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Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his lif

Postby Freetos » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:04 am

Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his life.

The doctrine of God manifestation is a most important part of Divine Revelation, having reference not only to the past, but also to the future, and it is of the deepest interest to every one who aspires to an Inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Not to believe it, is to deny the testimony of God and to bring ourselves under the condemnation which the Apostle John pronounces upon such in his 2nd Epistle, vv. 7, 9, 10, 11. “Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

Now to manifest, signifies to show forth, make known, display, declare. The Apostle Paul informs us that in time past, God spake by the Prophets, but in these last days (that is, the last days of the Mosaic Age or constitution of things) he spake by his Son, and of this Son the same Apostle testifies that he was “the brightness of his (God’s) glory and the express image of his person.” - Heb. 1: 1, 2, 3. In this way God made known his will. The words spoken were the words of God, and holy men were the channel or medium through or by means of which such communication was made.

For God to manifest himself, however, was not for the Eternal One to descend from Heaven and actually appear among men; that was impossible, for He is a God “whom no man hath seen nor can see,” and upon whose face no on can look and live. Hence the necessity of a medium through which such manifestation could be accomplished. That medium was flesh, or human nature, not angelic nature. For it is written, “Verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham, Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren.” – Heb. 2: 16, 17. “For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.” – Heb. 2:14. It was the long-promised “seed of the woman,” the body prepared, the “child born,” and the “son given,” Yahweh’s “only begotten, ” the express image of His person and the exact representation of his character; in a word “THE MAN CHRIST JESUS.” – 1 Tim 3:16.

In his prayer to the Father before he suffered, Jesus says, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.’ – John 17:6. This manifestation had reference to character, or that moral and intellectual perfection which shone forth in him as the Image of the Invisible God in whom He was well pleased.

The first Adam failed to manifest such a character; he disobeyed, and consequently was not permitted to eat of the Tree of Life which would have conferred Immortality upon him. Hence it was necessary that a second Adam should appear, through whom the moral attributes of the Deity could be manifested. Such was Jesus of Nazareth, who was obedient in all things and therefore “God hath highly exalted him and given him a name that is above every name.” – Phil 2:9.

This image of the invisible God it was that the Apostle John declares he and others heard, saw looked upon and handled. “For,” writes the Apostle in his 1st Epistle, “the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. That which we have seen and heard declare unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” – 1 John 1: 1, 2, 3.

The Eternal One dwelleth in light that no man can approach unto, but multitudes not only came near to Jesus but saw and conversed with um on numerous occasions. They cannot, therefore, be one and the same person.
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Re: Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his

Postby jimwalton » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:12 am

First off, denying Jesus divinity goes against Jesus's own words. In John 10.30 he claims that he and God the Father are the same essence. In John 8.58 he says he is the "I AM" of Exodus 3.14, aligning himself with the unique claims of deity made by YHWH himself. (This reaction is confirmed by the reaction of the people in v. 59, and Jesus never refutes that understanding or backs off of it.)

So Jesus was distinctly and definitely God, as well as being the manifestation of God on earth (Hebrews 1.2-3; John 14.9).

> For God to manifest himself, however, was not for the Eternal One to descend from Heaven and actually appear among men; that was impossible, for He is a God “whom no man hath seen nor can see,” and upon whose face no on can look and live.

The incorrectness of this is manifested by Philippians 2.6-7. Jesus was very God in his nature, but emptied himself (ἐκένωσεν) of at least the appearance of God—the way God showed himself to the inhabitants of earth. He divested himself of that particular mode of existence so that he could be seen by people. He didn't divest himself of his divine nature, but experienced a change of state, taking the form of a servant. His nature and essence continued unabated.

> The first Adam failed to manifest such a character

About this part you are correct. Romans 5.12-21.

> 1 John 1.1-4

John claims to have seen, heard, and made physical contact with God in the flesh (also cf. Jn. 1.1, 14). Here in 1 Jn. he uses the same terminology. Jesus, the one who is at the root of the universe, the eternal God, was in John's presence in physical form for him to see, hear, and touch.

Therefore, based on all these references (and there are more), the transcendent Eternal One and the immanent Jesus were one and the same God.
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Re: Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his

Postby Me 6 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:19 pm

> First off, denying Jesus divinity goes against Jesus's own words. In John 10.30 he claims that he and God the Father are the same essence.

No, he says he and the father are one. Which could mean one in mission, or goals. Just like how:

Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Or

John 17:11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

So he's equating oneness with purpose which is much clearer than one as in some kind of shared essence.

> In John 8.58 he says he is the "I AM" of Exodus 3.14, aligning himself with the unique claims of deity made by YHWH himself.

This breaks the Trinitarian dogma of Jesus not being the Father, and is a false equivocation.

> Therefore, based on all these references (and there are more), the transcendent Eternal One and the immanent Jesus were one and the same God.

Not really because combined with the verses that seperates Jesus or lowers him in authority you end up with an illogical paradox.
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Re: Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his

Postby jimwalton » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:47 pm

> No, he says he and the father are one. Which could mean one in mission, or goals

This is incorrect. The term Jesus uses in John 10.30 is ἕν (hen). This doesn't mean one person, which would be the word *heis*. Nor does it mean one in mission or goals, since that is not in the context of John 10. John 10 is about his identity, not his mission. He has already said he is the gate for the sheep (Jn. 10.7), that he is the good shepherd (10.11), and in John 10.30 he is specifically responding to a question about his identity (v. 24): "If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." His answer is that in identity he is one is essence or nature with the Father, not merely of will or of power, of mission or of goals. Verses 31-33 shows how they interpreted his words: "They picked up stones to stone him...for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

Matthew 19.6 uses a different term (μία).

In John 17.11, he is praying that his disciples experience a oneness of nature (believers having the nature of Jesus). He holds up the Trinity as an illustration and a model. God glorified the Son, the Son glorified the Father, and so also we should always glorify the Father and Son, since we have been made in the nature of the Son. He is not speaking there of an essential oneness of being.

> John 8.58 ... This breaks the Trinitarian dogma of Jesus not being the Father, and is a false equivocation.

No it doesn't. John 1.1 tells us the Word was with God and was God. In John 8.58 he is aligning with the second part of that claim: He is God. Again, the people around him understood him perfectly well, and picked up stones to execute him for blasphemy (v. 59).

> Not really because combined with the verses that seperates Jesus or lowers him in authority you end up with an illogical paradox.

The doctrine of the Trinity is not an example of the law of non-contradiction because of the idea of paradox. While some things seem to be self-contradictory, there are both possible and logical ways to reconcile the alleged variance. For instance, we know that light exhibits the characteristics of a particle and of a wave. So while it is a single entity (substance), it manifests itself in various ways. This is not an illogical paradox, but if it is, it exists in real life.

All physical reality has a dual nature. Mass and energy are in principle inter-convertible, through nuclear fission or fusion reactions. E = mc^2. We can, therefore, speak of the universe as a "space-light-time" universe. It is significant that this motion of light is famous for its mysterious and paradoxical complementarity. It has the characteristics of both waves and particles, and yet it definitely behaves as a wave motion under some conditions and as a particle motion under others. This duality applies both in radiations of electro-magnetic energy and in the atomic structure of matter, in which the orbiting electron likewise behaves both as a particle and as a wave. The two disciplines of modern physics known as quantum mechanics and wave mechanics have been developed from these two concepts.

In addition, in quantum mechanics there is a principle called superposition, where subatomic particles are able to exist in two states at once.

There is also Quantum Entanglement. As far as our discussion here, quantum entanglement means that two quantum objects share a wave function and share the same identity, even when separated. What happens to one happens to the other—wherever it exists.

These are all presumably "illogical paradoxes," and yet they exist.

Another way to look at the Trinity is this: Suppose I write a book, and I put myself in it. The character "me" says what I would say and does what I would do. It's ME in the book. He's exactly as I am. Now, is the character in the book different from the me outside of the book? Of course he is. But is it me? Of course it is. He's all me, but he's all a separate character. I can easily be both the author and a character without compromising either.

In the Bible, the Trinity distinguishes between the **principle** of divine action and the **subject** of divine action. The principle of all divine action is the one undivided divine essence, but the subject of divine action is either Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. The Father can send the Son according to his power, and the Son can be incarnated according to his nature without dividing the divine essence.
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Re: Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his

Postby Me 6 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:25 pm

> This is incorrect. The term Jesus uses in John 10.30 is ἕν (hen). This doesn't mean one person, which would be the word heis. Nor does it mean one in mission or goals, since that is not in the context of John 10.

Why are you being dishonest?

> John 10:24-30 NIV The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” [25] Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify about me, [26] but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. [27] My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. [28] I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. [29] My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. [30] I and the Father are one.”

The context is clarity not identity. Jesus is saying that the people who understood his teachings are in God's hands, and God and Jesus have the same message or teachings. This is repeated again and again in the NT. For example, not recognizing Jesus until he teaches something.

Luke 24:30-32 NIV When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. [31] Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. [32] They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

It's classic Greek writing and philosophical thought.

> In John 17.11, he is praying that his disciples experience a oneness of nature (believers having the nature of Jesus). He holds up the Trinity as an illustration and a model. God glorified the Son, the Son glorified the Father, and so also we should always glorify the Father and Son, since we have been made in the nature of the Son. He is not speaking there of an essential oneness of being.

This is not a trinity. Trinity would mean 3.

> No it doesn't. John 1.1 tells us the Word was with God and was God. In John 8.58 he is aligning with the second part of that claim: He is God. Again, the people around him understood him perfectly well, and picked up stones to execute him for blasphemy (v. 59).

This is A. Not a trinity, and B. Like I said, contradictory. While Johns incorporation of Plato's and Philo's Logos is interesting, it actually just describes a God, or demiurge, and if the claim is that this Logos is God, well, John didn't study up.

Matthew 19:17 NIV “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

So this Logos isn't as good as God.

Matthew 24:36 NIV “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
And this Logos lacks knowledge that God has

> For instance, we know that light exhibits the characteristics of a particle and of a wave. So while it is a single entity (substance), it manifests itself in various ways.

This is a heresy according to the creed, specifically modalism.

> All physical reality has a dual nature. Mass and energy are in principle inter-convertible, through nuclear fission or fusion reactions. E = mc^2. We can, therefore, speak of the universe as a "space-light-time" universe. It is significant that this motion of light is famous for its mysterious and paradoxical complementarity. It has the characteristics of both waves and particles, and yet it definitely behaves as a wave motion under some conditions and as a particle motion under others. This duality applies both in radiations of electro-magnetic energy and in the atomic structure of matter, in which the orbiting electron likewise behaves both as a particle and as a wave. The two disciplines of modern physics known as quantum mechanics and wave mechanics have been developed from these two concepts.

Again, modalism. It's a more complex version of water is solid gas, and liquid but all water. Which is modalism because water doesn't exist as all three at once. Nice try though

> Another way to look at the Trinity is this: Suppose I write a book, and I put myself in it. The character "me" says what I would say and does what I would do. It's ME in the book. He's exactly as I am. Now, is the character in the book different from the me outside of the book? Of course he is. But is it me? Of course it is. He's all me, but he's all a separate character. I can easily be both the author and a character without compromising either.

You really can't stop yourself from heresy can you?

> In addition, in quantum mechanics there is a principle called superposition, where subatomic particles are able to exist in two states at once.

I would almost guarantee that you do not understand this concept. I would need a source for this claim. It also contradicts the statements of lack of knowledge authority, and differences between father and son.
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Re: Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his

Postby jimwalton » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:20 pm

> Why are you being dishonest?

Wow, this is a loaded question and an unnecessary deprecatory remark. Hmm.

The analysis that ἕν means one in essence or nature, and that *heis* would mean one person comes from A.T. Robertson (one of the world's foremost Greek scholars with 3 doctorate degrees, D.D. LL.D., and Litt. D.), Marvin Vincent (D.D.), Leon Morris (Ph.D.), and Merrill Tenney (Ph.D.). So I wasn't being dishonest.

> The context is clarity not identity.

Then we clearly disagree. The whole point of John's Gospel is the identity of Jesus, starting from 1.1 and continuing all the way through the book until 20.31.

> Luke 24:30-32

The story is crafted, according to N.T. Wright, as a parallel, like bookends, to the story of Jesus in the temple. Wright says that "Luke intends the reader to understand the whole gospel, not just the final chapter, as the story of resurrection, so that when Easter actually happens there will be a rightness, an appropriateness, about it." Both are at Passover, both a Jerusalem visit. Here they discovered Jesus was not with them; in chapter 24 Jesus was with them, but unrecognized. Mary and Joseph hurry back to the city, like Cleopas and his companion in ch. 24, but with a very different mood. Joseph and Mary search in vain for 3 days, the parallel to which hardly needs pointing out. Also cf. 2.49 with 24.25-26. Both are confronted with divine necessity.

My analysis is that it's a story of (a) From non-recognition to recognition, (b) From despair to wonder, broken hearts to burning hearts, (c) From suffering to glory, (d) From confusion to understanding; (e) From separation to fellowship. It's a story to show them (a) the reality of the resurrection, (b) the identity of Jesus as the fulfillment of the promises of the prophets (24.27), and (c), the identity of Jesus as the revelation of God (24.30).

Their eyes being opened is an allusion to Gn. 3.7 but the reverse. Here their eyes are opened to know the reality of the resurrection and that he was the focal point of all the Scriptures.

> This is not a trinity. Trinity would mean 3.

Of course. But Jesus had already explained his and the Holy Spirit's oneness in Jn. 14.15-18.

> This is A. Not a trinity, and B. Like I said, contradictory.

The Trinity is not contradictory, but essential. As Dr. Joe Boot explains, "If God is not the triune Lord revealed in Jesus Christ, then the doctrine of creation is rendered impossible, and man is part of a cosmic chain of being. This is because a monadic conception of God as some kind of singularity leaves us with the emptiness and void of non-personality as ultimate. If there is no plurality within God’s being, then there is no subject-object relationship, no particularity, only a blank unity. In such a view of God there can be no foundation for knowledge, love, morality, or ethics. Indeed, without an absolute personality, there is no diversity or distinction basic to reality at all; ultimate reality is a bare unity about which nothing may be said. This is why the Trinity is so important in tackling the philosophical problem of the one and the many."

> While Johns incorporation of Plato's and Philo's Logos is interesting, it actually just describes a God, or demiurge, and if the claim is that this Logos is God, well, John didn't study up.

ὁ λόγος is more from Homer and Heraclitus than Plato and Philo. But John was specific not to say "a god" in his terminology. He specifically says, "The Word was God." Again, Robertson explains: "By exact and careful language John denied Sabellianism (Sabellians deny any distinction of persons in the Trinity and say that God sometimes manifested Himself as Father, sometimes as Son, and sometimes as Spirit, and that the Father and Spirit suffered on the cross) by not saying God is the Word (ho theos en ho logos, including the article). That would mean that all of God was expressed in the Word and the terms would be interchangeable, each having the article. The subject is made plain by the article (ho logos) and the predicate without it (theos) just as in John 4.24 pneuma ho theos can only mean 'God is spirit,' not 'spirit is God.' So in 1 John 4.16 ho theos agape estin can only mean 'God is love,' not 'love is God' as the so-called Christian scientist would confusedly say. So in John 1.14 ho Logos sarx egeneto, 'the Word became flesh,' not 'the flesh became Word.' "

Vincent also chimes in: "Theos (God) is the predicate and not the subject of the preposition. The subject must be the Word; for John is not trying to show who is God, but who is the Word. Notice that theos is without the article which could not have been omitted if he had meant to designate the word as God; because, in that event, theos would have been ambiguous; perhaps a god. Moreover, if he had said God was the Word, he would have contradicted his previous statement by which he had substantially distinguished God from the word, and logos would, further, have signified only an attribute of God. The predicate is emphatically placed in the proposition before the subject, because of the progress of the thought; this being the third and highest statement respecting the Word—the climax of the two preceding propositions. The Word God, used attributively, maintains the personal distinction between God and the Word, but makes the unity of essence and nature to follow the distinction of person, and ascribes to the Word all the attributes of the divine essence."

The upshot is that John knew exactly what he was saying: Jesus is God.

> Mt. 19.17 ... So this Logos isn't as good as God.

You've picked a strange text to try to make your case. It’s not so much our behavior that separates us from God, but our nature. Our nature is that of sin. Only God has a perfectly righteous nature, so only God is truly good. Our sin nature erupts as sin behavior, and that's the part we see, but even people whose behavior is pretty good still have a sin nature and, therefore, don't qualify for being able to earn their way to heaven. Jesus explains that only God is good, one alone who is really good in the absolute sense. There is no hint or implication here that "this Logos isn't as good as God."

> Mt. 24.36 ... And this Logos lacks knowledge that God has

The Son appears consistently in the Gospels, not as an independent divine person, but as a dependent one, who thinks and acts only and wholly as the Father directs (Jn. 5.19, 30; 6.38; 8.28ff.). It is the nature of the second person of the Trinity to acknowledge the authority and submit to the good pleasure of the first. The God-Man did not know independently, any more than he acted independently. His knowing, like the rest of His activity, was bounded by his Father's will. And therefore the reason why he was ignorant of the date of his return was not because He had given up the power to know all things at the incarnation, but because the Father had not willed that he should have this particular piece of knowledge while on earth, prior to his Passion. So Jesus's limitation of knowledge is to be explained, not in terms of the mode of the incarnation, but with reference to the will of the Father for the Son while on earth.

> This is a heresy according to the creed, specifically modalism.

It's an illustration that something can exist in two different states, that's all. Light is not a theological truth and should not be taken as such.

> It's a more complex version of water is solid gas, and liquid but all water. ... water doesn't exist as all three at once

??? I didn't bring this up because it's such a sucky analogy. Don't put this on me. It wasn't my point.

> I would almost guarantee that you do not understand this concept. I would need a source for this claim. It also contradicts the statements of lack of knowledge authority, and differences between father and son.

It's an ANALOGY. All analogies fall short at some point or another. The point is not the they hold to the edges, but that they explain difficult concepts in more familiar terms.

Of course I don't understand it fully. Mostly likely only a few on the planet actually do. But I understand it enough to make the analogy. I am not suggesting that God's three-in-one nature is a state of quantum superposition. Like most physical analogies of divine characteristics, it works to a certain point, and then stops working beyond that point.
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Re: Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his

Postby Freetos » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:24 pm

Ok, these quotes are commonly misunderstood, so I will try to rectify that - with all due respect.

> John 10:30 - "I and my father are one..."

1. Jesus said, "I and my Father are one" but the Jews misunderstood him, thinking he was claiming to be equal with God. (vs. 33). Trinitarians make the same mistake. The oneness referred to, is not a declaration by Christ that he is "Very God", but rather unity of purpose. Consider the evidence:

a) Jesus subsequently prayed for his disciples, "that they may be one, as we are." (Jn. 17:11,21). These words require that the unity referred to, be also extended to the disciples. Obviously the unity is not that of the powers of the Godhead but unity resulting from sanctification through the word of God. (Jn. 17:14, 17,18).

b) See also John 17:22,23: " . . . that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one . . . " Likewise, these words require a relationship between the disciples and Christ which exists between the Son and his Father—a unity, or perfection with the divine purpose.

2. Elsewhere in John's gospel, Jesus clearly affirms that he is not co- equal with the Father: "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do." (Jn. 5:19); "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (Jn. 5:30); "My Father is greater than I." (Jn. 14:28).

> John 8:58 - "Before Abraham was, I am."

1. Christ's reference to Abraham is to affirm his (Christ's) pre-eminence, not pre-existence. The Jews had claimed that Abraham was their father (vs. 39) and so Christ establishes his pre-eminence in the divine purpose by stating that before Abraham was, "I am". He did not say "before Abraham was, I was" as it is frequently misread. But the Jews, like modern-day trinitarians, misunderstood Jesus. He was not claiming to be literally older in years than Abraham. This is indi- cated by his prior remark: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad." (vs. 56). Abraham, to whom the gospel was preached (Gal. 3:8), "saw" the day of Christ through the eye of faith. Christ was "foreordained before the foundation of the world, but manifest in these last times". (1 Pet. 1:20). He was foreordained in the divine purpose, but not formed. Similarly in the divine purpose he was the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8) but literally he was not slain until his crucifixion in the time of Pilate.

2. There is no proof that Christ alludes to the divine name (imperfectly rendered by the A.V., "I am that I am"). Jesus simply uses the present tense of the verb "to be". Even if this verse were intended to be read as an allusion to the divine name, this is not proof that Christ was claiming to be "Very God". The divine name declared, "I will be what I will be". (Exod. 3:14 R.S.V. margin.). The name was a prophetic declaration of the divine purpose. Jesus Christ was "God manifest in the flesh" (1 Tim. 3:16), "the word" (Greek: logos) "made flesh." (Jn. 1:14). As such, he was the expression of the divine character, "full of grace and truth" (Jn. 1:14 cf. Exod. 33:19), and became the "firstborn among many brethren". (Rom. 8:29). Christ was the result of the word made flesh, not the originator of the divine plan. As he himself said, "I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me." (Jn. 8:42).

> Phillipians 2:6-7 - "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."

1. If "in the form of God" means the very nature of God, then Christ could not have been "Very God" while on earth, as trinitarians assert, since this is what he is said to have sacrificed and left behind in coming to the earth.

2. The Greek word "morphe" (translated "form") does not refer to "essential nature" as the trinitarian cause requires. This is proven by the following:

a) "Eidos", not "morphe" is the Greek word which conveys the idea of "essential nature". As Liddell and Scott point out in their lexicon, "morphe" means form, shape, fine, beautiful form or shape, figure, fashion, appearance, outward form or semblance. It is opposed to "eidos" which means "true form".

b) In the context of this passage, it is stated that Christ "took upon him the form of a servant" (vs. 7). But what is the form of a servant (Grk. "doulos", a slave)? The "essential nature" of a slave is the same as that of any other human being. The form, therefore, must refer to the semblance or demeanour of a slave as the distinguishing characteristic.

c) "Morphe" occurs in only one other place in the N.T.—Mark 16: 12, and here it clearly does not mean "essential nature". Jesus appeared "in another form", but this could not refer to a change of his essential nature since the reason why he appeared to be in another form was because the disciples' "eyes were holden". (Luke 24:16 cf. vs. 31). Not even a trinitarian would be prepared to say that Christ's essential nature was changed after his resurrection and glorification.

3. How was Christ in the form of God? He had the semblance and demeanour of the Father mentally and morally. His character was the express image of his Father's person. (Heb. 1:3).

4. Sometimes trinitarians stress that Christ was originally in the form of God—i.e., "being" in the form of God is taken to mean that he was in fact "Very God" before his "incarnation". The Greek verb "huparchon" refutes this position since it is in the imperfect tense which expresses action yet, or still in course of performance. Time signified by an imperfect tense is of a continual, habitual, repeated action, so that "being in the form of God" means "being, and continu- ing to be in the form of God". Christ never ceased to be in the form of God since in semblance and demeanour from his birth he habitually exemplified his Father's character. Note the use of "huparchon" in the following passages:

a) Acts 2:30—"Therefore being a prophet" does not mean "being originally before birth a prophet", but rather a prophet and continuing to be such.

b) 1 Cor. 11:7—"Forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God" does not mean "being originally before he was born the image and glory of God", but rather being the image of God and continuing to be.

c) Gal. 2:14—"If thou being a Jew" does not mean "being originally before his birth as a Jew", but rather if you from the start and continuing to be a Jew.

5. "Thought it not robbery to be equal with God" is generally acknowledged to be a poor translation. The R.S.V. reads as follows: He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped." Unlike Eve who grasped after the fruit which was to be desired to make one like God (the "elohim") to know good and evil, Jesus refused to take the kingdoms of the world without the crucifixion of the flesh and the declaration of the righteousness of his Father. In the Garden of Gethsemane he subjected his will to his Father's, not arrogating to himself prerogatives that rightly belonged to his Father. (Matt. 26:39).

6. How did Christ take the form of a servant (slave)? Two passages supply the answer:

a) "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet." (Jn. 13:14).

b) "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." (Heb. 5:8,9).

Although Christ was in the form of God in his semblance and demeanour, he took on him the semblance and demeanour of a slave.

1. "He humbled himself"; "he emptied himself" R.S.V. (vs. 8), refers to Christ's deliberate choice to submit his will to that of his Father. Christ was worshipped (Matt. 8:2; 9:18), performed the works of God (Jn. 10:37 38), and forgave sins (Matt. 9:2), but he never arrogated to himself authority which had not been delegated to him by the Father. In so doing his example was a powerful lesson in humility to the Philippians. But if Christ "being originally, before his birth, while he was in heaven in the form (essential nature) of God thought at his birth, when he descended into the womb, not to be equal with God, but left the form of God", where is humility demonstrated?
Freetos
 

Re: Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his

Postby jimwalton » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:30 pm

Thank you for trying to clarify, but I beg to differ—pretty radically. These verses are best understood by the Trinitarians.

> John 10.30

Jesus's subsequent usage of the same term and form in John 17 has to be considered distinctly because the context is radically different from his John 10 context, and his use of the term is therefore different. In John 10 he is making a distinct claim about his identity (a theological truth) whereas in John 17 he is offering a prayer for people. If the Jews misunderstood Jesus in John 10, he had the occasion to say, "Oh, sorry boys, that's not what I meant. Hey, hey, hey, put the rocks down." But he offered no retraction or clarification.

John 5.19 is no affirmation that he is not co- equal with the Father, nor is it so clear, as you claim. In 5.18 is the expression that he was making himself equal with God. If you want clarity, there it is.

So then we interpret v. 19 in its context of making himself equal with God. Jesus claimed authority to duplicate and continue the works the Father was doing: to give life to people (God's power), to execute judgment (God's prerogative), and to raise the dead at the end of time (God's position). The passage is of critical importance. Here we find Jesus making a formal, systematic, orderly, and regular statement of His own unity with the Father, His divine commission and authority, and the proofs of his deity.

> John 14.28

He's saying what he did in Jn. 13.16: "No messenger is more important than the one who sent him." Jesus is not speaking here of the relation of the Father and the Son in themselves, but of the relation of God to Christ in his temporal humiliation. This is affirmed by an army of biblical scholars, including Cyrill. Augustine, Ammon, Luther, Melancthon, Calvin and so many others. If John were just making up the deity of Christ, this very is an unlikely invention. All he means is what's in v. 31: "I do exactly what my Father has commanded me."

> John 8.58 ... Christ's reference to Abraham is to affirm his (Christ's) pre-eminence, not pre-existence

Again, the reaction of those around him, and Christ's silence in "correcting" them, show that you are wrong. Jesus doesn't stand preeminent in a series of great men reaching back to Abraham and continuing on through the succession of the prophets. His claim is not that he is the greater of the prophets (and even greater than Abraham!), but that he belongs to a different order of being. Of Abraham he used the verb γενέσθαι (genesthai, "was born"). Of himself he uses a different verb, since γενέσθαι isn't applicable to him as God. He stands outside the range of biological rank and genealogical preeminence.

> There is no proof that Christ alludes to the divine name

What in the world would you consider to be proof for such a thing? Jesus's other statements claiming to be equal with God? Check. The Jews' understanding that he made himself to be equal with God? Check. God the Father affirming him as divine? Check.

Honestly, what in the world proof are you looking for here or expecting?

> Jesus simply uses the present tense of the verb "to be".

Of course he does. He has to speak in language when he speaks. It's the way he frames the expression, "Before Abraham was born, I AM." He doesn't say, in response to their incredulity in Jn. 8.57, "Before Abraham was, I existed." He could have, but didn't. But rather he said, "Before Abraham was, I AM." And when they picked up stones to execute him for blasphemy, he didn't correct them but slipped out of their grasp, knowing that they were angry because he made himself equal with God.

> Phil. 2.5-11 ... If "in the form of God" means the very nature of God, then Christ could not have been "Very God" while on earth, as trinitarians assert, since this is what he is said to have sacrificed and left behind in coming to the earth.

Again you are incorrect. Trinitarians never assert that Jesus gave up the nature of God in coming to earth. Rather, the point exactly requires that Jesus in his incarnation shared the nature of God.

μορφῇ (morphe): It means the particular way that deity is manifested. He existed eternally in the very form of God. He didn't enter this state at some point in time, nor become God as some point in time, but always existed eternally as deity. He has God's attributes and always did. Paul could have chosen and be using μορφῇ in several ways:

1\. In the sense of *eikon*—something inseparable from the person, i.e., Jesus is God himself.

2\. To signify "visible appearance": Jesus is the visible manifestation of the unseeable divine glory, a "divine body", as it were.

3\. He is using μορφῇ as a status marker, maintaining that Jesus had a position of God without having to attain it.

And what about "the form of a servant"? Again, he took the very nature of a servant. He took on the attributes of a slave.

- Gal. 4.4 – born of a woman, born under the law
- Jn. 6.38 – He came not to do his own will but the will of the Father
- Mt. 26.38-39: his soul is sorrowful unto death and he begs his father that the cup pass
- Phil. 2.8 – He became obedient even to death

> How was Christ in the form of God? He had the semblance and demeanour of the Father mentally and morally. His character was the express image of his Father's person. (Heb. 1:3).

There is NO teaching in the Bible that this was all Jesus was talking about. He superseded this thought and concept consistently and habitually.

As far as Hebrews 1.3, Jesus is the Shekinah glory of God, the way God's glory reaches the earth. Again, as in John and Paul, the glory that God is is the same glory that Jesus is, and vice versa. He is the very glory of the divine being. He is also the exact representation (χαρακτὴρ) of God's being. This statement even goes beyond the "radiance" one. Jesus bears the very stamp of the nature of God. The point is to say that the two (Jesus and God) are synonymous: they are the same essence while being separate persons.

> The Greek verb "huparchon"

The imperfect denotes continued action. "so that "being in the form of God" means "being, and continu- ing to be in the form of God". This is correct. Jesus always was God and never stopped being God.

> Christ never ceased to be in the form of God since in semblance and demeanour from his birth he habitually exemplified his Father's character.

Well this is also true, but it doesn't God far enough. Jesus shared the nature of God even before his incarnation.

> "Thought it not robbery to be equal with God" is generally acknowledged to be a poor translation.

I agree. It's more the idea of scrambling after, snatching, taking by violence (hence the old thought of robbery). No seizing or attainment of any kind was needed by Jesus. He always had equality with God.

> Unlike Eve who grasped after the fruit which was to be desired to make one like God (the "elohim") to know good and evil, Jesus refused to take the kingdoms of the world without the crucifixion of the flesh and the declaration of the righteousness of his Father. In the Garden of Gethsemane he subjected his will to his Father's, not arrogating to himself prerogatives that rightly belonged to his Father. (Matt. 26:39).

This is all completely foreign to the text of Philippians. Paul isn't talking about any of this stuff. Jesus didn't have to grasp after equality with God because it was already his.

> How did Christ take the form of a servant (slave)?

See above.

> Although Christ was in the form of God in his semblance and demeanour, he took on him the semblance and demeanour of a slave.

While correct, again this doesn't go far enough.

> He humbled himself

Pretty straightforward: He willingly took a lower status.

> He emptied himself

There are MANY ideas about what this means. You can't say with any confidence that it means (and only means): "refers to Christ's deliberate choice to submit his will to that of his Father. Christ was worshipped (Matt. 8:2; 9:18), performed the works of God (Jn. 10:37 38), and forgave sins (Matt. 9:2), but he never arrogated to himself authority which had not been delegated to him by the Father."

You know, the issue of Jesus's deity has been fought and resolved so many times through history. It's amazing we have to continue fighting it. The Council of Nicea in the 4th century dealt with it, as did the Council of Constantinople. The question of Jesus's deity has been long resolved: Jesus is God by the teaching of Jesus himself and the record of it in the Bible.
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Re: Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his

Postby Freetos » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:37 pm

May I take up some references which disprove the deity of Jesus Christ?

Belief in the pre-existence of Christ has inevitable effects on one's understanding and appreciation of the Saviour's redemptive work. Consider the following:

a) If Jesus was conscious of having existed in heaven as the glorious Creator, how could he in any sense be tempted the same way as are his brethren? (Heb. 4:15).

b) If Christ pre-existed the force of the argument in 1 Cor. 15:46 is lost. Paul says, "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual/' But if Christ pre-existed, then for him, this divinely appointed order is reversed—first spiritual, then natural. How then is he the first- born among many brethren (Rom. 8:29), if indeed his experience is the very reverse of theirs?

It requires stressing that the description of the birth of Christ precludes the possibility of his having a prior existence. Note the following:

a) The words used to describe his birth indicate the beginning of existence, (e.g. "birth", 'conceive", Matt. 1:18,20; Lk. 1:31,35; 2 : 2 1 ) . If a change from one form of existence to another were intended, such words as "transform" or "incarnate" would have been used.

b) The divine action involved in the coming of God's Son into the world is not kept secret or made mysterious. Instead, it is plainly explained in Lk. 1:34,35; Matt. 1:18,20. The description of these passages indicates the creation of a new person by means of God's power acting on Mary, and thereby rules out any possibility that Christ personally existed in some manner prior to his birth.

Jesus Christ cannot be "Very God" (i.e., of "one person" with the Father) since statements about Jesus Christ are contradictions of statements about God, his Father. Consider the following:

Jesus Christ

a) Was tempted (Heb. 2:18)

b) Died (Rev. 1:18)

c) Seen by men

God, (hisFather)

a)Cannot be tempted with evil (James 1:13)

b) Cannot die (1 Tim. 6:16)

c) Cannot be seen by men (1 Tim. 6:16)

Jesus Christ is a separate person from his Father. This is further indicated by the following references:

a) Jesus ascended to his Father and his God. (Jn. 20:17). Since Jesus after his resurrection ascended to his God, then clearly he was not himself "Very God".

b) He prayed to his Father indicating a distinction and independence of wills. "Not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Matt. 26:39).

c) He is referred to as a man after his ascension into heaven. (1 Tim. 2:5).

Jesus is not co-equal with his Father. This is indicated by the following passages:

a) God is the head of Christ. (1 Cor. 11:3).

b) Christ is approved by God—the greater. (Acts 2:22).

c) Christ himself states that his Father is greater. (Jn. 14:28).

d) Christ is to be subject to the Father. (1 Cor. 15:28). This passage is often the single most effective quotation in setting forth the relationship of Jesus to God. It shows his position of delegated authority in the kingdom (vs. 27) and subsequent subjection to the Father, (vs. 28). Can one person in the God-head be subject to another and yet all persons be co-equal?

e) See also Mark 10:18 and John 5:19,30.
Freetos
 

Re: Jesus was not God, but manifested God's character in his

Postby jimwalton » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:39 pm

I can't possibly comment in one post on all of these texts.

Bottom line: you seem to be failing to make the distinction between the principle of divine action and the subject of divine action. The principle of all divine action is the one undivided divine essence, but the subject of divine action is either Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. The Father can send the Son according to his power, and the Son can be incarnated according to his nature without dividing the divine essence. The Father can speak to the Son and the Son to the Father.

Suppose I write a book, and I put myself in it. The character "me" says what I would say and does what I would do. It's ME in the book. He's exactly as I am. Now, is the character in the book different from the me outside of the book? Of course he is. But is it me? Of course it is. He's all me, but he's all a separate character. I can easily be both the author and a character without compromising either. (No analogy can be pushed too far; all fail eventually. The point, hopefully, is clear.)

Christ in his flesh was subject to temptation, though never sinned by it. He was subject to death, but was able to raise himself up. He was subject to the senses: visible, hearable, and touchable.
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