Error of Jehovah’s Witnesses (a.k.a. The Russellites) Part 2
One of the most profound and mysterious of the revelation is unquestionably the three who possess the nature called God! Three beings that exist as one in purpose, plan, and objective cause many to be thrown into confusion. When Jesus claimed, “I and the Father are one”, John 10:30, many are counting one, two, three, and on. The word in the Greek language is hen. The word for one as in counting is heis which means numerically, one. Hen means one in essence although there exist two or three personalities. The power of the Son is here (and many other places) declared equal to that of the Father, and while this is the contextual point of reference, much more is implied. Jesus asserted the essential unity of the Father and the Son in the word “one (hen). Hen is neuter in gender and indicates equality of essence, attributes, design, will, and work!! Jesus distinguishes the “I” from the “Father” and uses the plural verb “are” denoting “we are.” The words separate the persons within the Godhead while asserting their unity of essence or nature as identical. (The Jews, in verse 24, had asked Jesus to tell them plainly who He was. They had surrounded Him as if to frighten or intimidate Him, repeatedly poking questions at Him. They wanted Him to say, “I am your Messiah” that they might have stronger language on which to charge Him with blasphemy. They could then openly charge Him before Pilate as guilty of treason and rebellion against the Roman government.) The Jews understood His claim as God even if the Russellites cannot; “they took up stones to stone Him.” Stoning was the Jewish method of executing criminals. Leviticus 24:16 The Jews had stones in their hands, poised to fling them as Jesus spoke these words. THINK OF IT!! Stoning God!! To prove their understanding they retorted; “because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.” They charged Him with blasphemy because Jesus had claimed all the essence and prerogatives of deity!! (Ro anyone to assign any other meaning to this is sheer irresponsible lying, purposefulness, intentional blindness, even the Jews recognized He had claimed, stated, intended them to understand He is God!! Read John 5:18 and John 8:25, 29.
Prominent among the theologians who had taken Grecian theology and melded it into Christianity was a learned brother named Lucian of Antioch. Lucian was an elder in the Syrian Church of Christ. This Greek-thinking mystic trained a whole group of potential enemies of Christianity and schooled them in the cleverness of dialectical theology. Dialectical theology is the practice of examining ideas logically for their validity; demanding they had to meet their criteria of logic. Devoted to the concept that “once the Son of God had not been”, Lucian stoutly challenged the eternal Deity of Christ (does this found familiar, studied with a Russellite?) It is unfortunate that, like Joseph Smith, Lucian was sent to Hell early, he was martyred for his radical views by over-zealous disciples of the Truth. As you might expect, his death spawned the “want-to-be” disciples of Lucian and gave them a rejoicing refrain: “if he was wrong, they would not repent; he was right, they could not answer his arguments, so they killed him”!!
Lucian’s death shows the wisdom of our Master who had proclaimed to Peter; “put up thy sword. They that live by the sword shall die by the sword.” Lucian’s death was, in a sense, a victory for error, it cursed his murderers. One of his prized pupils lived to spread his teachings over the entire Christian world and caused a split in the Lord’s Church in a way that was not equaled until the use of modern-day “interpretations”, called translations!! The pupil of dubious fame was, in fact, Arius of Alexandria, a learned respected scholar. The sect bore his name: Aryanism. Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses.