Gospel Advocate, H. Leo Boles, Holy SpiritTrinity and Tritheism: The Holy Spirit published by the Gospel Advocate, H. Leo Boles defines the Holy Spirit as a separate Being. God is One God only because the Holy Spirit is made of the same God stuff as Father and Son. When Boles or others uses a modern word we have inserted in itallics the definition of that Word. This will show why it is important to use BIBLICAL words so that you can define them by how the words were used in THAT culture.
1. ASSERTION: H. Leo Boles was the first person in history who, in 1938 at FHC, taught that the Godhead is three, separated persons (people) able to hold meetings and decide what to do. John Mark Hicks at LU calls God "three centers of consciousness able to commune with one another.
2. CHALLENGE: a reader called my attention to the views of David Lipscomb. These views were written by J.W.McGarvey who defined SPIRIT as PERSONALITY as indeed all historic literature does. "He has a nasty spirit" means that he has a nasty personality. I reviewd this request at this link.
3. J.W.McGarvey makes it clear that neither he nor any Restoration Movement teacher believed that the Spirit OF Christ speaks to any person except through His Word.
DANGER: either out of delusion or using psychological violence claim that the SPIRIT told them that the music (noise) of the cursed sacrificial system was God COMMANDING INSTRUMENTAL PRAISE and WE MUST NOT DISOBEY this direct command. This is THE WAY for Satan to deceive people and Peter outlawed private interpretation or further expounding as the MARK of a false teacher.
The Godhead is manifested as three persona but not three human-like persons. H. Leo Boles's views expressed in Gospel Advocate literature will be reviewed in this fragment.
The Trinity of three persona or manifestations has been changed to three persons who are One because they are made of the same "god stuff." This view pervades liberal churches of Christ. The nineteenth century redefined the classical meaning to make One God into three persons. Person is defined in the modern sense much like a human being who cannot exist without some other interacting person to love and help clean up the mess. In order to defend neo-trinitarianism, tritheism or actually polytheism, the word "person" is redefined to fit the redefined Bible.
Even when defining "person" in relationship to God, Webster uses "in person" which, of course, can only apply to the Invisible God or Spirit revealed as visible Father-Son. Webster defines person in relationship to "theology":
"Theological: any of the three modes of being (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) in the Trinity. (Webster)
"After the council, the bishops went on teaching as they had before, and the Arian crisis continued for another sixty years. Arius and his followers fought back and managed to regain imperial favor. Athanasius was exiled no fewer than five times. It was very difficult to make his creed stick.
In particular the term homoousion (literally, 'made of the same stuff') was highly controversial because it was unscriptural and had materialistic association.
Two copper coins could be said to be homoousion, because both derived from the same substance." (Karen Armstrong, A History of God, p. 110)
"So when the Cappadocians said that God was one ousia in three hypostases, they meant that God as he is in himself was One:
there was only a single, divine self-consciousnesses.
But when he allows something of himself to be glimpsed by his creatures, he is three prospoi. (exterior expression on the face of what was on His mind.) (Armstrong, p. 116)
All emphasis this writer's unless noted.
A trinitarian nature of God is an almost universal belief. Those who oppose it often do so to deny the full Deity living as Lord Jesus Christ. In these views, Jesus Christ in His eternal nature is treated as a "son" in the sense that even as one/third of the Godhead He was still created. Because this makes Him into a second-ranked god or person, the make-a-fool-of-you invention is to say that: "The Son is eternally created or generated." That doesn't help much.
Others, such as Arius and Jehovah Witnesses, say that Jesus was just a normal man thus denying His full Deity. While Jesus treated His physical nature as fully human, He claimed that He was the body in which God the Father dwelled fully.
Still others make Him second-ranked by retiring Him after His dispensation and making this the "age of the Holy Spirit" person. This may be another way to retire the Law God and the Word God so that we can just get direct access to Spirit God. Spirit God, of course, will permit us to do things contradictory to Law God and Word God.
We believe that God exists in His three "natures" somewhat explained by body, soul and spirit. This is the only meaningful explanation of man "made in the image of God." That is, Adam was not created triplets but with a "triad" nature. Paul explained this in 2 Cor. 2.
With God, the "body" is not physical. This nature means that He has the power of anthropomorphic "hands" and "arms" to manipulate physical elements. God has "Life" like "soul" as part of His Triune Being. Finally, He has Spirit defined by both Hebrew and Greek as "the mental disposition and expression" of a Divine or human being. When Spirit is described with a personal pronoun it is Christ at work in Spirit form.
All of this condenscends to our human nature which, being finite, cannot understand the infinite. However, we know that when we blow wind or spirit from between our "double-edged swords" or mouth, words flow out as the most important way to make our message known. The father or thought, the wind and the word are not three persons. For the visible universe, Lord Jesus Christ is fully God.
Calling the Holy Spirit a Person Came From Liberalism
Because the word "trinity" is a supplied word, we need to understand that it has different meanings to different people. Its defacto addition to the Biblical text has created so much confusion that the usual answer is: "It's a mystery." The implication, sometimes stated, is that "God cannot communicate in human languages." This writer "wishy-washes" with the tide but is fearful of any "paradigm" which diminishes God's choice to reveal His full Deity in the man Jesus Christ.
We should begin by showing that many scholars who believe in some form of trinity strongly warn against considering God as a person. These new-found views of personhood degrade the historical meaning of Trinity even in its fairly late formulation by Catholic writers:
"He (Karl Rahner agreeing with Karl Barth) believes that in light of the modern development of the concept of person, its unqualified use in the Trinitarian doctrine leads unmistakably to tritheism." Matei then quotes:
"There can be no doubt about it: speaking of three persons in God entails almost inevitably the danger (as a rule we try much too late to overcome it through explicit corrections) of believing that there exists in God three distinct consciousnesses, spiritual vitalities, centers of activity, and so on.
This danger is increased by the fact that, even in the usual presentation of the scholarly treatises on the Trinity,
there is first developed a concept of 'person' derived from experience and philosophy, independently of the doctrine of the Trinity as found in revelation and of the history of this doctrine.
Next this concept is applied to God, and thus it is demonstrated that there are three such persons in God. " (Eugen Matei, THE CONCEPT OF 'PERSON' IN TRINITARIAN CONTEXT: HISTORICAL AND ECUMENICAL PERSPECTIVES)
Many writers in the church of Christ agree and teach tritheism or neo-trinity as they view the Son and Spirit as two relatives derived from the one Father. Yet, the two are no less god because they are co-equal. In this view, they are one God only because they are made of the same God-stuff as Adam and Eve were one because they were made of the same human stuff. However, God said:
To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Isa 40:25
The goal of this short fragment is to warn that the the Trinity must not be understood in any way which diminishes the full Deity of Jesus Christ, His Headship (Head contains Spirit) over the church and the Oneness of God in His Spirit state. To ignore this is to make this the "age of the Holy Spirit" which always leads to the belief that my songs and sermons are more important and powerful than Christ's.
Beginning with the Neo-Pentecostal movement peaking at mid century, many church of Christ writers shifted to a semi-Pentecostal view. This view holds that the literal, person of the third-ranking member of the god-family moves into the literal, human body of believers. This has led to a new, charismatic form of worship in which style and attendance proves the indwelling of the Spirit. Even hiring a professional worshiper-god manipulator to elevate ones attendance above the others.
Professional worship facilitators with musical and theatrical training have discovered a "place as the clerical trough" to help the worshipers experience the presence of God. This charismatic god is far away while this is the "age of the Holy Spirit" person.
This has developed into a divisive, destructive hobby continued by plagiarism. However,
It was the nineteenth century which made God into a person, with the result that the greatness of the classical idea of God was destroyed. Paul Tillich
Most of the confusion is built upon a failure to understand that the Spirit is the Mind of God. Therefore, when we say "Spirit" we really include all that is viewed as God Who is pure (undiluted) or Holy Spirit. "Holy" is not a first name. Paul makes this clear when He informed us that our "body, soul and spirit" are proof that we are made in the image of God (1 Cor 2). Yet, God did not create three beings in the beginning. When Adam and Eve became two people and one flesh, God was still One and Alone. He was the Same Spirit Who was the Rock, the Water, the Manna and Lord Jesus Christ.
The seeming paradox of Son speaking to Father to send the Spirit is clearly defined to exclude making God into our image of three persons or people.
Christ Promised to Return As the Holy Spirit Comforter
A key proof that Christ, in whom Deity dwelled fully, would take up residence in His church is in John 14. However, verse 18 is deliberately not quoted and one writer silenced Jesus in the middle of a sentence. While this writer has done a great service in warning against charismatic practices, it has been easy to adopt the views of the collective mind of the church which too often skips the "punch line" of a passage. For instance:
The Gospel according to John inspired by the Spirit of Christ. Jimmy Jividen, Alive In The Spirit, Gospel Advocate, p. 47 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; Jn 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; Jn 14:16 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. Jn 14:17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. Jn 14:17 I will not leave you as orphans I will not leave you as orphans... Jn 14:18 I will come to you. Jn 14:18 NAS Oops!!!
Scripture is clear that all images of the Godhead live with and walk among His people and even fill the whole universe. Therefore, Jesus began to lead the apostles into all truth by promising that He would live in the believer's mind, heart or spirit. Because spirit carried the meaning of the mind of a rational being and not the being Himself, we would expect God's mind or Spirit to dwell in our mind or spirit. Until Jesus was stopped mid-sentence, He might have said that He would return as Spirit Father and Son to live within our spirit:Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. Jn 14:19
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. Jn 14:20
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Jn 14:21
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jn 14:22
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. Jn 14:23
Literal people do not live inside literal people unless one of them is pregnant.
Therefore, Christ did not promise that we would, like Himself, become gods Incarnate. All of the Old and New Testament promises are that God would put His Spirit or Mind into our spirit or mind. This was the promise to the Son Who would be God-Incarnate (Isa 11:1-3) The God-created (and we had better not demean it) means of transferring His Spirit to our spirit is through His words which Jesus said are "spirit and life" (Jn 6:63). No worship facilitator can do anything but chase God out of the house.
The Spirit of God or the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8) lives within each believer as "the Spirit of sonship." Paul said "let this mind be in you that existed in Christ." The mind was not a person but the mental disposition (spirit) which was willing to abandon His Majesty and take on the role of Father and of Son where son means "to build the father's family and name."
"He will not leave them orphans because after his leaving he himself will come back to them. Only a little while will they be orphaned. What coming does Jesus refer to? The answer is given in the last clause of v. 21 and again in v. 23. The death of Jesus (as Father kls) will not be like that of a father whose little children are then left fatherless orphans.
The death of Jesus means his return, a return for a higher and richer union than before his death and departure. This return is connected with the gift of the Spirit.
We must not break the thought in passing from v. 17 to 18. Jesus (man), indeed, does not identify himself with the Spirit so that the Spirit's presence with the disciples is the presence of Jesus (the man kls); but he does connect his coming with that of the Spirit." (Lenski,'s Commentary, John, p. 1001-2) (This is why Jesus said "we" meaning both roles will live within the believers mind)
In a human body Christ was self-limited. However, as "another" or in the Spirit state which He laid aside to put on the garments of flesh, Lord (Father) Jesus (Son) Christ (Spirit anointed) would "fill the whole universe" and come as another, fuller or Spirit presence in the hearts and minds of those who hath His commandments and keeps them.
No, don't be childish: the person with the most Bible knowledge is not the one with the most spirit. One can have the "brain" filled with knowledge but not have the Spirit or Mental disposition of God.
Lenski notes that if Jesus didn't return at Pentecost He would have left them Comfortless which means orphans. When we are adopted into God's family we are not bewildered orphans. We are adopted by Christ to Himself and take on the spirit (mental disposition) of a child of God so that we can call the God of the universe, "Father." Yet, as Spirit, He is not the visible Jesus.
Paul understood that to be children of the Father means to be adopted by Jesus Christ to Himself:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Ep.1:5
As Jesus He is our elder brother but as Christ He is our Father God. For instance, the Jews were correct: only God can heal diseases and forgive sins. Therefore, in His healing Ministry Jesus was fully God the Father:
When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. Mk.2:5
But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. Mt.9:22
Christ is God as the means or the through. As a Door He is the gate through Whom we pass in our prayers and inner mediations (hymns). The Door of the House is not another house any more than our spirit which communes with our selves is another person. Jesus is the house, the builder of the house and the door into the house:
VERILY, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. Jn.10:1
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. Jn.10:7
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way (road), the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me Jn.14:6
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Jn 14:7
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Jn 14:10
Jesus, the only Mediator, never called Himself a "defense lawyer." Rather, the Intercessor in Hebrew means to "come between" or most often to "meet." Jesus as we perceive Him in the Flesh speaking Words is the way we meet His invisible nature. My outward person is the way you meet with my inner person. Therefore, my appearance and voice and my ears are my mediator to my inner spirit. There was no man or no other person in the Godhead who could be His Intercessor. Therefore, God sent His right arm or right hand to mediate His salvation:
He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. Isa 59:16
In a symbolic sense, God laid aside His majesty and became flesh as His own right arm or hand. This right hand which Zechariah said was Jehovah-Saviour worked His ow Righteousness for Him. When the work was over, He returned to sit down at the right hand again. He was "reclothed" with the same Majesty and glory He laid aside to become a man as His right hand.
Christ is not the only Mediator or Intercessor just so that He can be a carrier pigeon to take messages to God way up there. Rather, when God was manifested in flesh, full Deity which dwelled in full man was the Bridge or Mediator between flesh and Spirit. In the same way, our "spirit", unless it is destroyed with charismatic fits, is the mediator and moderator between our mind and our flesh. It does not have to take a trip to mediate for us.
There are many "lords" and many "gods" but our Lord (Jehovah in Hebrew) is the One God (Elohim Hebrew). He is both the by and the of. As Father, He is the of but as Incarnated in Jesus Christ He is the by or the channel, or mediator or door to His invisible, incomprehensible nature:
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many, 1 Cor 8:5
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. 1 Cor 8:6
Because H. Leo Boles seems to be the "father" of many books on the Holy Spirit, his definitions, in The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate, will be examined along with other views. We have added synonyms in parenthesis. This should be viewed as this writer's commentary. This may helps see the consequence of a definition of the Godhead which has been "plugged in" by many honest but careless people seeking, perhaps, to show that churches of Christ are not out of the mainstream of a periodic need for personal Godhood. After all, being like the nations or denominations seems to be more important than being like the church of Christ.
In fairness, Boles like most restoration writers, ultimately arrives at the conclusion that the Holy Spirit dwells in us through His agent, the Bible. However, this confuses all of those book writers who have, like Mary's little lamb, followed him to school and are suckered into the belief that they are little Christs or little apostles with the authority to "speak for Christ in this church."
By allowing God to be One we do not diminish His Spirit. Rather, we elevate and honor the indwelling Father-Son-Spirit so that all dwell with, live within and walk with us as we allow Him to indwell through His Spirit or Mind in our spirit or mind. But how about Paul saying that the Spirit lives in our body? Job makes it clear that everyone has God's spirit (which is holy) and His breath in us to make us have a mind and a spirit to guide it. When God removes His breath and spirit we die. David clearly prayed that God would not remove life from him as he removed life from Saul. There is not evidence that the "person" of God the Spirit lived in the literal body of David who is the prototype of all cardinal sins. Click Here for more details on the Spirit in our Bodies.
Descriptions of Polytheism in the Neo - Trinity Formulation
The church is in a crisis because it denies the full Deity of Jesus Christ. This is done by making the Holy Spirit into a "person" who took up and completed the work Jesus Christ was unable to complete. He needs us to open up the wineskins to allow the wine to ferment. Or is it to allow the polluted scholarship to escape? He needs musical worship teams to call down His Spirit so the manipulated worshipers can meet God.
In the following notes, all emphasis or parenthesis have been added to show how idle words, spoken and repeated, can and are interpreted by the non-reader just getting ready to teach Sunday School. They are not intended to put words into the mouth of the writers.
You may "flash forward" to read the bulleted statements of the doctrine. The but or objections follow.
The first statement is a definition of God as three persons of the God family. We follow that with comments or Scripture to warn against belittling God. First, however, we note that these definitions are more philosophical than Scriptural:
CATHOLICISM - " The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion -- the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another. Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God."
In this Trinity of Persons the Son is begotten of the Father by an eternal generation,
and the Holy Spirit proceeds by an eternal procession from the Father and the Son.
Yet, notwithstanding this difference as to origin, the Persons are co-eternal and co-equal: all alike are uncreated and omnipotent. This, the Church teaches, is the revelation regarding God's nature which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came upon earth to deliver to the world: and which she proposes to man as the foundation of her whole dogmatic system. Catholic Encyclopedia
"Greek thought fixed primarily on the Three distinct Persons: the Father, to Whom, as the source and origin of all, the name of God (Theos) more especially belongs; the Son, proceeding from the Father by an eternal generation, and therefore rightly termed God also; and the Divine Spirit, proceeding from the Father through the Son. The Personality is treated as logically prior to the Nature. Just as human nature is something which the individual men possesses, and which can only be conceived as belonging to and dependent on the individual,
so the Divine Nature is something which belongs to the Persons and cannot be conceived independently of Them.
"However: The Greek Fathers did not neglect to safeguard the doctrine of the Divine Unity, though manifestly their standpoint requires a different treatment from that employed in the West. The con - substantiality of the Persons is asserted by St. Irenaeus when he tells us that
God created the world by His Son and His Spirit, "His two hands" (Adv. haer., IV, xx, 1).
The purport of the phrase is evidently to indicate that the Second and Third Persons are not substantially distinct from the First.
"..the Son and Spirit, proceeding from the Father, are nevertheless not separated from Him; while they again, with all their perfections, can be regarded as contained within Him.
This doctrine supposes a point of view very different from that with which we are now familiar.
........... The Greek Fathers regarded the Son as the Wisdom and power of the Father (I Cor., 1:24) in a formal sense,
........... and in like manner, the Spirit as His Sanctity.
Apart from the Son the Father would be without Hls Wisdom; apart from the Spirit He would be without His Sanctity. Thus the Son and the Spirit are termed "Powers" (Dynameis) of the Father. But while in creatures the powers and faculties are mere accidental perfections, in the Godhead they are subsistent hypostases.
Denis of Alexandria regarding the Second and Third Persons as the Father's "Powers", speaks of the First Person as being "extended" to them, and not divided from them. And, since whatever they have and are flows from Him, this writer asserts that if we fix our thoughts on the sole source of Deity alone, we find in Him undiminished all that is contained in them. (Catholic Encyclopedia, Trinity)
Calvinism: God is One, He is one just as three humans are one. That is, as three men are made of the same man stuff, God is one because all three persons are made of God stuff. In addition, three equals one because all are equal in power and glory. (Westminster Larger Catechism).
However, Paul wrote that God laid aside His majesty and privileges as God to dwell in a human. His Mind or Spirit or mental disposition is commended to us:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Ph 2:5
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: Ph 2:6
who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, Ph 2:6LIV
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: Ph.2:7KJV
but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. Ph 2:7LIV
The Mind of God is the Spirit of God. Spirit is not defined as another "person" living inside the "head" of Christ Who was full Deity. This "Mind" was the mental disposition or the attitude of submission which existed in the Infinite God of the Universe. God's Spirit is a "Him" just as our mind is our inner person but not another person.
As the spirit of man is the mind or the knowing nature of man, the Spirit of God is the Mind or knowing nature of God. Paul concluded that this Spirit is revealed as the Mind of Christ:
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?
even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1Co 2:11
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. 1Co 2:12
Which things also we speak, not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 1Co 2:13
For who hath known the mind of the Lord (The Theos is our Kurios), that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1Co 2:16
"For God hath revealed it to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God." For he recognises the spiritual man and the Gnostic as the disciple of the Holy Spirit dispensed by God, which is the mind of Christ. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, Book Five.
Because the word, Mind and Spirit are often interchangeable, to have the mind of Christ is to have the Spirit or mental disposition of Christ. This is the spirit of self-sacrifice and not the spirit of superiority inherent in those who believe that the literal God makes them Incarnate along with Jesus.
Is God Three Coeternal and Coequal Persons
H. Leo Boles: The Godhead is thus composed of three coeternal and coequal persons; they are the same in nature and essence (basic stuff), but are different, (discrete, dissimilar, diverse) personalities (selfhood as a human). Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate, P. 20-21 (Each is fitted for different roles.)
"It would be sufficient to anathematize the Arian heresy and confess the faith confessed by the holy Fathers at Niceae, and to anathematize also those who say that the Holy Ghost is a creature and separate from the essence of Christ. (Walker, Winston, A History of the Christian Church, p. 124)
Most of the ancient writers used the word "persona" which is translated in error as person. If we read Paul fairly we will see that he often speaks of the Spirit as the Spirit or mental presence of Jesus Christ living with and walking among His body, His church. The term the Holy Spirit does not appear even once in Romans chapter eight.
There is no other god person like God:
Isaiah wrote to show God's side of this issue:
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Is 46:9
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Is 46:10
There is no other god person co-equal to God:
To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Isa 40:25
There is no other god with our God:
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. Deut 32:39
There is not other god beside our God:
I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: Is 45:5
With the exception of Genesis in the creation account (which Job called a parable in 29:1) not only is God an I and not a We, there is no other god. Indeed, God says, there is not even anyone similar. Our view of the trinity, therefore, must agree with God's clear statements repeated dozens of times and endorsed by Jesus. I don't know how God could have made it simpler in showing how the invisible God became visible:
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit,
seen of angels,
preached unto the Gentiles,
believed on in the world,
received up into glory. 1Tim 3:16KJV
This does not say that the Son was manifested in the flesh. In fact, God Who is Spirit became a Father - Son figure when He laid aside the majesty on the throne.
Was Jesus the Incarnation of God
H. Leo Boles: Christ is the only member of the Godhead that has been clothed in flesh. Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P. 20
On the other hand, that you cannot separate God into parts is shown by a Trinitarian manifestation of the One God. See 1 Tim 3:16 above to show that it was God Himself Who was clothed in flesh. To deny this is the ultimate denial that Christ (Spirit Anointed) descended as God and ascended as God and not as a family member.
For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Col.2:9 (full Deity)
God became both Father and Son when His Deity or Spirit form took up residence in a human form. The redeeming work of God could only be accomplished when the Father or Spirit God allowed the Son or flesh form to be crucified.
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Jn 14:1
When the flesh form or Son was crucified Jesus said that He had the power to resurrect Himself. He was "dead in the flesh but alive in and by the Spirit" which lived in Him:
After Pentecost, the Spirit would speak from Christ as the Son had spoken from the Father who was inside.
If Boles and his "writing family" are correct, then God the Father was not incarnate in Jesus Christ. Rather, only the Son was incarnated. If true, Christ did not have the Father with Him. The Spirit was not there when Jesus breathed the words of inspiration into the apostles. However, all Spirit food is in Christ Jesus as God's Mediator of food and life:
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Jn.6:35
Not only does the Father live within, the Father sent Himself. Therefore, Christ lives by the indwelling Father. When the Disciples were upset over the parable of eating the flesh of Jesus, He explained:
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. Jn 6:57
For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God. 1Pet 4:6
The God of Glory laid aside the privileges of His Godhood. He sent Himself into "a body prepared for me" and Jesus lived by the Father in Him. He spoke the words which the Father in Him Spoke. He was God Incarnate and the only God Incarnate. Jesus the man was a "body prepared for me."
Because Jesus carried around in His body full Deity, He was the invisible God made visible in a physical form. Jesus told the Jews they could do anything they wanted to do to the body because it didn't count. He could resurrected it by Himself:
This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. Jn 6:58
What and if ye shall see the Son of man (flesh) ascend up where he was before? Jn 6:62
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Jn 6:63
When we claim that only one/third of God lived in the body we deny that Jesus was fully God in visible form. The words of the man were the words of God because God spoke through Him. God did not die when the body died.
Because there is only One Spirit, the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit. Jesus discounted the "body prepared for me" because He would die in the flesh but be made alive in the Spirit.
Christ promised that He would come again in the flesh and take us to heaven. He said that he would receive you unto myself:
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Jn.14:3
Peter, who was guided into all truth, said that God was manifest in the flesh and suffered to bring us to God. God's approach was to brink mankind to Himself as they identified with the man, Christ Jesus:
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 1Pe.3:18
God was manifest in the flesh and justified when He was quickened by the Majesty and Glory He laid aside to live in "a body prepared for me." The Son or flesh was resurrected by the Father or Spirit glory:
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Ro.6:4
It was this Spirit which resurrected the flesh which was the Spirit of the Old Testament. It was the Father who is pure or Holy Spirit:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 1Pe 3:19
Paul clearly states that "godliness" or "the gospel scheme" is not three cut-apart persons of the god family. Rather, the One God of the Old Testament was in the God or Father form. He laid that form aside and took on the flesh form as Son. The God-privileges He laid aside did not die on the cross but as pure or holy Spirit it raised and therefore justified the whole Divine transaction.
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1Tim 3:16
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Heb 10:4
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: Heb10:5
Or, in Paul's words to Timothy:
Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, 1Tim 2:5 LIV
who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, 1Tim 2:6
but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men.[a] a7 literally, "made in the likeness of men." 1Tim 2:7
And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal's death on a cross.[b] b8 literally, "became obedient to death, even the death of the cross." 1Tim 2:8
Yet it was because of this that God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name which is above every other name, 1Tim 2:9
Or as Zechariah prophesied of the Branch as Jehovah- Saves the "two" are the One God:
Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. Zec 6:12
It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty
........... and will sit and rule on his throne.
........... And he will be a priest on his throne.
........... And there will be harmony between the two.' Zech 6:13
As God who lived in the flesh, Christ was the Spirit office of His own Deity Who raised Himself. This was because the Father or Spirit dwelled in the Son:
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. Jn.10:18
Therefore, because the body of Jesus was resurrected by God, by Spirit and By Himself we are not to see three Resurrectors. Rather, "things equal to the same things are equal to one another." This leaves us with one God presented to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To baptize in the name (singular) of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is to baptize in the name (singular) of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38).
This is why it didn't matter too much that people spoke against "Jesus of Nazareth" the human body in which God the Spirit lived. However, when people deny that the full Spirit Deity lived in this body of flesh that was the denial that He had descended.
In demanding a direct indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a one-third god yet the only One competent for this the "dispensation of the Holy Spirit," the Word is always diminished. However, in the following table it is clear that to blaspheme the Spirit is to blaspheme the Words of Jesus because these Words are, to us, His Mind or His Spirit:
- Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men:
- And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him:
- And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.Jn 12:47
- but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Mt 12:31
- but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Mt 12:32
- --It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Jn 6:63
- He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. Jn 12:48
- --For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. Jn 12:49 (This sending Father never left Him)The Father spoke through the Son in Whom He lived fully. The glorified Christ returned to the throne (rulership) which He walked away from to redeem mankind. When He returned as pure or Holy Spirit it will stlll be the glorified Christ speaking Spirit-to-spirit into the Apostles. There will not be another Spirit form which leaves the Father and Son offices denounced so that this can be the "age or dispensation of the Holy Spirit."
The Son of man was flesh and the "visible image of the invisible God." In a similar way, we are invisible and the light which strikes us is invisible. However, when the light reflects off our human body we and the light become visible. The image which is reflected is not another person. Even young children learn early in life that their reflection in the mirror is not another person. On the other hand, a young cat might jump in fright.
You might be forgiven for speaking lightly of Jesus the man but you should not blaspheme the Spirit by denying that full Deity lived within Christ and that His Word is His power to bring people to Him to give life. There is no other name.
Does the Trinity Mean Three Levels of Deity
H. Leo Boles: Their Standing (status or rank) is always first, second and third. Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P. 20.
"There is no strict order of mention of the three persons of that Godhead...which emphasizes the deity of each and underscores the fact that there is no jealousy there" (F. Donald, and Ronald A Harris, The Trinity, p.27).
However, Jesus had something different to say:
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, Re 1:5
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Re.1:8
There cannot be two Almighties. The second Almighty does not play second fiddle. He is the:
Pantokrator (g3841) pan-tok-rat'-ore; the all-ruling, i.e. God (as absolute and universal sovereign): - Almighty, Omnipotent.
This fulfilled the prophecy by the Spirit of Christ in Isaiah:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Is.9:6
That He is the "world ruler" is proven by Paul to the Ephesians:
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Eph 4:7
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and (He) gave gifts unto men. Eph 4:8
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? Eph 4:9
He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) Eph 4:10NIV
To fill is Pleroo (g4137) to make replete i.e. (lit.) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (fig.) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task)
Christ, and not another person, is the ruler of the universe, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Furthermore, it is clear that the gift of Christ is the gifts which Christ gave. He gave the gifts of the Spirit because He returned as pure or Holy Spirit. He promised that He would dwell as Father-Son in those who obey Him. "In Him we live, move and have our being." And "Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in your midst."
H. Leo Boles: The Divine Family... suggests the close relation that exists between the members of the Godhead, and also that they constitute a family (clan, kith, lineage, race); it suggest that they are closely related, that they are akin. (relatives, same lineage, same tribe) This term expresses an interest in each other and a cooperation (teamwork, collaboration, partnership) in activities. Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P. 21
He further notes that the word Trinity is not Biblical but it is used in keeping with the pagan godheads which were always triads at the top rank. Enlil, wind god, is defined exactly as spirit is identified by Boles. He defines a neo-trinity which sees God as three, totally separated persons or people. The classical meaning of Trinity saw God as three persona or roles.
Members of a family, kin, or relatives are not even remotely One. They are members of the human family and they bear some resemblance but they are not One. The heresy of "the age of the Holy Spirit" explicitly states that some members of the "god family" are more equal than others.
"Next, then, I may properly turn to those who divide and cut apart and destroy the most sacred proclamation of the Church of God, making of it [the Trinity], as it were, three powers, distinct substances, and three godheads. . . . [Some heretics] proclaim that there are in some way three gods, when they divide the sacred unity into three substances foreign to each other and completely separate" (Letter to Dionysius of Alexandria 1 [A.D. 262]).
Boles and many liberal, semi-charismatic churches of Christ make God into three persons so separated that they are one God only because they are made of the same God substance as mankind is one because we are made of the same man substance.
Was the Holy Spirit Person the Creator
H. Leo Boles: The Holy Spirit was present in the beginning... the plural means that there was a plurality (majority) of divine beings. Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P.22
"'Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord! (Deut. 6:4). The proper translation should be: The Lord our Gods is a united Lord". "That Elohim means 'Gods' is further substantiated in Genesis 1:26" (Henry H. Ness, Dunamis and the Church, p. 7,8).
However: Elohim would make the verse translate: "In the beginning the gods created." This is clearly the understanding. However, the whole story will prove that Jehovah is the only El. Spirit does not speak of a person. If it did then the Spirit was created by God. For a fuller discussion Click Here.
The word "spirit" in the creation means wind as the agent of God's clearing the face of the waters. A similar example is found in the flood event where the Wind (spirit) cleared the waters from an earth which had again become empty and vain. Again, the same words are used of the Red Sea crossing where the wind or spirit opened the lane in the sea to allow Israel to escape the void and empty condition of Egypt. The pattern appears in the Wilderness as God carried Israel. The same pattern appears again in Jeremiah. There are many parabolic accounts of the creation which show that the spirit was the wind exercising God's power. Wind or breath is connected with the Word Who created all things at all levels of their creation. These are the literal words. However, the story is that God the Spirit Being created all things:
For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth (bara) the wind (Ruwach or Spirit), and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh (Asah) the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts (heavenly warriors), is his name. Amos 4:13
The void and empty state occurs many times. At the Flood, at the Red Sea and as God has to recreate the nation. In these events the wind or spirit speaks figuratively of His breath or blast from His nostrils.
Is the Trinity Made up of Three Persons
H. Leo Boles: Personality in God is the sum total of the infinite attributes resident in the inmost depth of his one divine nature; the three persons in the Godhead are the three individualities (distinctiveness), the three personal centers of consciousness, the three separate (apart, divided, independent, disconnected, distinct) self-conscious and self-determining (self-deciding) persons or selves. Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P. 33 (self means appearance, exterior, form like humans)
But: Personality means "the quality or fact of being a person." And a person is a human being. By saying that God has personality it is believed that God is somehow patterned after a human being.
I don't know how you add infinite attributes all of which reside in his depths or insides of God. Strong, a Reformed commentator agrees with the Hebrew and Greek definition of spirit:
"The Holy Spirit is God in his innermost being or essence, the principle of life of both the Father and the Son; that in which God, both as Father and Son, does everything, and in which he comes to us and is in us increasingly through his manifestation. Through the working and indwelling of this Holy Spirit, God in his person of Son was fully incarnate in Christ. (Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 216)
And So the Hebrew and Greek word for Spirit defines it. While defending the trinity as three gods, many writers understand that calling God a "person" beginning in the nineteenth century was a radical change from earlier Trinity models which no one could understand and which did, and does, just confuse people with impossible symbolism.
Is the Holy Spirit Similar to God and Christ
H. Leo Boles: The Holy Spirit as a member (limb, branch, leg) of the Godhead is associated in all divine acts with God and the Word. Such association and relationship (family tie) necessarily imply a likeness (similarity, resemblance) in nature and similarity in attributes (qualifications, character). Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P. 31
"Elohim is the plural of Eloah, and literally rendered, means, the Adorable Ones...in the beginning the 'Adorable Ones' created the heaven and the earth" (J. Narver Gortner, Water Baptism and the Trinity, p. 57).
- John Calvin - Holy Spirit - Genesis 1
However, to anyone who can read the symbolic language of God working in the physical elements, it is clear that when Christ breathes His Spirit upon People it is in speaking His Word which, He said, is spirit and life;
"The Spirit accompanies the divine Word of the Father, just as the breath (Greek, pneuma; Latin, spiritus) accompanies the word spoken by a man. The three persons do not exist side by side in the divine world. We can compare them to the presence of different fields of knowledge in the mind of an individual: philosophy may be different from medicine, but it does not inhabit a separate sphere of consciousness. The different sciences pervade one another, fill the whole mind and yet remain distinct. (A History of God, Karen Armstrong, p. 117)
The "spirit" is a figure of speech which stands for the breath of God which flows from His mouth (double-edged) and is articulated as words of a command. The the natural elements move by that wind, spirit or command of God:
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath (h7307 spirit) of his mouth. Ps.33:6
He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses. Psa 33:7
Let all the earth fear the LORD, let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! Ps 33:8
For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood forth. Ps 33:9
Here we have a Trinitarian definition as God and Word and Spirit. Furthermore, we have the double-edged sword which is God's mouth. Armstrong's definition is emphatically stated in Psalm 33.
Within the context of various passages, the Spirit of the Lord is the Lord Himself:
And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel (with knowledge), and went out to war: and the Lord delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim. Jud.3:10
This is what Paul understood: the Spirit of Christ is the mental disposition of Christ Who is full Deity and therefore full Spirit. Paul speaks of "a spirit of" something without making the Spirit separated from Christ.
But: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor 3:17
"With this declining sense of the immediacy of the Spirit's present work came an increasing emphasis on His significance as the agent of revelation. Paul had identified the Spirit and Christ. This was not the general feeling half a century later. The Spirit had been the inspiration of prophecy in the Old Testament. He guided the New Testament writers. ( Walker, Winston, A History of the Christian Church, p. 57-58)
Was the Holy Spirit the Life-Giver of the Trinity
H. Leo Boles: Christ, the Word, is the agent (deputy, broker) through whom God created all things; the Holy Spirit gives life, enacts laws, and organizes (establish, institute, construct) the material universe. Creation was not finished (full-fledged, done) until the third member of the Godhead functioned. Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate p. 37
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 1Ti 4:4
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD (Jehovah) is the everlasting God (Elohim), the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable. Is.40:28
........... He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Is 40:29
And Ezra said: "Thou art the LORD, thou alone (solitary) ; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and thou preservest all of them; and the host of heaven worships thee. Ne.9:6
This is consistent with the statements that:
Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20b
Lord Jesus Christ, who made everything and gives us life. 1Co 8:6bLIV
Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. John 1:1-2 LIV
Note: a1 literally, "In the beginning." Christ, literally, "the Word," meaning Christ, the wisdom and power of God and the first cause of all things; God's personal expression of himself to men. (First and last or omega).
By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear. Heb.11:3
O Lord our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. Is.26:13
I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: Is 45:5
Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Is.45:21
Beside is Zuwlah which means that there is no god scattered from Him, none removed from Him, used to mean "only."
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Is.64:4
Lord Jesus Christ was the visible stamp or evidence of the presence of the invisible God. He created all things by Himself and for Himself:
Who is the image (visible form) of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: Col 1:15
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: Col 1:16
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Col 1:17
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning (Arche = power, principality, Corner) , the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Col1:18
Because the Creator God is the Head of His Own Body, the church, we blaspheme to call this the "dispensation of the Holy Spirit."
Did the Holy Spirit Clean up God's Creative Mess
Creation by a god family:
In spite of everything God can say, this creed holds that the Father and Son created the earth or "fruitful place" and it was just a holy mess. However, the junior member of the god family had the skill to organize and clean up the "totally worthless thing" and write laws to keep things going. This condition after Father and Son were finished was:
Tohu (h8414) to'-hoo; to lie waste; a desolation (of surface), i. e. desert; fig. a worthless thing; adv. in vain: - confusion, empty place, without form, nothing, (thing of) nought, vain, vanity, waste, wilderness. Doesn't this minimize the Word as incompetent to do it right the first time?
However, Isaiah explained many of the parables of the creation account and warns us against minimizing God. God never created anything which was "a worthless thing."
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. Is 45:6
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Is 45:7
When there are no other Gods, He speaks to and of Himself and swears by Himself. As He uses Words propelled by Spirit or breath, God also speaks of His Hands:
Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. 45:11 (This is not Two: God has no literal Maker).
I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. Is 45:12
For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else. Is 45:18
IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Ge 1:1
IN the beginning was the Word,
........... and the Word was with God, (pertaining to He 2:17; 5:1
........... and the Word was God. Jn 1:1
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Jn 1:3
"Philo of Alexandria) claimed that the Greek Logos was an inferior, secondary deity or as an emanation from God in time." This, unfortunately, has found its way into Christian thought.
God said that He created all things, all by Myself. There was no one else besides be. Without used of Jesus means:
Choris (g5565) kho-rece'; adv. from 5561 (no empty expanse); at a space, i.e. separately or apart from (often as prep.): - beside, by itself, without
This means that you cannot slip a piece of paper between all that we think of as God in all of His views. No way to stand side by side and face to face holding a conference with the god tribe.
Did the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ Derive from God
H. Leo Boles: The Scriptures clearly teach that both Christ and the Holy Spirit derived (borrowed, used, second-hand) their deity from the Father as the fountainhead (primal source), and so they are subordinate (inferior, minor, lower, subservient) to him; however, such derivation of deity and subordination do not by any means involve any quality (trait, mark) of deity. The Father's fullness of deity is absolutely dependent (subservient, reliant) upon the Son's deity and the deity of the Holy Spirit; their dependence upon the Father for the derivation (origin, beginning, source) of their deity is no greater than the Father's dependence (subordination, need of, subservience) on their dependence. Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P. 44-45 (Mutual begetting from all eternity)
Translated: First: Christ and the Spirit derived their Godhood from God. This is why Jesus said that the Father was greater. However, being born or derived from God did not reduce Christ's quality as deity. They are like children or cousins, kinfolk all having the traits of the god family. Second, God would not be full or complete without deriving Christ and the Spirit as gods. Third, this does not make God less dependent upon Son and Spirit because He had to have lesser family members dependent upon Him. (I think).
"The Father from eternity begat and always begets and never will cease to beget his Son" (F.J. Lindquist, The Truth About the Trinity, p.3).
This is the classic eternal generation like a snake swallowing itself and then giving birth to itself. Or perhaps the first egg came from the first chicken which came from the first egg...
This makes sense if, as Scripture clearly states, the Word is God because the Word is the spoken power of God which He projects by His Spirit or wind. As I am body, soul and spirit, God describes Himself as having power to manipulate matter, has life and has Spirit or Mind.
A similar belief is that because "God is love," He couldn't have existed without someone to love.
But: Son of God as applied to Jesus never has reference to the derivation, or eternal generation, of His being. Living Bible Ency. P. 1972 (Son of man defines Jesus the man. Son of God is Jesus Christ filled with Deity. Col 2:9; Lk 1:35. The body was prepared for Christ and therefore "God was manifest in the flesh").
"The Word alone of this God is from God himself, wherefore also the Word is God, being the Being of God. Now the world was made from nothing, wherefore it is not God" (Refutation of All Heresies 10:29 [A.D. 228]).
"For we do not hold that which the heretics imagine: that some part of the Being of God was converted into the Son, or that the Son was procreated by the Father from non-existent substances, that is, from a Being outside himself, so that there were a time when he [the Son] did not exist" (The Fundamental Doctrines 4:4:1 [A.D. 225]).
Was Jesus Christ a Literal Son of the Holy Spirit and Mary
H. Leo Boles: Hence, Christ is the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father. (John 1:18.) Again, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. (Acts 13:33.) So we see that God is the divine Father, Christ the divine Son; he was begotten by the Father through the Holy Spirit. (Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P. 45)
Boles uses the term "begotten" to prove that the Second member of the God family derived from the First Member or God. While He is inferior, He is still God in the sense of being related to the God family. He was conceived in a sexual way.
But: God manifested Himself in the image of Father and Son (so that we can understand that He is not a pagan, hostile family of gods, a triad at the top). The term begotten is of the body prepared for me. Christ, the Word was not hatched like a chicken. Nor did Deity have sex with a human!
"The finite mind cannot grasp the thought that there was a time when there was absolutely nothing but God, whether the Father existed at first alone, and the Son and the Holy Spirit proceeded from Him, thus making the Divine Three, is not clear. If the expression 'only begotten of the Father' (John 1:14) as applied to Jesus, refers to His eternal origin, then He was not co-existent with the Father." (Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, P. 47).
The word "begotten" in relationship to the Spirit nature of the Word does not mean that He was created by natural means. God did not call Him a literal Son, and therefore younger and inferior. Rather, in the continuing language of a parable or symbolic language the invisible is explained by the visible. Jesus said that I will be to him a father:
For to what angel did God ever say, "Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee"? Or again,
........... I will be to him a father, and
........... he shall be to me a son"? Heb.1:5
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. He 1:6
And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits (winds NIV, NAS, RSV, LIV), and his ministers a flame of fire. He 1:7
Paul knew that God became a Son by manifest ion and not by derivation from Deity:
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God (Father who laid aside His rights) was manifest in the flesh (prepared for Him), justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1Ti.3:16 (The same glory He set aside to become man)
The body of Christ was not the second member of the Godhead acting as agent for the other two. Rather, God is invisible Spirit. In the image of the King James Version, we know that a ghost is not visible. However, when it materializes or becomes visible we do not say that there are two ghosts or that one is visible as the agent of the invisible.
"Lord is another way, to Paul, of saying the Spirit... It was Paul's concern through his Corinthian letters (as in Luke and Acts) to see the Spirit in the most intimate connection with the Lord and thus with God. Paul will not have deity severed as though the Spirit of the Lord went beyond the Lord himself! For as the Spirit's basic manifestation is the utterance Lord Jesus, so now we are told that what the Spirit does is exactly what the Lord does; the Spirit's work is not an additional or special work beyond the Lord's; the Spirit is the Lord at work.(Bruner, The Holy Spirit, p. 289)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Is.9:6
Basil The Great
"What was in the beginning? 'The Word,' he says. . . . Why the Word? So that we might know that he proceeded from the mind. Why the Word? Because he was begotten without passion. Why the Word? Because he is image of the Father who begets him, showing forth the Father fully, in no way separated from him, and subsisting perfectly in himself, just as our word entirely befits our thought" (Eulogies and Sermons 16:3 [A.D. 368]).
Did God Create through Jesus Christ as Agent and Holy Spirit as Life-Giver
H. Leo Boles: There is a close analogy between the material realm and the spiritual. God is the Originator, Creator, and Supreme Ruler of the material universe; the Word is the agent (broker) through whom all things were made; the Holy Spirit is the organizer, the life imparter, lawgiver, and guide of the material realm. Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P. 46
But: the close analogy Christ draws is to compare our body-to-spirit relationship with His God-to-Mind (spirit) relationship.
I am not sure how you would deny the work of Jesus Christ in Whom full Deity dwelled. Jesus came that we might have life:
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1Co.2:16
........... In him (Christ, the Word) was life; and the life was the light of men. Jn.1:4
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. Jn.20:31
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Ro.5:17
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Ro.6:4 (The Spirit in Christ had the power to lay life down and take it up)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Ga.2:20
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Ro.8:2
The Spirit of life, like the Spirit of Sonship, is not another person. The image is always that God blows wind (spirit) from between His "double-edged swords" or lips to deliver His Word:
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Jn.20:22
Luke explained this by saying:
Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: Ac 1:2
Was God a Committee of Gods
H. Leo Boles: These (three) members ( parts, components, divisions, portions) of the Godhead held a council (committee meeting) at the creation of man; they are divine, one in substance, purpose, and design; yet they are three distinct (different, disunited, dispersed) persons and function (capacity, utility) in the work of creation. Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate p. 46
Other Statements of this view are:
"Perhaps we can compare the Godhead to a divine Committee of equals, but with specific areas of responsibility" (Gerald Wheeler, Is God a Committee, p. 47).
"'Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord! (Deut. 6:4). The proper translation should be: The Lord our Gods is a united Lord". "That Elohim means 'Gods' is further substantiated in Genesis 1:26" (Henry H. Ness, Dunamis and the Church, p. 7,8).
"Nevertheless, the personalities involved in the Trinity are expressed in such terms as 'I' 'Thou' and 'He'. As well the persons of the Godhead address each other as individuals and manifest their individuality, in personal acts. ...In summary, then, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are persons in the sense that they are personal attributes of mind, emotions, and will. Each of the three is aware of the others, speaks to the others, and carries on a loving relationship with the others" (Ron Rhodes, Christ Before the Manger, p. 266).
"At that time the Father said, 'I will have to judge that man.' The Son said, 'Because we love him, I'll go down and die for him.' The Father said, 'I'll send you.' And the Holy Spirit said, 'I'll go down afterwards..." (J. Vernon Magee, How Can God Exist in Three Persons, p.23).
No, this is all mixed up with Ea, Marduke and the Babylonian gods. They gave rise to Father, Mother and Son where "mother" is the "goddess of this age" and the only mediatrix between man and God.
"Therefore, the divine Trinity must be gathered up and brought together in one, a summit, as it were, I mean the omnipotent God of the universe. . . . It is blasphemy, then, and not a common one but the worst, to say that the Son is in any way a handiwork [creature]. . . But if the Son came into being [was created], there was a time when these attributes did not exist; and, consequently, there was a time when God was without them, which is utterly absurd" ( Letter to Dionysius of Alexandria 1 [A.D. 262], 1-2)
Is the Church the Dispensation of the Holy Spirit
H. Leo Boles: Each member of the Godhead has had his dispensation (management, regulation, laws, supervision, direction) with man on earth. A dispensation as used here means an epoch of time well marked by certain events; it means a system of principles, promises, rules ordained and administered during a certain period of time Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P. 51
But: The premillenial view, very popular about the time this was written and refuted by Boles, holds that Christ is not now upon His Throne which means that He is not now reigning as King and High priest except that He has somehow "broken into" the world. This seems to be the message of the New Wineskins Gospel. If He is ruling then this is the Christian dispensation.
We live by the Word of Christ which He defined as Spirit (Jn 6:63). He is the foundation of the body, the church. The body is His church and not "the church of the Holy Spirit." He is the Head of His own Body (the church) and He guides it with the His Spirit which guided the prophets of old. Please "permit" Christ's Own Spirit to live within His own Head to be in charge of His spiritual body.
Paul did not see Christ because He is Sprit, but he heard Jesus and not a separated spirit speaking to him.
The One God manifests Himself as Father, Son and Spirit. You cannot sever body from soul or from Spirit without the 'chicken with its head cut off' seen in the charismatic and semi-Pentecostialism which always results from denying Christ and making this the age of His agent, the Holy Spirit. When Father and Son live in the human heart or mind they live as pure or Holy Spirit (Holy is not a first name: it means uncontaminated by anything not Spirit).
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. Jn.14:23
When the we abide it is not by an agent but they live spiritually in the inner man or mind.
Did the Holy Spirit Finish the Work of Jesus Christ
H. Leo Boles: He (Spirit) takes the lead (first, primary, front, head) during this age as a member of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit took up the work where Christ left it (incomplete) and carries it on to completion and to its final consumation. The Spirit age, so far as revelation instructs us, is the last dispensation. Boles, H. Leo, The Holy Spirit, Gospel Advocate P. 53
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. Jn 14:17
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Jn 14:18
This "another" would be a fuller or "of the same kind" and it would be different from the "spirit" of the Law of Moses. In both cases, the "another" is Jesus Christ as Father-Son in Spirit or Mind:
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Ro.7:4
The "offspring" from this "marriage" will be the fruit to God and not to another "member of the "god clan"-
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Gal 5:22
Because this verse is such a problem, I have not been able to find it quoted in many books on the Holy Spirit. Its force is apparently reduced by saying that Jesus would come at the second coming. However, this would leave the apostles, who were suffering, comfortless as orphans. They would not receive the comforting which was primarily through revelation through them and to us. When Saul became Paul He reacted to the Lord and he received all of His teaching through Jesus Christ. All of the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation begin from Jesus Christ in some form and end with the demand: "Hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Is the One God Really Three Gods with a Common Purpose
H. Leo Boles and the Gospel Advocate: The three are distinctly (clearly, sharply, plainly) separate beings (persons, mankind, humanity, man, mortality). However, they are one (single, sole, solitary, unique) because they share the same purposes, intentions and desires. The Godhead is one in the same way that a husband and wife are one (Mal 2:14-15) (H. Leo Boles in Sept. 1, 1966, p. 2, Fall Quarter, Foundations, Gospel Advocate.)
But, Adam was alone just as God was alone before Eve was created. There was no other person beside Adam and therefore no other person beside God. After their marriage they became one flesh but not one person. God was still alone but Adam was not alone. God did not say that He had reached an agreement with the committee: He used the word one in a numerical sense.
God was married to Israel. Was Israel married to three co-equal husbands? Did they have to hold a committee meeting to decide how the two-becomes-one flesh operated? Was the third member of the tribe the life-giver?
We are married to Christ as His Bride and the "fruit" we bring forth is unto God. However, we do not believe that we have a spiritual relationship with Christ and thereby have spiritual children. All of this is deeply parabolic and, according to Jesus, is to hide the truth from the "multitudes" who don't give a hoot for His Words.
Was the Trinity a Cast of Actors on the Stage
Harvey Floyd: The word with (in Jn 1:1) implies communion, the association (alliance, organization, league, club) of persons. As literally as this can be translated, it is 'the Word was face to face with (confronting, disputing, in the face of, countering) God, he was toward God (pros ton theon)... There are two actors (cast of characters) in the drama (play, show, performance), and they are face to face with each other. They are on the stage at the same time... What we have is the doctrine of the Trinity: that God is a triad, that God is one God indeed, but his unity is a complex unity, a unity that exists in diversity. (Floyd, Harvey, Is the Holy Spirit for Me, p. 12, 20th Century Christian.)
But: Things cannot be co-equal and diverse! We often find ourselves engaged in a debate between our spirit, soul, and bodily nature as we grapple with a moral decision and are faced with a choice between the will of God and the desire of our self-seeking, flesh-pleasing nature. (Archer, Gleason L., Ency of Bible Difficulties, p 359, Zondervan)
Basic Bible Shows That with self does not mean two. When the "angel" of the Lord spoke to Abraham it was the Word or the messenger of God. This was God "myself" who was speaking:
And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, Ge 22:15 22:15I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Ac.26:9
And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, Ge.22:16
BUT I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.
May the (1) God of peace (2) himself make you entirely pure and devoted to (3) God; 2Co.2:1
May the (1) Lord grant that he will find mercy (2) from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. 2Ti 1:18
When God needs an Intercessor He sends Himself as His "arm" or "shoulder."
And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. Is.59:16
Yet (1) I (Jehovah) will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them--not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but (2) by the LORD (Jehovah) (3) their God." Hosea 1:7
This means that Jehovah says to Himself that He will save them by Jehovah. This is not two or three gods.
When Christ prayed, He did not call an assembly. Rather, he hymned (prayed) in quiet, private places (like your closet) so He could hear Himself speak to Himself. He knew that you cannot listen with your mouth open.
Hymning in the Old Testament
Hymning means: Siyach (h7878) see'-akh; to ponder, by implication: converse with oneself, and hence aloud or utter: - commune, complain, declare, meditate, muse, pray, speak, talk with.
Hymning in Ephesus--
Speaking to yourselves is: Heautou (g1438) heh-ow-too' thy- our-, your-) self (selves), alone, her ownself, he himself, his own self, one to another.. thyself, you, your own.
Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; (1) I will speak in the anguish of my (2) spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my (3) soul. Jb.7:11 (Ro 8:23 our spirit groans within our self, the Holy Spirit doesn't groan)
I call to remembrance my song in the night: (1) I commune with mine own (2) heart: and my (3) spirit made diligent search. Ps.77:6
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan (pray silently) within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Ro 8:23
think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Mt.3:9
Is it Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to Call God a Person
The one God subsists (survives, gets by, barely makes it) in three Persons, Persons who are able to confer (consult) with one another and carry their plans into action together without ceasing to be one God. (Archer, Gleason L., Ency. Of Bible Difficulties, p. 358, Zondervan)
But: the One God is still, in his mind, there people standing face-to-face. This demands that one be defined as three gods made of the same god stuff as we are one because we are made of the same man stuff.
Jimmy Jividen: The Holy Spirit is a person in the same way that God and Christ are persons. Just as we relate to God and Christ personally, so also we relate to the Holy Spirit personally, for the Holy Spirit is a personal God. Jimmy Jividen, Alive in the Spirit, Gospel Advocate, p. 20
But, a person is an individual, a human being, a man or somebody. I am a person, God is not. My kittens have personality (character or mental disposition) but they are not persons.
One who has related to the Holy Spirit personally means that he thinks that he has some experience (from my Thesaurus) as a person, for oneself, individually, by myself or for myself. Perhaps this is why most writers totally excise John 14:18 from the Bible and Jimmy can cut the verse in two and just throw out the last, telling, half
The Bible: The Comforter, Jesus Christ, in 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Jimmy Jividen: in 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans...
"This God is never called a person. The word person was never applied to God in the Middle ages. The reason for this is that the three members of the trinity were called personae (faces or countenances): The Father is persona, the Son is persona, and the Spirit is persona. Persona here means a special characteristic of the divine ground, expressing itself in an independent hypostasis. Thus, we can say that it was the nineteenth century which made God into a person, with the result that the greatness of the classical idea of God was destroyed by this way of speaking... but to speak of God as a person would have been heretical for the Middle Ages; it would have been to them a Unitarian heresy, because it would have conflicted with the statement that God has three personae, three expressions of his being. (Tillich, Paul, A History of Christian Thought, p. 190)
Because we are made in the image of God we have different expressions but Adam was not created as triplets:
May (1) God himself, the (2) God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of (3) our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Th.5:23
Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: God appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. 1Ti.3:16
"Intellect does not mean intelligence; it means the point in which God is for himself subject and object at the same time; it means God knowing himself and knowing the world as that which he is not. The ground of being, or in other words, the creative substance, is the bearer of meaning. (Tillich, p. 189)
Is God by Himself an Incompetent Witness
Jesus spoke of Himself and the Father as two witnesses (John 8:16). (Dockery, Bobby, The Holy Spirit, p. 18)
But: and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, Ge.22:16
Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.' " Ex.32:13
For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Heb.6:13
This shows that the Holy Spirit Person was not greater, even as a witness, by whom God could swear. Much less was He a person more competent to organize and give life to a muddled mess created by Father and Son!
If God had two other co-equal, co-eternal persons with Him He could have sworn by them. If they were not competent co-witnesses or co-swearers than Boles is right and they are ranked one, two and three.
Jesus was a competent "All in One" witness because the Father and Son were One:
And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. Jn 8:16
but if I were, it would be an absolutely correct judgment in every respect, for I have with me the Father who sent me. Jn 8:16LIV
It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. Jn 8:17
I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Jn 8:18
Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. Jn 8:19
Both the Sender and the Sent are One. God laid aside His Glory to make the invisible God visible. He was not just sent by the Father or the Glory but came on His own.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Jn 14:9
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Jn 14:10
Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake. Jn 14:11
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in (inside) the Son. Jn 14:13 (Not by but in)
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jn.20:28
May the God of peace himself make you entirely pure and devoted to God; 2Co.2:1
May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. 2Ti 1:18
Yet I (Jehovah) will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them--not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the LORD (Jehovah) their God." Hosea 1:7
Many liberal writers insist on calling the family of Gods "persons."
However, we should understand that when we speak of a person we mean "an individual, human being, man or somebody." You and I are persons. My cats have "personality" but they are not persons. Therefore, it was always considered heresy to call God a person. The word person comes from a word often translated as confidence--
Hupostasis (g5287) hoop-os'-tas-is; from a comp. of 5259 and 2476; a setting under (support), i.e. (fig.) concr. essence, or abstr. assurance (obj. or subj.): - confidence, confident, person, substance.
"In his letter To Alabius: That there are not Three Gods, Gregory of Nyssa outlined his important doctrine of the inseparability or coinherence of the three divine persons or hypostases. One should not think of God splitting himself up into three parts; that was a grotesque and indeed blasphemous idea. God (1) expressed himself wholly and totally in each one of these three manifestations when he wished to reveal himself to the world... the Divine Nature is equally present in each phase of the operation... The three persons do not exist side by side in the divine world. (Armstrong, Karen, History of God, 116-117)
After Webster defines a "person" first as a human being, it concludes with: "any of the three modes of being in the trinity."
The classical definitions of the Trinity never saw God as three, co-equal persons. Tritheism is a liberal view in many liberal churches of Christ.
The Modern Trithesm Sect
All of the above statements are Classic Descriptions of Tritheism God often reveals Himself in a triune, or three-dimensioned way but sometimes alone, as two or three-fold. In this He explains the unexplainable to the human mind. God, however is not made in the image of mankind. Therefore, He is always very careful to keep us from cutting Him up like a pecan pie.
"Trinity of persons is: A set of three persons or things that form a unit; in Christian theology, the union of the three divine persons (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) in one Godhead. Webster). This is almost identical to the common definition of the Godhead and this is Tritheism or polytheism: Webster's definition of trinity... could be interpreted in favor of Tritheism. (Turner/Myers, Doctrine of the Godhead, Quality Publications).
"When the Tritheist speaks of unity, he is referring only to unity of purpose, aim, and endeavor. The trinity of the Godhead is not a divine partnership (or family) in which each personality is a distinct essence, apart from the agreed unity. The unity exists within the One eternal essence. (One person three manifestations 1Ti 3:16). The Tritheist sect first appeared in the sixth century, and taught that Father, Son, and Spirit were co-equal, distinct Beings, united by one common will and purpose. Turner/Myers, The Godhead, p. 40
"But in God there are not three individuals alongside of, and separate from, one another, but only personal self-distinctions within Divine essence, which is not only generically, but numerically, one. Strong, Systematic Theology, p; 244f. (Armstrong, Tillich and others refuted heresy from 19th century liberalism).
Beginning in Genesis and throughout the Old Testament, the Jewish view of God was expressed in the Shema: God is One God. Jesus defended this as the most important commandment. At the same time, God in both Testaments is often explained in three or more forms or manifestations. For instance, the son born as Messiah would be Mighty God and the only Counselor.
Click Web Browser's BACK button to return to where ever you were.
Counter added 1.05.04 9:38a 2075 7.03.09 8000 3.17.10 8178