THE FOLLOWING IS A LETTER WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO TEACHING HEARD AT A CHRISTIAN EVENT
One of the things you have been pointing out in your teaching is that when we think of “he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” we normally think of position instead of function. In doing this we miss out of the fact that these functions are for the purpose of “perfectingof the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” so that the saints might also do the work of an evangelist, etc. We agree with you – our traditions affect how we interpret the Scriptures. This has been very helpful to us to learn and if you will permit me we will now share something with you following the same line of thinking.
When you spoke at your teaching event several times you mentioned Jesus being seated at the right hand of God (Heb 10:12). Many people, however, believe this to be a position – i.e Jesus is actually physically seated at the right hand of God. However this is not what is meant by the Scriptures. The same principal applies here as to what you have set forward when speaking of “he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”. It’s function and not position. When this is understood many things in the Scriptures come into sharp focus.
When the Scriptures tell us that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, it is referring to the fact that in Him is all power, strength and authority and the right to reign. This is what the use of the term “right hand” means throughout the Scriptures. It’s function, not position.
This is why we read in Revelation 4 there is one throne in heaven and only one siting on that throne – the glorified Jesus Christ. In heaven there is not the Father on one throne, the Son on the right hand and the Holy Spirit on another throne. No, there is only one throne in heaven and one on the throne – the glorified Jesus Christ on theright hand of God, being seated in the position of all power and authority.
When the Scriptures talk of the Godhead it is not a referring to a plurality of persons in God (first person, second and third persons) – this is what we read into it becauseof the traditions handed down to us, which traditions originated in the Roman Catholic System (AD325). The doctrine which has come down to us under the name of “the trinity” is seated in and originates in Romanism. This was completely unknown by the Children of Israel:
• Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord
There is more Romanism in the Church world today they must people realize and as you said it all has to go along with the Church of Rome itself.
A look at the Concordance will show that the word “Godhead” simply means “deity”. Thus, when we read “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col 2:9) we know that the fullness of deity is in Jesus Christ (He is seated at the right hand of God) nothing being excepted. Jesus is not in the Godhead, the Godhead is in Jesus! Jesus is above all, over all, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Alpha & Omega, First and Last, For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. We cannot say enough to magnify Jesus the Christ except quote hundreds of Scriptures for He is on every single page of the Bible.
Being baptized in the name of Jesus then is more than dealing with a part of the Godhead, it is dealing with the Godhead period, because baptism deals withGod in totality and in Him (Jesus) is “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”(Col 2:9). This is super powerful stuff.
Given this then we may more fully understand that when baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) that the name of Jesus is the fullest and most complete recognition of the Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost. There is no other name given under heaven by which we can be saved! In the Lord Jesus Christ, we have Father (Lord), Son (Jesus) and Spirit (Christ). There is not three separated persons or personalities in one God but God in three manifestations, ie. in three functions to use your word. The same God of the old Testament is the same of God of the New Testament, and in New Testament revelation understanding we now know Him as Jesus!
Who is the only person in the Bible called the everlasting father? It is the Son (Isa 9:6). He is the mighty God (Isa 9:6) and there is only one mighty God. Intuitively we find that most spirit filled saints know that if they want to see God they must look at Jesus (Heb 1:3) however because it is taught that God exists as three separate persons (you know the normal pie chart where God is divided up into three parts) confusion abounds.
When we finally see Jesus we will not see Him actually sitting at the right hand position of the throne of God – but on the throne for He is God Himself.
This has been revelation understanding for us and it has greatly improved our outstanding of the God of the Bible and this is good news. It is not that we have “the Father” operating in the Old Testament and now it is “the Son” operating in the New Testament era. Hardly. It is the same God – who condescended and took of the form of a man (John 1:14 & Philippians 2:1-11).
God is fully revealed in Jesus but confused in the doctrines of men. Who is the Holy Spirit? It is the Spirit of God (Rom 8:9) which is the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9). The Holy Spirit then is Jesus now dwelling in us as Spirit.
At the your event some of the people were confused – who should we pray to? The Father, the Son or the Spirit? The answer to the question is simply pray to Jesus For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
We hasten to add at this point that we do not claim that we have Jesus all worked out, no one does:
• 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
When God manifested Himself in the flesh He manifested Himself as Jesus but being God still, He could not and did not stop being God (Omniscient, Omnipotent). Who can plumb the depths of such condescension us ward?
Everything that the God of the Old Testament said He is, Jesus laid claim to Himself – for He is the very God manifested in the flesh of the son, now risen to the righthand of God. Is there anyone actually beside God or to be reckoned along with Him?
• Isaiah 45:5 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
• Isaiah 45:6 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.
• Isaiah 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
It’s function not position. Only one God and we know His name – Jesus!
We hope that this will be a tremendous blessing to you as it is for us just to dwell on His name and write this letter to you