Perkins (UPCI) and Reeves (CofC) debate Apostolic Doctrine


Roger Perkins and Bruce Reeves

Debate @ 7:00 p.m. each Night on Apostolic Doctrine (Godhead and Baptism)

Roger Perkins (UPCI) and Bruce Reeves (Church of Christ)

February 28 through March 4
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and Friday Night!
912 S. Timberland Drive in Lufkin, TX 75902

For More Info Email:
James Anderson - james4christ@gmail.com


1st night [Mon.]: The Scriptures teach that the Godhead consists of three distinct persons, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Reeves affirms--Perkins denies

2nd night[Tues.]: The Scriptures teach that Jesus is the F, S, HS. Perkins affirms--Reeves denies.

3rd night [Thurs.]: The Scriptures teach that in order for baptism to be valid the name of Jesus must be orally invoked by the baptizer. Perkins affirms--Reeves denies.

4th night [Fri.]: The Scriptures teach that to be baptized in Jesus' name requires nothing to be said by the baptizer. Reeves affirms--Perkins denies.


Pursue While Looking Carefully

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
1 Timothy 2:8 KJV

The Bible speaks about the lifting up of holy hands. Today, most Christian groups would consider "lifting holy hands" an awkward practice. Some of our seeker sensitive types might think it is definitely "out of order". Ironically, the accepted way of prayer among Jews, even most pagans, and the earliest Christians was using the uplifting of arms and hands. In Old Testament times, prayers were made with the face pointed toward heaven and palms turned upward with the hands outstretched. This lifting up of hands was common in Old Testament prayers (Exodus 9:29; 1Kings 8:22; Psalms 28:2; 63:4; Isaiah 1:15; Luke 24:50). This conveyed humble requests and a longing for God's blessing or divine intervention. (1) Interestingly enough, these "hands" could not just be casual or unclean, they had to be "clean" before God.

In context of what Timothy may have been experiencing in Ephesus, the outward forms (e.g. lifted holy hands) of prayer needed to be confirmed by the absence of anger or argument. Paul, here, is very concerned with the spiritual life of the Ephesians. It was, much like our's, in the sense that much of the churches "overall effectiveness" was being undermined by ineffective prayers and divisive teaching. If individuals should be from anger and quarreling while praying, how much more should those who are offering the prayer on behalf of others? Obviously, submission is a crucial element here. It is a submission to God and the Plan of God.

Notice the rendering "wrath and doubting" from the NIV and HCSB:

1 Timothy 2:8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. NIV (2010)
1 Timothy 2:8 Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument. HCSB

Hebrews 12:14 echoes these same sentiments. Notice these renderings by the KJV, NET, Phillips, and Wuest.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (KJV)
Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, for without it no one will see the Lord." (NET)
Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness 'without which no man shall see the Lord'." (J.B. Phillips)
"Constantly be eagerly seeking after peace with all, and holiness, without which (holiness) no one shall see the Lord." (Kenneth Wuest)

I can only wish this verse was the "end all" of our dilemma's but there are always differing views as well as clever "spins" on what some texts of Scripture should say. Truth will triumph. It is not my intent to point out, in the O'Reilly fashion, who is "spinning" or not but it is simply to point us to three very important things: 

1. Peace. As vessels of truth we should strive for peaceable relations with all people, at all times. Easier said than done, but we must always strive to do better. Peace is exactly what is needed when persecution is prevalent or when some are defecting from the faith and when our nerves are not made of steel. That is why the writer of Proverbs speaks, 

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1 NKJV)

I think this is something all of us should consider.The KJV rendered : "follow peace". Kenneth Wuest has this insight I thought worth sharing: 

"The word “follow” is the translation of dioko, “to run swiftly in order to catch some person or thing, to run after, to press on.” It is used of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal (Phil. 3:12 “follow after”). Used in a metaphorical sense it means ”to pursue, to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavor to acquire.” The word is seen, therefore, to have a sense of urgency about it, of intensity of purpose." (2) 

I believe that we have failed to "have a sense of urgency" in peace making. I think too many of us have been so consumed with "piece making" i.e. dividing the Body of Christ into "pieces".   

2. Holiness. John MacArthur stated, "Unbelievers will not be drawn to accept Christ if believers’ lives do not demonstrate the qualities God desires, including peace and holiness." (3) Holiness, no matter how you may define it, will always end up as meaning human expressions of Godly qualities. This includes the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) as well. 

We should remember the prior statments about "follow" whose same intensity also applies to the pursuit or following of holiness as well. Holiness should be as eagerly sought after as is peace with all men. In our conflict with the world, we must seek peace, but we must not do so at the expense of sacrificing or dispensing with holiness. Holiness here is hagiasmos which is the basic term. 

3. Read Hebrews 12:14-5 together. Remember there were no verse numbers originally.

"[14]Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: [15 ]looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;" (NKJV) 

The NKJV renders this "looking carefully". The Greek word here does not refer only to oversight by a superior but one of taking constant care and looking out for danger. This is what must be done to avoid the "fall short" of God's grace and to not allow bitter roots to crop up and destroy both those falling short and those who are to be watching, and looking carefully. In such times as ours we must be careful that we do not damage those in the Body just as much as we seek to evangelize a lost world. We must pursue peace and holiness.


1. IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.) 

2. Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1984). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Heb 12:14). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. 3. MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Heb 12:14). Nashville: Word Pub."

3. MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Study Bible. Thomas Nelson publishers, pg. 1920


Roger Perkins and Bruce Reeves Debate the Godhead and Baptism


Roger Perkins and Bruce Reeves

Debate @ 7:00 p.m. each Night on Apostolic Doctrine (Godhead and Baptism)

Roger Perkins (UPCI) and Bruce Reeves (Church of Christ)

February 28 through March 4
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and Friday Night!
912 S. Timberland Drive in Lufkin, TX 75902

For More Info Email:
James Anderson - james4christ@gmail.com


1st night [Mon.]: The Scriptures teach that the Godhead consists of three distinct persons, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Reeves affirms--Perkins denies

2nd night[Tues.]: The Scriptures teach that Jesus is the F, S, HS. Perkins affirms--Reeves denies.

3rd night [Thurs.]: The Scriptures teach that in order for baptism to be valid the name of Jesus must be orally invoked by the baptizer. Perkins affirms--Reeves denies.

4th night [Fri.]: The Scriptures teach that to be baptized in Jesus' name requires nothing to be said by the baptizer. Reeves affirms--Perkins denies.


The Word Defined : Research Study Bible by Mike Dobbs

The Word Defined : Research Study Bible

The Word Defined : Research Study Bible is a great resource for any student of the Word. Word Defined is a three volume set: Volume one - Genesis through II Kings; Volume two - 1 Chronicles through Malachi; Volume three - The New Testament. My volume has a great design and sturdy binding. Often times we pick up our Bibles and see words that we know have more meaning than we might notice at first glance. In this series of works, while using the KJV, Dr. Mike Dobbs takes each proper noun offers the phonetic pronunciation, the appropriate Hebrew or Greek word and the definition of that proper noun.

Here is an example:

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God (El-o-HEEM' [El ohiym']: "The supreme God") created the heavens (Shaw-mahh'-yim [Shamayim]: "to be lofty; the sky; the visible arch in which the clouds move") and the earth. KJV

There is also an "How to" guide on transliteration and pronunciation. The guide gives the letter, name, and English phonetic. For example, aleph is the first word in the Hebrew alphabet. It is silent as in "h" in "hour". Footnotes are also throughout each volume for easy reference. For example, in Genesis 35:16 we see the proper noun Ephrath. The footnotes clarify further: "Ephrath or Ephratha is the ancient name of Bethlehem of Judah, which the prophet Micah refers to as "Bethlehem Ephratha." (Dobbs, pg. 120)

Throughout the text there are also "Did You Know?" information boxes that also help clarify. For example, Deuteronomy 4:3 mentions Baal-Peor. The information box explains, "Baal-Peor was an idol of the Moabites and the Midianites. As the name indicates, this god was worshipped, by obscene rites, in celebration of fertility and the female anatomy. The Moabite women lured the men of Israel away from God with these lustful and licentious rites." (Dobbs, pg. 450) Numbers 15:9 uses the the phrase "hin of wine". The information box explains "A hin was a liquid measure equal to about 8 quarts." (Dobbs, pg. 369)

This study Bible series was born out of Dr. Dobb's visitation to the nation of Israel. A Jewis Rabbi spoke to him while in the Holy Land saying, "the Western world has only partially translated the scriptures and by leaving the names of people and places of the Bible undefined, there is much that the Western mind would never discern or see, contained in the Scriptures." (Dobbs, pg. 7) There is much that we do not readily see because of familiarity with certain words. As we begin to uncover the meaning of these words, especially proper nouns, we are able to provide a "more accurate account of a particular event." (Dobbs, pg. 7)

This study Bible is a recommend for anyone interested in study of the Word. It is a one of a kind study Bible by a Oneness Pentecostal. It is especially helpful to those who want to quickly see how to pronounce the word in English as well. Often times we are unsure of how to pronounce a certain name or place. The work is done for you and provided after each proper noun. For example: Moses (MOE zez [Mos 'she]: "drawn out"

Dr.Mike Dobbs is a husband and pastor in Wiggins, Mississippi and has pastored Word Alive Revival Center for over 18 years. He is also a father of two. You can also access Dr. Dobb's radio podcast here.

Six Reasons why the Church and Israel are Distinct by Arnold Fruchtenbaum.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum has listed about six reasons supporting the argument that the church is a distinct work in God's household from His people Israel:

1) "The first evidence is the fact that the church was born at Pentecost, whereas Israel had existed for many centuries" (116). This is supported by "the use of the future tense in Matthew 16:18 shows that it did not exist in gospel history" (116). Since the church born at Pentecost is called the "Body of Christ" (Col. 1:18), and entrance into the body is through "Spirit baptism" (1 Cor. 12:13), in which Jew and Gentile are united through the church. It is evident that the church began on the Day of Pentecost since Acts 1:5 views Spirit baptism as future, while Acts 10 links it to the past, specifically to Pentecost.

2) "The second evidence is that certain events in the ministry of the Messiah were essential to the establishment of the church-the church does not come into being until certain events have taken place" (117). These events include the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to become head of the church (Eph. 1:20-23). "The church, with believers as the body and Christ as the head, did not exist until after Christ ascended to become its head. And it could not become a functioning entity until after the Holy Spirit provided the necessary spiritual gifts (Eph. 4:7-11)" (117).

3) "The third evidence is the mystery character of the church (117)." A mystery in the Bible is a hidden truth not revealed until the New Testament (Eph. 3:3-5, 9; Col. 1:26-27). Fruchtenbaum lists "four defining characteristics of the church [that] are described as a mystery. (1) The body concept of Jewish and Gentile believers united into one body is designated as a mystery in Ephesians 3:1-12. (2) The doctrine of Christ indwelling every believer, the Christ-in-you concept, is called a mystery in Colossians 1:24-27 (cf. Col. 2:10-19; 3:4). (3) The church as the Bride of Christ is called a mystery in Ephesians 5:22-32. (4) The Rapture is called a mystery in 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. These four mysteries describe qualities that distinguish the church from Israel" (117-18).

4) "The fourth evidence that the church is distinct from Israel is the unique relationship between Jews and the Gentiles, called one new man in Ephesians 2:15" (118). During the current church age God is saving a remnant from the two previous entities (Israel and Gentiles) and combining them into a third new object-the church. This unity of Jews and Gentiles into one new man covers only the church age, from Pentecost until the rapture, after which time God will restore Israel and complete her destiny (Acts 15:14-18). 1 Corinthians 10:32 reflects just such a division when it says, "Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God."

5) "The fifth evidence for the distinction between Israel and the church is found in Galatians 6:16" (118). "It appears logical to view 'the Israel of God' (Gal. 6:16) as believing Jews in contrast to unbelieving Jews called 'Israel after the flesh' (1 Cor. 10:18)" (124).2 This passage does not support the false claim of replacement theologians who claim that Israel is supplanted by the Church. Instead, the Bible teaches that a remnant of Israel is combined with elect Gentiles during this age to make up a whole new entity the New Testament calls the church (Eph. 2).

Replacement theology tries to teach that because Gentiles believers are described as the "seed of Abraham" (Gal. 3:29) that this is equivalent to saying that they are Israel. This is clearly not the case. Paul's description of Gentile believers in Galatians 3:29 simply means that they participate in the spiritual (i.e., salvation) blessings that come through Israel (Rom. 15:27; 1 Cor. 9:11, 14). "Those who are the spiritual seed are partakers of Jewish spiritual blessings but are never said to become partakers of the physical, material, or national promises" (126). Therefore, Israel's national promises are left in tact awaiting a yet future fulfillment.

6) "In the book of Acts, both Israel and the church exist simultaneously. The term Israel is used twenty times and ekklesia (church) nineteen times, yet the two groups are always kept distinct" (118). Thus, the replacement theologian has no actual biblical basis upon which he bases his theological claim that Israel and the church have become one.

*Fruchtenbaum, "Israel and the Church" in Wesley Willis, John Master, and Charles Ryrie, ed., Issues in Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 129.


Could Jesus Sin? (Part Two)

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 NKJV

 Most of us are at least familiar with this Hebrews passage, or various renderings. However, I think to interpret it to mean that Christ was tempted in every way, meaning moral sin, as we are then we have some biblical and philosophical problems. Language scholars suggest that "Some translators have mistakenly interpreted who was tempted in every way that we are as “who wanted to sin in every way that we do.” It is, of course, better to translate “whom the Devil tried to make sin in every way that he tempts us.” (1)  Note the ESV and NRSV translations:

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. ESV

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. NRSV

In Dogmatic Theology G.T. Shedd notes,

“The appeal of Satan, in the last of the three temptations, to a supposed pride and ambition in Christ was met with the avaunt: “Get you hence, Satan.” Christ had no sinful lust of any sort. This is taught in Christ’s own words: “The prince of this world comes and has nothing in me” (John 14:30). It is also taught in Heb. 4:15: “We have a high priest who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” This text teaches that the temptations of Christ were “without sin” in their source and nature and not merely, as the passage is sometimes explained, that they were “without sin” in their result. The meaning is not that our Lord was tempted in every respect exactly as fallen man is—by inward lust as well as by other temptations—only he did not outwardly yield to any temptation; but that he was tempted in every way that man is, excepting by that class of temptations that are sinful because originating in evil and forbidden desire.” (2)

Often times we try to interpret Christ in exact parallel with our own human life. Jesus definitely touches us on every level but can we say Christ was tempted to shoot heroine? Watch an X rated movie? Commit adultery? These type of questions could go on ad nauseum. Movies were not even developed in those times though, and this is the problem when we try to interpret Jesus one for one with our personal human life.

A temptation is also not a sin. It is a prodding or desire to do something wrong. Jesus being God in flesh however makes it impossible for Him to sin. When Jesus was tempted it seems he could only be tempted in the realm of what is possible in His divine union with human nature or as God manifest in the flesh. He was a genuine man, but even sin is not part of human nature. Therefore, a temptation for moral sin doesn't seem congruent. This does not mean that He cannot be tempted or cannot sympathize with our weakness. In fact this ensures that He had the ability to understand what it is like to be genuinely tempted as we are.

James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one." NET

Clearly, God cannot be tempted by evil. Christ was tempted but not for evil. He was tempted yet "without sin". Sin here is not necessarily a reference to a sinful act. I believe the nature of Christ's temptations were that He was asked to do things He could do and the things He wanted to do as a human. The nature of God is to do the miraculous or supernatural. Therefore, when Christ was tempted, it was not done with evil desires within Him.

You may ask, what is a temptation? Notice the Greek word here for temptation here has at least two meanings. Notice the data on this verb, peirazo, from the Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament (ANLEX):

πειράζω impf. ἐπείραζον; fut. πειράσω; 1aor. ἐπείρασα, mid. ἐπειρασάμην; pf. pass. πεπείρασμαι; 1aor. pass. ἐπειράσθην; (1) make an attempt, try, followed by an infinitive to indicate what is being attempted (AC 9.26); (2) put to the test, examine, try (RV 2.2); in a good sense of God’s actions toward his people prove, put to the test, try (HE 11.17); in a bad sense of a person’s hostile intent toward God or Christ test, try, prove (MT 16.1); also in a bad sense of enticement to sin tempt (GA 6.1); participle as a substantive ὁ πειράζων the tempter, a descriptive title for the devil (MT 4.3) (3)

As you can tell a temptation can really be a test. Notice the NRSV renders peirazo as "tested". When it comes to the last clause of Hebrews 4:15 Jesus was tested in all points of His being, or in every respect of His personality, as we are. This verse is also reminsicent of Hebrews 2:18 below. We also have the second reference in Hebrews 12:4 which Ellingsworth, in the Commentary on the Greek Text possibly refers to "the final test of the cross". (4)

Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. NRSV

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. NRSV

The reality of temptation was valid as is for present humanity. However, can this logically conclude that the same "evil desires" we are tempted with are the very same that Jesus was tempted with? He didn't even have the Internet. Notice Young's Literal Translation of Hebrews 4:15:

for we have not a chief priest unable to sympathise with our infirmities, but one tempted in all things in like manner--apart from sin; YLT

The last phrase is “like as” in the KJV or "like manner" in the YLT. It refers to "likess" and is the Greek word homoiotes which refers to similarity and not necessarily exactness. Notice the ANLEX defines this term as similarity, likeness. This can easily refer to the fact that Christ was tempted just like we are, yet those temptations were “without sin” or “apart from sin”. This does not mean Christ had to experience every sinful act common to man but was indeed tested and found perfect and sinless.

G.T. Shedd continues, "If Christ, like fallen man, were subject to that class of forbidden appetences and selfish desires mentioned in Gal. 5:19, 21, namely, “idolatry, hatred, emulation, envyings, murder, wrath, uncleanness, drunkenness, and such like,” the dignity and perfection of his character would be gone, and he could not be looked up to with the reverence that he is. The words of the dead kings to the fallen king of Babylon would apply: “Are you also become weak, as we? Are you become like unto us?” (Isa. 14:10)" (5)

Indeed, it It is by this perfect, spotless sacrifice that we can ever become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is not our righteousness, but it is indeed His that atones for our sin. It is God, Himself, who atones for our sin. Deuteronomy 32:43 declares:

Praise, O heavens, his people,worship him, all you gods! For he will avenge the blood of his children, and take vengeance on his adversaries; he will repay those who hate him, and cleanse the land for his people. NRSV

Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. NRSV

As noted earlier, Jesus was submitted to the will of the Father that to do otherwise was not optional unless there were actually two persons present in Christ. The Incarnation is not about God coming into a person with a complete personality outside of Gods. God became a man (John 1:1, 1:14). He added humanity (true biological humanity) to His existence as deity. The only person was the person of God which is expressed by the unique nature of Jesus Christ.

This informs our thoughts about what it means for Christ to be tested. Was Christ tempted to fornicate? or was He tempted to steal? I believe these answers are no. Did he face them? I believe He probably did. Yet, I cannot believe that they were actually tempting for Him to succumb to. He simply rejected them, as He did Satan.


1. (Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1994], c1983). A handbook on the Letter to the Hebrews. Originally published: Translator's handbook on the Letter to the Hebrews. c1983. UBS handbook series; Helps for translators (90). New York: United Bible Societies.)

2. Shedd, W. G. T., & Gomes, A. W. (2003). Dogmatic theology. "First one-volume edition (3 vols. in 1)" Jacket. (3rd ed.) (659). Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Pub.

3. Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. (2000). Vol. 4: Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker's Greek New Testament library (304). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

4. Ellingworth, P. (1993). The Epistle to the Hebrews : A commentary on the Greek text. Spine title: Commentary on Hebrews. (268). Grand Rapids, Mich.; Carlisle [England: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.

5. Shedd, W. G. T., & Gomes, A. W. (2003). Dogmatic theology. "First one-volume edition (3 vols. in 1)" Jacket. (3rd ed.) (667). Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Pub.


Could Jesus Sin? (Part One)

Part One:

This question may never be explicitly decided based upon the Scriptures themselves but we can make some honest deductions. To get this question right, we must begin with Christ's personal identity, not His human nature. This question if it is to be understood, must be viewed, by His identity, and the ontological limitations of that identity (Heb. 1:3). If Jesus is God, and God cannot sin or be tempted (James 1:13), then Jesus could not sin because such an act would have been the act of God (in a human manner). Jesus freely and willingly chose to submit Himself to the will of the Father (John 14:10-11, 28). Even under tremendous pressure He could do nothing but obey the Word of God (Luke 4:3-4). In this He is our greatest example.

In self-giving and self-limitation God became what he was not (John 1:14), in order that we might become what we are not. In time, He came to us in the flesh. In an authentic human life. He is eternally immutable in his divine moral nature, and eternally faithful (Mal. 3:6). Indeed, Jesus is said to be the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). Yet, we must always remember that there is one subject of the divine and human actions. The one person of God embraces the unique nature which is fully human and fully divine thus a true reconciliation between God and man. That is why the human nature had no independent reality or identity other than God. The flesh would be lifeless without it and that is what happened when God experienced death in His human nature.

A nature is not tempted. It is the person utilizing that nature who is tempted or not. If it is truly possible for Jesus to sin then both His nature and person must be capable of sin. But, for us there is ONLY ONE person in Christ Jesus, our Lord. This is the case in Trinitarianism as well. It is Satan who did the testing and it was Christ who was tested. The temptation of Jesus, while existing in the form of God (Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3; 2 Cor. 4:6), was not internal to Christ but an external action by Satan directed at Christ. This is important but does not blunt the reality of the tempation. Below James, the brother of Christ, tells us about the nature of sin:

James 1:14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. ESV

In the wilderness Christ is tempted for the first time when He is hungry after fasting for forty days. While the temptation did not arise in Christ's character or person the genuiness of the temptation upon the person or consciousness of Christ cannot be disanulled. Yet, even here Christ, who was in the form of God physically and morally, did not use the divine prerogatives that He possessed.

Matthew 4:3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” ESV

Satan wanted Jesus to remove His human hunger using His divine power. To exercise His divine power and thus destroying the integrity of the Incarnation. Any mere human would have probably caved in to the pressure but here Jesus, exising in the form of God, is truly tempted by this test. Jesus is God, but was not looked upon as God. He was seen and looked upon as a man. Therefore, Jesus as God manifest in the flesh felt and knew the entire range of human emotion during testing.

If Jesus had a person inside of him capable of sinning and another that is not then that is obviously two persons. I believe Jesus is the ONE who possess a unique nature--which is fully human and fully God. He was indeed God in human flesh (John 1:14). He did not have one nature off doing one thing while the other was doing something else. Theoretically, if Jesus was only a human He could've sinned but we know this isn't the case and it can be said that Jesus "knew" no sin. In his consciousness and mind, or internally, there was nothing sinful in Him for He was God in the flesh.

2 Cor. 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ESV

When or if we sin it is done because sin is already within us. Sin still exists, no matter if we can carry out that sin to its completion (See Matt. 5:27-28). If a man "lusts" after a woman in his heart, even though he did not act upon his lust he has still sinned in his heart. Jesus did not struggle with sin but ultimately defeat it--for us. You can not struggle with something internally that is not within you therefore the tests and temptations of Christ were not immoral ones. The ruler of this world and sin had no "claim on Jesus" (John 14:30). The reason it was not possible for Jesus to sin, or capable of sin is because the person of Jesus is God and inherently incapable of sin.

It is by this perfect, spotless sacrifice that we can EVER become the righteousness of God. It is not our righteousness, but it is indeed HIS. The "him" here refers to Jesus as sin's representative who bore its judgment at Calvary. This enables Paul and his companions to become the righteousness of God. The righteousness comes from God. It comes from the work of Calvary. Thus to be made righteous by God is be made righteous by Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus is the perfect, spotless sacrifice. Our perfection for us. The lamb slain, for us.

Hebrews 4:14-15 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. ESV

Hebrews 4:14-15 explains that Christ was tempted in all points of His being, or in every respect of His personality, as we are. All the temptations and tests of Christ are not compiled for us but the Hebrews writers makes it an accepted reality. We will look at these verses closer in part two but the reality of temptation was valid for Him as is for all of us. If not, Jesus would not have been genuinely human. However, can this logically mean that the same "evil desires" we are tempted with are the very same that Jesus was tempted with? That is not the point of this text. Could it be said Jesus was tempted to do heroine? To murder? No. It is not necessary to say He was tempted in each and every way, simply because some things were never physically present, to conclude that He was genuinely tempted.

Christ can sympathize with our infirmities or weakness and He was tested as we are, yet without sin. Note the Scriptures do not say Jesus "did not sin" but rather "without sin." The distinction is crucial and instructional in light of the identity of Jesus. His human nature would have hungered and it is also by our human natures that we sin. Yet, Jesus was not in internal conflict or confusion. His human nature was not as though it could act independently of his divine nature. Jesus is the one who is fully human and fully divine. Jesus' human nature is not isolated. It is always in union or submission to the divine nature. His person and nature were in harmony

In summary, Jesus knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21), He committed no sin (1 Pet. 2:22), and there is no sin in Him (1 John 3:5). It was impossible for Him to sin, either as God or as man. As the perfect man, He was obedient to the Father (John 5:19), and certainly the Father would cause Him to sin. Did He face things like fornication or theft? Possibly. If so, was he actually tempted to do them? No. Was he tempted and tested? Yes, without sin. Christ did not come so that He could relate to us, but He came so that we could relate to Him. His is our perfect example. The spotless lamb.


Debate : Perkins and Reeves

Roger Perkins and Bruce Reeves

Debate Each Night on Apostolic Doctrine 

- Roger Perkins (UPCI) and Bruce Reeves (Church of Christ)

February 28 through March 4
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and Friday Night!
912 S. Timberland Drive in Lufkin, TX 75902

For More Info Email:

James Anderson - james4christ@gmail.com

Scheduling 2011

Let's set a date. 

Since I got laid off from my job late in 2010 I have been preaching and teaching full-time. My pastor and I felt the time was right. I have several references available if needed. I enjoy preaching the Gospel and also have a passion for teaching Bible series. I have studied theology at Jackson College of Ministries and religious studies at Liberty University. I have also worked in hands on ministry ranging from Pastor, Bible teacher to youth pastor.  

God has blessed us in 2010 and I look forward to a great year in 2011. I have preached or taught for a few of the readers to this blog but it would be an honor to schedule a date with more friends and readers as well! You can email me to schedule for 2011 at james4christ@gmail.com. Email me to set a date this year. 

J.N. Anderson

Big Ideas by David S. Norris

Big Ideas by Davis S. Norris

4 and if you look for it as for silver 
   and search for it as for hidden treasure, 
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD 
   and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:4-5 NIV

Big Ideas by David S. Norris is a pivotal turning point in Oneness Pentecostal literature. Not only does he engage Biblical ideas but weaves them throughout with practical stories and hands on experience. Norris is right when he says that "God's Big Ideas take a bit of time to understand." You owe it to yourself to settle in, grab your favorite mug and read this book. 

This book is over 330 pages exploring issues and topics that are vital and reoccurring in Oneness Pentecostal life and culture. It really seeks to take Proverbs 2:4-5 to heart. Norris states that "Big Ideas are neither sound bytes nor proof text." We should look and search resisting the urge to be hurried. 

Big Ideas was dedicated to the incoming 2010 freshmen class at Gateway College. There are 25 chapters with an Introduction, Appendix, Notes and Works Cited. Each chapter is designed to take the Big Idea and put it in such a way that anyone can understand. Norris does a good job at taking Biblical, theological concepts and making them accessible and understanding to even junior high and high school ages.

Chapter titles include Discovering Big Ideas; The Big Idea of Faith; The Big Idea of Special Creation; The Big Idea of Freedom; The Big Idea of Covenant; The Big Idea in a Name; The Big Idea of Invoking God's Name; The Big Idea of Purpose; The Big Idea of Grace; The Big Idea of God's Word; The Big Idea of Truth; The Big Idea about Canon; The Big Idea of the Gospel; The Big Idea about Jesus' Identity; The Big Idea about Jesus' Purpose; Holding on to Big Ideas; The Big Idea about the Spirit of God; The Big Idea of the New Testament Covenant; The Big Idea of Justification; The Big Idea of Love; The Big Idea of Love; The Big Idea of Peace; The Big Idea of Joy; The Big Idea of Answering Tough Questions; The Big Idea of Hope; and Telling the Big Story. 

This is a book about a Big God. Norris also notes that "the reason why Cliff Notes of the Eternal do not work is because we have a Big God." (Norris, pg. xiii) Each chapter concludes with a short summary. At the end usually two Big Ideas from the chapters itself are summarized. Each chapter is full of great illustrations and examples that can help make Oneness theology practical for any pastor, a teacher or laymen. Each chapter also concludes with recommended reading from various Oneness theologians, apologists, ministers and authors. 

Since this is a review and not a spoiler I will highlight only a few chapters. Chapter three is about the idea of Special Creation. Norris reminds us that "The church and university can kiss and make up. Not Naturalism and Theism...Genesis 1 cannot be made to teach evolution--period. We may argue how long the creative days actually were, but the language of the Bible will not allow evolution to be causal for the world in which we now live." (Norris, pg. 29) Norris' point here should not be lost. Darwinian Evolution affirms that natural or random selection is the cause of the world in which we live. This view will simply not do given the apparent order and design in our Universe. Antony Flew, long-time British philosopher and atheist turned theist, affirms the inevitable : ‎"we still have to come to terms with the origin of the laws of nature. And the only viable explanation here is the divine Mind." (Flew, pg. 121)

Chapter four is about Freedom. Citing Genesis 1:26 Norris concludes that "The image and likeness of God are the same thing; this includes the ability to reflect, to choose to love; to decide. Even after the Fall, the image of God is not lost." (Norris, pg. 45) Adam and Eve did not die at the moment of their sin because, as Norris notes, "From the very beginning God had a plan to pay for disobedience....the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Norris, pg. 43)

Chapter six is about the idea of Covenant. The term is used to describe God's relationship with human persons, e.g. Abraham. Norris notes that "Covenant requires a lived experience of walking with God intentionally and passionately...we love God "in the superlative", with our thoughts, actions, and with the very core of our whole being." (Norris, pg. 57) This chapter is partly an attempt to take some of the key concepts about covenant that Norris discusses in I AM : A Oneness Pentecostal Theology. Another highly recommended work.

In Chapter nine the idea of Grace is explored. One of the big ideas of Grace is that "Grace is possible because of the work of Christ, a work that is freely given. Grace empowers any who believe to respond to God's call. It empowers those who respond to live a full and victorious life in abundant covenant relationship." (Norris, pg. 106) Chapter ten is about God's Word, the Bible. Here Norris states, God's Word is "God-breathed...it is not that God literally took control over the hand of the writer and began writing words apart from the intelligence of the individual...It is not merely concepts that are inspired, but it is the very words themselves--Scripture in its every part." (Norris, pg. 114, 115, 118)

In Chapter eleven Norris writes about the idea of Truth. He continues the dialog about God's Word and notes, "particularly since we have moved into the postmodern era, we need to stand on the truth of the Word of God and its message of salvation. While the Bible is neither simplistic nor can it be read without discernment, it provides a sure place to stand. It is the Truth--The Big Idea--that explains all other "truths" (ideas). (Norris, pg. 131) Chapter twelve is about the Canon of Scriptures. He notes that "When Peter referred to Paul and other texts as Scripture, this was authoritative. This was canon. It was part of God's sacred Word...It was not merely a matter of chance or political intrigue as to what books we have as Scripture. (Norris, pg. 141, 143)

Norris' final remarks are especially worth heeding. He notes, "It is actually possible to win a debate but lose a relationship. God doesn't merely call people into believing the right things. He calls people into relationship." (Norris, pg. 312) I highly recommend this book to anyone. It is a five star work. Click here to order yours today.


Norris, David S. Big Ideas. Copyright (c) 2010 by David S. Norris. Apostolic Teaching Resources LLC (ATR). 

Flew, Antony. There Is A God. How The World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. Copyright (c) 2007 by Antony Flew. Harper Collins Publishers.

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)