Sunday, September 26, 2010

Home Churches in 1st century Christianity

Some great insight into how the first Christians REALLY congregated and conducted themselves.This should be beneficial to everyone,but of course being a former Jehovah's Witness,I am hoping they especially will consider this information.Because possibly more than any other group they boast of their perfect adherence to 1st century regulations in regards to Christian gatherings,realities,and conduct when nothing could be further from the truth.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What is death?(a 2 Corinthians 5:8,Philippians 1:23 ,and immortal soul issue)

(The youtube with this info is below but doesn't have ALL the details in this blog.The video has some info that ISN'T in this blog though.So if you'd like to check it out,feel free)

"The intervening state is not consciously experienced at all by the dead!After death,the next thing we know is that we are summoned by Christ."--Warren Prestidge,Life,Death,and destiny,pg. 46

Keeping the above quote in mind,let's examine:

2 Corinthians 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

"So instantaneous is the changeover from the old body to the new which Paul here envisages that there will be no interval of conscious "nakedness" between the one and the other.The change-over takes place,as he says in 1 Corinthians 15:52,"in a moment,in the twinkling of an eye"--only there the split second transformation takes place at the parousia."--F.F.Bruce,Paul:Apostle of the Heart Set Free,pg.312

Paul wishes to be home with the Lord in his resurrected glorified untainted body.He is distinguishing that one to come from the tent he resided in at the time,the perishable corruptible one.Similar to 1 Corinthians chapter 15 where our glorified bodies in the image of the Last Adam's are poignantly described in contrast to the corruptible ones inherited from the first Adam.The resurrection at the Last Day is when we'll be absent from the corrupt flesh we now possess.And ONLY then.

"To be "absent from the body and present with the Lord" is the hope that we will meet Christ when he comes to raise us from death.The Bible knows of only one way to escape death--that is by being resurrected at the return of Christ(those who are still alive when he comes will need only be transformed by receiving their new body.)To be "with the Lord" means to be with Jesus through resurrection at Christ's return.So Paul had explained to the Thessalonians when he had elaborated on the divine arrangements by which the saints would be brought into the presence of the returning Lord."In this way(i.e.,by resurrection and transformation) we shall always be with the Lord."(1 Thes. 4:17)"-Anthony Buzzard "Our Fathers who aren't in Heaven" p.225

Paul clarifies HIMSELF in the SAME chapter.Examine:

2 Cor. 5:2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.


To quote Alan Richardson:“the notion of a disembodied spirit is repugnant to the Hebrew mind” (Introduction to New Testament Theology, p. 196)

Paul does NOT want to be disembodied!Obviously,Paul wants to be absent from his DYING corruptible body of tainted flesh that he has to fight.(Romans 7:14-25,8:1-17)When does THIS happen?In his death and subsequent resurrection!When Paul awakes from death in the last day,not being made perfect apart from his fellow servants,it will be as if he never slept at all.We have no concept of passing time when we die.It will feel immediate to us when we meet the Lord upon being resurrected.Paul is not to be found naked as a disembodied harp playing spirit creature with no body at all,but rather to be CLOTHED with glory,his corruptible one swallowed in imperishability.BUT not till the return of Christ and a resurrection at the Last Day.

"He knows that the next moment of consciousness for him will be at the resurrection when he will be raised to receive his new body and thus be forever with the Lord Jesus.There may be many long years between the death of Paul and his next waking moment at the return of Christ when he will be raised up.He knows it will seem but a moment between closing his eyes in the sleep of death and the glorious moment of new consciousness."p. 327 "They Never Told me THIS in Church" by Greg Deuble

Paul ,communicating once again in the plainest language possible where his focus REALLY lies, even further says:

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

"Simply put,Paul is dying,and he knows he is departing FROM THIS LIFE.And as is the case every single time he discusses hope beyond the grave,he looks forward to the "appearing" of Christ in resurrection power.He looks forward to "the future" when he will stand before the Lord,the righteous Judge,"on that day."Facing imminent death,Paul says nothing about going straight up to the Lord in heaven.This should settle once and for all time that after death Paul's hope is in the resurrection when Christ returns to the earth.This also confirms Philippians 1:23 where he states that what he desires is to meet Christ in the next second of consciousness after falling asleep in death.Paul looks for the RETURN OF CHRIST,so he can be with him,"which is very much better."p.338-339 "They Never Told me THIS in Church" by Greg Deuble

Hebrews 11:13 says:

These all died in faith(the OT faithful), not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar..and skipping ahead, verse 40 further says:since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

So the author of Hebrews notes explicitly that *we*(Christians) will be made perfect when *they*(those before Christ) will!(see also 2 Cor. 4:14)Which means no one is perfected and glorified until the resurrection.Easy truth.Keep in mind David nor anyone else had ascended to heaven before Christ had(Acts 2:34,John 3:13) and won't receive their reward till the Last Day..(1 Cor. 15:52,1 Thes. 4:16)Which nullifies simply and immediately the orthodox belief that a righteous "soul" floats off to heaven at death because it supposedly can't die.(1 Tim. 6:16,Ps. 22:29,Ez. 18:4,Gen. 2:7,3:19)

"It is undeniable that the New Testament everywhere strains towards the Parousia and the resurrection of the faithful which is consistently placed at the great day, as the collective resurrection of all the saints. Paul has a precise and simple system of resurrection: “In Christ shall all be made alive…those who belong to Christ at his Coming” (1 Cor. 15:23). In 1 Thessalonians 4 he offers comfort to the believers in connection with those Christians who are said to be sleeping, an extraordinary term to use if he thought they were already fully conscious in bliss with the Lord!"--From "What happens when we die?A Biblical view of death and resurrection" by Anthony Buzzard

Buzzard further states:

"What possible sense can be made of the waking up of already fully conscious spirits in possession of the beatific vision? Paul could have so easily removed all anxiety by pointing out that the dead in Christ were already with him, having at the moment of death overcome the grave and passed to their reward in heaven. It is well known that he says nothing of the sort. Rather, he reinforces the certainty that at the coming of Jesus “the dead in Christ”—those asleep (1 Thess. 5:10)—will be resurrected and united with those who survive until the great day. The antidote to despair was thus the prospect of the resurrection at the return of Christ, not the consciousness of the dead in another location, of which intermediate state Paul says not one word.The all-important moment of the coming of Christ to establish his Kingdom has been replaced by the moment of the individual’s death."--From "What happens when we die?A Biblical view of death and resurrection" by Anthony Buzzard

Also,G.E Ladd notes:

“Paul never conceives of the salvation of the soul apart from the body…neither man’s soul nor spirit is viewed as an immortal part of man which survives death. The Biblical word ‘soul’ is practically synonymous with the personal pronoun. There is no thought of an immortal soul existing after death” (I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, p. 45)

Paul corroborates(again) what is communicated explicitly throughout the entire NT when he says:

Colossians 3:4:When Christ who is your life appears, THEN you also will appear with him in glory.

Just another implicit statement of WHEN glory is to be gotten.So why say before?We know he's talking about Christ's return,and not before.So why are we divorcing a couple texts from this reality and Paul's own larger contexts and thoughtforms?His intent has been egregiously butchered.You cannot pull verses from their larger contexts such as Christians are so willing to do with Paul in 2 Cor. 5:8 and Phil. 1:23.Upon death,a metaphorical sleep,the very next experience we will encounter,as if we'd never slept at all,will be meeting the Lord when he awakes us.What a beautiful reality Christians tragically erase by misusing a literal couple texts,counting as refuse obvious contexts,and clinging to a Platonic Hellenistic tradition that efficiently eradicates our true Christian hope by transferring it from the resurrection in the LAST DAY to a flying away to heaven and never dying or sleeping at all..How willing are Christians to ignore the entire overwhelming biblical revelation about what death actually means?Apparently,very.

VERY much like 2 Cor. 5:8 and also patently misused is:

Philippians 1:23:I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

In light of Paul's larger contexts,Paul's hope and desire are firmly fixed on Christ's return from heaven and a FUTURE resurrection,as opposed to a glory received anytime before it.We're not left to wonder what Paul longs for and when he'll get it.Examine:

Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

"What Paul was really aiming for is fortunately clarified later in the same epistle: “if by any means I might attain to the resurrection…we look for the Savior, Jesus Christ, from heaven, who will transform our body of humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory” (Phil. 3:11, 20). It is beyond question that he here knows of no goal other than the attainment of resurrection at the return of Christ. It would therefore be quite unfair to read his remarks about “departing to be with the Lord” as relating to a quite different aspiration, one not involving resurrection, and thus quite distinct from his desire for the last day. The popular belief implies that a Christian can be fully alive with Christ apart from the resurrection. This will mean that death is not really death in any real sense, but the continuation of life in another realm. At that point resurrection from the dead becomes meaningless! Paul, in fact, speaks in Philippians 1:23 simply of his departure to be with Christ through death and subsequent resurrection. For the dying, their next second of consciousness will find them alive in the resurrection. Departure from this life will mean being with Christ at his Coming."--From "What happens when we die?A Biblical view of death and resurrection" by Anthony Buzzard

As Buzzard noted,the following is ALSO clear "resurrection at the LAST day" kind of imagery and language:

Phil 3:20:But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Briefly,on a side note:
What does citizenship in heaven mean if we're to inherit the earth and not the heavens where the angels reside?(Heb. 2:5)Well,apparently that we're symbolically "seated in Christ in the heavenlies"(Eph. 1:3,2:6), where he "prepares a place for us"(Jn. 14:3,Matt. 20:23) that he will give us when he returns here to this very earth.(Luke 1:32,33)He's in heaven *until* the time for the restoration of the earth comes.(Acts 3:21)Because this earth has yet to become "the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ",(Rev. 11:15)heaven is where our treasures are being stored till it does!(Matt 6:20)Glorified men in the fashion and nature of Yahushua ha'Mashiach "will have the earth for their heritage, and will go on living there for ever."(Ps. 37:29,Rom. 15:8)

Anthony Buzzard says on pp. 240-241 of his book "Our fathers who Aren't in Heaven:The Forgotten Christianity of Jesus,the Jew":

"Paul insists that the dead have perished unless there is to be a resurrection(1 Cor. 15:18).This is patently not true if in reality their souls have survived into another world.The whole matter is so very simple once the Greek dualism of body and separable conscious soul is erased from the mind.For while it is true that man commits his spirit--himself as a vital thinking creature--to God at death,it is equally clear that the man himself falls into unconsciousness.Stephen in Acts 7 fell asleep in death after committing himself to God.(Acts 7:59,60)Stephen in the next moment of consciousness will awake in the resurrection at the coming of Christ to earth.The notion of a surviving conscious spirit deprived of a body belongs in scripture to the world of evil spirits,never to man."

"The hopes of the faithful are constantly directed towards the future kingdom of God for which they are waiting even after Jesus' resurrection(Luke 23:51).It would be hard to imagine a more erratic departure from this simple scheme suddenly to teach that ,after all,souls go to heaven the moment they die."

But if death ISN'T the separation of an unkillable immortal "soul"(acc to orthodoxy's WRONG definition of it only) from the body,what exactly is it?

Yah's definition of death:

Eccl. 3:19, 20:a man has no preeminence over a beast: as the one dies, so dies the other. All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again

Psalm 6:5: For in death there is no remembrance of thee.

Ecclesiastes 9:5: For the living know that they shall die, but the dead KNOW NOTHING

Daniel 12:2: And many of them that SLEEP in the dust of the earth shall awake

Ps. 146:4:His spirit(means breath) departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his THOUGHTS PERISH

Ps. 115:17:The dead cannot sing praises to the LORD, for they have gone into the SILENCE of the grave.

John 11:11:Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up

Yet Christians have the nerve to say we're thinking,breathing,praising,and awake while we're supposed to be dead.It's mindboggling.Because to reiterate,the bible's definition(as opposed to Plato's or Socrates's and orthodoxy's influenced by blatant Hellenism) is a metaphorical sleep,a cessation of thoughts and breath and praise..unconsciousness.Orthodox Christians have proceeded to shamelessly(though probably deceived) propagate Satan's lie in the garden of Eden "You shall surely NOT die!" deceiving many just as they are deceived.

God alone(and now the resurrected Yeshua) are immortal!(1 Tim. 6:16)To dust we shall return and if faithful and true to Yahweh and Yeshua we will be clothed with immortality and glory in a resurrection,and not until then!We shall not be made perfect apart from our brothers and sisters by flying away to heaven in immortal perfection.That would mean we're made perfect apart from them and given eternal life before the "last day," both succintly unbiblical notions,as hopefully demonstrated in some of the texts in this blog.

As for death and resurrection ,Anthony Buzzard says:

"At death, the spirit (ruach) of man and animal alike returns to God who gave it (Eccl. 3:20; 12:7).“God takes away their breath [ruach], they die, and return to their dust” (Ps. 104:29).At death his breath (ruach) goes forth from him, he returns to the earth, and “in that very day his thoughts perish” (Ps. 146:4); for if God “gathers to himself man’s spirit and breath, all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to the dust” (Job 34:14, 15)."

And further:

"There is no suggestion that resurrection means the reuniting of an already conscious spirit with its body; though certainly the creation of the new immortal beings must involve the infusion of spirit into the new body to produce “spiritual” persons. But the spirit is not the individual subsisting as a conscious personality apart from the body. Only after the resurrection would it be appropriate to refer to the transformed saints as immortal spirits."--From "What happens when we die?A Biblical view of death and resurrection"

So basically,when we die,it is up to God to return our force of life,our breath,our conscious being.We gave that back to him when our thoughts ceased to function,in anticipation,like Job and other faithful ones,of a FUTURE resurrection from genuine unconsciousness.When we die,our breath and life returns to him which means that our thoughts perish,we fall asleep and we become unconscious,utterly silent.Only God can give us our lives back in a resurrection when he resuscitates us through Christ.The resurrection is of an actual person and not of a *body* that had nobody in it because that person was ALREADY alive.If that were the case(person already alive),much of scripture would be so utterly nonsensical,pointless moot lies,deceptive even.As Christians we SHOULD know better!So why are preachers preaching fables?

Here's my method of interpreting:CONTEXT(larger ones are important too!),reason,biblical harmony.Simple enough.If you have 1,000 scriptures that state something rather plainly and unambiguously then have a couple that SEEM to contradict those on the surface,make sure an alternative interpretation isn't viable.Make sure you're staying true to the author and his ideas!Do NOT trust men.They can easily deceive in the slyest ways with their philosophical sophistry.What a cruel Lord we have if Lazarus was taken from his supposed home with God in the benevolent heavens and brought back to this chaotic corrupt earth!Obviously,bodies cannot sleep without egos in them.Obviously,Lazarus lacked thoughts & breath,was silent,was sleeping awaiting a resurrection.That's why Jesus wept.Lazarus was out of commission,not blissfully residing amongst Yahweh and a heavenly host!Then Jesus would have rejoiced and been able to assuredly and blissfully comfort his family without raising him back to the chaos of a fallen earth,no?

Job 14:13:Oh that You would hide me in Sheol, That You would conceal me until Your wrath returns to You, That You would set a limit for me and remember me!

Most people think Sheol is a place of fiery torment!Job begged to go there.Interesting.Job also begged for Yahweh to remember **me**(his entire person and not just a *body*) at the proper time.(John 5:28,29)

Daniel 12:2:Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake

No thought here at all of bodies sleeping,but rather, logically and scripturally speaking, actual persons.*I* in Greek means an actual ego,not a body devoid of one.The ACTUAL mind and person dies,not *just* a body devoid of such.Jesus said **I**died.(Rev. 1:17-18).Yahweh never said your traditions and fables should be embraced at all costs..even when he refutes you in a number of ways.I have noticed many malinformed doctrines springing from a misuse of a few texts and an unwillingness to exegete them in their entire biblical context.Hence,a labyrinth of thick deception,a web of tricky lies,gets built and people with decent intent are blinded,which God DOES allow if tradition is preferred over his word.A fairy tale ear tickling over simply stated facts.Misuse of his inspired writers' intent in specially selected abused texts over reason and biblical harmony.

To quote Justin Martyr from the 2nd century:

"How then did Christ raise the dead? Their souls or their bodies? Manifestly both. If the resurrection were only spiritual, it was requisite that He, in raising the dead, should show the body lying apart by itself, and the soul living apart by itself. But now He did not do so, but raised the body. . . . Why do we any longer endure those unbelieving arguments and fail to see that we are retrograding when we listen to such an argument as this: That the soul is immortal, but the body mortal, and incapable of being revived. For this we used to hear from Plato, even before we learned the truth. If then the Saviour said this and proclaimed salvation to the soul alone, what new thing beyond what we heard from Plato, did He bring us?"

"if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this[truth], and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians, even as one, if he would rightly consider it, would not admit that the Sadducees, or similar sects of Genist , Meristae,Gelilaeans, Hellenists, Pharisees, Baptists, are Jews(do not hear me impatiently when I tell you what I think), but are[only] called Jews and children of Abraham, worshipping God with the lips, as God Himself declared, but the heart was far from Him. But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare. "--from CHAPTER LXXX Dialogue with Trypho by Justin Martyr

So Justin understood,even though he was platonically schooled,that the notion that disembodied souls fly off to heaven at death makes moot of the truth and fact of a genuine resurrection.I've no idea why Christians today don't.Christians today think the resurrection isn't of PEOPLE but rather "nothingness."Dust made into a body again and somehow revitalized by a disembodied soul that is already alive.A resurrection to life even though they were always alive!Nonsensical.Our hope is supposed to be in a resurrection precisely because that's when we receive life again,not because we were always alive and suddenly there's dust again to join our vital aliveness.Is our resurrection all about dust and not us anymore?I don't think Jesus intended for anyone to view it that way!

1 Tim. 2:18:They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith.

And our faith shouldn't be in our ability to never die like a superperson,an unkillable human,an ego that must be preserved *someplace* for all of eternity,who joins God while our "bodies sleep."(as if they could without us in them!)But in a resurrection of our DEAD PERSON at the last day.If people are always living(the righteous in bliss),the resurrection is a joke.And our faith shouldn't be in it but in something potentially LONG before it.Which scripture says subverts the faith of some.Which advances Satan's lie in the garden of Eden.(Gen. 3:4)Which makes us immortal when God alone is.(1 Tim. 6:16)He can GIFT it to us in a resurrection (Rom. 6:23)but it isn't inherent to our corrupt being.

Gen. 3:19:By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust **you** are and to dust **you** will return.

Notice how God didn't say "to dust shall your body without you in it return while you survive it all."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shocking confessions of trinitarian scholars

All from:

Joel Hemphill gives many unbelievable shocking quotes from trinitarian scholars,shocking precisely because they admit the trinity isn't biblical yet still confess it!This is just a very brief the whole page.Then Joel ends this with comparing their denial to the tale "The Emperor's new clothes."Apropos!Time for trinitarians to wake up and start confessing what Jesus does!(Mark 12:28-34,John 17:3)

The God of the Bible is one Entity, Being, Person .

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord " (Moses speaking) (Deut. 8:6). Notice: God is one Lord, not three.

"Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord " (Jesus speaking) (Mark 12:29).

"The one and only God ...the Father" (Jesus speaking) (John 5:44 - NASB) .

"Father...that they might know thee the only true God " (Jesus speaking) (John 17:3).

"Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one , that is God " (Jesus speaking) (Matt. 19:17).

"To us there is but one God , the Father" (Paul speaking) (I Cor. 8:6).

The Most High God is not a Trinity, He is one .

"For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy one of Israel...before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God . I am the Lord, your Holy one , the Creator of Israel" (Isa. 43:3, 10-12, 15). Note: God is our true Savior but He used many men thru the ages as "saviors," and He has used His son Jesus to save us eternally. (II Kings 13:5; Neh. 9:27; Obed. 1:21; Luke 1:47, 2:11).

Theologian James Hastings, a Trinitarian, in his famous work "Hastings' Dict. of The Bible" states:

"We must avoid every kind of language which suggests that to St. Paul the ascension of Christ was a deification. To a Jew the idea that a man might come to be God would have been an intolerable blasphemy " (p. 707).

Hastings says also:

"It may be that St. Paul nowhere names Christ 'God,' " and verses that seem to him (Hastings) to infer it, " must all be otherwise explained." Hastings calls this "one of the most baffling problems of N.T. theology." He states that "No candid exegete (an expert in explaining Scriptures) will deny that over and over again Christ is somehow given a place inferior to God , His entire redeeming work and position being traced back directly to the Father. We have such expressions as 'God sent forth his Son' (Gal. 4:4), 'He that spared not his own Son' (Rom. 8:32), 'God hath highly exalted him' (Phil. 2:9) in which either the gift of Christ to the world, or the bestowal of exalted glory on Christ Himself, is declared to be God's act. All is accepted, endured, achieved 'to the glory of God the Father. ' " Hastings continues, "Still more explicit is I Cor. 11:3 'the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God'; and in I Cor. 15:28 Christ is portrayed as delivering up the Kingdom to God , and as finally submitting even Himself to a higher , 'that God may be all in all'. St. Paul does not give us much help, perhaps in solving this antinomy" (inconsistency) (p. 708) . Paul is not inconsistent , it is we who have been inconsistent in our interpretation of Paul, in our effort to make Jesus "God."

Prof. James Dunn, a Trinitarian scholar, in his exhaustive work "Christology In The Making" includes the following statements:

"There is no clear indication anywhere in Paul that he ever identified Christ (pre-existent or otherwise) with the Logos (Word) of God" (p. 39). "Similarly in Acts there is no sign of any christology of pre-existence" (p. 51). "In Matthew and Luke Jesus' divine sonship is traced back specifically to his birth or conception...he was Son of God because his conception was an act of creative power by the Holy Spirit " (p. 61). "In the earliest period of Christianity 'Son of God' was not an obvious vehicle of a christology of incarnation or pre-existence. Certainly such a christology cannot be traced back to Jesus himself with any degree of conviction, is less likely that we can find such a christology in Paul or Mark or Luke or Matthew" (p. 64). "There is no thought in any of the passages we have studied of Jesus existing prior to his birth whether as an angel or archangel, a spirit or the Spirit. There is no thought whatsoever of Jesus on earth as the incarnation of angel or archangel, spirit or Spirit" (p.159). "They (the N.T. writers) do not think of Jesus as the incarnation of the Spirit, nor of Jesus as already Spirit prior to his existence on earth" (p. 61). "In the early stages of this development (the time of Paul's writings) it would be inaccurate to say that Christ was understood as a pre-existent being become incarnate, or that Christ himself was thought to have been present and active in creation" (p.211). "There is no indication that Jesus thought or spoke of himself as having pre-existed with God prior to his birth or appearance on earth." (That is) "christological thinking which cannot be traced back to Jesus himself. We cannot claim that Jesus believed himself to be the incarnate Son of God " (p. 254). "There is of course always the possibility that ' poplar pagan superstition ' became popular Christian superstition , by a gradual assimilation and spread of belief" (p. 251).

Friend, if Jesus, Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Peter knew nothing of a pre-existence and incarnation, it did not happen ! It is baffling to me that after all of these admissions, Prof. Dunn closes out his text with a "Trinitarian confession" (p. 268). It reminds me of a story that is told of a man who thought he was dead. In spite of all efforts by family and friends to convince him otherwise, he could not be persuaded. Finally in desperation his family took him to a psychiatrist who tried his best to convince him as well. Failing also, the doctor had an idea and said, "Let me ask you something, do dead men bleed?" "No, dead men don't bleed" he replied. "Are your sure" the doctor asked? "Yes, I'm sure" the man said! Grabbing his finger the doctor pricked it with a pin and looking at the spot of blood said, "Now, what do you think of that?" "Well, I was wrong" the man exclaimed, "Dead men do bleed!"

Revealing statements from other credible sources.

There are other credible sources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and secular works that make revealing statements regarding the doctrine of the Trinity not being found in the Bible. They have no apparent "ax to grind" in regard to its truth or error, but make these statements based on history and scholarship. Here are some examples:

"The Trinity doctrine; the Catholic Faith is this: We worship one in trinity, but there is one person of the Father, another of the Son and another of the Holy Ghost - the Glory equal; the Majesty coeternal. The doctrine is not found in its fully developed form in the Scriptures. Modern theology does not seek to find it in the O.T. At the time of the Reformation the Protestant Church took over the doctrine of the Trinity, without serious examination ." (New Intl. Ency.; 1916 Ed.; Vol. 23; p. 47, 477).

"No record of the Trinitarian formula can be discovered in the Acts or the Epistles of the Apostles." (Intl. Standard Bible Ency.; Vol. 1; p. 396).

"The doctrine of the Trinity did not form part of the apostles preaching as this (preaching) is reported in the N.T." (Ency. Intl.; U. Of Glasgow; 1982 ed.; Vol. 18; p. 226).

"It is a common but patent misreading of the opening of John's Gospel to read it as if it said: 'In the beginning was the Son and the Son was with God and the Son was God.' What has happened here is the substitution of Son for Word, and thereby the Son is made a member of the Godhead which existed from the beginning." (Dr. Colin Brown, "Trinity and Incarnation: In Search of Contemporary Orthodoxy;" Ex Auditu; (7); 1991; p. 88-89).

Believers in God as a single person (God the Father), were "at the beginning of the third century still forming the large majority ." (Ency. Britannica; 11 th ed.; Vol. 23; p. 963).

"Today scholars generally agree that there is no doctrine of the Trinity as such in either the O.T. or the N.T. It would go far beyond the intention and thought-forms of the O.T. to suppose that a late-fourth-century or thirteenth-century Christian doctrine can be found there. Likewise, the N.T. does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity." (Harper Collins Ency. Of Catholicism; p. 564-565).

"The Trinity is a 'mystery,' a formula or conception which really transcends human understanding. It is held that although the doctrine is beyond the grasp of human reason it...may be apprehended (though it may not be comprehended) by the human mind. The full development of Trinitarianism took place in the West , in the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages , when an explanation was undertaken in terms of philosophy and psychology , especially of the recovered Aristotelianism of the 13 th Century." (Ency. Americana; Vol. 27; p. 27-28).

" The N.T. does not contain the developed doctrine of the Trinity . The Bible lacks the express declaration that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of equal essence and therefore in an equal sense God himself. And the other express declaration is also lacking, that God is God thus and only thus, i.e. as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These two express declarations, which go beyond the witness of the Bible , are the twofold content of the Church doctrine of the Trinity." (New Intl. Dict. of N.T. Theology; Colin Brown, Gen. Ed.; Vol. 2; p. 84).

"Trinitarian doctrine as such emerged in the fourth century , due largely to the efforts of Athanasius and the Cappadocians... The doctrine of the Trinity formulated in the late fourth century thus affirms that the one God exits as three Persons. The purpose of this formulation was to profess that God, Christ, and the Spirit are equally responsible for our salvation, thus each must be divine ." (Harper-Collins Ency. of Catholicism; Richard P. McBrein, Ed.; p. 1271).

"The doctrine of the Trinity is a post-scriptural attempt to bring to coherent expression diverse affirmations about God... For Christians the one God appeared in what they called a threefold 'economy,' in, so to speak, three forms or modes. Difficulties soon emerged in formulating and understanding the threefold 'economy.' Catholic and Protestant theology has sought in various ways to make the doctrine stated at Nicea comprehensible . In the religious thought of the Enlightenment (17 th and 18 th centuries) there was a strong reaction against Trinitarianism as an 'orthodox' mystery without basis in either experience or reason ." (Academic Intl. Ency.; Lexicon Pub.; 1992 ed.; p. 300-301).

(Incarnation) "refers to the Christian doctrine that the pre-existent Son of God became man in Jesus. None of these writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke) deals with the question of Jesus' pre-existence. Paul does not directly address the question of the incarnation... It is only with the fathers of the church in the third and fourth centuries , that a full-fledged theory of the incarnation develops." "The use of the word "appointed" in Rom. 1:4 indicates that at this stage in the history of Christian thought the title "Son of God" denoted an office or function in salvation history, rather than a metaphysical quality as in later dogmatics. This usage is in accord with O.T. Jewish thinking . (The birth narratives of Matthew and Luke) "do not imply a pre-existence - incarnation Christology or a divine son-ship in the metaphysical sense. Rather, it implies Jesus' predestination from the womb for a messianic role in salvation history. The functional meaning of divine sonship is made clear in Luke 1:32-33." "It is generally acknowledged that the Church father Tertullian (A.D. 145-220) either coined the term (Trinity) or was the first to use it with reference to God. The explicit doctrine was thus formulated in the post-biblical period ... Attempts to trace the origins still earlier to the O.T. literature cannot be supported by historical-critical scholarship. The formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great Church Councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the N.T." (Harper-Collins Bible Dict.; Paul J. Achtemeier, Ed.; 1996 ed; p. 452-453, 1052-1053, 1178-1179).

With these statements in mind I wholeheartedly agree with what my old friend, the late Bishop D.L. Welch said, "The doctrine of the Trinity is as weak as the broth off of a turkey's shadow." No wonder the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, former pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church of Memphis, TN., began a sermon on the doctrine of the Trinity with this statement: "Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to confess to you at the start of this message that I do not understand it" (the Trinity) . No wonder a famous author, whom Dr. Billy Graham calls one of his favorite Evangelical writer's, said in a letter to me recently: "As you know, the Trinity was one of the most hotly debated topics of the first 5 centuries, and still it has us scratching our heads ."

Theology must be intelligible .

I agree with Prof. Ryrie when he begins his book "Basic Theology" with these statements regarding Christian theology:

"The word 'theology,' from 'theos' meaning God and 'logos' meaning rational expression, means the rational interpretation of religious faith. Christian theology thus means the rational interpretation of the Christian faith. Theology is intelligible . It can be comprehended by the human mind in an orderly, rational manner " (p. 13). Ryrie continues, "God communicates in a normal, plain or literal manner. Ignoring this will result in the same kind of confused exegesis that characterized the Patristic and Medieval interpreters" (p. 17). Regrettably, Brother Ryrie breaks his own rule when he comes to the doctrine of the Trinity.

The Emperor Is Naked

The doctrine of the Trinity with its lack of Biblical covering reminds me of a tale by Hans Christian Andersen called "The Emperor's New Clothes." The story concerns an Emperor who was so vain regarding what he wore that he cared nothing about anything except showing off new clothes.

Two swindlers came to town, and picking up on the Emperor's vanity, they decided to embarrass him and make a lot of money besides. They got themselves appointed to make the Emperor a new suit, but instead of using the cash they were given to buy the finest silk, they wove the trousers, coat and mantle out of invisible material "as light as a spider's web."

The Emperor could hardly wait! Day after day he sent officials to see the work in progress. They were ashamed to tell him that they had seen nothing, so they came back each time exclaiming over the magnificent design and colors.

Finally the day arrived for the Emperor to lead a great procession in the exquisite new clothes. Putting them on, with his officials around him exclaiming, he did not dare tell them that he felt naked. His whole retinue stared and stared. One saw no more than the other, but they all joined the Emperor in exclaiming, "Oh! It is soo pretty!" His chariot was waiting. Giving each of the swindlers a cross to wear around his neck, and bestowing upon each the title of "Sir Weaver," he departed to lead the great parade.

Everyone in the streets and windows cheered and said, "Oh, how fine are the Emperor's new clothes! Don't they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!" No one dared confess that he couldn't see anything.

"But the Emperor is naked," a little boy said. "Well, that's true!" said his father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, "He hasn't anything on. A child says he is naked." Gaining courage the whole town cried out at last, "The Emperor hasn't got anything on!"

You may ask, "what are you saying?" I am saying that the doctrine of the Trinity is Biblically naked , and I am calling on all of those who see and love the truth to join me in speaking up.

In Christian Love,

Joel Hemphill

Saturday, September 11, 2010

13 minute unitarian hillbilly sermon

At least study how the Hebrews viewed God's word and wisdom.("Christology in the Making" by James Dunn might be a good place to start)Did they think they were people literally come alive next to Yahweh in the OT?Or do they incorporate the use of vivid personification and poetic language because of how dynamic Yahweh's will,word and wisdom ARE?To be fulfilled in his Messiah!Even though Jesus was always alive with Yahweh,does scripture dictate it was in a literal preexistent sense or as a sure to be fulfilled prophecy of unbelievable wisdom?Is Jesus the exalted-beyond-measure Lord because of his ontology or age or nature?Or because he's the obedient and loved Last Adam who faithfully fulfilled God's word and wisdom and kingdom plans?Is Jesus the second individual of a triune substance because he's called savior and God?Because he's worshipped?What about everyone else who is?Are they?

I've no doubt of Jesus's presence throughout the OT in prophecy,typology,foreshadowings,representations,God's plans as representative of his word ,will and wisdom,etc..and that is HOW he was present in the OT.He's always been the Messiah,the fulfillment of all things.And in him God made all things AS the eventual fulfillment of all things,the upholder of all things,the redeemer of all things,and the made Lord of all things.That means Jesus is more special than anyone else in the entire free world with the exception of Yahweh his lifegiver,sustainer,and God.

God IS love.God foreknew the fall and error of Adam before he even made him.God had a plan,representative of his word and wisdom,that he brought forth like labor pains before he even made the world.Similar to how,on a much lesser scale,we would laboriously concoct some goal or plan that would hopefully come to fruition in our wisdom.God's universal and inimitable plan ,which would eventually become flesh in the perfect man Yeshua the Messiah as the fulfillment of all things,the Great Amen,was his purpose for a reconciliation of a corrupt world unto himself.(2 Cor. 5:19)The birth,death,and exaltation of a Son he has had with him ideally from the very beginning.Since before the mountains were formed or the earth was made, his wisest and most extraordinary prophecy that would be fully revealed and manifest,again,in the human birth,heartwrenching death,and profound extolling of his Christ.This plan was always alive to him and in it he made all things.It was the purpose for everything.Because nothing could ultimately survive,much less flourish and grow and be fruitful,without its fulfillment and the man who would embody,capture,respect,honor,and perfectly birth it's realization to an exact precision according to his father's will,wisdom,purpose,word,and spirit.

Because of how lucidly God's wisdom and word are brought to life in poetic dialogue and personification sporadically in scripture(Proverbs 8:22-31 comes to mind especially) there has been what I personally perceive to be much misunderstanding about an ACTUAL person being named Word and named Wisdom in the OT who created on behalf of God,or rather that God created through that one.God's attributes are spoken about poetically with personification(sometimes brilliant and alive!)to ,as Karen Armstrong words it in her book "from A History of God:From Abraham to the present:the 4000 year quest for God" "emphasize the distinction between God's presence in the world and the incomprehensible reality of God itself."If even our puny human attributes or intrinsic soul possessions,like our "spirit", can be personified,how much more anything that belongs to Yahweh !What I'm doing here is simply trying to read the texts like an ancient Hebrew would,and I'm pretty sure at this point they would have read Yahweh's wisdom in Proverbs 8 as vivid personification only.And then later as being fulfilled,as God's grandest most extraordinary plan for a kingdom realized,in Yeshua.Though the implications in terms of Christ representing poignantly what was there WITH God before the world was ever made,ie his word,wisdom and spirit,are profound in that what Christ fulfilled and became God made the Genesis creation IN,he didn't literally physically embody those things until he became a perfect obedient flesh prophet and servant of Yah's as the MAN Messiah Jesus.

What Adam corrupted and lost the Last Adam cleansed and found.Where Adam destroyed and disappointed Yeshua rescued and faithfully obeyed.Christ corresponds to the first Adam in all ways,in reverse in every important way.And because of this he has been given the world.As would be expected from a father who epitomizes love to the unique Son who also does,who he MADE to be firstborn.(Psalm 89:27)Yahweh says in Proverbs 27:11:

Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.

Adam failed to do this and Satan was probably able to taunt Yahweh.In the book of Job Satan taunts Yahweh and implies to him no one will stay faithful and true to him who isn't utterly blessed by him,implying that even the best and truest servants are corrupt enough to defy their creator.Not only did Job prove Satan wrong,but Yeshua the Messiah did so in the most heartfelt and magnificent way imaginable!1 Peter 1:20 says about Yeshua:

He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

It is texts like these that prove to me that the preexistence of Yeshua was an ideal and not a literal one.I don't have to's simply stated.I think God foreknew his Christ and extraordinary Son would be obedient and has loved him since before he ever created anything as the redemption and reconciliation he knew Yeshua would make possible for mankind!And as the prophet/servant/image of Himself that represented Him to mankind to a complete and beautiful tee.This was done by a cooperation of Yeshua's love for his father and a desire to earnestly please him with Yahweh's spirit given to this unique and special man "without measure."(John 3:34)Yeshua's obedience and faithfulness despite genuine temptation and flesh tendencies to rebel is heartfelt,inspiring,and poignant because it's real!It's no hoax.He wasn't a Godman who COULDN'T have sinned.He wasn't the personality of an archangel who walked by millenniums of "sight" who lived in heaven for centuries before.He was our GENUINE example of a faithful and true flesh man that we can actually emulate.If he wasn't a genuine man with no natures atop that status,then he can't be a model for us to follow closely at all.It would be only a fantasy to be able to emulate a Godman or a man with an ancient angel's disposition and knowledge and experience.An unreachable desire.A tease.I understand "Arians" don't think Jesus was "two natures" and aren't essentially splitting Jesus into multiple personalities necessarily in his time on earth,but the way I perceive it currently is that in a way they do in that Jesus is different natures at separate times as opposed to the trinitarians' "at the same time."In other words,we have Jesus as one kind of being then another,then according to whatever Arian you're speaking to,back to the first or maintaining the second.It gets confusing.I personally believe Yahweh makes persons to always be the person he makes them.They may change natures from corruptible to incorruptible in a resurrection or as a Christian rebirth but never in what they essentially are.In other words,he made angels to be angels and men to be men.

How could and WHY would Yahweh give the world to a NON ancient being or a NON "Godman",even allowing service,worship,and allegiance to that one?Because he can!God is love.Contemplate(seriously) that notion a moment.Would God REALLY be jealous of someone he loves that he COMMANDS people to revere just as they revere him?Is God somehow not allowed to love someone enough to give someone whatever he will while exalting that one to whatever position he will?Since when?I KNOW God says he's jealous,but notice the contexts!He's fighting worship of false gods every which way you turn throughout the entire OT.Not reverence for those he adores or his representatives and relative worship for kings and those placed in high positions by himself.


Revelation 3:9:Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

The word for worship here is that same word for worship used for Yeshua.And what is the reason he will make some people"worship" his faithful servants?Because he loves them and commands it.Not because they're ontologically the same Yahweh that he is.


Hebrews 1:9: You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.

This text proves Yahweh has exalted Yeshua above his companions because he "loved righteousness and hated wickedness",no clue that it's because he's he first spirit creature ever created or a member of his own God's own being.So why isn't the TRUE reason always preached?And that,again,would be because he "loved righteousness and hated wickedness."Why can't that be good enough?

Philippians 2:6-11 proves that it is because of humility and willingness to be debased unto death,though Christ was God's own image like the first Adam was,that God ultimately exalts,glorifies exceedingly and commands the worship of his Son. The one that he made to be our king and Lord.Again,why not preach this truth with no additional reasons like "nature" and "age" added?Do the texts themselves communicate it was because he was the same God his own God is that he's exalted or because he "loved righteousness and hated wickedness" and "humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death?"And to whose glory?The first person of his own being or his own God's?Why are Christians adding outstandingly scripturally absent notions to their theological assertions?It astounds me.

I understand God said there are no other gods and saviors.I understand God said he alone must be worshipped.But yet we find inexplicably ignored instances of OTHER gods,saviors,and people receiving worship(outside Yahweh and Yeshua) that isn't condemned in scripture.What could this all mean?!Obviously,that there is no god,savior,or worship without God's making,sending,or allowance.The only worship outside the Most High Yahweh is RELATIVE worship to his glory.The only "gods" and "saviors" outside Yahweh are limited and appointed and made ones that Yahweh works and performs through and sustains with his own spirit.God GRANTS Yeshua to have life within himself.What are we to do?Discard as refuse texts that communicate others being called saviors and gods as if it's a hoax?Pretend kings and slave owners and Christians and those with endowed authority by Yahweh aren't ever worshipped?I don't think so.We just need to turn on our reasoning with a spiritual remote and blast the volume with a discarding of tradition that contradicts scripture.When I present to trinitarians that their ideas that supposedly make Yeshua Yahweh would generally mean Christians are Yahweh as forgiveness of sins(John 20:21-23),worship(Rev. 3:9),exaltation(Rev. 3:21),fullness(Eph 3:19),'s as if they can't even visually behold the very texts I give them.As if the scriptures are invisible or blindness conveniently sets in.I understand it's different for Jesus in that he's the beginning and end of all God's salvation plans and kingdom and that God works through him like no other,that he's the way to God,truth from God and life from God,that he's king and Lord of the world by an inimitable exaltation from God,but none of this makes him the same God who sent or extolled or entitled him.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jehovah's Witnesses and the Kingdom of God

From Insight on the scriptures vol. 1 under "flesh"(a JW publication):
"The apostle Paul declares that “if there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one.” (1Co 15:44) This is corroborated by the apostle Peter when he tells persons of fleshly, human nature, called to be joint heirs with Christ, that they are to become partakers of “divine nature,” namely, spirit life in the invisible heavens. (2 Pe 1:4) This requires a change in organism, for “flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.”—1Co 15:50-54."

Now the WT means a WHOLE lot by this that is unwarranted and inferred beneath the surface.Let's go over a few of those things.We'll take it sentence by sentence.And there are 3 sentences ;)

1."The apostle Paul declares that “if there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one.” (1Co 15:44) "

What the WT inexplicably does is divorce most Christians from these resurrection passages in 1 Cor. 15 and tells their sheeple that this only applies to 144,000 men for all time.(a few thousand at the most currently and only within their organization)With positively zero indication in the texts themselves.This is accomplished through an elaborate system of inference based upon the misuse of a literal few texts.By this method and an unfounded separation of Christians,a few elite men are allowed to maintain control over millions of misled JW's who think those with a soon to come "divine nature" are *somehow* superior in knowledge because they receive a sealing of the holy spirit that just simply isn't available to any of them but these elect few who dispense spiritual "food" to them at the "proper time."They have been led to believe via deceptive rhetoric and repetition and ,yes folks,propaganda techniques,that they cannot understand the bible at all without whoever happens to be on the WT governing body at any given time.In dire and sad contradiction to :

1 John 2:26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

How does the WT get around these texts?Well,by saying they don't apply to anyone but the governing body and a few others only of course.Which is an easy lie to spot for anyone on the outside of the organization but becomes of commonplace blind acceptance with strong deception and indoctrination in the WT "box."Where no one is allowed to think outside that box without feeling intimidated and afraid of what might happen.It's psychological abuse to have people this scared.Independent thought is ok if it's from men who have consistently misled millions.It is simply shameful for them to compare independent thought from their brand of indoctrination to independent thought from the Most High's statutes!

Let me get back on the thought train I intended to stay on here and say that “if there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one" applies to everyone who God grants imperishability to..not just a few men in the WT organization.But any Christian actually reading the bible who exercises faith to the end when Christ returns...**Every.true.Christian.**...Let's move on to the next sentence:

The WT's Insight book says:

2.This is corroborated by the apostle Peter when he tells persons of fleshly, human nature, called to be joint heirs with Christ, that they are to become partakers of “divine nature,” namely, spirit life in the invisible heavens. (2 Pe 1:4)

The WT does the same thing here,applying 2 Pet. 1:4 to ONLY 144,000 men for all time.It is utter unfounded,and I would certainly maintain unbiblical,inference to say that the meek who shall inherit the earth,those who will possess the earth that will be "like it is in heaven" won't have a divine nature in Christ.All Christians have the same inheritance.It is a fictitious invention of the WT that they won't.The 1 Corinthians ch. 15 resurrection passages and 2 Peter 1:4 apply to not a few Christians,but ALL Christians.I cannot stress this easy point enough.Our identity in Christ lies at the very heart of our Christian walk.If we don't have that,we aren't covered in his imputed righteousness and we're adrift, unsafe,insecure,dead in our trespasses.

The WT also believes that the 144,000 become invisible like they believe Christ is in sober contradiction to Luke 24:39 where the resurrected Christ says:"See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."

Jesus here identifies his resurrected visible body as "flesh and bone."We need not go beyond that and assume "spirit creature materialized" when Jesus said he was NOT a spirit.I know 1 Cor. says he was raised a life giving spirit in contrast to the first Adam who didn't have that capacity to grant life but the context is a spiritualized life granting BODY,as corroborated in :

Colossians 2:9: For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells BODILY

The Greek word for *bodily* means *corporeally* which isn't invisible but rather tenable,touchable.1 Cor. 15 also says those in Christ,along with Christ,will be "clothed"(verses 53,54) as opposed to being invisible and bodiless.1 Corinthians 15:35-54 is all about BODIES,perishable and corruptible ones being distinguished from imperishable,immortal,and incorruptible spiritual ones.Nothing in this chapter about disembodiment.

Now for the last sentence in this WT Insight book quote:

3."This requires a change in organism, for “flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.”—1Co 15:50-54."

I agree to some extent on the surface here..the "organism" will be "changed."We will be "clothed" in imperishability,all Christians,as opposed to the WT interpretation of not but a few of them.The WT also believes,and correct me if I'm wrong,that "flesh and blood" CAN inherit the earth,just not heaven,which is reserved for a prime elite few.Just for JW consideration,keep in mind that "flesh and blood" in scripture oft is in reference to the corrupt flesh we now possess as Adam's fallen descendants..then there will be RESURRECTION bodies(flesh!) clothed in glory,imperishability and perfection like Jesus's resurrected body,which he himself identified as being "flesh and bone" as opposed to "flesh and blood."So the WT assertion that because some will possess a "divine spiritual nature" while others will still have "flesh" on earth proves that there are 2 separate locales is just plain wrong on so many levels given that the future clothed flesh of true Christians isn't the corruptible "flesh and blood" that Paul wrestled with as his human inheritance from Adam's fall.(Romans 7:14-25,8:1-17)Basically,the clothed FLESH of the "new creation" in the resurrection IS of a "divine nature."Imperishability is derived from the divine.What it isn't is the the CORRUPTIBLE perishable "flesh and blood" we currently possess as the offspring of Adam that CANNOT enter the kingdom till it's swallowed in glory and made completely new.

The WT carries such a twisted reading of their own theological system INTO texts by assuming that the "kingdom of the heavens" and the "kingdom of God" is not the "inhabited earth to come."(Hebrews 2:5)Scripture would beg to differ!The keys to understanding this are the Lord's prayer and the Sermon on the mount,to name a couple.

Matt 5:3,5:the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them ... They will inherit the earth

Matt 6:10 Your kingdom come,your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

How will this be accomplished?Well,by a descension of what's being stored and reserved in the heavens to this earth.

1 Peter 1:4, 5:an incorruptible…and unfading inheritance. It is reserved in the heavens for you … for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last period of time

This explains why the kingdom that will be on this earth is called a heavenly one.It descends from heaven from whence the blessings flow to a renewed earth "in the last period of time."

Heb. 11:16:But now they are reaching out for a better place, that is, one belonging to heaven

Some of those who reached for this "better place belonging to heaven" were the OT saints that the WT knows will inhabit the earth,proving once again that the heavenly kingdom will be here.

Heb. 13:14:We are earnestly seeking the one [a city] to come

Rev. 21:2:I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, COMING DOWN out of heaven FROM God and prepared as a bride

To quote this blog:

"The Kingdom of Heaven is a coming Kingdom upon this earth, and this is our reward. A heavenly reward, there is no doubt!, but we will receive it at the day of the lord messiah’s return to this earth, to reward us as we deserve. Just as Abraham was looking forward to this heavenly kingdom in Hebrews 11:16, “they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.”

It is very plain that this city is a ‘heavenly one,’ meaning it is created and designed by God, our Heavenly Father, who is its architect. It describes a dominion, a rule of our Messiah here upon this earth. "This kingdom will be indestructible and without end. It will come down TO us in the rulership of Jesus Christ when he returns. We are not going UP to it. We are not coming DOWN WITH it. That is not what the Bible teaches. Rather, the ultimate plan of God is to have the earth renewed and restored, and all evil, sin and death destroyed, so that our Most HOLY GOD can finally come down and ‘dwell’ with us. Nowhere does it speak of us going up to dwell with Him. This Kingdom is our ultimate reward; albeit a heavenly one, here upon the earth. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Repent (turn away) from your sins and be ready for our Lord Messiah’s return to the earth."


1 Thess. 1:10:Christians must “…wait for His Son from heaven

Acts 3:20, 21:that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago

So the bible says heaven receives Jesus temporarily until the time comes to restore everything!Our inheritance is being reserved in the heavens..because it belonged to heaven..was prepared in heaven..but will descend to the earth(Psalm 115:16; Proverbs 11:31,Acts 1:6)...we meet Christ as he comes down..where does it say we follow him back up?

Heaven and earth will be united when the kingdom of heaven becomes the kingdom of Yahweh and Yahshua here on earth.The kingdom on earth IS the heavenly kingdom.Who do you think will build and uphold our home on a new earth?God in heaven!It belongs to heaven.Hence we store treasures up there that will descend to a new earth.

To quote :
a site which has several amazing little studies on this topic:

"The kingdom of heaven” is ‘the kingdom of God’ (Matt. 19:14//Mark 10:14; Matt. 19:23-24). It is described as being on the earth (Matt. 5:5 [quoted from Psalm 37:1]; 6:10).—paradise, Israel (Acts 1:6), and Jerusalem. "

Heb. 3:1 says "you who share in a heavenly calling"

You wouldn't assume this means you have to fly away to heaven but simply that you have a calling from God to be a Christian.Similarly,a "heavenly" kingdom doesn't have to mean "residence in literal heaven" but simply a kingdom FROM heaven,from God,perfectly capable of being on a renewed earth sustained by heaven.

Now to bring all this home,to irrefutably prove what I'm sayin' here,carefully examine all the following:

Galatians 3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

So if you're in Christ,a son of God,you are the offspring of Abraham and heirs of the promise that he was promised.Which means what?Yes!That those in Christ's body will inherit the earth with Abraham.Otherwise this text is moot.Watchtower or holy scripture?What shall it be?

In addition:

Acts 13:32:And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers

So the anointed Christians in the 1st century were having declared to them the same hope Abraham had while the WT has the nerve to say it's a completely different hope altogether.


Matt. 8:11:many from eastern parts and western parts will come and recline at the table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens

Because the Watchtower doesn't believe that Abraham,Isaac and Jacob will ACTUALLY be in the kingdom of the heavens because they erroneously don't believe it will be a "new earth",they maintain a figurative interpretation here in a futile and desperate attempt to keep their theological system in regards to these matters intact.Sorry,your views about the separation of believers in eternal different destinations isn't scripturally valid and this text has too many explicit others that corroborate it's literalness(many of which I just gave!) to justify a figurative one.Abraham and everyone else will be in the same kingdom at the same location.A kingdom belonging to,from heaven on this earth.

Romans 15:8: For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs

This is written to anointed Christians.Yep,again,apparently they have the SAME promises given to the OT saints corroborated for themselves.An earthly inheritance from heaven.A gift from God. For it isn't to angels that God gives a renewed earth,though that renewed earth be "like it is in heaven" as blessings descend!

And what is the only way we can make it there?

John 3:3:Jesus declared, I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

So even the OT saints will be "born from above" when their resurrected bodies are clothed with imperishability in Christ.We can have a taste now of what they couldn't in OT times though BEFORE the resurrection by being "born anew" as a "new creature" in Christ NOW,our Christian renewal a foreshadowing of a grander renewal to come!Why deny yourself that?It's offered freely by Yahweh in Christ.No sense or excuse in running backward pretending Christ hasn't come to seal you with a new birth.As if any faithful man of old like Abraham would have refused the gifts available from what Christ has done had he lived in our time!

Some of what we've established:

1.the meek shall inherit the earth
2.Abraham,Isaac,and Jacob will be in the kingdom of God WITH Christians,proving not only that the WT system of theology in regards to these matters is in shocking error,but that many Christians are absolutely mistaken that Christians will be separated eternally from OT saints.Ours being a "spiritual inheritance"..theirs a "physical one."What right do these Christians have to criticize the WT when they're perfectly willing to separate true believers as well into separate locations eternally?Hypocrisy.
3.There is corruptible and perishable flesh and blood that CANNOT inherit the kingdom.There is incorruptible and imperishable corporeal bodies that can.And that kingdom of God is a new earth.

It's surprising what the WT gets away with in their interpretations sometimes!You have to literally be blind,which God allows if you prefer error and following men who aren't Christ to actually following Christ,to accept much of it.You can't cling tight to a corrupt system and expect God to reward you with a spirit of true understanding that the WT says you can't even have yourself!Only a few thousand out of several million of them can.This is so utterly unscriptural and baseless so as to venture into the realms of theological absurdity.It isn't like there aren't tons of websites and books exposing the WT organization for the false doctrines they uphold,the hypocrisy they harbor,the propaganda they promote wake up JW's who aren't scared of men.And if you're scared to question these men..if you choose to believe them with fists clenched and eyes closed,how in the world can God help you?He condemns that.First obey God and be willing to think independently from MEN who may be wrong THEN his spirit of truth can open your eyes and He can embrace you as his child,something else the WT denies its adherents,devastatingly.I understand to bear the cross of losing potentially everyone you love as well as your many blind traditions can seem utterly wreckless and depressing,but we are called as Christians to suffer this kind of thing for Christ,to bear his cross or we aren't worthy.(Matt 10:37-38)Everything is refuse next to Yahweh and Christ.(Phil. 3:8)Everything's a shadow next to their light.Nothing compares to the glory that is to be revealed in the sons of God!How can you obtain that glory if you aren't even a son of God?Don't let the WT continue deceiving you and controlling your mind.Break free in Christ!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hebrews 1:10 addendum + a little reasoning with Colossians 1:16

After my last blog I was faced in a comment "debate" on someone else's blog with this good,tough question from Dave Barron from,who is,along with Patrick Navas,one of the best apologists for the view of a preexisting Christ.(not for a trinity.)Thought I would address it some here.If you haven't already read my previous blog,it should be read to make sense of this one.

He asked after my assertion that Hebrews 2:5 is the context that must be heeded for Hebrews 1:10:

"Now I'll ask you on Hebrews 1, if 2:5 is to be read back into 1:10, when will the earth to come "perish" and be "changed"? "

my response:

E-sword(easily downloadable online) says that aion for "worlds" in Heb. 1:2 can mean specifically "a Jewish MESSIANIC period present or future."And the fact is that when Christ became the "beginning of God's creation"(Rev. 3:14),which was when he became the "firstborn from the dead"(Colossians 1:18),"the firstborn of many brothers"(Rom. 8:29),a new aion,or age,was inaugurated.So even though by his accomplishments and resurrection Christ has already metaphorically "laid the foundations of the earth(the new one)" by becoming the "chief cornerstone"(Eph. 2:20) and by being the "foundation already laid"(1 Cor. 3:11),what has been accomplished and laid thus far is changeable and perishable(Heb. 1:11-12) in that ,to quote Anthony Buzzard "Even the millennial age of the future will be replaced by a further renewed heaven and earth (Rev. 20:11; 21:1)."So we have a taste of the kingdom to come and Christ has laid the foundation of the new kingdom,but it won't be perfected or fully realized till after the millennium when all evil and wickedness will have been utterly destroyed so that peace may reign without hindrance.Hebrews 1:10-12 is contrasting the imperishability and immutability of the resurrected "clothed in immortal glory" Jesus the Messiah to the perishable and mutable "age" he's inaugurated but that hasn't yet been perfected(and won't be till the kingdom at last eventually becomes “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ"(Rev 11:15)..

To quote a webpage:

"This Millennial new creation “perishes rolled up like an old garment…they will be changed” as God’s plans move on to the next ‘New Heavens and New Earth’ (Revelation 20:11; 21:1, 2) as part of the developing ages noted in Hebrews 1:2 NJB, Rotherham, and Young’s Literal. Please see the ‘New International Commentary on Hebrews’ by F.F. Bruce for further explanation of Hebrews 1:10."

Ephesians 1:21 notes that Yeshua has been seated:far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in THIS AGE but also in the ONE TO COME. (Heb. 9:8-9 also speaks of changing ages.)

So to isolate Hebrews 2:5 as the sole context for Hebrews 1:10-12 I personally think would be a mistake as Christ "creates" (currently) changeable "ages",(figuratively since all is made new IN him),which goes beyond *just* the perfected world to come.He has also laid the foundation for this current kingdom age which ISN'T precisely in totality the "world to come" and so will be changed.Hebrews 1 is current and looking ahead and isn't commenting on the Genesis ch. 1 narrative.Every single creation passage as relates to Christ has the context of our current time and the future.Though I don't discount that because Jesus perfectly represents what was there from the beginning with God(his purposes,plans,word,wisdom,and spirit) and that because Jesus was slain and foreordained before the world was even made(Rev 13:8,1 Peter 1:20) that Yahweh created the Genesis creation "in Christ" in that respect as the one He knew He would inhabit to reconcile the world unto Himself.As the one he foreknew would redeem mankind,hold all things together in his body,and make the survival and thriving of creation not only possible but assured by means of his obedience and subsequent inimitable extolling,gifted privileges,mediatorship,and high priesthood.

Because the Hebrews had positively no problem with bringing God's "wisdom" to life poetically with vivid personification,I suppose even if the NT authors had passages like Proverbs 8:22-31 in mind in Colossians ch. 1 and Hebrews ch. 1 then they were simply recognizing how Christ has become that same wisdom that God created the world in.Yahweh gave fruition to a plan known as the Messiah before he even made the world,again.(1 Pet. 1:20,Rev. 13:8)And this plan was his "wisdom" for the reconciliation of the world unto himself.(2 Corinthians 5:19) Christ at last became that *wisdom* in these last times(1 Cor. 1:30,1 Cor. 2:6,7),and so,again,represents ( & actually fulfills to perfection and completion)what was there from the beginning.I don't think this conjecture is necessary however given the kingdom(as opposed to the Genesis)contexts of Colossians and Hebrews.Just something to ponder though considering the Hebraic poeticism and personification,and subsequent fulfillment in Christ,of Yahweh's *word* and *wisdom.*

"What at first reads as a straightforward assertion of Christ's preexistent activity in creation becomes on closer analysis an assertion which is rather more profound--not of Christ as such present with God in the beginning,nor of Christ as identified with a preexistent hypostasis or divine being(Wisdom) beside God,but of Christ as embodying and expressing (and defining) that power of God which is the manifestation of God in and to his creation."-James Dunn "Christology in the Making" p.194

I've used this quote a lot because of how,well,"true blue" it rings:

"The "memra"(word) performs the same function as other technical terms like "glory,""Holy spirit",and "Shekinah" which emphasized the distinction between God's presence in the world and the incomprehensible reality of God itself.Like the divine Wisdom,the "Word" symbolized God's original plan for creation.When Paul and John speak about Jesus as though he had some kind of preexistent life,they were not suggesting he was a second divine "person" in the later trinitarian sense.They were indicating that Jesus transcended temporal and individual modes of existence.Because the "power and "wisdom" he REPRESENTED(emphasis mine) were activities that derived from God,he had in some way expressed "what was there from the beginning."These ideas were comprehensible in a strictly Jewish context,though later Christians with a Greek background would interpret them differently."-Karen Armstrong..(from A History of God:From Abraham to the present:the 4000 year quest for God,p.106)

There's no point in saying the bible doesn't give us context and scriptural precedent throughout the NT to understand the creation in the NT is a "forward thinking" one as opposed to a nostalgic one.

Here's just a sampling of some texts to place our minds in the proper focus,time,and position.

“…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17).

“…in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body” ( Col. 1:17).

· “…to head up all things in Christ things upon the heavens and things upon the earth; in him, in whom also we were assigned” (Eph. 1:10, 11KIT).

“For in Christ Jesus...a new creation” (Gal. 6:15).

“For we are the product of His work and were created in Christ Jesus ”(Eph. 2:10).

And who wants to argue with this one?:

“I Jehovah am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself, laying out the earth. Who was with me?” (Isa. 44:24).

The context of Colossians 1:16:
kingdom of beloved son(verses 12-13),redemption and forgiveness(verse 14) the church(verse 18) & reconciliation(verse 20)

To quote Ray Faircloth,who has written some great studies available on

" The parallel letter of Ephesians (Eph.1:9-23 and 2:10) speaks only of the New Creation and gives a precise doctrinal correlation with Colossians 1. This further demonstrates that Colossians 1 applies to the New Creation consisting of “the Congregation of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:23) and the newly created angelic thrones, lordships, governments and authorities. (a new administration in 1 Peter 3:22). Nothing here applies to the inception of the Genesis creation. (Please also note the parallel phrases: Col.1:12/Eph.1:11; Col.1:16, 17, 20/Eph. 1:10, 21, 22).

Verse 16: “Because in (KIT) him all things were created , in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All things have been created through him and for him.”

The creating of an authority is not the physical creating of people.

‘In him’: Meaning ‘in union (or connection) with’, ‘in association with’, or ‘by reason of’ Bauer’s lexicon. In context this verse does not mean ‘by’ or ‘by means of’ "

The context of Hebrews 1:10:

First of all,it's a quote from Psalm 102 in the LXX where the context is “the generation to come” (v. 18).Then in Hebrews we have the "last days"(1:2),the inhabited earth to come(2:5) and..

Hebrews 1 mentions a kingdom,a throne and a scepter.(verse 8)This is forward thinking not Genesis narrative nostalgia.

Hebrews 9:11: But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)

So we have the present age or "new creation" he's inaugurated then the one to come that will perfect this one entirely.That will swallow it in unfathomable glory,making it so new,enticing,and pure that we can't grasp the thought of it in it's totality with our wee pea brains.And it is when we pray for this kingdom wholeheartedly to come,while seeking to understand what it actually is while possibly discarding years of erroneous Hellenistically influenced indoctrination,that God's spirit can fill us with the purity & sincerity of his truth in it's Hebrew context & reality.Jesus was a Jew.No Jew of true faith thought an angel or God would become the Messiah.Why so readily discard their wisdom that God gave them?"Progressive revelation" only counts if what "progressed" wasn't the entire truth.NO indication whatsoever that Abraham,Isaac,Jacob,and the like didn't know who Yahweh REALLY was.That they didn't know the Messiah would be a man.(with the personality of a perfect man born from above as opposed to a millenniums old spirit creature's disposition inhabiting the vessel of what appears to be a man)No inference,speculation,councils,or anything but the bible needed for these basic fundamental truths.One question I haven't heard an Arian satisfactorily answer:How did Jesus the Messiah grow in wisdom and knowledge daily if he had the wisdom and knowledge of a millenniums old spirit creature?Could I claim to be a GENUINE 30 some yr. old "woman" if I had Gabriel's personality,disposition,knowledge and centuries of age?(except perhaps "vessel wise" ONLY)Could I expect my followers to follow my footsteps closely by walking by faith and not by sight if I walked by millenniums of "sight?"Could the LAST ADAM be the Last Adam absolutely purely if he was also "something else" before,during,or after his time on earth?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Anthony Buzzard on Hebrews 1:10 and John 17:5

Found this here:

This is a little edited by me to shorten it so go to the link to read about Hebrews 1 and more!

Hebrews 1:10“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
12 like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.”

These texts need to be used with this one:

Hebrews 2:5: Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking.

Buzzard says:

In Hebrews 1:10, there is a complication due to the fact that the writer quotes Psalm 102 from the Greek version (LXX) and not the Hebrew version. The LXX (Septuagint) has a different sense entirely in Psalm 102:23-25. It introduces thoughts not found in the Hebrew text. It introduces God’s reply to the suppliant. The LXX, quoted in Hebrews 1:10, says: “He [God] answered him [the suppliant]…Tell me [God speaking to the suppliant]…Thou, lord [God addressing someone else called ‘lord’].” But the Hebrew text has “He [God] weakened me…I [the suppliant] say, ‘O my God…’”

Thus the LXX introduces a second lord who is addressed by God: “At the beginning you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands” (v. 25). The writer to the Hebrews had open before him the LXX and not the Hebrew (rather as today someone might quote the NIV instead of the KJV). The New Testament often cites the LXX Greek. F.F. Bruce in the New International Commentary on Hebrews explains:

In the Septuagint text the person to whom these words [“of old you laid the foundation of the earth”] are spoken is addressed explicitly as “Lord”; and it is God who addresses him thus. Whereas in the Hebrew text the suppliant is the speaker from the beginning to the end of the psalm, in the Greek text his prayer comes to an end with v. 22, and the next words read as follows: “He [God] answered him [the suppliant] in the way of his strength: ‘Declare to Me the shortness of My days: Bring Me not up in the midst of My days. Thy [the suppliant’s] years are throughout all generations. Thou, lord [the suppliant, viewed here as the Messiah by Hebrews], in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth.’”5 This is God’s answer to the suppliant; He bids him acknowledge the shortness of God’s set time (for the restoration of Jerusalem, as in v. 13) and not summon Him [God] to act when that set time has only half expired, while He [God] assures him [the suppliant, called lord by God] that he and his servants’ children will be preserved forever…

Bacon suggested that the Hebrew, as well as the Greek, text of this psalm formed a basis for messianic eschatology, especially its reference to the “shortness” of God’s days, i.e., of the period destined to elapse before the consummation of His purpose [the arrival of the yet future Messianic Kingdom on earth]; he found here the OT background of Matt. 24:22, Mark 13:20 and Ep. Barn. 4.3 (“as Enoch says, ‘For to this end the Master [God] has cut short the times and the days, that his Beloved [Jesus] should make haste and come to his inheritance’”)…

But to whom (a Christian reader of the Septuagint might well ask) could God speak in words like these? And whom would God himself address as “Lord,” as the maker [or founder] of earth and heaven?-F.F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews (New International Commentary on the New Testament), Eerdmans, 1990, p.62-63.

Reading the LXX the Hebrews writer sees an obvious reference to the new heavens and earth of the future Kingdom and he sees God addressing the Messianic Lord in connection with the prophecies of the rest of Psalm 102 which speak of “the generation to come” (v. 18) and of the set time for Yahweh to build up Zion and appear in His glory. The fact that the One YHVH addresses another “lord” proves that the second lord cannot be YHVH.

The important article by B.W. Bacon (alluded to by Bruce above) stresses the fact that “The word ‘lord’ is wholly absent from the Hebrew [and English] text of Psalm 102:25.” But it appears in the LXX cited by Hebrews.

[With the translation in the LXX “he answered him”] the whole passage down to the end of the psalm becomes the answer of Yahweh to the suppliant who accordingly appears to be addressed as Kurie [lord] and creator of heaven and earth...Instead of understanding the verse as a complaint of the psalmist at the shortness of his days which are cut off in the midst, LXX and the Vulgate understand the utterance to be Yahweh's answer to the psalmist’s plea that he will intervene to save Zion, because “it is time to have pity on her, yea, the set time is come” (v. 13). He is bidden acknowledge (or prescribe?) the shortness of Yahweh’s set time, and not to summon him when it is but half expired. On the other hand he [the Messianic lord] is promised that his own endurance shall be perpetual with the children of his servants.-B.W. Bacon, “Heb. 1:10-12 and the Septuagint Rendering of Ps. 102:23,” Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 3, 1902, p. 280-285.

This is exactly the point, and it can only be made clear when we see that 1) the Hebrews writer is reading the LXX, not the Hebrew text, and finding in the second half of the psalm a wonderful prophecy of the age to come (Kingdom, restoration of Israel) which fits his context exactly and that 2) there is a Messianic Lord addressed by Yahweh and invited to initiate a founding of the heaven and earth, the new political order in Palestine, exactly as said in Isaiah 51:16. This is precisely the message the Hebrews writer wants to convey about the superiority of Jesus over angels. Jesus is the founder of that coming new Kingdom order. The Hebrews writer in 2:5 tells us expressly that it is about “the inhabited earth of the future that we are speaking.”

The important points are these: 1) Psalm 102 is about the new creation and the “generation to come.” It is a Kingdom psalm and points to the Messianic future. The psalm speaks of the time coming to build up Zion, when the nations will fear God’s name, and when God’s glory will appear, what we know as the Parousia of Jesus. Verse 19 of the LXX speaks of a new generation, and a people who are going to be created. This is all about the new creation in Christ, of which we are now already a part.

All this is really not so difficult when this difference in the LXX is explained. Both Psalm 102 and Hebrews 2:5 and indeed the whole of Hebrews 1 refer to the new order of things initiated by Jesus and it would not matter whether we think of the new order as initiated at the ascension (“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me,” Matt. 28:18), or at the second coming. The new creation was initiated by Jesus even in this present age and it will of course be brought to a new stage of perfection in the coming age of the millennium, which is the first stage of the manifested Kingdom of God.

Psalm 102 is all about the coming age of the Kingdom and the restoration of Jerusalem in the millennium (see vv. 13-22). The writer looks forward to the restoration of the city when God appears in His glory (v. 16). The Psalm is written for the “generation to come” (v. 18) and a newly created people of the future Kingdom on earth. Hebrews 1-2 is speaking not of the Genesis creation but the “economy to come” (2:5).

The Oxford Bible Commentary (2000) is helpful when it notes that right up to Hebrews 2:5 the topic is the new creation in Christ. Hebrews 1:10 is included in that main subject:

The text at the center of Heb. 2:5ff. is Ps. 8:4-6 and it exhibits thematic connections to the scriptural catena [chain] of the first chapter [i.e. Heb. 1:10 is all part of the same reference to the new creation]…Heb. 2:5 [“the inhabited earth to come of which we speak”] is an introductory comment continuing the contrast between the Son and angels. Its reference to the “world to come” reinforces the notions of imminent judgment and cosmic transformation intimated by Ps. 102, cited at 1:10-12.

Isaiah 51:16 confirms this explanation. It speaks of an agent of God in whom God puts His words and whom He uses “to plant the heavens and earth.” The Word Biblical Commentary says:

Yahweh introduces Himself again, but this time in terms of His control of the raging sea. He addresses the one He is using to put His words into his mouth and protecting him very carefully. The purpose of this care is to allow him to plant heavens and earth. That makes no sense if it refers to the original [Genesis] creation. It uses the word NaTaH [Jer. 10:12 + 10 times], stretch out, while the verb here is NaTA, plant [establish people]. In the other instances God acts alone, using no agent [Isa. 44:24]. Here the one he has hidden in the shadow of his hand is his agent. Heavens and land here must refer metaphorically to the totality of order in Palestine, heavens meaning the broader overarching structure of the Empire, while land is the political order in Palestine itself. The assignment is then focused more precisely: to say to Zion, you are my people.”-Word Biblical Commentary: Isaiah 34-66, Word Books, 1987, p. 212.

Thus both in Psalm 102 (LXX) and in Isaiah 51 the Messiah is the agent whom God will use to establish the new political order of the age to come. Hebrews 1:10 is a prophecy, written in the past tense (as customarily prophecies are), but referring to the “inhabited earth of the future about which we are speaking” (Heb. 2:5). That is the concern in Hebrews 1:10. Jesus is the “father of the age to come” (Isa. 9:6, LXX).

Finally, in Hebrews 9:11 the writer speaks of “the good things to come” as the things “not of this creation.” By this he means that the things to come are of the new, future creation (see Heb. 2:5). That creation is under way since Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God where he is now co-creator, under the Father, of the new creation, and has “all authority in heaven and earth” (Matt. 28:18). Even the millennial age of the future will be replaced by a further renewed heaven and earth (Rev. 20:11; 21:1).

God has a new creation in Jesus and we are to be new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). We are to join the one “new man” of the commonwealth of Israel (Eph. 2:12-13). The presently unconverted Israel will itself be renewed, at least a remnant (Mic. 2:12; Rom. 11), through the great tribulation and Jesus’ deliverance at his post-tribulation Parousia (Matt. 24:29-31). The saints of all the ages will be immortalized at the resurrection after the end of the Great Tribulation which is still ahead. There is of course no pre-tribulation gathering. Nor has the Great Tribulation been going on continuously since AD 70. The Great Tribulation is a future short period of agony just before the return of the Messiah to the earth. This event is not a drive-by episode. Jesus is coming back to the earth where as son of David he belongs installed on the throne of David.

The world is going to be reborn and it will come under the supervision of Jesus and his followers (Matt. 19:28, Rev. 5:10; I Cor. 6:2, etc.) We must resist the temptation to be looking backwards to Genesis when the whole book of Hebrews bids us look forward to the “inhabited earth of the future” (Heb. 2:5). Note that in several places Hebrews speaks of the eternal redemption, inheritance, covenant, judgment, salvation and spirit “of the age [to come]” (aionios). Aionios refers to the Kingdom age to come and not just to eternity. Christians receive now the “holy spirit of the promise” (Eph. 1:13, NJB). We are to experience something of the future Kingdom age even now in the midst of trials and in a hostile world. Christians should not give away their inheritance to unconverted Jews! The church will inherit the land (Matt. 5:5; Rom. 4:13) and those who bless “the seed of Abraham” (Gen. 12) are those who bless the believers. “If you belong to Christ [and only then] you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:19). What a heritage is in store for those who endure to the end. Meanwhile should we not have a heart for the billions of human beings who have not been exposed to the great truths about God and the Messiah and the Kingdom in process of restoration? Who will tell them if you don’t?

Now..for John 17:5:

John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

This text can be reasoned with in light of ones like this one:

1 Peter 1:20: He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you

Now a little commentary by Anthony on John 17:5(one of the texts I used to think was explicit proof for the preexistence of the Lord Jesus.I have since seen keen reason outside that box my thoughts were in before with EASY scriptural precedent for the "Socinian" view.):

Things which are held in store as divine plans for the future are said to be “with God.” Thus in Job 10:13 Job says to God, “These things you have concealed in your heart: I know that this is with You” (see KJV). “He performs what is appointed for me, and many such decrees are with Him” (23:14). Thus the glory which Jesus had “with God” was the glory which God had planned for him as the decreed reward for his Messianic work now completed. The promise of glory “preexisted,” not Jesus himself. Note that this same glory which Jesus asked for has already been given to you (see John 17:22, 24), before you were even born! The promised Christian reward was given as a guaranteed future blessing by Jesus speaking around 30 AD. This is obviously glory and reward as a promise for the future.Your Christian reward was given (past tense) to you and Jesus whom God loved before the foundation of the world (v. 24). You may therefore say that you now “have” that glory although it is glory in promise and prospect. Jesus had that same glory in prospect before the foundation of the world (John 17:5). You can have something “with God,” meaning that you can have something promised by God for your future, and it is laid up in store with God now and will be delivered to you when Jesus comes back. 2 Timothy 1:9 is similar: “grace was given to us before the ages of time began.”

Christians were already “in Christ” (Eph 1:4) before the world began and foreknown by God (1 Pet. 1:2).

Paul can say that we now already “have” a new body with God in heaven — i.e. we have the promise of it, not in actuality. That body will be ours at the return of Christ. We now “have” it in anticipation and promise only. “We have a building of God,” (2 Cor. 5:1). We do not in fact have it yet. But when we do get that reward in the future, we will be able to say “give me the glorified body” which I had with you, i.e., as promised.

Peter speaks of a day being like a thousand years “with God” (2 Pet. 3:8). This is the proper sense of “with God” in John 17:5. Things which are “with God” are those things which He plans and prepares. Thus Jesus asked to receive at the end of his ministry the glory prepared for him “with God,” that is in God’s plans and in His mind. Revelation 13:8 states that the crucifixion happened long before the birth of the Messiah. The idea is of course that it happened in God’s plan, not in actuality. We must think as Hebrews, and thus with Jesus and John, and not just read our western language forms into the Bible. Of course the word was “with God,” in His mind. “With God” does not imply a Son-Father relationship at that stage. Galatians 2:5 speaks of the Gospel remaining “with” (pros) the Galatians, that is in their minds.