The Doctrine of the Trinity
For quite some time, the trinity doctrine has been an extremely controversial subject. The word “trinity” does not appear in the Bible anywhere. How then, did it become a major part of modern-day religion?
The modern belief in the trinity originated in the 4th century at the Council of Nicea in approximately 324 C.E. King Constantine, the Roman Emperor and an adherent to paganism, presided over the Council. Its main purpose was to unite the Roman Empire by achieving agreement on Christian doctrine. This would promote a universal consolidation within the church. According to history, in the same year that Constantine convened the council, in a fit of rage, he killed his innocent son Crispus, and then later also killed his wife.
As the council proceeded, there were two distinct sides. Archdeacon Athanasius of Alexandrai, Egypt upheld the trinity. Arius fought for the opposition. After long weeks of debate, the admitted pagan, Pontifex Maximus Constantine, ruled in favor of the trinitarian teaching of Athanasius, the Egyptian. Egypt, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, had long before adopted the pagan belief of the trinity. One of the most famous Egyptian trinities was that of Isis, Horus, and Seb, (IHS), a trinity that consisted of father, mother and son, and a concept which also traces back to Babylon. As ironic as it may seem, there is a movement now by those who no longer pray to their Heavenly Father, but to a Heavenly Mother. The letters HIS appear on the altars in most Catholic and Protestant churches today, being erroneously explained as standing for various Latin phrases.
History teaches that much later, after instituting a mandatory belief in the trinity, Constantine tried to be more tender and merciful with the decision, but it was too late. The Nicean Creed had taken hold. All who did not believe in the trinity doctrine were persecuted and killed. Every available instrument of torture was used on the nonbeliever. The Nicean Creed has since been amended, but it is still read today in many of the Protestant and Catholic churches. Belief in the trinity doctrine is now required by those churches who associate themselves with the World Council of Churches.
The explanation of the trinity by Trinitarians is extremely confusing. Trinitarians teach that there are three persons, but one essence—all equal. The most distinctive doctrine of the trinity is that of the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit. The term “trinity” is not a Bible term; it is a manmade term.
To believe in the trinity is to believe that there is a unity of the heavenly beings. There are three co-eternal, co-equal persons, the same in substance, but different in individuality.
There are three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Now these three are truly distinct one from another, and yet they are all one. The Nicean Creed reads that “...the Heavenly Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods, just one.”
This appraisal of the trinity would lead one to believe that the Father must be His own son, and the Son must be His own Father, and that the third entity, the Holy Spirit, is equal to the first two, the three being one, yet different. Hard to explain? Not for a Trinitarian. They conclude this explanation with the famous phrase: “It’s a great mystery of faith.” It is truly a mystery.
Pagan to Christian
Nearly all pagan religions believe in more than one deity— the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Hindus, the Buddhists. It is a historical fact that Christianity merged many of its teachings with paganism, making it more widely acceptable to its members. Pagan ideas, in many forms, have been accepted by Christians, openly admitted in Cardinal John Henry Newman’s book entitled, “Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine,” published in 1878. Reading in chapter 8, pages 355, 371, and 373:
The rulers of the church from early times were prepared, should the occasion arise, to adopt, to imitate, or to sanctify the existing rights and customs of the populous, as well as the philosophy of the educated class. The use of temples and those dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasion with branches of trees, incense, lamps and candles, votive offerings on recovering from illnesses, holy water, holy days and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessing on the fields, sacerdotal vestments, the ring, chants, the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin and sanctified by adoption into the church.
If you add the fact that they adopted Sunday worship from the Romans, Easter from the Egyptians, and Christmas from the Babylonians, that does not leave Christianity with much that is truly original, does it? All of these beliefs came from pagan religions.
The Biblical Perspective
What does the Holy Bible say about the trinity? Do the Scriptures uphold the teaching that the Son is equal to the Father, or the Holy Spirit is equal to both Son and Father? Do the Scriptures teach that anyone or anything is equal to Yahweh? Definitely not! The Scripture teaches the exact opposite.
We can divide this study into different categories. First, let’s see what Yahweh has to say. Second, we’ll read what the Messiah Yahshua said. Then, we’ll look directly at the Holy Spirit, and clearly define who and what it is.
First, what does Yahweh have to say about this subject? In Isaiah 44:6, He says: “Thus says Yahweh, the King of Israel, and His redeemer, Yahweh of Hosts; ‘I am the first and the last; and beside Me there is no mighty one.’” Also, in Isaiah 44:24, He says: “Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, and He that formed you from the womb, ‘I am Yahweh that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads broad the earth by Myself.’”
Notice the words Yahweh uses to describe Himself and what He does; words like “beside Me there is no other Mighty one,” and “by Myself,” and the word “alone.” It does not sound as if Yahweh is confused about this situation. In Isaiah 43:10, He said: “You are My witnesses,” says Yahweh, “My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He; before Me there was no mighty one formed, neither shall there be after Me.” He sounds very positive, doesn’t He?
Notice how He clearly stated there were none before Him, and that there will be none after him. Could it be said any clearer or in a more accurate way?
Yahshua’s Own Words
What about the Messiah Yahshua? Did He come preaching that He was equal to the Mighty One of this world? Where did Yahshua get all of His knowledge? He got it from the same place any son does—from His Father. He said, in John 15:15, “For all things that I heard of My Father I have made known to You.” He is passing on the knowledge He learned from Yahweh to His disciples. Notice that He always refers to Yahweh as His Father, the authority figure. He never calls Him—Yahweh—His partner or His co-worker, as if to say that He was equal to Him.
Now, if Yahshua is equal to the Father, He would know all the things that Yahweh knows! But that is not the case as we see in John 5:19. The Messiah said: “Verily, verily, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for what things so ever He does, then also does the Son likewise.” In verse 20, we read a very important account, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does: and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.” Yahshua is saying that His Father has shown Him all He knows and He is going to show Him even more, even greater works that all may marvel.
Here is one of the most important scriptures to refute trinity: John 14:28, “You have heard how I said to you that I go away and come again to you. If you loved Me, you would rejoice, because I go to the Father: FOR MY FATHER IS GREATER THAN I!” Yahshua is very clear in the fact that He is NOT equal with His Father!
In direct contrast, Yahshua the Messiah puts Himself in a category in which we may be included. In John 20:17, He told Mary to go back and tell the brethren: “I ascend to My Father, and your Father; and to My Mighty One, and your Mighty One.” If Yahshua’s Father and my Father are the same, that means there will come a time when Yahshua will be our big brother. Now, isn’t that something to look forward to?
Now, consider this. Yahshua is getting ready for His second coming and He doesn’t even know when that day will be. Does that sound ridiculous? It’s not. He said that very thing in Matthew 24:35. When asked when the end of the age would come, He answered: “But of that day and hour knows no man, not even the angels in heaven, but My Father only.”
The Holy Spirit Identified
How about the Holy Spirit? Who Is it? What is it? Let’s take a closer look at the Scriptures to see if we can answer these questions. Some say the Holy Spirit must be a person because the Scripture refers to it as “He.” We know the Hebrew language has no neuter gender. Everything is referred to as he or she, masculine or feminine. There is no “it.” We see an example of that in Matthew 26:52, when they arrived to take the Messiah away. Yahshua told Peter to “...put your sword into his place.” We know the sword couldn't have been male or female. Now for the moment, let’s put that aside and take a look at Romans 8:26. Here we read, “But the spirit itself makes intercession for us.” Here we see the proper rendering by using the pronoun “it.”
Is the Holy Spirit an individual? Is it the third person of the trinity? Well, if it is, then it should have equal share with the Father and Son, shouldn’t it? Let’s check the Scriptures to see if it does. In Luke 1:32, we see the Father giving the Son a throne. We don’t see Him doing likewise to the Holy Spirit. In John1:1, we see that, in the beginning, there was the Father and the Word—the Word we know to be Yahshua. Why wasn’t the Holy Spirit included with them? In Acts 7:55, Stephen looked up to heaven and saw the glory of Yahweh and Yahshua standing at His right hand. But he failed to mention the Holy Spirit. If Yahshua was at His right hand, wouldn’t the Holy Spirit have been at His left? Again, in Revelation 3:21 and 22:3, we see two thrones—Yahweh’s throne and Yahshua’s throne. The throne is a symbol of power and authority. Surely, if the Holy Spirit was co-equal, then it would have its own throne.
Yahweh says: “Study the Scripture. Hold fast to that which is good.” Remember, the day of judgment is going to be a one-on-one situation. Let’s pray we choose the right one. Those who believe and teach the trinity doctrine will have to face the same judgment everyone else does.
What, then, is the Holy Spirit? In John 15:26, we read that the Spirit comes from Yahweh and, in this verse, it comes to us as proof of the Creator. When Yahshua was baptized in Matthew 3:16, we see the Holy Spirit again coming from Yahweh, this time in the form of a dove. Turn to Acts 10:38 and read for yourself what the Holy Spirit is. Yahweh anointed Yahshua with the Holy Spirit and with power, and He used it to do good, healing all that were oppressed—and Yahweh was with Him. The Holy Spirit is Yahweh's power, the power He sent out from Himself to do His work. As Ephesians 4:30 says: “Grieve not; the Holy Spirit of Yahweh whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
The Holy Spirit is no great mystical figure, some calling it instead the “Holy Ghost.” We are introduced to Yahweh’s spirit in Genesis 1:2, “And the spirit of Yahweh moved upon the face of the waters.”
A Trinitarian will not be able to answer the question: If the “Godhead” consists of three co-equal persons, the Holy Spirit being the third one, then why didn’t Yahshua, the Messiah, call the Holy Spirit His Father? After all, aren’t we told in Matthew 1:20 that Mary’s child was conceived by the Holy Spirit? Do you see how confused this could become?
Bible Truths vs. Man’s Beliefs
All religions claim to get the basic beliefs and doctrines for their religion from the Bible. But when you ask them to explain the trinity, they tell you it’s a mystery of faith that cannot be understood. That contradicts what the Scriptures say. Matthew 10:26 says that there is nothing covered that won’t be uncovered, nothing hidden that won’t be revealed (see also Luke 8:17, and 12:2). There is no secret that won’t be made manifest; neither anything hidden that won’t be known.
The Scriptures also tell us to search and we will find; to ask and it will be given to us; to knock and it will be opened. Aren’t those who are teaching Scripture today reading the same Bible that we are? If they are, then where are they hiding those Scriptures saying that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all equal?
Where do men get the right or the authority to burden us with unscriptural rules, regulations and false ideas? Life could be so simple. The only thing we would have to do is what Yahweh tells us. We know that all His commands are for our good and that His Word is truth.