Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Trinity

There have always been, and always will be those who cannot accept the Word of God for what it reveals. When faced with Scripture that clearly reveals truth, a turning away will occur; a dividing line will be drawn and people and families will be split over truth. The very words of Jesus echo now in this day and generation:

"I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." (Lk 12:49-53)

The words of Jesus caused division in His day and they are still causing division even today. Take for example, Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses. When faced with the doctrine of eternal punishment he rejected it and offered instead, his own commentary on passages such as Revelation 20:15 and Matthew 25:31-46. He then left his "apostate" church and proclaimed himself pastor Russell. Thus was born the Watchtower Society.

Joseph Smith would also reject the pure Word of God for his own fantasies and delusions. He would claim visions from an angel named Moroni and boldly state that he had the only true gospel and all those who wanted to know must follow his teachings. The Mormons came as a result of this young man's rejection of the Word.

Example after example could be given, but I think you understand my point. When humans are faced with Divine revelation (and I'm not speaking of the "new" kind of revelation, but rather the Word of God) we always find ourselves at the crossroads of eternal choices. Many reject certain doctrines because they are either difficult to understand or because they provoke certain raw emotions. But nonetheless, the doctrines are still true whether one wishes to believe them or not.

The doctrine of the Trinity is no different. Understanding, or rather accepting, this is not always easy. But again, we do not accept truth because of its ease in comprehending but rather we accept truth because it is truth!. With this in mind, over the next several posts that I write (remember, there are other contributors to this blog) I would like to engage in a discussion on the Trinity and the working of the Trinity in a believer's life.

We shall start our journey by defining exactly what is meant by 'Trinity.' Historically, the Trinity is one God in three distinct Persons; co-existing, co-eternal, and co-equal; being indivisible in nature and unified in thought and work; hence, Trinity (tri-unity). This first post will deal mainly with this definition.

SIDE NOTE: You are free to leave comments but I simply ask that when you do to please follow the blog rules as listed. You may feel the need to ask a question that has not yet been dealt with. If this is the case I will inform you whether or not I will deal with that specific topic. If so, I will refrain from answering; if not, I will try to answer in a timely manner.

The tri-unity of God is something that is proclaimed in Scripture, affirmed by the apostles, and contended for by those in the apostolic age (more to come on these topics in later posts). It is also something that has been debated for quite some time. Many groups, especially Oneness Pentecostals, have railed against the doctrine. They claim that God cannot be three and one at the same time. Therefore, God must have simply "revealed" Himself in three separate 'modes' or beings. In trying to present a logical conclusion to the dilemma, they have in essence, divided the indivisible.

But is it possible for God to be three and one at the same time without violating Scripture (Deut 6:4, Mk 12:29)? How can the tri-unity of God be explained while maintaining that God is one and not three? To the finite mind this seems like an oxymoron; an impossibility. Yet rejecting truth on the grounds of an seemingly "impossible" situation is both premature and hasty. In fact, we accept things on a daily basis that are really impossible for the human mind to comprehend. Something as simple as two parts Hydrogen and one part Oxygen confounds us as to how something that is so simply constructing can be so life-giving in nature. Better still, is the human DNA. It is the building block of all human life. Scientists have been studying it for decades and not yet even begun to chip the surface of the complexity of this tiny microscopic encoder. Though these things are far beyond our understanding we readily accept them as truth.

This must be the same approach we take as we begin to explore the complex nature of the Godhead. Of course, any human illustration will break down, but the most important thing to dwell upon is what the nature of Scripture teaches about the character and complexities of God. Through the next several posts we will examine and put to test Scripture and early church writings dealing with the nature of the Triune nature of God. In conclusion to this Trinity series (I am not yet sure how many posts there will be) I will present some common objections and answers to the doctrine. I feel that that to start, however, we must start with the pure sufficient Word of God as the plumb line and then let all other evidence be weighed against it. With that, I bid you all good evening and a wonderful Lord's Day to you tomorrow.

Affirming the Solas,
Steven (AKA Ekklessia Boy)


  1. Greetings Steven

    On the subject of the Trinity,
    I recommend this video:
    The Human Jesus

    Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you to reconsider "The Trinity"

    Yours In Messiah
    Adam Pastor

  2. Adam,

    I will watch the video when I get the chance. However, my views of the Trinity will come from the Scripture not a video.


  3. Ekklessia boy;
    It is a gross error when we start to accept something as truth when it is beyond our understanding.

    This is exactly what the Catholic Church has done in the first century when they cooked up that devilish doctrine the trinity and later have accepted as a Church tenet.

    No Jew ever throughout all history believed that God is three persons and not one of the New Testament Saints ever believed that God is three persons in one God, since the Lord our God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

    Nowhere in the entire Scripture is said that God is THREE persons in ONE God, but rather to the contrary.
    And NO intelligent person in his right mind would even remotely consider that God is three people in one God.
    Absurd! Perhaps that's why it is called deception!
    Kind regards

  4. Paul,

    It is a gross error when we start to accept something as truth when it is beyond our understanding.

    With that, we agree. That is exactly the point of this entire first post.

    This is exactly what the Catholic Church has done in the first century when they cooked up that devilish doctrine the trinity and later have accepted as a Church tenet.

    Some clarifications need to be made:
    1. The Catholic church did not exist until the 11th century after the Great Schism of East and West.

    2. I would be interested in knowing just how the 1st century church "cooked" up this doctrine.

    3. If it was invented in the first century there would be no reason to accept it "later," as you claim.

    No Jew ever throughout all history believed that God is three persons

    Neither did Jews believe that Jesus was God. I honestly don't see your point in throwing this out as evidence. No one can believe anything of Divine revelation until God first reveals it—this includes the Trinity.

    Nowhere in the entire Scripture is said that God is THREE persons in ONE God, but rather to the contrary.

    Scripture clearly teaches the Trinity, Paul. It doesn't need to use the exact words, "God is three Persons in one," to be truth. Don't forget that Divine revelation was also progressive. Even Peter states that the prophets didn't realize who they were prophesying about (1Pe 1:11).

    Not to worry, though. You will have plenty of opportunities to disagree with me. I only ask that you follow the blog rules. Stick with me and Scripture will make a convincing case for the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Steven (AKA, Ekklessia Boy)

  5. Oh, and one more thing:

    And NO intelligent person in his right mind would even remotely consider that God is three people in one God.

    Doesn't that violate the very first point you made? Does one need to be "intelligent" to understand God? Just asking ;)

  6. Wow, Adam Pastor, I remember you making that exact same post on my old "Catechumen's Tale" blog some years ago. Have you truly not developed any new arguments besides "Look at this link!"? I pray the Lord opens your eyes to the error of your ways, my friend.

  7. Steven;
    My first point was to your post, "Though these things far beyond our understanding we readily accept them as truth".
    If I would not thoroughly understand something, then I will not accept it as truth.
    I have never met a Trinitarian that could say that he thoroughly understands the doctrine of the Trinity. They always without exception say that nobody can fully understand the doctrine of the Trinity, because a finite mind cannot understand an infinite God.
    That only shows that they are ignorant in the knowledge of God.
    By the way, the Trinity is not a Divine revelation as you have said, but a perversion of the truth.

    Concerning the Catholic Church; I was a Roman Catholic till the Lord Jesus called me to be His ambassador.
    The first Pope was Linus, from AD 67-76 but they claim that their first Pope was St.Peter and then Linus etc. By the rise of the first Pope the Antichrist was revealed, the man of sin, the man of lawlessness and with him all the doctrines which were against and in place of Christ were established including the Trinity.
    The Trinity doctrine that God is three persons which has been universally accepted and put firmly in place as a central tenet of the Church, and strict monotheism was formally rejected by the Vatican councils in Nice and Constantinople in the late fourth century.

    The Lord our God does not change, He is the same in the beginning, today and tomorrow. The Jews and all the prophets have been entrusted with the oracle of God long before us, and not one of them believed that God is three persons to this very day, and neither did any of the Apostles.

    Throughout all Scripture God is always called 'HE' and not THEY!
    He is singular and THEY is plural (many).
    The Lord our God is ONE and He cannot be THREE (impossible).

  8. So what you're saying, Paul, is that you believe in Gid and have full understanding of Him, because if you didn't fully comprehend Him you would believe? It is absurd to say that you won't beleive something unless you have full comprehension.

    Rearding your comment about the Catholic church: if Linus (or whoever you say) "invented" the Trinity and it was a "devilish" doctrine as you claim why was there no opposition? There were still many of the aposltes alive during that time and surely at least one of them would have contested! Churh history is full of those who oppossed heresy at even the first sign. Why not with the Trinity?

    Whether you choose to believe the Trinity or not, Paul, is your choice. But even if you don't believe, it does not make it any less true. I pray God will enlighten the eyes of your heart and you will receive His Spirit that causes you to repent of your sins and trust in the fully revealed God of the Scriptures.

    Steven (AKA, Ekklessia Boy)

  9. To Paul G:

    First, regarding your knowledge of church history: Steven is absolutely, 100% correct. Though some early Church Fathers referred to themselves or the church as "catholic," it was not in the same context as modern day Roman Catholics. The pope did not have supreme authority, and the authority of the church in Rome was only among the mostly Latin churches in the west. Therefore, your calling of the (I assume first) Council of Nicaea and the later Council of Constantinople as "Vatican" councils is simply erroneous. At the First Council of Nicaea, only seven bishops from the Latin churches were present among the 318, and the pope wasn't even there - he was represented by two presbyters. The Roman bishop did not have the power to call an ecumenical council at that time, and for the next seven ecumenical councils he had a mostly limited role. I say this not to be mean but out of brotherly rebuke: please do some church research before pontificating upon it to other brothers.

    Second, you say that the New Testament saints never believed that God was three Persons in one Being. Could you then please explain to me Paul's reference to the Shema of Deut 6:4, in reference to God the Father and Christ the Son? To explain, Paul writes after talking about polytheists with many gods and many lords:

    Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. [1 Cor 8:6]

    The Septuagint rendering of the Shema is: ἄκουε ισραηλ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν. The original Koine Greek of 1 Cor 8:6 speaks of εις θεος ο πατηρ ("one God the Father") and εις κυριος ιησους χριστος ("one Lord Jesus Christ"). They are put within the same context of one another, and both deal exclusively with creation.

    I would also ask you to explain Matthew 28:19, in which we are told to baptize "in the name" (singular) of "the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (plural).

  10. Yes Steven; I believe in God and that God is the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He is the eternal God who is Spirit (John 4:24) clothed Himself with flesh and became just like one of us and we beheld His glory as the only begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth.
    He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end and beside Him there is no other God, person, identity or spirit who is also God.
    Jesus Christ alone is the Lord God the Almighty and I do have a full understanding and comprehension of Him.
    That is NOT because I am smarter than you or anybody else, but it has been freely given to me by revelation from the Lord Jesus Himself.

    Concerning the Catholic Church;
    As the Antichrist Church began to receive power and authority, she then systematically murdered all the Saints who opposed her practices and doctrines including the Trinity, and so she became drunk with the blood of the Saints. Let history tell you the rest.

    The law of logic is that 'A' cannot be 'non-A'.
    If God is ONE as Jesus said (Mark 12:29), then God cannot be 'non-ONE'!
    Trinitarians believe that God is THREE and so violating the law of logic.

    To understand anything of God we should NOT violate that law. If we do, then we will always end up in error.
    So it would be necessarily for you to agree with me that ONE is never THREE at any point or time.

  11. Tony Allen;
    I think we are going too fast at this point of time. I know that we will come to all those passages you have quoted in due time.
    But first I would like that we could agree on the law of logic, that ONE could never be THREE at any point of time.
    Regards Paul

  12. Paul;

    Firstly, we need to address these passages now. We don't come to scripture with presuppositions; we read scripture and we form our beliefs based on what it says. Therefore, I request that you address those passages.

    Secondly, you are continuing to argue that the Trinity says God is three and not one - but that isn't what the Trinity says. Trinitarians believe God is one. Therefore, for you to cite passages that talk of monotheism - well, yes, we agree, God is not three. God is one Being revealed through three co-existent, co-eternal Persons. I have cited scripture to begin a presentation of this case, but you have refused to respond to it, instead demanding that we accept your non-argument first. I ask again: please respond to the scripture given to you.

    Thirdly, you are still erroneously saying that the Roman Catholic Church took power early on and persecuted Trinitarians. I have already explained how this is false. If you are going to continue propagating that, either answer what has been said to you or present scholarly sources to defend your case.

    Fourthly, you have made this statement: "it has been freely given to me by revelation from the Lord Jesus Himself." Could you please explain that.

  13. Tony; I did not say that the Catholic Church persecuted the Trinitarians.
    I said the Catholic Church murdered all those who opposed any of her doctrines, including the Trinity doctrine.
    We both know that Trinitarians do NOT believe that God is ONE; they only say it as a cliché that God is ONE.
    They consistently say and teach that God is three persons and then in addition they say that all three persons are one God, which is absurd at best.

    If God is three persons, then it is impossible that they are one being, no matter how hard you try, and that still transgresses the law of logic.
    If the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord God the Almighty (as I say He is), and you say that there is another person, other then Jesus who is also God, then again you have a serious problem just like every Trinitarian has.
    Because of that wrong presupposition it is impossible for Trinitarians to understand most passages of the Bible.

    Perhaps I should give you a demonstration;
    Let's take your comment on Matthew 28:19 (Baptism).

    Jesus said; "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you".

    Well Tony; I wish that all Trinitarians would obey the Lord Jesus in what He has said (above) and also teach all those things. But instead of believing in Jesus and obey Him they believe in their clergies and so practice their own perverted traditions.

    The Lord Jesus commands His disciples to baptize converts into the NAME; and not into THREE titles as all Trinitarians do.
    Father is NOT a name, but a title.
    Son is NOT a name, but a title.
    Holy Spirit is NOT a name, but a title.

    So then I will ask you, what is the NAME of the Father?
    And what is the NAME of the Son?
    And what is the NAME of the Holy Spirit?

    The answer to that is simple, JESUS!

    JESUS is the name of the Father!
    JESUS is the name of the Son!
    JESUS is the name of the Holy Spirit!
    And only into the name of JESUS you should baptize any convert just like in (Acts 8:16) and (Acts 10:48) and (Acts 19:5) and any other way is disobedience and a perversion of the truth.
    Kind regards

  14. Paul,

    You claim that the Trinity was "invented" during the first century yet you have offered no proof of it. You have been corrected about your view of history on the Catholoic church by both Tony and myself: The Catholic church as you know of today did not come about until the 12th century. I believe Tony addressed this in an earlier comment. The church was called 'catholic' in the sense of it being a universal (that is all who beleived in Christ) church. Taking the time to look the word up in a standard dictionary would easily resolve this issue.

    You continue to insist that the church persecuted those who opossed their doctrines including the Trinity, yet you still have offered no specific examples or cited any relevant sources. If anything, the Cathollic church persecuted those who did not hold to such doctrines as purgatory, the immaculate conception of Mary, and the reading of Scripture in the common languages. I'm sure people were killed for not believing in the Trinity, but then again people were killed for less in those days. This does not make a doctrine false because of it. Scripture is the standard, which brings me to my next point:

    This regards your interpretation of Mt 28:19: You stated that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are simply titles and not names. So that means that we are to baptize in the 'titles' of God? Well Paul, to use your own words, "that is highly illogical." Please look at this verse in the original Greek:

    αθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος.

    Please note the words I have italicized. The word 'kai' which is our English word 'and' is a conjuction showing a continual flow of thought and actually coordinates between each thing or person mentioned, in this case, Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit.

    Furthermore, the word ὄνομα (name) represents who a person is rather than just a title, as you claim. When a person carried a message in another person's name they bore the authority of that person. In the case of Mt 28:19 the authority given is in the Name of three Persons. That is why Jesus commanded them to baptize this way. The verse you quoted from Acts to prove your point is simply a summary statement that they baptized in Jesus' Name. It is not an authoritative command like we have here in Mt 28:19.

  15. Paul;

    You are simply repeating your arguments and not really addressing what is being given to you.

    Firstly, you keep saying there was a Roman Catholic Church back then. I have already corrected you several times that there was no Roman Catholic Church then. Please stop arguing that until you provide some sources to verify your argumentation. Furthermore, if you are going to say they murdered Trinitarians early on (which IS persecution) then please provided sources for that as well. Otherwise, stop making the argument.

    Secondly, your argument that the Trinitarian names are just titles for Jesus is the heresy Modalism, and is contradicted by scripture, in which the Persons are always distinguished from one another.

    For example, we find all three Persons acting distinct from one another at the baptism of Christ (Matthew 3:16-17). We see this again at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8). In Gethsemane, we see the Son praying to the Father (Mark 14:35-36). In 1 Cor 8:6, which I quoted earlier (and you refused to address), Paul distinguishes between God the Father and Jesus the Son.

    Perhaps one of the best examples is in Acts 4:26, where the apostles, praying about the growing persecution, speak of "kings" and "rulers" taking their stand against "the Lord" and "His Christ." Let me present a parable to explain this. Suppose you have a major general in charge of a division, who technically has two titles: major general (his rank) and division commander (his position). Therefore, you could argue that at ceremonies he would be introduced or spoken of as, "major general and commander of such-and-such division." Two titles for one person. However, you would never speak of those titles as two distinct individuals. For example, if someone conspired against the general and someone went to warn him, that person would not say, "Someone is conspiring against you and your division commander!" That person would either be confused or very ridiculous, since the general is the division commander. Yet here we find the apostles differentiating between those two Persons.

    You can keep arguing "It isn't logical!" (a very humanist way to look at theology), but this is what scripture teaches.

  16. Paul,

    I have already planned on dealing with many fo the verses in this thread in upcoming posts. I will give my own exegesis and interpretation of them when I come to them. Please be patient and wait for the posts before trying to argue. I will be addressing the Shema as well.

  17. Yes Steven, 'Catholic' means universal just as you have said, and ‘Roman’ means, that the universal Church first started in Rome.
    When the Church of Jesus Christ was established, the Saints did not have the New Testament Scriptures but they had received the same Spirit just as we have to day, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and by that Spirit they spoke that the Antichrist must arise, the man of sin and lawlessness who exults himself as God.
    When the first Pope was crowned as the head of the Church, the ANTICHRIST was finally revealed and with him and his Church came ALL those devilish doctrines including the Trinity.
    The Trinity is the most powerful of all her deceptive doctrines, because it divides the 'ONE person God' Jesus Christ into THREE separate persons and identities.
    And remember; it is the Lord Jesus who has given Satan the power to deceive, even the elect if possible, therefore we have to take special attention to that doctrine.

    Interpretation of (Mat. 28:19).
    You ought to baptize (means 'immerse') into the NAME! (Jesus Christ)! Just the same as they did in the book of Acts.
    You ought NOT to baptize into three titles as all those deceived Trinitarians do, they think that each title is a separate person.
    OK, I say it again; the Lord Jesus commanded you to baptize into the Name of the person who holds those three titles.
    This is not rocket science; it is easy to understand and to do.

  18. Tony; you are missing the point; the Catholic Church did not murder TRINITARIANS.
    She murdered the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ who certainly did not believe in the Trinity, but accused the harlot Church of believing in many gods, three in total! Not to mention the Holy Mother of God, absurd! That God would have a Mother! What next?
    Perhaps he also has a son and then he might as well have a wife? This is weird! But then again, what do we expect from the Antichrist Church?

    Look Tony; there are 'NO---PERSONS' of God!
    You refer in your comment 'as God to be many persons'. That is just not true.
    If God created you in His image; are you three persons?
    If you are not three persons, then certainly God is not three persons.

    God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind; therefore use your sound mind to judge these things truthfully.

    By the way, I really like your parable; I'll give you a big AMEN to that.
    That exactly proves my point; ONE person Jesus Christ has all three titles.
    Or just as Jesus said, that we ought to baptize into the name of the one person who holds all those three titles.
    Your last comment; "Yet here we find the apostles differentiating between those two persons".
    Tony; the apostles did not differentiate between those two persons.
    All the writers of the Scriptures, the Prophets and the Apostles always spoke of the one person Jesus Christ our Lord; they only differentiate His office and titles but never in persons.

  19. Paul;

    Well admittedly that was a mistype on my part, I meant to say non-Trinitarians.

    However, might I just say, Paul, that you have not addressed anything given to you. You briefly touched on Matthew 28:19, but you have yet to respond to anything else. In fact, you are simply repeating your argument over and over again. You keep saying "Nothing in scripture proves it!" and "The Roman Catholic Church did all these things!", even though that has been responded to fully.

    The most (unintentionally) hilarious part of your response is: "I really like your parable; I'll give you a big AMEN to that.
    That exactly proves my point; ONE person Jesus Christ has all three titles." My friend...did you even really READ my response? My response was a refutation of your point, quoting both scripture and trying to logically insert your argument into it. All you did was respond with, "Well yeah that proves my point!" No, my friend, it doesn't.

    I would ask you to not post again until you are willing to enter discussion and not just repeat yourself ad nauseum/ad infinitum.

  20. You are quite right in claiming that it is not rocket science, Paul. I have given you an exegesis of Mt 28:19 and clearly explained why 'name' does not mean the same as 'title' yet you have not even begun to touch on that. You keep insisting that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are merely titles but offer no proof or Scripture to say they are titles. Please respond to my exegesis of Mt 28:19 with your exegesis of why they are titles and not names—and that does not mean stating your own opiniions.

    Also, you have yet to respond to Tony's exegesis on 1Cor 8:6. These are two fine passages (which I will deal with in upcoming posts) that offer Scriptural proof of the Trinity. Deal with these in accordance with the blog rules before moving on.

    Steven (AKA, Ekklessia Boy)

  21. Steven;
    I do not need to give you an explanation why 'name' does not mean the same as 'title', since I do NOT disagree with you and every schoolboy knows that a title is not the same as a name.
    Yes; FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT are merely titles! They describe the office of that one person who holds those titles.
    I am a FATHER, and that is NOT my name or another person.
    I am a SON, and that is NOT my name or another person.
    I have a SPIRIT, and that is NOT my name or another person.
    My name is Paul and I am NOT three persons! The same as Jesus Christ who is the Lord God, and He is NOT three persons.
    I find it difficult and disturbing when another man looks into my eyes and with a brazen face says to me that 'God is one, but He is three'.

    In your parable you have said, that there is one person major general in charge who holds two titles, major general and commander, and that he could be addressed or introduced in both or either one title, major general or commander. "Two titles for one person. However, you would never speak of those titles as TWO distinct individuals".

    How then can you say that those three titles in (Mat. 28:19) Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct individuals??

    You said, "That person would either be confused or very ridiculous."
    Kind regards

  22. The reason you say you "do not have to give an explanation" is because you cannot. I've shown you from the passage itself and the original Greek why they are names and not titles. You are not willing to address the arguments in front of you because you know in your heart that you cannot.

    Until you are willing to deal with the issues already put forth, please refrain from commenting on these posts any further. Thank you.

    Steven, Adam, Tony, Daniel.

  23. "How then can you say that those three titles in (Mat. 28:19) Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct individuals??"

    Paul, I explained that in my post. I cited other examples. You aren't addressing them, just repeating yourself. AS Steven said, until you are willing to have a dialogue, please do not continue this discussion.