The history of religion has always been one of degeneration from the originally revealed monotheism to various forms of polytheism. "Christianity," as popularly known, has been no exception.
The Bible, in both Old and New Testaments, is very emphatic about the absolute oneness of God. When asked ---
"Which is the first commandment of all?"Jesus answered (Mark 12:29) --
"The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD."He was quoting from the words of Moses in Deut. 6:4. This is the consistent story of the Bible. There is not a word about three gods in it from the beginning to the end.
"Christendom" today has degenerated to a belief in four gods, three good ones and one evil one. Some parts of Christendom have five gods, as the Roman Catholic Church, which has added a "Mother of God" who is in their system of belief the supreme deity beside a host of demi-gods, one for every day of the year (and more), all of which mythical and man-invented deities are worshipped and prayed to.
The doctrine of the Trinity is this --
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, and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, so is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
And yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal. Also there are not three incomprehensibles, not three uncreated: but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods: but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord; so we are 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 Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other, none is greater or less than others; but the whole three persons are co-eternal together; and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid: the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
HE THEREFORE THAT WILL BE SAVED MUST THUS THINK OF THE TRINITY.
This is the prize and tragic example of the natural mind of man speculating upon divine things rather than being content to humbly accept the simple testimony of Scripture.
In all Scripture, there is nothing to justify this absurd and self-contradictory mizmaze. While truly we can never hope with mortal minds to comprehend God, still the revelations He gives of Himself, and of His Son, and of His Holy Spirit -- His power and presence which fills all immensity and works His will -- is clear and simple and reasonable and a tremendously satisfying relief from the befuddled speculations as quoted above.
The doctrine of the "Trinity" is nowhere found in the Bible. The following quotations from recognized historians will give the background of the period in which this doctrine was developed, showing the general conditions of Christendom of the time, the philosophic influences at work, the methods of reasoning and argument used, and the political forces that finally established the doctrine and enforced it by confiscation, prohibition, punishment and murder.
This will clearly show the frail, human foundation the doctrine of the Trinity rests on, and dissipate the weight it appears to have from centuries of "orthodox" acceptance.
Of the Council of Nice, 352 AD, where the doctrine of the Trinity was first officially formulated, the well-known trinitarian historian Mosheim, a Lutheran, admits (Century 4, Part 2, Chapter 3, Section 1) --
". . . the discussions concerning the three persons in the Godhead, among those who approved the decisions of the council of Nice.This is a trinitarian's description of conditions in the Catholic Church during the time the doctrine of the Trinity was being formulated and imposed. In the same chapter, Section 5, Mosheim says:
"There is so little clearness and discrimination in these discussions, that they seem to rend the one God into three Gods.
"Moreover, those idle fictions, which a regard for the Platonic philosophy and for the prevailing opinions of the day had induced most theologians to embrace, even before the time of Constantine, were now in various ways confirmed, extended and embellished.
"Hence it is that we see on every side evident traces of excessive veneration for saints in heaven, of belief in a fire to purify souls on leaving the body, of partiality for priestly celibacy, the worship of images and relics, and for many other opinions which, in process of time, almost banished the true religion, or at least very much obscured and corrupted it.
"Genuine piety was gradually supplanted by a long train of superstitious observances, which were derived partly from a preposterous disposition to adopt profane rites.
"To the temples, to water consecrated with certain forms, and to likenesses of holy men, the same efficacy was ascribed and the same privileges assigned, as had been attributed to the pagan temples, statues and lustrations before the advent of Christ."
"The doctors who were distinguished for their learning explained the sacred doctrines after the manner of Origen (see notes below on Origen) -- on whom they fixed their eye -- in accordance with the principles of that philosophy which they learned in their youth at school, namely the Platonic philosophy as corrected by Origen.Plato was the heathen Greek philosopher (around 400 BC) who popularized the Egyptian doctrine of the immortality of the soul. He was the brightest star and greatest influence in the pagan system of philosophy that Christianity in its original purity set out to combat (See 1 Cor., chapters 1 & 2).
"Those who wish to get a full insight into this subject may examine Gregory Nazianzen among the Greeks and Augustine among the Latins who were regarded in the subsequent ages as the only patterns worthy of imitation, and may be fitly styled, next to Origen, the parents and supporters of philosophic or scholastic theology. They were both admirers of Plato."
But Platonic philosophers became dominant in the Catholic Church, and Platonic philosophy has dominated the beliefs of "orthodox" Christendom from the 3rd century AD to the present. The earliest Christians bitterly fought heathen philosophy; the later "Christians" adopted it.
Origen, mentioned by Mosheim as influential in this Platonizing movement (around 200-250 AD), was one of the greatest (and perhaps the greatest) influences in establishing this trend in the Church. Of him, Mosheim says (Cent. 2, Part 2, Chap. 1, Sec. 5) ---
"A new class of philosophers had grown up in Egypt . . . they much preferred Plato, and embraced most of his dogmas concerning God, the human soul, and the universe.Translator's footnote at this place in Mosheim --
"This philosophy was adopted by such of the learned at Alexandria as wished to be counted Christian, and yet to retain the rank of philosophers. All those who in this century presided in the schools of the Christians at Alexandria are said to have approved it."
"This cultivation of philosophy by Christian teachers greatly displeased those who were attached to the ancient simple faith, as taught by Christ and his apostles; for they feared, what afterwards actually happened, that the purity and excellence of divine truth would suffer by it. The issue of the long contest between them was that the advocates of philosophy prevailed."Continuing Mosheim, Sec. 7 --
"This mode of philosophising received some modification when Ammonius Saccas laid the foundation of that sect which is called the New Platonic."Section 8 --
"The grand objects of Ammonius, to bring all sects and religions into harmony, required him to do much violence to the sentiments and opinions of all parties -- philosophers, priests and Christians -- and particularly by allegorical interpretations. He assumed . . that the public religions of all nations should be corrected by this ancient (Platonic) philosophy."Section 9 --
"With these Egyptian notions, he united the philosophy of Plato . . Finally, the dogmas of other sects he construed, as far as was possible, by means of art, ingenuity and the aid of allegories into apparent coincidence with Egyptian and Platonic principles."Section 12 --
"This new species of philosophy, imprudently adopted by Origen and other Christians, did immense harm to Christianity. For it led the teachers of it to involve in philosophic obscurity many parts of our religion which were in themselves plain and easy to be understood; and to add to the precepts of the Savior no few things, of which not a word can be found in the holy Scriptures . . .Editor's footnote at this place in Mosheim --
"And finally it alienated the minds of many, in the following centuries, from Christianity itself, and produced a heterogeneous species of religion, consisting of Christian and Platonic principles combined. And who is able to enumerate all the evils and injurious changes which arose from this new philosophy -- from this attempt to reconcile true and false religions with each other?"
"That philosophy has injured enormously genuine Christianity will be readily conceded by all who rest faith solely upon the rock of Scripture.(It will be noted from the previous quotations that the most distinguished "Christian" teachers of the 4th century looked to Origen and the Platonic philosophy as their model. Any doctrines therefore -- such as the Trinity -- formulated at this time are bound to be more pagan than Christian.)
"When such persons are asked to account for the existence of religious principles and usages which are incapable of proof from the sacred volume, and even seem at variance with it, they have only to cite the semi-Christian school of philosophy which arose at Alexandria before the second century closed."
Returning to Mosheim's history of the 4th century, he records concerning the conduct and character of the church leaders (Cen. 4, Part 2, Chap. 2, Sec. 5) --
"The bishop of Rome took precedence over all others of the episcopal order. He exceeded all other bishops in the splendor of the church over which he presided, in the magnitude of his revenues and possessions, and in the sumptuousness and magnificence of his style of living.Section 8 --
"These marks of power and worldly greatness were so fascinating to the minds of Christians even in this age that often the most obstinate and bloody contests took place at Rome when a new pontiff was to be created.
"A shocking example of this is afforded by the disturbance at Rome in the year 366. The contention caused a cruel war, great loss of life, conflagrations and battles."
"The vices of the clergy, especially of those who officiated in large and opulent cities, were augmented in proportion to the increase of their wealth, honors and advantages. The bishops had shameful quarrels among themselves respecting the extent of their jurisdiction and boundaries; and while they trampled on the rights of the people and of the inferior clergy, they vied with the civil governors of provinces in luxury, arrogance, and voluptuousness."Cent. 4, Part 2, Chap. 3, Sec. 17 --
"When there was nothing any longer to be feared from enemies without; when the character of most bishops was tarnished with arrogance, luxury, effeminacy, animosity, resentments, and other defects; when the lower clergy neglected their proper duties and were more attentive to idle controversies than to the promotion of piety and the instruction of the people; when vast numbers were induced, not by a rational conviction but by the fear of punishment and the hope of worldly advantage to enrol themselves as Christians -- how can it surprise us that on all sides the vicious appeared a host, and the pious a little band almost overpowered by them? . . .Such is a trinitarian historian's testimony concerning the times in which the doctrine of the Trinity was developed on the admitted basis of human speculation and Platonic philosophy. Of the methods of argument and persuasion used by the church leaders of this period, Mosheim says (Cen. 4, Part 2, Chap 3, Sec. 7) --
The more honorable and powerful could sin with impunity, and only the poor and the unfortunate felt the severity of the laws."
"From the disputes with those who were regarded as opposed to divine truth, the ancient simplicity had nearly taken its flight; and in place of it, dialectical subtitles and quibbles, invectives and other disingenuous artifices had succeeded."Section 8 --
"With the ancient form of discussion, new sources of argument were in this age combined. For the truth of doctrines was proved by the number of martyrs who had believed so, by prodigies and by the confession of devils, that is, of persons in whose bodies some demon was supposed to reside.Section 16 --
"The discerning cannot but see that all proofs drawn from such sources are very fallacious, and very convenient for dishonest men who would practice imposition.
"And I greatly fear that most of those who at this time resorted to such proofs, though they might be grave and eminent men, may be justly charged with a dangerous propensity to use deception.
"Ambrose, in controversy with the Arians, brings forward persons possessed with devils, who are constrained, when the relics of Gervasius and Protasius are produced, to cry out that the doctrine of the Nicene council concerning three persons in the Godhead is true and divine, and the doctrine of the Arians false and pernicious.
"This testimony of the prince of darkness Ambrose regards as proof altogether unexceptionable."
"To these defects in the moral system of the age must be added two principle errors now almost publicly adopted, and from which afterwards immense evils resulted. The first was that to deceive and lie is a virtue, when religion can be promoted by it.Such were the principles of the men who formulated the doctrine of the Trinity, and with the aid of the civil power imposed it upon the whole body of believers on pain of severe punishment, as we shall see in later quotations.
"This principle had been embraced in the preceding centuries, and it is almost incredible what a mass of the most insipid fables and what a host of pious falsehoods have through all the centuries grown out of it, to the great detriment of true religion.
"If some inquisitive person were to examine the conduct and the writings of the greatest and most pious teachers of this century, I fear that he would find about all of them infected with this leprosy. I cannot except Ambrose, nor Hilary, nor Augustine, nor Gregory Nazianzen, nor Jerome."
Of the general conditions of worship in this century, Mosheim says (Cent. 4, Part 2, Chap 4, Sec 1) --
"The Christian bishops introduced, with but slight alterations, into the Christian worship, those rites and institutions by which formerly the Greeks and Romans and others had manifested their piety and reverence toward their imaginary deities; supposing that the people would more readily embrace Christianity if they perceived the rites handed down to them from their fathers still existed unchanged among the Christians, and saw that Christ and the martyrs were worshipped in the same manner as formerly their gods were.Section 4 --
"There was, accordingly, little difference in these times between the public worship of the Christians and that of the Greeks and Romans. In both there were splendid robes, mitres, tiaras, wax-tapers, crosiers, processions, lustrations, images, golden and silver vases, and innumerable other things.
No sooner had Constantine renounced the religion of his ancestors than magnificent temples were everywhere erected, adorned with pictures and images, and both in external and internal form very similar to the temples of the gods. True religion copied after superstition."
"The prayers fell off greatly from the ancient simplicity and majesty, a considerable degree of vain inflation being admitted into them. The public discourses, among the Greeks especially, were formed according to the rules for civil eloquence, and were better adapted to call forth the admiration of the rude multitude who love display, than to amend the heart.Is it reasonable to expect any sound fruit from such a rotten tree?
"And that no folly or senseless custom might be omitted in their public assemblies, the people were allowed to applaud their orators, as had been practiced in forums and theatres; nay, were bidden to clap besides.
"Who would suppose that men who were anointed to show to others the emptiness of all human things would become so senseless?"
The Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, vol 16, page 774, article "Montanism," says --
"From the middle of the second century a change began to take place in the outward circumstances of Christianity. Should the church take the decisive step into the world? Or ought she, on the other hand, to remain as she had been at first, a society of religious devotees, separated and shut out from the world by a rigorous discipline?The cornerstone of this "new Christian theology," based on pagan philosophy, is the doctrine of three Gods, three Persons in the "Godhead."
"It was natural that warning voices should then be raised in the church against secular tendencies, that the well-known counsels about the imitations of Christ should be held up in their literal strictness before worldly Christians, that demands should be made for restoration of the old discipline and severity, and for a return to apostolic simplicity and purity.
"The church as a whole, however, decided otherwise. She marched through the open door into the Roman state. With the aid of its philosophy she created her new Christian theology."
How this doctrine of the Trinity was developed during this period is frankly explained by a trinitarian writer in the Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, volume 23, page 240, article "Theism."
"The propositions constitutive of the dogma of the Trinity -- the propositions in the symbols of Nice, Constantinople and Toledo relative to the immanent distinctions and relations in the Godhead -- were not drawn directly from the New Testament, and could not be expressed in New Testament terms. They were the products of reason speculating on a revelation to faith.Surely the ignorance and audacity of this, from a scriptural point of view, takes our breath away! How terribly true and fitting are the words of Jude --
"They were only formed through centuries of effort, only elaborated by the aid of the conceptions and formulated in the terms of Greek and Roman metaphysics.
"The evolution of the doctrine of the Trinity was far the most important fact in the doctrinal history of the church during the first five centuries of its post-apostolic existence."
"It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."And Paul said --
"I have not shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27).And to the Corinthians --
"Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (1 Cor. 1:20-21).Poor Jude! Poor Paul! What back numbers they were! Of course they could not understand that there were three Gods. They only had the inspiration of God -- they completely lacked that essential aid -- Greek and Roman metaphysics, without which the doctrine of three Gods could not be formulated.
The "Greek and Roman metaphysics" from which the doctrine of the Trinity was adopted, are referred to by Gibbon in his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," Chapter 21, paragraph 6 --
"The genius of Plato, informed by his own meditation or by the traditional knowledge of the priests of Egypt, had ventured to explore the mysterious nature of the Deity.It is clear from this, as the trinitarian writer said in the Encyclopedia Britannica, that Christianity had to go to Greek metaphysics (and this term always means Plato, the center of the system) to formulate its doctrine of the Trinity. Surely we are compelled to wonder what Christianity could possibly have done without the help of the indispensable heathen philosopher Plato!
"When he had elevated his mind to the sublime contemplation of the first self-existent, necessary cause of the universe, the Athenian sage was incapable of conceiving how the simple unity of his essence could admit the infinite variety of distinct and successive ideas which compose the model of the intellectual world; how a Being purely incorporeal could execute that perfect model, and mould with a plastic hand the rude and independent chaos.
"The vain hope of extricating himself from these difficulties, which must ever oppress the feeble powers of the human mind, might induce Plato to consider the divine nature under the threefold modification -- of the first cause, the reason or Logos, and the soul or spirit of the universe. His poetic imagination sometimes fixed and animated these metaphysical abstractions; the three archial or original principles were represented in the Platonic system as three Gods, united with each other by a mysterious and ineffable generation."
Mosheim (an esteemed, orthodox Lutheran trinitarian) describes the long civil war that attended the development of the doctrine, and its enforcement by civil power, finally ending in trinitarian triumph through the stern and energetic measures of the Emperor Theodosius (Cent. 4, Chap. 5, Sec. 14) --
"After the death of Constantine the Great (337 AD) one of his sons, Constantius, the emperor of the East was very partial to the Arian cause; but Constantine and Constans (two other sons) supported, in the western parts where they governed, the decisions of the Nicene council.This finally settled the question, for all time, as to whether there were three Gods, or one God. The Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, vol. 23, page 259, article "Theodosius," records --
"Constantius, being devoted to the Arians, involved the friends of the Nicene council in numerous evils and calamities. The Nicene (trinitarian) party made no hesitation to return the same treatment.
"Julian (the next emperor) had no partialities for either. Jovian espoused the orthodox sentiments. Valentinian adhered to the decisions at Nice, and therefore in the West the Arian sect -- a few churches excepted -- was wholly extirpated.
"Valens, on the contrary, took sides with the Arians, and hence in the East many calamities befell the orthodox. Gratian restored peace to the orthodox.
"After him, Theodosius the Great, by depriving the Arians of all their churches, caused the decisions of the Nicene council to triumph everywhere, and none could any longer publicly profess Arian doctrines."
"It was not, however, till his illness at Thessalonica that the emperor received baptism at the hands of Bishop Ascholius, whereupon, says the historian Sozomen, he issued a decree (February, 380) in favor of the faith of St. Peter and Pope Damasus of Rome.Gibbon records, chapter 27 --
"This was to be the true catholic faith; the adherents of other creeds were to be reckoned as heretics and punished.
"Other edicts forbade the unorthodox to hold assemblies in the towns and enjoined the surrender of all churches to the catholic bishops."
"Theodosius was the first of the emperors baptised into the true faith of the Trinity. As the emperor ascended from the holy font, he dictated a solemn edict:Gibbon may be considered unsympathetic in his presentation, but it will be noted that his facts are confirmed by trinitarian writers.
"Let us believe the sole deity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, under an equal majesty and a pious Trinity.
"We authorize the followers of this doctrine to assume the title of Catholic Christians; and as we judge that all others are extravagant madmen, we brand them with the infamous name of Heretics, and declare that their conventicles shall no longer usurp the respectable appellation of churches.
"Besides the condemnation of Divine justice, they must expect to suffer the severe penalties, which our authority, guided by heavenly wisdom, shall think proper to inflict upon them!
"The emperor convened a synod of 150 bishops who proceeded to complete the theological system which had been established in the council of Nice.
"A final and unanimous sentence was pronounced to ratify the equal Deity of the Holy Ghost.
"Their knowledge of religious truth may have been preserved by tradition, or it may have been communicated by inspiration, but the sober evidence of history will not allow much weight to the personal authority of the Fathers of Constantinople (this synod).
"Many of the same prelates who now applauded the orthodox piety of Theodosius had repeatedly changed, with prudent flexibility, their creeds and opinions, and in the various revolutions of the church and state, the religion of their sovereign was the rule of their obsequious faith.
"In the space of 15 years Theodosius promulgated at least 15 severe edicts against the heretics, more especially against those who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.
"The rigorous prohibition of conventicles was carefully extended to every possible circumstances in which the heretics could assemble with the intention of worshipping God and Christ according to the dictates of their conscience.
"The sectaries were gradually disqualified for the possession of honorable or lucrative employments
. . ."
So much, then, for the sordid history of the development of this doctrine of three co-equal, co-eternal gods, admittedly a product of speculation and philosophy, with the necessary aid of heathen metaphysics, and enforced by persecution and the sword.
The True Scriptural Picture
The first scriptural principle to be considered, when approaching the matter from a scriptural point of view, is the ONENESS OF GOD. God is constantly, repeatedly, and emphatically stated to be ONE, never three.
There is never a word anywhere in the Bible from beginning to end about such Greek metaphysics as "Three persons in the Godhead" or any such language.
When asked, Which is the FIRST COMMANDMENT OF ALL?", Jesus answered (Mark 12:29),
"The FIRST of ALL the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD."And so we find all throughout the Scriptures --
"Beside Me there is no God" (Isa. 44:6).Why is not the simple scriptural picture sufficient? Why is it necessary to go to "Greek metaphysics" to find that the above Scriptures are all very misleading and actually there are three Gods?
"I am God, and there is none else; there is no God beside Me" (Isa. 45:5).
"I am God, and there is none else" (Isa. 46:9).
"ONE GOD and Father of ALL, Who is above ALL" (Eph. 4:6).
"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is ONE LORD" (Deut. 6:4).
To make Greek metaphysics and Bible testimony agree, it is said that there are "Three Gods in one." But for those who desire to be guided by the Word of God, the Bible clearly refutes this compromise. It very clearly distinguishes Jesus Christ, the Son of God, from the One Eternal God of Whom the above quotations speak. This is very important, and is fatal to Greek metaphysics.
There is ONE GOD, AND one mediator between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5).Note well that this last quotation is Jesus Christ speaking, addressing God in prayer as the ONE TRUE GOD, and speaking of himself as separate from that One True God, and sent by Him.
"There is but ONE GOD, the Father, of Whom are all things, AND one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things" (1 Cor. 8:6).
"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the ONLY TRUE GOD, AND Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
We have seen the deplorable condition of the "Church" in the 4th century. Paul records:
"For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned that believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess. 2:11).In the light of this statement of Paul, would God permit such men as the church leaders of the 4th century to understand His holy Truth? It is a fundamental scriptural principle that the natural man cannot understand the things of God (1 Cor. 2:14).
When we see these emphatic scriptural declarations of the ONENESS of God, and the clear distinction between this One Eternal God, and the man Jesus Christ, His Son, and then we look at the metaphysical absurdities concocted out of Platonic philosophy at this time, the only answer is that God sent them a strong delusion.
The simple picture the Scriptures present to us of Jesus Christ is that:
He was born a babe (Luke 2:7).
He "increased in wisdom" (Luke 2:52).
He "learned obedience by the things that he suffered" (Heb. 5:8).
He was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15).
He "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared" (Heb. 5:7).
Try to honestly harmonize that with the trinitarian idea of omnipotent and omniscient co-equality and co-eternity. It just does not fit and CANNOT fit. To make it fit we must break down all the meaning of language. That is what trinitarians have done. Why should we try to make it fit? The Trinity is not taught in the Bible. Why then not just accept the scriptural account and forget about the "Trinity"?
If we regard Jesus Christ as personally existing and possessing all power and wisdom, before his scripturally recorded birth as a baby, then we simply deny the actual reality of his birth and his "increasing in wisdom."
The Scriptures declare that God's understanding is infinite (Psa. 147:5). Is it not then a denial of all the meaning of language to say that a co-equal constituent of this God "increased in wisdom," as he grew up from a babe to manhood?
To say that a constituent part of an omnipotent co-equal Trinity of Gods became a helpless babe is an absurdity that the Scriptures do not require us to subscribe to. He could not be a helpless, newborn babe and an all-powerful, all-knowing co-equal ruler of heaven and earth at the same time.
Is God separable from His power and wisdom? Are not infinite power and knowledge inseparable elements of His very Godhead? (NOTE: "Godhead" is just an obsolete form of "Godhood" -- that is, "divinity," the quality of being divine.)
We are asked to believe that God changed Himself into a powerless and ignorant, helpless creature. What happened to His power and wisdom? DID He, or did He NOT, continue to possess His eternal attributes? But why should we labor further with such unscriptural ideas?
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There are many things that are recorded of Christ that just cannot be made fit with the idea that he was an all-powerful, all-knowing God -- a co-equal constituent of the "Godhead." It is recorded --
"Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being 40 days tempted of the devil" (Luke 4:1-2).James declared (and it is surely a self-evident fact) that (James 1:13) --
"He himself hath suffered, being tempted" (Heb. 2:18).
"In all points tempted like as we are" (Heb. 4:15).
"Ye have continued with me in my temptations" (Luke 22:28).
"God cannot be tempted."It is impossible to conceive of an all-wise, all-powerful God being tempted to sin. God could not possibly sin.
Yet Jesus Christ was tempted in all points like ourselves, and if we say he could not possibly have sinned, we deny the reality of his tempting and of his overcoming.
Jesus WAS tempted; God CANNOT be tempted: therefore the Trinity theory is false.
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Let us carefully consider a few of the many statements of Scripture that show the "Trinity" theory to be untrue.
"I can of mine own self do nothing. I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father Which hath sent me" (John 5:30).This is Jesus speaking. It is perfectly understandable in the light of the scriptural picture that Jesus was a man wholly dependent upon God. But how can it be fitted into the Trinity picture? Let us not run from these clear testimonies, but reverently ponder them, seeking guidance and truth.
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"My Father is GREATER THAN I" (John 14:28)If we believe the Bible, we cannot believe the man-made doctrine that Jesus was co-equal with God. The whole record of the Gospels -- the plain, literal record of the life and sayings of Christ -- is in direct and continuous variance with this doctrine. How could the "co-equal" Trinity theory be more directly denied than it is in these words of Jesus? Can black mean white?
Scores of statements could be given showing that Jesus was truly a man, truly fighting against sin, truly overcoming, truly learning, truly praying to the ONE TRUE GOD Who was greater than he.
If he was an all-powerful God just PRETENDING to fight against temptation when really he could not be tempted, just PRETENDING to pray to someone greater than himself for help and strength, then we in effect accuse the whole Gospel record of being a deception and a cruel mockery of man's real weakness, man's real and bitter struggle against sin.
How can he be held forth as our example and incentive to overcome temptation and the weaknesses of the flesh if all the time he was really an all-powerful and untemptable co-equal God?
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Consider the following passages one by one. Honestly take full time to ponder them and compare them with the suggestion of the Trinity that Jesus was actually and in reality an eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful God, co-equal part of an omnipotent Trinity, who could not sin or be tempted.
The Trinity may have been a reasonable hypothesis for Plato in 400 BC. He was groping in darkness. He had no divine revelation as has been given to us in the Scriptures. We have the light of Scripture. We do not need Plato's ignorant, pagan speculations, from which the Trinity doctrine was admittedly formulated.
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, NEITHER THE SON, but THE FATHER" (Mark 13:32).How could one omnipotent part of a co-equal Godhead not know something that another part knew? How, in fact, could there be anything that an omniscient, co-equal God did not know?
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"For since by man came death, by MAN came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.The fact that Christ was a man is repeatedly emphasized as an essential fact in the plan of salvation. The purpose required that a man -- one of the fallen race -- should truly overcome sin and temptation, and render perfect obedience to the One True God --
"But every MAN in his own order: CHRIST the first fruits, afterwards
. . ."(1 Cor. 15:21).
"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the OBEDIENCE of one (one MAN, Jesus Christ, v. 15) shall many be made righteous" (Rom. 5:19).It is neither scriptural or reasonable to speak of one omnipotent, co-equal God rendering OBEDIENCE to another co-equal part of the same one almighty God. "Obedience" implies distinction, and subjection of the obeyer to the obeyed.
Note well Jesus' answer when he was tempted --
"It is written, MAN shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD" (Matt. 4:4)He applies this command of God to himself as a MAN who was responsible to, and owed obedience to, the One True God.
Note the even more striking answer to the 3rd temptation: --
"It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve" (v. 10).Jesus applies this command to himself, as obligated to worship and serve the One True God revealed to Israel. This is quoted from Deuteronomy 8, just 2 chapters after the command --
"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is ONE LORD."Jesus Christ worshipped and served the ONE TRUE GOD.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it SHALL be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall NOT be forgiven him" (Matt. 12:32).How then can it be said that Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are co-equal, "the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal, none afore or after other, none greater or less than other?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Jesus said to him, Why callest thou ME good? There is none good but ONE, that is, God" (Mark 10:18).Here Jesus plainly distinguishes between himself and the one God, affirming of God what could not be affirmed of himself, inasmuch as he was of mortal, human, condemned, sinful flesh (though perfectly sinless in life and character).
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"To sit on my right hand is NOT MINE to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of MY FATHER" (Matt. 20:23).Again, a clear limitation of Christ's prerogative, and proof of his subjection to God. Co-equal parts of "One God"? The Bible knows of no such contradiction.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"He prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39).If Jesus and his Father are really just co-equal parts of the same One God, then obviously such a prayer could never be prayed. It is meaningless for the One God to pray to Himself, and say, "Not MY will, but THINE." If both are part of one God, then there is but one will.
Be sure your conception of Jesus and God is in harmony with what the Bible reveals. Do not be satisfied with an "incomprehensible" theory, admittedly borrowed from "Greek metaphysics," that crushes all the beauty and meaning out of the life of Jesus Christ, the faithful and obedient Son who truly overcame and submitted to the will of the ONE TRUE GOD, His Father.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Thinkest thou that I cannot now PRAY TO MY FATHER, and HE shall GIVE ME twelve legions of angels?" (Matt. 26:53).One omnipotent co-equal ruler of the universe speaking of praying to another part of the same ruler for angels to help him? No, that is not the Bible picture, that's man's idea.
"The Son can do nothing of himselfOne co-equal showing another all-powerful, all-knowing co-equal, giving him authority, sending him, giving him work? One all-powerful God appealing to his works as a proof that another God had sent him? Where is co-equal co-eternity if "the Father hath GIVEN the Son to have life in himself?"
. . ."
"The Father loveth the Son and showeth him all things He doeth" (John 5:19).
"The Father hath committed all judgment to the Son . . .
"The Father hath given the Son to have life in himself, and hath given him authority" (v. 26).
"I can of MINE OWN SELF DO NOTHING . . .
"I seek not mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me" (v. 30).
"The works the Father hath given me to finish bear witness the Father hath sent me" (v. 36).
It is unutterably sad that a meaningless jumble of words like the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity should throw a metaphysical and philosophical mist over such a beautiful picture as the Scriptures give of the life of our Elder Brother. Back to the simple truth of the Bible!
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Then cometh the end when he (Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father . . .The Son shall be subject to God, that God may be all in all. Jesus has been GIVEN "all power in heaven and earth" (Matt. 28:18) for the accomplishment of a purpose -- that of bringing all things into harmony with God. When that purpose is accomplished, he relinquishes all power to God, that God may be all in all.
"And when all things shall be subject unto him (Jesus), then shall THE SON ALSO BE SUBJECT UNTO HIM THAT PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIM, that God may be all in all" (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
Trinitarianism cannot make head nor tail of this passage. As one eminent trinitarian commentator confusedly admits, subjection and co-equality are utterly incompatible opposites. Must God be subject to Himself, in order that He may be supreme over all?
The Scripture says --
"The head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the HEAD OF CHRIST IS GOD" (1 Cor. 11:3).The Trinity says --
"The glory co-equal, the majesty co-eternal, none afore or after other, none greater or less"Which shall we take -- the Scriptures or the Trinity? It is impossible to believe both.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"All power is GIVEN unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18).This is Jesus speaking after resurrection and glorification. Could an eternal, all-powerful co-equal part of the supreme Godhead say, "All power has been GIVEN to me?"
Who could give power to an almighty co-equal God who from eternity had possessed all power as an essential part of his very divinity?
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18:11).This was the cup which he prayed should pass from him, but submitted to because it was the will of God.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which GOD GAVE UNTO HIM, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass" (Rev. 1:1).One co-equal part of an all-knowing Godhead giving a revelation of the future to another part!
"Known unto God are all His works from the beginning" (Acts 15:18).If Jesus Christ is a co-equal part of this God who has known all things from the beginning, how can it be said he has been given a revelation by another co-equal part of the Godhead? How could he say there were things he did not know (Mark 13:32)? How could he "increase in wisdom" (Luke 2:52)?
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of Me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance" (Psa. 2:7).One co-equal, co-eternal being "this day" begotten; asking another part of the same co-equal Godhead, being given the nations.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Jesus cried with a loud voice, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34).The inertia of long habit, carried over from the dark ages, maintains the doctrine of the Trinity in Christendom, like an incubus, and the scriptural picture is twisted and nullified to fit it. "God shall send them strong delusion."
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"The Lord God shall GIVE unto him the throne of his father David" (Luke 1:32).How could such language be used concerning an eternal, omnipotent part of the supreme head and ruler of the universe? When will he be given the throne of his father David, and what does it mean? How can he be given rulership, if he is from eternity the all-powerful ruler of all?
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"He that SENT me is true, and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him.If Jesus was co-equal part of the Supreme Godhead, why was his own honour nothing and God's honouring him everything? Does a co-equal, co-eternal part of the Godhead need to be taught? Do not the Scriptures reveal that God is "infinite in knowledge"?
"I do nothing of myself, but AS MY FATHER HATH TAUGHT ME, I speak those things" (John 8:26-29).
"I have told you the truth which I have heard of God" (v. 40).
"If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me" (v. 54).
"I know Him and keep His sayings" (v. 55).
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Jesus said, My meat is to do the will of Him that SENT me, and to finish His work" (John 4:34).As Jesus points out, the term "god" is occasionally used of men in Scripture to signify their sanctification and relationship to God.
"My doctrine is NOT MINE, but His that SENT me" (7:16).
"I am not come of myself, but He that sent me is true" (John 7:28).
"If He called them gods unto whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemeth; because I said, I am the Son of God?" (John 10:35).
(See Psa. 82:6, "Ye are gods, and all of ye are children of the Most High, but ye shall die like men.")
The use of this term did not confuse them in any way with the ONE ETERNAL GOD, the Almighty Creator, but it does show that the term "god," properly understood, is applied to such as are sanctified by God.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, He GAVE ME A COMMANDMENT what I should say and what I should speak" (John 12:49).The Trinity represents one co-equal part of the Godhead giving a commandment to another co-equal part! A commandment proves authority of one part over another, but the Trinity says no part is before, or greater than any other part.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works" (John 14:10).See how different this is from the trinitarian idea. The Bible never says, as trinitarians say, that "God the Son" was in the man Jesus. The Scriptures always reveal the man Christ Jesus, born of Mary, as the Son, through whom the Eternal Father worked and manifested Himself --
"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself" (2 Cor. 5:19).The Scripture picture is so clear; the trinitarian picture so contradictory and confused. The Scriptures plainly teach that it was the Holy Spirit-Power of God (not "God the Son") that came upon Mary, and that this Spirit-Power of God caused the conception in Mary of him who should therefore be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35).
"God was in ChristCompare John 17:21 --
. . ."
"As Thou Father art in me, and I in Thee, that THEY also may be ONE IN US . . . I in them, and Thou in me."And John 15:4 --
"Abide in me, and I in you."* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"He (God) shall send Jesus Christ" (Acts 3:20).Jesus was not a co-eternal part of an omnipotent Godhead, but a prophet raised up by God.
"For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you OF YOUR BRETHREN" (v. 22).
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Of this man's seed (David's) hath God raised up a saviour, Jesus" (Acts 13:23).God made Jesus perfect through suffering. Does this fit the co-equal, co-eternal idea?
"It became Him (God) in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering" (Heb. 2:10).
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Such passages could be duplicated many many times over. All show that the doctrine of the Trinity, developed in Platonic philosophy and Greek metaphysics, is completely out of joint with the simple scriptural picture.
We must approach Scripture unspoiled by any preconceived theological notions inherited from dark and pagan medievalism. We must get the basic picture that Jesus Christ was truly a man who was born by the operation of the Holy Spirit of God upon Mary, and who grew to manhood and maturity, and increased in wisdom as he grew.
The whole efficacy of his mission depends upon its REALITY
To say, to suit a theory, that he was a co-equal part of an all-powerful, eternal "Godhead" with infinite knowledge and wisdom, and at the SAME TIME a striving, praying, learning, mortal man is to take all meaning out of words.
Either he WAS all-powerful, inherently and eternally, or else he was NOT. To say he was both is to juggle with words. Either he was immortal and could not die, or else he did die, and was therefore not immortal. (The Scriptures say God is immortal -- 1 Tim. 1:17). Immortal means incapable of death. Jesus Christ died.
Either he was God and could not be tempted, or else he was tempted (as the Bible records) and was therefore not God.
Either he was God, and therefore could not possibly sin, or else he truly resisted and overcame sin.
Either he was God, infinite in knowledge from all eternity, or else he increased in wisdom, learned obedience, was taught of God, and recognized that God knew things that he did not.
Either he was co-equal with God, or else his Father was, as he said, greater than he.
To say that in each case both of these alternatives are possible is to say that everything that is directly contradictory to Scripture may be equally true with Scripture, and therefore the Scripture is useless and meaningless.
This is to lay down a principle whereby reason and meaning are cast aside and the absurdest of contradictions are gravely viewed as possible, though perhaps admitted to be "incomprehensible."
Anyone who studies the Word of God unspoiled by human philosophy will find that it is not cast in such a mold as stultifies reason and glorifies contradiction.
To sum up the scriptural testimony presented concerning Jesus Christ. He --
This is the scriptural picture of Jesus.
- Was conceived in Mary by the overshadowing of the Spirit-Power of God; after the normal period he was born a babe;
- Increased in wisdom as he grew to manhood;
- Continually prayed to God;
- Offered supplication (humble entreaty) to God;
- Was heard and saved from death in that he feared and was obedient;
- Was tempted in all points like his brethren;
- Learned obedience;
- Was saved from death by strong crying and tears;
- Received the Revelation of the future from God;
- Did not know things God knew;
- Was promised the throne of David by God;
- Had no right to say who should sit at his right hand;
- Was sent by God;
- Was taught by God;
- Was shown things by God;
- Recognized his subjection to the commands to worship and serve God;
- Is several times clearly DISTINGUISHED FROM the ONE TRUE AND ONLY GOD;
- He is repeatedly described as a man;
- Was raised from the dead by God;
- Was glorified by God in answer to prayer;
- Was given power and authority by God;
- Was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit;
- Said God was greater than he;
- Said he of himself could do nothing;
- Said the doctrine, words and works were NOT HIS but God's;
- When addressed as "good" he distinguished between himself as a man of mortal flesh and God Who alone is wholly good;
- He was appointed by God as heir of all things;
- He prayed to God that the cup might pass but he relinquished his own will and submitted to God's;
- He was a prophet raised up by God from among his brethren;
- God is to judge the world by him;
- God is spoken of as the Head of Christ;
- He cried, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me;
- He was given commandment by God;
- He was made perfect through suffering;
- And he is finally to be subject to God and relinquish all power and authority back to Him that God may be all in all.
"By MAN came death, by MAN came also the resurrection of the dead: (1 Cor. 15:21).As the Epistle to the Hebrews shows, it was essential to God's purpose, and to establish His justice, that life come through MAN -- that a man should, strengthened and guided by God, render perfect obedience, overcome and subdue the sin-nature which all the race possesses, and destroy it by death.
A man who, having vindicated and fulfilled the law of sin and death passed upon the race through the sentence of Adam, should be able to be justly exalted to eternal life, never having sinned -- never once having served sin, whose wages are death.
In this process of obtaining eternal redemption for himself -- (as the reflexive -- middle -- voice of the verb "obtained" in Heb. 9:12 states. The "for us" is spurious and RV omits) -- in this process he opened up a God-appointed way of escape from the power of death for the condemned race of which he was a member and the accepted representative.
God's righteousness being thus demonstrated and vindicated (by a perfect obedience followed by the voluntary destruction and condemnation of the sin-nature in death), God is able justly to extend mercy to all who humbly approach Him in the appointed way under the covering of Christ.
Such must voluntarily die to themselves and be born into Christ and henceforth live in Christ and as part of Christ --
"I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God" (Gal. 2:20).Those that unite themselves with Christ become in God's sight part of him and are included in his glorious victory over sin and death. This is the mercy of God.
The doctrine of the Trinity -- 3 co-equal, co-eternal Gods -- contrary to Scripture and borrowed from the heathen Plato who knew nothing of God's revealed Truth -- completely destroys the beautiful, harmonious, righteous plan of salvation through a REAL man learning obedience and TRULY overcoming temptation.
Like a steamroller the doctrine of the Trinity crushes all the meaning out of the picture the Bible gives us of the relationship between the Eternal, Almighty Father and the dependent, obedient Son -- the latter glorified and exalted by the former because of his faith, obedience, submission, humility and real genuine victory over sin and weakness --
"He humbled himself, and became OBEDIENT unto death, even the death of the cross, WHEREFORE God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name" (Phil. 2:8-9).This is OUR Christ, the REAL Christ, our brother, our example, our inspiration and incentive.
No matter how you wrestle with the doctrine of the Trinity, it cannot give you anything but an all-powerful, all-knowing, immortal, untemptable God going through the pantomime of pretending to grow, pretending to learn, pretending to overcome weakness, pretending to struggle with temptation, pretending to pray for help, pretending to receive strength through angels from a part of himself, pretending to receive commands and instruction (from himself), pretending to obey and submit his will to a co-equal part of himself.
To get around this, and to make Platonic philosophy fit Scripture, trinitarians talk of his "divinity" knowing something at the same time that his "humanity" did not know it; of his "divinity" being all-wise at the same time his "humanity" was learning; of his "divinity" being all-powerful at the same time his "humanity" was struggling against weakness.
Those who base their faith on the Bible, and with whom the speculations of Greek metaphysics carry no weight, will not temporize with such issue-begging absurdities. Jesus Christ was not two utterly contradictory persons. It was Jesus Christ himself who did and went through all the things recorded in the Bible.
Get your beliefs from the Bible. You will never find the Trinity in it, or anything like it. It is a product of an age of worldly wisdom and spiritual barrenness, as has been so clearly proven, right out of the mouths of trinitarians.
It is a product of the apostate Church of Rome and all who adopt it from Rome identify themselves with that ungodly system --
"Come out of her, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4).
Passages Quoted to Prove the Trinity
"And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be His SERVANT(The verses considered here were presented by a trinitarian as the best he knew to "prove" the doctrine of the Trinity.)
. . .I will also give thee to be a light to the Gentiles . . . I will PRESERVE thee" (Isa. 49:5-8).
Now to consider, in the light of Scripture, the verses submitted as proving that Christ was a pre-existent part of a co-equal, co-eternal Trinity of three Gods.
"For the Father judgeth no man but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22).This is put forward to prove that "Christ claimed he was divine." If this is meant to mean he claimed he was a co-equal, co-eternal member of the Trinity, then it disproves the very point it is put forward to support --
"The Father hath committed all judgment to the Son."The Father is the Supreme, Almighty God with power to commit judgment to whom He will. Consider the context, and see how it shatters the "co-equal" idea --
"The Father hath given the Son authority" (v. 27).A more unfortunate example could hardly be chosen to prove the Trinity. See Acts 17:31 --
"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, so I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (v. 30).
"God will judge the world by that MAN whom He hath ordained . . . He (God) hath raised him (Jesus) from the dead."See also Romans 2:16 --
"God shall judge men by Jesus Christ."* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"I and my Father are one" (John 10:30).To show that this is no proof of the doctrine of the Trinity, or of the pre-existence of Christ before he was born, it is only necessary to refer to John 17:11. Jesus, praying to God, says --
"Holy Father, keep through Thine Own Name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, AS WE ARE . . .The meaning of the oneness, or unity, that Jesus had in mind, is very clear from this passage. It is the "unity of the Spirit" that must exist among true brethren (Eph. 4:3) --
"That they all may be one, as Thou Father art in me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe (v. 21).
"That they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one" (v. 22).
"We are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28).Surely no one who is familiar with this wording in John 17 would sincerely consider John 10:30 any proof of the Trinity or Jesus' pre-existence before he was born a helpless babe.
"And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40).It is difficult to see how this is thought to prove any of the points in question. Unquestionably God has given Jesus power to raise the dead, and he will raise all the responsible dead when he returns to earth at the "last day."
This is not in question. All who truly believe the Bible believe it (those that are not deluded with the "immortal soul," "heaven at death" idea).
Speaking of Jesus' power (which seems to be the thought here), bear in mind Acts 2:22 --
"Jesus, a man approved of God by miracles which God did by him."And Matt. 28:18 --
"All power is given unto me."BY whom? -- if he himself were co-equal part of the Supreme Power of the universe.
Not how these very passages quoted to prove the Trinity actually disprove it --
"The will of HIM THAT SENT ME."Jesus never claimed co-equality with God, but always the very reverse. He said God had sent him, and he came to do God's will, not his own.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down myself. I have power (exousia) to lay it down, and I have power (exousia) to take it again" (John 10:17-18).The word here translated "power" is exousia. It occurs just over 100 times -- in a majority of these occurrences the RV translates it "authority," and 10 times "right."
It is not the common word for 'power,' which is dunamis -- strength, ability.
Both AV and RV translate exousia as "right," for instance, in Rev. 22:14 --
"Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right (exousia) to the tree of life."This obviously does not mean that obeying God's commands give a man the physical power to raise himself from the dead to immortality, but that he thereby is granted a right to it.
Even more to the point, in illustration, is John 1:12 --
"As many as received him gave he power (exousia, RV: right) to become sons of God."The AV margins gives "right or privilege." Believers have been given the right or privilege of becoming sons of God.
These passages will illustrate what Jesus meant when he said he had exousia -- the right -- to take up his life again after having laid it down in death.
As to Who actually raised Jesus from the dead, the Scriptures leave not the slightest doubt. Many times we are told GOD raised him from the dead. Consider very particularly the record in Acts 2 for a clear understanding of the relation between Christ and God (v. 22):
"Jesus of Nazareth, a MAN approved of God by miracles which God did by him."All this is utterly incompatible with the Trinity. Note the last statement -- God hath made Jesus Lord. God approved him; God did miracles by him; God made known to him the way of life; God did not suffer him to see corruption; God raised him; God made him Lord. Consider the following --
"David speaketh concerning him, Thou (God) wilt not leave my (Jesus') soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine holy one to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the way of life" (vs. 25-28).
"God swore to him (David) that He would raise up Christ" (v. 30).
"He (David) seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption" (v. 31).
"This Jesus hath God raised up" (v. 32).
"God hath made that same Jesus both Lord and Christ" (v. 36).
"The Prince of Life, whom God hath raised from the dead" (Acts 3:15).The "God of our fathers" to whom Peter refers as raising Jesus was the one and only true God of Whom Moses, the prophets and Jesus spoke.
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus . . . him hath God exalted" (Acts 5:30-31).
"Him hath God raised up the third day" (v. 42).How did God bring Jesus from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant? Here we are told Jesus was brought from the dead through his own blood. This deep and important truth is crushed into unrecognizability by the Trinity.
"It is he which was ordained of God to be Judge" (Acts 10:40).
"His (God's) mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and set him at His own right hand . . . and hath put all things under his feet" (Eph. 1:19-21).
"The God of Peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, through the blood of the everlasting covenant" (Heb. 13:20).
See also Acts 13:30, 33, 34, 37; Acts 17:31; Rom. 6:4; 2 Cor. 4:14; Gal. 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:21 -- all stating that God raised Jesus from the dead.
Before we leave this John 10:17-18, note well the finish of it --
"I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."It will be remarkably noted that the very context of these verses quoted to support the Trinity are directly CONTRARY to the all-powerful, co-equal, none-greater-or-less theory.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Phil. 2:5-7).What part of this is thought to give support to the idea that Jesus was a co-equal, co-eternal, pre-existent part of the One Eternal God?
What this declares, briefly, is that Christ -- though he recognized himself to be by birth the Son of God, still he did not presume upon this supremely exalted relationship, but humbly submitted to the fact that he, like all other men, owed service and obedience to God, and must "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" (see v. 12).
The meaning of this passage is illustrated perfectly by Heb. 5:8 --
"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered."Notice in the immediate context of this passage in Phil. 2, at v. 9 --
"Wherefore (New Amer. Rev.: Therefore) God also hath highly exalted him."One co-equal part of the Supreme One God highly exalting another part, because the latter had humbly submitted to death at the command of the former? The Bible does not ask us to accept such confusion.
Let us consider this passage in detail: --
"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery (RV: thought it not a thing to be grasped) to be equal with God."This is so well illustrated by "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience" (Heb. 5:8) that it needs no further explanation. Notice the contrast: "form of God -- form of a servant." Compare with the contrast "Son -- servant" in Heb. 3:5-6. Also in Gal. 4:2 --
"The heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors (learned obedience) until the time appointed of the father."Clearly, therefore, "being in the form of God" refers to the fact that his birth by the overshadowing Spirit-Power constituted him the "Son of God" (Luke 1:35).
Though so directly related to God, he did not presume upon his position or "grasp at" equality with God. Does not this very passage prove he was NOT co-equal with God, and that he did not "grasp at" co-equality?
"But made himself of no reputation."His lowly, humble, unpretentious course of life -- no worldly honors, no possessions or wealth -- living with and ministering to the poor and despised of the land. The self-respecting of Israel look down on him for his lowliness and association with social outcasts (Isa. 53:3) --
"He was despised and we esteemed him not."See Matt. 20:25-28 --
"And took upon him the form of a servant."
"The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: whosoever will be chief among you let him be your servant: even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister."This is the SCRIPTURAL picture -- no flat, trinitarian, co-equality, "none greater, none afore."
"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience" (Heb. 5:8).
"Behold My (God's) servant . . . I have put My Spirit upon him . . . I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people" (Isa. 42:1).
The following is very clear as to Jesus' birth and SERVANTSHIP to God --
"The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath He made mention of my name . . .God formed Jesus from the womb to be His servant. Surely that's plain. Where then is co-eternal, co-equality -- eternal, equal parts of a Supreme God?
"In the shadow of His hand hath He hid me.
"And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be His servant . . .
"Thus saith the Lord to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth (There can be no doubt as to who is meant) . . .
"I have heard thee, and I have helped thee, and I (God) will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant" (Isa. 49:1-8).
"And was made in the likeness of men."The RV makes the tense clearer, and removes the impression created by a superficial reading of the AV that the "was made" follows, or is consequent upon, the "making of no reputation." The RV gives "being made." That is, being made in the likeness of men, he made himself of no reputation and took upon him the station or position of a servant.
The Emphatic Diaglott version is even clearer as to tense --
"Having been made in the likeness of men."The verb is "genomenos," rendered in the Bagster Interlinear New Testament, "having become."
Some versions join it to the following verse, putting a period at "servant," and then continuing, "Being made in the likeness and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself." (Moffat follows this construction).
All this is mentioned to point out that the Greek original does not support the impression drawn from the AV that the items of v. 7 are consecutive in time, giving the idea of existence and consciousness BEFORE being "made in the likeness of men."
As Jesus grew from a babe to self-consciousness, he learned two facts concerning himself:
(1) that he was the divinely begotten Son of God andHe did not presume upon the first, but humbly and obediently submitted to all the duties and obligations of the second, utterly abasing himself, even to the very lowest station of life. This is even clearer in the next verse --
(2) that he was a man of the seed of Adam.
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself."Finding himself (as he attained self-consciousness) a man, he obediently humbled himself before God -- the duty of all men. The whole passage is an exhortation to (v. 5) --
"Let this mind be in YOU which was also in Christ Jesus."The whole sense and point of this command depends upon the truth that Jesus was "made in all things like his brethren" (Heb. 2:17), and was through obedience exalted by God (v. 9 of this Phil. 2).
View Christ as "very God" -- co-equal, co-eternal, "possessor of heaven and earth," unlimited in power and knowledge, unable to die, unable to sin, unable to be tempted -- and all this becomes meaningless and unreal.
It is "making the Word of God of none effect by tradition" -- not openly denying it, but interpreting it in such a way that it loses all meaning.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is anti-christ, that denieth the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22).These are quoted to prove "we are warned not to belittle Christ." This is VERY TRUE, and trinitarians do not realize how they are belittling Christ and nullifying his work by adopting the Platonic ideas which make his struggle and obedience and overcoming and resisting temptation an unreal pantomime by an almighty, all-knowing and untemptable God.
"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God" (1 John 4:15).
Jesus Christ rendered perfect obedience, never sinned, overcame every weakness and temptation. THEREFORE God hath exalted him that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow (Phil. 2:9-10, just considered).
How could it be said "therefore" (for his obedience) God hath exalted him and given him a name, if he had ALWAYS BEEN co-equal, co-powerful, co-exalted "very god," right from the beginning?
It is ridiculous to say he was at the same time all-powerful God and weak man. The Scriptures do not say this. It is the attempt to combine "Greek metaphysics" with the Scripture that has forced trinitarians to adopt this view.
As we have seen from the testimony of trinitarian historians, the religious leaders of the time the "Trinity" was developed were trying to combine religion with philosophy to make it acceptable to the heathen world.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
The third passage quoted to prove "we are warned not to belittle Christ" is very significant, and worthy of much study.
"Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist" (2 John 7).(In passing, note the wording "deceivers are entered into the world." Does this give any support in presuming their pre-existence, as such wording is said to do in the case of Christ? Where did these deceivers "enter the world" from? Where were they before? All will agree in this case that "entered the world" simply means "shown up" or "become manifest").
But the main point is that there were many deceivers even in John's day who denied that Christ had really and truly "come in the flesh," denied that he was truly a man, denied that he truly "increased in wisdom," truly had been born a helpless babe, truly had borne the same sin cursed nature that his brethren have to struggle with and must overcome.
If we make Christ an all-powerful, all-knowing, untemptable co-equal part of the Supreme God, we DENY THAT HE HAS COME "IN THE FLESH," and we are manifested as anti-Christs.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"God Who created all things by Jesus Christ" (Eph. 3:9).In this particular case, the RV omits "by Jesus Christ," so this form of words can be considered under other passages.
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"He (Christ -- quoting your insertion) was in the world and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not" (John 1:10).In the first place, the parenthetical insertion of (Christ) is not a true or sound interpretation. It is assuming the point that it is desired to prove, or at least assuming a point from which to reason. The antecedent of "he" is not Christ, but "the Word" -- the Logos, the Purpose, the Fiat. Peter says --
"By the word (logos -- same as above) of God the heavens were of old" (2 Pet. 3:5).No one appears to have any difficulty with this passage because the translators here have used a small "w" and have not followed it by a string of interpretive "he's." Peter is quoting from Psa. 33:6 --
"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath (Heb.: ruach -- spirit) of His mouth."Here "word" clearly means decree, determination, purpose; and is paralleled with "ruach" -- breath, spirit, power. Job records (26:13) --
"By His Spirit (ruach) He hath garnished the heavens."And in the beginning of the record of creation itself --
"The Spirit (ruach) of God moved upon the face of the waters . . . And God said, Let there be, etcHere again is the associated conception of power and purpose, Spirit and Word.
. . ."
Creation was effected, then, by the Word and Spirit -- the decree or purpose and the power or effluence -- the Spirit-Wisdom. The 8th chapter of Proverbs is helpful in understanding chapter 1 of John --
Prov. 8:22 --
"The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old . . .Who is this speaking? Who was with God at creation? V. 1:
"When He prepared the heavens, I was there; when He set a compass upon the face of the depth (v. 27).
"Then I was by Him, as a master-workman (RV): and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him (30)."
"Doth not Wisdom cry? SHE standeth in the top of high places . . . Unto you, O men, I call."A reading of this chapter will greatly clarify the meaning of John 1. This eternal Spirit-Wisdom of God is the Word (logos) of John 1. It was with God and it was God, for God is the eternal embodiment of power and wisdom, and power and wisdom are His essential characteristics.
See also Prov. 3:19 --
"The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath He established the heavens."Another point that is a source of considerable obscurity is the fact that Greek personal pronouns (he, she, it) do not necessarily denote personality. Like modern French and other languages, all nouns have gender, and although Greek has neuter gender, still many impersonal nouns are either masculine or feminine, and take corresponding masculine or feminine pronouns.
"Logos" (word) is masculine. It therefore always takes "he" in Greek. Normally this should be translated "it" in English, because "word" is neuter, but if in the translator's theology it denotes a person, then he naturally renders it "he."
Another point to be noticed is the "by," as in v. 3 --
"All things were made by him . . . (v. 10) The world was made by him."The Greek word here is "dia," which the RV in both of these verses renders "through," showing that the thing or person referred to is not the primary operator, but the reason or instrumentality.
This preposition "dia" has a wide range of use and meaning. It is used with two declensions (that is, cases) of the noun or pronoun. With the Accusative it means "because of," "for the sake of." With the Genitive the idea of instrumentality is predominant, but still the meaning can be so wide that "dia" with the Genitive is rendered in the AV "for ............'s sake" in Rom. 15:30. (The pronoun following "dia" in John 1 vs. 3 and 10 is in the Genitive).
In Rom. 5:21 appears --
"Even so might grace reign through (dia, with Genitive) righteousness."Not that righteousness is the direct agent by which grace reigns, but the obvious meaning is that grace reigns because of righteousness.
"Dia" with the Genitive also occurs in 1 Thess. 4:2 --
"Ye know what commandments we gave you by (dia) the Lord Jesus."This shows the broad and indefinite use of "dia," for it certainly does not mean that Jesus was the instrument through whom Paul conveyed his commands to the believers. The meaning here is clearly "on behalf of" or "by the authority of." Similarly in v. 14 --
"Them also which sleep in (dia) Jesus."We cannot interpret this to mean that Jesus is the agent by which they do their sleeping.
Rom. 14:14 --
"There is nothing unclean of (dia, with Genitive) itself."That is, by reason of, on account of, itself.
These instances of "dia" with the Genitive are given to show that it is of such broad and varied meaning that its use in John 1:3 and 10 and the other passages quoted is no proof that Jesus was actually present and operative at creation..
The fact that Jesus is the center and keystone of God's whole purpose fully satisfies the requirements of these verses. They do not prove his pre-existence.
All things were made by the Spirit-Word, or Spirit-Wisdom, of God. This first chapter of John tells us that this Spirit-Word was made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ (v. 14). Jesus Christ was the embodiment and manifestation of the Word of God. The whole Word or Purpose converges upon him and is expressed in and manifested in him. He is the center, cornerstone and basis of the whole creation. Through him God has made, and is making, all things.
But it is a misapplication of this truth, and a confusing of the plain scriptural record, to infer from this that he existed before he was born.
"Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18).The man Christ Jesus was born in Bethlehem as plainly and clearly recorded in Scripture. The Spirit-Word manifested in and through him was eternally with, and of, God. God, not the three-in-one God, but the one true God of the Bible, by the Spirit, manifested Himself in, and spoke and worked through, His Son, the man Christ Jesus.
Jesus is the "beginning of the creation of God" -- Rev 3:14. (Note particularly that he is part of the "creation of God" -- clearly therefore not part of the eternal, uncreated ONE GOD).
Does this mean that he was the first thing actually created, or does it mean that he is the foundation stone of the final, perfected result? The former alternative is out of harmony with the plain record of his birth -- the latter is the very heart of the revelation and purpose. Consider Col 1:15 --
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature."Does this mean that he was the very first creature ever born? The answer is in v. 18 --
"He is the Head of the Body, the Ecclesia: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead."Paul tells the Romans (8:29) --
"Whom He did foreknow, He (God) also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren"He says Jesus is --
"The firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20).This is clearly the creation of which he is the beginning. If Jesus is a co-eternal, co-equal, immortal, undying, part of the One Supreme God, how can he be the "firstborn from the DEAD," "the first-fruits of them that SLEPT"?
What havoc this Platonic idea of the Trinity plays with the revealed truth of the Bible!
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"God hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds" (Heb. 1:1-2).Here again, in passing, note these very passages (quoted to 'prove' the Trinity) cannot be harmonized with the Greek metaphysical co-eternal, co-equal, none afore, none greater idea. We are here again plainly told that God -- the Scriptural ONE TRUE GOD -- has appointed Jesus heir of all things.
Can you not see the absurdity of saying that one co-equal part of the eternal possessor of heaven and earth appoints another co-equal part of the same eternal possessor, to be heir of all things?
Can you not see that the Trinity is one conception, and the God of the Bible is something entirely different, and endless absurdity and conflict is created by trying to combine the two idea -- one the heathen idea of men, the other the divine revelation of God?
And this (Hebrews) is the epistle in which we are told (5:7) Jesus prayed to Him that was able to save him from death, and (5:8) he learned obedience and (5:9), he was made perfect.
It is significant that the two "by's" in this passage quoted (Heb. 1:1-2) are different words in the original. The first ("by His Son") is "en," the second ("by whom He made the worlds") is "dia," to which the remarks made previously apply. Jesus Christ was certainly the foreordained cause, reason or motive for the creation.
It is to be noted that "worlds" here is "aions" -- ages, as in Eph. 2:7, "the ages (aions) to come." The Emphatic Diaglott renders this --
"On account of whom also He constituted the ages."Young's Literal Trans. has --
"Through whom also He did make the ages."Rotherham has --
"Through whom also He hath made the ages."Here is another significant side-issue: The word here translated "made" is rendered "appointed" in Heb. 3:2 --
"Jesus, who was faithful to Him that appointed (poieo) him."This word occurs many times and really means "made." This is the only place it is translated "appointed." It would be difficult enough for the translators (with their co-equal trinitarian theology) to have to say that God appointed Jesus, but it would have been much more difficult to translate this word in the normal way and say that God made Jesus Christ.
Using the same word "appointed" in 1:2 that the translators used in Heb. 3:2 (the original is the same), we have --
"By (or through) whom He appointed the ages."This point should be borne in mind -- our standard translations of the Bible are by trinitarians. Therefore in the very nature of things (with no reference to their sincerity) they are bound to always choose words that favor that view and give that color wherever possible.
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"For by (en -- RV: in) him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by (dia -- RV: through) him, and for (eis -- RV: unto -- note the fluidity of translation of these prepositions) him: and he is before all things, and by (en -- RV: in) him all things consist" (Col. 1:16-17).The same remarks concerning "dia," and the central foreordained place of Jesus Christ in the whole scheme of salvation, apply here.
However, it is clear in this case -- from the context -- that the "all things in question" are "thrones, dominions, principalities and powers." This explanation here teaches us to bear this in mind in connection with the other similar passages.
The literal creation of the heaven and earth and their contents was just the first preliminary step in the real "creation" that God is working to and building on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, after his resurrection (Matt. 28:18) --
"All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."And 1 Peter 3:22 --
"Jesus Christ, who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."Compare Eph. 1:20-21 (note the very similar wording to the passage quoted from Col.) --
"He (God) raised him (Jesus) from the dead and set him . . . far above all principality and power and might and dominion . . . and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church."Compare this with Dan. 4:17 --
"The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."Combining these passages, we can easily see how all visible and invisible thrones, dominions, principalities and powers in heaven and earth are created by and for him.
In the AV, there are 3 "by's" in this quotation. The middle one is "dia," already fully examined. The other 2 are "en" in the original. The RV renders both "in." This word "en" is translated "because of" in Matt. 26:31 --
"All ye shall be offended because of (en) me this night."* * * * * * * * * * * * *
All things were created because of Christ."
"And he is before all things."The supposed force of this in connection with the doctrine of Christ's pre-existence apparently rests on the idea that the word "before" (pro) has exclusive reference to time. This is not correct. Like the English word "before," it has other meanings, including rank and precedence.
Grimm-Thayer Greek Lexicon (a recognized standard) gives one of the meanings as "superiority" and "pre-eminence," quoting James 5:12:
"But above (pro) all things, my brethren, swear not."And 1 Peter 4:8 --
"Above (pro) all things, have fervent charity."The passage in question (Col. 1:17) will be seen to correspond better with the context if it is rendered, "And he is above all things." It is superiority, pre-eminence, and supreme authority and position that the whole passage is emphasizing.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"And now, O Father, glorify Thou me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was" (John 17:5).The Scriptures reveal Jesus to us as a man who was divinely begotten of the seed of David by the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary and causing her to conceive. This child grew in wisdom, grew to manhood, rendered perfect obedience and submission to God in the face of trial and temptation, and on account of that obedience was raised from the dead and exalted by God to glory and honor at His right hand.
To introduce an immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, untemptable, co-equal God into the picture, which the Scriptures never do, is to go immediately to the fantasies of Greek mythology.
How then are we to understand this verse as a harmonious part of the whole scriptural picture? It will be quite clear if we consider similar expressions in other parts of the Scripture. The best interpreter of the Bible is the Bible itself.
"According to His own purpose and grace, which was given US in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9).GIVEN US BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN. Does this prove that we were in existence before the world began?
"According as He (God) hath chosen US in him (Jesus) before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4).Did the "us" who were chosen before the foundation" of the world actually exist at that time, or is this speaking of God's purpose and foreknowledge?
"Whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8).Was Jesus "slain from the foundation of the world"? YES: in the same sense in which he had glory before the foundation of the world. The RV puts the above translation in the margin and uses --
"Written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that hath been slain."Either rendering illustrates the point. To have one's name written in the book of life from the foundation of the world is obviously similar to having glory from the foundation of the world.
This does not prove pre-existence, but predestination, and is applied to all God's sons, but of course in all cases primarily and pre-eminently to Christ.
God said to Jeremiah (1:5) --
"Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee."Is this speaking of foreknowledge and predestination, or does it mean that Jeremiah pre-existed before he was born? Could God know a man that did not exist? YES, in His purpose.
"Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden.This was written well over 100 years before Cyrus was born. Could God hold the hand of a man whose birth was a century in the future? Yes, in His purpose.
"I have even called thee by name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known Me" (Isa. 45:1, 4).
"The children being not yet born, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.God said to Rebekah --
"As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Rom. 9:13).
"Two nations are in Thy womb" (Gen. 25:23).Did these two nations then exist, or is God speaking from the point of view of His foreknowledge and purpose?
Paul says (Heb. 7:9) --
"Levi paid tithes in Abraham, for he (Levi) was yet in the loins of his father (New Amer. Rev: ancestor) when Melchizedek met him (Abraham)."Actually Levi was Abraham's great grandson, and he was not born until more than 150 years after the time Paul said he was "in Abraham's loins" and "paid tithes."
Are we to infer from this form of language that Levi pre-existed? Jesus existed in God just as Levi existed in Abraham, except that Jesus existed in a much more vivid and positive sense because he was the very center of the purpose, and everything was framed with him in mind, whereas Levi was, so to speak, just an ordinary and unforeshadowed development from Abraham.
Paul speaks (Titus 1:2) of --
"Eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began."Does this indicate the pre-existence of those to whom eternal life was promised? Trinitarians dare not suggest that it was Jesus Christ to whom it was promised because (apart from the context indicating otherwise), this would be admitting that he did not have eternal life then, and was therefore not co-equal and co-eternal. No, the Scriptures here again clearly speak on the basis of eternal purpose and pre-destination.
The foregoing passages surely illustrate, then, the way in which Jesus had glory with God before the world was -- the glory which he now prayed to be ACTUALLY GIVEN --
"I have finished the work Thou gavest me to do -- NOW glorify me."This would be quite meaningless if he were an immortal God, and had eternally possessed, and therefore still possessed, this glory. Was he praying to another co-equal part of himself, asking to be glorified with glory which he himself had eternally possessed in exact equality and right and power with the One to Whom he prayed? O, Trinity, what a mockery of beautiful, eternal Truth you are!
The following passages will complete the picture, and show that in this matter of pre-cosmic glory with God, all the faithful sons of God shared with Christ, as the Body with the Head -- he, of course, always primarily and pre-eminently. ALL were glorified in the "eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ" (Eph. 3:11):
"Whom He (God) did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren.A standard trinitarian commentary (JFB, Eerdmans Pub. Co.) says on this passage:
"Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified" (Rom. 8:29-30).
"All this is viewed as past; because, starting from the past decree of predestination to be conformed to the image of God's Son, of which the other steps are but the successive unfoldings, all is beheld as one entire, eternally-completed salvation."There, in a trinitarian's own words, is a beautiful explanation of the pre-cosmic glory of Christ mentioned in John 17:5. In this passage in Romans, trinitarians are compelled to understand the glory in the pre-destined future, though spoken of in completed and past terms. Otherwise they must believe in the pre-existence of everyone.
He says it is "viewed as past because the decree of predestination is past, and all other steps are successive unfoldings." In other words (1 Cor. 2:7) --
"The hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory."* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Let us not destroy the glorious Scriptural picture of salvation by making our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, an eternal, pre-existent, omnipotent, untemptable, co-equal God.
He was a "man made strong" (Psa. 80:17); a man specially and divinely begotten by the eternal Spirit-Power of God; a man in whom God dwelt, and through whom God spoke and worked and manifested Himself; a man who recognized that of himself he could do nothing -- that all power, wisdom and goodness was of God; a man who rendered perfect submission and obedience to God -- "Not my will, but Thine, be done."
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
The doctrine of the Trinity is not scriptural. The idea of 3 co-equal, co-eternal Gods is never to be found anywhere in the Bible. Like the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, it is provedly derived from the philosophy of the pagan Greeks, particularly Plato -- the foolish "wisdom of the world" which the Apostles and early believers repudiated and combated, but which the apostate and worldly church later succumbed to.
The very emphatic distinction that Paul makes (in the first 2 chapters of 2nd Cor.) between the "wisdom of the world" and the wisdom of God ("unto the Greeks foolishness") positively proves that any theology derived from Platonic Greek philosophy (which the Trinity admittedly is) must be false and anti-scriptural.
Be sure your beliefs are derived from and founded upon God's Word, not man's speculations. Anyone who learned their "theology" direct from the Bible would never believe in the Trinity, because there is no such thing taught anywhere therein.
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"Jesus increased in wisdom" (Luke 2:52).-- in the very immediate context of the "glory" quotation!
"This is life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3)
"There is One God, and one mediator between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5).It was the baby born of Mary that was the Son of God because he was begotten in her by the Spirit of God.
"Jesus of Nazareth, a MAN approved of God among you by miracles which God did by him" (Acts 2:22).
"I can of mine own self do nothing: I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father Which hath sent me" (John 5:30).
"My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28).
"And the angel said unto her (Mary), The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: Therefore also that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35).
These passages deserve long meditation. They are a beautiful, refreshing, spiritual antidote to the confused, contradictory human philosophising of the Platonic doctrine of the Trinity.