Dear Thomas,

A good revelation from God is worth a thousand scriptures. I'm sure that through your study of the Bible that you have noticed that there are a lot of mysteries that are only revealed to them that fear God and or have the Holy Ghost. My Question to you is "Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?" Acts 19;1-5. When a person receives the Holy Ghost he or she will speak in some language unknown to them as the Spirit gives the utterance. I received the Holy Ghost with this experience when I was 29 years old in August of 1976. Very few so called ministers have really received the Holy Ghost. God has called them but they have run before being sent. After I received the Spirit of God, which is the Holy Ghost, which is "Christ in you the hope of glory", it began to guide and lead me into all truth. One of the first things the Holy Ghost revealed to me was that there is such a thing as a righteous man,(James 5;16) something a lot of people don't believe in these days. Water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins was another major revelation. Not only should one try to live holy, but that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. (Heb 12;14) Jesus did not die to save us in our sins but from our sins. Holy living is essential to salvation. This is also a revelation. One of my most precious revelations is when the Lord Jesus stood behind me and called me a fool because I couldn't figure out how he could have a separate spirit from the Spirit of God and not be a separate person from God. Jesus revealed to me that he was YHWH, the Lord Almighty, but that when he came in the flesh he came with a human spirit, a human soul, a human mind and a human body. He was the Word that was God made flesh. When he was baptized in Jordan he received the in filling of his divine Spirit. By the way, there is only one divine Spirit. God is a Spirit, not Spirits. Jesus said on many occasions that the Father dwelt in him and that it was the Father that dwelt in him who did the works and gave him the words to say. Jesus is God(YHWH) manifest in the flesh. As a human being he had a fleshly mind with a human will. When Jesus refers to his Father and His God it is his humanity speaking of his Divine Spirit. As I mentioned before, the divine aspect of Jesus is the Father, the human aspect of Jesus is the son. That which was begotten of the Father. There are not two or three Divine Spirits representing a Father and a Son and a Holy Spirit. There is only one Eternal Spirit and that Spirit is God the Father. God the Father fills all of heaven and earth and is omnipresent at all times and when the fullness of time was come He overshadowed a virgin named Mary and caused his personality, will, plan, righteousness, and more, to be united to human flesh. "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us"John 1;14. "therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1;35.

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Many are the revelations that God has given to me and there are hundreds of scriptures to back them all up. Read Luke 13;23-30. Not very many people are going to be saved. They simply don't love God with all of there hearts and aren't willing to make the sacrifices necessary to find out what God wants, let alone do what God requires. Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Yours truly,

Charles Marlowe

Dear Thomas,

I am including your remarks in this letter so that you will know what it is I am referring to.

>To answer your first question, "Yes, I have received the Holy Spirit, but No, I have not spoken in an unlearned language." Now, I'm sure that you perceive a contradiction in my response, but please let me explain Scripturally how I can answer thus.<

>Acts 2:38 clearly indicates that for ALL who "repent" and are immersed into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, they will receive two very specific things - #1 "the forgiveness of sins" and #2 "the gift of the Holy Spirit."<

 

Two incorrect assumptions here. First of all, the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit that Jesus was referring to was Jesus. Acts 4;10-12, makes it clear that all salvation is in the name of Jesus as well as Acts 10;43. If it is not used, and if someone believes that more than the name of Jesus is necessary, in the baptismal formula, they are in error.

If I were to sign a check Father, Son and Music Teacher, the teller would laugh me out of the bank. It's no good. One must use the name of Jesus when baptizing a candidate for the remission of sins. Jesus said that whatever we ask in his name, that will he do. John 14;13-14. Colossians 3;17 states that whatever we do in word or deed we should do it all in the name of Jesus. When we are baptized, we are baptized into Christ. If we are not baptized in his name, then we are not baptized into Him. There is no remission of sins without the baptism in Jesus's name. By the way, the name of Jesus is the name that is above every name (Philippians 2;9 and Ephesians 1;21).

>I have repented and I have been immersed into the Name, therefore I know that I have been forgiven and have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. In fact, Romans 8:9 makes it crystal clear that anyone in whom the Spirit does not indwell does not belong to Christ.<

Second of all, when Philip went down to Samaria and preached the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, almost everyone believed and was baptized in the name of Jesus. What is very interesting is the fact that even though they had great joy (8;8) and were healed (8;7) and had devils cast out (8;7) and believed the gospel (8;12) and were baptized in the name of Jesus, (8;12-16) none of them had received the Holy Ghost (8;16). When Acts 2;38 reads, "and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." it does not indicate when you will receive it. You will know when you have received it when you begin speaking in another tongue as the Spirit of God gives the utterance. That is how Philip knew that the believers had not received the Holy Ghost. None of them had spoken in tongues.

>On the other hand, in 1 Corinthians 12:28-30, as the Apostle Paul is describing the diverse nature of Christian unity, he asks a series of rhetorical questions which ALL have an expected negative response. Among those questions was "Do all speak with unlearned languages?"<

Paul was not speaking of receiving the Holy Ghost at this time but was referring to the gift of tongues. There are at least 3 different types of speaking in tongues. When a person initially receives the Holy Ghost he or she will speak in another tongue. When a person has received the Holy Ghost, God may use him in a worship service to utter a message in an unknown tongue. God will then give the interpretation to someone who will then translate what was said. Sometimes this will be the person who was speaking in tongues, and many times to someone else in the congregation. A third type of speaking in tongues is when a person's spirit speaks to God directly, which is not his intellect or mind speaking in a known language. This type of speaking in tongues, which is initiated by the believer, is not the Holy Ghost. It was this type of speaking in tongues that was taking place in the Corinthian Church that Paul was addressing because everyone was praying and singing to God with their spirit ( not the Holy Spirit ) and the service was becoming quite confusing, especially to non believers who might happen to come to such a meeting. When God speaks to the church using the gift of tongues, He will only do it through one individual at a time. And I have never seen God do this type of thing more than twice in one service. It is something that usually happens not more often than every two or three months.

Paul was letting them know that the type of tongues they were involved in was not the gift of tongues because certainly everyone is not used in this capacity. He was not referring to a person receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. That has nothing to do with the Gift of Tongues.

>Basically, the Scripture describes two actions of the Spirit. The first is the indwelling which comes immediately at the time of salvation. The second is the filling which comes upon some, and is evidenced by some supernatural manifestation such as speaking in an unlearned language, being able to interpret an unlearned language, prophetic utterances, the ability to heal, etc.<

>The difference between these can be seen most clearly in the Apostles' own experience. After his death had atoned for sin, and his resurrection had shown his authority over all things, Jesus appeared for the very first time to his Apostles and "breathed on them, saying, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" (John 20:22). This was certainly the indwelling that is common to all believers. Then, on Pentecost, Acts 2 recounts how they were filled with the Holy Spirit in such a way that they spoke with unlearned languages and then went on to display other supernatural gifts throughout the rest of their lives.<

Again, you have misunderstood the scriptures. When Jesus breathed on his disciples he gave them a commandment. Receive ye the Holy Ghost. They did not receive the Holy Ghost at that time. God deals with people in many different ways before they receive the Spirit. A person can have a revelation, a healing, a miracle and many other divine things happen to him before he receives the Holy Ghost. This was evidenced by Jesus's disciples who performed all types of miracles and had various revelations before they received the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost. By the way, I received the Holy Ghost about six months before I was baptized in Jesus's Name. In Romans 8;9 where Paul states "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.", Paul was not speaking about people who had never received the Holy Ghost, but believers who had turned their back on God and lost the Holy Ghost. You must remember that the letters Paul wrote were to Spirit filled, baptized believers like myself, who knew what he was talking about. 2Cor. 13;5 "Know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" In Acts 9;15-17 it points out that Jesus called Paul a chosen vessel unto Him before Paul had ever received the Holy Ghost.

 

>Now, about the nature of YHWH. Your note did not make clear how you understand those passages of Scripture which differentiate between Father, Son & Spirit. If all three are present and active participates in Jesus' immersion, how can they be EXACTLY THE SAME?<

Who said they are exactly the same? YHWH is a Spirit only. Is Christ a spirit only? No! He is the anointed word of God made flesh. And, as I pointed out, with a human spirit, soul, mind and body. God made himself to be a man and at the same time He filled the universe with his Spirit. He spoke from heaven, saying "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

God filled his human body, made of a woman, with his divine spirit at the time Jesus was baptized and signified it to both John the Baptist and Himself, in the flesh, by sending some visible representation of His Spirit that descended like a dove. What does that have to do with three different persons? YHWH made himself flesh so he could die for us. As a man, He lived above sin without the Spirit abiding in him. He was the second Adam without the first Adam's sinful nature and freely chose to do what was right. Before he began his ministry of miracles and healing etc., He filled himself with his divine Spirit. What is so strange about that? Jesus did not come to reveal himself to the world but to fulfill the Old Testament scriptures and prophesies that were written about him in the word of God. God hid himself in his humanity and it cost him his life according to the flesh. That was the plan of God so that you and I could be saved. 1Cor. 2;6-8 "Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

The disciples did not begin to realize the fullness of who Jesus Christ really was until after they received the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost.

 

>And what about all the New Testament epistles which I cited. These were written in the period after the Incarnation. Why do the N.T. writers continue to treat Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three, separate personalities and not as varied manifestations of the same, exact person. Also, why do Paul, Peter & John, commonly greet their readers in the grace and peace of BOTH God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ?<

 

The word that is translated as 'and' could just have easily been translated as 'even'.

 

>If they are one in the same, wouldn't the Apostles have simply mentioned YHWH alone, and not two of his manifestations?<

The answer is no because that is obviously not what the apostles did. It is very important to believe and realize that God manifested himself in the flesh as our Saviour. And as a man he suffered just like the rest of us. And as a man he was able to live above sin. And even though he was a man, he rose from the dead. And as a man he shed undefiled blood, that without, none of us could be saved. Who is an antichrist but he that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh?

John 2;22-23 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."

Jesus Christ is both Father and Son. If you deny the Son you have denied the Father. If you have the Son, then you have the Father also. The idea that Jesus was a separate person from the Father was introduced by Greek philosophers who could not comprehend a God who would condescend to become a part of his creation and die on a cross for you and me. It was not until about three hundred years after the death of Jesus that people developed a trinitarian doctrine. All of the first 15 bishops of Rome were oneness believers. What you refer to as modal.

Yours truly,

Charles Marlowe

p.s. I'll be glad when you get the Holy Ghost. Then we can talk about the deep things of God with a mutual understanding. God is no respecter of persons and the word of God is of no private interpretation. But most of the important things of God are mysteries that only a repented, Spirit filled heart can receive.

 

Sorry about the multitude of questions, but I really want to get a good handle on your concept of YHWH, and pointed questions have always been my best way of discerning what someone truly believes.

 

 

Dear Thomas,

Forgive me for being a bit belligerent in my last response. I know the Lord in such a personal way that it grieves me that there are so many millions of people who only know about God.

When God revealed that his name was "I AM" or YHWH he did not say that that was his highest name nor his only name. He did say "this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." YHWH is a name that is not appropriate for his fleshly (human) manifestation. YHWH applies to God's Spirit. As a Spirit, God was unable to save us according to his own law. Undefiled blood had to be shed in order for our sins to be remitted, and the death of a testator was necessary in order for a new testament to be effected. Hebrew 9;16-22

No one else was worthy to die for our salvation so YHWH did it himself by coming in the flesh as a man. Isa. 59:16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. 1Tim. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. YHWH alone is our Savior. Isa. 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

Hosea 13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.

Isa. 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

Isa. 60:16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

God did not reveal his saving name Jesus to the Old Testament saints because true salvation is not of the Law of Moses. The names YHWH, Jehovah, Elohim, God, Lord, etc. which are really titles, not names, were used before the time of Christ because new testament salvation was not yet available.

Gal. 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Gal. 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

The Old Testament prophesy that stated that Jehovah would become our salvation was fulfilled.

Isa. 12:2-4 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

This was speaking of the gift of the Holy Ghost being poured out and the Name of Jesus being exalted.

Phil. 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Eph. 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Rom. 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Now YHWY sent an angel down to Mary to notify her that her son was to be named Jesus. Matt. 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. God had reserved his saving name for his human manifestation. His highest name was saved for last. Matt. 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. This is the way God does things. Always has and always will. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Now the old testament prophets knew that God had a saving name but they did not know what it was. Prov. 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?

Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Peter lets us know that when he went down to Cornelius's house, that the name that the prophets had referred to was Jesus. For example in Prov. 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. and again in Ps. 54:1 Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength. these versus were referring to the name Jesus.

Jesus obtained his name through inheritance. Hebr. 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. John 5:43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Micah 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.

The thing that is absolutely important about the name that is being used in baptism is that both the one who is baptizing and the one who is being immersed know for certain that it is the name of the Son that is being used. The name of the Son of God is also the saving name of the Father and of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Acts 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

Dear Thomas,

As I mentioned before, one of the greatest revelations that I ever received from the Lord was that water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ was for the remission of sins. Not many denominations believe that water baptism is for the remission of sins. I certainly didn't until the Lord revealed it to me. And the Catholic church, with apparently believes in baptism for the remission of sins, does not believe in baptism at all, as far as I'm concerned, because baptism, which is really an Anglicized form of the Greek word, means to dip, plunge, immerse or sink. But, as you know, literal things like a name, or baptism, or actually eating unleavened bread and drinking wine, or washing one another's feet, or lifting holy hands to God and shouting with the voice of triumph, or clapping hands and dancing in the Spirit, or speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance, or laying hands on the sick and praying using the name of Jesus are all things that are really not to be taken literally in these last and enlightened days. Just call on the name of the Lord, whatever it may be, and you will be saved. Just accept Jesus as your personal saviour and everything is fine. I don't know why the apostles wasted so much time writing about such things as baptism, holiness, earnestly contending for the faith that was once delivered, understanding who Jesus really is, etc., if it really doesn't matter. God is love. Jesus died for me. That's all that matters. I believe it and that settles it.

================

I certainly will be glad when the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Some people actually believe that the archangel Michael is the Lord Jesus, even though the author of Hebrews spent an entire chapter ( more like two ) explaining that Jesus was not an angel but God himself fashioned in the likeness of human flesh that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Of course, many people don't even believe in a literal catching away of the saints. Some believe that the millennium is already upon us even though I haven't seen too many lambs laying down with the lions. Ninety-nine percent of the religious world today is in the same condition that it was in when Jesus appeared the first time. They rejected the truth. They do the same thing today.

John 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

John 8:21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

John 8:24 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.

John 8:25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

John 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

John 8:27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

John 12:45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

(It is a revelation Thomas, and I have it.)

John 16:25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father.

Isa. 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.

Acts 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: Acts 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

I'm sure glad that I know what his name is and that it was called upon me when I was baptized into his name.

Ps. 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant. Acts 2:38 is the covenant and the secret of the Lord is who he really is. Isa. 45:15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

Thomas, are you ready for some meat?

Gen. 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

This was a prophetic utterance of God speaking to his human nature in the person of Jesus Christ. This was not referring to Adam. God made Adam in his likeness, not his image.

Gen. 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

Now after Adam had taken on a sinful nature and begat a son, his son was born in his likeness and his image.

Gen. 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

God did not begin to create men and women in his image until after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Rom. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

2Cor. 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. Col. 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Hebr. 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,

Jesus Christ is the image of God. When we are baptized into the name of Jesus and are filled with the Holy Ghost ( which is Christ in us, the hope of glory ) we begin to take on the nature of God. 2Cor. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

1John 3:2

Col. 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

At this point we shall truly be made in the likeness and image of God.

It's getting late.

Yours truly,

Charle Marlowe

 

Dear Thomas,

Here is some food for thought. When John writes

"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 any thing made that was made." he was not saying that the word was a separate person form God. The Word of God is not the Son of God. The word of God is the mind or will of God. It is the wisdom of God. It is also that part of God that can be made flesh, written on tables of stone, on pages of paper, or even recorded on a computer hard drive. The word of God exist in many forms. The Word of God is his anointed, since it exists in spirit form. The term Christ, as you are well aware of, does not mean the Son of God or the Messiah, but simple means anointed. God's Word is his anointed.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

1Cor. 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

The rock in the wilderness was anointed by the Spirit of God and as such became the Christ. That rock was certainly not the Son of God. There was no Son of God until he was conceived in the womb of Mary.

Ps. 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Before the anointed Word of God was made flesh, it existed in spirit form as YHWH. But as John 1;14 states "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." Mary was impregnated by the Word of God and the Word of God became the Son of God. God himself in Human form. Independent, as it were, from his Spiritual existence. As a human, Luke 2:52 He increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. When he was baptized by John, God filled his human existence with his divine Spirit. Isa. 61:1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Now, what I gather from the trinitarians is that the Son of God existed with the Father in the beginning as a separate person from the Father. And that God the Father sent his Son down to earth to die for us. I don't understand that. God has revealed to me that He sent his Word down to earth, and united it to the seed in Mary's womb and caused her to become pregnant and to bring forth a son which is the Son of God. God planned on doing this before he ever created anything. Knowing that he would come in the flesh one day and that that would be his visible likeness, and that he would redeem mankind back to himself in this form by transforming us into this image by the water of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, God made the prophetic statement in Gen. 1:26 "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 creepeth upon the earth."

It was God's plan to be born of a woman, to die on a cross and to be raised in a gloried body from before the foundation of the world. And God referred to these things from time to time as though they had already taken place, even though they only existed in the mind of God. Rom. 4:17 mentions that God does things like this. "(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. And also in Isa. 46:10 "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"

Part of the point of all of this is that it is imperative that we understand that in order to be reconciled unto God (YHWH) we must come through his Humanity. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the door. He is the way and the truth and the life. He is the resurrection. John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

We acknowledge that He is the door when we submit to baptism with the name of Jesus being called over us for the remission of sins.

Quoting your earlier statement, "I would submit to you that since Father, Son & Holy Spirit are One God, and have all laid valid claim to that great name YHWH, that whether you are immersed with the "formula" [for lack of a better term] of Matthew 28:19, 20, or the "formula" of Romans 6:3, or the "formula" of 1 Corinthians 12:13, that you have been immersed in the name of YHWH."

Thomas, I fail to see any formula in any of these verses. Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Here I do clearly see a baptismal formula. And the following versus corroborate this formula.

Acts 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Rom. 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

1Cor. 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? Gal. 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

The name YHWH has nothing to do with salvation. It only comes in the name of Jesus and the only way to give glory to the Father is to do things in his saving name Jesus.

Phil. 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We must come to the Father in the name of Jesus. Nothing else will work. Jesus is the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. God made it very clear that he would raise up another, and that we must do things according to what taught, not Moses, in order to be reconciled to God.

Deut. 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
Deut. 18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. Acts 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

 

Dear Thomas,

I also apologize for being slow to respond. I have had a very busy week and things are not slowing down. I will respond as much as possible.

This is why I also referred to 1 Corinthians 12, which also make reference to the authority figure behind immersion, in this case the Holy Spirit.

Phil. 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 1Cor. 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

1Cor. 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

1Cor. 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Now it is God, working in his ministers through the Spirit, that adds to his body daily. Acts 2:47 And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. "For by one Spirit", is referring to the Spirit of God working his will in and through his ministers. The baptism being referred to here is not the Spirit baptism, but water baptism. The second half of the verse is referring to Spirit baptism where it states, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. I get the impression from you that you somehow believe that the Holy Spirit is a separate authority from the God the Father. The Holy Spirit is the Father.

Matt. 1:18 Mary was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Matt. 1:20 for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. The scripture makes it clear that the Holy Ghost was the Father of Jesus Christ. The titles and descriptions, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of God, Spirit of Jesus Christ, Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of his Son, Spirit of the living God, Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, Spirit of truth, Spirit of your Father, eternal Spirit , Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost are all referring to the one and self same spirit, YHWH. Again,

Eph. 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Paul helps clarify who the Lord is by explaining that the Lord is that Spirit which is the Spirit of the living God. God the Father, the one Lord and the one Spirit are all one and the self same being, YHWH. 2Cor. 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. 2Cor. 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Now the one and only Holy Spirit, the Lord God, the Father of lights and Father of spirits, was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.

2Cor. 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 2Cor. 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Thomas, it is of the utmost importance that we realize that the one God and Father of us all was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not themselves, and this is the message that we are supposed to be preaching to the world. Jesus Christ is God the Father in person. And God the Father is the Holy Spirit that dwelt in the Son, Christ Jesus. And, it is the Father that wells in us because he is that Holy Spirit.

Eph. 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (to the church).

Again, I must emphasize that I neither subscribe to, nor condone the heresy of "Tri-Theism." There is one God - YHWH - and no other! However, I must also admit that my finite mind cannot fathom such "mysteries" as the exact relationship between Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

YHWH clearly did not die on the cross, and yet Jesus laid claim to that divine name (John 8:58). Jesus was both God, YHWH, and man, Son of God, at the same time. The man died, not the eternal Spirit that dwelt in him. At various times Jesus prayed, not to himself, The flesh (Son of God), prayed to his Father ( eternal Spirit ) but to the Father. At his own immersion we see the Son praying (the flesh), the Father speaking(the Spirit), and the Spirit descending( a visual sign given to John the Baptist,(John 1:33) man can't see the Spirit, it's invisible). The N.T. writers clearly state that Jesus is currently seated at the right hand of the Father,

Luke 22:69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted. Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour. standing on the right hand of God, at the right hand of God, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, Ezek. 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

The right hand of God has nothing to do with a physical position or geographic location. The right hand of God and the hand of the Lord refer to the Spiritual power of God. The right hand of God is not the right side of God. Even though the words "right side" and "beside" are used frequently in the Bible, they are never used with reference to Jesus Christ and God. YHWH does use the word beside about seven different times to say that beside him there is no other god nor a savior. Hosea 13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me. Isa. 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

As a matter of fact, Thomas, the right hand of God is the highest position of power and authority in heaven and earth, and this is the position that Jesus Christ currently occupies. The right hand of God is the throne of God.

and the throne in Revelation is occupied by both the Father & the lamb,( Isa. 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:) The whole heaven is God's throne. The Spirit of God is not limited or confined to some visible or physical throne. God currently has no visible image other than the Lord Jesus Christ. All the fullness of the Godhead dwells in the resurrected body of Jesus Christ and he is the only visible image of God currently in existence. 2Cor. 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. Col. 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: Hebr. 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person. There is only one throne in heaven and only one person is sitting on that throne. Rev. 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. Since Jesus Christ is the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father(Isa. 9:6 ), both the Father and Lamb are sitting in the same throne.

with the Spirit of God portrayed as a Menorah before the throne.Rev. 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

The Menorah does not represent the Spirit of God, but seven different angels of God that hold positions similar to the Generals of our armed forces. Two of the seven spirits are Gabriel( the spirit of prophecy, Rev. 19:10 ) and Michael (Captain of the Lords Host, Josh. 5:14).

And the Son will be submissive to the Father after he hands the kingdom over to him on judgment day (1 Cor. 15:23-28).

1Cor. 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. This verse does not say that the Son will be submissive to the Father, he already is. It says that he will be subject to the Father. Right now all of the Godhead dwells in Jesus and he is above all of creation, including all the saints of God which are also born again Sons of God (John 1:12, 1John 3:1 ). After the great white throne judgment, God will place his physical body in a lesser role so that God may dwell in all of his Sons in an equal measure. "that God may be all in all." Not just all in Christ Jesus.

Charles, there are way too many references which indicate some sort of uniqueness for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for us to declare outright that they are simply varied manifestations of YHWH. (there are no references that indicate that Jesus Christ is not God the Father manifest in the flesh, and those scriptures which are perhaps confusing to the carnal mind about the Holy Ghost are not confusing to me at all. The Holy Spirit(Ghost) is simply the Spirit of God that deals with and dwells within the saints of God, the earnest of our inheritance. Christ in us, the Hope of Glory. There seems to be more to it than that - something between the Modalism that you ascribe to and the Tri-Theism of others.

Stay tuned, more is on the way.

Yours truly,

Charles Marlowe

I can't write much more now [I have to be out of town for the rest of the week], but I would still be interested in seeing where you acquired your information on the "oneness" theology of the first 15 bishops of Rome. I've spent some of my free time reading in my Ante-Nicene Fathers and still don't see how such a claim could be made. In fact, I've run across something in Tertullian's writings which would indicate the exact opposite. Around A.D. 200, during the bishopric of Victor [the 13th since the Apostles], Tertullian wrote "Against Praexes" to condemn the teaching of a man from the region of Asia Minor who was teaching that the Father & Son were the same. Among the reasons for rejecting this doctrine, Tertullian stated that it was something brand new - not taught at all in the century or so since the Apostles had died. If you have access to Tertullian, I would be interested in hearing your evaluation of Praexes' teaching as presented by Tertullian.

Thanks for such a stimulating correspondence!

Date: Sat, Nov 11, 1995 12:08 AM MST

From: TJ Short

Dear Charles,

I appreciate your devotion to the Word of God.

So far, all the Scriptures you've quoted are fully believed by myself and every other person that I know of who holds to what is traditionally called a "trinitarian" viewpoint [I actually don't like the word "trinity" since it doesn't appear in Scripture. I prefer "Godhead."]

I would very much like to know on what evidence you base your earlier claim that the first 15 bishops of Rome held to a "Oneness" theology. I keep gleaning through my copies of early church documents and just can't see it. As I mentioned in my last letter, as best I can tell, the idea that Jesus & the Father were simply different manifestations of God was a brand new teaching which came from Asia Minor to Rome around A.D. 200.

Please make sure you include good references for these primary sources so that I can locate them and read them in their full context.

Thanks again. I'm enjoying our little discussion immensely.

Thomas

Date: Sun, Oct 29, 1995 12:07 AM MST

Dear Charles,

 

If I might be so bold, I believe that you are the one who has made the invalid assumption regarding "the Name" mentioned in Matthew 28:19-20 and elsewhere. When God spoke with Moses prior to the Exodus from Egypt, He clearly stated that His name was "YHWH," which is Hebrew for "the Existing One. [Elsewhere in Scripture the meaning of this name comes through in phrases like "First & Last," "Beginning & End," "Alpha & Omega," "the Creator & Sustainer of all things," and "the One who is, was and is to be." In modern terms, I like to use the phrase "the First Cause."] As you can see for yourself in Exodus 3:15 [quoted below], God said that "YHWH" is His name FOREVER, and that this is the name by which He is to be known to ALL generations.

14 And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I Am; and He said, thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.íî 15 And God, furthermore, said to Moses, ìThus you shall say to the sons of Israel, the Lord [YHWH], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.í This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. (NASB)

I would submit to you that since Father, Son & Holy Spirit are One God, and have all laid valid claim to that great name YHWH, that whether you are immersed with the "formula" [for lack of a better term] of Matthew 28:19, 20, or the "formula" of Romans 6:3, or the "formula" of 1 Corinthians 12:13, that you have been immersed in the name of YHWH. Remember, it is not the verbiage that saves us [otherwise we should be doing all our immersing in the Hebrew (and perhaps Greek) language], but rather we are saved by our faithful obedience, via repentance & immersion, to the message of the Gospel.

Regarding your assertion that the first 15 bishops of Rome were "oneness" in their theology...I have been scanning Eusebius' Ecclesiatical History and the collected writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers and cannot find any such indication. I would be very interested in any PRIMARY SOURCES to which you can direct me regarding your assertion. Please include citation references so that I can go back and check the full context for myself.

In my search, I did find mention of the "heresy of Sabellius" (Eccl. Hist. VII, VI & Dionysius of Rome Against the Sabellians) which reached its peak around A.D. 260, during the Roman bishopric of Dionysius [the 24th since the Apostles, I believe]. This Sabellius taught that "the Son Himself is the Father, and vice versa." Unfortunately, some had responded to his teaching with the exact opposite concept - a Greek-style Tri-Theism like that taught by the earlier heretic Marcion. Neither position was orthodox, since neither position took into consideration ALL the Scriptural teaching about God's nature.

I think Dionysius gives an excellant summation of the orthodox position

'That admirable and divine unity, therefore, must neither be separated into three divinities, nor must the dignity and eminent greatness of the Lord be diminished by having applied to it the name of creation, but we must believe on God the Father Omnipotent, and on Christ Jesus His Son, and on the Holy Spirit. Moreover, that the Word is united to the God of all, because He says, "I and the Father are one;" and, "I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me." Thus doubtless will be maintained in its integrity the doctrine of the divine Trinity, and the sacred announcement of the monarchy.'

Charles, I don't think our finite minds can fully grasp the nature of an infinite God. I think that our only responsibility is to uphold the clear statements of Scripture regarding that nature.

"Hear, O Israel, YHWH is our God! YHWH is one! You shall love YHWH your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and all your might" (Deut. 6:4-5)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God...And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth...No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." (John 1:1-2, 14, 18).

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

one Lord, one faith, one immersion; one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all." (Eph. 4:4-6)

"For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him...For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form." (Col. 1:19; 2:10)

 

If we will simply believe the truth of all those Scriptures which refer to YHWH's nature, regardless of whether we understand them or not, then we have done as He expects.

 

I'm out of time for the moment. I shall endeavor to respond to the matters of the Spirit to which you referred on another occasion.

 

Thomas

 

Date: Mon, Oct 30, 1995 5:48 AM MST

Dear Charles,

Thanks for your most recent note.

While we continue our discussion, I wonder if you understand that the phrase "in the name of..." has more to do with the authority of the person named than with the verbiage spoken. This can be seen in our modern phrase "in the name of the law." The verbal utterance of the word "law" is not the power of that phrase, but rather it is the authority of the law which it represents.

The phrase has the same intention in both the Hebrew & Greek languages. When we see mention of something being done "in the name of" some human character in Scripture, we know it is an actual reference to their authority to demand some action. And so when we see the phrase "in the name of YHWH," or some variation thereof, we are to understand that the authority of YHWH is at issue, not so much the verbal mention of his divine name.

In fact, the Jews went so far in elevating the actual utterance of YHWH's name, that they ceased using it, substituting the title ADONAY ("master") in spoken conversation. This resulted, not in the avoidance of using "the name of YHWH in vain," but rather in a superstitious circumlocution that continues to this day.

Thus, "in the name of YHWH," or "the Father," or "Jesus," or "the Son," or "the Spirit" is highlighting the divine authority involved in the context. I would beg you not to get so wrapped up in the verbal utterances of these "names" that you fail to see the authority behind them.

 

Thomas

P.S. The name "YHWH" is not a title. It is a proper name.

Date: Tue, Oct 24, 1995 2:59 PM MST

Dear Charles,

Thanks for responding so promptly to my message.

It is always good to find someone who believes so strongly in immersion for the remission of sins.

I am intrigued by your "modalistic" concept of YHWH. I would be interested in your understanding of passages which indicate a distinction of some sort between the "Father," the "Son" and the "Spirit." For example: Luke 3:21-22, where the Son is immersed, the Father speaks from heaven, and the Spirit descends in the bodily form of a dove; John 20:17, where Jesus tells Mary that he must ascend to "My Father...and...My God"; Ephesians 4:4-6 & 1 Peter 1:2, where "Father," "Son" and "Spirit" are described in various roles; as well as nearly every Pauline greeting which mentions both "Father" and "Son" as if they were separate "persons" [for lack of a better term].

I eagerly await your response :-)

Thomas

Date: Thu, Nov 2, 1995 12:07 AM MST

Subj: The nature of YHWH

Dear Charles,

Thanks again for your comments. I find them most interesting.

Your comments about "the Word" are most interesting. Some of what you said sounds almost like the Greek philosophy of the LOGOS. Are you familiar with this concept?

While the "sonship" of Jesus is traced to his conception [Psalm 2:7; cf. Hebrews], his unique, pre-existance is obvious from John 1:1-2 & John 17:4. It is probably also indicated in the use of "we" in the creation narratives (Gen 1:26; 3:22; cf. John 1:3; Col 1:15-17).

Now, may I remind you of some things mentioned in previous correspondence that I still hope to hear your response to...

I hope that you consider well the fact that the phrase "in the name of..." has much more to do with the source of authority for the action being undertaken than in the verbal utterance of the "name" of that authority. Please remember that it is not the word "law" which a policeman intends a suspect to respond to when he shouts, "Stop, in the name of the law!" but rather the authority represented by that name.

In addition, I'm not exactly sure how you see a "baptismal formula" in Peter's words recorded in Acts 2:38, but not in Jesus' words as recorded in Matthew 24:19." They seem to be synonymous in their intent to immerse repentant believers by the authority of YHWH. This is why I also referred to 1 Corithians 12, which also make reference to the authority figure behind immersion, in this case the Holy Spirit.

Again, I must emphasize that I neither subscribe to, nor condone the heresy of "Tri-Theism." There is one God - YHWH - and no other! However, I must also admit that my finite mind cannot fathom such "mysteries" as the exact relationship between Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

YHWH clearly did not die on the cross, and yet Jesus laid claim to that divine name (John 8:58). At various times Jesus prayed, not to himself, but to the Father. At his own immersion we see the Son praying, the Father speaking, and the Spirit descending. The N.T. writers clearly state that Jesus is currently seated at the right hand of the Father, and the throne in Revelation is occupied by both the Father & the lamb, with the Spirit of God portrayed as a Menorah before the throne. And the Son will be submissive to the Father after he hands the kingdom over to him on judgment day (1 Cor. 15:23-28).

Charles, there are way too many references which indicate some sort of uniqueness for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for us to declare outright that they are simply varied manifestations of YHWH. There seems to be more to it than that - something between the Modalism that you ascribe to and the Tri-Theism of others.

I can't write much more now [I have to be out of town for the rest of the week], but I would still be interested in seeing where you acquired your information on the "oneness" theology of the first 15 bishops of Rome. I've spent some of my free time reading in my Ante-Nicene Fathers and still don't see how such a claim could be made. In fact, I've run across something in Tertullian's writings which would indicate the exact opposite. Around A.D. 200, during the bishopric of Victor [the 13th since the Apostles], Tertullian wrote "Against Praexes" to condemn the teaching of a man from the region of Asia Minor who was teaching that the Father & Son were the same. Among the reasons for rejecting this doctrine, Tertullian stated that it was something brand new - not taught at all in the century or so since the Apostles had died. If you have access to Tertullian, I would be interested in hearing your evaluation of Praexes' teaching as presented by Tertullian.

Thanks for such a stimulating correspondence!

Thomas