The Bible and the Triune God

14 05 2014

I have often been challenged usually by members of the Watchtower Society to show just one verse in the entire Bible that would teach or support the Trinity. The Watchtower Society claims for itself the distinction of being the only interpretation for the Word of God available to followers of Jehovah. The question I have to ask is what did people do before the Watchtower Society was formed? Was there no revelation of God to mankind? Any honest member would have to say they don’t know the answer to that question.

I surely don’t claim this to be exhaustive concerning the subject of the Trinity. I want to give a few of the references that teach without a doubt the nature of the Triune God. We will also try to answer a few questions as well. We know the Bible declares that there is only one God.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)

The Bible is clear that there is only one God and yet the Bible refers to God in the plural. We see this more then once in the text of the Scriptures.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)

“And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:5-7)

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

When we look into the Bible we must understand it for what it says and not try to find what we want to believe. We must understand and embrace God for who He reveals Himself to be and not try to find in Scripture justification for a god we make up in our minds. The Scripture both says there is one God and yet refers to God in the plural. We know that God the Father is God and few will deny that but is Jesus Christ God as well? The Scripture says that He is.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…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.” (John 1:1, 14)

“Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 9:5)

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20)

“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.” (Hebrews 1:8)

“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.” (1 Timothy 3:16)

The Bible also refers to the Holy Spirit as God as well. There are numerous texts which teach this but we will look at only a few of them here.

“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? 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.” (Acts 5:3-4)

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

We know that God the Father appeared to Moses in the burning bush and identified Himself as “I Am.” Jesus identified Himself in the same manner.

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:56-58)

Jesus called Himself equal with God the Father on several occasions.

“Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 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, Show us the Father?” (John 14:8-9)

“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30)

Jesus called Himself equal with the Holy Spirit.

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you…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.” (John 14:18,26)

The apostle John declared that all three were indeed one.

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” (1 John 5:7)

Common objections to the doctrine of the Trinity.

1. The word Trinity is not in the Bible. Let me answer this by asking do you believe in a monotheistic God? If your reading this and you follow the Watchtower then you do yet that word is not in the Bible.

2. The Trinity is no logical. Speaking in simple human terms nothing about God is logical to our finite minds. If God were easy to understand He wouldn’t be God. The virgin birth is illogical, the idea of a self existing eternal being is illogical, the idea of the supernatural is illogical to most people. The Trinity is not illogical it is a paradox that we can only glimpse with our understanding. It will take eternity for us to understand and comprehend the person and nature of God.

3. The doctrine of the Trinity comes from paganism. This is historically false. There have been no trinitarian gods in pagan history. There have been societies that worshiped multiple gods but this is different from the Christian God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three separate gods ruling together they are three separate and distinct beings and personalities who share the essence which makes them God. They have the same power, same title, same will, same knowledge, same attributes and are each co-eternal which means always existing having neither beginning nor end. This is never found in paganism.

The Divinity of Jesus in the Gospels: Part 1

21 11 2013

One claim made by the Jehovah Witness cult is that Jesus never claimed to be God. I want to look to the Bible to see what claims Jesus made about Himself. When we look at the words of the New Testament we can see that not only did Jesus claim to be God but the enemies of Christ even recognized His claims and what they meant. Let’s start in the book of John. I met a man who was studying with the Jw’s and they told him that there is only 1 verse used to teach the Trinity and that was John 1:1. As we will see there are numerous passages in which we see the doctrine of the Triune Godhead but let’s start with this passage of John 1:1.

The Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is a definite statement of the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know He is the one called the Word because of verse 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.” We see in verse 3, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” So all things were made by this Word. Who does the Bible say created the world? Look at Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

The Jw Bible has re-translated the passage to make Jesus something other than what He is but they cannot escape the truth. Look at their translation from their 2013 revision. In John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” Here they take the Word or Jesus Christ and they add in the letter “a” to define Him as a god. Now there is only one true God as the Bible teaches and all other gods must be false gods. This makes Jesus Christ a false God.

What about verse 3? “All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.” So they agree here that Jesus created everything (although they believe He Himself was a created being). According to their Bible who created everything? Look at Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Here their Bible agrees that Jesus Christ is God.

My point in these lessons is to show that even though the JW religion has re-translated the Bible on multiple occasions they are not fully able to erase the divinity of Jesus because it is so fully taught in the Scriptures. Moving on let’s turn to a new passage. In John 5 we see not only that Jesus had the power to heal but that He had power over God’s law. “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.” (John 5:8-9) His power over disease was astounding but then He tells the man to violate the sabbath by taking up his bed and walking home. No angel of God would command a man to violate a law of God and yet Jesus demonstrated not only power to heal this man physically but authority for him to break the sabbath. He as God and lawgiver held power over the law.

The term Son of God is often said by the JW religion to mean that Jesus was a created being and not equal with God and yet the Pharisees in the time of Christ understood what it meant. Look at verse 18, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” You say, “yes well they thought that but it wasn’t true.” Here is the problem, if I tell a mere mortal that they are thinking themselves equal with God then they would quickly deny such a charge and say, “no, no I’m not saying I’m equal with God at all.” Jesus made no attempt to thwart this thought in their mind.

In fact He encourages this thought. In verse 21 He says that just as the Father raises the dead so the Son raises the dead. In verse 26 He says that just as the Father has life in Himself so the Son has life in Himself. In verse 22 He says that the Father judges no man but has given all judgment to the Son. The most direct and blasphemous thing Jesus said if He in fact is not God is found in verse 23, “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” He says that He is to be honored the same as God the Father. What does the Father ay about this? Look at Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”

So God has declared He will not share His glory with another and yet Jesus said He is to be honored with the same honor the Father receives. If He is not God then He is a blasphemer. In John 8:56 Jesus makes an interesting statement, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” They were puzzled how Abraham who was long dead had seen Jesus’ day. They responded, “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?” (Vs.57) Look at the amazing answer Jesus gives, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (Vs. 58) Here Jesus says that He was before Abraham in fact He is saying that the I Am who spoke to Moses in the burning bush, the one who claimed to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was actually Him. 

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