Saturday, February 15, 2014

If God is a Trinity...

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The Hebrew and Greek meaning of the words and Adam Clarke's commentary mentioned are from Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary.
The Oneness doctrine adhered to by, most notably, the United Pentecostal Church International is considered by most churches to be a false doctrine. I have been a Christian for 48 plus years and have been a United Pentecostal Church minister for most of those years and have never been a believer in the Trinity. There are a few questions I have about the Trinity. If God consists of three different co-eternal co-equal and co-powerful persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, my first question is as follows:
1) Where in the Bible does it say that God is three persons?
2) If the Trinity doctrine refers to Jesus Christ as God the Son, where in the Bible does it say that?
3) If the Trinity doctrine refers to the Holy Spirit as God the Holy Spirit, where in the Bible does it say that?
These are not trivial questions!

When I first turned to the Lord Jesus, after saying to Him, and I quote, "Lord Jesus if you will help me I will serve you from this day to the day I die," He immediately cleansed my mind and heart of all the wicked thoughts and desires, all the foul language that had consumed me was gone! It was a miracle! (You can read my testimony at As soon as the Lord cleansed me heart and mind He said to me, and I quote, "read my word and start in Matthew." After telling my folks of what had just happened, I found my Bible (which I had never read) and found the Book of Mathew and  began read. I read the whole New Testament (KJV) that week. I couldn't get enough. Then I began the Book of Genesis and read through the Old Testament (although not quite as fast) and have been reading the Bible ever since. I don't say this to brag on my spirituality but to say that I obeyed the first thing the Lord Jesus commanded me that day and by God's grace still obey. I have read the NIV through twice, the Geneva version through once and selected verses out of many other translations numerous times. I have never found either the word Trinity or the teaching of the Trinity in all of the years I have read the Bible and served the Lord.

When I first found the Lord at age 23 in June of 1965 in that first week, before I ever stepped into any church, my late mother asked me if I wanted to be baptized in Jesus name. My reply was, and I quote, "if its in the Bible I want it." I had never heard of the controversy about the mode of baptism that I could remember. (I had never heard of the Trinity or the Oneness, only that Jesus was Lord). I remember after my mother had called around and found a preacher to baptize me, I think it was on Thursday, He began to interrogate me on the telephone to be sure I understood that I was being baptized in the name of Jesus according to Acts 2:38 and not in the titles according to Matthew 28:19. I was a little confused by his questioning and said something to the effect, "is there more that one way to be baptized?" I have often referred to that conversation as his attempt to catechize me. Needless to say I was baptized in Jesus name the next day in Spanaway Lake in Tacoma Washington. I will forever be grateful for the Truth of the Word of God.

I realize that many Trinitarian theologians will quite sincerely quote many passages of scripture to establish that the doctrine of the Trinity is found in the Bible. I have looked at those passages and I still have not found a trinity of persons there. Have I found references to the Father, to the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit? Certainly! However when asked by Philip on John 14:8-11, "...Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, 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? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." It would seem that the Lord Jesus was saying that when Philip looked at Jesus the Son of God, he was seeing, and in fact knowing the Father! In addition the Apostle Paul declared in 2nd Corinthians 3:17 that, "...the Lord is that Spirit..." Are there three spirits in the Godhead?

Furthermore Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 9:6-7 and I quote, "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. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."  It seems to me that if ever God wanted to establish a doctrine of an everlasting son, e.g., God the Son, this would have been an ideal place to say it. 

I know that the Trinitarian Theologians profess the co-equality of the persons of the Trinity. That being said, where was God the Son when Jesus Christ the Son of God walked the earth as a man? Where was God the Father? Where was God the Holy Ghost? The Bible plainly says in Colossians 2:9 that, " him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Did Paul mean, assuming he believed that God was a trinity of persons, that the God the Son part of the Trinity dwelt in Jesus Christ "bodily?" I don't think so! For in the next verse, Colossians 2:10 he said, "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power..." This agrees with what Apostle John said in 1st John 2:22-23, "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.]" (It is interesting to note that Adam Clarke's commentary says that "This clause is printed by our translators in Italics to show it to be of doubtful authority." However Adam Clarke said, referencing a number of ancient manuscripts, "...the clause is genuine, and should be restored to the text without any mark of spuriousness..."). (See Adam Clarke's commentary on 1st John 2:23) In essence, if you have the Lord Jesus you have the Father also.

I do acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The revelation the Apostle Peter had was, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (See Matthew 16:13-20) I also worship Him as my Lord and my God (See The Apostle Thomas's declaration in John 20:28). It is interesting to me that the first known espousal of the concept of a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead was made in about 180 AD. One would think that early theologians such as Tertullian, who coined the term Trinity and Athanasius, and their fellows were as inspired, if not more so, as the Lord Jesus and His Apostles. Well, maybe that's going a bit too far. They weren't as inspired, nor were they inspired at all. The Word of God is inspired. As the chorus says;
     If Jesus said it I believe it His word cannot lie,
     If it's written in the Bible I'll believe it til I die,
     Though the mountains be removed and cast into the sea,
     God's Word shall live forever throughout eternity.
More could be said but this is already a longish post.

No comments:

Post a Comment