Tuesday, July 20, 2010
C H A P T E R
Traditional Concept of God
When our Savior was offering His great intercessory prayer to the Father, He said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3.) We are not just to believe in God, we are to know Him. To truly know Him we must understand who and what He is. And since we are to love and worship God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind” (Matt. 22:37-38), it is important to know to whom we are giving so much devotion.
There is a great confusion in Christendom concerning the true nature of God and the gospel of Christ. I remember a Sunday School teacher who admitted that he struggled to comprehend the nature of God. While he struggled to understand the nature of his Creator, there are those who feel that it is not necessary to know His nature because God is a mystery, and that all we need to do is have faith in Him—that Jesus is one in spirit with the Father, without body, parts, passions or form, that He is so large that he fills the universe yet so small that he dwells in each heart.
However, as Jesus said, it is important to know the nature of God, for it is life eternal. When we know His nature, we know to whom we are praying. Our prayers are not to some nebulous or unfathomable being who no one can understand. He IS comprehensible, just as you and I are comprehensible.
Although God is an understandable being, some beliefs concerning Him seem rather unintelligible; such cause a great deal of confusion among those truly seeking to know Him. So let us ask, Where does the incomprehensibility and confusion about God come from? Do they come from man or from God, Himself?
God per Man’s Dogma
Today the traditional concept of God, that being the three-in-one Holy Trinity doctrine, is accepted as the absolute truth in most of the Christian community; and most of that community, if any at all, don’t even know the truth concerning the origin of that doctrine. (Illustration: A few ancient Triune gods of pagan origin such as Ra, Isis, Osiris of Egypt, and the Kampuchean Buddhist triune godhead.)
Upon close examination of the scriptures, and learning what they have to say about the nature of God, we can surmise that man has tried to determine God’s being for himself. Such “orthodox” beliefs concerning Him have traditionally been handed down over the many years to the rest of Christendom by way of various dictatorial creeds.
At this point let’s consider what is called the Apostles Creed which, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, professes to recite briefly “the fundamental tenets of Christian belief.” As to the actual origin of the creed there are various opinions: Some Catholic historians trace the creed back to Southern Gaul no earlier than the late 5th century, others claim an older form of the creed was used in the 2nd century, and still others place its origin back at the day of Pentecost. Whatever the case, a popular form of the Apostles Creed is as follows:
“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried, He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Catholic Church; the communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; the life everlasting. Amen.” (Illustration: Triune divinity of ancient Assyria.)
While attempting to strengthen his political, civil, and religious power, Constantine called a council of Catholic bishops to a meeting at Nicaea in 325 A.D. One of the reasons for this council was to decide what doctrine of the Godhead would be followed.
At the council at Nicaea, there were various items on his agenda, the primary one being to adopt a creed which would settle the question of Arianism—a doctrine that the Son had been created by the Father and was subordinate to him. The creed that developed from this council at Nicaea has been named the Nicean Creed. The following is a literal translation of the original creed then adopted:
“We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, of the same substance with the Father, through whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth; who for us men and for our salvation descended, was incarnate, and was made man, suffered and rose again the third day, ascended into heaven and cometh to judge living and dead. And in the Holy Ghost. Those who say: There was a time when He was not, and He was not before He was begotten; and that He was made out of nothing; or who maintain that He is of another hypostasis or another substance [than the Father], or that the Son of God is created, or mutable, or subject to change, [them] the Catholic Church anathematizes.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, pp. 44-45.)
A more current version of this creed is called the Niceno- Constantinopolitan Creed, probably adopted by the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. The following is a literal translation of this version of the creed—parenthesis indicate words that have been altered or added according to modern Catholic use:
“We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spake by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We confess (I Confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 11, pp. 49-50.)
As can be seen by the differences in the original Nicean Creed and the more current one now in use, elements of the Apostles Creed have been introduced into the current Nicean Creed. This creed has become the concluded doctrine of orthodox Christendom, and in general remains so today.
There are other creeds, such as the Athanasian Creed. This creed is considered by some to be a clear explanation of the doctrines of the Holy Trinity, a summary of the Catholic Faith, and other dogmas. It is rather long and consists of a great number of inconsistencies and contradictions. The creed was the creation of a one named Athanasius who was present at the Council of Nicaea. This creed teaches that God is three, and yet He is not three but only one; that the Father and the Son are the same, and yet they are not the same; that they are different, yet they are not different; and so on. A full quote of this creed will not tangibly add anything to our current discussion, so it will not be presented here for the sake of economy; although it can be found by searching the web.
We must remember that Constantine was a sun worshiper, a worshiper of Mithra. Mithraism was not just a pagan Roman thing, it went back to old Nimrod of Babylon, then down into Egypt, over into the Orient with the Hindu, up into northern Europe, and so on. Mithraism began in Babylon as an amalgamation of Chaldean astrology, the priests of Marduk (Baal), and the Indo-Iranian priests of Mithras.
One of the Mithraic doctrines was that of a holy trinity which comprised Mithras, Rashnu, and Vohu Manah. The trinity embodied three “persons,” but yet only “one.” The Papacy has in some of its churches an image of the Triune God, with three heads on one body. The Babylonians had something of the same. A similar belief existed in India with the words, “Eko Deva Trimurtti,” meaning, “One God, three forms”; similar false triune gods also existed, for example, among the pagans of Siberia, and the people of Japan. The pagans trinity was universal in all the ancient nations of the world. (Illustration: A medal from ancient pagan Siberia, depicting a trinity god, can be found in the Imperial Cabinet of St. Petersburg.)
Is there any wonder that God is a mystery to so many professed Christians? These creeds of the trinity are of pagan Babylonian origin and, as stated, is a summary of the Roman Catholic faith; yet, most of Protestant Christendom continues to yield to its unscriptural concepts.
Concerning the Christian religion versus the pagan, one historian put it this way: “Christianity didn’t conquer Mithraic Paganism. Mithraism blended in, and changed names.” For example: the statue of Jupiter in Rome was renamed, “Peter,” and the Pope leads thousands of well-meaning Catholics to venerate this Idol by kissing its feet, and laying gifts before it. Also, statues of the goddess Diana—depicted as a virgin, the patroness of virginity, attributed with all the attributes of the Mother of the gods—was renamed, Mary.
Speaking of Mary, she is put in the position of mediatrix instead of Jesus being the Mediator between God and mans; she also has another title as the "Queen of Heaven" (shown right). As of late there have been an increase of Mary apparitions, many proclaiming herself as Co-Redemptrix, or Mediatrix. In the word of this Mary in one of these so-called apparitions we hear her say, “Once more I am here. – The Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate is now standing before you, ...” (Message given on May 31, 1954, the Feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces; Kunzli, p. 83; Queen of All, p. 96.)
The final goal of the adversary is to unite the whole world under one Pagan religion. This message came through loud and clear from the message of Pope Pius IX as he mentioned the “intercession” of Mary. In 1878 he referred to her role in establishing a one world Church under a new order. He said:
“We expect that the Immaculate Virgin and Mother of God, Mary, through her most powerful intercession, will bring it about that our Holy Mother the Catholic Church ...will gain in influence from day to day among all nations and in all places, prosper and rule from ocean to ocean, from the great stream to the ends of the earth; that she will enjoy peace and liberty ... and there will be then one fold and one shepherd.” (Queen of All, p. 27; For an in-depth study of this phenomenon see Queen of all, by Tutlow, Oakland and Myers.)
Not only has Jesus lost His position of Mediator and Intercessor within the Roman Church, but the dogma concerning the “Immaculate Conception” places Mary as the sinless babe instead of Jesus—that she was the one miraculously conceived, and preserved from all original sin. Therefore, she was named “immaculate,” meaning sinless. Right from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, under the title of “The Immaculate Conception,” we read about the exaltation of Mary:
“To become the mother of the Savior, Mary ‘was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.’ The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as ‘full of grace’. In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace. Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, ‘full of grace’ through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: ‘The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.’ ... she is ‘redeemed, in a more exalted fashion,.... The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person ..., to be holy and blameless before him in love’. The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God ‘the All-Holy’ (Panagia), and celebrate her as ‘free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature’. By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, Part One, Section Two, Chapter Two, Article 3, Paragraph 2.)
To this writer, it is puzzling why so many professed Christians insist on taking everything else in the Bible literally, but when it comes to the nature of God they create a mystery; as they do with most everything else they do not understand. They tend to deny truth to justify their own beliefs. As discussed in Chapter 1, can the reader understand “Why the King James Bible” is so important compared to the other bogus Bibles fostered upon us by the influential Roman Church? And when it comes to the nature of God, it appears that the Christian believer in general, due to false traditional beliefs, insist on rejecting from Holy Writ not only that which should be obvious and logical, but true and spiritual as well.
So, what is the true nature of God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost? Perhaps the next few chapters can help unravel that mystery with Biblical answers.