Friday, January 13, 2023

Father - Son - Spirit

I have spent much prayer and thought about this subject and decided I would write another article on the issue of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe it's very important that we define the three correctly according to scripture alone. I pray that the reader will prayerfully consider the scriptures given in the article and ask God for the truth. 

James 1:5 KJV
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

It is easy to spot traditions in other denominations, but it's not as easy to spot the traditions within our own churches that we grew up with. I have been told that I am falling away from the traditional position of the Trinity. I have people messaging me, demanding that I agree with statements about the Trinity written by men instead of asking me to agree with Bible verses on the issue. I have lost so many friends, but for me, the truth is worth it. I want to please God, not men. He is my judge.

Galatians 1:10 KJV
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

My goal is not to line up my belief about the three with any Creed, Confession or statement of faith of ANY church (Baptist, Catholic, Jehovah's FALSE Witnesses). I want to align my beliefs with the living words of God, not the traditions of men. I do not feel comfortable defining the three by traditional statements that are not found in the Bible. I am not sure why there is so much pressure to conform our belief about the Trinity to Creeds written by men that believed in many things that we preach against. Dr. Ruckman, who I respect, but is not my authority once said, "Never tie God and the Bible to your theology. You had better tie your theology to God and the Bible." 

Colossians 2:8 KJV
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

This is a complex subject and I couldn't count how many different views I have heard regarding the Trinity. It seems like all of them are tolerated, but my own. I believe we should be willing to listen to each other and exchange information with love, kindness, humbleness, and patience. If we care about each other and want each other to find the truth then we should not go about this in a hateful way. Instead of personal attacks, we need to stick to discussing the topic with the scriptures. 

1 John 5:7-8,11 KJV
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. [8] And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. [11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Notice that verse 7 does not say that the three are one *God*. That is adding to the text and we are warned by God not to add or take away from His words (Deut 4:2, Prov. 30:6). Instead we should look at the context to see how they are one. Verse 7 means that they are one in agreement because that is how verse 8 repeats that phrase. We are told to lay line upon line, precept upon precept when studying the scriptures (Isaiah 28:9-11). Verses 7 and 8 repeat the first and last parts of the verses, so "these three are one" is defined by the King James Bible itself to mean "these three agree in one." What do they agree about? Verse 11 shows that they all bear record that the Father has given us eternal life by His Son. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one in agreement, but not numerically. 

The scripture is clear that the Father and Son are two separate persons. The Father is not the Son. The Son is not the Father. To believe this is a form of Modalism. 

Mark 1:10-11 KJV
And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: [11] And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

John 8:17-18 KJV
It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. [18] I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

Jesus is given the title "the everlasting Father" because He will forever be a father to Israel in the Millennium. Everlasting Father is a title and Isaiah 9:6 does not mean that the Son is the Father.

Isaiah 22:21 KJV 
And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.

Isaiah 9:6 KJV
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.

The Father and Son are one in agreement in purpose and works, not in person. 

John 10:28-30 KJV
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. [29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. [30] I and my Father are one.

John 17:11 KJV
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

John 17:21-23 KJV
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. [22] And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: [23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

It is very important to realize that every single time the phrase "one God" is used in scripture, it is always referring to the Father. 

1 Corinthians 8:6 KJV
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 Timothy 2:5 KJV
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Ephesians 4:6 KJV
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

John 17:1-3 KJV
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: [2] As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. [3] And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

The Word is the Son. The Word was with God the Father. The Word is God. Both are God. The Word, not the Father, was made flesh.

John 1:1,14 KJV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

So this is the dilemma. The Father and Son are two separate persons and the Father is called the "one God", while the Son is also called God in numerous places. There are many reasons why the Son is God. The Son is the image of the Father and the brightness of God's glory (Col. 1:15, Heb. 1:1-3). The Son was sent by the Father and does the Father's will (John 5:30). The Son represents the Father (Ex. 4:16). Jesus as the Old Testament Angel of the Lord had the Father's name in him. So before Abraham was, Jesus was I AM, by having his Father's name in him (Ex. 23:20-21). The Son comes in the Father's name (John 5:43, John 10:25). Jesus is the Almighty, Alpha and Omega, beginning and ending as a gift from the Father and because the Son has the Father's name in Him to represent Him (Matt. 28:18, Ex. 23:20-21). The Son has the fullness of the Father's divine nature/Godhead (Col. 1:19, 2:9). 

The Bible defines Godhead as the invisible glory of God, which can only be his divinity or essence, or his attributes and powers.

Romans 1:20-23 KJV
For THE INVISIBLE THINGS OF HIM from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, EVEN HIS ETERNAL POWER AND GODHEAD; so that they are without excuse: [21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [23] And changed THE GLORY OF THE UNCORRUPTIBLE GOD into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

You can more literally define Godhead from the King James Bible alone by just changing the pronunciation to other Bible words. God means God, but with "head," pronouncing it as, "hood" (as in priesthood, widowhood) shows it means a condition or state of being. Priesthood in the Bible is the state of being a priest. Widowhood in the Bible is the state of being a widow. Godhead in the Bible is the state of being God, or the nature or condition of God. Even the 1828 Webster's Dictionary defines Godhead as "Godship; deity; divinity; divine nature or essence". In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, under Etymology it says, "Middle English godhed, from god + -hed -hood; akin to Middle English -hod -hood". Dictionaries are not the final authority, but I'm showing how they agree with how the King James Bible defines the word "Godhead" in the context of Romans 1:20-23.

The Father's divine nature dwells in the Son. 

Colossians 2:9 KJV
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Paul said not to think God's divine glory or essence was like earthly materials. 

Acts 17:29 KJV
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

Think of it like this, a human son has his father's Adamic nature. They are not the same person, but they have the same nature. The Son has the Father's divine nature (Godhead), but they are not the same person.

He that sees Jesus sees the Father because Jesus represents the Father as His image (2 Corinthians 4:4), not that the Son is the Father himself. Jesus is in the Father and the Father in Jesus, the same way we are in God and God is in us, by our fellowship with God. Not because we are God the Father too.

John 14:8-10 KJV
Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. [9] 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? [10] 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.

1 John 4:15-16 KJV
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. [16] And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

It is clear that the Father and Son are both EQUALLY and fully divine in their nature. Both are God, but they're not the same person. Notice in the below verses where God the Son has God the Father as His God ("THY God"). The Father and Son are one in agreement, but not numerically. 

Hebrews 1:8-9 KJV
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. [9] Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

The Son is called the the firstborn of every creature and the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence. Jesus is literally firstborn of both, which establishes His preeminence over both. Verses 17 and 18 in the below passage proves he is the firstborn because he precedes all things in creating them. This may sound different because it is not what tradition has taught us, but what saith the scriptures? Let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom. 3:4).

Colossians 1:15-16,18 KJV
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: [16] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [18] And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

He is called the beginning of the creation of God. This means that the Son was begotten before all things and the Father used the Son to create all things. The Son existed before the world. The Son is born out of the Father's divine nature. Instead of going to a commentary to look for a way to interpret away the word "firstborn", we should just believe what God said. The Son is the firstborn of every creature and the beginning of the creation of God.

Revelation 3:14 KJV
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Proverbs 8:22-26 KJV
The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. [23] I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. [24] When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. [25] Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: [26] While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

The above scripture explains how Jesus is "from everlasting" (Micah 5:2), He was begotten of the Father "from the beginning, or ever the earth was" on a certain "day" (Psalm 2:7). He is not eternally begotten as Origen taught. The above passage is about God's wisdom in context, who is identified by Paul as Jesus himself.

1 Corinthians 1:24 KJV
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

John 17:1-3 KJV
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: [2] As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. [3] And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

The Father says that He is the ONLY saviour.
Isaiah 43:11 KJV
I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

How can this be if there are more saviours, such as the Father's Son? 

There are many saviours in the Bible:

Obadiah 1:21 KJV
And SAVIOURS shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.

But, there is only one source of salvation and that is the Father. In no way am I denying Jesus is our Saviour, but I am simply saying that the Father is the source. The Son is the Saviour because the Father is the one that sent Him to save:

John 3:17 KJV
For GOD SENT not HIS SON into the world to condemn the world; but that the world THROUGH HIM might be SAVED.

Titus 3:4-6 KJV
But after that the kindness and love of GOD OUR SAVIOUR toward man appeared, [5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy HE SAVED US, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [6] Which he shed on us abundantly THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR;

So this is an example where the Father says that He is the only Saviour, yet His Son is also, but because He is sent from the Father. The Father is still the only Saviour, but He is using the Son to perform the action.

Galatians 4:4 KJV
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Back to 1 Corinthians 8:6: 

1 Corinthians 8:6 KJV
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.

Paul is clear that the Father is the "one God". He is the "one God" in the sense that He is the origin of all things in heaven and in earth. The Father is uncaused, while the Son is said to be the beginning of the creation of God. The Father is self-existent, while the Son is begotten of the Father and the firstborn of every creature. "Of whom" means source or origin. "By whom" means instrument (Matt. 1:22).

We are told that if we do not agree with the statement that "three persons are one God" then we are heretics. Maybe according to the tradition of men, but does the scripture actually ever say that? Scripture says that the "one God" is the Father, every single time.

I am monotheistic the same as Paul. When we worship Jesus Christ, we are worshipping the Father because the Father sent the Son. If the Father didn't send Him, we wouldn't worship Him. Worshipping the Son turns to the glory of the Father. The Son does the Father's will.

Matthew 4:10 KJV
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Philippians 2:11 KJV
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

So both the Father and Son are fully God and fully divine in nature. The Father is the "one God" in the sense that He is the origin and the Son is made in His image, and is also God. They are one in agreement and purpose, but not numerically. 

The Holy Spirit is called God because it is the Spirit of God. It is called the Spirit of the Father. It is also called the Father's breath. The Holy Spirit is given by the Father, therefore to lie to the Father's Spirit is to lie to the Father.

Job 33:4 KJV
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

John 20:22 KJV
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

Acts 5:3-4 KJV
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? [4] Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

Matthew 10:20 KJV
For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

We are made like God, with a spirit inside us. His Spirit is the Holy Spirit and to be clear I am not calling it a "force". 

1 Corinthians 2:11 KJV
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.

The Holy Spirit is called "it" and "he" (Rom. 8:26). While being called a personal pronoun that does not mean that it must be a whole person. Our spirit is not a whole person, it is part of our person. In the Bible, salt and the furniture of the tabernacle are given personal pronouns, while not being persons (Matt. 5:13, Ex. 35:14). The Bible is treated like a person, but isn't literally a person (Heb. 4:12-13). 

The Holy Spirit has personal attributes, but so does our own spirit, yet our spirit is not a whole person. Our spirit can be grieved (Dan. 7:15) and our spirit has a will (Ex. 35:21). So because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father, I do not see it as a person technically. I believe a person has breath or a spirit inside them (Num. 19:22, Josh. 10:39-40). The Bible never says that the Holy Spirit has a spirit, rather that it is the Father's Spirit. Therefore, I do not consider the Holy Spirit a person according to that definition. The Holy Spirit is God because it is the Spirit of God. 

The Holy Spirit comes in the name of Christ. The Holy Spirit is not Christ.

Romans 8:9-10 KJV
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. [10] And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

John 14:26 KJV
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

It is important to know that God is not three parts in one person. The Father and Son are not parts, they are separate persons. To say God is one person is a type Modalistic Partialism.

Jesus' soul prayed to the Father, thus His soul was not the Father. 

John 12:27 KJV
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

Jesus had the Holy Ghost inside him, but also had his own spirit because He was a man. As Christians, we did not lose our spirit when we received the Holy Spirit when we trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour.

Luke 23:46 KJV
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Jesus is not the body of the Father. If Jesus is the Father's body, why is the Father outside of Jesus' body on his side?

Acts 7:55-56 KJV
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, [56] And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Some compare the Trinity to three phases of water, but that's a type of Modalism (one person who can appear in three different forms). Some compare it to three parts of an egg, but that's a type of Partialism (no part of the egg is the whole egg, so none of the three persons would be fully God). The Bible has to be the final authority on correctly describing the three. There is no perfect type or picture for the Trinity.

So far, these are my conclusions of who the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is. Other views of the Trinity always seemed confusing to me, but this makes much more sense. Also, the Bible never says that we cannot understand the Trinity. I have more information on this subject in my article called the Trinity. I know this isn't the "traditional" view of the Trinity, but this is simply me looking at the scripture and refusing to use any Creeds to define what I believe about this topic. I believe the Bible alone is the final authority when it comes to what we should believe. 

There are people telling others that they need to "mark and avoid" me because I'm a heretic, but Paul said to mark and avoid those who oppose the doctrine received from him, the other apostles and Christ. I am agreeing with Paul that the Father is the "one God". I am in agreement with the word of God that the "one God" is the Father. I am not denying that Jesus is God and I fully believe in the DEITY of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe the Holy Spirit is God. I am in agreement that salvation is by believing on Jesus Christ alone after realizing we're a sinner. The Son's death, burial and resurrection is our gospel. If I am marked and avoided it will because I am refusing to conform to the tradition of men, not because I am in disagreement with God's word. 

1 Corinthians 8:6 KJV
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.

I am far from perfect and I have past sins and failures that I regret. I have confessed them to God and asked for forgiveness. I pray that if anyone has a grudge against me or looks down on me that they would forgive me. As Christians, we need to grow in the Lord, grow in His word and grow in His love. I pray that this subject will be examined more and discussed among Christians with love and humbleness. Let us believe what the scriptures say about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit instead of the tradition of men (Rom. 3:4). Our loyalty should be to the King James Bible, not any statement of faith or Creed.

Colossians 3:12-13 KJV
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; [13] Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.