(Dealing With Trinitarian Arguments)
In our first lesson, The Godhead, Part I, we established the following Scriptural facts:
1. God was manifest in the flesh - I Timothy 3:16
2. Jesus is the GOD-MAN, He has two natures, DIVINE and HUMAN.
3. Sometimes Jesus spoke as God and other times He spoke as a man.
4. The term, “Son of God” is in reference to the humanity of Jesus.
5. Jesus is God the Father in the flesh - John 14:8-10
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY
Before we get into dealing with Trinitarian arguments let us first find out what the doctrine of the trinity teaches. In the year of 325 in the city of Nicea (today this city is called Iznik located in north west Turkey), under orders of Roman Emperor Constantine, more than 300 religious leaders gathered to discuss the doctrine of God. Though much was covered in this meeting their final position on God was basically as follows:
There is one God. In this one God there are three separate and distinct persons known as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. The three persons in the Godhead are co-equal and co-eternal. This is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church from its very beginning. Over one thousand years later, Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic Monk, protested against his church and afterwards came the Protestant movement with churches who would no longer follow many of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. But there was one doctrine that the Protestants held to from the Roman Church, and that was the doctrine of the trinity. So today, not only the Roman Catholic Church, but all your Protestant churches still hold to the doctrine established at Nicea in the year 325, the doctrine of the trinity.
“The persons in the Godhead are co-equal.” Trinitarians will say the Son of God is co-equal with God the Father. Yet the Son of God said, “My Father is greater than I.” John 14:28. If there are three persons in the Godhead then the Son of God is inferior to the Father, that is not equality.
What is the answer? Jesus was simply teaching that His Divine nature is greater than His human nature. He is both God (as God the Father) and man (as the Son of God).
“The persons in the Godhead are co-eternal.” Trinitarians teach that the Son of God is eternal, that He had no beginning and that He has existed from eternity just like God the Father and God the Holy Ghost, the other two persons of the trinity.
Did the “Son of God” always exist from eternity or did the “Son of God” have a beginning? Remember, the term “Son of God” deals with a man, with humanity, with human nature.
The following Scriptures show the “Son of God” had a beginning:
An angel spoke to the virgin Mary and told her, “…that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” - Luke 1:35
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” - Luke 2:11
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” - Galatians 4:4
Since the Scriptures teach that the “Son of God” had a beginning, that he was begotten, then how could the “Son of God” have pre-existed back in eternity as the Son? Did Jesus pre-exist in eternity before He was born of the virgin Mary? Yes and no.
Jesus did not exist back in eternity as the “Son of God” but He did exist back in eternity as God the Father. In His Divinity or Divine nature.
Trinitarians teach that Jesus, the Son of God, existed back in eternity as the Son based on John 17:5. Let’s look at this Scripture where Jesus prayed:
“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”
Another Scripture used by trinitarians to try and establish their view that Jesus, as the Son of God, was back in eternity making him the ETERNAL
Son of God is John 1:1 -
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
We have already established from three previous Scriptures (Luke 1:35, Luke 2:11, Galatians 4:4) that the “Son of God” had a beginning, that he was begotten or born. The “Son of God” was born in Bethlehem.
In John 1:1 the term “Word” comes from the Greek word, “Logos.” In Greek, Logos means “a thought” or “concept,” and “the expression or utterance of that thought.” (New Scofield Study Bible, by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Footnote to John 1:1 on the subject matter of the “Word”).
With this Greek definition of “Word,” John 1:1 could read this way:
“In the beginning was the thought or concept, and the thought or concept was with God, and the thought or concept was God.”
What was this THOUGHT or CONCEPT? It was the THOUGHT or CONCEPT in God’s mind of someday coming to this world in a fleshy body to minister to people and to die for the sins of the world.
The proof of this is John 1:14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (The THOUGHT or CONCEPT was made flesh).
So in John 1:1 the WORD, or the THOUGHT, of God becoming a man, was with God from the beginning. In eternity it is only a THOUGHT or CONCEPT in the mind of God. God coming to earth in a fleshly body did not happen in John 1:1.
But in John 1:14 (the WORD was made flesh) the THOUGHT literally becomes THE EXPRESSION OR UTTERANCE OF THAT “THOUGHT,” which is God manifest in the flesh. - I Timothy 3:16
So the glory that Jesus said he had with the Father “before the world was,”
does not refer to the “Son of God” being in eternity with the Father as the second person of the trinity. How can a “Son” be as old as his “Father?”
It means that Jesus existed in the mind of God in the beginning to some day come to earth as the “Son of God” to be the sacrifice for all sin.
Some things, or persons, that have a beginning, did exist from eternity but ONLY IN THE MIND OF GOD. We have already explained that Jesus, as the “Son of God,” existed in the beginning only as a thought or concept in God’s mind (the Word). Here are examples of this:
1. Jesus was crucified as the Lamb of God in Jerusalem somewhere around 34 A.D. Yet Rev. 13:8 states, “…the Lamb slain from the foundation the world.” Did Jesus literally die from the beginning, from the foundation of the world? No. But in the mind of God, in His thoughts, Logos, the Lamb (Son of God), was already slain before the world was formed.
2. Concerning you, concerning me, concerning all of us who make up the body of Christ, the Church, look what the Scripture teaches: “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” (Ephesians 1:4)
Did you as a believer pre-exist with God back in eternity? The majority of you were saved sometime in the 20th century. But in the mind of God, in His thoughts, He already knew you, you were already saved in Him.
3. God spoke to Jeremiah the prophet and told him this: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jer. 1:5
How did God know Jeremiah and ordain him to be a prophet before he was ever conceived or born? Did Jeremiah pre-exist with God in eternity? It was only in the mind of God that God knew Jeremiah before he was born.
Romans 4:17 tells us that God “…calleth those things which be not as though they were.”
THE TRUTH OF THE INCARNATION
When God was manifest in the flesh He did not place ALL of His Divine essence or Spirit in the man called Jesus Christ. Yes, ALL the fullness of the Godhead was in Jesus (Col. 2:9), but not ALL of God’s essence was in Christ.
King Solomon built a temple for the God of Israel. Solomon wanted God to dwell in this temple. After the temple was completed the king offered a prayer dedicating this temple to God. In one part of his prayer, King Solomon said the following:
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” I Kings 8:27
In Isaiah 66:1 God spoke saying, “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?”
King David said, “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Psalm 139:7-8.
The truth is that God is Spirit and He is everywhere. His Spirit fills the universe. If the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, then how could ALL of His Spirit be isolated in the body of Jesus Christ and His Spirit be found no where else? According to the Scriptures already given, God was manifest in the flesh, in Jesus Christ. At the same time that God was in Christ by means of the Incarnation, He was also still God the Spirit whose presence still filled the universe.
Please keep in mind the following points as we begin to deal with other Trinitarian arguments:
1. Not ALL of God’s essence was in Jesus Christ at the Incarnation. God filled the universe while at the same time He was manifest in the flesh.
2. Jesus is both God and man, speaking as God and speaking as man.
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:16-17.
Trinitarians claim that this is a revelation of all three persons in the trinity. However, the term “three persons” is not found in this Scripture. Remember, not all of God’s essence or Spirit was in Jesus. The heaven of heavens cannot contain God. So what God did was manifest a portion of His invisible substance and made it visible in the man Christ Jesus. God is a Spirit, invisible, and no man has seen Him at any time (John 1:18; 4:24).
What happened at the baptism of Jesus is that God who is invisible, spoke from heaven to that part of God that He made visible through the Incarnation. The invisible substance of God spoke to the visible substance of God, Divine nature speaking to the human nature. Not two persons here but two natures, Divine and human.
(Example of the man hidden behind a curtain revealing only his arm)
The Spirit of God descending like a dove was what John the Baptist saw. It was not a dove but descended LIKE a dove. That was only shown and given to John as a Divine sign of God’s approval upon the man Christ Jesus.
“…Jesus of Nazareth, a MAN APPROVED of God among you by miracles and wonders and SIGNS…” Acts 2:22.
IF JESUS IS THE FATHER WHY DID HE PRAY TO THE FATHER? WAS HE PRAYING TO HIMSELF?
Jesus praying is not difficult to explain when you remember He had two natures, Divine and human. When Jesus prayed, it was His flesh, the human nature, that prayed unto His Divine nature, which is God the Father.
Deity does not pray, humanity, flesh, is what prays unto God. Speaking of Jesus in Hebrews 5:7, the account given of Him praying says, “Who in the days of his FLESH, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears…” And again we read in Psalm 65:2, “O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all FLESH come.” Flesh prays, not Divinity.
A QUESTION FOR TRINITARIANS: If Jesus is “God the Son” the second person in the trinity, how can God pray without losing His deity?
JESUS CRIED, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?” Matt. 27:46 Is this two of the persons in the trinity?
The answer is the same as when Jesus prayed. Here you have human nature crying out to Divine nature and not two persons in the trinity.
If there is a trinity then John 3:16 is not the greatest love the Father could have shown. Trinitarians teach that the first person in the trinity, the Father, sent the second person in the trinity, the Son, to die for the sins of the world.
But Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Why did not the Father come and die? Why would He send His Son? Was the first person a coward, refusing to die Himself, so he sent His Son? The truth is the Father did come, as the Son of God!
In the Old Testament it was a common practice for God’s people to offer an animal sacrifice to God. When God tested Abraham and told him to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice, Abraham was obedient to God’s command. But before Abraham could offer his son as a sacrifice to God, the Lord stopped him when He saw Abraham had passed his test of obedience to God.
When Isaac asked his father Abraham where was the sacrifice for the burnt offering, Abraham responded by saying:
“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide HIMSELF a LAMB for a burnt offering.” Genesis 22:8
You will note in the above verse that Abraham said GOD will provide HIMSELF a LAMB for a burnt offering, or sacrifice.
Now that Isaac would no longer be the sacrifice, God provided a RAM and NOT a LAMB, for Abraham to sacrifice unto the Lord. This is proven in Genesis 22:13:
“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a RAM caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the RAM, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”
Abraham’s statement in Genesis 22:8 about God providing HIMSELF a LAMB was prophetic. It was not a LAMB that God provided for Abraham but rather a RAM. This being the case, then when did GOD provide HIMSELF a LAMB for a burnt offering or sacrifice? It happened when JESUS came on the scene. JESUS was provided as the sacrificial LAMB, which was GOD HIMSELF as the LAMB in the fleshly body of JESUS CHRIST.
When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said, “Behold the LAMB of GOD, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29.
From the above scripture we see that JESUS IS GOD on earth as the LAMB who would die for the sins of the world. Abraham knew God as JEHOVAH, therefore, JESUS is JEHOVAH GOD in a fleshly body, the LAMB of God, came to earth to die for our sins that we might be saved.
The Scriptures teach that Jesus is none other than God the Father on earth in a fleshly body. There is only one God who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. You will never find three persons in the Godhead. The trinity doctrine is pagan and in violation of the truth as revealed in God’s Holy Word.