About the Apostolic Faith
William Arnold III
I am writing to you hoping to get a better under standing of the apostolic faith. Though not apostolic I have friends who are ministers in the faith and constantly discuss the Word of God with them. Needless to say their unorthodox methods have yet to convinced me of my errors in belief. I thank God that I stumbled onto your web sit and hope that you would be kind enough to elaborate on some questions that I have. The first is concerning the fact that Jesus Christ is the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. When I make mention that Christ said in Mark 14:32, and Matthew 20;23 that only the Father knew these thing, also that he referred to him self as the Son of God, I was told. "He lied, only because if he had said he was God, he would have been killed."
Another thing is that in Acts 7:55 it says that Stephen saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. My answer for this was, "he didn't actually see Jesus, but power, because the right hand is power." I have know idea what this means and believe that they're just repeating something that was told to them, but a co-worker told me that in that time a person to the right of the king meant that that individual was greater, having more power and authority.
Can this be so, can the Son be greater then the Father? Can God have more power and authority then himself ?
Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry if anyone among our ranks uses "unorthodox methods" in discussing the word of God. Here at IBS our goal is only to seek truth. It is our strong belief that the Bible teaches a strict monotheism, that God is absolutely, unqualifiedly one. This seems to be the very clear teaching of the Old Testament (eg., Deut. 6:4) and we do not believe that the coming of Christ in any way diminished this. Trinitarianism has Jesus as just one of three members in a Godhead whereas the Bible has "all the fulness of the Godhead" in him (Col. 2:9). Jesus is identified as the Father in scripture (Isa. 9:6; John 10:30; 14:9) and the Father alone is God, "For us there is but one God, the Father" (1 Cor. 8:6, see also Mal. 2:10). The Bible also identifies the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9; 1 Peter 1:11; Gal. 4:6) and yet tells us that there is only one spirit (Eph. 4:4). Finally, Jesus told his disciples to baptize "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19), yet they routinely baptized only in Jesus' name (Acts 2:38; 8:12, 16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16, see also my article on baptism in Jesus' name under "Soteriology"). This leads me to believe that the name (singular) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is: Jesus.
Concerning your other questions, I do not believe that Jesus lied. According to scripture, Jesus is called the Son of God because the Holy Spirit caused the conception in Mary (Luke 1:35, also Matt. 1:20). Now from a Trinitarian perspective this would seem to confuse the persons of the Father and the Spirit, yet from a Oneness perspective we recognise that these both refer to the same person. As far as what Stephen saw, I believe that he actually saw Jesus, but not that he saw one person sitting at the right hand of another person. Even most Trinitarian scholars admit that. If the Father and Son are two completely separate individuals that can stand next to each other and both are God then you have polytheism (belief in multiple gods), which no Trinitarian wants to be identified with. We have an article titled "What did Stephen see?" under "Theology Proper" which discusses this in more detail than I can get into here, but suffice it to say that he saw Jesus in all his glory, in all his power.
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