Jesus’ Favorite Creed

Do you have a favorite creed? Maybe you like the Nicene Creed best of all and recite it every Sunday in church. Or do you prefer the Apostles’ Creed? Lots of Christians like this one and it is easily one of the all time top creeds. And who could ignore the Athanasian Creed? Wow! It’s such an impresive creed with some serious heft and real teeth. You want to be saved? You better start thinking about God like Athanasius decreed or all is lost for you! That may be too bad for some folks but according to the Athanasian Creed it’s just the way things are. Perhaps the disciples of Athanasius should properly be called Athanasians instead of Christians! After all, if the words of Athanasius can decide your salvation they might be more important than the words of Jesus.

Which Creed Does Jesus Like Best?

It turns out that Jesus had a favorite creed of His own! It was pretty straightforward really. “Hear O Israel, the LORD your God is one LORD!” (Deuteronomy 6:4) This is the ancient Jewish Shema and it was deeply upsetting to proponents of the trinity who preferred, “The Lord your God is Three and One”. In spite of all the church councils over the centuries no one has quite figured out a way to get rid of that pesky old Shema once and for all. Notwithstanding the decisions of church councils and human governments throughout history Jesus was (and is) committed to the truth of the Shema.

Jesus’ Personal Creed Was Banned

Like a lot of things Jesus said, His favorite creed caused some serious controversy. In fact, Jesus’ personal creed was eventually outlawed by the Justinian Codex  or Corpus Juris Civilis  (Body of Civil Law) in 529 AD because it seemed too controversial and too Jewish. Unfortunately Jesus’ creed also implied criticism of the Trinity… so it had to be banned under penalty of death. Strangely enough, Christ’s adversaries on this issue claimed to be His disciples! The prohibition against the Shema was written into Roman law during the reign of Justinian I overruling the clear will of the Savior.  We say enforcing a faith (or creed) at the point of a sword isn’t God’s way at all and as Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them.”

PS: I suppose Justinian’s prohibition against the Shema made a lot of sense to the emperor and to the trinitarian bishops who ruled the state church. It doesn’t make much sense to the rest of us though. Now that you know this interesting bit of history why not share it with your friends? They should know about it too. Thanks and God Bless.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

The LORD Said Unto My Lord…

Has Psalm 110 Been Hacked?

Psalm 110 is a familiar but poorly understood scripture about the coming Messiah, and  Trinitarian commentators have had a field day with its meaning. Jesus Himself quoted it to confound and silence His opponents. (Luke 20:42-44)  Here’s how it reads in our English Bibles, “The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”  In Hebrew it reads “YHWH said to Adawn…”  translated “Adonai said to my Adoni….” For some reason or another English translators have been reluctant to simply show us these original Hebrew words.  Our English translations replace YHWH and Adonai with “LORD” and replace Adawn and Adoni with “Lord”. This might have pleased them but it’s a little confusing and doesn’t really give the reader a good idea of what is going on in this verse. Let’s take a minute and sort it out.

Adonai is Used Exclusively for God the Father

The conversation in Psalm 110 is between two distinct beings. One Being is God the Father and the other is His Christ. One Being is divine and the other is human. There is no question or debate that YHWH applies exclusively to God the Father. Likewise Adonai is used exclusively for God the Father. So far so good.

Adoni is Used for Human Superiors

There is another word, however, that describes human lords and superiors. It is the word Adoni and it is never used to describe God Himself. Understanding the distinction between Adonai and Adoni will help you make good Biblical sense out of the phrase “The LORD said to my Lord”. This is not complicated but it is important! The man Jesus Christ is our Adoni but He is not Adonai. He is our Lord but He is not LORD. What emerges from this is a clear understanding that Jesus Christ, the Son of God is a man. He truly came in the flesh and He is one of us. He is God’s Anointed One and God’s only begotten Son, the Christ. He is our Brother and Master and Lord but He is not God.

Psalm 110 Reveals the Mystery of God and Christ

Jesus never claimed to be God but He did claim to be the Christ. Psalm 110 is the key to rightly dividing these scriptures.  “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 2:5) We don’t have to resort to the tortured logic of trinitarian philosophy to try making sense of this!  We honor and exalt Jesus as God’s unique agent on our behalf and for what He has done for us. “For God has made him both Lord and Christ”. (Acts 2:36) “For us there is only one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we are for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ…” (I Corinthians 8:6) Well there you have it! Jesus is not God, Jesus is Lord!

PS:  God surely intended for us understand his Word. This seems at odds with the work of many theologians and translators but we are convinced God will eventually have His way! If this post has helped you see things more clearly please share it with a few friends. God Bless.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

Will Jesus Find Faith on the Earth?

“When the Son of Man returns will He find faith on the earth?”  This sounds like a pretty surprising question since there are currently about 2.5 billion believers in the world. Still, Jesus posed this question to His disciples so there must be something to it. What exactly did He mean? Was He wondering if anyone would still believe in Him when He returns? Did He wonder if people would eventually lose their ability to have any faith at all? Or was He wondering if the “faith that was once delivered to the saints” would still be around?

What Was the Faith Once Delivered to the Saints?

We proclaim a simple Biblical faith in the God of Israel and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ the Messiah. This is assuredly the “faith that was once delivered to the saints.” The issue before us today is this, “Who has believed our report and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” What will believers choose to believe in the days before Jesus returns? We know there is One God and there is no other God beside Him. Jesus made it clear that this knowledge of God was the first and greatest commandment given to Israel. “Hear O Israel! The Lord your God is One Lord.” This is emphatically and exclusively true in spite of the overwhelming influence of a theological tradition that insists otherwise. Do you believe the words of Jesus that God is One, or do you prefer an opposing vision that claims God is Three and One?

Have You Found the Strait Gate?

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13) What is the strait gate and narrow way Jesus spoke of and what is the wide gate and the broad way He warned us about? Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they may know Thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” The teaching of One God and His only begotten Son qualifies as a strait gate according to Jesus.  Is traditional trinitarian theology a wide gate and not at all the one God has ordained? Many believers think the words of Jesus hold the answer. What do you think?

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

PS:  Perhaps God is leading you to a better understanding of Himself and His beloved Son. We sure hope so!  If these thoughts help you see Him more clearly why not share this post with a friend? That way God can bless both of you.

Is the Trinity A Heresy?

Jesus’ identity and His relationship to God has gotten confusing thanks to the work of the philosopher/theologians we commonly call the “Church Fathers.” They left us a ruinous legacy of unscriptural language and ideas in the heady and high-minded nonsense they promoted. Here is something you should understand that will help you see things a little more clearly. Unbiblical teachings are essentially anti-biblical. There is nothing benign about unbiblical concepts and ideas and when you really understand this it will set you free. The Trinity is not only unbiblical… it is a heresy that does not deserve your allegiance.

The Words of Jesus Are Wonderfully Clear

Jesus declared that heaven and earth would pass away but that His words would never pass away. His words are wonderfully clear and understandable! They tell us that there is one God, the Father and that Jesus Himself is God’s only begotten Son, the Christ. This statement confirms what Jesus said was the first and greatest commandment, “Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is one Lord!”

The Obscure Vocabulary of Trinitarian Thought

The fabric of Trinitarian thought, on the other hand, is woven together with the obscure vocabulary and impossibly confusing notions of Platonic Greek philosophy. The so-called “Church Fathers” used their mastery of Platonic philosophy to create a Trinitarian vision of God that the Church ultimately swallowed hook, line and sinker. It is a great tragedy that a Platonic vision of God has replaced the clear teachings of Jesus Christ. The claim that God is One Essence in Three “Persons” stands in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus Christ who stated emphatically that God is One.

The Trinity is an Unbiblical Heresy

Look in the scriptures yourself. Can you find any support for ideas like an essence or substance of God, as if He is made of some eternal spiritual stuff? Do you see words like homouousious on the pages of God’s eternal word? Can you discover the words created for the Trinity like Triune, Co-equal Persons, Trinity, hypostasis or hypostatic union in the Bible? We can’t either. Yet these are the teachings that hold sway in the Church and these unbiblical notions have largely replaced the teachings of Jesus who once said “In vain they worship me, teaching the traditions of men” The verdict is in and the ruling is clear. The Trinity is not simply unbiblical, it is a heresy.

This is pretty direct isn’t it? Plain spoken and to the point. Our hearts don’t hunger for heady and high-minded theories written by academic theologians and scholars. We seek the gloriously plain truths of scripture. If this post has helped you please share a link to this site with a friend. We can all use a little light! Thanks and God Bless!

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

The Man Christ Jesus

If Jesus Christ Isn’t God…

“If Jesus isn’t God Himself, are you saying Jesus is just a man?” This is a thoughtful question that deserves a thoughtful answer. The Trinitarian view of God insists that Jesus is a divine “person” who has existed from all eternity. We think this rules out any chance of Him being truly human like the rest of us. (I haven’t existed from eternity and none of my friends have either, how about you?) Our mortal lives begin at birth and end at death. If Jesus was truly one of us He should have followed the same pattern… and He did! His  mortal life began with His birth in Bethlehem and ended when He was crucified on Calvary. Jesus created a gloriously new pattern of life and death when He rose from the dead, and now He invites us to share in His immortality!

Jesus Christ is Unique Among Men

Skeptics dismiss Christian belief on the grounds that, “The Bible is just a book filled with myths and stories that aren’t really true.”  Most Christians believe that although the Bible is indeed a book (in fact a whole library of books) it is much more than “just a  book”. Calling the Bible “just a book” implies that the Bible is simply one book among many and no different than all the rest. We affirm that the Bible is indeed a book, but not just a book! It is a unique book, in a class by itself and distinct from all others… and we can say the very same thing about Jesus Christ. He is a unique man, in a class by Himself and distinct from all others… but he is still thoroughly and completely a man. He was most definitely one of us but He is not “just a man”.

Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God

Jesus Christ is the only miraculously begotten Son of God. The Father called Him “My Beloved Son”. He is the Lamb of God and the Light of the World.  No other man “ever spake like this man!” Who else has raised the dead, walked on water and stilled a tempest with a spoken word? Jesus is the Bread of Life and He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We know Him as the Good Shepherd, our High Priest and the Great Physician. Jesus Christ is our Savior, Kinsman Redeemer and Judge and yes… He was a man! But fortunately for us He was not “just a man”. He is the Christ of God, the Anointed One, the Messiah and our Brother.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes