The Hierarchy of Godhead

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Colosians 1:25-27)

For many people who have difficulty in harmonizing the revelations of the New Testament with the monotheistic view of the

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Old Covenant, their only resort is to embrace the teaching of the Trinity as the nearest explanation to the biblical God. But not few also were those who fell into the modalistic view of the Pentecostals. Both views are unbiblical. God is neither Trinity nor like what Pentecostal onenesses think about Him. It’s true that there are three powerful Beings or Godhead but unlike the Trinitarian view, these three are not coequal in power.  Of course, no one will say that when it comes to supremacy, a son is equal to his father or the father is equal to his son, or else it will be no sense at all to call them “father” and “son”.  The term “father” and “son” signify the hierarchical relationship between two persons. The term “father” signifies one’s respect and honor to the person whom he applied the term, and so the term “son” signifies one’s position as lower or subordinate to his father. In fact, Christ had this statement in the gospel of John;

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)

And again in John 10:29, it says,

 “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all…” 

This declaration did not only surpassed the authority of Christ Himself but including the power of the Holy Spirit. When Christ said, “My Father is greater than all”, that’s absolute. It doesn’t only mean to say that no one is above Him but also no one is equal to Him. Hence, Christ said, “my Father is greater than I.” Thus we shouldn’t expect that Jesus Christ is also the Father. That’s wrong and misleading!

The monotheistic view of the Old Covenant is quite incomplete. I’m not saying that it’s wrong,  but I believe, base upon the gospel, that that’s incomplete. Perhaps, the confusion among the Jews whenever they are at reading of the Book of Genesis (particularly Genesis 1:26)  explains how incomplete are the teachings of the Old Covenant concerning to the nature of God. Monotheism is the hallmark of Jewish religion, yet most of the time they were confused by some verses of the Torah. This is because something was hidden during the time of the Old Covenant, and the reason why the New Covenant was given is to explain the mysteries of the Old Covenant. Paul explains,

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” (Eph. 3:3-6)

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: ” (Ephesians 3:9)

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Colosians 1:25-27)

Compared to the New Covenant,  the Old Covenant doesn’t have enough details about Christ, if it’s not, as Paul said, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”. It was Him (Christ) to whom the Father said, “Let us make man in our image”. John declared, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;” (John 1:1; I John 1:2)

And Christ said; “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with theebefore the world was.” (John 17:5)

Christ was with the Father before the foundation of world. And during the creation, He was with Him as a “master workman“, as an “intelligent architect“, hence John said, “all things were made through Him”. Is not saying that Christ is God? Of course He is. But unlike the Trinitarian belief, Jesus Christ is not equal with the Father, or He is the Father (like the claims of Pentecostals). Being WITH the Father is not being the Father.

What Christ had stated is this, “I and my Father are one.” This is not saying that He is also the Father or He is equal with the Father. But the best way to explain this is the same way how Christ explained it. And he said,

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17: 20-23)

The oneness of the Father and Christ is not in power or in authority neither they are absolutely one being, but as the Church is one in the sight of God, so Christ in the Father. The best representation to describe how Christ become one with the Father is the unity of the Church as one body. Perhaps, we can also use the oneness of a husband to his wife, as the book of Genesis described. This was how the Bible explained the oneness but hierarchical description of the Godhead. The Father is greater than the Son and the Holy Spirit and yet they are one.

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The Only Living Apostle Of Our Time

Marikina, my beloved hometown, was regarded by many Filipinos as the “shoe capital of the Philippines”. Here, shoes are being compared with the finest footwear of Italy and regarded as an ingredient of total elegance and self make-over. The largest leather made shoes in the world was displayed at the city’s Sports Arena, and many people are trying to visit and take some pictures with it.

Aside of the finest footwear of the country, Marikina also won the title “the cleanest city” in the republic. As a matter of fact, plenty of market places scattered all over the Philippines cannot be compared with the city’s Public Market when it comes to cleanliness. Marikina Public Market was well-organized by the government and vendors themselves are regulated by the discipline they earned from succeeding administrations. Thus, Marikina was regarded by its neighboring cities as the home of the disciplined people. However, the green city was suddenly spotted with a kind of dirt came from its religious sphere. Because at the heart of my hometown, a building was erected to be a worship center for a congregation established by a man named Arsenio Ferriol – a man who calls himself as the endtime apostle of the Church of Christ. His group was famous by their street preachings with matching some offering bags surrounding everywhere in the vicinity of the project area. Sometimes, they can be seen in public vehicles

Arsenio Ferriol, the Founder of the Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ.

like buses and jeeps and sometimes knocking at your own door bringing with them some envelops where you can put your donations to the ministry. So, if you are a lawyer or a doctor, or an accountant, and you are assigned to be a part of a missionary activity in a public market, you have no choice but to carry an offering bag and ask donations from those non-believers walking in front of you – a practice never taught anywhere in the Holy Scriptures.

Arsenio Ferriol, the leader and founder of the so-called “Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ” or “the 4th Watch”, is just one of those false and self-proclaimed apostles of the modern Christianity. Other examples are Renato Carillo of “Jesus Is Our Shield”, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Mormon Church, the Charismatic apostles, and finally the Pope, who calls himself “Prince of the apostles”. Why did I believe that these so-called “apostles” are frauds and self-proclaimed apostles? Because if we will try to look deeper in the Bible, we will learn that apostleship is not just a kind of religious office which anyone can attach to their own names anytime they want, or just because they have preaching talent. The line of the apostleship passed through according to some strict procedures and standards mentioned in the Bible, except, of course, those twelve individuals personally chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ. Standards which I think cannot be applied with those pretending apostles in our age. What are these procedures and standards for choosing an apostle? The Book of Acts explains;

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:15-26)

When Judas Iscariote was removed from his office because of his foolishness, and that the rest of the apostles decided to choose someone who will fill the vacancy, a procedure of election was set and the candidates were chosen based upon a standard written in verse 21 and 22, where it says;

Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

To choose an apostle, it is necessary that the candidate should be a witnessed unto the life of Christ during His entire ministry. Question: is there anyone in our age that fits with this standard? Obviously, there’s none. Someone might ask me, “what about Barnabas and Paul”? Of course these two men were also regarded by the Scriptures as apostles. Paul, as we all know, was chosen personally by the Lord during his journey to Damascus. Barnabas, Paul’s partner was also a chosen one, but unlike Paul, he received his election in front of the members of the Church. Accordingly, he was elected by the Holy Spirit through an audible voice. In the book of Acts it says;

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. (Acts 13:1-3).

Paul and Barnabas are personally chosen by God and confirmed through the laying of hands by the very apostles chosen during the ministry of Christ. (Galatians 2:9). Therefore, based upon these standards and procedures, no one can be declared as apostles unless he literally witnessed the life and ministry of Christ or was called by God in the same manner as of Paul and Barnabas. Its also important that the candidates should be confirmed by the very apostles of Christ.

Question: Is it rightful to say that those pretending apostles of our time

Renato Carillo of "Jesus Is Our Shield".

are true apostles? Of course, they can’t be! That’s why I’m saying that these apostles are fraud. They are fake and liars. Mr. Arsenio Ferriol of the so-called “4th Watch” is a false apostle – he who teaches his members to become beggars in front of the unbelievers; a kind of teaching very much contrary with the works of the true apostles of Christ;

Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. (III John 1:7)

The Bishop of Rome who regards himself as “Prince of the apostles” and that man Renato Carillo who asked his members to purchase the unbiblical “prayer cloth”. And finally, Joseph Smith, a man considered as an apostle by the Mormon Church, and since he was an apostle and that apostles will judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28), so Mormons say that people will appear before Christ and Joseph Smith on the Judgement Day.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (II Corinthians 11:14-15)

So, is it mean that the last day congregation of God doesn’t have an

The 12 Apostles of the Mormon Church

apostle? God forbid. In order for us to be consider as a true Church of God, we must be completed in spiritual gifts. All the apostles, from Peter to Barnabas, were already dead, and there’s no one in our time that can comply with the biblical standards of being an apostle, as what we have already proven. So, who is our living apostle? Our holy and genuine apostle? In the book of Hebrews it says;

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (Hebrew 3:1)

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When the Church Was Beheaded

Monogenes” is the Greek term for “unique”, and “unique” literally means “the only one”, “the sole”, the “exceptional” and “irreplaceable”. In the Holy Scriptures, uniqueness mostly attributed to our Lord Jesus Christ and one of the examples was His relation to the Father as His Son. The Father calls Him “the Only Begotten Son”. Thus, we are sure that those who will claim the position attributed only or given only to Christ, as what have taught in the gospel, is totally a fraud.

What will be the sense of Christ’s uniqueness if somebody will come and take the position that He holds? That’s blasphemy! And blasphemy was one of the gravest sins in the sight of God. In this period of modern Christianity, religious leaders who talk everyday about the gospel and salvation are the foremost in committing this kind of blasphemy, and yet many people cannot comprehend how serious are the sins committed by these leaders with whom they rest all the affairs of their souls. The words of the Lord declared;

The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Jeremiah 5:31)

Being the Son of God was one of the unique position of Christ; and being the Son, He was the Prince and the Head, or we may say, the President of all the properties of His Father, especially the Church which the Bible called as His body. Paul said;

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (Colosians 1:18)

Christ is the Head of the body which is the Church. And since there is only one body , it must not have many heads. “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” (Romans 12:5) One body means one head, therefore, being the Head of the Church is another unique position of Christ and no one can cut off the Head by claiming for himself the headship of the body. Of course, that would be an extreme blasphemy.

I am very surprised that in this period of Christianity, many religious leaders removed Christ from the position attributed only to Him by His Father. They removed Him as a head cut off from its own body. The Roman Catholic Church, the largest professing Christian Church, regarded the Bishop of Rome as the Head of the Church. According to them;

The Church’s doctrine as to the pope was authoritatively declared in the Vatican Council in the Constitution “Pastor Aeternus”. The four chapters of that Constitution deal respectively with the office of Supreme Head conferred on St. Peter, the perpetuity of this office in the person of the Roman pontiff, the pope’s jurisdiction over the faithful, and his supreme authority to define in all questions of faith and morals. (Source: Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope.)

There are also many Protestant denominations who disconnected themselves from the Communion of the Roman Church are now doing the same thing in their leadership. Protestant leaders are being addressed as “President”, “Chief Minister” or  “Chief Executive” in their respective denominations. The Seventh-Day Adventist Church, for example, addressed their worldwide leader in Maryland as “President”. The Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines addressed Felix Manalo and his successors as “Executive Ministers”! Some evangelical churches, like the Kamuning Bible Christian Fellowship in the Philippines, call their leaders as “Head Pastor”. These are some sorts of blasphemy prevailing today in the religious world, and so many people are blinded enough to see the errors being done in their midst. Christ, the Head and the President of the Church, was totally forsaken from His own body. Imagine a begotten son and heir of all the properties of his father who was kicked out by the very servants of his father’s mansion and was usurped of his own office; what do you think the father will do to these wicked servants? Christ said, “He will miserably destroy those wicked men…” (Matt.21:41)

The book of Hebrews declared;

But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Heb.3:6)

In the House of God, we are all brethren, with only one Father and Christ as the only Head over the household. Preachers of the gospel should remember that they are servants in the house of God. They are messengers of the good news of salvation, and messengers should think not that God gave them any lordship over their brethren that their members will address them such as “rightful reverend”, “honorable”, or “most holy”. When the children of Israel choose for themselves a king that will lead them and rejected the Lord who ruled them and saved them from the bondage of their enemies, the Lord said;

And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (I Samuel 8:7)

 

 

“Biblical Unitarians” are not Biblical, Part I

After publishing my post entitled “Unlocking the Mystery of Christ Nature“, a comment was posted on the dashboard that brought me into a website owned by the so-called “Biblical Unitarians”, and their ministry was named as “Spirit and Truth Fellowship International”. The website was located here. I’m not familiar with the Unitarians before, but after reading their site, I feel so worry about the great error that they taught concerning Jesus Christ. By studying first the background of the group, I learned that the founder whose name was Victor Paul Wierwille was associated with the Bible translator, George Lamsa, who proudly admitted of being raised in the Nestorian church.  Wierwille became associated in 1957 with Aramaic Bible scholar George Lamsa  who finished his translation work for The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts (Lamsa Bible) in Wierwille’s home.Lamsa and Wierwille together produced the first American Aramaic grammar in 1960 for the study of Biblical manuscripts with the ancient Estrangelo letters.Believing that the original New Testament  was written in Aramaic, he became a supporter of George Lamsa’s  translation of the Bible, and used it frequently.  From the time that they were connected for a single work, Wierwille’s view regarding Christ had changed. From the belief of Christ’s Deity, he shifted into a Nestorian-like doctrine.  Wierwille believed and taught the deity of Jesus Christ for 20 years, until finally he made his break with biblical teaching on Jesus when Lamsa entered his life.

Now, we will try to answer the discourses of Wierwille’s “Biblical Unitarians” concerning Christ, and let see if, as they claimed, they were biblical indeed.

What really the Bible says about this matter?

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9)

Here are the two natures of Christ; the Godhead and the human body. In these two natures, which one suffered death according to the Bible?

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?But he spake of the temple of his body.” (John 2: 19-21)

Which one died? The temple of His body, and not the Spirit that dwells inside earthly temple or the body.

Peter further said;

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (I Peter 3:18)

The Unitarian teaching that the entire being of Christ (both flesh and His Deity) died in the Calvary was definitely a big mistake because the Holy Scriptures, as what we have shown, clearly stated that the only part that suffered death was the body and not the Spirit.

Was it impossible that God have  God higher than Him? Biblically speaking, that’s possible. We should remember that the Father is the Most High God, and that Christ is His Son, and as a father is higher than his son, so the Father to Christ.

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Hebrews 1:8-9)

Let’s read the Bible and find out in what state when Christ was being tempted.

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:14-18)

The Bible clearly states that to overcome death, Christ should overcome temptation, and He cannot be tempted unless He partakes with flesh and blood because sin works only through flesh and not with the Spirit. Therefore, to destroy the body which was ruled by sin, Christ made Himself in the like of the sinful flesh.

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6)

We must remember that Christ humiliated Himself by acquiring the likeness of a sinful man, of a servant, and not of God. Therefore, expecting Him to say that He was God is an absurdity. In His prayer, Christ wanted us to know, not just the Father, but also Himself. Although He never testify for Himself (because that was the Father’s concern), yet He prayed that we must know Him, too.

And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. (John 5:37)

And how the Father borne witness of Christ?

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (Hebrews 1:8)

Of course, He should pray because while in flesh He was completely dependent on His Father. Again, the Apostle Paul said that because of meekness, Christ

…made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death.” Thus, while He was in the world, Jesus set an example for all Christians, and we should learn from these examples.

Ok, let see how…

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (Heb.2:14)

The “children” mentioned here are the “children of God” according to verse 13. The children of God, according to verse 14, are partakers of flesh and blood.  It means that the “children of God” are not completely children of flesh, but only partakers of it. Why? Because the children of God are also partakers of the divine nature. That divine nature was the Spirit that enables us to have the thinking of Christ.  Paul said;

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (II Cor. 4:7)

By joining the divine nature with the flesh and blood, Christ made Himself in the likeness of God’s children in earth; children that doesn’t only partake with flesh and blood, but also partakers of the divine nature.

CONCLUSION

Wierwille’s “Biblical Unitarians”, by being failed to comprehend the character of our Savior, misunderstood the words of testimony regarding the Deity of Christ. They failed to comprehend the mysteries hidden behind the humble character of the Savior, and by careless conclusion of those things that they never completely understand, they embraced a teaching which contradicts the precious truths about the Savior.

The questions like “why Christ never called Himself God?”, or “if Christ is God, why He prays to the Father” are examples of questions being raised in a carnal mind that doesn’t have the ability to see afar off. They only see those things revealed upon literal eyes and not the deepest part of things. Christ said “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” (Matthew 11:29). By such character, of course, we cannot expect Christ telling that He was God.