By Donald Dicks
Christology, the study of the person and work of Jesus Christ, is probably the single most important study or doctrine in theology because it affects every other Biblical doctrine, either directly or indirectly. Paul warns us in II Corinthians 11:4 that there are those who teach another Jesus, other than the One of Holy Scripture, and labels these teachers as false apostles. With these two points in mind the purpose or reason for undertaking this project may best be seen in Victor Paul Wierwille's own statement: ". . . it is the responsibility of every Christian believer to test to see whether these various doctrines originated in the right or wrong dividing of God's Word" (p.7).* More precisely, the purpose of this thesis is to analyze Victor Paul Wierwille's book Jesus Christ Is Not God in light of the Bible and historic Christian theology.
It may be offensive to some members of Mr. Wierwille's organization, The Way International, for this writer to challenge what Mr. Wierwille has taught. For instance, one of this followers spoke reverently of him as "the man of God for the; world today." However, in light of what Mr. Wierwille has said and with such a recent tragedy as People's Temple and Jonestown still fresh in our mind, it is not only our responsibility but our duty to test all teachings against the truths of the Bible.
Mr. Wierwille, in speaking of himself, says: "If my research is a wrong dividing of God's Word, then I stand before God as an unapproved workman" (p.3). After having thoroughly studied Mr. Wierwille's book Jesus Christ Is Not God, this writer must agree with Mr. Wierwille's statement and acknowledge that he does indeed stand before God as an unapproved workman. This agreement is not based upon subjective feeling but upon the uncovering of the distortion of historical facts, misrepresentation of Greek grammar, and faulty and illogical methods of Biblical interpretation used by Mr. Wierwille which all result in some truly unbiblical doctrines. It was also discovered that Mr. Wierwille does not really understand the historic Christian doctrine of the Trinity, although he spends much time attacking it. These "points of interest" are spoken of in general here, but are pointed out in detail in the following chapters.
The format for this thesis is that the first seven chapter titles correspond with those in Jesus Christ Is Not God (1975 ed.) for easy reference to Mr. Wierwille's book. Since Mr. Wierwille has designated the King James Version as an "outright forgery," though he himself uses it, all Biblical quotations made by this author are made from the New American Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.
*For easy reference, the page number of each quotation from Jesus Christ Is Not God will
immediately follow the quote. All other quotes or references will be footnoted.
This chapter begins by Mr. Wierwille asserting that ancient pagan religions include a trinity and that these pagan beliefs influenced the historic Christian doctrine of the Trinity. (It should be noted that Mr. Wierwille only asserts thus but gives no evidence of actual influence concerning the doctrine of the Trinity.) However, Alexander Hislopp, an author which Wierwille refers to, actually points out just the opposite by stating that the pagan views were distortions of the truth of the triune God which first began to be revealed in he earliest days of mankind. In speaking of these pagan views Hislopp says:
All these here existed from ancient times. While overlaid with idolatry, the recognition of a Trinity was universal in all the ancient nations of the world, proving how deep-rooted in the human race was the primeval doctrine on this subject, which comes out so distinctly in Genesis.
Hislopp also states that, "They all admitted a trinity, but did they worship THE Triune Jehovah, the King Eternal, Immortal, and Invisible?", and implies a negative answer. It should be noted also that no pagan trinity is identical to the historic Christian doctrine of the Trinity. McClintock and Strong in their Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature state that:
In examining the various heathen philosophies and mythologies, we find clear evidence of a belief in a certain sort of trinity, and yet something very different from the Trinity of the Bible.
Thus, Mr. Wierwille's attempt to draw a direct connection between pagan trinities and The Christian Trinity has failed.
Next, Mr. Wierwille points out that "the trinity was not a part of Christian dogma and formal documents of the first three centuries after Christ" (p. 12). This is true. It was not until the Council of Nicaea in 325A.D. that the Trinity became a formal Christian doctrine. This historical fact then begs the question: Why was the doctrine even formulated? To this Mr. Wierwille would respond "pagan influence." However, history tells us that the council of Nicaea, the Nicene Creed and the pronouncement of the doctrine of the Trinity were not a result of pagan influence, but were instead a response or reaction to heretical or un-Biblical views of the person and nature of Jesus Christ. Councils were called for the purpose of settling controversies and more sharply defining doctrine based on Holy Scripture. The fact that the pronouncement of the doctrine of the Trinity was not until the fourth century does not mean that the knowledge of the reality of the Trinity was not in the minds of the early Christians, nor does it deny that the building blocks for the doctrine are in the Bible. In other words, the doctrine of the Trinity is solidly based on Scripture and the councils only served to formally pronounce and clarify what had been taught for centuries. Mr. Wierwille then accuses the authors of the Didache and the early Church fathers of modifying the baptismal formula. He asserts that the original of Matthew 28:19 should read ". . . baptizing them in my name: and not ". . . baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." It must be noted that this is simply Mr. Wierwille's assertion and is founded on presuppositions and illogic. He has presupposed, offering no real proof, that the early Church fathers were influenced by pagan beliefs and, in turn, they attempted to corrupt the original text.
Mr. Wierwille's illogic is revealed when we look at his evidence for a corrupted text. First of all, he correctly dates the Didache, Irenaeus and Tertullian  in the first and second century, however, accusing them of being in error concerning Matthew 28:19. He then says that Justin Martyr, who also wrote in the second century, never quoted Matthew 28:19 as saying "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." This is proof to Mr. Wierwille that Justin "must have had earlier manuscripts than are now in existence" (p. 20). His illogic and weak reasoning appears here in that Irenaeus, Tertullian and Justin all lived in the same century and could have possibly had access to the exact same manuscripts. But to conclude as Mr. Wierwille has only shows a bias in his theology.
Secondly, he notes that Eusebius "cited Matthew 28:19 eighteen times without once using the" (i.e., the words "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost") (p. 20). Instead Eusebius used the words, ".. . in my name." To Mr. Wierwille this is evidence that the manuscripts Eusebius used "could not have used the trinitarian words" (p. 20). However, Mr. Wierwille's logic is destroyed if Eusebius can be quoted even once as having used the "trinitarian words." In a letter to the people of his diocese, Eusebius writes:
. . . as also our Lord, sending forth His disciples for the preaching, said, "Go-teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
Thus Mr. Wierwille's attempt to find support from Eusebius has failed and his logic shown to be biased. Mr. Wierwille then raises the valid question concerning the different baptismal formulas used in Scripture, i.e., Matthew 28:19 states ". . . in thename of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," whereas in the book of Acts the phrases "in the name of Jesus Christ" or "in the name of the "Lord" are used. To this A. T. Robertson, probably the greatest Green scholar of our century and listed in Mr. Wierwille's own bibliography, says,
The use of name (onoma) here is a common one in the Septuagint and the papyri for power or authority.[6 ]
This use of onoma means in the name or with the authority of one as eis enoma prophetou (Matthew 10:41) as a prophet, in the name of a prophet. In the Acts the full name of the trinity does not occur in baptism and in Matthew 28:19, but this does not show it was not used. The name of Christ is the distinctive one in Christian baptism and really involves the Father and the Spirit . . . "Luke does not give the form of words used in baptism by the Apostles, but merely states the fact that they baptized those who acknowledged Jesus as Messiah or as Lord."
Thus the problem dissolves when we understand the use of the word "name" in baptism and what was taking place as Luke wrote Acts. Again referring back to Eusebius, his Christology does not agree with Mr. Wierwille's. We shall study Mr. Wierwille's Christology in more detail later, but for now let it be noted that Eusebius spoke of Christ as,
. . . the maker of all things with the Father, the second cause of the universe next to the Father, the true and only Son of the Father, and the Lord and God and King of all created things . . . "God and the Lord who is judge of the whole earth, and executeth judgment" appearing in the shape of man, who else can he be called, if it be not lawful to call him the author of the universe, than his only pre-existing word?
From this quote we can see, and will se more clearly later, that though Mr. Wierwille attempts to support his theology by referring to Eusebius, Eusebius actually disagrees with him.
Now, we come to a point in which it can easily be seen that Mr. Wierwille distorts history in order to support his theological position. This is seen in his comments concerning the Council of Nicaea. One example follows. In speaking of those who attended the council, Mr. Wierwille says,
"The council consisted of approximately 220 bishops who were almost exclusively from the Occident" (p. 23). This is not true. Occident means west. Kenneth Scott Latourette, best known Church historian of our century, writes concerning the council, "To it came about three hundred bishops. Most of them were from e eastern part of the Empire . . . Hundreds of lesser clergy and lay folk also came"
Therefore, even though Mr. Wierwille paints the picture of a small gathering, it was actually a rather large one. Not only was it large, but most of the bishops were from the East and not from the West (Occident) as Mr. Wierwille has stated. The reason the churches in the western portion of the Empire had little representation at the Council is described by Dr. Justo Gonzalez. "In the West, Arianism had never been able to grow roots, for there was not such a great fear of Sabellianism, and the formula "one substance and three persons" had become commonplace . . ."  In other words, Arianism, which is the ancestor of Mr. Wierwille's theology, was never accepted in the West and the theological position acknowledged at the Council of Nicaea was already commonplace in western theology.
Also to Mr. Wierwille's discredit as a historian, he depicts Emperor Constantine as having sovereign theological control over the council. However, Constantine's interests were not theological but political. Constantine had worked long and hard to unite the Empire politically. "The dispute over Arius threatened the disruption of what, along with the Empire, was the strongest institution in the Mediterranean world, the Catholic Church." Mr. Wierwille would have his readers to believe that Constantine summoned the council "to legitimatize his position" and that he "used his political power to bring pressure to bear on the bishops to accept his theological position" (p. 23-24). However, in reality, Constantine was more interested in the unity of the Church than theology. Dr. Latourette describes Constantine's frame of mind.
Whether Constantine appreciated the niceties of the questions at issue is highly doubtful, for he was a layman, a warrior and administrator, not a philosopher or an expert theologian. In his letter to Alexander and Arius he said that having made "careful inquiry into the origin and foundation of these differences" he found "the cause to be of a truly insignificant character and quite unworthy of such fierce contention," and that the discussions should be "intended merely as an intellectual exercise . . . and not hastily produced in the popular assemblies, nor unadvisedly entrusted to the general ear."
Therefore, we see that Mr. Wierwille fails to accurately portray Constantine's role in the Council of Nicaea. In retrospect, he has misrepresented several historical facts. It may be argued that these are minor point or facts, however, if one colors enough individual facts, the entire picture soon becomes altered and the true picture becomes unrecognizable. In this case, the facts have been colored to favor Mr. Wierwille's theological position.
The question as to why Mr. Wierwille attacks the outcome of the Council of Nicaea must be asked. The answer is found in comparing the Arian position to Mr. Wierwille's position. Mr. Wierwille's Christology is a type of Arian Christology. In other words, Arius is a predecessor to Mr. Wierwille. Arius held that Jesus Christ was not God as does Mr. Wierwille. Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and the Jehovah's Witnesses also hold this position. However, at the Council of Nicaea that position was solidly refuted on Biblical grounds and the Church took the position that the view that Jesus Christ was not God was heretical. Arius was excommunicated. Therefore, attempting to avoid being called a heretic along with Arius and Russell, Mr. Wierwille tries to discredit the outcome of the Council of Nicaea by accusing it of being influenced by pagan beliefs.
It is interesting to note Mr. Wierwille's approach. First he attempts to discredit the doctrine of the
Trinity and then the deity of Christ. Christianity has always held to the deity of Jesus Christ, and
from this doctrine emerges the doctrine of the Trinity - not visa versa. In the following chapters,
we shall see how Mr. Wierwille attempts to discredit the deity of Christ and review his arguments.
In this chapter, Mr. Wierwille's major objection is that Jesus Christ can not be God and the Son of God simultaneously. He insists that Jesus Christ is the Son of God only and not God. His true lack of understanding the Trinity is revealed in this chapter.
To begin our analysis of this chapter, let's look at his opening paragraph. Mr. Wierwille says:
In the Bible the phrase Son of God, referring to Jesus Christ, is found 50 times. At no place is there God the Son. Without "God the Son," Jesus Christ can not be God (p.27).
Why? Because Mr. Wierwille says so. Obviously this is an absurd statement founded on nothing substantial. We shall return to Mr. Wierwille's mathematics in a few paragraphs.
Mr. Wierwille then begins to demonstrate the difference between God and the Son of God by "applying the biblical principles of interpretation" (p. 27). Mr. Wierwille explains himself this way.
For example, let's say there are two men who look alike, they could both be clergymen, also vocalists, and even periodically mistaken for one another. Yet they are two different people. Similarities are not identities. Two paintings could be similar in every respect, yet they are not the self same . Likewise, counterfeit money is not real money, no matter how close the similarity.
Jesus Christ is similar to God in many aspects, but Jesus Christ and God are not identical. They are not one and the same; they are not co-equal (pp. 27-28).
From this and the following three quotes it becomes apparent that Mr. Wierwille does not really understand what is meant by the statement "Jesus Christ is God," nor does he really comprehend the Trinity. He also says;
The Scriptures also make a distinction between Jesus Christ who was a man and God who is Spirit (p. 48).
John 8 points out that Jesus Christ and God are clearly two, not one (p. 49).
and, making an analogy, he says;
An isosceles triangle has two angles which contain the exact same number of degrees. Even though equal, the angles are not identical (p. 52).
It seems that to Mr. Wierwille the term "God" necessarily and strictly means "the Father." In his introductory chapter he defines God as "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (p. 5). In other words, if someone says "God," Mr. Wierwille automatically thinks "Father." Therefore, if a Christian were to say that Jesus Christ is God, to Mr. Wierwille the Christian would be saying
that Jesus Christ is the Father. However, this is not what historic Biblical Christianity teaches. What Mr. Wierwille appears to be opposing is a type of Sabellianism, which was a heresy that arose in the third century. Sabellius taught that "the Father was, as it were, the form or essence, and the Son and the Spirit His modes of self-expression."  In other words, Sabellius would say that Jesus Christ was a manifestation of the Father, or that Jesus Christ was the Father. However, this is not what Trinitarian theology teaches. Therefore, we see that Mr. Wierwille does not really understand what he is attempting to refute, i.e., Christian Trinitarian theology. This must be kept in mind when reading his book.
Actually, when the Bible speaks of God it does not always refer to the Father. Most often it does, but context must determine its meaning. John 1:1 is a case in point. The second phrase of the verse says, "the Word was with God." We know "the Word" was the pre-incarnate Christ since verse 14 says, "and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." So we know the Word (Christ) was with Someone. But then in the third verse Scripture says, ""the Word was God." Greek scholar B. F. Westcott notes from the Greek that the term God in the third phrase "describes the nature of the Word and does not identify His Person." In other words, "God" in the third phrase refers to the nature of Christ as that of Deity. Therefore, we have the term "God" being used while not in reference to the Father. Also in Acts 5:3-4, "God" is used in reference to the Holy Spirit, Who is Someone distinct from the Father. (Mr. Wierwille's attempt to identify the Holy Spirit as the Father will be dealt with in the chapter entitled "Holy Spirit.") Therefore, when the Christian says that Jesus Christ is God he is not saying that Jesus Christ is the Father. He is saying that Jesus Christ has the same nature, essence, substance and attributes as the Father. "For in Him (Christ) all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (Colossians 2:9). 
With all this in mind, we can now see how Mr. Wierwille's use of his first principle of interpretation does not apply to the Christian Trinity. Indeed, the similarities shared by the Father and the Son reveal their likeness in nature - Deity - and not their Persons.
In an attempt to demonstrate his interpretation, Mr. Wierwille asserts that Jesus Christ did not exist with the Father before the foundation of the world. His reasoning proceeds as follows: Christ "was foreknown before the foundation of the world" (1 Peter 1:20). Therefore, "God foreknew Christ; Christ was in God's foreknowledge before the foundation of the world, but Christ was manifested when he was born" (p. 28). "We, the believers, were also with God in the beginning" (p. 29), for Ephesians 1:4 says that "whom He foreknew, He also predestined."
The absurdity of this position is obvious. It is true that "we believers" were not in existence with God before the foundation of the earth, however, Mr. Wierwille completely ignores Scriptural references to Christ's pre-existence. Christ was quite active in His pre-existence with God for He was creating and sustaining life (Colossians 1:16; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:3, 10-12), sharing glory with the Father (John 17:5), being rich (2 Corinthians 8:9), and appearing to men in the Old Testament (1Corinthians 10:4). With Scriptures such as these in mind, we can see the utter foolishness of a statement such as:
Jesus Christ was with God (in His foreknowledge) before the foundation of the world. Jesus Christ did not exist. This dissimilarity along proves that God and the Son of God are not an identity (p. 30).
Mr. Wierwille then moves on to his "second principle of interpretation" which is stated as:
when there are an abundance of clear scriptures regarding an identical situation or person and only a few apparently contradicting scriptures, the many clear ones must not be subordinated or rationalized while the few are exclusively adhered to or allowed to dominate; but rather the few must fit with the many (p. 30).
Applying this principle, Mr. Wierwille notes that "Jesus Christ is directly referred to as the "Son of God" in more than 50 verses in the New Testament; he is called "God in four. (Never is he called "God the Son.")" (p. 30). With this evidence he then declares, "By sheer weight of this evidence alone, 50 to 4, the truth should be evident" (p. 30), implying, of course, that Jesus Christ can not be God. Of course he does not say this, but the implication is straightforward.
principle of interpretation to another title by which Jesus Christ is referred the "Son of Man." The "Son of Man" is used to refer to Jesus Christ at least 88 times. Using Mr. Wierwille's mathematical "logic," we compare 88 "Son of Man's" to 50 "Son of God's" and derive, "by sheer weight of this evidence," that Jesus Christ can not be the Son of God. Neither can He be the "Lamb of God," the "way, truth, and life," nor the "Savior," nor the "Shepherd and Guardian of souls," nor the "Resurrection and Life," for all of these titles are used less than 88 times to refer to Christ. How ludicrous this line of reasoning is self-evident. Mr. Wierwille can not seem to grasp the fact that Jesus Christ is both Son of God and God at the same time the same way He is Son of God, Son of Man, Lamb of God, etc., etc., all at the same time. In Matthew 16:13-16, we see Jesus asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is? Peter responds, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus had no problem with being the Son of Man and the Son of God at the same moment, why should Mr. Wierwille?
Actually Jesus had no problem being the Son of God and God at the same moment, whatsoever! After telling Satan that only God was to be worshipped in Luke 4:5-8, Jesus received worship from men (Matthew 8:2; 9:18; 15:25; 28:9) and from angels and heavenly creatures (Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 5:11-12). John 20:28 is another case in point. This is also one of the four passages mentioned by Mr. Wierwille in which Jesus Christ is referred to as God. In this passage Jesus received worship from Thomas. Thomas said to Jesus, "My Lord and my God," thus attributing to Jesus Lordship and Deity or Godhood. Mr. Wierwille attempts to deny this affirmation of Christ's Deity by calling it a hendiadys, which is a figure of speech. He says:
. . . the figure hendiadys means "one by means of two." Whenever two words are used but only one idea intended, it is the figure hendiadys. One of the two words expresses the fact and the other intensifies it to the superlative degree, thus making the statement especially emphatic . . . When Thomas exclaimed "My Lord and my God," he was observing the resurrected Christ as "my godly Lord." The word "lord" expresses the fact and the word "godly" intensifies "lord" to the superlative degree (p. 35).
Thus, Mr. Wierwille interprets "My Lord and my God" as "my godly Lord." However, this interpretation is faulty. From what Mr. Wierwille has told us concerning hendiadys, why couldn't the phrase be interpreted "my lordly God." The definition says nothing concerning the order of the words. Besides, if John wanted to use an adjective to describe "Lord," he could have used the Greek word enoeb8s which is an adjective meaning "godly." Another major
point to consider is that "my godly Lord" is an interpretation of Mr. Wierwille's and not a direct translation. A direct translation of "ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou" reads "the Lord of me and the God of me." Due to the construction of the Greek, in which mou (my) accompanies each noun, one can not derive "my godly Lord" from the phrase. Greek scholar Dr. A. T. Robertson says, "Thomas was wholly convinced and did not hesitate to address the Risen Christ as Lord and God. And Jesus accepts the words and praises Thomas for so doing."
Mr. Wierwille refers to E. W. Bullinger's book Figures of Speech Used in the Bible later in Jesus Christ Is Not God. Dr. Bullinger, in discussing hendiadys, never gives an example of similar Greek construction, nor does he list John 20:28 as a hendiadys. As a matter of fact, Dr. Bullinger lists two very interesting examples of hendiadys which contradict Mr. Wierwille's theology. He writes:
Ephesians v. 5 - "Hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" i.e., the kingdom of Christ, yes - of Christ who is truly God.
Titus ii. 13 - "Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing." Not two things but one: our hope is the glorious appearing!
The latter clause is also Hendiadys: One Person being meant, not two: the appearing of the great God, yes - even our Saviour Jesus Christ: i.e., our Divine Saviour.
"Of Christ who is truly God" and "our Divine Saviour" are truly Biblical references of Jesus Christ being God. Why does Mr. Wierwille not tell his trusting readers and followers about these hendiadys? These verses and many others oppose what Mr. Wierwille is teaching, that is, that Jesus Christ Is Not God.
Thus, we have seen how Mr. Wierwille's attempt to do away with the clear Biblical teaching of Christ's Deity in John 20:28 has failed. John 20:28 was one of the four verses which Mr. Wierwille mentions as directly referring to Jesus Christ as God; 1 Timothy 3:16 is another. Mr. Wierwille presents good scholarly evidence by paraphrasing and quoting the Companion Bible. Due to better manuscript evidence than what the King James Version translators had, the Greek word translated "God" in verse 16 in the KJV, has been shown to better be translated as "He who" or "which." However, this does not harm the doctrine of the Deity of Christ, for as we have seen there are more than just four verses which refer to Christ as God.
Hebrews 1:8 is another scripture which Mr. Wierwille attempts to disprove as a text which speaks of the Deity of Christ. He says that the term "God" "is only a formal title used here to indicate his (Christ's) power and glory" (p. 32). His basis for this conclusion is the various ways the terms "god" and "lord" are used in the Old Testament. Other than referring to God Himself they are used to refer to men, judges and husbands. However, what Mr. Wierwille refuses to do is note how the inspired New Testament author of Hebrews uses the quotes from the Old Testament, and failed to acknowledge the complete context in which the quotations are placed. He does note, however, that:
The first three chapters of Hebrews contain a discussion of Christ in the variety of roles he had and the titles he was given; for example, "the brightness of his glory" (1:3); "being made so much better than the angels" (1:4); "the Apostle and High Priest of our profession" (3:1). Every verse leading up to verse 8 in Hebrews 1 emphasizes the greatness of Christ and what he did; thus the title of "God" (p. 32).
Mr. Wierwille's inability to grasp the truth of the Deity of Christ is revealed in the last sentence quoted. The words "emphasizes the greatness of Christ and what he did" are the key. What Christ did are the things that only God can do. Within the first chapter of Hebrews we find that Christ was (1) active with God in creating the world (v. 2 and 10); (2) receiving worship from angels (v. 6; cf. Luke 4:8); and (3) existing eternally (v. 12). God is the One who creates, who is only to receive worship and who is eternal. Therefore, if we can accept what the Bible says and not demand, as Mr. Wierwille does, that the term "God" strictly refer to the Father, then we can see the clear teaching of Christ's Deity found in the Scriptures.
Mr. Wierwille's "fourth apparently thorny scripture" (p. 35) is Isaiah 9:6. He contends that the names are not Christ's names because they reveal His character, but are simply definitions of His name. He says:
. . . the quotation saying, "His name shall be called," means that this is the definition of his name (p. 35).
. . so if this prophecy in Isaiah 9:6 does refer to Jesus Christ, it simply tells us that his name means "Wonderful, Counselor, the might god, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace," and it does not make him any of things, including "the mighty God" (p. 36).
However, Mr. Wierwille's lack of knowledge of the importance of the Hebrew name is revealed. To the Hebrew, one's name, and especially a name or names given through prophecy, was extremely important. Dr. H. C. Leupold, noted Old Testament scholar, writes:
. . . It should also be noted that the expression, "his name shall be called," in line with the meaning of the Hebrew "name," means: This is the type of character that will be his. Besides, it is implied that he is called by these names because he actually is the kind of person that the names say he is.
Dr. Edward J. Young, renowned Isaiah scholar and commentator, also notes that:
. . . Isaiah does not intend that we should understand that in actual life the Child would bear or be addressed by these names, anymore than in actual life He should bear the name Immanuel. As a matter of fact, in fulfillment of the Immanuel prophecy He was named Jesus. "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). The thought is that the Child is worthy to bear these names, and that they are accurate descriptions and designations of His being and character. In the Bible the name indicates the character, essence or nature of a person or object. When, therefore, it is stated that the following names are descriptive of the Child and deserve to be borne by Him.[12 ]
Thus, we see from these two scholars that to the Hebrew mind, a name is very important and described the person's character, essence and nature. Therefore, "His name shall be called" does not simply mean "that this is a definition of his name" as Mr. Wierwille would have his readers and followers to believe.
Dr. Leupold comments further concerning the term "mighty God." He says the term means,
He is himself God. That the divine character of the "child" is here asserted appears also from the fact that Isaiah uses the same title unequivocally for God in 10:21.
And concerning the term "everlasting Father," Dr. Leupold says:
. . . the emphasis obviously lies not on the fact of the individual's eternal existence but on the thought of his being everlastingly a father. "Father" in his connection refers to the loving, paternal concern he has for those who have been committed to his charge. There is not even a remote reference here to an intertrinitarian relationship - the Son being called the Father. The though to be associated with the father-concept in the Old Testament is that of Psalm 103:13, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth those that fear him."
From the prophetic passage of Isaiah 9:6, we can clearly see that the Messiah or Christ is indeed referred to as God. Not only is He referred to as God, but His very character, nature and essence is shown to be that of deity.
In retrospect of the last four verses examined, we have seen how Mr. Wierwille has failed to apply his "second principle of interpretation." He said that the few scriptures which refer to Christ as God must "fit" the many that refer to Him as Son of God. However, Mr. Wierwille has not attempted to "fit" anything together, instead he has attempted to discredit the verses by faulty interpretation. Despite Mr. Wierwille's principle, the Scriptures still refer to Jesus Christ as God (not as the Father). To his list of four, we may add Ephesians 5:5; Titus 2:13; Acts 20:28; Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:5-11; John 5:18; etc. Hence, Mr. Wierwille has in no way exhausted the number of scriptures which refer to Jesus Christ as God.
Moving from his examination of the four "thorny" scriptures, Mr. Wierwille makes another interesting statement which reveals his lack of understanding of another Biblical phrase - the Son of God. He says "The express purpose for the Word of God regarding Jesus Christ is that men may know that he is not God the Creator, but the Son of God" (p. 36). Here again, we must keep in mind Mr. Wierwille's confusion, thinking that Christianity is teaching that the Son is the Father. It becomes very obvious that he believes this when one reads his chapter entitled "Who Is Jesus Christ?" Nonetheless, we must ask the question, what does "the Son of God" mean? Does it mean Jesus is a child of God as every other believer is, or does it mean something more?
By inquiring of the Scriptures, we find that the term "Son of God" in reference to Jesus Christ indicates that He is more than an ordinary man. The often quoted verse John 3:16 reveals to us that Jesus thought of Himself as God's "only begotten Son." The Greek term for "only begotten" (monogen8) is more literally translated "only unique." Thus, Jesus was acknowledging that He was no ordinary child of God. World renowned New Testament scholar
Dr. George E. Ladd concludes his study of the term "Son of God" by saying "that Jesus thought of himself as the Son of God in a unique way, that he was set apart from all other men in that he shared a oneness with God impossible to ordinary men. This type of extraordinary position is seen in Jesus' own words in John 5:23, "He who does not honor the son does not honor the
Father who sent Him." Thus we see that Jesus is in such a relationship with the Father as to receive the same honor the Father receives. This unique relationship is also apparent in the way Jesus spoke of the Father. "Jesus unfailingly spoke of God as 'my Father' and 'your Father' but never as 'our Father.'" And even of a higher significance of the term, Dr. Ladd writes:
. . Jesus is the Son of God because he is God and partakes of the divine nature. The purpose o f the Gospel of John is to demonstrate that Jesus is both the Christ and the Son of God, and it is clear from the prologue of John that Jesus as the Son of God, the Logos, was personally pre-existent, was himself God, and became incarnate for the purpose of revealing God to men.
In other words, the phrase "the Son of God" implies Deity itself. This is precisely what the Nicene Creed was acknowledging, "true God of true God" (p. 25), however, Mr. Wierwille refuses to acknowledge the same.
The fifth chapter of John tells us quite a bit concerning the relationship of the Son and the Father. Dr. A. T. Robertson comments:
. . "My Father worketh even until now and I work." This claim of equality with the Father and the corresponding right to work on the Sabbath as God continues His creative activity did not escape the notice of His enemies. . . So they pressed against Jesus"because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God (5:18). . . . The reply of our Lord to the Pharisees (5:19-47) is a great apologetical exposition of His claim to equality with God and completely silences His enemies, though they are in no wise convinced. The explanation comes first (19-30). Here Jesus constantly refers to Himself as "the Son" and speaks of God as "the Father" and thus reiterates His previous claim of equality with God. . . . The Son's deeds are precisely those of the Father (5:19 . . . The Son has open access to the love, knowledge, and power of the Father . . . The Son is the Judge of mankind (John 5:22). There is no honoring the Father without honoring the Son (5:23) and thus the Pharisees are dishonoring God in not honoring Jesus, a pertinent word for present-day theology which so often patronizes Jesus. Belief in the Son brings eternal life and escape from spiritual death . . . in verse 25 Jesus is claiming power over spiritual life . . . All of these are attributes of deity and are meant by Jesus to be so understood. It is only in the matter of judging man that Jesus explains that this power is given Him by the Father "because he is a Son of man" (5:26). This is certainly a tremendous claim and not compatible with any theory that Jesus is only a man, even the best of men.
Dr. Robertson's careful observations reveal the Deity of Christ quite clearly.
Thus the phrase "the Son of God" in reference to Christ certainly carries the implications of Deity. The Son of God is of the same nature, substance and essence and has the same attributes as God the Father. With this in mind, the Son of God may truly be called "God the Son," for if He is truly Deity as the Father is Deity, yet He is not the Father, then He is of necessity "God the Son." It is acknowledged that this conclusion is contrary to Mr. Wierwille's theology, however, it is clear Biblical teaching and simple inductive reasoning.
Mr. Wierwille proceeds, however, be presenting nine pages of evidence containing forty-one Scriptural references which refer to Jesus Christ as the Son of God. These are some of the "50 clear scripture verses" which were to be fitted with the four which speak of Jesus as God. Mr. Wierwille never fits anything together! However, in this work we have seen how the fifty and the four do fit together to produce a solid theology of the Deity of Christ; but, there is more.
Mr. Wierwille next attempts to point out dissimilarities which supposedly disprove the identity of Christ as being God (p. 46). Here again it must be kept in mind that Christianity is not teaching that Jesus Christ is the Father as Mr. Wierwille has supposed. However, let us examine the Scriptures he brings to light and his arguments concerning them to see if they stand the test of good Biblical exegesis and sound reasoning.
To begin with, Mr. Wierwille suggests a difference between Jesus Christ and God which pertains to temptation He says, "God cannot be tempted, yet Jesus Christ was in all points tempted" (p. 46). He quotes James 1`:13; Luke 4:1, 2, 13; and Hebrews 4:15 as his proof text. James 1:13 says, "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God;' for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt any one." Yet Deuteronomy 6:16, Malachi 3:15, Matthew 4:7, and Acts 15:10 all speak of man tempting God. Thus God can be tempted as Jesus Christ was . Is this a contradiction in the Bible? Of course it isn't! The error lies in Mr. Wierwille's understanding of James 1:13. James does not mean that one cannot tempt or try God, but means something much deeper. John W. Haley explains:
The quotation from James . . . simply asserts that there is nothing in God which responds to the solicitations and blandishments of evil; it presents no attractions to him. He is not allured by it in the slightest degree.
In other words, God cannot fall prey to temptation even though someone tries to lure Him away. The same is true for Jesus. Though He was "tempted in all things as we are," yet He was "without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). He did not fall to the solicitations of temptations. Therefore, this apparent dissimilarity between Jesus Christ and God does not prove that Jesus is any less God or
Deity than any other of Mr. Wierwille's arguments.
Mr. Wierwille continues, though, to present other apparent dissimilarities to support his theology. Philippians 2:5-11 is one such passage which he brings to light, and is indeed an extremely informative section of Scripture. The passage reads:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, <P>6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, <P>7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. <P>8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.<P>9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, <P>10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under earth, <P>11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
A study of this passage reveals a number of interesting facts. First, in verse six, Paul speaks of Christ as One who "existed in the form of God." The Greek word for "existed" ("being" in the KJV) is huparchon and means "really existing, being present." "The word denotes 'prior existence.'" Thus, Christ really existed with the Father prior to His Incarnation. This word alone destroys Me. Wierwille's idea that Christ was only in God's foreknowledge before the Incarnation.
Secondly, Christ really existing in the "form (morphe) of God" took upon Himself the "form (morphe) of man" and was found "in appearance (schema) as a man." The two words morphe and schema are synonyms in the Greek language and both mean form. However, there is a difference in their fullest meaning. By the way Paul uses the words morphe and schema and their derivatives and by historical research it has been concluded the morphe indicates "the essential attributes" or "the essence of a thing," whereas schema means "the external accidents," or "the outward array" or appearance. From this we see that, prior to His incarnation, Christ "really existed in the morphe, essential attributes or essence of God" and then took upon Him self the morphe, essential attributes or essence of man." Due to the tense of the Greek participle huparchwn ("really existing"), we find that Christ continued to exist in the essence of God all the while He became and lived as a man. In other words, Jesus Christ was both God and man at the same time. This is the beautiful mystery of the Incarnation, and how God did this is beyond the comprehension of our finite human minds.
Of course, Mr. Wierwille opposes this truth and insists that morphe be understood as "outward appearance." He interprets "the form of God" as, "who being in an external appearance, given to him by God." However, the verse says nothing about God giving Christ anything. Obviously Mr. Wierwille's interpretation is a forced interpretation and is conditioned by his pre-formed theological position, i.e., "Jesus Christ is not God." Even if his interpretation was correct, Mr. Wierwille would be contradicting himself.
We have seen that the word huparchon in verse six means that Christ was "really existing" in the form of God prior to His appearance on earth. Mr. Wierwille, however, says that Christ only existed in the foreknowledge of God and not in actuality (p. 28). How then, can Christ really exist "in an external appearance, given to him by God" while He is only in the foreknowledge of God? It is an impossibility and a contradiction in Mr. Wierwille's theology. In reality, Christ really existing in the morphe, intrinsic essence of Deity took upon Himself the morphe of man and appeared in the outward appearance or fashion as a man at his birth - the Incarnation.
Thirdly, from Philippians 2:6 wee read that Christ "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped." From this phrase Mr. Wierwille attempts to point out a dissimilarity between God and Christ. He says:
The word "equal" in Philippians 2:6 is the Greek word "isosceles." An isosceles triangle has two angles which contain the exact number of degrees. Even though equal, the angles are not identical (p. 52). Actually Mr. Wierwille does not understand the meaning of "equal." He also appears to be combating Sabellianism and not Christianity. (Refer back to page 11 for the discussion concerning Sabellianism.)
Concerning the "equal" Dr. J. J. Muller notes that:
to einai isa thew ("to be equal with God" - KJV) must be translated: "to be in such a manner as God" or "to exist in a manner equal to God, or in a manner like unto God," and not: "to be equal to God." The expression is not identical with en morph8 theou huparchwn ("being in the form of God" - KJV) although it is closely related to it. isa (equal" - KJV) is used adverbially and means: in such a way or manner. It does not, therefore, denote equality of being, which is already expressed by morph8 theou ("form of God"), and in which case ison would have been substituted for isa. In other words, Paul via the word "equal" is not saying that Christ was equal to God in His nature; this is already indicated by the phrase "existing in the form of God." However, by the word "equal," Paul is teaching us that Christ existed" in a manner equal to God," referring to Christ's position, state or environment of a rich habitat of heavenly glory. This position Christ did not regard as something to be grasped or clung to tenaciously for it was already His. One need not cling to something that is his already. Christ did not need to cling to His heavenly position because it was His by virtue of His Divine nature.
Then, at a certain point Christ "emptied Himself" and entered space and time taking the form of a man. Concerning Christ's emptying Himself, Dr. Ladd writes:
The heart of the Adamic temptation was to grasp for equality with God (Genesis 3:5 - 'You will be like God'). Adam attempted to seize equality with God; Christ did not. By contrast, Christ chose the way of self-emptying rather than self-aggrandizement.
But now it must be asked what the emptying refers to. It is in reference to Christ's "existing in a manner equal to God" and not to His "existing in the form of God." It would be impossible for Christ to empty Himself of His inner nature or essential attributes. For while He was existing in the form of God, He emptied Himself. He is always existing in the form of God. His inner nature or morphe never changed.
Of what then did Christ empty Himself? It is at this point we must not speculate, but seek the answer from the entirety of Scripture. In doing so, we find four particulars of which we can see Christ "emptying" Himself. One is His favorable relation to the divine law. while in heaven, no burden of guilt rested upon Him, but as His Incarnation He took this upon Himself and began to carry it away (John 1:29). Thus, Paul, speaking of the One who was without sin says, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin (as a sin offering) on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21). Secondly, He gave up His riches. II Corinthians 8:9 says, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich."
Thirdly, He gave up His heavenly glory. This He felt very keenly, for on the night before His crucifixion He prayed, "And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I ever had with Thee before the world was" (John 17:5). Before, He was the object of solemn adoration (Isaiah 6:1-3), now, via the Incarnation, He voluntarily descended to the realm where He was "despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3). Finally, He gave up His independent exercise of authority. He became a servant, the servant, and "although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered" (Hebrews 5:8). He Himself said: "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me (John 5:30).
Finally, we must look at verses ten and eleven of Philippians 2:5-11. Upon comparing them to the last portion of Isaiah 45:23 which reads, "That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance," we find that Paul is making a direct connection between Jesus and Jehovah of the Old Testament. God identified Himself as the One speaking in Isaiah 45 and says, "to Me every knee will bow . . ." Yet Paul says that to "Jesus every knee should bow . ." This is a direct claim to the Deity of Christ, for there is only One to whom every knee will bow, and that is God Almighty.
In retrospect of this brief study of Philippians 2:5-11, we have heard Paul's explanation of the fact that Jesus Christ was both God and man simultaneously. Christ pre-existed with the Father before the Incarnation, wherein He took upon Himself human nature. Christ who was God, essential Deity became a man. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).
Thus, Jesus Christ had a dual nature, that of God and man. Exactly how He did this is beyond our finite human comprehension, yet it is the testimony of God's Word. Jesus Christ had (and still has) a dual nature, yet was one Person. (The necessity of this doctrine will be discussed in the following chapter.) Because of His dual nature, Scripture often speaks of Him in reference to His divine nature or His manhood. John W. Haley explains:
Obviously, some passages represent Christ in the aspect of his Godhead, while others speak of him simply in his human nature - as a man. When he is spoken of as "increasing in wisdom and stature," the humanity is placed in the foreground; when he claims to have existed "before Abraham was," he speaks of his inherent divinity. As another has remarked: "His infancy and childhood were no mere pretense, but the divine personality was in him carried through these states of weakness and inexperience, and fathered round itself the ordinary accessions and experiences of the sons of men." In the person of Christ, the Divinity voluntarily entered into, and took upon itself, the conditions and limitations of humanity.
Ewald observes: "Even the highest divine power, when it veils itself in mortal body, and appears in definite time, finds, in this body and this time, its limits."
This understanding of Jesus Christ's dual nature is very important to our comprehension of the Scriptures. It is also important in our examination of Mr. Wierwille's arguments found in Jesus Christ Is Not God.
Mr. Wierwille attempts to use scriptures which speak of Christ's humanity to say that He could not be God. However, with an understanding of the Biblical teaching of Jesus Christ's dual nature, being born God and man, we can see that these scriptures do not deny Christ's Deity. Mark 13:32, Matthew 26:39 and John 14:28 are all such passages used by Mr. Wierwille. mark 13:22 refers to Jesus not knowing the hour or the day of His second coming. Matthew 26:39 indicates that the Father and the Son have "separate and distinct wills" (p. 47); and in John 14:29 Jesus says that the Father is greater than He is. Obviously these are all references to the humanity of Jesus. In reference to His humanity Jesus did not know the time of His return; however, to the resurrected Jesus, John, in John 21:17, says "Lord, You know all things." Thus, we see that Jesus during His period of humiliation upon this earth, possessed omniscience, but according to His human nature HE was content to forego its use except on certain occasions. When He says the Son does not know the date of the Judgment, a glimpse is afforded into the depth of His humiliation entered upon for us, which made Him refrain from exercising the divine powers He possessed and which reached its climax when He, apparently impotent and defenseless, hung on the cross.
Matthew 26:39 and John 14:28 are understood in the same light. As a man walking as we walk on earth, Jesus subjected His will to the Father's. In like manner, Jesus could say that His Father was greater than He. In Christ's humbled position as a man, He was subordinate to the Father. The Greek word for "greater" is meizon which refers to a greater or higher rank  and
does not pertain to the nature of His Person. concerning the phrase "My Father is greater than I," Dr. A. T. Robertson says, "The filial relation makes this necessary. Not a distinction in nature or essence (cf. 10:30), but in rank in the Trinity. No Arianism or Unitarianism here." Thus we see that because of Jesus' dual nature, being born God and man simultaneously, these verses do not invalidate the Deity of Christ what so ever. Instead, they point out the mysterious beauty of the incarnation.
Mr. Wierwille also presents four scriptures (pp. 49-50) which speak of Christ as being at the "right hand of God." He would argue, "How can Christ be God if He is at God's right hand? Here again Mr. Wierwille unbiblically restricts the term "God" to the Father. However, we have already seen how the Bible refers to Jesus Christ as God and the Holy Spirit as God. It is not that anything or anyone may be God, but that if the Bible calls someone God and this One possesses all the attributes of Deity, then He must in fact be God, whether we understand it with our finite minds or not. The Biblical data is as it is. God has spoken.
Finally, Mr. Wierwille argues from John 10:30 in which Jesus says "I and my Father are one." Mr. Wierwille says:
The scriptures which say that Jesus Christ and his Father are one do not indicate that Jesus Christ was God, but rather that Jesus Christ and God and unity of purpose, they worked in a unified effort . . .
"One" is the Greek word hen, neuter, meaning one in purpose, not one person which would be heis, masculine. This is the climax of Jesus' claim of oneness with the Father, and this oneness is of purpose (p. 50). Once again Mr. Wierwille attacks Sabellianism and not Christianity when he says that the word "one" does not mean "one person." Christianity has never taught that the Father and the Son were one person. Sabellious did. Thus, Christianity agrees with Mr. Wierwille that "one" does not mean "one person."
However, Mr. Wierwille wishes to understand the term "one" as only meaning one in purpose. This is quite a shallow interpretation of the verse and does not fit the context. Certainly Jesus and the Father are united in one purpose, for Jesus Him self said that He did the works of the Father (10:32) and that He only did what pleased the Father (8:28:29). However, doing what the Father desires is not worthy of stoning. The offense worthy of death here was blasphemy. The Jews understood very well that Jesus was claiming oneness of essence and nature with the Father; for in verses 31-33 we see that they picked up stones to stone Jesus because He made Himself out to be God. "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God" (v. 33). Dr. B. F. Westcott notes:
It seems clear that the unity here spoken of cannot fall short of unity essence. The thought springs from the equality of power (my hand, the Father's hand); but infinite power in an essential attribute of God; and it is impossible to suppose that two beings distinct in essence could be equal in power.
Consequently, the term "one" in John 10:30, due to contextual use, must, of necessity, be interpreted as oneness of essence or nature, and not only oneness of purpose as Mr. Wierwille has demanded.
In conclusion and retrospect of this chapter we have seen from Mr. Wierwille's own "principles of
interpretation" that he does not really understand the Christian doctrine of the Trinity nor the
Deity of Christ. His main objective in his chapter entitled "Who Is Jesus Christ?" was to fortify
his view that Jesus Christ is not God. However, he failed. His basic flaw in his chapter was that
he refutes Sabellianism and not Christianity.
The overall direction of Mr. Wierwille's third chapter is first an exposition of his view of how man was "formed, made, and created" by God. He moves from there to say that fallen man is without a spirit and because of this God had to communicate to man via a visible, tangible form, thus, Jesus Christ. He concludes his chapter by saying that man's redeemer had to be a man, "one of the flock" (p. 78), and therefore could not be God. With this flow of thought in mind, let us examine his arguments.
Mr. Wierwille begins and ends this chapter by reminding his readers that God has commanded us to have no other gods before us and to worship only Him. Mr. Wierwille says, "There has always been one sin which God did not and will not tolerate and that is worshiping any god other than God the Creator" (p. 57). This is an excellent statement by Mr. Wierwille and one Christianity heartily agrees with. However, it has been shown earlier in this work that not only did Jesus Christ receive worship from men (Matthew 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 28:9; John 20:28) and heavenly creature (Revelation 5:11-12), but also God commanded the angels to worship Him (Hebrews 1:6). Therefore, if the Father and Jesus Christ both say that God is the only One to be worshipped, yet Jesus receives worship and the Father commands His angels to worship the Son, then the only logical conclusion is that the term God is not restricted to the Father and that Jesus Christ is by nature and essence God also.
Quite a unique method of interpretation is used by Mr. Wierwille to derive his view of how God "formed, made and created" man. He begins by quoting Isaiah 43:7 in which God says, "Even everyone that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him" (KJV). He then says that the words "created," "formed," and "made"
cannot be synonymous. Next, he quotes I Thessalonians 5:23 and points out that the terms "spirit," "soul," and "body" are not synonymous either, and in the twinkling of an eye he merges the two verses together to conclude that, "Man consisted of three parts; one part God formed, one He made and one He created (p. 59)." He fortifies his conclusion by quoting verses which use the words "formed man" (e.g., man's body), "made man's soul," and "created man's spirit." In other words, Mr. Wierwille is saying that God formed man's body, made man's soul and created man's spirit.
However, from scriptures which Mr. Wierwille does not mention, we find that the words "formed," "made," and "created" are used synonymously in the Bible. Mr. Wierwille says that, "God's image is spirit. God created, bara, spirit within man" (p. 63). However, in Genesis 1:26-27 we note that both the terms made, asah, and created, bara, are used concerning man being made in the image of God. These verses say, "Then God said, "Let Us make (asah) man in Our image, . . . and God created (bara) man in His own image . . ." Also, Zechariah 12:1 says that the Lord "forms (yatsar) the spirit of man within him." Thus we see that all three terms are used concerning the spirit of man.
Consequently, Mr. Wierwille's foundation for his developing argument is null and void. It must also be pointed out that one can not take any two verses they please and throw them together to develop a theology. The context in which the verses lie must always be considered. In Isaiah the Lord is speaking of Israel; in I Thessalonians Paul is giving a benediction. The world renowned Old Testament scholar Dr. Franz Delitzsch comments on Isaiah 43:7.
The three synonyms bring out;the might, the freeness, and the riches of grace, with which Jehovah called Israel into existence, to glorify Himself in it, and that He might be glorified by it. They form a climax, for ### (bara, created) signifies to produce as a new thing; ### (yatsar, formed), to shape what has been produced; and ### (asah, made) to make it perfect or complete . 
Thus the words "formed," "created," and "made" are either synonymous or have a combined flowing meaning in reference to Israel.
The end point of Mr. Wierwille's faulty interpretation of Isaiah 43:7 and I Thessalonians 5:23 is that the "man of body and soul" (p. 64, n. 3) is the Biblical "natural man" and this natural man does not have a spirit. At the Fall of man, "The spirit departed from Adam. The reason the spirit was called dead is that it was no longer there" (p. 67). Since man no longer had a spirit, his "spiritual connection with God was lost" (p. 67). Therefore God had to communicate to man through man's five senses or in "concretion" (p. 67). "This explains why Jesus Christ was born . . . Jesus Christ was the concretion" (p. 68).
Noting the way Mr. Wierwille builds his argument, we must ask whether the natural man ("the man of body and soul") has a spirit or not. The Bible teaches that every man must have a spirit, for "the body without the spirit is dead" (James 2:26). Man cannot live without his spirit. When Stephen was being stoned he knew that he was going to die, his body would cease to function and his spirit would go to be with the Lord. Stephen prayed to Jesus saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" (Acts 7:59). Also, I Corinthians 2:11 says, "For who among men knows the thoughts of a ma except the spirit of a man, which is in him?" Therefore, every man has a spirit whether he be a natural man or a spiritual man.
This ground work by Mr. Wierwille is to support his ultimate thrust of his third chapter, which is that Jesus Christ had to be a man in order to atone for man's sins. In speaking of Jesus as the Passover Lamb, Mr. Wierwille says:
Jesus Christ was without blemish and without spot. Furthermore, the male Passover lamb was to be taken out from among the sheep. This is why Jesus Christ had to be a man. He had to be one of the flock. God could not have died for our sins; God could never have been nailed to a cross. God is Spirit; God is not a sheep from the flock (p. 78).
To understand our redemption through Christ our Passover, we must know that the perfect sacrifice had to be a man and not God (p. 76).
From this teaching of Mr. Wierwille's we see that he not only rejects the Biblical teaching of the Incarnation, but he also places God in a box by saying that God cannot do what indeed He actually did. We have seen in the previous chapters of this work that Jesus Christ was both God and man simultaneously. He was of a dual nature being truly God and truly man.
The necessity of the two natures in Christ is seen in the redemptive work of Christ for mankind, the Atonement. Jesus Christ had to be man for it was man who had sinned and who needed to atone for his sin; yet, Jesus also had to be God for it was only God who was able to satisfy the justice of God. Dr. Louis Berkhof articulates this necessity well in his Systematic Theology. He says;
The necessity of the two natures in Christ follows what is essential to the Scriptural doctrine of the atonement.
a. The necessity of His manhood. Since man sinned, it was necessary that the penalty should be borne by man. Moreover, the paying of the penalty involved suffering of body and soul, such as only man is capable of bearing, John 12:27; Acts 3:18; Hebrews 2:14; 9:22. It was necessary that Christ should assume human nature, not only with all its essential properties, but also with all the infirmities to which it is liable after the fall, and should thus descend to the depths of degradation to which man had fallen, Hebrews 2:17, 18. At the same time, He had to be a sinless man, for a man who was himself a sinner and who had forfeited his own life, certainly could not atone for others, Hebrews 7:26. Only such a truly human Mediator, who had experimental knowledge of the woes of mankind and rose superior to all temptations, could enter sympathetically into all the experiences, the trials, and the temptations of man, Hebrews 2:17, 18; 4:15-5:2, and be a perfect human example for His followers, Matthew 11:29; Mark 10:39; John 13:13-15; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 12:24; I Peter 2:21.
B. The Necessity of His Godhead. In the divine plan of salvation it was absolutely essential that the Mediator should also be very God. This was necessary in order that (1) He might bring a sacrifice of infinite value and render perfect obedience to the law of God; (2) He might bear the wrath of God redemptively, that is, so as to free others from the curse of the law; and (3) He might be able to apply the fruits of His accomplished work to those who accepted Him by faith. Man with his bankrupt life can neither pay the penalty of sin, nor render perfect obedience to God. He can bear the wrath of God and, except for the redeeming grace of God, will have to bear it eternally, but he cannot bear it so as to open a way of escape, Psalm 49:7-10; 130:3.[4 ]
Thus we see that through the essentials of the atonement man's Redeemer had to be both God and man.
Both God and Jesus Christ are referred to as man's Redeemer and Savior. Mr. Wierwille attempts to force the interpretation that God is the author and Jesus Christ is the agent of the plan of salvation (pp. 147-148). However, the Bible nowhere distinguishes between the two. God is spoken of as Savior in Psalms 106:21; Isaiah 43:3, 11; 45:21-23; I Timothy 2:3; etc., and Jesus is referred to as Savior in John 4:42; Acts 4:12; I John 4:14 and the figure of speach hendiadys, which Mr. Wierwille fails to mention, Titus 2:13 which calls Jesus Christ our "great God and Savior." Hebrews 12:2 names Jesus the Author and Perfecter of faith." Since faith in Christ is the plan of salvation then Jesus too may be called the Author of salvation.
In conclusion of this chapter, we have seen how Mr. Wierwille attempts to restrict Jesus Christ to
being only a man since He had to be "one of the flock" in order to be our Redeemer. However,
from the essentials of the Biblical doctrine of the atonement, we have seen the absolute necessity
of Jesus Christ being both God and man simultaneously. Jesus Christ had a dual nature. He was
the God-man. He was God incarnate, Immanuel, "God with us."
In this chapter we shall see how Mr. Wierwille totally ignores a principle of interpretation which he mentions in most of his writings, i.e., "the Bible says what it means and means what it says." An example of this may be seen by comparing a "literal translation" (p. 91).
N.A.S.B. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
V.P. WIERWILLE In the beginning (before the creation) was the Word, and the revealed Word was in God's foreknowledge (which was later communicated to man in spoken Words, written Words and the incarnate Word). This Word absolutely was in the beginning before the foundation of the world together with the one true God in His foreknowledge yet distinctly independent of Him.
Of course it may be argued that the extra words Mr. Wierwille adds are for the sake of clarification or explanation. However, when the explanation does not correlate or agree with the literal translation, it must be called into question. At least four errors may be noted in Mr. Wierwille's translation of the first three verses of the first chapter of the Gospel According to John.
The first error Mr. Wierwille makes is his interpretation of the term "Word" in John 1:1. In teaching his readers how to study the Bible, he tells them to "carefully read the entire context of a Scripture." However, he fails to follow his own instruction for he interprets "Word" not only as Christ but also as the "spoken" and "written" Word of God. Anyone following Mr. Wierwille's teaching of reading the complete context will quickly discover that John is not talking about the spoken or the written Word of God. John is describing the living Word, Jesus Christ for in John 1:14 he tells us that the "Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory." Words or ideas do not become flesh, nor do they dwell as people do, neither are they referred to by personal pronouns. But He who is the Logos, the Reason and Word of God, God's Living Speech and the Eternal Idea of God  may become flesh, dwell among people and be referred to as "He." In simple words, the context of John 1:1-18 is in reference to Jesus Christ as the Word of God and not the Bible. It is true the Bible is the written Word of God, however, here the context is clearly in reference to Christ. Therefore, Mr. Wierwille's attempt to make each use of the term "Word" mean something other than the pre-incarnate Christ does not fit the context.
Mr. Wierwille's second error is seen when he says that, "The Word was with God in His foreknowledge" (p. 84). The absurdity of this statement has already been demonstrated on pages twelve and thirteen of this work. However, in this chapter Mr. Wierwille takes his interpretation a step further. speaking of the preposition "with" (pros) in the phrase "the Word was with God" he says;
Pros means "together with and yet having distinct independence"; "intimate and close inter-communion, together with distinct independence." The revealed Word was together with God and yet distinctly independent of Him (p. 86).
Putting together his idea of the Word being in God's foreknowledge and the definition of "with" (pros), Mr. Wierwille translates John 1:1 as "the (revealed) Word was with (pros) God (with Him in His foreknowledge, yet independent of Him)" (p. 87). Now let us seriously consider what Mr. Wierwille has said. He has taught that the "revealed Word," which has no form, nor substance, was in God's foreknowledge. Yet this formless, substance-less Word was independent of God. How can this be!? How can a word or idea be in someone's mind, someone's foreknowledge, yet be distinctly independent of him. This is truly a pure fabrication of Mr. Wierwille's imagination and exposes his forced interpretation of Scripture so as to fit his theology.
In reality, Mr. Wierwille's definition of pros is sufficient. It is his concept of the pre-incarnate Christ being only in God's foreknowledge and not in real existence with the Father that is completely unbiblical. The only way the definition of pros could fit the context is if the term "Word" is a clear reference to the pre-incarnate Christ who was in real existence and active with the Father before the world was.
Mr. Wierwille's third error is seen in his understanding of the phrase "the Word was God" in John 1:1. He says, "The word 'God' has no article for grammatical reasons rather than thought content" (p. 90). Mr. Wierwille reveals his lack of understanding of the Greek language by making this statement. The opposite of his statement is true. Often in Greek when a noun, such as "God," is used with the article, "the," there is emphasis upon the identity of the noun. When the noun is used without the article there is emphasis on the character or quality of the noun. Dr. H.E. Dana and Dr. Julius R. Mantey in their A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament speak to the use of the word "God" (theos) with and without the article. They say,
theos occurs without the article . . . when the essential attributes of Deity are spoken of, . . . But the article seems to be used . . . when the First Person of the blessed Trinity is specially designated, unless its insertion is unnecessary by the addition of pat8r (Father) . . .
. . The use theos in John 1:1 is a good example. pros ton theon (with the God) points to Christ's fellowship with the person of the Father; theos 8s ho logos (the Word was God) emphasizes Christ's participation in the essence of the divine nature. The former clearly applies to personality, which the latter applies to character.
Therefore, from the construction of the Greek in John 1:1, we see that John is telling us that the Word (Jesus Christ, cf. 1:14) was with God the Father and that the character and quality of the Word was God or Deity. Dr. Robertson adds that if John had used the article with the term "God" in "the Word was God," then John would have taught Sabellianism. He says, "By exact and careful language John denied Sabellianism by not saying ho theos en ho logos" (the Word was the God). Therefore, John is using the word "God" without the article expressly for "thought content" despite what Mr. Wierwille says.
The fourth error in Mr. Wierwille's interpretation o John 1:1-3 is actually carried over through verse twelve. The error is found in his identity of the pronoun "Him" in verse three. He identifies the pronoun as "God" and not as the "Word." He quotes the verse as, "All things were made by him (God); and without him (God) was not anything made that was made" (p. 91).
His explanation for doing so is, "'Him' is the pronoun autou controlled by its closest associated noun which is 'God'" (p. 91). This is a fallacious conclusion. What Mr. Wierwille has done is apply the rule for demonstrative pronouns (mentioned on his previous page, p. 90) to autou which is an intensive pronoun. Although intensive pronouns may sometimes function as demonstrative pronouns, in this case autou does not. Greek scholar Dr. A. T. Robertson acknowledges that autou is in reference to the "Word" of verse one. He says, "By him (di' autou). By means of him as the intermediate agent in the work of creation. The Logos is John's explanation of the creation of the universe." The context of John 1:1-18 is concerning the nature, attirbutes and purpose for the Word coming to Earth. since, "The function of the intensive pronoun is to emphasize identity," then it follows that autou is in reference to the subject of verses one and two, which is the "Word" and not "God" as Mr. Wierwille states.
Why does Mr. Wierwille desire to interpret autou as referring to "God?" Because he knows that if the pronouns in verses three, four and ten refer to the Word, Jesus Christ, then John is actually ascribing acts and attributes of deity of Christ. Of course to be in agreement with his thesis, Jesus Christ Is Not God, Mr. Wierwille cannot allow for this. however, the pronouns are in reference to the "Word."
What Mr. Wierwille does not wish his readers to learn is that Jesus Christ was responsible for the creation of all things. In three passages in the New Testament, he devises some way to distort this truth. We have seen one. John 1:3 tells us that, "All things came into being through Him." The pronoun "Him" refers to the "Word," Jesus Christ, and not "God" as Mr. Wierwille has stated. Thus, John declares that through Jesus all things came into existence. Dr. B. F. Westcott comments:
by him) through Him. The Word is described as the mediate Agent of Creation (dia, through not hupo, by). Comp. Col. i. 16; Heb. i.2. The Father is the one spring, source (p8g8), and end of all finite being, as He is of the Godhead. All things are of Him . . . through Jesus Christ . . . (I Cor. viii. 6). Thus in different relations creation can be attributed of the Father and to the Son.
Consequently, Christ is noted as being responsible for that which only God can do, create. Dr. Westcott noted the other two verses which Mr. Wierwille attempts to distort, Colossians 1:16 and Hebrews 1:2. Let us examine Colossians 1:16 and Mr. Wierwille's arguments. In Colossians 1:14-20 all personal pronouns refer to Jesus Christ. This may be followed by beginning with the "in whom" of verse fourteen and noting its reference to the Father's "beloved Son" of verse thirteen. Then verses fifteen, sixteen and seventeen read;
15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. 16 For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Thus, Paul tells us that Jesus Christ created all things in heaven and on earth, which agrees with John's theology. However, Mr. Wierwille thinks differently. He says, Verses 16 and 17 of Colossians 1 form a parenthesis which is a figure of speech explaining in more detail one point in the text" (p. 118). His reason as to why the verses are parenthetical is because they "refer to what God did" (p. 119). He does not base his conclusion on anything at all, he simply asserts that the verses "refer to what God did."
Much to Mr. Wierwille's chagrin, not only do the string of pronouns prove him wrong, but so does the context of the passage. The context of Colossians 1:15-19 is the preeminence of Christ over all creation. Paul teaches us that Christ is "the first-born (meaning preeminent in the Hebrew mind) of all creation;" and that He "created all things in heaven and earth;" that "all things have been created through Him and for Him;" that He holds all things together; that He is the "head of the church," "first-born from the dead," "so that He Himself might come to have first place (preeminence) in everything." Thus, obviously the context is the preeminent, foremost, paramount, supreme position of Christ over all creation. Therefore, the verses sixteen and seventeen are not parenthetical, referring "to what God did," but instead fit the context perfectly, carrying the flow of Paul's thought and referring to what Jesus Christ did.
Hebrews 1:2 is the third verse which Mr. Wierwille abuses in order to support his theology. However, it is really not the verse he abuses here, but it is the Greek language he directly lies about concerning the word dia translated "by" in the King James Version. Mr. Wierwille quotes the verse and includes his "corrections" in the following way,
Hath in these last days (in this last time) spoken unto us by his Son, whom he (God) hath appointed heir of all things, by (for) whom also he made the worlds (p. 120).
He then explains his additional "(for)" by saying, "The Greek word for 'by' is dia, and, in the genitive case, is translated 'on account of' or because of' or, according to current language, 'for'" (p. 121). Within this statement he deceives his readers in that he does not define dia in the genitive case but in the accusative case. (This may appear insignificant to some, but will be seen to be very important) Dana and Mantey, Arndt and Gingrich, Westcott, Robertson, Thayer  Kittle, and others all agree that dia in the genitive case means through or by means of. The definition of dia in the accusative is 'because of'  or 'for' as Mr. Wierwille has it. The case in which dia is in verse two is the genitive case, thus Mr. Wierwille has
lied as to the definition of dia.
Why Mr. Wierwille would lie concerning the definition of dia becomes apparent when we interpret the verse. Using his definition, Mr. Wierwille interprets the verse as saying, Originally God created all things to His own satisfaction, knowing in His foreknowledge that His only-begotten Son would enjoy those things which God created for Himself and for His appointed heir" (p. 121). In other words, using Mr. Wierwille's faulty definition the verse would make Christ the recipient of all of creation; however, employing the correct definition, the verse teaches us that Christ is the Creator, for it was through Him that God "made the world," which is also what John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16-17 teach. It is interesting to note that in at least two other places in Jesus Christ Is Not God Mr. Wierwille does not alter the definition of dia in the genitive case, but leaves it the way it is correctly translated in the King James Version (Cf. pp. 45 and 119). Thus, it becomes terribly obvious that Mr. Wierwille manipulates the text, deceiving his
followers, in order to support his theology.
Having examined these three passages which speak of Christ as Creator, we shall now consider some other arguments Mr. Wierwille presents in his chapter "Who Is The Word?" Returning to the first chapter of John, we may note how Mr. Wierwille attempts to avoid Christ's pre-incarnate state in dealing with verse fifteen. Mr. Wierwille quotes the verse correctly from the
King James Version, saying, "John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, this was he of whom I spoke, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me" (p. 106). He then explains why Jesus was "preferred before" John in this manner:
Verse 15 says that Jesus was preferred before John. Jesus Christ was preferred before John because John was an Israelite and Israel was first "called in Jacob"; Jesus Christ had already been called in God's foreknowledge from the beginning (p.107).
However, the Scriptures tell us that those who God called He foreknew. Romans 8:29-30 says;
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; 30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Therefore, all who were to be called were called in God's foreknowledge, and there is no distinction in the time of the calling. Thus, Mr. Wierwille's argument is ludicrous. Instead of referring to anyone being "called," John is making reference to Christ's pre-existence and superior rank. Dr. Robertson comments;
He (Christ) had always been (en imperfect) before John in his Pre-incarnate state, but "after" John in time of the Incarnation, but always ahead of John in rank immediately on His Incarnation.
Consequently, Christ's actual pre-existence is once again attested to by the Word of God.
Finally, concerning John 1:18 Mr. Wierwille attempts to deny the Scriptural teaching of the divine nature of Christ by ignoring textual evidence. He says,
In some of the ancient uncial manuscripts, the word "Son" in the phrase "only-begotten Son" was changed to "God," thus reading "only-begotten God." However, the majority of uncials, Aramaic and other manuscripts corroborate the reading "Son" which fits with all related scriptures (p. 115).
It is interesting to note how Mr. Wierwille argues here. He makes mention of the uncial manuscripts, which are the Greek manuscripts written in all capital letters, and does not mention the minuscle manuscripts, those written in all small letters, which are in far greater number. Textual experts Dr. A. T. Robertson, Dr. B. F. Westcott,  and Dr. Bruce Metzger  all agree that the best reading is "only-begotten God." Dr. Robertson concludes, "the best old Greek manuscripts (Aleph B C L) read monogenes theos (God only begotten) which is undoubtedly the true text ." Thus, once again Mr. Wierwille's argument fails by weight of the evidence and the Deity of Christ is seen clearly in the Word of God. Jesus Christ is, by his very nature, God.
In conclusion, we have seen how Mr. Wierwille, in his chapter entitled "Who Is The Word?". (1) does not adhere to his principle "the Bible means what it says and what it means, (2) misinterprets the term"Word" in John 1:1 by not following the context, (3) continues of build his theology off of his erroneous teaching of "foreknowledge," (4) does not understand Greek grammar, (5) lies about the definition of the Greek word dia, and (6) forces his interpretation upon other scriptures regardless of textual and Scriptural evidences. Mr. Wierwille most obviously must be called into question as an honest scholar.
Jesus Christ is still God.
In His chapter entitled "Conclusion," Mr. Wierwille says, "Because God, the Father of our lord Jesus Christ, holds an exclusive, unparalleled position, it is imperative that our worship of Him be directed to that position" (p. 123). He then presents verses which demonstrate the Father's majestic position. However, the Bible also ascribes to Christ these same divine positions. (It must be remembered that by the term "God," Mr. Wierwille strictly means the Father.)
Mr. Wierwille says, "God is before everything" (p. 123) and quotes Isaiah 43:10 in which Jehovah says, "Before Me there was no God formed and there will be none after Me." This is absolutely true, for the Father is eternal, "from everlasting to everlasting" (Ps. 90:2), yet so in Christ, whose "goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity" (Micah 5:2). Jehovah, in Isaiah 44:6 says of Himself "I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Mr." And in the New Testament, Jesus Christ says of Himself, "I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead , and behold, I am alive forevermore" (Rev. 1:17-18). Thus we see that Christ is eternal as the Father is eternal. This does not mean that there are two Gods, but that Christ is of the same divine nature or essence as the Father (Phil. 2:5-11; John 1:1,, etc.).
"God is the most holy" (p. 124) is another statement of Mr. Wierwille's, and he supports it by quoting I Samuel 2:2 which reads, "There is no one holy like the Lord, indeed, there is no one besides Thee, nor is there any rock like our God." The attribute of perfect holiness is as true of the Father as it is of the Son, Jesus Christ. In Isaiah 43:3 Jehovah says, "For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior," and Deuteronomy 32:4 speaks of God as "A God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He." In like manner the New Testament writers speak of Jesus Christ as "the Holy and Righteous One" (Acts 3:14) and as being "without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus also calls Himself "the Truth" (John 14:65). Again we see that the Scriptures ascribe the attribute of perfect holiness and righteousness to both the Father and the Son, thus making them equal in nature or essence.
Mr. Wierwille also says that "God alone holds the power of salvation" (p. 124) and quotes Isaiah 43:11 as support. Isaiah 43:11 reads, "I, even I, am the LORD; and there is no savior besides ME." If then there is no Savior besides Jehovah, then Jesus Christ must of necessity be Jehovah for the New Testament describes Him as the "source of eternal salvation" (Hebrews 5:9)
being "able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him" (Hebrews 7:25) for He "came into the world to save sinners" (I Timothy 1:15). Jesus Christ is the Author of salvation because He is the source of salvation. He is "our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us" (Titus 2:13-14).
A fourth point which Mr. Wierwille lists is that "God does not want His people to know or worship any other gods" (p. 124). This is very true and is in complete agreement with what Jesus told Satan as he tempted Him in Luke 4:8. However, Jesus Himself received worship from people, heavenly creatures and angels. (Refer back to page 14 of this work for a more full discussion.) Therefore, if Jesus said God was the only one to be worshipped yet He Himself received worship, He then must, of necessity, be God.
Finally, Mr. Wierwille says, "God has no equal" (p. 124). This statement would be true except it has been shown that by the term "God" Mr. Wierwille means strictly the Father. The Son and the Holy Spirit are both equal to the Father by virtue of their nature and attributes. (The Holy Spirit will be discussed in the following chapter.) The only manner in which Jesus Christ is subordinate to the Father is in His voluntary submission in His filial relationship to the Father while on earth. Thus, if Mr. Wierwille would allow the singular term "God" to include Father, Son and Holy Spirit as the Bible does, then his statement "God has no equal" would be absolutely
accurate, for the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are the one God and there is no one equal to Him.
In his chapter entitled "Holy Spirit," Mr. Wierwille reveals his understanding of the Biblical teaching on the identify of the Holy Spirit. To Mr. Wierwille the Holy Spirit is God. This sounds rather orthodox until we look further. The Holy Spirit is God because "God is Holy and God is Spirit" (p. 127). He says elsewhere, "God is pneuma, Spirit, John 4:24. God is hagion, Holy, I Samuel 6:20. Thus, the Holy Spirit is God." He also differentiates between "Holy Spirit" and "holy spirit." He says, "The gift that He gives is holy spirit" (p. 127). He says the gift, holy spirit, is referred to as "the comforter, power from on high, the promise of the Father, to be baptized with the holy spirit" (p. 130). Mr. Wierwille explains the difference in the capital and small letters this way;
First of all we must note that in the Greek manuscripts and text the word pneuma, "spirit, " is never capitalized. Therefore, when the word pneuma is translated "Spirit" with a capital "S" or "spirit" with a small "s," it is an interpretation and, as such, is of no higher authority than the person or translator giving it (p. 127).
Finally, he explains his differentiation between Holy Spirit and holy spirit by saying, "God, who is the Holy Spirit, can only give that which He is. Therefore, the gift of the Giver is of necessity holy, hagion, and spirit, pneuma" (p. 128); and, "The gift is not the Giver, and the Giver is not the gift" (p. 128).; and, "In the new birth, man receives spirit from God who is the Spirit" (p. 128).
From what he has said we can see that Mr. Wierwille is far from orthodox and Biblical theology. The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead, being a Person as the Father is, yet distinct from the Father. The Holy Spirit is eternal and shares the same divine nature or essence with Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is not a power but possesses power. This is quote a different picture than what MR. Wierwille paints and will be expounded later. But first we must examine Mr. Wierwille's arguments.
To begin with, warning lights should flash in anybody's mind when they read a statement such as, "when the word pneuma is translated "Spirit" with a capital "S" or "spirit" with a small "s," it is an interpretation and, as such, is of no higher authority than the person or translator giving it" (p. 127). In essence, what Mr. Wierwille is saying is that there are no rules which govern the translating of pneuma to "Spirit" or "spirit." However, context is always a governing factor. For example, Matthew 28:19 says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." The context tells us there are three Persons, yet Mr. Wierwille says that this "Holy Spirit" is God. Having seen that Mr. Wierwille Understand the term "God" as strictly meaning the Father, then it would be quite redundant of Matthew to say "baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Father." It would also be absurd for Matthew to say "baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the holy spirit (the gift)," for one is baptized in the name or authority of a Person and not a gift. Greek scholar Dr. A. T. Robertson, speaking of Matthew 28:19 says, "Baptism in . . . the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in the name of the Trinity."3 Thus, context and common sense governs whether a translator capitalizes or not and not simply his fancy. In reality what Mr. Wierwille is doing is "writing his own ticket" which will allow him to interpret Scripture however it suits him best. This becomes obvious when reading his writing.
John 14:15, 17, and 26 are also good examples of how context determines how one should understand pneuma hagion. The verses read,
16 "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because HE abides with you, and will be in you.
26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
Mr. Wierwille quotes these verses and tells us that the Helper or Comforter (K.J.V.) is the gift (holy spirit) and not God (Holy Spirit) (p. 129). In reality, these verses demonstrate how ludicrous his method of interpretation really is. Let us examine the verses.
First of all, John equates the Helper with the pneuma hagion in verse twenty-six. The Greek word for "Helper" is a masculine noun referring to "one who appears in another's behalf, mediator, intercessor, helper." Greek scholars W. E. Vine notes that, "It was used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, counsel for defense, an advocate." The point being made
is that "Helper" refers to a Person and not a gift or power as Mr. Wierwille says.
Secondly, Jesus referred to the "Helper" who is the pneuma hagion with the personal pronoun "Him," ekeinos, again indicating a Person and not a gift. concerning this pronoun W. E. Vine comments;
The Personality of the Spirit is emphasized at the expense of strict grammatical procedure in John 14:26; 15:26; 16:8, 13, 14, where the emphatic pronoun ekeinos, "He," is used of Him in the masculine, whereas the noun pneuma is neuter in Greek, while the corresponding word in Aramaic, the language in which our Lord probably spoke, is feminine (rucha, cf. Heb. ruach).
And Dr. A. T. Robertson, concerning the pronoun ekeninos, concludes that, "He is a person, not a mere influence." Thus we see that John is making a definite point concerning the Person of the pneuma hagion.
Finally, in verse sixteen Jesus says that the Father "will give you another Helper." The word used for "another" is allon which means "another of like kind" and not heteron which carries "the notion of qualitative difference." In other words, Jesus says the Helper will be Someone similar to Himself and does not indicate that the Helper, who is pneuma hagion, will be a gift or power (holy spirit).
Therefore, from these three points, i.e., the personal term "Helper," the personal pronoun "Him" and the meaning of the term "another," we can see that pneuma hagion should be "Holy Spirit" and hot "holy spirit" as Mr. Wierwille has it. Since the Father will send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit is not the Father, for the Father does not send Himself. Yet, the Holy Spirit is divine just as the Son is because They are allon, of the same kind. Hence, Mr. Wierwille's conclusion is proven fallacious by contextual evidence.
Consequently, we have seen that the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Father. It is true that the Father is holy and He is spirit, but the Biblical usage of the term "Holy Spirit" (pneuma hagion) is always in reference to the third Person of the Trinity and not in reference to the Father. In noting the Holy Spirit's distinction from the Person of the Father, we have also seen that He indeed is a Person as the Father is. Throughout the Scriptures certain actions are attributed to the Holy Spirit which cannot be the expression of a gift or power but only of a Person. Some of these actions are as follows:
a) He dwells in believers (John 14:17)
b) He teaches; He brings to remembrance (John 14:26)
c) He testifies (John 15:26)
d) He convicts of sin (John 16:8)
e) He guides into all truth; He hears, He shows (John 16:13)
f) He inspires Scripture and speaks through it (Acts 1:16; II Peter 1:21)
g) He spoke to Philip (Acts 8:29)
h) He calls to the ministry (Acts 13:2)
i) He sends forth His servants (Acts 13:4)
j) He forbids certain actions (Acts 16:6, 7)
k) He intercedes, etc. (Romans 8:26)[11 ]
Mr. Wierwille would also say that the Holy Spirit is a power (p. 130). However, the Holy Spirit is not power but He has power and His power can be seen as distinct from Him. For example, Luke 1:35 says, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you . . ." and in Luke 4:14, "And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit . . ." and Acts 10:38 speaks of Jesus being anointed "with the Holy Spirit and with power." Not only is the Holy spirit a Person as the Father is yet distinct in His Person, but HE is also God, possessing all the attributes of Deity. The Holy Spirit is eternal (Hebrews 9:14); omniscient (I Corinthians 2:10, 11); omnipresent (Psalm 139:7; John 14:17); omnipotent and creates (Zechariah 4:6; Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30); and He is declared to be the truth (I John 5:7).
Thus the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son for He shares with Them the same nature and essence.
In summary of this chapter, we have noted how Mr. Wierwille's method of determining the identity of pneuma hagion is illogical, unrealistic and provides him with license to interpret the Scriptures in favor to his own theology, and some of these interpretations have been proven to be faulty. The pneuma hagion has been shown to be the Holy Spirit who is a Person as the Father is and is God as the Father is God. He is co-equal to the Father and the Son. He is the third Person of the Trinity.
The Christian Trinity
Throughout Jesus Christ Is Not God, Mr. Wierwille demonstrates that he does not really understand the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Instead, he constantly battles against Sabellianism which is not a Christian doctrine. What then is the doctrine of the Holy Trinity? A basic definition of the Trinity would be "that within the unity of the one Deity are three separate Persons who are co-equal in power, nature, and eternity." The Bible never uses the word "Trinity," however this does not deny the doctrine's existence, for its component parts are readily present. In speaking of how the Bible portrays the doctrine, Dr. Louis Berkhof writes;
The Bible never deals with the doctrine of the Trinity as an abstract truth, but reveals the trinitarian life in its various relations as a living reality, to a certain extent in connection with works of creation and providence, but particularly in relation to the work of redemption. Its most fundamental revelation is a revelation given in facts rather than in words. And this revelation increases in clarity in the measure in which the redemptive work of God is more clearly revealed, as in the incarnation of the Son and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Thus, we see that the doctrine does not appear in a nicely cataloged, indexed fashion, but is found in the very facts of the revelation of Scripture.
We have noted throughout this work that Jesus Christ is not only alled God but the very title "the Son of God" is a direct claim to His divine nature. He was found to be pre-existent with the Father and active in creating all that was created. He was worshipped, prayed to and honored as the Father is honored thus making Him equal to the Father. Still He is seen to be distinct from the Father in that He spoke of the Father and prayed to Him, yet He knew the Father even as the Father knew Him (John 10:15), thus implying His Deity for only God can know God that intimately.
We have also noted that the Holy Spirit is a third Person who is equal to the Father and Son by virtue of His divine attributes and eternal nature. He too is referred to as God in Acts 5:3-4 for if one lies to the Holy Spirit one lies unto God.
Does the Bible, the Word of God, teach that there are three Gods? No, for it clearly states that there is but one God. The great Shema of Israel, Deuteronomy 6:4, says, "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!" Since the Bible is the absolute Word of God and it teaches us that there is only one God, yet, all the while, speaking of the Father as God, the Son as God, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit as God and indicating Their simultaneous presence all the while being distinct from one another, the only possible conclusion we can derive is "that within the unity of the one God there are three separate Persons who are co-equal in power, nature, and eternity." This is the doctrine of the Trinity and is founded strictly on Biblical data.
The problem with this Biblical teaching is that it is difficult to understand and "the chief reason for this is that the Trinity is a-logical, or beyond logic." Yet the Biblical data is as it is; God has revealed Himself to man in the Persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is no easy thing to understand but there are many things in life we do not understand yet we still believe them to be true. How water, H2O is beyond our understanding, but the data is that it can happen. Man has a finite mind, while God is infinite, thus we should not expect to grasp everything there is to know about God. We should humble ourselves and accept what He has revealed concerning Himself through the Scriptures.
In speaking of the necessity of the Trinity for the proper revelation of God, Dr. William Stevens, an author Mr. Wierwille quotes, notes that,
If there were no Trinity, Christ would not be God; therefore he could not know God absolutely and perfectly so as to reveal him as such to man. Instead of being the final and complete revelation Christ would only be bringing a revelation, as the prophets did in the centuries that preceded his advent. Also, if there were no Trinity the Holy Spirit would not be God, only an impersonal, invasive power. But this is not so; for as Christ is the means of external revelation, so the Holy Spirit is the means of internal revelation. If the Holy Spirit were not God he could not be the mans of this subjective revelation. God is revealed only in God (Christ), and God is made real only in God (Holy Spirit).
Finally, we conclude with this point, there is an external beauty and richness in the doctrine and reality of the Triune God in that;
It means that God is no bare monad, but an eternal fellowship. It is exciting to realize that God did not exist in solitary aloneness from all eternity, prior to the creation of the word and man, but in a blessed communion.
Results of Mr. Wierwille's Theology
The final outcome of Mr. Wierwille's theology has adverse effects in many areas of one's faith. One such area is a believer's ability to read the Bible and obtain truth for himself. Textual criticism is important, however, Mr. Wierwille throws doubt on those passages of Scripture which deny his theology by either asserting that the text was corrupted by scribes of long ago or he explains the passage to the point of saying, "It doesn't mean what it really says." When the trusting reader reads of such dastardly deeds and questions of his own ability to comprehend the Scriptures, he feels compelled to trust what Mr. Wierwille says and believe his theology without question. Thus the believer becomes dependent on Mr. Wierwille for the "true" interpretation.
Mr. Wierwille's theology also places limits on God, saying that He could not become incarnate and dwell with us a s a man so that we might be able to identify with Him more fully and that He might become our intercessor (Hebrews 4:15-16). It also says that God did not love us enough to come and die in our behalf (Acts 20:28). His theology decidedly places the sin of creature worship upon those in the New Testament who worshipped Jesus Christ. And finally, but certainly not the last effect, it undermines the Biblical "idea of redemption in Christ, since only if the Mediator was Himself divine could man hope to reestablish fellowship with God"[1 ]
A Final Word
In retrospect of this work, it has been demonstrated that Victor Paul Wierwille does indeed stand before God as an unapproved workman (p. 3), for we have seen how he is responsible for the distortion of historical facts, misrepresentation of Greek grammar, and faulty and misleading methods of Biblical interpretation which all results in some truly unbiblical doctrines.
Sloppy scholarship is one thing but dishonest scholarship is another. Upon a close examination of Jesus Christ Is Not God, it becomes painfully obvious that Mr. Wierwille knowingly altered the facts to fit his preconceived theology. Or else he has become so blinded by Satan that he cannot perceive Truth at all, for when he can say that, "To say that Jesus Christ is not God in my mind does not degrade the importance and significance of Jesus Christ in any way" (p. 8), then something is apparently wrong.
Therefore, the complete revelation of Holy Scripture calls Mr. Wierwille to repentance and faith
in the real Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 11:4) for He alone can save. It also calls those followers of
Mr. Wierwille and members of The Way International to test what Mr. Wierwille teaches and to
"examine everything carefully" (I Thessalonians 5:21). Finally, the Scriptures call Christians to
earnestly pray and intercede for Mr. Wierwille and his followers so that they may come to a
saving knowledge of Christ and that they may also look "for the blessed hope and the appearing
of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" (Titus 2:13).
1 Victor Paul Wierwille, "Forgers of the Word" in Bibliography: Jesus Christ Is Not God (New Knoxville, Ohio: American Christian Press, n.d.), p. 27.
"Origin of the Three-in-One God"
1 Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons (Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1959), p. 18.
2 Ibid., p. 90.
3 John McClintock and James Strong, "Trinity" Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (New York: Harper and Brothers, Publishers, 1881), Vol. X, p. 556.
4 Mr. Wierwille should have dated Tertullian as having written in the second half of the second century and the early third century. For a time chart see Eerdmans' Handbook to the History of Christianity (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1977), p. 52.
5 Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, ed., A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 14 vols., "Select Writings and Letters of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria," ed. and trans. Archibald Robertson, 2d ser. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1957), p. 74.
6 A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1931), Vol. I, p. 245. Dr. Robertson refers his readers to his book The Christ and the Logia for proof of the genuineness of the words "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
7 Ibid., Vol. III, p. 35.
8 Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, ed., A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 14 vols., "Eusebius: church History, Life of Constantine the Great, and Oration in Praise of Constantine," 2d ser. (New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1890), pp. 82-83.
9 Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity, 2 vols. (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1975), Vol. I, p. 154.
10 Justo L. Gonzalez, A History of Christian Thought, 3 vols. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1970), Vol. I, p. 285.
11 Latourette, op. cit., p. 153.
12 Ibid., pp. 153-154.
"Who Is Jesus Christ?"
1 J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, 2d ed. (New York: Harper and Row, 1960), p. 122.
2 B. F. Westcott, The Gospel According to St. John, (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1975), p. 3.
3 Mr. Wierwille's explanation of Colossians 2:9 found in "Forgers of the Word" (p. 27 of his Bibliography: Jesus Christ Is Not God) is not in agreement with any New Testament doctrine and results in polytheism. According to Arndt and Gingrich the term theot8s (Godhead in the King James) is translated deity, divinity.
4 W. F. Arndt and F. W. Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1957), p. 326.
5 Robertson, op.cit., Vol. V, p. 316.
6 E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech Used in The Bible (New York: Messrs. E. & J. B. Young and Co., 1898), p. 667.
7 Ibid., p. 669.
8 The New American Standard Bible; the new International Bible; Robertson, ibid., Vol. IV, p. 577; and Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (United Bible Societies, 1971), p. 641, all prefer this rendering.
9 Geoffrey Cumberlege, Companion Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, n.d.), Appendix p. 149, paragraph 104v.
10 Concerning verse 10 and how Mr. Wierwille deals with it on p. 149 on his book see p. ? of this work.
11 H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Isaiah (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1971), Vol. I, p. 331.
12 Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1965), Vol. I, p. 331.
13 Leupold, op.cit., pp. 185-186.
14 Ibid., p. 186.
15 Arndt and Gingrich, op.cit., p. 529.
16 Ladd, op.cit., p. 169.
17 H. D. McDonald, Jesus - Human and Divine (Grand Rapids: A Zondervan Pub. House, 1968), p. 92.
18 Ladd, op.cit., p. 161
19 A. T. Robertson, The Divinity of Christ in the Gospel of John
(Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1916), pp. 67-69.
20 John W. Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977), p. 83.
21 Arndt and Gingrich, op.cit., p. 845.
22 J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House, 1913), p. 110.
24 Richard C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1978), p. 265.
25 Lightfoot, ibid.
26 Trench, ibid.
27 Wierwille, op cit., p. 24.
28 J. J. Muller, The Epistles of Paul to the Philippians and to Philemon (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1955), p. 79, n.4.
29 Ladd, op.cit., p. 420.
30 William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary, Exposition of Philippians (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1962), pp. 107-108.
31 Haley, op.cit., p. 111.
32 W. Arndt, Does the Bible Contradict Itself? (St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 1955), p. 154)
33 Arndt and Gingrich, op.cit., p. 499.
34 Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. V, p. 256.
35 Westcott, op.cit., p. 159.
"The Man - Man's Redeemer"
1 Franz Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Prophecies of Isaiah (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1877), Vol. II, p. 192.
2 For a more full explanation see chapters 4 and 5 of V. P. Wierwille, The Word's Way (New Knoxville, Ohio: American Christian Press, 1971).
3 St. Anselm's Cur deus homo (Why God Became Man) expounds this view.
4 L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1941), p. 319.
"Who Is The Word?
1 V. P. Wierwille, Are the Dead Alive Now? (Old Greenwich, Conn.: The Devin-Adair Co., 1971), p. 15.
2 Robertson, The Divinity of Christ, p. 45.
3 H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Toronto: The Macmillan Co., 1955), p. 140.
4 Robertson, Word Picture in the New Testament, Vol. V, p. 4.
5 Ibid., p. 5.
6 Dana and Mantey, op cit., p. 129.
7 Westcott, op cit., p. 4.
8 To the Hebrew mind the term "first-born" did not mean first by birth but instead meant pre-eminent. This may be seen by cross-referencing Genesis 41:51-52 and Jeremiah 31:9 and noting the change as to who became the first-born." Genesis 48:12-20 contains the story of how Ephraim became the first-born or pre-eminent one over Manasseh who was born first.
9 Dana and Mantey, op.cit., pp. 101-102.
10 Arndt and Gingrich, op.cit., pp. 178-180.
11 Westcott, ibid.
12 Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. V, p. 335. Also A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934), pp. 581 and 583.
13 J. H. Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand
Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House, 1975), pp. 132-134.
14 G. Kittel, gen. ed., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1965), Vol. II, pp. 65-70.
15 Dana and Mantey, op.cit., p. 101.
16 Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. V, p. 15.
17 E. F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1971), p. 64.
18 Westcott, op.cit., p. 15. He calls "only-begotten God" the "best-attested readying (monogen8s theos)."
19 Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (United Bible Society, 1971), p. 198. "With the acquisition of p-66 and p-75, both of which read theos, the external support of this reading has been notably strengthened. A majority of the Committee regarded the reading monogen8s uios, which undoubtedly is easier than monogen8s theos, to be the result of scribal assimilation to John 3:16, 18; I John 4:9. The anarthrous use of theos (cf. 1.1) appears to be more primitive. There is no reason why the article should have been deleted, and when uios supplanted theos it would certainly have been added. The shortest reading, ho monogen8s, while attractive because of internal considerations, is too poorly attested for acceptance as the text.
20 Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. V, p. 17. Completing the quote, Robertson adds, "Probably some scribe changed it to ho monogenas huios to obviate the blunt statement of the deity of Christ and to make it like 3:16. But there is an inner harmony in the reading of the old uncials. The Logos is plainly called theos in verse 1.
1 E. H. Bickersteth, The Trinity (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, p.76), p. 40.
2 Ibid., p. 41.
3 Ibid., p. 43.
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