The Man Who God Became: John 1;1, 14, 18

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth...18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. ESV

Here John takes us back to before the creation of all things (Genesis 1:1). And there the Word was with God and was God. Meaning, Whom the Word was with the Word was. The Word, Who is God, became flesh and tabernacled among us. He pitched His tent. Similarly, in the days of Moses, God dwelt in the Tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 25:8-9, 33:7). An agent, a plan, another person or representative did not tabernacle therein, but God Himself.

Became flesh does not mean God ceased being God or that He even had divine flesh. It means He added to Himself humanity. God took on human nature to live among humanity, the One who is fully God and fully man. Glory refers back to the Old Testament where the presence of God was manifested in a variety of ways. This glory represented the very presence of God, and not an agent or representative of God.

The only Son from the Father: Jesus is also the Son of God, not in the sense of being a created being or merely a human body. But in the sense that a Son is exactly like His Father in all attributes. The term “only” here means unique or one of a kind, as in the case of Isaac, who is called Abraham's only son, but was not actually the only son of Abraham. Therefore, it implies the Son is unique or one of a kind.

No one has ever seen God, but the only God, who comes from the bosom of the Father declares Him. Meaning no one has ever seen God in a full or complete way. This is not two gods nor two separate persons but the Christ who reveals God is God Himself. I can say that no one can see the back of their head. That would be a true statement. Yet, with a mirror I can see the back of my head. Jesus reveals and explains God in a way that can be visible to the mortal eye. No mere man, angel or representative can do this. Jesus is the Almighty God in flesh.


Is Genesis 19:24 Evidence for the Trinity?

Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; KJV

In efforts to support their doctrines well-meaning but perhaps over zealous Trinitarians appeal to this verse to imply more than one person in the nature of God. At the very least they want this verse to give us some implication of the Trinity. Notice the remarks of John Wesley from his Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible:

"Then the Lord rained - from the Lord - God the Son, from God the Father, for the Father has committed all judgment to the Son. He that is the Saviour will be the destroyer of those that reject the salvation."

Ironcially, Trinitarian apologist James R. White has also utilized this text in debates attempting to make a similar argument. Such Trinitarians are thinking that there is one Lord who rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah and yet another, within the same text and using the same noun, who also rains down. By necessity this conclusion would imply that there are two Lords at work here. Yet, the Lord of the Old Testament is repeatedly said to be one and never two or three (Deuteronomy 6:4). There is not just one Lord, but the Lord is one. Let's look at this verse closer to see what could be happening. Consider some other translations of this text:

NET | ‎Then the LORD rained down sulfur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the LORD.

NIV| Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens.

TEV| Suddenly the LORD rained burning sulfur on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah

 The NET actually makes two sentences out of the verse and the NIV uses the dash. Both are emphasizing the source of the destruction is from the Lord above. Notice that the KJV had "brimstone and fire" where as the above translations have "sulfur and fire" and "burning sulfur" since in the context they are actually to be understood as one and the same. The TEV actually does not include the second reference to the Lord in their translation indication it is the same Lord in either case. Notice the NKJV rendering below:

NKJV | ‎Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens.

The NKJV adds the comma to separate the second instance of Lord to more clearly indicate that the second instance is indicating or emphasizing the source. It is not an indication of a second person in the Trinity nor does it indicate the Lord is actually a divine being comprised of more than one person. Notice 2 Chronicles 9:2 from the KJV:

KJV| And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not.

Here the noun Solomon is repeated for emphasis, not to point out that Solomon is actually two persons in one being or that another person named Solomon has suddenly entered the context. Solomon answered all of her questions. Meaning there was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her. The second reference helps to shed light or emphasize information disclosed in the first. Notice the following two later verses which summarize the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah:

Deuteronomy 29:23 the whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger and wrath--ESV

2 Peter 2:6 ESV  if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; ESV

In both accounts the Lord which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with burning sulfur is described with singular personal pronouns like "his" and "he". Therefore, if Genesis 19:24 was teaching that more than one divine person was involved in the destruction it was lost upon Moses and Peter for they certainly never recorded it in any way. Instead, they refer to the Lord of Israel as uni-personal. Trinitarians should rethink such arguments and more closely align their view of the God of Israel to that of Biblical monotheism.

Archaeology and the Kings of Israel

Dr. J.R. Price notes that “The person of King David looms large on the pages of both the Old and New Testaments, being mentioned some 1,048 times.”[i] Such an individual is pivotal to understanding the Bible story and even the lineage and coming of the Messiah—Jesus Christ—who will set up His earthly kingdom to rule and reign from the Throne of David. Needless to say there is much at stake both historically and theologically speaking. 

For many years it was claimed that King David never existed. For example, Dame Kathleen Kenyon wrote:

“To many people it seems remarkable that David and Solomon still remain unknown outside the Old Testament or literary sources derived directly from it. No extra-Biblical inscription, either from Palestine or from a neighboring country, has yet been found to contain a reference to them.”[ii]

In 1868 the Mesha Stele or Moabite Stone was discovered at Dibon which is in modern Jordan. Epigrapher Andre Lemaire believes that a disputed reading in the text, based on the Tel Dan inscription, can be understood as the “house of David”. In 1993 and 1994 an Aramaic monumental inscription, commissioned by a Syrian king, was discovered in Tel Dan, Israel. 

The portion of the text that has been preserved lists eight Biblical kings dating it to about 841 B.C. The names “Joram” and “Ahab” which are mention in 2 Kings 3 were found. Joram was King of Israel from roughtly 852 to 841 B.C. and Ahab was King of Israel from roughly 874 to 853 B.C. The names Ahaziah and Jehoram (See 2 Kings 8:250, both Kings of Israel, were also found on the inscription. These inscriptions vividly demonstrate with extra-Biblical accounts that such Biblical figures are more than legend or myth but real figures in history.

[i] Price, Randall. The Stones Cry Out: What Archaeology Reveals about the Truth of the Bible. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House, 1997. (161)

[ii] Kathleen, Kenyon. The Bible and Recent Archaeology, rev. ed. By P.R.S. Moorey (Atlanta; John Knox Press, 1987), p. 85


Supposed Bible Contradictions: The Sermon on the Mount

Hill of the Beatitudes

16) Matthew 5:1-2 Christ preached his first sermon on the mount.  Luke 6:17 & 20 Christ preached his first sermon in the plain.
Some would suggest that there is a contradiction in the Sermon on the Mount accounts in the New Testament between Matthew 5:1-2 and Luke 6:17-49. The objection above creates a false distinction between the accounts. The objections appears to be something like, "Was Christ's first sermon on the mount or in the plain? It can't be both." As we established earlier we should evaluate the claim and determine if there be any contradiction whatsoever. Are there alternative explanations? It seems there are at least two plausible explanations:

1) They are the same sermon but Matthew and Luke give summaries that highlight different parts or emphasis of that sermon.

2) They are two different sermons but have similar content as is common in preaching.

Apparently, a contradiction is not the necessary conclusion here. Matthew 4:23-25 records:

23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. 24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Great multitudes followed Him — from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. NKJV

 It is clear from vs. 23 that Jesus went throughout all of Galilee preaching. Meaning He preached in more than one location. The noun for "synagogues" is also in the plural form which indicates He preached in more than one. Yet, in different locations and in different places it is said He preached the "gospel of the kingdom" which by necessity includes overlapping content. Therefore, it is quite possible that Jesus, while able to introduce new content at will, also preached the same thing repeatedly. Notice the following excerpt from Matthew 14:

13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food." NKJV

It is clear from vs. 13 that Jesus, initially, was intending go to a "deserted place" to be by Himself. Yet, multitudes of people, following on foot, moved Him with "compassion for them" and He began ministering to them instead. After time had passed and it became evening the disciples suggested they be sent away because they still had to travel, by foot, back into the villages to buy food. Apparently, Jesus spent many hours with the multitudes ministering to them with miracles and teaching. It would be quite logical to conclude then that the sermons were long and therefore capable of having certain parts emphasized more than others. Craig L. Blomberg notes:

"Luke refers to Jesus’ speaking on a “level place,” but since Jesus has been in the mountains (cf. 6:12 with 6:17), Luke scarcely contradicts Matthew. Both writers envisage a plateau in a hilly area."(1)

In Matthew 5:1 it appears that Jesus is initially teaching the disciples. Yet, in Matthew 7:28 it is obvious that others had gathered. It must not be assumed that Jesus did not relocate or that parts of this sermon were not delivered in differing locations. In fact, if one thinks of a "sermon" here in the traditional modern sense then one has already imported too much into the text.

Matthew simply records that Jesus went up on a mountainside so that His disciples could be nearer to Him and then came down with them to a level place yet still in the mountain. The claim that the Sermon on the Mount is a contradiction is simply false. It begins with a faulty assumption and does not allow the Scriptural data to speak for itself. Instead the assumption that a contradiction is to be found is read back into the text. Such an assumption is not necessary and unwarranted. 


1) Craig Blomberg, Matthew, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992). 97.


James White on the Trinity

G. Jorge Medina, from Defenders of the Faith, and I discuss the claims of Trinitarian apologists James R. White. We discuss the Shema, singular pronouns, 1 Corinthians 8:6, John 10:30, and more. Here is the audio link to download or listen online.

Click here!


Bible Contradictions: Some Ground Rules

As a chaplain I hear all kinds of reasons why a person does or even does not believe in the Bible as God's Word. For the past few weeks I have been teaching a Bible study group. We have been going chapter by chapter through Understanding God's Word by David K. Bernard.(1) I highly recommend this book to all my readers. While I'm doing this study I wanted to write this and subsequent posts answering various objections made against the Bible. 

In chapter three Bernard writes "Since the Bible is the Word of God, it does not contain internal contradictions."(1) This is a fundamental guideline for believers. Below, I will set some guiding principles for dealing with Bible contradictions and in subsequent posts look at examples that are used. 

At some point, we must determine what sort of contradiction is being claimed about a particular text. The general laws of logic that would apply here are the law of identity (something is what it is), the law of non-contradiction (nothing can both be and not be at the same time and in the same sense), the law of the excluded middle (something either is or is not)(2) and the law of rational inference (proper conclusion based upon logical and reasonable evidence). 

Examine the claim of the skeptic. Is what they claim really a contradiction? Or is the issue interpretive? Once a man slammed my KJV Bible on the table in front of us while uttering expletives suggesting he would not believe one word from it. After some time of talking with the man his disdain from Scripture originated in a misunderstanding of Scripture that he had heard from his mother. Since a child he was taught that Jesus would return in the year 2000. 

It is also good to press the unbeliever to be more creative with their unbelief. If there was an answer to this "supposed" contradiction would they accept the answer? Many will say no and thus confirm that your answer would not matter anyways. This is another issue entirely. Biblical authority is at an all time low in our culture. 

Use proper resources in your study (Bible lexicons, concordances, commentaries, encyclopedias, etc). There are thousands of tools to help one interpret Scripture that are freely available online or that can be acquired in physical form.

We should also examine our presuppositions or the set of assumptions about the Bible. Everyone has them. We get them from several areas (e.g. culture, upbringing, theological). Are our assumptions valid? Are our expectations legitimate? False expectations can lead to false conclusions. For example, do not expect the Bible writers to be digital machines in their writings. God moved upon men to write by inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-22). The photocopier is also a recent development. 

Do not ignore the style of the author or the genre of the book you are reading. To do so is to force meaning into the text and not allow the meaning to be read from the text. 

We should also be open to being wrong about some things. The Bible teaches certain things very clearly and unquestionably. But for peripheral issues we should be open to learning and the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

In the next post we will examine some specific examples.


Bernard, David K. Understanding God's Word: An Apostolic Approach to Interpreting the Bible. Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame, 2005 Click here to purchase.
Miller, Ed L., and Jon Jensen. Questions That Matter: An Invitation to Philosophy. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2004.


We Have No King But Jesus

Acts 17:7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” ESV

In our times experience is king. Food, technology, entertainment, and sex reign supreme. More to the point, the self and what makes you feel good are king. If you are not bowing before them you are not in fashion. Woe to them who point us to "another" king. Accusations of intolerance, distortion of our claims, or claims that we are denying our true selves eventually emerge. At the altar of self lies homosexuality, aborted babies, obesity, and in general a mass of people that know nothing about self-control, discipline and denying self.  

In Acts 17:7 Paul and Silas had made it to Thessalonica--the capital of Macedonia. It is present day Salonika. The Jews had no problems with rejecting Jesus as the Messiah and Lord but they had a real problem with the Gentiles who were also embracing the Gospel (See Acts 10:44-46). In verse 5 they form a mob, "set the city in an uproar" (ESV) and attack the home of Jason--possibly a Messianic Jewish believer. 

They drag Jason and other "brothers" before the authorities shouting that these men "who have turned the world upside down" have come to their city to continue turning things upside down. They were upset that Jason had received Paul and Silas into his home and said that they were acting against the decrees of Caesar, "saying that there is another king, Jesus." In order to turn the authorities against them the Jews were essentially suggesting that these "brothers" were disturbing the Pax Romana--the peace of Rome. 

This was treason and would not be tolerated by Rome. The Jews knew the penalty for this was death and had pit the kingship of Jesus against Caesar. This is probably the same charge that the Jews brought against Christ Himself in Luke 23:2-4 and John 19:12, 15. They had essentially distorted the Christian claims of a spiritual kingdom and Christ as the king of that domain with an earthly political opposition to Rome. 

Believers must not blend in and assimilate with those who bow at the altar of self. We must stand up and be counted. Not simply to be contentious but because we truly serve "another king"--King Jesus. The cries of the crowd in John 19:15 was "We have no king but Caesar." (ESV) The cry of the Christian is "We have no king but Jesus!" 

Even though our claims are distorted we will continue to proclaim the truth. Although we are labeled as intolerant we still proclaim that "there is salvation in no on else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (ESV) Our lives are living letters that must declare His Lordship in our lives. We have no king but Jesus.

Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” (ESV)


Is the Name ‘Jesus’ Really Related to the Name ‘Zeus’? by Michael Brown

Good article by Dr. Michael Brown on Is the Name ‘Jesus’ Really Related to the Name ‘Zeus’?


  1. The fact is, anyone with a sound knowledge of Greek would know that there is zero connection between the names Jesus and Zeus in Greek, as someone once said, “Jesus is as much related to Zeus as Moses is to mice.”
  2. The original Hebrew-Aramaic name of Jesus is Yeshua, which is short for Yehoshua (Joshua), just as Sammy is short for Samuel. (By the way, there is no such name as Yahushua, supposedly the original pronunciation for Joshua in Hebrew—again, not true!—and God’s name was never pronounced Yahua. Throw those myths in the trash bin as well.)
  3. There’s nothing mysterious here, and this is just a matter of names in one language undergoing changes when they switch into another language, like Michael in English compared to Miguel in Spanish compared to Mikhael in Russian. There is no conspiracy and no cover-up.


Southern Baptist Convention should no longer be considered "Calvinist"?

The Southern Baptist Convention acknowledges theological diversity on issues such as Calvinism and Arminianism.

"We must remember that the diversity we celebrate is already honored in the names we revere—theological statesmen such as James P. Boyce and B. H. Carroll, E. Y. Mullins and W. T. Conner; missionary heroes and martyrs such as Lottie Moon and Bill Wallace; scholars such as A. T. Robertson and Robert Baker, educators such as Lee Scarborough and John Sampey; evangelists and preachers like George W. Truett and W. A. Criswell, R. G. Lee and Adrian Rogers; and pastor-theologians like Herschel Hobbs. Where would we be today if we attempted to divide these heroes and heroines of the faith by the issue of Calvinism? We would cut ourselves off from our own heritage."

Click here to read full article.


Return to the Scriptures

"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints." (1) 

Jude further stated, " For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." At the time of Jude "the faith" or Apostolic teaching was under attack and in need of defense. As Paul was saying goodbye to the Ephesian elders he stated, "I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;" (Acts 20:29). 

Although, the New Testament canon may not have been in final form the teaching of the Apostles was settled. The Apostle Paul commends Titus as one in "a common faith" (Titus 1:4). Jude concluded it was a "common salvation". Perhaps, as Jude was about to write on the main tenets of Christianity he had to turn to attacks on the faith. It was given and to be contended for. 

Even in John 20:30 ("which are not written in this book") it is clear by the writing of John that he and possibly other of the disciples had a process of determining what to include in written form. By the second century most of the New Testament was recognized and the majority of it can be found cited in early patristic writings. Writing to the Philippians much later, Polycarp wrote "Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us..." (2) 

The greatest missionary of the Apostolic truth is the Bible itself. The Truth of God's Word existed before Luther, Calvin, or Urshan. It is our duty to remind the world, and to remind believers to return to the Scriptures. In them is Apostolic teaching and our common salvation.


1) All verses are from the English Standard Version

2) Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians: http://ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-11.htm#P832_153920


Book Review: Calling on the Name of Jesus by Jason L. Weatherly

Calling on the Name of Jesus by Jason Weatherly is an excellent resource for those familiar with the subject or even anyone on the outside looking in. This work is well organized and friendly to anyone willing to read. In this work Weatherly distills over 16 years of study, research and debates for our consumption. His first public debate took place in 1995 at the age of 22. He has since held numerous debates on a range of subjects and specifically the subjects covered in this work.

There is a Foreword, Introduction and nine chapters in this work. Chapter one is "The Baptismal Formula in Church History", chapter two is "No-Formula or Silent Baptism", chapter three is "The Great Commission", chapter four is "In the Name of" i.e. "Calling on the Name", chapter five is "In the Name of" not "By the Authority of", chapter six is 'Lexical Definition of "in the Name of"', chapter seven "Calling on His Name", chapter eight "The Baptism of John" and the last "Through His Name".

In chapter two Weatherly does a good job of explaining and responding to the "No-Formula or Silent Baptism" view. Around 1951 G.K. Wallace of the Church of Christ denomination went on record teaching the no-formula and silent baptism view. This view is still held erroneously by some Church of Christ teachers today while it was not nor ever was the actual practice of that religious organization. As Weatherly points out the founding fathers of the Church of Christ (Walter Scott, Alexander Campbell) supported a formula and that it was to be called or invoked over the baptismal candidate.

Calling on the Name of Jesus is a must have for anyone studying the doctrine of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. This resource will be an excellent addition to the apologists bookshelf as a reference guide or even to help ground a teenager in the youth group. Click here to purchase for Kindle! Calling on the Name of Jesus in paperback is $12.99 (plus $3.00 shipping/handling)

For ordering info email jlw515@hotmail.com or send check/money order to:

Jason L. Weatherly
29 Brentwood Cove
Cabot, AR 72023


1 Peter 3:21 and Water Baptism

1 Peter 3:20-21 

because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (ESV)

Old Testament Stories Involving Water:

Micah 7:19 "...You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." (ESV)

In Micah 7:15 the story line turns to the children of Israel leaving Egypt. Shortly after the exodus of Israel from Egypt, Pharaoh pursues them with hostile intent. At the Red Sea, however, God casts Pharaoh and his army  into the sea (See Exodus 15:4). Here Micah records God's intent to deal decisively with sin and uses the metaphor of the sea depths to illustrate. Consider the prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 4:4 when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. (ESV)

Isaiah speaks of a time when the branch of the Lord reigns that cleansing will also come. There are many stories in the Old Testament involving water which Peter could have employed in this letter. As a Hebrew he would be familiar with the story of the Israelites passing over the river Jordan in Joshua 5:6-9 or the cleansing of Naaman in that same river in II Kings 5. The tabernacle furniture of wandering Israel also contained the brazen laver or basin which contained water for the purifying of the priesthood. Even the Israelite deliverance from Egypt involved the waters of the Red Sea.

In this passage Peter weaves the ancient story of Noah and the ark, one which precedes all others in time. God was patient with man in the days of Noah but eventually destroyed them by flood (See Genesis 6-7). As Peter tells us, however, Noah and his family are brought "safely" through water. In the day of Noah the water was part of judgment but for New Testament believers it is vital to Christian initiation and salvation.

Does Baptism Save? Does Water Wash Away My Sins?

There can be no doubt that something is or should be effected spiritually when a person is baptized while having the Name of the Lord invoked over them. Titus 3:5 refers to a "washing of regeneration" and Ananias, in Acts 22:16, connects baptism with washing away of sins.

Even while the flood killed the inhabitants of that land this same water bore up Noah and his family keeping them separated from those who died. David K. Bernard, who also rejects baptismal regeneration, has rightly noted, "the ark floated on the water."(1) This water was no mere symbolic act, but part of the very means by which Noah's family of eight were also saved. While we attempt to understand what Scripture teaches about our salvation we must always remember how vitally connected water baptism is to that salvation.

Anton Huba, who left Slovakia due to persecution, answered those questions this way, "it was not Noah that saved himself and his family; it was not the water that saved them; it was not the ark--but it was God that saved them through the obedience to God's revealed Word."(2) As Oneness Pentecostals would agree, H20 is incapable of saving one soul. Yet, the fact remains that only those who obeyed God's word to enter the ark were saved. Salvation could not have been conceived of without their entering into the ark.

H20 passing over our bodies does not constitute a saving act. Removal of dirt by use of water is of no value here as Peter makes clear (vs. 21). Baptism saves us as an expression of faith, because of the inward faith, as evidenced by our appeal to God.

Formerly, water only affected the flesh and not the conscience of man. All could become clean by ritual washing's and baths but now water baptism is part of cleansing us spiritually. Water baptism now brings spiritual cleansing and a clean conscience.

When Christians refer to water baptism it is something previously and inseparably enjoined with faith and repentance. Forgiveness/remission of sins comes through faith, repentance and water baptism together. While different theological events they do not operate independently or in isolated parts from the whole.

"through the resurrection of Jesus Christ"

Romans 6:4-5 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (ESV)

In Romans 6:4-5, Paul likens our baptism with Christ as our burial. Baptism is an open acknowledgment of our death with Christ. Death to sin and to self. But, the death and burial of Christ points to a resurrection in the Spirit--a newness of life. Water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit then are closely connected.

The saving power which is effected in faith, repentance or baptism could not come to man without the necessary realities that the resurrection of Christ brought. 1 Peter 3:21 ends with "through the resurrection of Jesus Christ," connecting baptism with Christ's resurrection. Baptism also saves because it is grounded in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We consider it nothing in comparison to the faithfulness of Christ, who was truly dead and buried. In our baptism we identify with Him in His death. We simply bow our knee to Scripture. Let those who have not--go--to the waters of baptism. Calling on the name of Jesus.


1) Bernard, David K. The New Birth (1984) WAP: St. Louis, MO. 

2) Huba, Elder Anton Apostolic Baptism (1943) The RedCraft Press: Foxborough, MA.

David K Bernard - An Apostolic Response to GLBT Issues


Resource Review: Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus Part II

In a previous post we discussed the resource Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus by Michael L. Brown. He is a reasonable and respected Jewish-Messianic apologist and scholar. This four-volume set is also available for Logos users. In this post we will continue reviewing his work. Specifically, highlighting the aims and objectives of each volume.

Volume One: General and Historical Objections.

This volume gives an answer to general objections like "Doesn't belief in Jesus mean you're no longer Jewish?" and "If Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, why don't more Jews believe in him?". It also answers historical objections such as "If Jesus is really the Messiah, why isn't there peace on earth?", "Christians have always hated and persecuted the Jewish people.", "Just look at the church! Who's right?" and many others. This volume covers well over 30 questions or objections to Jesus.

Volume Two: Theological Objections.

This volume covers over 25 well selected theological objections to Jesus. These objections include "If you claim Jesus is God then you are guilty of making God into a man.", "God doesn't have a son.", "We are righteous by what we do, not by what we believe.", "Jews don't believe in a divine Messiah.", "Jews don't believe in a suffering Messiah.", "Jews don't believe the Messiah will come twice." and many others.

Volume Three: Messianic Prophecy Objections.

This volume covers objections to Jesus as the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament. They include such objection as "Isaiah 7:14 does not prophesy a virgin birth!", "Isaiah 9:6 does not speak of a divine king.", "Daniel 9:24-27 has nothing to do with the Messiah." and many others. This volume covers almost 40 objections to Jesus. Over 12 of them concern the 53 chapter of Isaiah alone.

Volume Four: New Testament Objections.

This volume covers over 33 objections to Jesus based upon the New Testament. This volume covers objections such as "The New Testament misquotes and misinterprets the Old Testament.", "The New Testament is full of historical inaccuracies.", "None of the important historical writers of the period--Roman or Jewish--make mention of Jesus.", "The genealogies of Jesus given by Matthew and Luke are hopelessly contradictory." and many others.

Michael Brown does not just provide quips or short replies to the objections either. In volume three, one of the Jewish objections is "Isaiah 9:6 does not speak of a divine king." Brown firstly notes that the oldest Jewish translation of this passage, found in the Septuagint, understands all the names as referring to the king. One person bears the throne room names, not two different persons. The child born and the son given is the Eternal Father and the Mighty God. He notes that the Targums also identify Isaiah 9:6 as a Messianic prophecy. Overall, Brown does an excellent job of understanding and then properly interacting with the objections.

If you're like me you want this resource now. If you are a Logos user you can purchase and download it here. If you are not a Logos user and want to know more about this excellent Bible software click here.


Resource Review: Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus by Michael L. Brown

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus by Michael L. Brown is an excellent resource for any apologist, minister or layperson. After some nudging from his close friends, particularly Sid Roth, around 1996, Michael Brown began putting this work together. Brown is a specialist in Jewish debate and dialog. He also has a live radio show and international apologetic ministry with special emphasis on reaching the Jewish community.

The Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus series currently consists of the following four volumes:

  1. General and Historical Objections
  2. Theological Objections
  3. Messianic Prophecy Objections
  4. New Testament Objections

Christianity historically arose out of Judaism and consequently the arsenal of objections by the Jewish community to Jesus have not been in short-supply. In fact, in Matthew 28:13-15 the Jews blamed the empty of Jesus on the disciples themselves.

As usual with Logos resources, each Scripture citation within the body of the text is linked to my favorite translation (ESV) as well as citations of other resources also in my library. This enables you to hover your mouse or arrow over the verse or resource to see the verse or other information while you read. Each volume in this resource set follows a similar format. Brown writes,

"I begin with a concise statement of the objection, followed by a concise answer to the objection, which is then followed by an in-depth answer, including citations of important sources as needed, also considering possible objections to our answers. For those interested in more detailed discussion, substantial endnotes have been provided, although in this volume, because of the breadth of the material cited—which required well over five hundred endnotes..."

Brown has taken his research and experience and has distilled it for our consumption in what is currently a four-volume set. In the preface to volume four Brown writes, "However, when I completed the writing of volume 4, the manuscript came to more than 650 pages, and because such a lengthy volume would have been unwieldy, it was agreed that there would have to be a fifth volume, devoted exclusively to traditional Jewish objections." Brown estimates that the entire work will eventually total more than 1,500 pages. This reader and many others look forward to volume-five.

Craig Keener, Professor of New Testament Studies, at Palmer Theological Seminary writes, "Brown’s answers to objections are carefully thought out, honest, and well researched. His work provides a useful model on how to do apologetics for all who are interested in articulating and defending the Christian faith."

One of the advantages of having Logos is that it brings all of your resources together in one search engine. Preparation for a sermon or lesson that would have taken hours of study can quickly be whittled down with search capabilities and exegetical and Bible passage guides. If you do not have Logos click here to learn more. Click the link below to add this resource to your Logos library.


Resource Review: Foundations of Pentecostal Theology by Duffield and Van Cleave

Foundations of Pentecostal Theology is an excellent resource for ministers or theologians of either Trinitarian or Oneness Pentecostal traditions. It is one of the newer additions to my Logos system. If you do not have Logos click here to learn more. In the introduction Jack W. Hayford comments that "It is a practical book, featuring systematic theology in a form which is readily adaptable to nourishing the flock of God."(FPT) The authors, Guy Duffield and Nathaniel Van Cleave have "equally distinguished themselves as pastors, preachers, college professors, lecturers and writers."(FPT)

Logos.com describes this resource, "The one-volume reference is the culmination of Dr. Guy P. Duffield and Dr. N. M. Van Cleave’s life studies of the Pentecostal movement."(FPT) Hayford also notes that this resource is Pentecostal "because all truth must be made alive by the Holy Spirit in order to be reproductive, and refreshing...the quality inherent in this volume is that same trait which enabled Peter to rise with a text from Joel in hand, and to infuse it with contemporary relevance. The Holy Spirit wants to speak to today, and the vitality of the Spirit manifest herein makes ancient verities throb with life."(FPT)

This resource includes ten chapters: The Doctrine of the Scriptures, The Doctrine of God, The Doctrine of Man, The Doctrine of Sin, The Doctrine of Salvation, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, The Doctrine of Divine Healing, The Doctrine of the Church, The Doctrine of Angels, and The Doctrine of Last Things.

This work is unique in systematic theology resources. For example, in the chapter on divine healing it is clear to these authors that the days of miracles are not past. Duffield and Van Cleave conclude that "One of the strongest arguments in favor of the continuance of miracles is that they did in fact continue, according to some of the most revered saints and writers of Church history."(FPT)

The theological tendencies of this resource are conservative. For example, in the preface the authors suggest, "The Pentecostal movement is not just based on an inspirational experience. It is grounded upon the entire Bible as the Word of God."(FPT) In  chapter one--The Doctrine of the Scriptures--the authors affirm Inspiration and Inerrancy of Scripture.

Chapter ten is The Doctrine of Last Things. In this chapter the authors discuss Death, The Intermediate State, The Second Coming of Christ, and The Tribulation. The authors also take a futurist eschatological view, a view most commonly held in Pentecostal traditions. The section on the Second Coming of Christ begins with a quote from the Foursquare "Declaration of Faith" by A.S. McPherson. The authors emphasize the importance of His coming. They suggest that Christ's Coming is "mentioned more than 300 times" in the New Testament or "once in every twenty five verses."

As usual with my resources from Logos, each Scripture reference or other references cited by the authors in Foundations of Pentecostal Theology are also linked and highlighted. This allows you to open those resources or view the Scriptures or citations. The organization and arrangement of the resource is also very helpful in navigating through this resource. Any Pentecostal student of the Scriptures will want to obtain this resource.

Click the link below to add this resource to your Logos library.


FPT: Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (Los Angeles, CA: L.I.F.E. Bible College, 1983).


Jesus' Death As God's Victory

 ‎28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ESV

It is finished:

In verse 28 the KJV has "accomplished" and in verse 30 "finished." The ESV above has "finished" in both instances. The same root verb teleo is used 2x in John at 19:30 and also verses 19:28 to form tetelestai. In vs. 28 it is in the aorist and in vs. 30 the perfect indicative (NA 27). This word appears over 28 times in the Greek New Testament (Matthew 7x; Revelation 8x; Luke 4x; Acts 1x; John 2x; Romans 2x and 1x in 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 2 Timothy and James).

Some often connect the word for "finished" with the idea of "paid in full". This word has a secondary use in ancient commerce to indicate a bill was paid in full. Although the Greek word here does have use in commerce it also has use in a number of different contexts (tax collection, marriage, citizenship). Yet, it seems unlikely that Christ has in mind the sense of money or payment when He uttered those words. In reality the most plain meaning of the word is "to complete, to finish, to end, to accomplish." These are perhaps the most common usages of the word.

Notice that by saying "It is finished" Jesus is referring to an action completed in the past. However, the perfect tense usually refers to completed action and continuing results. The sense of completeness in this word comes from the usage of the grammatical tense of the verb teleo, not the word itself, which simply means to finish or complete. Some grammarians such as Ernest D.W. Burton or H.P.V. Nunn cite John 19:30 as an example of using the pluperfect tense. (1) Ultimately, the context helps decide the tense of the verb. The pluperfect tense is almost the same as the perfect tense but brings the results up to a time in the past.

The results of Christs death, burial and resurrection have infinite results for believers yet as Jesus also stated in Luke 22:37 "the things concerning me have an end." (KJV)  Mark 10:45, Matthew 20:28 and 26:28 indicate that while on earth Jesus understood His death and viewed it as a "ransom for many" (KJV) In John 13:1 Jesus had also told the disciples that His "hour had come" and "having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end." (ESV) "It is finished" could more closely mean then "the prophetic portraiture of Messiah had been realized"(2). It was His "obedience unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8 KJV).

Also in 19:28 Jesus understands this in terms of accomplishing and completing the work of the Father. He had indicated earlier in John that when the Father is working now, He is working now (John 5:17). It is by the work of Jesus that the Father and Son work and are glorified not because they are separate persons but because of the completed work done in God's plan. Christ raised Himself from the dead after three days so while the plan of God was not entirely exhausted particular plans of God for the Messiah had been completed.

Τετέλεσται [tetelestai] is accordingly a significant expression of the theological intentions of the Evangelist, who views Jesus’ death as God’s victory.(3)

The Bible perhaps does not teach any one theory of Atonement. The Bible teaches that Christ has taken our place and by doing so has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. From the Scriptures we can know that we have been redeemed and that a price has been paid. In the Garden of Eden the first Adam sinned against God, not Himself. Animal sacrifices will not suffice or satisfy (Hebrews 10:4). Christ is the perfect sacrifice which paid sins penalty (Hebrews 9:26; Romans 3:25-26, 6:23; Galatians 3:13).

Because of His, once for all, sacrifice believers are redeemed by Christ (Ephesians 1:7). As believers we are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). We are justified through the redemption that is in Christ, who God put forward as a propitiation by his blood (Romans 3:24-25). God did not remain remote and lofty but came Himself, and forgave us Himself. The death of Jesus is God's victory. Not because Jesus and God are separate or separate persons but that in a real way God has personally and substantively acted in the world.

Jesus is God (John 1:1, 14; 2 Peter 1:1) and therefore it is rightly said that God purchased the Church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). The work of Jesus is God's work. As God, according to the flesh (Romans 9:5), Peter can say we are "Redeemed...with the precious blood of Christ." (1 Peter 1:18-19) and later "Feed the flock of God" (1 Peter 5:2). Because his God was the same One God that Thomas called "Lord" and "God" as he beheld the Resurrected Lord of Glory (John 20:28; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:8).


1) Ernest De Witt Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek, 3rd ed. (Edinburg: T&T Clark, 1898). 23. - H. P. V. Nunn, A Short Syntax of New Testament Greek (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1920). 72.

2) Brooke Foss Westcott and Arthur Westcott editors. The Gospel According to St. John Introduction and Notes on the Authorized Version, Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament (London: J. Murray, 1908). 277."

3) Horst Robert Balz and Gerhard Schneider editors, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990-). 347.

Adversus Trinitas

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