” (Tract 36 in Joann as quoted in Matthew Henry’s Commentary on 1John 5:7)
Let’s Examine This in Detail
If Jesus and His Father were the same being, then how could the Father speak to His Son at the baptism of Jesus? “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) If the Father and His Son are the same being, then Jesus would have had to throw His voice to make it appear as though someone else had spoken. Not only that, but He would have been lying, for how can one being be the father of himself, or yet be the son of himself. This clearly makes no sense and would make God a liar, which He certainly is not. John wrote, “he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.” (1John 5:10) Let’s not make God out to be a liar.
Please consider this quotation from J.N. Loughborough, an Adventist pioneer who had a pretty good insight into this matter.
“To believe that doctrine [one God with three personalities or roles], when reading the scripture we must believe that God sent himself into the world, died to reconcile the world to himself, raised himself from the dead, ascended to himself in heaven, pleads before himself in heaven to reconcile the world to himself, and is the only mediator between man and himself. It will not do to substitute the human nature of Christ (according to Trinitarians) as the Mediator; for Clarke says, ‘Human blood can no more appease God than swine’s blood.’ Com. on 2Sam. 21:10. We must believe also that in the garden God prayed to himself, if it were possible, to let the cup pass from himself, and a thousand other such absurdities.
“Read carefully the following texts, comparing them with the idea that Christ is the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Supreme, and only self-existent God: John 14:28; 17:3; 3:16; 5:19,26; 11:15; 20:19; 8:50; 6:38; Mark 8:32; Luke 6:12; 22:69; 24:29; Matt. 3:17; 27:46; Gal. 3:20; 1John 2:1; Rev. 5:7; Acts 17:31. Also see Matt. 11:25,27; Luke 1:32; 22:42; John 3:35,36; 5:19,21-23,25,26; 6:40; 8:35,36; 14:13; 1Cor. 15:28, &c.
“The word Trinity nowhere occurs in the Scriptures. The principal text supposed to teach it is 1John 5:7, which is an interpolation. Clarke says, ‘Out of one hundred and thirteen manuscripts, the text is wanting in one hundred and twelve. It occurs in no Manuscript before the tenth century. And the first place the text occurs in Greek, is in the Greek translation of the acts of the Council of Lateran, held A.D. 1215.’ - Com. on 1John5, and remarks at close of chap.
“Its origin is pagan and fabulous. Instead of pointing us to scripture for proof of the trinity, we are pointed to the trident of the Persians, with the assertion that ‘by this they designed to teach the idea of a trinity, and if they had the doctrine of the trinity, they must have received it by tradition from the people of God.’ But this is all assumed, for it is certain that the Jewish church held to no such doctrine. Says Mr. Summerbell, ‘A friend of mine who was present in a New York synagogue, asked the Rabbi for an explanation of the word ‘Elohim’. A Trinitarian clergyman who stood by, replied, ‘Why, that has reference to the three persons in the Trinity,’ when a Jew stepped forward and said he must not mention that word again, or they would have to compel him to leave the house; for it was not permitted to mention the name of any strange god in the synagogue.’ (Discussion between Summerbell and Flood on Trinity, p.38) Milman says the idea of the Trident is fabulous. (History of Christianity, p.34)
“This doctrine of the trinity was brought into the church about the same time with image worship, and keeping the day of the sun, and is but Persian doctrine remodeled. It occupied about three hundred years from its introduction to bring the doctrine to what it is now. It was commenced about 325 A.D., and was not completed till 681. See Milman’s Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iv, p.422. It was adopted in Spain in 589, in England in 596, in Africa in 534. - Gib. vol. iv, pp. 114, 345; Milner, vol. i, p.519.” (Review & Herald, November 5, 1861, page 184)
J.N. Loughborough made some excellent points. I am sure if you read all the verses he made reference to, you would be convinced by the evidence he has to support his statements.
What About Isaiah 9:6
A text that is used by both Trinitarians and Modalists alike to prove their position is 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 shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Because Christ is here called “the everlasting Father” many assert that He is God the Father. He is called Father, but is He the Father of Himself or is He the Father of “the children which God hath given” Him? (Hebrews 2:13; see also Isaiah 8:18) Surely He is not referred to here as being the Father of Himself, but rather the Father of the children which His Father gave to Him. Our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,…” (2Corinthians 11:31)
What about the word everlasting in Isaiah 9:6? Doesn’t that mean that He always was and that He was never begotten of His Father before the world was? The Bible informs us that we can have everlasting life. Surely this does not mean that we always were in existence in the past! The Hebrew word de ad that was translated “everlasting” can mean this: “for ever (of future time).” (Brown-Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon) Notice how this same Hebrew word is used in the following verse: “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever [Hebrew: de ad].” (Psalms 37:29) Certainly nobody would claim that the righteous never had a beginning. This verse is showing that they will never have an end. So, clearly, Jesus is our everlasting Father because He is the Father of the children God has given Him and He will never have an end.
What about in Isaiah 9:6 where Jesus is called the mighty God? Notice that in this verse He is called the mighty God and not the Almighty God. We read of mighty men, but never Almighty men. Look up the word mighty and you will find it applied to people almost every time it is used, but look up Almighty and you will find that it only applies to God and none else. Jesus is God by nature because God is His literal Father, just as I am human, because my parents are human.
“I And My Father Are One” (John 10:30)
The Father and the Son are one, but how are they one? Are they the same being? Jesus prayed to His Father, “the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17:22) Jesus prayed that His disciples would be one in the same way that He and His Father are one. Jesus was not contemplating one disciple with twelve heads, but twelve disciples united in one purpose with the same mind. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) Jesus is one with His Father because He and His Father think alike. This verse certainly is not speaking of the Father and His Son as one being.
Daniel was given a vision of one Being sitting upon a throne and another Being coming near before Him. Daniel wrote, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down [literally: “to be placed” (Ibid.)], and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.… 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.” (Daniel 7:9,13) Certainly there cannot be one being who goes from one place to another to be near to himself.
“I Came Out From the Father”
Jesus was speaking to His disciples when He said, “For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out [exercomai “to come forth from physically, arise from, to be born of” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)] from God. I came forthfrom the Father, and am come[ercomai “to come from one place to another” (Ibid.)] into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” (John 16:27,28) Jesus was born of the Father, then He left His Father and came into the world. Afterwards He left the world and went back to the Father. It would be impossible for one person to leave himself in one place, and go to another place and then return to himself again where he had left himself. To believe that the Father and the Son are the same being is contrary to Scripture and certainly is contrary to common sense.
The Unitarians believe there is but one being worthy of our worship. The Trinitarians believe there is one being in three persons worthy of our worship. Tritheists believe that there are three beings worthy of our worship. None of these state the truth. The Bible says there are but two Beings worthy of our worship—the Father (“the only true God”), and His “only begotten Son.” “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 9) Think about it!
(This study first appeared in the May, 2000 issue of Present Truth.)
Keeping the Heart
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) Diligent heart-keeping is essential to a healthy growth in grace. The heart in its natural state is a habitation for unholy thoughts and sinful passions. When brought into subjection to Christ, it must be cleansed by the Spirit from all defilement. This can not be done without the consent of the individual.
When the soul has been cleansed, it is the duty of the Christian to keep it undefiled. Many seem to think that the religion of Christ does not call for the abandonment of daily sins, the breaking loose from habits which have held the soul in bondage. They renounce some things condemned by the conscience, but they fail to represent Christ in the daily life. They do not bring Christlikeness into the home. They do not show a thoughtful care in their choice of words. Too often, fretful, impatient words are spoken, words which stir the worst passions of the human heart. Such ones need the abiding presence of Christ in the soul. Only in his strength can they keep guard over the words and actions.
Pray without Ceasing
In the work of heart-keeping we must be instant in prayer, unwearied in petitioning the throne of grace for assistance. Those who take the name of Christian should come to God in earnestness and humility, pleading for help. The Saviour has told us to pray without ceasing. The Christian can not always be in the position of prayer, but his thoughts and desires can always be upward. Our self-confidence would vanish, did we talk less and pray more.
We give evidence of the sincerity of our prayers by the earnestness of our endeavors to answer them, to overcome the sins which strive for a place in the life. Our prayers will be ineffectual unless we continually strive to correct that which is wrong and unlovely in our lives. If we ask God to work for us, and then make no effort to conquer self, our prayers will rise no higher than our heads. God helps those who co-operate with him. We can obtain forgiveness only through the blood of Christ. His atoning sacrifice is all–powerful. But in the struggle for immortality we have a part to act. Christ will help those who pray and then watch unto prayer. He calls upon us to use every power he has given us in the warfare against sin. We can never be saved in inactivity and idleness. We might as well look for a harvest from seed which we have not sown, and for knowledge where we have not studied, as to expect salvation without making an effort. It is our part to wrestle against the evil tendencies of the natural heart.
The Results of Disobedience Certain
Contrast man’s physical, mental, and moral feebleness with Adam’s perfection before he transgressed God’s law. Among the waving trees of paradise the holy pair stood in their sinless beauty before God, and the privilege of unrestrained intercourse with him was theirs. Adam was a noble being, with a powerful mind, a will in harmony with the will of God, and affections that centered upon heaven. He possessed a body heir to no disease, and a soul bearing the impress of Deity. But all this rich inheritance, the gift of his Maker, did not save him from the result of disobedience.
God did not spare Adam, though his sin may seem to us a small one. Neither will he spare us, if we continue to disregard his requirements. He divorced Israel from him because her people walked not in his ways. Never was a people more beloved. Never had a nation greater evidence of the divine favor. Yet only two of the adults who left Egypt entered the promised land. The rest died in the wilderness, having proved unworthy to enter Canaan. Pride and self-indulgence were their ruin.
Their history has been traced by the pen of inspiration, that by their experience we may take warning. It is written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. God will call us to account if we retain wrong traits of character, refusing to call to our aid the power of the word, and in the name of Jesus correct our faults and subdue the passions of the natural heart. Many enthrone Satan in the heart, to triumph over Christ by the indulgence of evil inclinations. Sin reigns where Christ should reign. Those who thus continue to cherish sin can never be saved as they are. Unless they change, they will never enter heaven themselves, and they make very difficult the path of those who are trying to overcome. Their faulty, unconsecrated lives place them on the side of the power of darkness, while they are professedly on the side of Christ. Jesus makes them the objects of his tender solicitude and unwearied labor, until, notwithstanding all his efforts, they become fixed in sin. Then those over whom he has wept and yearned in love and compassion are left to pursue their own course. The Saviour turns from them, saying, sadly, They are joined to their idols; let them alone. God forbid that this should be said of us.
Every Man That Hath This Hope in Him
The sins of fretfulness, impatience, love of the world, are grievous in God’s sight. Some who cherish these defects confess that they are doing wrong; but year after year passes, and finds them still in bondage to these sins. Each year the same acknowledgment is made, but no change appears in the life. They confess, but they do not repent. They do not realize how grievous their sins are in the sight of God. If they were really one with Christ, if his Spirit were dwelling in them, they would see the sinfulness of sin. Not only would they confess; but they would forsake that which God abhors.
Those who remain in transgression, who do not strive for self-control, are ignorant of God. However high their claims of godliness, their spirituality is weak, their faith small, their love imperfect, their hopes and experience are governed by circumstances. But those who resolutely try to obtain the victory over temptation, who promptly and decisively resist the attacks of Satan, will become rooted and grounded in the truth. Their experience will not be dwarfed and sickly, but will bear rich fruit to the glory of God.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (1 John 3:2)
This is our work. It is not enough to profess to be a child of God. He who has in him this hope will purify himself from all defilement. But this is the work from which every day nine tenths of us excuse ourselves. We seem to think that it does not matter if we get angry now and then, if we cheat now and then, if we are selfish and uncourteous.
Dear young friends, let us not spare ourselves. Let us with self-renunciation lift the cross of Christ, and follow in his footsteps. Let us begin in earnest the work of reformation. Let us crucify the flesh. Unholy habits will clamor fiercely for the victory, but in the name and through the power of Jesus we may conquer them. To him who seeks daily to keep his heart with all diligence, to be a true child of God, the promise is sure, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39) Living the life of him who went about doing good, overcoming self-love and every other species of selfishness, fulfilling bravely and cheerfully our duty to God and to those around us,—this makes us more than conquerors. This prepares us to stand before the great white throne, free from spot or wrinkle or any such thing, having washed our robes of character and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Ellen G. White, Youth’s Instructor, March 5, 1903)
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In reference to my phone call made 11-26-03, please send books, tapes, videos, other info that might be helpful to us. Also please add us to your mailing list. MT
I greatly appreciate all of the periodicals that you send. WA
I have been praying for your dear wife. I hope all is well. I will be going to Pensacola this coming week end. We are out of any and all editions of The Foundation Of Our Faith. Could you please send some copies down for the Orlando group. FL
Being acquainted with some of the men quoted in this material (Return of the Fourth Angel packet) please remove my name from your mailings. This is not Seventh Day Adventist material. Thank you. ID
(If you mean Seventh-day Adventism as it is taught today, you are correct. It is Seventh-day Adventism as it was taught during the early years of the movement and during the lifetime of the prophetess. Editor)
I’ve been trying to find where your videos are online. I need to reorder “The Roots of the Trinity” Non-Adventist version again, because the one I ordered doesn’t work right. Plus there was one other one I wanted to order that went with that series “The Good News About God.” If it comes in Adventist and Non- Adventist versions I want both.
These videos are so wonderful. One of these days I will have the right words to express what I mean!! WA
I received and just finished reading [the] December Old Paths. I always look forward to receiving this newsletter. I am sure that I am not alone when I say that I have felt a strong urgency to get the “three Angels Messages” and the “truth about God” out to as many as possible. Things are happening fast in this world OH
Please remove my name from your mailing list. FL
Please add me to your mailing list for the Old Paths. Thank you. Internet
Loved Old Paths and the article from Galatians by Waggoner was excellent. Could you do more of what he has written? Also, love the article about the trip to Africa. What a breakthrough is happening in the Fourth Angel’s Message.
M___ and I would be so interested in the weekend group Bible studies that you will be holding in different areas. Praise God, hope you come close to us. Yes, let us know if you do. We are backing you as much as we possibly can. God Bless and keep you in His care. Internet
I hope everyone is doing okay. I am sending some tithe money to help with the work in these last days. It seems like more and more people are getting “religious,” but they are not teaching the truth. In fact, most really don’t want to hear it. I can see that the Sunday observance laws are just around the corner. OH
We appreciated Lynnford coming to Moab, UT a few months ago, and we are enjoying your publications. Please use the funds enclosed to further the good work. Would you be so kind and put our daughter on your mailing list. Thank you. UT
Hi, someone gave me this quote. Can you please verify it for me? Thanks
“The statements and the arguments of some of our ministers, in their effort to prove that the Holy Spirit is an individual as are God the Father and Christ the eternal Son, have perplexed me, and sometimes they have made me sad.” (Willie White to H. W. Carr, 1939) Internet
(The statement was from a letter written by Willie White to Elder H. W. Carr dated April 1935 (the day of the month appears to be “30.” The day of the date is not clear in my copy). In this letter we also find the following interesting statement from Willie White:
In your letter you request me to tell you what I understand to be my mother’s position in reference to the personality of the Holy Spirit.
This I cannot do because I never clearly understood her teachings on the matter. There always was in my mind some perplexity regarding the meaning of her utterances which to my superficial manner of thinking seemed to be somewhat confusing. I have often regretted that I did not possess that keenness of mind that could solve this and similar perplexities, and then remembering what Sister White wrote in “Acts of the Apostles,” pages 51 and 51, “regarding such mysteries which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden,” I have thought best to refrain from discussion and have endeavored to direct my mind to matters easy to be understood.
My perplexities were lessened a little when I learned from the dictionary that one of the meanings of personality, was characteristics. It is stated in such a way that I concluded that there might be personality without bodily form. (Letter of Willie C. White to H. C. Carr, April 30, 1935)
I hope that this helps. Editor)
Old Paths is a free monthly newsletter/study-paper published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. U.S.A. It is sent free upon request. The paper is dedicated to the propagation and restoration of the principles of truth that God gave to the early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers. Duplication is not only permitted, but strongly encouraged. This issue, with other gospel literature we publish, can be found at our web sites. The urls are: http://www.smyrna.org and http://www.presenttruth.info. Phone: (304) 732-9204. Fax: (304) 732-7322.
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