Response to "To God Be The Glory"
by Joel Hemphill
Dear Friends In Christ:
We are in the process of mailing the tract to over 91,000 ministers and cannot possibly answer all of the questions we are receiving. I do regard your questions and have answered them very carefully in a 390 page book, with over 1000 Scripture references. I spent 9 months writing the book and if you cannot afford to purchase it, I will send it to you free and postage paid. This is not about selling books, this is about helping my brethren whom I love, understand the truth as to who the one Most High God is.
My book is written from the KJV but its theme is expressed very well by Paul in I Cor.15:21, 24-28 (New Living Translation). “So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the Scriptures say ‘God has put all things under his authority’ (of course, when it says ‘all things are under his authority,’ that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.” (All a quote from the NLT). Read it in your favorite translation, it will say the same!
The focus of my book isn't what Jesus is not, but rather who God the Father is. God is immortal - Jesus was not. He was appointed to death Heb. 9:27. God is omnipresent - Jesus was not. He said at Lazarus' tomb, "I am glad for your sakes that I was not there" John 11:15. God is omnipotent - Jesus was not. "The son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do. I can of mine own self do nothing, if I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." "The Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at anytime, nor seen his shape" John 5:19, 20-31, 37. God is omniscient - Jesus was not. He did not know when he would return. He went to a fig tree to see if perhaps, "haply he might find anything thereon" Mark 11:13.
Jesus is coming to reign on earth (“the throne of his father David” Luke 1:32 - he was never promised God’s throne in heaven - Rev. 3:21) for 1000 years. Why just 1000 years? Then God Himself is coming! Please read Revelation chapters 19, 20, 21. The crowd was looking at Jesus, when he said in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” At the end of the 1000 years Jesus will lay the kingdom at God the Father’s feet, and will himself be eternally subject to God the Father. (For proof see I Corinthians 15:20-28 & Rev. 20:7-14)).
Hebrews teaches, and I believe that Jesus did not come in the God family (there is only one God), or the angel family, but in the human family (Heb. 2:7, 9). He is perfect, sinless man, but man nevertheless! “Wherefore in all things it behooved him (was necessary) to be made like unto his brethren... to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17). A God-man could not redeem us. It took a sinless man, the Lamb of God, with righteous blood untainted by the sin of Adam, to redeem mankind. He is the second Adam, not the first God-man. Jesus is: “a priest for ever” (Heb. 5:6). “An high priest for ever” (Heb. 6:20). “A priest for ever “ (Heb. 7:21). “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat on the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:12). Please see also Psalm 110:1 and Acts 2:29-35.
If the disciples who had just seen Jesus ascend to heaven in Acts chapter one, did not pray to him in Acts chapter four, then he is not God! They prayed to “God, the Lord God,” and one time they referred to “thy holy child, Jesus,” and once they said, “by the name of thy holy child Jesus.” (Acts 4:23-31). That is what Jesus had taught them in John 15:16, “Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” Also in John 16:23, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” There is not one verse in the N.T. where we are commanded or encouraged to pray to Jesus.
Jesus was not just a body full of God, he was a man full of God. He had a human mind, soul, spirit and will. Being full of God does not make a person God. Paul said in Ephesians 3:19 “That ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” See II Cor. 4:11, “That the life also of Jesus might be manifest in our mortal flesh.” (This of course does not make us Jesus). The incarnation as taught by modern Christianity is a fable. Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, 1996 edition says:
“(Incarnation) refers to the Christian doctrine that the pre-existent Son of God became man in Jesus. None of these writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke) deals with the question of Jesus' pre-existence. Paul does not directly address the question of the incarnation...It is only with the fathers of the church in the third and fourth centuries, that a full-fledged theory of the incarnation develops.”
Professor James Dunn, a Trinitarian scholar says in his book “Christology In The Making,” “We cannot claim that Jesus believed himself to be the incarnate Son of God” (p. 254). “In Matthew and Luke Jesus’ divine sonship is traced back specifically to his birth or conception: he was Son of God because his conception was an act of creative power by the Holy Spirit” (p. 51). “It is less likely that we can find such a Christology (‘incarnation or pre-existence’) in Paul or Mark, or Luke or Matthew” (p. 64). “Only in the Fourth Gospel can we speak of a doctrine of the incarnation” (p. 259). My contention is, that if Jesus, Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Peter knew nothing of a pre-existence and incarnation, it did not happen! John has been mis-understood! (Its what God said that became flesh). Listen to James Hastings, a noted Trinitarian Bible Scholar, “It may be that St. Paul nowhere names Christ ‘God.’ To a Jew the idea that a man might come to be God would have been an intolerable blasphemy” (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible: 1994; p. 707-708).
This is about God the Father’s glory. In Isaiah 42:1-7, “God the Lord” gave an awesome prophecy concerning the Messiah, “my servant” who He would send. But in verse eight He says, “My glory I will not give to another.” He says again in 48:11, “I will not give my glory to another.” Jesus has “his own glory” (Luke 9:26). He shall “sit in the throne of his glory” (Matt. 19:28). Jesus said “Father...the glory which thou gavest me...that they may behold my glory which thou gavest me” (John 17:22, 24). Peter said, "God...raised him up from the dead and gave him glory, that your faith might be in God" (I Peter 1:20-21). I believe that we as Christians, in our sincere desire to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, have given him the place in our hearts, esteem and worship, that rightly belongs to God, his Father and ours. “I ascend to my Father...and to my God” (John 20:17). “The true worshipers will worship the Father” (John 4:23). When Jesus was worshiped in the N.T., he was not worshiped as God, but as Messiah, Son of God. There is a difference. Solomon was “worshiped” in I Chron. 29:20, but not as God. One day overcoming saints will be worshiped (Rev. 3:9), but not as God.
Here is a good question. If we continue to give God’s glory to another, even His highly exalted, sinless, virgin-born son, after we have come to the knowledge of the truth, will it be accounted to us for idolatry? God still speaks! Please pray and ask Him.
Christian Love & Prayers,