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“These unfaithful prophets claim I give them their dreams, but it isn’t true. I didn’t choose them to be My prophets, and yet they babble on and on, speaking in My Name, while stealing words from each other. And when My people hear these liars, they are led astray instead of being helped. So I warn you that I am now the enemy of these prophets. I, the LORD, have spoken” (Jeremiah 23:30-32 CEV).
Kenneth Leckey’s writing, “Behold the Man!” serves as a platform to refute men’s carnal religious notions about Who Jesus Christ is by making His identity plainly known:
“Go up for yourself on the high mountain, bringer of good tidings to Zion. Lift up your voice with strength, O you who bring good tidings to Jerusalem; lift up, do not be afraid. Say to the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” (Isaiah 40:9 MKJV)
Our understanding doesn’t come from men or from our own personal opinion, but comes from God Himself, the Immutable Truth. Man’s interpretation of Him and His Holy Word will never do:
“First, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20 GW).
The Spirit, Who created sight in the physical, opens our eyes to Him in the spiritual:
1 Corinthians 2:11-16 WNT
(11) For, among human beings, who knows a man’s inner thoughts except the man’s own spirit within him? In the same way, also, only God’s Spirit is acquainted with God’s inner thoughts.
(12) But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which comes forth from God, that we may know the blessings that have been so freely given to us by God.
(13) Of these we speak–not in language which man’s wisdom teaches us, but in that which the Spirit teaches–adapting, as we do, spiritual words to spiritual truths.
(14) The unspiritual man rejects the things of the Spirit of God, and cannot attain to the knowledge of them, because they are spiritually judged.
(15) But the spiritual man judges everything, although he is himself judged by no one.
(16) For who has penetrated the mind of the Lord, and will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
The Second Commandment forbids us from using conjecture and opinion to form an image of God. Such is the making of an idol. Man cannot depict, convey, or accurately transmit the Nature of God by something he has conceived in his own imagination. In doing so, he only projects himself as God, and may be unknowingly blaspheming, as does Leckey in his paper, in turn causing others to blaspheme.
There are two major errors in Leckey’s article:
One, Leckey speaks of the Lord as if He was, in the days of His flesh, no different from anyone else. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, according to His essential nature and being:
“For such a high priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26 MKJV).
Two, Leckey presents the Lord as an example to be followed. For men born of flesh, however, it is impossible to follow Jesus Christ. You must be born of the Spirit to follow Him, which is not to imitate Him, but to go as He presently leads. In this He causes those who are one with Him, as He was One with the Father, to overcome as He did.
It is a serious matter to break the Law of God by making a false image of the One Who sits on the throne of Heaven. By defiling in the sight of men that which is holy and incorruptible, false teachers rob men of life, rather than bring life to them, which is only found in the true Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel. You can be sure that no other Christ, Gospel, or way ends well:
Deuteronomy 29:19-20 GNB
(19) Make sure that there is no one here today who hears these solemn demands and yet convinces himself that all will be well with him, even if he stubbornly goes his own way. That would destroy all of you, good and evil alike.
(20) The LORD will not forgive such a man. Instead, the LORD’s burning anger will flame up against him, and all the disasters written in this book will fall on him until the LORD has destroyed him completely.
Response to the article “Behold the Man!”:
“The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it” (Isaiah 40:5 HNV).
Who Is Jesus Christ?
In this writing, Kenneth Leckey presents A.P. Adams’ teaching and opinion that Jesus Christ shared a fallen nature with all of humanity, and was under the curse of sin, just as weak as any other man, in order to serve as a suitable role model. According to Leckey and Adams, Jesus Christ was a son of God, though an inferior one in nature to Adam (before the Fall), and without a doubt, was not God Himself.
However, here is my reply: If you see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, flies like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then you must conclude that it is a duck. If you see a man that walks like God, talks like God, does the works of God, and has every attribute of God, then you have seen God. That is what Jesus Christ Himself said when approached by one of His disciples who asked to see the Father:
John 14:8-11 WNT
(8) “Master,” said Philip, “cause us to see the Father: that is all we need.”
(9) “Have I been so long among you,” Jesus answered, “and yet you, Philip, do not know Me? He who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you ask Me, ‘Cause us to see the Father’?
(10) Do you not believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in Me? The things that I tell you all I do not speak on My Own authority: but the Father dwelling within Me carries on His Own work.
(11) Believe Me, all of you, that I am in the Father and that the Father is in Me; or at any rate, believe Me because of what I do.
If you are looking at divinity, you are looking at God, even if you do not recognize what you are seeing; God is a Spirit, not flesh, and the flesh does not comprehend Him. You do not see divinity (God) with outward carnal eyes, but by inward spiritual revelation. This is where much confusion arises in religious circles, as typified by the error of Adams’ teaching. Men are using their carnal senses to depict God, Whom they do not know. Jesus Christ, the Nature of God fully expressed in human form, can only be seen by having our spiritual eyes opened by God. This is what Jesus declared when Peter said that He was Son of the living God:
“Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father in Heaven” (Matthew 16:17 LITV).
In this rebuttal to Leckey and Adams, I will clearly show by Scripture and irrefutable logic that Jesus Christ is God Almighty, Who, though He appeared in the flesh as a man, was no ordinary man as they allege.
Jesus Christ is not a second god, sub-god, semi-god, quasi-god, or part of a trinity god, but is very God, Lord of lords, the Creator of all things. When He came in the flesh, there had never before been any man like Him, and never since. If any man is like Him now, it is because that person has been born again, receiving His Spirit – just as Jesus, in His physical body, was conceived by the Spirit of God.
I will answer the many objections that Adams, Leckey and company bring up to oppose the fact that Jesus Christ is God (these objections being common to many) and Lord of their lives, along with other errors, so that you might know for certain that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord God Almighty, and that you might find peace with God through Him.
Man’s Version – Fairy-Tale Religion
Leckey begins his paper by quoting H.G. Wells:
“The story of the early beginnings of Christianity is the struggle between the real teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and the limitations, amplifications and misunderstandings of the very inferior men who had loved and followed Him from Galilee…. The early Nazarenes, as the followers of Jesus were called, present from the first a spectacle of great confusion between these two strands, His teaching, on the one hand, and the glosses and interpretations of the disciples on the other. They continued for a time His disciplines of the complete subjugation of self….”
To Wells, as with so many, Christ is merely a historical figure Who taught men ways in which they were to follow God. According to Wells, after Jesus ascended into Heaven the disciples were dependent upon their own limited resources to apprehend and manifest His teachings. Being inferior, it did not take long for them to mess things up. Wells calls this failure the “departure from the faith.”
Is not such a faith doomed to failure? How can those of inferior nature become superior? Can a man pull himself up by his own bootstraps? How can it be that Christ, the One Who, because of His superiority, came to lay down His life for the whole world, and is called the Savior of all men, could not help even those closest to Him “get it right”? Did He not choose them? Did He not say He would keep them?
Wells is calling Christ a liar or impotent or both. What wisdom is there in God sending His Son if men are powerless to follow Him? But that is precisely why God did send Him! The Savior is the power of God that transforms the faithless into the faithful and victorious children of God.
The Scriptures tell this latter story, a very different one than Wells’ faithless perception of what happened. The Book of Acts records how the followers of Christ were filled with His Spirit on the day of Pentecost, thereafter empowered to do His works and behaving as though Christ was not only present, but in them, because He was!
Wells’ stance sums up the unbelief of man, which goes like this: Jesus Christ passed into History, and, therefore, was and is no longer Personally present to work in and through those who believe on Him by the power of His indwelling Spirit. It is now every man for himself; whoever professes Christ is on his own to do the best he or she can in imitating the Master. This is contrary to what Jesus told His followers (“I will be with you always, even unto the end of the world”), and to their testimonies:
Acts 4:27-30 MKJV
(27) For truly, against Your Holy Child Jesus, Whom You have anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the nations, and the people of Israel, were gathered together
(28) in order to do whatever Your hand and Your counsel determined before to be done.
(29) And now, Lord, behold their threatenings, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word,
(30) by stretching forth of Your hand for healing, and miracles, and wonders may be done by the Name of Your Holy Child Jesus.
Paul the apostle said it was not he that did the works, but Christ Who lived in him (1 Corinthians 15:9). That is not imitation. Paul’s faith was not in following precepts, in the manner that Wells characterizes Christian faith, and therefore, according to him, Paul missed the mark of Christ because he was not up to the task, being a man of lesser ability.
Following precepts to be like God is what Paul was doing before he knew Christ, when he persecuted the Church of God, the mystical Body of Christ. It was after Paul was turned from dead religion and living by the letter of the Law, according to his own power and interpretation, to living by the faith of the Son of God, that he had the power of God to live the Jesus life. Then, he says, “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).
To Leckey and Wells, two peas in a pod regarding ignorance of the existence of authentic faith, it is a matter of imitation and getting it right because having the model of Jesus before one to imitate. This model is supposed to inspire mankind to express an innate godliness – should any be of inferior quality in that department, tough luck.
The truth is that the life Jesus Christ lived is so far removed from anything humanly possible, that to those who begin to perceive how He lived and what He did, it is exactly the opposite of inspiring. Trying to achieve His state of godliness by following His example is demoralizing in the extreme. You will have no more success imitating Christ than you would cooking up gold if locked in a room with a stove, a pot, and a handful of straw.
Can you live without sinning? Maybe you think you are not sinning. The rich young ruler thought that he kept all the Law, as did Saul of Tarsus.
How about this, then? Can you leave everything and everyone near to you behind, gather up twelve disciples, have them leave everything and everyone behind to follow you, take them on the road and freely preach in public places, answering and healing anyone who comes to you, and providing for all those with you? Can you command the wind to desist and walk on water? Can you be misunderstood by all, even by your closest companions, and yet maintain your direction and proceed with single-mindedness in the confidence of God? Can you prevail despite deadly opposition by religious powers that do not believe your “self-appointed” preaching? Can you purposefully walk into the hornet’s nest, knowing you will be scourged and crucified, laying down your life for the very people who hate you? Can you lay it down, and then raise your own body from the dead? Can it be said of you that the greatest of prophets to ever live, whether John the Baptist or Moses, is not worthy to untie your shoe? Can no person come unto God except by you?
How are men such as Leckey and Adams so deceived about Christ that they would presume to tell you that you can be the same as He just by imitating Him? What reason could there be other than they don’t know what they are talking about, and don’t care to know? They may profess to believe in Him, but they don’t. They believe in themselves.
They know Christ on an intellectual, self-serving basis, making Him in their own image and calling that image “Jesus Christ.” What they are actually saying is: “I am equivalent to Christ. I can do what He did.” Because Christ did the works of God, they are also making themselves equivalent to God. By telling everyone else that they can be as Christ (God), they deny their hearers the salvation that comes by receiving the only begotten, superior Son of God as their Savior, and rob Him of the honor and worship that is His due. They lay an impossible burden on men to exalt themselves, yet cannot (and would not) perform that which they suggest.
The whole spirit and attitude is anti-Christ, meaning, man taking the place of Christ, Who is God.
Christ – The Power of God to All Who Believe
Wells brings up these central questions:
“Jesus called Himself the Son of God and also the Son of Man; but he laid little stress on who He was or what He was, and much upon the teachings of the kingdom…. Was Jesus God? Or had God created Him? Was he identical with God or separate from God? … By the fourth century of the Christian era we find all Christian communities so agitated and exasperated by torturous and elusive arguments about the nature of God as to be largely negligent of the simpler teachings of charity, service, and brotherhood that Jesus had inculcated.”
What Wells does not know or recognize is that the teachings of Christ are Who He is. You cannot separate Him from His teachings, and you cannot fulfill His teachings without Him living inside you. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. He did not say that about His teachings. Therefore, you cannot absorb and manifest His teachings unless you have absorbed Him. That is why He said:
“I am the living bread come down out of Heaven. If a man eats this bread, he shall live forever. Moreover the bread which I will give is My flesh given for the life of the world…. In most solemn truth I tell you… that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:51-53 WNT).
The life is in Him, not in us, or in words on a page. Imitating Christ, the point of His appearing and ministry according to those whose beliefs we are examining, is really the way of false religion. It is false because it is dependent on, and powered by, man’s efforts at understanding, love, worship, and brotherhood, rather than the love and wisdom of God that comes from having His life. If mankind was up to the job, and had it within himself to do these things, why was a Savior sent to save him? Those attributing the power of godly imitation to man, and exercising a presumed spiritual authority based on the knowledge of that power, represent the very same self-righteous spirit that crucified the Christ.
Man naturally rejects God, preferring to keep his own counsel, which is why he needs the Savior in the first place. “Do-it-yourself” religion rejects the Savior (despite what it says) and, according to God, is thereby responsible for all the bloodshed on earth:
“And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all those who had been slain on the earth” (Revelation 18:24 EMTV).
Unless you know Who Christ is by personal revelation, and He lives within you by His Spirit, you cannot serve God or mankind profitably in the things of God. Only by having His Nature and walking in His power, will one do the works of God. Those will be authentic and not imitation works. Understand that because we live in a world filled with fake faith does not mean there is not the Real. All the more, therefore, does the Real shine forth when He appears.
True believers in God know Christ is God because He enables them to forsake all that they must to walk with Him. That which was impossible for man is possible with God through Christ. Through Christ you can be saved from your sins to walk in the will of God. If you truly know anything about Him, and in earnest try to imitate Him, you will soon come to see that you are helpless. Before Christ is revealed, you think, as does Leckey, that you are as God to determine right and wrong, and that you can choose the right in your own power. That is how one can be deceived, though speaking ever so sincerely in his error and wrongness.
When I say that you must know Christ is God Almighty, I am obviously not talking about an intellectual, doctrinal knowing. I am talking about an experiential knowing. This knowing comes by faith, which is a gift, and is not something you can attain by emulation or any other means.
If you have this faith and believe – meaning you are fully dependent in all you are and do on God through the Lord Jesus Christ – you will not perish in your sins. Christ will save you. (Indeed, that you have faith is a token of His salvation already in process.) You will learn the difference between spirit and flesh, life and death, light and darkness, God’s righteousness and self-righteousness.
Until you are born again, you have only darkness within. When the true Light has begun to shine on your heart, you will know by faith who and what you are, because in the Light of Christ you will see. That is why we are sent to preach Him, the Light of all men, not the emulation of Him, or any other thing, though we establish and uphold His Law as the reflection of His true Essence and Nature.
The Law of God, which is the basis of the morals and teachings of Jesus to which Wells refers, was manifest in Christ and revealed man’s sinfulness:
“And seeing, Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord” (Luke 5:8 LITV).
As Christ manifests the perfection of God’s Law, so the Law demonstrates man’s need of Him, the Savior, to walk in it. He reveals both the problem and the solution. It is God Who opens the eyes to see, and the ears to hear. Only He can give men the senses to repent and learn to walk as they ought.
God Takes On Human Form
Leckey writes that Gethsemane (the garden where the Lord agonized over His impending crucifixion) illustrates the humanity of Christ:
“He was not God pretending to be a man; but rather a son of Abraham who was about to taste death for every man.”
Who says that God, because He took on flesh and blood when He sent the only begotten Son into the world, was pretending to be a man? He was a man. But was He only a son of Abraham? He was much more, as Jesus said to the descendants of Abraham:
“Then He put a question to them: How is it that they say that the Messiah is David’s son? In the Book of Psalms, David clearly says, ‘God said to my Master, Sit here at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet.’ David here designates the Messiah as ‘my Master’–so how can the Messiah also be his son?” (Luke 20:41-44 MSG)
The Messiah was not pretending to be a man. He bled real blood on the cross. The fact that it was the Son of God Who shed His blood makes it all the more powerful. Who will dispute that? The only pretending going on here is where men presume they have the power of Christ to exercise godliness when they do not.
God became a man, in all respects as we are, except without sin. That made Him – Jesus Christ – unique, as there never was, or has been, such a man. Only the One without sin was found worthy to open the Book of Life:
“And I wept very much, because no one was found worthy to open and to read the book, nor to look at it. And one of the elders said to me, Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals of it” (Revelation 5:4-5 MKJV).
In the days of His flesh, it was said of Jesus:
“No human has ever spoken like this man” (John 7:46 GW).
Now we know that God is an omnipotent Spirit, and not a man. That does not, however, preclude the Omnipotent Spirit, God, from becoming a man. Who can deny that God has that power, and who can prove He would not and has not exercised it? They would be calling the Bible untrue. Read the eighteenth chapter of Genesis for starters.
Leckey recalls that it was prophesied of John the Baptist by his father that John would be the prophet of the Highest, going before the Lord to prepare the way for His coming. Why Leckey brings this to our attention is not known, because he makes nothing of it, but does that mean we should overlook what is plainly being said there? Just Who is it that John introduced to Israel?
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest, for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; by which the Dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:76-79 MKJV).
Since when has any man been called the “Highest”? Who is the Highest if not God Almighty? Who is more exalted than He? And Who but God can save us from our sins? The Jews knew the answer, having been taught of God:
“The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man who speaks such blasphemy! God is the only One Who can forgive sins!’” (Luke 5:21 GNB)
Furthermore, Who is the Dayspring from on high that brings light to those in darkness, if not God?
“This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5 KJV).
We know that no ordinary human being can be the Light that lightens every person in the world:
John 1:6-10 BBE
(6) There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
(7) He came for witness, to give witness about the Light, so that all men might have faith through Him.
(8) He himself was not the Light: he was sent to give witness about the Light.
(9) The true Light, which gives light to every man, was then coming into the world.
(10) He was in the world, the world which came into being through Him, but the world had no knowledge of Him.
In other words, God, Who is light, became flesh, a human being called Jesus Christ. John calls Christ the Light. He also says this about Him:
“But if we walk in the Light [Christ], as He [God] is in the Light [Christ], we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His [God’s] Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 MKJV).
Jesus Christ is God’s Way to bring Light and Life to mankind, to make man in His image. Like begets like. Only God can beget children of God. That is why He became a man, to build a habitation for man in Himself, and Himself in man. He identified with man and thereby provided the way for mankind to be born from above and identify with Him.
Christ Exposes Man’s Polluted Doctrine
Leckey is right to say that Jesus is the Son of God but not God the Son. At least He is not the latter as spoken of by trinitarians, who use that description to designate Him as another being, separate from God. Jesus is the Son of God because God conceived Himself in human form, His Essence localized in time and space in a flesh and blood body, the same as any man, while He, the Father of spirits, reigned over all realms, as always. Christ is not God the Son because there is still only one God, though He directly and independently manifested Himself as a human being in our dimension.
In the same manner there is the Spirit of God, Who is also called the Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11 and Romans 8:9), but there is no God the Spirit or Christ the Spirit. If that were so, there would actually be four gods in one instead of three in one, a “Quadrinity.” But the whole notion of multiple gods is confusion and rubbish.
How can God be manifest in more than one realm? The same way He can conceive Himself in a virgin without a man – through the power of His Spirit. His rulership and presence pervades all realms, visible and invisible. To deny the expression of His power is to deny that God is actively engaged and is ruling over all things in our world.
Through a virgin giving birth, God entered our sphere of existence as one of us. Though He was God (Spirit), He lived a life as the Son of Man (flesh and blood) in submission to the will of the Father (Spirit).
That’s why Jesus prayed to God, and spoke of Him as the Father. He was confined to a body and the weaknesses to which all men are prone, being flesh and blood, and was dependent on God to overcome them, just as we are. Being God in Spirit, He was able to do what no man could ever do, which is to perfectly depend on the Father in the weakness of His flesh.
For those who find the seeming contradiction of God being Father and Son, in Heaven and on earth simultaneously, an insurmountable one, consider some of the contradictions of your own position, which demonstrate the weakness of your logical arguments against this truth. Earlier I quoted where Jesus told Philip that those who have seen Him have seen the Father.
Question: If the Son is not the Father, how then can Jesus say they have seen the Father by seeing the Son? What would be the point of seeing the Father then? Or is it that none born of God will ever see their own Father?
Jesus says that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. He also says, “He who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12 MKJV).
Question: How can He go to His Father if, as He said, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me”? Is He not already there?
Question: If, as proponents of the doctrine of the trinity claim, the Son is co-equal with the Father, how is it Jesus says, “The Words that I speak to you I do not speak of Myself, but the Father Who dwells in Me, He does the works.” Or how is it He says, “My Father is greater than I” (14:28)?
You may ask some of these questions of us because these statements seem to indicate more than one Being, and therefore contradict what we say, but consider that they also contradict what you say. So, then, how can you be so sure of your position?
This we say, that we know the Father because we know the Son, and we know the Son because we know the Father, and we know that He is One. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one Lord.”
Is it important to us that you understand this truth? No. It is important to us that the Lord is glorified in the Son, Whom we are.
In the laying down of His will as a human being, Jesus paved the way for us to do the same – to lay down our lives in Him, as is desirable and needful for our salvation. We have not been able to do this on our own, hampered by sin and prisoners of our own selfishness and carnality, until God (Christ) came into our realm and we overcame through Him. In Christ the commandments and promises of God meet together – we fulfill the Law of God, overcoming sin and the flesh, and God fulfills His destiny in us. Glory Hallelujah!
His glorious destiny is:
“And the seventh angel trumpeted. And there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world became our Lord’s, even of His Christ; and He shall reign to the ages of the ages” (Revelation 11:15 LITV).
God will have all men to know and to serve Him, being freed from the corruption of sin that brings death, in order to walk in His righteousness that is life. “He shall reign,” not “They,” because there are not two Lords, but one Lord God, Whose Kingdom will fill the earth. Our Lord reigns because His Christ overcame sin, not for Himself, but for us and in us. When this victory becomes ours by His faith and our obedience in that faith, then do we experience the kingdoms of the world becoming God’s through His Christ. Praise God! What He has done in one, He will do in all.
The Author’s Work Is His Life
A good point Leckey brings up is that Jesus is not mentioned in the list of men and women of faith in Hebrews chapter 11. Surely as our “perfect model” He should top the list of inspirational testimonies. But He is not there. Why? The answer is because Jesus is not our model of faith; He is the Author and Perfecter of it. The One Who gives us faith and perfects us in it is much more than an example or model. Leckey defers to Barnes’ Bible commentary’s explanation of this verse, which is wrong:
“The meaning [Author and Perfecter of our faith] is, he is the first and the last as an example of faith or of confidence in God – occupying in this, as in all other things, the pre-eminence, and being the most complete model that can be placed before us.”
Multitudes of religious presenting Jesus Christ as a role model, or claiming that they follow Him as such, are not living up to His example, are they? Quite the opposite. Millions claim to be following His example, and where is it getting them and this world? Strife, confusion, hypocrisy, disease, catastrophes, apathy, rebellion, favor shown to destroyers, persecution of peacemakers, rampant greed and lust concealed by false piety, the list goes on and on, and it can all be laid at the feet of those who tell others they should be following the example of Jesus.
No, Jesus Christ did not come to give us the perfect example to follow and to lay this burden on others. He said, “Follow Me,” not, “Follow My example.” He said to His apostles, “Feed My sheep,” not, “Tell them to figure it out with the knowledge you give them, so that they can do it themselves.” With what are His sheep fed? With Him.
To follow Christ is to have a relationship with the living God, led by His Presence in which He conceives, by His Spirit, a new nature in a human being that grows up into His likeness. Following a role model is man leading himself in his conception of God, wherein every person does that which is right in his or her own eyes. Such who do this are ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the Truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth.
Leckey calls his man-made model “Jesus Christ,” but it is not the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a dead man made in his own image. There comes a time when all who follow this way will hear differently from the One they presume to copy:
“You have done all this, and I have said nothing, so you thought that I am like you. But now I reprimand you and make the matter plain to you” (Psalms 50:21 GNB).
The Author’s Work Is Our Life
“The phrase ‘the beginner of faith,’ or the leader on of faith, would express the idea. He is at the head of all those who have furnished an example of confidence in God, for he was himself the most illustrious instance of it. The expression, then, does not mean properly that he produces faith in us, or that we believe because he causes us to believe – whatever may be the truth about that – but that he stands at the head as the most eminent example that can be referred to on the subject of faith.”
If Barnes cannot state the truth about these things, why does he bother wasting everyone’s time with his commentary? But we know the truth and speak it without apology; nothing less will do. The “beginner of faith” is not a matter of Christ being an eminent example, but of being preeminent as the Initiator of faith, the One Who calls and chooses us, causing us to will and to do of His good pleasure:
“You have not chosen Me, but I chose you out and planted you, that you should go and should bear fruit, and your fruit remain, that whatever you should ask the Father in My Name, He may give you” (John 15:16 LITV).
If you profess to believe but do not experience these things you have not yet come into His faith.
Without Jesus Christ no one has the faith that results in the right doing of God:
“But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets; even the righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ, toward all and upon all those who believe” (Romans 3:21-22 MKJV).
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the Law: for by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified” (Galatians 2:16 KJV).
Barnes is wrong to say “the beginner of faith” does not mean that Christ produces the faith of God in those who believe. That is precisely the case:
“But the Scripture shut up all under sin, so that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe” (Galatians 3:22 MKJV).
“For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8 EMTV).
“Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6 KJV).
Barnes is another man in a multitude of self-made “Christians,” not having received the gift of faith from God through Christ, but having manufactured a religious one, where knowledge, philosophy, and human belief substitute for the real thing. To him the cross of Christ is a historical event, a doctrine enshrined in a tomb, and not a living reality for the believer who also partakes in an ignominious and public death in this world by taking up his cross with Christ. Proving my point, Barnes says:
“It is difficult for us now to realize the force of the expression, ‘enduring the shame of the cross,’ as it was understood in the time of the Saviour and the apostles. The views of the world have changed….”
By denying the present applicability of the cross and reducing the understanding of it to a carnal, historical knowledge, this teaching makes the living Lord Jesus Christ inaccessible to those who would follow it. The Lord is nowhere present or needed. His exhortation to take up the cross is irrelevant, according to unbelieving “believers.”
The truth is that if we do not presently identify with Christ, forsaking this wicked world and enduring the shame of the cross, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who lose their lives will gain them. A crossless gospel, the one we are refuting here, is unreal and fosters false hopes that ultimately lead to disillusionment, disenfranchisement, disdain, cynicism and despair, with sins multiplied, and death and destruction following in tow, just as the Lord promised.
Christ Identical to God
Next up, Kenneth Leckey calls on A.P. Adams, whom he says is “especially helpful for all who seek an answer to our Lord’s searching question, ‘Who do you say the Son of Man is?’” Adams does prove helpful in this matter, not because he knows what he is talking about, but because his error serves as a backdrop for the Light and Truth that will liberate humanity from its denial of Jesus Christ as Lord and from the deceitful games played with His Person. These games lead men to the impossible task of trying to manufacture Him without His Presence.
He starts by throwing down the gauntlet and ridiculing the truth that Christ is Almighty God:
“The orthodox doctrine, that Christ the Son is absolutely God the Father;– in the language of the creeds; ‘the very unoriginated God,’ is not only absurd, self-contradictory and unscriptural, but it is confusing, misleading and discouraging to the soul seeking after God.”
If Christ the Son is not the Father, God Almighty, then the question becomes, “Just Who is He, since there is only one God Who holds the same title as Christ as the One and only Savior?”:
Isaiah 45:21-23 BBE
(21) Give the word, put forward your cause, let us have a discussion together: Who has given news of this in the past? Who made it clear in early times? did not I, the Lord? And there is no God but Me; a true God and a Savior; there is no other.
(22) Let your hearts be turned to Me, so that you may have salvation, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no other.
(23) By Myself have I taken an oath, a true word has gone from My mouth, and will not be changed, that to Me every knee will be bent, and every tongue will give honor.
There is only one God Who is our Savior and before Whom every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess. Of Jesus Christ it is also written, using the very same words, that He is the Lord and Savior, before Whose judgment seat all will appear and give worship:
“That at the Name of Jesus every knee may bow, of those in Heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue may confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11 EMTV).
If one wants another witness that Christ is the Father, One and the Same, then one need not travel far, or twist Scriptures as Leckey, Barnes, and Adams do. We can simply take God at His Word:
“For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulder; and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 MKJV).
The Son is the Father, the mighty God. Only God is “unoriginated,” which the Scriptures also say of Christ, Who, in His office as Priest after the order of Melchisedec, is:
“…without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but having been made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:3 EMTV).
Lord and Savior or Role Model? He Cannot Be Both
I continue with Adams’ remarks in red:
“If Christ was absolutely God then how is He my pattern? how is his victory any encouragement to me?”
“If Jesus Christ did not begin as low down as I am, then the fact that he made his way out of this horrible pit of corruption and death is no help to me…”
Adams’ notion is so antithetical to the truth the apostle Paul declares:
“No, but, O man, who are you who replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him Who formed it, Why have you made me this way? Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor?” (Romans 9:20-21 MKJV)
When has a creature in any reality ever transformed itself into the exactness of a pattern by its own will and power, particularly a pattern so much higher than itself? Where in Scripture is there any suggestion the Pattern is to be duplicated by the aspiring copy and not by the Pattern, Who is none other than the Creator of all?
“For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10 MKJV).
I will ask you: How is Christ, God come in the flesh and winning the victory for us, not an encouragement? Is it because you still think you can do it yourself? For those looking for Him to come and help, it is the greatest of encouragements that He would come to meet us at the place of our need:
“Lord, all my desire is before You; my sorrow is not kept secret from You. My heart goes out in pain, my strength is wasting away; as for the light of my eyes, it is gone from me…. In you, O Lord, is my hope: You will give me an answer, O Lord, my God…. I will make clear my wrongdoing, with sorrow in my heart for my sin…. Do not give me up, O Lord; O my God, be near to me. Come quickly to give me help, O Lord, my salvation” (Psalms 38:9-10,15,18,21-22 BBE).
“O God, You are my God; early will I make my search for You: my soul is dry for need of You, my flesh is wasted with desire for You, as a dry and burning land where no water is” (Psalms 63:1 BBE).
How could having a savior arrive not be an encouragement to one stranded on a desert island? Should those in a concentration camp reject the victors that liberate them? But many do not recognize their lack, or the Savior Who comes to rectify it. Quite the opposite; they are full of themselves. It was these who rejected the Savior, their God, Who said to them:
“If you were blind, answered Jesus, you would have no sin; but as a matter of fact you boast that you see. So your sin remains!” (John 9:41 WNT)
It is never written or suggested in Scripture that Christ is our pattern Whom we should (or could) copy to attain godliness. There is no such instruction from the prophets and apostles or the Lord Himself. We are told to obey Him, but not to try to copy Him. There is a world of difference between the two. When you go to work you do not copy everything your boss does – you would get fired if you tried – but you do what is required by your job description and what your boss tells you to do. The same goes for being in an army, to which being a believer in Christ is compared (2 Timothy 2:3-4).
Jesus Christ is Lord, which is much greater and different than a role model. Those chosen by Him are led as sheep are led by a shepherd. In following Him, He transforms us (those called by Him), not because we imitate Him, but because He is Lord and knows what He is doing with us as He conforms us to His image in circumstances specially tailored to our needs. Our fate is entirely in His hands, not our own. Those following a role model are sitting in the driver’s seat, directing themselves. They have nothing to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. You can be certain that unless you hear His voice and follow Him, you are not one of His sheep.
Adams is saying that flesh and blood can inherit the Kingdom of God. In fact, he is claiming to already be there, by virtue of the “fact” (it is a lie) that he is on equal terms with Christ (in his mind, a mere man). This is what these men wish to hear, that Jesus came to encourage them in their works, God using Christ to demonstrate that unregenerate man is His equal, and up to the task. This is absolutely untrue and anti-Christ. If man in the flesh is equal to Christ then he is equal to God- a spirit and attitude that has brought untold suffering to mankind. That is why it is so important for you that you know it is a lie, and for you to know the truth, Jesus Christ, Almighty God and your Savior.
God declares that He is the Potter, and man is the clay. Does clay make itself into a replica of the one who forms it? Or does the One Who forms it make of it what He wills? That is the difference between true religion and false religion, real Christians and false ones. The real and true is made by God; the false is made by man and is not real. The former hears and recognizes the Sovereign Creator, and follows Him because he has been made His willing subject, while the latter does not hear Him, but rejects Him in order to be and to make of himself what he pleases, not knowing that God is making of him a vessel of dishonor.
When the Scriptures speak of following the example of the Lord, they are addressing those who have turned from their sins, who have the faith of Christ and hear His voice. They do not exhort men who have not turned from their sins to be like God by imitation. Only those turned to Him and baptized in His Spirit can be like Him, because Christ lives within, and they have His power to choose to walk by His Spirit and not after the flesh. That choice only exists for those who have been born again, who have come alive in Christ.
For example, Peter said to those having Christ’s faith that when they suffered persecution for walking in His righteousness, they should also follow His example by taking it patiently. Both the cause of persecution and suffering of it patiently are the work of the Spirit of Christ in a man, and are not something the man can initiate or perform in his natural carnal state. Jesus Christ is God working His salvation in man, making him in God’s image (Christ). Imitation Christianity is man working in place of God to satisfy the lusts of his flesh, whatever it is his heart is set on to have or to keep. It can be very deceitful because it comes packaged in what may appear as a beautiful and shiny veneer of man’s righteousness.
Paul told believers to follow him, even as he followed Christ. Here, too, he was specifically speaking to those in Christ who have the Nature of God as their inheritance and the obligation to walk in it. It was not a matter of having a power independent of Christ to become like Him, but of having the power and ability to follow Him because He was in them, and they were part of His Body. Paul’s words are not meant for those who have not received the Spirit of God, and who are not part of His Body.
“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9 EMTV).
We see people everywhere who have not received the Spirit of Christ, yet who assume, and are taught to assume, that they have all one could hope for in this life according to the Scriptures and the promises of God. Some, as Adams and Leckey, speak of Jesus Christ as the role model, though very few of these actually try to be like Him. Most speak of “accepting” Christ, after which they are “saved,” although they profess they will not have eternal life and be without sin until after they die.
In this way they excuse themselves from taking up the cross and dying. They reject living righteously and without sin, here and now, in Christ. These are the present-day Pharisees who resist the coming of the Lord in the flesh through those who believe. Their understanding is in the natural realm, in which no person can know Christ or have the things of God. The flesh is at enmity with God, always.
Jesus said that no man knows Who the Son is except those to whom God reveals Him. Does that not tell you that Christ is not a natural man, but God Himself? Otherwise, being men, we could know Him as another man:
“For who knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11 EMTV).
There are the things of man, and there are the things of God. Jesus Christ, as God in the flesh, bridges the gap between man and God. Because of Christ, there is no need to despair that there is not a way and present help for one to live in true godliness, and there is no excuse for living otherwise for those professing His Name. The Christ that many religious preach is a fictional one, made in the image of man, existing in their own minds and spirits as rendered in blasphemous pictures seen in churches and elsewhere. This “Christ” is entirely impotent to deliver the goods, but brings the wrath of God on those who worship it.
The Whole Have No Need of the Physician
Adams argues that if Jesus Christ was God Almighty:
“…it was impossible for him to sin and he knew it, therefore his trial was no trial at all, and his triumph no encouragement to fallen man, since the circumstances of the two are in no way similar; man is the almost helpless football of the evil forces around him…. If Jesus Christ did not begin as low down as I am, then the fact that he made his way out of this horrible pit of corruption and death is no help to me….”
This is like arguing that a man on land, who has the equipment and know-how to save you as you are drowning in the ocean, is at an unfair advantage, and offers you no hope of saving yourself out of your deadly predicament. Though he has been prepared, with special training and placement, and is able to save you, you reject him because you will eventually save yourself. This is not sound thinking; it is madness. Those who speak and act the way Adams does simply do not see themselves in a deadly predicament and in need of God the Savior. That is why they reject Him as such.
Men do need a Savior, and only the One Who is holy and separate from sinners can do the job. Those in sin and death need the One Who is not – Who has the keys of hell and death. Otherwise, how can He be called their Savior? And how can the Savior be anything less than Omnipotent to save men from sin and death?
If men have the power to raise themselves from the dead by emulating Jesus Christ, there is no need of a Savior and the Scriptures are in error in declaring there is. Those who preach Christ as role model are confounded by what is written in the Scriptures they claim to believe. The overall point made in the Bible is that you are in need of salvation, and are unable to save yourself. There is no such thing as pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.
Leckey is saying he does not need to be pulled up, thank you anyway. He is already fine, equipped with his supremely inspiring role model, which happens to be just like him, another man who played the hero; now Kenneth can be the hero by bringing you the knowledge of the idol he has made, the knowledge of which will “save” you. This is what the Bible calls the work of men’s hands, which is condemned by God as something you must avoid altogether if you would see life. These are the false Christs Jesus warned against.
Here is a puzzle: How can a man claim to be so weak and powerless yet think to attain Heaven by his own efforts? God says to this man:
“For you said in your heart, I will go up to Heaven, I will make my seat higher than the stars of God; I will take my place on the mountain of the meeting-place of the gods, in the inmost parts of the north. I will go higher than the clouds; I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14 BBE).
If Leckey knew the grace of God and His power, he would not use being poor and in such a miserable condition as an excuse for his sinfulness. He would know that he could do all things by Christ Who strengthens those in whom He resides. He would not be taking the Lord’s Name in vain, which is what he does in his profession, but would have a positive confession with fruits that glorify God. It is not Christ posing as a role model that strengthens one, but His actual Presence. When He is with you, His blood cleanses you from all sin and His Spirit is a very present Help in time of trouble. This reality is but a fairy tale to the one who does the work himself.
The one following a role model is doing the work, with results commensurate with his ability; whereas the one worshiping Christ, Who lives within, has results commensurate with His power and ability. We (those in Christ) are not helpless footballs amongst evil forces. Far from it:
“The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God. With them we destroy people’s defenses, that is, their arguments and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 GW).
I didn’t come to Jesus Christ because I could save myself, but because I couldn’t. Neither did I know this on my own, but God had to set me aside and reveal my condition to me. Without revelation, none of us knows anything about what we truly are. We are in the dark and see nothing.
We all think we are so strong and capable of choosing right and doing good, because we have not been in the Light, where we could see our Lord and Standard and, in comparison, our utter corruption. When we see Him, Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, we abhor ourselves and repent in dust and ashes. We will not dare to think we could be like Him; indeed, we will fall down at His feet as dead men. (God has said that no man can see Him and live, and His every word is true.) After this great change come freedom, power and life – in Him – all in due time.
Paul the apostle said that he was the chief of sinners, because he had persecuted the Lord Jesus and killed His saints. Paul was turned when the Lord Jesus Christ met him on the road to Damascus, and he was knocked off his donkey and blinded. He called Jesus “Lord” at that same time, though he did not know His Name. Paul did not see Christ by physical sight or by his natural senses, and certainly did not view Him as his role model. The gift of faith did not come by imitation, so Paul did not proceed in this manner. He did not say, “Lord, I now see that you are a human being after which I can model myself, and this inspires me so!” On the contrary, he taught men:
“Therefore we know no one after the flesh from now on. Even though we have known Messiah after the flesh, yet now we know Him so no more. Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17 HNV).
After Paul confessed Jesus as Lord, the Lord commanded a man named Ananias to lay hands on him in order for his sight to be restored and to receive God’s Spirit. Ananias did not talk about following Jesus as a role model. You can make what you like of a role model, picking and choosing and doing as you will with it, because you are in charge; with the saints, however, Christ is there in Person, speaking and leading them as He wills!
He wasn’t remote or removed from Paul and Ananias, an image they reconstructed or conjured up, but was present, directing them and making happen what needed to happen. Only God can command like that, otherwise His Name and Title are meaningless lies. Adams and Leckey are preaching another Christ, not the One recorded in Scripture, Who is shown to be God and is no liar. In that they say their Christ is not the Almighty they speak truly. Their god is the lie, one of works (man’s doing), and not of grace (God’s doing).
“…what I want to know most, as a member of the fallen race is, not how near Christ comes to God, but how near he comes to man. I want to know, of course, if he can reach up to God, but I want to know still more if he can reach down to me; in short, I want to know if he was man, ‘a brother born for adversity,’ a child born as well as a Son given….”
No one is arguing that Jesus Christ was not fully human. He was a flesh and blood man, like every other person that has entered the world. How does the fact that He is also God prevent Him from reaching you? Coming as a man is precisely how He serves as the Mediator of all men, being resurrected from the dead and positioned “at the right hand of God” to fulfill this commission to intercede on our behalf. He is fully aware of our condition, fully able to help us, and fully desirous to do so:
Hebrews 4:14-16 EMTV
(14) Therefore having a great High Priest Who has passed through the Heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast the confession.
(15) For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but having been tempted in all respects in quite the same way as we are, yet without sin.
(16) Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus Christ reaches down, not to those alive to themselves and sin, but to those who have turned from their sins and have come by the cross to His throne of grace. God saves us who believe through Jesus Christ, Who knows our weaknesses but has overcome them and is seated on the throne of God. For now, those who do not believe, but choose to identify with the fallen Adam rather the risen One, must find out the hard way that there is no salvation to be found in the earthly man. We refute this teaching because we know Christ, God our Savior, Who has lifted us out of the realm of unbelief and sin to sit with Him on His throne in Heaven.
We learned Who Christ is just as did the blind man to whom Jesus gave sight. At first we didn’t know Who He was, but only that He opened our eyes to see God, and we believed on Him by the miracle of faith He performed in us. He told us the truth, and we believed and worshiped Him:
“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and having found him, He said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of God?’ He answered and said, ‘And who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him and it is He Who is speaking with you.’ Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ And he worshipped Him” (John 9:35-38 EMTV).
Leckey and Adams are trying to bring Christ down to their level, rather than dying to themselves and being raised to life by and in Him. Adams doesn’t really want to know if Christ can reach down and save him; he only wants to know if he can attain to Christ’s position without paying the price. That is impossible:
“In the same way, none of you can be My disciples unless you give up everything” (Luke 14:33 GW).
The Weakness of God Stronger than Men
A.P. Adams continues:
“Now in order to be like his brethren in all things he began his earth-life lower down than Adam; the latter was created a son of God, an adult human being, with a sinless nature. Christ began his life a helpless babe, Son of fallen man as well as Son of God, with a sinful nature.”
If Adam had a sinless nature, how did he sin?
“Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9 MKJV).
If Christ had a sinful nature, how did He not sin?
“For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but having been tempted in all respects in quite the same way as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 EMTV).
Leckey and Adams have things backwards. They worship the first Adam while Christ, the Last Adam, is the One worthy of worship because He is God come in the flesh. Christ did not sin because God does not have a sinful nature. That is why those born of the Last Adam do not sin; they inherit His nature. No human being has ever overcome the first Adam’s nature. Only Christ, the sinless Son of God has, and does the same in those who believe. That is why it is written that if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is alive because of righteousness (Romans 8:10). You cannot overcome sin without God in you, which is Christ.
So, on the one hand, we have the Lord Jesus Christ, Who cannot sin because He does not have a sinful nature; on the other hand, we have these two men, along with so many others, who, living in the sinful nature of the first Adam, think to have found a way to remain in it without having to take responsibility for the consequences of doing so. They have taken on the favorable status of Christ before God as if it is their natural inheritance, without paying the price of admission – their lives. They come up another way. The consequences of sin and living in the fallen man must and will continue to accrue to them, until they are turned from being their own gods.
The Sinless Perfection of God in Christ Is Our Salvation
“Some perhaps will demur to the statement that Christ had a sinful nature; but such certainly is the positive teaching of Scripture. He was ‘made sin;’ (2 Cor. V. 21) he was not a sinner, on the contrary he ‘knew no sin,’ he was holy, harmless, undefiled; how then was he made sin? By taking upon himself man’s fallen nature, in no other way could he have been made sin; and this is still further confirmed by the fact that he was ‘made of woman;’ ‘who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.’ (Job XIV. 4).”
This is double talk and confusion. If Christ lived as a man without sin then He did not have a fallen nature. You cannot have it both ways. A fallen nature is what makes one a sinner – one who commits sin. The only conclusion possible is that Christ being made sin does not mean He had a sinful nature. I can show you how this is so, from Scripture.
The sacrifices of God commanded in the Law of Moses were required to be without blemish. They were “without sin,” yet they were made sin by the act of serving as sacrifices to atone for men’s sins. These sacrifices foreshadowed the Perfect One to come, Who would be made sin (even those very words “made sin” tell you He was not of sinful nature) and, by His offering, would, once and for all, permanently remove our sin. Anything less than perfect could not make atonement for us and bring us into perfection. A sinful nature is not perfect.
Jesus Christ was made sin and cursed, not because He was flawed, but because He was not, to suffer on behalf of those who are flawed, to take away our sin and to bring us into the perfection of God that is in Him.
Was Jesus unclean, because He came from a woman, a fallen human being? No. For Him, “being made of woman” does not mean the same thing it meant when King David said:
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity. In sin my mother conceived me” (Psalms 51:5 HNV).
All mankind has received the nature of the fallen Adam by parentage. But Jesus Christ was different. Though made of a woman, He was conceived by God, Who is without sin. The greater in this case is not overtaken by the lesser, just as darkness does not overcome Light. In Christ, the Light of all men overcame the darkness, and still does. Jesus could be tempted because He was a man, but He did not sin because He was God.
Adams: “Furthermore he was ‘in all points tempted like as we,’ how could he have thus been tempted if he had not had a sinful nature?”
Being tempted does not automatically translate into committing sin or being helpless against the power of sinful flesh. If it did, where would that leave us, inhabiting these weak vessels of clay, except doomed to serve corruption? What hope would there be for us? But Paul says he kept his body under. Is he talking about human willpower? No; he is talking about God’s power. God in Christ, and Christ in him. “I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me,” he said.
Do not statements like the above reveal how empty these men are of any experience of the grace of God? What they are really saying is that God was not in Christ, and Christ is not in us who believe. They are denying His existence. “The fool has said in his heart that there is no God.”
Are those in Christ tempted, and does God deliver us? We can enthusiastically say, having personally experienced His Presence and faithfulness, “Absolutely, positively, yes!”
“No temptation has taken you but what is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation also will make a way to escape, so that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 MKJV).
“Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9 MKJV).
“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10 HNV).
The difference between those born of woman and those born of God is that we who are born again through Christ by His Spirit have the sinless Nature of God within, which keeps us from sinning and enables us to learn obedience. That is why He is called the Savior. He not only forgives us our sin, but He saves us from within by delivering us from our sinful nature, until we grow up unto the fulness of Him that is a perfect man. To what end would God have us needing continual forgiveness forever? But Christ came to put away sin, once and for all, and He has all the power of God to do so.
Adams: “He was obliged to be made like his brethren in all things; surely he would not have been like his brethren at all if he had a sinless nature.”
Christ was made exactly like us, except He was not infected with “fallen man’s disease” – sin – and not only does He have the cure, He is the cure. He manifested the Higher Nature of God in a body of flesh, a Nature that is Sin Resistant, which is why we need Him. It is by this Nature, which is Life itself, that Christ overcame death. Of Him it is written:
“But God raised Him up, loosing the throes of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24 LITV).
If it was not possible for death to hold Jesus, then not only can we say that God raised Him up, but He raised up Himself, because Jesus Christ is the life and power of God in man. Do the Scriptures say this? Yes, they do:
“Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19 MKJV).
There are those who may argue that Jesus was prophesying by the Father when speaking these words, meaning the Father says “I” in the sentence quoted. And well it could be, even as a prophet speaks by the Spirit of the Lord. However, if we take other Scriptures into the context of this question, we soon see Jesus was speaking of Himself in Oneness with the Father:
“Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came into being, I AM!” (John 8:58 MKJV)
John 3:34-36 BBE
(34) For He Whom God has sent says God’s words; and God does not give Him the Spirit by measure.
(35) The Father has love for the Son and has put all things into His hands.
(36) He who has faith in the Son has eternal life; but he who has not faith in the Son will not see life; God’s wrath is resting on him.
Yes, Father and Son are One, Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, He said all that He said, meant what He said, and His Word is fulfilled.
“…about His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, Who was marked out the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:3-4 MKJV).
There is the vessel, the flesh, and there is the Son of God in power, the Spirit. The first is perishable, a mere container; the second is imperishable, the Essence of Life. The Spirit of holiness, Who came in the flesh as the man Christ Jesus, is not a sin nature. To say such a thing is blasphemy.
Only Christ Does the Works of the Father
Speaking again of the One he does not know, Adams writes of Jesus:
“He was weak and feeble like every mortal. ‘I can of mine own self do nothing,’ says Christ; (see John V. 19, 30; VIII. 28) was ever any one weaker than that?”
When saying He could not do anything of His “own self,” Jesus was speaking of the flesh. But as I have shown, He was not in the flesh. He was in the Spirit, and He always walked by the Spirit:
“And He Who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things which please Him” (John 8:29 MKJV).
That is how Jesus did so many great works, culminating in the laying down of His life for the world, and taking it back up from the grave three days later. Would you really call that “weak and feeble”?
Adams, however, argues against giving any credit to Christ:
“No, these were the works of God; not Christ’s works at all, but the works of God, the Father. He empowered Christ; it was through God’s power alone that Christ performed his mighty works. God could empower you or I to do the same things, if he pleased, and some will have this power ultimately even to do greater things than Christ did. (See John XIV. 12).”
Yes, they were the works of God, but through His Anointed Messenger, Jesus Christ. You cannot separate the two. In the Old Testament, God is often seen and heard from in what is called His Messenger, the Angel of the Lord. For example:
Genesis 22:15-18 GW
(15) Then the Messenger of the LORD called to Abraham from Heaven a second time
(16) and said, “I am taking an oath on My Own Name, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not refused to give Me your son, your only son,
(17) I will certainly bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of their enemies’ cities.
(18) Through your descendant all the nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed Me.”
And after the Messenger of the Lord appeared to Manoah and his wife and told them of the son He would give them (Samson), Manoah exclaimed to his wife:
“We’re as good as dead! We’ve looked on God!” (Judges 13:22 MSG).
The Messenger of God speaks as God, in His Own Name (which is one), because He is God. It is God’s manner of speaking and manifesting Himself to man.
The reason Jesus attributed all His works to God, the Father, was because they were not done by the will of man, or from the flesh, His “own self,” which is what men, looking only on the exterior, see, and accredit. They do not recognize Who it is that stands before them, doing the works – the Lord their God. God was and is manifest through Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus also spoke of them as His works:
“Go and say to that fox, Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected” (Luke 13:32 EMTV).
“And Jesus said to them, Come after Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17 MKJV).
“And a leper came to Him, begging Him and kneeling down to Him, and saying to Him, If You will, You can make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I will; be clean! And He having spoken, the leprosy instantly departed from him and he was cleansed” (Mark 1:40-42 MKJV).
The apostles report the same:
“Take note, all of you, and all the people of Israel, that in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you put to death on the cross, Whom God gave back from the dead, even through Him is this man now before you completely well” (Acts 4:10 BBE).
“And His Name, through faith in His Name, has made this man strong, whom you see and have knowledge of: yes, the faith which is through Him has made him well, before you all” (Acts 3:16 BBE).
“Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?” (1 Corinthians 9:1 MKJV)
God did not simply empower Christ; He is Christ, and Christ is He. Jesus spoke in terms of His Father because He, in His form as a man, was limited in space and time just like everyone else. In this manner He represented the relationship a man should have with God, and will, because He made the way for us to have it. But it does not mean that God was constrained or confined in any way because He walked the earth in Christ, His Messenger. Though He came as a man, in a man, God was not limited to a man’s position. That is why Jesus said to one that called Him “Good Master”:
“Why do you call Me good? None is good except One, God” (Luke 18:19).
That man was looking at the Lord as these religious philosophers do, after the flesh, commending the flesh as though it is good, because they think they are good. Did not the man who said those words think he was good, saying that he kept all of God’s commandments? But Jesus was not in the flesh and therefore did not accept men’s praise of His flesh.
In this He was infinitely more than the weak, helpless person Adams depicts. He had emptied Himself and subjected Himself to weakness, taking on the form of a servant (Philippians 2:7), but by doing so He demonstrated His great power and majesty. There is not a more powerful Being than the One Who could give up all power to be crucified through weakness, and then raise His own body from the dead. That is the ultimate demonstration of power, to lay the life down and take it up again. There is nothing more powerful anywhere, at any time, ever.
The problem with sinners is not that they are weak, but that they are strong in themselves. They do not need God because they have confidence in the flesh that they themselves know the difference between good and evil. They have been eating from the Tree of Knowledge. That is why Jesus said no man can come to Him, The Tree of Life, unless drawn by God. Everyone already knows better than He does, so they will not come to Him.
You cannot identify with Christ, and in fact, you despise Him and hide your face from Him (Isaiah 53), until you are made weak and no longer trust in yourself. You must become as a little child, devoid of pride of knowledge. Not until you are humbled will you stop living by your own thoughts and ways, and start living by His. Then you will see and know Him, and will taste of His goodness and power.
That is what the cross is all about, and why there is such a critical need for it. The cross is totally alien to Adams in all of his grandstanding, philosophizing, and speculation about Christ and God. Both Adams and Leckey are full of themselves, glorying in their knowledge, at total enmity with God and Christ, and therefore, spiritual enemies of all men.
Knowing God comes by the taking up of the cross, going through the flaming sword of death that leads to the Tree of Life, not by theology, the product of eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Theology He hates, because it is presumption, the result of setting one’s heart on doing one’s own thing, to be as God, even as Eve was tempted to do, and fell, her husband following her, bringing death to all.
Jesus Christ is the Tree of Life, the Antidote to death. How can we know this? He said to take of His body and eat, and that by doing so you would have eternal life, and would be raised from the dead (John 6:54). He said:
“For My flesh truly is food, and My blood truly is drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me” (John 6:55-57 EMTV).
You do not abide in a role model. A role model does not inhabit you and give you life. Those who look for life and sustenance in another human being are invariably devastated. Only God can fulfill such a mandate to be with you wherever you are, sustaining you with His life. If you look to Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, you will find life in Him, as He is alive, and comes to those who expectantly look to Him. We testify that these words are true:
“He that believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38 EMTV).
In His days as a man, Jesus Christ was completely identified with God, at One with Him in submission of body and will, which is why He could say of Himself and His works:
“If I am not doing the works of My Father, do not have belief in Me; But if I am doing them, then have belief in the works even if you have no belief in Me; so that you may see clearly and be certain that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father” (John 10:37-38 BBE).
How could Christ be so intimately identified with the Father, as no other man ever was, that He was able to publicly and boldly make these claims and back them up as He did? Because Jesus and the Father are One. Not only was the Father in Christ, but Christ was in the Father, even from before the world began (John 17:5). Can Leckey or Adams say that of themselves? How then are they the same as Christ, as they claim? Can any person make these claims? No; but Jesus says it of Himself, and proved it, for He is the Lord our God. “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Only in Christ Are Men Born of God
Religious philosophers, because they are not in Christ and He is not in them, do not do His works, and particularly the greater ones that Jesus told His disciples they would do after He had gone to the Father. What are these greater works? What can be greater than giving sight to the blind or raising the dead back to life? There is only one thing that Jesus could not do in the days of His flesh, and that was to bring His disciples into the new birth, the life that He had from God. Only after He was glorified was God able to send His Spirit to live inside those who believed on Him, giving them the life and power of Christ. Before that, the disciples, though they believed, could not follow the Lord where He was. They were not in the same place and lacked the power to do as He did, which God could not give them until Christ had ascended.
While Christ said He was straitened (Luke 12:50), we see that it was God Himself Who was constrained until He could pour out His Spirit from on High. A role model or example was not enough. The disciples had the Living Example of God right before them in the flesh. What better opportunity to follow Christ? Peter, in great earnestness, said that, though all others would deny Him, he would follow Christ all the way to death. Who can doubt his sincerity? But Jesus told Peter, and all of His disciples, that they would be offended on His account. Jesus knew the Scriptures foretold this, because He was the Word (God) made flesh:
“Then Jesus said to them, All of you will be offended because of Me this night. For it is written, ‘I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad’” (Matthew 26:31 MKJV).
Before Christ, no one had been born of the Spirit. John the Baptist, the greatest of prophets, though filled with the Spirit of God from before his birth, declared that he needed this baptism of Christ (Matthew 3:14). No prophet or man of God, not even Moses and Elijah with all their great works of faith, had been born from above. This was only possible after the resurrection and ascension of Christ.
Why is the new birth, something not readily observed or understood by the carnal man, so much greater than the parting of the Red Sea or the raising of Lazarus from the dead – such tremendous and sensational events to our senses? Because the new birth is God in man, while these miracles are something God has done for man. As wonderful as the latter are, we do not receive the life of God in them.
That explains how the children of Israel, after witnessing all the great miracles that God, by the hand of Moses, did in their sight, did not believe and eventually went whoring after other gods. The miracles they saw didn’t have the power to change them. The new birth has that power. That was demonstrated by the change in Peter and the other disciples after they received the Spirit of God at Pentecost.
As the spiritual greatly transcends the physical, so the new birth from above is so much greater than any physical miracle done on earth. It is the means by which men are transformed by the faith of Christ to be as God, partakers of His Divine Nature in the Kingdom of Heaven.
This most miraculous of powers was given to the apostles, fulfilling the words of Christ, as they laid hands on those who believed, causing them to receive the Spirit of God.
Here is the difference between what God has done through His Body and what men such as Adams and Leckey preach: Men cannot reproduce God. They can be very religious and do many great works, but only God, by the Spirit of Christ in those who receive Him, can reproduce Himself in mankind. That is why those born of Him are called His body. They are the children of the living God, called out from the world and its worldly, carnal religious works such as that which we answer here, where the onus is placed on men to figure out God and to try to make Him happen, as if He were not already Sovereign and doing it all Himself.
Jesus Christ the Power of God
Adams: “Christ in himself was a weak, feeble man; what he did was by the power of God, just as God might empower any one to do a mighty work; thus, for instance, Paul speaks, ‘I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I but the grace of God that was with me,’ (1 Cor. XV. 10); so Christ, with equal truth, might have said the same….”
The difference between Paul and Christ is that Paul had to be turned from his sin to God – the Lord Jesus Christ (“Who are You, Lord?”), whereas Christ was God and had no sin. He was always with the Father, and the Father was always with Him. In Christ, God took on human form, and, as a human being, He learned what it meant to take on the yoke of obedience. Christ was never disobedient (in sin), but He had to learn obedience for our sakes. He yielded His body as an unblemished sacrifice to God (Hebrews 10:5-10) so that we might be reconciled to God and do the same. He never had to repent, because He had never sinned. He did not receive the grace of God so much as He was the grace of God, manifest in a human being and come to full fruition:
“And the Word became 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” (John 1:14 EMTV).
The idea that Adams and Leckey are trying to pawn off on people is that God empowers those who profess Christ as if they are marionettes on strings, which essentially absolves them of any responsibility for what they do. Not only are they absolved, but, by this notion, they are also justified, since God is in charge and, therefore, they must be doing whatever it is that He wants. They are justified and glorified in their flesh. They are free to mimic Him with impunity, not realizing they thus mock Him with punity. In seeking to save their lives, they surely lose them according to the word of the Lord:
“For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake shall save it” (Luke 9:24 EMTV).
The truth of the matter is that the power of God comes by the new nature in Christ, which is exercised by the one in whom this Nature resides. “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Corinthians 14:32). We are not marionettes. The man does it, but the power of God enables him and he must avail himself of it, much as a caterpillar, by nature, spins its cocoon to become a flutterby.
It is also not true that anybody can do the works of faith, because, as we have shown, there must be the new creation by a new birth to manifest the works of Christ. That is how Paul could say that it was the grace of God in him, the new nature from above, that was responsible for his works (1 Corinthians 5:10), and not the flesh, to which these men give credit, glorifying and trusting in their own righteousness. They fail miserably and, worse yet for them, do not know it. Light must be shone for them and for all to see. We are that light in Christ:
“For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, nor anything hidden that shall not be known” (Luke 12:2 MKJV).
“‘All things are of God’: this was as true in relation to Jesus as to any other human being. Jesus was as truly ‘God’s workmanship’ (Eph. II. 10), as any other human being…. God was his Creator, God, and Father, just as he is our Creator, God and Father.”
It is true that Jesus lived the life every believer is called to live, where all things are of God. In this, His God is our God. It is, however, also true that no man can live that life except by and through Christ, for there is no other man who is, and has been called, the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). No other man was born of a virgin. No other man was known as the Messiah, the Anointed One. No other man was qualified to call himself the Light of the world, the Living Water, or the Bread from Heaven. The Bible, in both Old and New Testaments, testifies of no other man as the Central Figure of God. By no other man were all things created (Colossians 1:16). No other man has been called the Builder of the house of God (Hebrews 3:3). No other man has been called the everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). No other man has raised his own body from the dead and ascended to Heaven. No other man has the keys to hell and death (Revelation 1:18). So, our situations are quite different, because we are dependent on God through Jesus Christ:
“Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 LITV).
Whereas He had no need of a Mediator:
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5 KJV).
Since Man Could Not Become God, God Became Man
Adams on Jesus: “He began on the same plane, and passed through the same process; ‘made perfect through suffering,’– that fallen man must pass through in order to reach perfection. So thoroughly was he human that he was under the curse (Gal. III. 13), and had to be redeemed like the rest of mankind; see Heb. IX. 11, 12. ‘But Christ being come, . . . neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.’”
We have already addressed the differences between Christ and all other human beings, but I will further expose the falsity of the claim that Jesus had to be redeemed from sin (as though He were under the curse).
According to the Law of God, men under the curse needed the sacrifices of goats and calves for atonement. Even the high priest could not enter the holy place without the blood of such sacrifices, showing that the way to the holiest was not open to any man. But Jesus Christ entered the true sanctuary in Heaven, once and for all, without the assistance of these God-ordained things, or of any other intercessor:
“He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His Own arm brought salvation to Him; and His righteousness, it upheld Him” (Isaiah 59:16 HNV).
The only One Who can bypass God’s injunctions for man, and fulfill man’s need, is God Himself. The Lord Jesus Christ entered the holy place, not for Himself, but on our accounts, all those who needed an Intercessor for our salvation and redemption:
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins. Who is the image of the invisible God, the First-born of all creation” (Colossians 1:14-15 MKJV).
Jesus Christ did not shed His blood for Himself, for there was no need to. He said the Father was always with Him, for He always did those things that pleased God (John 8:29). The Father bore witness of Him as well (Matthew 3:17 and 17:5). If God is always pleased and always there, where is the sin? If there is no sin, there is no need of sacrifice. The shedding of blood is for sin, without the shedding of which, the Scriptures say, there is no putting away of it. The blood of Christ was shed for you and for me, not for Himself:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 EMTV).
“For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14 EMTV).
He did not need to sanctify Himself, yet He partook of humanity in order to sanctify us:
“For it was fitting for Him, on account of Whom are all things and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the Author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He Who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers” (Hebrews 2:10-11 EMTV).
To put it in simple terms: We have all been dead broke, and deadbeats to boot. Only Christ was in the position, and had the money, to pay the price for us to be delivered from our debts. He alone also has the wherewith to make us able to stay debt-free forever. The reason He could deliver the goods is because He was free and clear; He owed nothing, and never had. The reason for that is He is God; all power in Heaven and on earth is His. He proved this by laying down His life and taking it up again. If you think to follow Christ as your role model, then you are saying that you also have these attributes and can do all these things yourself, or like the fellows whose works we are refuting, you really don’t care to try; you only want to be justified in doing your own thing and not suffer for it later on, as you surely will:
“Make no mistake about this: You can never make a fool out of God. Whatever you plant is what you’ll harvest” (Galatians 6:7 GW).
What about Hebrews 5:7, which Adams brings up to support his opinion that Christ needed to obtain redemption for Himself? Here is the verse:
“For Jesus during His earthly life offered up prayers and entreaties, crying aloud and weeping as He pleaded with Him Who was able to bring Him in safety out of death, and He was delivered from the terror from which He shrank” (Hebrews 5:7 WNT).
Who is saying that, because He was God, Jesus did not suffer as the Son of Man? That is the marvelous thing, that God became as one of us, and was tempted as we are, and even more. He was hated and rejected by His own people, with even His close associates and friends not believing in Him as He faced an excruciating execution, and these things were sore trials for Him. What else could He do but commit Himself to the Father of Spirits (Psalm 22 recounts His prayers and entreaties)? The Psalmist speaks of His innocence:
“They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. But the LORD has been My high tower, My God, the rock of My refuge” (Psalms 94:21-22 HNV).
The innocent don’t need redemption. Because He suffered in the flesh does not mean that Christ was guilty and needed redemption. It actually means the opposite, inasmuch as He did it on our behalf, forgiving us for what we have done to Him. He suffered the ultimate indignity on account of our depraved sinfulness, the contradiction of sinners, to bring us complete forgiveness. This goes to show that He was sinless and, through overcoming in His travails, He bought redemption for all of us:
Isaiah 53:10-11 HNV
(10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: when You shall make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
(11) He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of Himself shall My Righteous Servant justify many; and He shall bear their iniquities.
The fact that the only begotten Son of God suffered does not make God more remote; it brings Him closer in the time of need for those who believe. He did not spare His only Son in order to reconcile us when we were His enemies; how much more will He keep us after we have been made His friends through Christ, and He lives in us? Leckey and Adams have not come to this place, so they would not know these things, the meaning of the Lord’s temptations and His power to deliver.
Adams claims that the Lord Jesus Christ, if He is Deity, Divinity Incarnate, is too remote for men, who cannot relate to Him or be touched by His example. That is entirely untrue for those who know Him. Jesus Christ as Lord is very near to those who believe, who put their trust in Him and not in themselves, but is remote from those who do not believe, who trust in themselves and prefer lies to the Truth. They seek and do not find, because they do not seek with all their hearts, ever learning and never coming to knowledge of the Truth. They serve other gods. They may call on God in their day of trouble, but He does not answer because they hated true knowledge and the fear of Him, which they mocked in all their ways (Proverbs 1:26).
Christ’s Transcendent Superiority
“If Christ began even lower than Adam, and was a poor, weak man with a fallen nature, how did he come off victorious in his trial, when Adam, though he seemed to have had a better opportunity, failed so utterly?”
Adams’ answer is that each of these outcomes was God’s plan. That is a trite and unsatisfactory answer. One could say that for anything, and no one would be any wiser. But Adam’s supposition is wrong anyway. He once again has things backwards. The nature of Christ is vastly superior to that of Adam, and I can prove it (and have proved it already). It is written:
“For the Scripture says, The first man, Adam, was created a living being; but the last Adam is the Life-giving Spirit. It is not the spiritual that comes first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first Adam, made of earth, came from the earth; the second Adam came from Heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:45-47 GNB).
He came from Heaven. He did not just ascend there. Does that sound inferior to anyone? He said to Nicodemus:
“And no one has ascended up to Heaven except He Who came down from Heaven, the Son of Man Who is in Heaven” (John 3:13 MKJV).
Here are other witnesses that confirm Christ’s superiority:
Luke 2:10-14 HNV
(10) The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people.
(11) For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord.
(12) This is the sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.” [Note: Not much to look at, is it?]
(13) Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly army praising God, and saying,
(14) “Glory to God in the highest, On earth peace, good will toward men.”
“Simeon said, ‘Lord, now You will let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word. For my eyes have seen Your Salvation which You have prepared before the face of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of Your people Israel’” (Luke 2:29-32 MKJV).
It was more than God’s plan at work; it was God Himself, the Life-giving Spirit in the Person of Jesus Christ, Who was able not only to be victorious in His trials, but also to redeem Adam, his children, and all of creation throughout all the ages. It was not just a matter that Adam sinned and Christ did not, but also that Christ pulled Adam and the rest of humanity out of death. The ramifications of His victory point to not just Who He became, but Who He was from the beginning that He had such power to accomplish what He did on our behalf:
“But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One Who will get us out of it. Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God’s gift poured through one Man, Jesus Christ, will do! There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence…Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another Person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, He got us into life!” (Romans 5:14-18 MSG).
“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22 LITV).
The One Who redeems us is none other than God our Savior:
“And all flesh shall know that I the LORD am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob” (Isaiah 49:26 KJV).
But Adams uses the following words from Isaiah to reject Isaiah’s confession that Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, is God Almighty:
“Behold My Servant, Whom I uphold; My Elect, in Whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit on Him; He shall bring out judgment to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1 MKJV).
By these words Adams, speaking from his carnal mind, reasons that it was God Who chose Christ as His Elect, and not Christ Who did everything. Christ is of no account in comparison. But Isaiah, inspired by God, goes on to say:
“I am the LORD; that is My Name. I will not give My glory TO ANYONE ELSE or the praise I deserve to idols” (Isaiah 42:8 GW).
How then can Christ not be God, the Father and the Son, for surely Christ’s Name and Person is glorified? Here are but a few examples of this immutable fact:
“He [the Spirit of Truth] will glorify Me, because He will take of what is Mine and will make it known to you” (John 16:14 WNT).
“And now Father, glorify Me with Yourself with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5 MKJV).
Christ, being glorified of God as the Savior of mankind, is therefore not “another.” There is only one Savior and One God Who gets the glory. Since God does not give His glory to another, Jesus Christ must be God.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1 EMTV).
Yes, there are two entities, but it is the One God Who is glorified and worshipped. After Jesus sent Judas out to betray Him, He said:
“Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall immediately glorify Him” (John 13:31-32 MKJV).
Our Lord and God comes as promised: “And I am coming to get together all nations and tongues: and they will come and will see My glory” (Isaiah 66:18 BBE).
God’s Coming in Christ Gives Us Hope
Adams: “Christ’s final sufferings and death were those of a human being…the life Jesus laid down and took up again, according to John X. 17, 18, was not his natural, but his pre-existent, divine life.”
Since Christ’s suffering and death were those of a human being, how is it that the life He took up was not the natural one? Did He not say to Thomas, “Put out your finger, and see My hands; and put your hand here into My side: and be no longer in doubt but have belief”? (John 20:27 BBE) It was the same body He had before His death. He also said to His disciples:
“Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39 EMTV).
If Jesus Christ did not take up the natural life, there is no hope for any of us, now, or in the next realm. What is God resurrecting, if not our natural lives? I have spoken of the resurrection power of Christ, raising us up to walk in the power of God in this life, but has He not also promised to reconstitute all things (Acts 3:21)? Yes, the body is raised a spiritual body, but there needs to be the physical seed first, which is the natural. If there is no resurrection of the natural, then our faith is in vain. We know, however, that our faith is not in vain, though Adams’ faith, being man-made and false, is. He does not know or confess Jesus Christ (God) coming in the flesh (natural). That is the spirit of antiChrist. How then can he know the resurrection to life in Christ?
Once again: Though He was a human being in the natural world, Christ was no ordinary one:
“Now when the centurion who stood across from Him saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, ‘Truly this Man was the Son of God!’” (Mark 15:39 EMTV).
Jesus personally fulfilled, in essence and reality, His saying, reflecting one of His creation’s parables:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit” (John 12:24 MKJV).
By His acceptance of the world’s judgment on Him (death), God, in Christ, turned the tables on the world in order to judge and redeem it from death. The Son of God brings God’s judgment to the world, because He is also the Son of Man:
“For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son to have life within Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man” (John 5:26-27 MKJV).
All men have been sinners, and have needed to be judged (corrected). By becoming a man in this realm of corruption, and living without sin, God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, laid down His life that we unjustly took from Him, forgave us, and earned the honor and right to judge us, not unto condemnation, but unto salvation:
“For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save” (Luke 9:56 LITV).
To say that Christ did not take up His natural life is to deny the resurrection for all men, damning them to remain in their sins and death, without hope.
Adams: “Christ had no advantage over us; the same God who alone delivered him, ‘making known to him the ways of life,’ ‘saving him out of death,’ ‘holding his hand and keeping him,’ has promised to deliver the whole creation from the bondage of corruption. (Rom. 8:21).”
If Christ had no advantage, then how did He become our Savior, and why do we yet need Him? Why is the Bible about Him, culminating in His appearance, if He is not God? It really comes down to this: If you think you are the same as Jesus Christ, then you must be God. If you think He is the same as you, then your god is corrupt, of a vastly inferior nature, and we are all without hope.
Honor and Worship Belong to God Alone
Next up, Kenneth Leckey talks about the doctrine of the trinity, correctly noting that the Bible says there is one God, not three. To be sure, the trinity is an abominable doctrine, especially because presented as a noble and hallowed portrait/concept of God. It is heathen gods dressed up to play the parts, a confusing and disgusting mixture that robs God of His majesty and sanctity. Men of God never taught this. Instead of bolstering Leckey’s argument, however, correctly denouncing the trinity as false because the Scriptures declare there is only one God, destroys the notion that Christ is not God. If there is only one God, and there is, then Jesus Christ must be Him, because He has the glory, honor, and worship of God:
Revelation 5:12-14 KJV
(12) Saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”
(13) And every creature which is in Heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”
(14) And the four beasts said, “Amen.” And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him [singular] that lives for ever and ever.
Only One has all the power, honor, and glory of God, and that is God Himself, as presented, singular. The testimony of the one true God through Moses to the children of Israel was, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Did you know that those words were spoken by Christ?
1 Corinthians 10:1-4 EMTV
(1) Now I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
(2) and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
(3) and all ate the same spiritual food,
(4) and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they were drinking from that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
According to Paul the apostle, Jesus Christ was the One Who sustained the children of Israel in the wilderness. Furthermore, I can show more clearly how Paul unequivocally equated Christ with God. He wrote:
“Nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him and were destroyed by serpents” (1 Corinthians 10:9 MKJV).
Paul knew full well that the Scripture to which he referred, written approximately fifteen centuries before the time of Christ, states that the people tempted God:
“And crying out against God and against Moses, they said, Why have you taken us out of Egypt to come to our death in the waste land? For there is no bread and no water, and this poor bread is disgusting to us. Then the Lord sent poison-snakes among the people; and their bites were a cause of death to numbers of the people of Israel” (Numbers 21:5-6 BBE).
Who did they tempt? Was it God or Jesus Christ? If there are two, why are they not designated: “Here is God the Father doing this,” whereas, “Here is God the Son doing the other”? The answer is that there are not two, there is only one God, and it was against Him that they cried, tempting Him. Paul was not a trinitarian, or even a dualitarian. He was a true Israelite who knew there was only one God!
Of note is the fact that the people placed the blame on the one who stood before them in God’s stead, the man Moses, saying “Why have you…?” The Scriptures account that it was God they were blaming because He had sent Moses on His orders, and they rebelled against what Moses did in His Name. Moses and the prophets foreshadowed that God would eventually come through a Man, His Son, even according to the parable Jesus spoke:
Mark 12:1-8 EMTV
(1) “Then He began to speak to them with parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a fence around it, dug a wine vat, and built a tower. And he leased it to farmers, and went on a journey.
(2) And at harvest-time he sent a servant to the farmers, in order that he might receive his part from the fruit of the vineyard.
(3) And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
(4) Again he sent them another servant, and that one they wounded in the head with stones, and they sent him away shamefully treated.
(5) And again he sent another, and that one they killed, and so with many others, beating some and killing others.
(6) Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he even sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
(7) But those farmers said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
(8) And taking him they killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.”
So was God, in the Son of God – Christ, rejected. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11). He warned His followers to expect the same:
“It is enough for the disciple that he may be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord. If they have given the name Beelzebub to the Master of the house, how much more to those of His house!” (Matthew 10:25 BBE)
Jesus is Lord and Master. Of what house is He Master? “…the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of what is true” (1 Timothy 3:15 BBE).
Is it not called a mystery that God would enter His-story as a man?
“And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and was received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16 EMTV).
Lip Service Is Deceitful
As if one Adams writing was not enough, Leckey now begins a second, oddly entitled, “The Divinity of Christ.” The reason I say “oddly” is because it engages in a torturous and twisted reckoning of Scriptures that, through carnal logic, tries to prove the very opposite of what it says. It’s as if someone wrote an article, “The Felinity of My Cat,” in which he tried to prove his cat is really a mouse. That might be amusing in such an inconsequential matter, but there is no matter of greater consequence than Who Jesus Christ is, and Adams is certainly not trying to amuse us. He is dead serious, and seriously dead. So are many because they do not know Who Christ is and do not believe in the only Name under Heaven given among men whereby we are saved.
Many walking in death do not profess to believe. They are often better off than those who do profess, yet follow false Christs and gospels such as Adams preaches, wherein Christ is divine but He is not God, and is, therefore, no Savior. These make a mockery of God and true faith. According to Adams, God just tacked some divinity on Jesus. His reasoning is that if Christ was no different than us, and He could be given this godliness, then so can you, if you just follow His example. However, if Christ was given divinity, then how can anyone attain it? Is it not a gift, and, therefore, out of the hands of man, the recipient? While it is an easy thing for Adams to tell you to follow the example of Christ, is he doing that? Who can actually do that? Here is what Jesus said of those that propose such self-help programs:
“For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they do not desire to move them with their finger” (Matthew 23:4 EMTV).
Adams would have you assume that he has already made it, so you should listen to him because he knows what he is talking about. False preachers lead men to themselves and their knowledge, not to the Lord Jesus and submission to Him. They come as angels of Light that acknowledge His Name, having some knowledge about Him, but denying Him in truth and substance.
They have rejected Him so that they might exercise an authority in lieu of His, in order to do as they please. The idea of One Who commands them as their rightful Master is despised. “Lord” is not in their vocabulary, except as lip service. They profess Him as a role model because they have no use for Him as Lord. They submit to no one except when it benefits them. Truth does not reign, only expediency.
They want the benefits of Christ’s work, but don’t want to pay the price of admission for those benefits. They avoid the cross, which represents death to their independent sovereignty. They try to gain access to the King’s goods by coming up another way. Their end is to be bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness. They are liars and thieves, embraced and believed by the same.
This is all according to the will of God, Who sends strong delusion that those who behave in such ways should believe lies. These are the compromisers and the lukewarm, who talk but do not walk. God knows how to gather and keep them for judgment. He is working all things together for good, which we know and understand because He has turned us from doing our own thing to loving Him and keeping His commandments. He keeps those that are His, and they will not follow the voice of strangers that come in His Name.
Conclusions Contradicting the Evidence Are Not Valid
Adams uses man’s logic, the same kind that gave birth to the abominable doctrine of the trinity, to argue against Christ being God Almighty. I quote:
“The orthodox idea is that Christ the Son is identical with God the Father,– Jesus is ‘the very unoriginated God,’ the creeds say; and this absurd and utterly incomprehensible dogma they call the doctrine of Christ’s divinity…that Christ was absolutely the Deity himself-that the Son was his own Father, is not only senseless but altogether unscriptural.”
The basic flaw in this reasoning is the assumption that because Jesus is God, God must be limited to a physical body, existing in one place, at one time, and is no longer the Spirit Who fills the creation and eternity. This thinking is carnal, and presumes to intimidate you with its arrogant and haughty derision – “How could you be so stupid as to believe the Son is the Father!?” That is not a valid argument. It is a pre-formed conclusion used to interpret words and events.
Who is Adams to say that God is so limited that He cannot appear as a man? Who will tell God He cannot do this, especially when He has already done it? Why, if He appears as a man, does that mean He no longer rules in Heaven? Of God it is written:
“If He made His Spirit come back to Him, taking His breath into Himself again, all flesh would come to an end together, and man would go back to the dust” (Job 34:14-15 BBE).
His Spirit, not flesh, sustains the universe. The authors of Scriptures who recorded these words are the same who recounted several appearances of God as a man to different saints, including Abraham, Jacob (with Whom he wrestled all night!), and Joshua, all before His coming in Christ. Humanity did not disappear and collapse into dust during these manifestations, so why should it when He takes on human form to live among men, giving His life for them? Of course God was not limited to a physical body when He came as the Son of Man! The Son even said as much, “The Father is greater than I.” How does that make Christ a separate Being from the Father? On the contrary, it is in agreement with what I am telling you. God was not localized in a human body; He is much greater than that.
Many have used the words of Christ I have just quoted about the Father being greater to prove that Jesus is not God, but do they? Here is the rest of what He said:
“You have heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28 EMTV).
Jesus, as a flesh and blood man, was limited in what He could do for the disciples, but acknowledged He could do much more when He returned as the Life-Giving Spirit. This proves, rather than disproves, that He was God. What man or being can make those kinds of promises much less keep them? After the Lord went away, ascending to Heaven, He came back to them and gave them His Spirit, fulfilling the meaning of His statement that the “Father is greater than I.” They received God! Jesus Christ indwelled them, giving them the same power He had over sin. A greater thing could never happen to anyone, and is only something that God could do for them or you.
If Jesus Christ Is Not God – Who Is He?
John 12:23-28 EMTV
(23) But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.”
How is the Son of Man glorified?
(24) “Most assuredly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Jesus Christ is glorified when He bears much fruit, that is, when His life is multiplied. Then men will know and honor God, because they will know Him in Christ, having His Spirit, the Spirit of God. God will manifest Himself in vessels of earth, as He did in Christ. Do you think a person in whom the Creator makes His home will not experience a change of the most profound and substantive nature possible? Do you think that the maturation of Christ in that person will not also have a profound effect on this world, and beyond? Do you think that has not happened already? Think again.
John the Baptist said to Jesus, “I have need to be baptized by You, and You are coming to me?” But the time had not yet arrived when the Grain of Wheat had fallen into the ground and was raised up again, having overcome death to be greatly multiplied in those who believed by the receiving of His Spirit, the Spirit of God. That time followed shortly after; Christ returned as promised to deliver us from the death sentence of sin, what Paul called “this body of death” (Romans 7:24). Fruit was borne! God is glorified!
(25) “He that loves his life shall lose it, and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it for eternal life.”
Those called to be one with God are called to lay down their lives, and Christ will raise them up by His resurrection power so that they will live by Him, without corruption – as He did. This is eternal life and the fulfillment of the Law; glory to God! It is not imitation; it is Real!
(26) “And if anyone serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant shall be also. If anyone serve Me, him My Father will honor.”
Who is this Man that voluntarily went into death on behalf of those that killed Him, raised His own body at the precise time He said He would, appeared to many, coming and going through multiple dimensions at will, ascended to Heaven, lives forever, and has continuous, uninterrupted access to inform, communicate and command as many as He calls and chooses to serve Him, no matter their numbers or locale, if He is not God? If Christ is not God, just Who is He? Are not Leckey and Adams confounded?
(27) “Now My soul has been troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this reason I came to this hour.”
It’s statements like this that cause people to say Christ was not God because He wouldn’t be talking to God if He were. We’ve answered this objection already, several times, but once again people miss the whole point of what God was doing through Christ. For humanity to be made in His image, a work begun but not completed at creation, God became flesh to make the Way. He had to demonstrate how a person in true holiness and perfection would relate to God.
Adam didn’t have true holiness and perfection, even before he fell. Otherwise, he would not have chosen to follow another creature, his wife, rather than God, His Creator. No one is naturally holy and perfect, which is why the Scriptures say that God had to bring man to that state Himself. And He did! He alone has that power. It’s through receiving Him in Christ, not by imitating Him, that we share in the life and power to do what’s needed, which we couldn’t do without Him. In this way He, our Creator, makes us in His image, the Christ.
“I am the LORD, your Savior; I am the One Who created you. I am the LORD, the Creator of all things. I alone stretched out the heavens; when I made the earth, no one helped Me” (Isaiah 44:24 GNB).
(28) “Father, glorify Your Name.” Then a voice came out of Heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”
“Glorify Your Name”! The hour had come that the Son of Man should be glorified. What is the Father’s Name? What is the one Name by which men are baptized into God, receiving His Spirit? What is only Name given under Heaven whereby men must be saved?
The Lord Jesus Christ! (Acts 4:12)
“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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV).
He Who Precedes All Is God
Adams: “Jesus said, ‘I and my Father are one.’ (John X. 30). Did he mean that they were one and the same person,– one in identity? Is there any need to take such an extreme and far-fetched view as this?”
What is extreme and far-fetched about Jesus Christ and God being One in identity? Are we not showing that this is the most central and important testimony of the Scriptures? It is only far-fetched to those who know nothing about God. God is a Spirit, transcending time and space, existing in all dimensions and doing as He pleases in each. If He has declared that those whom He created on earth are gods (Psalm 82:6), why is it a problem that He comes as a man into man’s dimension? I will tell you what the problem is for those who do not know Him, yet theorize about His Nature and resist the truth: When God is no longer just a Spirit, but has entered their dimension in the flesh, He can directly address them face to face about themselves and their wicked stances, from which come their blasphemous theories, threatening the status they derive from presenting themselves as knowledgeable, even if that status exists only in their minds. It was for this cause that the religious delivered the Lord over to Pilate to be crucified:
“For he knew that it was from envious hatred that Jesus had been brought before him” (Matthew 27:18 WNT).
But He has come back multiplied, and the Truth marches on, unstoppable.
Let us once again point out here, as we have in other writings and letters, that no one is entitled to choose his views and opinions about God and, worse yet, be dogmatic about them. Only the Truth, by the Word of His lips, is acceptable, and God, Who has given us the grace to seek His Face and to know Him, has not left us on our own. We do not preach what others or we ourselves have formulated, but only what God has personally revealed to us:
“For we did not follow craftily devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather became eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16 EMTV).
“But I make known to you, brothers, the gospel preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12 EMTV).
As for Kenneth Leckey and the doctrine he promotes, I can say more about his contradiction. He quotes Adams to explain his position that Jesus was a weak, corrupt man that God made divine, in order to inspire man to follow His example and become the same. If their objective was to live godly lives, however, they would not have a problem with Christ being God in the flesh, because that is the only way man can receive God’s power to live a godly life. That is not what they are after. They are not interested in being raised out of the pit of corruption; they are quite happy where they are. They do not see their condition or their danger in it because they do not believe at all. They have never repented of their sins or known the first thing about Christ. Those who follow them are blind and end up in the ditch with them; let the chips fall where they may.
The problem for Kenneth et al. is that Christ being God makes Him rightful Lord over one’s life, with all submission and honor due to Him. For that, these preachers have no heart. Instead they try to neutralize Reality by a theory of Christ as our example, one imagined in their minds and followed as they determine, if at all, allowing them to do as they will, answerable to no one but themselves. The resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is not Who they want to see or from Whom they want to hear. Rather, for them, Jesus Christ is dead, and they fight to keep it that way, being the children of those that slew Him.
But Jesus Christ is alive and has made us one with God, by His grace and not by our own power or righteousness. The new life in Christ is God coming in the flesh, by His will and not man’s (John 1:13). Jesus said that those born of the Spirit are like the wind; men cannot tell where they come from or where they go. So how, then, can man imitate Him? Plainly he cannot. Jesus Christ is God’s means by which the two become one flesh, God (Christ) and man (His Church), so that His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven. Did not Paul say that the union of God and man becoming one flesh in Christ was a mystery (Ephesians 5:32)?
The union of Heaven and earth was made possible by the Father incarnating as the Son. The identicalness of Father and Son is in the Spirit. There is One Spirit, Who is God. The Scriptures speak of the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God interchangeably. That is because Christ is God, God is a Spirit, and there is only one of Him. He manifests Himself as He pleases to accomplish His will. What is man that he has a problem with that?
Adams: “He was the first man made in God’s image and likeness, the Pattern man of God’s finished creation. This view agrees with reason and scripture. To say that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God is nonsense; the words convey no meaning to our minds, for we cannot conceive of a son being co-existent with his father, any more than we can conceive of a round square or a straight curve.”
Here is what God says:
“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work – GOD’s Decree” (Isaiah 55:8 MSG).
“For God in His wisdom made it impossible for people to know Him by means of their own wisdom. Instead, by means of the so-called ‘foolish’ message we preach, God decided to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21 GNB).
“This is so because the corrupt nature has a hostile attitude toward God. It refuses to place itself under the authority of God’s standards because it can’t” (Romans 8:7 GW).
“Now the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14 HNV).
Jesus Christ is not the first man made in God’s likeness; that is not so. He is God made in man’s likeness (Philippians 2:7). He came to complete the process begun in Adam, the first man made in God’s image, as it is written:
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, like us: and let him have rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every living thing which goes flat on the earth. And God made man in His image, in the image of God He made him: male and female He made them” (Genesis 1:26-27 BBE).
For this reason, Adam was called the son of God (Luke 3:38). As for Jesus Christ, Adam’s Savior and the eternal, only begotten Son of God, here is what the Scriptures say of Him:
Hebrews 1:6-8 MKJV
(6) And again, when He brings in the First-born into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”
Jesus Christ preceded Adam, being much higher, with even the angels of God, which are higher than man, worshiping Him.
(7) And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”
Though men are made lower than angels (Psalm 8:5-6), here is One Whom the angels are commended to worship, and Who commands them, making them as flames of fire. How can Christ be directing the angels of Heaven? Because He is not a man made in the image of God, but God Who came in the form of man.
(8) But to the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”
To Adams this is nonsense, because God cannot talk to Himself. The problem is not with God, but with Adams, who is stuck in his earthly, carnal mind, which he exalts as if it could comprehend God, the Creator and eternal Spirit. He conveniently forgets that Jesus said that He had the glory of God from before the foundation of the world (John 17:24). Is that nonsense, too? The Bible, inspired by the Father of spirits, is a spiritual, not a carnal, book.
The Apostles Declare Jesus Christ as God
Adams: “So the apostles referred to Christ, as the Son of God, (e.g. see Acts IX. 20) and none of them has left on record a hint that they considered Christ to be ‘the very unoriginated God.’”
How deaf and blind are those confident in their carnal minds and knowledge, and how presumptuous are they to speak out of their ignorance, as though with the knowledge of God Himself! The apostles had no doubt whatsoever that Christ is very God. That they presented Him as the Son of God in no way disannuls this, for unless you know God in the Person of Christ, the Son of God, you cannot know Him as He truly is. Jesus Christ is the Way by which God is known to all men:
“All things are delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows Who the Son is except the Father, and Who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son will reveal Him” (Luke 10:22 MKJV).
The truth that Christ is God, and God is Christ, is woven into everything the apostles wrote. We have already seen some of Paul’s writings, but also consider these verses in his letters:
“Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the order of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1 BBE).
If God is our Savior, and Jesus Christ is our Savior (Philippians 3:20) and there is only one Savior, then God and Jesus Christ are One and the Same. If we are a happy people because our hope is in the Lord our God (Psalm 145:6), and Christ is our hope, then Jesus Christ is the Lord our God. That is also exactly what Paul says:
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13 KJV).
Here is another quote from his letter to Timothy, one we have already seen, but which bears a closer look:
“And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and was received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16 EMTV).
Who was manifested in the flesh? God. Who is this same One that is proclaimed to the Gentiles? Jesus Christ. This verse is talking about One God, not two, plainly the Lord Jesus Christ Who was received up in glory. Paul is proclaiming the mystery of godliness, which is not perceived or understood by the carnal religious, such as Kenneth and A.P. Adams, who do not believe in the living God their Savior.
“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10 HNV).
“To keep the Word untouched by evil, clear from all shame, till the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which at the right time He will make clear, Who is the eternal and only Ruler, King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only has life for ever, living in light to which no man may come near; Whom no man has seen or is able to see: to Whom be honor and power for ever. So be it” (1 Timothy 6:14-16 BBE).
These verses are clearly talking about Jesus Christ, yet it says no man can see Him. How can that be? He was in a flesh and blood body. But God is a Spirit, and only by revelation of the Spirit can men see Him. At the right time He will make clear, and that time is now, that He is the only Ruler, King of kings, Lord of lords, the eternal One to Whom all honor is due. Praise God, and glory in the Highest!
How can any man imitate what he has not seen? But if by faith he sees “the glory of the Lord, he is transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Amen.
Peter also taught that Jesus was God:
“Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1 EMTV).
Peter is plainly confessing that Jesus Christ is our God and Savior.
“For in this way the entrance will be supplied to you richly into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11 EMTV).
The eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the Kingdom of God. Where does anyone find there are two eternal Kingdoms of Heaven? Neither are there two Gods. There is one – Jesus Christ.
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in your knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2 EMTV).
“But continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18 GNB).
There is nothing tricky or complex about what Peter has written. The knowledge of God comes through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. To Him is the glory of God forever. As we have already heard, the glory of God is God’s alone. Where things get complex is with the theories and arguments that deny Jesus is God, thereby keeping men separate from God, and God separate from men. The proponents of this error neither receive God nor enter His Kingdom. They try to prevent those who might from doing so. They wish to keep the power to themselves and not be judged by Him. Darkness resists the Light, but does not succeed.
The apostle James also testifies of Christ being God:
James 5:7-11 EMTV
(7) Therefore be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer awaits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it, until it receives the early and late rain.
(8) You also be patient. Establish your hearts, because the coming of the Lord has drawn near.
(9) Do not murmur against one another, brothers, lest you be judged. Behold, the Judge stands before the doors!
(10) My brothers, take the prophets, who spoke in the Name of the Lord, as an example of evil-suffering and of longsuffering.
(11) Indeed we count those blessed who endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and you saw the end of the Lord–that He is compassionate and He is merciful.
James makes no difference between the One Who is coming (Christ), and the One Who spoke through the prophets and stands ready to judge the world, showing mercy to His servants – God.
Abraham, in the matter of the destruction of Sodom, said to God, Who stood before him as a man, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). There is only one Judge over all, and the fact is that He has appeared as a man more than once. The Record is thorough and consistent.
Indeed, as Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58), and it was of Him Abraham prophesied that God would fulfill the sacrifice of Isaac:
“Isaac said, ‘Father, we have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?’ ‘My son,’ Abraham answered, ‘God will provide the lamb’” (Genesis 22:7 CEV).
God also spoke of this through the prophet Zechariah, leaving no doubt it was He Who fulfilled the role of the lamb:
“And I will pour on the house of David, and on the people of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of prayers. And they shall look on Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be bitter over Him, as the bitterness over the first-born” (Zechariah 12:10 MKJV).
John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, and an apostle and brother in tribulation to all those in Christ, wrote a book about the revelation of Jesus Christ. What is the purpose or meaning of this revelation, if not to reveal God? That is what the Scriptures say:
“Because it is God Who commanded light to shine out of darkness, Who shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 EMTV).
We see in John’s writing that the revelation of Jesus Christ is the revelation of God. This is consistent with the Record of God from the beginning:
“The LORD continued to appear in Shiloh, since the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh through the Word of the LORD” (1 Samuel 3:21 GW).
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 KJV).
“And the Word became 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” (John 1:14 EMTV).
In the Revelation, John describes his encounter with the ascended Lord:
“And when I saw Him, I went down on my face at His feet as one dead. And He put His right hand on me, saying, Have no fear; I am the First and the Last and the Living one; And I was dead, and see, I am living for ever, and I have the keys of death and of hell” (Revelation 1:17-18 BBE).
John’s reaction of falling down as one dead before Christ is the same kind of reaction that others had who saw God. Ezekiel saw God on His throne in the appearance of a Man, and fell down on his face before Him. Then God commanded him to stand and hear, and the Spirit of God entered him, lifting him to his feet and causing him to hear. Daniel saw a vision of God as a glorified man, and fell to the ground in a deep sleep, losing all strength and feeling utterly corrupt. The Jews, to whom the Word of God was given, and through whom we have His Record, never doubted that these were manifestations of God Almighty. The same goes for the apostles and the revelation of Jesus Christ.
In fact, John recorded his vision and the understanding he had from God so that those who believed in Christ might know for certain on Whom they believed – God Almighty:
1 John 5:13-15, 20 MKJV
(13) I have written these things to you who believe on the Name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have everlasting life, and that you may believe on the Name of the Son of God.
(14) And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
(15) And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him….
(20) And we know that the Son of God has come, and He has given us an understanding so that we may know Him Who is true. And we are in Him Who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and the everlasting life.
In the Revelation of Christ, John declares that the One Who died and lives forever is the Lord God, the Ruler of all:
“See, He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, and those by whom He was wounded; and all the tribes of the earth will be sorrowing because of Him. Yes, so be it. I am the First and the Last, says the Lord God Who is and was and is to come, the Ruler of all” (Revelation 1:7-8 BBE).
How much more directly can it be said? Are Adams and Leckey not in darkness? John records that the Ruler of all is worshiped and praised by the rulers in Heaven, who call Him “our Lord and our God.” Is not all of this spelling it out rather clearly that Jesus Christ is God?
Revelation 4:2-11 BBE
(2) Straight away I was in the Spirit: and I saw a high seat in Heaven, and One was seated on it;
(3) And to my eyes He was like a jasper and a sardius stone: and there was an arch of light round the high seat, like an emerald.
(4) And round about the high seat were four and twenty seats: and on them I saw four and twenty rulers seated, clothed in white robes; and on their heads crowns of gold….
(6) And before the high seat there was, as it seemed, a clear sea of glass; and in the middle of the high seat, and round about it, four beasts full of eyes round about….
(8) And the four beasts… without resting day and night… say, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, Ruler of all, Who was and is and is to come.”
(9) And when the beasts give glory and honour to Him Who is seated on the high seat, to Him Who is living for ever and ever,
(10) The four and twenty rulers go down on their faces before Him Who is seated on the high seat, and give worship to Him Who is living for ever and ever, and take off their crowns before the high seat, saying,
(11) “It is right, our Lord and our God, for You to have glory and honor and power: because by You were all things made, and by Your desire they came into being.”
Some will yet protest that this is talking about “the Father,” but we know that Christ is the One “Who was and is and is to come,” so our answer is, “Yes, it is talking about the Father, because Jesus Christ is the Father.”
The last verse (4:11) is a description of Christ and His power that is also confirmed by John’s gospel:
“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3 KJV).
John sees the Lamb of God, the Savior Who takes away the sins of the world, in the midst of the throne of God, having the seven spirits (fulness) of God, worshiped by the elders, the four living creatures, and the hosts of Heaven, and described as the One who was dead, yet lives forever.
The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, has all the credentials of God because He is God, the same Who comforts His people:
“For the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne will feed them and will lead them to the fountains of living waters. And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17 MKJV).
There is only one God, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who has taken His great power and reigned, in order to fulfill His destiny in man:
Revelation 11:15-18 LITV
(15) And the seventh angel trumpeted. And there were great voices in Heaven, saying,
“The kingdoms of the world became our Lord’s, even of His Christ; and He [singular] shall reign to the ages of the ages.”
(16) And the twenty four elders sitting before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God,
(17) saying, “We thank You, Lord God Almighty, the One Who is, and Who was, and Who is coming [Jesus Christ], because You took Your great power and reigned.
(18) And the nations were full of wrath; and Your wrath came [“Hide us from the wrath of the Lamb!”], and the time of the judging of the dead, and to give the reward to Your slaves, to the prophets, and to the saints, and to the ones fearing Your Name, to the small and to the great, and to destroy those destroying the earth.”
“And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, even the Lamb. And the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they might shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, even its lamp is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:22-23 LITV).
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, bright as crystal, coming forth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb…And every curse will no longer be. And the throne of God and the Lamb will be in it; and His [not “Their”] slaves will serve Him. And they will see His [not “Their”] face; and His [singular] Name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:1-4 LITV).
Here is yet another plain spoken confession from John that Jesus the Christ is the Father and the Son, for those who can receive it:
“Who is a liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22 EMTV).
From the apostle Thomas we are supplied with a positive confession that Jesus Christ is Lord and God from when Thomas saw the Lord after His resurrection:
“And Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28 MKJV)
He knew none but God could predict His own resurrection and perform it. Thomas may have doubted, but he was not entirely ignorant.
Finally, we have Jesus Christ’s testimony that He is indeed Who Thomas said He was, for He agreed with Thomas, and we know that what He said is true, because we are among those who have been blessed to believe and to receive Him without seeing Him after the flesh:
“Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen Me you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:28-29 MKJV).
The Spirit Makes Alive; The Flesh Profits Nothing
So the Scriptures proclaim the very opposite of what Adams says, yet he, a mere man indulging his own carnal reasonings, expresses great indignation at the thought that they might. The audacity is his and he is the offender. Here is another example of his arrogant and confusing arguments:
“Perhaps someone will ask if Paul does not say that Christ was ‘equal with God’? (Phil. 2:6), if he did, that would not be saying that he was absolutely identical with God. But Paul says nothing of the kind; on the contrary he says virtually just the opposite; the clause is a mistranslation; it should read, ‘He thought it not a thing to be grasped to be on an equality with God.’”
We have already shown that the argument against Christ being God in the days of His flesh, because God is not flesh and therefore He was not “identical,” is bogus. God is not a flame of fire in a bush, yet He appeared to Moses that way. Abraham saw Him in the form of a man, yet Abraham knew that God was much more than a man. The physical is not what it is all about:
“It is the Spirit Who makes alive; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63 EMTV).
Jesus was the expression of God in the flesh, the One and Same Spirit. After His ascension He was identical in all respects, because He came out from God, and returned to Him:
“I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father” (John 16:28 KJV).
God had become a man, but He always remained a Spirit. This is why we do not know Christ after the flesh. We know Him as the Last Adam, the life-giving Spirit.
Here is what the Scripture that Adams cites says, in truth, about Christ:
“Who, being in the form of God [“the Word was God”], thought it not robbery to be equal with God [did not take advantage of His position]: But made Himself of no reputation [emptied Himself of His glory and power], and took upon Him the form of a servant [one serving rather than being served], and was made in the likeness of men [in all respects a man submitting to the will of God]” (Philippians 2:6-7 KJV).
And then what happened?
“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also has 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” (Philippians 2:8-11 KJV).
If Christ is not God, then He would not have people bowing to Him and confessing Him as Lord. No loyal servant of God would ever allow such a thing:
“And I, John, am the one hearing and seeing these things. And when I heard and when I saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel showing to me these things. Then he said to me, ‘See that you do not! For I am your fellow servant, and I am of your brothers the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God‘” (Revelation 22:8-9 EMTV).
If, as Adams claims, we are all as Jesus, able in our own power to attain to His stature, then we too should receive worship. Peter, as a prime disciple and chief apostle, however, did not understand it this way, as demonstrated when sent to bring salvation in Christ to the gentiles:
“And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up! I also am a man myself”
(Acts 10:25-26 MKJV).
One who is just a man does not receive the worship that only belongs to God.
Another Proof: You Can Abide in God, but Not in a Man
But Adams denies the truth of Christ’s nature because he would rather act and behave as God himself, and, like God, he does not give his glory to another, namely Christ, Who actually is God:
“Jesus was made a ‘partaker of flesh and blood,’ (Heb. II. 14) i.e. of human nature; in this article I want to show how believers are made ‘partakers of the divine nature.’ (2 Pet. I. 4). Every Christian understands that we must deny self, forsake all, and follow Jesus in his sufferings here, if we would share in his glory by and by.”
I thank God Jesus was made a “partaker of flesh and blood,” because that is the only way we are made partakers of His divinity (it is His, not ours). We receive God and enter into His work by believing on Christ (living by Him, His Word and will through His faith and Spirit) Whom God has sent (John 6:29). We do not enter life by following Him as a role model in our own understanding. Following someone as a role model means you are on the same level of comprehension, power, and abilities to perform as the role model. No person in this world has ever had, or will ever have, the understanding, holiness, and sanctified power of God to do what Jesus Christ did, except that person is born of Him, baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Jesus Christ.
The idea never crossed Jesus’ mind that we could imitate our way to divinity. He knows what we are made of. He did not say, “Imitate Me”; He said:
“Abide in Me, and I in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit on its own, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4 EMTV).
Those who imitate Jesus aren’t abiding in Him. They aren’t following Him in His sufferings, despite their proclamations to the contrary. They aren’t following Him at all, and when it gets down to it, they aren’t even trying to. Rather, they presumptuously pose as vines, seeking their own branches.
Adams and Leckey aren’t trying to; they only talk about doing so in vague, general terms. The sufferings they experience are their own, largely brought on themselves by the taking of the Lord’s Name, the Name of God, in vain. They claim to be His, but have nothing to do with Him.
They are living in a Don Quixote reality, a world of their own making, with themselves as the heroes of their fantasies, depending on their corrupt senses rather than God through Jesus Christ. They misinterpret all that they see and handle, destroying themselves in their chosen delusions. (Karl Marx was right; religion is the opiate of the masses, only he was wrong to conclude that, because men invented their own versions of God and make-believe ways of relating to Him for selfish gain, there is no God. Marx was in unbelief, and selfish too. At least, to his credit and to Adams’ and Leckey’s shame, Marx didn’t presume to represent Jesus Christ in any way, while being ignorant of Him.)
While Leckey and Adams are not called and chosen, those who are have received the grace of God and His faith to endure and suffer with Him:
“Now you are those who have remained with Me in My trials” (Luke 22:28 EMTV).
Adams, in the manner of all false Christianity, teaches men to presume an association with Christ by their own wills, intentions, and declarations, rather than the reality of following Him through the obedience of faith and introduction of the cross into the life of His chosen ones, the cross being the means of identifying and suffering with Him. Adams cannot teach what he does not have. He is there to snare the simple and the disingenuous. He, along with so many others, lead men into the false assumption that they will enter the Kingdom of Heaven by what they say and not by what they do, because they themselves do not know the Truth and do it.
Adams: “Whatever he has been, is, or may be, they must be, are, and shall be; and oh, how near this great truth brings Christ to the believer!”
This is the great pretension I am talking about; it is a lie that Jesus Christ comes by affirmation or the recital of certain beliefs or facts about Him. Who are men to think they can conjure up God by the command of knowledge? This is the fruit of those eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Jesus is LORD, but that means nothing to self-confident fools. They are in charge and will not hear otherwise.
The exercise of carnal knowledge is not of faith. In fact, faith rejects it:
“But the righteousness of faith says thus, Do not say in your heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down) or, Who shall descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring up Christ from the dead)” (Romans 10:6-7 EMTV).
True faith confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord:
“What it says is this: God’s message is near you, on your lips and in your heart—that is, the message of faith that we preach. If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from death, you will be saved” (Romans 10:8-9 GNB).
You Must Die to Become Divine
As is now abundantly clear to those whose eyes are opened, things do not work the way Leckey and Adams think or propose they do. Are we just talking about these two men? No. This covers the multitudes of false religious teachers that the Lord and Paul the apostle promised would come, with diverse false teachings (containing elements of truth), some sounding like this:
“He is our elder brother, sharing with us and we with him in all the experiences of fallen man; and still mutually sharing in all the exaltation and glory of ‘the perfect man’ (Eph. IV. 13). Thus the divine Jesus imparts his divinity to the elect; the promised ‘Seed’– through whom the same divinity shall be transmitted unto ‘all the families of the earth,’ until there shall be a race divine,– Godlike;– ‘and there shall be no more anything accursed.’”
Christ did not come to grovel with us in the mud. He is not with you in your sins and debaucheries, whether physical or spiritual. He is not with you in your unbelief, backslidings, worldliness, and intellectual religious pretensions. He is not carrying you, a single set of footprints in the sand, when you follow after images and idols. He is not in your churches, the work of men’s hands, which are not His doing. He calls to all those who hear His voice:
“For which cause, Come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and let no unclean thing come near you; and I will take you for Myself, And will be a Father to you; and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord, the Ruler of all” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18 BBE).
Those expecting to share in Christ’s glory because they think He is partaking with them in their fallen nature have things backwards and are in for a rude awakening. We are not brought into life by living and glorying in the flesh (that is not what these men say they are doing, but it is what they are doing). You need to repent, and do it His way. Here is how it works:
“This is a sure thing: If we die with Him, we’ll live with Him; If we stick it out with Him, we’ll rule with Him; If we turn our backs on Him, he’ll turn His back on us” (2 Timothy 2:11-12 MSG).
It is by our taking up of the cross and dying, and not by experiencing the flesh, that identification with Christ comes, and the glory of God that follows:
“A good name is better than oil of great price, and the day of death than the day of birth” (Ecclesiastes 7:1 BBE).
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His faithful ones” (Psalms 116:15 GW).
“I have been put to death on the cross with Christ; still I am living; no longer I, but Christ is living in me; and that life which I now am living in the flesh I am living by faith, the faith of the Son of God, who in love for me, gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20 BBE).
Adams tries to transfer divinity, the glory of God, to flesh and blood, but the Scriptures declare otherwise:
“And I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood is not able to inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Corinthians 15:50 LITV).
Men are not the Seed; Jesus Christ is the Seed. Adams, contrary to the Spirit of Christ, thinks to rob God and take His glory, but the glory is in Him alone:
“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises spoken. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed, Who is Christ’” (Galatians 3:16 EMTV).
Yes, we are the Seed of God in Christ, but we came into Him legitimately, by His doing, and not through doctrine or presumption.
Here is who God is near:
“The LORD is near to those whose hearts are humble. He saves those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalms 34:18 GW).
Jesus Christ – Foundation Stone, Not Hero
Kenneth concludes his article by saying that the purpose of it is:
“That we might all better appreciate the courage and faith of the Nazarene and consequently, ‘run the race we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus our leader and example in the Faith.’”
This is making a hero out of Jesus, just as the Muslims do with Muhammad. Kenneth has stripped the Lord Jesus Christ of His Deity, to make himself, a sinner, the equal of God. This is precisely what Muhammad did, declaring “God has no Son” and claiming the position of last prophet for himself, in other words, giving himself the last word. That is the essence of the flesh, its great arrogance and enmity with God. Kenneth is a Muslim in spirit, and is in the company of all usurpers and deniers, haters of the Lord and enemies of all men.
Making a hero out of Jesus is not doing Him, or yourself, any honor or favors. You do it not for Him, but for yourself. You elevate the flesh and bow down to it, making it lord, an idol. This is the worship of man. This is what Baal of old is all about; the carnal man as “lord.” Leckey is promoting Baal, not Christ. He uses the Name of the Lord and the Scriptures to do so, deceiving the simple. He is not alone in this. The world is overrun with Baal worship and false religion, doing violence against the truth, just as in the days of Noah, when the holy was mixed with the unholy and everything was rendered unfit. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” It all had to go, and so it is today, with the promise that this time the cleansing will come by fire:
2 Peter 3:10-13 EMTV
(10) But the Day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements, burning with heat, shall be dissolved, both the earth and the works that are in it shall be burned up.
(11) Therefore, seeing that all these things shall be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
(12) looking for and hastening the coming of the Day of God, because of which the heavens, being set of fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements, burning with heat, shall melt?
(13) But according to His promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Leckey writes that he wishes to alert his readers to the impending judgments of God, and the time “fast approaching” when the “kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and He [not “They”] shall reign forever and ever.” That Day is here, now, as we refute, by the Truth – the Lord Jesus Christ Who has sent us to do so – all presumption and error.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 EMTV
(10) According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise architect I have laid the foundation, but another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
(11) For no other foundation can anyone lay, other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
(12) Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
(13) each one’s work shall be made manifest; for the Day shall reveal it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall test each one’s work, as to what sort it is.
(14) If anyone’s work which he has built remains, he shall receive a reward.
(15) If anyone’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, but so as through fire.
“Who has worked and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last, I am He” (Isaiah 41:4 HNV).
Amen, the Lord Jesus Christ reigns omnipotent.
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The Right Way vs. Any Way
Is a man a heretic because he believes there is only one God, the Father, manifest in the flesh through His Son, Jesus Christ, the Spirit of Truth? Seth McBee thinks so. He justifies Calvin's part in the persecution and murder of Servetus on these grounds. The wonderful thing is that today, instead of religious butchers having their way and burning those they call heretics, the Word of God has come to burn them. It is the Day of His vengeance!