The Only True God
God desires that His creatures who were made in His image would know Him, and as a result, love Him with all their hearts. The greatest problem with people who do not appreciate God is that they do not know Him as He really is. John wrote, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8). Many have a distorted view of God’s character, and this causes them not to appreciate or love God as He deserves.
Spreading darkness about God’s character has been the primary focus of Satan’s attacks against God’s kingdom. It is because of His work of spreading lies about God that many remain ignorant of God’s love and refuse to accept Him as the ruler of their lives.
The darkness regarding God’s character exists in varying degrees in different people. Some have an understanding of God’s love that is close to His real attributes and therefore they love Him as much as possible with their limited views of God’s love. Yet, their love for God is hindered by every cherished falsehood regarding God’s character. These errors prevent them from being able to love God with all their hearts. In this condition their love cannot be “made perfect” (1 John 4:17).
This darkness will not last forever. God will manifest Himself to His people, and through them to others. He will say, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isaiah 60:1-3).
The glory of the Lord is His character (Exodus 33:18, 19). God’s character will be revealed to His people and they will be transformed into His image. Paul wrote, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Beholding God’s character as He reveals it in His word is essential because we will be changed into the image of what we behold. If we behold a god who is unloving and cruel, then we will become unloving and cruel as well.
Our characters are directly related to our perceptions of God’s character. This is why Jesus stressed the importance of knowing God. When praying to His Father for us, He said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Our eternal life rests upon knowing the only true God and His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the most important knowledge we can have. Peter wrote, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2).
Knowing Who We Worship
Jesus said to a Samaritan woman He met at Jacob’s well, “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 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 4:22-24). Rather than complimenting this woman for her ignorance in worship, Jesus was seeking to elevate her understanding of God and correct her misunderstandings.
Jesus included Himself when He said, “we know what we worship.” Did you know Jesus worships somebody? He said so Himself, and then He explained who He worships. He said, “the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” Jesus worships His Father along with all “true worshipers.” He worships His Father, because His Father is His God. He said to Mary, right after His resurrection, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (John 20:17).
Jesus told His disciples that His God is the same God as their God. He also explained who this God is, the Father. He assured the disciples that His Father, is also our Father, and His God is also our God.
Jesus promised, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12).
Paul wrote, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17).
Jesus said that the true worshipers must worship the Father “in spirit and in truth.” It is not enough to worship God in spirit, you must worship Him in truth as well. To worship God in spirit means to have your spirit involved in worship. Have you ever found yourself singing hymns while your mind is thinking about your car, your house, or a sports game? At those times, can you say you are worshiping in spirit? No! If your heart and thoughts are not involved, then it is not true worship.
What if your heart is involved in worship, but you are worshiping an idol? Are you a true worshiper? Certainly not! To be a true worshiper you must not only have your heart and mind involved, but you must worship in truth by worshipping the true God. Who is the true God whom the true worshipers are to worship? Jesus said, “the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” Was the woman at the well worshiping God in truth? No! Jesus said she did not know what she worshiped. It is a dangerous thing to worship strange or unknown gods.
Paul reprimanded the pagans on Mars Hill because they had an altar with the inscription, “TO THE UNKOWN GOD” (Acts 17:23). Ignorant worship is not true worship. God rebuked the Israelites, saying, “They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not” (Deuteronomy 32:17). Here we learn that devils are actually getting worship if we worship gods whom we know not. Paul wrote, “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils” (1 Corinthians 10:20).
Merging Paganism and Christianity
The Bible prophesied that a worldly power would arise on the scene and do abominable things, including instituting a false god. (Read Daniel chapters 7, 8, 11 and Revelation 13. For more information, please read the December 2008 issue of Present Truth.)
Speaking of the rise of this power, the angel Gabriel told Daniel, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all” (Daniel 11:36, 37).
This description is almost identical to Paul’s description in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. A study of Daniel 7, 8 and 11 reveals that this power is the papacy. Notice, Gabriel said that when the papacy comes to power it will disregard the God of his fathers. In other words, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Peter, Paul, and the other apostles, would be disregarded by the papacy. Gabriel continued, “But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain” (Daniel 11:38, 39).
Just as prophesied in the Bible, when the papacy came to power, the “God of [their] fathers” was disregarded, and a “strange god” emerged whom their “fathers knew not.” This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter when Satan inspired the papacy to invent and adopt the Trinity doctrine in the fourth century.
The Trinity doctrine was not always part of the religion of main-stream Christianity. On page 11 of the book, Handbook for Today’s Catholic, we read, “The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the Church… The Church studied this mystery with great care and, after four centuries of clarification, decided to state the doctrine in this way: in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons,—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…”
The central doctrine of the Catholic faith, which they admit was their own formulation, is the “strange god” prophesied in Daniel 11:39. This god is so strange it is popularly called “a mystery,” and its adherents are told not to bother trying to understand its confusing contradictions. Those who worship a mysterious strange god are as truly worshiping they “know not what” as was the woman at the well whom Jesus admonished to worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. To worship God in truth, we must know who we are worshiping.
Do you know who you worship? I have been in churches where they mix everything up. They say, “We thank you O Father for coming down and dying for our sins.” I hear people praying to Jesus and closing the prayer “in Jesus name.” Does it make sense to pray to Jesus in His own name? He is our mediator, and He told us to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name (Luke 11:2; John 16:23; Ephesians 5:20). I have heard people pray to the Father, and end with, “in your name.” The Bible says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). We are to pray to God, the Father, in the name of our Mediator, Jesus Christ. It would appear that people who confuse the biblical distinctions and positions of the Father and Son do not know who they are worshiping, and thus are not worshiping in truth.
Distinctions Between Father and Son
Paul wrote, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 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 1:1, 2).
God appointed His Son to be the heir of all things. An heir is “one who receives his allotted possession by right of sonship” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). All things the Son has, He received from His Father, including life itself. Jesus said, “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” (John 5:26).
Continuing in Hebrews we read, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).
An image is a likeness of the original. In this case, Jesus is called, “the express image” of His Father. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines the Greek word used here as a, “precise reproduction in every respect.” As the Son of God, Jesus Christ is the image, or reproduction, of His Father. It is impossible to be the image and the original at the same time. You can be one or the other, but not both. Would it be right or proper to say that the Father is the image of the Son? No, and that is why He is never referred to in this manner, because He is the original. People have approached me saying, “Your son looks just like you.” It would be rare for a person to approach me and say, “You look like your son.” Why? My son is the image of me, not the other way around, because I came first.
Continuing, Paul wrote, “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Hebrews 1:4). By right of sonship, Jesus Christ received a more excellent name than the angels. Angels are not literal sons, and therefore do not receive what Christ naturally inherits because He really is God’s Son.
Paul continued, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (Hebrews 1:5). Notice the argument Paul uses to distinguish Jesus from the angels. Over and over again he argues that Jesus is better because He is the Son of God, because He was “begotten,” because He is “the express image” of His Father, because He is the “heir of all things,” because He naturally receives an “inheritance” from His Father.
Paul wrote, “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 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 1:6-8). Here, Paul is telling us that Jesus is divine because He is really God’s Son. His language used to emphasize this is inescapable. Jesus is better than the angels because He was born of the Father, which cannot be said of any of the angels.
When Paul comes to the point of Jesus being called God, he wrote, “But unto the Son he [the Father] saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Hebrews 1:8, 9). As the Son of God, Jesus is, by right of inheritance, God by nature. A true Son of God, could be nothing else or nothing less than God by nature.
There is a law in nature that creatures can only have offspring “after their kind” (Genesis 1:24, 25). The offspring of a dog is always a dog, the offspring of a bird is always a bird, the offspring of a human is always a human, and the offspring of God, naturally is God. It is right and proper to refer to Jesus Christ as “God,” for God, the Father Himself calls Him, “God.” Yet, in the same breath, the Father makes it clear that He is the God of His Son. He says, “thy God, hath anointed thee…” Jesus is God, yet He has a God above Him who is also His Father.
God, the Father continued speaking to His Son, “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands” (Hebrews 1:10). God had said to His Son, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Jesus Christ participated with His Father in the creation of all things. The Father states that the heavens are the works of His Son’s hands. The Bible says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).
When Jesus was on earth it was His hands that touched the lepers to give them health, it was His hands that touched the eyes of the blind to give them sight. It was His mouth that spoke the words, “be thou clean” to heal the sick. Yet, Jesus said, “the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). God, the Father, is the one who exercised His power in healing the sick, but He chose to do it through the hands of His Son. The same is true in creation. Over and over, God, the Father, is given the credit for creating everything, and Jesus is the channel by which He did this. Even at the beginning of this chapter in Hebrews it says, “God… made the worlds” and it says that He made them “by” “His Son” (Hebrews 1:1, 2). Paul wrote, “God… created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9).
Jesus is God, and He cooperated with His Father in the creation of all things. John wrote of this, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3).
Here Jesus is called “God,” yet there is a clear distinction between Him and “God” whom He was with. The God who Jesus was with is God, the Father. Jesus was not the same “God” He was with, but rather, Jesus was God in the sense of being divine just like His Father. The Father is God, so, necessarily, His Son is God by nature. Biblical Greek Scholars generally agree that the second time the word “God” is used in John 1:1, it is used as a “qualitative noun” to describe the qualities of “the Word.” Harner says that nouns “with an anarthrous [no article] predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning” (The Journal of Biblical Literature, Philip B. Harner, article “Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John 1:1.”) “The clause could be translated, ‘the same nature as God.’ This would be one way of representing John’s thought, which is, as I understand it, that ho logos [‘the word’], no less than ho theos [‘the God’], had the nature of theos.” (ibid.)
Attributes of the Father
A reading of the Bible reveals clear distinctions between the Father and Son. The following is a partial list of attributes of God, the Father:
He’s the one who sent His Son.
“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14).
He’s the one who gave His Son a work to do.
Jesus said, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4).
He’s the one who commanded His Son what to say and speak.
Jesus said, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12:49).
He’s the one who gave His Son power over all flesh.
Jesus said, “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (John 17:2).
He’s the one who gave authority to His Son.
Jesus said that His Father, “hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man” (John 5:27).
He’s the one who told His Son to sit on His right hand.
“But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” (Hebrews 1:13).
He’s the one who anointed His Son.
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Hebrews 1:9).
He’s the one who gave His Spirit to His Son.
“For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him” (John 3:34).
He’s the one who gave to His Son to have life in Himself.
“For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26).
He’s the one who Gave His Son all power in heaven and earth.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).
He’s the one who highly exalted His Son.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him…” (Philippians 2:9).
He’s the one who gave His Son a name which is above every name.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).
He’s the one who has given all things into His Son’s hand.
“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand” (John 3:35).
He’s the one who committed all judgment unto His Son.
“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22).
He’s the one to whom Christ will be subject for all eternity.
“And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
He’s the one who is the head of Christ.
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
He’s the one who is the God of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17).
In no case do we find that the opposite is true. The Son never sent the Father anywhere. He never gave the Father a work to do, or commanded what He should speak. The Son never gave power or authority to His Father. The Son never anointed His Father. He never gave life to His Father. The Father has never, and will never be subject to His Son. The Son is not the head of the Father, nor is He His God. It is acknowledged by most that the Father holds the highest rank. The continual attempt of trinitarians to make the Son absolutely equal to the Father is virtually proof that He is not. They never seek to prove the Father is equal to the Son. It is true that Jesus is equal to His Father in many respects, including nature, but in each of the aspects mentioned in the verses above, the Father holds the highest position. In fact, He is the only being in the Bible given the titles, “most High” or “the Highest.”
A possessed man came up to Jesus, “And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not” (Mark 5:7). In case this man was mistaken we have a confirmation from God’s angel, Gabriel, who said of Jesus, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:32).
How many most Highs can you have? If there is more than one most High, then you have just eliminated the most High, because now you have a committee of most Highs. There can only be one most High.
Paul wrote, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). In explaining heirarchy, Paul stopped when he came to God. Why? He can’t go any higher! The Father is the most high God, and is the head of Christ.
Titles of the Father
Greater than all
The God and Father of all
The Ancient of days
The only true God
Lord of heaven and earth
The only Potentate
The Father is called “the Ancient of days” in Daniel 7:9, 13, 22. He is the only one given this title in the Bible. Do you think there is a reason for this? God is trying to tell us something about Himself. He is older than any other being in the universe.
Paul wrote of the Father, “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:6). The Father is the Most High God, and as such is “above all.”
Of Christ’s closing prayer at the last supper, the Bible says, “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:1-3).
Jesus called His Father, “the only true God.” The Greek word μονον that was translated “only” means, “alone, (without a companion)” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). How many true Gods can there be, if there is only one?
The Greek word αληθινον that was translated “true” means, “real, true genuine,… it contrasts realities with their semblances” or resemblances (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). This word distinguishes the original from its resemblances. It is used in Hebrews 8:2, where it says of Christ that He is “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Paul was distinguishing the original tabernacle that God pitched in heaven from the copy that Moses built on earth.
When Jesus called His Father “the only true God,” He was not excluding Himself from being God, but stating that His Father is the only original God. Jesus is the image of the true God, but not the true God Himself.
It is life eternal to know both the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. You may have wondered why Jesus left somebody out of this equation. If there is a third god called, “the Holy Spirit,” then it is not necessary to your salvation for you to know him, because life eternal depends upon knowing only two individuals, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. (We will study about the Holy Spirit in the next chapter.)
Paul wrote that we should pray for everyone because God, “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:4, 5). God wants everyone to know the truth about God, that there is only one God and one mediator between us and God, Jesus Christ.
Paul also wrote, “As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).
Paul is very emphatic in this verse. He says, “there is none other God but one.” If there were two or three Gods, could Paul have truthfully made this statement? No! There is only one God, and Paul did not leave us in the dark about the identity of this one God. He says, “to us there is but one God, the Father…” The “one God” of the Bible beside whom “there is none other” is “the Father.” Paul is very clear on this point. None need to be confused about it. Paul also pointed out that “all things” are of or from Him. The Father is the source of all things. Paul then pointed out that there is also “one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.” Jesus is the channel through whom all blessings flow. He is separate and distinct from the “one God” of the Bible. In fact, the term “one God” is used seven times in the Bible (Malachi 2:10; Mark 12:32; Romans 3:30; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19), and in every case it is referring exclusively to the Father.
One day Jesus was reasoning with the Pharisees and Sadducees. “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:28-31). In giving an answer to this scribe, Jesus began by emphasizing that there is one God.
“And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices” (Mark 12:32, 33). This scribe’s answer was very emphatic and exclusive in stating that “there is one God; and there is none other but he.” Notice that the scribe did not say, “there is none other but them.” He used a singular word “he” to refer to one individual. The word is singular in English as well as in Greek and in the Aramaic translation of Greek. Every time in the Bible where pronouns are used to refer to both the Father and Son they are always plural, such as “us,” “we,” “our,” “them,” etc. There is never a case where both the Father and Son are referred to using singular pronouns such as “I,” “me,” “he,” “him,” etc. This scribe was referring to one individual when he said, “there is one God; and there is none other but he.”
We can be certain to whom this scribe was referring as the “one God.” At another time when Jesus was reasoning with the Jews, “Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God” (John 8:54). Jesus knew that when a Jewish man spoke about God, he was referring to His Father. Jesus knew that when this scribe said “there is one God; and there is none other but he” that he was talking specifically about His Father. Now this would have been the perfect opportunity for Jesus to have corrected him if he was mistaken. Jesus could have said, “Well, actually there are three Gods, and I am one of them.” But Jesus did not do this. Instead the Bible says, “And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question” (Mark 12:34). Rather than offering a correction to this man, Jesus complimented him for his good answer.
The Bible is clear regarding the identity of God and His only begotten Son. Notice some Bible facts about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“God the Father” 13 times
“The Most High God” 11 times
“The Highest” 6 times
“The only true God” once
“Son of God” 46 times.
God’s “holy child” twice
His “firstborn” 4 times
The “only begotten” 5 times
“The firstbegotten” once
The Holy Spirit
The “Spirit of God” 26 times
“God’s Spirit” 9 times
“Thy spirit” 4 times
“The Holy Spirit of God” once
In contrast to these plain Bible facts, let us look at some of the phrases used by trinitarians and see how they are used in the Bible.
“Trinity” 0 times
“Triune God” 0 times
“God in three persons” 0 times
“Three persons” 0 times
“God the Son” 0 times
“God the Holy Spirit” 0 times
In all the places where Jesus is referred to in language to indicate that He is God’s Son, there is never a clarification to reveal that we should not take these words in their natural sense. Three times, while Jesus was on earth, God the Father spoke from heaven, and two of those times He said of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son…” If God did not expect us to believe just what He said about His Son, why didn’t He tell us? He had many opportunities to explain that actually Jesus is His companion or emanation of Himself as the trinity and tritheism claims, but He passed up every opportunity. Never once did He tell us that Jesus is someone other than His actual Son. If God wanted us to believe something other than that Jesus is His real Son, then He did a very poor job of explaining it in Scripture, and He even made many, many statements in the Bible that would only serve to lead us to believe something other than the truth. Friends, “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33). God wants us to believe exactly what He said about His Son. If we believe anything else we are making God out to be a liar. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son” (1 John 5:10).
The fact that Jesus is the Son of God is the single most important doctrine in the Bible. Jesus said that He would build His church upon this truth (Matthew 16:13-18). John said that this was the one point He wants you to gain from His writings (John 20:30, 31). John also said that believing that Jesus is the Son of God is the key to overcoming the world (1 John 5:5). It is this truth that unlocks the beauty of God’s love (1 John 4:9, 10), and it is this truth that will transform your character into the image of God (2 Corinthians 3:18).
I would like you to think about something. Even Trinitarians, when they seek converts from the world, will never use the Trinity doctrine to convert sinners, but rather they use what they call heresy, for they know it has more power to convert people than their beloved Trinity doctrine. Trinitarian churches around the world will tell sinners that God loves them so much that He gave His Son to die for their sins. This reaches the hearts of prospective converts and brings them power in their lives to overcome sin. Yet, sadly, after they are converted and come into the church, they are told that Jesus is not really God’s Son, but the second person of the Trinity, and that the Son could not die for their sins, because God cannot die. Thus, the truth that gave them power in the beginning is effectively removed, leaving them with a form of godliness without the power.
If a Trinitarian were to approach a lost sinner and say, “God loves you so much that He sent His companion into the world to pretend to be His Son and to pretend to die for you,” it would be as useless as anything could be, and would not possibly convert a sinner to the Lord. Jesus said, “The truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) The truth is what converts and sets men free, not lies.
Most theologians will admit that the trinity is not explicitly taught in the Old Testament. Some have found verses that could possibly lend support to the idea, but it is not clearly taught anywhere in the Old Testament. This fact is illustrated by the Jewish people who, as a whole, reject any form of the trinity as completely foreign to the Old Testament. They are strictly and emphatically monotheistic.
Again, most theologians will admit that the trinity is not explicitly taught in the New Testament. It is true that there are verses that are used to support the idea, but the doctrine is nowhere outlined in the New Testament, and there are a vast number of verses that teach contrary to it. It was not until the Roman Catholic church began to merge paganism with Christianity that the “Christian” trinity doctrine was introduced to the world. Most churches today who believe in the trinity do not use Scripture language to define this doctrine, but rather borrow language from Catholic church fathers or creeds to state the doctrine.
Think about this. If the trinity is really the truth that God wants us to believe, then He failed to get the point across for the first 4,000 years of earth’s history. Great men of old, like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, King David, Daniel, etc., all died without the slightest hint that God was a trinity. Enoch and Elijah went to heaven without seeing death even though they never heard that God is a trinity. The early Christian church thrived with thousands converted in a day, and yet the trinity was foreign to them. If the trinity were true, then finally, about four hundred years after Christ died, the Catholic Church figured out that God is a trinity and God was finally able to make it clear to the world by using formulas and creeds voted on at the councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 AD.
Friends, this could not be the case. The essential knowledge for salvation was revealed to Adam and Eve and was known by God’s people through every generation, and the trinity was not part of this knowledge. Jesus Himself said that life eternal depends upon knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ, not a trinity. The only doctrinal confession given in the Bible before baptism was “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37). In many churches today you have to confess belief in a trinity before baptism. This was not part of early Christianity. Shortly after the council of Nicaea in 325 AD where the trinity doctrine was in its early formation stages, one astonished Christian wrote:
“We have never heard, my Lord, of two beings unbegotten, nor of one divided into two;… but that there is one unbegotten, and another truly from Him” (Letter written by Eusebius of Nicomedia as found in An Historical View of the Council of Nice, by Isaac Boyle, page 41. This book was included in Baker Book House’s edition of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History.)
The trinity doctrine was a surprise and shock to early Christianity. Unfortunately, today it is almost universally accepted as truth even though it is not taught in the Scriptures and its confusing contradictions cannot be reconciled.
We are exhorted to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3), and the trinity is not part of that faith. It is foreign to scripture. It is a strange god whom our fathers knew not.
I pray that you will have “fellowship… with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). I leave you with the salutation of Paul, “Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 6:23).