Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sean Finnegan-5 Major Problems with the Trinity

Please visit:

from which I found this.

This isn't about who's right and who's wrong,amounting to ego.This is about KNOWING the only True God and His Son.(John 17:3)In order to do that,knowing their true identities is essential.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wisdom in the Old Testament:Person or Personification?

There are a few points here you've already seen in some of my other blogs if you've read them.I was trying to simplify it all yet again. Hope this helps.

Wisdom is personified a number of places, and when it sounds like Yahushua sometimes that would be because it's alluding to him and that's what he would become. We must heed God's thoughts as best we can.Christ was real to God before he was real to the world, in an extremely thoughtful and poignant way. Would it really be so shocking for God to create everything(even in Genesis) in or for the sake of the Lamb that would redeem the world considering he's a God who:

1. Sees the end from the very beginning (Isaiah 46:10)
2. Sees things that aren't as though they are. (Rom. 4:17)

God knew he would give life to the world in Christ. So should it really be surprising that all things are said to be in and through Christ, without Christ having to be the actual creator of Adam, birds, bees, and trees?After all, texts like Colossians 1:16 say all things were through Christ (who is elsewhere identified as a flesh man), as opposed to God or an angel.

God's wisdom symbolized something more than just what a basic attribute entails. In some cases, much like his "word", it symbolized and represented God's plans to give life to the world in Yahushua.His greatest plan of wisdom ever conceived or birthed. God's Wisdom was revealed in a flesh man, as opposed to being the name of a spirit entity.

How exactly, scripturally speaking, was Yahushua the Wisdom of God?

1 Corinthians 2:7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God *decreed* before the ages for our glory.

So he's the decreed wisdom (manifest to the world when it was time), not a spirit named Wisdom if we allow scripture to define it's own terms.

When we examine the following scriptures simply and thoughtfully, there should leave little to no doubt that when Wisdom is signified as creator, it is a personification of such, and not a literal second person next to God as such. So please carefully examine the following (my thoughts & brief questions for those who believe Wisdom was a spirit who was also the pre-existent Christ-with-another-name are in parentheses) :

Proverbs 3:19: The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding he established the heavens;(Wisdom is a spirit creature but understanding isn't?)

Psalm 104:24: O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.(Two wisdoms?One of God's & another spirit named just that both are in sight here?)

Psalm 136:5: to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;(And I suppose Yahushua was a spirit named Understanding too?)

Jeremiah 10:12: It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.(How is Wisdom a person and understanding and the like are not if consistency & logic means anything?)

Jeremiah 51:15 “It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.(Established the world by Wisdom the spirit creature?)

Hebrews 4:4:"And on the seventh day God rested from all his work."(Why didn't Wisdom the spirit rest,anywhere,ever?)

1 Corinthians 1:24 says:

"To those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

Again,how WAS he the "wisdom of God"?As spirit entity?OR:

1 Corinthians 1:30:It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has ***become*** for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Notice the terminology like "has become for us" that should succintly inform us of how and when it was Christ manifested as "Wisdom." This Wisdom, again, was defined explicitly also as a "decree." This decree would apparently manifest in the flesh as the man Yahushua when the "fullness of time came" (Gal. 4:4) for the father's wisdom to be made flesh to the world, and not before. It is my view that God brought this decree forth (poetically speaking) before he even made man, foreknowing the fall and the dire need of redemption that would result. In that regard, I believe texts like Prov. 8:22-31 have possible poetic allusions to Yahushua as opposed to literal statements about him .He was God's prototype for man and idea for life giving sustenance for us in the mind and heart of the God who "knew the end from the beginning", again, even then. It is irresponsible imo to arbitrarily pick and choose where you will literalize "wisdom"(or not) in the OT. Consistency is called for. Three quotes & thoughts from scholar James Dunn's "Christology in the Making.":

"When Paul and others attribute Wisdom's role in creation to Christ was this intended literally(Jesus himself was there at creation) or do we have some form of poetic hyperbole, which their readers would recognize to be such?--here once again the context of meaning for the first Christians is all important."-p.167

"In order to understand what meaning such words and statements had for those who used them, WE MUST INTERPRET THEM IN THE CONTEXT IN WHICH THEY WERE USED."--p.170(emphasis mine)

"Talk of his (Jesus') preexistence ought probably in most,perhaps in all,cases to be understood,on the analogy of the preexistence of the Torah, to indicate the eternal divine purpose being achieved through him ,rather than preexistence of any personal kind."(lost page #,sorry)

It would seem to me, based upon scriptures and reason and the milk of the word,that Arians and the like have it backward. They see where wisdom is personified and literalize it. Instead of being able to recognize THAT it's being personified as God's wisdom, simply. Yes, it's intensely personified. Yes, personification makes what's being personified sound like it's a real person. That is why it is so termed & the actual purpose of it. The wisdom and word passages being applied to Christ was Hebrew thinking. They also did this with passages they freely applied to Christ that were also applied to God, David, Solomon, Melchizedek, Moses,Jonah (etc.). It's how they thought and wrote. The snake on the pole to which the Israelites had to gaze to keep living wasn't literally Christ even though he fulfilled that when he conquered sin on the cross..The manna on which the Israelites fed for sustenance wasn't literally Christ though his flesh was the true bread from heaven as he *became* the true manna. Similarly, God's personified wisdom in the OT wasn't literally Christ but he became and fulfilled that as well. Yes,"in him(Christ) lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Col. 2:3)

Christ,poetically and profoundly enough, was the fulfillment of all things. It was Hebrew thought to express this deep truth & Christ's cosmological significance by applying the functions of God's prophets & servants,God's wisdom, even a few times of God himself to Christ in the NT. Because, given all power, he fulfills these functions beautifully. Yes, even some of the functions of God because God gave those to him, but let us not forget texts like 1 Corinthians 15:28 that shed light upon the matter. Similarly, let us use the texts about how God created that I went over earlier to establish our "milk of the word" by which we can properly assess all the other information given, making sure not to misuse it.

God creating in his wisdom becomes God creating in Christ because Christ became the wisdom of God. Simply stated, again, "Jesus *has become* our wisdom sent from God."(1 Cor. 1:30)What Christ represented, became and fulfilled was there from the beginning, namely God's wisdom. The father's wisdom came to life and manifest in Christ's flesh at the proper time, as opposed to some literal spirit named Wisdom crawling into a womb to become a man. Such a notion is NOT communicated in any of the detailed birth narratives, which I'm assuming are explicit in their face valueness..Were this the case, surely it would have been crystal clearly articulated because it would be downright astounding. Certainly not a detail to neglect mentioning. Instead what we have is personification of God's wisdom, even sometimes of his wisdom "decree", and then that being manifested in the last days, which is when the Hebrews say it was that God actually spoke in and through his "Son."(Heb. 1:2), conveniently enough.To quote Karen Armstrong, who is a British author and commentator & the author of twelve books on comparative religion:

"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 pre-existent 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."--from "A History of God:From Abraham to the present: the 4000 year quest for God", p.106

Yahushua came to be identified with the very wisdom of God. In his fulfillment of all things.In his eschatological and kingdom significance. etc. There was a divine mind and purpose, identified with wisdom, by which God made, ordered, directed, (etc.) the very universe. Christ was not that literal function or attribute,yet he came to embody it beautifully and perfectly. Not as spirit/creator/angel,but as the Messiah that came to be identified (as opposed to always having been identified literally) with that wisdom by which God created. There's simply no denying the poetry of the Hebrews when it came to the wisdom of God. I don't think they abandoned that poetry in the NT. I think they still incorporated it when Yahushua became that wisdom. James Dunn notes in "Christology in the Making":

"His (Paul's in Corinthians) aim,as we have seen, is to assert that the same divine power is active both in creation and in salvation; he achieves this by describing Christ the Lord in Wisdom language; his meaning then would be that the power of God in creation came so fully to expression in Christ's death and resurrection that it can be said of Christ what was said of Wisdom..that is to say,since presumably for Paul too Wisdom was not a being distinct from God, but was the "wisdom of God"(1 Cor. 1:24), God acting wisely..(skipping ahead a little) In other words, Christ is being identified here not with a pre-existent being but with the creative power and action of God. And the thought is not of Christ as pre-existent but of the creative act and power of God now embodied in a final and complete way in Christ." p.182

Simplified: God created in his wisdom and understanding, by words from his own mouth, quite literally. Christ became God's wisdom and word to the world in the flesh, as the Christ. What prefigured and foreshadowed Christ in the OT could be applied to Christ in the NT, according to a pattern the bible authors establish, and not just in the case of "Wisdom." We must let God establish our milk first, so that these deeper things can be assessed within their proper larger biblical context and pattern of thought. There should be no confusion when we pore the milk first. No pun intended. The milk in all it's unambiguous simplicity, that is. If the bible has no contradictions, did the father create absolutely alone? (Is. 44:24,Mal. 2:10,Matt. 19:4) According to the texts I went over earlier, in what way did he do so? According to the texts I went over earlier, how was Christ the Wisdom of God when we allow it to define it's own terms?

Please understand that by my expressing all this, I am not negating the frequent NEW creation context of the NT creation passages. I just think it goes a little deeper because God's mind & thoughts do,and the writers were inspired. Because God's word of life, his wisdom decree, was foreknown and with him from the beginning. Manifest and made flesh in Yahushua when the right time arrived. He became identified with that same wisdom & word by which God created. Which the Hebrews intensely personified because it represented God's outreach to mankind without compromising his transcendence. Also, as that which would come to be manifest finally in Christ perfectly..God always spoke by his wisdom (and his wisdom has frequently manifest through others), and in the last days that wisdom became a Son by which he spoke and guaranteed salvation and a kingdom. God's wisdom manifest indeed!

It was a pattern for bible writers to apply OT truths to Yahushua in the NT. Functions that he filled, ones that he was made and given. Also, foreshadowings and prefigurings that he became. Do you think that halted with Wisdom? I personally don't.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Does John 12:41 prove that Jesus is Yahweh?

Greg Stafford,in an essay he wrote on this topic in response to James White,summarizes:

"The teaching of John 12:41 is simple,straightforward and otherwise(that is,apart from trinitarianism)clear,Isaiah saw the "glory" of the Christ's humanity,suffering,and death for our sins while being dishonored among men,as a man,which teaching John develops throughout John 12 and specifically from verse 16 onward.(see John 12:16,23,32-34,37-41),using the same verbs(doxazo,hypso'o,pistueo,and horao)and the same substantive(doxa)that we find in the LXX of Isaiah 52:10,13,14,15 and Isaiah 53:1,2,and 4.John observes that,like the suffering servant of Isaiah 52& 53(specifically 53:1 which he quotes in John 12:38),the crowd did not "put faith in him (Jesus)"(John 12:36,37 [where,again,in both texts and in verse 38 we find forms of the verb for "believe," pistueo]),which is the same language Isaiah used when speaking of Messiah:"Jehovah,who has believed(LXX: epistuese(form of pistueo)our report?And to whom has the arm of Jehovah been revealed?"Is. 53:1,John 12:38

Find the link to the PDF of Stafford's refutation to James White here:

Highly recommend reading it.

Another helpful source:

Joel Hemphill on 1 Timothy 3:16

Please visit:

from which I found this.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Are death and immortality synonyms?

Your typical orthodox Christian believes that man was made in God's image and hence can never *truly* die in that death to them means only a body dies while a soul lives on.In other words,to typical Christians,even death means life.Even in death there exists immortality.They don't think the person perishes,only the person's body with no one in it.The bible says in 1 Tim 6:15-16:

"God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,who *alone* is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light"

From what I've examined prayerfully in scripture(and this paragraph is kind of on a side note..forgive me),when the bible says God "alone" is something,it doesn't mean no one else can be.What it means is that no one else is but by his granting or allowance.In other words,God gives to all and no one has to give him anything at all.For him,it's a "given."For us,it's a "gift."For example,scripture says God alone is immortal,but others can be MADE immortal by him.God alone is savior,but others can be sent by him to save,essentially becoming saviors...etc..(Isaiah 43:11,1 Samuel 23:5)

If God makes us immortal or grants us the gift of everlasting life,it is only then that we can boast of possessing what God originally intended for man before sin entered the picture.No,those overcome with sin do not receive immortality.This should be clear.In fact,it was God's whole point in Genesis when conversing with Adam about the consequences of failing to exercise faith properly.Immortality and life after death weren't the outcome of disobedience!So why is it taught by mainstream Christianity that disobedience breeds immortality just like exercising faith does?

I'm not sure what God could have possibly said to define death for us so that we could know what it is.Could he have said that the dead don't think or breathe?Well,he did.(Ps. 146:4)Could he have said they sleep and cease to function?Well,he did.(Ecclesiastes 9:5,10,John 1:11)Could he have said that the only hope is a resurrection BACK to life to prove that the dead aren't alive?Well,he did.(John 5:25,Acts 24:15)The Book of Wisdom says in 2:23,24(from the New Jerusalem Bible):

"For God created human beings to be immortal,he made them as an image of his own nature;*Death came into the world only through the Devil's envy*,as those who belong to him find to their cost."

Here the author agrees with the bible when it contrasts,as opposed to compares,immortality and death.Here we see that God intended man to live forever,inhabiting and caring for a perfect earth in peace and happiness(according to Genesis),but death came upon men through the sin of the first man.(Romans 5:17,18)It is only an exercising of faith in the Lord and his God that we receive the GIFT(as opposed to the "given") of immortality.If sinners automatically receive everlasting life(in whatever capacity) this would make moot of God's sentiments to the first Adam that he would "surely die" if he were to sin.(Gen. 2:17)God should have said something like "you will surely live forever in agony instead of bliss" instead were the orthodox view of death palpable.Death is the stark opposite of life.In life there is breath and vitality and awakeness.In death,lack of breath and unconsciousness.Again,death is the antithesis to life as opposed to the equivalent.God uses terminology such as "ashes" and the like to communicate easy reasoning about death for our consideration,to define it precisely for us in fact so that Plato and others shouldn't have been able to fool us.When we go beyond that terminology with our own ideas is when we fall into error.God used specific language to educate and instruct us, and I would guess he never desired for us to discard common sense use of the simplistic terminology he kindly provided by going (far)beyond what he said with contradictory propositions to accommodate long held traditions.The bible says in Deuteronomy 30:19:

"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."

Here again we have a clear contrast in life and death.They are not synonyms.If death meant "life in bliss" or "life in hell" after the body dies with no one in it,then it would be a synonym with life.Where IS the contrast in life and death,in turning to ashes and receiving immortality for Christians?If you don't comprehend the simple and appropriate contrast,then when and how was it lost?Ashes,consumption,not breathing or thinking,sleeping(etc.) all apparently mean "awake and alive"(nonsensically enough) to Christians.

The bible doesn't define immortality as two good,the other scary.It defines our hope of glory in Christ as an immortality worth seeking with everything we have,every ounce of that concept of immortality being fantastic!Nothing scary about it.Gehenna(hell in Greek) is scary,but it consumes.(Matt. 3:12,Mal. 4:3)Yes,the fate of those who don't seek the precious gift of immortality is described as "death","perishing","destruction","consumption","ashes".(Rom. 6:23,Jn. 3:16,Matt. 3:12,Mal. 4:3)The wicked are tossed into the lake of fire(or the second death from which there can be no resurrection in it's frightening hopeless finality)along with death and hades.The bible also says death will "exist no more"..It is the last enemy to be utterly destroyed.(1 Cor. 15:26)So apparently whatever is thrown into the lake of fire(including the wicked and death) will be utterly and irreversibly destroyed.(Rev. 20:14,Matt. 10:28)Therefore there is no "eternal dying process" nor blessed gift of immortality for the wicked.How could anyone miss these basic truths?

2 Tim. 4:3:For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

You simply cannot say death will be no more when it's tossed in the lake of fire but that the wicked will be forevermore alive in the flames of that same lake.That would defy logic and basic common sense,assigning the same lake within the same scriptural passage with two different functions,to suit a theological presupposition.This would not be honest exegesis,but rather egregious eisegesis.The two functions that Christians assign the same lake in the same text are to preserve the wicked while destroying death.Two complete opposite functions from the same source within the same text!While they at the same time propagate the opposite of what the bible says when they claim that death will actually exist forever in a process of sadistic torture for the wicked.If death for the wicked means eternal life in flames and death will be destroyed,then how could death be perpetuated eternally in flames that preserve the wicked infinitely?Either death will be destroyed OR there will be an "eternal dying process",which is how I've heard some Christian apologists describe the fate of the unrighteous.It can't be both ways.I'm sure many traditionalists would say "death will be no more for the righteous but perpetuated infinitely only for the wicked."However,the bible simply says that it won't be anymore at all,while failing to acknowledge it's preservation for most of humanity like traditionalists choose to do.If there is automatic immortality in death for both the righteous and unrighteous(according to traditionalists),would it be true that those who inherit the kingdom of God will be dead eternally?If the dead are alive(both the righteous and unrighteous dead),I'm assuming so?

One of the most enticing savory morsels of good news in scripture is that the righteous can receive immortality.This gift of eternal life for us was manifest when God's "word of life",or his plans to give life to the world, became flesh in Yahushua.(1 John 1:1,2,John 1:14)This eternal life plan of the Father for mankind in his beloved Son will culminate in a kingdom where death will be no more,neither sickness,mourning nor pain.(Rev. 21:3,4)Yah's kingdom will put an end to all the kingdoms of this world and will last forever and ever.(Dan. 2:44)So question is:

"Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God..(2 Peter 3:11-13)"

Yes,"according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."(2 Peter 3:13)Like our Lord said: "blessed are the meek,for they shall inherit the earth."(Matt. 5:5)

God has put it in out hearts to desire immortality and to desire his approval and love because that's what he can provide for us.(Ecc. 3:11)He doesn't give us any righteous desire that he isn't willing to meet if we listen to him.(Eph. 3:20)The immortality he put in our hearts wasn't a promise of eternal pain for us if we're wicked in one of it's supposed two spectrums.Put quite simply,so that even a child could understand:

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."(Rom. 6:23)

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."(John 3:16)

Again we have a contrasting of death and perishing with eternal life.They're not synonyms in any respect.One involves lack of breath and life..the other breath and life eternally.The latter is God's word made flesh.Our hope of glory in Christ.Thy kingdom come!

The former(death) is described further in the book of Wisdom(which I will end here with because it was Wisdom 2:23,24 that inspired this blog to begin with):

"The breath in our nostrils is a puff of smoke,reason a spark from the beating of our hearts;extinguish this and the body turns to ashes,and the spirit melts away like the yielding air."

Scripture is clear that when the spirit leaves the body,there is no life left anywhere except that God can return your life in a resurrection.Hence the metaphorical "spirit returning to God" when we die because he will give our lives and breath and animation(spirits) back in a resurrection.(Spirit means "breath" but entails more in that there's a spark of life that animates our souls.)In this remarkable sense,our "spirits" are in God's hands.The focus is always life in a opposed to life in death.There is life in death only in the sense that the dead are promised a resurrection.The resurrection is of entire persons and not bodies with no persons in them,common sensically as well as biblically.When Yahushua preached that we would be raised at the last day,he wasn't preaching that we'd already be alive before we came back alive.If so,surely there would have been some serious clarification somewhere because that notion would be astounding considering our hope from biblical cover to cover is a resurrection back to life FROM death,as opposed to life AT or IN death(as if they're synonyms instead of antonyms)itself.God doesn't intend to confuse us with basic essential doctrines.He states them so simply that even children can grasp the truth.(see John 3:16,again)Seek for immortality.If you do not exercise faith,God did not promise it to you.Those who teach eternal life(even if it's in torment) for the wicked misunderstand a very basic bible truth.Follow the path of Yahushua and let everyone know they can receive eternal life in a resurrection if they exercise faith in the Messiah.