The Trinity and why it is a big issue


#61

No complex exegesis here. This is more of a story. I was driving to work one morning (I have a long drive through beautiful rural hill/mountain country) and the sun was in my eyes. I was asking God about the Trinity. I’d heard many explanations which did not satisfy me: the egg (no, please don’t groan) comes to mind. The following is the picture I believe He gave me, and perhaps some of you will at least find it interesting.

The sun represents the Father. If you think about the nature of light and the nature of seeing with human eyes, you will realize that the sun (and all things, really) is invisible. We cannot see it. This seems to me particularly obvious regarding the sun, as it is the source of the light. We can only see the light that comes to us from the sun. We can feel its warmth, and it allows us to walk about without stumbling. Its light is the source of all our food, all our energy – our physical life, really. But we can’t see it. We can only see the light of the sun as it comes to us.

The light of the sun represents Jesus, who is eternally begotten of the Father. He is always coming forth from the Father. He gives us life because the Father has granted that He should have life within Himself. He is the light of every man, and He comes into the world. He particularly came in the Incarnation. He is not the sun, but in a sense, He is the sun. He is the Son.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t seem to me quite as clear, but He is the Spirit, after all. Light comes to us in such mysterious ways; as a particle; as a wave. It brings warmth and illumination, allows us to perceive colors, performs certain actions which are still cloaked in darkness (so to speak) such as becoming food to plants and destroying certain microorganisms and causing our skin to form vitamin D. The light, even as it comes, is still one with the sun. There is a dance between them, and that dance of love is the Holy Spirit.

Not dogma, not stunning exegesis, but as you are talking about the Trinity, I venture to share it. This picture speaks clearly to me. I love when God talks to me in pictures. :wink: Makes it so much easier for me to follow Him.

Blessings, Cindy


#62

Thanks Cindy, I found your post helpful :sunglasses:


#63

willieH: Hi AllanS… :wink:

Please read this… it is primarily an apology to you… :blush:

FIRST — If you will Allan, please allow me to apologize to you, and explain…

wherever red is used by me, it is a reference and respect to the Scriptures, God, and His Son…(CHRIST)
wherever blue is used by me, it is either in reference to Scripture, a quote, or other than the Divine… (Adam)
wherever CAPS, italics, boldings or underline is used by me, these are utilized strictly for EMPHASIS…

I mean no harm or shouting by the usage of any of these, and do offer my apology to you that you have recieved them in this way. :cry:

SECOND — Another apology… It appears to you that I intend to “belittle you”, or “exalt” myself above you concerning knowledge. I am no more or less than are you… just a guy seeking to learn… and to share. somtimes ineffectively… :blush:

I, in sincere humility toward you, :blush: …ask that you accept my apologies for not forewarning you somewhat of my method of posting… My bad. :cry: (in a first encounter, I try to notify those I am conversing with that I use these things as I have explained, but as a 66 year old man battling Cancer, and admittedly, sometimes forget to do so)…

THIRD — Another apology… I use emoticons, only for fun… and do not intend them to be flaming or provoking… If we ever converse again, please know these things… I mean you no harm… you are my brother in CHRIST… and that you are a son of the MOST HIGH, that in itself, …deserves my utmost respect, certainly not ridicule. :cry:

I have spent the lions share of my life in daily study of the WORD, as well as deeply in study of the LIFE (which is also CHRISTJohn 14:6)

Sometimes in the zeal to share… I can appear abrasive… and please know that it is not intended.

I do not accept or tolerate “opinion” of men, unless it has foundation in both REASON and the WORD. If anyone is projecting “possibilities”… especially when the WORD makes no mention of them, I firmly REJECT them.

All in All… My sincere apologies to you brother Allan… and if you should choose to abstain from any further conversation with me (which is your right) I understand… and please know that I wish you no ill whatsoever, and that I wish you “good seeking” of your Heavenly Father to you… :smiley:

Your embattled friend… willieH :wink:


#64

Thanks willieH, I really appreciate your post. It’s always a good to explain your formatting/style, as written text is often ambiguos (e.g. no body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. to add clarity) & therefore much more at risk of causing unintended offence.

I also highly respect the fact that you apologised for unintentionally offending, that’s a great example of love.


#65

Ahhh this is awesome! I was just telling someone this exact analogy of the Trinity! I have recently been studying the merits of the Trinity and I think it is a very reasonable if purely Spiritual revelation of who God is. I mean who would truly think of God as a Trinity? For me it has to be supernatural.

You explanation of the Trinity is completely biblical (so biblical its shocking). Hebrews 1:3a says,

He(Jesus) is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature…(Amplified Bible)

Jesus is the off-beam of God’s glory! Meaning he is the visible light of the invisible God. The Holy Spirit is connected with fire in the New Testament (he comes as tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost). I see him as the warmth and heat that comes from the Light (or as you said Sun), by him we are purified as silver in a furnace,

[We are]…chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying(purifying) work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood…(1 Peter 1:2)

It is the Holy Spirit who heats things up and cleans us up. I’m so glad God is speaking to you in the same way he has been to me, that’s exciting :slight_smile:


#66

This “awesome” insight or revelation has its origin in the teaching of Tertullian, going back to about 200 A.D. Tertullian was probably the first Trinitarian, who taught the concept long before it became popularized in the church of the fourth century.

[The Word] is always with God, according to what is written, “And the Word was with God;” John 1:1 and never separate from the Father, or other than the Father, since “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30 This will be the prolation, taught by the truth, the guardian of the Unity, wherein we declare that the Son is a prolation from the Father, without being separated from Him. For God sent forth the Word, as the Paraclete also declares, just as the root puts forth the tree, and the fountain the river, and the sun the ray. For these are προβολαί, or emanations, of the substances from which they proceed. I should not hesitate, indeed, to call the tree the son or offspring of the root, and the river of the fountain, and the ray of the sun; because every original source is a parent, and everything which issues from the origin is an offspring. Much more is (this true of) the Word of God, who has actually received as His own peculiar designation the name of Son. But still the tree is not severed from the root, nor the river from the fountain, nor the ray from the sun; nor, indeed, is the Word separated from God. Following, therefore, the form of these analogies, I confess that I call God and His Word— the Father and His Son— two. For the root and the tree are distinctly two things, but correlatively joined; the fountain and the river are also two forms, but indivisible; so likewise the sun and the ray are two forms, but coherent ones. Everything which proceeds from something else must needs be second to that from which it proceeds, without being on that account separated. Where, however, there is a second, there must be two; and where there is a third, there must be three. Now the Spirit indeed is third from God and the Son; just as the fruit of the tree is third from the root, or as the stream out of the river is third from the fountain, or as the apex of the ray is third from the sun. Nothing, however, is alien from that original source whence it derives its own properties. In like manner the Trinity, flowing down from the Father through intertwined and connected steps, does not at all disturb the Monarchy, while it at the same time guards the state of the Economy.


#67

Hi WillieH,

Thanks for those clarifications. It’s helpful to me (and other readers) to understand your writing style and approach. It’s very easy to inadvertently send the wrong message in this medium, and clearly I have misjudged your personality and intent. I guess it’s my turn to apologise to you for jumping to conclusions. :blush:

That said, I’d rather not continue the discussion around the Trinity. My understanding of the topic is very superficial and unlikely to shed much light. Jason has studied these things in far greater detail. You might want to address some questions to him.

A blessing on you and yours.

AllanS


#68

That’s so exciting, to learn that I’m not the first to have this revelation from God. Thanks for sharing this with me, Awakening, and Paidon. I appreciate it. :slight_smile:


#69

Before you thank me too much, I must disclose that I am not a Trinitarian, Cindy, in spite of Tertullian. I learned from an even earlier Christian writer, Justin Martyr, that Jesus was begotten “before all ages” (as a single act) as was stated over and over again in early literature. Even the original Nicene Creed, as formulated in 325 A.D. stated this:

THE NICENE CREED
325 A.D.
As set forth at Nicea, A.D. 325

*We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages,
only begotten, that is, of the substance of the Father;
God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made,
being of one essence with the Father,
Through whom all things were made; both things in heaven and things on earth;
Who for us people, and for our salvation, came down, and was incarnate,
and was made man;
He suffered, and was raised again the third day,
And ascended into heaven.
*

The Nicene Creed was altered by later Church Councils. One major change was from “begotten of the Father before all ages” to “eternally begotten of the Father”. The latter is Trinitarian thinking, that God is a compound Being consisting of 3 prolations, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Son “proceeding” from the Father, and the Holy Spirit either “proceeding from the Father” or “proceeding from the Father and the Son.” This “proceeding” is going on continuously, and therefore being “eternally begotten”.

Justin Martyr, in explaining the begetting of the Son (as a single act) to a group of Jewish men, compared it to a little fire being started from a bigger one. He said the big fire loses nothing in starting the little one, and the little one, although separate, is of the same essence as the larger one. This is the sense in which Jesus is the “only begotten” Son of God. God has no other sons begotten out of His very essence. As the writer to the Hebrews expresses it: “He is the exact imprint of [the Father’s] essence” (Hebrews 1:3)

Dog begets dog, and its offspring is canine. Man begets man, and his offspring is human. God begets God, and His offspring is divine. Jesus is “God” in the sense of His being deity in essence. He is not “God” in the sense of being the same divine Individual as the Father. Nor is He “God” in the sense of being a part of a compound Being called “The Trinity”.


#70

Isn’t Tertullian one of the big eternal hell guys? Him and Augustine were kind of the major players.


#71

Tertullian did say he would rejoice to see certain individuals suffering in hell. But I am unaware of any place where he declared this suffering to be everlasting. Some of the early writers used the word “aionios” and translators have rendered it as “everlasting”, and so some mistakenly thing those early writers believed in everlasting suffering. But “aionios” doesn’t mean “everlasting”; it means “lasting”. One writer declared a stone wall to be “aionios”. It was a lasting wall, I’m sure. But I don’t think it exists at the present time, though if it does, I am certain it won’t last forever.


#72

I know, Paidion. I saw your earlier posts. But I don’t know that our disagreement is as profound as you might think. And besides you are a brother and we will all know better later on. I am always finding things I’ve been wrong about, but it happens as God leads me. Which is why I’m here without having been invited by any but the Holy Spirit. If I’m wrong about other aspects of God, He will show me in His own time.

Meanwhile, I appreciate your input and the things you have to say. We all learn from one another.

Blessings, Cindy


#73

Modalist claims Catholic Church destroyed Gospel.

I was researching 2 Clement & happened upon the following article arguing that early writings such as 1 & 2 Clement, Shepherd of Hermas & the Gospel to the Egyptians support Modalism (also called Sabellianism) & that is why the Catholic Church later destroyed copies of the latter & many copies of the others.

See the entire article here & let me know how you would refute their claims, including that these early writings support their false teaching:


#74

Origen, do the Clement epistles teach ET?


#75

Qaz, I’ve never read either in an English opinion(translation) let alone studied & researched them in their ancient lingos (Greek/Latin etc). A few out of context cherry picked English alleged quotes i’ve seen look superficially to be anti-UR from each of them. Upon further investigation in the Greek that of Clement of Rome (1st epistle) did not IMO hold up as being in opposed to UR. I haven’t checked the Greek of the second epistle.


#76

@paidion what do you think of the Clement epistles?


#77

@Paidion

Thanks for your kind words of intrigue. I have conceived that the body does in fact get run by both a soul and a spirit. One of which is from the father, one from the mother.

That is just too darn simple for The Plant Soul guy to understand?


#78

The so-called “first Clement” is a letter to the Corinthians shortly after the death of Peter and Paul. I believe the author to be the very Clement who laboured with Paul in spreading the gospel (Philippians 4:3). He wrote the letter to address the same problem that Paul had with the Corinthian Church—only the problem had gotten worse. Young upstarts wanted to do away with the overseers of the church and become overseers themselves. It is the oldest post-apostolic Christian writing known to exist. Clement is believed to have lived from A.D. 30 to A.D. 100. I put a lot of “stock” in that writing and highly recommend that every Christian read it.
If you do an online search for “First Clement” you can download it as a pdf file.

As for “Second Clement”, that is an entirely different matter. It was mistakenly ascribed to Clement but wasn’t written by him at all. It is thought to be a transcript of a homily given in the mid-second century.

Eusebius in the fourth century declared that there was only one genuine letter of Clement.


#79

Thanks paidion. Do you think the authentic epistle teaches ET?


#80

The words “eternal” and “hell” do not occur in Clement’s letter to the Corinthians. However the word “punish” is found in these three places in an English translation:

CHAPTER 11
On account of his hospitality and godliness, Lot was saved out of Sodom when all the country
round was punished by means of fire and brimstone, the Lord thus making it manifest that He does
not forsake those that hope in Him, but gives up such as depart from Him to punishment and torture.
For Lot’s wife, who went forth with him, being of a different mind from himself and not continuing
in agreement with him [as to the command which had been given them], was made an example of,
so as to be a pillar of salt unto this day. This was done that all might know that those who are of
a double mind, and who distrust the power of God, bring down judgment on themselves and
become a sign to all succeeding generations.

CHAPTER 17
Let us be imitators also of those who in goat-skins and sheep-skins went about proclaiming
the coming of Christ; I mean Elijah, Elisha, and Ezekiel among the prophets, with those others to
whom a like testimony is borne [in Scripture]. Abraham was specially honoured, and was called
the friend of God; yet he, earnestly regarding the glory of God, humbly declared, “I am but dust
and ashes.” Moreover, it is thus written of Job, “Job was a righteous man, and blameless, truthful God-fearing, and one that kept himself from all evil.” But bringing an accusation against himself,
he said, “No man is free from defilement, even if his life be but of one day.” Moses was called
faithful in all God’s house; and through his instrumentality, God punished Egypt with plagues
and tortures. Yet he, though thus greatly honoured, did not adopt lofty language, but said, when
the divine oracle came to him out of the bush, “Who am I, that Thou sendest me? I am a man of a
feeble voice and a slow tongue.” And again he said, “I am but as the smoke of a pot.”

CHAPTER 41
Let every one of you, brethren, give thanks to God in his own order, living in all good conscience,
with becoming gravity, and not going beyond the rule of the ministry prescribed to him. Not in
every place, brethren, are the daily sacrifices offered, or the peace-offerings, or the sin-offerings
and the trespass-offerings, but in Jerusalem only. And even there they are not offered in any place,
but only at the altar before the temple, that which is offered being first carefully examined by the
high priest and the ministers already mentioned. Those, therefore, who do anything beyond that
which is agreeable to His will, are punished with death. Ye see, brethren, that the greater the
knowledge that has been vouchsafed to us, the greater also is the danger to which we are exposed.