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The Trinity Controversy
The Doctrine of the trinity has been a highly controversial and sensitive topic ever since its formation by the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. Nowhere in our Bible does the word “trinity” appear. Some have argued that the words “omnipotent” and “omniscient” don’t either but are used to describe the extraordinary attribute of our Heavenly Father. Truth is, these expressions are in fact synonymous in meaning for such terms as “Almighty” and “infinite understanding” which are found in Scripture, Isaiah 6:3 and Psalm 147:5. By contrast, the word “trinity” nor its corresponding concept or any synonymous meaning can be found in Scripture anywhere from an inspired perspective.
The fact that we find the listing of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Bible does not in anyway imply the existence of a trinity. For what constitutes a trinity lies in the definition thereof and agreed upon by the Council of Nicea, who were a group of misguided Christian bishops influenced by the pagan cultures of their time. They did not base their findings entirely on inspired Scripture as the Jerusalem Council did in Acts 15 in their letter to instruct gentile believers what was required of them as new believers, Acts 15: 20-21. Instead, the Council of Nicea woefully erred by embracing an entirely pagan perspective, scripturally forbidden in consideration of Bible-based truth. Theirs was a case of leaning on their own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) and having “zeal without knowledge,” which has led many to “miss the way,” Proverbs 19:2 NIV.
The Council of Nicea
So where did the Trinitarian concept come from? And how did it become such a popular teaching in man’s system of religion today?
The contemporary belief in the trinity stems from a 4th century decision rendered by a group of men called the Nicean Council. King Flavius Valerius Arealius Constantine I, a Roman Emperor and professed “sun god worshipper” at the time, presided over the Council proceedings. His main purpose was to gain universal support of Christianity to advance defeat of other Roman emperors; and it worked. He ultimately became sole emperor of the Roman world.
Shortly thereafter, a conflict arose that threatened to split the Christian Church into two camps. To settle the matter, Constantine himself called together an ecumenical, or worldwide, council of bishops at Nicea in northwestern Asia Minor. As the Council proceeded, there were two distinct sides. Archdeacon Athanasius of Alexandria, Egypt, upheld the trinity concept (anciently known for describing some idol deities). He claimed that the Father and Son, though distinct, were equal, and of the same substance. For the opposition, a noble student of the Scripture named Arius argued that the Father is Almighty and there is none equal to Him. He further argued that the Son was a creation of the Father Himself as the firstborn Spirit Being over all creation and second in authority in the Heavenly family. After long weeks of debate, Constantine, the sun god worshipper, ruled in favor of the Trinitarian argument of Athanasius, the Egyptian. But the Trinitarian did not become church doctrine until the year 379 when Roman Emperor Theodosius established Christianity as the state religion.
As a side note, let’s consider what some may already know about Egyptian religion. Egypt is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It had long before the Council of Nicea adopted the pagan belief in the trinity. One of the most famous Egyptian trinities was that of Horus, Isis, and Seb, (HIS), a trinity that consisted of equality among father, mother, and son, and a concept which also traces back to Babylon. As ironic as it may seem, there is a movement now by those who no longer pray to their Heavenly Father, but to a Heavenly mother. The letters (HIS) appear on the altars in most Catholic and Protestant churches today, being erroneously explained as standing for various Latin phrases.
The Nicene Creed’s Effect
History teaches that much later, after instituting a mandatory belief in the trinity, Constantine tried to be more tender and merciful with the decision; but it was too late. The Nicene Creed had appeared to be written in stone. All who did not believe in the trinity doctrine were persecuted and killed. Every conceivable instrument of torture (from being burnt at the stake to being thrown to lions) was used on the socalled nonbeliever. The Nicene Creed has since been amended, but it is still read today in many of the Protestant and Catholic churches. Belief in the trinity is now required by those churches who associate themselves with the World Council of Churches .
At no time during Yahshua’s ministry did He ever sanction persecution or violence against anyone rejecting His teachings. Such actions have always been a natural trait of the counterfeit ministry of Satan, John 16:2-4 and Revelation 17:6.
Even after the Council’s decision, not much change appeared to be in Constantine himself. The same year he convened the Council of Nicea. There, in a fit of rage he killed his innocent son Crispus, and then afterwards he had his second wife, Fausta, strangled to death. Ultimately, Constantine did become a baptized Christian, but not until his death bed, at a time he was preparing for war against the Persians.
Another point of interest overlooked by the masses is that the Apostolic New Testament Scriptures, as we have it canonized today, was only about 15 years old when the Nicean Council rendered its “rush to-judgment” decision. No wonder the doctrine of the trinity is so easily dismantled under the litmus testing of inspired Scripture.
Defining the Nicene Trinity
Trinitarians teach that there are 3 persons, but one essence—all equal. The most distinctive doctrine of the trinity is that of the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit. The term “trinity” is a man made concoction.
To believe in the trinity is to believe that there is a unity of the heavenly beings; that is, they are co eternal, coequal persons, the same substance, but different in individuality.
It is said there are 3 persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Now, these 3 are truly distinct one from another, and yet they are all believed to be one. The Nicene Creed reads that the Father and the Son are both Gods and are “one substance,” and that the Holy [Spirit] is the “Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified.”
Quite confusing, isn’t it? This appraisal of the trinity has lead to many mistaken beliefs and doctrinal views based on this formula alone. It caused those of the “Oneness Movement” to think that the Son Himself was also the Father, all in the same Being, and Holy Spirit, the third entity, is equal to the first two, the three being one, yet different. Trinitarians conclude this explanation with the famous phrase: “It’s a great mystery of Faith.” Well, that may be so but to the Father’s glory true believers should be grateful that the Father is a “revealer of mysteries,” according to Daniel 2:29 NIV,
As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.
Christianity Baptizes Paganism
Nearly all pagan religions believe in more than one deity—the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Hindus, the Buddhists. It is a documented historical fact that Christianity merged many of its teachings (against all Scripture) with a paganistic religion, making it more widely acceptable to its members. Pagan ideas, in many forms, have been accepted and baptized into Christianity. This fact is clearly admitted in Cardinal John Henry Newman’s book entitled “Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine,” published in 1878. Reading in chapter 8, pages 355, 371, and 373:
“The rulers of the church from early times were prepared, should the occasion arise, to adopt, to imitate, or sanctify the existing rites and customs of the populous, as well as the philosophy of the educated class. The use of temples and those dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasion with branches of trees, incense, lamps and candles, votive offerings on recovering from illnesses, holy water, days and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessing on the fields,…the ring, chants, the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin and sanctified by the adoption into the church.”
Therefore, it goes without saying, that the Nicene Creed’s influence reached down the annals of time and changed true worship forever. For instance, with the establishment of the Universal Roman Catholic Church, Constantine I circulated a letter in reference to the Council’s Creed of 325 A.D. He wrote:
“We would have nothing in common with that most hostile people, the Jews. For we have received from the Redeemer another way of honoring God, and harmoniously adopting this method we would withdraw ourselves from the evil fellowship of the Jews. It is our duty to have nothing in common with the murderers of the Lord.”
In that vein, we must beg to question two things: Is not salvation “of the Jews”? (John 4:22) And, does not the gates leading into the Holy City, New Jerusalem, have written on them “the names of the 12 tribes of Israel”? (Revelation 21:9-12) Clearly, the Scriptures answer these questions with a resounding affirmative. So, as a resulting consequence, to follow Constantine’s Roman Catholic doctrines would constitute spiritual adultery on the part of a professed Believer against the Spiritual Husband of the Body of Messiah.
If that isn’t enough, after Constantine’s initial legislation, both emperors and popes in the centuries that followed added more laws to uphold Sunday observance.
“What began, however, as a pagan ordinance, ended up as a Christian regulation; and a long series of imperial decrees, during the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, enjoined with increasing stringency abstinence from labor on Sunday,” Hutton Webster, Rest Days, p. 270.
Moreover, in 363 A.D., the Council of Laodicea forbade Christians from observing the true Sabbath. As we see, the observance of Sunday instead of the seventh-day Sabbath came from the Roman Catholic Church in the fourth century as well. Catholic spokesmen have challenged Protestantism by boldly stating that there is no command anywhere in the Bible to observe Sunday, that the Catholic Church changed the day of obligation to Sunday, and the world follows in locked step obedience to her command. D.B. Ray wrote in the Papal Controversy, p. 179, stating,
“From this same Catholic Church you had accepted your Sunday, and that Sunday, as the Lord’s Day. She has handed it down as a tradition and the entire Protestant world has accepted it as a tradition, for you have not an iota of scripture to establish it. Therefore, that which you have accepted as your rule of faith, inadequate as it of course is, as well as your Sunday, you have accepted on the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.”
If you add the fact that they adopted Sunday observance from Constantine’s Roman’s sun worship, Easter from the Egyptians, and Christmas from the Babylonians, that doesn’t leave Christianity with much that is truly original, does it? All these beliefs came from pagan religions and introduced through pagan Rome, attempting to make Christianity appealing to the masses. It’s all welldocumented as a matter of factual history. However, Yahweh has commanded His people not to do as the others do, nor worship Him in their way, everyone as they see fit. See Deuteronomy 12:4, 8; 1 Corinthians 4:6. He says “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it,” Deuteronomy 12:32.
Pagan Doctrines or Biblical Truths
So what does the Bible say about the ways, customs and religions of the world? What did Father Yahweh warn Israel concerning them? He said in Jeremiah 10:1-3,
Hear what Yahweh says to you o house of Israel, This is what Yahweh says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations…for the customs of the peoples are worthless. (See also Psalm 106:35, 39)
In Deuteronomy 12:31-32, He says,
You must not worship Yahweh your Mighty One in their way, because in worshipping their idols, they do all kinds of detestable things Yahweh hates…See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.
The Master Yahshua, in the apostolic Scriptures, reminds us in Revelation that His Father has not changed His position on borrowed pagan doctrines such as the trinity. He so warned the Congregation of Pergamum who held to the “doctrines of the Nicolaitans” right in the midst of the Body of Messiah. See Revelation 2: 14-15. So, it behooves us to ponder the question of Amos 3:3: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
As children of the most High, we must agree to believe and obey what Yahweh commands. Anything “almighty” man gives us that has no foundation in inspired Scripture must be unequivocally rejected as “false doctrine,”
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer, 1 Timothy 1:3 NIV.
So, does inspired Scripture teach that the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit is a trinity divine being as defined by the Nicene Council? Does the Scripture uphold the teaching that the Son is equal to the Father, or the Holy Spirit as a person is equal to both the Son and the Father? Does Scripture say that anyone or anything is equal to the Father? Definitely not! The Scriptures teach the exact opposite.
Let’s divide the study of this matter into separate categories. We will first consider what the Father tells about Himself exclusively. Secondly, we’ll read and discuss what the Master Yahshua said. Then, we’ll look directly at the Holy Spirit and understand what the Bible says about the “Comforter.” Furthermore, the writings of the Apostle Paul will shine some often ignored light on this subject.
The Heavenly Father Yahweh is the Grand Architect over all His creation. He sits enthroned in the highest Heaven,
Who is like unto Yahweh our Elohim, who dwelleth on high, Psalm 113:5.
He lives in “unapproachable light,” whom no man has seen nor can see; nor has anyone heard His voice or seen His form.
I give thee charge in the sight of Yahweh, who quickeneth all things, and before Messiah Yahshua, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Master Yahshua Messiah: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Sovereign of sovereigns; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting, 1 Tim 6:13-16.
See also John 1:18, 5:37, 6:46, 1 John 4:12.
Few understand that the Father has never entered the physical realm of mankind. His Son Yahshua, prior to His human birth and experience on earth, pre-existed with the Father in the beginning as the manifested “Word” of Yahweh, and correspondingly existed as an individual celestial Being, John 1:1; Genesis 1:26, 3:22 and 11:6-7. Together they constitute the kingdom of Elohim which to some lesser degree includes the angels and other celestial beings having subordinate authority. The word “Elohim” is a plural Hebrew term which is erroneously translated “God”, a singular word, in our English Bibles. There are singular forms of Elohim, such as “El, Eloah, or Elah,” which means “Mighty One.” Elohim means “Mighty One(s)” oftentimes depending on the context of the passage in Scripture. It is very important to ultimately understand that the Kingdom of Elohim (Yahweh) constitutes a family,
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Master Yahshua Messiah, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, Ephesians 3:14-15.
Most denominations of Christianity do not understand that Yahshua, the Son of Yahweh, has always represented His Father as a “mediator” between Elohim and man. Prior to His fleshly birth He often appeared as the “Angel of Yahweh,” standing in the very place of and speaking as Yahweh the Father, Himself, to mankind. See 1 Timothy 2:5; Gal 3: 19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4; Exodus 23:20-21, Acts 7:35 38, Judges 13:17-18; compare Joshua 5:13-15 with Revelation 22:8-9; also compare Genesis 32:24-30 with Hosea 12:2-4. Now we should all understand why the religious leaders of Yahshua’s day could not understand His words when He told them “You have neither heard His [the Father’s] voice nor seen His form,” John 5:37.
Yahweh created all things and mankind through the Son, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds, Hebrews 1:2.
The Apostle Paul describes this relationship between the Father and the Son, before the compilation of our New Testament Scriptures, in 1 Corinthians 8:4b-7 NIV, as follows:
There is no Elohim but one. For even if there are so-called elohims whether in heaven and earth (as indeed there are many “elohims” and many “masters”), yet for us there is but one Elohim, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Master, Yahshua Messiah, through whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone knows this. (Emphasis added)
What a telling and most profound statement of inspired Scripture! Not everyone knows this indeed. Ideally, Paul’s writings seem to set the Father apart into a class all by Himself. Ephesians 4:6 says Yahweh is “One Elohim and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all.” Yahshua Himself did not differ in this regard. See Mark 12:29-34.
Let’s read about what the Father has said of Himself through the inspiration of His Holy prophets, as follows:
For who in the heavens is comparable to Yahweh? Who among the sons of the mighty is like Yahweh? El is greatly feared in the company of the set-apart ones, and awesome above all those around Him, Psalm 89:6-7 (The Scriptures translation).
To whom will you compare me or count me equal? To who will you liken me that we may be compared? (Isaiah 46: 5 NIV)
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One, Isaiah 40:25 NIV.
As a side note, the Hebrew word translated “equal” in the last two passages is “shavah,” #7737 in Strong’s Bible concordance. It is used only 3 times in the entire Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures. Incidentally, it has one of the strongest connotations that indicates no one is equal to the Father. Consider its meaning as follows:
Shavah #7737 (Heb.) Shaw-vaw; a prim root; prop. To LEVEL; i.e. EQUALIZE; fig. to resemble: by impl. To ADJUST (i.e. COUNTERBALANCE, be suitable, composed, place, yield, etc.) (emphasis supplied.)
The English definition of equalize is: to make equal, uniform, or constant. The English definition of level is: a horizontal position or condition. Hence, there is no one existing in horizontal position and authority, nor in equality or counterbalance with Almighty Yahweh, the Father.
This is what Yahweh says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, Yahweh Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no Elohim. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come—yes, let him foretell what will come, Isaiah: 44:6-7 NIV.
This passage shows the Father is “Almighty” or Omnipotent, and He is All-knowing or Omniscient. See also Isaiah 46: 8-10.
Yahweh is the everlasting Elohim…and His understanding no one can fathom…and increases the strength of the weak, Isaiah 40:28b- 29 NIV.
This passage indicates His understanding is unfathomable or Omniscient and He is the very source of all “strength”—Almighty or Omnipotent.
Yes, and from ancient days I am He. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it? (Isaiah 43:13 NIV)
This passage states essentially that no one can change or overpower any act of the Father, and therefore He is Omnipotent.
For the eyes of Yahweh range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him, 2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV.
His presence spans throughout the earth, which means He’s Omnipresent. See also Proverbs 15:3.
King David says, Yahweh is in His holy temple;
Yahweh is on His heavenly throne, Psalm 11:4 NIV.
The throne is a symbol of supreme power and authority.
Revelation 4:8-11 NIV/ The Scriptures translation says,
Each of the four living creatures have six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is Yahweh El-Shaddai [Almighty] who was, and is to come.” Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down and worship Him who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, O Yahweh to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.”
Again, “El Shaddai” is the singular Hebrew term for our English words “God Almighty.” In the last two passages, together, King David and the Apostle John, reveal that it is He who sits on the throne and who is Supreme and Almighty. In Revelation 5:6-7, we learn that Yahshua, the “Lamb,” receives His orders and authority from the right hand of “Him who sat on the throne.” (verse 7 NIV)
Even in the Holy City, the New Jerusalem to come, the Father is depicted as being the “Almighty” by comparison to the “Lamb.” Revelation 21:22; also compare Psalms 83:18.
In Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, the prophet Daniel appears to draw the same conclusion as John. He says:
As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of His head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before Him. Thousands upon thousands attended Him; ten thousands times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened…In my vision at night I looked, and then before me was One like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence. He was given authority, glory, and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worship Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”
So we see that Yahshua’s “authority, glory, and sovereign power” is “given” to Him by the Father, the “Ancient of Days,” according to Daniel.
David the Psalmist emphatically indicates there is none equal to Father Yahweh in Psalms 97:9 NIV,
For you, O Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all mighty ones.
So, can we rely on these scriptures? Proverbs 30:5-6 says “every word of Eloah is flawless…Do not add to His words or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”
Did Yahshua ever say He was equal to the Father? Did any of His inspired apostles teach that Yahshua is equal to His Father? And where did the Messiah get His knowledge? We will address these questions and more.
The King James Version of the Scriptures says, as the apostle Paul writes, in Philippians 2:5-6 NIV,
Your attitude should be the same as that of Messiah Yahshua: Who, being in very nature Elohim, did not consider equality with Yahweh something to be grasped.
The passage seems to imply that Yahshua is “equal with” the Father. Let’s take a closer look at the word “equal”—its English and Greek meaning.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary states the English word equal means: “Of the same measure, quantity, value, quality, number, degree, or status as another; to be identical in value to.” This seems to be a good boiler plate definition of the word “equal.”
However, we should all be mindful that the Hebrew New Testament of our day comes to us through the Greek language by translation into English. So let’s take a look at the Greek word which was actually used to convey “equal” in this passage and as well as other available words in the Greek that would have been used. They are as follows:
Equal #2470 isos, ee’-sos, prob from 1492 (though the idea of seeming) ; SIMILAR (in amount and kind).
Equal #2471 isotes, ee-sot’-ace; LIKENESS (in condition or proportion); by impl. Equity.
Equal #4915 moshel, mo’-shel; PARALLEL.
Which of the 3 words do you think best supports a claim of equality between the Father and the Son? If you are a Trinitarian, you would probably say the word “moshel (#4915) better defines a trinity divine being. However, it is “isos (#2470) that was used in Philippians 2:6 which generally means “similar”.
So, the passage in the KJV was actually inspired to read as follows:
Messiah Yahshua, who being in the form of Elohim thought it not robbery to be similar to Elohim, Philippians 2:6.
The same Greek word, isos, was also used in John 5:18, where Yahshua was accused of “making himself equal with [similar to] Elohim.” It therefore goes without saying, “that kills two birds with one stone.”
Yahshua is certainly similar to the Father in many ways. He said, “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well: From now on, you do know Him and have seen [horao, horah’- o, GK #3708, to discern clearly; Hebrew to experience] Him,” John 14: 7 NIV. He went on to also say, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work.” (v.10) He further comments, “…for everything that I learn from my Father, I have made known to you,” John 15:15 NIV. Yahshua passes on the knowledge He learned from the Father to His disciples.
Yahshua refers to His Father as His supreme motivation and authority. He never equates the Father as His partner or co-worker. His relationship with the Father is one that best represents wholehearted submission to His Father’s will. Yahshua is likened to any obedient son who loves his father.
If Yahshua was equal to the Father, He would know all that His Father knows. But instead, He said,
The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement He will show him even greater things than these, John 5:19-20 NIV.
He says His Father has shown Him all He knows and will show Him even greater works that all might stand at awe.
Arguably, Scripture can be somewhat confusing regarding the Son’s role as Savior. However, when considering the whole counsel of the Word, it all fits perfectly together. Many are misguided because they’re unteachable and lack knowledge of various mistranslations of Scripture. The most lethal way of approaching Scripture is with preconceived notions based on unscriptural, traditional beliefs. We must allow the Word to stand alone.
One such confusion seems to surface regarding the “mystery of piety [godliness, KJV]: “Elohim was manifest in the flesh...,” I Timothy 3:16. The word “manifest” GK #5319, “phaneroo”, Fan-er-o-o, means “to render apparent.” (“Apparent” is defined as follows: Appearing as such but not necessarily so: seeming). Compared with how this word is used in 2 Corinthians 4:10-11, we find that Yahshua is “manifested in our mortal body.” Does that make us equal to “Yahshua”? Of course not! But through this manifestation, we experience the Father through the Son. Others experience the Son through the lives of His people. (The net result establishes relational bridges that Yahshua can walk across from one heart to another.)
More pointedly, the word “manifest” is also synonymous in meaning to the word “reveal.” Therefore, Yahshua is the “revelation” or “manifestation” of His Father—not the equivalent to His Father. This is an ironclad truth which has been twisted by those who have believed Satan’s counterfeit gospel. Paul called it “another gospel.” See Galatians 1:6, 8.
Some proponents of the trinity doctrine of equality teach that not only Yahshua is literally equal to His Father, but that He was “100% God and 100% man” all at once during His human experience. If He was in fact 100% Elohim, meaning just as much as His Father, then what are we to make of the testimony He gave when He said “…the Father is greater than I”? (John 14:28 NIV)
After His resurrection, Yahshua told Mary Magdalene to tell His brothers “…I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my Elohim and your Elohim,” John 20:17. He actually calls the Father HIS ELOHIM. Even after Yahshua’s return to heaven, He refers to the Father as “my Elohim” in Revelation 3:12. Four times in that single verse. Keep in mind that He made these statements after the Father had granted Him “the glory which [He] had with [Him] before the world was.”
These last four passages alone clearly undermines any argument one might make claiming that the Father and the Son’s relationship of alleged equality changed only as a result of Yahshua’s birth as a man. In truth, at every phase of Yahshua’s existence, He’s portrayed as living in total submission to His Father—who Scripture says is His Elohim, Ephesians 1:3.
At this juncture, another important matter is worthy of brief discussion: the Father and the Son are One, which means they are united. The Greek word “hen” #1520 is used, indicating one in cooperation and purpose—unity. See John 17:21-23. This also agrees with Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear O Israel, Yahweh our Elohim is One Yahweh.”
The Hebrew word in this passage is “echad” #259, “one” indicating family “unity”. Scripture does bear out a sense of order and headship in the Kingdom of Yahweh, with the Father’s will being carried out through His Messiah— “…and the head of Messiah is Elohim,” I Corinthians 11:3. So we see the celestial or Heavenly Family is teaching all mankind that there should be unity in the human family structure; not equality, headship, in that “…the head of the woman is the man.” (Same verse) It is not uncharacteristic that the Father and the Son would lead by the example of practicing headship and family unity - Oneness. In Matthew 19:4-6, Yahshua illustrates further that the husband and wife become “one flesh” at marriage. Does that mean they literally become “equal” or even one human being? Of course not. They become united in purpose and cooperation as family. This is how we are to understand the Heavenly Family.
Now consider this: at this very moment, Yahshua is preparing for His 2nd coming and He doesn’t even know when that day will be. He said in Matthew 24:36,
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
So there are things the Father has reserved to His own prerogative—only He knows—which indicates Yahshua is subject to the Father and is in no wise equal to Him.
The Apostle Paul gives some vital insight which shows even in The World to Come, there will be no equality between the Father and Son. In I Corinthians 15:24-25, he writes:
Then the end will come, when he [Yahshua] hands over the kingdom to Elohim the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power. For he [Yahshua] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For He [Yahweh] has put everything under his feet.
Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include Elohim Himself, who put everything under Messiah. When He has done this, then the Son Himself will be made subject to Him who put everything under Him that Elohim may be all in all.
Here, Paul shows that it should be clear to all that Father Yahweh is the center of all worship and adoration. Even the meaning of His Son’s Name, Yahshua, reflects this truth. For “Yahshua” means “Yahweh is Salvation.” Even so, the prophecy of Isaiah 42 describes Yahshua as Yahweh’s deliverer and “servant.”
If we fail to believe the inspired word of Elohim, then obviously we believe a lie. In John 17:3, Yahshua’s Intercessional High Priestly Prayer, He appears to make knowing the Father and the Son’s true relation both a foundational and salvational issue. Yahshua prayed:
And this is eternal life, that they might know you, the one true Elohim and Yahshua the Messiah, the one whom you have sent.
Note that Yahshua was careful to point out the crystal fact that His Father is “the One True Elohim,"again elevating Him to a class all by Himself.
Paul echoes the same thought in I Timothy 2:5.
For there is One Elohim and One Mediator between Elohim and men, the man Messiah Yahshua, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.
Further, someone is bound to raise the stale question: “Why is Yahshua called ‘Everlasting Father’ in Isaiah 9:6 if He shares no equality with the Father?” First, being mindful that the Hebrew language doesn’t use “capital letters” (for whatever that might mean to some), and Yahshua was the first to rise from the dead to everlasting life, the title “everlasting father” is quite telling and most appropriate for the One who claimed to be “The Resurrection and the Life” in John 11:25. The Complete Jewish Bible refers this as the “Father of Eternity.”
In the same way, the Patriarch Abraham is called “father of us all” who believe, “Father of the circumcision” and “Father of many nations.” See Romans 4:11-12, 16, and 18.
Thus, it should be obvious that Isaiah 9:6 lists many titles which, of course, could be easily related to various aspects of Yahshua’s position in His Father’s household and kingdom.
Furthermore, Paul was called “Father” to the Corinthians through the Evangel (I Corinthians 4:15), and Joseph was made “Father” to Pharaoh, Genesis 45:8. But unmistakingly, Yahshua clearly told His disciples that “…you have One Father, and He is in heaven,” Matthew 23:9. Therefore, this understanding leaves no room for the title “everlasting father” to imply Yahshua as being equal to His Father in any way. On the contrary, He said, “I am the Way…No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6. He is our Path-finder to the Father and the kingdom to come.
Finally, there is one last contention worthy of consideration. At the great debate of the council of Nicea, Arius argued a rather interesting claim that most people will not even bother to entertain today. But unlike any other unturned rock, we must look under it to see if any truth lies beneath it.
Arius argued that the Son was the Father’s first creation before all His works. Ideally, there is adequate Scripture that many have failed to offer any reasonable commentary on which suggest otherwise. As Colossian 1:15 states, Yahshua is “the firstborn of every creature,” not to be confused with “firstborn from the dead” in verse 18. Then there’s Revelation 3:14 where he is called “the beginning of the creation of Elohim.”
Comparing I Corinthians 1:24 and Proverbs 8:12-36, the Corinthians passage says “Messiah, the power of Elohim and the wisdom of Elohim,” where Proverbs 8:22, 24, 25, and 30 strongly suggests Yahshua is the figurative “Wisdom” represented in the passage that the Father “brought forth” as the first of His Works.
All things considered, there is no teaching of inspired scripture that should lead Yahweh’s people to believe in a “coequal” triune divine being. However, keep in mind that whatever we are convinced of must resonate with “every word that comes from the mouth of Elohim” (Matthew 4:4) and “every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” See 2 Corinthians 13:1, Deuteronomy 19:15, and John 8:17-18.
The Holy Spirit
What is the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit equal to the Father and the Son? Is the Holy Spirit the third person in the divine being? What does the whole counsel of Scripture teach us concerning the Holy Spirit?
As a resourceful help to this phase of our study, Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua has published an awesome treatise entitled “The Truth about the Trinity.” It contains a well-rounded overview of what the apostolic scriptures teach about the Holy Spirit. It is also recommended reading to the student of the Bible. However, I have chosen to include in this section many quotations from this work because the level of research and scholarship is absolutely phenomenal as you will see.
From the onset, let’s reiterate a biblical principle mentioned at the close of our discussion regarding the Son. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses,” Deuteronomy 19:15, 2 Corinthians 13:1, and John 8:17-18. Without looking any further, we can conclude that Scripture contains at least three witnesses to the fact that the Holy Spirit is not a person. Apostle Peter, Paul and Luke all referred to the Holy Spirit as being neuter in gender in the King James Version Bible. See 1 Peter 1:11; Romans 8:16, 26; and Acts 2:3. They referred to the Holy Spirit as “it” or “itself” rather than “He” or “Him”.
Some have argued in Acts 13:2 that the Holy Spirit actually spoke to the Apostle Paul and therefore is a third person deity. The fact that Yahweh caused Balaam’s donkey to speak to him doesn’t make his donkey a person nor god anymore than the Holy Spirit can be said to be a person because Yahweh causes it to speak. See Numbers 22:28.
Now let’s consider some of the excerpts taken from Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua aforementioned exposition entitled “The Truth about the Trinity.”
Under subtitle, p. 7,”Spirit is a Force[:] Spirit is translated from the Hebrew ruach and occurs 389 times in the Old Testament. It is rendered spirit 237 times in the King James Version. The Companion Bible says that the basic idea running through all the passages is ‘invisible force.’ In whatever sense the word ruach is used, it means an unseen force except by its manifestations. It can be compared to a physical force like magnetism, gravity, and in our modern age, electricity and radioactivity. The Bible likens spirit to wind.
“In the New Testament Greek text spirit is pneuma and carries the same meaning—in Greek it means to breathe. …Is it any wonder that following His resurrection, Yahshua gave the Holy Spirit to His disciples when ‘he breathed on them,’ John 20:22? Heavenly power came from His nostrils, not a person! Both ruach and pneuma mean ‘wind.’ They can also mean the invisible, vital force in living creatures, or a dominant feeling, attitude or disposition. Spirit can refer to the invisible world, including Yahweh and His angelic creatures, as well as the evil, satanic realm. It can also refer to Yahweh’s holy, active, or life-giving force or power.
“All of these meanings have the sense of an active vitality that is invisible to human eyes. We cannot see spirit just as we cannot ‘see’ wind, gravity, radio waves, electricity, or magnetism. But we can see what it does, the results of its activity. We can often see the effects of the special power of Yahweh’s Holy Spirit, too.”
Under subtitle, p. 15, ”The Holy Spirit’s Nonperson, Inanimate Attributes [:] The invisible power or force which flows from Yahweh is unseen, and is often treated as a material substance. The spirit is POURED out (Isaiah 32:15, 44:3; Acts 2:17); SHED (Titus 3:5-6; Acts 2:33); BREATHED (John 20:22); and it FILLED people (Acts 2:2-4; Ephesians 5:18). Yahshua Himself was ANOINTED with the Spirit (Acts 10:38) and men were BAPTIZED with it (Matthew 3:11).
“Is it possible for a person to be ‘poured out’ on other people? If the Spirit is properly recognized as a force or energy, then the correct sense of the Spirit’s empowering the people to abide by Yahweh’s Law is understood, especially if they are filled with that spirit poured out on them.
“We read that Yahweh anointed Yahshua of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit in Acts 10:38. This act is incomprehensible if we accept the pagan teaching that the Holy Spirit is a person equal to the Father and the Son. Why and how could this co-equal, in-power person be poured upon the Son who was equal in power?
“If we properly understand the Spirit to be force or energy, (power) poured upon the Son, saturating Him as with oil, then we truly grasp the Biblical meaning of ‘spirit’ and see why Yahshua is called the Messiah, Yahweh’s ‘anointed’ (anointed means to rub with oil).”
Under subtitle, p. 16, “Holy Spirit Symbolized Yahweh’s Attributes [:] The Holy Spirit is an invisible, holy, flowing energy coming from the Heavenly Father and shared by His Son, Yahshua. The Spirit, force or power accomplishes their will.
“At times Yahweh refers to His Spirit as power, an attitude, a pervading force, a powerful vitality, a dynamic influence that comes from Him. His Spirit, emanating from Himself, helps us reach a standard of righteousness and so influences behavior that at times it is seen as almost a living vitality, as evident from the following verses:
“‘And Yahweh said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.’ (Genesis 6:3)
“‘But Peter, said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land?’ (Acts 5:3)
“‘The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of Elohim.’ (Romans 8:16)
“Those who don’t understand this metaphoric usage, as simply an extension of Yahweh Himself, leap to the conclusion that He is talking of another Being.
“The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia explains that although Scripture uses terms like grieved in reference to the Holy Spirit, the terminology should not be taken for a separate person. ‘A similar concept underlines the Johannine terms teaching, reproving, and declaring, as applied to the personal Paraclete. Nonetheless, to interpret these passages as implying a person distinct from G-d and Chr-st, whose Spirit he is called, is not warranted.’ (Trinity, Doctrine of, p.19)”
Under subtitle, p. 9, “’Proof’ Texts to Support Trinity [:] An attempt to ‘prove’ a Trinity is I John 5:7. However, newer Bible translations have corrected this spurious verse. The Catholic Jerusalem Bible says in a footnote to I John 5:7, ‘Not in any of the early Greek manuscripts, or any of the early translations, or in the best manuscripts of the Vulgate itself.’ This bogus text reads: ‘For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: these three are one.’
“The Companion Bible states that this verse was not found in any Greek manuscripts before the 16th century but was first seen in the margins of some of the Latin copies: from there it crept into the text. Modern translations do not include this verse in the main body of their text but may have a footnote stating that this verse is spurious. It is plainly a forgery inserted by some Trinitarian zealot during the Dark Ages.”
Under the subtitle, p. 12, “Grammatical gender Mistaken for the Literal [:] Another so called ‘proof’ often presented to show that the Holy Spirit is a sentient being is that the personal pronouns He, Him or His often refer to the spirit in the English Scriptures. John 14:17 is misused to force a personality aspect on the Holy Spirit: ‘[Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees HIM not, neither knows HIM: but you know HIM; for HE dwells with you, and shall be in you’ (John 14:17).
“The use of the personal pronoun WHOM in this text is unwarranted, reflecting simply the translator’s prejudice. WHICH better renders the Greek neuter from. The Greek pronoun in auto, and refers back to Comforter (Greek=Parakletos), which is a noun of masculine gender, and apparently the reason translators provided the ‘Him’ and ‘He’ pronouns.
“Understand that nouns in most European languages have gender. To English-speaking peoples this is a rather peculiar characteristic of their languages. For example, in German ‘plate’ and ‘fork’ are feminine. In French ‘knife’ is masculine and ‘fork’ feminine. It would be as logical to insist that ‘fork’ is a person—because fork is feminine in German and French— as it would be to claim that the comforter is a person because Parakletos (comforter) is masculine in Greek. Pronouns must agree in number, case, and gender. English is not nearly so sophisticated in its grammar.
“The Greek word for spirit (pneuma) is neuter in gender and properly should be translated it. Some translations do not follow the King James in referring to the spirit as He but more properly it. These Bibles are the Diaglott (a literal translation from the Greek), Rotherham, Literal Concordant, and Goodspeed, among others. Pronouns referring to spirit are also neuter. But those referring to the Father and the Son are masculine.
“In contrast to the Greek, Hebrew nouns have no neuter gender. In Hebrew, nouns are either masculine or feminine. Therefore, while ruach (spirit) is masculine in gender, according to rules of Hebrew grammar, the religion of Judaism does NOT look upon ruach as a person, but as a POWER or FORCE.”
Finally, under the subtitle, p. 17, ‘Scriptural Synopsis of Holy Spirit Facts [:] Not all the following statements have been explained fully within this brief booklet, yet are important to consider in regard to a Trinity doctrine supposedly supported by the Scriptures:
“*The Greek philosopher Plato and the Alexandrine Platonists are the source of the modern trinity doctrine.
“Author Alvan Lamson elaborates on the doctrine of the Trinity on page 34 of The Church of the First Three Centuries: ‘…we must look, not to the Jewish Scriptures, nor to the teachings of [Yahshua] and his apostles, but to Philo [the Jewish philosopher of the first century C. E.] and the Alexandrine Platonists. In consistency with this view, we maintain that the doctrine of the Trinity was a gradual and comparatively late formation; that it had its origin in a source entirely foreign from that of Jewish and Christian Scriptures; that it grew up, and was engrafted on Christianity, through the hands of the Platonizing fathers…’
“*The apostate church about the fourth century accepted the Trinity, which was then passed on to her daughters. Acceptance of a Triune deity was influenced by the polytheistic (‘having many deities’) worship everywhere extant among heathen peoples.
“*Neither the term trinity nor its doctrine is found in either the Old or New Testaments.
“*The Holy Spirit (erroneous “Ghost”) is not a person.
“*Ruach (Hebrew) and pneuma (Greek) are the Hebrew and Greek from which we get Holy Spirit in our Bibles. They have as their root meaning ‘wind or breath’ in both the Hebrew and Greek.
“*The Holy Spirit is that invisible force of energy flowing from the Father and Son. It might be likened to the rays of the sun that give us light and heat. The rays are not the sun, but are the power from the sun.
“*Personal pronouns referring to the Holy Spirit do not make it a person any more than Yahshua’s telling Peter to put the sword back into ‘HIS’ place makes the sword a male person (Matthew 26:52).
“*The Spirit can be ‘shed’ (Acts 2:33), ‘poured’ (Acts 2:17), ‘breathed’ (John 20:22), ‘stirred up’ (2 Timothy 1:6), ‘quenched’ (I Thes. 5:19), ‘renewed’ (2 Cor. 4:16)—all of which are literally incompatible with a person or being.
“*The Father and Son converse with each other, but do not talk to the Spirit.
“*Nowhere is the spirit prayed to. If the Holy Spirit were a person, then the Holy Spirit would be Yahshua’s father and not Yahweh. Notice how Yahshua was conceived in the flesh:
“‘But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of Yahweh appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take unto you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 1:20). Yet Yahshua called Yahweh His Father, not the Holy Spirit. He was conceived by and through the power of Yahweh—making Yahweh His Father.
“*Scripture never calls the Holy Spirit the ‘third person’.
“*Salutations found in the first verse of two of the Epistles by Paul, Peter, and John mention Father and Son, but not Spirit.
“*In his Epistles Paul greets the brethren in the name of Yahweh and Yahshua. Never in the opening of his letters does Paul ever greet anyone ‘in the Name of the Holy Spirit.’ Not a person, the Holy Spirit has no name as do Yahweh and Yahshua. For example, Ephesians 1:2 reads, ‘Grace [be] to you, and peace, from Yahweh our Father, and from the Savior Yahshua the Messiah.’
“*The Biblical meaning of being ‘one’ means being in accord, harmony, of like mind, united in goals. Not being one personage.
“*Elohim, used for the Heavenly Majesty, is a collective noun, and does not specifically mean “three.” It simply means more than one, a plurality.
“*Examples given in the Bible show the Father on a throne: Ezekiel 1:26; Daniel 7:9; Acts 7:55-56; Rev. 4:2; 5:1, 7; 20:11, etc… The Holy Spirit is not given a throne (but indwells us, as it did Stephen, Acts 7:55).
-David Jones Jr.
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