Walter Kaiser Reveals Christ in the Bible

Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (Wikipedia profile; his personal web page) is a Bible scholar who brings to light how much the Bible talks about Christ (though Kaiser more commonly uses the Hebraic term Messiah, Christ being the Hellenistic version).  His book, The Messiah in the Old Testament, is an example of this.

Kaiser talks about “the promise-plan” of God in which he sees Messiah (i.e. Christ) occupying the central personal role.  This kind of focus reveals how Jesus is the Bible’s common thread and constant preoccupation.

So many people read the Bible without an appreciation of the fact that it’s all about Jesus Christ – Old Testament included (John 5:39; Luke 24:25-27, 31-32, 44-48; 2 Timothy 3:14-15).  Kaiser’s writings can help put such people on the right track.

I should add, however, that there is much more to see about Christ in the Bible than even what Kaiser puts forth.

The Alternative to Trinity Is Christ – Not Unity Per Se

The key point at which the doctrine of the Trinity and all the doctrines that compete with it (including ones which see Christ as divine, such as Oneness or Modalism) get off base is in choosing God the Father as their starting point.  This is anti-biblical.

The Bible directs us to make Christ the starting point (and ending point) of our understanding of God.  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  God established that Christ should be the centerpoint of all our thinking about God.

No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
(John 1:18 NASB, underlining added)

If you start with the Father, you can’t always get to the Son (look to Rabbinic Judaism if you doubt this).  However, if you start with the Son, you always get to the Father.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, the voice from the cloud said of the Son, “Listen to Him!”

When in Deuteronomy 18 Moses spoke of the prophet God would raise up after him he said, “To Him you shall give heed in everything he says to you.” (italics added)

When Peter quoted Moses on this point in Acts 3, he also made clear that Jesus was the One to whom all eyes should now point.

I could go on and on.  If God took such pains to point us to Christ, why do we look elsewhere for the foundation of our thinking about God?

Thus, the alternative to the doctrine of Trinity (and all the systems that Trinity adherents label as error) is not unity per se, but rather Christ Himself.  “In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” – we should not be surprised if we do not find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge when we look in other places.

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

“Trust and Obey” – Hymn

Here is the refrain of this hymn:

Trust and obey, for there's no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

The complete lyrics can be found at GreatChristianHymns.com.

This refrain reminds me of Paul’s admonition in 2 Corinthians 11:3 (NASB) where he encourages the disciples in Corinth not to stray from “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”  (Teachers of the Trinity take note.)

Truly, this hymn refrain is a faithful summation of what the Bible would have us to do.

That everyone is going to heaven is no excuse whatsoever for disobedience to, or disregard of, Christ.  Far from it, let us “love Him with a love incorruptible” (Ephesians 6:24).

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

“Be the One” – Christian Song

“Be the One” is an Al Denson song from the late 1980’s.  The audio quality is poor.  The video is equally poor and, of course, dated.  Yet the song’s lyrics still shine through.

Denson also did a song in this time frame called Peace, Be Still (lyrics here), that I would like to post here, but I have not been able to find it on YouTube.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaAyGBTwwPo&feature=related]

The Doctrine of Christ Versus the Doctrine of the Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity is man-made and the doctrine of Christ is biblical.  (By the way, I consider “doctrine” just another word for “teaching.”)  The fact that the doctrine of the Trinity is man-made does not in and of itself mean that it is wrong.  I reject the doctrine of the Trinity not merely because it is man-made, but because it obscures, contradicts, and violates the doctrine of Christ that we find in the Bible.  That such a man-made doctrine promoted as God-given is what makes it particularly harmful to people (though there is one positive aspect to it).

Let me say at the outset that I am outlining the doctrine of Christ here primarily as it relates to the Trinity. I don’t propose that what I’m writing conveys the fullness of the Christ teaching.  That is, it is an injustice to the teaching of Christ to frame it only in terms of answering questions that the Trinity issue raises. I say this because the teaching of Christ is meant for us to fully embrace and obey and live – day by day. God forbid that what I’ve written here become like the teaching of Trinity which is largely a dry philosophical exercise whereby we talk about God without really living for Him.

1. Christ is the centerpiece of all God’s working with man. It is His response to the Fall, and He conceived it in anticipation of the Fall – before this creation came to be. Therefore, Christ was the ultimate plan and purpose of all creation.

2. The entire Christ plan was written into the Scriptures, albeit in “mystery” that it might be revealed at the appropriate time. Some of it was revealed in the New Testament, but some of it was still being written in mystery form (e.g. the book of Revelation), to be revealed with the coming of the kingdom of God.

3. Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, the Son of God. This fact was recognized to some during His earthly ministry, but was not publicly proclaimed until after His resurrection and ascension into heaven. Christ is the image of God, and throughout all the ages to come God will continue revealing Himself through Christ.

4. Everything in the Scriptures testifies of Christ. Everything in the Scriptures points us to Christ. We are told to trust Christ, obey Christ, love Christ, be devoted to Christ – in short, to treat Christ like God. This is because God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.

5. We are told in the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit is the inheritance of those who obey Christ.

6. We are told in the Scriptures that He who has the Son has the Father, that the Father will be revealed to those whom Christ wills to reveal Him, and that he who has seen Christ has seen the Father.

Through following Christ we can find all things pertaining to life and godliness. The Trinity doctrine subordinates the doctrine of Christ to itself, and thus must be rejected if we are to be fully devoted to Christ and ever know the Father.

For more on this subject, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

Methodist Preachers in John Wesley’s Days

Peter Cartwright (1785-1872), who had himself been a circuit-riding preacher in America in the wake of John Wesley’s ministry, wrote in his autobiography (The Autobiography of Peter Cartwright, 1856) about what happened when a man felt called of God to preach.

“[I]nstead of hunting up a college or Biblical Institute, [he] hunted up a hardy pony, and some traveling apparatus, and with his library always at hand, namely, a Bible, Hymn book, and Discipline, he started, and with a text that never wore out nor grew stale, he cried, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world’.”

(The Scripture quoted is John 1:29; my source for this Cartwright quote can be found here.)

Cartwright’s words remind me of something Brother Lawrence (for explanation on him, see here) wrote in The Practice of the Presence of God:

“Were I a preacher, I would, above all other things, preach the practice of the presence of God. “

I’m quite struck by the similarity of the two ideas (that is, Peter Cartwright’s and Brother Lawrence’s): both remind us that living according to the reality of God’s omnipresence is the simplest, and yet the most seldom achieved, task in the pursuit of life with God.

The Trinity Doubts the Word of Christ

The Trinity concept does not believe that Jesus kept His word to come again in the generation of His contemporaries (Matthew 24:34, and elsewhere).  However, Jesus did keep His promise, and thus He is filling the heavens and the earth and not still restricted to the right hand of God.

Because those who formulated the Trinity doctrine did not believe in Jesus’ accomplished Second Coming, they have God stuck in a state of suspended animation whereby Jesus has not yet come to judge the living and the dead.  If Jesus is not yet Judge of heaven and earth, then not only is His word unreliable, but no one has gone to heaven, the dead are still in Sheol below, Satan and his host still occupy places of authority in heaven.

Fear not, however, for Jesus did keep His promise, the dead live in heaven, Satan has been cast down to earth, and Jesus reigns over all of His enemies.

There is no need to doubt the word of Christ.

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The Trinity Diminishes Christ, but the Bible Exalts Him

The Trinity concept says that if you have Christ, you only have a partial understanding of God.  It says that Christ is only one-third of God, and He’s the “second” third at that.

On the other hand, the Bible exalts Christ and says that if you have the Son, you have the Father (1 John 2:23).

Seek Jesus Christ, and you will find all of God.  Diminish Jesus Christ and you will miss God.

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The Trinity Says Christ Is In God, but the Bible Says God Is in Christ

The Trinity concept says that Christ is one of three entities that comprise God.  The Bible, however, says that God “was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself”  (2 Corinthians 5:19, italics added).

Therefore, if you embrace the trinity concept it blocks your view of the glory of God in Christ.

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

What I Like About the Trinity Concept

There is one thing I like about the Trinity concept: that it asserts the deity of Christ.

In fact, many times people accept the Trinity because the only alternative is to consider Jesus a mere human being.  But that only makes the Trinity the lesser of two errors.

Nonetheless, I do want to make clear that I share common cause with all Trinitarians when it comes to the deity of Christ.  He is Lord!

For more on this subject, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ