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- December 27, 2001


Re: "A True Church" - Darwin Fish

Topic:  God the Father is a "man"?

It is not typically the focus of this ministry to name names of false
prophets and cult leaders; there are so many out there, one could not
possibly keep track of them all. The Lord has commissioned this
ministry, primarily, to proclaim "to a rebellious house...Thus says the
Lord Jehovah". (Ezek2:4-5) There are others, whose mission it seems to
be, to specifically make lists and describe everything that's wrong
with them all. But every once in awhile somebody is brought into focus,
and their false teaching must be revealed against the Light of God's
Word, in warning to the unsuspecting.

Recently we had a Q/A on the topic: "So Much for 'Sola Fide'?" In that
Q/A we addressed a currently popular "salvation" doctrine which
proclaims 1) Faith, and 2) O.T. works, as a doctrine of "how to become
saved". At that time, a certain website/ministry was referenced,
because somebody had e-mailed with concerns about it; but it was left
unnamed, primarily, because that Faith/Works doctrine is proclaimed by
so many different groups and people; it is not exclusive to this
particular website/ministry in question.

But other revelations are coming out about Darwin Fish and his "A True
Church". A question about another even more sinister doctrine. He
proclaims that "God the Father is a -man-".

I don't personally know Darwin Fish. Reading his bio, he apparently 
came out of John MacArthur's church. While I am not familiar with 
MacArthur's teachings, I did hear him on a radio interview several 
years ago where he suggested that the 70's hippy "Jesus people" 
movement was the "greatest period of revival in modern history".  Well, 
I came through the 70s, and can assure you that the 70s was the turning 
point in christendom's history, where the apostasy went from a "gentle" 
event, into the full-swing nose-dive that it is today!  So, I am pretty 
sure I would likely have other problems with him, too.  But they are 
likely different ones from Mr. Fish's. (Who knows?) Also, incredibly 
enough, according to his own published testimony, Mr. Fish cannot 
pinpoint the time/event when he was saved. And the reports of his 
followers' activities (based on e-mails from others who have been in 
contact with him, or have friends/relatives who have been brainwashed 
into his cult) tells of a group that meets people in parking lots
attending Billy Graham crusades, going to churches and picketting with
both visual and verbal abuses. His followers, of course, believe that
they are the -only- True Christians existing on earth. While Mr. Fish
issues a disclaimer along with his testimony, that it might be possible
that there are other Godly ministers out there, he doesn't -personally-
know of any.

So, enough on the man and his group... Let's take a look at this
doctrine. You can find the entire text at:
http://www.atruechurch.info/lordisaman.html

There is a lot he proclaims that is Truth. As he gets into explaining
his doctrine, he correctly quotes Jesus saying, "I and My Father are
one" (Jn10:30) and of the plurality of the Godhead, when God speaks of
"let -US- make man in -OUR- image". (Gen1:26)  After all, the very
Hebrew word for God there is "Elohyim". The "im" ending makes it a
"plural" word. Like I said in that Q/A, where he proclaims the "Faith"
portion of how-to-be-saved, he presents a very Scriptural analysis.

The file is long, so rather than address everything, I am here going to
only address about three issues, which, due to their falseness, make
the entire doctrine false. One can have many truths along the way, but
if the foundational premise is false, no amount of Truth following the
false premise can make the False into Truth.

As most false doctrines go, they are usually hinged upon one Scripture
passage, "twisted". (2Pt3:16) They then present many other true
statements to support the false.

The Hinge:  "Jehovah is a man of war; Jehovah is His name." (Ex15:3)

He makes the whole point of this doctrine by quoting out-of this verse, 
"Jehovah is a man".  Well, by using this same strategy, one can teach, 
FROM SCRIPTURE, that "there is no god". Yes, indeed, the Bible says it.  
Find it in Ps53:1. Ah, but... if you quote the entire sentence, "The
fool has said in his heart, There is no god". Or, we could have God, 
Himself, proclaiming that there is no god. "And there is no god" 
(Deu32:39) See? The atheists are right after all!  Mmmm? Well, if we 
read the passage completely, God says, "I, even I, am He, and there is 
no god besides Me." Totally different!

But Mr. Fish quotes several times thoughout his treatise, that the Lord
"..is a man, a man of war!" Notice what he has added. Adding the comma,
and inserting a second instance of "a man", changes, entirely, the
meaning of Scripture. But he does this in order to make his arguments
credible-seeming.

The passage says, "Jehovah is a man of war..." What does that mean?  
Understanding basic English sentence structure, it is obvious that it 
is not saying that God is a "man", but, that He is a "man-of-war".  (By 
the way, Mr.  Fish has his college degree in "Biblical Languages", and 
did some graduate work in Hebrew while in Israel, so he should KNOW 
BETTER than to be doing this sort of grammatical manipulation to change 
the meaning to suit his own purposes! Considering his educational 
background, this would appear to not be a case of it being just a
simple 'mistake' because he was uneducated! How could it be anything
-but- 'deliberate' on his part!)

"Man-of-war" is a commonly understood expression, defining a
'characteristic', not a 'person'. It is a common-enough expression that
it is found in my American Heritage Dictionary in that manner;
hyphenated, and all.  The O.T. is full of similar expressions as to how
God rescued Israel from her enemies in battle.  When He restores
Israel, fully, at the end, it says, "And Jehovah shall go forth and 
fight against those nations, like the day He fought in the day of 
battle." (Zec14:3) In other places He speaks of baring His "holy arm" 
(Is52:10) for battle, for Israel's help. What kind of person would make
such statements of 'warfare'?  A "man-of-war".

The Rebuttal:

Now, as I read/skimmed through the lengthy presentation of
out-of-context Truths, to support his lie, I was continualling thinking
in my mind, What about where God says, "God is not a man..."?
(Num23:19, 1Sam15:29, Job9:32)  Well, I was not to be disappointed,
because he addresses that:

Quote:
"What about the verses that say, "God is not a man" (Numbers 23:19; 1
Samuel 15:29; Job 9:32; Hosea 11:9)? In every single case, Scripture is
speaking of corruptible man. God is not a mortal man." :endQuote

In other words, while God is (allegedly) a "man", He is not corruptible 
like we are. So, God in these passages is (allegedly) making that kind
of distinction between His character and that of man.

Well, what he did to Exe15:3, in taking a few words isolated out of 
context; here he does the opposite. He -adds- to God's Word. In each of 
these references, if you look them up, it says that God "is not a man, 
that He should...blah, blah, blah"  God does not lie, change His mind, 
be a partner in court, etc.  God "is not a man, (comma) blah, blah, 
blah".  If God had intended to say "-corruptible- man" in these 
passages, He would have done so. When He intended to indicate man's 
'corruptibility', He did so quite clearly. (Rom1:23, 1Cor15:50-54) God 
always says -exactly- what He means! We don't need to "help-Him-along"!
(This is why it is -SO- important what translation one reads!) And we
are warned, "Do not add to His Words, lest He rebuke you, and you be
found a liar." (Pr30:6)

He goes on to express some other Scriptures: He talks about the
"testimony of two men.." (Jn8:17) and then, "I am One who bears witness
of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me." (vs18) You 
see, the Father (one 'man') and Jesus (the other 'man'), making up the 
"two men". But if he were to look at that word for "men" (anthropos), 
he would realize that it is a word which does not specify "man" 
specifically.  It can just as easily mean "woman", or "person", or 
"individual", etc.  The O.T. Law which Jesus was quoting referred to
the need for at least two witnesses to testify in a court of law. Not
necessarily that the witnesses had to be "men". If Mr. Fish were to
glean from his language studies, he would know this.  But he goes on to
say that God the Father (a man -Ex15:3) begot God the Son (Jn1:18,3:16)
a man (1Tm2:5). See how cleverly this is all manipulated? ...and all 
with Scripture references, to boot!

Now, if we follow his logic, as he quotes from Gen1:26-27  "Let us make
man in Our image...He created them male and female..." I ask then,
Where did the "female" come from? Mr.Fish says the God-head includes
two "men", and he created man in His own image. Why, then, the "woman"?
Perhaps this explains why he puts women down, in his writing,
"Scriptural View of Women"?  Since the woman is not a "man", I suspect
-that- is why she is (allegedly) 'inferior' to man...  because God is a
"man", and the woman is not..?  Who knows!

So...what about Jesus' statment that "God is Spirit.." (Jn4:24)? Here
is what Mr.Fish says:

Quote:
Some think that because John 4:24 says that "God is Spirit" this must
mean that He does not also have a body. The problem with this is, John
4:24 does not say that God does not have a body. Moreover, the fact
that "God is Spirit" does not dictate, as some may assume (Proverbs
3:5-6; 30:5-6), that God may not also have a body. In fact, Jesus is
God (Titus 2:13), and He has a body." :endQuote

OK...let's address this: Let us also not assume that no mention of a 
"body" means God -has- one, either.  Let us understand from Scripture,
itself, that "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,
who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." (Jn1:18)  If
you read Mr.Fish's treatise, you will also see his arguments that,
because God appeared to various people in the O.T., that means He has a
body of a "man".

But let's see God's Word again, "God, Who at various times and in 
various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in 
these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of 
all things, through Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the 
brightness of His glory and the EXPRESS IMAGE OF HIS ESSENCE..."
(Heb1:1-3~)  You see, when Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen the
Father.." (Jn14:9), the disciples obviously were not seeing -two-
'men'.  They were looking at and had "looked upon, and [their] hands
[had] handled" (1Jn1:1)... -ONE- 'man'. But remember also that Jesus
had God's Spirit come down upon Him. (Mt3:16)

When we look at other people that we know, it is often said that one 
can see another's 'spirit'. The actual person is not the body, but the 
soul/spirit which reside within the body.  They see that spirit through
words, demeanor, actions and mutual understanding. One does not
actually "see" the other person's spirit. They can only -see- their
"body". But everything that is connected with that body reveals the
spirit within that person.

"God is Spirit". (Jn4:24) When Jesus came and took on "flesh and blood"
(Heb2:14), what Jesus was doing (among other things) was revealing the
Father (Who is Spirit) through the human form that mankind can
perceive. Remember that, as humans, we are in corruption due to sin.
And "flesh and blood is not able to inherit the kingdom of God"
(1Cor15:50)  In our corrupt state God says to Moses, "..no man shall
see Me, and live" (Ex33:20)

So, if no one can see God and live, what about all those appearances of
"God" in the O.T.?

As God was leading Israel out of Egypt He says to Moses, "..My Angel 
will go before you.." (Ex23:23, 32:34, 33:2)  And who, exactly, was 
this Angel? God speaks of Himself figuratively as a "Rock" (Is44:8)
When Jesus speaks of building "My church" on "this Rock" (Mt16:18), Who
is the Rock, the Foundation, upon which the Church is built? Jesus
Christ. (1Cor3:11)  And so, with this understanding, Paul tells us Who
led Israel, "..For they drank out of that spiritual Rock that followed
them, and that Rock was Christ." (1Cor10:4)  That's, the -Son-, Jesus
Christ.

As Jesus said, "I and the Father are one". Easily understood: 1) God is
Spirit.  2) He reveals Himself to man through the Son, Jesus Christ.

Satan sought to be "like the Most High". (Is14:14) He told Eve, "you
will be like God" (Gen3:5) Most of earth's religions are proclaiming
the "god within"; that "the divine is in each of us". But to complete
man's elevation, since there is a limit as to how far man can go, he
also needs to bring God down, more to our 'size'.

Around 15 years ago the local news had a high-profile case of a child 
who had died due to lack of medical attention in a cult called, the "No 
Names Church". The group was also noted for its excessive severe 
beatings. When I visited with its leader one evening, most of his words
seem to be Scriptural, until at one point he finally concluded, "We are
all Christ".  Not: we are "-in- Christ" with Christ's new nature.
(2Cor5:17) But we -are-, in fact, Christ. That group, when entering 
their doors, the air was permeated with the typical "oozing sweetness" 
one comes to recognize around the company of people like the Moonies, 
and various practitioners of Yoga, TM and the various eastern mystic 
beliefs.

This group (A True Church), just like the 'No-Names' group, has a heavy 
emphasis in quoting Scripture out-of-context.  But they have gone a
step further, and brought God (the Father) down to the level of -man-.
The No-Names leader, during conversation, would zoom along at '90mph'
quoting Scriptures, back and forth, out-of-context... misinterpreted.
Before a person could even address the one misapplication, he was
zooming along to the next one.  It was when he proclaimed that "we are
all Christ", that I was finally able to stop him, confront his error, 
and then leave. I wonder what the situation is at this "A True Church"?

If you happen to have contact with any of them, be fore-warned. Much of
what they proclaim is Scriptural. But then, if it wasn't, the error
wouldn't be so cleverly deceptive, would it! Remember, 99% of what false
prophets proclaim is Truth. It's that other 1% that will send you to 
Hell!

When Nebuchadnezzar learned about God, his astrologers proclaimed to 
him, "There is not a man on earth who can declare the king's matter".  
If Jehovah was a "-man- on earth", why did He not step forward on that 
occasion?  They, in their lack of knowing Jehovah, said that it was a
matter for the "gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh" (Dan2:10-11)
And as Daniel reveals the dream to the king, he proclaims...

"But there is a God in Heaven..." (vs28)  And Nebuchadnezzar would 
later more fully come to know Him as the "Most High".  (Dan4:17,25,34)

Amen!
Q/A -Jesus before His Birth?
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