Sabbath Message 25/3/27/120
It is appropriate that we take the Nature of God discussion to its next phase and identify the exact place that the theology of the World Wide Church of God (WCG) went astray, for in that story the entire structure of the faulty theology of the subsequent Churches of God can be identified.
There is a story in the US that goes along the lines of the nail that was lost, and subsequently the shoe was lost, and then the horse went lame, and so the battle was lost. That is not all that far from the mark in the discussion of the nature of God. Previously it was mentioned that the understanding that the plural elohim was derived from the singular Eloah, and the fact of the progression from Eloah to Elohim was mentioned in the WCG Bible correspondence course.
The courses in fact contained such references from 1956 on to the last course issued by Joseph Tkach Snr. in the late 1980s after the death of Herbert Armstrong, and was not substantially changed.
Lesson 9 - Ambassador Bible Correspondence Course - copyright 1956,
Who - What is God? Comment (on question one): "The Original Hebrew word for "God" in Ge 1:1 and throughout the account of the creation is Elohim, which actually means more than one! It is the plural form of the Hebrew word "El," or "Eloah," which can be correctly translated as "Mighty Ones.""
Now this text shows the exact point at which the WCG theology developed into Ditheism. Elohim is a plural form that can mean gods or god as an extended being, or as a subordinate being of any part of the host. The word refers to the structure of the heavenly council of the sons of God as we see in the psalms, and refers to the extension of the capacity as gods to the elect, as Sons of God also. This has been examined in detail in the paper The Elect as Elohim (No. 1).
The word elohim is indeed a plural form that is derived from the singular form
Eloah. The problem with this “definition” is that it is incorrect in its alleged
meaning of Eloah. El indeed means Mighty One. It is not plural. Eloah (SHD 433
Eloahh or Elowahh) can never ever mean “Mighty Ones.” It is singular and admits
of no plurality whatsoever. The Chaldean equivalent Elahh (SHD 426) is also
singular. Therefore both are singular and mean: a, or more correctly the Deity;
or God (god). It has been used once in the Scriptures to refer to a deity in
the singular other than The One True God Eloah as “no eloah” and also the God
of Forces or strange Eloah in Daniel 11:38-39 (c.f. also 2Chron. 32:15). Islam
also derives the name Allah’ from this concept of “The Lah” or power which is
the One True God. Arabic is a derivative of the Chaldean through Eastern Aramaic
(see the papers The Name of God in Islam (No.
54); The Names of God (No. 116); and
The Etymology of the Name of God (No. 220)).
The assertion that Eloah meant “Mighty Ones” was obviously made by those Binitarian or Ditheist apologists, who had entered the Radio Church of God (later the WCG) at an early stage. Had this point been correctly understood and explained by the ministry of the WCG in 1956, it would have been impossible to dislodge the WCG from a firm Unitarian theology, and send it down the path to Trinitarianism, and the abolition of the Law of God. The problem appears to be that the senior administrators of the RCG and later WCG simply did not know enough to expound the point. That error hamstrings all its offshoots to this very day. The dislocation of the Adventist system followed similar patterns, but we will not concern ourselves with that process here. It is useful however, to note that the penetration and corruption of the systems over the centuries have followed these depressingly familiar patterns.
How important is this distinction theologically to the Bible? Well the simple answer is that it is the distinction between the object of worship who is the source of the creation, and the heavenly host that were created by Him and made into elohim. In this sense He also went from Eloah to Ha Elohim in this creative process. He did however, remain the central object of worship in this process. He is thus also called Yahovah, which means: “He causes to be.” He alone is Yahovah of Hosts and all other elohim or sons of God are called by the name Yahovah when they represent Yahovah of Hosts, or “He causes to be” (see also The Angel of YHVH (No. 24)). The “He that causes to be” is also singular not plural, and concerns the Father. This name was spoken openly and repeated daily in the Temple system until its destruction
It does not take a genius to work out that claiming there were two separate gods existent from before the beginning of creation, both of which existed independently of the creative capacity of the other, is advancing a blasphemy. It then leads ultimately to the worship of both gods, or the confusion of the two into one being, as we see with Binitarianism, which is simply closet paganism seen in the worship of Attis, Adonis, and Osiris, in the Mysteries.
Ditheism claims two Gods when the Bible says there is One True God and He sent Jesus Christ (Jn. 17:3). No man has ever seen him or can see him (1Tim. 6:16). The existence of all things is directly attributed to the One True God, who is the Father of us all (1Cor. 8:6).
Why do the Churches of God cling to an idea that even to a child is an obvious problem? Why did the WCG publish the article that said that these two gods had a discussion, and one agreed to come down and be the son of the other and be sacrificed? I asked a minister of WCG how they could make such a statement and he said “Oh well that is heresy.” Nevertheless, it did not stop the offshoots from carrying the same doctrine, which gave rise to this explanation into their churches on the reorganisation.
The logic of this thinking is irrefutably thus.
Premise 1: If there were two Godly Beings that existed eternally side by side before the beginning of the creation; and
Premise 2: Neither was the product of the creative ability or power of the other;
Conclusion: Then: they are two true Gods.
They can be nothing else. But the Bible says there is only One True God who is the Father of all. Christ calls him his God and Father.
Even the idolatrous Greeks came to see the logical absurdity of Ditheism (c.f. Creation: From Anthopomorphic Theology to Theomorphic Anthropology (B5)) and so Binitarianism was constructed in their pre-Christian theology.
This doctrine was adopted within Christianity to get around the existence of the One True God argument that the Bible so clearly demanded, yet still provide the incoherent idolatry of Attis and Adonis in the Mysteries. Thus, the pagans merged with the Christians under the false doctrines of the pagans, and Christianity theologically died or was marginalised within the empire. The Celts of Anatolia, Scythia, and later Rome and the West, gulped this blasphemy down because it was their religion from the beginning. The only thing to be added was the Holy Spirit, and then bring in the Madonna as the fourth element, who was none other than the pagan Mother Goddess of the Phrygians and the east generally. Even the statues in Rome of the goddess, and especially the black Madonna, were imported into Rome in the three centuries before Christ
Why are some of the Churches of God so reluctant to give up a doctrine that is so obviously pagan and idolatrous? The answer is because it is unfashionable to be zealously Unitarian in a society that is riddled with this pagan doctrine. It also means admitting that Herbert Armstrong made a very serious error of theology, that turned the Church from a Unitarian base into the idolatrous Ditheism that saw it destroyed. They never prayed to anything other than the Father in the name of Christ, so why did they not understand it? It seems puzzling indeed to anyone compelled by logic.
To the end of controlling logical opposition and internal dissent, the Trinitarian controlled society has developed a barrage of labels that can be bandied about, and thrown at those who actually read the Bible, and see the absurdity of the Trinitarian doctrine for what it is. One sees historically and in theology, the progression from the Binitarianism of Attis and Adonis, to the Trinitarianism of the Christianity of Constantinople of 381 CE. The difference is that the people who are Binitarians are simply those who have not swallowed the full camel as yet. The Ditheists have not studied their doctrines as yet to recognise it for the non-biblical absurdity that it is. They all represent stages in the first three centuries of the Church’s growth and subversion, and none are correct. They are all simply stages of error on the road to idolatrous corruption.
The Temple was built at Jerusalem to the singular One True God Eloah/Elahh (SHD 433/426). The Interlinear Bible and Strong’s Concordance identify the word in the text of Ezra as SHD 426 Elahh, which it is. Bullinger then identifies the Chaldean Elahh as Eloah in the Hebrew. The entire identification is of the One True God, Elahh and Eloah identified in the Ancient texts and now identified by the Arabs as Allah.’ He is the God of the Temple at Jerusalem and the authority and source of the Law. The priests worship Him and all activity is directed to Him. All the texts from Ezra 4:24-7:26 show this singular deity who is the source of the religion, and object of worship of the Temple of God. That is perfectly consistent with what we see in the entire Bible texts.
The doctrine of a true Christian is clear and distinct. There is One True God from whom all things exist, and who sent Jesus Christ the Lord of all, through whom we subsist in God (c.f. 1Cor. 8:6). To understand this fact and to know God is eternal life (Jn 17:3).
When you come across those who say that there are two Gods, and say they are Christians, do not believe them. That view is not the doctrine of the early Church (see the paper Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127)). When you come across those who say that they are Christians and say there is One True God, but he is in two (or three parts), the “Father” element of which remained in heaven while the “Son” element came to be sacrificed, do not believe them either. They have separated the divinity of Christ from his humanity. This is the doctrine of antichrist.
So also is the doctrine not Christian that says that Christ did not pre-exist except as an idea in the mind of God, before he was incarnated as a foetus in Mariam’s womb. This doctrine denies the pre-existent authority, and hence the power of Christ in reconciling the host, and is a doctrine of Satan. It is another version of Trinitarianism, although to a beginner it appears the contrary of that doctrine. It is however, quasi-Trinitarian and is false (see the paper The Pre-existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243)). That doctrine is more correctly termed radical Unitarianism, that started with the Socinians in the Reformation (see the paper Socinianism, Arianism and Unitarianism (No. 185)).
In the same way, as Justin Martyr told the Roman authorities, when you come across people that say they are Christians, and that when they die they go to heaven, do not believe them. They are not Christians. This is one of the first errors of the Gnostics to enter the Church in Rome.
These jumbled doctrines are placed in the Church to destroy it, and not to edify it. Do not be frightened to confront these errors in the Churches of God, for they are the basis of all other heresy and error. These divisions are allowed among us to show who has the approval of God.
“For this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent” (Jn. 17:3).
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