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Who Is Jesus?

Some think of Jesus as a man who, because he lived a perfect life, was made by God to be "the christ," an example to show us how to conduct our lives. Yet others hold Him up as the "pattern preacher" who is a paradigm for the only way of ministry able to bring salvation. There are also those of "the friends" who allow that Jesus was divine—godlike, but ranking somewhat lower, as in a father-son relationship. And many more would agree with all of these views, with varying emphases.

The Jesus of the Bible

(A) What did He call Himself that so angered the first-century Jews?

John 5:58 "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am. Then took they stones to cast..."

Exodus 3:14 "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."

(B) Who is "God's Word"?

Revelation 19:13 "And he was clothed with a vesture diped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."

John 1:1, 14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,..."

(C) Who is "the Lord"?

Deuteromony 10:17 "For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:"

Isaiah 45:5-6 "I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else."

Revelation 17:14 "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful."

(D) Who is Creator?

Colossians 1:16 "For by him [Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"

Amos 4:13 "For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name."

Malachi 2:10 "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?"

(E) What else does Scripture say of Jesus?

Matthew 1:21-23 "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins ... and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. "

SUMMARY: These verses, among many others, present Jesus as God: (A) "I AM," (B) "the Word," (C) "the Lord," (D) Creator, (E) Savior, "God with us," "Wonderful Counsellor," "the mighty God," and even "the everlasting Father."

God in the Bible

(A) What does the Bible say about the Father?

1 Corinthians 15:24 "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power."

(B) What does the Father say about Jesus?

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

(C) Does the Bible call the Holy Spirit God?

Acts 5:3-4 "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? ... thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."

(D) Is there more than one God?

Isaiah 45:5-6 "I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else."

1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

Mark 12:29 "And Jesus answered him, The first of all commandments is, Hear O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord:"

SUMMARY: In the Bible, we are told that (A) the Father is God, (B) the Son is God, (C) the Holy Spirit is God, and (D) that these three can only be One God.

What the Scriptures say about the Saviour

(A) Can there be more than one saviour?

Isaiah 43:10-11 "... before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour."

(B) Who is the only saviour?

1 John 4:14 "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world."

Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"

Acts 20:28 "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

See also:

Titus 1:3 "But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;"

and immediately:

Titus 1:4 "To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour;"

and next:

Titus 2:10 "Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things;"

and again:

Titus 3:4 "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared;"

and then:

Titus 3:6 "Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour."

Isaiah 25:9 "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."

SUMMARY: The Scriptures tell us that: (A) there is only one Saviour, and that (B) He is called the Son, Jesus Christ, God and Lord.

Many beautiful psalms, prophecies and prayers in the Bible are addressed to God. Yet the Bible insists that God Himself breathed these words. If He speaks to Himself through human agents, such as prophets, then should anyone be surprised at His addressing Himself directly?

In any case, Jesus bore witness that He spoke to the Father so as to produce belief in those who overheard (as in John 11:42 "And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me."). And, as well, God addresses Himself throughout the Bible (as in Genesis 1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ...").

Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are all the same One, the same God. If a person is unwilling to believe what the Bible says about God, then how can he be certain of what kind of god he is serving — the God of the Scriptures, a "tradition of men," or a god of his own making?

In the Scriptures, God appears in many forms and under many names, including: in human forms, as a burning bush, as "glory," as a column of smoke; and under names translated as God (El), the Almighty (Shaddai), LORD (YHWH, sometimes translated as "Jehovah"), Lord (Adonai), I AM, etc. Why would anyone take the position that it is impossible that God should also visit us in the form of Jesus?

Since God, the Bible, and Jesus Himself state that Jesus Christ is God, either He is the One God, or His witness has not been believed.

- Compare the words Jesus speaks to the Apostle John:

Revelation 1:11, 17-18 "I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last ... And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. and he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

Revelation 21:6-71 John 4:14 "And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."

- With God's word to Isaiah:

Isaiah 44:6 "Thus saith the LORD, the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

SUMMARY: (A) Jesus speakes here, "the Alpha and Omega," "the first and the last ... he that liveth and was dead." Note, there can only be one first and last, God Himself. (B) Jesus (the Alpha and Omega) says He will be our God and we can be His son. (C) Isaiah, as do other Scriptures, tells us that the name of "the first and the last" is the LORD (YHWH), the same God that spoke from Mt. Sinai and throughout the Hebrew Bible.

A Few, Last Notes:

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him."

John 14:9 "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?"

John 20:28 "And Thomas answered and said unto him[Jesus], My Lord and my God."

1 John 5:20-21 "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."

Like the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses, the workers have long maintained the firm position that Jesus—though perhaps "divine" (that is, god-like)—is not God (as is the Father).

Unlike these other churches, they seldom make their stance clear, and have rarely spoken openly on the subject in recent years. The church's hymnal (Hymns Old and New) originally contained a few hymns authored by outsiders which contained references which could be seen as supporting trinitarianism. However, the wording of those hymns have since been altered, or the hymns themselves removed, so that the current hymnal has been completely purged any statement which presents Jesus as God.

When the topic has arisen, the workers often couch their statements in vague or dissembling language which a casual listener might interpret as accepting a traditional, trinitarian viewpoint. They use the term "divine" restrictively to mean "godlike" or "from god." Some have said that the accept that Jesus was a god or a sort of god, in the way the Psalmist declared all Israel to be gods in the sense that they were God's children (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34). They accept that Jesus was indwelt by the fulness of God; that Jesus was godlike; that the Holy Spirit comes from the Father; that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One in purpose; and similar ideas which would seem to support a Trinitarian viewpoint. Yet, despite this, and upon closer questioning, they deny that Jesus is God in any sense the same way as is the Father, or that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One God. Because of these factors, many outsiders and newer members are unaware of the church's longstanding and documented teaching regarding this important subject.

The anti-Trinitarian stance came about early in the sect's history. Douglas and Helen Parker (Secret Sect, pp. 8, 12, 102–103.) noted that, during the movement's first years, converts were required to discard all traditional Christian doctrines (accepted teachings) espoused by other churches. This likely included the concepts behind Trinitarianism. Instead, Jesus became a model preacher and promulgator of the Two by Two system of ministry and meetings. The rejection of Jesus as God is worldwide within Two by Twoism, despite that a few may make Trinitarian-sounding statements and a few novice recruits may still hold onto Trinitarian concepts. Trinitarian concepts, including Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit being One God, continue to be rejected by both the main group, the original followers of William Irvine (ejected in 1914) and the followers of Edward Cooney (ejected in 1928). Because of the uniformity of the anti-Trinitarian stance, both around the globe within the Two by Twos and across the sects spawned by the original movement, rejection of Trinitarian views is almost certainly a development from early in the movement's history.

This deviance from a Trinitarian view of Jesus was noted in early printings of the widely distributed tract "The Cooneyites or Go Preachers: A Warning" (see see here for details). When this article was reprinted in the magazine Our Hope in 1924, overseers John Hardie and Jack Carroll conducted a campaign to have the tract and article withdrawn. This included Jack Carroll writing letters to the publishers denying the observations made in the article, including regarding the sect's non-Trinitarian stance. Carroll made statements to the publishers that on the surface seemed to indicate acceptance of Trinitarian concepts such as Jesus and the Holy Spirit being God, however it has been noted by those who served under Jack Carroll that this was not either the belief or teaching under his leadership. One must beware of reading normative Trinitarian concepts into the highly parsed, and even redefined, words and phrases delivered by Two by Two workers, elders and ordinary members in response to questions regarding the Trinity. Many are quite adept at appearing orthodox when that is not at all the case.

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