Think of any doctrine or theology that you would not compromise or question. Where did it come from? Would the apostles or the Messiah understand it? We are two thousand years removed from the Messiah walking the Earth, and just as warned, what mainstream Christianity teaches today would be foreign to first century followers of Jesus. For example, no one would understand the name “Jesus” in the first century. This name didn’t come into use until possibly the 18th century as a hodgepodge rendition of the name from a few different languages for the Hebrew name ישוע.
The doctrine of the trinity is also an example of something that would be foreign to a first century Christian. This isn’t an argument for or against this deep rooted belief system, just an example to show how things have changed. This is from the Athanasian Creed around 500 AD:
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith unless every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Substance [Essence] of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Substance [Essence] of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God. One altogether; not by confusion of Substance [Essence]; but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.
It wasn’t until 500 AD that this became law, and a salvation issue. Most Protestant denominations hold to this as well as Catholics today. Both Protestants and Catholics murdered people who dared to question this. It is a terrible thing for people who claim to be following the living God, Yahweh, to murder someone who has a different understanding than they do. I would be burned at the stake for most of my blog posts if I lived during the Protestant reformation or before. In fact, both Protestants and Catholics would probably put their differences aside, temporarily, to silence me. The hatred of Hebrew thought runs deep in Christianity, whether Christians know this or not. Would Paul agree with, or even understand what was trying to be conveyed with Christian doctrines? Did Paul kill anyone who did not agree with him after His conversion? He certainly acted this way before his encounter on route to Damascus.
Yahweh, through the prophet Isaiah, did not recite the Athanasian Creed. He made it clear that He is it. “And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God besides me, and no savior besides me.”
Isa 45:20 Assemble and come; draw near together, survivors of the nations! They do not know, those who carry their wooden idols and pray to a god who cannot save.
Isa 45:21 Declare and present your case, also let them consult together! Who made this known from former times, declared it from of old? Was it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God besides me, and no savior besides me.
Isa 45:22 Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none besides me.
Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself; a word that shall not return has gone forth from my mouth in righteousness: ‘Every knee shall kneel down to me; every tongue shall swear.’
Isa 45:24 ‘Only in Yahweh,’ one shall say to me, ‘are righteousness and strength.’ He shall come to him, and all those who were angry with him shall be ashamed.
In another place we see the relationship of the spirit of Yahweh resting on the “righteous branch”, the Messiah.
Isa 11:1 And a shoot will come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from its roots will bear fruit.
Isa 11:2 And the spirit of Yahweh shall rest on him—a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and might, a spirit of knowledge and the fear of Yahweh.
These verses from John in Revelation definitely do not fit the model of the three in one God. Here are the seven spirits again as in Isaiah. John calls the Father “his God” speaking of Jesus. Then John quotes Zechariah 12:10.
Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
Rev 1:6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Rev 1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
Rev 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
This is Yahweh speaking: Zechariah 12:10 , “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
Would Yahweh or Jesus agree with the Athanasian Creed? When Jesus was asked about the most important commandment, He stated the Shema, something that was outlawed by the church in the sixth century.
Mar 12:28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
Mar 12:29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Mar 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
For a Christian who is never taught anything from the Old Testament, it may be unclear what Jesus was quoting. Seeing how quoting this was illegal for Christians, banned in 529 CE by Christian emperor Justinian, I understand why these verses in Deuteronomy are never highlighted.
Deu 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Deu 6:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deu 6:6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
Deu 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deu 6:8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
Deu 6:9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
This idea of three gods being of the same substance but still one god may be a way to try to convey the relationship between Father, Son and Spirit, but shouldn’t be a reason to murder someone or question their salvation. Jesus says “the Father is greater than I” but In another place, Matthew 11:27, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father”.
Joh 14:24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
Joh 14:25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.
Joh 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Joh 14:28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
The point is that the trinity concept, imposed on Christianity, did not take a hold until the late fourth century, and its wording comes from Greek or Egyptian thought of the Egyptian godhead, not Hebrew thought of Eloheem. Some would say I am denying the trinity and call me a heretic, but I am just pointing to scripture that shows the Eloheem of the Israelites does not necessarily fit in a Greek container.
There are other examples of doctrines that originate from Greek Philosophy and ancient Egyptian religion. The eternal soul is another belief that comes from Greek philosophy and the love of Plato by early, church fathers.
Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
Col 2:10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
Hebrew thought does not involve an immortal soul. Jesus believed in a resurrection of the dead, not the Greek and Egyptian view of the material body being evil, and that the soul has to be released to go to a paradise type place with the gods. Christianity has blended this Greek thought of body and soul into “dying and having your soul go to heaven to be with Jesus”. This is what Jesus taught:
Joh 5:25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
Joh 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.
Joh 5:27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
Joh 5:28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice
Joh 5:29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
Jesus, or Yeshua in Hebrew, said, ”all who are in the tombs will hear his voice”. If when a Christian dies they have an immortal soul that goes to be with Jesus in heaven, is that soul without ears to hear? Why would they hear Him from the tomb if a non-material soul of the believer is already in heaven with Him? It makes more sense when it is understood Yeshua meant what he said, and the Greek thought of an immortal soul was injected into both Judaism and Christianity at a later date. Yeshua was quoting Daniel.
Dan 12:1 “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.
Dan 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
Paul has a similar understanding.
1Co 15:50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
1Co 15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
The revelation of John also reinforces the idea of a resurrection.
Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.
Rev 20:14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
Rev 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
I found something interesting while looking at Death and Hades being thrown into the lake of fire. One might ask, ”How can death be thrown anywhere where it is just the state of no longer living?”. The Greek word that gets translated to ”death” is actually the Greek god of death’s name. Likewise with Hades, this is the name of the god of the underworld. These are gods that get thrown into the lake of fire. Is it possible there are spiritual entities that rule death and the grave who are physically going to be destroyed? Psalms 82:6 -7 “I have said, “You are gods, and sons of the Most High, all of you. However, you will die like men, and you will fall like one of the princes”.
There is cognitive dissonance with Christians today. They would argue that the soul of Jesus went to be with the Father when He was in the tomb three days and three nights, or their loved ones’ souls are right now in Heaven talking with each other and hanging out with Jesus. This is Greek thought made popular in the school of Alexandria, once the new converts, who were former Greek philosophers, took over the reigns of Christianity. One aspect of this was the belief of preexisting souls. This was Greek thought that church father, Origen, made popular where God just reuses the souls of the dead, or your soul is existing somewhere before you are born in the flesh. Hebrew thought is much different.
Isa 44:24 Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer, and he who formed you in the womb: “I am Yahweh, who made everything, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth—who was with me?—
Job 31:15 Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?
So, those who hold onto such things as the trinitarian belief system and the immortal soul, not to mention, all of the blatant blending of pagan deities and holidays; are you able to defend these things with scripture? I have heard it said from that pulpit that, “I believe everything between the covers of this book” as the person was holding up the Bible. Is that true, or do most Christians simply believe what they have been told is written on the pages of the Bible, while actually just believing hundreds of years of manmade traditions based on Greek and Egyptian mythology and philosophy?
The only solution is to pray for wisdom and understanding, the Holy Spirit of Truth, following the commandments that Yahweh gave us, which Yeshua and the apostles also emphasized.
1Jn 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
1Jn 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1Jn 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1Jn 5:6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
Understand what you believe, where it originated from and why. Your life on this Earth and eternity depends on it.
Photo by Chris Ainsworth on Unsplash
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One thought on “Where Does Your Belief System Come From?”
I appreciate the work that went into that and the Spirit of Truth speaking. Many thanks.
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