Deconstructing the three-in-one god doctrine thought process
The Rock Fortress Ministries
Originally written in September 2020
Update 21 November 2020
During the journey of discovering the errors in the three-in-one god doctrine, you may come across many books and materials which try to explain the three-in-one (3-in-1) god. The same happened to us. Many brothers, when we questioned the obvious errors of the 3-in-1 god doctrine, referred us to some books. It is thought that such books make clear the 3-in-1 god doctrine. There are so many of these books out there. For example, we came across a book titled “The Trinity: What Has God Revealed” by Glyn Parfitt. When we read the book, we immediately saw the same errors as all the other trinitarian writings. Except that in this book, the errors were nicely packaged into one large book. Despite its huge volume, and our time-poor life, we have always wanted to explain why we see errors in this book and in the trinitarian thought process itself.
After thinking for some time about how to explain the errors, we decided it was better not to produce many pages tackling verse by verse and point by point, even though we could. If we did that, we would be explaining the same underlying errors across many of the different points that allegedly explain the three-in-one god. For example, as we will show in this writing, the error made in using Matthew 28:19 to construct the 3-in-1 god doctrine is the same error made in many other verses including Acts 5:4, 2 Corinthians 13:14 and 1 John 5:7.
Therefore, we thought the most effective way to help the authors of such books and those who refer to the books as trusted sources of doctrine, is to plead with them to reflect on how trinitarian interpretation works. In this writing we focus on the trinitarian interpretation of the Bible.
Normally, Adventists who believe in the inspiration of Ellen G. White (EGW) like us often use both the Bible and EGW’s writings to make a point. We have chosen to use the Bible alone in this case for these reasons.
- EGW uses terms which are not found in the Bible on this subject (e.g. third person of the godhead). We find a lot of confusion arises from some of those terms when used with biblical terms simultaneously. This is not to say she says what is not in the Bible, but that she had her own vocabulary according to her own understanding, which vocabulary did not need to be translated from Greek or Hebrew as the English Bible is. Her vocabulary can best be understood when interpreted within her own writings.
- EGW herself says if her writings are not understood, then go back to the Bible. That suggests that we can be a Bible to conclude a study based on the Bible alone without a single reference to her writings, yet still completely agreeing with her writings if we choose to refer to them after wards.
- EGW also says that everything that she wrote has a Bible verse to support it. Thus again we can study the Bible alone and reach the same conclusion as she wrote. What is not in the Bible is not in her writings.
- This writing is meant for a wider audience than the SDAs. That once again means we must be able to study doctrine with the Bible alone.
God willing, in a future writing, we will explain the three-in-one god errors based on Ellen G. White’s writings. For a primer on our view of what EGW wrote on this subject, we refer you to our “Critique of George R Knight’s article, “Adventist and change””. You can find this article titled “A Critique of George R. Knight’s article Adventist and Change” freely available online.
And so here is the reflection on the trinitarian thought process as it navigates verses to formulate the three-in-one god doctrine. We pray that you will not find this writing to be adversarial, but rather that it will be an eye opener to you, or at least lead you to make an honest search for yourself, with no dependence on the church doctrinal statements, but more importantly, a simple “Thus saith the Lord”.
The Rock Fortress Ministries
Table of Contents
The recent years have seen the resurgence of the denial of the 3-in-1 god doctrine. A debate is ensuing which centers around the question whether the One God revealed in the Bible is One individual single person or three individual persons forming a 3-in-1 god person/being. Related to that is the question of whether the one God of the Bible is a person or a concept.
In this paper, we wish to deconstruct the thought processes that leads to the construction of a three-in-one god (the trinity god or triune god). We discuss the main blind spots that we (and sometimes many trinitarians themselves) see in the trinitarian interpretation process of Biblical text. When we look at how the 3-in-1 god doctrine is made, i.e. how it is crafted by interpreting certain selected verses in a certain way, we see lots of assumptions and inconsistencies.
Firstly, let us be clear what part of the 3-in-1 god doctrine we are referring to. This is necessary because, with its nuances, the three-in-one god idea does not always mean the same thing to all people. For example, to some brethren, when say we do not believe in the 3-in-1 god doctrine, they conclude immediately that we do not believe that Christ is fully divine or God. But that is not so. To others, disbelief in the 3-in-1 god is interpreted immediately to mean belief that the Holy Spirit is just an essence. And again, that is not so. Before you speculate on what we believe, please consider the points of this reflective writing on the interpretation thought process of the 3-in-1 god construction.
Our main focus is on this point. The 3-in-1 god doctrine of the modern SDA church Fundamental Beliefs states that:
“There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons.”
The reason for this deconstruction of the trinitarian interpretation process is that the idea of a three-in-one god is nowhere stated in the Bible. It is constructed through a certain interpretation process based on a certain mind frame and certain assumptions.
The non-existence of a clear statement of the idea of the three-in-one god in the Bible is a fact that is freely espoused by many trinitarians themselves. For that, we give quotations from the modern SDA Church, Catholics and Christian Encyclopedias.
“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)
“The doctrine of the trinity, a doctrine the knowledge of which is certainly necessary to salvation, IS NOT EXPLICITLY AND EVIDENTLY LAID DOWN IN SCRIPTURE, in the Protestant sense of private interpretation.” (Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine Peter Geiermann, 1995). (emphasis added)
“Neither the word trinity NOR THE EXPLICIT DOCTRINE appears in the New Testament…” The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Vol. XI. p928. 2003. (emphasis added)
“Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The road which led from Jerusalem to Nicea was SCARCELY A STRAIGHT ONE.” The Encyclopaedia Americana. Vol. XXVII. p294L. 1956. (emphasis added)
“Our opponents sometimes claim that no belief should be held dogmatically which is not explicitly stated in Scripture … But the Protestant Churches have themselves accepted such dogmas as the Trinity for which there is no such precise authority in the Gospels.” (Life Magazine, October 30, 1950) (emphasis added)
“In the New Testament we do not find the doctrine of the trinity in anything like its developed form, not even in the Pauline and Johannine theology.” (Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics. Vol. XII. p458. 1951. J. Hastings). (emphasis added)
“Because the trinity is such an important part of later Christian doctrine, it is striking that the term does not appear in the New Testament. Likewise, THE DEVELOPED CONCEPT OF THREE COEQUAL PARTNERS in the Godhead found in later creedal formulations CANNOT BE CLEARLY DETECTED within the confines of the canon” (Metzger. B.M & Coogan. M.D. The Oxford Companion to the Bible) p782. 1993.
This is our focus. We see that non-trinitarians and many trinitarians have no problem agreeing that the 3-in-1 god doctrine is nowhere stated in the Bible. The SDAs just as much as the Catholics and everyone else totally agree on this point.
“The role of the trinity in a doctrine of God always raises questions. One reason is that the word itself does not appear in the Bible, NOR IS THERE ANY CLEAR STATEMENT OF THE IDEA. But the Bible does set the stage for its formulation, and the concept represents a development of biblical claims and concepts. So even though THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY IS NOT PART OF WHAT THE BIBLE ITSELF SAYS ABOUT GOD, IT IS PART OF WHAT THE CHURCH MUST SAY to safeguard the biblical view of God.” (Richard Rice, The Reign of God, An Introduction to Christian Theology from a Seventh-day Adventist Perspective’, page 89, ‘A constructive proposal’, 1985) (emphasis added)
Let us focus on these words, “So even though THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY IS NOT PART OF WHAT THE BIBLE ITSELF SAYS ABOUT GOD, IT IS PART OF WHAT THE CHURCH MUST SAY to safeguard the biblical view of God.” We ask, how can that which the Bible has not stated about God be a biblical view of God? Is it not that the term “biblical view” must refer to a view that has been stated in the Bible? Otherwise how biblical is a statement which is not in the Bible? And please don’t miss this statement – “the Bible sets a stage for its formulation.” So, this doctrine has to be formulated from text which does not explicitly state it. It is this interpretation process that formulates the 3-in-1 god doctrine that we want to reflect on.
Just in case you missed it, notice the words “A constructive proposal”. Rice makes it clear that his writing is a proposal to construct a doctrine. Just to emphasise that we are not questioning the word trinity here. In and of itself, the word has no issues, but the idea it represents is clearly stated by many trinitarians themselves that the idea “is not part of what the Bible itself says about God”.
What do you think of this idea being presented here by Rice that the Bible does not formulate the trinity doctrine but it gives a setting for its formulation? This formulation is of course by people outside the Bible writers. Basically, the later Christians formulated what is not in the Bible. Is this acceptable, from a biblical point of view? Is the Bible not complete on its own? If the Bible did not formulate the 3-in-1 god doctrine, why did it not? And, who said we should?
We also note that many Christians have never reflected on the trinitarian thinking for themselves, independent of the traditions of the church. They are not aware that the trinitarian thinking is not just about that there is the Father, the Son and the Spirit. They have never thought the following reflection.
The right side is what the product of trinitarian thinking presents as the truth. In our experience and those of others, most people do not actually believe this, though many defend this for institutional affiliation reasons.
In this reflection, unless otherwise stated, we use the KJV Bible.
Let us start by stating the interpretation mistakes that appear in the trinitarian interpretation process. All the ideas of the plurality of God rest on the following interpretation techniques.
- Ignoring the most abundant “thus saith the Lord”.
- The role of ability in determining the identity and nature of the Spirit of God.
- Arbitrary choice of meaning of words where multiple meanings may exist.
- Reading between the lines.
- Double standards (inconsistency) in applying interpretation techniques.
- Acceptance of unintelligible statements as evidence of the complexity of God.
- The mere mention of the three in a single sentence as evidence of their nature.
- Solving a non-existent, assumed contradiction.
- The primacy of philosophy in trinitarian thinking
So, let us demonstrate what we mean by these techniques.
The most abundant fact about God is that He is one single, personal, individual being, God the Father. God is referred to always in singular terms as a single personal individual being. We counted the number of times God says “I” or “me” referring to himself and found over 43 in the first 9 chapters of Genesis alone. We stopped counting because we think the point is clearly made. We counted the number of times God is called he, his and him in the same chapters and we found over 30 times. Hence the most abundant evidence is that God is an individual single person.
God the Father is identified as the God of the Bible. If we consider all the cases that God is referred to as ‘he’, ‘his’ ‘him’ and where he speaks as ‘I’ ‘mine’ and ‘me’, then the evidence would be in the hundreds if not thousands of texts. Add to that the texts which clearly state that God is the Father (of all), the case can be rested that the Bible by abundance of evidence teaches of only one single individual who is referred to as the One God. Some of the texts are (with emphasis added):
Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.
Mark 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Romans 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
Romans 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Ephesians 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Thus, we can declare the truth that “Thus saith the Lord, the One God is one single individual personal being, God the Father of all.”
God is identified many times as the Father of Jesus Christ. More than 50 times, the Son of God calls God “my Father”. God also calls the Son of God as “my Son”.
The most mentioned fact about the Christ is that He is the Son of God, and that God is his Father. This is stated directly (as Son of God or His Son) in 16 books of the Bible. That God has a Son is alluded to indirectly in many other ways such as parables (the king and his son’s marriage), and the presentation of the Son before the Almighty in Revelation 2.
‘Son of God’ as a phrase occurs 48 times and ‘His Son’ as a phrase occurs at least 21 times in the KJV Bible referring to Christ alone. ‘Thy Son’ occurs twice and ‘thy holy child’ also occurs twice. This sonship of Jesus is symbolized throughout the Old Testament, including that of the heirs to the throne of Israel and Judah, David and Solomon. Proverbs 30:4 actually declares the sonship by saying “and what is his [God’s] son’s name, if thou canst tell?”
With more than 70 witnesses stating the same thing, that Christ is the Son of God, i.e. a Son that belongs to God, who according to God’s own words, God is the Son’s Father, we have no reason not to accept that as it reads.
Thus, we can declare that “Thus saith the Lord, Christ is God’s Son, and God is Christ’s Father”.
The most abundant fact about the Holy Spirit is that it is a spirit and that it belongs to God. The Spirit is always referred to in possessive terms, i.e. as a Spirit that is possessed by the Father and by Christ.
“Spirit OF God” – 26 times/witnesses in the Bible
“Spirit OF the Lord” – 31 times/witnesses in the Bible
“HIS Spirit” – 9 times/witnesses in the Bible
“MY Spirit” – 12 times/witnesses in the Bible
“Spirit OF Christ” – 2 witnesses/times in the Bible
“THY Spirit” – 5 times/witnesses in the Bible
Suppose you are the jury considering the evidence being presented by 88 witnesses, all of them credible and reliable witnesses. And the witnesses are identifying a person from a parade of two persons who are Smith and Jones. Then 85 witnesses come and say, “Yes, it’s Jones, 100% SURE”. Then later on, comes three witnesses and they say, “Umm… it is probably Smith, but NOT SURE”.
As a jury, based on weight of evidence, who would you say the person is, Jones or Smith? Jones, of course! The evidence is staggering. Let us put this into perspective using a visual representation.
Any logical person can clearly see that the evidence in favour of Jones is overwhelming. If the jury decides that the criminal is Smith, then the jury has a questionable reasoning on interpreting evidence. How can the jury decide on the basis of the questionable evidence of three undecided witnesses against 85 decided witnesses? We propose that the justice system would be a failure if the jury or judge could ignore 85 definitive witnesses and three not so sure witnesses, in favour of three doubtful witnesses.
This is the situation we see concerning the Spirit of God. At least 85 witnesses in the Bible emphatically witness that the Spirit belongs to God. The second verse of the Bible begins this witness and that witness lasts for over 4000 years before any doubtful witness of the last three witnesses appears. In these three witnesses (which are Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14 and 1 John 5:7), there could be, if you want to see it, a possibility that the Spirit is a third part making up who God is. In trinitarian thinking, the most logical thing is to identify the Spirit of God according to that remote possibility in those three indefinite late coming verses, which do not refute the other 85 verses, but simply give another possible interpretation based on imagination of the listener/reader.
Thus, we can declare the truth the “Thus saith the Lord, the Spirit of God belongs to God”
If these most frequently stated facts of the Bible about the Father, the Son of God and the Spirit of God are established in their position as immovable truths, then the trinitarian interpretation process becomes impossible to apply. In other words, to make one God out of three persons is impossible if we take the simple truth that the Son of God and the Spirit of God belong to God, but God the Father does not belong to anyone, Him being the One God. For the trinitarian interpretation to even begin, it is necessary to put aside the clearest abundant facts of the Bible. What we are saying is that the most abundant clear evidence in the Bible must be the foundation of building doctrine.
Let us put this important point in other words. If we take and establish the obvious abundant fact that the Spirit OF God is firstly, a Spirit and secondly, OF God (belonging to God), will there be a contradiction with any verse in the Bible? For example, would it be impossible for the Holy Spirit to speak, to intercede, to give gifts, to be blasphemed, to be lied to and anything else if the Holy Spirit is a Spirit and belongs to God? We see no contradiction. In fact, it must be so that the Spirit which is of God, being the very presence of God, and even the angels our ministering spirits, should be able to perform all the acts that God wants performed.
The 3-in-1 god doctrine denies all these facts in order to uphold a speculative and reconstructive interpretation of a very few verses, as we shall see going further.
Trinitarian interpretation uses the ability of the Spirit of God to determine its nature and then from its nature determine its identity. First, trinitarian thinking makes some obvious observations, which are correct, then after that a speculation is made, and more speculation built on other speculations. This is how the trinitarian thought process does it.
- Observation: The Bible presents some examples of where the Spirit of God decides what to do and say. In other words, it is true that the Spirit of God is presented to us as exhibiting a personality, i.e. characteristics of a person. The following are examples (with emphasis added).
- Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
- Acts 5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?
- Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
- Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
- Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Trinitarian thinking observes that since the Spirit of God can be lied to, can speak, can decide, is involved in baptism, can be grieved, and so on, then these are the qualities of a person. Therefore, the Spirit of God has the characteristics of a person or is/has a personality. At this point we totally agree. The Spirit of God does display the qualities of a person and has a personality/characteristics which appear distinct from the God who sends His Spirit.
- Observation: The trinitarian thinking then goes further by saying, as a person or personality, the Spirit of God does those things only God can do. We agree there, yes, the Spirit of God does the things that God only can do. Here are some examples (with emphasis added).
- 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.
- 1 Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.
(The Spirit of God baptizes, gives all spiritual gifts, prophesy, miracles, etc. which God alone can do).
Many more acts which the Spirit of God can perform are shown in the Bible. These are purely divine acts, attributable only to God’s power, but not necessarily to God in person (NOTE!). Up to now, we are noting simple observations that the Spirit of God has qualities of a person, and divine abilities. But the next step moves completely out of observation into speculative logical reasoning.
- Speculation: The next step is where we see speculation beginning. Trinitarian thinking then argues that since the Spirit of God can do that which God can do, then the Spirit is God in and of itself, independent of its belonging to God the Father as stated elsewhere in the Bible. By this reasoning, the Spirit which is of God changes and becomes, God the Spirit, a third part of who God is. The word “OF” is ignored if not deleted and the sense of the words Spirit and God is reversed.
This argument that if the Spirit of God can do only what God can do, then it is God in itself and not belonging to God, is purely an argument based on logic, not based on the texts of the Bible. Not that there is anything wrong with using logic, but by using logic that steps off the established biblical text one then engages in speculation. That argument is a huge assumption and speculation, and here is why.
There is no rule which demands that doing what God can do makes an entity that is in God’s universe (especially one that is stated clearly that it belongs to God and is sent by God) to be a God in its own right, independent of God. To do that which only God can do is possible without removing the obvious evidence that the Spirit of God belongs to God and is sent by God to do God’s will. That the Holy Spirit is sent by God to do that which God wants to do is an established fact which is true in every act that the Holy Spirit does every time! It is always sent by God! To do that which God can do is simply evidence of God’s power to accomplish God’s own purposes. Angels and men sent by God are a good example of this. They have the ability to do that which naturally they have no power to do on their own, but God alone can do.
If the other evidence of the Bible is not ignored, then it is obvious that the Spirit of God, that’s belongs to God, and always does and says anything as sent by God (yes always sent by God!) can do that which God sends it to do or say.
What other evidence are we referring to? Well, the undeniable evidence that the Spirit of God belongs to God, as his own Spirit, which he sends, gives and can take away as He desires.
If we take that into account, we can clearly see that the Spirit of God does what it is sent to do, by the capability of the Sender, which is the God to whom the Spirit belongs. In other words, when God sends His Spirit, he/it has the ability to do that which God can do, because it is the Spirit of God belonging to and sent by God.
In that capacity, when God speaks, the Spirit of God is at work to effect that which God wants to do. In fact, one could observe that the Spirit of God is the very Word of God (John 6:63). Therefore, it is God himself at work, by His Spirit. Therefore, the very fact that the Spirit of God has a personality, and can do that which God sends it to do, and that which God alone can do, is the very evidence that the Spirit of God belongs to God, and is the power of God. It is by no means evidence that the Spirit of God is another God-person who is a third part of who God is.
Let us make that even clearer using Bible texts.
In Acts 9:36 to 41, Peter raised a woman called Dorcas from death. Only God can raise a person from death to life. So, we know the power of God was working through Peter. We also know that God sent Peter to raise the dead. But what Peter can do, i.e. Peter’s ability to raise the dead, does not make him literally a god. That Peter could raise the dead is the very evidence that he belongs to God and was sent by God. It is never evidence that Peter has any part in who God is.
Moses did many miracles which are completely beyond his human power, only possible by God. God who sent him worked through him. The miracles that Moses did can only be done by God. But the fact that Moses did them is no proof that he is literally a god, nor that he forms a part of who God is. It is proof that Moses belonged to God and was sent by God, to do only that which God can do. Hence God claims ownership of that which Moses did by saying “Then thou shalt say unto thy son, “and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand”” (Deuteronomy 6:21).
The angels of God do just as much as the Spirit of God in every sense, but that does not make them literal gods (for example in Acts 23:9). In fact, angels are called ministering spirits. We do not call them literal gods because we remember to apply the fact that they are angels sent by God. The position of the angels in the greater scheme of God’s purpose is settled by the fact that they are angels OF God, belonging to God, and sent by God to do God’s will. The fact that the angels belong to God, and are sent by God to do God’s will stands true independent of determining their nature. Therefore, what they say or do (i.e. their ability) is to be understood within, not outside, the context of them being the angels belonging to God.
In the same way, that the Spirit of God which belongs to God and was sent by God could do that which only God can do is the very evidence that the Spirit of God is God’s own Spirit. It is no evidence that the Spirit of God is God on its own independent of or to make up the God to whom it belongs and who has sent it. The trinitarian thought process forgets to apply the fact that God is the one who owns and sends the Spirit of God as he wills. So, the position of the Spirit of God, as belonging to God, is already defined before the Spirit of God does or says anything. Whatever the Spirit does or says must then be understood within the established fact that God has sent His Spirit. Hence its nature and identity cannot be derived from what the Spirit of God says or does (i.e. its abilities) because that which has been revealed about the nature and identity of the Spirit of God is settled by the fact the Spirit is OF God, belongs to God, and is sent to do God’s will. That is regardless of whether you call the Spirit of God a ‘he’ or an ‘it’.
This fact that the Spirit of God is sent and belongs to God is the missing element in the trinitarian interpretation process that results in the next wild speculation.
- The fourth step in trinitarian thinking is an even more wild assumption. This is where the reasoning brings in the equality of persons who make up God or the godhead. Having speculated that the Spirit of God is a literal God in its own right against the evidence that it belongs to God and is sent by God, the trinitarian thinking makes the next unbelievable assumption. It is now argued that, if the Spirit of God is a God on its own independent of the God who sent it, then the Spirit of God is another divine entity equal to God the Father and together with the Son, they form who the One God is, a composite of persons – what is referred to by the trinitarian thinking, as the Godhead.
Notice the problem with this reasoning. From the beginning of this study we were talking of who God is. In other words, remember that statement which is the basis of this reflection. It says, ‘One God is made up of three persons’. One of these persons is the Spirit of God. But now, the Spirit of God is a third part of the Godhead. In other words, the Spirit of God is said to be a third part of the One God as it is a third part of the Godhead. Clearly, there is confusion in trinitarian thinking regarding who God is, and what is the Godhead. The terms ‘God’ and ‘Godhead’ are used interchangeably in trinitarian thinking, yet they have different meanings.
The term God is almost invariably used to refer to God the Father, one person who speaks and presents himself as one. In a few verses, by extension, inheritance and representation, the term God is used with qualification to refer to the Son of God (Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:8; John 20:28). God the Father uses the words ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and Bible writers refer to him as ‘him’, ‘his’, and ‘he’. In other words, the One God of the Bible is always referred to existe as a singular person not as three persons.
But notice what the Bible teaches about the word Godhead. It is the state of being divine, the divine nature or divinity or deity. Notice the following.
Godhead is used three times in the KJV Bible.
Acts 17:29 “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead  is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”
• 2304 — θεῖος theios, thi´-os; from 2316; godlike (neuter as noun, divinity): — divine, godhead.
Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead ; so that they are without excuse:”
• 2305 — θειότης theiotes, thi-ot´-ace; from 2304; divinity (abstractly): — godhead.
Colossians 2:9 “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead  bodily.”
• 2320 — θεότης theotes, theh-ot´-ace; from 2316; divinity (abstractly): — godhead.
Once, in 2 Peter 1:3-4, the same Greek word for godhead as used in Acts 17:29 is translated directly into divine, yet with the same meaning as the other verses.
2 Peter 1:3-4 “According as his divine  power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine  nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Therefore, as we see here, Godhead simply means divinity or divine nature, i.e. the nature of being God. Notice the following quotations.
“The word “Godhead” is a simple doublet of the less frequently occurring “Godhood.” Both forms stand side by side in the Ancren Riwle (about 1225 AD), and both have survived until today, though not in equally common use…” (Bible Study Tools).
“History and Etymology for godhead: Middle English godhed, from god + -hed -hood; akin to Middle English -hod -hood” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary 1828).
“godhead c.1200, from GOD (Cf. god) + M.E. -hede, cognate with -HOOD (Cf. -hood) and Ger. -heit. Along with maidenhead, this is the sole survival of this form of the suffix. O.E. had godhad “divine nature.”” (Etymology Dictionary)
The short of it is that the word godhead developed from the suffix “-hede” (godhede/godhod) or “hood” just like any other word with such a suffix, e.g. manhood, etc. Another example is maidenhood/maidenhead. The suffix ‘-hood’ simply implies the state or essence of an object/noun. For example, personhood is the essence of being a person.
What is clear is that personhood is not the person, maidenhood is not the maiden, manhood is not the man. Similarly, godhood/godhead is not the God. Neither is there any meaning relating to a family, unity or gathering of entities in the use of the suffix -hood/-head.
Therefore, while the word ‘godhead’ in trinitarian thinking is often used in place of the word ‘god’, and is also used with the concept of a family of three divine entities, in the Bible it is not like that at all. It is wise for us to retain the correct meanings of words as they were used in the Bible and in the writings of the past if we are to understand what those writers from the past were understanding. The modern spin of the word godhead is misleading many into believing a new concept of a family of three entities, which godhead did not mean before.
What we learn is that divinity or godhood/godhead, is what God shares with Christ and with us by God’s own Spirit. Hence it pleased God the Father that in Christ should the fullness of divinity dwell (Colossians 1:19; 2:9). And to us, we share the divine nature of God by which we obtain eternal life (Acts 17:29; 2 Peter 1:3, 4).
Hence the trinitarian thinking which uses the terms God and Godhead interchangeably is not correct. It is a modern reconstruction corrupting the concept of divinity.
So, in these speculative to reconstructive steps, the Spirit of God is severed from its belongingness to God and set up as a third part of who God is. In fact, they begin to say the Spirit of God is a co-eternal, co-equal and co-substantial person to God and the Son of God.
By co-eternal they mean the Spirit of God exists and has always existed as an equal individual to God the Father and the Son of God. By co-equal, they mean that the Spirit of God is just a joint partner with the Father and the Son, having the same claim to divinity and creation, power and worship. By co-substantial they mean that the Spirit of God is ‘made’ of the same substance as the Father and the Son. With that is created a scene of three gods, which are not gods but persons that make up a god, while acting three different roles, by pretending to be father, son and spirit, though in reality they are not so.
Of course, none of that is found written anywhere in the Bible. All that has been constructed on the fact that the Spirit of God exhibits the personality, which thing it must do if it is the Spirit of God. But of course, that is ignored.
Ever head of the Piltdown man? According to Wikipedia, certain archeologist found “a section of a human-like skull … a jawbone, more skull fragments, a set of teeth, and primitive tools”. Out of that, and only that, the archeologist constructed an entire ape complete with all the visible parts of a body. He even estimated the environment in which his ape lived. Of course, the only truth is that some bones were found. The rest is purely a construction of the archeologist mind. Similarly, the only truth is that the Spirit of God has a personality. The rest of the ideas from the Spirit of God being a third part of who God is, being equal to the Father and the Son, and being of the same nature etc. are pure constructions of the trinitarian thought process.
Another point about the Spirit of God’s nature is that it is divisible. In fact, Revelation tells us that God has seven of them.
Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne. (emphasis added)
The point is mentioned four times in Revelation including 3:1, 4:5 and 5:6. So if there are seven Spirits before God, each one of them being a God, then maybe we have nine or more persons in God, i.e. at least seven Spirits, plus God the Spirit (if not part of the seven Spirits), plus God the Son plus God the Father. Or should we ask, has anyone ever read of two fathers or two begotten sons of God in all the Bible? How come the Father and the Son are not multiple nor divisible but the Spirit is both?
What we have seen in this section is that, while it is true that the Spirit of God exhibits a personality by what he does and says, it is a wild speculation to use what the Spirit of God says or does to construct a god who whose nature is three-in-one.
In this section, we point out the flaws in the trinitarian use of the Hebrew and Greek lexicon. We know this may not be easy to understand for those who are not accustomed to relating words from different languages, especially in how Hebrew and Greek are translated into English. In fact, we believe that the rampant use of lexicon hides the truth from the average person who knows neither Greek nor Hebrew words. In its simplicity, the Word of God does not stand or fall on the study of the lexicon as the trinity does.
The rampant use of the Hebrew and Greek lexicon to support the 3-in-1 god doctrine is evident. In fact, the 3-in-1 god doctrine is impossible to construct without using arbitrarily selected meanings of Hebrew and Greek words. Words like Elohim and echad (Deuteronomy 6:4) are used to draw out a plurality of God and monogenes (John 3:16) is used to deny that Christ is an. actual Son of God. However, when we look at these words, we see that the 3-in-1 god interpretation applies the most unlikely if not impossible meanings of these Greek and Hebrew words, while refusing without justification all the meanings that are supported by the speakers of the Hebrew and Greek language. As we will see below, the interpretation also disregards the normal use of words in the Bible. Therefore, the 3-in-1 god interpretation chooses only that meaning, however remote, that can sustain a predetermined 3-in-1 god doctrine.
We will discuss examples of how the trinitarian thought process uses the lexicon and meaning of words to draw out an assumed plurality of God.
The word Elohim is a Hebrew word that is mostly translated into “God” in the KJV Bible. In Deuteronomy 6:4, the word Elohim is used as follows.
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [Elohim] is one LORD.
This verse is a big problem for the 3-in-1 god idea. In its simple reading, this verse can never accommodate the idea of a 3-in-1 god because it simply states that God is one Lord. So, the trinitarian interpretation has to try to reconcile this verse with a god that is made up of three persons.
Trinitarian interpretation argues that since the word Elohim has a plural spelling (ending in ‘-im’), God used the word Elohim to convey the sense that he has a plurality to him. Now, please pause and think about this a minute. Notice that the actual meaning of the word Elohim is avoided in this argument, only that the word is plural in spelling. The meaning of the word Elohim when considered plural, i.e. meaning gods, is itself irrelevant to the trinitarian interpretation process. In fact, the trinitarian interpretation process carefully navigates away from the actual plural form of Elohim meaning gods. Only that the word has a plural spelling, that’s all that is needed to prove the plurality of the 3-in-1 god. But a study of the use of the word shows that Elohim is used as both plural and singular in actual meaning not just by plural spelling.
The word Elohim (H430) is defined as follows by the Strong’s concordance.
Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: – angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.
The following are points that the trinitarian interpretation does not consider.
- The use of plurality to denote higher reverence – That Elohim, though plural in spelling, carries a singular meaning when applied to certain entities including God, as an expression of reverence and his strength.
- The grammatical structure of sentences using Elohim – The use of Elohim referring to God is always with singular sentence construction such as ‘he’, ‘him’, ‘his’, ‘is’ and so on.
- The varied use of the word Elohim – Elohim does not have a fixed meaning referring to God only, but is used widely to refer to many entities including Moses (Exodus 7:1), Dagon and angels. These entities have no plurality in them implied by the word Elohim. Its use is therefore subject to Hebrew grammatical rules and context. It is not a word designed by God to communicate plurality as the trinitarian thought process puts it.
Notice how the word ‘elohim’ is used to refer to Dagon and to angels.
Judges 16:23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god (elohim)…
To discuss this further, please note this verse.
Exodus 7:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god [elohim] to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
When the word elohim is used with respect to Moses, for example, no one can argue that it is meant to communicate a plurality of Moses. Why is that argument illogical? It is illogical to say that Moses is plural because we already know who Moses is. He is one single Moses (even though his name ends in plural ‘-es’ form in English).
So, the word elohim when used on Moses is not used to communicate the singularity/plurality of Moses. In other words, we apply the word elohim to Moses after the singularity of Moses has already been established from the obvious evidence that he is a man. Similarly, the word Elohim when applied to God, is not applied to communicate his singularity/plurality, but because that (at least that which we can know about it) is already given elsewhere.
So, where is this other evidence that establishes singularity of God before we come to Elohim in Deuteronomy 6:4? It is the fact that God is referred to with very precise singular only terms such as El, Eloah, Almighty, Jehovah, Adonai and so on. Then he is referred to as ‘him’, ‘his’ and ‘he’, but never as them or they. God himself speaks the language of a single person when referring to himself as ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘mine’ and ‘my’.
Therefore, we see that the use of the word Elohim for persons having no plurality, teaches us that the word Elohim is not used to define the nature or identity of the person, but after the nature and identity have been already noted. Therefore, the trinitarian interpretation needs to have established the nature and identity of God elsewhere in the Bible. The word Elohim does not fit the purpose for which it is used in the trinitarian interpretation.
- The use of absolutely singular titles for God – In Hebrew, both El (meaning god singular) and Elohim (the plural form) are used to refer to the same God interchangeably (e.g. Psalms 8:31). If the use of Elohim is plurality, then what is the use of El when referring to the same entity?
Let us dwell on this a bit further. If there is possibility of plurality and singularity in Elohim, but absolutely no possibility of plurality in El, yet both refer to the single person, then we can comfortably agree that the singular meaning of the word Elohim is the only possible application. In other words, we use El, which is absolutely definitive, to decide on Elohim, which has two possibilities. This is simple common sense.
- The comparative evidence of Mark 12:19 – In Mark 12:29, Christ quotes Deuteronomy 6:4 word for word. This quotation is given in Greek. In other words, Mark himself did the translation from Hebrew to Greek. Therefore, we can compare the meanings between the three languages, Hebrew, Greek and English. The word used for Hebrew “Elohim” is the Greek word “Theos”. Theos is singular hence showing the intended singular meaning of Elohim in Deuteronomy 6:4.
What we are saying here is a very logical practice that all Bible interpreters do. If we have a statement written both in the Old and the New Testament, given that the New testament sometimes offer the clearer expression, we have an advantage to understand the Old Testament statement better. Here is an example:
|Luke 4:18-19 (from Greek)||Isaiah 61:1-2 (from Hebrew)|
|The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,||The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me;|
|because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;||because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;|
|he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,||he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,|
|to preach deliverance to the captives,||to proclaim liberty to the captives,|
|and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,||and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.|
|To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.||To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD…|
Luke 4:18-19 written originally in Greek lines up perfectly with Isaiah 61:1-2 originally written in Hebrew. Comparing these two, as the words Christ claimed to Himself, we ascertain that God, the Father anointed His Son with His Spirit, i.e. the Spirit of God the Father. We can compare with the Old Testament words originally in Hebrew.
Notice that the New Testament explains and clarifies the Old Testament very clearly.
Deuteronomy 6:4 and Mark 12:29 line up together in the same way.
|Mark 12:29||Deuteronomy 6:4|
|And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God [from Theos] is one Lord:||Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [from Elohim] is one LORD:|
Therefore, the Hebrew word Elohim is equal to the Greek word Theos in the eyes of Mark. Whilst in Hebrew, the word Elohim can be both plural or singular (God or gods), in Greek the word Theos is completely singular, meaning God only, not gods (theoi). With the New Testament’s help, we can establish the fact that the word Elohim in Deuteronomy 6:4, and elsewhere in the Old Testament is used to mean God without any plurality to him.
- Violation of the normal use of a concordance (the interchangeable use of synonyms) – It is normal practice to consult the dictionary when a reader finds a word they do not know or are not sure of. We all consult the dictionary at some point. The reason why we consult the dictionary is to find meanings of words. When the meaning of a word has been found, it can replace the unknown word, while retaining the meaning of the sentence. We also sometimes look for the grammatical structure of words, e.g. is the word plural or singular, adjective, adverb, noun, etc.
Similarly, the normal practice for all Bible students is to consult the Hebrew or Greek concordance to find out the meaning of a word in question as it was used in the original language. Bible students also consider the full meaning of words, not just the grammatical structure. In other words, that a word in plural, singular, adjective, adverb, etc. is useless without the actual meaning of the word.
However, on the word Elohim, the trinitarian interpretation does not apply the full meaning of the word Elohim in plural form, which is gods. The problem of using the full meaning as gods is clear, pointing to polytheism. The interpretation used here is cunning, deceitful (even if it may be unintentional) and confused.
Let us dwell on this point a bit further. When a meaning of a word has been found from the Greek or Hebrew concordance, that meaning (or synonym) can be slotted into the verse replacing the original word, yet still producing the same meaning for the verse.
For example, suppose we want to understand the word Christ as used in the original writings, i.e. Greek. We go to the Greek lexicon and this is what we find.
Χριστός, Christos, khris-tos’ – From G5548; anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: – Christ.
So, we find that the word Christ means ‘the Anointed’ or ‘Messiah’? Now the standard logic is then to go to the verses which use the word Christ and replace the word Christ with any of the two meanings of the word Christ. The meaning of the verse must remain the same, yet clearer. So, let us take this verse, for example:
Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
Then replace the word Christ with “the Anointed”.
Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think ye of the Anointed? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Messiah? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
Now imagine if someone argues that the word “Christos” is only used to show ending ‘-os’ but not to mean anointed? What would you think of someone who says let us not use the actual meaning of anointed? Confused, right? Logic says we use the actual word ‘anointed’ as synonym for Christos not just the ‘-os’ ending.
The trinitarian interpretation makes that same argument. It says the word Elohim was used only because it ends in ‘-im’ which shows plurality of God. In other words, Deuteronomy 6:4 used Elohim that means ‘gods’, but did not want to mean gods. So, even though plural Elohim means gods, we cannot replace Elohim with gods.
Just to make this lack of logic in trinitarian thinking more visual, check this table.
|Normal logic||Trinitarian logic|
|Matthew 22:42||Deuteronomy 6:4||Deuteronomy 6:4|
|English word in Bible||Christ||God||God|
|English meaning according to the Dictionary||The anointed||God or gods||God or gods|
|Choice of meaning to use||The anointed||God||Just plurality|
Somehow, it matters not that plurality of the word Elohim is not the meaning but one of the possible qualities of the Elohim. In normal logic, a word is not replaced by its quality in a sentence, but by its entire synonym.
The trinitarian thinking is creative thinking, creating a meaning that does not exist. Where do people get these confused ideas? But what would happen if the trinitarian thinking did the most logical thing about words and their synonyms? What would happen if we take the plural meaning of Elohim as “gods” and replace the word Elohim in every verse in the Bible where the word Elohim is used referring to God? This is what we get:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning gods created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 2:15 And the LORD gods took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Deuteronomy 5:6 I am the LORD thy gods,…7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our gods is one LORD.
Judge for yourself dear reader, is this what the Bible wanted us to learn from the word Elohim? Does this make sense to you? Yet it makes perfect sense in trinitarian thinking.
Deuteronomy 6:4 itself is complete evidence that the idea of a three-in-one god is false. The desperate attempt to twist a language and create a new meaning of Elohim that does not exist in the Hebrew language is enough evidence that the three-in-one idea has no source in the Bible.
- If we asked the Jews today, who speak the Hebrew language, we would find they do not have an understanding of Elohim in the trinitarian sense of composite persons. Elohim only means one single individual God to them. So, has it been to the Jews ever since Moses wrote the book of Deuteronomy. Would we suggest that Jews failed to understand their own language?
The point is, if Elohim is used as both singular and plural, why take the word, strip away the actual meaning and apply only plurality to Deuteronomy 6:4, not the meaning of the plural form of the word Elohim as gods? What of the fact that the word Elohim is used with a singular pronoun (I, my, mine, me, he, his, him) when referring to God? In addition, as the word in plural form actually means gods, why not take that full meaning?
We see that the choice of meaning applied to the word Elohim in Deuteronomy 6:4 is creative, against grammatical usage, deceitful and completely lacking in logic. We propose that by Deuteronomy 6:4 alone, the trinity doctrine falls, taking its correct place as the grandest of all deceptions.
Echad is a Hebrew word for ‘one’ that is used in Deuteronomy 6:4 to say “one Lord”. An argument is made in the trinitarian interpretation that echad’s primary meaning is one that is made of united parts. So, God used the word echad to show that He is one God made up of many parts. The very logic of the argument is so flawed that most people would just ignore this. But here are the flaws that the trinitarian interpretation does not consider.
- Firstly, the word echad has a range of meanings. The most common meaning is actually a singular/absolute one which is not a unity of parts. In the two books of Genesis and Exodus, the writers counted at least 91 times out of 140 times where the word echad is used, it refers to a single one entity. Examples are one board, one cherubim, one side, one man, one day, one lamb, one blessing, one of us, one place, one night, etc. Surely no one could conceive an idea where the word echad is used to show that ‘one night’ is made of many parts of the same nature, as the 3-in-1 god is made up of many parts/persons. That means the use of echad as singular one is more common in the Bible than the use of echad as composite one. Why then should echad have composite one as its primary meaning?
- Secondly, even if the word echad had composite one as its primary meaning, why would it discount other possible applicable meanings? Please get this point. To show that there is an alternative meaning of a word, and that the alternative meaning is more common is not evidence that the less common meaning was not used by the original author. There is no rule which says only the most common meaning of any word is used by Bible authors.
- Thirdly, in Mark 12:29 again, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4 and there, the Hebrew word echad is replaced by a Greek word for one. Mark uses the Greek word for one that means singular one (heis) not the one that means composite one (hen). Therefore, Mark had a singular God in mind, just one being. In other words, Mark understood Deuteronomy 6:4 to mean one single God, not a composite God made of many parts as the trinitarian thinking speculates.
- Fourthly, how is it possible except in fantasy that one can be used to describe multiple intelligences that are combined to make another single intelligence? Think about this. When we use the word one to depict the unity involving persons, we get phrases such as “one family” or “one team”, etc. Now, one family is not a combination of families, but of individuals. In other words, we do not get one composite individual from several individuals. We get a non-intelligent entity called a family, a team etc. in which the intelligences work together. But the trinity claims that the three persons form one person who can speak about himself as me, as a separate intelligence.
I don’t know if you know about this cartoon called Steven Universe. The following is a quotation from Wikipedia, describing how characters in that cartoon can combine to form one new character.
“Fusion is a process whereby two or more Gems [persons] combine their physical forms and minds to create a larger, more powerful individual who possesses all of the powers of their component Gems and more. Fusions are often able to combine their components’ Gem weapons into a more powerful weapon. A strong bond [unity] between Gems is the primary driving force enabling them to form and maintain fusions. While the Gem Homeworld allows Gems of the same caste [same nature] to fuse, usually for combat purposes, mixed-Gem fusions are considered offensive, and those that exist usually keep themselves from public knowledge. Same-Gem fusions form a larger version of their components’ identical forms, but mixed-Gem fusions usually have extra body parts; for example, Garnet has three eyes and Opal has four arms. The concept of fusion is used by the show’s writers for thematic purposes as a broad metaphor for a variety of types of intimacy and relationships.” (emphasis added)
This reads like an explanation of the three-in-one god, who is fused from three separate co-equal, co-substantial and co-eternal intelligent parts to form another supreme being. We suggest that if you believe in the three-in-one god, this description sounds familiar, complete with the same nuances. One nuance is that of the strong bonds which make the fusion possible and that sounds like co-equal, co-eternal and con-substantial. Another nuance is that these fusions are about intimacy and relationships. The 3-in-1 god teaching says about the same thing concerning the intimacy and relationship between the three members of the one trinity god as the basis of forming a composite three-in-one god.
We therefore see that the word echad is translated of necessity in trinitarian thinking. The word echad alone by its meanings, just like the word Elohim cannot be used to determine the identity of God nor to put the matter to rest. The use of the word echad in trinitarian thinking is inappropriate.
The word monogenes is a Greek word translated into English as “only-begotten” (KJV Bible). Begotten in English means born. So, if you want to take the simple English meaning, John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only born son of God…” This in its simplicity means God has a real son begotten/born of him.
The trinitarian interpretation method takes the meaning of monogenes as “unique” or “special kind” not born. The reasoning is that Christ is only a special kind of son, i.e. an acting son or adopted son not a real son. For further evidence, the trinitarian reasoning says Isaac was not the ONLY son of Abraham, but was called monogenes (Hebrews 11:17), so monogenes does not mean only-born.
But the evidence against this interpretation is overwhelming.
Isaac deserves to be called only begotten as the only begotten of the promise to Abraham. No other son is like him by birth (begotten). Besides that, he remains an actual son of Abraham, so is Jesus an actual son of God. Ishmael could never fulfil the role of Isaac as a son of promise, because he was not born the right way, as a miracle of God. Or to put it in other words, there is no uniqueness in Isaac outside the way he was born and for what purpose he was born. Officially, in the great plan of God, Abraham had only one son.
In other words, the point about Isaac’s only begotten sonship is in that if Isaac was given to death, Abraham had no other son to take the position. So true is this point that when Abraham later had other sons with Ketura, Abraham himself sent all the other sons away with gifts only, but Isaac got all the inheritance. That means the sonship of the other sons was not officially recognized, otherwise they would have shared in the inheritance, but they did not. By this token, God says Abraham has shown great faith in the love of God, by giving the only-born son Isaac. In the same way, God had only one only-begotten Son of whom if he had failed his mission on earth, would be lost forever, and God had no other son to replace him. Therefore, the Son is only-begotten first, and by that, special and unique all at the same time.
But there is more to this confusion. Remember, the trinitarian thinking uses this verse to try to prove that Christ is not an actual Son of God. But how can you use the example of an actual son of Abraham to prove not being an actual son? If trinitarians could find an example where monogenes was used on one who was known to be not an actual son, then that would make sense. The best that the case of Isaac can prove is that monogenes applies where there is a special actual son among many actual sons.
- In Luke 7:12 “the only son of his mother”, Luke 8:42 “an only daughter”, and Luke 9:38 “mine only child” monogenes means exactly that, “a literal only child of a literal parent”.
- In Judges 11:34, Jephtah’s daughter is the ultimate only child with the emphasis that Jephtah had no other child. In the Greek Bible, they use monogenes for that child, meaning a real child begotten by the real parent.
- The Greek concordances confirm the same, and yes, an only child is a special kind of child, one with no brother or sister, yet still a child begotten. Here are two:
- Strong’s #3439: monogenes (pronounced mon-og-en-ace’) from 3441 and 1096; only-born, i.e. sole: -only (begotten, child).
- Thayer’s Greek Lexicon: monogenēs, 1) single of its kind, only, 1a) used of only sons or daughters (viewed in relation to their parents), 1b) used of Christ, denotes the only begotten son of God.
- Acts 4:27 the disciples praised God in prayer. They said to God in prayer “thy holy child Jesus” referring to Christ on the cross (v27), and “that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus” (v30). God, the God that the disciples worshipped has a child by whose name, the child’s name, the disciples did miracles.
- John repeats the begottenness of Christ three more times (1 John 4:9; 5:1, 18).
It is therefore impossible to eliminate the meaning of monogenes as the “only born” no matter how much we try through the trinitarian thinking. Judges 11:34 lays the argument to rest, since monogenes is used there for one who is very literally the only child born of a parent. While we acknowledge that monogenes in a figurative sense conveys uniqueness, there is absolutely no way to eliminate the meaning of monogenes as “only born”. Obviously, being an only begotten child makes the child unique/special status. Yet that uniqueness is still a result of the only begottenness of the child. It is uniqueness by birth only. Being unique or special in that sense is not an alternative meaning to being only born, and does not eliminate the fact that the son was born, but results from the fact that the child is only-born.
Therefore, that the trinitarian interpretation chooses to exclude only begottenness from the Greek word monogenes, and to stick to unique/special alone is an arbitrary choice of meaning designed to suit the intended doctrine. In fact, we observe here that the level of desperation exhibited by the trinitarian thinking in the search for evidence to support the 3-in-1 doctrine is astounding. More so considering that all that desperation is an effort to reject what is simply written and repeated in the Bible.
In the foregoing reflection on the words echad and monogenes, a very misleading practice is used in the trinitarian interpretation process. Take echad for example. The Hebrew word echad has many meanings. The meaning we are interested in is echad meaning one. However, there are two ways to think of one. It can be one that is a single unit such as one car, or a composite one, that is one made up of united parts, for example ‘become one people’ or one family.
Notice that these are alternative meanings of echad which can both apply in certain situations. However, the fact that one meaning applies as an alternative to the other does not nullify the other meaning. In other words, if a person discovers that “one Lord” can mean a composite one made up of different persons, that does not mean “one Lord” does not mean one singular Lord not made of multiple persons. It is only an alternative, not a proof that one singular Lord is wrong. One still has to prove that echad does not mean a singular one, in this instance.
Unfortunately, in trinitarian interpretation, all that is required is to find an alternative meaning, and that becomes the truth, and the only correct meaning. Yet, an alternative meaning is only probably true. It is a probability not a certainty.
Let us take another example of the meaning of the Greek word monogenes again in John 3:16. The translators of the KJV Bible consistently apply this word as only begotten. That is correct because the meaning of monogenes is only child, at least it can be that, given the examples we saw above. However, in trinitarian interpretation, monogenes is understood as meaning only unique or special kind in John 3:16.
The point is, even if monogenes can be understood as unique or special kind, that understanding is an alternative to only-begotten. It does no prove that only-begotten is not the correct translation. Similarly, that echad can mean a composite one does not prove that echad cannot mean a singular one.
It is necessary to prove that monogenes can never mean only-begotten in John 3:16 for one to claim that it does not apply to John 3:16. Similarly, it is necessary to prove that echad can never mean singular one for one to discount it from Deuteronomy 6:4. Yet no theologian knowledgeable of Greek can ever prove by definitions or interpretation that monogenes can never mean only-begotten. Neither is there any Hebrew-knowledgeable theologian who can prove by definition or interpretation that echad can never mean singular one.
Yet, without proving the other meaning to be incorrect, the trinitarian thinking process affirms their choices of the most probable meaning of words as the only truthful meaning. Logically, one would expect that if there are more than one possible meanings, all of which are applicable, then neither meaning can be taken to be the ultimate truth. If so, the trinitarian interpretation immediately loses support (though it never has) from several so called trinitarian verses, i.e. Deuteronomy 6:4, John 3:16 and all other verses that use Elohim, echad and monogenes on points to do with who God is.
Lastly, even if a specific meaning of a word is considered to be the most probable, that does not mean that the author intended to use the most probable meaning. As we said before, there is no rule which says the most probable meanings of words are the only ones used by Bible writers. The Bible still has to be taken on the basis of its total sum in simple contextual reading.
Therefore, we see that in trinitarian interpretation, the meaning that appears most probable is considered the absolute truth. Higher probability of meaning is considered as certainty for no apparent reason other than that the interpretation demands that it be so. In other words, as long as echad can mean singular one, the decision not to apply singular one to Deuteronomy 6:4 is not based on its meaning but on other evidence not inherent in the word echad. Similarly, as long as monogenes can mean only-begotten, the decision not to apply only-begotten to John 3:16 is not based on its meaning but on other evidence not inherent in the word monogenes.
In the book “The Trinity: What has God Revealed” we found an even more explicit use of probabilities. The writer of that book uses subjective probabilities to calculate what is considered the weight of evidence. There are many problems with that process, the first being what is evidence and evidence for what. Take the deity of Christ for example (Chapter 3 of the Book) as in John 1:1-3, 14. The writer uses these verses as evidence that Christ is divine, which we agree. Then he gives a probability of 4 out of 5 that the Bible teaches the trinity doctrine in John 1 because it teaches that Christ is divine. The challenge is, non-trinitarians such as James White whom the writer quotes to support the divinity of Christ believed exactly the same thing, that Christ is fully divine and equal to the Father.
“The inexplicable Trinity that makes the Godhead three in one and one in three, is bad enough; but that ultra Unitarianism that makes Christ inferior to the Father is worse. Did God say to an inferior, “Let us make man in our image?”” (James White, November 29, 1877, Review & Herald)
“We have not as much sympathy with Unitarians that deny the divinity of Christ, as with Trinitarians who hold that the Son is the eternal Father, and talk so mistily about the three-one God. Give the Master all that divinity with which the Holy Scriptures clothe him…”(from : Review and Herald June 6, 1871 James and Ellen White’s – Western Tour.)
Notice that James White did not believe in the 3-in-1 god, but he believed that Christ is equal to the Father and Christ is fully divine. How it is in the writer’s mind that to show evidence that Christ is divine is to show evidence that the trinity is true boggles the reader’s mind. This use of probabilities is so confused it needs a separate writing to clearly show its errors.
The real issue is this. God reveals with certainty not with probability. To give a book a title which says “What has God revealed?” and then calculate probabilities in it about what God revealed is a contradiction. If God has revealed it, it is certain not probable. This is what is said about Christ.
Mark 1:22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
Christ would not teach with authority if he used probabilities. His was a sure word. We are not told of probabilities as a teaching of truth in the Bible because truth is certain. So instead of interpreting the Bible using probabilities, we must simply stick to that which is clearly stated. We have enough of certainty in the Bible.
Let us think again about what weight of evidence is. Suppose we have 10 verses on the same subject, which one of the following is weight of evidence?
- Assign an arbitrary probability that each verse supports a certain conclusion we have, then sum up the probabilities as weight of evidence. For example, trinitarian thinking would probably assign a high probability that Matthew 28:19 and 1 John 5:7 are in favour of the trinity. Not that they absolutely teach the trinity, which they obviously don’t, but just that there is high probability they do.
- We look for verses which say the same thing without any probability, then realign our understanding of the remaining ‘uncertain/probable’ verses with the certain verses?
We think there is no room to calculate probabilities on verses. Option 2 is what weight of evidence means. For example, the Bible says the Spirit is of God, i.e. belongs to God. This is repeated so many times we have found at least 88 times in the KJV Bible. Here is one explicit example:
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
It is therefore a certainty not a probability that this verse and at least 87 others teach the exact same thing, that the Spirit belongs to God, yet with no probabilities? Has God, the Father not revealed that the Spirit is His own? Or let us ask this question in a different way. Is there anything revealed so clearly and repeatedly about the Spirit than that it is a Spirit and it is of God?
Consider echad again. What is certain about echad is this.
- The word can mean both unitary one and composite one
- The word is often used as unitary one.
- Therefore, by definition alone, one cannot exclude neither the unitary nor the composite meaning.
It is also certain that echad is used pertaining to God as to one who is referred to as “HE”, “HIM” and “HIS”. It also is certain that “HE”, “HIM” and “HIS” refer to a single individual. That the God referred to as echad (one) Lord is a single “HE” is not a probability. It is certain. Similarly, we can take only that which is certain in every verse and consider that as weight of evidence without probabilities.
So, what we see here is that probabilities are used in the trinitarian interpretation process to find a way to support an existing doctrine. Such probabilities are completely arbitrary, subjective and able to form just about any doctrine desired. This is what Rice meant when he said in his “constructive proposal” that the Bible “set[s] the stage for its formulation” (Richard Rice, The Reign of God, An Introduction to Christian Theology from a Seventh-day Adventist Perspective’, page 89, ‘A constructive proposal’, 1985).
The missing lexicon
While on the subject of the use of Hebrew and Greek lexicon, we thought we might include this important point. It is surprising that in trinitarian thinking, emphasis is made on studying the Hebrew and Greek lexicon only on a few selected words such as Elohim, echad and monogenes. What would happen if we study the lexicon of the more occurring words such as ‘of’, ‘I’, ‘his’, ‘me’, ‘him’ and ‘my’? Would we be able to find a case where three united persons were referred to as ‘he’, ‘his’ or ‘him’ or called themselves ‘I’ ‘my’, ‘mine’ or ‘me’?
Consider this. God says, “my spirit”. Is it ever possible that this statement could me anything else other than that the Spirit belongs to the God who is speaking? We checked Genesis 6:3 to see what ‘My spirit’ means in Hebrew and this is what we found.
Notice the morphology. “N-csc|1cs” means “Noun-common singular construct | first person common singular”. In simple terms, just like it means in the English Bible (my spirit), one person (singular) is referring to his spirit.
We could do the same on Job 26:13 (By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent) and we will find that the Spirit belongs to God just as much as the hand belongs to the same God in that same verse.
We could try to study the Hebrew and Greek lexicons on the popular terms ‘Spirit of God’ and ‘Spirit of the Lord’. You know the result. We find the same, God has a Spirit, which is his Spirit and it belongs to him. That God, the Father, cannot be another equal person to His own Spirit. It is just so obvious and certain.
The trinitarian thinking could do such simple and definitive study of Hebrew and Greek words, which have no two or more meanings to them, and in doing so, extinguish itself.
Let us start by returning to a quotation shared before.
“But the Bible does set the stage for its formulation, and the concept represents a development of biblical claims and concepts. So even though THE DOCTRINE OF THE 3-IN-1 GOD IS NOT PART OF WHAT THE BIBLE ITSELF SAYS ABOUT GOD, IT IS PART OF WHAT THE CHURCH MUST SAY to safeguard the biblical view of God.” (Richard Rice, The Reign of God, An Introduction to Christian Theology from a Seventh-day Adventist Perspective’, page 89, ‘A constructive proposal’, 1985) (emphasis added)
This quotation claims ability to find that which God has not stated. We propose that this is reading between the lines of God’s statements. The term reading between the lines implies finding meaning which has not been explicitly stated in the actual words of the speaker. For example, journalists can listen to a 5-minute speech by a politician, then take the next 2 hours if not 2 months discussing it. In that ensuing discussion, you will find a lot of what the politician never said in his own words, but is assumed to have been implied. Reading between the lines is practiced in political spheres because the assumption is that the politician does not want to say everything directly. Without the suspicion that the politician is hiding and coding messages, reading between the lines is completely useless and unnecessary.
The same assumption that God did not want to clearly state his plurality, is behind the trinitarian thinking. Trinitarian thinking goes further to think that even if God did not state his three-in-oneness, we have an idea of what he wanted to put in his coded language. Trinitarian interpretation says if God spoke using the words “Let us make” and “in our image” (Genesis 1:26), then God is speaking about himself in plural, i.e. pluralizing himself. This argument is amazing because of how it is a wild speculation.
Firstly, does pluralizing oneself even make sense? What is it? Why should the use of plural terms mean pluralizing oneself, which meaning never occurs anywhere in the day to day use of the language?
Always, if one says “let us” it simply means he is speaking collectively with other people present. So, the logical thing is to look for who he is speaking to. It never means the person speaking has many persons in him. Whoever came up with the idea of pluralizing and how it is such a stretch of human imagination!
Secondly, this is what is called reading between the lines, or second-guessing God. Can a man second guess God? Can we say, God said this, but he actually meant something that he did not say? Can we read God’s mind?
The Bible says this about it.
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Thirdly, there is no way in the world where one can tell the nature of the one speaking simply because he said “let us” or “our image”. All it tells us is that there is an audience to whom the speaker is addressing his words.
Fourthly, reading between the lines also assumes that the listener already knows something that the speaker may want to encode. It is impossible to read between the lines unless one has some prior knowledge related to the subject. In other words, without an idea of a 3-in-1 god already existing in your mind from elsewhere, it is impossible to read between the lines in the Bible and find the idea. That alone affirms the pagan origin of the 3-in-1 god as the source of the idea outside the Bible.
Fifthly, reading between the lines is also akin to having some ‘fill-in’ blanks in the Bible. It assumes that the Bible is not complete on its own terms about revealing who God is. Hence, the theologians have the role of filling in the missing information. This again is what Rice means when he says the Bible sets the stage for the formulation of the three-in-one God. Similarly, that’s what Gly Parfitt means when he says “What God has revealed” referring to the three-in-one god. This three-in-one doctrine seems to have been revealed directly into the minds of theologians, not through the Bible. Notice that the Bible does not formulate the doctrine. It is assumed that the Bible gave a revelation with some blanks which were later filled in by theologians after the Bible was written.
Double standards occur when one line of reasoning is used in the interpretation of one verse/passage, but refused in another. Take for example the trinitarian interpretation of the passage in John the 14th and 16th chapters. Here are some examples.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that HE may abide with you for ever.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, HE shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
In these chapters, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “he” and “him”. According to the trinitarian interpretation, these two personal pronouns mean that the Spirit of God is an individual person. We have no intention of agreeing or disagreeing with whether the Spirit of God is an individual person for now. At this moment we are just considering that a “he” or “him” means an individual person is being referred to.
Now let us come to the rest of the Bible with that logic that the one referred to by a personal pronoun is an individual person. The One God of the Bible is referred to as “he”, “his” and “him” so many times it defies counting. The same One God addresses himself as “I”, “me” “mine” and “my” meaning one individual person. Yet the trinitarian interpretation does not consider that to mean that God is an individual person. This is a double standard and an inconsistency in thinking. If a “he” and a “him” mean that an individual person is being referred to in John 14 and 16, then the same must apply in the question of who God is everywhere in the Bible. Otherwise, why should a “he” and a “him” mean one thing here and not there?
There is yet another inconsistency in the use of pronouns in trinitarian interpretation process. The question is, is it true that in English, when an entity is referred to by a personal pronoun, then it is a person? The answer is not necessarily so. Consider these verses.
Proverbs 9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city. (emphasis added)
Notice that wisdom is referred to by personal pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’. Does that mean Solomon was a speaking of a woman called wisdom? We know that is not so. We clearly understand that as a personification of a human attribute because of what the attribute results in. In other words, human attributes cause things to happen as done by the person who has he attribute. For example, jealousy kills and love gives.
Let us see another example.
1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. (emphasis added)
Notice that charity (agape love) is personified as a she. That does not mean that charity is a woman, but as an attribute of a person, charity can be referred to as if it is a person on its own right.
The point here is this. While the trinitarian thinking makes an argument based on grammatical rules, that a personal pronoun always refers to an actual person, grammatical rules do not agree with that thinking. The normal use of the English language shows that a pronoun does not necessarily point to the nature of the entity being referred to. In fact, any of the human attributes (anger, jealousy, joy, etc) can be personified and referred to using a personal pronoun. The nature of a human attribute is known by that it is a human attribute, not by the pronoun used for it. And so is the Spirit, which is of God, being God’s own attribute, referred to by a personal pronoun.
With that, we can clearly see that the Spirit of God, being presented sometimes as an attribute possessed by God, as his presence without form (Psalms 51:11), as his hand (Ezekiel 33:22; 37:1), as His mind (1 Corinthians 2:16 read with Isaiah 40:13) is sometimes referred to by a personal pronoun. Not just that, it also explains why the Spirit of God is referred to by both personal and impersonal pronouns (e.g. ‘itself’ Romans 8:16, 26). In short, the Spirit of God is known that it is a Spirit and an attribute of God before any pronoun is used to referred to him.
Yet one may also bring in the Greek and Hebrew pronouns to bear on this point. Without making a long discussion, it is a fact that in both Greek and Hebrew, personal pronouns are used on non-animate objects. Therefore, the argument made in trinitarian thinking that the Spirit of God is an individual person because of the pronouns “he” and “him” used cannot be successfully made in Greek and Hebrew. More-so, when we consider that even the English Bible sometimes refers to the Spirit as “it” (Romans 8:16 and 26) and “it” is not used to refer to a person. At no time are the Father and the Son ever referred to by such a pronoun whether in Greek, Hebrew or English.
Consider Elohim again. Elsewhere in trinitarian interpretation, the full meaning of a word is sought. For example, in John 14:16, the trinitarian interpretation seeks and uses the full meaning of paracletos as ‘comforter’. That’s the way it should be. But back in Deuteronomy 6:4, the trinitarian interpretation does not take the full meaning of the word Elohim as ‘gods’. Rather, the trinitarian interpretation only takes the idea that the word is plural. Why should the trinitarian interpretation take the full meaning of a word in one case, and shun the full meaning of a word in another case?
Without consistency, interpretation becomes a matter of confirming one’s thoughts rather than objectively finding meaning.
You may have heard this equation of the 3-in-1 god before.
1 + 1 + 1 = 1
On its own terms, this equation could be the best representation of a clear failure to reason. Why the God of the Bible, as infinitely intelligent as he is, could be represented by an unintelligible mathematical equation is never explained. No-one can explain that. This may be one example in all the Bible and the universe where a clearly incorrect unintelligible statement is considered by so many people to be an intelligent statement. Think about this a little. Let us breakdown this equation to see how it was built. First of all, we ask:
1 what? + 1 what? + 1 what? = 1 what?
1 God + 1 God + 1 God = 1 God?
Or is it,
1 person + 1 person + 1 person = 1 God?
Is the One God of the Bible made up of three gods or three persons, or both, i.e. persons who are also Gods? Or better still, this One God formed of the three whatever they are, is he another person? Have we ever heard the One God who is made up of three speaking in the Bible. Can we find a verse where we can say it is not the Father, the Son nor the Holy Spirit who spoke, but the One God made up of the three of them who spoke or did that?
If this one God formed of three persons/gods is also a person, then we have four persons associated with God in the Bible. If this One God formed by the three persons/gods is not a person, then he is not God because God is an individual person. A God who is not a person is just a concept.
Another question is this. If the Bible states that there is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, by whose authority does one add plus signs between them to make a mathematical summation of them? In other words, does the statement ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ demand that they be added up to form something else?
What we see here is that the 3-in-1 god equation is one unnecessary conjecture after another, building a doctrine purely on speculation, rather than on what the Bible clearly says. The Bible speaks of One God and His Son as one in perfect unity of Spirit, mind and purpose (John 10:30, 17:22; 1 John 5:7). Their oneness is as the oneness which must exist between the disciples of Christ.
John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.
It is not a oneness to form another person as the disciples were not expected to form another person by being one as the Father and the Son are one. Therefore, it is not a oneness to form a three-in-one god, but a oneness in perfect unity, which does not change who they are, i.e. one is the One God, and one is the Son of the One God, and the other is the Holy Spirit of the same One Holy God.
Notice the difference between the oneness of the three-in-one god from the oneness of the husband and wife. The Bible says husband and wife “shall be one flesh” not one person. In other words, this is not an addition of persons or beings to form a being (man). This equation makes simple sense.
one flesh = 1 man + 1 woman
1 person (of flesh) + 1 person (of flesh) = 1 flesh nature
There is no forming of a two-in-one person here. There is no two-in-one intelligent entity formed in marriage between husband and wife. There are two people who already possess the same type of flesh, and when they come together, they are such that they produce one of the same flesh. The pain to the woman is pain to the husband and vice-versa, because they are one flesh. Hence there is no relationship between this oneness of husband and wife and the oneness of the 3-in-1 god. Science teaches us that two sets of chromosomes, one from the man and one from the woman, come together to form a new person of the same nature. Hence the coming together of a man and woman makes it possible for flesh to be reproduced after the same kind of flesh.
We therefore see that the idea of 1 person + 1 person + 1 person equals 1 god is without evidence or precedence in anything other than imagination of the human mind. It has no precedence in the human family.
Yet there is an even bigger mind twisting element of labeling the three-in-one god as a mystery. In normal life, if something is proven to be lacking sense, understanding and explanation it is discarded, or at least set aside. With the three-in-one god mystery, the opposite is true. That the three-in-one god does not make sense, cannot be explained intelligently, and cannot be understood by those who believe it is not considered an error. It is considered to be the very evidence that the three-in-one god idea is correct.
The first difficulty with this is that, to prove to the trinitarian mind that a three-in-one god does not make sense and cannot be explained or understood, does not help the trinitarian mind to see the error. It only confirms the lack of sense as the reason to believe it. The second trouble is that there is no end to the number of ideas that lack sense, cannot be explained, and cannot be understood that men can come up with, even using the Bible. Hence, in the trinitarian thinking, the very sensible, intelligent and comprehensible thought that is necessary to guard against error has no role in the interpretation process. Let us put this into other words. An intelligent, sensible and comprehensible idea is the ONLY safeguard against going astray on any matter. If then we get into constructing and accepting something that clearly lacks sense, logic and understanding, then we have thrown away the only safeguard against error and confusion.
Have you ever considered what makes a verse trinitarian? Many times you hear of verses that are said to be trinitarian. When you look at the verses, they have one thing in common, that the verses state the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in one sentence and involved in one mission. The mere mention of the three in one verse and on one mission makes the verses trinitarian. The verses that are considered to be trinitarian, hence the greatest evidence of the 3-in-1 god, are Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14 and 1 John 5:7. But does the mention of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit negate the abundant evidence that the Father has a Son and a Spirit? Does it mean that the one God of the Bible must be formed of the three?
We will demonstrate that the Bible mentions entities in the same sentence and on the same mission, yet without any intention of equality between them to form another entity. Neither is there an intention to add them up into a 1+1+1=1 trinitarian fashion. Take the case of the three angels which came to Abraham, for example.
Notice what is going on here. Keep track of who is talking.
Genesis 18:2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.
Notice that Abraham saw three men. One could say three equal men, right? Notice the next verse.
Genesis 18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
When the three men sat down to eat, they started a conversation. Notice that “they said”. This makes the three men to be collectively involved in this discussion and mission. But notice the next verse and who is now talking in this same conversation.
Genesis 18:10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
Now we are told that “he said”. Who is this speaking? The answer is in the rest of the conversation. Notice who is now continuing with this conversation with Abraham.
Genesis 18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
It was the Lord. But wait a minute. How did Abrahama start speaking to three men collectively and ended up speaking to the Lord himself among the three men? Did Abraham have the Lord God right there before him? No. In fact, one of the three men was speaking as God himself. Notice in the next verses what the Lord, i.e. one of three angels in the conversation says.
Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
One of the three men says “I will return”. In fact, he speaks as the Lord God himself all the way to the end of the conversation. We believe that one of these three men was the Son of God, Christ himself. When the three men are speaking, the Lord is speaking.
If so, then does it mean that since the three men were talking collectively, and on the same mission, they were in fact equal, of the same nature, or making up the Lord? No. One of the three men was the creator of the other two!
We learn here that the mere mention of three persons in one sentence, speaking the same matter and on the same mission does not necessarily have anything to do with determining their natures or identities. Just as one of the three men was the Son of God, so is it that one of the three, God the Father, is THE GOD, although mentioned together with His Son and His Spirit in Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14 and 1 John 5:7. As such, there is no logical reason to assume an implication of any three-in-one god in these verses.
If you dig deep into the history of the 3-in-1 god doctrine, you will see that the beginning of the trinitarian thinking was all about solving a perceived contradiction between sonship and divinity of Christ. First, the trinitarian interpretation establishes that Christ is fully divine, i.e. God in the highest sense. This point we totally agree with. Having said that, the trinitarian interpretation then claims that as God, Christ has no beginning. This point we agree with, though with some qualification, which we will dwell on later.
It is reasoned that if Christ is a real Son of God, begotten/born of God, then he has a beginning in time, as all sons do. At this point a contradiction is established. The contradiction is that if Christ is a real Son, with a beginning point in time, then he cannot be God, since God has no beginning in time. It therefore becomes a matter of choice between two apparently irreconcilable extremes, either Christ is fully God with no beginning and not a real Son of God OR Christ is a real Son of God, with a beginning and not fully God.
Here are quotes to show this thinking.
“…it would be absolute foolishness for anyone to maintain the belief that Jesus was somehow born from God”…“The Father-Son relationship in the Godhead should be understood in a metaphorical sense, not in a literal sense. (Max Hatton, Understanding the Trinity)
“It may be INFERRED from the Scriptures that when the Godhead laid out the plan of salvation AT SOME POINT IN ETERNITY PAST, THEY ALSO TOOK CERTAIN POSITIONS OR ROLES to carry out the provisions of the plan. (These Times, our Times, June 1st, 1981) (emphasis added)
In fact, all church doctrines about who God is are based on how the church’s theologians try to navigate this so-called contradiction between sonship and divinity of Christ. The trinitarians almost flip a coin to resolve this apparent contradiction. In the end, they decide that for Christ to be fully God is far more important than for him to be a real Son of God before he was born to Mary. So, they consider Christ as fully God but not a real Son of God. So, in accepting the divinity of Christ and rejecting His literal sonship, the trinitarian interpretation process finds itself with two problems. The first is what to do with all the many references to the Son of God. Clearly, the Bible states and describes the sonship of Christ many times more than it describes his divinity.
The second problem is that, having considered Christ as God but not the Son of God, the trinitarian thinking finds itself with two equal gods who have no literal familial relationship between them. In fact, after the trinitarian interpretation ‘proves’ that the Holy Spirit is also God, again with no real existential relationship to the other two, but equal to them, they find themselves with three individual gods.
At this point, the trinitarian thinking process has yet another big problem. The Bible states categorically that there is only One God. So, having ‘proven’ that the Father is God, the Son of God is God and the Holy Spirit is another God, all with no literal familial relationship, the trinitarian thought process has to find a way to make these three into One God.
To accomplish that, the first step is to deny that they are three gods, despite having just finished proving that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Spirit is God. Rather, the three gods are now called persons, not gods. The second step is where tritheism (which is often mistaken for trinitarianism) such as that of the nominal SDA Church Fundamental Beliefs differs from orthodox Catholic trinitarians. For modern SDAs (who are mostly tritheists), the solution to this oneness problem is to make a unity of the three gods, now called persons, the One God. Thus, the One God of the modern SDAs is not really an individual person on his own, but only a UNITY of individuals, i.e. a concept of UNITY.
To the Catholic trinitarians (orthodox trinity), the solution is to make one being out of the three persons. So, the One God of the Bible becomes to them a being made up of three persons.
To support these speculations, the interpretation process goes through a long and often deceitful and illogical process of explaining away Christ literal sonship, and the spirituality of the Spirit of God despite the abundant evidence in the Bible. This is the reason why all the interpretation techniques discussed so far were invented. They all start with explaining a full divinity of Christ with a sonship which is not a real literal sonship, and a God who is made up of three parts.
However, the truth is that Christ is both the literal Son of God and fully God in the highest sense. So where is the trinitarian interpretation mistake? It is in assuming that eternity is a long endless time stretching into the past. With that understanding of eternity and of time, if Christ was begotten then he was begotten in time as we know it, which gives him a starting point. But if eternity and time are understood as they truly are, Christ can never have beginning point in time, even though begotten.
The two truths to consider are these.
- Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
God through Christ created time. If God did not create time, and if time exists without God creating it, then time is God in and of itself. Not so. Time began when God created it and so shall end. If God created time, then he is outside time. Eternity is therefore the realm of God, a different realm of existence not a long endless time into past and future.
- Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy…
This verse suggests that eternity is God’s dwelling realm. It is important to note that mankind has no vocabulary to discuss matters of eternity. Such matters are far beyond human comprehension. All we know is that God created time and thus does not exist in it.
With that understanding of time and eternity, we instantly resolve the age-old contradiction between the sonship of Christ and his divinity. Yes, Christ has no beginning in time as we know it since he created it. Christ being begotten is not a matter of time such that we could say there is a point in time that he did not exist if he is a real Son born of the Father. Christ’s begotteness is from a different realm. As Micah 5:2 says, Christ goings forth (or origin) is from everlasting or from eternity, a realm different from ours, and one that we cannot understand, a realm not accounted by time as we know it.
But there is another way to resolve the apparent contradiction between the sonship and divinity of Christ. It is this that, even if Christ was begotten some point before the creation of the worlds, that does not at all stop him from being fully God. The condition placed on Christ’s divinity, that for him to be fully God he must have no beginning point is devised to make an argument for the 3-in-1 god doctrine, not one that is taught in the Bible.
The Bible does not demand that for Christ to be fully God in nature and authority, he has to be without beginning. Rather, the Bible teaches that kind begats kind. No man would argue that there is any qualification that makes the son of a man less human in nature and authority than his human father. Every natural intelligence that has the ability to begat begets always one who is just as much of the same nature and authority as itself.
There is therefore no verse or logic that prohibits God’s own only begotten Son from having just as much divinity as the Father, because he is actually begotten. This is more so if we consider the following verses which give Christ both full divinity and authority given by the Father.
- Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.
- Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead (or divinity) bodily.
Read also Hebrews 1 and we see that God gives His Son the following:
- Verse 1 “…whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…”
Christ appointed to a position of authority and has divinity (power to create) but from the Father.
- Verse 3 “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person…”
Christ the manifestation of God’s glory and also an image of God’s person (both authority and divinity)
- Verse 4 “…as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they”.
The only name (authority) one can inherit is from one’s father.
- Verse 5 “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”
Begotten of the Father at resurrection and declared to be a son again.
- Verse 6 “And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”
Appointed to be worshipped as God.
- Verse 8 “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”
Declared to be God (divine) by the Father (compare Colossians 1:19, 2:9) and given the sceptre and kingdom by the Father (authority and dominion).
So, we see that there is no truth that demands that Christ cannot be fully God simply because it is perceived that he may have a beginning point as a literal Son of God. We believe it is a great misunderstanding to make time as we know it a measure of divinity. Ironically, while the trinitarian thinking assumes to exalt Christ by making him a God independent of the Father, at the same time trinitarian thinking places the existence of Christ within time, making him subject to time. Being subject to time, Christ is no longer the creator of everything, and hence through the trinitarian thinking, Christ has actually been demoted from his fully divinity.
Thus, by a correct understanding of time and eternity, and by understanding that time as we know it is NOT a condition for the existence hence divinity of Christ, we can easily see that the contradiction between the sonship and divinity of Christ is a fallacy. The contradiction simply does not exist.
We may not leave this section without asking this question. Who said that a begotten Son is not fully as divine as His Father? Does the Bible demand that to be fully divine is impossible for one that is the only-begotten of the Father? For if this requirement that says Christ cannot be fully divine if he is begotten is not demanded by God in the Bible, then men by philosophy have enforced it on divinity.
Let us conclude this section by pointing out that if the sonship and divinity of Christ were in contradiction, the Bible would have spent considerable time stating and explaining that contradiction since it is such a key issue in understanding who God and who Christ is. The Bible is silent about this contradiction, and that’s the evidence that we should be silent about it too because we do not read of any contradiction that any Bible writer saw. In the Bible, both the sonship and divinity of Christ are upheld, and we dare say, his sonship being emphasized much more than his divinity.
Primacy of philosophy in trinitarian thinking
Philosophy plays a central role in trinitarian thinking. The trinitarian thought process is always about endeavoring to discover what human minds can build about God even though God has not said it. Here is one philosophical idea in trinitarian thinking.
“For, if love be of the essence of God, he must have possessed an eternal object of love. Furthermore, perfect love is possible only between equals. Just as a man cannot satisfy or realize his powers of love by loving the lower animals, so God cannot satisfy or realize his love by loving man or any creature. Being infinite, he must have eternally possessed an infinite object of his love, some alter ego, or, to use the language of traditional Christian theology, a consubstantial, co- eternal, and co-equal Son” (The Trinity, Whidden, Moon and Reeve, 2002, Page 115,116).
Do you see this philosophical idea that God needs to be satisfied by someone? Firstly, one wonders which God is being referred to here? Is it the one who needs another equal to satisfy his love or the one formed when three loving god-beings unite? If the one God has three persons in him, how does that satisfy his need for love? Think about it. The argument is that God needs someone to love. We understand that if God creates angels and men to satisfy that love. But if God becomes three in himself, he has not found someone to love at all. He is still the same one person.
More importantly though, who said God’s love needs to be satisfied? Definitely not the Bible. Who said God has an ‘alter ego’? Do you see this desire to define God in human thinking by speculation and philosophy? Why make the love between humans a standard of measuring God’s love? Is it not even sacrilegious to begin to estimate the Love of God by how humans satisfy themselves in human love? Why take the God of heaven to such a low level, except if you are not talking of the God of Heaven, God the Father, to start with?
But just in case you think this is not philosophy, here is one of the most well-known Greek philosophers, Plato, where this philosophy comes from.
“The god of love lives in a state of need. It is a need. It is an urge. It is a homeostatic imbalance. Like hunger and thirst, it’s almost impossible to stamp out” (Plato).
Whidden, Moon and Reeve in 2002 simply repeated and built into an understanding of who God is that which Plato, purely from a philosophical point of view, said more than 2000 years ago. The trinitarian thinking uses such ungodly philosophies. There is no basis in the revealed biblical text to use the nature of the love between men to speculate on the nature of the love of God, and the nature of God himself.
The truth about God’s love is that God’s love is not self-seeking, but all giving. It is a love without express human parallel. The revealed truth about God’s love is that he gave everything (John 3:35) to his Son, the Christ. Christ was given divinity, life, spirit, authority, kingdom, name of the Father and more by God, the Father. Having made Christ everything by giving him everything, then he gave everything to humanity. That is God’s love as revealed by the Bible, and every fibre of it contradicts the trinitarian thinking.
“Agape is often contrasted with eros, which [eros] is not found in the New Testament though it is prominent in Greek philosophy. Eros can refer to a vulgar, carnal love, but in the context of Hellenic thought it takes the form of spiritual love that aspires to procure the highest good. Eros is the desire to possess and enjoy [the need or desire for another]; agape is the willingness to serve without reservations…. Eros is attracted to that which has the greatest value [need for equal status or coequality]; agape goes out to the least worthy. Eros discovers value [seeks equal] whereas agape creates value [makes equal]. Agape is a gift love whereas eros is a need love. Eros springs from a deficiency that must be satisfied. Agape is the overflowing abundance of divine grace.” (`God the Almighty’: Power, Wisdom, Holiness and Love’, D. Bloesch, 2006, p. 147.) (emphasis added)
“It is the complete inheritance of Christ [John 3:35] that reveals that the Father has agape for His Son. If Christ did not receive an inheritance then we cannot be certain that God has agape for His Son. If the Son possessed all power from Himself and simply gave Himself then the Father in recognition of what the Son already has, He would philos the Son. Yet the Father said that He had agape for His Son. This can only become reality through the inheritance of Christ. Only in giving all to His Son, could the Father truly agape Him, for only then can we be certain that the love of God is not based upon any inherent quality of the Son and it is this love that sets us free.” (Adrian Ebens, 2012, ‘My Beloved’ p 137) (emphasis added)
This is the love of God that touches the heart. It has no philosophy in it. It is not a speculation of a need God may have had in eternity past. It is not measured by the standard of human love. It is a manifestation of that which the world has seen and has been revealed by the only-begotten Son of God, who was sent to reveal the Father to humanity. This is the love of God, which is the basis of the Gospel and is the Gospel itself, a series of events that tell a story of God’s ALL GIVING LOVE, not a philosophical thought process.
Another philosophy in the trinitarian thought process is the trinitarian understanding of eternity. This we discussed extensively before. Basically, the trinitarian mind tries to project human perception into the eternal existence of God. In trinitarian thinking, the existence of God is understood in terms of existence in an endless stretch of time into the past. With that, trinitarian thinking makes God’s existence subject to time as we know it.
Another philosophy is the very idea of making a one god who is composite of persons who are also each one of them a god. It is an idea which is impossible to conceive outside pagan mythological influence. The point is, even if (and we know it is not so) the Father, the Son and the Spirit were all Gods, the idea that these three Gods/persons have to be summed up into One God is purely a philosophical and pagan mythological concept. It is not taught in the Bible or elsewhere except pagan mythology that a One God is a product or sum of intelligent entities.
As mentioned before, the standard interpretation of the three-in-one god goes something like this. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, but they are not three gods, but only three persons making up the one God. When asked why spend time proving that each of them is God, hence making three gods, if what you want to prove is that they are only persons making up one God the answer is that God is a mystery and cannot be fully understood. That the “3-in-1 god is a mystery” is the answer to every question that challenges the obvious meaninglessness in the trinitarian interpretation of who God is.
We agree that the full nature of God is beyond human comprehension because a verse says that (Job 11:7). However, the Bible has verses not church doctrines. Church doctrines are created by man based on a certain thinking of their own choice. Therefore, while the fact that God is beyond full comprehension is found in specific verses in the Bible, there is no verse which presents the three-in-one-god doctrine of the church. Neither does the Bible state that a three-in-one-god is a mystery.
The 3-in-1 god is not a mystery found in any passage of the Bible. The 3-in-1 god mystery comes from some reasoning process putting verses together based on certain assumptions and philosophical speculations. The three-in-one god doctrine is constructed from simple clear verses which have nothing to say about a plurality of God in and of themselves, but the verses are put together to make a plural god doctrine. The manufacturers of the doctrine then point to the result of their own construction and call it a mystery.
Consider this allegory. A carpenter sets out to make a piece of furniture. After using all his skills, materials and tools, there stands a piece of furniture. Unfortunately, the furniture does not look good. Whose fault is it? Is it the wood used to make the furniture or the carpenter who made the furniture? Of course, it is the carpenter. One hopes that at this point the carpenter has learnt how not to make furniture out of a piece of wood. That’s the point. With the makers of the 3-in-1 god doctrine, coming up with a doctrine they themselves cannot explain, one hopes they have learnt how not to take innocent verses from the Bible to make an idea which is not in the verses of the Bible nor is it intelligible.
Let us just say that the very fact that the creators of the 3-in-1 god doctrine and those to whom it is preached cannot understand it is the very evidence that they should not create such a doctrine. The three-in-one god could only be a mystery if the idea could be read directly out of the pages of the Bible in a simple plain “thus saith the Lord I am three-in-one.” Without that, the real mystery is why able-thinking believers would do such a thing as create a mystery where there is none.
We also contend with the 3-in-1 god doctrine constructors on this wise. The purpose of doctrine is to teach, and teaching is only possible if it is based on intelligent comprehension. Hence the purpose of making doctrine is to make a teaching clearer. If the three-in-one god doctrine, after being formulated is unclear even to the makers of it, then the very purpose of making doctrine is defeated.
Consider this allegory. Suppose your teacher comes to class and says, “What I am going to each you here cannot be understood by any person, even I cannot understand it, just accept it”. Would you still attend class? Or better still, the teacher comes to class and says, “What I am going to teach you here has been assumed to be true by many people. There is no real evidence for it, but it’s true.”
There is another problem with the speculation that three equal intelligent entities make up One God. As mentioned before, there is nowhere in the Bible where we are asked to understand God as one formed by an addition of equal intelligent entities. Nor yet is it with any precedence in all scripture that multiple equal intelligent entities are summed up to form another single intelligent composite being. This is one such a wild speculation which is exclusively reserved to the three-in-one god idea and pagan gods.
These are the claims of the three-in-one god idea, an idea not stated in the Bible, no one can understand, has been assumed to be true, creatively speculative, yet is called a teaching of the truth. It is this speculative idea that many Christians including the nominal SDA church would like to make a test of fellowship.
With such a doctrine comes some very confused logic. Take this statement for example.
“Whoever wishes to be saved must think thus of the Trinity. And whoever rejects this faith will perish everlastingly”? (Athanasian Creed)
“Now, as Fred Sanders once quipped, this doesn’t mean you should begin every witnessing encounter, “God loves you and has a wonderful Trinity for you to understand.” (Two Reasons the Trinity Matters August 8, 2018 | Justin Dillehay, The Gospel Coalition (www.thegoselcoalition.org))
There are many such statements made in trinitarian thinking. Immediately after saying we need to understand and think of the trinity, trinitarian thinking will say the same trinity cannot be understood, it is a mystery. So how then can we be saved by believing and understanding that which cannot be understood? This is the confusion.
We set out to reflect on the interpretation techniques used in the process of finding the 3-in-1 god in verses which do not say 3-in-1 god. What we have seen is that the trinitarian interpretation of the identity of God ignores if not outright avoids the most abundant facts about God, His Son and His Spirit. If the proponents of the 3-in-1 god doctrine could simply consider that the most stated truth is that the Spirit of God is OF God and the Son of God is OF God, the whole doctrine would collapse. In its place would come a very simple and beautiful understanding of God which even babies can comprehend.
We presented that the trinitarian interpretation method tries to use what the Holy Spirit can do to determine if it is God or not. However, this logic is completely flawed since any entity sent by God can do that which God only can do, yet it is not God himself.
We presented too that the trinitarian interpretation method works on relying on arbitrarily selected meaning of words such as Elohim, echad, monogenes and so forth. At best, the trinitarian thinking tries to prove that it is possible that these words may have alternative meanings, but never prove that the non-trinitarian meaning of these words is wrong. The simpler and straight forward meaning of texts that are contrary to the 3-in-1 god doctrine are not refuted but only substituted for arbitrary alternatives. The method used by the trinitarian thinking to decide which meaning of a word to use allows for just about any doctrine to be found in the Bible.
We presented that trinitarian thinking is a matter of trying to read between the lines of what God has said. It basically says, ‘though God did not say it, we can figure it out anyway’. Hence it gives the trinitarian mind a certain feeling of being smart. But the Bible tells us not to contest with God’s mind, His thoughts are above ours’.
We presented that the trinitarian thinking is not consistent in its uses of logical arguments. This is especially so when he, his and him mean an individual person in John chapters 14 and 16, but not an individual person in the rest of the Bible in reference to who God is. We also noted that the trinitarian interpretation is inconsistent when it highlights the plurality of the word Elohim, but refuses to use the plural meaning of the word Elohim, i.e. gods.
We presented that the idea of a three-in-one god does not make sense at any level, not even to those who crafted the doctrine. We presented that when one person/God is added to one person/God and to another person/God the outcome of that is hard to define. Is it another fourth person/God, or is it just a concept of a God? Yet the Bible presents God as an individual personal being.
We have presented that doctrine is meant to explain and teach not to complicate and create what cannot be explained. Just as poor furniture is a product of faulty workmanship, so is the 3-in-1 god mystery a product of a faulty interpretation method.
We presented that, in a trinitarian thinking, a mere mention of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the same sentence/verse and on the same mission is enough to make the sentence a trinitarian statement/verse. But we saw that, the mention of multiple persons in one verse performing the same mission is not an invitation to add them up to form another person/being. Neither is it an implication on the nature of such persons.
We presented that the requirement placed upon Christ, that if he is without beginning in time (i.e. he is eternal) then he cannot be begotten is a fallacy. There is no such requirement found in the Bible. Linked to that, we presented that the trinitarian understanding of eternity as a long time into the past and future, in terms of time as we know it, is very flawed. Eternity is more clearly understood as a different realm of existence outside our time reckoning.
We also observed that trinitarian thinking is a philosophy itself. Trinitarian thinking often tries to use simple concepts such as love to construct an idea of God that God has not revealed to a human mind. The very idea of forming One God out of three persons is a pagan philosophical thought process. At no time are we taught to form a One God out of persons of any sort.
After the forgoing reflective points, we touched on the product of trinitarian thinking which is called a mystery. The product of this trinitarian thinking is then called a mystery, not because the Bible states a mystery called the 3-in-1 god. It is called a mystery because, after using the methods of their own choice, the trinitarians end up with something that does not make sense and cannot be intelligently explained even by themselves. To cover for this manufactured doctrine, it is labelled as mystery.
With this we conclude that the 3-in-1 god doctrine would not stand if the method used to manufacture it is critically examined against simple statements from the Bible. The very fact that the most abundant evidence about Christ is that he is the SON OF GOD, and that God is the one who has Christ as His Son should settle the question of who the One God of the Bible. Similarly, the very fact that the greatest evidence about the Spirit of God is that it/he is the SPIRIT OF GOD (belonging to God), and that God is the one to whom the Spirit of God belongs should settle the question of who the One God of the Bible is. The very fact that the One God of the Bible, identified as the Father, is Himself OF no one, seals the simple understanding of who One God is. With the One God of the Bible being clearly identified as the one who belongs to no-one, is of no-one, the one who has a Son Christ, and the one to whom the Spirit of God belongs, the 3-in-1 god doctrine is put in its actual place as an unnecessary, philosophical and pagan speculation.
That which we can be certain about God is this.
“There is one true God”, God the Father (John 17:3), who has one fully divine (God) Son (Hebrews 1:8). To the “Son of God” “was given everything” by God, the Father (Matthew 28:18; John 3:35). The fully divine Son of God (Hebrews 1:8), the “beloved of God the Father” (Matthew 3:17), was “sent into the world to reveal the character of the one true God”, His Father (John 7:28). “It pleased the Father that His Son be equal to Him” (Colossians 1:19, 2:9). The one true God and His Son have “the same one Spirit” (i.e. unity), which is “God the Father’s Spirit” (John 3:34). That Spirit, “the Spirit of Promise”, they have made available to humanity, “through faith in the Son of God” (Ephesians 1:13). Those among humanity who believe in the Son of God, that he is the Son of God, “receive that Spirit”, the Spirit of Promise, the “personal presence of the Father and the Son” (Psalms 139:7; John 14:23), by which believers “partake of the same divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), “the eternal life”, that flows from God the Father, “the Great Source of All” through the Son of God to believers (1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Timothy 2:5). This is the truth of the One All Giving True God, God the Father. AMEN.
This statement is made of verses linked together almost end to end as they simply read, without putting some philosophical spin on them. There are no concepts foreign to the Bible. We pledge that there is not a single verse in the Bible that would contradict this simple truth and that anything not in harmony with this statement contradicts the Bible. In this certain truth, there is no one god formed of three persons.
The Rock Fortress Ministries
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Updated 21 November 2020