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Thursday, September 19, 2013

(73) The Trinity

This post is not a negative response to a poster on Names of God, Revisited.  It is only an explanation of why there is a Trinity.

The first thing people should understand is that the word "trinity" is nowhere in the Bible.  This is perhaps the starting point for those who call themselves non-trinitarians.  But the absence of the word does not mean that the concept or reality is not there.

What is the concept?  The idea of the Trinity is that God has three forms of identity, all separate yet all the same.  Those three identities are known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.    One problem that some people have is how can God be three different beings yet the same.  It is actually quite easy to understand.  We have the same type of analogy here on earth; triplets.  They are identical on the outside.  No one besides their mother can tell the difference between them.  But even though they look alike, their personalities may be completely different; yet they have a huge connection with each other.  We also have another analogy with H20.  Although this one is overused and has become a cliche it still holds water (drum noise).  It comes in three forms (water, ice, vapor) as well but have different properties (solid, liquid, gas) and can still exist in the same place at the same time given the right circumstance.  So to understand these things of the natural world makes the being of God, which is supernatural, all the more possible to understand.

Why is there only three?  There are many titles/names that are used in scripture to identify God but only three personas are referred to.  Three is also used many times as a symbol in scripture as some will hold onto as a belief.  There is no uncle or some strange multi-dimensional creature that exists along side Them.  Scripture refers to three and only three.

Why are they different?  They each serve a different purpose.  God the Father, laid down the law.  Jesus the Son, redeemed everyone with His blood.  The Holy Spirit walks the earth guiding the believers.  God sent the Son.  The Son sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-23).

Where does it say they are the same?  In many places Jesus equates Himself with God the father.  Jesus says things like; "the father and I are one" and "before Abraham was, I AM", and "he who has seen me has seen the Father".  Yet, Jesus also separates Himself from these as well.  He prayed to God.  The Word was with God and the Word was God.  Jesus is of course, the Word.  God called down from heaven and said "this is my beloved son".  In the Garden Jesus cries out to God and calls Him "Abba".  "Daddy, take this cup from me", Mark 14:36.  Jesus called out to God the Father on the cross when He felt His father leave His presence, "Father into your hands".  But the most compelling passage that shows all three is Acts 10:38.
  • How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
God anointed Jesus, the man with the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was flesh but still part of the Trinity.  He was able to sin but knew no sin.  He was given the Holy Spirit just like Christians are today when they accept Jesus.  God was with Him.  No where in the Bible does it mention any other essence of God as a being.  But all throughout the Bible does it equate them to be the same yet different.  This is why we pray to God in Jesus Name through the Spirit.  This is why we are told to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19).

The three are all One.  The same God.  When we worship one, we worship "all".
 
There is so much more that could be said but most would stop reading at this point.

18 comments:

Paul G said...

Hi brother Tim, you have a nice group of gods in this post. I think it would be difficult to believe and worship all those three gods.

Please tell me, which God called from heaven and said 'this is my beloved Son'? And is this beloved Son also a God?
Why did God sent someone else? Couldn't He come and do the job Himself?
'Jesus is calling out to God the Father', are you saying that Jesus and God the Father are TWO?

Brother Tim, you said "they are the same yet different", that is a term in contradiction and also 'the three can not be one' that too is a mathematical impossibility. Three are always three and it never changes just like you, your wife and your son are always three. You might be one in union or one family but you always will be three, and God is not a family that He needs a son or a wife.
Paul

Tim said...

For the readers: Paul has his own site where he outlines his faith and another part of this topic is covered. I suggest click on his name and go to his site. It is good reading.

Paul,
Thank you for the conversation. To answer your questions as briefly as possible (which I doubt I can do) let me make a list to make things easier to follow/reference.

1) God is one. I do not serve any gods. I worship one and only one true God.
2) God is three at the same time. We can not prove God with language, science, nor mathematics. 1+1+1 does not equal 1. That is understandable. Again we can not prove God with math but if youwere to try then since The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit are side by side then the correct math would be 1X1X1 and that does eqaul one.
3. God is not bound by the laws of physics either. He can be in all places at the same time as well. God the Father is in Heaven. Jesus was sent to earth in the form of flesh. He was made lower than the angels. He was God but had not come into fulfillment/glory therefore had to be given authority over the flesh.
4. No one knows why He planned the things He did. So to answer "could He do the job Himself" is of course yes, but we do not know His plan, for His ways are higher than ours.
5. He does not need anything yet He chose to create man anyway. Your analogy is correct but off the topic. As I stated on your site. My wife is one person but to me she is everything. I need her for comfort. I need her emotionally. I need her as a companion. She is one but many. God is not 3D like we are on earth. No depth or width or height can explain the love of God. Any analogies we use will never be able to completely compare with who He is but if we can understand that it is possible on earth then by all means it is possible for Him to be One yet three.

I appreciate your concern and I welcome more discussion, keeping it friendly :)

Take care and I will join you shortly on your site my friend, brother.

Paul G said...

Tim;
P.1) It is interesting that you did not say who that 'one true God' is, in fact it is impossible for you to say who that is because you believe that God is a few individuals.
As for me it is easy to tell you who this one true God is; simply it is the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 5:20) "He is the true God and eternal life." And apart from Him there is NO OTHER!

P.2) No my brother, the Lord our God is One! Consequently He is NOT three. He is not 1+1+1 and neither is He 1x1x1. The Lord our God is the Lord Jesus Christ and He is referred to as 'HE' that is singular, meaning 'ONE'.

P.3) If the Father is in heaven and Jesus is on earth, then you certainly believe in TWO gods and transgressing the first and foremost of all the commandments (you shall have no other god beside the Lord your God).

P.4) You said, "No one knows" and "we don't know His plan".
How can you say that? How do you know what I know?
The Lord can reveal things to me and hide it from you and visa verse. But just for your record, I do know the things of the Lord and His plan and so should you.

P. 5) No my brother, it is not possible for Him to be ONE and yet three.
I also understand that it is very difficult to believe that this man from Nazareth who looks just like one of us is the creator of heaven and earth the Lord God the Almighty. And who believes our testimony and our report?

Tim said...

Paul,

RE P1. Please understand I am not saying "individual" as in another person. I have said personna. Three personalities but not individuals. I am not worshiping Buddha, Krishna, and Vishnu. The Lord is God, the Lord is One. God is not 3D. He is multi-dimensional, He is omni-dimensional. For Him to be three and one at the same time is very possible. 1 John 5:20 is very true. Jesus is the one true God.

RE P2. Please do not be upset with the math. God can not be explained with math. He is not 1 plus nor 1 times as you say. He is ONE. But listen to this scripture as well: John 14:23"Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." Who would be the "we" and "our"? Jesus alos goes on and say sthat the Father is greater than He is. The reason why He says this is because Jesus was made a little lower than the angels while He was in the flesh. But then all authority is given to Him.

RE P3. I am not quite following. God is omni-present, correct? Then He most certaintly can be in two or more different places at once. Who is Jesus praying to? Why does He pray to the "Father" everytime He prays? Why does He cry out to ABBA inthe Garden? Why does He say "not my will but yours be done"? I am lost to as why you think God is not and heaven and earth at the same time. Are you saying that while Jesus was here on earth that there was no one in heaven? Jesus in His prayer says the time has come to glorify the Son. If there is a son then there has to be a Father. Jesus says that Father is the only true God and that the Father sent Him. He goes on to say in that prayer that He was with the Father before the world was created. Jesus calls Him Father over 30 times in the Gospel. He even later in the same prayer says "Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as WE are." Who is the "we"?

RE P4. I am learning His plan as I grow older. I do not know His full plan for all of mankind. I do not know His plan for you. Please do not miss the point there. God can do whatever He wants. Sometimes we do not understand why. If we knew why then we would be God.

RE P5. Why is it impossible? Are you doubting the power of God?


I am not trying to pick apart your faith. But scripture repeatedly shows the omni-potenence of God and the possibilites of who He is. Please teach me why these things are impossible for God. Why does Jesus use the terms Father, and Spirit.

Above all, I worship GOD! When I pray in the Spirit I pray through the power of God. When I pray in Jesus' name, I pray in the name of God. When I pray to God the Father, I pray to the same God. Three personalities...ONE GOD.

Jesus was sent as a man and still God while in the flesh. His flesh is lower than the angels. Now that He has been glorified He is "sitting" with God the Father again. And yet still be ONE GOD. Do not limit the power of Him.

I don't know what else to tell you.

Matthew 28:19
John 14:26
2 Corinth 13:14
1 Peter 1:2

And many more...please my brother listen to what the Spirit is saying.

Paul G said...

Tim, RE. P1. a 'persona' is an 'individual', persona is the same word for 'person'.
Jesus Christ is the ONLY one true God. You have left out the word 'ONLY' and used the word 'ONE' which could suggest that there is another 'ONE' also a true God.

RE. P2. and P3. You have introduced math. and not I.
All those Scriptures and verses you have quoted are impossible for you or any Trinitarian to understand.
Trinitarians have this deceptive idea that all those three gods having a dialogue with each other. One god is saying to another god, 'if it is possible, take this cup from me but not my will be done but your will be done'.
The Greater god said to the lesser god, 'you are my beloved son and I am very pleased with you', the son said 'you are my holy father and you are greater than I'. 'You Abba father have always loved me, and forgive them they don't know what they are doing, into your hands I commit my spirit'. Some how the third god is a little mute, he doesn't say much.
Tim, are you still saying that you don't believe in many gods?

RE. P4. And RE. P5. Yes that is impossible! 'Why?', because it defies every form of intelligence and the law of logic which is 'A' can not be non 'A'. just like 'three can not be one'.

Brother Tim, I'm able and willing to explain all your Scripture quotes and statements and many more of RE. P2. and RE. P3.

I like to keep my comments short and to the point, but to explain all that, it needs many pages.
Let's try and see how far we are willing to go. We'll take the most difficult passage of the Scripture John chapter 17 which is called 'the Lords prayer'.
Instead of me explaining everything immediately, I will first point you to the right way of thinking and interpreting that passage.

To understand ALL Scriptures, it is required from you that you believe in your heart and hopefully in your mind that Jesus Christ is the Lord God the Almighty and that He is the ONLY GOD (Jude 1:25).
If you agree to that, then from that premise all Scriptures can be rightly interpreted.

The fact is that Jesus Christ is GOD! And because God is ONE, therefore Jesus Christ is that ONE.
The fact is that Jesus prayed! If Jesus is the only God, then to whom did He pray? If He prayed to another person or god, then Jesus Christ is NOT the Lord God the Almighty but an imposter. This question is important, what do you think?
But more important is the question WHY did the Lord God the Almighty pray?
We know that God does not need to pray, so then why did He pray? Only men and sinners need to pray but God is without sin. This question is also important, what do you think?
Please try to answer those two questions without referring to the Trinity. If there are any problems I will answer them.
Kind regards
Paul

Tim said...

Paul,

A good discussion stays away from semantics. Yes, persona does mean “person” but you know that the word also means “personality” or “character”. The same with me saying that Jesus is the one true God is the same thing as saying “only” one true God. Let us please not get bogged down with semantics. Jesus is the only true God. I will never argue that. As I said before I worship ONE God. But God does take on different personalities (personas), not as in schizophrenia but for different purposes, as in the examples I gave with my wife. Is she three different people? No. Does she take on different personas? Yes, to fulfill my needs. The same is with God. This is not to say that He changes for me. It means He simply is God that laid down the law (Father). He is God that redeemed me with His death and blood (Son). He is God who guides me (Spirit). All three were there from before Creation to the eternal end of this age.

Paul said: “You have introduced math. and not I.” Small note, Paul, please read your first comment. You said it was mathematically impossible. Nothing is impossible for God.

The one thing you keep interjecting which is inaccurate is that I believe in more than one God. I understand you do not believe in a Trinity but to keep saying that is a form of propaganda, manipulation, if you will of my beliefs. All the scriptures I use are exactly for explaining the concept of a Trinity. They all mention a father, or a son, or a spirit, or all of them somehow working together or communicating. What you need to do is show how they are not.

In God’s full glory they are all equal. Jesus though, and not take this out of context, while in the flesh had the ability to sin. Therefore He was considered “lower than the angels”. Yet, because of His divinity, He is still God, manifested in the flesh. Never once did I say that Jesus is a lesser God or that the father is “greater”. But flesh itself is not perfect. Jesus perfected it. His grace makes us perfect.

You get upset with scripture that says:, 'if it is possible, take this cup from me but not my will be done but your will be done', but who is Jesus talking to when He prays?

“Some how the third god is a little mute, he doesn't say much.
Tim, are you still saying that you don't believe in many gods?” Not once did I say it and I never will. The third persona of the Spirit is there. He was given to the world when Jesus returned to the Father. Jesus said He would return to the Father. Who was He referring to when He said that?

Paul said: “Yes that is impossible! 'Why?', because it defies every form of intelligence and the law of logic which is 'A' cannot be non 'A'. just like 'three cannot be one'.” That my brother is doubting the power of God. Is God omnipotent? With your words you make Him limited. He is omniscient. Are you saying it is impossible for Him to know everything? He is omnipresent. Are you saying He cannot be everywhere? How can He be in your heart and mine then at the same time? My friend, your thoughts are contradictory. You cannot have it both ways. You say things are impossible for Him but then how can He be all powerful. If you say He is not all powerful then you negate scripture for nothing is impossible for God.

I am witnessing right now that Jesus Christ is the ONE AND ONLY GOD. I hope then by your definition and standard that I am able to interpret correctly.

Jesus prayed to God the Father. His flesh was not Spirit. He had feelings and thoughts like an average man would on the earth. His flesh was not perfect sin He had the ability to sin. He prayed to the Father since He knew His flesh needed to be perfected. The Lord’s Prayer also was to show us how to pray. Jesus never prayed for His sins to be forgiven. He did not need to pray that prayer. The prayer in the garden was His flesh, His soul and body, asking to do it another way. He was fully and fully God at the same time. If He was not then His sacrifice means nothing.

Tim said...

Continued...

He lived as an average man showing life can be lived accordingly to God’s plan. He did it and perfected our flesh; no more law but grace. Man though needs to pray to God because he needs to take on the grace of God. We are sinners. We pray for forgiveness, Jesus did not pray for His sins but of others.

In all respect, I asked you a few questions as well. You did not answer them. You turned the question back to me. I answered your questions as well. Please take time to tell me who Jesus prayed to and why He used the terms Father and Spirit, and Son. Why did He mention these?

No personal attacks. Trying to make things as clear as possible. Please do not get side tracked with semantics. Use scripture to back up what you say. I will accept Rabbinical passages but not speculations.

Hope to hear from you Paul.

Paul G said...

If you say that Jesus is the ONE AND ONLY GOD. Then please tell me who is the Father?

I think we both know that you can not answer that question.

So then I will; Simply, the Father is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is His title just as the title 'Son'. (Jer. 3:19) "I thought you would call me Father", and Isaiah said that He shall be called 'everlasting Father'.

Tim said...

Paul,

You did not even attempt to answer my questions my friend.

I have answered your last question a couple of times already. Let me state again, Jesus and the Father are One along with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Father, yet at the same time He is also the Son. It may be a concept you can not comprehend. I wish you could.

Please as you wanted, stay on topic. I answered your question about prayer, please answer mine.

Keep on discussing...

Paul G said...

In your post you have said,that God is three identities, and you also said that God is three different beings, yet the same.

The Trinity doctrine clearly states that God is three persons, the Father is not the Son and the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. Perhaps you might sing it in your Church 'God in three person blessed Trinity'.

If the Father is not the Son (the Lord Jesus) but an other person, then the Father and the Lord Jesus are TWO! Contrary to what the Lord Jesus said (John 10:30) "I and the Father are ONE"!

Brother Tim, there is no other way.

The truth is that the Lord Jesus 'IS' the Father and beside Him there is no other.
Jesus makes that clear in many passages in the Scriptures. And I need you to agree to that.
Paul

Tim said...

We agree completely and yet we still disagree.

Yes, I have sung the song before but of course songs like that are not scripture and are not God-breathed.

Jesus is the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. But the Father is also the Son and also the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is also the Father and also the Son.

It is like your post about spirituality. You have posted an American coin. If I asked you what picture is on the coin, your answer would most likely be John Kennedy. But, look at the other side of the coin. It has a picture as well of an eagle. So which picture is the real coin? Both!!!! But it's the same coin!!! They can not be separated but yet they are different. They both explain the worht is $0.50 yet they show two different stories.

Again, that is just an analogy but it still explains the essence of the Trinity. 3 sides, if you will, yet the same GOD.

And, I ask again, then why the three terms father, son, and spirit being mentioned? Why not just "God"?

Paul G said...

But why singing a song which is Antichrist in origin? Would it be better to correct and rebuke those men who introduce such songs? As for me, I have no hesitation to do so, and also publicly if necessarily.

The main problem are the trinitarians who say, believe and teach that God is three persons in one God. Trinitarians are very clear that the Father is not the Son and the Holy Spirit is not the Father and the Son. By no stretch of imagination trinitarians believe in THREE gods.
They transgress the first commandment of the Lord and rob the Lord of the glory of being called 'Father'.
To transgress that commandment there is a punishment involved.
Why are there so many pastors shipwrecked, their Churches are split and in disunity, their congregation suffer the plagues written in the Bible and no one corrects or rebukes them. They are like Oxen who are lead to the slaughter and no one holds them back.

You said, "And, I ask again, then why the three terms father, son, and spirit being mentioned? Why not just "God"?".
The answer is simple, Jesus Christ is the Father (Isa. 9:6). Jesus Christ is the Son (John 3:16). Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17), and Jesus Christ is 'God', the ONLY God! (Jude 1:25).
All those 4 titles belong to only ONE person Jesus Christ our Lord.
Trinitarians in their deceptions say that all those 4 titles belong to three or four different persons.

OK! The Lords prayer (John 17);
That is the most difficult passage of the Scriptures to explain. It is required from you that you believe what the Lord Jesus said concerning the Father.
(John 16:25) Jesus said, "Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father."

Here we can see that Jesus has always been using metaphorical language concerning His Father. But now the Lord Jesus is telling you plainly just as I do.
The Lord Jesus Christ does not have a Father (Hebr. 7:3), if he would have a Father then He would not be the Lord God but His Father would be the Lord God, and then there would be two Gods. So then I will not talk about that any more because I have clearly demonstrated that in my comments.

In the beginning God (Jesus) did not have a body or flesh for God is the Holy Spirit (John 4:24). All the prophets prophesied that God would be born into His own creation in flesh. A spirit does not have flesh till he has entered flesh or is born in flesh. The same was with God, He was born through a virgin in flesh, or plainly God became a man Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
The reason He became a man is to die on the cross for our sins and to hold the office and fulfill that office of the last high priest according to the Levitical priest-hood and to establish a new and everlasting priest-hood according to a new order the order of Melchizedek (Hebrew chapter 7).

Now it is clear that God became a man Jesus Christ and He was the last high priest in the old order and fulfilled all the requirements of a high priest.
The requirements of any high priest was that he had to 'PRAY' for the sins of all the people and to bring a unblemished lamb as a sacrifice for the sins of the people etc.
Jesus Christ although He is the Lord God who occupied that office also had to PRAY. Therefore He prayed to Himself because there was no other God to pray to, just the same as He swore by Himself because there was no greater one to be found (Jeremiah 22:5). For that reason John 17 is called the high priestly prayer, and the Lord also sacrificed the perfect lamb of God that is Himself.
I have given only the outline because to go into all details it would take many pages.
Paul

Tim said...

Paul,

I like this. I enjoyed the ending especially. Sure, we are going to disagree on this, but not as much as it sounds.

Rest assured, I DO NOT believe in any God but the one we worship. I do believe in the Trinity doctrine but not as three separate gods with no connection between them like in Greek mythology or Hinduism.

Jesus is the Father. They are One. Jesus is the Spirit. They are One. The Father and the Spirit are One.

I wish you could get beyond the feeling I am worshiping three gods. I wish the concept was not baffling you. I have illustrated at least three different examples of how something could be the same yet still can serve three different needs or fulfill three different personas (characters) at the same time. And if the natural world which is bound by the physical laws of the universe can do it then imagine how much more so the One who created those laws can!

I think we have the old passe that would make our conversation move into circles. I thank you for this enlightening experience. You are welcome to show up anytime and state your faith my friend.

Take care and if you want to have the last word, feel free to.

See you at the Gate my brother.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much for following Saved by Grace! Your blog is a blessing & I'm following you back. I agree with your post on the Trinity, & I plan to write one of my own very shortly -- stay tuned! Paul G has commented on my blog also, disagreeing with my views on the Trinity, and I thought it would therefore be useful to review the pertinent Scripture for all my readers.
May God bless you and your ministry,
Laurie

Tim said...

Thanks Laurie. Paul means well. In all technicalities he is still right; Jesus is the only true God. He just can't comprehend the nature of God and seems to limit His power. He can't get passed the "three different gods" idea not being what we are saying. I respect his ideas and passion.

Saved by GRACE!

hawkssong68 said...

Water. Water can be a solid, a liquid and a gas all at the same time.

Tim said...

Are you telling us or asking us?

Water was used as an example in the Lesson.

hawkssong68 said...

Neither. My phone stinks and cut off part of it. The part that said good analogy. And the part that lol'd using science to proove it. And the :) at the end.

:)

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