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One of the most prevalent teachings in churches today is the Trinity, the concept that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three "Gods-in-One." They are, it is said, "Equal, Eternal and One, they are the 'Godhead.'" Such descriptions of 3-in-1 include examples such as the three forms of water: liquid(water), solid(ice), and water vapor. The flame of a candle may be cited as having light, heat and a flame. These and other analogies are given as an explanation of the mysterious Trinity concept. While these are fanciful ways of describing an idea, what we want to research is the inspired Scripture and what it teaches.
While there are ideas given from interesting examples, only two principal Scriptures are usually referenced in an attempt to show it has a biblical footprint. The two are as follows, taken from the The Holy Bible, also known as the Douay-Rheims Bible, translated from the Latin Vulgate:
Matthew 28:19, "Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy [Spirit]."
1 John 5:7, "And there are Three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy [Spirit]. And these three are one."
While these two Scriptures are directly from the Douay-Rheims Bible and were widely popular among the English Catholics at the end of the 16th Century, the same words can be found in your typical King James Version, which is even more popular with vast number of copies reprinted and distributed around the world.
While the above Scriptures appear to clearly back up the idea that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are indeed 3-in-1, as is so prominently taught, a closer look at the manuscripts themselves will reveal something very unsettling. These verses are not even in the earliest manuscripts, period. These "scriptures" only start to appear about 400 years after New Testament times. The latter of the two verses cited, the section of Scripture which testifies of Yahshua, was added no earlier than 700 years ago. So, what happened?
Tradition of Men
While many versions have corrected the above to be more accurate to the older and more correct manuscripts of the Bible, there are thoughts or ideas of men as to what is true or not true. When it comes to biblical doctrines or teachings, many held within religious circles today are not based upon Scripture at all, but are man-made fabrications of what they "think" Scripture says.
Such falsely held traditions were prevalent in Yahshua's day with the religious leaders. After they tried to accuse His followers of not doing right according to "their traditions," He responded with a question of His own:
Why do you also transgress the commandment of Yahweh because of your tradition? For Yahweh commanded, saying, “Honor your father and your mother”; and, “He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.” But you say, “Whoever says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever profit you
might have received from me is a gift to Elohim"’— then he need not honor his father or mother.” Thus you have made the commandment of Yahweh of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men,” Matthew 15:3-9 NKJV.
The teaching of the Master is that we are not to neglect His Father's commandments, but the tradition of men should be discarded.
Notice which commandment is being addressed in the Scripture above. It is, in fact, the fifth commandment which is found in the Ten Commandments. Yet, just as in Yahshua's time, justifying a false teaching, many seemingly pious religious leaders will say you don't have to keep the Ten Commandments today. They will say something like, "You can't keep them" or "They're too hard to keep." It's the exact opposite of what Yahweh Himself said,
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach, Deuteronomy 30:11 NIV.
Even when it is clear to some well educated and sensible scholars that words were added by scribes, who evidently had a motive for adding their own ideas to Scripture, they tend to just make a slight comment that it was a scribal note that crept in to the actual text and then they leave it as-is. In doing so, traditions of men, and the teachings thereof, have continued, rather than the commandments of Yahweh or proper teachings of the reality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, which will be addressed shortly. First, we want to take a look at some more foolishness and images depicting ideas of men.
From the 4th century on, there have been images painted to help solidify the false concept of the so-called "Trinitarian Godhead" belief.
Beliefs and ideas of men that are diametrically opposite from scriptural teachings are not to have a foothold in our thinking.
Their teachings are so distorted they have, in medieval times, made Yahshua look like a three headed monster. Other depictions, which fail to represent the Savior accurately, have Him
|besides Himself, literally. It's a distortion based on fiction which Scripture doesn't support.|
What Scripture Teaches
Our focus needs to be on the undefiled Word of Yahweh. This means that we take away and unmask any falsehood, recognizing the plain teachings and truth that are revealed in the inspired Holy Script.
There are terms, such as, "Holy Ghost," which is an attempt to emphasize man's thoughts on who the Creator is, to such wording as "Christ," a Greek term which has more of a meaning of rubbing with oil than the title Messiah has. Messiah holds more of a meaning of Anointed One. The latter title gives a clearer distinction and meaning of Who the Son is. He is the Anointed One. He was anointed by His Father, Yahweh.
Who is Yahweh?
Throughout Scripture, we find that Yahweh is the Ancient of Days, the One who has existed from the beginning. It's fitting that we focus on Him, first and foremost, as He is the One to be worshipped, Isaiah 43-47. He is the Father of us all, Luke 3:38. It is clearly stated by the Son Himself, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except Yahweh alone," Mark 10:18.
In listing the headship, Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, states clearly that Yahweh is above the Messiah. He doesn't want the people to be confused about it:
I want you to understand that Messiah is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and Yahweh is the head of Messiah, 1 Corinthians 11:3 NASB.
Again, Yahshua tells us Who it is that is above Himself,
You heard that I said to you, “I go away, and I will come to you.” If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I, John 14:28 NASB.
If we go to someone, say, our own father, that does not mean that we are the one that we are going to. However, one may be very much in tune with their own father's ways, so much so, others actually see the father in him or her.
In a sense, to know (understand) a son or daughter is to understand the father. This is related by Yahweh's Son, who didn't do anything but His Father's will, therefore taking on the very characteristics of the Father Himself.
Notice that this concept, though more intimate, is related in the conversation between the disciples and Yahshua,
Thomas said to Him, Master, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way? Yahshua said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Master, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Yahshua said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves," John 14:5–11 NKJV.
Is Yahshua here explaining that He is literally the Father in heaven? No. He is saying, if you understood Him, then you've understood the Father and have therefore "seen" the Father in action. Yahshua is also explaining the deeper sense of what it is like to be moved and in tune with the Holy Spirit which actually was within Himself.
The Holy Spirit
One of the misconceptions in the Trinity theory is that the Holy Spirit is a separate Elohim. While the Hebrew title can be plural, it can also be singular, depending on context. The word, itself, does not prove, nor say, there are 3-1.
However, if you read the entire 17th chapter of the book of John, you'll see an interesting concept brought forth of three being one, in the sense of unity. It is the desire of Yahshua the Son to have us be One with the Father and Himself.
Is the Messiah asking the Father for us all to be the Ancient of Days? Is He asking the Father to be One, as in One "Mighty One"? Or, is the request to be of the same Heart and Mind as They have?
Plainly stated, having the same Spirit is as having the Same Heart and Mind as the Father and the Son. We take on the same character as They have when we conform to Yahweh's Spirit. When we allow the Spirit to work within us, we take on the same perspective and desires as They have. We start to look through Their eyes being in the Spirit of Yahweh.
What is the Spirit? Let's take a look at what Yahweh's Word says about it. Speaking of "It," there is no neuter gender in the Hebrew language, so when a particular "thing" is described, it is done so by saying "he" or "she."
It should be mentioned, the evidence, and numerous scholars, point to the New Testament's origin as being Semitic. Basically, the New Testament is a Middle Eastern book (letters to be exact) copied into various languages around the world. Knowing this helps when examining the texts.
In the Hebrew, the Holy Spirit is called ruach ha qodesh, and simply means "The Set-apart Breath." It is not a proper noun, and it's not necessarily best to be transliterating it for everyone.
However, for the purpose of describing it here, the word ruach is translated in the Greek as pneuma, meaning "breath" or "wind." It is, in fact, Yahweh's Spirit which goes forth from Him to accomplish His will and purpose in an individual's life. It is, in essence, a part of Himself.
Describing Yahweh's Spirit
Yahweh's Holy Spirit is described in Scripture as a noun and verb rolled up into one. But, it is not a proper noun, as a name would be. For example, Yahweh's Spirit is described as providing power in Acts 1:8 (NASB),
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
A similar statement spoken of Luke 24:49, which says,
And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.
In the basic and original meaning of the Holy Spirit, we find the following description very fitting:
The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit, John 3:8 NASB.
The Holy Spirit can also be described as being poured, as we see from this quote in the New Testament, which was a quote (all capital letters, as the NASB presents it) from the Old Testament, the only Scripture they had,
"AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,” Yahweh says, “THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy," Acts 2:17-18 NASB.
The above Scripture is speaking of Yahweh's people and their immediate families, as seen in context of the Spirit being given at Pentecost. It was specifically this initial pouring out of the symbolic rain which came upon the worshippers of Yahweh gathering in obedience according to the commandment on the day they were to meet, Leviticus 23:21. It's interesting to note this took place outside of the Temple, but afterwards they would have gone there, too.
There are times in which the Spirit does seem like a personage (Ephesians 4:30, also a "seal"), but how this is understood gets us more into the reality of what Scripture is telling us about the nature of Yahweh's Spirit.
Yahweh is Spirit
Scripture's depth is fascinating, once a person gets past the traditions of men. Early, during medieval times, Bibles were literally chained to lecterns in grand look- ing churches with Latin speaking teachers, who taught the people who didn't speak Latin, interestingly enough, what they as teachers wanted taught. Trinity is one of those teachings that was ratified in their own writings, but was not actually part of holy Script.
"The term ‘Trinity’ is not itself found in the Bible...Nowhere does the Bible explicitly teach this combination of assertions." – The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition.
What Scripture does teach, is what we need to know and learn from.
Yahweh is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth, John 4:26.
Whose Spirit are we talking about here? Though the KJV presents "spirit" in lower case here, it's Yahweh's Spirit being spoken of.
Just as Yahshua had Yahweh's Spirit within Himself, we, through repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands from the eldership who are living and teaching the truth of Yahweh's Word, and are anointed for this purpose, can receive a portion or down payment of Yahweh's Spirit.
His Essence, a Portion of Himself, "The Fountain of Living Waters" (Jeremiah 2:13), flowing from the throne of Yahweh and the Lamb (Revelation 22:1), is what is being offered.
While we've seen that He is in unapproachable light, we see that we can approach Him through Yahweh's Messiah, Yahshua, our Mediator and High Priest. While He had the fullness of the Spirit, we are not given that fullness, but rather a down payment (portion). It is enough to get us overcoming the world. It's enough to allow us to perceive that something is different. Our outlook in life changes. We are to strive to walk on higher ground, looking up with great expectation of Yahshua's return.
We find less of a desire for physical things, but rather the spiritual. As the Spirit works within us, and we humbly submit, we become less and less interested in satisfying the flesh. We cannot sin, in the sense, because we no longer want to. The Spirit gives strength and helps us to focus on heavenly things.
Though the Spirit may be perceived in various ways, it is provided to help us overcome the world. It is the Comforter that was promised.
Who is the Comforter?
The promise of the Son was to provide a way to approach Yahweh through His blood sacrifice, providing an atonement for sins, 1 John 3:4. We are justified in Him.
We are provided a Comforter like no other in all of creation. It is only through Yahshua that we can approach Yahweh. Yahshua says,
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and yeinMe,andIinyou.Hethathath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him, John 14:16–22.
It should be noted here that there is no disagreement with the Father and the Son, because the Son does the Father's will. It is the same with us. We are to do the Father's will. In doing so, the Son and the Father will abide with us in Unity, as One. It's a process and we may not always "feel" like we're doing all that well, but we are to overcome the world, ourselves, the evil one, and anything else that hinders growth.
The Comforter will help us. Who is the Comforter? If you haven't already guessed, It's Yahweh.
Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master Yahshua Messiah, the Father of mercies and Elohim of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by Yahweh. For just as the sufferings of Messiah are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Messiah. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer, 2 Corinthians 1:3–6 NASB.
The root words here for "comfort" are the same as the root words in John 14 displaying the same wording. Ultimately, Yahweh is the One Who comforts; it's by His Spirit this is accomplished.
Yahshua is in the same Spirit and will manifest Himself to those who will worship Yahweh in Spirit and in the truth of His Word.
Lo, I have stood at the door, and I knock; if any one may hear My voice, and may open the door, I will come in unto him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. He who is overcoming—I will give to him to sit with Me in My throne, as I also did overcome and did sit down with My Father in His throne. He who is having an ear—let him hear what the Spirit saith to the assemblies, Revelation 3:20–22 YLT.
We all know that Yahweh's written word is provided to us by Yahweh's Spirit, Romans 7:14. It is the same Spirit by which a person is called to hear and understand as it reaches into a person's mind giving them comprehension to choose life over death, to choose Yahweh's ways over man's ways which lead to death.
We are grateful to be comforted by the Comforter who will lead His People into the promised land through Yahshua, His Anointed One, Who, even today, has Yahweh's Spirit giving Him eternal life. It's the same Spirit offered to those called out from the world today to live a life in His Spirit and to be One with Them, John 17.
But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me, John 15:26.
Questions To Ask!
While there is depth of Scripture and we often times see layers of understanding, we should ask some plain questions to think about and find the answer from Scripture, itself. One example is thinking about the Trinity concept:
> How can the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son be Equal, Eternal, and the Same, but yet different judgment is given? For example, Yahshua's own statement to the effect:
Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost (Spirit), it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come, Matthew 12:32–33.
This Spirit that proceeds from the Father is, again, His very Spirit. This is why a word can be spoken against the Son of Man and forgiven, but not against Yahweh's own Spirit. To say that it is something evil or filthy, especially when one has experienced the goodness of Yahweh's Spirit, will have no forgiveness according to Yahshua the Messiah.
> If the Holy Spirit conceived the Messiah, then the Holy Spirit is the Father. Right or wrong? This calls for a little thinking on our part. We understand that the Spirit of Yahweh is Yahweh's Spirit and it accomplishes His will, but the Holy Spirit is NOT a separate Deity. So, we understand that the Father is Yahweh and He accomplishes His will through His Spirit.
While Joseph thought about these things, an angel of Yahweh came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the baby in her is from the Holy Spirit," Matthew 1:20 NCV.
Again, we read in the KJV, Luke 1:35,
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost (Spirit) shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of Elohim.
(See also, Matthew 1:23, "El with us." Through the Spirit, even though He was a Son, Yahweh would be present).
> We can ask a final question: If Yahweh, the Holy Spirit, and Yahshua are “equal, eternal, and 3 in 1,” then how is it only Yahweh knows the hour of Yahshua’s return?
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only, Matthew 24:36.
These are all questions to ask, to consider and think about, in context of what Scripture is saying. The Bible is our guide and if the spiritual understanding we think we have doesn't match, then we are to grow and conform to it and be more in-line with Yahweh's Spirit.
By doing so, we conform to Yahshua Himself, Who was the living Word on earth and a perfect example of what it means to live a sinless life. He did His Father's will, and we are to follow in Yahshua's footsteps doing the same.
There are other thoughts that could and often do come up concerning not only the Trinity, but also the idea that somehow the Son is possibly the actual Father. For such an idea, one may review this article, but also glean insight and understanding from the in-depth study entitled, "Did the Savior Pre-Exist?" by Yahweh's Assembly in Yahshua. It is based upon what Scripture says, not just what we think.
May Yahweh bless, as we continue to grow in a deeper and more meaningful way of His Word and truth by which we are to live.
-Elder David Brett
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