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The Trinity and Messianic Legalism


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Question #1: 

Hello--I'm sorry to bother you again so soon, but I have a question about Matthew 28:19, where Jesus tells us to baptize in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. A Oneness Pentecostal, who is a fire-breathing fanatic of the worst kind, denies this verse and wrote this to me, though I am not sure what he means:

"Mt. 28:19 is suspect as Eusebius who had some of the earliest of copies of the N.T. And did not quote it some 20 times As we have it, till the 4th century period after Nicea,

He didn't say anything in the verse about baptism or the titles, Father, Son, Holy Ghost ... Anyway, is this phrase in all the ancient Greek manuscripts that you know of? And in the Latin and Coptic ones? Also, I have Eusebius' The Church History, translated by Dr. Paul E. Maier, who is the foremost scholar in my LCMS church and I don't see anything in the index about Matthew 28:19.

Thanks for your help on this. As always, I am grateful!

Response #1: 

Good to hear from you.

All of the major witnesses (and minor ones too) have nearly the precise same text for Matthew 28:19. There are some minor differences (e.g., B and D have the aorist participle "having baptized" instead of the present tense "baptizing"), but, as far as I know, there is no textual basis whatsoever for calling into question the Trinitarian formula here inasmuch as it is present in every single manuscript we have from antiquity. I also don't know of any variations in the versions (the Latin Vulgate has the equivalent, for example).

As for Eusebius, I am aware that F. C. Conybeare had made some such claim (i.e., because E says on a number of occasions "Go make disciples in my name", this is taken as a proof for one thing or another). However, Eusebius was not reproducing manuscripts but quoting passages – or better, E was paraphrasing them from memory and giving the "gist" he thought appropriate to the point he was making (most of us when we quote the Bible orally from memory without checking first are likely to make similar mistakes, after all). Therefore if some of his "quotations" are not spot on, it is hardly surprising (or significant). One would have to show that a particular instance was clearly meant as a quote of the entire passage, and that his version unquestionably differed from what all the mss. have. This, as far as I known, no one has ever attempted to do that (for obvious reasons). It would be incumbent upon correspondent to give a specific reference in one of Eusebius' works which demonstrates a clear variation, in terms of an outright quotation (rather than a paraphrase), in order even to have this argument. Even so, it is critical to understand that rather than being a manuscript of the Bible, Eusebius is only secondary evidence, and so of no particular weight when stacked up against that of all of the mss. traditions, especially when, as in this case, they present a united front.

However, I am sympathetic to the notion that this passage is "dry" (if that is what correspondent means), but that in my view is obvious upon close inspection: e.g., there is no way that a person can be placed "into" (Gr. eis) the Trinity by means of water – our Lord is clearly speaking here of the Spirit's baptism (cf. Lk.3:16; Acts 1:5), pace denominational ritualism.

Yours in Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #2:

HI--It might interest you to know what this Oneness guy thought about what you wrote about Matthew 28:19. He is a fire-breathing fanatic and thinks you are a liar.

Hogwash, I call him a liar THIS idiot Luginbill. 20 TIMES he just paraphrased it each time and never quoted till after Nicea. DON'T BELIEVE THAT FOR A INSTANT. copout and you still haven't answered why the oldest known text of Mt. 28;19 Evan Bohan ben tov and many modern ones leave out anything about F,S,HG AND BAPTISM. You also sit there without a clue why over and ove the name Jesus was always stated in Acts and you cannot find a witness passage to that insanity Roman Catholicism spewed out after she admitted to having changed the formula.

YOU ARE BELIEVING A FALSE FORMULA. You take that false trinity church mess and supped at satan's seat doctrinally and follow error. PROOF: CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA II 1911 PG 263 "The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to thewords, Father, Son and Holy Spirit by the CATHOLIC CHURCH in the second century." Cardinal later to be Pope and a antichrist Joseph Ratzinger: Introduction to Christianity Herder AND Herder pub 1970 and on pgs 50-51 had this startling admission regarding Mt. 28:19 ... "The basic form of our profession of faith took shape during the course of the second and third centuries in connection with the ceremony of baptism. So far as its place of origin is concerned, the text came from the city of ROME." You go ahead and believe such, I have a bunch of other historical and reference quotes stating that the original formula was not titles, but the name of Jesus. "A PARAPHRASE" what a hoot! just like having no evidence at all for a tritheist usage of titles, propping up a false triad deity. Williston Walker, Catholic University of America, R. Bultman, Stuart Hall,Tom Harpur, Moffett's N.T. Translation, Jerusalem Bible, Schaff -Herzog, Hastings Dictionary,Wilhem Bousett, Tyndale N.T. COMMENTARY, EDMUND SCHLINK, ENCY. OF RELIGION AND ETHICS, NEW REVISED STANDARD VESIONM, INTL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYL. all refute you and I have the quotes by them on it and more. corrupted MSS evidence you meant to say, because Eusebius never stated at all anything about baptism or titles, and your friend saying he was paraphrasing to what he did actually say, I call the man out as a liar. Eusebius pg 152 The Demonstratio Evangelica (which I have a English copy)... "With one word and voice He said to His disciples: "Go and make disciples of all nations in My Name, {who was speaking here a Trinity or Jesus?} teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." That is not a paraphrase, not even close, that is a lie by the pretender Christian you quoted making that stuff up. You have been sold a bill of goods and the fruit and Spirit is rotten. Remember when you are in church the next time, 'these people have lied to me", is what you will be thinking. And __ was right and always has been!

So, do you know what he is talking about vis a vis that the Roman church changed the original wording. Have you ever heard of that? You said that all the manuscripts that you are aware of have the standard "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." I find it hard to believe that all the many hundreds of the manuscript evidence was "corrupted."

Anyway, what do you think of his ranting and all those other folks he quotes?

Response #2:   

The Shem Tov "gospel" is a medieval creation; there is absolutely no evidence that it is ancient (it is in fact a back-translation into the Hebrew of the gospel of Matthew done by some Jewish source for apologetic/anti-Christian purposes, and it exists only in mss. no earlier than the 14th century). Eusebius is 4th century, but the mss. of Eusebius are of course much later than this; so any evidence from him cannot compare to actual mss. of the Greek NT which predate even his original writings by many centuries (e.g., Aleph and Vaticanus).

It doesn't matter how many times a person misquotes or paraphrases a biblical passage. I have looked up one of these and I note that E' puts it into the work as a "quick proof/parallel" and appears to do so from memory: *and he doesn't say this quote "go and make disciples" is from Matthew (perhaps he didn't remember where it was from), and the "quote" is not exact on the front end either (he leaves out the Greek conjunction oun), so that there is no question but that he was not concerned about being exact on the back end of the quote. E' also doesn't include verse eighteen: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me", so by the same logic we must assume that this is to be considered an invalid addition as well. In fact, of course, E' is a historian, and historians are not reproducing other works; rather they are writing their own, and it is in complete accord with historical canons of the time to put in partial quotes without reference to precise exactitude. In other words, it would be completely misreading Eusebius, the genre of ancient history, or the actual passages to take these citations as proof that Eusebius is reading a different text – and that is especially the case when he is stacked up against every single other manuscript of the Greek Bible, some of which were written before he was born.

Since the entire verse as we have it is in all of the manuscripts of which we know that existed at the time when Eusebius lived and wrote, I would ask correspondent, "if Eusebius is trying to demonstrate a difference between the "true text" and what we have from the manuscripts, why then doesn't he say so?" Why doesn't he ever say something like 'baptizing into the name" of the Trinity "is not original"? That is the dog that hasn't barked. There is nothing in anything Eusebius ever wrote to suggest that he was unhappy with the text everyone else was clearly reading – because he wasn't (and in fact no one reading E' would assume from these paraphrases that he was reading a different text – and no one has until some folks in recent times have done so longing for anti-Trinitarian "ammo"). It is just that it suited E's purposes to cite only what he remembers "go and make disciples of the gentiles" and to add the shorter paraphrase "in my name". To him, the difference wasn't significant (we may assume that he didn't understand that this passage was speaking of Spirit baptism.

As to the meaning of the screed about what Rome did many centuries later, I have no clue (and no interest). Matthew 28:19 is talking about the Holy Spirit, not a water-baptism, let alone a baptismal formula. Many people don't get that – Eusebius clearly didn't either.

Yours in Jesus Christ the One we are "in" as a result of the Spirit's baptism.

Bob L.

Question #3: 

Hi--Thanks for responding. This fellow is a fire-breathing fanatic who thinks he is always right and others are automatically wrong, who disagree with him. We have Eusebius' Church History, translated by Dr. Paul Maier, of our church. I checked the index for "baptism" and every entry only mentioned it as an aside, except for one section, about a controversy if it were necessary to rebaptize people who had fallen away from the faith and had repented and wanted to be accepted back into the church. I didn't see any reference to Matt. 28:19 at all. I suppose Eusebius could have mentioned it in other of his writings, but this writing is the only one I am familiar with.

Not to beat a dead horse, but what about the idea that the catholic church changed Matt. 28:19 in the 2nd century, as __ quoted in my last e-mail I sent to you? I don't know anything about that and have never heard of such a thing. I presume that Siniaticus has "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." ___ claims he has all sorts of quotes to back him up. I could ask him for them and do research on the Internet about them, but we are going out of town tomorrow for 6 days, and will only have a tablet with us and I don't know how to use it very well yet, to search the Web.

So, thanks for your help, once again. I should be able to leave you alone after this, since we are going out of town. Have a blessed weekend.

Response #3:   

You are very welcome as always.

As to your question, there can't even be any serious question of a Roman "Catholic Church" until the late 5th century and the papacy of Leo the Great (and even this is very early when one considers what the R.C. church became and what we think of when we think of it today as being the "only" church in west until the Reformation). In other words, there were only local authorities until at least three and, realistically probably more like six, centuries later, so that there was no organization in existence in the 2nd century capable of doing what correspondent suggests (there weren't even any church "councils" until a century later). So not only is there no textual evidence of this "change" (and there surely would be) – there was no organization in place which could have accomplished this spectacular feat of ferreting out every ms. in Christendom and beyond, and then shredding the evidence for an earlier version which didn't have the familiar text. However, perhaps space aliens are responsible.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4: 

Was the holy spirit Jesus' spirit of is he a separate person from him?

Response #4: 

The Trinity, God, are three distinct Persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are one in essence, but three in person (that is the classic definition of the Trinity). Please do see the link:

"The Persons of God: The Trinity" (in BB 1)

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Regarding Genesis you wrote: There is also the point that throughout this chapter we do have "God" ('elohiyim) and not LORD (YHVH), and on top of that the verbs are plural (not usually the case with 'elohiyim even though it is technically a plural form). To me this emphasizes that the joint cooperation of the Trinity in the re-creation of the world (so best to keep "God" for that reason too). I checked a few verses and in all of them the verbs were used in singular - did you have any particular passages in mind? Or did you mean that singular is used in the recreation, but plural forms elsewhere in the Old Testament?

Response #5:   

The passage I have in mind (and should have referenced when I said "verbs" with "verbs here") is Genesis 1:26:

Then God said, "Let Us (na'aseh: 1st plural) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Genesis 1:26 NKJV

On the Trinity in the Old Testament consider also:

You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst.
Nehemiah 9:20

For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples.
Nehemiah 9:30

"And now my Lord [who is] LORD has sent Me (i.e., the Messiah), and His Spirit."
Isaiah 48:16b

And how about Isaiah 53:1 where Jesus is called the "Arm of the Lord"? That is significant for many passages in particular:

Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying: "Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them, who led them by the right hand of Moses, with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them to make for Himself an everlasting name,
Isaiah 63:11-12 NKJV

See also these links:

The One True God and the Trinity in the Old Testament

Trinity Questions II

The Trinity in Isaiah 63

Question #6: 

You wrote: Similar to this title is "the Spirit of the Lord" or "the Lord's Spirit", a standard Old Testament phrasing which, inasmuch as it also found in the New Testament (Lk.4:18; Acts 5:9; 8:39; 2Cor.3:17-18), should be taken to mean "the Spirit of the Lord Jesus".

Could you explain how do we know that "the Spirit of the Lord" should be taken to mean "the Spirit of the Lord Jesus" rather than the Spirit of God the Father?

Response #6:   

The Spirit of course is part of the Trinity so there is no real division, but the Church belongs to Jesus as His special possession, and with this title in these passages (Lk.4:18 being anticipatory) Christ's superintendence of His Church is in view (so we should take the attribution to be to our Lord Jesus in particular).

Question #7: 

The 'Law' kills? What 'Law' ? 'Torah' is not 'Law'; Torah is teaching/instruction/guidance.

God says:

Psalm 19:7
Yahowah’s (YHWH in Paleo-Hebrew, 66x21) Torah (torah – teaching, guidance, direction, and instruction) is complete and entirely perfect (tamym – without defect, lacking nothing, correct, genuine, right, helpful, beneficial, and true), returning and restoring (suwb – transforming) the soul (nepesh – consciousness). Yahowah's testimony ('eduwth – restoring and eternal witness) is trustworthy and reliable ('aman – verifiable, confirming, supportive, and establishing), making understanding and obtaining wisdom (hakam – educating and enlightening oneself to the point of comprehension) simple for the open-minded and receptive (pethy – easy for those who are receptive).

Response #7: 

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of mockers. But the teaching (torah) of the Lord is his delight, and in His teaching (torah) he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2

Question #8:

Precisely. The Torah, Prophets and Psalms are to be closely studied, examined, considered for our appropriate response. The Torah is not abrogated in any way; it is to be closely 'observed' (shamar). The Messiah did not in any way 'replace' the Torah; He redeems through the Torah. I just don't understand why this isn't taught today. Also, Scriptural Hebrew ought to be taught to everyone, not just upper level divinity students. I have found questioningpaul.com to be the most comprehensive study of this issue.

PS: Have you read "James, the Brother of Jesus" by Eisenman?

Sincerely,

Response #8:   

I must be misunderstanding. I had a look at the website you reference, and these people throw out the New Testament as something unclean. Doubtful if they can be true believers in Jesus Christ, genuinely purged of their sins through faith in the Lamb and His blood spilled for them.

Question #9: 

The problem is we tend to focus on the words of Paul. We are supposed to focus on "every word that proceeds from the mouth of Yah." No one seems to question Paul's words as they contradict God's words. Hab 2 warns us of this.

Response #9:   

I'm still unclear. When you say, "We are supposed to focus on 'every word that proceeds from the mouth of Yah' ", I would certainly agree (although I should point out that Deut.8:3 uses the full tetragrammaton, not the abbreviated, poetic Name, Yah). However, when you say "No one seems to question Paul's words as they contradict God's words", I'm a bit confused. Do you mean that there are people who misinterpret parts of the New Testament? That is obviously the case. However, I do hope that you are not saying (as the people at the site you linked are saying), that the Word of God is not inspired? The New Testament and the Old Testament together constitute the inspired scriptures; nothing can be added to them, and nothing taken away (Rev.22:18-19). Either course is fraught with deadly consequences, spiritually speaking. Some groups, like the Mormons, add entire books; others, like the Roman Catholics, deny consequential authority to the scriptures generally by preferring higher authorities (the traditions of their church, in their case). It may be possible for an individual to be saved and belong to one of these groups (I'm agnostic about that inasmuch as few people actually believe everything the group they belong to teaches), but most who have escaped these two cults are adamant about the fact that salvation therein is impossible in their opinion.

However, I can't imagine a way for a believer to get further from Jesus Christ and put his/her spiritual life into greater jeopardy than by casting out the New Testament. Now that the Son of God has cast His lot with us by taking on true humanity, now that the cross is an accomplished fact and our Lord has been resurrected, the symbols of the Old can really only be properly understood by means of the mysteries unveiled in the New – just as the New cannot really be properly understood without the perspective of the Old.

It is a fact that "all scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2Tim.3:16), and that "everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope" (Rom.15:4).

Yours in the dear Lord Jesus Christ who died for us that we might have eternal life forever with Him.

Bob L.

Question #10: 

They are just saying that a large percentage of the NT is either written by or influenced by Paul. Paul says so many negative things about the Torah that most Christians think they should not follow it at all. I don't think Paul is misinterpreted. If you read all of questioningpaul.com you would understand. I certainly do not trust the 'Church Fathers' or Rome to discern what is inspired; God already told us to focus on the Torah, Prophets, Psalms and the words of the Messiah, and the Messiah's word have been extremely edited. God also said He would place false teachers in our path to test us to see if we " . . . really love YHWH with our whole heart . . . " Also, how can there be a new testament/covenant? Did God change His mind? Was His Covenant not sufficient? If so, then God is not reliable. All of God's instructions were given with the Sacrificial Lamb in view; God says His Torah " . . . Is perfect and complete restoring the soul . . ."

Response #10: 

But the New Covenant is predicted in the Old Testament:

Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—
Jeremiah 31:31 NKJV

And our Lord told us what that New Covenant was: His actual sacrifice for our sins without which (and without faith in which) no one can be saved:

Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you."
Luke 22:20 NKJV

If the Old was sufficient, the New would not have been necessary:

In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Hebrews 8:13 NKJV

Everything in the Bible is 100% consistent. Those who neglect the Old Testament will have a hard time understanding the New, and do themselves a great spiritual disservice. Those who cast out the New are in danger of falling away.

Yours in the Son of God, the God-man, God who took on a human body in order to die in the darkness for all our sins, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #11: 

Except that it says " . . . renewed/repaired Covenant . . . " which will only occur when YHWH returns (I don't know of anyone who has the Torah written upon his heart yet; we all have to read and learn it)

Response #11: 

You didn't get the (good) news that the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, has already returned?

It's called the first advent.

Listen, if you don't accept the Messiahship and the deity of Christ, his taking on of true humanity, and His spiritual death on the cross for the sins of the world, then you can't be born again, and if you are not born again . . .

"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
John 3:18

Yours in the Lord of Jesus Christ our LORD (YHVH),

Bob L.

Question #12:

ANTI-CHRIST ARITHMETIC

The Hebrew Roots Movement uses the same general strategy as antichrist to cheat you of your salvation that other cults like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses do. That’s because behind all cults, including the Hebrew Roots Movement, is Satan himself.

ADDITION:

Many who are caught up in the HRM have not started reading the Talmud or Mishnah yet. But they’re being groomed to receive these extra-biblical texts by a culture of idolizing all things Hebraic. Once they are convinced to read these heretical documents, they are likely to go all the way and deny Jesus because these texts absolutely deny Jesus’ deity.

Revelation 22:18
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, IF ANY MAN SHALL ADD UNTO THESE THINGS, GOD SHALL ADD UNTO HIM THE PLAGUES THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK:

SUBTRACTION:

Many if not most in the HRM are unitarian monotheists – that is they believe in only one person in the Godhead. This is consistent with a traditional Jewish understanding of the Godhead. Why is this so important? Because, it prepares your mind to reject Jesus’ deity. If there is only one person in the Godhead, when Jesus speaks to the Father, and the Father is God, then WHO IS JESUS. Attacking the Trinity is a very important weapon of Satan.

Isaiah 48:16
Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

MULTIPLICATION:

When you multiply your works thinking you’re pleasing God in the process, you subtly fall into a doctrine of works. Satan LOVES this. Satan knows you cannot mix grace and works. Whenever you mix the two, grace is always diminished and works becomes your god.

Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

DIVISION: 

As you struggle to keep yourself saved by your works, you end up dividing your love for Jesus with a love for Jesus PLUS Torah. You end up deifying the Torah. Jesus doesn’t care to get into a threesome. It should be only you and Jesus. It should never be you, Jesus and the Torah. There’s no room for a third party in the relationship between Jesus and His bride.

Exodus 20:5
you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, THE LORD YOUR GOD, AM A JEALOUS GOD, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Response #12:   

Thanks,

This is all very true. Good stuff indeed (I'll be posting it one of these days).

Yours in Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13: 

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

It is refreshing to have discovered your wellspring of scholarship. My deepest gratitude for your exhaustive efforts in exploring and presenting Biblical truth honorably for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the edification of all true seekers.

I wanted to know if you have ever been drawn into the sacred name debate, (Yahweh, Jehovah, Yeshua, Yahushua, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh etc.) and what your scholarly opinion is on the matter. (I apologize if I'm opening a can of worms....).

I was recently abandoned by a "friend" because I refused to worship in the name of Yahweh. I have no connection to this name for the following reasons. There were no vowels inserted in the ancient Hebrew text for the divine name. The later insertion of the vowel points between what became the consonants of the Tetragrammaton amounted to a guessing game. That being said, there are numerous combinations of vowels that could be inserted between these consonants. I don't wish to submit to a human invention that is clearly not in scripture. Some claim Greek manuscripts prove the use of Yahweh. Jewish scholars and rabbinical authorities state that the original pronunciation of this Name has been lost and that we dare not yield to conjecture. In their worldview, the Sacred Name of God is too holy, too powerful to submit to the limitations of human articulation. I understand that point as well.

My understanding is exactly what was presented in Exodus 3:13-14:

"Then Moses asked God, "If I go to the Israelites and say to them: The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, "What is His name?" what should I tell them?" God replied to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you." (HCSB)

"God also said to Moses, "Say this to the Israelites: Yahweh (HCSB), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, this is how I am to be remembered in every generation."

Depending upon the Bible translation, either "Yahweh", "the Lord", or "Jehovah" is inserted in verse 15 before "the God of your fathers....". And that is where things seem to go awry. I AM WHO I AM is Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh in Hebrew. I AM would simply be Ehyeh. In the Tanakh, the Ineffable Name is designated by the four letters YHVH, with rabbinical sources claiming that God's nature transcends all limitations of language and thus cannot be defined, pronounced or articulated.

Fast forward to the New Testament. In the Gospels, Jesus refers to Him simply as Father. There is no commandment by Jesus to use the name Yahweh or Jehovah, He never uses these names, and my sense is that these are additions to scripture that God prohibits.

"Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar."
Proverbs 30:5-6 NIV

Since I was a child, I have always prayed to my Lord Jesus Christ and His Heavenly Father. He is my Heavenly Father and I have called Him by no other name except Father which is what Christ called Him. Consequently, my Heavenly Father responds to my deep love of Him, of His Son, and to my obedience to His commandments. I pray to "Our Father Who Art in Heaven..." I follow the example of Jesus Christ. And I pray in the supreme Name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

"For this reason God also highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow - and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Philippians 2:9-11 (HCSB)

"I and my Father are one." John 10:30 KJB Jesus reiterates His relationship to the "I AM" in Exodus in the 8 -"I AM" statements in John.

John 6:35 "I am the bread of life."

John 8:12 "I am the light of the world."

John 8:58 "Before Abraham was, I AM."

John 10:9 "I am the door."

John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd."

John 11:25 "I am the resurrection and the life."

John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth and the life."

John 15:1 "I am the true vine."

A 9th I AM statement may be found in Luke 22:70 where it appears that He affirms His relationship in the Father:

"They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied, "You say that I am." NIV

What also must be interpolated is not just what He said here, (and everywhere), but HOW He said it - i.e., the Spirit in which it was said. These inflections are often left up to the interpretation or inspiration of the reader. I read this with His emphasis on I AM. "You say that I AM." As He questions Peter in Matthew 16:15-16, "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I AM?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." I believe that in his various discussions with his disciples, the Pharisees, and with Pilate ("You say rightly that I AM a King." John 18:37), that He empowered the words "I AM" in such a way as to assert His Divinity in a manner that couldn't be denied. I personally believe that His use of the words "I AM" demonstrated and revealed His supernatural ability to convey His Divine relationship to the Father to those with whom He spoke. When He used the words I AM, he was saying, "I and My Father are one." He was asserting His Divine authority to act on behalf of His Father.

As I explained to my friend, it saddened me that he chose to sacrifice a friendship over the name Yahweh. I explained to him that I freely and lovingly accepted this name as his choice for the Father and He should worship how he feels so inspired, but I couldn't understand why he wouldn't honor my choice. The friendship became a judicial proceeding where I felt as though I was being cross-examined over how I worship. I had to say goodbye to the legalism. He sent me a link to an article published by the Yahweh Restoration Ministry folks. http://yrm.org/yourfathersname.htm (Your Father's Name) This appears to be a group bordering on a cult with a messianic bent. Frankly, I just don't have the time or the energy for these kinds of debates. Too much serving, loving, giving and forgiving to do... all in the Name Above All Names... Lord Jesus Christ, One and Only Son of our Living God.

This was the followup article by the same group.

http://yrm.org/sacredname_challenges_answered.htm

I can only imagine how busy you are. This issue may require more of a response than what you have time for, and I'm grateful that you would even take the time to read my letter, much less respond. And I also accept that I may be wrong and that these people may present cogent arguments in defense of Yahweh. However, I believe that the New Covenant established a new Name by which our salvation may only be realized, that of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Father's only Son. And by His becoming fully human while remaining fully divine, that His Name became so as well. We can't separate His name from His person, and He is one with His Father.

Many thanks again for taking the time to read my thoughts.

Peace and Grace to you, sir,

Response #13:   

Good to make your acquaintance, and thank you so much for your kind words about this ministry.

Your reasoning throughout is, to my way of thinking, absolutely correct, and it is a shame that certain groups have used what really is an insignificant point as a wedge issue to divide Christians. I say "Christians", but many of the Messianic legalists who adopt this practice are doubtless not saved, being unwilling to accept the deity of Jesus Christ. I will give you a number of links on this below. I say "insignificant" above only because that is easy to prove. Without question, the New Testament is the crowing piece of the divine revelation to all God's children known to us as the Bible – and the New Testament was written in Greek, not Hebrew. More than that, it would have been very easy to transliterate the divine names into Greek – or utilize Hebrew letters – or employ any other manner of devices one may imagine to satisfy what these individuals seem to think of as essential in the worship of God. But the New Testament does not do so. The Testament always uses the Greek word kyrios for the tetragrammaton (YHVH); the New Testament always uses the Greek word theos for God (cf. "theology"), and God the Father specifically; the New Testament always uses the Greek transliteration of the Messiah's Name, Iesous (from which we derive "Jesus"); the New Testament always uses the Greek translation of "Messiah", namely Christos, Christ ("anointed One"). Beyond all argument, kyrios bears no direct relationship whatsoever to the tetragrammaton – it is merely an equivalent word in Greek used in place of the Hebrew word YHVH. Beyond all argument, theos bears no direct relationship whatsoever to 'elohiym (the Hebrew word for God) – it is merely an equivalent word in Greek used in its place. Beyond all argument, the transliteration Iesous is very accommodative of Greek sounds in rendering the Hebrew Yehoshua (English "Joshua" or "Jesus" – the same name in Hebrew and in Greek) – it is also the standard way that non-inspired Greek was already transliterating this name (notably in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament). And beyond all argument the same is true of Messiach vs. Christos: otherwise the word would call us Messiachians instead of "Christians".

Given that the writers of the New Testament who were directly inspired by the Holy Spirit had no issues whatsoever in using Greek equivalents and Greek transliterations for the divine names (and certainly also did so orally with Greek and with Jews who spoke Greek when they evangelized the Mediterranean world), it would seem to me to be arrogant in the extreme to complain that God will not honor our prayers to Him unless we use a reconstruction of "the Name" preferred by these groups – which, as you rightly point out, is not above possible reproach. This would have to mean, for example, that God ignored the prayers and life work of the apostles Paul, Peter, and John – since they spoke and wrote of Him in such unacceptable ways. I, for one, would rather take my stand with these three apostles of the Lamb – and with the Holy Spirit who inspired their writings – than with these later-day crackpots.

When it comes to the exact pronunciation of the tetragrammton, no one is absolutely sure and agnosticism on that point is the rule in traditional Jewish circles – which is why, of course, the divine name is never pronounce in the reading of scripture (forms of the plural 'adonay being substituted instead).

Cults of all kinds always force adherents into many forms of bizarre behavior. It helps isolate them from their friends and family with the result that the cult becomes their only close human contact – the better to manipulate and control them (please see the link).

Here are those links:

Changing the Name of God?

The Law, Love, Faith-Rest and Messianism

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism IV: Unclean and Impure?

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism I

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism II

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism III

Origins of the Divine Name

Lord and God

The name "Jesus"

Please do feel free to write me back about any of the above.

In Jesus (Iesous), my Lord (kyrios) and my God (theos).

Bob Luginbill

Question #14: 

Satan has a seed line and to disagree with you Scripture is clear on that!!! And I suppose you Celebrate Christmas, Easter, New Years, Halloween, etc , all pagan holidays I bet you call the messiah the false name Jesus when the letter J is only 400 years old yet messiah is 2000 and iesus is wrong also it's not even Hebrew as messiah was!!! Yahweh is the creators name not the unfortunate generic name god as there are many! I would put my head into Torah and read again and ask for truth!

Response #14: 

First, when critiquing other people's ministries in this way, it's not a bad idea to find out what they actually teach first. I will therefore dispense with your first two comments without too much consideration (I definitely do teach that antichrist is Satan's literal seed; also, I teach that every day is the same to the Lord and that all "day observance" is an unnecessary addition to scripture – however that certainly also includes for Christians today Passover, Yom Kippur and the Sabbath; Gal.4:10; Col.2:16-17).

As to your comments on the Name of the Lord, first, the consonantal "i" goes back to the earliest evidence of Indo-European. It is certainly present in Greek, the language of the New Testament. In terms of English orthography, the "J" is our way of writing the Latin "i" when used as a consonant. Secondly, therefore, perhaps you should pay more attention to the New Testament. The Name "Jesus" is the traditional English rendering of the Greek spelling of our Lord's Name: Iesous (Ἰησοῦς). Please note: this is the way it is spelled in the Bible. Thirdly, the Name "Lord" in the New Testament is kyrios, (κύριος) not Yahweh. Now Paul, John, Peter, and Matthew along all of the writers of the New Testament could certainly have written Yahweh, either in transliterated Greek letters or in Hebrew letters added to their Greek texts – but they did not . . . and they wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Since the writers of the New Testament under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit did not do what you recommend (they say Iesous = Jesus, and kyrios = Lord), I'm not sure how you feel comfortable reprimanding other believers for doing what the apostles of our Lord did in response to the Spirit of God. Since "Jesus" and "Lord" are the Names used in the Bible, deviating from scripture is something that in my opinion is questionable at best and very dangerous at worst. But in any case, it's not appropriate to find fault with your brothers and sisters in Christ for doing what the Bible and the Spirit and the apostles lead the way in doing . . . if you genuinely are "in Christ".

Finally, Yahweh, while a very common guess at how the tetragrammaton YHVH (יהוה) may possibly be pronounced, is likely not the right guess. In the Jewish tradition, the Name is not pronounced at all. For more on this please see the link: Theology (especially footnote #1).

In Jesus Christ the Lord,

Bob Luginbill

Question #15:

First you read my e-mail as reprimanding when it's a statement. You also Refer to the New Testament which was penned by men but together by them and has many many differences than early writings You also mention Traditions which is in the words of Yeshua The Traditions of men and not the commandments of Yaweh! In which the world has unfortunately followed. You talk about any day observing Yahweh being okay? Yet his very own commands are the seventh day which are in the 10 Commandments and many of the Scriptures I might add. Yeshua said to follow the Commandments of my father! If you Love me! Not the Traditions of men . I am not trying in any way to argue so it's best to just say this is what Scripture says and I am in no way a perfect man but am just that a man. I just am one that has a hard time with men's adding and taking away from truth! Scripture tells us truths in Torah. History is another good resource to see how these things got changed. As Scripture also says that times and days will be changed. May all of us be given truth in Yaweh's words through his prophets of old, our messiah Yeshua and the future prophets to come. May Yahweh have Mercy on us all and Bless us all with the truth of his word!

Response #15:   

1) You wrote: "And I suppose you Celebrate Christmas, Easter, New Years, Halloween, etc , all pagan holidays". This is not a "statement". Not only do you have no idea about my personal practices, you have not read what I have written about this subject at Ichthys.

2) You wrote: "Satan has a seed line and to disagree with you Scripture is clear on that!" As pointed out, you have not read nor understood properly what I have written on this issue either.

*3) You wrote: "the New Testament which was penned by men but together by them and has many many differences than early writings". If you do not believe the Word of God – and the New Testament is not only every bit as much the Word of God as the Old but much more concentrated and clear in its truths as being direct truth unveiling mysteries instead of truth communicated through shadows – then heaven help you. I was wondering from your last email whether or not you were saved. Unless you accept that Jesus is both God and man, and that He died for the sins of the whole world, you cannot be saved.

True Christianity is not "magic". Magic needs special names, and special days, and special incantations, and special times, and special esoteric interpretations. No doubt you have been taken in by one of these cult-type churches which make people feel special as having "the real, secret truth", whereas in fact they are pulling you farther away from the Lord with their weird teachings. What disturbs me most is your hesitancy to even look at the New Testament (it has not been "changed" and in any version is 99% plus a translation of what the apostles wrote). That is where all cults start – turning a person away from the Bible. Because the Bible, read with an open heart, will always eventually destroy the message of the cult. N.B., there are no "prophets to come", and whoever is feeding you this nonsense is no "prophet".

If you would like to escape, here are a few links which may prove helpful to you:

Witnessing: Cults and Christianity I

Witnessing: Cults and Christianity II

Read your Bible:  Protection against cults

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism II

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism III

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism IV: Unclean and Impure?

In hopes of the light of truth penetrating through the darkness for salvation and growth in Jesus Christ, the only Way to life eternal.

Bob L.

Question #16: 

http://www.yrm.org/astonishingtruths.htm. For thousands of years lies about our Messiah and false doctrines nev IIIer taught by Yeshua's Ekklisia has deceived the world. Scripture says the world is deceived and when you look doctrines are being taught it's a no wonder how this world is deceived I'm sending and have sent articles that I would hope you take time to read and ask yourself are you really following the way Yahweh Commanded us and through Messiah who taught us the very same thing. Messiah didn't come to change anything as he said himself think not that I came to destroy the laws or the prophets but to fulfill. The laws were not nailed to the pole with his sacrifice. He taught that the man made laws made up by the scribes and Pharisees were never from Yahweh. All Commandments laws statutes were for ever to be followed! Yeshua and his disciples followed them to the letter and they followed him after the death of Yeshua! They honored all the sabbaths. But instead of following Yeshua's words people point to Paul and his words. They twist the meaning. And Paul by only his admission says he was taught by Yeshua. But read the Apostles who were with Yeshua the whole time and you will see nothing changed they were Torah observers before during and after! My the truth set you and all who seek it free!

Response #16:   

You write, "Ask yourself . . . " – but wouldn't it be better to consult God on these matters? And what does He say in His Word?

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Colossians 2:16-17 NIV

You are in fact not keeping the Law. You do not appear before the Lord in Jerusalem three times a year, do you (Ex.23:14; 23:17; 34:23-24; Deut.16:16)? You do not sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord at the altar in front of the temple, do you (Num.29:39; Deut.12:6)? You do not tithe to support the priests and Levites in Israel, do you (Lev.27:30; Num.18:21)? In fact, of course, there are many things in every part of the Law which you do not do and many other things you do differently from the precise way the Law enjoins. But what does the Word of God say?

Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.
Deuteronomy 6:25 NKJV

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
James 2:10 NKJV

By making a false standard the basis for your justification (and no one can be justified by the works of the Law even if they could keep it all perfectly: Rom.3:20; Gal.2:16), you are misreading everything God has done for you in Jesus Christ and all that He has said for you in His Word – and you have not succeeded in justifying yourself, because true justification can only come through undiluted faith in Jesus Christ who died to redeem us from the curse of the Law. Instead . . .

You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
Galatians 5:4 NKJV

Read your Bible. The New Testament is not in any way inconsistent with the Old Testament; however, the Old Testament cannot fully be understood without the New.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 14:6

Without faith in Jesus Christ, the One who, as true God, took on true humanity in order to die for all of our sins on the cross, no one can be saved. "Keeping the Law" cannot save.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
Galatians 2:16 NKJV

Read your Bible – not your links. The Bible contains God's truth. Deliberately refusing to hear what some of its most important parts say so clearly is only to give yourself up into the power of this cult that has its hooks into you.

In hopes of your deliverance in this life and salvation in the next,

Bob L.

Question #17: 

Yahshua said no longer does Yahweh reside in buildings made of human hands so since they no longer use the temple it's not required to go to Jerusalem for the feast

Response #17: 

So now on this point you are consulting the New Testament? That is now how it works. The Bible is not a smorgasbord from which you can pick and choose the verses and books you like and ignore the ones you don't. If you accept what the New Testament says, then you must realize that the Law was "a tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor" (Gal.3:24-25 NKJV).

You also only replied to this one point where you thought you might have an answer (you did not).

Either you accept that Jesus Christ has fulfilled the Law or you do not (Rom.10:4). And if you do not, then how can you be saved? Instead, like the Jewish believers of Hebrews you are "crucifying again for themselves the Son of God, and putting Him to an open shame" (Heb.6:6), and you are "trampling the Son of God underfoot, counting the blood of the covenant by which He was sanctified a common thing, and insulting the Spirit of grace" (Heb.10:29).

Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?
Galatians 4:21 NIV

Salvation comes only by grace through faith (Eph.2:8-9). It is not of works – as in the works of the Law. If you seek to be justified by works, you cannot be saved.

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved!
Acts 16:31

In the Name of the One who died to redeem us from the curse of the Law (Gal.3:13), our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Have you ever wondered why was it that God came in the flesh for our sake other than scripture saying that it's because he loved us? God is always saying that he is fair and just, but he didn't have to come in the flesh for our sake, because it would have been just to let us burn.

Another thing that makes it all confusing is the fact that Christ and The Father are two different people but both are the one and only True God, in the same way the Holy Spirit is also Him manifesting himself in a different way. Some unbelievers find it barbaric that The Father would send His son for us, but the more I understand the Trinity the more I wonder why is it that God sent Christ since in the Old Testament He made it clear that he hated child sacrifice. Obviously Christ was God, so God came down to our level and experienced what we were going through and died the death he didn't deserve for us, but he wasn't The Father.

How do I reconcile this in my head?

Response #18:   

You've asked a number of questions here so apologies if I don't get to them all. First, the fact that the world exist and that we exist is a wonderful blessing, because to create us in the image of God meant, in the perfect plan of God, that the sacrifice of Christ would be necessary. Understand: Christ is not a fix for things gone wrong; rather, His coming to die for sin is the bedrock of the plan of God. That tells us all we need to know about what the love of God really is (for more on this please read BB 4B: Soteriology: God's Plan to Save You). And once God made us, Christ did have to come to save us, for the only way that we could be saved is for someone perfect (that could only be God) and someone human (that could only be the Son of God taking on humanity) to come into this world and be judged for the sins of all mankind (please see the link: "The Spiritual Death of Christ"). Child sacrifice has nothing whatsoever to do with any of this. Those children did not choose to die, and even though they were young they had sin natures, and since God was not involved in the process on any level the sick sacrifice availed nothing – it's just a slanderous satanic substitute (as all religion – as opposed to Christianity – always is). As far as the Trinity is concerned, not being God and being in this world, we are limited in what we can understand to what the Bible has to say on this subject. The traditional position is correct: God is three in person, but one in essence. That means, among other things, that while the Trinity really do consist distinctly of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they are "one" in a sense that no two human beings (let alone three) have ever or could ever be or even imagine. Here are some links on this which will help explain the details:

The Trinity (in BB 1)

Explaining and Defending the Trinity and the Person of Christ II

Explaining and Defending the Trinity and the Person of Christ.

The Trinity in Scripture.

The Trinity in Isaiah 63:10-15.

The One True God and the Trinity in the Old Testament

I hope this (with the links) is a start towards answering your questions. Feel free to write me back.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #19: 

Shalom Robert,

My heavenly Father told me NOT to use pagan names when I speak about Him, and NO WHERE in Scripture is the Roman trinity mentioned. The Trinity is NOT the Father, Son, and the Set-Apart Spirit. How can this Spirit be a man and dwell in people? In the book of Acts it is a Acts 2:2&3

The Set-apart Spirit is NOT human.

ACTS 2:2-4: And suddenly there came a sound from the heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and settled on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Setapart Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them to speak.

Joh 3:8 "The Spirit [wind] breathes where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who has been born of the Spirit."

The Spirit is what the Creator breathed into man to make him come alive. Bereshith 2;7 And HWHY Elohim formed the man out of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils breath of life. And the man became a living being. The spirit is the Power of YAH! Luk 1:35 And the messenger answering, said to her, "The Set-apart Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you. And for that reason the Set-apart One born of you shall be called: Son of Elohim.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew_Roots/Trinity/Holy_

I speak NOTHING but the TRUTH!

Response #19:   

Sorry to have to disappoint you, however, no one is saying that the Father is a human being. He is God. The Son is also God. As is the Spirit. The Spirit is not a man (never heard that before you said it!), nor is the Father. The Son, who is God, took on a human nature to become the God-man – it was the only way that He could be the Substitute for our sins (no one else would be worthy or capable of bearing the sins of the world).

The Trinity is not "Roman". Where did you get that? I had atheist professors back in undergraduate days who were trying to convince their more gullible students that the Trinity was "invented in the middle ages". These men didn't believe in God, so their attitude was consistent. But how about you? 'Elohiyim is plural in Hebrew, and, in Genesis, God (plural) says, "let US make man in OUR image according to OUR likeness" (Gen.1:26). You can't tell me that 'elohiym is only plural for reasons of "majesty" or whatever – in that case there is no grammatical reason whatever in Hebrew to use a plural verb from, far less a first person plural suffix on tselem and demuth. So that dog doesn't hunt. And it cannot be the angels with whom God is talking (as the medieval Jewish commentaries assert) – the angels can't "make man" and did not "make man" – God made us, all three Persons took part in making us (that's what Genesis says – in the Hebrew).

For He said, "Surely they are My people,
Children who will not lie."
So He became their Savior.
In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the Angel of His Presence (Christophany) saved them;
In His love and in His pity He redeemed them;
And He bore them and carried them
all the days of old.
But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit;
So He turned Himself against them as an enemy,
And He fought against them.
Then he remembered the days of old,
Moses and his people, saying:
"Where is He who brought them up out of the sea
With the shepherd of His flock?
Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them,
Who led them by the right hand of Moses,
With His glorious Arm (i.e., Jesus Christ: Is.53:1ff.; cf. Is.48:16),
Dividing the water before them
To make for Himself an everlasting name,
Isaiah 63:8-12 NKJV

So the Trinity is present from the very first book of the Bible to the prophets and elsewhere as well – for anyone who is willing to hear what the Lord actually says there. God is One in essence; three in Person. Together, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are God. Apart from them there is no God. This is all also explained clearly enough in the New Testament, the part of the Bible where the mysteries veiled by the shadows of the Old Testament (e.g., every aspect of the Law foreshadows Christ and His sacrifice) are revealed.

I have plenty of information about all of these matters at Ichthys, and would be happy to help direct you to the best articles. Here are a couple of links to get you started:

The Trinity in Isaiah

Jesus Christ in the Old Testament

Explaining and Defending the Trinity and the Person of Christ

Explaining and Defending the Trinity and the Person of Christ II

Changing the Name of God?

Theology

Christology

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #20: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422327029&x-yt-cl=84838260&v=6Osuctvq4QU&feature=player_detailpage

Response #20: 

Dear Friend,

Despite what you imply by sending me this link, I am very far from being a Roman Catholic. What they did, or what they do or don't believe is therefore beside the point.

The New Testament in Greek – which I read daily (Greek is my profession) – is the best documented text to survive from antiquity. The GNT is much better documented than the Hebrew OT. Not that the Hebrew we have is not essentially the same as the original autograph – indeed it is. But the GNT is in even better condition with voluminous witnesses to that text sometimes being perhaps as close as 100 years or so within the time of original writing. And the NT clearly teaches the deity of Christ (see the link).

Jesus is YHVH; as is the Father, as is the Spirit. That is why He is called "LORD" in the New Testament (Greek kyrios = YHVH).

This is important. If you don't believe in Jesus, how might you be saved?

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 14:6 NKJV

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).

In Jesus Christ, "My Lord and my God".

Bob L.

Question #21: 

Shalom Robert, You don’t know anything about Scripture, you call the Creator G_D Which is NOT a name, it is the title of Ba’al. Num 22:41 And it came to be the next day, that Balaq took Bil am and brought him up to the high places of Ba al, and from there he saw the extremity of the camp. This man died for worshiping G-d, Ba’al Num 22:41 And it came to passH1961 on the morrow,H1242 that BalakH1111 tookH3947 (H853) Balaam,H1109 and brought him upH5927 into the high placesH1116 of Baal,H1168 that thenceH4480 H8033 he might seeH7200 the utmostH7097 part of the people.H5971. Baal,H1168 H1168 is a Phoenician deity NOT the Creator, Yahuah. I know your problem, you read the Bible, but you don’t study it, The Ruach Ha Quodesh, what you call the H-ly Spirit is an it.Joh 3:8 "The Spirit1 breathes where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who has been born of the Spirit." Footnote: 1Or wind. Were we not created in His image? So he must look like us the same as Yahushua was the image of His Father and He was a man but had His Fathers Spirit in Him.

Joh 10:37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;

Joh 10:38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him." What is the answer to Proverbs 30:4

Pro 30:4 Who has gone up to the heavens and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, And what is His Son’s Name, If you know it?

From what you say to me it’s apparent that you DON’T know the answer! Shalom Robert, have a nice life and please don’t bother me with such pagan ideas about Scripture which you know very little about and I’ll bet that you don’t obey Torah, the Law! You most likely think it was hung on a tree!

Response #21: 

Some people imagine that there is magic in numbers. Some people imagine that there is magic in emotional displays. Some people imagine that there is magic in spelling. There is no magic.

God is not trying to trick us. God loves us. He loves us so much He sent His Son, God the Son, to become a man in order to bear all of our sins. What is needed to be saved is faith in Him, Jesus Christ, who He really is, human and divine, and what He has really done, dying for our sins – not some special "magical" understanding of the spelling or pronunciation of some esoteric name or other.

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved! (note: emphasized names are in Greek not Hebrew in the GNT)
Acts 16:31

After all of these conversations with you it is still not clear what you believe or why. Even in this email all I see is a taunt about "not knowing" the name/names you believe are magic, and finding fault with the name/names we use in this language.

Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also.
Romans 3:29 KJV

Being God of t these books, inspired by the Holy Spirit in the very same way as the Old Testament was, God uses Greek names, not Hebrew names. Since the Spirit had no trouble sayiheos instead of 'elohiym, why do want to put a yoke on the neck of non-Jewish believers that even Jewish believers have proved unable to bear?

"Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they."
Acts 15:10-11 NKJV

This was said by the Jewish council in Jerusalem.

We are saved by grace through faith (Eph.2:8-9), not by magic.

I have no problem with my brothers wanting to use Hebrew names (although if you really knew anything about Hebrew you would understand that your transliterations from the originals and your suggested pronunciations and spellings are hypothetical at best).

As to following the Law, you do not go to Jerusalem three times a year. You do not sacrifice animals when you sin. You do not tithe to the priests and Levites. And there are many other things you do not do, even things that you might theoretically do even without the temple. If you place your confidence in following the Law, moreover, you cannot be saved.

We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
Galatians 2:15-16 NIV

Pretty clear.

If you do not believe that Jesus Christ is God as well as man, if you do not believe that He bore your sins on the cross (something only someone who was both God and man could do), how can you be saved? If your fascination with the magic of names is leading you away from the truth necessary to be saved, how can that be a good thing in any way?

In Jesus Christ, "My Lord and my God".

Bob L.

Question #22:

Shabbat Shalom Robert,

You do keep the Sabbath don't you? Or are you a Sunday go to meeting type of Christian? If you are then i've got nothing else to say.

Shalom,

Response #22:   

Dear Friend,

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.
Romans 14:5 NASB

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
Colossians 2:16-17 NASB

Fully convinced in my own heart, I regard all days the same and strive to walk with my Lord Jesus in a day by day moment by moment Sabbath just as the Bible teaches in Hebrews 4:9-11 (see the link).

It's fine to love the Law, but better to love Jesus Christ. The former is not necessary for the latter, and if the former gets in the way of the latter, how can that be good? My impression that this is precisely the problem for modern-day followers of the Law is borne out by the fact that most Messianics seem to have a low regard for our Lord, failing to properly appreciate His deity, and the actual spiritual death He suffered in dying in the darkness of Calvary for every single sin – the blood of Christ whereby we are saved (cf. Acts 15:10; Gal.2:11-14; see the link). Being ritual-observant can't compensate for failing to "know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death" (Phil.3:10 NASB):

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.
Galatians 4:9-11 NASB

I will pray for you.

In Jesus Christ "My Lord and my God",

Bob L.

Question #23: 

Good evening Robert. It has been eight days since we last talked and it seems like I should be communicating with you daily. But your exposition of CT 6 doesn't leave me with many substantive follow-up questions.

Who authored the bible, Christ or God or both? I know the Holy Spirit inspired it but who authored it. In John 1:1-3, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning" This means Jesus is deity and the Word. We know the bible as the Word of God. So in essence Christ authored the Bible about Himself. Am I correct in my assessment. Please help me in my understanding on this issue.

Thanks for taking the time to respond and looking forward to your expositions. May God grant you peace and security in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Response #23:   

Good to hear from you, and thanks for your encouraging words. As to your question, as our Lord tells us, "I and My Father are one" (Jn.10:30 NKJV). The unity or "oneness" of God is something which is largely incomprehensible to mere human beings. The Trinity are "one" in a way that is deeper to a perfect degree than the closest two human beings in world history; we don't really have a frame of reference for their unity/oneness. Let me hasten to add that this in no way impinges upon the absolute truth that they are three distinct Persons. To human logic, these two things are virtually impossible to grasp (different persons implies separateness of will, for example, which is not the case with Father, Son and Spirit), which explains why heresies regarding the Trinity either lean towards seeing only "one God" without three Persons, or "three distinct gods" which are not the Trinity since there is no such unity. This all means that there was never any disagreement or doubt about the perfect form of the perfect book of books and the truth it contains. From before the point of creation, scripture (along with everything else which would ever transpire in time/space) was decreed by the Plan of God – otherwise it could not have happened.

"The LORD brought me [i.e., "wisdom"] forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be."
Proverbs 8:22-23 NIV

I think it would be of some benefit to consult the following links:

"The Essence of God" (in BB 1)

"The Persons of God: the Trinity" (in BB 1)

Hope you find this helpful!

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #24: 

Hey Bob,

Here is one for you - Who is US in Genesis 3:22, before or in the beginning?

1) The Trinity,

2) God and the ALL angels or (not a sin to be tempted, but 'to know' it exist)

3) God and the fallen angels (who yielded to sin) with Satan?

We understand The Lord made evil - I The Lord do all these things, right? Was evil initially known ONLY to the Godhead or Trinity, because they cause it to exist below the 3rd Heaven? And, 'to know' good and evil is to be confronted by it, even in the 1st and 2nd heavens (cosmos)?

Genesis 3:22 KJV
And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Response #24: 

"Us" in Genesis 3:22 is the Trinity. Compare:

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;"
Genesis 1:26a NKJV

The Lord knows all things; He is omniscient. That does not involve any compromise whatsoever of His complete holiness. One of the great mysteries of creation is how our Lord Jesus, God that He is, could bear the sins of the world, holy that He is. We know that He had to become a human being to do so (so as to bear our sins in His body: 1Pet.2:24), and we know that there were special circumstances that avoided all such compromise with His deity:

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9:14 NKJV

Our God is perfect and His plan is perfect, beyond our understanding. He has this, and everything else, completely figured out for the absolute good (trust me on this) – and the Trinity decreed creation before its inception.

Yours in the Lord who died for us, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Bob L.

Question #25: 

I've been a Christian for many years now, and, after returning to God by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am now experiencing a spiritual revival and joy of my salvation. During the times when I was wandering, my friend who introduced me to Christianity suddenly changed "faith" and is now a Yahweist. This group don't really have a church and during Sabbath they study the Word very similar to the early Christians they have home churches. My friend sent me this bible study note which I am attaching in this email. I don't want to waste any more time. I want to worship the Lord YHWH in Spirit and in Truth. I am still attending my church in the Philippines but I find myself feeling that we should call on the real name of our Lord which is Yahweh.

Please help me in discerning the truth about this teaching and the many others by going to this website.

http://yahweh.org and http://yahuranger.com

I don't know if I should stop studying the Word with my friend. I hope you can help me because I truly want to seek God.

Thank you so much for you time.

Response #25: 

It's good to make your acquaintance. Apologies in advance for not reading the attachments you sent along; I don't think that's necessary as I have plenty of experience with these sorts of hyper-Messianic groups which have been doing a lot to trouble the Church these days. We live in the last era of the Church, the era of Laodicea, and the lukewarmness that abounds has created a vacuum of truth. Believers who do want the truth, therefore, often have to look hard for it, and sometimes they fall into the wrong place in the process (although anyone who is truly and genuine wishing to pursue a deeper relationship with Christ will be lead through and from all false trails). So I do understand how easy it is for a Christian who is seeking the truth and who is bored and dissatisfied with their local church opportunities (since almost none of them are really doing their job in respect of really teaching the Word) to become excited over "something new". There are many varieties of this "something new" out there, and with few exceptions they are just as dangerous as the lukewarm churches with which they are competing.

There is no "magic" in names. I can prove that very easily. The New Testament was written by Jewish believers under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and without any question contains more concentrated truth than the rest of scripture put together, truth which is not subject to the shadows which make much of the Old Testament impossible to interpret properly without the revelation of the mysteries contained in the New. Now the New Testament was written in Greek, and God's names appear in that text . . . in Greek. Understand, "God", "Lord", "Christ" and all of the other divine names in the New Testament are all written in Greek. If YHVH were "magic", then it was certainly within the capacity of Peter, John and Paul to write that name in Hebrew, or to transliterate the Hebrew into Greek letters. But no. In the New Testament, all OT quotes where YHVH occurs are written as kyrios, the Greek word for "Lord". If hyper-orthodox Paul, a "Pharisee of the Pharisees" before his conversion, can write to mixed congregations of Jews and gentiles, and to an exclusively Jewish congregation in the book of Hebrews, and use the Greek word kyrios for YHVH – under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – then surely it is no problem for us to use our own language for the divine name. More than that, this NT usage proves definitively that any person or group who wants to make an issue out of what divine names to use is not operating on any biblical basis. If a person wants to say "Jehovah" or "Yaweh" or whatever, I don't have a problem with that. If, however, that person or group wants to claim that this MUST be the practice, or that some special "magic" is attached to the form of the name intoned, or that only those who "do it our way" are spiritual or even "saved", then said person is a cultist and said group a cult . . . or very close thereto. It is a prime practice of all cults to do things oddly and claim that only by buying into their odd behavior is a person spiritual or saved (the better to isolate members from everyone else and make it then virtually impossible to escape the cult).

I would be happy to answer any of your specific questions about all this, but do please have a look at the Ichthys links here (these are only a few of the more prominent ones which will lead you to others as well):

Ignorance of the Bible = Recipe for a Cult

Witnessing: Cults and Christianity I

Witnessing: Cults and Christianity II

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism IV: Unclean and Impure?

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism III

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism II

The Dangers of Messianic Legalism

Changing the Name of God?

The meaning of the divine name יהוה.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob Luginbill

Question #26: 

Thank you so much for replying right away to my question. I feel relieved now. I actually have a lot of questions towards my friend's faith because in Acts they spoke in tongues and they were understood in their own language.

I will go over the links you sent. I'm reading your website and so glad to have stumbled upon it.

Thank you.

Response #26: 

You're most welcome.

Feel free to write back any time. And, yes, you are correct about tongues too: that was a special communication gift for evangelizing (just like on the first Pentecost of the Church Age); it always involved really, human languages, and was never legitimately used without communicating the truth (see the links: The Gift of Tongues: Part 1 and The Gift of Tongues: Part 2). Groups which claim they are speaking in tongues are also to be avoided – by anyone who wants to follow the true teachings of scripture to the glory of our dear Lord.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.
 

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