Heresy Warning: T.D. Jakes
How to refute the heresy of T.D. Jakes
America is under attack. Contrary to popular opinion, the greatest threat is not political or an outside foreign enemy. Our greatest threat comes from the pulpits of American heretical pastors. The apostle Paul gave us a warning two thousand years ago concerning where our enemies would come from.
Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
Act 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
A savage wolf is among us and he occupies a pulpit in one of the largest churches in America called the Potters House and his name is T.D. Jakes. We are commanded by Scripture to contend for the faith and expose false teaching so that the church remains true to worshiping the one God of Scripture in truth and spirit and does not worship false gods.
Purpose: To learn from Scripture how to refute the heresy of T.D. Jakes concerning his denial of the preexistence of the eternal Son of God the Lord Jesus Christ the second Person of the Holy trinity.
T.D. Jakes By Ryan Turner Who is T.D. Jakes?
Bishop Thomas Dexter “T.D.” Jakes (born in 1957) is a popular black preacher and evangelist who is the main pastor of The Potter’s House church in Dallas, Texas (founded in 1996), with a congregation of over thirty thousand members. He comes from a United Pentecostal, or Oneness Pentecostal, background. He has written over 30 books with many on the New York Times bestsellers list. He has been in numerous TV interviews and has been featured in Time, Forbes, and Essence magazines, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, Fox News, and more. He also hosts conferences and events, such as Women Thou Art Loosed and ManPower & MegaFest, which thousands of people have attended. He has a weekly television broadcast called “The Potter’s House” which is televised on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and various other networks. Among his many honors, T. D. Jakes was also ranked by The Church Report as being among “The 50 Most Influential Christians in America.”1
In distinction to this, other writers put forward a non-personal “Word”:
“The Logos (Word) of John 1 is not equivalent to the title Son in Oneness theology as it is in trinitarianism. Son is limited to the Incarnation, but Logos is not. The Logos is God’s self expression, “God’s means of self disclosure,” or “God uttering Himself.” Before the Incarnation, the Logos was the unexpressed thought or plan in the mind of God, which had a reality no human thought can have because of God’s perfect foreknowledge, and in the case of the Incarnation, God’s predestination. In the beginning, the Logos was with God, not as a separate person but as God Himself – pertaining to and belonging to God much like a man and his word. In the fullness of time God put flesh on the Logos; He expressed Himself in flesh.”
Read the answers to sixty questions concerning the Godhead as found in the Bible.
You’ll read questions and find answers such as:
Is the word trinity in the Bible? No.
Does the Bible say that there are three persons in the Godhead? No.
The United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) has been among the fastest growing church organizations in North America since it was formed in 1945 by…
Does the Bible speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Yes.
The preexistence and deity of the Person of Jesus Christ is the very bedrock of historic biblical Christianity. So foundational is the deity and eternality of Jesus Christ: “For if you should not believe that I AM,” Jesus exclaimed, “you will perish in your sins” (John 8:24; author’s translation).1 However, in Oneness theology, that is, Modalism, the Son was not eternal, only the Father was. Oneness believers maintain that the Son was one of the modes or roles (not a Person) that the unipersonal deity, named “Jesus” manifested for the sake of redemption. As dis cussed previously, Oneness teachers believe that the Son had a beginning. To recall, prolific Oneness author and representative of the UPCI,2 David Bernard, explains the Oneness position concerning the non-eternal Son:
The Sonship—or the role of the Son—began with the child conceived in the womb of Mary. The Scriptures make this perfectly clear. . . . The Son was made under the law—not before the law (See also Hebrews 7:28). . . . Hebrews 1:5-6 also reveals that the begetting of the Son occurred at a specific point in time and that the Son had a beginning in time. . . . From all of these verses, it is easy to see that the Son is not eternal, but was begotten by God almost 2000 years ago.3
However, as I will clearly and exegetically demonstrate, Scripture presents that the Person of the Son4 eternally existed with the Father. The primary texts utilized are John 1:1b; 17:5; Colossians 1:15-17; Philippians 2:6-11; Hebrews 1:8-10; and the biblical presentation of the Son being sent from the Father.
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
Col 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Php 2:6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
Php 2:7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
Php 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Heb 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 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;
Heb 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Heb 1:8 But to the Son He says: “YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER; A SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE SCEPTER OF YOUR KINGDOM.
Heb 1:9 YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS MORE THAN YOUR COMPANIONS.”
Heb 1:10 And: “YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS.
Heb 1:11 THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN; AND THEY WILL ALL GROW OLD LIKE A GARMENT;
Hence, Oneness theology dishonors God by asserting that (a) the Person of the Son was a mere creation at Bethlehem and (b) it was the Father who came down and wrapped Himself in flesh (not becoming flesh) and that flesh was called “Son”—Jesus’ human nature.
It is impossible to understand the gospel apart from an understanding of the trinity. This is true because eternal salvation is only accomplished by the three distinct, eternal Persons of the Holy trinity.
1Pe 1:2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
Hence, any statement concerning a presentation of the Biblical gospel that is not defined in Trinitarian language is damnable heresy.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him [en autō] all things [panta] were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things [panta] have been created through Him [di’ autou] and for Him [eis auton]. He is before all things, [autos estin pro pantōn] and in Him [en autō] all things [panta] hold together (emphasis added).
The Greek for “firstborn” is proto with tikto(tokos) which would give us “firstborn” and that is what we find here in Colossians 1:15. The Greek for “first created” would be proto with ktizo and it is not used here.
Second, the biblical use of the word “firstborn” is most interesting. It can mean the first born child in a family (Luke 2:7), but it can also mean “pre-eminence.” In Psalm 89:20, 27 it says, “I have found David My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him…I also shall make him My first-born” (NASB). As you can see, David, who was the last one born in his family was called the firstborn by God. This is a title of preeminence.
Third, firstborn is also a title that is transferable:
· Gen. 41:51-52, “And Joseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh: For, said he, God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction” (NASB)
· Jer. 31:9, “…for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn (NASB).”
Words could not be more clearly spoken than what we have right here in this letter to the Colossians. Paul leaves nothing to ambiguity in confronting the false teaching of his day: the Son is presented as the actual Creator of all things. Yet, in spite of the straightforward language of the apostle, Bernard tries to circumvent the language of the text: http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/jehovahs-witnesses/col-115-firstborn-all-creation
Perhaps these scriptural passages have a deeper meaning that can be expressed as follows: Although the Son did not exist at the time of creation except as the word in the mind of God, God used His foreknowledge of the Son when He created the world. . . . The plan of the Son was in God’s mind at creation and was necessary for the creation to be successful. Therefore, He created the world by the Son.27
Thus, Oneness teachers posit an awkward proposition: passages that speak of the Son as the Creator mean that when God the Father (i.e., Jesus’ divine nature) created all things, He had the “plan of the Son” in mind or in view. However, to say “God used His foreknowledge of the Son when He created the world” assumes unitarianism and disallows normal exegesis.
In verses 13-15, Paul clearly differentiates Jesus from the Father. Thus, from the start, verses 13-15 contextually preclude the Oneness notion that Jesus is both the Father and the Son:For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He [the Son] is the image of the invisible God [the Father] (emphasis added).
To recall, the main purpose of the book of Colossians was to refute the Gnostic ideology (i.e., proto-Gnosticism): spirit vs. matter. Hence, they did not believe that Jesus could ever create something as evil as “matter.” Accordingly, the docetic brand of Gnosticism (flowering in the first cent.) denied that Jesus had a “physical” body and was Creator of “all things,” as I have pointed out elsewhere. Hence, both Paul and John refuted this form of Gnosticism (e.g., Col. 1:14ff.; 2:9; 1 John 4:1ff.; 2 John 7). Correspondingly, in verses 15-17, Paul provides a clear anti-Gnostic polemic by demonstrating that Jesus the Son of God did in fact create all things.He first states that the Son is the very “image [eikōn] of the invisible God,” something that the Gnostics categorically denied. Then in verses 16-17, Paul teaches in the strongest way possible that Jesus the Son (cf. v. 14) is the actual Agent of creation. Note the clear and potent (and even redundant) way he presents this:
By Him [en autō] all things [panta] were created . . . all things [panta] have been created through Him [di’ autou] and for Him [eis auton]. He is before all things [autos estin pro pantōn], and in Him [en autō] all things [panta] hold together.
Consider the following grammatical aspects:
1. Paul employs the neuter panta (“all things”), which indicates, in Paul’s mind, that the Son was the actual Creator of all things. “It is significant,” says White, “that Paul does not use the more popular terms paj (pas) or pan (pan), both of which had meanings in Greek philosophy that allowed the creation to be a part of God or God a part of creation (as in pantheism). Instead he uses a term that makes the creation a concrete, separate entity with the real existence.”28
2. Paul utilizes three different prepositions to amplify his declaration that the Son was the Agent of creation: All things were created “by/in Him” (en + dative; vv. 16-17); “through Him” (dia + genitive; v. 16); and “for Him” (eis + accusative; v. 16). Again, Paul is speaking here of the Son, not the Father (cf. v. 14).
3. Finally, what immediately shuts down the “Son in view” notion is that Paul specifically says that “all things” were created “through [dia] Him [autou]” (viz. the Son). In particular, the preposition dia followed by the genitive autou indicates that the Son was not merely an instrument of creation, but rather the Creator Himself. In Greek, dia followed by the genitive case ending clearly indicates “agency” or “means.”29 There is no stronger way in which Paul could have communicated that the Son was the real and actual Agent of creation30 (also dia + genitive at John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; and Heb. 1:2).