God's only Son

God's only Son

16 December 2011

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called...mighty God." (Isa 9.6)

"In Him (Christ, Jesus, the Lord) there is continuously and permanently at home all the fullness of absolute deity in bodily fashion." (Col 2.9 Wuest's NT)

"The Father, ineffable (too great for description in words) by His very nature, from His own substance has begotten the Son ineffably; but He has begotten nothing except what He is Himself: God has begotten God." (Bruno of Cologne, 11th C) (1)

The Church's power to withstand and overcome the comprehensive Last Days' blitzkrieg of antichrist (2) , will be in direct proportion to the integrity of its belief concerning the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In 1935, prophesying into the Fascist-Nazi hurricane of iniquity then flooding Europe, the consummate, Reformed divine, Karl Barth (1886-1968, Switzerland), warned that "Christian faith stands or falls once and for all with the fact that God and God alone is its object."

During WW1, Barth became disillusioned by the way in which an extensively theologically "liberal" Church had so eagerly "jumped into bed" with the cant and violence of German ultra-nationalism. Later he was to become a leader of Christian resistance to Hitler's antichrist seduction and "destruction" of the German Church. He was barred from all university teaching and chose "exile" in May of 1935.

Focusing his scholarly and prophetical attention upon the second article of The Apostles' Creed, ("I believe in...Jesus Christ, His only Son"), Barth spoke of a "catastrophe" in German Protestantism as the result of the three words, "His (God's) only Son", becoming "lost...amongst a chaos of reinterpretations designed to make them innocuous."

For him these three crucial words of the Creed place Jesus "in the closest relationship, indeed in unity, with God we are told, if we only rightly understand that He (the Creator) Himself is creature too, that He is not only Lord of our existence, but that He is here with us and like us...the Holy One makes his dwelling here among sinners to be the sinners' Saviour is again no lesser, no other than the eternal God Himself."

It is quite clear to me (given the timing of this message) that for Karl Barth the Church's power or failure to resist evil (in every one of its manifestations...both overt and covert!) relates immediately, directly and proportionally to its adequate or inadequate view of the relationship of the Father and the Son. In this regard, how might we ("upon whom the end of the ages (world) has come" - 1 Co 10.11) be situated? In a Western, Protestant Church awash in trinitarian "agnosticism", is there just cause for satisfaction or complacency on our part? Have we actually responded with remedy to Barth's warning (in the context of the devil's subjugation of "Christian" Europe) to "evangelical churches, and especially to the theological faculties of other lands, where, so far as trinitarian dogma is concerned, no better ways (than German Protestantism) are being trodden"?

If a person rejects the biblical doctrine that "Jesus Christ is God's Son" - in terms of The Apostles' Creed (3) - then, according to Dr. Barth, that one denies "the whole revelation of God and (that) all reconciliation between God and man is contained in Him".

"If one then, in spite of that, speaks of 'faith' in Jesus Christ, then one believes in an intermediate being."

The consequence of this is, "one is really pursuing metaphysics (4)". Such a person, says Karl Barth, "has already secretly lapsed from the Christian faith into polytheism which will forthwith mature into further fruits in setting up of a special God-Father faith and a special Creator faith, and in the assertion of special spiritual revelations."

Remember, Dr. Barth's criticisms, warnings and predictions are not dispassionate; neither academic speculations nor ethereal ponderings. They are the sober and anxious instruction of a mature and prominent Christian leader, witnessing His Church and his Civilisation being progressively over-run by hell and the demonic.

He continues, "If God had not become a man (according to the Creed)...then everything we could conceive and say to ourselves about God (Father and Holy Spirit), would hang in the air as arbitrarily, as mistakenly and as misleadingly, as the corresponding ideas which, in the long run, have been fashioned about God and man in all religions and cosmic speculations...If it can appear to us almost impossible that the Creator became creature, it must appear to us absolutely impossible that the Holy One, Whose burning wrath we have evoked, became man, in order, in spite of everything, to befriend us."

The Church of God is that which is founded upon our Lord Jesus Christ, "His only Son",

" 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered him...'flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven...on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death (gates of hell, powers of the underworld) shall not prevail against it.' " (Mt 16.15-18)

Only this Church can supply "real consolation and real instruction," says Dr. Barth. If "the assembly of lost and rescued sinners will come less and less to be built by this could it be otherwise than that error at a crucial point makes it utterly impotent?"

I believe that this prophet's warning-predictions have now been fulfilled and so are for us today a double alarm and admonition. You do not have to travel too far or too wide to hear from pulpits and podiums today the following:

(1) Proclamations of God being "Our Father" in a "Trinity" which is manifestly hierarchical and which relegates Jesus to a humanly-understood (and not by revelation) concept of Son-ship. This actually diminishes and demotes Jesus to the status of "an intermediate being". Some teachers go so far as to portray trust in Christ as provisional and childish...urging their hearers to progress on into the maturity of an adult faith in "Father God".

For any declaration of The Gospel to be authentic, soul-saving and life-changing, it has to be about Jesus Christ, God's only Son. It has to be the Good News (in the words of Barth) that "the Holy One, Whose wrath we have provoked, became man, in order, in spite of everything, to befriend us, to bear this wrath Himself in our place, accordingly to suffer in our place His own burning wrath, to give satisfaction Himself in our place, in order in that way to be our God...He Himself, directly and personally our Prophet, Priest and King."

This is not an academic exercise or indulgence in theological navel-gazing. My goal here (in the context of the promised great tribulation of the End Times) is to discover whether or not the structure and fabric of our faith, is biblically substantial and therefore sufficient to repulse the demonic firepower which will be blasted into us by the antichrist. Belonging to this or that "apostolic" movement or the biggest church in town; praying night-and-day in tongues; being regularly "caught up to the third heaven" just not going to "cut the mustard"! Because,

"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God...on this rock I will build my church and the powers of death shall not prevail against it." (Mt 16.15-18)

Through His victory on The Cross, God's only Son wonderfully paved the way for relationship with God our Father. However, He Himself is that "way"!

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (Jn 14.6)

"He who has the Son has life, he who has not the Son of God has not life...We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1 Jn 5.12 & 20-21)

(2) Pulpiteers and church leaders are increasingly appealing to extra-biblical "revelation" for their authority. The wonderful, present-day restoration to the Church of the Holy Spirit's Person, Presence and Gifts is now degenerating (in some quarters) into "the assertion of special spiritual revelations" (apostolic?) awful fulfillment of Karl Barth's 1935 premonition.

As with the stumble into heretical over-emphasis of God's Fatherhood because of a denial of his Son-ship, this trend is further evidence of Jesus being accorded that diminished and unbiblical status of "an intermediate being". (Or, as Dr. Barth has elsewhere described, "A divine intermediate being subordinate to God".)

The appeal to or "assertion of special spiritual revelations" is heretically to over-magnify God being Spirit (Jn 4.24) through the loss (denial?) of the true significance of His Son-ship. Tragically, when we overthrow the Bible as the judge and benchmark to authenticate every direct communication from God, it is because we have already denied and dethroned The Word, of Whom it is written,

"These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled." (Lk 24.44)

" 'Lo, I have come to do your will, O God,' as it is written of me in the roll of the book." (Heb 10.7)

The setting of personal revelation over The Word and the Bible takes place either through childish ignorance or independence, or ( worse still) because the Lord Jesus Christ is not received and believed on as God's "only Son"! He is not therefore trusted to be the sole conduit of all Light and Truth, by those who do not worship Him as God.

The Reformation of the Church in Scotland during the 16th C remained "on track" in the face of murderously ferocious opposition from the devil, flesh and world. This was in large measure due to the purity of doctrine and vision of Reformers such as John Knox (1514-72) who insisted, "Believe God, that plainly speaketh in His Word. And further than the Word teacheth you, you neither believe the one nor the other."

Likewise, his Genevan "brother" (the teacher of teachers), John Calvin, who declared, "Where we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults."

I beseech you in the name of God's "only Son" to examine your own mind and heart in this regard and along these very lines. There is significantly more at stake here than your own personal salvation or the "success" of your ministry or church! At issue here is the Church's authority and power to withstand antichrist during these last of the Last Days...immediately before that "great and terrible day" of the Son's enthronement on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

During the 30s and 40s of the last century, "the bottomless pit" was opened beneath Germany and antichrist unleashed the dogs of war and hell across Europe. (5) During the infamous 900-day Siege of Leningrad, the German Army pursued a "racially motivated starvation policy". In its quest for "living space" for the "1000 Year Reich", Hitler's Germany did not quibble over the genocide of one third of that city's population...largely through starvation. The ultimate Nazi goal had been the removal of Leningrad (people and buildings) off the map.

Our time is up! We need to stop "fop-doodling" around over such matters! It was the day-before-yesterday when we who are the Body of Christ should have begun to consider with the utmost gravity, that according to our brother and prophet, Karl Barth, "the ground out of which (the Church) has sprung and out of which alone it is able to live, is the admittedly rigid and uncompromising recognition that no one knows the Son but the Father, and no one knows the Father, save the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him (Mt 11.27)."

"Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming...This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses (acknowledges) the Son has the Father also." (1 Jn 2.18, 22-23)

NOTE: This essay contains brief quotes from Dr. Karl Barth, made by him during a series of weekend lectures he delivered in Holland on The Apostles' Creed, between early February and the end of March, 1935. They have been repeatedly published under the title "Credo" ('I Believe'). This book is currently available through the publishers "Wipf & Stock" (USA), at

(1) Bruno of Cologne (1030-1100) was a brilliant church administrator and university teacher. In his middle years he withdrew from public life to devote himself completely to prayer, and thus became the Founder of the 1000-year-old contemplative movement, the "Carthusians".

(2) The "antichrist" (according to Scottish NT scholar, Dr. William Barclay, 1907-78) is not only the "one who is opposed to Christ", but also the "one who seeks to put himself in the place of Christ". He is as much a usurper as an opposer.

(3) Formulated approximately 50 years after the last NT writings.

(4) "Theoretical philosophy of being and knowing, based on abstract general reasoning." (The Concise Oxford Dictionary)

(5) I am not saying here that the average German soldier was sub-human or demon possessed. However, it is a matter of record that many later testified that after Hitler was defeated, they felt they had woken from a dream or a trance.