The Trinity/Triune-ness of God - Part 4
By Rev. Allan Moorhead
New Covenant Evidence
The concept of the Trinity becomes even clearer in the New Covenant writings. The advent of the New Covenant writings did not begin the concept of the Trinity as the previous lessons have shown but the writings begin to make clear what was somewhat mysterious and shadowy in the Old Covenant.
God as the Father in the New Covenant
In the previous lesson, it was brought out that God is referred to as the Father in the Old Covenant long before he is referred to as 'Father' in the New Covenant. However, his reference as 'Father' in the New Covenant is widely used.
Relating to God as the 'Father' is not a hard concept for most people in the world even with pagan religions. So calling God a Father is, for the most part, not something that is argued about.
One of the keys here to remember is that the Father is not separated from the Son. God cannot be separated from the Godhead. 1 John 2:23 says, "Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father. The one who confesses the Son has the Father also." The only way to have God as your Father is to have the Son. False Messiahs and false gospels will also negate the idea of having a relationship with the Father.
For there shall arise false Messiahs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matthew 24:24).
For if he that cometh preacheth another Yeshua, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear (resist, stand up against, be firm) with him (2 Corinthians 11:4).
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8).
There are some groups that deny the concept of God being a Father. This is because to accept God as a Father also insinuates that there must be at least one son and or daughter who proceeded from the Father. Islam is one religion that denies the concept that God can be a father. Islam teaches that God has no son. Islam thought that Christians worshipped three separate gods known as the Father, Mother, and the Son (Surah 5:73). They obviously had no concept the biblical Trinity. This thought may have arrived from their previous beliefs that Allah who was the moon god had a sun goddess as his female consort. Their relationship produced the stars known as the daughters of Allah. Muhammad assumed the Christians Gods were similar to their old beliefs and thus rejected.
Radical feminists and liberalism also deny that God is a father. This is mostly due to the fact that they relate to the term 'father' as masculine and thus setting up man above woman. They consider the Bible as "patriarchal claptrap". Some feminists state that God is feminine. This is borne out with the Sophia movement that states God is a woman. There are also some feminists groups who believe that the mother of Yeshua, Mary, is a god. Yet other feminist state that God is whatever you want him to be.
There are other groups that redefine the concept of God as a father such as the Mormons. Their concept is very polytheistic. Any 'good' Mormon male will eventually become a god and become the 'Father' in his own universe by having sex with his many wives and producing many spiritual children that will need physical bodies. In fact Mormonism teaches that Adam is God the Father (Journal of Discourses 1:50 and Doctrines and Covenants Sec 27:11). Although the Adam God of Mormonism is rarely taught today in the LDS church, they still believe that God is an exalted man who they can become by being a 'good' Mormon can achieve one day (Journal of Discourses 1:50, 1:123, and Doctrines and Covenants 130:22).
There are a lot of similarities between Mormonism and Islam. Both Joseph Smith and Mohammed both claimed new revelations from God. Both received new books equal to or better than the Bible. Both practiced polygamy. Both had a visitation from an angel who taught them a 'new gospel'. Both had beliefs that god the Father has sex with a female deity. Mohammed eventually rejected that idea but Smith did not.
There are others who have non-biblical ideas about the Father God. Some believe that all three persons of the Godhead have their own body, soul, and spirit. There are others who believe that the Trinity is three separate Gods and they have to wheel and deal with one another in agreement and disagreement. So this is why it is important to correctly define the doctrines such as the Trinity by using sound biblical exegeses.
Personhood of the Father
If the Father is a person of the Godhead then there should be attributes of a person present in the Father's descriptions.
The Father in not a man but a Spirit: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
Who (Yeshua) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature (Colossians 1:15).
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good (Numbers 23:19)?
The Father knows: Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him (Matthew 6:8).
The Father speaks: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17).
The Father sees: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly (Matthew 6:4).
The Father loves: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not (1 John 3:1).
The Father wills: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21).
The Father gives: If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him (Matthew 7:11)?
The Father forgives and does not forgive: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:15-16).
The Father is eternal: Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen (1Timothy 1:17).
The are many other attributes one can find in the scriptures about God the Father such as being omnipotent, immortal, omniscient, holy, heavenly, perfect, sovereign, one who saves, the creator, and he is worshipped by man and angels.
God the Son
As it was shown in the previous teaching, the Son existed and was mentioned in the Old Covenant. The Son appeared in the Old Covenant in human form but was not human. The Son revealed himself as a theophany in the Old Covenant. The main difference between the old and new covenants now is that the Son is revealed in the flesh. There is no more mention of a theophany of God in the New Covenant writings. There is no mention of the Angel of the LORD like in the Old Covenant. The few examples of an angel of the Lord mentioned in the New Covenant writings apply only to created angels and not a theophany. In the first chapter of Luke the angel of the Lord is identified as Gabriel. Gabriel was involved in the proclamation of the birth of John the Baptists and Yeshua. In Acts 12:11 an angel of the Lord freed Peter from the prison. There is no mention as to who this angel was. Revelations speaks of angels a lot, but none of them were referred to as the Angel of the LORD.
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Yeshua is the Messiah? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son (1John 2:22).
Now that the Son has arrived in the flesh, it is important to know that if person does not have the son, neither does he have the father. As a matter of fact let's take this even further. As the teaching continues, you will see that it is important to have the right view of Yeshua. To believe that Yeshua is not divine as well as in the flesh can also interfere with the right relationship with the father.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Messiah Yeshua is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Messiah Yeshua is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world (1 John 4:1-3).
Why was this idea such a concern during John's time? Today, the arguments are about his divinity and not his coming in the flesh. In John's day there was a Gnostic heresy that arose known as the Docetic Heresy. This might have been the first heresy known to the early believers. This heresy was a belief that Yeshua was still a theophany of God who only appeared to be in the flesh as he did in the Old Covenant. They could not conceive the idea that God was actually in the flesh. There were no arguments about Yeshua being God. The argument was if he was actually in the flesh. The early believers strongly believed in the fact that Yeshua was God.
John 1:1 and 14 tells us that Yeshua was indeed in the flesh:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was Godů 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 is telling us that Yeshua is fully God and fully man.
Hebrews 1:8 tells us by quoting David's Psalm 45:6 that the Son is God. 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.
Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom [is] a right scepter (Psalm 45:6).
It is interesting to note that the writer of the Psalms makes no mention of the Son at the beginning but the writer of Hebrews does. The Hebrew writer some how knew that this Psalm spoke of the Son. This is because the Targums (Gen Rabbah 99:8), Testament of the 12 Patriarchs (Judah 24:1), Talmud (Shab 63a) all see Psalm 45 as talking about the Messiah (from The Trinity by Morey page 348).
Philippians 2:6 tells that Yeshua was equal with God:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.
Yeshua was in the form of God before he became flesh.
John 5:18 also tells us that the Jews wanted to kill Yeshua for blasphemy when Yeshua called God his father because they considered that remark as making himself equal with God.
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.
To be able to be the perfect sacrifice for mankind, Yeshua could not have sin. Throughout the Old Covenant it was pointed out that the sacrifices had to be without blemish. This was a picture to show that sacrifices had to be without sin. If Yeshua was only a good man, he still could not pass the test. All the descendants of Adam carry the sin 'gene'.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
In Matthew 19:16-17 a person came to Yeshua and called him good:
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Yeshua did not deny that he was good. He simply said only God is good. If Yeshua is God then he is good.
Only God could provide himself as the sinless sacrifice. There is no one else who could be the perfect sacrifice.
For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor 5:21).
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
The bottom line here is that no one could be the sinless lamb but God himself.
The Apostle John quoted Isaiah when speaking of Yeshua in John 12:36-42.
While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Yeshua, and departed, and did hide himself from them. But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess [him], lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
John quoted Isaiah 6:10 and 53:1. John understood, that when Yahweh spoke in Isaiah, it was about Yeshua. John knew it would be Yahweh who would come in the flesh and be the arm of the LORD and as the servant.
In 1 Corinthians 10:4, we learn that the one who lead Israel in the wilderness was Yeshua.
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Messiah.
Psalms 78:20 says
Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?
And in verse 35 we read: And they remembered that God [was] their rock, and the high God their redeemer.
There are numerous scriptures that tell us that Yahweh Elohim is the rock and he is the rock of our salvation. Psalms 78 is prophetic saying that God will strike the rock (Yeshua) to provide spiritual water (Holy Spirit) for his people. The rock is God and it is Yeshua.
Several New Covenant scriptures tells us that Yeshua existed before time and came from somewhere else.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part (to be a partaker)of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14).
This scripture tells us that Yeshua made a decision to become flesh and blood in order to destroy the devil that had power over death. This certainly means he existed before.
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me (John 6:38).
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven (John 3:13).
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven (1 Corinthians 15:47).
Again Yeshua existed before. He came from heaven. Yeshua tells us that he existed before Abraham when questioned by the Jews when Yeshua said Abraham saw his day.
Yeshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).
Note also that Yeshua said "I Am " which he does several times. For example: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am; and shall deceive many (Mark 13:6 and Luke 21:8). I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24).
'I Am' is what God said his name was when Moses asked him.
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you (Exodus 3:14).
Yeshua was rich before he came to earth. For ye know the grace of our Lord Messiah Yeshua, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Yeshua preexistence life was abounding in richness. Obviously, if he was God and came in flesh, he left his glory as God and became poorer in the flesh.
God sent his son to become flesh. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3).
This certainly speaks of God sending his son who was not previously in the flesh to become flesh. If Yeshua were always just a human, then this statement would not say God would send him. God would have just created him.
Deity of Yeshua
If Yeshua was God, then the scriptures should show evidence of his preexistence and the deity of him. The attributes of God should be shown throughout him.
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2).
Now when Yeshua was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem (Matthew 2:1). When the wise men came looking for Yeshua, they told Herod this prophesy: And thou Bethlehem, [in] the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel (Matthew 2:6).
Micah tells us that a ruler will come from Bethlehem who is from old and even everlasting. Only God can be everlasting. Yeshua is that ruler. He is everlasting, thus he is God.
John 1:1and 14 tells us, 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.
Yeshua was the Word and has always existed.
Just before Yeshua was arrested and crucified, he said this:
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was (John 17:5).
Yeshua is talking about the glory he had before with the Father. He certainly existed before coming in the flesh.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 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: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (Colossians 1:15-17).
Yeshua existed before any creature. This does not mean he was created but that he always existed. He created all things. Genesis 1:1 says God (Elohim) created the heavens and earth. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. In Genesis 6:7 we learn that Yahweh created man, And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. In Psalms 104:30 we find that the Spirit created, Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, together created all things.
Charged with Blasphemy
The Jewish leadership sought to stone Yeshua because they understood that he indicated he was God. The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God (John 10:33). There was no mistake here. The Jews knew that Yeshua equated himself with God when he said in verse 30, I and [my] Father are one. Non-Trinitarians say that this is about Yeshua just talking about a close relationship with his father. The Jews would have not tried to stone him unless they knew exactly where he was coming from in this statement. The punishment for blasphemy was death (Leviticus 24:16).
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