Preface – The Doctrine of the Apostles

Our understanding of the truth must be based entirely on the teachings of Christ and the Apostles.

The Apostle John wrote, “We are of God. He who knows God hears us, he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

Our understanding of the truth must agree with the Apostolic Church, and those of the Apostolic Church age. After the departure of the Spirit of truth, different teachings, which claimed to be based on the Bible, sprang up.

There are several key verses that explain the understanding of the Apostles.

Our first responsibility in reading these verses is to understand the obvious meaning of what is written, and not to try and twist the obvious to suit our own theory. Even as Peter wrote, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20).

Bible Passages Biblical Truth
“WHO was manifest in the flesh.” (1 Timothy 3:16) The Spirit of Christ, without gender, being “WHO,” was manifest in the flesh (not “incarnated” as explained by Latin theology).
“There is one God, the Father.” (1 Corinthians 8:6)

 

The Son is not God.
“He is the image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3)

 

Christ is not the one true God. He is the image of the invisible God.
“He is the firstborn of all creation,” (Colossians 1:15) “the only begotten God,” (John 1:18) “the beginning of creation.” (Revelation 3:14) Christ is not self-existing; He was the firstborn of the one true God, and Father of all.
“He has spoken to us through His Son . . . through whom He also created the worlds.” (Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16)

 

Through Christ, the Son, all things were created.
“Let Us make man in Our image.” (Genesis 1:26) “He chose us from the foundation of the world.”(Ephesians 1:4) “You were predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” (Romans 8:29)

 

Most readily see the connection between these three verses. God and His image were one, but yet two distinct spiritual beings, who created the world.
“No one has seen God at any time.” (John 1:18;  1 John 4:12)

“You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.” (John 5:37)

The one who appeared to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob was not the invisible God. (But rather we know it was His image, Jesus Christ.)
“I, YHVH (He WILL BE), appeared to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but by My Name YHVH I was not known to them.” (Exodus 6:2–3) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew the name of God was YHVH, but they did not know the name of His Messenger, who “appeared to them” as “God Almighty.”
 “Moreover . . . you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘He WILL BE the ELOHIM of your fathers . . . has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:15) The Spirit of Christ, the Angel of YHVH who appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, was the ELOHIM whose name God revealed as YHVH—“He WILL BE the ELOHIM of your fathers.”
“In the beginning was the Word.” (John 1:1)

“He has spoken to us through His Son through whom He also created the worlds.” (Hebrews 1:2)

God speaks to us through Christ. God also spoke the worlds into existence through Christ.
Once we understand that Christ was the one who appeared to Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob, and Moses, it will be easy for us to understand that Christ was God’s spokesman in the Old Testament. Hence, He is described by John as “The Word” whereas Paul called Him the “image of the invisible God.”
“The Word was with God and God was the Word—the only begotten God.” (John 1:1 and 1:18) Because of the influence of the Trinity doctrine on translation, the expression “only begotten God” in John 1:18 was replaced by “only begotten Son.” They also changed the order of the phrase “God was the Word,” which tells us ELOHIM in Genesis 1:1 was Jesus Christ.

In Appendix 2, we will discuss the effect of the Trinity doctrine on the translation of key verses in the Bible that help us to understand the truth of the Apostolic message.