Thursday, April 11, 2013

Are There Three That Are One?

When I first turned to the Lord in 1965 I was very interested in what the Bible said. (I still am) I did not know at the time and don't know where or when I read that there were some verses in the Bible that are thought by scholars to be "interpolations." I guess I should give the dictionary definition of what an interpolation is. According to the Mirriam-Webster online dictionary ( the term interpolation is a noun for which the verb is to interpolate. The Mirriam-Webster online dictionary says it is a "transitive verb and the definition is as follows:
     a: to alter or corrupt (as a text) by inserting new or foreign  matter
     b: to insert (words) into a text or into a conversation" 
I tremble somewhat in writing this blog lest someone reading it think that the Bible is full of interpolations. It isn't! However, early on in my walk with God I came to realize that 1st John 5:7 was said by almost all scholars (if not all) to be an interpolation that was inserted by someone probably to establish their personal belief system. Let me quote 1st John 5:7 in it's entirety here: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." When I first read the above verse I immediately thought, no big deal, it says "these three are one," and I believe that God is one so it doesn't disagree with my belief system. When I mentioned this to my brother Joe, who turned to the Lord before me, he promptly asked, "are there three in heaven?" That did shine a different light on the subject. I do not believe there are three persons of God in heaven.

There is a beautiful song we used to sing in church. but because of some of the words I didn't care for it. That song is "Oh What A Saviour," You might ask, what is wrong with that song? Well, the first verse says, 
     "Once I was straying in sin's dark valley,
     No hope within could I see,
     They searched through heaven
     And found a Saviour
     To save a poor lost soul like me."
The first question I had when hearing the song was, "who are they?" I don't believe there is a god in heaven beside the Lord. (See Isaiah 44:8) I think I understand the mystery of the Godhead pretty well. "...God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself..." (See 2nd Corinthians 5:19)

The Bible clearly says in Colossians 2:9-10, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power..." I looked up the word "dwelleth" in Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary and found the word has the meaning of; 
     "G2730 κατοικέω, katoikeō, kat-oy-keh'-o. From G2596 and G3611; to house permanently, that is, reside             (literally or figuratively): - dwell (-er), inhabitant (-ter)." 
My understanding of that definition is that God has chosen to be housed permanently, or to permanently reside in the Lord Jesus Christ. God won't be found elsewhere. The Bible clearly says in 1st Timothy 3:16 that, "...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." You may say that I sound like one of those Jesus Only people. Well you may not be far off the mark! You won't find God in anyone but only in Jesus. In John 14:8-9, Philip asked the Lord Jesus, the man Christ Jesus, Jesus the Son of God, "Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, Who the Bible says was God manifested in the flesh, replied, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" When Philip saw Jesus the Son of God he saw the Father? That sort of sounds like what Jesus said.

But what about the Father? The Lord Jesus, the Son of the living God, said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." The Bible says in John 1:18, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." I know that I am quoting the Apostle John a lot, but let me continue. In 1st John 2:23 John wrote, "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also."  It's no wonder to me that Isaiah said in Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." If ever there was a passage in the Bible where God could have declared Jesus to be the everlasting Son, this was the place. But the prophet, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, said of the Son of God that "...His name shall be called...the Everlasting Father..." Eh?

But what about the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost? Where does He come into play? Jesus said in John 16:13, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." And Jesus said John 15:26, "...when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me..."  (Some will say, there is the Trinity! But the Bible doesn't say, there is the Trinity, only people say that.) The Bible does say in 2nd Corinthians 3:17, "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." It is interesting to note that the Bible declares God to be the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ and yet when Mary became pregnant with the Son of the Father, it was the Holy Ghost that conceived in Mary the Son of God. (See Matthew 1:18-20)  If God the Father and the Holy Ghost are separate persons in the Godhead, well, we've got a problem.

Let me say to you, the reader of this blog, that the doctrine or teaching of the Trinity reminds me of the scriptures in John 10:1-18 where Jesus declared Himself to be the Door of the sheepfold. To try to understand God the Father outside of Jesus the Son is like the thief and robber that tries to get into the sheepfold some other way than by the Door, Jesus Christ.

There is a more modern song that is sung in many of our churches today. It was written by a fellow named Chris Tomlin entitled, "How Great Is Our God." I looked up the lyrics after I heard over the internet Mr. Tomlin singing the song. I have put the song lyrics here for you to look at and judge.
     How Great Is Our God
The Splendor of a King, clothed in Majesty 
Let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice
He wraps Himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And Trembles at His Voice, Trembles at His Voice

How great Is Our God, sing with me, 
How great Is Our God, and all will see
How greatHow great Is Our God

Age to age He stands, and time is in His hands
Beginning and the end, Beginning and the end
The Godhead Three in One, Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb, the Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names, Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing, How great Is Our God
I like the words, "the splendor of the king," and "name above all names," when applied to the Lord Jesus alone. Speaking of the Lord Jesus, the Bible says in Philippians 2:9  that "God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name..."  I have heard some churches change some of the words. But the problem I have with the song is that while the songwriter seems to write about the Trinitarian doctrine while expressing his faith in one God, he just sees it differently than the Bible teaches. In the next to the last verse, the songwriter wrote, "The Godhead three in one,Father Spirit Son." I Think it is safe to say that what the songwriter was trying to convey is God the Father, God the Spirit and God the Son, these three are one. I guess the words and melody of the song are OK, except for the phrase, "The Godhead three in one, Father Spirit Son?" For my part I still believe that the Lord Jesus was (and is) the fulness of God, manifested in the flesh. I believe that the Godhead was in the Lord Jesus not the Lord Jesus in the Godhead.

This has become a very long blog. Some of those who started to read this may have already stopped and gone on to something else. But for those who have persevered and read to this point, let me say that I fully agree with what the Apostle Thomas called the Lord Jesus eight days after the resurrection. In John 20:27-28 when The Lord Jesus said to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God." I love that chorus that says;
     "He's my Lord and my God, He's not just a stranger to me.
     When I looked past the veil it was easy to see He's my Lord and
     my God."
If you don't know the Lord Jesus as your Lord and your God, let me be the first to introduce you to Him!

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