“‘The church will be inhabited forever and the church through all generations. Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.’ The LORD dwells in the church!” (Joel 3:20,21) Sound familiar? It shouldn’t. Maybe these verses actually say this: “‘Jesus will be inhabited forever and Jesus through all generations. His bloodguilt, which God has not pardoned, He will pardon.’ The LORD dwells in Jesus!”

Those who adhere to Replacement Theology tell us that all the passages in the Old Testament where God made promises to the Israelites regarding their nation, the physical land of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem are promises that have, since Christ’s resurrection, been removed and transferred to “the true church of Jesus Christ” (or, for those who take the brand of Fulfillment Theology, to “Christ Himself”). But can their teaching be the Truth? –Even as they contradict the statements of God?

The above is how the Replacement/Fulfillment Theology adherents have to read Joel 3:20,21, unless of course, they choose to believe that God breaks His promises. But here is what the verses actually say: “‘Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.’ The LORD dwells in Zion!”

Is God promising in these two verses something regarding the Jews’ homeland or should we believe that it refers to the church’s homeland? What is the plain meaning? Who is the promise, which God is giving through the prophet Joel, being given to? Certainly it can be seen that the whole of the book regards the Israelite nation and its separateness from all other nations. This is especially obvious in verses 1-3 of chapter 3 where God promises to “restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem” and “gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat” so that He can enter into judgement against the nations for what they have done to His people, His land, and His inheritance.

The Valley of Jehoshaphat is a literal place that separates Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, so if God foretells that His judgement against the nations will take place there, it is a falsehood to teach otherwise. Moreover, if the Lord says that this is “concerning My inheritance, My people Israel,” (Joel 3:2) then it seems that only pride or ignorance would cause someone to teach that God actually meant, “My inheritance, My people, the church.” Does such a teaching make sense when God goes on to say, “for they scattered My people among the nations and divided up My land”? (Same verse) How exactly have the nations divided up the land of the church so as to make God angry?

God promises again in Joel 3:12 that He plans to, and will, judge all the nations when they advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat. He promises in verse 16 that He will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem even while also being “a refuge for His people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.” In verse 17 He says, “Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, My holy hill.” These three verses alone reveal that God claims the hill of Zion as His, states that He dwells there, and states that He is the God and Fortress of those He is addressing, the people of Israel. The rest of verse 17 shows God saying, “Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.” This is a further promise to the people to whom Joel was preaching –that their capital will one day be holy and forever free from all invasion. Considering history, verse 17 informs us that this promise is for the future, as does verse 18 which promises abundant prosperity and another (physical) situation that is future: “A fountain will flow out of the LORD’s house and will water the Valley of Shittim” –likely by irrigation means. However, for Egypt and Edom, a desolation is decreed. (v. 19)

So now we arrive again at Joel 3:20,21 which we began with: “‘Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.’ The LORD dwells in Zion!” This cannot refer to the church or to Jesus. The true church, since they are truly in Christ, has already had its bloodguilt pardoned, and Jesus has never had any bloodguilt, for He is, always has been, and always will be, perfect. Thus Joel 3:20,21 can only refer to the people who inhabit Judah, Jerusalem, and Zion whom God names as His own.

“Never again will My people be shamed.” God promises this in Joel 2:26 and again in verse 27. In verse 19 He promises, “Never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations,” while verse 18 states, “Then the LORD will be jealous for His land and take pity on His people.” It says, “His land” and “His people”. In verse 20 God declares that He will drive the northern army into a parched land and into the eastern and western seas, creating a stench. References to armies and geography should necessitate that this be read literally.

The book of Joel was, and still is, a message to Israel specifically, not to the church specifically, and certainly not to Jesus. It is a call for Israel to repent that they may be spared when “the day of the LORD” comes upon mankind. “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy hill.” (Joel 2:1) For, as God says, “A nation has invaded My land, powerful and without number…” (1:6)

The book of Joel is “The word of the LORD that came to Joel son of Pethuel.” (Joel 1:1) “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.” (2:32) Yes, “‘Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.’ The LORD dwells in Zion!” (3:20,21)

with love,


We are to believe the Truth, for adhering to false doctrine won’t save any of us. (1 Tim. 4:16) Yet many seem unconcerned about diligently studying the Truth and what God expects of us. In fact, many who claim to follow Christ also claim that God expects nothing of us because Jesus has done it all for us –has made us perfect in God’s sight, forever and sealed. To do the works God prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:10) is apparently, to them, an option, not a requirement for remaining in Christ (though Jesus informs us that it is required –John 15:2,10). They do not believe they must walk obediently in God’s will in order to be in right standing with Him and thus be allowed eternal life. By this unbelief they are unbelievers in the Word of God –that Word which repeatedly tells us of this necessity, such as in Mt. 5:27-30 & 7:21-27 & 12:50 and John 8:31-38 and 1 John 2:15-17 and Rev. 2:4,5 & 3:14-16.

We need to realize that we are to “fear God who… has the authority to throw into Hell” (Luke 12:5) for “God does not show favoritism but accepts people from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.” (Acts 10:34,35) Ja. 2:24 is crystal clear: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Verse 22 is clear also as it tells us that faith is made complete by what we do, because, as verse 17 already informed us, “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is useless.” We must face such verses and not ignore them.

Titus 1:16 should serve as a warning to all who think they are in right standing with Christ: “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him.” 1 John 2:3,4 says similar: “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The person who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the Truth is not in him.” If the Truth is not in someone, then Jesus who is the Truth (John 14:6) is not in that person. Only unification with Christ’s Spirit, which comes by obeying His commands (1 John 3:24) saves eternally. (John 15:1-10)

Should we become over-worked and over-anxious? No, for we do have our “Sabbath rest” (Heb. 4:9) who is Jesus, through Whom we do works. (v. 10) Even so, we are to “make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” (v. 11) Disobedience to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and leadings will, let’s make no mistake about it, jeopardize our inheritance of Eternal Life. (Rom. 8:9,13,14 // Heb. 10:26-31) As Jesus says, “If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love.” (John 15:10) And in verse 9, He already made the command, “Now remain in My love.” Jesus is informing us that the responsibility is ours to remain, though yes, that the power is Him and that through Him we will bear fruit. (v. 4,5) However, Jesus also warns us that the Father “cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit.” (v. 2) In verse 6 He warns, “If anyone does not remain in Me, he… [will be] thrown into the fire and burned.” We remain through obedience to Christ’s commands and Spirit. (v. 10 // Rom. 8:9 // Heb. 10:35-39) But, the person who has mistreated “the blood of the covenant that sanctified him” (Heb. 10:29) –that is a once saved person– should expect only Hell. (v. 27) For the cross does not cover that once sanctified person who continues to sin. (v. 26,29 // John 8:34,35 // 2 Pe. 2:20-22 & 3:14-17)

God’s Word is not only for our comfort and our guidance, but also for warning us of Hell. It’s not meant to be a feel-good message for those who wish to remain in disobedience to God’s Spirit. Heb. 5:9 says that Jesus “became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.”

Truth does not fit into our belief. Instead we must align our belief to the Truth.


with love,

For those of us who are bewildered about the actions and words of those who belong to the Church of Christ, and for those, as well, within that denomination who wish to understand better why they are ostracizing themselves from others who uphold God’s Word, there is an excellent pdf book, written by insightful men within the CoC itself, which we can study. I have been reading through it this month and it is quite enlightening. It confirms what I have experienced in the past as well as recently, for instead of accepting that friends will, and can, differ in their interpretations of some passages of Scripture, there seems to be an insistence that others come to see their beliefs as being undeniably right. To this end many CoC people work, oblivious, or maybe just unconcerned, as to their combative, insensitive style, and to the betrayal others may feel when they realize that the CoC adherent’s main goal is making a convert rather than that of maintaining a friendship.

Should we not try to persuade others to believe what we are convinced is the Truth? Yes and no. Yes, when we are making a clear declaration that that is our main goal and are leaving it open for others to choose to listen or not, to share with us their beliefs and why they have those beliefs, and when we can drop those matters which cannot be agreed upon. However, if methods are employed such as condescension, intimidation, coercion, or deception, then the one “evangelizing” is not operating in the Holy Spirit, but rather in the sinful nature.

Gal. 5:19-21 makes that clear. There it tells us that the acts of the sinful nature are obvious and that along with such sins as sexual immorality, witchcraft, and fits of rage, the sins of discord, dissensions, and factions are also those sins which will keep a person from inheriting the Kingdom of God. In the pdf book I’ve mentioned that I’m reading, it is admitted that the CoC has many factions, that this is due to much infighting, argument, and contention, and that the majority perpetuate this behavior as if it is admirable to do so. This is largely discussed from chapters 14 on to the end, all of which I’ve read.

Now I am reading through the previous chapters, which I earlier skimmed. Letting their readers know that unity, not divisiveness, was the goal of the CoC founders, these authors lament that the exact opposite has come about. Here are three excerpts and I encourage everyone to read these carefully, noting how off course the CoC denomination has since gone:

~~From p. 31: It is ironic that a Movement that began as an effort to unite the Christians in all the sects should itself become the most divisive of any persuasion in Christendom. It would be like Quakers evolving into bitter warmongers or like Pentecostals becoming apathetic to the call to holiness. Not only did our pioneers preach unity, they also practiced it. The union effected at Lexington could only have occurred among people who were prepared to accept each other despite differences and to honor the right of private judgment.

~~From p. 37: It was here that Stone showed his magnanimity. Realizing that he had been too speculative in his handling of scripture, he resolved to cool it. He went on record as agreeing that there is but one thing necessary insofar as faith is concerned, for union in Christ, and that is believing that Jesus is the Son of God. And there is but one act that is required for entrance into the fellowship of the church, and that is immersion. Campbell had long stressed this believing the one fact, obeying the one act as the basis of fellowship, and Stone accepted it. Stone, however, never really believed in baptism as “essential to salvation,” the view that eventually emerged among the Campbellites, though Campbell himself avoided stating the idea that strongly. Stone’s definition of a Christian will interest you: “Whoever acknowledges the leading truths of Christianity, and conforms his life to that acknowledgement, we esteem a Christian.”

~~From p. 41: Then there are some that will draw the line on a sister or brother for taking a drink. I do not take drinks and I suppose I do not approve, but in the light of scripture do I have the right to impose my view upon others, demanding that they see it my way or be thrust from the fellowship? The scriptures clearly make drunkenness a sin, and I know of no one that disputes that. Here we can agree. But to deduce that one cannot therefore take a cocktail with his meals without sinning is to go beyond what the Bible says. The teetotaler may be right, but as Thomas Campbell liked to put it, he cannot impose his deduction upon others until they see it the way he does.

Where Scripture does not give a clear-cut command, we should never think we have the right to infringe upon others what we believe concerning those debatable issues. In the first four chapters of 1 Cor. we are warned about factions that tout one teacher over another. No, we are to follow Christ alone (3:21-23), for He is our only Master and Teacher (Mt. 23:8-10), our only Spiritual Authority (20:25,26), and the only Mediator between us and God. (1 Tim. 2:5) Moreover, the Lord alone is our Judge (1 Cor. 4:4), and we are not to judge the conscience or motives, nor the debatable beliefs and actions, of another one of Christ’s servants. (v. 5 // Rom. 14:1-4) “Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil.” (Rom. 14:16) And so that “you will not take pride in one man [and his doctrines] over against another” (1 Cor. 4:6), definitely “Do not go beyond what is written [in Scripture]” –!!! (Same verse) In spite of these warnings, the CoC continues to invent strict rules that are not stated in the Word of God. In the future I will address some of them.

Here is the link to the very helpful pdf book:

Again, I want to point out that this pdf book is written by those within the CoC but who see where their churches are erring and how they are hindering the furtherance of the Gospel. Those who are in the CoC should find it helpful and freeing, and so should anyone else who is being intimidated to believe as that denomination says we must.

with love,

Jesus says, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34)


Yes, every single person who sins is a slave.

To what?

To sin.

But Jesus came to free us from sin so that we can walk in righteousness instead. (Rom. 6:15-23 // 1 John 3:4-6)

How are we set free?

Jesus says it is by knowing the Truth, for it is the Truth that sets us free. (John 8:32)

Jesus, of course, is the Truth. (John 14:6) So we must know Him. But to know Him, we must hold to His teaching. (8:31)

The Word of God is also the Truth. (John 17:17) We must know it too, and obey it, in order to be in (abide in and progress in) sanctification. (Same verse // 1 Pe. 1:22)

The Holy Spirit, who is the Truth as well, will be the One to convict us and guide us as we walk this Path. (John 16:8,13)

Consequently, we will not be led astray by those who say it is okay for Christians to sin because they have their “guaranteed, non-reversible ticket” of salvation. Rather, we know this: “The person who does what is right is righteous, just as He [Christ] is righteous. The person who does what is sinful is of the devil.” (1 John 3:7,8a)

But, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8c)


Jesus came and destroyed the devil’s work. Everyone who believes can unite with Christ and walk in this deliverance from the devil.

That is, everyone who believes to the point of following Jesus, obeying Jesus, and holding to His teaching consistently. This is what being one with Christ means.

Such a person is set free.

Such a person is the one who is granted a permanent place in God’s family. (John 8:35)

with love,

WC, at my comment page,
I truly am encouraged whenever I hear of someone growing in holiness and reading the Word. I hope we all will forever do just that.

I acknowledge that the Lord uses all sorts of means to bring people to Him. I do believe, and have stated it before at times, that people can come to the Truth through false paths –but not because of those paths, but because the Lord, who is merciful, compassionate, and all-powerful, sees the seeking, hurt, or desperate heart, and He, in spite of the “incurable medicine” they are taking, reveals Himself to that person, guiding them to the Real Truth. Thus I’ve said that people in Catholicism can come to the Truth –in spite of Catholicism’s many false teachings– and the same it is for Mormons, New Agers, etc. However, that being said, any apparent deliverance from sin, or any “burning in the bosom” (as Mormons put it) that supposedly proves to them that they possess God’s Spirit, or if there be any other ecstatic feeling, or any power to overcome desires –such things can also be done or experienced with the power, methods, and ideas of the master of deception. (2 Cor. 11:3,4,13-15 // Eph. 2:1-3, 4:17-19 // 2 Thes. 2:9-12 // 1 Tim. 4:1,2 // 1 John 4:1-6)

In Jer. 17:5 we read, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the person who trusts in man, who makes flesh [humans] his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.'” The Lord does often use people, even unregenerate people, –even use them to bring people to repentance and Truth, for “all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27) We know He used even a donkey to warn a prophet (Num. 22:20-35), but that does not mean we seek out other donkeys to relay to us the Truth of God. Good habits and good people may help us but we are not to rely on them / put our trust in them, nor are we to neglect to measure them to see if they are lined up with the Truth of God’s Word.

Much of the fruit of CR is bad. Though you may have experienced a helpful group, the method itself promotes reliance on man as well as a focus on everyone’s harmful habits, problems, hang-ups, addictions, etc. –which practices, in short, should just be called “sin” and from which Spirit-indwelt people have been set free. (Rom. 6:18)

Eph. 5:12 says, “For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” When it says “it is shameful even to mention” such things, we should not be organizing groups that not only mention perverse, ugly things, but discuss them to the point of glorifying them! Sin is over for those truly born again as new creatures. (2 Cor. 5:17 // Gal. 5:24 // 1 John 3:6-10) Yes, we are to meet together to encourage one another, but that encouragement comes about supernaturally from the Spirit as we, with music, praise, and thanksgiving to God, “speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19) One sinning man telling another sinning man about his sins and how he can overcome sin pales enormously in strength-building compared to being filled with the Spirit of the Almighty God and speaking His words –which we are to do at all times. (1 Pe. 4:11)

Just because a program has or produces some good does not mean it is to be exalted as God’s way. In Acts 16:16-18 we read of a slave girl possessing an evil spirit of fortune-telling. She followed Paul and his evangelism group around shouting. But what was she shouting? She was shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” (v. 17) We don’t hear error in her message. So we see that she was giving a true statement, but by a demon, not by God, and she was doing so in demonic power and method, not under God’s control. I encourage you to meditate on this passage, as well as on such passages as Mark 1:21-27 where we see an evil spirit exclaiming a true statement to everyone in the synagogue –that Jesus is “the Holy One of God!” (v. 24)

Now about what you asserted against me, I say this: False testimony means to give out information that is false, doing so knowingly, or, I would include, unknowingly but carelessly. However, I have written nothing that I know to be false, nor have I investigated carelessly. Therefore, it may possibly be your accusation toward me that is itself false testimony.

Even so, I do want to encourage you. I think I hear your heart for the Lord, and to that I’m very glad.



I strongly encourage that we soberly and prayerfully ask ourselves these questions:

1. Is my life, when viewed by God, a life that is in His will –daily, as well as regarding my overall life and lifestyle? We know the verses about the necessity of being in God’s will in order to be granted the Kingdom of Heaven on That Day. One is Mt. 12:50 where Jesus makes it clear that we are not part of His family unless we DO the will of the Father. 1 John 2:17 is another verse that tells us that a person does not inherit eternal life unless they DO the will of God. And of course most are familiar with Mt. 7:21-23 where Jesus makes it crystal clear that even those who consider Him their Lord and who minister in His name –that if they have not walked in the will of the Father– will be eternally rejected.

2. Do I often live according to the sinful nature? Gal. 5:19-21 teaches that those who commit acts of the sinful nature, including those relating to impurity, idolatry, and selfish ambition, do not inherit the Kingdom of God, while Eph. 5:3-6 and Col. 3:5-10 teach the same. Rom. 6:1-7, 2 Cor. 5:15, and Gal. 2:20 & 6:14 show us that being in Christ means having crucified Self, while verses such as Mt. 12:36,37, John 5:29, 1 Cor. 4:5, 2 Cor. 5:10, and Rev. 20:11-15 warn us that we will reap Heaven or Hell based on our motives, our words, and our actions –regardless of our assertion that we love Jesus. (John 14:21 // Titus 1:16 // 1 John 2:3-6)

3. Do I truly know the Lord, or are He and I mere acquaintances? Jesus has taught that we must know Him intimately and that this comes about only by being obedient to the commands of His Word, Teaching, and Spirit. (John 8:31 & 15:14 // Rom. 8:9,13,14) If we do not know and obey the Lord and His Truth, we will reap Hell. (2 Thes. 1:8,9) If we keep on in sin, we will reap Hell (Mt. 13:41,42 // Heb. 10:26-31), because those who do what is sinful are not unified with Christ’s Spirit but are unified with the devil. (1 John 3:7-10,24) If we continue to avoid doing what we know we are supposed to do, then we sin and will reap Hell. (Luke 6:46-49 // Ja. 4:17) Regardless of our claim to having faith, if we shrink back from living by faith, we will reap Hell. (Heb. 10:35-39 & 11:6) If we have abided in Christ by being His servant, yet we get lazy in our obedience, our holiness, and our communion with Him, then we will reap Hell. (Mt. 24:48-25:46 // John 15:6) If the Lord considers our deeds incomplete, then He considers us disobedient to Him and we will reap Hell. (Rev. 3:1-6,15,16)

4. Am I taking to heart these Scripture verses that are being pointed out to me? I encourage everyone to make the choice to read very, very carefully the warnings I am presenting here and to pay attention to the fact that they are coming straight from God’s Word. I encourage us to not take the verses lightly, but to take them to heart, to sit quietly before the Lord, and to ask Him to reveal to us if we are truly in danger of being rejected on the day we stand knocking on Heaven’s door. Masses believe themselves to be saved, but let us each ask the Lord, in honesty and with a listening heart, if we actually are. For again, as we know, multitudes think they are saved and yet are not. What a terrible day that will be for them!

As we envision ourselves standing ready to be judged by the One who has given commands that we have or have not followed, let’s remember these passages:

a) Luke 13:23-28: When someone asked Jesus if only a few people would be saved, Jesus, who had previously taught that this would indeed be the case (Mt. 7:13,14), revealed that even those who, at Heaven’s gate, would reason with Him that they had listened to His teaching and ate and drank with Him (communed with Him), would be rejected based on –no, not their belief in Him, for they did believe– but on their unrighteous deeds. In that same Luke 13 chapter (v. 1-9) Jesus reveals that the unrighteousness that reaps this rejection is a lack of repentance from sin that includes the refusal to produce the good fruit the Owner desires.

b) Luke 10:10-16: This passage warns us of refusing to hear the message being given by someone whom Christ has truly sent to us. It warns us that in rejecting the warnings of Christ’s servant or evangelist (v. 2,3), we are rejecting Christ (v. 16) and that it will be more bearable on the Day of Judgement for those in Sodom than for those too self-righteous to see their own wickedness –their wickedness of having refused to walk in faithfulness, holiness, and obedience to Christ, His Spirit, and His Word.

Well, those are four questions I encourage us to ask ourselves. I pray that everyone will recognize that God’s Word is warning us that many are, in large part, rebellious toward Him. May it be understood that to serve Christ to some extent while also resisting His full leadership and every command, is a type of mutiny. Let’s all answer ourselves honestly about whether or not we have regularly followed the Lord’s orders in daily life. Let’s be truthful about if, in the overall picture, we have walked in His will for our lives. These self-examining questions and responses are crucial.

Many who claim to be Christians have called themselves “Job” at times. But what about Jonah? He too suffered –not as God’s display of righteousness, but instead due to his rebellion against God’s call and will for him. Maybe we are really a Jonah. If so, we’ve placed ourselves under God’s wrath until we repent.

Let us, therefore, listen to God’s voice. Is He saying to any one of us, “You, ______, have been rebellious against Me.”–? I fear that many people who do hear God say this to them think that such a statement means “somewhat rebellious, but okay” when in actuality it means God’s current grade over that life is “Rebellious”.

If a person repents and walks in God’s will now, they will be accepted. But if a person continues to resist and do their own will, they will be rejected –eternally. May we all grab ahold of wisdom and the fear of God and soberly consider the questions above, what we must answer, and what we intend to do about it.

with love,

In my most recent discussion with a Jehovah Witness, I stated, as I usually do, that the main disagreement between their doctrine and mine is that I believe that Jesus is the bodily form of God the Father. Along with this statement, I quoted, as I usually do, Col. 2:9 which says, “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” I also brought up Col. 1:15-20 and Heb. 1:2,3 which inform us that Jesus is the image and exact representation of the invisible God and the One through whom God created the universe. I then asked the man to look up Isa. 9:6 which calls Jesus “Mighty God, Everlasting Father”.

This Jehovah Witness responded to these verses by explaining that we all are gods and one with the Father. He brought up that Jesus couldn’t be God the Father Himself because we read of Him praying to the Father while He was on earth. I said that Jesus, though He was fully God, had, in becoming fully human, humbled and limited Himself. (Phil. 2:6-8) The man then asked me, “So are you saying that Jesus was praying to Himself?”

The question caught me off guard as it sounded so strange, but I answered, “Yes.” The JW then shook his head and all but rolled his eyes, saying, “Nooooo.” Yet in spite of his disdain, I did not retract my stance.

I thought about this encounter several times afterwards and mulled over whether or not I could be sure that I’d answered correctly. I mean, if Jesus, being the Child born to us (Isa. 9:6) is also the Mighty God and Everlasting Father (same verse), the One who “is before all things” (Col. 1:17) and in whom all things hold together (same verse), the One whose origins are from days of eternity (Mi. 5:2) and who declares Himself to be “the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13), then why would it be that He, as Jesus, would pray to Himself, the Father?

Before I answer why, I first must remind myself that God’s Word does reveal that Jesus, while on earth and now in Heaven, intercedes for us. For example, we read in Heb. 7:24,25 and 8:1,2 that Jesus is interceding for us as our Permanent Priest. “Yes, but this doesn’t teach that He is actually praying for us,” someone may argue. Well, let’s go over to Rom. 8:34 which has similar wording. It confirms that Jesus, “seated” (see Heb. 8:1 and Eph. 1:20) at the right hand of God, is indeed “interceding for us.” Someone may then contend, “But this Rom. 8:34 verse is not referring to prayer, but refers only to a type of intercession that results from who Christ is, His atoning work for us, and where He now sits in honor.”

To such a potential contender, let’s point out Rom. 8:26,27. These two verses are teaching us that the Holy Spirit Himself prays through the utterances of those who possess Him (the Spirit), doing so in intercession to God, and on our behalf. Being that verse 9 reveals that the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are one and the same Being (as Jesus, too, reveals in John 14:23), then is it not the Trinity, along with our submitted spirit, who are involved in the whole of the intercession? Surely, if the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all One God, no one could rightly have answered the Jehovah’s Witness member any differently than I did.

Maybe we should consider the first sentence in Rev. 22:17 as well when studying the intercession of the Spirit of God to God. It says, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!'” This could be referring to the invitation to all mankind to come to “the water of life” (same verse), but it seems that it is also referring to the prayer that Jesus fulfill His promise to return soon. (v. 7,12,20) As Jesus affirms in verse 20, “Yes, I am coming soon.” And the rest of the verse contains the immediate response, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

I think of another chapter in Scripture while contemplating the JW’s question. It is Genesis chapter one. Verse 26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” We can see that “God” is shown as plural when He uses the words “us” and “our”. But in verse 27 the Creator seems to be singular, for that verse says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Here we see that “His” and “He” are words used for the Creator, seemingly making “God” singular, which then seems to make verse 26 appear that God was speaking to Himself. Besides this, doesn’t the whole chapter reveal that by the command of God’s mouth, God was commanding Himself to create? Who was commanding and who was creating? Jesus (who obeyed the Father’s every command –John 12:49,50 & 14:31) is Himself the Word of God (John 1:1,14), and through Him God commanded and created. (Ps. 33:6,9 // Col. 1:16 // Heb. 1:2) Yet was it not also through the Spirit that God did so? Absolutely. (Job 26:13 & 33:4 // Ps. 104:30)

With these things in mind, I believe there was no other way for me to answer the question regarding Jesus, the Son, praying to the Father. For if Jesus intercedes for us even now as our High Priest, and if the Spirit intercedes through us as we pray “in the Spirit”, and if we read that God commands Himself and speaks to Himself, then we must accept that the One is Three and the Three is One.

Moreover, if the LORD declares in Isa. 45:21 that “there is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but Me”, but Jesus stated that no one could be saved apart from Him (John 10:9,14:6) and apart from believing that He is the “I AM” (8:24,58) –the name God called Himself in Ex. 3:14 and to be remembered by forever (v. 15), and if verses such as Acts 4:12 & 16:31, Rom. 10:9-13, 1 Cor. 15:1-7, and 2 Cor. 5:14-6:2 confirm there to be no salvation apart from being in Christ Jesus, then this can only add to our conclusion that Jesus, the Spirit, and the Father are all one and the same God.

Jesus Himself has stated this Truth clearly. For in telling us that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30), He included this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” (v. 29) Even if it is sometimes translated, “…the Lord our God, the Lord is one”, we cannot escape the fact that Jesus, and the whole of Scripture, declares that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are manifestations of the one and only True God. Therefore, petitions, intercessions, and commands given between them are, therefore, made from the One True God to the One True God.

The only way I can see that I could answer the question posed by the Jehovah Witness was to answer in the affirmative. And why would God have it that He command and petition Himself? I believe that answer could be another whole post, but the short answer would have something to do, I suspect, with the Lord having chosen, in His love and in His desire for fellowship, to involve all who choose His leadership. This includes Jesus as well as everyone else who houses His Spirit.

Though I found strange the question the Jehovah Witness man posed to me, I find exciting the reasons for my answer. For God, His infinite complexity too much for our finite minds to comprehend, has, even so, given us all we need for our growth in godliness, power, and the knowledge of Him.

with love,