The Holy Trinity

Theology Proper in Proper Theology
Properly Mirrored in Tri-unity
Reflections on God and the Love of Creedal Affirmation
∞ The Holy Trinity ∞

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“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen,”
2 Corinthians 13:14.

     No one in any type of scriptural dispute ever fails to add wording to their positions. I’ve never discoursed with anyone in the Bible from an opposing view who didn’t both quote scripture and explain their positions externally with summary doctrine in some combination of the two. We all must. It is the passive aggressive position of many religious teachers that they, unlike all of their opponents, simply “Read the Bible as it is.” Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Modalists/Oneness Pentecostals and Word-of-Faith ministers all claim this. People who handle poisonous snakes to prove that they’re Christians claim this over their church. Christians also claim this, so what makes us any different? Nothing on this point makes us any different. We all have a system of doctrine that we believe is based on an accurate account of the Apostolic Faith. Of course it goes without saying that we cannot all be right on major issues. We could all be wrong, or only one of us is right, but we cannot all be correct by the fundamental laws of non-contradictory logic. I know who I think is right and so, as a Christian, I’m going to teach others who God is based on: 1) the exposition of specific scripture texts, 2) a systematic theology built on the streams of evidence that separate scriptures build as a whole and 3) creeds, doctrines, sermons, analogies and truths that accurately reflect what we have received from the Apostles. I’ll do this in that order throughout my life.
     No one debates by just reading Bible passages without adding a single word. Preaching is not even preaching without discussing a text in view. Without preaching it is reading. We don’t go to church to hear men read the Bible from the pulpit. It is not wrong to exposit Bible texts by godly means. In any apologetical stance this becomes necessary in faith because it is the very meanings of Bible passages themselves that are disputed. It is here that external doctrine can help us as it is designed. Doctrine clarifies in the church. It does not confuse. Christian, it isn’t wrong to do this, but we never want to see our doctrines as equal to scripture. We are taught to contend for the veracity of the Christian faith. That means that we are to fight for it against others, Jude 1:3. That’s what this letter is for. Because of the many challenges that have arisen since Christ arose, it is not enough just to read passages in the presence of the distorters. It is not that the text is ambiguous to the believer at all. It is clear on most points and absolutely clear on essential points.
     Scripture is always clear to the Christian. However, even the things so clear in the Bible to Christians have been perverted in innumerable ways. Even the Tri-unity of God has become a necessary front in the truth war. Scripture, at the tail end of 2,000 years of NT debauchery by its opposition must be defined, compared, interpreted and summarized to our youth. This was true even in the days of the Apostles, but is equally if not more true in ours. In this letter, in one facet, we’re talking about what I would say is God’s most important Biblical concept which is knowing the Biblical concept of God. This will be done in contrast to several other views in mind. God is three yet one. Let us make this clear.
      The doctrine of the Trinity requires a balanced view of Scripture. That is, since the doctrine itself is derived from more than one stream of evidence, it requires that all the evidence be weighed and given authority. If any of the foundational pillars of the doctrine (monotheism, the deity of Christ, the person of the Holy Spirit, etc.) be ignored or even rejected, the resulting doctrinal system will differ markedly from the orthodox position, and will lose its claim to be called “Biblical.” – James White
     Let’s begin where our opponents would not wish: with an ancient man-made declaration. Christians believe the Nicene Creed of 325 AD. Amen. We have this doctrine because of a meticulous study and distillation of all Bible texts and the right division of the word of God. We have loved the God of scripture and developed a writing that summarizes, compares and defines our faith to all peoples for all times. I’ve inserted scripture texts (at most two for any one point) to buttress individual parts of the creed where I find it applicable.
      I believe in one God [James 2:19], the Father Almighty [2 Corinthians 6:18], Maker of heaven and earth [Genesis 1:1], and of all things visible and invisible. [Colossians 1:16.]
     And in one Lord Jesus Christ [1 Timothy 2:5], the only-begotten Son of God, [John 1:14] begotten of the Father before all worlds [John 17:5]; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; [John 1:1] begotten, not made, [1 John 1:1-3] being of one substance with the Father [John 10:30], by whom all things were made [Hebrews 1:2].
     Who, for us men and for our salvation [Mark 10:45], came down from heaven, [John 6:38] and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit [Luke 1:35] of the virgin Mary [Luke 1:27], and was made man [1 Timothy 3:16]; and was crucified also for us [Acts 4:27-28] under Pontius Pilate; [Matthew 27:24] He suffered [Matthew 17:12] and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; [1 Corinthians 15:4] and ascended into heaven, [Acts 1:9] and sits on the right hand of the Father; [Acts 2:33-34] and He shall come again [Hebrews 9:28], with glory [Mark 13:26], to judge the quick and the dead; [2 Thessalonians 1:7-9] whose kingdom shall have no end [Luke 1:33].
     And I believe in the Holy Ghost [Acts 13:2], the Lord and Giver of Life [Job 33:4; 2 Corinthians 3:6]; who proceeds from the Father and the Son [John 15:26]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified [John 16:14-15]; who spoke by the prophets [Hebrews 1:1].
     And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church [Ephesians 4:4-6]. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins [Romans 6:3]; and I look for the resurrection of the dead [John 5:28-29], and the life of the world to come [John 3:16]. Amen.
     These 36 scriptures cited here are by absolutely no means the only ones that could be cited in the places you see them. In fact, many good Christians may wish that I would have used others in some places. It should also be mentioned that an abundance of texts could be cited for each individual point. Pages of texts could be exposited for some of the doctrines included in the Nicene Creed, and all in measure. Dr. Albert Mohler delivers a potent sermon series on the Apostles Creed that I highly recommend all of you to get. It is free following the link above. It was an immense blessing to me! The reason I’m citing the Nicene Creed here is because I love it and I want to reiterate its certainty to anyone reading my letters. It has been around for 1,683 years and it ain’t never leaving.
     For the Christian, sound doctrine such as the creed above serves as a mirror. The image it reflects is the scriptures. We may remove or adjust the mirror if we find it necessary, but if it’s right then it’s not truly the mirror men despise when they see it but the image within. This may appear at first glance to be circular reasoning, but I think it goes a bit deeper. Christians say that the Nicene Creed should not be despised because this would mean despising Christ and His scriptures on its doctrinal points. Nonetheless the only validity we find for the Nicene Creed is in the Bible’s full counsel. This should be assumed by all readers without fear. If the creed is right according to the scriptures then it is equally true though not equally authoritative. This is not a subtle pseudo-papal subversion we’re suggesting. This is true because it merely reflects the Holy writings never replacing or altering them in any way. The Bible is plain on the points addressed by the Nicene Creed. Doctrine, when faithful, is therefore like a loving wife to scripture. The wife submits to her husband. It is made to be a help meet to use a KJV term (Genesis 2:18) and the two become one though distinct. We unequivocally believe in Sola Scriptura.
     Let me illustrate this in another way. Let’s look at a Bible truth from two different people. Paul in the 1st Century says, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty…For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” 1 Corinthians 15. Then John Piper writes in the 21st Century that, “There is no salvation for any human if Jesus Christ did not rise up physically after death.” Mr. Piper is a mirror reflecting an image. Are these not equally inspired truths spoken? Yes, they are, but in the humility that makes all other preachers non-Apostles we must hasten to add that you can do away with Mr. Piper if you choose, but not Paul. We must add this in all respect to God’s Apostles.
     But here’s the question so as not to defeat my whole presentation thus far: why would anyone want to do away with Mr. Piper on this point? He and Paul say the same exact thing. They are both speaking for God; one as an Apostle and the other as a pastor. John Piper is a mirror reflecting Paul in the scriptures on the truth of Jesus’ physical Resurrection. If Pastor Piper writes an accurate creed on this point then that creed becomes something certain and binding. This is inescapable and important. This is no special power; it is reflective power. This is how any believer can contend for the faith at all. We’re all men outside the book with our words or pens. This would be true of any man under God post the NT. The man himself claims no authority in himself but only points to the image. If someone rejects Piper’s point here they are therefore equally rejecting Paul’s and thus may be denouncing Christ’s Resurrection. This is true if they understood Mr. Piper and Paul correctly. This is how I think good doctrine serves the church. This is the principle of: “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error,” 1 John 4:6. It was their doctrine that was spoken of here and refers to the words in the Bible. It would be heretical for me to say that Mr. Piper is on the same level of authority as Paul. I would never declare this and furthermore know that he would be extremely offended in me if he ever heard me say so. All I’m showing is that doctrine, when it’s right, should be embraced. If it’s right we should ask ourselves why any would despise it. For nearly two thousand years Christians have delighted in the love of the Nicene Creed. It is an established truth in Christianity and this is sure. It should be embraced. This may not be the same with all creeds, but I’m now arguing for Nicene declaration. The challenges to it in our generation are nothing new. Our responses are nothing new. We teach the same truths from the same Bible texts. Some simply discard statements like the Nicene Creed calling it “Man made.” Indeed it is, but if it is right then this is very dangerous. By throwing away the doctrine they betray nothing more than a prejudice against that which it reflects. It’s clear by their rejection of it that they see the reflection plainly. They hate the image not the mirror.
     If a man rejects the Son he rejects the Father also. If a man rejects the disciples he rejects the Lord who sent them. If the world rejects us they reject Jesus Christ. If the world rejects our creeds then they reject our writings. Here we stand. We can do no other. God help us. Amen.
     So Christian, how do we avoid the sin of claiming that authority for inspired truth comes from us and our creeds and not from the Bible itself? If we say that to reject the Nicene Creed and its Trinitarian affirmations is a rejection not merely of the creed itself but of the Bible’s counsel, how is this not an overstepping of our bounds? We are neither God nor Apostles alive today. We write nothing scriptural. I cannot reduce my answer down. I’ve tried. You will only enjoy my answer to this question if you are in love with our Father and a contender for our faith. I’ll answer by asking my Christian readers a question: Are you prideful? Could you be wrong about the triune nature of God, justification by faith alone or the fact that Jesus was sinless? If you believe any of these truths and yet say that you could be wrong then this part of the letter will make no sense to you. We are counted as sheep to the slaughter. We are His humble servants, dear friends. Pride will cause men to not submit to the Bible. We answer with certainty. When the devil says, “Jesus is not God.” We respond. When Satan preaches that, “Christ is only a mode of God” we respond. When demons herald their gospel in the name of a created Christ; we respond. To quote Mr. R.C. Sproul Jr. on this point he said:
     Beloved we have to understand that the devil has only one weapon. Which ought to tell you how clever he is, that he could fight so well with just one weapon. His weapon is his downfall. His weapon is pride. And it is pride that drives the modernist to build the Tower of Babel. It is pride that drives the modernist to storm the Bastille in revolutionary France. But it is also pride that responds to the devil when he asks, ‘Has God indeed said?’ It is pride that responds, ‘I’m just not comfortable answering definitively.
We are not prideful. We have answered! Amen.
      Christians are not timid, they are harmless. Let’s move on. So why are the Apostles and their writings the only dividing line and the only final authority for Christians? In any day and age if men didn’t like an authority they just made a new one. If you’re in a church that doesn’t do what you like, well why not just start a new denomination and call the other dead? What makes a man submit to the writings of an Apostle rightly? Is it proper arguments and presentations? No way. I believe that it simply boils down to sheep and goats just as Jesus told Pilate while He stood before Him. Christians should remember that the reason there are challenges to Christ’s nature in the Trinity is the same reason that men stridently deny Jesus as the Christ at all, or think they can save themselves by their own good works. I believe we see it summed up as follows: “…Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice,” John 18:37. Those who deny the nature of God do not, at least yet, hear His voice. Don’t ever forget this. You can’t make them hear, but you can and should tell them. The nature of God is an absolutely essential Biblical point. If a person has this wrong then we must conclude that they have nothing right. It’s like buttoning a shirt and placing one button in the wrong slot; everything is out of place. Everything! If you are wrong about who God is you too are a mirror with a reflection. It proves to all that you’ve never had your sin removed. Idolatry itself is a sin, my friend, Exodus 20:4. You will die in your sins and merit hell. Please consider our creeds and our pleadings. This is the most important thing in the universe. We invite you to the Bible with us and pray that God would bless your study. We wish to reconcile you to God and not just some god to you. That is why I’m writing this letter.
     Today’s letter is not application teaching but theological foundation. I was recently told by a group of Jehovah Witnesses that the doctrine of the Trinity is blasphemous and that the only reason I believe it is because I’ve been indoctrinated to see it in the scriptures. This is again that passive aggressiveness in display. As if they’ve not been taught by the Watchtower to see things. I must submit to you that what they say has some truth to it. I have indeed been taught to see the Trinity, but where does this doctrine come from in scripture? Why would any of our fathers have sought to teach us this? Is it pagan mysticism as our enemies assert? There are many people out there who see things in the scriptures that simply are not there. All you have to do is look to Word-of-Faith teachers who lecture their followers about guaranteed success in business through Jesus, people who handle snakes to prove their faith, Mormons who are baptized for the dead, or people who roll in the isles with emotion because some guy in the Bible thought that the Apostles “…Had too much wine” on the Day of Pentecost. Let’s begin a small look to where the doctrines of Christianity come from.
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts…”
I am comfortable assuming that this is one for the
Father, one for the Holy Spirit and one for the Son.
Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8.
     Christians unanimously understand that Jesus is a co-equal part of the Holy Trinity. Trinity is simply a word meaning Tri-unity. It is a word that perfectly represents what the Bible teaches about the nature of God. This is closely defined as one God in three separate Persons: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Christians are monotheists. We don’t believe in three gods. We have one God.
     I teach this truth not just to answer the father of all lies, but because it is truth itself lovely, pure and glorious. We glory more in truth sometimes as it is contrasted to falsity. It is for this reason that I thank Christ’s antagonists as I meditate on just a few things that I want to share with you all here. I am certain that I will leave out dozens of favorite passages and proofs, but I will include several good ones as well. This will by no means be the last letter I write on this subject in my life. We also have an audio message on the Trinity subject available for listen or download at This message is part of a Foundations of the Faith set of audio messages on the website. I want us to delight in God and marvel in His unique and perfect holiness.
     There’s a premise for God’s nature that I’d like to put forth to you now. If we see in the NT that three separate Persons are called God, and also show that the NT states that there is only one God then the arguments cease. The doctrine of the Trinity will then, having been laid, begin to unfold in Christ. It will also clearly be shown in His relationship to the Father and His description of the Holy Spirit. All of this is publicized in the Apostle’s doctrine thereafter. Most anti-Trinitarians will agree to this line of reasoning because they are convinced it isn’t provable. Once we lay the groundwork to support the aforementioned premise, the doctrine of the Trinity can begin to come forth in full swing. We’ll use just eight texts out of dozens. This is the easy part.
     #1: Is there a Father called and seen as God?
     A.) “Grace to you and peace from God the Father…” Galatians 1:3.
     B.) “For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory…” 2 Peter 1:17. Answer: Yes, there is a Father called and seen as God.
     #2: Is there a Holy Spirit called and seen as God?
     A.) “But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God,” Acts 5:3-4.
     B.) “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away,”Acts 13:2. Please understand that no one ever quotes a force, a separate part of someone’s personality, or a musical instrument. You only quote a person. A donkey is only quoted once! This is an exception to the rule. Numbers 22:29-30. Answer: Yes, there is a Holy Spirit called and seen as God.
     #3: Is there a Son called and seen as God?
     A.) “But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom,” Hebrews 1:8.
     B.) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”John 1:1. Answer: Yes, there is a Son called and seen as God.
So let’s ask ourselves the fourth and final important foundational question to establish a basis for the Trinity:
     #4: Does the same NT clearly say that there is only one God?
     A.) “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5.
     B.) “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!” James 2:19. Answer: Yes, the NT states that there is indeed only one God. So where do we go from here? Mr. White in the first comment listed in this article is wise to remind us all that God’s Biblical logic flows from more than one “Stream of evidence.” Any one stream of that evidence is sufficient as would have been only one Gospel writer, but God has given us many truths to consider in the creation of the full picture. The foundation, however, is now clearly laid. The arguments have ceased. That was the easy part.
It may not be easy for some, but the NT does indeed speak in many ways of three separate Persons as God. These truths are not lost in your English version of the Bible; it is the same in Greek. What I would like to do next is expound upon the Deity of Christ. If this is confirmed then the Deity of the Spirit is also proven in every instance. This is one reason why our creeds declare that the Holy Spirit “With the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified.” The Holy Spirit has reserved Himself in the NT to reveal the Son.
The following points are where things can become clearer to those with a heart for truth. It is also where things become ominous and veiled for those that are neither on the side of truth nor seeking it. “Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You [Jesus] will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” John 14:22. Christ’s answer is that He, through the Holy Spirit Who is to come, is how He Himself shall be revealed, verse 26. Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit as follows: “He will testify of Me,” John 15:26. This is either clear teaching or the most confusing way to speak to men in history. This is either clear instruction about two separate entities or nonsense. I pray you understand it well and come to marvel at the Spirit through Whom you have believed. Here in John, Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as a separate Person that He and His Father would mutually send, yet in Revelation we know that it is the Son addressing His churches saying, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” Revelation 2:17. This is true in the Trinity when the Son speaks or as the Holy Spirit speaks revealing the Son to the churches. This is not cryptic; this is clear when founded on the previously established premise and taught here in this stream of relational evidence. To attempt to read the Bible in avoidance of such Trinitarian logic is an exercise in idolatry not to mention futility. It is to hit linguistic, logical, and systematic NT land mines after every two steps. In a clear separation of Personage we often see this unity yet diversity of roles and worship that only make sense in the Trinity.
The certainty of God’s triune nature, as it is doctrinally stated, is therefore not merely a necessity of logic deduced from the text; it is essential to the text’s right division! To deny this is no less than apostasy and an abandonment of Christ’s Gospel. It should go without saying that it is important that you have the right God.
     Here’s another clear and powerful doctrinal setting for assimilating the Deity of Christ and therefore the inescapable glories of Trinity: Jesus says, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him,” John 5:22-23. Again we can see that this is either a clear instruction or confusion. If Jesus is not speaking of His relation to the Father as unto a separate and simultaneously existent Person in the heavens (as would be the case in dozens of passages) then this is confusion personified. The disciples would be looking to the heavens and there’d be nothing up there but angels. Based on this text we can conclude that when divine judgment is declared after this point in history it must be referencing a role delegated to the Son from the Father. So here is a direct reference to Jesus at the end of time: “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books,” Revelation 20:12. It is Jesus Christ our God and Savior judging. “…The Father judges no one…”
     If Jesus is God incarnate then who is greater than He in the heavens as He speaks? He says, “…My Father is greater than I” in John 14:28. Yes, the Father was greater than the Son while the Son was here on earth. Who in the heavens is greater than God on earth? There are streams of evidence here.
      I will very briefly comment on three obvious truths. It was not a charade on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:5 when Peter, James and John heard from God the Father. The disciples were not smoking some Middle Eastern hallucinogenics during their time with Christ. It was no ventriloquist’s act at Jesus’ water baptism in Matthew 3:17 when they all heard the voice of the Father. Here the Son was audibly declared pleasing to His Father for all men to hear. The people in the crowd were wrong about what they heard when God spoke from heaven before His Son’s crucifixion in John 12:28. It was God the Father on all three occasions who spoke audibly on His Son’s behalf from heaven. That’s why Jesus can pray, “Our Father Who is in heaven…”
     Let’s just glance through a few of Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer” statements together and imagine Him speaking to Himself or to no one else in particular. This will answer the modalist/oneness Pentecostal. I encourage you to go read this beautiful and pregnant portion of scripture in this train of thought for yourself and see if you can make sense of their views. It’s basically John 14-17. Read through it and try to apply the Oneness Pentecostal/modalist mindset as you read. To them, there is no God the Father in heaven as Jesus was on earth; they reject the Trinity. Some of them say that Jesus is only “Speaking to his own divinity here.” They say that this is his humanity speaking to his divinity. This is, in my opinion, the strongest part of scripture showing Jesus’ relationship to the Father and to the Holy Spirit. It is glorious. For the modalist, monarchianist or even the Jehovah Witness this is what I meant earlier by “land mines in the text:” I’ll represent their necessary inferences and ours. In the Christian religion Jesus is speaking of, to, or about His Father and the Holy Spirit in these chapters. In the modalistic/oneness Pentecostal religion he is speaking with himself.
John 14:6 –
     1) Theirs: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to me except through me.”
     2) Ours: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:28 –
     1) Theirs: “You have heard me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to myself,’ for I am greater than I.”
     2) Ours: “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.”
John 15:26 –
      1) Theirs: “But when I come, whom I shall send to you from me, the spirit of truth is me, I will testify of me.”
     2) Ours: “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
John 16:5-7 –
     1) Theirs: “But now I go away to me who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, I will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send me to you.”
     2) Ours: “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”
John17:1-5 –
     1) Theirs: “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said: “Me, the hour has come. Glorify me, that I also may glorify me, as I have given myself authority over all flesh, that I should give eternal life to as many as I have given myself. And this is eternal life, that they may know me, the only true god, and Jesus Christ whom I have sent. I have glorified me on the earth. I have finished the work which I gave myself to do. And now, O me, glorify me together with me, with the glory which I had with me before the world was.”
     2) Ours: “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
John 17:25 –
     1) Theirs: “O righteous me! The world has not known me, but I have known me; and these have known that I sent me.”
     2) Ours: “O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.”
     These texts above represent, in my opinion, the necessary reading for those who say that Jesus was only speaking to His own divinity. It is wrong and makes shipwreck of this clear communication. Friends, you must be dead in sin to be a modalist, a monarchianist or oneness preacher. That I say with no joy. Doctrine helps us in that the very meanings of the above passages are disputed. We have read, we are certain and we have answered. Some of them would say that Jesus is just talking into the air or to another part of Himself for other people’s sakes so that they might grasp His role on earth better. It’s strange that He did this for their sakes even while alone in the Garden of Gethsemane or on any given mountain top. I ask you, was Jesus a mediator or a meditator? Was He chanting to address the Deity within or was He a prayerful servant in humble submission? Choose you this day who you will serve. Their god has no son. Please grasp that firmly as you pray for them. According to, Some of the groups that teach such heresies are:
• United Pentecostal Church International
• Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus
• Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ
• Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ
• Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith
• International Circle of Faith
• Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
• Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ
• Church of the Lord Jesus Christ
• Churches of Jesus Christ International
     It must of necessity be that all of these are disqualified from fellowship in Jesus Christ unless God grants them grace unto repentance. I cry as I write this, I promise you. TD Jakes is a well known oneness preacher. His statement of faith uses classic modalist language and to my knowledge, though questioned publicly many times, has never denied his position. He uses words like “Manifested” when he refers to Christ’s nature. This is a smart move on his behalf. “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us,” 2 Thessalonians 3:6. I pray you find God’s nature important and obey this now with those above and their associates. Do this if this witness is confirmed to you by two or three others. Let’s look at some more evidences.
     I ask you, can you blaspheme an apparition, another part of Jesus’ nature or just some active force? “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven,” Luke 12:10. To say that a man can blaspheme Jesus in His earthly role, but not His post-earthly role is odd. Jesus is speaking of the invisible Holy Spirit who reveals truth. To deny Him now is to deny the one that He came to reveal, John 15:26. To deny Him is to deny the conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment to come, John 16:8. To deny Him is to deny Christ Himself.
Jesus’ Deity is proven all throughout the NT. Jesus received worship and did not prohibit it. “…Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:28. Everywhere in the Bible where men or even angels were worshipped as unto the God of Israel it was forbidden. Let’s look at just two examples.
     1) “As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man,” Acts 10:25-26. Mere men were never suffered to be worshipped because we are not worthy.
     2) “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God,” Revelation 22:8-9. Angels were never to be worshipped. In fact angel worship is strictly prohibited in Colossians 2:18. Jesus was indeed worshipped on earth by those on the side of truth because He was neither a mere mortal man nor an angel. He was 100 percent God and 100 percent Man.
     Even as a youth Jesus was exposed as God among us. The magi worshipped Jesus on earth akin to the fashion of angels and elders that worship Him who sits on the throne in heaven. It is the same Greek word used to describe the worship. “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him,”Matthew 2:2.
     “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him…” Matthew 2:11.
     “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God,” Matthew 14:33. Jesus allowed it unlike Peter or the angels. The Greek word for worship here is Proskuneo. It is #4352 in my Strong’s Concordance and is defined – “To worship, pay homage, show reverence, to kneel down before.” There are a multitude of clear passages where people worshipped Jesus while He was physically in Israel roughly 2,000 years ago. The Greek word describing that earthly worship is the same in the following passage: “Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created,” Revelation 4:9-11. This is Systematic Theology at its best. We see that Christ was worshipped and it is very clear in its implications upon His nature. Christ’s Deity should be clear to us all. Let’s worship Him. The Jehovah Witnesses deny this worship. The worship those souls offered Him on earth is not the same as it will be in heaven in His glory. Oh, to worship Him there. He prayed for His own for that day. The point here is simply that He never forbade it on earth. He was worthy of their adoration and humble display for whatever reasons they may have presented it.
     Jesus forgave sins. Matthew 9:6; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24. I don’t mean to gloss over this point at all but no one can forgive sins but God alone. Amen. The truth of this point should shout for itself. The following quote is very relevant to teaching on the nature of God and was spoken by a Trinitarian:
Defend the bible!
I would as soon defend a lion;
Unleash it and it will defend itself.
– Charles Spurgeon
     You may need to read over these next few passages once or twice. In Hebrews the Father says, “…Let all the angels of God worship Him,” Hebrews 1:6. This entire passage undoubtedly refers to Jesus Christ the Son. Keep that tightly in your mind for a moment and scoot over to Luke. “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve,” Luke 4:8. Follow this closely now: If God commands all angels to worship the Son yet that Son and all angels testify that we must worship only God, then either we are to worship two people or the same God is talking in both Hebrews and Luke above. Such Trinitarian logic is a stream of evidence so large that it cannot be denied. It is a mystery revealed only to believers. We cannot convince a man to become a Trinitarian any more than we can go to the grave yard and call a dead man from the tomb of our own power; God must forgive their sin and then they will see Him clearly.
Shakespeare once asked, “What’s in a name?” In the Bible’s case we could answer him by saying, “Salvation is, sir,” Acts 4:12. Jesus took the divine “I AM” identification upon Himself telling His own that He was the eternal God of their fathers. You can see this by comparing Exodus 3:11-14 to John 8:51-58 and finishing with John 10:33. Let’s look at some other names used by this King we’ve not yet seen in His glory. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty,” Revelation 1:8. Who is speaking here? It is Jesus the Christ risen and glorified. Well, in case you think it’s just a matter of ink coloring that we use to determine the speaker a description is given shortly thereafter saying, “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man…” Revelation 1:12-13. This is an indisputably clear description of the Son as even our opponents are quick to agree. “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book,” Revelation 1:7.Then at the end of the Revelation to John we read again: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last,” Revelation 22:12-13. Notice the same One is saying that He is coming in both passages. There is no doubt that it is Jesus speaking because He very quickly says, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star,” Revelation 22:16. “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:20. There He is saying that He’s coming again. Jesus took the names Almighty, Alpha and Omega and The First and Last for Himself. He did this on earth and in heaven. These are names ascribed to God alone. The Alpha and the Omega, Who is Christ the Lord, is coming quickly. Are you ready to see Him?
     All these texts show Christ as God and our creeds affirm these truths. I’ll now take a bit of liberty and talk a little about another truth that I think is fantastic. Jesus said, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him,” in John 1:18. John later reiterates this truth saying, “No one has seen God at any time…”1 John 4:12. But how can they say this? Didn’t men see God throughout the scriptures in various ways? God says that no man has seen Him but Isaiah cried that he’d “Seen” the Holy One in Isaiah 6:5. Abraham dined with three men one of whom was called the Lord in Genesis 18:1. Seventy of the elders of Israel along with Nabad, Abihu, Aaron and Moses ate before God and the word says that they “Saw” God in Exodus 24:9-11. Jacob wrestled, as he thought, with God face to face in Genesis 32:30. I think, and I could be wrong here, but I think that Jesus is stating the truth that no one has ever seen the Triune God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as they are. Not yet. In the flesh we’ve seen God as Jesus declared, “If you’ve seen Me you’ve seen the Father,” John 14:9.What grandeur awaits us in His holy and glorious beauty? This may be my own speculation about the use of these particular texts but it is certain that no one has ever truly seen God. There is meaning here that goes beyond what we know men have seen. God told Moses that no one could see His face and live. Jesus prayed that His own would see Him in the fullness of His glory. I believe that that full glory will be revealed in His very nature. That nature is in three Persons for sure. Let’s move on.
     The scriptures say that God raised Christ from the dead. “Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it,”Acts 2:24. Scripture says elsewhere that the Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead: “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you,” Romans 8:11. The Bible also says that the Son raised Himself from the dead: “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father,” John 10:18. These again are the land mines of which I spoke earlier. They are everywhere if you are in opposition to Christianity’s God.
     There are so many other things that declare Jesus as God. I could not list them all here. He was prophesied as Immanuel or “God with us” in Isaiah 7:14 and was established as the fulfillment of that verse in Matthew 1:23.
     Love your enemies. Teach them whenever possible. How can you hate your enemies? 1) It may be that God will grant them repentance, or 2) they will suffer eternal wrath. Pity them and tell them of their idolatry. Mr. Oneness Pentecostal, Mr. Jehovah Witness, sir, you are an idolater. If a man denies the Trinity we must tell him boldly that he is disqualified from the faith and has shown himself unapproved. Christian, I hope that this letter was enlightening and has opened your eyes to all of the places in the Bible that teach these things so plainly. Our creeds are sure. Study the Nicene Creed. Recite it. Teach it. Love it. Use it. It is a mirror coming from all blessed truths. Many will attempt to deceive you. Do not let them. God is not 1+1+1, but rather 1x1x1. He is triune not triplex.
     While some, such as in the Oneness Pentecostal religion, want to tell you that they remove the difficulty from logic by understanding the “Oneness” of Jesus, they open the door to a myriad of problems. Their legs are gone from the land mines by the time they get through any one Gospel. The Biblical writers use very precise language to never confuse the three Persons of the Godhead in their letters. This is seen clearly all over and notably in John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is unmistakably called God but in Greek John uses Logos not Theos. Both Theos and Logos are given God’s creational attributes with eternal implication, but with a careful and intentional distinction in the language. You don’t miss this in English either. The Logos was Theos; the Word was God! This logic does not fit the carnal mind in any form or on any level of education.
     Men will mock the God of the Christian because we freely confess that the Trinity is a mystery. There is no contradiction in mystery here. In regards to God’s glory we cannot but, “…Speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,” 1 Corinthians 2:7. There is no more of a mystery to scoff at in the Trinity than in the teachings of Christ: “And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables,” Mark 4:11. Case in point: the Trinity. Scoff that we have been given this mystery, sir, and we will love you not as brothers, but as enemies. There is sheer mystery even in God’s dealing with His people: “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,” Romans 11:25. Do you mock this therefore and dismiss it, sir? The rapture of the church is called a mystery: “I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,” 1 Corinthians 15:51. Indeed all of our faith is a mystery: “To them [Christians] God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,” Colossians 1:27. Do not mock us because our God is a mystery. We use mystery here in the same way that Paul does. Mystery is marvel or truth revealed, not cluelessness. God is amazing to us. We are not clueless about any of the five truths represented above, but they are a mystery. Amen. We are not left in the dark as to His holy and glorious triune nature. We bask in it in expectant glory. As only one light emerges in a room from three candles so we glory as God accomplishes salvation in those around us through His Son by the Ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is not that God’s nature is impossible to understand, not at all. The mystery is that it is only revealed to the Christian by our book.
     You must understand that there are no junior members in the Godhead. The Son was obedient to the separate will of the Father, (not a separate will within Himself), here on earth for the purposes of death. Luke 22:42. The enemies of the cross cannot see the glory of Christ. The Oneness Pentecostal has denied both the Father and the Son because their god cannot have a son. Their god is their son and this is a world of difference. They have thus denied the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit cannot be sent by the Father and the Son. Their son is their holy spirit.
     God is indeed a mystery to the Christian and he or she must pray to hold “…The mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.”Let us do it with equal love and boldness, brothers. Affirm what’s good, hold fast. There is nothing new under the sun. God bless you.
Thank you for your attention to this letter.

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Joseph Pittano

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