The damning deception in Christianity stems from the doctrine of Trinity. The analysis below, can be regarded as good news by those sincerely desiring God’s instruction, more than fallacy. Accepting information, based on God’s word, is more prudent than accepting opinions based on human reasoning. This calls for willingness to throw away dogmatism, when applying God’s word, only, as standard.
Basically, the doctrine of Trinity is a result of misinterpretation of Scriptures. Language appears as, all along, having been the primary limitation when seeking to understand God’s word—comprehended, only by God’s revelation (Matthew 16:17). The term ‘Father’, used in the New Testament, (Matt. 5:16; 28:19), refers to the same God, whose identity is depicted in several names in the Old Testament.
Jesus became the first man ever, to distinctly, refer to God as Father. The term Abba is also used, but similarly referring to ‘Father’. The term Father simply refers to the source of origin. It is important to note that the source of everything is God. Before the crucifixion, no human being ever recognized God as ‘Father’. One of the bones of contention with the Jews, against Jesus, was that He referred to God as His Father:
“Then they asked him, ‘Where is your father?’ ‘You do not know me or my Father,’ Jesus replied. ‘If you knew me, you would know my Father also.’ He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come” (John 8:19-20) (NIV).
Of course, those Jews did not know Christ, as not revealed to them, according to Jesus (Matthew 16:17). During that heated conversation, as recorded by John, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth before Abraham was born, I am!” (Verse 58). What is hidden to most people is that any person could utter similar words and be guiltless, just as Jesus was guiltless. Jesus merely asserted the truth that His Father was God, just as the Father of humanity is God (Genesis 1:26-27). Of course, being created in God’s image implies that the entire humanity came into being, way before Abraham was born.
Jesus specifically instructed His disciples to call no man on earth their ‘father’. They ought to recognize God as their only Father (Matthew 23:9). This is unavoidable—confirming that humanity originally came from God. When Jesus said; “Anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father,” to Philip, He, simply, was confirming what applies to the entire humanity. The simplest truth is that, if Jesus calls God His Father, He confirms Himself as being our brother, as we also originated from God (Genesis 1:26-27). You cannot have a father if you eternally existed.
Some people want to deify the ‘I AM’ term, making it different from its simple true meaning. But, as long as one acknowledges being God’s image, that person is a reflection of God. When asked to reveal God, I would simply acknowledge God’s image in me, by stating ‘I AM.’ Of course, the zealots would want to stone me, but that does not take away my representation of God’s image. The ‘I AM’ is, actually, the beingness of any person, as long as created in God’s image.
The ‘I AM’ of any person implies God’s image so that God can invoke the incapacitated ‘I AM’ (God’s image), in any person, as He wills. This is just as God did so to Moses, and the other prophets. This is also why to His disciples, Jesus said, if they had faith, as little as mustard seed nothing would be impossible, for them. They could, actually, do greater things than done by Jesus (John 14:12).
One of the other commonly misunderstood terms is ‘spirit,’ as applied in the Bible. The term ‘spirit’ has three distinct meanings. Such distinctions may lead to confusion when misapplied against each other. Coupled with idolizing Scholars, Christ’s teachings remain difficult to understand, as requiring a willingness to only use God’s word as standard.
- The term ‘spirit’, known as referring to either good or evil, implies spiritual beings, other than God and humans. Such spirit beings can be referred to as angels when referring to good spirits. Yet the demons are also spirit beings (Ps 104:4; Mark 9:25; Acts 19:12-17; Rev. 18:2).
- Another of the term ‘spirit refers to what is contained in humans, as revealed in the New Testament, (Matt. 5:3; Rom. 8:16; Heb. 4:12). Jesus specifically referred to His own spirit, in the sense of humans (Mark 2:8; John 11:33). At death, He committed His own spirit to God (Luke 23:46) “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Unlike the capital letter used in describing the Holy Spirit, the small letter is used. Job talked about this spirit, (Job 8:32), just as Solomon also wrote about it (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
- The same word applies to the Holy Spirit, with the capital letter. This Spirit, actually, empowered the prophets, and others in special ways. For example, it enabled Samson to kill a young lion with his bare hands (Judg. 14:5-6). God’s Spirit also gave Besaleel wisdom and skill to build the tabernacle (Ex. 31:3). That Spirit also enabled the judges to lead Israel to victory (Judg. 3:10; 11:29) and others to prophesy (Num. 24:2; Ezek. 11:5).
The same Holy Spirit was active among Christians—fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies (Acts 1:16; 2:16-21; 3:18; 28:25-27). He inspires Christian prophets and workers to fulfill His will on earth (Acts 2:4; 19:6). He purified and sanctified new Christians (Acts 10:44-48), (2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Thess. 2:13). And guided the direction of early Christian missionary work (Acts 10:19-20; 16:6-7). The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Jesus (2 Cor. 3:17). A person can relate to Jesus only by means of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; Gal. 4:6). In John’s Gospel, He is called the Helper (John 14:16-17). (Notice, particularly, the usage of the pronoun ‘He,’ serving to personify the Holy Spirit).
The Israelites were instructed against likening God to anything physical (Exodus 20:4). That which is not physical is spiritual. Therefore, God is Spirit, as not to be physically likened to anything physical. Blasphemers against God’s name were not to be forgiven, among the Israelites (Exodus 20:7). Jesus, also confirmed of the same reality—meaning the Holy Spirit:
“And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:31-32) (NIV).
Apparently, Jesus is referring to what is attributable to the God of Israel. But He also clearly made a distinction between Himself and God: “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man (Jesus) will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Verse 32).
The Son of Man is, therefore, different from the Holy Spirit. On speaking to the woman at the well, Jesus also reiterated: “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24) (NIV). This third type of Spirit, is Father—to whom Jesus said we should address as our Father, in prayer (Matt. 6:9) Jesus similarly prayed to Him, as His Father John 17.
All this shows that God, not physically seen, is Spiritual, but can now be accessed, through the services of our Savior Jesus Christ. But, which beginning was John referring to? (John 1:1) This is just as Scriptures show that God, Himself, has got no beginning. Apparently, the context in which John wrote is from the viewpoint of physical humanity.
But by creating humanity, God created what bears no beginning or the end. This type of creation purely describes creating God’s nature. What resembles God must have no beginning or end, or else that would not be the exact image of God. Of course, we know that the incident at the Garden of Eden, terminated God’s image, in humanity. Nevertheless, the mission of Jesus addresses that reality (1 Cor. 15:45).
This narrative is, particularly, described in the parable of the Prodigal Son. In that parable, the two sons, are unconditionally loved by their father. The younger son squandered his inheritance with prostitutes, only to come back as a destitute. Remarkably, his loving father accepts him without condition—which then naturally displeases his older Son. In his solace, the same father eventually grants everything to the obedient elder Son (Luke 15:11-32).
Figuratively, this parable applies to Jesus and Adam. Jesus being the Son who remained with his Father, while Adam represents the wanderer. When crying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus was fulfilling what is portrayed in that parable (Luke 15:28-30). What the father said to his elder Son, is actually, fulfilled later: “All authority has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).
But, why the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit?
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20) (NIV).
These terms express shared responsibility, describing the principle of unity with which these functions interact with humanity. But, the emphatic instruction to the Israelites remains: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
The Son of the living God, as described by Peter (Matthew 16:16, is present, represented in each Christian (Matt. 25:40). Paul did not assume persecuting Jesus, until confronted on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:5). The Church that Jesus founded, represents the Sons of the living God, as united in Jesus (Matthew 16:16-20), not the Son of Man, necessarily.
Elevating the Son of Man to the position of Trinity, when leaving out those bearing His name, cannot be right. John said such a person is a liar. “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20) (NIV). Jesus kept referring to Himself as ‘Son of Man’. At His ascension to heaven, two men dressed in white suddenly appeared:
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) (NIV). (These are commonly assumed to be angels—though not described as angels). These were simply confirming what Jesus said in His prophecy; “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27) (NIV).
The Son of Man is used in consideration of ordinary human perception. The term, Son of the living God, divinely conferred on Jesus, applies to true Christians (Matthew 28:20). This is as Jesus emphatically stated that He would not leave them as orphans:
“Even the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:17-19) (NIV).
However, this message is not intended for those whom God has not intended, except those like Peter (Matthew 16:17). The world did not see Jesus, as Son of the living God—but they saw Jesus, as Son of Man. It is the same Son of Man, seen as ascending up to heaven (Acts 1:11) that everyone will see descending from the skies (Luke 21:27).
The error of the doctrine of Trinity lies in the imagination of God being something in the form of created things. Yet God clearly said He cannot be likened to anything (Exodus 20:4-6). I see no reason why people should continue to debate on this, while Scriptures clearly set the parameters. But the most important Scripture being that humanity was created in God’s image. Failure to understand is not, necessarily, that God has not revealed Himself to humanity, but that humans have stubbornly closed their ears and eyes.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
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