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November 5 2013 3 05 /11 /November /2013 10:39

Hebrew Yahveh

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

 

The subject of the true sonship of God, and the relation existing between Jesus and God, has long been a question of contention. A lack of definite knowledge of the true Word of God is always responsible for a wrong understanding of this most vital subject.

 

It is believed that the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians were the first people to formulate a trinity. This influence was also found in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the centuries preceding and surrounding Jesus Christ’s birth.

 

In his book written in 1992 and titled Egyptian Religion, Siegfried Morenz wrote: “The Trinity was a major preoccupation of Egyptian theologians” and he goes on to add “Three gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular. In this way the spiritual force of Egyptian religion shows a direct link with Christian theology”.

 

In this short essay, we won’t go into great length to prove the pagan origin of the Trinity, as it is a well proven fact among historians and it may be easily verified idea of a Trinity or a triune God is not foreign to most of the pagan religions. One can only wonder how one cannot question the Trinity doctrine knowing such a fact. Christendom, ignoring the Scriptures, borrowed a lot of practices and beliefs from already existing pagan religious system.

 

The concept of a triune God then became the teaching of the Trinity in the early Roman Catholic Church and was, in its early development, one of the main points of doctrine to be discussed at the infamous Council of Nicaea held in 325 A.D. Later on, and as the doctrine continued to develop after the Council of Nicaea, the Trinity of Papal Rome became eventually known as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Although in details they may differ, most Christian denominations today hold to some form of the Trinity doctrine. Mind you, there is no Trinity (and no "binity" as some teach) mentioned in the Bible.

 

The Roman Catholic Church has picked up many of the Babylonian mysteries. The doctrine of the Trinity is such a teaching. These Babylonian teachings flowed into many of the Pagan religions and are also in so-called Christian religions to this very day. The Papacy has in some of its churches, as for instance, in the monastery of the Trinitarians of Madrid, an image of the triune god, with three heads on one body. How such an abomination can be reconciled with the two first commandments contained in Exodus 20? “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” (Exodus 20:3-4). It is worth noting that the doctrine of the Trinity led to such abomination as the Catholics who believe teach that Mary is the Mother of God, and that Jesus was God upon earth.

  

Arius on the Council of Nicaea

 

Arius, a noted theologian and profound teacher of his day, believed just as the Scriptures teach on the question of the Trinity. His point of contention with the apostate Church of his time was the doctrine of the sonship of Jesus, the first step toward what was to become known as the Trinity. We cannot deny the infallible Word of God, and “at the mouth of two or three witnesses”, the LORD says, every word must be confirmed.

 

Richard Rubinstein in his book written in 1999 and titled When Jesus Became God states that Arius was “a successful minister” and that “he was greatly admired for his personal purity as well as for his preaching” (page 53).

 

It is known that Arius did preach, as stated in Richard Rubinstein’s book, that ““There was when he [Jesus] was not,” meaning that he was not eternal, like God. Rather than asserting that Jesus was divine by nature, Arius emphasized that he had earned his “adoption” as Son and his “promotion” to divine status through moral growth and obedience to God. The priest did accept the idea, current throughout the East, that Christ was “preexistent”—that God had conceived him before time began and used him to create the universe. But it was not clear wether Arius believed this literally, or wether he meant that God merely had foreseen Jesus' coming before his birth to Mary” (page 55). Arius professed, in accord with the Scriptures: that the Father and the Son are two distinct individuals; that the Father alone is God in the proper sense; that Jesus was created and as such cannot be the Almighty God and the Creator of all things. For such a belief, Arius was excommunicated and banished of Alexandria, the city were he was preaching as a minister. In a letter to one of his powerful friend and most fervent supporters, Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, in which he was criticizing his persecutors for teaching that “as the Father is, so is the Son”, Arius wrote: “We are persecuted because we say that the Son had a beginning, but that God was without beginning. That is really the cause of our persecution; and likewise, because we say that He is created from nothing. And this we say because He is neither part of God, nor of any subjacent matter. For this we are persecuted; the rest you know” (Quasten, Patrology, 1950).

 

In Nicaea, 325 A.D., Arius and his supporters were finally expelled for refusing the new creed and rules. Others, because of fear signed, but had their tongues in their cheeks. Arius was banished by Constantine. But not all was settled, by any means. Arius had many supporters and there were great numbers of saints that refused to accept anything but the Holy Scriptures. They knew that the ideas purported at the Council of Nicaea were totally contrary to the Bible and what the Bible set forth. They held their ground and some of the ministers after returning home changed their minds and were sorry that they had signed the Nicene Creed. These people continued “earnestly to contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

 

Thence acceptance of the Scriptural testimony concerning Jesus Christ was termed as Arianism. It prevailed for a long time against the opposition of worldly bishops and the emperor who were at the start of what is known nowadays as the Roman Catholic Church and other so-called Orthodox Churches. Catholicism was born at this first ecumenical council. Each council held thereafter was held in creating another false doctrine and creed favouring tradition to truth, and making up ideologies contrary to the Word of God. After the Protestant Reformation, in the 15th century, there was a renewed interest in discovering biblical truths. All those who refused the doctrine of the Trinity and taught as the Bible says about Jesus Christ were labelled as “Arian.”

 

The Catholic Church on the Trinity

 

The Roman Catholic Church and other so-called Orthodox Churches bitterly opposed the teaching of Arius. In fact, the Catholic Church teach that the virgin Mary was the mother of God, that Jesus is actually God upon earth. According to this same Church, when Jesus ascended back to heaven, Peter took His place on earth, and thus began the succession of popes from St. Peter onwards. The popes claim to represent God on earth. Hence, the Catholics, all along in every period, considered the pope somehow God. The opposing powers which Daniel said would think to change times and laws and to wear out the saints of the Most High, persecuted Arius who died poisoned by his opponents because he dared to oppose them on the question of the Trinity.

 

More than one hundred texts in the New Testament speak definitely of Jesus being the Son of God. On the occasion of His baptism, the Father in heaven spoke, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5). When Jesus ascended to heaven, we learn from Mark that He “sat on the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). The vision given our beloved Stephen, at the event of his death as a martyr, cannot be doubted by the mind held in tune by the blessed Holy Spirit. He exclaimed: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). The foregoing scriptures were surely some of the main ones used by Arius against his opponents in setting forth his contention on the deity of Jesus. He was indeed led by Heaven, and obtained boldness to stand against the powers that were arrayed against God’s truth. Yet, Arius did not limit the power of Jesus, as some do, but believed the words of the Son, that “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).

 

Many texts set forth the beautiful harmony existing between the Father and Son, making them one. In John 17, we read: “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” Several times in this chapter similar expression are used.

 

The Oneness of God and Jesus

 

In the beginning, when God set forth the marriage institution and declared the relationship that should exist between the two, the husband and the wife, He said, “And they shall be one flesh.” The same conditions of oneness existing between the Father and Son are declared to exist between man and wife. They are to be one in purpose, one in object, and harmony and unity should exist between them. God, the heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, His Son, are one (John 10:30, 38). They are one in purpose, but they are two separate, individual beings.

 

Jesus Called God

 

Paul speaks of Jesus thus: “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” (I Timothy  3:16).

 

As the light in the lampstand gave “light over against it” (Exodus 25:37), so Scripture illuminates and explains Scripture. Let’s for instance take a look at Exodus 3, the beginning of the chapter. We learn, verse 2 that “the angel of the Lord appeared unto him [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush”, then in verse 4, we read: “God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses”. Was it really God speaking to Moses? No, it was the angel of the LORD speaking on behalf of God as confirmed in Acts 7:35. Another Scriptures should help to better understand passages in which Jesus is seemingly declared to be God. In Exodus 4:16 we read concerning Moses: “And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God”.  Jesus, a created being and the Word of God made flesh, is also God’s spokesman, and an even more powerful one than Moses could ever have been (Deuteronomy 18:18). Jesus should surely be to us “instead of God”, as He was for the apostles and His first disciples.

 

But let’s remember that Jesus himself never claimed to be God. Accused by the Pharisees to take upon himself authority only belonging to God and thus “making himself equal with God” (John 5:18, see also John 10:31-36), Jesus made it clear that he was not God, but rather the Son of God. “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:36). We should better take heed as Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Acceptance or rejection of this statement determines our eternal destiny. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:11-13, see also Acts 8:37).

 

Indeed, “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 Corinthians 8:6). That which Arius confessed is still confessed by the Church of God and the servants of God.

 

Some may object that such a belief may lower Jesus Christ, but Trinitarian and other Binitarians actually forget what Jesus himself was teaching concerning God the Father, and by doing so they do not show the same respect as Jesus, the Christ, showed to the Father, His Father and our Father, His God and our God (John 20:17). Who had ever seen or heard supposed “evangelists” preaching, or supposed Christians praying and was not surprised to not even hear them mentioning God, the Father, in their sermons or prayers? It is very common in modern day Christianity. By doing so, not only, do they disrespect the Father, but they do not even follow Christ’s teachings as Jesus said “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30). Are not Christians supposed to be followers of Christ?

 

The Trinity doctrine and all its variants are actually the equivalent of breaking the first of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3), which the Roman Catholic Church and its daughters are in fact eagerly doing and which Jesus Christ would have never done.

 

The “Trinity Verses”

 

Some like to present as proof of a Trinity some verses where the three “persons” of a Trinity are supposedly presented. Generally, they may start by using the supposed baptismal formula of Matthew 28:19. In some of his writings, Eusebius (260-340), a so-called “Church Father” and Bishop of Caesarea quotes Matthew 28:19. This man known as “the Father of Church History” never quotes the verse as it is found in our Bibles today. The verse always ends with the words “in my name.” In Book III of his famous work Ecclesiastical History, in Chapter 5 and Section 2, we read “But the rest of the apostles, who had been incessantly plotted against with a view to their destruction, and had been driven out of the land of Judea, went unto all nations to preach the Gospel, relying upon the power of Christ, who had said to them, “Go ye and make disciples of all the nations in my name.” Once again, in another of his writings, Oration in Praise of Emperor Constantine, in Chapter 16 and Section 8, we read: “What king or prince in any age of the world, what philosopher, legislator or prophet, in civilized or barbarous lands, has attained so great a height of excellence, I say not after death, but while living still, and full of mighty power, as to fill the ears and tongues of all mankind with the praises of his name? Surely none save our only Savior has done this, when, after his victory over death, he spoke the word to his followers, and fulfilled it by the event, saying to them, “Go ye and make disciples of all nations in my name.” The notes and commentaries found in the very Catholic Jerusalem Bible agree. We read concerning so-called the baptismal formula: “This formula is probably a reflection of the liturgical usage established later in the primitive community. It will be remembered that Ac [the book of Acts] speaks of batising ‘in the name of Jesus’, see Ac 1:5f. The attachment of the baptized person to all three persons of the all three persons of the Trinity will have been made explicit later.” All of these lead us to believe that the Trinitarian baptismal formula is not to be found in the original manuscript the way it was written by Matthew. Eusebius took part to the infamous council of Nicaea in which it was to be decided whether Christ was God or a creation of God. He never used the Trinitarian formula, but always quoted Matthew 28:19 as reading “in my name.” If the Trinitarian formula had existed, it would have certainly be used by early Trinitarians to defend their doctrine. Obviously, the Trinitarian formula was added later and is not to be found in the earliest manuscripts. If Matthew 28:19, as we find it in our Bibles today, is a truthful rendering of the original manuscripts, how do we explain the disobedience of the apostles. They never baptized using this formula. All new disciples were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, thus corroborating the verse as it is quoted by Eusebius in his works. Furthermore, and without mentioning it and going in to much detail explaining that it is not in fact a proper baptismal formula, as it may be acknowledged by reading the Book of Acts, suffice it to say that this verse does not demonstrate that God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost constitute a Trinity or a triune God and that the three are equal in substance, power and eternity. The listing of three people such as Tom, Dick and Harry in a same text of any sort does not make those people a three in one being.

 

Another passage frequently used may be found in 1 John 5:7-8 and is called the Comma Johanneum by some Bible scholars. It read “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” In this quote from the Scriptures, the words underlined were added to some Greek manuscripts and do not belong to the original manuscript. Ardent Trinitarians agree that this underlined part was not found in the earliest Greek manuscripts. The Roman Catholic Church even admits it in a footnote in its own version of the Scriptures, the New Jerusalem Bible. The footnote goes on to say: “The words in italics [making reference to the words we underlined above in this tract]” are “not in any of the early Gk MSS [Greek Manuscripts], or in any of the early translations, or in the best MSS of the Vulg. [The Vulgate, a 4th century Latin translation of the Scriptures] itself” and “are probably a gloss that crept into the text”. A Trinitarian scholar, Henry Alford (1810-1871), in his writings, even bluntly states that this addition to the Scriptures was omitted by all Greek Manuscripts previous to the beginning of the 16th century. Such an unreliable text certainly cannot be used to prove a Trinity.

 

Conclusion

 

To conclude, we should agree that Jesus is not God in an absolute sense, and certainly not God the Son as the Trinitarians would like us to believe. Jesus is consistently called the Son of God. Contrary to the Nicene Creed which teaches that Jesus Christ is “begotten, not made”, the Church of God believes, as set forth in the Scriptures, that Jesus is God’s first creation (Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14) and that he is the only begotten Son of God, born of the virgin Mary. God, the Father, is the only Almighty God, before him there is no other gods (Exodus 20:3). The Father is the Creator of all things.

 

Such belief does not in any way diminished Jesus Christ, who as the Son of God rightly deserves to sit on the right hand of God ((Mark 16:19, see also Acts 7:56). Jesus Christ is our Lord, he had been appointed to such a position by God. “God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). He has been exalted and at the warring phase of its second return, he will be declared to be “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). Nobody, other than Jesus, the Christ, will ever deserve to wear such titles.

 

Let’s follow Christ’s example and be faithful to the apostolic teachings. The Word of God, the Scriptures, is the final authority, as it has been to all who belong to this wonderful Church purchased by Jesus Christ and His precious blood. Amen.

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