simplest form the "Trinity" means, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word,
and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (I John
The Bible teaches
that there is a Divine Godhead (Trinity) and it is comprised of three distinct entities that
are one in unity. A very clear illustration of these distinctions
can be seen in Matthew 3:16-17, "And 1Jesus,
when he was baptized, went
up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the
heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the 2Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a 3voice
from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
"One In Unity" is revealed in the passage of Jesus' prayer, "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 17:11). "And
the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we
are one" (John 17:22).
God is both the
Father and the God of Yeshua and He is not Jesus Christ. "Blessed be the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of
Jesus Christ from the dead" (II Peter 1:3).
Divine Trinity can be illustrated by the evidence of three separate and distinct persons, of which
each one has His own individual spirit body, personal soul, and
personal spirit. It was this construct of design that God used when
making human beings. "And God said, Let us make
man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26). Therefore,
the body, whether spiritual or physical, merely provides housing for the soul
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" (Romans 1:20).
after God had created Adam, He said, "...it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make
him an help meet for him ... Therefore shall a man leave his
father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one
flesh" (Genesis 2:18-24).
The Father is the
head of Christ (I Corinthians 11:3), the Son is the Only Begotten of the Father (John 1:14), and
the Holy Ghost proceeds forth from both the Father and the Son
(John 14:16; Acts 2:33-37).
In summary, while
some may think it is very difficult to understand the meaning of the Divine Trinity, it really is
quiet simple, if we will quit trying to contradict God's Word, and
simply take what He says by FAITH. "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then
face to face: now we know in part; but then shall
I know even as also I am known" (I Corinthians 13:12).
T H E
T R I N I T Y
by Dave Hunt
Many Christians are at a loss to understand, much less
to defend, the "Trinity" when that word is not even found in the
Bible. To deal with that issue, we must begin with God, as the Bible itself
There are two general concepts of God: (1)
pantheism/naturalism, that the universe itself is God; and (2) supernaturalism,
that the Creator is distinct from His creation. Within these are two more
opposing views: (1) polytheism, that there are many gods; and (2) monotheism,
that there is only one true God.
Monotheism itself is divided into two rival beliefs:
(1) that God is a single being; and (2) that God has always existed in three
persons who are separate and distinct yet one. Obviously, Christians are the
only ones who hold the latter view--and even some who call themselves Christians
reject it. Yet it is the only logically and philosophically coherent view of God
Pantheism has the same fatal flaws as atheism. If
everything is God, to be God has lost all meaning and so nothing is God. The
problems with polytheism are equally obvious. There is no real God who is in
charge, so the many gods fight wars and steal one another's wives. There's no
basis for morals, truth or peace in heaven or earth. Polytheism's basic problem
is: diversity without unity.
The belief that God is a single being is held by both
Muslims and Jews, who insist that Allah and Jehovah are single entities. It is
also held by pseudo-Christian cults such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons
- - - and by various aberrant Christian groups who also deny the deity of
Christ. Some Pentecostals claim that God is a single being and that Father, Son
and Holy Spirit are God's three "titles" or "offices." Here
we have unity without diversity.
That God must have both unity, and diversity is clear.
The Allah of Islam (like the Jehovah of Jehovah's Witnesses and Jews), for
instance, is incomplete in himself, unable to experience love, fellowship and
communion before creating beings with whom he could have these
The Bible says that "God is love." But
the God of Islam and Judaism could not be love in and of himself--for whom could
he love when he was alone before creation?
This belief that God is a single entity (Unitarianism)
and not three persons existing eternally in one God (Trinitarianism) was first
formulated in the early church around 220 A.D. by a Libyan theologian named
Sabellius. He attempted to retain Biblical language concerning Father, Son and
Holy Spirit without acknowledging the triune nature of God. Sabellius claimed
that God existed as a single being, who manifested Himself in three activities,
modes or aspects: as Father in the creation, as Son in redemption, and as Holy
Spirit in prophecy and sanctification. This heresy, though condemned by the vast
majority of Christians, survives to this day.
The Bible presents a God who did not need to create any
beings to experience love, communion and fellowship. This God is complete in
Himself, being three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, separate and distinct
yet at the same time eternally One God. They loved and communed and
fellowshipped with each other and took counsel together before the universe,
angels or man were brought into existence. Isaiah "heard the voice of the LORD
[in eternity past] saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for
us?" (Isaiah 6:8). Moses revealed the same counseling together of the
Godhead: "And God said, Let us make man in our image after our
likeness"; and again, "[L]et us go down and there confound their
language" (Genesis 1:26; 1 1:7). Who is this "us" if God is a
single entity? Why does God say, "the man is become as one of us"?
Moreover, if God is a single being, then why is the
plural Hebrew noun Elohim (literally "Gods") used for God repeatedly?
In fact, this plural noun is in the center of Israel's famous confession of the
oneness of God! The Shema declares, "Hear, 0 Israel: the Lord our God is
one Lord" (Dt 6:4;Mk 12:29). In the Hebrew it reads, "Jehovah our
Elohim (gods) is one [echad] Jehovah." The Hebrew word echad allows for a
unity of more than one. For example, it is used in Genesis 2:24 where man and
woman become one flesh; in Exodus 36:13 when the various parts "became one
tabernacle"; in 2 Samuel 2:25 when many soldiers "became one
troop"; and elsewhere.
Nor is the word Elohim the only way in which God's
plurality is presented. For example, Ecclesiastes 12:1:"Remember now thy
creator [lit. "creators"]"; and Isaiah 54:5: "For thy Maker
is thine husband [lit."makers, husbands"]" Unitarianism has no
explanation for this consistent presentation of God's plurality all through the
Old Testament. Although the word "trinity" does not occur in the
Bible, the concept is clearly there, providing the unity and diversity that
makes possible the love, fellowship and communion within the Godhead. Truly the Trinitarian
God is love--and He alone
Jesus said, "The Father loveth the Son, and hath
given all things into his hand" (Jn 3:35). God's love is not just toward
mankind but first of all among the three Persons of the Godhead. And three
Persons they must be. Father, Son and Holy Spirit can't be mere offices, titles
or modes in which God manifests Himself, for such cannot love, consult and
fellowship together. Not only is the Son presented as a person, but so are the
Father and the Holy Spirit. The Bible presents each as having His own
personality: each wills, acts, loves, cares, can be grieved or become angry.
"Offices" or "titles" don't do that! Unitarianism isn't
Biblical--and it robs the Godhead of the necessary qualities of true Deity.
Godhead? Is that a Biblical term? Yes, indeed. It
occurs three times in the King James New Testament in Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20,
and Colossians 2:9. In contrast to theos, which is used consistently throughout
the New Testament for "God," three different but related Greek words
occur in these verses (theios, theiotes, theotes) which the King James
translators carefully designated by the special word, Godhead. That very term
indicates a plurality of being. Paul wrote, "[I]n him dwelleth all the
fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col 2.9). Did he simply mean that in
Christ dwelt all the fullness of Himself? That would be like saying that in me
dwells all the fullness of me. Well, of course it does--- so why say it, and
what does it really mean? Nothing!
Does it simply mean that in Christ dwells all the
fullness of Deity, as some non-KJV translations render it? That, too, would be
redundant--or it would detract from the deity of Christ. For if Christ is
intrinsically God, then what is the point of saying that "in Him dwells all
the fullness of Deity"? Of course it does! But if Christ is the Son and
there are two other persons in the Godhead, then it does mean something. It
means that just as Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God, so, when the Son
became man, He brought that fullness of the Godhead with Him into flesh.
In Romans 1:20 Paul argues that God's "eternal
power and Godhead" are seen in the creation He made. God's eternal
power--but His Godhead? Yes, as Dr. Wood pointed out years ago in The Secret of
the Universe, the triune nature of God is stamped on His creation. The cosmos is
divided into three: space, matter and time. Each of these is divided into three.
Space, for instance, is composed of length, breadth and width, each separate and
distinct in itself, yet the three are one. Length, breadth and width are not
three spaces, but three dimensions comprising one space. Run enough lines
lengthwise and you take in the whole. But so it is with the width and height.
Each is separate and yet distinct, each is all of space--just as the Father, Son
and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, yet each is God.
Time also is a trinity: past, present and future-- two
invisible and one visible. Each is separate and distinct, yet each is the whole.
Man himself is a triunity of spirit, soul and body, two of which are invisible,
one visible. Many more details could be given of the Godhead's triunity
reflected in the universe. It can hardly be coincidence.
The Hebrew word Elohim (Gods) occurs about 2,500 times
in the Old Testament, while the singular form occurs only 250 times and most of
those designate false gods. Genesis 1:1 reads, "In the beginning Elohim
created the heaven and the earth"; i.e., literally, "GODS
created the heaven and the earth." Though a single noun is
available, yet the plural form is consistently used for God. And in violation of
grammatical rules, with few exceptions, singular verbs and pronouns are used
with this plural noun. Why?
At the burning bush it was Elohim (Gods) who spoke to
Moses. Yet Elohim did not say, "We are that we are," but "I
AM THAT I AM" (Ex 3:14). One cannot escape the fact that all through
the Bible God is presented as a plurality and yet as one, as having both
diversity and unity. This is unknown among all the world's religions! To reject
the Trinity is to reject the unique God of the Bible.
The New Testament presents three Persons who are
distinct, yet each is recognized as God. At the same time we have repeatedly the
clear statement that there is only one true God. Christ prays to the Father. Is
He praying to Himself? "[T]he Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the
world" (I John 4:14). Did He send Himself'? Worse yet, did one
"office" pray to and send a "title"? Father, Son and Holy
Spirit have distinct functions, yet each works only in conjunction with the
others. Christ said, "[T]he words that I speak unto you I speak not of
myself [on my own initiative]: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the
works" (Jn 14:10); "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you
another Comforter .... Even the Spirit of truth" (Jn 14:16-17). Throughout
the New Testament Father, Son and Holy Spirit are separately honored and act as
God, yet only in concert with one another.
The Old Testament also presents three Persons in the
Godhead interacting. For example: "Hearken unto me, 0 Jacob and Israel, my
called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid
the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens-from the
time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent
me" (Isaiah 48:12-16). The One speaking through Isaiah refers to Himself as
"the first and the last" and the Creator of all, so He must be God.
But he speaks of two others in the same passage who must also be God: "the
Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me." Jesus presented a similar passage
to the Pharisees (Mt 22:41-46) when He asked them who the Messiah was, and they
said, "The Son of David." He then quoted Psalm 110:1: "The LORD
said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy
footstool." Then Jesus asked them, "If David then call him Lord, how
is he his son?" (Mt 22:45). The Pharisees were speechless. Unitarianism
cannot explain these two "Lords."
It is a mystery how God can exist in three Persons yet
be one God; but it is also a mystery how God could have no beginning and create
everything out of nothing. We can't understand what a human soul or spirit is.
Nor can we explain love or beauty or justice. It is beyond human capacity to
comprehend the full nature of God's being. But neither can we understand what it
means for us or anything else to exist-- nor can we comprehend what space is or
what time is or matter is. For every door science opens, there are ten more
unopened doors on the other side. The more we learn, the more rapidly the
unknown expands before us like receding images in a hall of mirrors. The
Jehovah's Witnesses and other Unitarians argue that because the Trinity can't be
understood it can't be. But the fact that it is beyond human comprehension is no
reason for rejecting what the Bible presents so consistently to us. God is
telling us about Himself so that we may believe in and know Him. We dare not
reject what He says or lower it to the level of our finite minds.
Written primarily to respond to teachings of The United
Pentecostal Church. Also see Global Peace and the Rise of Antichrist,