Sunday, November 3, 2019

Is God a Trinity?

Is God a Trinity or a family? Is the Holy Spirit a being or the creative power of the Godhead?

If you would turn to 2nd Corinthians 3. This is a powerful statement, and the churches and the religious peoples of this world seemingly don’t know it! It’s right there in their Bible! And I dare say – many people from the tradition of the Worldwide Church of God don’t know it either. Yet, it’s right out there for you!

2nd Corinthians 3:17 – it says in black & white, underlined and highlighted in yellow so that I don’t miss it – “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” The Lord is the Spirit.

So, how many times have you gone to your neighborhood church, or turned on your television to watch some Sunday morning comedy hour, and they go on and on about the word the trinity? And the churches of the world teach “the trinity.” There’s even a so-called Christian television broadcasting company Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). And there are people who believe that if you do not believe in the trinity you are not of God! And, the churches of the world teach the trinity as being the absolute truth of God.

Let’s go to 1st John. A “proof” text that poorly educated religious people use is in 1st John 5. Notice verse 6 – “This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; …” Alright, the water meaning what? He was baptized by John the Baptist, and He was murdered – He was tortured to death where He bled profusely. “ … not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.”

The Origin of 1st John 5:7-8

                                                                                                                                                                 Photo from Wikipedia

The above drawing is used by some Trinitarians to explain the trinity, even though it clearly violates laws of logic. It was basically developed because although most who profess Christ claim to believe in the Greco-Roman trinity, it is a concept that is contradictory, so trying to show it in a drawing supposedly makes the illogical easier to understand.

Now again, what did we just read in 2nd Corinthians 3:17? “The Lord [Jesus Christ] is the Spirit.” That’s why Jesus Christ can live in us – because a part of His mind is with us. Even though He is presently located in the third heaven next to the throne of God the Father. He can share His mind with us and therefore we have the mind of Jesus Christ within us – we have the Spirit of Jesus Christ within us. We have Christ in us.

Now the next verse. Any reputable Bible or Bible help will plainly tell you that verse 7 does not appear in the original Greek manuscripts.
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one” - 1 John 5:7; King James English.  
Verse 7 was added by the people who had been assigned the job of translating it, who were Catholic priests and dignitaries. The trinity was formally adopted at the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381 – though many in the Roman and Orthodox churches believed in different versions of it prior to this – even in 381 it was not exactly the same trinity doctrine as now understood by the vast majority of this world’s churches.

But, when did this added statement get added to the Bible? Well, notice the most accepted view:
“ … the earliest manuscript, codex 221 (10th century), includes the reading in a marginal note which was added sometime after the original composition. Thus, there is no sure evidence of this reading in any Greek manuscript until the 1500s; each such reading was apparently composed after Erasmus’ Greek NT was published in 1516. Indeed, the reading appears in no Greek witness of any kind (either manuscript, patristic, or Greek translation of some other version) until AD 1215 (in a Greek translation of the Acts of the Lateran Council, a work originally written in Latin). …
The Trinitarian formula (known as the Comma Johanneum) made its way into the third edition of Erasmus’ Greek NT (1522) because of pressure from the Catholic Church. After his first edition appeared (1516), there arose such a furor over the absence of the Comma that Erasmus needed to defend himself. He argued that he did not put in the Comma because he found no Greek manuscripts that included it. …
In reality, the issue is history, not heresy: How can one argue that the Comma Johanneum must go back to the original text when it did not appear until the 16th century in any Greek manuscripts?”
(Wallace, Daniel, B., professor of New Testament Studies. The Textual Problem in 1 John 5:7-8).
 The trinity is considered so important that The Catholic Encyclopedia states:
“The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion.”
(The Blessed Trinity, 1912).
And so, for over sixteen centuries people have used verse 7 – and yet, any authority on the Bible and many translations will plainly tell you verse 7 was not, should not, be a part of the Bible! In most modern translations of the Bible verse 7 isn’t there.

Let us notice what Jesus Christ Himself taught:
’ All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.’” – Matthew 11:27.
So, only the Father and Son know each other. He does not mention the Holy Spirit. According to Jesus’ own words, it is obvious that the Holy Spirit is NOT an equal member of “the trinity.”

The very terms trinity, or threeness, or trinitarian are not in the Bible.

On page 1509, the Jamieson Fausett and Brown Commentary of the Whole Bible remind everyone, while referring to the KJV:
“The only Greek MSS. In any form which support the words, ‘in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one; and there are three that bear witness in earth,’ are the Montfortianus of Dublin, copied evidently from the modern Latin Vulgate; the Ravianus, copied from the Complutensian Polyglot; a MS. At Naples, with the words added in the margin by a recent hand; Ottobonianus, 298, of the fifteenth century, the Greek of which is a mere translation of the accompanying Latin. All the old versions omit the words.”
In other words, ‘For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth’ is not inspired by God and not supposed to be in the Bible.

The New International Version (NIV) translates 1st John 5:7-8 right:
“For there are three that testify: 8) the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”
There are other translations that do as well.

The Codex Sinaiticus, or the “Sinai Bible” is one of the four great uncial codices, ancient, handwritten copies of the Greek Bible correctly translated 1st John 5:6-8 - δι' ὕδατος καὶ αἵματος καὶ πνεύματος (through water and blood and spirit).

American New Testament scholar, Bart D. Ehrman, states:
“As a striking example … (1 John 5:7-8) … represents the most obvious instance of a theologically motivated corruption in the entire manuscript tradition of the New Testament.”
(The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament, Ehrman, B.D., Oxford University Press, 1993, pg. 60).
Now, the second passage often “proved” by Trinitarians is Matthew 28:19:
’ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’” - Matthew 28:19; King James English.
But, it does not teach the trinity.

Jesus taught that ‘baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ is because being begotten by the Holy Spirit through baptism (Luke 3:16), we will ultimately be born into the family of God – and this is a part of the relationship between us, His Spirit, the Son, and the Father.

The Godhead as taught by 2 Clement

The oldest known complete Christian sermon which has survived is erroneously called The Letter of 2 Clement. It was given perhaps a year or so of the Apostle John’s death, and begins with:
“Brothers, we must think about Jesus Christ as we think about God, as about the Judge of the living and the dead … So my brothers, let us do the will of the Father who called us, that we may live; …” – 2 Clement 1:1; 10:1.
(Lost Scriptures Books That Did Not Make It Into the New Testament, Ehrman, B.D., Oxford University Press, 2003, pg. 186, 189).
So, the oldest surviving sermon outside of the Bible says to think of Jesus Christ as God and that the Father is God – but never indicates nor mentions the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul Did Not Recognize Nor Teach the Trinity

The Apostle Paul is probably considered a blasphemer by many Trinitarians today, because with all of his greetings to the churches of God he does not mention the Holy Spirit. In his introduction to the church in Corinth, he begins:
“Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, … Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” – 1 Corinthians 1:1, 3.
The same greeting is repeated in his second letter to the Corinthians as well as Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, Colossians 1:2, 1st Thessalonians 1:1, 2nd Thessalonians 1:2, 1st Timothy 1:2, Titus 1:4, and Philemon 1:3.

And, all of these greetings are the same – the Holy Spirit is not mentioned.

Only in 2nd Corinthians 13:14 is the Holy Spirit mentioned with God the Father and Jesus Christ – and only in connection with communion and fellowship.

Just What is the Holy Spirit?

Is the Holy Spirit a being, just like God the Father and Jesus Christ – as the doctrine of the trinity teaches? Let’s examine some plain, clear testimony to see just WHAT God’s Holy Spirit is.

1. It is the power of God. “ … ‘Not by might nor by power [of any human], but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts” – Zechariah 3:6. “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, And of justice and might, …” – Micah 3:8.
2. It is the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear (reverent fear) of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).
3. It is a gift. After baptism, you are to receive ‘the gift of the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 2:38). And, it is poured out – “’ And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; …” – Acts 2:17. “ … the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also” – Acts 10:45.

4. The Holy Spirit must be stirred up to be effective. “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you,” Paul reminds Timothy (1 Timothy 1:6).
5. The Spirit of God can be quenched. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” Ephesians 4:30. “Do not quench the Spirit” – 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
6. It is the begetting power of God (Matthew 1:18; Romans 8:9).
7. It is God’s guarantee to us that He will fulfill His promise to us. “[Which] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, …” – Ephesians 1:14.
8. It sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts. “… the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit …” – Romans 5:5.
9. It must be renewed. “ … and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” – Titus 3:5-6.

Notice that in all of these Scriptures there is not one characteristic which implies a ‘being.’ Does a being do any of these things? Is a being ‘poured out,’ ‘quenched,’ ‘renewed’!?


So, what are we to think about all of this? The trinity is a lie. It is a lie put forth by Satan and sucked up – as it were – by the religions of the world to the point where some people will want to fight you if you were to say, ‘the trinity is not a Biblical doctrine.’ The Lord is the Spirit.

So, what is to be said of the nature of God? God, or Elohim. Recall back in the Book of Genesis – “’ Let Us [a plural word] make man in Our [a plural word] image.” The family of God – right now – is composed of two beings or two personalities. We now call the One – God the Father, and we now call the other One – Jesus Christ. Sometimes He is referred to as the Logos or the Word. Those are the only two members of the family of God – right now.

The doctrine of the trinity says – that the Godhead they say, ‘is God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.’ However, they also go on to teach that there never will be another being that becomes a part of this Godhead.

Now, if that is true, you would be denied the many benefits of being an eternal resurrected being. Because you truly wouldn’t be a son or a daughter, a member of the family. You would just sort of be an outcast of the family of God, but I guess you have eternal life.

Well, here’s the truth. What God is offering to us is full membership in the family of God.

We in the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – but as the Bible teaches, not any human council or human tradition. There simply is no verse in the Bible that supports the false doctrine of the trinity.

There are verses in the Bible which teach that the Father is God (cf. John 4:23-24; 6:27), and that the Word (Jesus Christ) is God (cf. John 1:1-3), and that the Holy Spirit is the power by those in the Godhead (cf. 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 139:7; Jeremiah 23:24; Acts 2:38-39; also John 15:16 (God’s Word Translation).

We in the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ do indeed believe in the Father (who is God), the Son (who is God), and the Holy Spirit (which is the power, the mind, emanating from the Father and the Son), we do not accept the trinitarian definition of the Godhead – as it is not biblical. ■

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