Defending vital doctrines and the deity of Christ
This comes from a US creationist, D.B., who questions our doctrinal statement about the identity of the Creator. Jonathan Sarfati argues that the Creator God is Jesus Christ himself, based on what confessing Jesus as ‘Lord’ in context, and the New Testament application of the shema.
We also present a feedback on some feedback by Elise C. of Vermont, US.
I find your doctrinal statement scripturally inaccurate:
“Salvation is a gift received by faith alone in Christ alone and expressed in the individuals repentance, recognition of the death of Christ as full payment for sin, and acceptance of the risen Christ as Saviour, Lord AND GOD.”
I’m unaware of any scripture or Acts conversion that requires the believer to confess that Jesus is YHWH to be saved.
Yes there is—calling Jesus ‘LORD’ in a number of contexts makes it very clear that it has the meaning ‘YHWH’. E.g. in Romans 10:9–13:
‘That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”’
Verse 13 provides the context of what ‘Lord’ means in ‘Jesus is Lord’—it is a citation of Joel 2:32:
‘And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.’
Here, the Hebrew text makes it clear that it’s YHWH, yet Paul applies it to Jesus.
And according to your next doctrinal statement:
“All things necessary for our salvation are set down in Scripture.”
I doubt if that’s required for salvation, God would try to “hide” it from us.
It is not hidden, but very clear especially if you understand the Jewish context.
Don’t get me wrong, I love [your ministry], and I’ve donated tons of cash,
That is very kind of you. But we will not change from promoting Jesus as YHWH, the Second Person of the Trinity.
but I think that to say someone is REQUIRED to believe Jesus is YHWH to be saved is a gross misrepresentation of scripture. “Lord and Savior” is a title given (Acts 2:36), and does not mean YHWH.
It certainly does. YHWH Himself said ‘I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.’ (Isaiah 43:11). So calling Jesus ‘Savior’ is logically calling Him YHWH since YHWH is the only savior.
Also there is 1 Cor. 8:6:
‘Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.’
Here, Paul is applying the famous Shema of Deut. 6:4 ‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.’ Paul has used the key phrase ‘one Lord’ and applied it to Jesus Christ, thus including Jesus in the divine identity! Also, phrases like ‘of’ or ‘by whom all things’ are typical Jewish formulations that express God’s relationship to creation. This is in line with the Jewish concept of Wisdom, God’s attribute, as God’s tool for creation. Yet this still retains monotheism by including Jesus within the divine identity.
I’ve got to be honest, I’m a little perplexed that you guys haven’t cracked the nonsensical trinity. I highly recommend: [website removed by editor per feedback rules]
As a Messianic Jew myself, I highly recommend against these wannabe-Jewish gentiles who come up with such pretentious nonsense. Instead I recommend books by Messianic Jew/Hebrew Christian Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum, such as Messianic Christology, which we stock. He is fluent in Hebrew and shows how the Old Testament teaches a plurality within the one God YHWH.
Keep up the good work and I will keep spreading the word.
However, I am deeply concerned that you do not ‘honour the Son just as they honour the Father’, because that means that you do not honour the Father either (John 5:23), as the Messiah said. We urge you to repent of the sin of not honouring the Son, of rejecting the Son of God (John 3:35–36); our loving concern is that otherwise you will see the wrath of YHWH on you. The Bible makes it clear that we are saved from the wrath of YHWH by trusting in Jesus our Saviour, not by doing the things the Watchtower (or any other organization or group) tells us to do (Acts 2:38, 4:12). That’s the only way we can be saved! How about it? Have you been forgiven for your sins? Are you safe from the wrath of YHWH? I speak in genuine loving concern.
(Dr) Jonathan Sarfati
Brisbane, Australia (now Atlanta, USA)