John 8:58 and Trinitarian belief

Trinitarians claim that the Jews picked up stones to try and stone Jesus because he was claiming to be God in John 8. The fact is, they were not stoning him for that reason, but because he claimed to be the Messiah.

The Jews had an awful short memory if they were trying to say Jesus was claiming to be God here in John 8:58, but were not bright enough to bring this up at the trial where they had the perfect opportunity to recall this to everyone’s attention that he was claiming to be God and set the record straight. What did they ask Jesus at the trial? If he were God? No. They knew exactly what Jesus was claiming. The High Priest said to Jesus,

“I put you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD!”

And THAT is why the Jews wanted to kill him, not because he claimed to be the Supreme God, but the Son of God, the Messiah.

“The Jews therefore came round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou hold us in suspense? If thou art the Christ, tell us plainly.” (John 10: 24)

Not if you are a third part of the Trinity and therefore one of the three gods.

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Jesus Was/Is Fully Human (1 John 4:2)

1 John 4:2

“This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.”

Another translation says:

“How can you recognize God’s spirit? Every spirit who confesses Jesus Messiah as the one coming as a fully human being…”  (The One God, the Father, One Man Messiah Translation.)

So what’s the big deal?  Everyone has come in the flesh (Greek word “sarx”).  We are all fleshly human beings, even animals are flesh. 

One person said, “What John is getting at when he says ‘they deny that Jesus is come in the flesh’ is that they deny Christ has ANY POWER over their flesh.  They preach that Christ has ONLY come “in their spirit” and their flesh remains the same until the day they die (or until Christ’s return and he changes their flesh).”

That explanation is not found in the text.  This is not to mention that Jesus the Messiah has no power over any flesh (humans).  It is without a doubt that Christ had power over his own flesh, i.e., he overcame the temptations of the flesh. We all have a free choice to reject or give into temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).

 But the word for “flesh” in that verse means “flesh,” i.e, a “human being” just like all of us. Being in the flesh (according to context)  is a human being, and Trinitarians deny this by saying he was fully human and fully God.  Jesus didn’t  come “into flesh” as though he pre-existed in some other form and ‘transferred’ himself from heaven into a woman’s womb.  If Jesus preexisted he could not be fully human but simply dressed up to appear as a human being.  

Jesus was and is a full human being.  He is still a man.  (1 Tim. 2:5)

scarred-hands-Jesus_lw

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Jesus Does Not Make Sense if He Claimed to be God Himself.

If Jesus is God as Trinitarians and Oneness Pentecostals claim, what Jesus says would not make sense. For instance, in Matt. 5:8 Jesus says,

“Blessed are the pure in heart FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD.”

If Jesus is God, then he is intentionally being deceptive if he claims to be God as Trinitarians and Oneness Pentecostals falsely claim he did.

Some of the questions posed below to Trinitarians and Oneness Pentecostal believers will never get a straight answer.  If an answer is given, notice that they must resort to unbiblical reasoning.

How can Jesus claim to be God and have a God at the same time? When he was resurrected from the dead he told the woman in John 20:17,

“I ascend to my Father and your Father, and MY GOD and YOUR GOD.”

And in Rev. 3:12 he says,

“Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of MY GOD. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of MY GOD and the name of the city of MY GOD, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from MY GOD; and I will also write on him my new name.”

And in Revelation 3:21

“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with MY FATHER on HIS THRONE.

In Rev. 1:6 Jesus says,

“[Jesus] has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve HIS GOD AND FATHER – to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”

Notice this is AFTER he was resurrected from the dead. Again, How can Jesus claim to be God and have a God at the same time?

What about prayer?  Does Jesus always pray to himself? (Ex. John 17:3) For that matter, if Jesus is God, why the need for him to pray at all?

If Jesus is God, why tell the disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me?” Why not simply say, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in me for I am God.”

If you say Jesus is God who created the heavens and the earth and mankind, why does Jesus say it was God who did those things? (Mark 10:6; see Gen. 1) Why couldn’t Jesus simply say, “I created…?

Bottom line, If Jesus is God and claims to be God as you say, why does he use a lot of double-talk to confuse the listeners?

If you say Jesus is 100% human and 100% God because he has a “dual nature,” where did you get that out of Scripture? If a person is 100% human, how can he be 100% of something else?

I often hear, and have used it myself, that nothing is too hard for God and that he COULD become a man if he so chooses. The question is not COULD God become a man, the question is, where in Scripture does it clearly state that he DID become a man? There is not one.

Where does it clearly state that Jesus was comprised of two natures? It doesn’t.

Hebrews 2:17 says,

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

If Jesus was made like unto his brethren, do we have a dual nature?  Are we God-man?  Since we don’t have a dual nature, Heb. 2:17 cannot be true concerning Jesus if you say he does.

Dual nature is not taught in Scripture. God did not send Himself to die for us. God cannot die!

No where in scripture did Jesus or the apostles teach a dual nature of Christ or that Christ was God. One would have to read that into scriptures and rely on philosophy. Scriptures are clear that Jesus is the Son of God and that God is his Father and our Father and our God. God the Father is the ONLY TRUE GOD (John 20:17, John 17:3, etc.)

 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Col. 2:8

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Jesus Not the Almighty in Rev. 1:8

A person told me that Rev. 1:8 refers to Jesus as the Almighty. (Trinity and Oneness Pentecostals come to the same conclusion…that Jesus is God.) My response?

In Rev. 1:8, it does not matter what color the words are in, it does not refer to Jesus. Jesus is NEVER referred to as the “Almighty.” No one will find a single place in the entire NT that describes Jesus as the Almighty.

Please read the context and you will see that John bore witness to distinct separate beings; God Almighty AND Jesus the man.

For example, in Rev. 1:4-6 it says,

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him (GOD THE FATHER) who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne; AND from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him (Jesus) who loves us, and released us from our sins by his blood, and he (Jesus) has made us to be a kingdom, priests TO HIS GOD AND FATHER; to him (GOD THE FATHER) be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

PLEASE carefully read the grammatical structure of the paragraph. It reads, “…Him who is and who was and who is to come AND from Jesus Christ.”

Jesus is not God Almighty and God Almighty is not the firstborn from the dead! God cannot die! Nor does God have blood!

In Revelation 1:5 we see that Jesus is not God because he made a kingdom of priests to “HIS GOD.” How can Jesus be God since the passage says, “he made us to be a kingdom, priests to HIS GOD AND FATHER?”

This is not to mention that in Rev. 3:12 Jesus says,

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of MY GOD, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of MY GOD, and the name of the city of MY GOD, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from MY GOD, and my new name.”

Does it make sense to say “MY GOD” if Jesus is God??

When he was resurrected from the dead, he told the woman,

“Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father: but go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto MY FATHER and YOUR FATHER, and MY GOD and YOUR GOD.” ~Jn. 20:17

And since it’s a matter of eternal life, who does Jesus say is the ONLY TRUE GOD in John 17:3?

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Sin is Not in the Blood

BloodThere are those who teach that Adam and Eve started out with perfect blood, but something happened to that blood after they sinned. In other words, the blood properties changed and that is understood to be ‘sinful blood’ as opposed to maintaining ‘sinless blood’. This “sinful blood” in turn is given to all Adam’s progeny.

I even read where one teacher said that Adam and Eve had water flowing through their veins before they sinned! (Ruckman, Peter. Ruckman’s Bible References: Personal Notes on Salient Verses in the Bible. 1997, p. 25) But enough of this nonsense.

Now, if there is sin in the blood, if a person loses his blood, would he become sinless? Does he become less sinful as he bleeds? A logical conclusion would indicate that losing blood would be a positive thing.

Most importantly, where in scripture does it teach that sin is in the blood and transmitted by the blood? Where in scripture does it say blood is the place where sin resides? Where in scripture does it say Adam’s blood became impure after he sinned? And for that matter, where in scripture does it say Adam and Eve had water running through their veins before they sinned?!

Sin is a transgression (1 John 3:4), NOT something we are born with.

The Bible is clear that a person is born innocent and corrupts himself (Genesis 6:5-7, 11-12; Exodus 32:7-8; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Deut. 31:29; Deuteronomy 32:5-6, 18). Sin is something that happens AFTER we are born, it is not something we are born with, not something that is in our genes DNA, or chromosomes. This doctrine makes sin to be a physical problem, and this is exactly the belief in the majority of

Christendom and the world. Those in the world think that someday they will be able find the cure for the “sin gene.”

Jehovah Witnesses believe sin is in the blood. This is what the Watchtower teaches,

“The blood in any person is in reality the person himself. It contains all the peculiarities of the individual from whence it comes. This includes hereditary taints, disease susceptibilities, poisons due to personal living, eating and drinking habits . . . The poisons that produce the impulse to commit suicide, murder, or steal are in the blood.” (Watchtower 9/15/1961, page 564)

Watchtower is saying that such sins reside in physical blood. This is one of the reasons why they won’t allow blood transfusions. Sin does not reside in the blood, nor does righteousness reside in the blood, and any Scripture quoted is used as a smokescreen to enforce the Gnostic thinking.

The Bible does use terms like “innocent blood” and “righteous blood” but this is not talking about the properties of blood itself.

The innocent blood is speaking of one who was simply innocent from doing any crime, who are unjustly punished, and the righteous blood refers to those saints who were righteous, “righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias.”

Here are two quotes some may use to try and prove blood has moral properties.

“For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?” -1 Sam 19:5

“That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” -Matt. 23:35

Note it is obvious that it’s not referring to moral properties in the blood, for physical blood has no moral properties. A person who is innocent is one who is free from guilt; not having done wrong or violated any law. In Matthew Jesus talks about those righteous people from Abel right onto Zacharias! Jesus was not referring to these people in the sense of their blood having moral property (for it doesn’t!), but of the people themselves living a righteous life, innocent, and whose blood was shed, from Abel to unto the blood of Zacharias.

Some people try to prove that Jesus had “righteous blood” flowing in his veins by quoting 1 Peter 1:19 for support. Nowhere in the passage does it say anything about “righteous blood.” The text says “PRECIOUS BLOOD.”

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”

Precious means of great price; costly; as a precious stone. Highly valued; much esteemed. Nothing in there about moral properties in the blood of Jesus he Messiah.

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Worshipping Someone Does Not Make Them God

bowingThe majority of Christendom think that since Jesus was worshipped, this means he is God. They will also often refer to passage where Jesus says,

“You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only” (Matt. 4: 10).

Note that Jesus did not say, “I am the LORD your God, worship me only.”

In the Hebrew culture worship is not reserved exclusively for God.  Worship was offered to God and other people.  For example:

  • Lot “worshipped” the two strangers as they entered Sodom (Gen. 19: 1).
  • Abraham “worshipped” the Gentile leaders of the land where he lived (Gen. 23: 7).
  • Jacob “worshipped” his older brother Esau (Gen. 33: 3).
  • Joseph’s brothers “worshipped” him (Gen. 43: 26).
  • Ruth “worshipped” Boaz (Ruth 2: 10).
  • David “worshipped” Jonathan (1 Sam. 20: 41).
  • David “worshipped” King Saul (1 Sam. 24: 8).
  • Mephibosheth fell on his face and “worshipped” David (2 Sam. 9: 6).
  • Abigail “worshipped” David the outlaw (1 Sam. 25: 23, 41). The whole congregation “worshipped” the king (1 Chron. 9: 20).

In Rev. 3:9, the saints will be worshipped,

Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and they 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.”

People who were worshipped were God’s representatives. This is called “Jewish Agency.”  When a superior commissions an agent to act on his behalf, the agent is regarded at the person himself.  We can take a few examples from scripture.  For instance:

Jacob wrestled with “a man” all night until dawn and said he had “seen God face to face” (Gen. 32:24-30).  When we read the book of Hosea 12:3-4 it states, “As a man he [Jacob] struggled with God; he struggled with the angel and overcame him.”

When Israel started their journey through the wilderness we read in Exodus 13:21,

The LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to lead them on their way during the day and in a pillar of fire to give them light at night, so that they could travel day or night.”

Then in Exodus 14:19 we read,

“And the angel of God who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them.”

Here we have the LORD Himself who went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud and there other passage says it was the angel of God.   The angel of God is the angelic representative of Yahweh as if the angel is Yahweh Himself.  Now it might be said that this speaks of Jesus the Messiah, but if they want to call and say Jesus is an “angel,” they will run into many problems trying to read that into the text.

Notice when Moses gathers the people together to tell them of the great signs and wonders the LORD did for them, he says,

You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders (Deut. 29: 2-3).

Now in verse 6 he says,

You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORD your God.

No one would have mistaken that Moses was claiming to be the LORD their God.  Moses, as God’s agent, speaks as though he is the LORD himself.

Concerning the concept or “law” of Jewish agency, The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion states:

Agent (Heb. Shaliah): The main point of the Jewish law of agency is expressed in the dictum, “a person’s agent is regarded as the person himself” (Ned. 72B; Kidd, 41b). Therefore any act committed by a duly appointed agent is regarded as having been committed by the principal, who therefore bears full responsibility for it with consequent complete absence of liability on the part of the agent. (R.J.Z. Werblowsky, G. Wigoder, New York: Adama Books, 1986, p. 15.)

We can compare this concept when a person is given “Power of Attorney” for someone.  They have full rights to speak on behalf of that person and take care of all his affairs in all matters as if he were the person himself.

In the New Testament Jesus is the ultimate agent of God, “power of attorney” so to speak. He is the messiah sent from God (“sent,” not meaning Jesus literally came down from heaven as though he preexisted his birth) as all other agents, whether men or angels, were sent.

So when it comes to worshipping Jesus, the Jewish people did not recognize him to be God himself, but as the prophet of God, sent from God.  When Jesus did mighty works, they glorified God through him (Matt. 9: 8; 11: 27; 28: 18; Luke 7: 16; 9: 11; 10: 22.).

Summary

The Hebrew and Greek word for “worship” apply to God and also apply to superior human agents of the only true God. Worshipping a superior human agent did not make them the only true God. Jesus is the ultimate spokesman for God and said to be the “image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15), “and the express image of his person” (Heb. 1:3), which means he perfectly reflected God’s mind and character while he walked on this earth, but this does not make him the only true God. Both are worthy of worship, that is, Jesus as the lord Messiah, and the ULTIMATE praise and worship to the ONLY TRUE GOD AND FATHER of our lord Jesus Christ. (John 17:3; Eph. 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:3)

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John 8:58

Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.”

Trinitarians like to use this verse to try and prove Jesus was claiming to be the one supreme God Almighty, and this is the very reason why the Jews tried to kill him.  The “I am” is “ego eimi” from the Greek translation.  Jesus never said, “I am” as in “I am Yahweh.”  This is nothing more than a theological presupposition and not found in the context.

The phrase “I am” is found many times in the NT and is often translated as “I am he” or something equivalent.  (Mark 13:6; Luke 21:8; John 13:19; 18:5, 6 and 8. “It is I”—Matt. 14:27; Mark 6:50; John 6:20. “I am the one I claim to be”—John 8:24 and 28.). The “he” is often used in italics.  It is interesting that when it comes to John 8:58, they left it out.  If they were consistent, John 8:58 should have been translated as “I am he” or “I am the one,” just as they did elsewhere, would cut down the confusion.  It is easy to see that we have “Trinitarian bias” when it comes to translating the scriptures.  However, this is where it would be fruitful to compare other passages of scriptures that are very plain and easy to understand.

Just because someone says “I am” (ego eimi) does not mean the person is God.  The blind man in John 9:9 says, “Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the Christ.  The conversation at the well with the woman states:

Joh 4:25-26  “The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.  Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Others called him the Messiah throughout his ministry (Luke 2:11; Matt. 16:16; Mark 1:1; John 1:41).

More importantly, the Jews did NOT try to kill Jesus throughout his ministry because he claimed to be the one supreme God.  If Trinitarians insist this is the case found in John 8:58, this would have been the GRAND opportunity to bring it up as Jesus’ trial.  At the trial, did the high priest ask Jesus if he were God?  NO.  Rather, he asked, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us IF YOU ARE THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD.” (Matt. 26:63)  It is for this reason the Jews tried to kill Jesus!

From John’s gospel where Trinitarians try to prove the Trinity doctrine fail to miss the main point of why John was writing.  He says,

“But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is God?”  NO.

“But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

No matter how clearly something is taught in scripture, people who either have an agenda or a theological perspective to protect will never be able to see the truth of what is plainly taught in scripture.

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