Welcome to A NEW SERIES by Bob Barney
If anything brings more negative attention than a person reading the Bible in public, I am stumped as to what it is! You can have Jews wearing beanies in public who may get some odd looks but for the most part, people will hardly notice. Even Muslim garb on a woman these days will not receive the glances that were once given. But if you are reading a Bible in public, on an airplane next to a stranger or in a street corner cafe, watch out. For some reason, most Americans and I would say even a good portion of the western world do find Bible readers a little strange and even can be deemed as 'religious nuts'.
At the heart of this series, we will focus on Biblical misconceptions that the average person may hold onto...whether they are a Christian or not. You see, the largest selling book of all time is also the least read book ever sold! Most view the Bible as passe or just as book full of ancient mythological stories. The reason for this is because they think they know what is written this great book. The Plain Truth is that most have a very limited understanding of what they are really reading!
I find when explaining some of the passages in the Bible, people are totally shocked to know the Bible contains stories on sex, murder, thievery and everyday worries that we all face. Some may even see and believe things in scripture that aren't really even in there! So here I present to you the format of this series. We will feature a scripture that has a common misconception and back up the Truth with God's Holy Word.
Today's Featured Scripture:
And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
Let me say first, the view I will be presenting is not mine. If you happen to take issue with it, then I suggest you take that to God, the actual author of the Bible!
The misconception is: That God is monotheistic when He really is polytheistic.
"As I child I went to East Street school. East Street school was the only school in my town". Notice there was only one school, yet that school had hundreds of students; the point being, there is one school with many members. You see, a school, a church, a particular family are all uni-plural words. Singular in form but consisting of more than one. The same thing with the names of God.
Elohim is the plural of both El and Eloah. El and Eloah means “a singular god,” "a mighty One," "a strong One," or "powerful One" according to Brown, Driver, and Briggs. Note that when elohim is not capitalized, it then can be translated as, “gods” or "strong Ones," "mighty Ones," or "powerful Ones." Only in reference to the real God, is Elohim translated 'God' from the Hebrew. In actuality, it probably should be translated or seen as “The Godhead.” “Yahweh (The LORD) is our God, and The Godhead is One.”
The majority of people who are Christian, Jewish, or atheist believe that Christianity is a monotheistic religion in which God only has one name. It is a biblical misconception, and the Bible is clear that 'The Godhead" is made up of different supernatural spiritual beings. One is known in the New Testament as the Father, and the other is known in the Old Testament as 'The Word.' The WORD became flesh, as the apostle John informs us, and we know this God as Jesus Christ! Jesus always existed; he wasn't born in 6 BC without a former life, yet this was when he became a human being. After His death He was born again into His former glory as God and part of the Godhead. This is what the Bible claims, and what most just don't understand.
In his book, The Real Jesus, Garner Ted Armstrong makes these points about Jesus being the God of the Old Testament:
“In Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew word for God is Elohim. It is an interesting word with a plural form (the im ending.) A little research demonstrates that Elohim can indicate more than one person; and can be taken to mean a family of persons. Through many portions of the Bible, Jesus reveals a family relationship in both the family of God and the family of man.
“While Jesus is called the Son of God, He is also called the Son of man, the Creator and Author of human life, the first-begotten from all humankind, the “firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29), the Captain and Author of our salvation, and the soon- coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
“Notice that there is duality everywhere evidenced, not only in God’s creation, but throughout the Bible when members of the Godhead are revealed. Elohim means more than one, and while not necessarily limiting the number, many other texts prove there were the Father (of whom no man has ever seen at any time) and, the Son.
Therefore, in our modern English language, the beginning text of the Bible would be more understandable if it were written as thus: “In the beginning the family of God, consisting of the Father and the Son, created the heaven and the earth!’
John 1: 1 is the second significant place in the Bible where the phrase “In the beginning . . .” is used. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1: 1- 3).
“Here, the Greek word, logos (word) is used in reference to Christ. None of the other disciples who wrote of Jesus’ life (Matthew, Mark and Luke) utilized “logos” in reference to Christ.
“The Greek word seems to have a double meaning, referring to both “reason” and “speech.”
“However, the idea John obviously had in mind is to convey the clearest meaning of those many long talks he and Jesus had privately, wherein Jesus conveyed to him the deepest secrets and mysteries of Jesus’ own preexistent state.
“You have the feeling, in reading the first chapter of John that John is speaking from a great deal of experience, trying to recall words which Jesus Himself very likely used. John’s first chapter closely corroborates the fact that the Hebrew word Elohim in Genesis 1: 1 means that there was more, than one member of the God family involved in the creating!
“The “Word” was, then, the executive member of the Godhead, One of whom the Bible says, “all things were made by him”!
“Perhaps the clearest scripture absolutely proving that the Jesus Christ of the New Testament was the same Being who was the Eternal Creator of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, is Colossians 1: 16: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven,14 and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him'.
These verses very plainly show that this same Being who made all things “was in the world and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born [begotten] not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1: 10-13).
“This unmistakable reference to Jesus Christ of Nazareth clearly shows, without any interpretation or exegesis, that the creator being who is called “God” (Elohim or YHWH) in the Old Testament is the same individual who became the Jesus Christ of the New Testament.” Garner Ted Armstrong “The Real Jesus” 1978'
So then, who is the God of the Bible and is the God of the Bible polytheistic after all?
Read these words for yourself from the Old Testament, which both Christians a Jews accept as the word of God:
Genesis 1: 26 “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
What's that? God says Let us. Why 'us' and not 'Let me?'
“In OUR image” Why not “My image.”
Psalm 110:1 The LORD (Yahweh) says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."
This psalm written by David says that his lord, who was the God he knew, had a Lord as well! Jesus Himself actually used this fact on the pharisees and left them speechless!
Who Jesus Himself Said He Was
It is clear from all references that Jesus said about His preexisting life He had with The Father can be plainly and clearly seen with his conversations with the priests concerning His identity. It is found in John chapter 8.
Jesus was in yet another argument with the self-righteous priest and leaders of the Jews when he was teaching the masses.
Who do you claim to be,” they asked.
His answer was shocking, and one of the most overlooked scriptures of the entire Bible. He said to them,
vs 48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”
49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”
52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
58 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. FROM: The Plain Truth's RED-LETTER Bible.
Text From the Plain Truth Bible:
This is the pivotal chapter in all of the Bible. Here we find the identity of God, Jesus Christ and the underlying message of redemption in the Bible. This great God, who formed the universe, created man and everything that there is, who talked to Moses from a burning bush, became Jesus Christ, a humble sinless man who came into the world to take the world's sins on His shoulders and to save us from ourselves! Shivers run down my spine when I just think of this!
The Burning Bush
1 Moses kept of Jethro, his father-in-law. Jethro was the priest of Midian and also Moses' father-in-law. Moses led the flock to the backside of the desert and came to the mountain of God (Elohim/Theos), named Horeb.
2 There the angel [Hebrew: spokesman or WORD] of the LORD (Yahweh) appeared to him in flames of fire coming out of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it did not burn up!
This is Jesus.
3 So Moses said, "I will go closer to this incredible thing. How can a bush be on fire and not burn up?"
4 When the LORD (Yahweh) saw Moses was coming to look at the bush, God(Elohim/Theos) called to him from the bush: Moses, Moses!
And Moses said, "Here I am."
5 Then God (Elohim/Those) said: Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground!
6 I AM the God (Elohim/Theos) of your fathers—the God (Elohim/Theos) of Abraham, the God (Elohim/Theos) of Isaac, and the God (Elohim/Theos) of Jacob.
Moses covered his face because he was afraid to look at God (Elohim/Theos).
7 The LORD (Yahweh) then said: I have certainly seen the misery of My people in Egypt, and I have heard their cries because of their slave drivers. I am concerned about them,
8 and I have come down to save them from the Egyptians. I will bring them out of that land and lead them to a good land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
9 Yes, I have surely heard the cries of My people Israel, and I have seen the way the Egyptians have oppressed them.
10 I am sending you, Moses, to the king of Egypt. Go! Bring My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt!"
11 But Moses said to God (Elohim/Theos), "I am not a powerful man! How can I go to the king and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?"
12 God (Elohim/Theos) said: I will be with you. This will be the proof that I am sending you: After you lead the people out of Egypt, all of you will worship Me on this mountain.
13 Moses said to God (Elohim/Theos), "When I go to the Israelites, I will say to them, 'The God (Elohim/Theos) of your ancestors sent me to you.' What if the people say, 'What is His name?' What should I tell them?"
14 Then God (Elohim/Theos) said to Moses: I AM [Hebrew:hayah] who I AM[hayah]. When you go to the people of Israel, tell them, '"I AM" sent me to you.'
"I am that I am" "I will be who I will be" or even "We are who WE ARE!" since the name like Elohim applies to both God the Father and Jesus!
It is clear what Jesus told the people about exactly who he was. He was The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The God of Moses, The LORD of the Old Testament!
It is also important to note that in a few instances, Jesus made the claim that no person who ever lived has seen the FATHER. Two examples of this are John 1:18 and John 6:46. Who did Moses meet face to face? Who did Jacob wrestle with? Who was the God who appeared to all the Israelites as a cloud in the daytime and a pillar of fire at night? It was the ONE who became Jesus Christ and is GOD ALMIGHTY today, sitting at the right side of God the FATHER.
Jesus was a member of the Godhead whose name is Yahweh. Both The FATHER and the WORDS family name is Yahweh. I AM who I AM, or We are who We are!
Jesus' personal name “hayah” simply means I AM. That's what He was telling the people, and that's why they picked up stones to kill him!
Our biblical misconceptions have led us down the path of errors about God, about the earth and about the so-called monotheism of the Christian God. There is one God, yes, but presently only two members, with all of us having the chance to also become members of this exclusive club!
HOLY SPIRIT and the TRINITY
Another biblical misconception held by almost all Christians today is that the Godhead is a TRINITY. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is in all reality catholic teaching, not found in the Bible, where sly but evil Satan has put himself as a member of the Godhead.
We will get into the concept of soul and immortality in subsequent chapters but remember this one point here. God made us in Their own image after the likeness of God.
The Godhead is presently made up of two beings, and they are composed of eternal immortal life, The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a God, it is what God is.
Man on the other hand is made male and female (two, not three, not “other” or identifying as....) and we are made up of blood.
Our blood is the physical earthly symbol of God's Spirit. This is why in the book of the Law, God forbids us to eat blood, because in it is life. It is the physical symbol of God's Spirit.
Take the time to read these passages to yourself and I believe you will see that much of what you think is in the Bible is not there, and many of the things that are in the Bible, most don't know.
This is the first of a series of Biblical misconceptions that The Plain Truth will publish in the coming months!
TOPICS UP AND COMING...
Is Jesus trying to save the world today?
Is Jesus trying to save souls today? What is a soul according to the Bible
When you die are you going to heaven or hell--- or somewhere else? What is Death?
Is Christmas in the Bible? How about Easter?
Did Jesus abolish the Law like a modern-day George Soros backed DA?
Saturday or Sunday - what day does Jesus claim is the day of worship?
Does the Bible say the world is going to end?
Is the 'Old' Testament worth reading and is it prophecy and proof of God's existence?
Is there a rapture of Christians?
Are you supposed to forgive those criminals who rape, rob and kill others?
and many more...