Trinity (Part 1)

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  • #15238
     t8 
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    The first thing that I would like to cover is the title ‘The Three Visitors’. It is clear from the story that there were 3 different people  and my immediate thought was that 2 of the people were Angels. I then read the next chapter and indeed it appears that there are 2 Angels.

    Remember that there are no verses or chapters in the original texts, so  if there are no natural divisions in the text, then the last verse of chapter 18 and the first verse in chapter 19 should be read in the same breath so to speak. Especially considering that it is the same story and not the beginning of a new one.

    Genesis 18:33
    When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

    Genesis 19:1
    The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.

    So in my opinion the 3 people were 2 Angels and the person referred to as  Lord (Yahweh). I think that the Lord returned to Heaven to rain down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah and the 2 Angels assisted in helping Lot and his family to escape that judgement.

    I will cover the usage of the word LORD (Yahweh) in the next post. I have found this part to be very challenging, but I will write soon.

    #15254
     SearchingForTheTruth 
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    T8,
    I thank you for your review. Another thing to consider at this point is if GOD cant been seen and is invisiable which no man has seen only the son who revealed him then who was the one considered the LORD? I did notice the same thing stateing that 2 of them were angels, but who was the one called LORD?

    GOD BLESS

    #15204
     t8 
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    First I would like to start with the apparent contradictions with the Old and New Testaments.

    New Testament
    1 John 4:12 (English-NIV)
    No one has ever seen God; ….

    Or

    1 Timothy 1:17 (English-NIV)
    Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    Or

    1 Timothy 6:15 (English-NIV)
    15 which God will bring about in his own time, God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
    16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

    Old Testament

    Genesis 16
    13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

    Exodus 3:16
    “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD , the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.

    Deuteronomy 5:24
    And you said, “The LORD our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a man can live even if God speaks with him.

    Ezekiel 43:2
    and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.

    So, how do we reconcile these apparent contradictions between the Old and New Testaments. Well I personally do not think they are contradictions but a difference in detail and revelation.

    Take a look at Judges 13:20-22
    20 As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground.
    21 When the angel of the LORD did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized that it was the angel of the LORD .
    22 “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!”

    Now taken alone, the 'we have seen God' part, seems to indicate that God must be visible, yet we know from the detail here, that they really saw God through a messenger, in this case it was the Angel of the Lord.

    When you ask most people with bible knowledge, “who saw God”, most would say Moses and the burning bush incident.

    Exodus 3
    1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
    2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.
    3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight-why the bush does not burn up.”
    4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”
    5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
    6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God……………

    13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?”
    14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am .  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' ” ………………..

    Exodus 4
    1 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?”

    13 But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
    14 Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.
    15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.
    16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.
    17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it.”……………..

    So did Moses actually see Yahweh, or a representative of Yahweh? Well it is clear that Moses saw an Angel, yet it was the great 'I Am' who was speaking. So it was God, but he was using a messenger as I believe he always does.

    Now look at Acts 7:30
    “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.

    So in the Old Testament we see obvious examples of Men seeing God and on closer study we actually find that it was a representitive of Yahweh such as the Son of God or an Angel. But I am not sure if the people knew that it was Yahweh's representitive and called him Yahweh because they didn't understand that God is invisible and no man can see him, coupled with the obvious wonderful glory of God that would have been present, or whether they understood that they were seeing and speaking to Yahweh, but through a vessel.

    Anyway, in Genesis 19:18 we read
    And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:

    The above verse is a conversation between Lot and one of the 2 Angels, yet Lot calls the Angel, 'Lord'. However the Hebrew word here is not Yahweh, but 'adown'. Maybe this is irrelevant, but at least it points out that the word Lord in our modern translations doesn't always refer to the Most High God.

    In the next verse below, we are shown that the fire from God destroyed Job's servants and sheep. However when we read the story fully, we know that it was actually Satan who was doing this. But God gave Satan permission to do it, so you can rightly say that God did it in the sense that God allowed it.

    Job 1:16
    While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

    So why are the Old and new Testaments different in detail with regards to God? The Old Testament seems to call the Son of God and Angels, God (even Yahweh, the name of God), when God spoke through them. Yet we do not find this kind of language in the New Testament.

    I believe when the invisible God (Spirit) converses with men, He always uses a vessel/servant/messenger. If he did appear to men, they would surely die as no man can look upon God and live (I couldn't find that scripture, can someone help), in the meantime I will quote 1 John 4:12
    No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

    So when a messenger from God appears in the Old Testament the person acknowledges that they have seen God and spoken to him and indeed they have. They have seen a visible image of the invisible God and they can quite rightly say that they have seen God, or at least the glory of God. Now if we look at what Yashua said to his disciples in John 14:8-9  
    8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
    9 Jesus answered: “Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'?

    and in Colossians 1:12-16
    He is the image of the invisible God……

    So I believe that we cannot really see the invisible God, but we can see his express image, who is Yashua. When we also
    see a Holy Angel we can also see the invisible God and for that matter, even when we look at his creation/universe we see his glory. Psalm 19
    1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

    So I think that the Old Testament people who saw God really saw the invisible God through a visible vessel and they conversed with God through the same vessel. Even Jesus said in John 12
    49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.

    So in light of this thought, we can say that we have seen God if we have seen Jesus. But to actually say that Jesus is that God is a different matter entirely.

    Now God is light and when we think about physical light we know that it is invisible or white in colour, which is actually all the colours combined. So if we compare God to physical light and then think about a crystal or prism (a physical created thing), it can reflect that light in all it's glory. Yet the crystal or prism is not that light, but only reflects it and shows it's glory. But without the light, the object itself can be quite dull. This is why we shouldn't do things in our own strength. We need only to be transparent before God and shine his light. We are meant to reflect God's light/glory and character and so are angels. But we reflect only in part and together as the Bride of Christ, we will reflect Yahshua in full and we will become a suitable bride for the bridegroom. On the other hand Yahshua the bridegroom, reflects all of God's glory and he is radiance of God's glory according to Hebrews 1:3
    The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being…

    Acts 7:2
    To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran.

    So when we see God's Glory we see it through something visible and it is the glory that we often call God, but there is always a messenger or vessel present. This is why Yashua is the mediator between God and Men. Without Yahshua, we couldn't even hope to know God and see his glory in full.

    So why the different way of thinking when we compare the Old and New Testaments. Well I think it is quite simple really. Those who lived under the old covenant saw things not as clearly as we who live under the new covenant. They saw and wrote about the truth, but they didn't have the same revelation that we do today to fully understand it. Today the revelation is a lot greater and according to ???????????? the prophets of old hoped to see the things that we have today. So it stands to reason that the New Testament would be more specific (as apposed to more accurate) because of the greater degree of revelation and glory.

    Now if we removed all references to Angels and Christ in the verses that record when men saw God in the Old Testament, then we could conclude that God certainly did appear visibly to Men, but would that make it correct. On closer inspection of the detail, we see in most cases that it was really a representitive of God that they saw and the glory and light of God.

    Now if we take the scriptures that only mention that God appeared to a man with no references to an Angel or Christ, such as Genesis 18 (The Three Visitors), then can we say without any doubt that it was certainly the 'Most High' and might I add 'Invisible God' that appeared, or can we just assume from all the other scriptures and patterns that we have looked at that it was most likely a messenger of God that they saw and it must be noted that it was actually 3 men of which 2 were angels, so even the angels were being represented in human bodies. Just because there is no specific detail about a messenger, doesn't mean that the 3rd person wasn't a messenger and I think if we follow all other scripture and the pattern with regards to God appearing to men in the form of a messenger, then we cannot throw everything out based on a few scriptures that seem to contradict, especially if all scripture is in agreement. We must use scripture to interpret scripture and then it acts as a witness to truth. This is important because some scripture can be taken the wrong way, if not weighed up with other scripture given that we can sometimes interpret a scripture in a number of different ways. See Deuteronomy 19:15

    One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

    and Matthew 18:16
    But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

    Anyway, I personally think that it was the Son of God in a human body, that appeared on behalf of Yahweh himself. Remember that the Son of God came to earth 2000 years ago as a man and lived among us. His prophetic name translated means 'God with us'. Yet we know that Yashua is not Yahweh, rather Yahweh was with us because He was in Christ/Yashua redeeming the world back to himself.

    Now I want to remind you of the Book of Revelation. It is the Revelation of God to man right! But we also know that God gave the revelation to Christ who gave it to the Angel and in turn passed it on to John (Revelation 1:1), yet we read quotes from God's own mouth (so to speak) through out the book. Now in my opinion, the Book of Revelation is certainly very specific and full of revelation even compared to the other books and here we see quite clearly that God spoke to John though a particular order of messengers, which I assume is how he delivered other revelations to the likes of Moses and Elijah for example. Now lets imagine that Revelation 1:1 wasn't included in the book, we could upon first glance believe that John was talking to God, and of course he was, but if the detail about the messengers were omitted, then people could easily believe that John actually saw and spoke to God/Yahweh. Yet because this book has included such detail, we know that it is God appearing though a messenger. So just because other scriptures may not include such detail, we cannot say without a doubt that someone actually saw the Invisible God especially when weighed up against other encounters with God, where a messenger was present.

    If we take a look at The Mount of Transfiguration event, we know that Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus in heavenly glory. And a voice said “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased”. Now lets assume that one day you saw Jesus, Moses and Elijah in heavenly glory and then you heard a voice like thunder speak to you. Lets also assume that you lived under the Old Covenant and lived say in the time of the Prophets. How would you report this incident. Maybe you would say that you saw God/Yahweh and you wouldn't be wrong in saying such a thing. But it would be very hard to be specific with the amount of revelation in those days and further more if you wrote down such an incident, I could imagine that people would use this event to prove the trinity  (and they would be wrong), yet all 3 messengers in this imaginary scenario were not Yahweh in the sense that Yahweh has a body, rather vessels that Yahweh uses in order to be seen and understood.

    I think that this accurately reflects what has happened with peoples understanding of God. They  try to understand Old Testament events, with New Testament revelation without understanding the fact that people back then did not
    have the same scriptures and revelation that we have today. I also think that this is one of the main reasons why people believe in the trinity doctrine. They do not think about the differences and levels of revelation between the 2 covenants and this lack of understanding leads some people to imagine an idol made with their own mind in order to make God fit into their understanding of scripture both from the Old and New Testaments. You will find that the most common scriptures that people use to support the trinity doctrine are actually from the Old Testament and they ignore a whole lot of New testament scriptures. Yet the Jews who have read the Old Testament for millenia did not even remotely consider God to be a trinity. When we look at all the scriptures and study them in order to seek the truth, I think that we have to admit that the 2 covenants must be read with the understanding that the new covenant is the greater revelation and we must see the old with the new and the new with the old.

    So can God appear in a body. Well yes, because his power knows no limit, but he cannot be fully contained within a body. He is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting. He exists in and outside of creation and is above all dimensions of which we understand only 3 and some think they understand the 4th. So how can the Most High God be seen by men, who are so limited in every way. Well more often than not, he reveals himself through 3 dimensional vessels such as a person or he speaks through vessels such as angels and on at least one occasion a donkey. But if we really think about it, he shows himself in such ways, so our limited minds can converse with him . So if God uses a donkey to talk to me, then have I seen God or is it the vessel that I am looking at? Perhaps the glory and light that may be present is God as God is light and he is spirit.

    In conclusion I leave you with John 14:10
    Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

    I think this verse shows us the true pattern of how Yahweh speaks and reveals himself though visible vessels and in particular the Son of God, who is the visible representation of the invisible God.

    PS
    I could imagine that some reading this writing, may think this to be a long winded piece of writing that is trying to prove that men cannot see God against certain Old Testament scriptures that say that Men did see God. In defense of this, I would remind such a person that the Old and New Testaments cannot conflict or contradict and I think that if you argue that men did see God as he is, then you have to accept that the Old and New Testaments conflict and I have tried to show that they don't. What we really see is that the New Testament is more specific in detail and if such detail is not mentioned in some Old Testament scriptures, then such an omition isn't proof that this detail isn't true. e.g If I report that I saw a bank robbery and I don't mention that the car, that the bank robbers drove away in was red, then you cannot say from reading such scant detail that the car wasn't red. But if other witnesses said they saw a red car, then we can read the first testimony in light of the others to get an accurate picture. We also need to do this with scripture.

    ==========
    John 1:34
    I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

    I have now posted a new page based on this one Post. It goes into more detail.
    http://www.heavennet.net/answers/answer33.htm

    #15178
     SearchingForTheTruth 
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    T8,
    I feel that you have explained the apperant mystery of seeing GOD in the Old Testament. I now have one that is a little long winded but should challenge anyones thinking on the trinity forum.

    I would like to dig deeper into the trinity arguments and show that many people are in argeement but dont even realize it. I am not saying that I have figured out an age old problem but I would like to shed some light on a very complex subject that I dont feel has been addressed. First I will list a poem and start from there.

    "There were three men of Indostan, to learning much inclined,
    Who went to see the elephant,
    though all of them were blind,
    That each by observation might satisfy his mind.

    The first approached the elephant, and happening to fall
    Against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl, GOD BLESS ME! but the elephant is nothing but a wall!

    The second, feeling of the tusk, cried: HO! what have we here, so very round and smooth and sharp? To me, its mighty clear, this wonder of an elephant is very much like a spear!

    The third no sooner had begun about the beast to grope, than seizing on the swinging tail that fell within his scope, I see, quote he, the elephant is like a rope!

    And so these men of Indostan disputed loud and long, each in his own opinion exceeding stiff and strong, though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!

    So, oft in theologic wars the disputants, I ween, rail on in utter ignorance of what each other mean, and prate about an elephant NOT ONE OF THEM HAS SEEN!
    -John Godfrey Saxe"

    I feel that sets the tone for my argument so here I go.

    Let me begin by defining the trinity according to the Nicene Creed.
    “We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.
    And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic(unified) and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. “
    I feel that most trinitarians are argueing for a triad and not the definition of what a trinity is. Some of the desperate attempts to apply scripture using circular reasoning just weakens their argument. I also must say that I feel most arians (The belief Jesus is not GOD, pre-exisist or not) misrepresent the trinity. Both groups are argueing against the triad not the trinity.

    Triad = 3 seperate GODs (Mormonism)
    Trinity = 3 seperate people or beings that are ontologically the same not functionally the same.

    Ontologically the same would be the same nature. The president of the United States is functionally higher than me but he is no more human than me. Ontologically he is of the human nature. IE, the trinitarian creed says same substance/nature.

    So we have GOD the Father who is 100% divine.
    They have his son Jesus, who they say is made up of the divine nature and the human nature. So ontologically he is divine in nature thus it makes him GOD. He is also human in nature thus it makes him man. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the father and the son so ontologically he is of the divine nature, IE GOD. In this sense three people equal one GOD.

    The father is GOD which always was, is, and will be eternal. The son is begotton from the father which means he had a beginning either outside of time or when he was born of the virgin Mary. If he is of the same nature (divine) then the divine nature originates within the father who always existed. So to say they are co-eternal is correct because the divine nature is eternal. To say they are co-equal is also correct because the divine nature is equal. To say they are very GOD, of very GOD, and light of light then that is also correct according to the trinitarian view.

    Now as far as the arian point of view goes, I don’t have a creed but to sum it up there is One GOD the father, and one Lord Jesus the Christ. Arian point of view says GOD is the father and is supreme and Jesus is the son of GOD and not GOD. I have seen 2 points of view on the arian concept.

    1.Jesus existed as a divine being with the father in heaven and created the worlds.
    2.Jesus came into existence through his birth on earth.

    For the sake of this argument I have classed the two under arian thought. I am not going to dive into the details of either one. The common ground is both say that Jesus was more than just human nature.

    *There is an arian school of thought that says Jesus was just a man in nature and nothing more IN NATURE. He was more than a man in other ways (IE, a prophet, a representative of GOD, sinless, perfectly obedient to the father, was given the spirit without measure, and an example for us all.) I will address this school of thought later but for right now we are going to approach the argument that Jesus had a divine nature.

    I would like to use the argument that I heard on a message board.

    John 1:1
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    To better understand this, a good analogy was provided.
    In the beginning was Women, and Women was with Man, and Women was Man.

    Hence women came from man (the rib of Adam). This now makes women separate from man but of the same nature, HUMAN.

    So to say that the Word (Jesus) was in the beginning, was with GOD, was GOD; Is to say the same about women and man.

    So common ground has it, Jesus was once a part of GOD(the father) and the divine nature. Both views say Jesus originated with the father and has the same substance.
    I am not going to argue the Holy Spirit point but both views are clear that the Holy Spirit originated and proceeds from the father as well.
    Jesus, as God’s Word and Wisdom, was and is eternally an attribute of God the Father. Just as our own words and thoughts come from us and cannot be separated from us, so it is that Jesus cannot be completely separate from the Father. But there is more to this explanation, related to the distinction between functional subordination and ontological equality. We speak of Christ as the "Word" of God, God’s "speech" in living form. But a word did not need to be uttered or written to be alive. A word was defined as “an articulate unit of thought, capable of intelligible utterance” or “an expression of a thought” It cannot therefore be argued that Christ attained existence as the Word only "after" he was "uttered" by God. Some of the second-century church apologists followed a similar line of thinking, supposing that Christ the Word was unrealized potential within the mind of the Father prior to Creation. This agrees with Christ’s identity as God’s living Word, and points to Christ’s functional subordination (just as our words and speech are subordinate to ourselves) and his ontological equality (just as our words represent our authority and our essential nature) with the Father. A subordination in role is accepted by both sides, but a subordination in position or essence (the "ontological" aspect) is a heretical view by both sides called subordinationism.
    To summarize here is the common ground by both sc
    hools of thought.

    GOD is not a triad. There is not three separate GODs, Only one.
    The Father is GOD and is divine.
    The Son is divine, of the same nature of the Father.
    The Holy Spirit is divine and of the same nature of the Father.

    Three divine beings, but one in divine nature.

    Ontologically one.

    The Father was first, then the Son, and then the Holy Spirit.

    Functionally three.

    This is where the three in one aspect comes from.
    3 people, 3 separate wills, 1 in divine nature.

    If you claim that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are divine with the Father than you believe in the trinity.

    Here is where the main problem lies. The trinitarians use scriptures to argue for the triad and try to prove that the Son is equal in functionality with the Father but deny that they do. The arians argue against the triad and prove it with scripture that the Son is subordinate to the Father. If both sides come to agreement and realize what they are arguing for the same thing then we can better come to a better understanding the truth and the unity of the church.

    Hopefully this as challlenged the thinking of everyone.
    GOD BLESS

    #15225
     Larry Gibbons 
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    I believe your exposition is very sound, and I particularly like your example of light striking a prism. John 14:10 is the key that unlocks the mystery which is further explained in so many places such as II Cor 5:19, "God was IN [indwelling the man, directing and empowering him who was meek and lowly] Christ, reconcilling the world unto Himself."
    With regard to God using a man in the O.T., certainly the account in Genesis 18 and 19 is crucial. Here we first see God’s appearance as a man to Abraham. Abraham appears to recognize the man, perhaps because of a previous visit by the LORD recorded in Genesis 17:1 Because this is the first mention of such an instance and because God has devoted two entire chapters to this account, it deserves our closest scrutiny. This “Genesis man” provides a picture of how God will speak through His forthcoming Son. Other accounts lack the detail depicted here. If they are to be understood, this first account is most helpful. A careful study can shed light on God’s other appearances as an Angel of the Lord, who is so often attributed to be the pre-incarnate Christ. The angel always seems to appear as a man. We read of him staying Abraham’s hand when Isaac was on the altar, of Moses beholding him in the burning bush; there is the story of Jacob’s wrestling match, of Gideon’s encounter, of the angels appearing to Balaam and even to his donkey, too many instances to recount here.
    If we stick solely to scripture and let it interpret itself, apart from our cultural presumptions such as the trinity, we see mystery revealed rather than created anew.

    #15218
     t8 
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    I know I haven't posted for a while. I have been busy updating the site and have created some new pages too.

    First of all I appreciate Larry's positive feedback and additional thoughts on the subject.

    SearchingForTheTruth, I read your post a while ago and it made me laugh, (in a good way). The way you built up your argument and your conclusion about why there really doesn't need to be a division between those that push the trinity and those that refuse it, if we understand the true meaning of the Nicene Creed.

    Anyway, my reply will come soon. For now I thought I would add the following verse to summarize God's differing appearances throughout the millennia.

    Hebrews 1:1-3

    1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
    2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
    3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven

    The verses confirm that God has appeared in many different ways over time and in the last days his son appeared on his behalf.

    It also points out firstly, that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Majesty on High, so it is clear that he himself is not that Majesty. Secondly it may be significant for the Who is Jesus Post that you started. I have added the second comment there, because it belongs there.

    #15142
     t8 
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    The Nicene Creed:
    The Nicene Creed was written by the early Church and adopted (in a slightly
    different version) by the Church Council at Nicæa in AD 325 and appears in
    its present form by the Council at Chalcedon in AD 451. It has remained in
    use since that time.

    We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.
    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally
    begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true
    God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all
    things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was
    incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For
    our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was
    buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he
    ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will
    come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will
    have no end.
    “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds
    from the Father, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
    who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and
    apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
    Amen. ”

    LodeRunner quoted some of the Creeds and in short, I replied by saying:

    I have no qualms with the The Apostle's Creed as it is written in your post. (Note he quoted a different Nicene Creed, probably an older one). In my opinion I think that it is accurate. It doesn't mention the trinity, but acknowledges the Father Son and Holy Spirit and describes who they are. I think that God hasn't been made into an idol yet.

    The bit about the catholic church may be questionable. But I think that it is referring to the universal church, which is what catholic means. I don't think it is referring to the Roman Catholic church, but if it is, then yes I have a problem with that.


    The Apostle's Creed:
    This creed is not the direct work of the Apostles, it has its roots in apostolic times times. It must be pointed out that the received form of the creed is not its oldest or original form. The creed exists in two forms, a shorter and a longer; the former, known as the Old Roman Form, going back certainly as early as the middle of the 2nd century (about 140 AD), the latter, the enlarged form, in its present shape, of much later date. Its final form was probably given to it in South Gaul not before the middle of the 5th century, and one or two clauses, as late as the 7th.

    I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
    I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord.
    who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.
    On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

    I don't think that I have a problem with this creed as it is written here. But again, if the reference to the catholic church is the Roman Catholic church, then I have a problem.


    The Athanasian Creed
    Exact, elaborate Roman Catholic statement on the Trinity and the Incarnation. It is no longer believed to have been written by Athanasius, but rather by an unknown Western author of the 6th century. An English translation appears in the English Book of Common Prayer.

    Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic [apostolic/universal] faith, which except everyone shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally.

    Now the catholic faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit.
    But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.

    Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties but one
    almighty.

    So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and
    Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords.

    The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and Holy Spirit
    not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal.

    So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.

    But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

    He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood.

    Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one however not by conversion of the GodHead in the flesh, but by taking of the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by unity of Person. For
    as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ.

    Who suffered for our salvation, descended into ####, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And
    they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.

    This is the catholic faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.

    Again I replied LodeRunner with regard to this particular creed.

    Here is an abbreviated form of my reply:

    First of all it states, as written in your post, that we will perish eternally if we do not agree with it. This type of control is just not scriptural, it is the mind of man and fear of man, it clearly shows his reasoning. Show me some scriptures to back up this exceptional claim.

    Second, I would lik
    e you to compare the following statement
    “But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal”, with
    Mark 10:17-18 (English-NIV)
    17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
    18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good, except God alone.

    and John 14:28 (English-NIV),
    “You heard me say, `I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

    and John 10:29
    29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

    Which one shall I believe? The Creed or the scriptures. Or perhaps the scriptures have been altered or need to be put in a context? What are your thoughts here.

    Thirdly the quote: “the father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal”.

    I am not to sure about this one. If the Son is begotten as the scriptures teach, can we draw the conclusion that Jesus is infinite and eternal. I mean to be begotten (born) or come from, in my human reasoning means that Jesus had to have come from God, but what was before that……

    I also registered a lot of other disagreements with this creed to LodeRunner but I won't go into them as it was rather long, but I think you could probably guess most of it once you have read this creed.


    Conclusion:

    This was also written to LodeRunner as to why I thought creeds were a bad idea.

    In my opinion, I can see the cunning of the serpent here. Just as he decieved Eve in the Garden, he uses subtle lies that look like truth. He is leading people from the scriptures and revealed things of God, to the created things, which leads to idol worship. History bears this one out, because creed followed creed and eventually idols, icons, Mary and the saints were worshipped, all permissible by the wisdom of man and his so-called creeds and church. It all happened at a slow enough pace so that deception gradually caught people unaware. What comes from the spirit of man cannot possibly come from the Spirit of God. Mans wisdom is utter foolishness in the eyes of God, I think creeds is Mans wisdom. We have no excuse for this behaviour, as we have the scriptures and the Holy Spirit to guide us. But that is too much hard work for some. They need summaries written by men, so it saves them the trouble of finding it themselves. Summaries are ok as long as you check them with scripture and as long as you do not dictate that this is the faith or the only truth. To answer such things we need scripture…………..

    The truth that the enemy is trying to seperate from us is contained in the scriptures. If he can get men to summarise the faith and give it a name like the ???? creed”, then this will help the devil's cause by allowing for the creation of a comfortable religion, which takes all the hard work out of seeking the truth (Jesus). Now we can now just read this creed and say yeah I believe that now, I am saved, great that was easy, don't need to check it out from the scriptures either, most people are happy when I confess the creed, very convenient. The the first creed would have to be accurate or near accurate for men to follow it, especially considering the amount of truth and revelation in the beginning. Once you have men trusting in a creed it is then possible to slowly introduce appealing philosophies that although may based in scripture, can lead to halmful consequences later on, such as replacing the fear of God with the fear of man, and serving God to serving an organisation. Once people believe a creed that gives authority to an organisation that threatens death to heretics, people will be to scared to question, especially if the churches preach damnation and #### fire every Sunday. Now the net has been cast, and it is time to introduce some idolatory, but you can excuse it by saying that you must be using it to worship God, at this stage you can get men to worship icons, idols, Mary and the Saints a departing from the truth.

    I would just like to add that I don't think the trinity doctrine as we know it today is based on the Nicene Creed. It developed slowly and surely over time. It's just that trinitarians say that their beliefs are based here, when in reality, I don't think anyone could derive a trinity from the Nicene Creed, but I suppose a little error here and another one there can morph into a completely different thing hundreds of years later.

    #15120
     SearchingForTheTruth 
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    T8,
    I agree with you on what people today think the trinity doctrine truely is. The apostles creed and the Nicene creed seem to support the ontological arguement but when you fast forward a few hundred years you end up with the Athansian creed which seems to imply a triad if anything. I have seen trinitarians use the athansian creed as their basis but for the most part the ones that I debate with lean on the first two creeds and the ontological argument. (They probably do this because they know they cant prove the triad with scriptures so you have to back off a little and reason with oneself on what to debate.) I feel they have found a happy medium using the ontological argument which I feel is gaining acceptance as the trinity argument. I can say that they havnt always used this argument that for many years as you can see in the athansian creed they where forcing a triad on people. Also within the creeds I think they are talking about the universal church and not the Roman Catholic church.

    GOD BLESS

    #15171
     t8 
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    I have also noticed that the creedal statements of many denominations and the “What we believe” part of many christian web sites, either use the The Athanasian Creed or the The Athanasian Creed as the base. So they admit that this is the foundation of their faith. This foundation is completely different to the foundation that Jesus and the Apostles laid and I suggest that these people should repent. As it is written:

    Galatians 1:8-9
    8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
    9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

    1 Corinthians 3:11
    For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

    Matthew 16-18
    16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
    17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
    18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

    Luke 6:46-49
    46 “Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?
    47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.
    48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
    49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

    2Thessalonians 2:3
    Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    #15148
     e man 
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    What is God doing in His relationship with fallen man? What does it mean in the scripture that says that the secret things belong to God? Why did God not simply tell us everything clearly and fully from the beginning?

    I believe that the answer to these questions is one answer: God ever designs to prove to man all of man’s guilt, from the first to the last error, and all errors in between. It is only by man’s pride that man’s mind fails to learn the truth without guidance and correction, and instead he deceives himself with errors. Man is not so much blind as blinded.

    Whatever God says or does, man, in his pride, tends to warp it and to teach the error in place of the truth. History is a trial over which God presides; Everything God says and does is designed to force men, over time, to realize that they are the one’s being tried, and to show them that they have, even from the beginning, been guilty of every error.

    With man’s ways, no truth is free from being warped or denied. There is not one truth of God or man, and not one truth of the relationship between God and man, that man cannot warp in his own proud mind. With man, even the most simple truth about the relationship between God and man can be turned into an error. A little leaven goes a long way.

    Man replaces the spirit with the letter. Knowledge of the truth is cummulatively undone by very the words used to express it. As close in form, but as far apart in spirit, as is rape and the marriage act, so every word of God is made to no effect, and become a bondage. A true word spoken long enough without understanding leads to a wrong understanding of the words. In pride, the foolish child loves his position of delegation above understanding what his father means by his words: "Daddy <I>said</I> so, so I’m right and you’re wrong!" The wise father seeks to delegate His authority, but will cease giving more to the child who loves being a delegatee above being humble enough to ask his father, "What do you mean by these words?"

    That we are as sheep does not justify those in position of authority trying to make us dull as sheep. The child was born ignorant not to remain ignorant, but to be lead into all truth.

    (Edited by e man at 7:03 pm on June 7, 2003)

    #15344
     t8 
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    I think what you have said here is true. But it does ultimately depend on what you hinge it to. You can hinge these words to truth or lies. So just as God judges by the heart and not the outward appearance, we can also use these words to justify both bad and good and the heart is what really matters.

    Now this Topic is about the validity of the Trinity Doctrine and your quote below can equally apply to those who formulated this doctrine and to those that follow it.

    Whatever God says or does, man, in his pride, tends to warp it and to teach the error in place of the truth. History is a trial over which God presides; Everything God says and does is designed to force men, over time, to realize that they are the one's being tried, and to show them that they have, even from the beginning, been guilty of every error.

    Ultimately we have the promptings of God's Spirit and the scriptures to guide us to truth and away from error.  

    We find in the New Testament that many of the doctrines and principles are based on, or at least supported by Old Testament scripture and so it is with this Topic. We use scripture to help us learn the truth, but not at the expense of listening to God's Spirit. Indeed it is God's Spirit that leads us to such convictions in the first place.  After that we use scripture to show others what God is saying, rather than say “believe me because God told me.”

    #15300
     Underground2012 
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    Wow, 15 pages of posts and counting.  This is one very important subject.

    In order to understand the true nature of God, it is necessary to do much reading and praying.  In order to not repeat what many have already said here, I would simply direct you to our website below where we have over 300 papers posted on every subject important for salvation.  The heresy of the trinity is one major topic that is covered in probably at least 10 different papers from every angle you can imagine.  T8 had it right very early on in these posts and now it seems that this topic has begun to digress into trying to prove something that is false by using other false documents such as made up creeds and the like.  If the various creeds are actually an issue, we even have a paper covering what was the original apostle’s creed if there ever was one officially…

    Christ was an Elohim, the first-born of the creation (protokoos) and became the only-born (monogene) son of God here on earth.  John 17:3 puts it quite plainly:  "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the One True God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."  These two seperate beings cannot be equal in any way shape or form with regard to seperate HYPOSTASES in one OUSIA as Augustine would like us to believe.  And certainly not in rank either.  God the Father is uncreated, Christ was created.  The Holy Spirit is the power of God by which we have communion through Christ.  It is the power that allows God to search our minds and hearts, not some seperate being that has to telepathically communicate back to God what we said and did, etc.

    Anyway, I don’t want to sound like I’m babbling so go to our website and read some of the lower numbered papers like #002 and #003.  The’ll give you a good feel for the major reasons why belief in the trinity is the purest form of breeching the first commandment.

    (Edited by Underground2012 at 8:57 pm on June 14, 2003)

    (Edited by Underground2012 at 8:59 pm on June 14, 2003)

    #15453
     GJG 
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    Hi all!

    Well done all, on another very interesting subject.

    It seems the differing veiws all share a certain hit and miss about them: Just when it seems the truth is going to come out…BANG…another error! (although genuine as they may be, the self imposed contradictions only throw up more to come later!)

    At this point I would like to paste in a previous post:

    We must all remember that the mystery (God manifest in the flesh) was revealed to Paul and the saints of the early church Eph 3:3-9 Col 1:26.
    In his earlier years Saul(now Paul) was taught my the great teacher Gamellio regarding the one true living God. So that Saul believed with all his heart that he was serving God while persecuting the believers of Christ. However on his way to Damascus Saul had the opportunity to ask his one true God this question:Who are you? Acts 9:5…I AM JESUS…simple. {if you were to be asked the same question I’m sure you would reply with your own name!}
    Now that God almighty has revealed his only true personal name being Jesus, let us see how Jesus himself answered when he was also asked the same question.
    John 8:23-25 shows us that Jesus is again making a point that he and his father(God) are one and the same. When asked directly Who are you? Jesus wisely redirects them to scripture of old Isa 41:21-22 (it would have acheived little if they were given the name of the man standing before them).
    Obviously we all know we would be able to gather a huge number of scripture that shows God to be Jesus, which should also remind us that never before did God have a personal name till the birth of Jesus as this was the one time that God was manifest in created substance;man, a PERSON! This now raises the question of the Man-God Jesus. By now I expect some readers will be thinking :what about this…what about that…! Read on!

    To understand Jesus being the name of God we must first understand WHAT God is to then believe WHO God is.

    Look these up: Col1:15 1Tim1:17 Heb11:27 Deut33:27 Jer23:24 John4:24 so we now have a simple description of WHAT God is: The Invisible, Eternal, Omnipresent Spirit that inhabits all of creation! There is obviously room for only ONE such being!
    The Holy Ghost or Spirit of God is again the very same substance that is God, also this Spirit of God is the same Spirit of Christ 1Pet1:11 1John3:24,4:12-13 Phil1:19. This same Jesus Christ is refered to as the image of the invisible God Col1:14-15. Again this Jesus who was recieved up into glory is refered to as God 1Tim3:16.
    So we can easily see that the Holy Ghost is not a separate person (spirit is different substance to a person anyway) but rather, the indwelling substance that is the Spirit of God is the very same substance that inhabits all creation!
    Lets get back to the MAN-GOD Jesus. Fully man and fully human is controversial to those that do not fully understand. Yet if God’s word says it, than we must look at accepting it as absolute truth. The combination MAN-GOD seems to denote a certain dual nature about Jesus. As a man he: ate, slept, cried, bled, just like you and I do, yet this mans flesh was pure and without sin. So that as a created living creature, God could now become that unblemished sacrificial lamb to take away that sin that once seperated us from Him. When Jesus performed miracles, it was the God within him doing the things which no mere mortal could do. DIVINITY clothed in HUMANITY! To believe this we must first find sripture that emphatically agrees with this: Col1:19,2:9. So now we understand that when the man Jesus prayed, it was his HUMANITY having a need that only his DIVINITY could address. The substance within Jesus is the very same God of the old testament, unchanging.
    We now see the one, unchanging, almighty God for what He is, but more importantly who He is, for this reason the scripture tells us: Acts 4:12
    Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
    KJV

    Also, the word ‘logos’ is more likened to ‘creative thoughts’ rather than: ‘logos means Jesus’.

    As always: Look forward to replies!

    #15484
     t8 
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    GJG
    Your quote:

    It seems the differing veiws all share a certain hit and miss about them: Just when it seems the truth is going to come out…BANG…another error! (although genuine as they may be, the self imposed contradictions only throw up more to come later!)

    I feel that you have said this because you judge through the God/Man doctrine you have posted. If something disagrees with it, then you judge it as wrong.

    If so, I then understand where you are coming from, because all writing that says that Jesus is not God will appear as an error to you. In other words you see everything through this filter.

    What this site is trying to do, is get people to test the filters that they see through, in order to see the truth as it is with no prejudice or preconception. In other words just to take the scriptures as they are and receive them gladly, accepting what they say without altering the meaning to suit an already existing doctrine.

    I am trying best to understand the doctrine of Christ by listening to his words and trying to steer clear of formulas and other doctrines of men and demon.

    Let's face it, we can use just about any scripture to justify any doctrine. It's real easy. e.g. The bible says “There is no God”. This could be used by Aitheists. But Believers would quote the first part “The Fool has said”.

    In other words, to read the scriptures with the innocence of a child because God reveals his secrets to the innocent, not the proud.

    I will remind you that the scripture that says that “God was manifest in flesh”, doesn't prove that Jesus is God just as God is not creation, even though he is also manifest in creation and we (the Church) who are the manifestation of Christ are not Christ himself, rather his image.

    Also God's name is not Jesus. Jesus or Yahshua is the name of God's son. Yahweh has a son called Yahshua.  Yahweh is not Yashua.

    #15421
     Larry Gibbons 
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    TO CJG:
    Concerning your remarks refuting the Trinity, you mention that there always seems to be another question arising. Coming to an understanding of this issue is no easy matter, is it?

    Let me quote from a part of your argument that seems at the heart of what you say:

    “The combination MAN-GOD seems to denote a certain dual nature about Jesus.  As a man he: ate, slept, cried, bled, just like you and I do, yet this man’s flesh was pure and without sin.  So that as a created living creature, God could now become that unblemished sacrificial lamb to take away that sin that once separated us from Him.  When Jesus performed miracles, it was the God within him doing the things, which no mere mortal could do.  DIVINITY clothed in HUMANITY!”

    Your mention of the dual nature of Christ is insightful. I wonder if you are familiar with the conclusions reached at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. Referred to as the Hypostatic Union, its premise may be stated as follows:

    In the person of Christ there are two natures (deity and humanity) united in such a way as to be without mixture, confusion, separation, each nature retaining its own absolutes.

    I believe this is the key to solving the puzzle of Christ’s divinity, even though its full implication has been missed because of a Trinitarian disposition. However, since it represents men’s attempt to explain scripture, it should be examined in the light of scripture.

    First, it’s interesting that it mentions only two natures in one person (not three, for in no way is the Trinity in view here). Further, we must ask if these two natures are literally in Jesus himself, that is, was he both God and man in His own right? The answer, I believer, must be no. The two natures are “without mixture, confusion, separation, each nature retaining its own absolutes.” If the man Jesus Christ were to take on the nature of deity, he would of course no longer be human, since deity and humanity cannot be united in that sense. This is not to question Christ’s deity but to focus on its source. Is it His own as a man, or is His deity that which proceeds from being in union with His Father, who appointed Him from everlasting that He be the perfect image of God?

    How are the two natures united? How else but by a common will and purpose? Jesus repeatedly insisted that his will was to do the will of his Father, so that he was not only in union with God but was the perfect expression of God’s nature, unknowable to us any other way. Should this be such a mystery to those of us who have been miraculously born again as redeemed human beings united to God in our spirits by faith? No, we cannot class ourselves with Christ in the sense of His being the firstborn, but our relationship to him in God is similar. He is the firstfruits of a family born in His nature. Are we not to walk as He walked, claiming nothing for ourselves, acknowledging our complete dependence on God, and seeking to honor Him?

    If this is what you mean, then we are in complete agreement. But a couple other things you say cause me to wonder. Let me quote your words again and express my concern:

    First, you say, “So that as a created living creature, God could now become that unblemished sacrificial lamb to take away that sin that once separated us from Him.”

    My question is can God become a man or for that matter anything He has created? Not according to Malachi 3:6, “For I am the LORD, I change not.” Some claim that when Christ died on the Cross that God died. No, God could never die, but a man could, and that’s why God needed a man, not another God. If God had died, how could He have raised Christ from the grave? I’m sure you know this. The solution, I am convinced, is that, while God could not BECOME a man, He could BEGET a man and INDWELL him. You express this perfectly when you remark that, “When Jesus performed miracles, it was the God within him doing the things, which no mere mortal could do.  DIVINITY clothed in HUMANITY!”

    Related to the above is your remark, “So now we understand that when the man Jesus prayed, it was his HUMANITY having a need that only his DIVINITY could address.” Here again, I know the difficulty of expressing the truth without being misunderstood. I suspect what you mean is in accord with what has been stated above. But it might be misconstrued as meaning that Jesus was actually praying to his own divinity, as Trinitarians believe. If that were true, if he was just praying to himself, so to speak, where is his Father?

    The Bible is explicit. There is one true God, the Father. Even before creation, God foreordained that the Messiah should be born in the fullness of times, that in accord with the Everlasting Covenant, Christ, for his suffering on the Cross, he should be granted all rule and authority until all enemies are put under his feet.

    Is Christ then denigrated because he himself is not God. No, because God could be known by none other than his Son. God has determined that Jesus Christ should be the star of this drama. To worship Him is to worship the Father.

    1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
    2 John 1:9 He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

    Father/Son. You can’t have one without the other. We just need to know the nature of each and their relationship to each other and ours to them. Yes, the answer to the mystery is simple when you see it.

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