Teachings Of Finis Jennings Dake
I became interested in studying Finis Jenings Dake after a speaker at our church mentioned to the Church how good the Dake’s study Bible was. I looked in the library but was able to find very little information on Dake. I was finally able to find a few articles in Christianity Today, and some newspaper clippings and things at the A\G archives. I had originally believed that Dake was just a little off in just a couple of minor doctrines. As I studied his materials (not just the His study Bible), I became greatly alarmed. I could not believe some of the things I learned from studying his materials. Here are some of the things I learned: Dake teaches tritheism, does not believe God is omniscient, nor omnipresent, he believes God is composed of a body, soul, and spirit; can move only in this body (can only be in one place at one time-including the Holy Spirit), does not believe the Holy Spirit indwells us, and other heretical doctrines.
Some people might say, "But Dake says God is Omnipresent, or that Dake Teaches the Trinity!" What I found is that in comparing his different works, he changes and distorts the meaning of key words and their theological meaning. For example His idea of the trinity is three separate Gods who are one only in unity, not substance (or essence). I do not want this study to create division, but I hope it will bring a warning to be careful of what we accept as Christian.
In this study, there are several symbols for references that are used. Here are their meanins:
B. = the Dakes Bible.
GPFM = The book written by Dake entitled, "God’s Plan for Man". It is published by "Dake Bible Sales, Inc., Lawrenceville, Georgia. (It is carried at Radiant Book Store, and the AGTS Library).
* =an asterisk and then a page number is used to identify New Testament References in the Dakes Bible. If there is no * it would be an Old Testament Reference.
Col. = is the column the reference is found in, in the Dakes Bible.
For example: B. p.*280: Col.4 [B.(Bible)p. *280(page 280 in the New Testament) Col.4(column four).]
First, we will look at Dakes teaching on the Divine Trinity. Christians have held that we serve One God with three persons. Or three persons who are One God (only one essence or substance, not three completely different Gods, not just three Gods working together). Dake teaches 3 completely different Gods (tritheism).
Teachings on Trinity:
1. "The Trinity-18 Fallacies" (Dake classifies these as being false teachings):
1. "That there is only one person or one being called God" (B. p*280: Col 1,#1).
2. "That there is a difference in meaning of three human persons and three divine persons" (B. p*280: Col 1, #2).
6. "That the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are essential parts of one being, just as man is made up of body, soul, and spirit"
B. p*280: Col 1, #6).
In Dakes Bible see also: p*280: Col. 2, 1st para; p.*280: Col. 2, #1; p*281: Col. 2, #59; p*281: Col. 3, #62
In "God’s Plan for Man":
". . . God can be three distinct persons as separate and distinct as any three persons we know of in this life." (GPFM: p. 53, last para).
"If there are three persons in the Godhead and they exist as one, we must understand this oneness to be the same as in the case of several men being one-one in unity, as in John 17:11, . . ." (GPFM: p. 54, last para).
"What is there hard to understand about three persons in the Godhead being three separate persons in the same sense we can conceive of any other three persons? What is there hard to understand about three persons being one in unity as we can conceive of any number of persons? Do we have to believe that three persons must become one person in order to be three in one? Is this the case with three men who are one in unity? If not, then this is not the case of the three separate persons in the Godhead. Is it necessary for all persons who are one in unity to lose their own personality, their own bodies, souls, and spirits, and all get inside one person in order for them to be one in unity?. . . Could not God exist as three separate persons with three separate bodies, souls, and spirits, and still be one in unity?" (GPFM: p. 55, 1st para). see also page 55, 2nd para.
Attributes Of God
Essence/Composition of God:
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit all: have a body, soul, and spirit. Each also: eats, wears cloths, has hair, eyes, lips, and all othe bodily parts as we do. God is "confined" to this body, soul, and spirit: meaning He can only be in one place at any one time. God goes from place to place in a body just as we do. God (all three) are our size and all three wear cloths. see: (for body characteristics see Bible p.*96, col. 1, bottem; col. 2, bottom; p. *97, col. 1#R and 2, bottom. Also GPFM p. 56-57, last para. and top para on 57).
Invisibility: Dake states as a fallacy that: "That God is invisible reality and cannot be seen by natural eyes." (B. 280, Col 1, #11).
"When we use the word invisible we must not think of it altogether in the terms of substance, but mainly as distance-beyond eyesight, beyond natural visibility" (GPFM p. 51, last para).
"No man, therefore, can say with Scriptural authority, that God consists of a kind of invisible substance which cannot be seen or touched by man." (GPFM: p. 52: 1st para).
"The reason we do not comprehend God more than we do by the senses is that He is bodily too far from us." (GPFM p. 58, 2nd para).
"There is no such thing as a world of creations made up of invisible substance. The so-called spirit-world must be understood simply as spirit beings inhabiting material worlds created by God. Heaven itself is a material planet. . . having cities, mansions, furniture, inhabitants, living conditions, etc." (B. *280: col. 2, 3rd para). See also: Bible p. 562: col 1#D; and GPFM p. 57: 2nd para). This material planet heaven is located in the north part of the universe. (B. p.120: col. 2#N).
"A spirit being can and does have real, material, and tangible spirit form, shape, and size, with bodily parts, soul passions, and spirit faculties." (GPFM p. 56: 4th para).
". . . he cannot see God’s body due to the distance from earth to heaven where He dwells" (B. 613, col 4#r). See also:
Bible p.10: col. 1#a; p.807: col. 1#B; p. 64: col 3#44; p. 388: Col. 1#B; p. 467: col. 1#F; p. 453: col. 1#C., and GPFM p.53: 1st para).
Dake believes that because each of the three persons who work together as one (unity) God each have their own body, soul, and spirit, God can only be in one place at one time. He can not be everywhere. God’s presence can be felt everwhere, but Dakes meaning for "presence" is different than what we would mean.
" God’s body is like that of a man, for man was created in His likeness. . . . God also has many other means of travel and goes from one place to another bodily as all other beings in existence." (B. 807, col. 1#B).
"Spirit beings, including God, Himself, cannot be omnipresent in body, for their bodies are of ordinary size and must be at one place at a time, in the same way that bodies of men are always localized, being in one place at a time. God, angels, and other spirit beings go from place to place bodily as men do; . . . . Christ is a true example of what we mean by omnipresence. He said, "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. . . In what sense is He in the midst of so many gatherings? This could
not mean that He is bodily present, for His body is in heaven seated at the right hand of God. . ." (GPFM p. 60, last para).
What does Dake mean by God’s presence being felt everywhere then? "Presence is governed by relationship, not bodily sight. When the body of anyone is not literally present, one cannot say that it is present. The presence of two persons may be felt though thousands of miles may separate them bodily. In such a case, presence consists of union, relationship, memory, acquaintance, and association to the same end in life. The closer two persons are to each other in any relationship, the more they feel each other’s presence in the thought life. So it is with God. God dwells in Heaven and persons on Earth that know Him and are in union with Him in spirit can feel His presence in their lives regardless of where they are on the Earth or under the Earth. This is what is meant by statements men use to prove that God personally fills the whole of space and matter" (GPFM p. 61 3rd para). Also: "We must understand all like passages, as teaching the omnipresence of God, but not the omnibody of God. While I write I feel the presence of my wife and children who are hundreds of miles away at this time. . . Thus presence is governed by relationship, not bodily contact only. Man has the same faculty that God has to make his presence felt by others, only it is on a finite scale. God’s attribute of presence is infinite, but it works literally on the same principle as that of man." (GPFM p. 61, 5th para).
"In this same sense Paul was with the Corinthians in spirit when they delivered the fornicator to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. In this sense, Paul and other believers dwelled in each other regardless of personal bodily distance from each other. . . We know that the personal body of Christ, or those of believers, are not omnipresent when they are in the lives of others in spirit presence, so the same thing is true of the Father and the Holy Spirit." (p. 62, 1st para). See also B. 613: col. 4#R; B. 623: col. 4#8).
"God gets to know things concerning the free moral actions of men as others do. . . God sends messengers throughout the Earth who report to Him of all that they find in the Earth that goes on. . . God does not take care of every detail of His vast business in all the kingdoms of the universe. His agents help Him and they are found in every part of the universe on missions for God. . . God sends messengers throughout the whole of His vast creations to find out for Him what He wants to know, the same as the head of any other business would be likely to do, so that plans may be made and actions taken accordingly. (GPFM p. 62, 2nd and 3rd para.).
"We have no statement in the entire Bible saying that God knows or even would like to know all acts and particular events of all vast creations of free moral agents from all eternity past; or that He has fixed decrees choosing and predestinating all the thoughts, acts, and deeds of free wills from all eternity past to all eternity future.
God’s eternal plan for man is known from the beginning to the end and what He plans to bring to pass on Earth He has power to do, but concerning the free actions of free moral agents He does not know from all eternity what they will do before they are in existence and are here to have a part in His plan. He does not know which ones will be saved and which ones will be lost." (GPFM p. 63, 2nd and 3rd para). See also Bible p. 2: col. 4#U; p.6: col. 1#Q; p.15: col 4#M; p. 67: col. 1#H; p. 232: col. 4#B; p. 623: col. 4#9.
"The Holy Spirit dwells IN men only in the sense of UNION WITH, but never by bodily entrance into the human body to live there like an incarnation. God and man are in perfect union and are considered as being one and dwelling in each other." (GPFM p. 453, middle para).
The Holy Spirit: "Dwells in men in the sence of union with, not bodily entrance into the human body" (Bible cyclpedic index, p. 108: #65). See also: B p.*86: col. 4#N; and GPFM p. 50: 2nd para.).
Dake teaches a doctrine he calls "interpenetration," which means that no being or person (whether a demon, angel, nor God the Holy Spirit) can enter or be inside of another person or human. (B. p.*86: col. 4#N).
Became the Christ 30 years after He was born: Bible p.1: col. 1#A; and GPFM p. 482: 2nd para.
1. Natural men will live forever in eternity here on the New Earth, AND HAVE BABIES!
"All future saints will never be resurrected due to the fact that it is God’s plan to permit earthly saints in the millennium and the New Earth to continue eternally as natural earthly people as Adam and the whole race would have lived if man had not fallen. After the resurrection from the dead is past, people will continue to be born forever, as we have proved in supplement two." (GPFM p. 722, Question #4). See also: GPFM p. 74:#2.; B. p. 562: col. 1#A.
2. We will retain our sex in heaven, whether male or female: GPFM p. 557: #3.
3. Dake teaches we will see the people burning in hell for all eternity (how depressing!):
"Did you not know that…" "That men in all eternity who live on the New Earth will be able to see people in hell? . . . It is clear that people in hell will be seen by others outside Hell who will be living on the New Earth." (GPFM p. 112:#5). [God and us will be on the earth then].
4. God is also not Immutable: God learns new things He did not know before, He learns things as they happen, etc. Dake uses the term "Immutable" and applies it to God, but he has changed the meaning as he does many other theological words. See: B. p.930:Col. 4, top para; and also B. p. 623: col. 4#12.
5. Dake, whether a racist or not, taught racism. On the last attached page is a photocopy of a 1963 edition Dakes Bible, and a 1993 printing of the Dakes Bible. Dake died in 1987 but did not change the racist readings while alive. His family as can be see did change many of the readings and the heading in 1990.
Compare especially #2, #4, #23, and #24, under the heading "30 reasons for segregation of races" (remember he wrote this in 1963 when segregation was widespread).
Finnis Dake and his Dake Bible differ drastically from almost every major orthodox Christian doctrine. It is difficult for me to understand why his study bible is so popular in pentecostal and charismatic churches.