And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:31-32)
This is WHY Jesus is called the son of God. He was BORN OF A VIRGIN, with no human father. That is why he calls God his Father! He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Before that, there was no Son of God. Did he pre-exist? Yes, because he is Jehovah, as Jesus is Jehovah in human form.
The misconception of dividing God into three persons can be seen in many churches. I will grab a statement of faith from a typical Christian church. They say this:
We believe in one eternal God existing equally in three eternal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
OK, this is nothing but TRITHEISM, pure and simple. It says one God. One WHAT? There is no one here, unless you reduce God to a substance or energy, who is not a personal being. Here is the correct doctrine, which can be seen in the New Church or New Christianity:
We believe in one eternal personal God, Jesus Christ, in whom exists the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as the soul, body and spirit exists in each and every person.
This is the main difference between old Christianity and the New Christianity described by Swedenborg: the New Christianity restores the monotheism of the original gospel. When God descended and became incarnate in a human being, he assumed a tripartite nature of soul, body and spirit. This is the Trinity. The tripartite nature of every living human is described in the following verse:
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Gen. 2:7).
Here we have the soul, the body (the dust of the ground), and the spirit (breath). The spirit of a person is not a separate person. The conclusion: before God became incarnate, the Trinity did not exist. And that is why you do not find it in the Old Testament: it is not there, because it did not exist yet.
But that is not enough, Christians reading this, will start to mention scripture as proof. The problem is, most people's view of scripture is seen through the lenses of doctrine: for is doctrine which determines how one reads it. Nevertheless, lets go through the scripture they will quote on this subject. I will quote from the church web site:
While the word “Trinity” is not found within Scripture, Scripture clearly teaches that: God eternally exists as three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), each person is fully God, and there is one God. The doctrine of the Trinity is hinted at in the Old Testament (e.g. Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Ps 45:6-7; 110:1; Isa 6:8; 61:1; 63:10).Here is the problem: ignoring all the passages which teaches that Jehovah is a personal being and besides him there is no God, Christians will search out passages that prove their doctrine. The first three passages (Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7) is nothing more than God speaking with his angels. Psalms 45:6-7 is a bit better, which heralds the coming Messiah (anointed one), but that is nowhere close to a Trinity of three beings. In the New Church doctrine, the Messiah or anointed one is simply the human form in which Jehovah became incarnate, in which he dwells as the soul or spirit (thus is "anointed") and does not constitute a separate eternal being. Among the Jews, he Messiah is an earthly king who will establish a literal kingdom of God on earth centered at Jerusalem, which is why they are still looking. Psalms 110:1 is better, again a Messianic prophecy that Jesus himself quoted:
Jehovah says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."
So, being the literalists most people are when reading the Bible, this passage "proves" that besides Jehovah there sits at his right hand another personal being, the Messiah. Is this true? No. For one, the "right hand" is a symbol of the highest honor. Either you are going to believe here two personal beings (the old Church), or you can believe that when Jesus rose from the dead, HE MADE HIS HUMAN DIVINE. This Divine Human is an essential doctrine of the New Church, and explains the ritual of the Eucharist or communion. When he rose from the dead, no longer was his body human flesh, but Divine. When he was born, there essentially arose a conflict between Jehovah and all of hell as he could be tempted to do evil through the human flesh he inherited from the human vessel, Mary. He conquered all of hell by making his human Divine: that is the meaning of sitting at the right hand of God: his human form was elevated to Divinity, until nothing remained of what he inherited from Mary. The reason for this is that after death, the spiritual body is derived from the soul, which in the case of Jesus was Jehovah himself. How do we know this is correct? From this passage:
Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. (Isa. 44:6)
Jehovah - ONE PERSONAL BEING - is the King and Redeemer. In the New Testament, Jesus becomes King and Redeemer, and even assumes the title of the first and the last. And besides Jehovah, THERE IS NO OTHER PERSONAL BEING. And what about this passage:
I am Jehovah, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. (Isa. 45:5)
But wait, some may say, did he create another personal being later? NO:
"You are My witnesses," declares Jehovah, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me." (Isa. 43:10)
As for the other proof texts this church mentions, Isa. 6:8 mentions the commission of Isaiah the prophet and is irrelevant. Isaiah 61:1 does mention the Messiah which we covered, and Isaiah 63:10 mentions God's spirit. So SORRY, TRINITY IS NOT THERE. A TRINITY OF THREE PERSONS IS FOREIGN TO JUDAISM, AND FOREIGN TO THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH. A better one for them to have mentioned is this one:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isa. 9:7)
Why is it not mentioned? It shows an example of how erroneous the Trinity is. Hey, if I want to be extremely literal here, we have four (not three) personal beings: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. I am doing that to show how ridiculous the argument is. But the other reason I mention this: this particular prophecy of the Messiah calls the future child to be born as ETERNAL FATHER. So answer me this: why would the personal being of the Son be called Father??? The truth of the matter, the Father exists in the Son as the soul exists in the body:
Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
"Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. (John 14:8-10).
See the error? Philip was thinking of the Father as another personal being. Jesus corrects Philip. So he would correct anyone who would think of the Father as another personal being. The Father is the invisible Divine, the Son is the visible form of that Divine. And that is why Jesus could do nothing apart from the Father: he resided in him as the soul does the body, and directed him to say and do whatever he said and did. How can Jesus be a separate being who has no separate will? But lets proceed to other proof texts, I will again quote from a church website:
[The Trinity is] more fully developed in the New Testament, especially in the Gospel of John (1:33-34; cf. 14:16-17,26; 16:13-15; 20:21-22). The three persons are intimately inter-related (John 1:33-34; cf. 14:16-17, 26; 16:13-15; 20:21-22). The three distinct persons of the Godhead are seen, for example, in the baptism of Jesus (Matt 3:16-17), the Great Commission (Matt 28:19), and the Upper Room Discourse (John 20:21-22).All throughout the above paragraph, scripture is being seen through the eyes of the Nicene Creed, not the other way around. Another issue is literalism. Since personal pronouns are used to reference the different aspects of God, they then assume its another person being:
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)
Does this prove that the Holy Spirit is a distinct person? Because personal pronouns are used to refer to it, in what is probably a Greek translation of Aramaic? NO. In fact, Jesus clarifies this in the very next passage:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. (John 14:18-20)
See how scripture is distorted. The first passage (John 14:16-17) says of the Holy Spirit, HE will come to you. In the other passage, Jesus says, I WILL COME TO YOU. The conclusion? The Holy Spirit is another aspect of his personal being. And it clarifies something else: just as the Holy Spirit resides in us, so JEHOVAH (the Father) resided in Jesus (the Son). The Trinity is not three persons, it is the emanation of the one Divine from the eternal down to us. Lets move on to the other proof text:
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. (John 16:13-15)
What is this saying? The Holy Spirit has no will or initiative of its own. This proves its not a distinct separate being, it is simply God's spirit. Its an aspect of the Divine which communicates directly with us. It is NOT a distinct personal being. Is a spirit of a person a separate distinct person??? No. The Trinity is the emanation of the Divine through the soul, body and spirit of Jesus. Each is a lower state of being, in that the prior state of being must exist before it and in conjunction with it. How do we know that the Holy Spirit emanates from Jesus? Lets mention one of the church's own proof texts:
So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:21-22)
How was Jesus sent? Does that mean there was this other being and God the Father told him to go? No. Jesus was sent by Jehovah becoming incarnate in a human being. As Jehovah resides in Jesus as the soul to the human body, so the Holy Spirit resides in us. That the Holy Spirit is an aspect of the personal being of Jesus is shown by Jesus breathing on them: it is a separate person? No. It is the spirit of Jesus, flowing from the Divine Itself (the Father) through the body (the Son) and out towards us (the Spirit).
So what does that leave us with? It leaves us with the baptism passages. In no other passage is the trinity made clear in the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:16-17) and the great commission (Matt. 28:19). Again, with the baptism of Jesus, there is NOTHING that shows these are distinct personal beings. You either believe in multiple beings, or have different aspects of God being shown in a REPRESENTATIVE VISION. To believe in multiple beings means you have to take the Bible extremely literal and out of context, AND, you don't elevate your mind above time and space. When it is understood that scripture is representative (especially visions), and that God is beyond all space, and that there is an emanation of the Divine through Jesus, one can understand the Trinity. That leaves us with one final passage to discuss, the great commission:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19)
In no other place do you have Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Many Christians understand from this three personal beings. But how did the original apostles understand it? If Jesus gave this commandment, then I ask one question: WHY DID THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES DISOBEY THE GREAT COMMISSION? How did they "disobey" it? Not once did they baptize using this formula. Instead, they always baptized in the name of Jesus or Jesus Christ:
Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)
But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. (Acts 8:12)
they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 8:16)
And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 10:48)
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:5)
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? (Rom. 6:3)
So answer me, anyone: if Jesus is a "second person" of a trinity of three beings, how is it the apostles only baptized in the name of Jesus Christ? Does that not mean the apostles baptized only in the name of the Son? Or, does it mean, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit reside in Jesus Christ? The latter is correct:
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9)
And that is why the apostles baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. So what is the "name" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Do they each have different names? NO. They have one name: Lord Jesus Christ. For in the Lord we have the Father, in Jesus he have the Son, and in Christ we have the Holy Spirit. We are dealing here with an emanation of the Divine, where different aspects of the Divine have different titles. What happened with Christianity happened with the ancient religion of the Middle East: it began as monotheistic, and degenerated into polytheism from priests who were in love with religious power. And that is where we are now, TODAY. And this was foreseen in Biblical prophecies:
Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand) (Matt. 24:15)
The above does not speak of a future desecration of a Jewish temple. It speaks of the desecration of the Christian church, when one God is removed from its worship. And you have this prophecy:
And another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Dan. 7:24-25)
Don't look for a political overthrow of three kings or kingdoms. Look for a SPIRITUAL CORRUPTION where a trinity of three beings are taught. As for the meaning of "time, times and half a time", that is recognized by many as a 1260 year period which came to an end around the time a spiritual revelation was given to Emanuel Swedenborg to correct the Christian Church. For that see the following blog posts:
Prophetic Time Periods of the Bible: Part 1
Prophetic Time Periods of the Bible: Part 2
The Prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation
The Prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation, part 2
The Spiritual Meaning of the Abomination of Desolation
Look in your own church, look in your own heart. For when you pray, who do you pray to? How do you read the Lord's prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name
Do you pray to a separate personal being other than Jesus? For what is the Father's name? The Father's name is none other than Jesus Christ. Pray to him, none other. Remove the idea of three personal beings, for in so doing, one crucifies Jesus. That is the hidden meaning behind the crucifixion: you have Jesus, and two robber thieves on each side of him. When one sees the error, that they did not see Jesus for who he is, the following prophecy becomes fulfilled in one's heart:
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Rev. 1:7)
WAS THE TRINITY BY REVELATION OR CHURCH COUNCIL?
I was curious, in the last 2000 years or so, was there any revelation of a Trinity of three beings? The answer is no. The only time it is explicitly stated in that way is in a church council of the fourth century A.D. It led to further controversies, to the point where all the original Christians of the Middle East were declared heretics! That's because whatever the Pope and Emperor dictated was supposedly "Orthodox." The only time we come close to any visionary revelation of the nature of God was in the visions of Hildegard of Bingen of the 11th century. When contemplating the Trinity, what did she see? She saw this, which was drawn as an image in one of her books:
You have ONE PERSONAL BEING, from whom emanates the Divine in layers of concentric circles. Unfortunately, governed by the Catholic doctrine, she then subverted her own vision and sought to explain it in terms of the Nicene Creed. And that is where we are today: people trusting in tradition, rather than seeking God for revelation.
I will go back to translating the Psalms now, I got up to Psalm 22 which speaks of the crucifixion, and as I heard a minister making a public declaration promoting the Nicene Creed, I thought I would post a blog to counteract it. If you really have to have a traditional creed, stick with the Apostle's Creed. If you want additional logical explanations of the Trinity existing in one person, see True Christian Religion by Emanuel Swedenborg, which happened to originate from revelation unlike the church councils.