Some months ago my phone rang and the first thing the man asked was, “What do you believe about the trinity?” I was a bit taken back by the question and the manner in which it was asked. I told the person on the phone that I do not use the word “trinity”. From the religious errors I have read over the years that particular term is not only man-made, but it is obscure and has various meanings. The man was not happy with that answer.
Since that phone call I have gotten a noticeable amount of emails about the subject matter. I am not sure why it is a “hot topic” or why the questions are coming my way. The English word “trinity” does not appear in the King James translation of the Scriptures. Thus, I am a bit reluctant to teach on that particular term. Upon my research, I have found there are way too many erring meanings and doctrines related to the term to use it in a favorable manner. In my recent correspondences and phone conversations I have found a common thread in the questioning.
When recently asked about this subject matter and when I seek clarification, it appears that interested individuals are seeking to find out if the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are separate individuals. They are also seeking to find how there can be one God, but three individuals that are called God. Therefore, I am writing this article to address those two questions. We will start with identifying the separate individuals we are talking about in this study.
There Are Three Individuals In Heaven Under Discussion
There are many passages of Scripture and contexts that teach us that we have a Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:14-16, Matthew 5:45-48, Matthew 6:1-9. Matthew 7:7-11, Matthew 7:21, Matthew 10:32-33, Matthew 12:46-50, Matthew 16:13-18, Matthew 18:1-20, Matthew 23:9, Mark 11:25-26, and Luke 11:1-2). The Scriptures also teach that Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, and Hebrews 9:24). You can also identify Scriptures that teach the Holy Spirit was is in Heaven (John 1:32 and I Peter 1:12). The word of God shows three different individuals unified in Heaven in this wording: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (I John 5:7). The Scriptures make no sense if you make these three just one or two individuals (i.e. Matthew 28:19).
Those whom often get confused on this subject seem to grasp that the Father and the Son are two individuals. This is too clear to miss (Matthew 11:25, Luke 23:34, John 4:20-24, John 5:17-19, John 8:18-59, John 14:1-24, John 17:1, Romans 1:7, I Corinthians 1:3, Ephesians 5:20, etc.). Where the confusion often, not always, seems to come from is understanding that the Holy Spirit [Ghost] is NOT the Father or the Son, but a third person.
Take a few moments and read through John 16:1-33. After reading that chapter any HONEST person will see that there is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit as three different individuals. It is unmistakable. Jesus told the disciples He was going to the Father (John 16:10). He said He would then send the comforter, the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-13). The Spirit would glorify Christ (John 16:14) while Christ was with the Father (John 16:14-17). Throughout those and separate details in the chapter you see three separate individuals engaged in different things at the same time. It’s simple. Therefore, we have to turn our attention to the question of which one, if not all, can be called God.
Which Is To Be Called God
In a simple answer, all three are to be called God (I Thessalonians 3:11-13, Romans 9:1-5, and Acts 5:1-11). When the Scriptures teach there is “one God” (I Corinthians 8:6 and James 2:19), that does not change anything. All three are referred to as deity and all three are. Don’t allow the term “God” to be confusing. We understand that there is one body/church approved of by God (Ephesians 4:1-6). Yet, we are capable of understanding how that one body assembles in different locations, under separate local oversight, all over the world (i.e. Jerusalem, Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Colosse, etc.). In a letter to be shared by various congregations in different locations (Colossians 4:12-16), it was said there is one body (Colossians 3:15). Which was unequal from the rest? None. If you can get that, you can understand that there are three persons called “God” in the Scriptures, and yet there is only one God. The term “one” meaning unified (again; I John 5:7). Don’t make it any harder than that.
If I told you when two people are married they are united as one, are you confused? The Scriptures teach that in marriage two people become one (Matthew 19:5-6). Does that mean there is only one individual? NO! This is that simple.
I am not going to begin using the term “trinity”. I do not care what people say it means or not. What I am going to continue doing, and have done for a great amount of years, is teach that there are three individuals called “God” in Heaven. Brethren, don’t allow man-made terms to confuse us on the truth. As you study you see that the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit were active in various events (i.e. Matthew 3:13-17 and Acts 2:22-39). That’s the truth!