Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 9 September 2014
Page 8

The Godhead

T. Pierce Brown (deceased)

T. Pierce BrownThe King James Version reads in Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.” These questions may be raised, “How does the created world reveal the Godhead? Does not the Godhead consist of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Can one tell that by looking at the world?”

The answer is suggested by the American Standard translation, though it does not explain it fully. It says, “His everlasting power and divinity.”

The word translated “Godhead” or “divinity” is Theiotes. It is not the same as the word used in Colossians 2:9. It reads, “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” The word here is Theotes. Each of these words is used only one time in the New Testament. What Paul was saying in Romans 1:20 is that some of the attributes of God, such as His eternal power and other qualities that show Him to be superhuman, divine and worthy of our reverence and worship are evidenced by the creation. As many have put it in other contexts, logic demands that such Effects as we see demands a Cause that is not mere chance or human contrivance. However, those things do not reveal the essence, personality or the structure of the Godhead.

When Paul wrote in Colossians 2:9, he affirmed that in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead. He was not affirming that the person of Christ simply shows the power, wisdom, holiness or love of God (although it does). He was stating that Christ was God in the flesh. He did not merely have some miraculous gifts of the Spirit. He had the Spirit without measure. He was not merely manifesting different aspects of Godliness. The heavens show different aspects of God’s power and might. Christ did that, but that is not his meaning here. Paul meant approximately what Jesus meant when He said to Philip in John 14:9, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”

Perhaps the simplest way to put a most profound truth is that Romans 1:20 uses the word that shows that there is a God, a divine Being. Colossians 2:9 uses the word that refers to the essence of that Being, or what that Being is. Of course the word “Theotes” does not, by itself, show that the Godhead consists of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We learn that from a consideration of other passages. However, the word in Colossians (Theotes) signifies the personality of that Godhead, whereas the reference in Romans (Theiotes) only signifies the reality of divinity, without indicating anything about its personality or makeup.

Remove Not the Ancient Landmarks

Clarence Lavender

In Proverbs 22:28, the wise man said, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” In the Old Testament, a landmark was an object used to mark the boundary of a field. Landmarks were frequently movable objects such as a stone or a post. Since a cunning and unscrupulous individual could take advantage of his neighbor by shifting the location of such boundary marks, thus robbing him of part of his means of support, such removal of landmarks was prohibited by the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 19:14; 27:17). The Hebrews denounced such an act as sinful (Proverbs 22:28; 23:10). It was considered equal to theft (Job 24:2). Hosea proclaimed God’s judgment against Israel for removing the boundaries (Hosea 5:10).

I was reminded again of the importance of this great biblical principle while reviewing the Greater Greensboro Open, an annual golf tournament played in that city. It seems Chip Beck inadvertently removed an out of bounds stake in order to get a better stance to hit his golf ball. Rule 13-2 says a player is to be penalized for such an act. So, at the end of the round that day, Beck had to assess himself a two-stroke penalty when signing his scorecard. His failure to do so would have led to his disqualification.

It is good to see that men still recognize absolute rules and the value of keeping them. It is shameful that some of our own brethren are having trouble seeing and following the absoluteness of God’s Word and the keeping of His rules. Many are now in the process of “removing the ancient landmarks” and have become “thieves” in their robbery of the doctrine of Christ from innocent and unsuspecting brethren.

Did you ever think for a moment you would hear of the removal of such “landmarks” as taught in the Bible – “landmarks” such as singing without the accompaniment of mechanical instruments of music. The Bible says sing, not play (Ephesians 5:19, 1 Corinthians 14:15; Romans 15:9; James 5:13). Some among us today would remove the “landmark” of singing only.

Others are teaching that a person being baptized into Christ really doesn’t have to understand what baptism is for. They say, “Just be baptized because you love Jesus.” Though loving Jesus is certainly important, Peter made it plain on the Day of Pentecost to about 3,000 souls that baptism is for “the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

The position some are taking would justify anyone being immersed, regardless of what they believed! Such is false, and it is a removal of the “landmark” of baptism for (in order to receive) remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 6:1-8; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21). We do not have to go to Texas or Tennessee to find this idea. A preacher in our area recently baptized a man who told him upon being baptized that he wanted to remain in the Methodist Church. Guess what? The preacher baptized the man anyway! I ask, “By whose authority did he act?” He had no biblical authority for his action! Such an action may make the preacher popular with some people, but he, like others, is only removing the “ancient landmarks.” This is nothing but false teaching. It is inadmissible and will cause doctrinal soundness to depart that congregation.

Also in other areas, the doctrines of grace and faith are being uprooted with the denominational error of “only” being added to them. Brethren, people are saved by the favor (grace) of God when they, by obedient faith, comply with Bible teaching. There are no exceptions to this doctrine taught in the New Testament (Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 5:8-9; James 2:14-26).

Let us remember, if the church is to remain sound, we must make every effort to hold firm to the “ancient landmarks” (Proverbs 22:28; Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19). We must continue to remain a beacon of light, calling all men back to the “old paths” (Jeremiah 6:16; Jude 3) and absolutely refuse to permit anyone to remove the “landmarks.”

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