Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Friday, April 04, 2008

Against Modalism 3: The Seriousness of the Situation

The doctrine of the Trinity is one of those doctrines which Scripture clearly reveals in its basic facts and yet is hard to fully comprehend. This prompts some 'untaught and unstable people' to 'twist' these teachings 'to their own destruction'.

...our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (2 Peter 3:15,16)

What a serious thing heresy is, not only for the Church, but also for the heretics themselves, esp. in denying the Lord and who He is:

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:22,23)

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:6-9)

But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe... raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever... “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”... These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. (Jude 5,13-15,19)

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:1-6)

Although this passage relates directly to the Gnostics who taught that Christ didn't really come in the flesh, but was a spirit who gave the appearance of having flesh, how much more serious is it to deny the distinct personality of the eternal Son in distinction from the Father? It may well be that Modalists could be directly included in this passage, as they deny that the eternal Son came in the flesh, for they really believe that the Father was the one who came in the flesh, in the humanity of Jesus Christ.

Let those who are taught Modalism by their leaders examine these teachings in the light of Holy Scripture and thus 'test the spirits, whether they are of God'. Let them be like the Bereans who were praised for holding the Apostle Paul accountable to the Word of God (Acts 17:11).

Those who teach others and lead them astray so seriously are severely warned:

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. (James 3:1)

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6)

Modalists are not members of Christ's body as true believers have 'one Lord' and 'one faith' (Eph. 4:5), but Modalists have a different Lord and a different faith.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, no scriptural proof of the your trinity, just some references not to believe a false gospel. Admirable but not substantial. Had the scriptures revealed it, then would not the Old Testament have clearly pointed to such a basic change in Judaism? I mean, it pointed to everything else (Christ, the Church, the new covenant, even baptism)?

You readily use scriptures that point to Gnostics (who denied the fleshly appearing) and that is great, however, you are speaking about the Godhead. Oneness believers generally accept that God came in the flesh, that Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God, and that He ascended into Heaven. Most professing Trinitarians believe the same thing.

Their are many minute differences that lead to the major difference. First, we do not base our doctrine on people like Clement of Alexandria who held Plato in nearly prophetic status. Nor do we hold Rome and the traditions that developed there in much light. We simply read the bible and search deep for the doctrine. If our doctrine does not match up with the Apostles, then we discard it.

Why did Thomas call Christ his Lord and God? I thought that the Father did not share His glory with anyone else? Yet here is Christ receiving the glory of the Father?

If the Father is Almighty and the first and the last, how is the Son the same? Equality still creates two. Equality does not allow one to be Almighty or first and last.

Still intent on reading

Monday, April 07, 2008 3:11:00 pm  
Blogger Timothy Davis said...

In the time of the Apostles the main issue with God's being was the problem of Gnosticism. Sabellianism wasn't an issue then. However, if one is condemned for denying Christ as coming the flesh, is not as bad (or worse) to deny that the one God subsists as three distinct Persons? I am convinced it is, so the application applies.

Thomas called Christ his Lord and his God because Christ is God the Son. Christ is God and man in two distinct natures and one person forever.

Christ is also the first and the last because He is eternal and a Person in the one Godhead.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:05:00 pm  

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