Archive for September, 2012

Mark T. Barclay and Modalism: Cult by Ken Mattson

In this post, I want to explore what is a cult and what differentiates Mark T. Barclay Ministries, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others like the Mormons from Christian orthodoxy. As we have seen before in the last few post, like other heretical groups Mark T. Barclay’s teaching on the Holy Trinity is much different than what the Church has taught for the last 2000 years, from the time of the Apostles and to what was ratified in 325 A.D at Nicaea and handed down by the Church fathers in the Nicene Creed. 

The Church has stated along with the authority of the Bible that God is divine eternal persons and not parts or manifestations, but one God in three eternal, and co-equal persons, being God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Whereas Barclay[1] has taught that there was change in the Godhead and they are not persons, but one God with three parts, like his son Josh being body, soul and spirit. The Church clearly condemned Mark T. Barclay’s teaching as heresy, because it is a terrible distortion of the doctrine of the Trinity revealed in Scripture and it is outside Christian orthodoxy.

Partialism …taught that Father, Son and Holy Spirit together are components of the one God. This led them to believe that each of the persons of the Trinity is only part God, only becoming fully God when they come together.” Trinitarian Heresies

So what is a cult and why is Mark T. Barclay Ministries, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others considered by the Church as cults and teaching heresy? The answer is because their teachings are not orthodox in that they have distorted cardinal teachings like the Trinity, the Person of Christ, and the saving nature of Grace.

Here are a few quotes from a few experts, including Walter Martin.

A cult, then, is a group of people polarized around someone’s interpretation of the Bible and is characterized by major deviations from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, particularly the fact that God became man in Jesus Christ” (Walter Martin, The Rise of the Cults, p. 12).

A cult is any group that deviates from the orthodox teachings of the historic Christian faith being derived from the Bible and confirmed through the ancient ecumenical creeds.” CRI

Pseudo-Christian CultsThese groups deny or distort fundamental Christian doctrines such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and salvation by grace through faith alone. Some cults that would fall into this category are the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, The Way International, and the Unity School of Christianity.” CRI

The Nicene Creed says:

“We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being or substance(homoousion) with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and became truly human.”[2]

Here we can learn that Mark T. Barclay not only has the doctrine of the Trinity wrong, but as stated briefly before he also has Christology wrong. The Creed above says that Christ is light from light and God from God. The early Church fathers against false doctrines concerning the nature of Christ stated along with the authority of Scripture that Christ is indeed fully God and fully man, not a part, but the Second Person in the divine Trinity.

Hebrews 1:1-4 says, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”

The verse I want to focus on is verse 3 which states that, “He(Christ) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature”. In other translations like the NIV it says the “exact representation” like in the production of perfect coins being imaged stamped which in greek it is “charakter” meaning “exact duplicate” of the nature or being(Greek hypostasis) of God the Father in every way. Moreover, whatever God the Father has in attribute and power the Son has and is an exact duplicate of the Father’s being or substance.[3]

The image stamped on coins, seals, wax, expresses the idea: and the sense here is, that if God be represented under the idea of a substance, or being, then Christ is the exact resemblance of that – as an image is of the stamp or die. The resemblance between a stamp and the figure which is impressed is exact; and so is the resemblance between the Redeemer and God”.[4]

So thus far, though contrary to what groups like Mark T. Barclay Ministries and Jehovah Witnesses teach. We have learned from Scripture that the Lord Jesus is the exact representation of the Father, an exact duplicate of his being (hypostasis). We also can learn from this passage that there are personal distinctions in the Godhead and different but united roles in redemption. The Father is the Father and the Son is the Son and not the Father, nor is the Father the Son. There is no confusion of persons, but they are one.[5]

If Christ is a duplicate of the Father’s exact nature of being(hypostasis) from the passage we unpacked above, then what does Scripture say about him? Well, Scripture tells an entirely different Christ than cults falsely teach. The Lord Jesus is not only an exact duplicate of God the Father’s being, but in Jesus dwells all the fullness of deity in body form.

Colossians 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,”

1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

John 1:18 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 14:8-9Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

Colossians 1:15-16 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities―all things were created through him and for him.”

As we can see from the Scriptures above, Mark T. Barclay like other heretics utterly fail at proper exegesis of Scripture and this is because he is teaching by the spirit of error. Christ is not just ‘a part’ of God as Barclay falsely teaches, but Jesus is fully God, being the only begotten Son. If all fullness of deity dwells bodily in Christ, then we also know that of course all fullness of deity dwells in the other persons of the Trinity. Meaning, the Father who Christ exactly duplicates is fully God, and the person of the Holy Spirit is also fully God.

So does this mean that there are three gods? No, the doctrine of the Trinity states that God is simultaneously one and three. The Trinity is a mystery, but we know that all persons are fully God and that there is only one God. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, each person is fully God, but there is only one God.

Ephesians 4:5-6 “There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

So using a little deduction we learn: 1. All Cults deviate from orthodoxy. 2. Mark T. Barclay Ministries deviates from orthodoxy. 3. Therefore, Mark T. Barclay Ministries is a cult. 

So using a little deduction we learn: 1. All Cults deviate from orthodoxy. 2. Mark T. Barclay Ministries deviates from orthodoxy. 3. Therefore, Mark T. Barclay Ministries is a cult. So it is perfectly and legally right to use the word ‘cult’ when referring to Mark T. Barclay and his ministry at Living Word International and his Preacher of Righteousness Network,[6] because Mark has deviated “from the orthodox teachings of the historic Christian faith being derived from the Bible and confirmed through the ancient ecumenical creeds.”[7]

Those that permit the Holy Spirit to be their Father. Those who will allow the Holy Spirit, remember he’s not a third Person, he is God made up of three parts just likemy son Josh and his soul is not some body else and his spirit is not someone else, and so I got to decipher…….Now there’s not three people, it’s just one Josh three parts. There’s not three Gods, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, he’s just one. He’s just got three parts. So this great Holy Spirit wants to father you.” Jesus, the Command Giver – Mark T. Barclay[8]


1. “In heaven Jesus was not known as Jesus, he was known as the Word. In Genesis Chapter. 1, it defines the Trinity of God, the three parts of God. You are made by the way after his image, three parts. There was a Creator, he was later called Jehovah. There was his word, later on when he come here God said you call this baby, not the Word, but Jesus which really means Yahshua….and then of course the bible talks about the Spirit of God……now these aren’t three different people. We teach them sorta, kinda almost as three different people for the sake of teaching. Now that Creator, Word and Spirit for the sake of man understanding and relating was changed by God, you can read it in the Scriptures, I know you know this, forgive me this so elementary. But it was changed to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Mark T. Barclay, Jesus the command giver.

2. Nicene Creed

3. Wayne Grudem, An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, Pg. 236.

4. Barnes notes on the bible.

5. The Jesus that Mark T. Barclay is preaching is a different Jesus…..Any so called hired “cult expert” by Barclay should have figured that out if indeed their credentials where true, but then again money can buy many things, including so called experts with shady backgrounds and financial problems.

6. I am sorry to inform many of you who say that “Mark T. Barclay is my pastor”. Mark T. Barclay cannot be your pastor, because he is not in your church administering Word and Sacrament on a weekly or even bi-weekly basis. Only on a cultic level can Mark T. Barclay be ‘your pastor’. Just think of all the tithes and offerings that you robbed your own church of and has gone into the hands of a cult!


8.The doctrine of the Trinity “furnishes the key to all other doctrines”, that is how important it is to Christianity. However, if one deviates from the Scriptural basis of who God is being Trinity, its results are absolutely devastating to every other doctrine in Christianity including Christology and this is what we see Mark T. Barclay’s teachings, because it is cultic and clearly outside biblical orthodoxy. “The ancient church did in fact speak strongly on this issue, and decided that in fact the broad outlines of trinitarian Christianity are among the things necessary for salvation.” Fred Sanders