1 CORINTHIANS 8
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4 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.
"Out of Deity, all things have proceeded: His free, radiant Spirit is the substratum of every existing thing, from the star of the first magnitude to the smallest insect of the air."
None other God but one
It is vitally important to have a clear perception of the relationship of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures clearly distinguish them as THE FATHER, supreme and self-existent from all eternity, His absolute Oneness emphasized over and over and over again; the HOLY SPIRIT, God's universe-filling Power and Presence, by which He does everything and is everywhere; and JESUS CHRIST, God's Son, a man born of the virgin Mary, completely subject to and dependent on God, in and through whom God manifested Himself to Israel by His Spirit, and whom He (God) has now - because of his real and actual obedience and overcoming - raised to the divine nature, and given all power in heaven and earth.
We believe the Trinity theory is incorrect, for several reasons:
1. We do not find anything like it in the Bible.
2. It is directly OPPOSITE to what we do find in the Bible.
3. It is contradictory, impossible, and absurd within itself.
4. It was developed by the Roman Catholic Church, the merciless persecutor of God's people all through the ages.
5. It was developed from Greek pagan philosophy in a corrupt age by men who could not possibly have been right in divine things.
We do not wish to ridicule or belittle anyone's sincere beliefs, but the Bible makes it clear that knowing the truth about God is vital to salvation, and we wish to strongly present what we believe to be that Truth. "Trinity" is an invented, unscriptural word, and an invented, unscriptural theory. The Bible never, from beginning to end, speaks of or even hints at three gods. It is repeatedly insistent on ONE, and One only.
Orthodox writers on the Trinity always say that though the Bible does not ever actually teach the Trinity theory, yet it infers it, and takes it for granted. They strain every mention of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit into this preformed Greek philosophical mold, even though this straining makes an absurdity, as when one everliving, almighty co-equal anoints another co-equal with a third co-equal without measure; or when one everliving, almighty co-equal sends another co-equal to overshadow a woman so that a third, everliving, almighty, all-knowing co-equal will be born of her as a helpless baby, and gradually grow up and increase in knowledge and understanding.
We repeat that we are not making fun: just seriously trying to point out what we believe to be error.
It was the Holy Spirit that came upon Mary, and we are told she was "found with child of the Holy Spirit": but it is always God Himself, and not the Holy Spirit, that is said to be the Father of Jesus - the very term "Father" indicates this. This is quite clear and harmonious according to the Bible picture that the Holy Spirit is not a person but the power of God; but by the Trinity theory it is confusion.
No one reading the Bible in its simplicity would ever come up with the idea of three gods in one, or of Jesus being an almighty, all-knowing, co-equal, untemptable god who could not die: pretending to be tempted, to learn, to overcome the lusts of the mortal flesh in a mighty struggle, with "strong crying and tears," and to die.
It is undeniable that nearly all pagan religions had trinities. The trinitarian International Standard Bible Encyclopedia admits (as it must)-
"Triads of divinities occur in nearly all polytheistic religions."
The writer is arguing that his Platonic Roman Catholic Trinity is different, but he does concede this incontrovertible fact.
The Encyclopedia Britannica says (9th edit., art. "Theism," by a trinitarian)-
"The propositions constitutive of the dogma of the Trinity were only formed through centuries of effort; only elaborated by the aid of conceptions, and formulated in the terms of Greek and Roman metaphysics'.
"The evolution of the Doctrine of the Trinity was the most important doctrinal fact in the history of the Church in the first five centuries. The fusion of theology and philosophy was the distinctive feature of medieval Christendom."
This is the trinitarians' own explanation of its origin.
The essence of the Trinity theory (after "centuries" of "evolution") is that there are three persons in what they label "the Godhead": all existing from all eternity, all perfectly equal, none greater or less, none before or after, not one but three, and not three but one - and that one must believe that or be damned everlastingly to eternal hell tortures.
The period in which the Trinity theory was confessedly "evolved" was very corrupt religiously. The church historian Mosheim, himself a devout trinitarian, said of the Council of Nice, ad 325, at which this theory was first officially formulated (though by no means in its final form)-
"Those idle fictions which a regard for the Platonic philosophy and for the prevailing opinions of the day had induced most theologians to embrace even BEFORE the times of Constantine, were now confirmed, extended and embellished."
Of the general religious conditions of that time he says (Cnt. 4, pt. 2, ch. 2-3):
"Constantine assumed to himself the supreme power over the Church, and the right of modeling and controlling it . . . nor did any bishop call in question this power of the Emperor.
"There were now added, by the authority of the Emperor, grand councils of the whole Church, the emperor having first summoned one of this character at Nice.
"The bishops, whose wealth and influence were not a little augmented from the time of Constantine, gradually subverted and changed the ancient principles of church government. They excluded the people altogether from having a voice, and deprived the presbyters of their authority, so that they might control everything at their discretion, and in particular appropriated the ecclesiastical property to themselves.
"Constantine and his successors assembled councils, presided in them, assigned judges for religious disputes, and decided contests between bishops and people.
"The Bishop of Rome exceeded all other bishops in the amplitude and splendour of his church, in the magnitude of his revenues and possessions, and in the sumptuousness and magnificence of his style of living. These indications of power and worldly greatness were so fascinating to the minds of Christians even in this age, that often most obstinate and bloody contests took place at Rome when a new pontiff was to be created. In the year 366 the contention issued in a bloody warfare, in which there was fighting, burning of buildings, and many lost their lives. Damasus came off victorious in the contest.
(The church historian Mosheim quotations continued...)
"The vices of the clergy, especially those who officiated in large and opulent cities, were augmented in proportion to the increase of their wealth, honours and privileges, derived from the emperors and various other sources; and that this increase was very great, after the time of Constantine, is acknowledged by all. The bishops had shameful quarrels among themselves, and while they trampled on the rights of the people and of the inferior clergy, they vied with the civil governors of the provinces in luxury, arrogance and voluptuousness.
"Genuine piety was supplanted by a long train of superstitious observances, derived partly from a disposition to adopt profane rites and combine them with Christian worship, and partly from the natural predilection of mankind for a splendid and ostentatious religion.
"The public supplications by which the pagans were accustomed to appease their gods were borrowed from them, and were celebrated in many places with great pomp. Worship of the martyrs was modeled by degrees into conformity with the pagans' worship of their gods.
"The doctors who were distinguished for their learning explained the sacred doctrines after the manner of Origen (on whom they all fixed their eye) in accordance with the principles of that philosophy which they learned in their youth at school, the Platonic philosophy. They were admirers of Plato, and held as certain all his decisions which were not absolutely repugnant to the truths of Christianity; and proceeding upon these as their first principles, they drew from them many and very subtle conclusions.
"From disputes on religion, the ancient simplicity had nearly taken its flight; and in place of it, dialectical subtilties and quibbles, invectives, and other artifices had succeeded. Many endeavored to involve in obscurity the question under discussion, and to excite odium against their antagonists. So far from disguising these faults, they claimed praise for them.
"The truth of doctrines was proved by the number of martyrs who had believed them, by prodigies, and by the confessions of devils. Ambrose, in controversy with the Arians, brings forward persons possessed with devils, who are constrained, when the relics of Gervasius and Protasius are produced, to cry out that the doctrine of the Nicene Council concerning the three persons in the Godhead is true and divine. This testimony of the prince of darkness Ambrose regards as proof altogether unexceptionable." (End of quotation from Mosheim).
And so we could go on endlessly, from Mosheim and others. We urge that the writings of reputable church historians about this period be read. We just cannot believe that God would use such men to "evolve" new doctrines about Himself from pagan Platonic philosophy.
The Holy Spirit was not fully added to make up the modern Trinity until quite a late date in the development of the theory. The Herzog Encyclopedia of Theology (by trinitarians), describing the admitted gradual development of this theory, says (Article: "Trinity")-
"Tertullian (about 200 ad) made the Logos the Son: he reached only a trinity* of succession. Origen (about 250 ad) made the Sonship an eternal fact, but his trinity* is only one of subordination, and Arius might as well be his pupil as Athanasius.
"Up to 360 ad, the whole development was markedly dyadic (having just two elements: Father and Son). Even after the Council of Constantinople in 381 ad, it took a long time before the Holy Spirit attained full equality with the Father and Son in the divine triad."
Other trinitarian writers say the same. Mosheim says Origen taught-
"That the Holy Spirit is nothing else than the divine energy or power of acting and working."
Origen is certainly no authority on Truth, but he was the most influential churchman of his century, and this shows that the Trinity theory was far from developed in his day (about 250 ad). His admiring followers would have done well to follow him on this point, rather than in his myriad speculations, but this was too true and simple.
There is much more very interesting in this Herzog article. These men sincerely believe the Church is making commendable progress in developing new doctrines the apostles never dreamed of. It says further-
"Richard of St. Victor (about 1200 ad) poured his whole wealth of half-poetical mysticism into the subject, and produced one of the greatest efforts of medieval theology . . . Luther, as well as Calvin, felt the necessity of regenerating and remodeling the dogma ... The first really new departure in the development of the doctrine of the Trinity since the days of Richard of St. Victor was due to the Protestant philosophy, now set free from the fetters of the Church, more especially to Jacob Boehme. His idea of an immanent process by which the Deity evolves into a Trinity is one of the profoundest speculative thoughts which ever sprung from a dogma, and has exercised a widespread, fertilizing influence both on theology and philosophy."
And so on and on and on!
What a far cry from the refreshing picture of simple, unchanging, pure, revealed scriptural Truth!
The final official form of the Trinity, the Athanasian Creed, which is the current standard Creed that must be believed on pain of eternal hell torment, had nothing to do with Athanasius, who flourished in the fourth century. It was long thought to be from him, but now is universally admitted not to be. It cannot be traced back earlier than the eighth century.
The Trinity theory was established as church dogma by armed force. The battle raged through the fourth century, as political power shifted back and forth between trinitarian and anti-trinitarian emperors. It was finally permanently established* by the emperor Theodosius (379-395), apparently because he was prepared to be most ruthless and thorough. The historian Gibbon says (Decline and Fall of Roman Empire, chapter 27)-
"The ecclesiastics who governed the conscience of Theodosius suggested the most effective methods of persecution. In the space of fifteen years he promulgated at least fifteen severe edicts against the heretics, more especially against those who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity. And to deprive them of every hope of escape, he sternly enacted that, if any laws should be alleged in their favour, the judges should consider them as the illegal productions either of fraud or forgery.
"They were exposed to the heavy penalties of exile and confiscation. Their religious meetings, whether public or secret, by day or by night, in cities or in the country, were equally proscribed by the edicts of Theodosius. The buildings or ground which had been used for that illegal purpose was forfeited to the imperial domain.
"The theory of persecution was established by Theodosius, whose justice and piety have been applauded by the saints."
Mosheim confirms this and, like Gibbon, gives an account of the running battle between trinitarians and non-trinitarians through this period-
"Constantine was persuaded that Arius had been unjustly oppressed. He recalled him from exile, and Athanasius was banished (Athanasius was exiled and recalled four times in his lifetime, as the struggle surged back and forth).
"After the death of Constantine (when his three sons divided the Empire), Constantius in the East was very partial to the Arian cause, but Constantine and Constans in the West supported the (trinitarians). Councils were arrayed against councils.
"Constans died in 350, and much of the West, including Italy, came under Constantius, who involved the (trinitarians) in numerous evils and calamities. The latter made no hesitation to return the same treatment as soon as time, place and opportunity were afforded them. The history of Christianity under Constantius was a war among brethren carried on without religion, justice or humanity. The Orthodox and the Arians were constantly in the field, and they often came to bloodshed. The victorious party oppressed the vanquished with banishments and violence.
"When Constantius died, 362, the Arians' prosperous days ended. Julian had no partiality for either. Jovian (363-364) espoused the orthodox sentiments, and therefore all the West and most of the East rejected Arian views and reverted to trinitarianism.
"But the scene changed when Valentinian (West) and Valens (East) came to power in 364. Valentinian adhered to the Nicene decisions, therefore in the West Arianism (a few excepted) was wholly extirpated. Valens joined the Arians, and so in the East many calamities befell the orthodox.
"Theodosius (379-395), by depriving the Arians of all their churches, and enacting severe laws against them, caused the decisions of the Nicene Council to triumph everywhere, and none could any longer publicly profess Arian doctrines."
Such was the sorry picture of the Trinity's birth pangs. In all this period, the true believers were a small fleeing minority, persecuted by both political factions-trinitarians and non-he Scriptures emphasize over and over, not only that there is only one God, but that God is ONE, not three or any other number, as-
"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is ONE Lord" (Deut. 6:4).
God proclaims several times through Isaiah (ch. 44 and 45)-
"I am God, and there is none else . . . Beside Me there is no god."
This testimony alone is conclusive. It is begging the question, and denying the meaning of words, to say, as trinitarians do, that in all these emphatic statements of absolute oneness, God really is trying to say that He is actually three, and there are two others.
But thtrinitarians-keeping themselves separate from and unsullied by the ungodly fleshly strifes and wars of these "Christians" who had entered totally into the evil, carnal politics of the world of sin, and were murdering each other as that political power passed back and forth among them, just like the warring "Christian" nations of today. How could such worldly, warring "Christians" possibly have God's Truth?
The Scriptures go even further, and put the matter beyond any possibility of cavil by very clearly, in several places, distinguishing between this One True God and the man Christ Jesus, as Jesus' prayer-
"This is life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent" (Jn. 17:3).
6 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.
"Out of Deity, all things have proceeded: His free, radiant Spirit is the substratum of every existing thing, from the star of the first magnitude to the smallest insect of the air."
"This is life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (Jn. 17:3).
This is the most solemn and exalted, and should be the most joyful and inspiring, consideration possible to man. Certainly it is the most important and fundamental.
As to the evidence of the Divine Existence, the inspired Paul said-
"The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are CLEARLY SEEN, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead,* so that they are WITHOUT EXCUSE"
God plainly says that He has given ample evidence of His existence and infinite power, and that men are therefore without excuse in not perceiving it in all things around them. This is CONCLUSIVE, and every wise man will agree heartily. He says again through David-
"The FOOL hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psa. 14:1).
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork" (Psa. 19:1).
More specifically, He says of the Jewish nation-
"Ye are my witnesses, that I am God" (Isa. 43:12).
No one who intelligently considers the 3,500-year history of the Jewish people, right down to this very day, in connection with all the Biblical statements and prophecies concerning them, could fail to perceive their positive evidence, not only of God's existence, but of His infinite power and foreknowledge. Furthermore, His dealings with them reveal a tremendous amount about His character and purpose. Practically the entire Bible is about the Jews, and what God has done, is doing, and will do, with and through them. His whole purpose centers in them.
As a result of the absurd and godless superstition of Evolution, modern man has repudiated the idea of sin and morality, and has in effect adopted the animal philosophy of "Might is right," and "Survival of the fittest." This cold, dead outlook is essential to a consistent and logical acceptance of the Evolution superstition, based on blind force and blind chance. It has brutalized man, mocking all the finer, spiritual principles and characteristics as folly and weakness in a jungle world.
In casting away the Bible, and the rigid restrictions of God's law of holiness and purity on conduct and morals, man thinks he has cast away his chains; but in reality he has cast away his compass, and all the real values and meanings and beauties and joys of his life.
Bro Growcott - Yahweh Elohim