Tag Archives: #Trinity

Tell me nothing but the truth – Part 1

Tell me nothing but the truth – Part 1

The statement, “nothing but the truth” is used where emphasis is placed on factually accurate statements. The statement is defined as follows:

“The absolute truth about something, without omission, embellishment, or alteration. Used to swear in witnesses while giving evidence in court, and used by extension in other contexts.

Place your hand on the Bible—do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” (Source: TheFreeDictionary)

We are all familiar with this. Everyone loves to be told the truth and no one likes to be told lies. It seems God has made us that way, to hate lies. The statement above is used in courts and many other places. It is important to give the truth and only the truth if the courts are to function properly in doing justice.

You probably have come across something like this.

Declaration

I confirm that the information supplied on this form and in support of claims made on this application form is true and correct

I understand that providing false or misleading information is a serious offence.

When completing some documents such as tax returns, passport application, and so on, you find it written there that false or misleading information is a punishable crime. That is true even if the false information is very little.

The Bible is even more emphatic.

  • 1 John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Truth and lies have no fellowship. In fact, a big truth mixed with a small lie is a big lie.

big truth + small lie = big lie

The Bible goes further and says this.

  • John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The Bible gives a source for lies. It is the Devil and Satan. No lie comes from God. It is that simple. So whenever we see a lie, we know the spirit behind it is not of God.

Because statements contain lies, the Bible admonishes us to test  and prove everything. The Bible says this.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

We should never accept something without proving it first, to see if it is true. Then the Bible says this.

  • John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
  • Revelation 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

We can conclude clearly that there is absolutely no lie in God, not a bit. We see that:

  • We have to prove what is true.
  • The truth sanctifies us, i.e. makes us separate from the world for God’s holy purposes
  • There is no lie in the mouths of those who will stand before God, the saved.

Probably the most important thing we want to prove if we are in truth is who we worship. The whole Bible is about who is worshipped. The Israelites were punished by God for worshipping the wrong god, Baal and other gods. Jesus spoke this about knowing who we worship.

  • John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

So true worship is knowing who we worship. You cannot worship until you know who you are worshipping. That makes sense because to worship is to have a relationship. There is no relationship unless we know who we relate. Hence the first thing people who have just met do before they can relate, is to know each other. What’s your name, where do you come from, male or female, young or old, etc.?

So, who is the God we worship? Who is the God of the Bible? What is his identity? We want the truth and nothing but the truth.

To start answering this question, let us take this quotation from a well-known writer, whom I believe was inspired by the God we worship.

“Like our Saviour, we are in this world to do service for God. We are here to become like God in character, and by a life of service to reveal Him to the world. In order to be co-workers with God, in order to become like Him and to reveal His character, we must know Him aright. We must know Him as He reveals Himself. A knowledge of God is the foundation of all true education and of all true service. It is the only real safeguard against temptation. It is this alone that can make us like God in character. This is the knowledge needed by all who are working for the uplifting of their fellow men. Transformation of character, purity of life, efficiency in service, adherence to correct principles, all depend upon a right knowledge of God. This knowledge is the essential preparation both for this life and for the life to come. The knowledge of the Holy is understanding (Proverbs 9:10). Through a knowledge of Him are given unto us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). This is life eternal,” said Jesus, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” (John 17:3). { MH 409.1 to 410.1} (emphasis added)

We need to know not just his character, but who he is, his identity. Character and identity cannot be separated. Who you are, your habits and behaviours go together. In fact, in the Bible one’s name (i.e. identity) was often derived from one’s behaviour/habits (i.e. character). Jacob for example was called the supplanter for displacing his brother Esau from the first born privileges. After changing his character, Jacob was renamed Israel, to suit his new character as one who successfully strove with God and man. Similarly, the devil was once called Lucifer, the light-bearer because that’s what he did. When his character changed, he was renamed Satan the adversary, for that’s what he now was.

God also is known by names that emphasise his character, for example, Father because he is the father of all (1 Corinthians 8:6), El Shaddai meaning God Almighty (e.g. Genesis 28:3) because God is all powerful. God is the merciful God, the Lord of hosts and many other such titles which reveal his identity in his character.

The primary doctrine (the primary truth) of any church (and any religion) is the identity of God they worship. Most of the churches that profess belief in the Bible clearly identify the God they worship as the trinity. The Catholics say that all their doctrines are based on the trinity doctrine. The modern SDAs have the identity of God as Fundamental Beliefs 2 to 5. The modern SDAs spend much more effort in defining who their God is than they spend in defining any other single doctrine. The pioneer SDAs in the mid to late 1800s defined who the God they worshipped was in their fundamental principle number 1. The Methodists have the identity of God as basic belief number 1. The SDARM have the identity of God as fundamental belief number 1. So we see that of any church, it is certain that the identity of God is the primary doctrine on which the rest of the doctrines anchor.

Most churches believe in what is called the trinity. In other words, they worship one God who is called Trinity – a one God who is in the form of three persons. The SDA Church defines this One God as follows:

“The Trinity – There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.”

Let us look at this closely. This statement is describing the one God they worship. From this statement we can see that:

The One God they worship is not one individual single person.

The One God they worship is made up of three individual single persons.

The One God they worship is a UNITY not a person.

So, the question is, is this statement the truth and nothing but the truth? Is there no lie in it?

Question 1: Does the Bible state that the One God we worship is made up of persons?

The Bible does not talk about any three persons who make up One God. The Bible does talk of the Father and the Son as one and of the Father the Son and Spirit as one but not One God. Let us consider the verses.

  1. John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

Christ says him and His Father “are one”. However, he does not say him and his Father are One God. In fact, Christ explains how him and his Father are one.

  • John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.

The way Christ is one with his Father is the same way as the 11 disciples must be one. It is the same as how the church must be one today. The Bible further explains how this oneness is like.

  • 2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

The disciples were one in that they had one mind, or one spirit. Their deep love for one another and their common singular purpose made them one. Therefore, they were all united as one, but not making one man out of 11 persons. So, we see clearly that when Jesus says him and his Father are one, he means they are totally united. He never says they are One God.

The inspired writer explains the oneness in John 17 this way:

“The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are one.” { MH 422.1} (emphasis added)

Hence the unity between God and His Son is not to form the One God, but to be united in everything they think and do. This oneness therefore has nothing to do with forming one God out of three persons. In other words, the oneness is not a means of forming the identity of the One God.

  • 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Another verse which talks about oneness is 1 John 5:7. In its own words, the three i.e. the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, are one in bearing record in heaven. Nowhere does it say they are One God.

In fact, the Bible continues to talk about the bearing record (witnessing) and just a few verses later, the Bible makes it clear that there is God (the Father), then there is his Son both involved in witnessing. Notice:

  • 1 John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

At no time does this passage tell us of a One God who is made up of three. It clearly identifies God, then His Son, and leaves out the Spirit. As we saw already in John 10:30, God and his Son are one in mind and in spirit. Do we have evidence for this oneness in spirit? Yes, notice.

  • Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings…
  • Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me [Christ], because he [God] hath anointed me [Christ]… (emphasis added)

These were words prophesied by Isaiah about Christ, the Son of God. Christ himself read the same words in Luke 4:18 referring to himself. Christ confirms that he was given his Father’s Spirit. Him and his Father have one Spirit. Therefore, the Father, the Son and by the same Spirit they have are all one, i.e. united in bearing record. That is what 1 John 5:7 is saying. It is talking about the unity between the Father and the Son in the one Spirit in witnessing the truth. It is not talking about the forming of One God out of three persons.

Continues in Part 2 to Part 5.

God’s blessings to you all.

The Rock Fortress Ministries

Email: therockfortress@gmail.com

Website: www.rockfortress.net

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05 September 2020

What would you expect of one sent by God

TRF Ministries

therockfortress@gmail.com

What would you expect of one sent by God the Father through the Son?

Brethren, I pray that you lend me your brotherly ear for a while, and carefully consider the points.

I want to present to you a question, from different angles. If you can answer this question, with a verse, then please teach the trinity. But if you cannot, I plead with you to re-study the subject.

Question 1 Context:

Irrefutable point – The Bible says God, sends his Spirit all the time (to us (John 14:16); to create (Job 26:13); to bless (Isaiah 44:3); to bring us his messages (Revelation 2:7); to give “wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Exodus 31:3); etc.

Question 1: If God sends someone or something to do that which God wants done, will that thing or someone be able to do that which God ONLY can do? (Ref the personal acts of the Spirit OF God)

Alternative question: Would you expect one sent to do what God wants to do, to do anything less than that which God only can do?

Alternative question: If God sent Moses to be a god to Pharaoh, would Moses do any less than that which God only can do?

My answer: One sent by God, to do that which God wants to do, will do that which God only can do, because God wants him to do it, but that does not make that person equal to God in nature and authority.

So to say, the Spirit sent by God, when it does that which God only can do, has become another being equal to, separate from, and of the same nature as the God who sent the Spirit is simple to stretch imagination too far.

That thinking that makes the Spirit of God another being equal to, separate from and of the same nature as God himself is a wild stroke of speculation going far beyond the simple clear statements of the Bible.

Question 2 context:

Irrefutable point – No man has in himself, in his nature, the ability to do miracles. God only inherently, as part of his nature has that ability.

Question 2: If a man does miracles, which ability is only from God, has the man become God, or another person equal to God? (Ref the personal acts of the Spirit OF God)

My answer: Having God’s power and being God’s power, as given by God, makes one able to do that which only God can do, but never equal to God who has given the power. Moses was never equal to God, though made a god by God, and able to perform that which God only can perform.

Hence the Spirit can never be another God by virtue of doing that which God has sent the Spirit to do.

Question 3 context:

Irrefutable point – The Bible says those who trust in God will “partake of divine nature” (KJV), “to share the divine nature”(GNB), “so that his nature would become part of us” (CEV), “have our part in God’s being” (BBE) (2 Peter 1:4).

Question 3: Does having a part in the nature of God, i.e. being members of the godhead, make man another person equal to God? (Ref SOP statements such as heavenly trio, dignitaries, etc.).

My answer: God does whatever he pleases with what is His, including His nature. If one receives the nature of God from God, then that does not mean one has become equal to God.

That the Spirit is the third person of the Godhead (according to EGW), does not make the Spirit another God as trinitarians speculate.

Question 4 context:

Irrefutable point – The Bible says thou shalt not bear false witness. If one bears false witness to his brother, he has borne false witness to God. Just like when we help others, we are doing that to Jesus. Lying to the church is lying to God. Lying to Peter is lying to God. Lying to the Pastor is lying to God. Lying to Moses is lying to God. All these are sent by God.

Question 4: If lying to a man is lying to God, by lying to one whom God has sent (one who is representing God), does that mean that man has himself become God, another person equal to God in nature and identity? Ref Acts 5:4.

My answer: The simple understanding is found right through the Bible.

  • Pharaoh rejected Moses who was sent by God, therefore rejected God.
  • Israel rejected prophets who were sent by God, therefore they rejected God.
  • When you do good to one of these little ones, you have done it to Christ and to God.
  • “And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.” (Matthew 23:22)
  • “He that hateth me hateth my Father also.” (John 15:23)

This is baby simple. If you lie to the Holy Spirit sent by God, you have lied to God who has sent the Spirit. Nothing there to make the Spirit equal to God in nature, identity and authority, or another person of God.

Question 5 context:

Irrefutable facts – SOP says the Holy Spirit, being sent by God from heaven, is a heavenly dignitary to God’s people {16MR 204.4}. The SOP also says, “The God of heaven uses His Spirit as it pleases Him.”

A dignitary is a person of a high office (1828 Webster Dictionary).

Question 5: If God sends a person as it pleases Him, is that person not a dignitary to those to whom he is sent (think of Moses, or Elijah, as dignitaries or high officers) and would that make that person equal in nature to God who has sent him?

Alternative question: If God wants His Spirit to be a dignitary to us, why would that make the Spirit equal to God in nature and identity?

My answer: God, His Son and His Spirit, (the latter two sent by God as he pleases all the time) are all of higher office and power, which authority and power comes from the God who has sent and given them the authority/power. That does not warrant an assumption that they are three co-equal in nature and authority. God remains the one who sent and the source of the power by which the Son and the Spirit are sent.

Question 6 context:

Irrefutable facts: In Genesis 18:2, Abraham received three men who were actually two angels and Christ. EGW comments on this as follows:

“We read [in Genesis 18] of visitors coming to Abraham as he was sitting in the door of his tent…. These were angels of God, and one of them was no less than the Son of God.” Manuscript 19, 1886. {CTr 73.5}

Question: If the Son of God, being equal to God, came with two men/angels, and were referred together as three men, and being on the same mission, does that mean they were three EQUAL men/angels?

Alternative question: Could Abraham say, “three men, three angels, three heavenly dignitaries, three powers, the heavenly trio, the three living persons, etc. came to me?”

My answer: The mere mention of three entities in a single sentence, collectively referred to such as dignitaries, men, powers, trio, etc. does not make them equal to each other in nature, identity or even in authority and power. There is no need to make such a wild assumption.

Summary:

I could continue with this line of thought with more examples, but the questions above make the point.

My brother, if you get the point you will see that it is illogical to assume that the nature or identity of someone based on what they do, that if they do that which God only can do as sent by God, or are lied to after being sent by God, then that someone has become equal to God Himself. If God appoints us into his divinity, or as third, fourth or hundredth person in His divinity, or makes you a dignitary carrying his words like Moses, or any such act and consciousness performed by any being on behalf of God, how can that make that person equal to God in nature and identity, when it is clearly stated that God has sent him? Does not the very fact that one is sent mean that his nature and identity has already been separated from the God who is sending?

This is what I am answering to. You see, if you ask the trinitarians, “why do you say the Spirit is co-equal to God”? The answer you will get is all about what the Spirit has done, felt, etc. which is what God alone can do, feel, etc. whilst ignoring that God has sent the Spirit to do and feel on His behalf. What would you expect the Spirit to do or feel if it has been sent by God, and acting on His behalf? Would you expect the Spirit to do and feel anything less than that which God can do and feel?

Or to put it in other words. Moses was sent by God, and he did that which only God can do (miracles, power over nature, power over death, etc.). Would you expect Moses to do anything less than that which God can do, while acting on behalf of God? And if Moses did that which God only can do, does that change the fact that Moses was sent to do that by God, with the ability of God given to him to do it? Would that make Moses equal to God in nature and identity because he has done that which God inherently can do?

Is there any way to make one see the unwarranted assumptions that are in this statement: “Father, Son and Spirit, three co-equal and co-eternal persons”?

Hence the truest and greatest statement ever made about the trinity doctrine was made by a Seventh Day Adventist trinitarians.

“While no single Scripture passage states the doctrine of the Trinity, IT IS ASSUMED AS A FACT… only by faith can we accept the existence of the Trinity.” — (Adventist Review, Vol. 158, No. 31, p. 4) (emphasis added)

“The concept of the Trinity, namely the idea that the three are one, is not explicitly stated BUT ONLY ASSUMED.” — Fernando L. Canale, The Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopaedia, Volume 12, page 138, ‘Doctrine of God’ (emphasis added)

It does not get clearer than that. The idea of a three in one god is a wild unreasonable assumption, against all logic and biblical reasoning. It is tantamount to re-writing the Bible.

Let me put it in a more succinct form.

All the verses used by trinitarians to make God the Father’s own Spirit another person equal to God the Father and His Son tell us about the capabilities of the Spirit. By that I mean, the Spirit is lied to, intercedes, thinks, is grieved, is a dignitary, has divinity, plays a role in baptism, etc. From all these capability statements of the Spirit, the trinitarian mind assumes identity of the Spirit. That is unnecessary. The identity of the Spirit is clearly given. It is a Spirit belonging to God the Father, sent by God as God pleases. Simple!

God bless you all.

TRF Ministries.

Resurgence of the trinity controversy – who is Christ?

By the TRF Ministries

Most Christian denominations believe that the Bible teaches that God is one in three persons. For example, the main Seventh Day Adventist church has the following as one of its chief fundamental belief (Fundamental belief number 2).

“The Trinity – There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.”

This belief, that God is a unity of three persons, i.e. a trinity, can be traced back to the third century AD. Since the Council of Nicea in AD 325, much controversy has risen over the trinity doctrine in Christendom. In fact, it is not a secret that in the early days of the trinity doctrine, just after AD 325, much repression was used by the Catholic church to silence and persecute those who disagreed with the trinity doctrine. Commenting on this suppression of doctrines opposing the trinity doctrine and exaltation of the trinity doctrine, J. N. Andrews (a pioneer of the SDA Church) wrote:

“The doctrine of the Trinity which was established in the church by the council of Nice A. D. 325. This doctrine destroys the personality of God and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The infamous, measures by which it was forced upon the church which appear upon the pages of ecclesiastical history might well cause every believer in that doctrine to blush.” — (J.N. Andrews, Review and Herald, March 6, 1855)

It is no doubt that the trinity doctrine is divisive and causes much resentment, especially to those who feel their faith challenged by an opposing view of who the true God is contrary to their own. There is a reason why the trinity is so controversial. It is because the identity of the God you worship is of greater importance than how you worship him. The identity of the God worshipped is the foundational teaching of every religion and denomination. In fact, the identity of the God you worship is directly related to his very character.

In recent years, the trinity doctrine controversy has returned to Christendom. This trend has been observed by many writers including this one.

“In the last decade or two, there has been a resurgence of Arianism and anti-Trinitarianism, not only in Seventh-day Adventism but also in the wider Christian and Evangelical world.” (Fortin D. 2006. Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 17/1 (Spring 2006): 4–10)

Many bible-believing Christians, across various Christian denominations have begun to question the biblical correctness of the trinity doctrine. However, this is not the disturbing part. There is nothing wrong with questioning any doctrine, in fact it is a good thing to do, so that we search the truth more. The merits of questioning the established doctrines is promoted by Ellen G White many times including these ones.

“Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation” (RH December 20, 1892, par. 1).

“If every idea we have entertained in doctrines is truth will not the truth bear to be investigated? Will it totter and fall if criticized? If so, let it fall, the sooner the better. The spirit that would close the door to investigation of points of truth in a Christlike manner is not the Spirit from above.” {1888 186}

“Point after point of truth should be investigated; for there is no limitation to the truth of God, and in its study a most lively interest should be felt by both teachers and pupils, that they may know what God hath said. For years the voice of God has been saying to us, “Agitate, agitate, agitate.” Study every point of truth, that you may know for yourselves what is truth in distinction from error. Let students search for themselves, that they may know the deep things of God. Let this work be done in the Spirit of Christ. Put no restriction upon the students.” {CSW 36.2}

The disturbing part is that the modern trinity controversy is often attended to by violence, resentment and very unchristian behaviour. Here are some examples of such.

What is striking is that the very origin of the trinity doctrine was marked by the same violence, resentment, division and political expedience. Here is how it is said to have happened.

Sometime around AD 320, Emperor Constantine of the Roman empire was concerned that there was division in the Christian church. The division was over the doctrine of the nature of Christ. This division in the church was of great interest to the Emperor as a political leader because the division was also a division of his empire. But he wanted political unity in the empire. So, he called for a council of all bishops from across the entire empire to find political unity for the empire through church unity.

Immediately, there is a problem there. It is not the role of politics to solve the doctrinal problems in the church. Neither is it the role of politics to achieve unity through uniting the church on points of doctrine, or any other point. The church has its leader. His name is Christ, not Constantine.

But why controversy over the nature of Christ? Why in 325AD? You see, before Christ came as a man, who God is was very clear, just one God of Israel, the Father and the Creator. He was clearly declared so in Deteronomy 6:4 which says “Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is one Lord [Jehovah]” (emphasis added). Then came Christ, clearly recognized as also as God (John 20:28; Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:8) and claiming the very name of God as his name (I AM in John 8:58). So the question was, “how is there one God if both the Father and Christ are referred to as God?” “Is Christ another God, or what nature is he?” That was the issue that ignited the progression towards the trinity doctrine. It is still the same issue in the trinity controversy today.

Although the early church of the apostles had no questions about the nature of Christ, somehow, this became an issue towards the time of Constantine. So in AD 325, Emperor Constantine called for a council of all bishops, which he presided over. It was at that council that the trinity doctrine won the day and was adopted as the official teaching on the identity of God in the Christian church, for the first time.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica says:

“Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions, and personally proposed … the crucial formula expressing the relation of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council … Overawed by the emperor, the bishops, with two exceptions only, signed the creed, many of them much against their inclination” (1971 edition, Vol. 6, “Constantine,” p. 386).

So, here is a politician leading and guiding a discussion about the true nature of Christ for political gain. By whose authority and what qualified him to meddle in the affairs of determining such a crucial doctrine of the church is for you to judge. It is hard to believe that it was the will of God that the Emperor be the presiding power over matters of the doctrine of the God of the Bible. More so, given that his Christian standing was very much in question, and his political need for unity was the primary motive.

In fact, emperors were considered to be gods themselves, and so was Constantine. In taking over the role of directing the doctrine of the church, a role that God alone holds, he placed himself as the god for the church at that time. One could say this was in essence one of the steps in the fulfilment of the prophecies of Daniel.

Daniel 7:25 “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Not just the Emperor’s Christian standing was in question, the biblical understanding of all the bishops, who even thought it was worth their while to attend a doctrinal discussion session presided over by a politician, was just as questionable. Bishops with a clear knowledge of their Bibles, and bishops with a clear knowledge of the God of the Bible would not have attended because the Emperor had no such authority over God’s house.

Thus, the trinity doctrine became a nearly universal Christian belief. As a result of adopting the trinity doctrine, a man named Arius and his followers who opposed the trinity doctrine were banished from the church, and their books were destroyed. Also, before the papal power could rise to its seat in AD 538, three Arian kingdoms were destroyed. It is said that violence ensued from both sides of the trinity controversy over many years until those who supported the trinity doctrine overcame those who opposed it.

The controversy over the nature and identity of Christ has always been accompanied by persecution, violence, and all unchristian behaviour. Even during the time of Christ himself we see this behaviour.

For example, in John 8, Christ repeatedly tells them who he is (nature and identity) from different angles, but they just could not accept it. In John chapter 8 from verse 12 through verse 58, we read selected verses as follows:

In verse 12, we read, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Christ told them his identity and nature as the light of the world.

In verse 13, we see the controversy as we read, “The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.”

The Pharisees and the Jews could not accept it, so they accused Christ of lying about his nature and identity. They knew that there is a promised one to come from God, but they did want him to be this lowly Jesus in front of them. They knew God would send His Son to them, one like God. Jesus standing in front of them did not suit their expectation of the Son of God.

We will see the same in verse 14 where Christ said “for I know whence I came” which shows his identity and nature as the promised one of God. The same is true in verse 16, “For I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me,” confirming himself as the one sent by God and with God.

In verses 18, 23, 24, 28, 42 and 56 Christ continues to emphasise his origin in heaven from the Father as evidence of his identity and nature, but as shown in verses 19 and 25 the Jews conitnued to disbelieve Christ own exposition of his nature and identity.

This controversy of Christ’s true identity climaxed when Christ claimed the title of the very God of the Jews, i.e. the title “I AM”. We read in verse 58, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

Notice how the Pharisees finally reacted with violence in verse 59 which says, “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

“I AM”, that means the self-existent one i.e. God. So, they wanted to kill him because he told them his nature as God the self-existent one, and his identity as the Son of God, the promised one to come.

What we learn here is that Christ wanted the Jews to know who he is and his origin, which testify of his nature and identity as promised by the prophets before. He tried to make them see that he was the awaited Messiah, the Son of God. Isaiah 9:6 promised his coming with these words:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

But they could accept that the one who stood before them was the mighty God (the Son of the Almighty God). Instead, they wanted to stone him and kill him for claiming this promise as his. They went on to kill not just to him, but his (Christ’s) followers as well. They did not want to hear of the true identity and nature of Christ as the Son of God by identity and hence God by nature. The very knowledge that would set them free is what they rejected.

Several times he tried to show them this truth, that he was the Son of God by identity and God by nature. Another time was this in Mark 12:35-37:

“And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool ;ref Psalms 110:1]. David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.”

Again, Christ wanted them to know that Christ is above David, by nature and identity, even though he is referred to as a Son of David. In other words, he was both the Son and Lord to David. And people heard him gladly except the leaders.

So, the controversy was over

WHO CHRIST IS, HIS NATURE AND IDENTITY

right from the beginning.

The other time the controversy flared up was during the Protestant era. Why around that time? Long prophecy lesson, but the short of it is that at that time, the power of the Catholic system to control conscience of worship had been removed with the removal of the Pope in 1798. With the opening up of the free world, and the spread of the gospel to other lands, people once again could freely and openly explore the simple understanding of the Bible and once again, some found it to be in disagreement with the trinity doctrine.

We know that a number of Protestant non-trinitarian preachers rose up from the 1600s and that non-trinitarian denominations rose up into the 1800s including the Christian Connection, the pioneer Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although their versions of non-trinitarianism were different, they all agreed that the trinity doctrine is unbiblical and only a catholic tradition. You do not need to look far to see that these groups were systematically vilified over the years. Again, as it was at the time of Christ, and at the time of Constantine and at the time of the Protestant movement, there is always resentment and violence whether physical or not accompanying the trinity controversy.

With that in mind, we can project into the future and say, the current resurgence of the trinity controversy will be accompanied by more of the same violence, bloodshed, persecution, resentment, division, etc. In fact, that has already started. In all that, the government forces are likely to pick one side and take part in persecuting the opposing side, just as it was in in the 4th century AD, as it was with Herod and Pilate at the time of Christ and thereafter. Again, for the sake of unity in the nations. History repeats itself.

Just to clarify, the controversy over the nature and identity of Christ was just the starting point of the trinity controversy. The trinity controversy stretched way beyond that, into tangible matters of our salvation in Christ and to the very character of God. In fact, the nature and identity of Christ is a controversy even between so-called Abrahamic religions, i.e. Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

If the controversy has always been about who Christ is, then that is a very important point. We need to be very clear about it, because, well, it is the truth that sets you free (John 8:32).

Next, we want to see how the trinity doctrine is derived from the Bible. So, we will explore the thinking behind the trinity doctrine and how the Bible is interpreted to formulate it.

God’s blessings to you all.

The Rock Fortress Ministries

Email: therockfortress@gmail.com

Website: www.rockfortress.net

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