Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)

Clearly Hemphill Does Deny The Deity Of Christ

It’s really a sad state of affairs in the Body of Christ that Satan has been able to sow so much confusion today the average professing Christian doesn’t seem to know what to believe anymore. And a good case in point would be a story which was brought to my attention through a letter I received from an Apprising Ministries reader the other day. In it I was given some documentation showing that Southern Gospel Hall of Fame “Christian” singer Joel Hemphill does not believe that Christ Jesus of Nazareth was the LORD God Almighty in human flesh.

In “Christian” Gospel Artist Joel Hemphill: “Jesus Is Not God” I then shared the results of my investigation. This sad truth reveals that in his 2007 book To God Be The Glory: Exalting the Bible View of God (TGB) Hemphill clearly denies the Deity of Christ, a cardinal doctrine of the historic orthodox Christian faith. There’s also a link to a short post that had been done a few days earlier by Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries. And even still there are those who wonder how can this be; and is this actually true?

The truth is that things like this happen because people do not test the spirits due to their wrong understanding of Christian love; and yes, this denial of Christ’s divine nature is absolutely true. Joel Hemphill himself even tells us he has always denied the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as a modalist for he is a former Oneness Pentecostal, “My belief was called ‘Oneness’ or ‘Jesus Only’” (Online source). It now appears that Hemphill is with another anti-trinitarian Unitarian denomination called Church of God General Conference in Morrow, GA.

As of this writing the second item on the front page of their website under “News” is the addition of Joel Hemphill’s book TGB (Online source). Over at Hemphill’s website he tells us this book is really based on an actual conversation he allegedly had with God Himself:

In the spring of 1986 I had an awesome encounter with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Along with many other things that He told me, He said for me to study the Scripture, as He was going to reveal Himself to me in His word
(Online source, emphasis mine)

Now what’s important to keep in mind here in making a right judgment (see—John 7:24) is that Hemphill is telling us this information, later written down in TGB, was literally revealed to him by God. It’s beyond the shadow of a doubt that Hemphill is saying Jesus Christ is not God and using arguments which those of us who deal in non-Christian cults often hear from Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals and Unitarians. For example arguments such as:

Jesus is not a human incarnation of Almighty God as the Oneness teach, nor an incarnation of God the Son, second person of a triune God, a pre-existent being, as millions of Trinitarians believe…

Friend, if Jesus, Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Peter knew nothing of a pre-existence and incarnation, it did not happen !
(Online source, emphasis his)

The focus of my book isn’t what Jesus is not, but rather who God the Father is. God is immortal – Jesus was not… Hebrews teaches, and I believe that Jesus did not come in the God family (there is only one God), or the angel family, but in the human family (Heb. 2:7, 9). He is perfect, sinless man, but man nevertheless!…

A God-man could not redeem us. It took a sinless man, the Lamb of God, with righteous blood untainted by the sin of Adam, to redeem mankind. He is the second Adam, not the first God-man… If the disciples who had just seen Jesus ascend to heaven in Acts chapter one, did not pray to him in Acts chapter four, then he is not God!… The incarnation as taught by modern Christianity is a fable.
(Online source, emphasis his)

2. Jesus never one time said that he is “God.” He said many times, “I am the Son of God” and he is, but “Son of God” and “God” are not interchangeable terms.
(Online source, emphasis his)

Jesus Christ Claims To Be God, The I Am In Human Flesh

So as you can clearly see from Hemphill’s own testimony he was once part of Oneness Pentecostalism and he is in fact still denying the nature of the God of the Bible as a Unitarian. For more on the doctrine of the Truine nature of God I refer you to Keeping You Apprised of: the Holy Trinity. Furthermore the “god” Hemphill has been chatting with, and who supposedly revealed himself to Hemphill, has taught him to openly deny the Deity of Christ. So if we can show from the Bible that Christ Jesus of Nazareth does claim to be God then we will have shown Hemphill to be a false prophet who should not be allowed any forum inside any Christian churches.

The following two verses are taken from the Gospel of John. This is the eyewitness deposition of the Apostle John who personally heard Christ Jesus—God the Son—say these words and then later under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit also wrote them down. They are sufficient to show that the Master did indeed claim He was the Creator God. Jesus said, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I Am, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24. literal Greek). Note e.g. that the King James Version adds the word “he” in italics, the New American Standard simply inserts the word “He” into the text, and the New International Version has “the one I claim to be” in brackets.

However, what Jesus was really saying to these men to whom He was speaking is, “If you do not believe that I AM the LORD God Who spoke to Moses from the burning bush then you will die in your sins.” And this is confirmed just a little later in the same chapter of John’s Gospel where the Master went on to say, “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham came into being, I Am” (v.58). Notice in the very next verse that when Jesus states this to these men they immediately pick up rocks to stone Him. They knew He had just taken the Name of God and applied it to Himself. This would be blasphemy; unless, it is true. And it is; because the LORD had already told us long ago that He would be the Savior — “ there is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but Me” (Isaiah 45:21).

In the end men and women, the sad truth is that Hemphill absolutely is denying the very Savior he would say that he believes in. What is more Hemphill has been doing this all along during his career as a “Christian Gospel” singer. May God in His mercy grant Hemphill repentance so that he might really come to know Who Jesus Christ of Nazareth truly is. And may it be that Hemphill will one day be found among those of whom God, the only Savior there is, says of His redeemed children — “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me” (Isaiah 49:15-16).