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  • Writer's pictureRick LoPresti

The relationship between the Godhead and salvation

Some may question the importance of the issue of the Godhead and think it is not essential. We should see what the scripture says about how important this topic is and not place our own opinion over the word of God. We should not take a negative, condemning, or divisive approach which is unprofitable. However, truth in love is not the divider. Rejection of truth is the divider (Mt 10:32-41). Paul’s repeated advice to pastors Timothy and Titus was to avoid engaging in unprofitable arguing, yet to stand for truth. The job of the Christian is not to decide people’s eternal destiny. It is to present truth in the right spirit and motive and leave the outcome between the person hearing it and God Himself.

In Caesarea Philippi, Jesus brought up the question of His identity (Mt 16:13-20). When Peter made his famous declaration, Jesus said what he declared is a revelation from God, and that this revelation is the rock upon which He would build the church. A Biblical understanding of what Peter said shows us that the revelation is that Jesus is God manifested in the flesh. That is who the Son of God is. Therefore, this revelation is not secondary. It is literally the foundation of the teaching that the church is built on. Therefore, any other understanding is not the right foundation (Mt 7:24-27).

Jesus had a discussion with the Pharisees in John chapter 8 about His identity in which the Lord made several clear assertions about who He is. They understood exactly what He was asserting but rejected it and were going to kill Him for blaspheme. He said, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins (vs 24)”. The word he is italicized in the KJV to indicate it was not in the original. He said, “if ye believe not that I am”. Jesus was not saying that if they did not believe He existed, they would be lost. In the context, Jesus was talking about the Father, which they did not understand (vs 27). However, after He made His statement about Abraham, they understood what He was saying (vs 58-59). So, there are two aspects of this. Jesus is God, and He is not a separate divine person from the Father. This is especially clear in the context of the book of John, the epistles of John, the book of Revelation, and the Bible as a whole. The only way Jesus can be the Savior is to be Jehovah the Father.

John wrote another statement connecting correct belief about the Godhead and salvation in 1John 2:18-25. He said that not only is there coming a particular antichrist, but in another sense there were already many antichrists. Who were these people? “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (vs 22-23).” He continued by connecting the Godhead and salvation in the next two verses. “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life (vs 24-25).” John again connects false teaching on the Godhead with the spirit of antichrist (1Jn 4:1-3). Here is addressing what is called Gnosticism which denied that Jesus literally came in the flesh as a man. He revisits this theme for a third time in 2John 7-11. He states that those false teachers are antichrist and have not God, but he that abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. We should not support such false teachers.

Another way the doctrine of the Godhead relates to salvation is in the doctrine of water baptism. There is only one reason given in the Bible for water baptism. It is for the remission of sins (Mk 16:16, Lk 3:3, Lk 24:27, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, 1Pet 3:21). Therefore, it is part of the process of salvation, not something extra or after (Mk 16:16, Jn 3:5, 1Pet 3:21). It is part of the apostles’ message (Mt 28:19, Mk 16:16, Lk 24:47, Acts 2:38, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:35-39, Acts 10:47-48, Acts 19:3-5, Acts 22:16). It is part of our response to the gospel which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Cor l5:1-4, Rom 6:1-4, Col 2:12, Acts 2:38). It is only done in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38, Acts 8:12, Acts 10:48, Acts 19:5, Acts 22:16, Rom 6:4, Gal 3.27, Col 2:12). The doctrine called “oneness” makes the understanding of why this is very clear, and thus oneness people baptize the way the apostles did – in the name of Jesus Christ. Almost all who reject the oneness doctrine baptize in the titles “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”, which reflects their teaching on the Godhead. Jesus is the One who shed His blood for the remission of sins and died for us. We pray, see miracles, cast of demons, etc. in the name of Jesus Christ because that is where the power is. There is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:12).

The end goal of Christianity is to know God (Phil 3:10). To know Him as He really is includes a correct understanding of the doctrine of the Godhead. John 17:3 and 1John 5:20 connect this with eternal life.

Trinitarianism is based on paganism. It did not originate in the fourth century AD. It originated at Babylon (Rev 17, “The Two Babylons” by Alexander Hislop, “Babylon

Mystery Religion” by Ralph Woodrow, “Three Persons” by Thomas Weisser). It was

brought into the “church” as Gentile pagans were “converted” as Jesus and the apostles

prophesied they would (Mt 7:15-27, Acts 20:29-31, 2Pet 2, Jude 4 – damnable heresy, etc.).

How can someone properly pray to God when they believe He is three separate and distinct

persons? Trinitarians actually state themselves that they struggle with this unsolvable problem. They are totally confused by Jn 14.

How can someone know God properly who is disconnected from the clear Judeo-Christian (OT and NT) belief in the absolute oneness of God in the Bible? The most important verse in the Bible to a Jew is Deuteronomy 6:4, which states, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD”. They try to say this verse as their dying words. The word hear is translated from the Hebrew word shema. There are three similar passages (Num 15:37-41, Deut 6:4-9, Deut 11:13-29) which make up what they view as the core of the scriptures. When Jesus was asked what the most important passage in the Bible is, He quoted this passage (Mt 22:35-40, Mk 12:28-34, Lk 10:25-28).

The Bible shows a progressive revelation of God. In conjunction with this principle, and based on John 16:13 and Acts 10:44-48, people may not get all the parts of their foundation in the normal order. However, that does not mean they can skip any part. Someone may get the Holy Ghost before they are baptized. That does not mean they do not need to get baptized. Someone may not have the revelation of the oneness of God when they repent, are baptized, or receive the Holy Ghost. That does not mean they do not need it. Someone can have all these things but not walk in the progression of holiness, and not be saved. When people reject further revelation and refuse to move forward in their relationship with God, there is only one direction for them to go – away from God. Remember Lot’s wife (Lk 17:32). Also see Mt 7:18, Mt 12:30, Lk 9:62, Heb 10:38-39. There is no neutral gear in God’s “transmission”. There is no neutral approach to God. That is what Adam and Eve (Gen 2-3), Laban (Gen 24:50, Gen 31:24 & 29), Balaam (Num 24:13) and Absalom (2Sam 13:22) tried. If someone rejects the foundational revelation of the absolute oneness of God, how are they moving forward in Him? This is proven by what happens to people spiritually in their relationship with God when they reject this essential truth. When trinitarians (or others) are presented with this doctrine and reject it, they stop moving forward. When oneness people walk away from this truth, they always regress spiritually. It cannot be any other way. This is carried out individually and even denominationally. It is one of the main reasons there is such a decline in Christianity throughout the western world. The revelation of oneness is not a “bonus” revelation, just as the other essential parts of our relationship with God are not. Yes, it not to be approached and presented as a negative, but a positive. Yet it is essential just the same.

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