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The Holy Trinity?

The Holy Trinity? Topic: Other ways to say draw a conclusion teaching
June 20, 2019 / By Magdalen
Question: Isn't Jesus Gods' son? So how can they be the same person? I was thinking...God is the father, the creator of all things....Jesus is really just God in the flesh...and the holy spirit is Gods' soul. am I right in thinking this way?
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Best Answers: The Holy Trinity?

Kerry Kerry | 9 days ago
Is It Clearly a Bible Teaching? IF THE Trinity were true, it should be clearly and consistently presented in the Bible. Why? Because, as the apostles affirmed, the Bible is God's revelation of himself to mankind. And since we need to know God to worship him acceptably, the Bible should be clear in telling us just who he is. First-century believers accepted the Scriptures as the authentic revelation of God. It was the basis for their beliefs, the final authority. For example, when the apostle Paul preached to people in the city of Beroea, "they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so."—Acts 17:10, 11. What did prominent men of God at that time use as their authority? Acts 17:2, 3 tells us: "According to Paul's custom . . . he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving by references [from the Scriptures]." Jesus himself set the example in using the Scriptures as the basis for his teaching, repeatedly saying: "It is written." "He interpreted to them things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures."—Matthew 4:4, 7; Luke 24:27. Thus Jesus, Paul, and first-century believers used the Scriptures as the foundation for their teaching. They knew that "all Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work."—2 Timothy 3:16, 17; see also 1 Corinthians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20, 21. Since the Bible can 'set things straight,' it should clearly reveal information about a matter as fundamental as the Trinity is claimed to be. But do theologians and historians themselves say that it is clearly a Bible teaching? "Trinity" in the Bible? A PROTESTANT publication states: "The word Trinity is not found in the Bible . . . It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century." (The Illustrated Bible Dictionary) And a Catholic authority says that the Trinity "is not . . . directly and immediately [the] word of God."—New Catholic Encyclopedia. The Catholic Encyclopedia also comments: "In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word [tri'as] (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A. D. 180. . . . Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian." However, this is no proof in itself that Tertullian taught the Trinity. The Catholic work Trinitas—A Theological Encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity, for example, notes that some of Tertullian's words were later used by others to describe the Trinity. Then it cautions: "But hasty conclusions cannot be drawn from usage, for he does not apply the words to Trinitarian theology." Testimony of the Hebrew Scriptures WHILE the word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible, is at least the idea of the Trinity taught clearly in it? For instance, what do the Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament") reveal? The Encyclopedia of Religion admits: "Theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity." And the New Catholic Encyclopedia also says: "The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the O[ld] T[estament]." Similarly, in his book The Triune God, Jesuit Edmund Fortman admits: "The Old Testament . . . tells us nothing explicitly or by necessary implication of a Triune God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. . . . There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a [Trinity] within the Godhead. . . . Even to see in [the "Old Testament"] suggestions or foreshadowings or 'veiled signs' of the trinity of persons, is to go beyond the words and intent of the sacred writers."—Italics ours. An examination of the Hebrew Scriptures themselves will bear out these comments. Thus, there is no clear teaching of a Trinity in the first 39 books of the Bible that make up the true canon of the inspired Hebrew Scriptures. Testimony of the Greek Scriptures WELL, then, do the Christian Greek Scriptures ("New Testament") speak clearly of a Trinity? The Encyclopedia of Religion says: "Theologians agree that the New Testament also does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity." Jesuit Fortman states: "The New Testament writers . . . give us no formal or formulated doctrine of the Trinity, no explicit teaching that in one God there are three co-equal divine persons. . . . Nowhere do we find any trinitarian doctrine of three distinct subjects of divine life and activity in the same Godhead." The New Encyclopædia Britannica observes: "Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament." Bernhard Lohse says in A Short History of Christian Doctrine: "As far as the New Testament is concerned, one does not find in it an actual doctrine of the Trinity." The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology similarly states: "The N[ew] T[estament] does not contain the developed doctrine of the Trinity. 'The Bible lacks the express declaration that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of equal essence' [said Protestant theologian Karl Barth]." Yale University professor E. Washburn Hopkins affirmed: "To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown; . . . they say nothing about it."—Origin and Evolution of Religion. Historian Arthur Weigall notes: "Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon, and nowhere in the New Testament does the word 'Trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord."—The Paganism in Our Christianity. Thus, neither the 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures nor the canon of 27 inspired books of the Christian Greek Scriptures provide any clear teaching of the Trinity. Taught by Early Christians? DID the early Christians teach the Trinity? Note the following comments by historians and theologians: "Primitive Christianity did not have an explicit doctrine of the Trinity such as was subsequently elaborated in the creeds."—The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. "The early Christians, however, did not at first think of applying the [Trinity] idea to their own faith. They paid their devotions to God the Father and to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and they recognised the . . . Holy Spirit; but there was no thought of these three being an actual Trinity, co-equal and united in One."—The Paganism in Our Christianity. "At first the Christian faith was not Trinitarian . . . It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in the N[ew] T[estament] and other early Christian writings."—Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics. "The formulation 'one God in three Persons' was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. . . . Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective."—New Catholic Encyclopedia. What the Ante-Nicene Fathers Taught THE ante-Nicene Fathers were acknowledged to have been leading religious teachers in the early centuries after Christ's birth. What they taught is of interest. Justin Martyr, who died about 165 C.E., called the prehuman Jesus a created angel who is "other than the God who made all things." He said that Jesus was inferior to God and "never did anything except what the Creator . . . willed him to do and say." Irenaeus, who died about 200 C.E., said that the prehuman Jesus had a separate existence from God and was inferior to him. He showed that Jesus is not equal to the "One true and only God," who is "supreme over all, and besides whom there is no other." Clement of Alexandria, who died about 215 C.E., called Jesus in his prehuman existence "a creature" but called God "the uncreated and imperishable and only true God." He said that the Son "is next to the only omnipotent Father" but not equal to him. Tertullian, who died about 230 C.E., taught the supremacy of God. He observed: "The Father is different from the Son (another), as he is greater; as he who begets is different from him who is begotten; he who sends, different from him who is sent." He also said: "There was a time when the Son was not. . . . Before all things, God was alone." Hippolytus, who died about 235 C.E., said that God is "the one God, the first and the only One, the Maker and Lord of all," who "had nothing co-eval [of equal age] with him . . . But he was One, alone by himself; who, willing it, called into being what had no being before," such as the created prehuman Jesus. "There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a [Trinity] within the Godhead."—The Triune God Origen, who died about 250 C.E., said that "the Father and Son are two substances . . . two things as to their essence," and that "compared with the Father, [the Son] is a very small light." Summing up the historical evidence, Alvan Lamson says in The Church of the First Three Centuries: "The modern popular doctrine of the Trinity . . . derives no support from the language of Justin [Martyr]: and this observation may be extended to all the ante-Nicene Fathers; that is, to all Christian writers for three centuries after the birth of Christ. It is true, they speak of the Father, Son, and . . . holy Spirit, but not as co-equal, not as one numerical essence, not as Three in One, in any sense now admitted by Trinitarians. The very reverse is the fact." Thus, the testimony of the Bible and of history makes clear that the Trinity was unknown throughout Biblical times and for several centuries thereafter. How Did the Trinity Doctrine Develop? AT THIS point you might ask: 'If the Trinity is not a Biblical teaching, how did it become a doctrine of Christendom?' Many think that it was formulated at the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. That is not totally correct, however. The Council of Nicaea did assert that Christ was of the same substance as God, which laid the groundwork for later Trinitarian theology. But it did not establish the Trinity, for at that council there was no mention of the holy spirit as the third person of a triune Godhead. Why Did God's Prophets Not Teach It? WHY, for thousands of years, did none of God's prophets teach his people about the Trinity? At the latest, would Jesus not use his ability as the Great Teacher to make the Trinity clear to his followers? Would God inspire hundreds of pages of Scripture and yet not use any of this instruction to teach the Trinity if it were the "central doctrine" of faith? Are Christians to believe that centuries after Christ and after having inspired the writing of the Bible, God would back the formulation of a doctrine that was unknown to his servants for thousands of years, one that is an "inscrutable mystery" "beyond the grasp of human reason," one that admittedly had a pagan background and was "largely a matter of church politics"? The testimony of history is clear: The Trinity teaching is a deviation from the truth, an apostatizing from it. What Does the Bible Say About God and Jesus? IF PEOPLE were to read the Bible from cover to cover without any preconceived idea of a Trinity, would they arrive at such a concept on their own? Not at all. What comes through very clearly to an impartial reader is that God alone is the Almighty, the Creator, separate and distinct from anyone else, and that Jesus, even in his prehuman existence, is also separate and distinct, a created being, subordinate to God. God Is One, Not Three THE Bible teaching that God is one is called monotheism. And L. L. Paine, professor of ecclesiastical history, indicates that monotheism in its purest form does not allow for a Trinity: "The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic. God is a single personal being. The idea that a trinity is to be found there . . . is utterly without foundation." Was there any change from monotheism after Jesus came to the earth? Paine answers: "On this point there is no break between the Old Testament and the New. The monotheistic tradition is continued. Jesus was a Jew, trained by Jewish parents in the Old Testament scriptures. His teaching was Jewish to the core; a new gospel indeed, but not a new theology. . . . And he accepted as his own belief the great text of Jewish monotheism: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God.'" Those words are found at Deuteronomy 6:4. The Catholic New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) here reads: "Listen, Israel: Yahweh our God is the one, the only Yahweh."* In the grammar of that verse, the word "one" has no plural modifiers to suggest that it means anything but one individual. The Christian apostle Paul did not indicate any change in the nature of God either, even after Jesus came to the earth. He wrote: "God is only one."—Galatians 3:20; see also 1 Corinthians 8:4-6. Thousands of times throughout the Bible, God is spoken of as one person. When he speaks, it is as one undivided individual. The Bible could not be any clearer on this. As God states: "I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory." (Isaiah 42:8) "I am Yahweh your God . . . You shall have no gods except me." (Italics ours.)—Exodus 20:2, 3, JB. Why would all the God-inspired Bible writers speak of God as one person if he were actually three persons? What purpose would that serve, except to mislead people? Surely, if God were composed of three persons, he would have had his Bible writers make it abundantly clear so that there could be no doubt about it. At least the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures who had personal contact with God's own Son would have done so. But they did not. Instead, what the Bible writers did make abundantly clear is that God is one Person—a unique, unpartitioned Being who has no equal: "I am Jehovah, and there is no one else. With the exception of me there is no God." (Isaiah 45:5) "You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth."—Psalm 83:18. Not a Plural God JESUS called God "the only true God." (John 17:3) Never did he refer to God as a deity of plural persons. That is why nowhere in the Bible is anyone but Jehovah called Almighty. Otherwise, it voids the meaning of the word "almighty." Neither Jesus nor the holy spirit is ever called that, for Jehovah alone is supreme. At Genesis 17:1 he declares: "I am God Almighty." And Exodus 18:11 says: "Jehovah is greater than all the other gods." In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word ´eloh'ah (god) has two plural forms, namely, ´elo•him' (gods) and ´elo•heh' (gods of). These plural forms generally refer to Jehovah, in which case they are translated in the singular as "God." Do these plural forms indicate a Trinity? No, they do not. In A Dictionary of the Bible, William Smith says: "The fanciful idea that [´elo•him'] referred to the trinity of persons in the Godhead hardly finds now a supporter among scholars. It is either what grammarians call the plural of majesty, or it denotes the fullness of divine strength, the sum of the powers displayed by God." The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures says of ´elo•him': "It is almost invariably construed with a singular verbal predicate, and takes a singular adjectival attribute." To illustrate this, the title ´elo•him' appears 35 times by itself in the account of creation, and every time the verb describing what God said and did is singular. (Genesis 1:1-2:4) Thus, that publication concludes: "[´Elo•him'] must rather be explained as an intensive plural, denoting greatness and majesty." ´Elo•him' means, not "persons," but "gods." So those who argue that this word implies a Trinity make themselves polytheists, worshipers of more than one God. Why? Because it would mean that there were three gods in the Trinity. But nearly all Trinity supporters reject the view that the Trinity is made up of three separate gods. The Bible also uses the words ´elo•him' and ´elo•heh' when referring to a number of false idol gods. (Exodus 12:12; 20:23) But at other times it may refer to just a single false god, as when the Philistines referred to "Dagon their god [´elo•heh']." (Judges 16:23, 24) Baal is called "a god [´elo•him']." (1 Kings 18:27) In addition, the term is used for humans. (Psalm 82:1, 6) Moses was told that he was to serve as "God" [´elo•him'] to Aaron and to Pharaoh.—Exodus 4:16; 7:1. Obviously, using the titles ´elo•him' and ´elo•heh' for false gods, and even humans, did not imply that each was a plurality of gods; neither does applying ´elo•him' or ´elo•heh' to Jehovah mean that he is more than one person, especially when we consider the testimony of the rest of the Bible on this subject. Jesus a Separate Creation WHILE on earth, Jesus was a human, although a perfect one because it was God who transferred the life-force of Jesus to the womb of Mary. (Matthew 1:18-25) But that is not how he began. He himself declared that he had "descended from heaven." (John 3:13) So it was only natural that he would later say to his followers: "What if you should see the Son of man [Jesus] ascend to where he was before?"—John 6:62, NJB. Thus, Jesus had an existence in heaven before coming to the earth. But was it as one of the persons in an almighty, eternal triune Godhead? No, for the Bible plainly states that in his prehuman existence, Jesus was a created spirit being, just as angels were spirit beings created by God. Neither the angels nor Jesus had existed before their creation. Having been created by God, Jesus is in a secondary position in time, power, and knowledge Jesus, in his prehuman existence, was "the first-born of all creation." (Colossians 1:15, NJB) He was "the beginning of God's creation." (Revelation 3:14, RS, Catholic edition). "Beginning" [Greek, ar•khe'] cannot rightly be interpreted to mean that Jesus was the 'beginner' of God's creation. In his Bible writings, John uses various forms of the Greek word ar•khe' more than 20 times, and these always have the common meaning of "beginning." Yes, Jesus was created by God as the beginning of God's invisible creations. Notice how closely those references to the origin of Jesus correlate with expressions uttered by the figurative "Wisdom" in the Bible book of Proverbs: "Yahweh created me, first-fruits of his fashioning, before the oldest of his works. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I came to birth; before he had made the earth, the countryside, and the first elements of the world." (Proverbs 8:12, 22, 25, 26, NJB) While the term "Wisdom" is used to personify the one whom God created, most scholars agree that it is actually a figure of speech for Jesus as a spirit creature prior to his human existence. As "Wisdom" in his prehuman existence, Jesus goes on to say that he was "by his [God's] side, a master craftsman." (Proverbs 8:30, JB) In harmony with this role as master craftsman, Colossians 1:16 says of Jesus that "through him God created everything in heaven and on earth."—Today's English Version (TEV). So it was by means of this master worker, his junior partner, as it were, that Almighty God created all other things. The Bible summarizes the matter this way: "For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things . . . and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things." (Italics ours.)—1 Corinthians 8:6, RS, Catholic edition. It no doubt was to this master craftsman that God said: "Let us make man in our image." (Genesis 1:26) Some have claimed that the "us" and "our" in this expression indicate a Trinity. But if you were to say, 'Let us make something for ourselves,' no one would normally understand this to imply that several persons are combined as one inside of you. You simply mean that two or more individuals will work together on something. So, too, when God used "us" and "our," he was simply addressing another individual, his first spirit creation, the master craftsman, the prehuman Jesus. Could God Be Tempted? AT MATTHEW 4:1, Jesus is spoken of as being "tempted by the Devil." After showing Jesus "all the kingdoms of the world and their glory," Satan said: "All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me." (Matthew 4:8, 9) Satan was trying to cause Jesus to be disloyal to God. But what test of loyalty would that be if Jesus were God? Could God rebel against himself? No, but angels and humans could rebel against God and did. The temptation of Jesus would make sense only if he was, not God, but a separate individual who had his own free will, one who could have been disloyal had he chosen to be, such as an angel or a human. On the other hand, it is unimaginable that God could sin and be disloyal to himself. "Perfect is his activity . . . A God of faithfulness, . . . righteous and upright is he." (Deuteronomy 32:4) So if Jesus had been God, he could not have been tempted.—James 1:13. Not being God, Jesus could have been disloyal. But he remained faithful, saying: "Go away, Satan! For it is written, 'It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.'"—Matthew 4:10. How Much Was the Ransom? ONE of the main reasons why Jesus came to earth also has a direct bearing on the Trinity. The Bible states: "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all."—1 Timothy 2:5, 6. Jesus, no more and no less than a perfect human, became a ransom that compensated exactly for what Adam lost—the right to perfect human life on earth. So Jesus could rightly be called "the last Adam" by the apostle Paul, who said in the same context: "Just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22, 45) The perfect human life of Jesus was the "corresponding ransom" required by divine justice—no more, no less. A basic principle even of human justice is that the price paid should fit the wrong committed. If Jesus, however, were part of a Godhead, the ransom price would have been infinitely higher than what God's own Law required. (Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:19-21) It was only a perfect human, Adam, who sinned in Eden, not God. So the ransom, to be truly in line with God's justice, had to be strictly an equivalent—a perfect human, "the last Adam." Thus, when God sent Jesus to earth as the ransom, he made Jesus to be what would satisfy justice, not an incarnation, not a god-man, but a perfect man, "lower than angels." (Hebrews 2:9; compare Psalm 8:5, 6.) How could any part of an almighty Godhead—Father, Son, or holy spirit—ever be lower than angels? Is God Always Superior to Jesus? JESUS never claimed to be God. Everything he said about himself indicates that he did not consider himself equal to God in any way—not in power, not in knowledge, not in age. In every period of his existence, whether in heaven or on earth, his speech and conduct reflect subordination to God. God is always the superior, Jesus the lesser one who was created by God. Jesus Distinguished From God TIME and again, Jesus showed that he was a creature separate from God and that he, Jesus, had a God above him, a God whom he worshiped, a God whom he called "Father." In prayer to God, that is, the Father, Jesus said, "You, the only true God." (John 17:3) At John 20:17 he said to Mary Magdalene: "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." (RS, Catholic edition) At 2 Corinthians 1:3 the apostle Paul confirms this relationship: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Since Jesus had a God, his Father, he could not at the same time be that God. The apostle Paul had no reservations about speaking of Jesus and God as distinctly separate: "For us there is one God, the Father, . . . and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 8:6, JB) The apostle shows the distinction when he mentions "the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels." (1 Timothy 5:21, RS Common Bible) Just as Paul speaks of Jesus and the angels as being distinct from one another in heaven, so too are Jesus and God. Jesus' words at John 8:17, 18 are also significant. He states: "In your own Law it is written, 'The witness of two men is true.' I am one that bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me." Here Jesus shows that he and the Father, that is, Almighty God, must be two distinct entities, for how else could there truly be two witnesses? Jesus further showed that he was a separate being from God by saying: "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." (Mark 10:18, JB) So Jesus was saying that no one is as good as God is, not even Jesus himself. God is good in a way that separates him from Jesus. God's Submissive Servant TIME and again, Jesus made statements such as: "The Son cannot do anything at his own pleasure, he can only do what he sees his Father doing." (John 5:19, The Holy Bible, by Monsignor R. A. Knox) "I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 6:38) "What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him that sent me." (John 7:16) Is not the sender superior to the one sent? Jesus told the Jews: "I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me." —John 6:38 This relationship is evident in Jesus' illustration of the vineyard. He likened God, his Father, to the owner of the vineyard, who traveled abroad and left it in the charge of cultivators, who represented the Jewish clergy. When the owner later sent a slave to get some of the fruit of the vineyard, the cultivators beat the slave and sent him away empty-handed. Then the owner sent a second slave, and later a third, both of whom got the same treatment. Finally, the owner said: "I will send my son [Jesus] the beloved. Likely they will respect this one." But the corrupt cultivators said: "'This is the heir; let us kill him, that the inheritance may become ours.' With that they threw him outside the vineyard and killed him." (Luke 20:9-16) Thus Jesus illustrated his own position as one being sent by God to do God's will, just as a father sends a submissive son. The followers of Jesus always viewed him as a submissive servant of God, not as God's equal. They prayed to God about "thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, . . . and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus."—Acts 4:23, 27, 30, RS, Catholic edition. God Superior at All Times AT THE very outset of Jesus' ministry, when he came up out of the baptismal water, God's voice from heaven said: "This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved." (Matthew 3:16, 17) Was God saying that he was his own son, that he approved himself, that he sent himself? No, God the Creator was saying that he, as the superior, was approving a lesser one, his Son Jesus, for the work ahead. When Jesus cried out: "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?" he surely did not believe that he himself was God Jesus indicated his Father's superiority when he said: "Jehovah's spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor." (Luke 4:18) Anointing is the giving of authority or a commission by a superior to someone who does not already have authority. Here God is plainly the superior, for he anointed Jesus, giving him authority that he did not previously have. Jesus made his Father's superiority clear when the mother of two disciples asked that her sons sit one at the right and one at the left of Jesus when he came into his Kingdom. Jesus answered: "As for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father," that is, God. (Matthew 20:23, JB) Had Jesus been Almighty God, those positions would have been his to give. But Jesus could not give them, for they were God's to give, and Jesus was not God. Jesus' own prayers are a powerful example of his inferior position. When Jesus was about to die, he showed who his superior was by praying: "Father, if you wish, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, let, not my will, but yours take place." (Luke 22:42) To whom was he praying? To a part of himself? No, he was praying to someone entirely separate, his Father, God, whose will was superior and could be different from his own, the only One able to "remove this cup." Then, as he neared death, Jesus cried out: "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?" (Mark 15:34, JB) To whom was Jesus crying out? To himself or to part of himself? Surely, that cry, "My God," was not from someone who considered himself to be God. And if Jesus were God, then by whom was he deserted? Himself? That would not make sense. Jesus also said: "Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit." (Luke 23:46) If Jesus were God, for what reason should he entrust his spirit to the Father? After Jesus died, he was in the tomb for parts of three days. If he were God, then Habakkuk 1:12 is wrong when it says: "O my God, my Holy One, you do not die." But the Bible says that Jesus did die and was unconscious in the tomb. And who resurrected Jesus from the dead? If he was truly dead, he could not have resurrected himself. On the other hand, if he was not really dead, his pretended death would not have paid the ransom price for Adam's sin. But he did pay that price in full by his genuine death. So it was "God [who] resurrected [Jesus] by loosing the pangs of death." (Acts 2:24) The superior, God Almighty, raised the lesser, his servant Jesus, from the dead. Does Jesus' ability to perform miracles, such as resurrecting people, indicate that he was God? Well, the apostles and the prophets Elijah and Elisha had that power too, but that did not make them more than men. God gave the power to perform miracles to the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles to show that He was backing them. But it did not make any of them part of a plural Godhead. Jesus Had Limited Knowledge WHEN Jesus gave his prophecy about the end of this system of things, he stated: "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Mark 13:32, RS, Catholic edition) Had Jesus been the equal Son part of a Godhead, he would have known what the Father knows. But Jesus did not know, for he was not equal to God. 'New Testament research has been leading an increasing number of scholars to the conclusion that Jesus certainly never believed himself to be God.' —Bulletin of the John Rylands Library Similarly, we read at Hebrews 5:8 that Jesus "learned obedience from the things he suffered." Can we imagine that God had to learn anything? No, but Jesus did, for he did not know everything that God knew. And he had to learn something that God never needs to learn—obedience. God never has to obey anyone. The difference between what God knows and what Christ knows also existed when Jesus was resurrected to heaven to be with God. Note the first words of the last book of the Bible: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him." (Revelation 1:1, RS, Catholic edition) If Jesus himself were part of a Godhead, would he have to be given a revelation by another part of the Godhead—God? Surely he would have known all about it, for God knew. But Jesus did not know, for he was not God. Jesus Continues Subordinate IN HIS prehuman existence, and also when he was on earth, Jesus was subordinate to God. After his resurrection, he continues to be in a subordinate, secondary position. Speaking of the resurrection of Jesus, Peter and those with him told the Jewish Sanhedrin: "God exalted this one [Jesus] . . . to his right hand." (Acts 5:31) Paul said: "God exalted him to a superior position." (Philippians 2:9) If Jesus had been God, how could Jesus have been exalted, that is, raised to a higher position than he had previously enjoyed? He would already have been an exalted part of the Trinity. If, before his exaltation, Jesus had been equal to God, exalting him any further would have made him superior to God. Paul also said that Christ entered "heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf." (Hebrews 9:24, JB) If you appear in someone else's presence, how can you be that person? You cannot. You must be different and separate. Similarly, just before being stoned to death, the martyr Stephen "gazed into heaven and caught sight of God's glory and of Jesus standing at God's right hand." (Acts 7:55) Clearly, he saw two separate individuals—but no holy spirit, no Trinity Godhead. In the account at Revelation 4:8 to 5:7, God is shown seated on his heavenly throne, but Jesus is not. He has to approach God to take a scroll from God's right hand. This shows that in heaven Jesus is not God but is separate from him. In agreement with the foregoing, the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England, states: "In his post-resurrection heavenly life, Jesus is portrayed as retaining a personal individuality every bit as distinct and separate from the person of God as was his in his life on earth as the terrestrial Jesus. Alongside God and compared with God, he appears, indeed, as yet another heavenly being in God's heavenly court, just as the angels were—though as God's Son, he stands in a different category, and ranks far above them."—Compare Philippians 2:11. The Bulletin also says: "What, however, is said of his life and functions as the celestial Christ neither means nor implies that in divine status he stands on a par with God himself and is fully God. On the contrary, in the New Testament picture of his heavenly person and ministry we behold a figure both separate from and subordinate to God." In the everlasting future in heaven, Jesus will continue to be a separate, subordinate servant of God. The Bible expresses it this way: "After that will come the end, when he [Jesus in heaven] will hand over the kingdom to God the Father . . . Then the Son himself will be subjected to the One who has subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all."—1 Corinthians 15:24, 28, NJB. Jesus Never Claimed to Be God THE Bible's position is clear. Not only is Almighty God, Jehovah, a personality separate from Jesus but He is at all times his superior. Jesus is always presented as separate and lesser, a humble servant of God. That is why the Bible plainly says that "the head of the Christ is God" in the same way that "the head of every man is the Christ." (1 Corinthians 11:3) And this is why Jesus himself said: "The Father is greater than I."—John 14:28, RS, Catholic edition. The fact is that Jesus is not God and never claimed to be. This is being recognized by an increasing number of scholars. As the Rylands Bulletin states: "The fact has to be faced that New Testament research over, say, the last thirty or forty years has been leading an increasing number of reputable New Testament scholars to the conclusion that Jesus . . . certainly never believed himself to be God." The Bulletin also says of first-century Christians: "When, therefore, they assigned [Jesus] such honorific titles as Christ, Son of man, Son of God and Lord, these were ways of saying not that he was God, but that he did God's work." Thus, even some religious scholars admit that the idea of Jesus' being God opposes the entire testimony of the Bible. There, God is always the superior, and Jesus is the subordinate servant. The Holy Spirit—God's Active Force ACCORDING to the Trinity doctrine, the holy spirit is the third person of a Godhead, equal to the Father and to the Son. As the book Our Orthodox Christian Faith says: "The Holy Spirit is totally God." In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word most frequently used for "spirit" is ru'ach, meaning "breath; wind; spirit." In the Greek Scriptures, the word is pneu'ma, having a similar meaning. Do these words indicate that the holy spirit is part of a Trinity? An Active Force THE Bible's use of "holy spirit" indicates that it is a controlled force that Jehovah God uses to accomplish a variety of his purposes. To a certain extent, it can be likened to electricity, a force that can be adapted to perform a great variety of operations. At Genesis 1:2 the Bible states that "God's active force ["spirit" (Hebrew, ru'ach)] was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters." Here, God's spirit was his active force working to shape the earth. God uses his spirit to enlighten those who serve him. David prayed: "Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Your spirit [ru'ach] is good; may it lead me in the land of uprightness." (Psalm 143:10) When 70 capable men were appointed to help Moses, God said to him: "I shall have to take away some of the spirit [ru'ach] that is upon you and place it upon them."—Numbers 11:17. Bible prophecy was recorded when men of God were "borne along by holy spirit [Greek, from pneu'ma]." (2 Peter 1:20, 21) In this way the Bible was "inspired of God," the Greek word for which is The•o'pneu•stos, meaning "God-breathed." (2 Timothy 3:16) And holy spirit guided certain people to see visions or to have prophetic dreams.—2 Samuel 23:2; Joel 2:28, 29; Luke 1:67; Acts 1:16; 2:32, 33. The holy spirit impelled Jesus to go into the wilderness after his baptism. (Mark 1:12) The spirit was like a fire within God's servants, causing them to be energized by that force. And it enabled them to speak out boldly and courageously.—Micah 3:8; Acts 7:55-60; 18:25; Romans 12:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:19. By his spirit, God carries out his judgments on men and nations. (Isaiah 30:27, 28; 59:18, 19) And God's spirit can reach everywhere, acting for people or against them.—Psalm 139:7-12. Not a Person ARE there not, however, Bible verses that speak of the holy spirit in personal terms? Yes, but note what Catholic theologian Edmund Fortman says about this in The Triune God: "Although this spirit is often described in personal terms, it seems quite clear that the sacred writers [of the Hebrew Scriptures] never conceived or presented this spirit as a distinct person." On one occasion the holy spirit appeared as a dove. On another occasion it appeared as tongues of fire—never as a person In the Scriptures it is not unusual for something to be personified. Wisdom is said to have children. (Luke 7:35) Sin and death are called kings. (Romans 5:14, 21) At Genesis 4:7 The New English Bible (NE) says: "Sin is a demon crouching at the door," personifying sin as a wicked spirit crouching at Cain's door. But, of course, sin is not a spirit person; nor does personifying the holy spirit make it a spirit person. Similarly, at 1 John 5:6-8 (NE) not only the spirit but also "the water, and the blood" are said to be "witnesses." But water and blood are obviously not persons, and neither is the holy spirit a person. In harmony with this is the Bible's general usage of "holy spirit" in an impersonal way, such as paralleling it with water and fire. (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8) People are urged to become filled with holy spirit instead of with wine. (Ephesians 5:18) They are spoken of as being filled with holy spirit in the same way they are filled with such qualities as wisdom, faith, and joy. (Acts 6:3; 11:24; 13:52) And at 2 Corinthians 6:6 holy spirit is included among a number of qualities. Such expressions would not be so common if the holy spirit were actually a person. Then, too, while some Bible texts say that the spirit speaks, other texts show that this was actually done through humans or angels. (Matthew 10:19, 20; Acts 4:24, 25; 28:25; Hebrews 2:2) The action of the spirit in such instances is like that of radio waves transmitting messages from one person to another far away. At Matthew 28:19 reference is made to "the name . . . of the holy spirit." But the word "name" does not always mean a personal name, either in Greek or in English. When we say "in the name of the law," we are not referring to a person. We mean that which the law stands for, its authority. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament says: "The use of name (onoma) here is a common one in the Septuagint and the papyri for power or authority." So baptism 'in the name of the holy spirit' recognizes the authority of the spirit, that it is from God and functions by divine will. What Should You Do? THERE can be no compromise with God's truths. Hence, to worship God on his terms means to reject the Trinity doctrine. It contradicts what the prophets, Jesus, the apostles, and the early Christians believed and taught. It contradicts what God says about himself in his own inspired Word. Thus, he counsels: "Acknowledge that I alone am God and that there is no one else like me."—Isaiah 46:9, TEV. God's interests are not served by making him confusing and mysterious. Instead, the more that people become confused about God and his purposes, the better it suits God's Adversary, Satan the Devil, the 'god of this world.' It is he who promotes such false doctrines to 'blind the minds of unbelievers.' (2 Corinthians 4:4) And the Trinity doctrine also serves the interests of clergymen who want to maintain their hold on people, for they make it appear as though only theologians can understand it.—See John 8:44. Accurate knowledge of God brings great relief. It frees us from teachings that are in conflict with God's Word and from organizations that have apostatized. As Jesus said: "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."—John 8:32. By honoring God as supreme and worshiping him on his terms, we can avoid the judgment that he will soon bring on apostate Christendom. Instead, we can look forward to God's favor when this system ends: "The world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever."—1 John 2:17.
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Kerry Originally Answered: The Holy Trinity?
Is It Clearly a Bible Teaching? IF THE Trinity were true, it should be clearly and consistently presented in the Bible. Why? Because, as the apostles affirmed, the Bible is God's revelation of himself to mankind. And since we need to know God to worship him acceptably, the Bible should be clear in telling us just who he is. First-century believers accepted the Scriptures as the authentic revelation of God. It was the basis for their beliefs, the final authority. For example, when the apostle Paul preached to people in the city of Beroea, "they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so."—Acts 17:10, 11. What did prominent men of God at that time use as their authority? Acts 17:2, 3 tells us: "According to Paul's custom . . . he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving by references [from the Scriptures]." Jesus himself set the example in using the Scriptures as the basis for his teaching, repeatedly saying: "It is written." "He interpreted to them things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures."—Matthew 4:4, 7; Luke 24:27. Thus Jesus, Paul, and first-century believers used the Scriptures as the foundation for their teaching. They knew that "all Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work."—2 Timothy 3:16, 17; see also 1 Corinthians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20, 21. Since the Bible can 'set things straight,' it should clearly reveal information about a matter as fundamental as the Trinity is claimed to be. But do theologians and historians themselves say that it is clearly a Bible teaching? "Trinity" in the Bible? A PROTESTANT publication states: "The word Trinity is not found in the Bible . . . It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century." (The Illustrated Bible Dictionary) And a Catholic authority says that the Trinity "is not . . . directly and immediately [the] word of God."—New Catholic Encyclopedia. The Catholic Encyclopedia also comments: "In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word [tri'as] (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A. D. 180. . . . Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian." However, this is no proof in itself that Tertullian taught the Trinity. The Catholic work Trinitas—A Theological Encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity, for example, notes that some of Tertullian's words were later used by others to describe the Trinity. Then it cautions: "But hasty conclusions cannot be drawn from usage, for he does not apply the words to Trinitarian theology." Testimony of the Hebrew Scriptures WHILE the word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible, is at least the idea of the Trinity taught clearly in it? For instance, what do the Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament") reveal? The Encyclopedia of Religion admits: "Theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity." And the New Catholic Encyclopedia also says: "The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the O[ld] T[estament]." Similarly, in his book The Triune God, Jesuit Edmund Fortman admits: "The Old Testament . . . tells us nothing explicitly or by necessary implication of a Triune God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. . . . There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a [Trinity] within the Godhead. . . . Even to see in [the "Old Testament"] suggestions or foreshadowings or 'veiled signs' of the trinity of persons, is to go beyond the words and intent of the sacred writers."—Italics ours. An examination of the Hebrew Scriptures themselves will bear out these comments. Thus, there is no clear teaching of a Trinity in the first 39 books of the Bible that make up the true canon of the inspired Hebrew Scriptures. Testimony of the Greek Scriptures WELL, then, do the Christian Greek Scriptures ("New Testament") speak clearly of a Trinity? The Encyclopedia of Religion says: "Theologians agree that the New Testament also does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity." Jesuit Fortman states: "The New Testament writers . . . give us no formal or formulated doctrine of the Trinity, no explicit teaching that in one God there are three co-equal divine persons. . . . Nowhere do we find any trinitarian doctrine of three distinct subjects of divine life and activity in the same Godhead." The New Encyclopædia Britannica observes: "Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament." Bernhard Lohse says in A Short History of Christian Doctrine: "As far as the New Testament is concerned, one does not find in it an actual doctrine of the Trinity." The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology similarly states: "The N[ew] T[estament] does not contain the developed doctrine of the Trinity. 'The Bible lacks the express declaration that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of equal essence' [said Protestant theologian Karl Barth]." Yale University professor E. Washburn Hopkins affirmed: "To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown; . . . they say nothing about it."—Origin and Evolution of Religion. Historian Arthur Weigall notes: "Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon, and nowhere in the New Testament does the word 'Trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord."—The Paganism in Our Christianity. Thus, neither the 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures nor the canon of 27 inspired books of the Christian Greek Scriptures provide any clear teaching of the Trinity. Taught by Early Christians? DID the early Christians teach the Trinity? Note the following comments by historians and theologians: "Primitive Christianity did not have an explicit doctrine of the Trinity such as was subsequently elaborated in the creeds."—The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. "The early Christians, however, did not at first think of applying the [Trinity] idea to their own faith. They paid their devotions to God the Father and to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and they recognised the . . . Holy Spirit; but there was no thought of these three being an actual Trinity, co-equal and united in One."—The Paganism in Our Christianity. "At first the Christian faith was not Trinitarian . . . It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in the N[ew] T[estament] and other early Christian writings."—Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics. "The formulation 'one God in three Persons' was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. . . . Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective."—New Catholic Encyclopedia. What the Ante-Nicene Fathers Taught THE ante-Nicene Fathers were acknowledged to have been leading religious teachers in the early centuries after Christ's birth. What they taught is of interest. Justin Martyr, who died about 165 C.E., called the prehuman Jesus a created angel who is "other than the God who made all things." He said that Jesus was inferior to God and "never did anything except what the Creator . . . willed him to do and say." Irenaeus, who died about 200 C.E., said that the prehuman Jesus had a separate existence from God and was inferior to him. He showed that Jesus is not equal to the "One true and only God," who is "supreme over all, and besides whom there is no other." Clement of Alexandria, who died about 215 C.E., called Jesus in his prehuman existence "a creature" but called God "the uncreated and imperishable and only true God." He said that the Son "is next to the only omnipotent Father" but not equal to him. Tertullian, who died about 230 C.E., taught the supremacy of God. He observed: "The Father is different from the Son (another), as he is greater; as he who begets is different from him who is begotten; he who sends, different from him who is sent." He also said: "There was a time when the Son was not. . . . Before all things, God was alone." Hippolytus, who died about 235 C.E., said that God is "the one God, the first and the only One, the Maker and Lord of all," who "had nothing co-eval [of equal age] with him . . . But he was One, alone by himself; who, willing it, called into being what had no being before," such as the created prehuman Jesus. "There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a [Trinity] within the Godhead."—The Triune God Origen, who died about 250 C.E., said that "the Father and Son are two substances . . . two things as to their essence," and that "compared with the Father, [the Son] is a very small light." Summing up the historical evidence, Alvan Lamson says in The Church of the First Three Centuries: "The modern popular doctrine of the Trinity . . . derives no support from the language of Justin [Martyr]: and this observation may be extended to all the ante-Nicene Fathers; that is, to all Christian writers for three centuries after the birth of Christ. It is true, they speak of the Father, Son, and . . . holy Spirit, but not as co-equal, not as one numerical essence, not as Three in One, in any sense now admitted by Trinitarians. The very reverse is the fact." Thus, the testimony of the Bible and of history makes clear that the Trinity was unknown throughout Biblical times and for several centuries thereafter. How Did the Trinity Doctrine Develop? AT THIS point you might ask: 'If the Trinity is not a Biblical teaching, how did it become a doctrine of Christendom?' Many think that it was formulated at the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. That is not totally correct, however. The Council of Nicaea did assert that Christ was of the same substance as God, which laid the groundwork for later Trinitarian theology. But it did not establish the Trinity, for at that council there was no mention of the holy spirit as the third person of a triune Godhead. Why Did God's Prophets Not Teach It? WHY, for thousands of years, did none of God's prophets teach his people about the Trinity? At the latest, would Jesus not use his ability as the Great Teacher to make the Trinity clear to his followers? Would God inspire hundreds of pages of Scripture and yet not use any of this instruction to teach the Trinity if it were the "central doctrine" of faith? Are Christians to believe that centuries after Christ and after having inspired the writing of the Bible, God would back the formulation of a doctrine that was unknown to his servants for thousands of years, one that is an "inscrutable mystery" "beyond the grasp of human reason," one that admittedly had a pagan background and was "largely a matter of church politics"? The testimony of history is clear: The Trinity teaching is a deviation from the truth, an apostatizing from it. What Does the Bible Say About God and Jesus? IF PEOPLE were to read the Bible from cover to cover without any preconceived idea of a Trinity, would they arrive at such a concept on their own? Not at all. What comes through very clearly to an impartial reader is that God alone is the Almighty, the Creator, separate and distinct from anyone else, and that Jesus, even in his prehuman existence, is also separate and distinct, a created being, subordinate to God. God Is One, Not Three THE Bible teaching that God is one is called monotheism. And L. L. Paine, professor of ecclesiastical history, indicates that monotheism in its purest form does not allow for a Trinity: "The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic. God is a single personal being. The idea that a trinity is to be found there . . . is utterly without foundation." Was there any change from monotheism after Jesus came to the earth? Paine answers: "On this point there is no break between the Old Testament and the New. The monotheistic tradition is continued. Jesus was a Jew, trained by Jewish parents in the Old Testament scriptures. His teaching was Jewish to the core; a new gospel indeed, but not a new theology. . . . And he accepted as his own belief the great text of Jewish monotheism: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God.'" Those words are found at Deuteronomy 6:4. The Catholic New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) here reads: "Listen, Israel: Yahweh our God is the one, the only Yahweh."* In the grammar of that verse, the word "one" has no plural modifiers to suggest that it means anything but one individual. The Christian apostle Paul did not indicate any change in the nature of God either, even after Jesus came to the earth. He wrote: "God is only one."—Galatians 3:20; see also 1 Corinthians 8:4-6. Thousands of times throughout the Bible, God is spoken of as one person. When he speaks, it is as one undivided individual. The Bible could not be any clearer on this. As God states: "I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory." (Isaiah 42:8) "I am Yahweh your God . . . You shall have no gods except me." (Italics ours.)—Exodus 20:2, 3, JB. Why would all the God-inspired Bible writers speak of God as one person if he were actually three persons? What purpose would that serve, except to mislead people? Surely, if God were composed of three persons, he would have had his Bible writers make it abundantly clear so that there could be no doubt about it. At least the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures who had personal contact with God's own Son would have done so. But they did not. Instead, what the Bible writers did make abundantly clear is that God is one Person—a unique, unpartitioned Being who has no equal: "I am Jehovah, and there is no one else. With the exception of me there is no God." (Isaiah 45:5) "You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth."—Psalm 83:18. Not a Plural God JESUS called God "the only true God." (John 17:3) Never did he refer to God as a deity of plural persons. That is why nowhere in the Bible is anyone but Jehovah called Almighty. Otherwise, it voids the meaning of the word "almighty." Neither Jesus nor the holy spirit is ever called that, for Jehovah alone is supreme. At Genesis 17:1 he declares: "I am God Almighty." And Exodus 18:11 says: "Jehovah is greater than all the other gods." In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word ´eloh'ah (god) has two plural forms, namely, ´elo•him' (gods) and ´elo•heh' (gods of). These plural forms generally refer to Jehovah, in which case they are translated in the singular as "God." Do these plural forms indicate a Trinity? No, they do not. In A Dictionary of the Bible, William Smith says: "The fanciful idea that [´elo•him'] referred to the trinity of persons in the Godhead hardly finds now a supporter among scholars. It is either what grammarians call the plural of majesty, or it denotes the fullness of divine strength, the sum of the powers displayed by God." The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures says of ´elo•him': "It is almost invariably construed with a singular verbal predicate, and takes a singular adjectival attribute." To illustrate this, the title ´elo•him' appears 35 times by itself in the account of creation, and every time the verb describing what God said and did is singular. (Genesis 1:1-2:4) Thus, that publication concludes: "[´Elo•him'] must rather be explained as an intensive plural, denoting greatness and majesty." ´Elo•him' means, not "persons," but "gods." So those who argue that this word implies a Trinity make themselves polytheists, worshipers of more than one God. Why? Because it would mean that there were three gods in the Trinity. But nearly all Trinity supporters reject the view that the Trinity is made up of three separate gods. The Bible also uses the words ´elo•him' and ´elo•heh' when referring to a number of false idol gods. (Exodus 12:12; 20:23) But at other times it may refer to just a single false god, as when the Philistines referred to "Dagon their god [´elo•heh']." (Judges 16:23, 24) Baal is called "a god [´elo•him']." (1 Kings 18:27) In addition, the term is used for humans. (Psalm 82:1, 6) Moses was told that he was to serve as "God" [´elo•him'] to Aaron and to Pharaoh.—Exodus 4:16; 7:1. Obviously, using the titles ´elo•him' and ´elo•heh' for false gods, and even humans, did not imply that each was a plurality of gods; neither does applying ´elo•him' or ´elo•heh' to Jehovah mean that he is more than one person, especially when we consider the testimony of the rest of the Bible on this subject. Jesus a Separate Creation WHILE on earth, Jesus was a human, although a perfect one because it was God who transferred the life-force of Jesus to the womb of Mary. (Matthew 1:18-25) But that is not how he began. He himself declared that he had "descended from heaven." (John 3:13) So it was only natural that he would later say to his followers: "What if you should see the Son of man [Jesus] ascend to where he was before?"—John 6:62, NJB. Thus, Jesus had an existence in heaven before coming to the earth. But was it as one of the persons in an almighty, eternal triune Godhead? No, for the Bible plainly states that in his prehuman existence, Jesus was a created spirit being, just as angels were spirit beings created by God. Neither the angels nor Jesus had existed before their creation. Having been created by God, Jesus is in a secondary position in time, power, and knowledge Jesus, in his prehuman existence, was "the first-born of all creation." (Colossians 1:15, NJB) He was "the beginning of God's creation." (Revelation 3:14, RS, Catholic edition). "Beginning" [Greek, ar•khe'] cannot rightly be interpreted to mean that Jesus was the 'beginner' of God's creation. In his Bible writings, John uses various forms of the Greek word ar•khe' more than 20 times, and these always have the common meaning of "beginning." Yes, Jesus was created by God as the beginning of God's invisible creations. Notice how closely those references to the origin of Jesus correlate with expressions uttered by the figurative "Wisdom" in the Bible book of Proverbs: "Yahweh created me, first-fruits of his fashioning, before the oldest of his works. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I came to birth; before he had made the earth, the countryside, and the first elements of the world." (Proverbs 8:12, 22, 25, 26, NJB) While the term "Wisdom" is used to personify the one whom God created, most scholars agree that it is actually a figure of speech for Jesus as a spirit creature prior to his human existence. As "Wisdom" in his prehuman existence, Jesus goes on to say that he was "by his [God's] side, a master craftsman." (Proverbs 8:30, JB) In harmony with this role as master craftsman, Colossians 1:16 says of Jesus that "through him God created everything in heaven and on earth."—Today's English Version (TEV). So it was by means of this master worker, his junior partner, as it were, that Almighty God created all other things. The Bible summarizes the matter this way: "For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things . . . and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things." (Italics ours.)—1 Corinthians 8:6, RS, Catholic edition. It no doubt was to this master craftsman that God said: "Let us make man in our image." (Genesis 1:26) Some have claimed that the "us" and "our" in this expression indicate a Trinity. But if you were to say, 'Let us make something for ourselves,' no one would normally understand this to imply that several persons are combined as one inside of you. You simply mean that two or more individuals will work together on something. So, too, when God used "us" and "our," he was simply addressing another individual, his first spirit creation, the master craftsman, the prehuman Jesus. Could God Be Tempted? AT MATTHEW 4:1, Jesus is spoken of as being "tempted by the Devil." After showing Jesus "all the kingdoms of the world and their glory," Satan said: "All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me." (Matthew 4:8, 9) Satan was trying to cause Jesus to be disloyal to God. But what test of loyalty would that be if Jesus were God? Could God rebel against himself? No, but angels and humans could rebel against God and did. The temptation of Jesus would make sense only if he was, not God, but a separate individual who had his own free will, one who could have been disloyal had he chosen to be, such as an angel or a human. On the other hand, it is unimaginable that God could sin and be disloyal to himself. "Perfect is his activity . . . A God of faithfulness, . . . righteous and upright is he." (Deuteronomy 32:4) So if Jesus had been God, he could not have been tempted.—James 1:13. Not being God, Jesus could have been disloyal. But he remained faithful, saying: "Go away, Satan! For it is written, 'It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.'"—Matthew 4:10. How Much Was the Ransom? ONE of the main reasons why Jesus came to earth also has a direct bearing on the Trinity. The Bible states: "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all."—1 Timothy 2:5, 6. Jesus, no more and no less than a perfect human, became a ransom that compensated exactly for what Adam lost—the right to perfect human life on earth. So Jesus could rightly be called "the last Adam" by the apostle Paul, who said in the same context: "Just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22, 45) The perfect human life of Jesus was the "corresponding ransom" required by divine justice—no more, no less. A basic principle even of human justice is that the price paid should fit the wrong committed. If Jesus, however, were part of a Godhead, the ransom price would have been infinitely higher than what God's own Law required. (Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:19-21) It was only a perfect human, Adam, who sinned in Eden, not God. So the ransom, to be truly in line with God's justice, had to be strictly an equivalent—a perfect human, "the last Adam." Thus, when God sent Jesus to earth as the ransom, he made Jesus to be what would satisfy justice, not an incarnation, not a god-man, but a perfect man, "lower than angels." (Hebrews 2:9; compare Psalm 8:5, 6.) How could any part of an almighty Godhead—Father, Son, or holy spirit—ever be lower than angels? Is God Always Superior to Jesus? JESUS never claimed to be God. Everything he said about himself indicates that he did not consider himself equal to God in any way—not in power, not in knowledge, not in age. In every period of his existence, whether in heaven or on earth, his speech and conduct reflect subordination to God. God is always the superior, Jesus the lesser one who was created by God. Jesus Distinguished From God TIME and again, Jesus showed that he was a creature separate from God and that he, Jesus, had a God above him, a God whom he worshiped, a God whom he called "Father." In prayer to God, that is, the Father, Jesus said, "You, the only true God." (John 17:3) At John 20:17 he said to Mary Magdalene: "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." (RS, Catholic edition) At 2 Corinthians 1:3 the apostle Paul confirms this relationship: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Since Jesus had a God, his Father, he could not at the same time be that God. The apostle Paul had no reservations about speaking of Jesus and God as distinctly separate: "For us there is one God, the Father, . . . and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 8:6, JB) The apostle shows the distinction when he mentions "the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels." (1 Timothy 5:21, RS Common Bible) Just as Paul speaks of Jesus and the angels as being distinct from one another in heaven, so too are Jesus and God. Jesus' words at John 8:17, 18 are also significant. He states: "In your own Law it is written, 'The witness of two men is true.' I am one that bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me." Here Jesus shows that he and the Father, that is, Almighty God, must be two distinct entities, for how else could there truly be two witnesses? Jesus further showed that he was a separate being from God by saying: "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." (Mark 10:18, JB) So Jesus was saying that no one is as good as God is, not even Jesus himself. God is good in a way that separates him from Jesus. God's Submissive Servant TIME and again, Jesus made statements such as: "The Son cannot do anything at his own pleasure, he can only do what he sees his Father doing." (John 5:19, The Holy Bible, by Monsignor R. A. Knox) "I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 6:38) "What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him that sent me." (John 7:16) Is not the sender superior to the one sent? Jesus told the Jews: "I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me." —John 6:38 This relationship is evident in Jesus' illustration of the vineyard. He likened God, his Father, to the owner of the vineyard, who traveled abroad and left it in the charge of cultivators, who represented the Jewish clergy. When the owner later sent a slave to get some of the fruit of the vineyard, the cultivators beat the slave and sent him away empty-handed. Then the owner sent a second slave, and later a third, both of whom got the same treatment. Finally, the owner said: "I will send my son [Jesus] the beloved. Likely they will respect this one." But the corrupt cultivators said: "'This is the heir; let us kill him, that the inheritance may become ours.' With that they threw him outside the vineyard and killed him." (Luke 20:9-16) Thus Jesus illustrated his own position as one being sent by God to do God's will, just as a father sends a submissive son. The followers of Jesus always viewed him as a submissive servant of God, not as God's equal. They prayed to God about "thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, . . . and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus."—Acts 4:23, 27, 30, RS, Catholic edition. God Superior at All Times AT THE very outset of Jesus' ministry, when he came up out of the baptismal water, God's voice from heaven said: "This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved." (Matthew 3:16, 17) Was God saying that he was his own son, that he approved himself, that he sent himself? No, God the Creator was saying that he, as the superior, was approving a lesser one, his Son Jesus, for the work ahead. When Jesus cried out: "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?" he surely did not believe that he himself was God Jesus indicated his Father's superiority when he said: "Jehovah's spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor." (Luke 4:18) Anointing is the giving of authority or a commission by a superior to someone who does not already have authority. Here God is plainly the superior, for he anointed Jesus, giving him authority that he did not previously have. Jesus made his Father's superiority clear when the mother of two disciples asked that her sons sit one at the right and one at the left of Jesus when he came into his Kingdom. Jesus answered: "As for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father," that is, God. (Matthew 20:23, JB) Had Jesus been Almighty God, those positions would have been his to give. But Jesus could not give them, for they were God's to give, and Jesus was not God. Jesus' own prayers are a powerful example of his inferior position. When Jesus was about to die, he showed who his superior was by praying: "Father, if you wish, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, let, not my will, but yours take place." (Luke 22:42) To whom was he praying? To a part of himself? No, he was praying to someone entirely separate, his Father, God, whose will was superior and could be different from his own, the only One able to "remove this cup." Then, as he neared death, Jesus cried out: "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?" (Mark 15:34, JB) To whom was Jesus crying out? To himself or to part of himself? Surely, that cry, "My God," was not from someone who considered himself to be God. And if Jesus were God, then by whom was he deserted? Himself? That would not make sense. Jesus also said: "Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit." (Luke 23:46) If Jesus were God, for what reason should he entrust his spirit to the Father? After Jesus died, he was in the tomb for parts of three days. If he were God, then Habakkuk 1:12 is wrong when it says: "O my God, my Holy One, you do not die." But the Bible says that Jesus did die and was unconscious in the tomb. And who resurrected Jesus from the dead? If he was truly dead, he could not have resurrected himself. On the other hand, if he was not really dead, his pretended death would not have paid the ransom price for Adam's sin. But he did pay that price in full by his genuine death. So it was "God [who] resurrected [Jesus] by loosing the pangs of death." (Acts 2:24) The superior, God Almighty, raised the lesser, his servant Jesus, from the dead. Does Jesus' ability to perform miracles, such as resurrecting people, indicate that he was God? Well, the apostles and the prophets Elijah and Elisha had that power too, but that did not make them more than men. God gave the power to perform miracles to the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles to show that He was backing them. But it did not make any of them part of a plural Godhead. Jesus Had Limited Knowledge WHEN Jesus gave his prophecy about the end of this system of things, he stated: "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Mark 13:32, RS, Catholic edition) Had Jesus been the equal Son part of a Godhead, he would have known what the Father knows. But Jesus did not know, for he was not equal to God. 'New Testament research has been leading an increasing number of scholars to the conclusion that Jesus certainly never believed himself to be God.' —Bulletin of the John Rylands Library Similarly, we read at Hebrews 5:8 that Jesus "learned obedience from the things he suffered." Can we imagine that God had to learn anything? No, but Jesus did, for he did not know everything that God knew. And he had to learn something that God never needs to learn—obedience. God never has to obey anyone. The difference between what God knows and what Christ knows also existed when Jesus was resurrected to heaven to be with God. Note the first words of the last book of the Bible: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him." (Revelation 1:1, RS, Catholic edition) If Jesus himself were part of a Godhead, would he have to be given a revelation by another part of the Godhead—God? Surely he would have known all about it, for God knew. But Jesus did not know, for he was not God. Jesus Continues Subordinate IN HIS prehuman existence, and also when he was on earth, Jesus was subordinate to God. After his resurrection, he continues to be in a subordinate, secondary position. Speaking of the resurrection of Jesus, Peter and those with him told the Jewish Sanhedrin: "God exalted this one [Jesus] . . . to his right hand." (Acts 5:31) Paul said: "God exalted him to a superior position." (Philippians 2:9) If Jesus had been God, how could Jesus have been exalted, that is, raised to a higher position than he had previously enjoyed? He would already have been an exalted part of the Trinity. If, before his exaltation, Jesus had been equal to God, exalting him any further would have made him superior to God. Paul also said that Christ entered "heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf." (Hebrews 9:24, JB) If you appear in someone else's presence, how can you be that person? You cannot. You must be different and separate. Similarly, just before being stoned to death, the martyr Stephen "gazed into heaven and caught sight of God's glory and of Jesus standing at God's right hand." (Acts 7:55) Clearly, he saw two separate individuals—but no holy spirit, no Trinity Godhead. In the account at Revelation 4:8 to 5:7, God is shown seated on his heavenly throne, but Jesus is not. He has to approach God to take a scroll from God's right hand. This shows that in heaven Jesus is not God but is separate from him. In agreement with the foregoing, the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England, states: "In his post-resurrection heavenly life, Jesus is portrayed as retaining a personal individuality every bit as distinct and separate from the person of God as was his in his life on earth as the terrestrial Jesus. Alongside God and compared with God, he appears, indeed, as yet another heavenly being in God's heavenly court, just as the angels were—though as God's Son, he stands in a different category, and ranks far above them."—Compare Philippians 2:11. The Bulletin also says: "What, however, is said of his life and functions as the celestial Christ neither means nor implies that in divine status he stands on a par with God himself and is fully God. On the contrary, in the New Testament picture of his heavenly person and ministry we behold a figure both separate from and subordinate to God." In the everlasting future in heaven, Jesus will continue to be a separate, subordinate servant of God. The Bible expresses it this way: "After that will come the end, when he [Jesus in heaven] will hand over the kingdom to God the Father . . . Then the Son himself will be subjected to the One who has subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all."—1 Corinthians 15:24, 28, NJB. Jesus Never Claimed to Be God THE Bible's position is clear. Not only is Almighty God, Jehovah, a personality separate from Jesus but He is at all times his superior. Jesus is always presented as separate and lesser, a humble servant of God. That is why the Bible plainly says that "the head of the Christ is God" in the same way that "the head of every man is the Christ." (1 Corinthians 11:3) And this is why Jesus himself said: "The Father is greater than I."—John 14:28, RS, Catholic edition. The fact is that Jesus is not God and never claimed to be. This is being recognized by an increasing number of scholars. As the Rylands Bulletin states: "The fact has to be faced that New Testament research over, say, the last thirty or forty years has been leading an increasing number of reputable New Testament scholars to the conclusion that Jesus . . . certainly never believed himself to be God." The Bulletin also says of first-century Christians: "When, therefore, they assigned [Jesus] such honorific titles as Christ, Son of man, Son of God and Lord, these were ways of saying not that he was God, but that he did God's work." Thus, even some religious scholars admit that the idea of Jesus' being God opposes the entire testimony of the Bible. There, God is always the superior, and Jesus is the subordinate servant. The Holy Spirit—God's Active Force ACCORDING to the Trinity doctrine, the holy spirit is the third person of a Godhead, equal to the Father and to the Son. As the book Our Orthodox Christian Faith says: "The Holy Spirit is totally God." In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word most frequently used for "spirit" is ru'ach, meaning "breath; wind; spirit." In the Greek Scriptures, the word is pneu'ma, having a similar meaning. Do these words indicate that the holy spirit is part of a Trinity? An Active Force THE Bible's use of "holy spirit" indicates that it is a controlled force that Jehovah God uses to accomplish a variety of his purposes. To a certain extent, it can be likened to electricity, a force that can be adapted to perform a great variety of operations. At Genesis 1:2 the Bible states that "God's active force ["spirit" (Hebrew, ru'ach)] was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters." Here, God's spirit was his active force working to shape the earth. God uses his spirit to enlighten those who serve him. David prayed: "Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Your spirit [ru'ach] is good; may it lead me in the land of uprightness." (Psalm 143:10) When 70 capable men were appointed to help Moses, God said to him: "I shall have to take away some of the spirit [ru'ach] that is upon you and place it upon them."—Numbers 11:17. Bible prophecy was recorded when men of God were "borne along by holy spirit [Greek, from pneu'ma]." (2 Peter 1:20, 21) In this way the Bible was "inspired of God," the Greek word for which is The•o'pneu•stos, meaning "God-breathed." (2 Timothy 3:16) And holy spirit guided certain people to see visions or to have prophetic dreams.—2 Samuel 23:2; Joel 2:28, 29; Luke 1:67; Acts 1:16; 2:32, 33. The holy spirit impelled Jesus to go into the wilderness after his baptism. (Mark 1:12) The spirit was like a fire within God's servants, causing them to be energized by that force. And it enabled them to speak out boldly and courageously.—Micah 3:8; Acts 7:55-60; 18:25; Romans 12:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:19. By his spirit, God carries out his judgments on men and nations. (Isaiah 30:27, 28; 59:18, 19) And God's spirit can reach everywhere, acting for people or against them.—Psalm 139:7-12. Not a Person ARE there not, however, Bible verses that speak of the holy spirit in personal terms? Yes, but note what Catholic theologian Edmund Fortman says about this in The Triune God: "Although this spirit is often described in personal terms, it seems quite clear that the sacred writers [of the Hebrew Scriptures] never conceived or presented this spirit as a distinct person." On one occasion the holy spirit appeared as a dove. On another occasion it appeared as tongues of fire—never as a person In the Scriptures it is not unusual for something to be personified. Wisdom is said to have children. (Luke 7:35) Sin and death are called kings. (Romans 5:14, 21) At Genesis 4:7 The New English Bible (NE) says: "Sin is a demon crouching at the door," personifying sin as a wicked spirit crouching at Cain's door. But, of course, sin is not a spirit person; nor does personifying the holy spirit make it a spirit person. Similarly, at 1 John 5:6-8 (NE) not only the spirit but also "the water, and the blood" are said to be "witnesses." But water and blood are obviously not persons, and neither is the holy spirit a person. In harmony with this is the Bible's general usage of "holy spirit" in an impersonal way, such as paralleling it with water and fire. (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8) People are urged to become filled with holy spirit instead of with wine. (Ephesians 5:18) They are spoken of as being filled with holy spirit in the same way they are filled with such qualities as wisdom, faith, and joy. (Acts 6:3; 11:24; 13:52) And at 2 Corinthians 6:6 holy spirit is included among a number of qualities. Such expressions would not be so common if the holy spirit were actually a person. Then, too, while some Bible texts say that the spirit speaks, other texts show that this was actually done through humans or angels. (Matthew 10:19, 20; Acts 4:24, 25; 28:25; Hebrews 2:2) The action of the spirit in such instances is like that of radio waves transmitting messages from one person to another far away. At Matthew 28:19 reference is made to "the name . . . of the holy spirit." But the word "name" does not always mean a personal name, either in Greek or in English. When we say "in the name of the law," we are not referring to a person. We mean that which the law stands for, its authority. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament says: "The use of name (onoma) here is a common one in the Septuagint and the papyri for power or authority." So baptism 'in the name of the holy spirit' recognizes the authority of the spirit, that it is from God and functions by divine will. What Should You Do? THERE can be no compromise with God's truths. Hence, to worship God on his terms means to reject the Trinity doctrine. It contradicts what the prophets, Jesus, the apostles, and the early Christians believed and taught. It contradicts what God says about himself in his own inspired Word. Thus, he counsels: "Acknowledge that I alone am God and that there is no one else like me."—Isaiah 46:9, TEV. God's interests are not served by making him confusing and mysterious. Instead, the more that people become confused about God and his purposes, the better it suits God's Adversary, Satan the Devil, the 'god of this world.' It is he who promotes such false doctrines to 'blind the minds of unbelievers.' (2 Corinthians 4:4) And the Trinity doctrine also serves the interests of clergymen who want to maintain their hold on people, for they make it appear as though only theologians can understand it.—See John 8:44. Accurate knowledge of God brings great relief. It frees us from teachings that are in conflict with God's Word and from organizations that have apostatized. As Jesus said: "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."—John 8:32. By honoring God as supreme and worshiping him on his terms, we can avoid the judgment that he will soon bring on apostate Christendom. Instead, we can look forward to God's favor when this system ends: "The world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever."—1 John 2:17.

Jade Jade
The Holy Trinity is one God in three persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are distinct persons, yet one God. All of Them existed from the beginning. God the Son took on our human nature at the appropriate time, but He was with the Father from the beginning. He says so in the Gospel. As kewl2b4Him points out, it's a mystery beyond our understanding.
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Emerald Emerald
Christians believe that God is one divine being who eternally exists as three distinct, co-equal, co-eternal persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity is fully God -- the Father is fully God, the Son is fully God, and the Holy Spirit is fully God -- but the persons are nevertheless distinct (i.e., the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Spirit, and the Spirit is not the Father).
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Christy Christy
THE TRINITY CONCEPT IS DECEPTION AND GOD AND JESUS IS ONE ONLY IN THE WAY THEY THINK, THE PLAN FOR MANKIND. IT IS GOD THE FATHER AND JESUS THE SON. GOD IS A FAMILY AND IS REPRODUCING HISSELF WITH THOSE WHO KEEP HIS LAWS. It may first be noted that the words “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (KJ) found in older translations at 1 John 5:7 are actually spurious additions to the original text. A footnote in The Jerusalem Bible, a Catholic translation, says that these words are “not in any of the early Greek MSS [manuscripts], or any of the early translations, or in the best MSS of the Vulg[ate] itself.” A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, by Bruce Metzger (1975, pp. 716-718), traces in detail the history of the spurious passage. It states that the passage is first found in a treatise entitled Liber Apologeticus, of the fourth century, and that it appears in Old Latin and Vulgate manuscripts of the Scriptures, beginning in the sixth century. Modern translations as a whole, both Catholic and Protestant, do not include them in the main body of the text, because of recognizing their spurious nature.—RS, NE, NAB. Other evidence of its impersonal nature. Further evidence against the idea of personality as regards the holy spirit is the way it is used in association with other impersonal things, such as water and fire (Mt 3:11; Mr 1:8); and Christians are spoken of as being baptized “in holy spirit.” (Ac 1:5; 11:16) Persons are urged to become “filled with spirit” instead of with wine. (Eph 5:18) So, too, persons are spoken of as being ‘filled’ with it along with such qualities as wisdom and faith (Ac 6:3, 5; 11:24) or joy (Ac 13:52); and holy spirit is inserted, or sandwiched in, with a number of such qualities at 2 Corinthians 6:6. It is most unlikely that such expressions would be made if the holy spirit were a divine person. As to the spirit’s ‘bearing witness’ (Ac 5:32; 20:23), it may be noted that the same thing is said of the water and the blood at 1 John 5:6-8. While some texts refer to the spirit as ‘witnessing,’ ‘speaking,’ or ‘saying’ things, other texts make clear that it spoke through persons, having no personal voice of its own. (Compare Heb 3:7; 10:15-17; Ps 95:7; Jer 31:33, 34; Ac 19:2-6; 21:4; 28:25.)
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Avice Avice
God is the father, Jesus is God's son, the Holy spirit is a gift from God to the person who becomes a Christian. So all 3 are apart of God. The Holy spirit abides with the Chrisitan, it says in the Bible that when you cannot find the words to pray to God that the Holy Spirit intercedes for you to God and relays how you feel to him.
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Abigail Abigail
In seeking to understand the traditional family, Christians should keep in mind that not only are individual persons created in the image of God, but so is the family itself. The human family is the closest analogy that mankind will ever come to concretely understanding the Blessed Trinity. The creeds teach that while there is one God, He exists in three distinct persons. The bible, on the other hand, reveals that man is made in the 'image of God'. From these two truths, therefore, we can acknowledge that the complete image of God is found in the Triune understanding of Him. This understanding of His Triune nature is reflected by the human family whose personal relationships approach the likeness of the Trinity. There are multiple demonstrations of this truth. Consider the unity of the Trinity which is reflected in the unity of the family. Or the "family of persons" which is found in both. The persons of the Trinity share the 'same substance ' while a human family becomes one flesh: wife with husband and parents with children. There is also another element in the Trinity that lends itself to human likeness. The Nicene Creed professes this about the Trinity: "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life who proceeds from the Father and the Son." In Catholic theology, the Holy Spirit is said to proceed from the will of both the Father and the Son, or in other words, through the activity which they engage in, otherwise known as "love". The Holy Spirit is poured forth through the exchange of love between the Father and the Son. This is why perhaps Jesus says to the Apostles: " Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." (John 16:7) In the eternal economy of the Trinity, therefore, a person 'proceeds' from the love between two other persons. And so, the Holy Spirit is love 'proceeding' or 'coming from' the first two persons of the Blessed Trinity. The human family has a rather striking parallel to this dynamic. The ultimate act of intimacy in a marriage mirrors the eternal exchange of love between the first two persons of the Trinity. And like the eternal or continual procession of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, the act of love between a man and a woman causes a 'procession' of another human person (i.e. the birth of a child). Thus, it is precisely because the homosexual sex act is not ordered to the procession of another person, that it can never be a Trinitarian reflection of the divine essence. Indeed, the sexual act itself, which is supposed to be a reflection of the Trinitarian relationship, becomes, through the homosexual act, a blasphemy against God since it ends up distorting the Trinitarian image of Him. The human sexual act either affirms God's image or it distorts it. This is why all forms of contraceptive sex, including the homosexual act, are serious sins: they seek to create God in another image. It is anti-Trinitarian.
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Stewart Stewart
Its not clear to me that you are going to get any sort of answer that makes semantic sense. What does it mean to be somebody's son? Is this a physiobiological statement (God provided half the genetics), a statement of God treating him like a son (did he play baseball with him?) or something else? I think this is a case where questioning the semantics of your religion won't do anything more than give you a headache. Perhaps these are all different aspects of God's personality. Does God have a personality? Doesn't the word "Person" in "personality" kind of put the ki-bosh on that? I think discovering the intent of the writers here and trying to figure out how this "state of trinity" directly effects your life is far more important than trying to make it make direct sense.
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Pallu Pallu
Well, just like I am a woman, a worker, and a mommy, I am still me. It's like an apple An apple has a core, the flesh, and the covering, all those parts make up the apple God the Father is the core, the creator Jesus, the flesh that died for our sins, the Holy Spirit , our covering, our guide ALL are one, GOD
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Pallu Originally Answered: BoS - the only holy book I espouse?
It astounds me how threatened Christians get if you even insinuate that a book besides the Bible can be holy. How ridiculous! The nastiness with which your question was met only serves as further proof to me that people like this are afraid of other viewpoints because they fear that they will begin to question their own beliefs, and fear that if that happens they wont find the answers. Maybe you should say "sacred texts" so mr "I cant think of an answer so I'll copy/paste the dictionary" doesnt get his knickers in a twist. I also unlike some people who "Know all about Wicca" noticed that you mentioned being a witch, and at no point mentioned practicing Wicca. Someone who knows that much about Wicca would surely know that all witches are not Wiccan, leading me to believe some of the posters on here couldnt tell a Wiccan, Pagan, and a Witch apart if their lives depended on it. That said I think it's wonderfull that you've found that writing your own BOS connects you to the divine. The creator speaks to us all, and writing is a wonderfull way to help you understand what it is saying. I think that a personal BOS can be just as sacred if not more so on a personal level than the Bible, or the Quaran. The fact that you dont press leather bound copies of your BOS into strangers' hands at 6 am on a saturday doesnt make it any less holy. I say "you go girl".

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