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Enter the Neo-Trinitarians

Enter the Neo-Trinitarians
By Ross Drysdale

New Kid On The Block

The oneness movement today is faced with a new challenge to its teaching of God-In-Christ. Having battled for years against the twin enemies of Arianism, as exemplified in Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Classic Trinitarianism, with its “three divine individuals; we must now stand our ground against a new form of Trinitarianism. This doctrine, which I have personally labeled Neo Trinitarianism, shares aspects with the old Trinity teaching with which we are so familiar (Classical Trinitarian). In addition it has several strange and innovative refurbishing, designed to polish up the, traditional Trinity Dogma and make it more appealing.

Roots Of Neo-Trinitarianism

The roots of this Neo-Trinitariansim can probably be traced to the Swiss-German theologian Karl Barth. He Taught that the word “persons” had become inadequate to describe the Trinity, substituting “modes of being” instead. Karl Rahner another German theologian jumped on the band wagon with “manners of subsistence.” And Gregory Boyd, self styled champion of the Anti-Oneness Crusade, offers up “personally distinct ways of existing” (Boyd, 169), “distinct fashion” (Boyd, 63), or by human analogy, “aspects” (Boyd, 175). If the word person must be used, Boyd puts it in quotation marks to indicate he doesn’t mean a literal person.

Have We Misunderstood The Trinity?

Dr. Boyd says the idea of the Trinity as God existing in “three individuals,” or having “three minds,” “spirits”, or “separate consciousness ” is a “caricature” (Boyd, 174), and a “straw man” argument. Notice: “the general oneness portrayal of the Trinity is a rather crude portrait of three separate people in heaven” (Boyd, 171). So we Oneness are to blame for the “three persons in the Godhead” doctrine! The “traditional” belief of the church he says, has nothing to do with three separate minds, wills, spiritual forms, etc. (Boyd, 171), and the thought that God could be “horizontally conceived of as some sort of committee” is against scripture. And we Oneness believers are “missing the point” when we attack “this crude view of the Trinity” (Boyd, 172).

So not only did we Oneness believers invent this “Straw Man Trinity”, (this crude caricature of 3 persons), but we have wasted nearly 80 years attacking it! How we misunderstood what they were saying! Now find out they really do believe in just One Spirit, (Boyd, 164) and He has just “one mind” or “consciousness.” There never were three beings in the Godhead! “Trinitarians have always agreed that the doctrine of “God in three persons’ cannot be understood to legitimize picturing God as three literal divine people in heaven…” (Boyd, 173). How dumb we were to think that’s what they meant these last 80 years! Why, all they were really talking about was God existing in three “ways” or “fashions.” Nothing wrong with that!

But something is wrong! How do they account for the thousands of sculptures found in all the great churches of Christendom which show the Trinity as an Old man, a young man and a dove? How do they explain the multiplied thousands of paintings, by Trinitarian artists, endowed with church funds, which depict the Trinity in this “crude” manner? The museums are filled with paintings of the Father as a real person along side his Son, another real person. Funny, if this was never the “traditional teaching of the church,” why would they finance such a “misapplication of creedal language” in the field of art?

Trinitarians Define The Trinity

Let us now examine some Trinitarian writers to see if we have been fighting a “straw man” of our own invention.

Committee

“Perhaps we can compare the Godhead to a divine Committee of equals, but with specific areas of responsibility” (Gerald Wheeler, Is God a Committee, p.47)

Three Centers Of Consciousness, Three Wills

“It is both reasonable and scriptural to say that there is one divine essence or nature which all have in common and yet there are three mutually related and distinct centers of consciousness…and will” and “the fact is that each one – Father, Son, and Holy spirit – is conscious of Himself as a distinct person, in the exercise of his will, use of personal pronouns, and association of himself with other persons” (Carl Brumback, God in Three Persons, p.64).

Two Or More Bodies In Trinity

“Deity sets on a throne seat in Heaven. In his hand is a book sealed with seven seals. Who is this one? Is it Jesus? No, it is not Christ as we shall see. If it is not the Father, who is it? …He (Christ) steps forward and takes the book out of the hand” It is clearly the son approaching the Father, and He takes the book out of his hand.” (Gordon Lindsay, The Trinity of the Godhead, pg.43).

Three Spirits

“The true God exists in the form of three divine Spirit persons.” “Therefore if it was God’s purpose for one of these divine spirit Persons at a certain tine in world history to transfer his center of intelligence and identity…to this earth”(Peter Barnes, The Truth About Jesus and the Trinity, p.12).

United Group Of Gods

“Hear 0′ Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord! (Deut. 6:4). The proper translation should be: The Lord our Gods is a united Lord ” “That Elohim means ‘Gods’ is further substantiated in Genesis 1:26” (Henry H. Ness, Dunamis and the Church, p. 7, 8).

Three Adorable Gods

“Elohim is the plural of Eloah, and literally rendered, means, the Adorable Ones…in the beginning the ‘Adorable Ones’ created the heaven and the earth”(J. Narver Gortner, Water Baptism and the Trinity, p.57).

Eternal Begetting

“The Father from eternity begat and always begets and never will cease to beget his Son”(F.J. Lindquist, The Truth About the Trinity, p.3).

Like Husband And Wife

“He is one in the same sense a husband and wife are one” (Ibid, p.21). NO

No Jealousy Among Three Gods

“There is no strict order of mention of the three persons of the Godhead…which emphasizes the deity of each and underscores the fact that there is no jealousy there” (F. Donald, and Ronald A Harris, The Trinity, p.27).

Conference Meetings Of The Three Gods

“At that time the Father said, I will have to judge that man. The Son said, Because we love him, I’ll go down and die for him. The Father said, I’ll send you. And the Holy Spirit said, I’ll go down afterwards…”(J. Vernon Magee, How Can God Exist in Three Persons, p.23).

Aware Of Each Other And Talk To Each Other

“Trinitarians believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three ‘persons’ in the sense that each is aware of the others, speaks to the others and loves and honors the others” (Robert M. Bo an, Why you Should Believe in the Trinity, p.13-14).

Three Beings

“The witnesses of this sacred scene (Christ’s Baptism) and the readers of the four Gospel accounts, were conscious of three distinct Beings.”(Ibid. B ck, p.47)

Apparently we Oneness believers didn’t have our perception of the Trinity so wrong after all. In their own Trinitarian literature, drawn from a popular cross section we find: Divine Committees, Three Centers of Consciousness, Three Gods, Three Wills, Separate Bodies, Three Spirit Persons, Three Adorable Gods, eternal Begettings and Begottens, Conferences, Three Beings and Three Way Conversations. Inspite of all this Boyd refuses to “wake up d s 11 the coffee” even while its boiling out of its co-equal, co-eternal spouts! “Therefore, that Oneness Pentecostals think it is tritheistic is more the result of their misunderstanding of what this ‘ doctrine is all about….”(Boyd, 50). If we have misunderstood it, how much more so have they!

“Illusory Speech” Of The Trinitarians

After answering us that God is only One Spirit with one mind or center of consciousness, Neo Trinitarians seem unable to control themselves any longer. Their obsessive lo affair with “distinct persons” in the Godhead seems to be so -thing they just can’t shake. We find these “ways” and “fashions” are beginning to talk to each other, like individual persons. They are revealed as “bursting” with love for each other (Boyd, 189). They have “loving communion,” They socialize and have loving “interaction.” They have an “eternal tri e celebration of lave!’ These different “ways” are shown having a very personal “I-Thou” relationship (Boyd, 192), and we discover this is possible because of a sense of genuine “personal otherness” within God. Now this is all very strange and contradictory behavior to be going on in one mind, in one center of consciousness! And it is even more strange that it is going on between “ways” and “fashions” and not individuals! No, there is definitely trouble in the doctrinal Paradise of Neo-Trinitarians. They were doing so well and now this! For it is self evident to anyone that for true and meaningful love to exist there must also exist two separate minds, two separate centers of consciousness, two wills; otherwise you have a charade, “a transient illusion.” This applies equally well to conversation, co ion, and personal interaction. If there is an “I”—Thou” relationship in the Godhead then there are two minds also. Thus Neo Trinitarianism is shown to be the truest example of “illusory” speech we have yet encountered. After rousing our hopes that they might finally have seen the light on the “three persons” heresy, they are right back where they started from, and worse! For now they have to reconcile their “one mind” doctrine with their threeway love and communion teaching. And that they cannot do. They are at the end of the line and the Cappodocian Fathers can’t help them now!

Neo-Trinitarian Dilemma

No matter how they argue it, they are stuck, and stuck hard. If there is only “one mind” in the Trinity, and just one “center of consciousness” as they maintain, then there can not be love that “bursts forth” between the persons. Genuine and authentic interpersonal love requires two minds at least and two wills. One mind must will to “burst forth” with love, and the other mind must will to receive these loving bursts” and return them! So when we hear talk of the “totally interpenetrating loving union of the three ‘persons’ of the Trinity”- this is nothing more than a disguised way of saying “three separate individuals.” One solitary mind, or consciousness can not have meaningful love or conversation; that always requires more than one mind. And more than one mind means more than one individual! So all this talk about God being defined as “ways”, “fashions”, and “aspects” is just a deceptive smokescreen. They really mean three individual Beings. And all this talk about the Trinity having just one mind or consciousness is absolutely incompatible with the socializing activities of the Trinity which they describe. “I-Thou” relationships require two minds or re!

Classic Trinitarians VS. Neo-Trinitarians

The old Classic Trinitarians didn’t have this problem. They freely talked about three Spirits, three wills, three minds, and even three gods. Of course they had another problem just as serious-trying to convince people this was somehow just one God! At least the Classic Trinitarians were consistent on one point-their three persons were always presented as three separate divine individuals, each with its own mind and will. Not so with the “three persons” of Neo-Trinitarians. They are always “switching” them back and forth. One moment they are just three distinct ways in which the One God exists; just three fashions or modes of the one mind. Sounds nice and Oneness. But then the next moment these, “fashions” are talking to each other, loving each other, etc. This is clearly three individuals with three minds, not just three “ways” of one mind at all. They are the most flexible “three persons” ever known in theological history. Our Oneness doctrine is ridiculed for “role switching” and “transient illusion” by our Neo-Trinitarian opponents. They should keep silent, for they surely hold the gold medal for that event!

This article “Enter the Neo-Trinitarians” by Ross Drysdale is excerpted from his book published by Apostolic Truth Press, 1994.

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADGH - Godhead/ Oneness, AIS File Library0 Comments

Jesus Is The Holy Spirit

Jesus Is The Holy Spirit
By Ross Drysdale

Where did the idea of the Holy Spirit as a “third distinct person”originate? Does the Bible refer to Christ as the Holy Spirit, or is that a oneness “invention”?

Identity Crisis

It has already been established that Jesus is the Father in his divine indwelling nature. It remains to be discovered if the Scriptures also identify him as the Holy Spirit; what Trinitarians call the “third person of the Godhead.”

Neo-Trinitarian Surrender

Neo- Trinitarians have all but yielded this point to us “en toto”. For in their theology there is only one divine Spirit. The idea of “three omnipresent divine Spirits” is classified by Boyd as “a very mistaken view of the Trinity’.” Each “person” of the Trinity is said to be: “The -Whole Spirit of God, existing in a distinct fashion” (Boyd, p. 64). This being true then, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the exact same Spirit as the Holy Spirit. The Son and the Holy Spirit are the same Spirit! Neither can this conclusion be escaped by claiming they have “separate minds” or “consciousnesses” or even “wills”, for that is denounced also as incorrect and labeled as a “crude portrait” (Boyd,171). What a dilemma! Jesus and the Holy Spirit are supposed to be distinct persons, yet they are the same Spirit, the same mind, and the same consciousness! This alone collapses the Trinity. It would be easier to raise the Titanic, then to get this thing floating again!

Transient Illusion Neo-Trinitarian Style!

And yet after all that Dr. Boyd says, the Oneness identification of Jesus with the Spirit is “highly suspect”. Yet, amazingly enough, as if to confirm this “suspicion” we read: “The Spirit is indeed the presence of Christ himself” (Boyd, 128). How can one distinct person be “the presence” of another “distinct person”? Can you be my presence? Can I be yours? Of course not! The presence of a person indicates exactly that – the person is present, not a substitute. And why would the Holy Spirit have to be “the presence of Jesus.” According to their Perichoresis doctrine, wherever one person of the Trinity is, the other two are also “fully present”. No need for a “substitute” presence if Christ Himself is present! Dr. Boyd now resorts to “transient illusion” for which he so often condemns oneness advocates. Commenting on a discussion where Jesus plainly states he will be the Holy Spirit Comforter, (I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you – John 14:18), he writes: “Jesus is simply saying: ‘I’m not going to leave you like abandoned children, I’ll be right back (referring to the Coming of his Spirit)’ (Boyd, 77). Are we seriously asked to swallow this? I leave the room and say “I’ll be right back; I’m not going to stay gone.” And then a few minutes later a totally “distinct person” from myself enters the room and says, “Hi! I told you I’d be right back!” This is more than transient illusion this is maniacal delusion. What could be further from what Christ meant? We are being asked to believe that “I will come to you” really means “someone else will come to you.”

It must be borne in mind that when Jesus says: “I will come to you” he is using the personal pronoun “I” to identify himself with the Holy Spirit Comforter, thereby eliminating the possibility of any “personal” distinction between Himself and the Spirit. It is the equivalent of saying “I am the Holy Spirit.” And yet we are accused of teaching a “secret identity”. Where is the Secret?

Christ As The Spirit Of Truth

Christ further identified Himself as the Holy Spirit Comforter in John 14:17. “Even the Spirit of Truth: whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” The Spirit of Truth is a “he”; he is already “known” by the disciples, and “seen” by them; he is “dwelling” or living with them at the time. Who else is this but Jesus Himself, whom they knew, saw, and with whom they dwelt? To forestall any misunderstanding the next statement is added: “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” Yet we are told it is: “Only by a most forced form of exegesis can these passages be made to mean that Christ and the Holy Spirit are in every respect one and the same” (p.129). No exegesis is necessary, “forced” or otherwise. All one has to do is read the passage. It’s self evident!

Dr. Boyd says Christ and the Holy Spirit are not “one and the same” in every respect. Really? Then why does he teach that Christ and the Holy Spirit are the same Spirit, the same mind, the same consciousness, the same will, and the same presence’,’ and completely indivisible, being the same substance! Where are they distinct? The only thing that he seems to come up with is that the Holy Spirit is God existing in a “personally distinct way” whatever that is supposed to mean. It is never explained.

Jesus Is The Spirit. Can We Prove It?

Again, demands are put on us, which the Trinitarians will not meet for Problem solvers. For we are asked, by implication, to show where the Bible says “Jesus is the Spirit” (Boyd, 125), I would like to be shown where the Bible says “The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead” or even better “a personally distinct way in which God exists” or at least where he is called an “aspect”, “fashion”, or “mode of being”. Like the Pharisees of old, “they lade men with burdens” and “touch not the burdens themselves” not even with a “finger” (Luke 11:46).

Just as in their request for a verse calling Jesus the Father (to which we happily consented), we also have what they demand in this case. Because when it comes to proving Jesus is the Holy Spirit, our “burden is light.”

II Corinthians 3:17

Paul writes in II Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is that Spirit.” What could possibly be more direct? Is there more than one Lord? Someone other than Christ? Of Course Not! ONE LORD, ONE FAIL, ONE BAPTISM (Eph.4:5). And if they are wondering who this Lord is, referred to in II Cor. 3:17, Paul clarifies it beyond dispute in the next chapter: “For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ the Lord” (II Cor. 4:5). Now they have what they demanded of us: Jesus Christ is that Spirit! The Trinity has collapsed at this point, and they should admit it. But no, instead furious efforts get underway to divert the bulldozer effect of this verse on their shaky theory. The first thing they start with is a massive contradiction: “First, one must note that the verse does not say that ‘Jesus is the Spirit'” (B01:1,-p. 1:6). The only way this can be so would be to deny that Jesus is Lord! And this he starts to do, as unbelievable as it sounds! He states: “As it stands the Oneness interpretation must simply assume that the reference to ‘the Lord’ here is a reference to Jesus Christ”(Boyd, 125). We are now guilty of assuming that Jesus Christ is Lord! To this we gladly plead “guilty’ as charged! “For no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (I Cor 12:3). Now Dr. Boyd starts to get into “lords many and gods many,” When he says: “We must note that ‘Lord’ is used by Paul in two senses in the context of this passage” and again, “Paul we see is clearly making some distinction between the ‘Lord’ and the ‘Spirit of the Lord’ who is also ‘Lord’ ” (Boyd, 125). In short Paul is distinguishing between “Lord” and “Lord”. If I may borrow a quote of Dr. Boyd’s “all this language is not only ‘illusory’ it seems blatantly nonsensical.” I would not want the task of proving my doctrine by having to establish the existence of two distinct Lords! But what other choice do they have? What follows next (and it is hard to follow) is a discussion by Boyd which involves the Law, the Old Covenant, Moses, Moses’ face, Moses’ veil, eyes of the Israelites, freedom, glory, external legal authority, the heart, Covenants, and symbols. Hoping I guess, that his readers will forget the point under discussion! And after all this he winds up back where Paul started, and the very point we’re trying to prove: “…’the Lord’ to whom Moses turned is the same Lord, the same Spirit, to whom believers today turn, to have the veil lifted” (Boyd, 126). And who is that Lord, if it is not the Lord Jesus Christ “the same Spirit”, even the Holy Spirit! He’s the Lord who -gave Moses the Law, the “Rock” who followed them in the wilderness (I Cor. 10:4, 9; Heb. 12:24-26), and “The Lord is that Spirit!'”

Romans 8:9-11

We are glibly informed that “only in two passages is it possible to argue that the Spirit is in some sense identified with Christ” (B*4p.m). Again he makes us a two verse religion. I take it he must consider all the other passages where Christ is identified with the Spirit as beyond dispute, for he only mentions II Cor. 3:17 which we just considered and Romans 8:9-11, which we shall now consider.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be it that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any men have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness (Rom. 8:9-11). How myopic must be the spiritual eyes that cannot see the oneness in this passage! Its more than we could have hoped for if we were writing the Bible ourselves! Believers are “in the Spirit” the supposed “third person:” But this “Spirit” is defined as “the Spirit of God,” the supposed “first person,” and the “Spirit’ of God is further defined as “the Spirit of Christ,” who is “Christ,” the supposed “second person!” Then Paul closes the circle tightly by defining “Christ” as the “Spirit.” Thus “Spirit,” “Spirit of God,” Spirit of Christ” and “Christ” are not only used interchangeably, but more importantly, and what Dr. Boyd failed to mention, are used to define each other! Seeing Paul taught there is just one Spirit (Eph. 4:4), to which Neo – Trinitarians agree, then where is there any room for distinct identities here! All terms refer to the same Spirit, who is Christ!

Colossians 1:27

In Colossians 1:27 Paul speaks of “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” equating it with the “One Spirit” who produces that hope in us (Eph. 4:4). Now if we have One Spirit in us, and that Spirit is called Christ, then Christ is the One Spirit in us; or in other words, Jesus is the Holy Spirit. If language means anything it means this, otherwise what good are words? Dr. Boyd doesn’t even cite Col. 1:27 – “Christ in you’ll though it is a main proof of Christ’s identity as the Holy Spirit. The choice is simple, Christians either have three distinct divine Spirits in them, or Christ is the Holy Spirit. There is no other alternative.

Was Paul Confused?

The “last gasp” of Trinitarian rebuttal is breathed out for us in the following argument’ “That Paul in the previous verse (Romans 8:10-ed.) refers to the Spirit of Christ as ‘Christ’ in you cannot legitimately be used to qualify this. In this pre-polemic environment, this informal use of language has no more significance than simply revealing how closely together Paul associated the Spirit with Jesus” (Boyd, 128). He implies we cannot legitimately use this verse of scripture, even though inspired by the Holy Spirit, because it was written before the “polemics of Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus, etc. Written before the screaming matches, fist fights, and murders, that “ironed out” the truth for us! We must not rush in and take the inspired Paul too seriously, at least not until the Cappodocian Fathers and Augustine has clarified all this for us. For these scriptures of Paul have “no more significance” than simple revealing “how closely Paul ‘associated’ the Spirit with Jesus.” But isn’t that the revelation we are seeking? Only by denying the divine inspiration of Paul’s writings could this argument have any weight! Trinitarians are willing to teeter on the brink of that modernistic view of Scripture in order to escape Paul’s “close” association of Christ with the Spirit; an “association” that is so close that Christ is said to be that Spirit! It is not merely “association” it is identification! I’m sure if Paul had referred to the Holy Spirit as one of “God’s distinct Personal ways of existing”, or as a “fashion,” “aspect” or “third person” Trinitarians would find, it quite “legitimate” to use, polemics or pre-polemics not withstanding!

New Testament References

The New Testament teems with references to Christ as the Holy Spirit, most of which Dr. Boyd has ignored.

Paul refers to Jesus as a “life giving” or quickening Spirit in I Cor. 15:45: “The last Adam (Christ) was made a quickening Spirit.” When did this occur? When he ascended: “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things” (Eph.4:10). “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost…” The ascended Christ is the Holy Ghost who fills all things! (Acts 2:4). “The fullness of him (Christ) who filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:23). Jesus referred to this ascending and being made a “life giving Spirit” in John 14:28 “I go away and come again unto you.” This would be a cause of rejoicing to the disciples, “ye would rejoice.” Why? Because, “I go unto the Father,” (i.e. returning to unlimited and unrestricted Spirit, the Father’s original essence is omnipresent Spirit John 4:24). For he says, “My Father is greater than I” (Jesus coming to dwell in them as Spirit, or the Father, is much greater than his physical presence with them in the flesh as Son.) “…though we have know Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (I Cor. 5:16).

This does not mean that Jesus has “no physical body” up in heaven. Of course not! But the body he has now is a spiritual body (I Cor. 15:44). “It was sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” He has a body, but this is a spiritual body. Christ first had a natural body, but now has a Spiritual body (I Cor. 15:46). The Spiritual body does not limit, restrict, or hamper him in any way. His spiritual omnipresence is now unimpeded by the flesh, therefore he can say: “Where two or three are gathered together, there am I in the midst” and “lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” This is the glorious New Testament Truth of Christ as Holy Spirit. This is the “other Comforter” which would abide with us forever (John 14:16); not a different Person, but Christ in Spirit, rather than flesh,” I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18). This is the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father (Christ’s divine nature), as to source, and is therefore truly the Spirit of the Father and the Son (John 15:26). The Coming of the Spirit to dwell in believers is called the manifestation of Christ in John 14:21, “I will love him and manifest myself;” and yet it is also the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell and abide, as in John 14:23. No contradiction – The Spirit of the Son is the Father, who is also known as the Holy Spirit.

Spirit Body

One must not think that because Christ is now a “life giving Spirit” (I Corinthians 15:45) that we will never be able to see him. The following extract from Clarence Larkin’s book, “The Spirit World,” explains beautifully the nature of the spiritual body Christ now has. It is free from all flesh limitations but still is capable of appearance.

Mr. Larkin writes that “the Resurrection body is endowed with the capacity of transforming itself at pleasure into a physical body and back again into a spirit body,

“This is the only solution of the miraculous appearances of Jesus to _ Ks Disciples during the 40 days that elapsed between His Resurrection and Ascension. Take His fourth appearance, the one to Cleopas and his companion on the road to Ermaus. Jesus assumed a physical body and walked with those two, and talked with them, yet they did not know Him because “their eyes were holden,’ but when He sat down to meat with them, they knew Him in the breaking of bread, that is they recognized His physical body, probably by the pierced hands or by the voice, and the next moment He VANISHED out of their sight. That is He changed His ‘physical body’ back into His ‘Spirit Body’ and disappeared from human vision.

“Take Jesus’ fifth appearance, when He entered the closed room in Jerusalem. He entered it in His ‘Spirit Body.’ That was why they were ‘Terrified and affrighted’ and supposed that they saw a ‘spirit.’ Luke 24:37-43. But when He spoke and said unto them, ‘Why are ye troubled?’ He assumed His physical body, and as proof called on them to behold His ‘hands’ and His ‘feet’ (that had been pierced), and to ‘handle Him,’ for said He a ‘spirit path not FLESH and BONES, as ye see me have. And as further proof that it was His physical body that they saw He called for something to eat, and when it was handed to Him, He ate before these. Then after He had talked with than awhile, He breathed on them and said – ‘RIDCEIVE YE THE HOLY GHOST,’ and then He disappeared as suddenly and mysteriously as He came” (Clarence Larkin, Spirit World, p. 122).

Remarkable Testimony From Oral Roberts

Oral Roberts, leading Trinitarian Pentecostal Evangelist, and founder of oral Roberts University, is a distinguished scholar in his own right. He has produced a definition of the Holy Spirit which is theologically light years in advance of his fellow Trinitarians’ understanding. He is to be commended for his intellectual honesty in setting it down in print. Although Dr. Roberts considers himself a Trinitarian, his definition of the Holy Spirit is in perfect agreement with oneness theology. He is another example of the many “Trinitarians” who define themselves by that label, but in their “heart of hearts” (to use one of Dr. Boyd’s terms) they are oneness. Dr. Roberts writes the following:

“Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the other “porter” (John 14:16). He is the one whom Christ said He would send back to replace His own physical presence on earth. The Holy Spirit is Christ coming back in His own invisible, unlimited form to (live) “in” you and to abide “with” you forever (John 14:16, 17). You see, God is one God. “O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4). When we call Him Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-the Holy Trinity-we are not saying He is three Gods. He is simply God…God manifesting himself as the Father with a specific work to do, as the Son with a specific work to do, and as the Holy Spirit with a specific work to do. As an example, let’s take water. It can manifest itself in three ways: as liquid, as ice, or as vapor. But it is still water. The same is true of God. As God loving us, He came to earth as the Son to be born of a woman, to become a human being and to show us what He (God) is like…After Christ divested himself of His human body by being raised from the dead and ascending back to heaven, He prayed the Father to send the Holy Spirit. So the Father manifested himself as the Holy Spirit…So Holy Spirit is God himself, but without the limitations of the human body of Jesus which was limited to time, to space, and to death, as each of us is. To be without these limitations He is now invisible (and in us) where they can never crucify Him again. He is also unlimited so that time, space or death can never touch Him again. Therefore, the Holy Spirit in you is invisible; He is unlimited. This puts you into miracle living. It makes all things possible to you (Matt. 17:20). Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is Christ returned in His invisible, unlimited form in you, you are in position to enter into miracle-living” (Oral Roberts, Three Most Important Steps To Your Better Health and Miracle Living, p. 54-56).

The Holy Ghost Is The Father Also

Some may challenge the statement that the Holy Spirit is the Father. But by so doing they challenge the Bible record, for the angel told Joseph; “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Ghost”(Matt. 1:20 margin). Jesus was begotten by the Holy Ghost. This makes the Holy Spirit the Father of Christ. Hence the Holy Spirit is the Father. It is all one Spirit (John 4:24). The angel said the same thing to Mary: ” The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: Therefore also that Holy Thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Because of the Holy Ghost overshadowing Mary, Christ is the Son of God. The Holy Ghost is the Father, of the “Holy Thing” – “Christ the Lord”. The Spirit of the Father in Matt. 10:20 is the Holy Ghost in Mark 13:11.

The Spirit In Revelation

In the Book of Revelation (a book which has already revealed Jesus to us as the Father) Christ asserts his identity with the Spirit seven times in two Chapters (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29 and Revelation 3:6, 13, 22).Christ is the speaker exclusively throughout these two chapters, yet he says: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.” He is the Spirit that is speaking to the churches.

Comparisons Prove Christ Is Holy Spirit

Christ is said to provide believers with a mouth of wisdom in times of persecution (Luke 21:15); yet in the parallel passage in Mark 13:11 he says it is the Holy Ghost who will do it. Christ is the Spirit, or else Christians will be provided with two “distinct” attorneys for their day in court! Why would two be needed?

Romans 8:26 shows us the Spirit is our intercessor. Yet Hebrews 7:25 says respecting Christ: “he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” We need but one intercessor, and we have him in Christ, who has come to us in his Spirit nature to make intercession with “groanings that cannot be uttered.”

The Bible says in John that Christ will be the one to resurrect believers: “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live.” (John 5:25-28) Jesus also said: “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). No question He is the Resurrecting Power. Yet the Bible says it is the Holy Spirit who will “quicken” or make alive the body of believers: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit” (Romans 8:11). Trinitarians are ever confused as to what “person” of the Godhead shall raise them from the dead, the Second or the Third? But the Bible teaches that Christ became the Holy Spirit when He ascended, “The last Adam (Christ) was made a quickening Spirit” (I Cor. 15:45). Thus it is Jesus Christ in his Spirit nature that will quicken us.

The Same thing holds true for sanctification. The Bible says we are sanctified by the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:16). Yet the Scripture also says that this is the same as being sanctified by Christ (Eph. 5:25-26). And Jude addresses his letter to those that “are sanctified by God the Father” (Jude 1). This is all reconciled when we realize that Christ’s divine nature is the Holy Spirit, which is also called the Father. There is only one Spirit and it comes to us from the glorified body of Christ in sanctification. Trinitarians teach that all “three divine persons” sanctify us. Why would it take three? Especially since sanctification means “set apart for God’s use.” Were we set apart, then reset apart, and then re-reset apart? Besides Hebrews 2:11 knocks a hole in the “three sanctifiers theory” when it says: “For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified are all of one.”

Two Trinitarians Speak

What more is needed. It is the same over and over in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit is always traced back to Christ, even the Father, come to dwell in us as the Comforter. I don’t think anyone could have expressed it better than William Phillips Hall did, a Trinitarian scholar, in his book Remarkable Biblical Discovery: “It would seem in the light of the Biblically revealed facts, that out from the risen, ascended, and glorified body of the Lord Jesus Christ-who is the Temple of the otherwise invisible God the Father
in heaven, there proceeds or radiates (John 15:26) throughout the universe the Spirit of God in Christ, who is the Holy Spirit…” (William Phillips Hall, Remarkable Biblical Discovery, p. 30.

Contrast that beautiful and Biblical description of the glorified Christ in his resurrection body, with the Holy Spirit emanating out from him, with this strange doctrine advanced by Barry Wood, a Trinitarian and graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Writing in his book, “Questions Non Christians Ask Today” he says on page 38 concerning the resurrection body of Christ: “This body was temporary. It was accommodated to’ our human senses as proof that Jesus was indeed raised from the dead. Now what happened to His Spirit Body at the Ascension? It was changed…Jesus, as God, has no distinct separate body now. He is God in God’s pre-historical form – ‘absorbed’ as it were, back into the Godhead.”

To what lengths will men go – prehistoric, bodiless, absorbed gist! All to avoid the scriptural Oneness message, God was in Christ, and in All His Fullness (I Timothy 3:16, Col. 2:9). And of that Fullness, we have all received (John 1:16). And that, dear reader is the Holy Spirit!

Summary

How simple and clear it is: The fullness of the Godhead (the Father) is in Christ (the Son) and of that fullness we have received (Holy Spirit). Jesus even gave a remarkable object lesson after his resurrection to prove that not only was his Spirit the Holy Spirit, but He was the only dispenser of it: “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). His breath is the Holy Spirit. Both in the Hebrew of the Old Testament (ruwach) and the Greek of the New Testament (pneuma) the word for “Spirit” is the same as “breath.” Jesus very breath, his Spirit, is the Holy Ghost. Will Trinitarians now attempt to prove a divine “personal distinction” between a man and his breath! No wonder the Holy Spirit is called Christ (Col. 1:27), the Spirit of Christ (I Peter 1:11), the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:19), and the Spirit of the Son (Gal. 4:6).

We have now shown from the Bible that Jesus is the Father in his divine indwelling nature; the Son in his begotten manhood; and the Holy Spirit by emanation, or as Bishop S.C. Johnson of Philadelphia would say on the radio: “Jesus is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and beside Him there is no God and I condemn everything else!”

This article “Jesus Is The Holy Spirit” by Ross Drysdale is excerpted from his book published by Apostolic Truth Press, 1994.

 

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Believe Me for the Works

Believe Me for the Works
By: Elder Ross Drysdale

Do The Attributes Of Christ Prove Him To Be The
One True God, Or Justa Member Ofa “Divine Trinity”? While On Earth, Was Christ Also Present “In Heaven”? Are There Some Things Christ Does Not Know?

THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD IN CHRIST

Another clear Biblical Testimony to the Godship and Fatherhood of Christ is to consider the Attributes with which the Bible endows Him. This is His Attributive deity. “Believe me for the very works sake”(John 14:11) is the way Christ Himself called attention to this line of proof. It is a “lower road” to follow then direct revelation but it will lead you to the same conclusion. It must be kept in mind also that Scripturally all of these divine attributes have been transferred to Jesus by the indwelling Father, not because he is a Second Person, co-equal. It is rather a direct result of the fact that God is in Christ, that we can say He is omnipotent, omniscient, etc.), “For the Father loveth the Son, and skewed him all things that himself doeth” (John5:20). In fact by means of the indwelling of God in Christ there was an exchange of characteristics between the human and divine in some mysterious and marvelous way. “And all mine are thine and thine are mine…”(John 17:10).

Let us look at these attributes, for they are characteristics that can only be possessed by the one infinite God. And they cannot be passed around among “divine Persons” equally. The very nature of them preclude this. For if a person is “all powerful” what need is there for two other “all powerful” persons, if such were even possible? And especially if a divine Person is said to be the only one with immortality, how could another divine person also have it? It would render useless the word “only.”

THE ONLYS OF JESUS ONLY

To begin with let us examine some of the “onlys” of Jesus Only. Bear in mind these things are being said of a Person, not a substance or essence.

ONLY HAS IMMORTALITY

In I Timothy 1:16-17 Jesus Christ is called the “King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God. Now if Christ is the only wise God, then he is the Father in his interior nature, for The Father is so defined (Rom. 11:33). Another “distinct person” could not also be the only” wise God. He might be “another wise God,” but the Bible never says that. No wonder Christ is called the “wise of God” (I Cor. 1:24). Now if some are in doubt that the above verse in I Timothy is even referring to Christ, they need only turn to the close of the letter where we read “which in his times he shall spew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see…”(l Tim. 6:15-16). Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is the only one with “immortality.” There cannot be another immortal, if he is the only one. And how is it that Jesus hath immortality? Because he is “dwelling in the light which no man can approach to, whom no man hath seen.” That “light” is the divine nature of the Father, the same nature that mutually indwells Christ (“I am in the Father, the Father is in me.”) The immortal life of God the Father is Christ’s life, and dwells in him.

ONLY ONE TO BE ‘WORSHIPPED

We are told by no less an authority than our Lord himself that God the Father is the only one who should be worshipped and served. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only Shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10). Yet Jesus received worship and never rejected or corrected it. He was worshipped at Birth by the Magi (Matt. 2:2, 8, 11). The lepers worshipped him (Matt. 8:2), rulers worshipped Him (Matt. 9:18), the disciples worshipped Him (Matt. 14:33), women worshipped Him (Matt. 15:25, 20:20, 28:9), the blind did also (John 9:38), as well as the demon possessed (Mark 5:6). Yes Jesus said only God the Father should be worshipped and served. Is there a contradiction? Only if one is a Trinitarian, for in their theory a Second divine Person is receiving worship that should only be rendered to the first divine Person, according to what the Second divine Person said! In Oneness there is no contradiction, for it is God in Christ that is worship so that “the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).

THE ONLY HOLY ONE

Jesus is also called the Holy One. Peter preached to the Jews and said “But ye denied the Holy One, and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted to you” (Acts 3:14). Yet who is the Holy One in the Old Testament? God the Father, the only God Israel recognized. “There is none holy as the Lord, for there is none beside thee…”(l Sam. 2:2).”Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel and his maker…”(Isa. 45:11). Remember these statements limit the title to just one “divine Person” (to use Trinitarian terms), for it is a “Person” and not a substance being addressed. And there cannot be any other divine person who is the Holy One because that would make a Holy Two! Yes, a real problem for Trinitarians; and will remain so as long as they maintain their “separate identity Theory” of Christ and the Father. But again Oneness doctrine reconciles this beautifully, the Father, whom Jesus called “Holy Father” (John 17:11), was resident in Christ’s Flesh (John 14:10), was manifesting Himself in that flesh (I Tim. 3:16), and using Christ’s body as his Temple (John 2:19, Col. 2:9). This made Christ the “Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24). And when he sends that Spirit to us, seeing it is the Father in emanation, he calls it the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, 15:26)!

OMNIPRESENCE

The Father is said to “fill heaven and earth” (Jere 23:24). Yet Christ “fills all things” (Eph. 4:10), or is in other words, omnipresent. While Jesus was standing here on earth, he declared that he was simultaneously in heaven. “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). Notice, “Which is in heaven.” That was present tense; going on and taking place right then and there. How could Jesus have been in heaven at that moment? Because the omnipresence of the Son of God is the Father, who not only indwells Christ, but because he is a divine Spirit was also present in heaven, and everywhere else. “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in Hell, behold thou art there “(Ps. 139:8). The fullness of the Father, his mind and nature, were in Christ (Col.2:9, Phil 2:5), but the Father’s Spirit still ended into all places in the universe. God did not “drain” all his Spirit into Christ, but rather incarnated in Him the fullness of that Spirit. God’s mind, nature, center of consciousness, or to be more scriptural, his glory and his life were in Christ. Seeing the omnipresence of Jesus is the indwelling Father, he can also talk about “Our Father which art in heaven”, and “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst (Matt. 18:20). In addition, he could say “Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20). To a true believer, this is precisely how the Father and Son are able to “Come to Him” and make their “abode with him,” (John 14:23). Not two separate persons coming to live in a Christian, but rather the Spirit of the Son, which is the Father, comes to him. Jesus had just finished defining this indwelling of a believer as,”I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). The coming of the Son’s Spirit, which is the Father, to dwell in a believer is the only way the Father and Son can abide with a Christian today, and is the equivalent of Christ saying, “I will come” (John 14:18). This indwelling Spirit, Christians receive, is also known as the Comforter, or the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). But it is all the same omnipresent Spirit of God in Christ. Does this not make much more sense than to believe that there are three distinct Persons, each of which fill all things and are omnipresent? Isn’t it more compatible with scripture and experience to believe that when the Holy Spirit comes to someone it is Jesus, of whom we sing: “Come into my heart Lord Jesus, come in to stay, Come in today, come into my heart Lord Jesus.” And What Christian can tell you the occasions when the 1st Person, the Second Person, and then the third Person of the Trinity came into them? Trinitarians have gotten into serious trouble right here. The only thing to do is abandon ship and swim hard for the oneness shoreline!

OMNIPOTENCE

Jesus said: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth? (Matt.28:18). He certainly didn’t have it as the Son, for “the Son can do nothing of himself” (John 5:19). How therefore did He get “all power?” When the Father resurrected Him, He simultaneously re-established his divine indwelling in the Son of God, and this placed all the power of the Godhead in Christ. “And declared to be the Son of God with Power according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:4). The resurrected Christ is the glorified Temple of the incarnate and all powerful Father; hence Christ has been given all power. Now Christ upholds everything by the word of his power (Heb. 1:3), and is able to subdue all things unto himself (Philip 3:21), He lives by the “power of an endless life” and this power is the Godhead that resides in Him (Rom 1:20, Col. 2:9).

OMNISCIENCE

This word means all knowing. As the Son, or human being, Christ did not know the hour of his Second Advent. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (John 13:32). But in his divine nature as the Father, He knew all things (John 21:17), including the hour, for he said: “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me…”(Rev. 22:12), and “surely I come quickly” (Rev. 22:20). He could not have said those things if he didn’t know the day and the hour. As Ron Rhodes, a Trinitarian, puts it in his boob, Christ Before the Manger:, “The Gospel accounts are clear that Christ operated at different times under the major influence of one or the other of his two natures. Indeed, Christ operated in the human sphere to the extent that it was necessary for him to accomplish his earthly purpose as determined in the eternal plan of salvation. At the same time, he operated in the divine sphere to the extent that it was possible in the period of his humiliation.” (Ron Rhodes, Christ, Before the Manger, p. 204). Two excellent examples are provided for us that illustrate his well taken point.

“It is interesting that both of Christ’s natures come into play in many events recorded in the gospels. For example, Christ’s initial approach to the fig tree to pick and eat a fig to relieve his hunger reflected the natural ignorance of the human mind (Matt. 21:19). (That is, in his humanity he did not know from a distance that there was no fruit on that particular tree). But then he immediately revealed his omnipotence by causing the tree to wither (v.19.b). On another occasion, Jesus in his omniscience knew that his friend Lazarus had died and set off for Bethany (John 11:11). When Jesus arrived in Bethany, he asked (in his humanness, without exercising omniscience) where Lazarus had been laid (v.34)…”(Ron Rhodes, Christ Before the Manger. 204-205).

ALTERNATING NATURES

Boyd lambasts oneness theologians for maintaining that Jesus could “alternate” between his two natures, as his fellow Trinitarian, Ron Rhodes, just described. “Thus, in oneness belief, Jesus can be understood to act and speak sometimes as God (Father) while at other times as a human (Son). This means that when reading the Bible we must always ask whether Jesus is acting in the role of or capacity of God or in the role or capacity of man”(Boyd,p.34). He sharply criticizes this “Oneness key” as “switching”, “alternating” and “illusion.” But apparently it is all right for Jesus to “switch” and “alternate” between his two natures, as long as He does it in a Trinitarian framework, that is, as long as the divine nature is considered to be “God the Son” and not the “Father.” Another Trinitarian put it this way: “As the God-man (Jesus) is simultaneously omniscient as God (in company with the other persons of the Godhead) and ignorant of some things as man (in company with other persons of the human race). (Robert Reymond, Jesus: Divine Messiah, p.80). So it is alright for Jesus to display his two natures, even simultaneously, as long as we use this “Trinitarian Key” to interpret it; a key which asks us to ascertain with whom he is keeping company, with gods or men !

After having observed Christ reading the hearts of men (Matt. 9:4), declaring the future (John 10:46), and describing the past (John 8:56), the disciples conclusion is found in John 16:30: “Now we are sure thou knowest all things…” and this they accepted because they believed his other nature had its origin and source in God “thou camest forth from God.”
ETERNAL

Only God is eternal “From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God”. Only God “inhabits eternity” He alone is eternal. Who could dispute this conclusion. A “God” who is not eternal must of necessity had a beginning, and therefore would be only a creature. But the Lord Jesus Christ is said to be eternal; he is called in prophecy the “everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6). Thus showing us that his eternal nature is that of the indwelling Father. When Jesus asserted his Jehovahistic eternality by declaring, “Before Abraham was I Am” (John 8:58), it was his divine nature as Father that he referred to. For as a Son, he had a beginning (Heb. 1:5), but in his divine nature as Father, he had “neither beginning of days, nor end of life.”

As Father, his “goings forth have been from old, from everlasting” or days of eternity (Micah 5:2). But as Son, he came forth from Bethlehem of Judah. For the Father’s immortality, or eternal life, which Christ now has, has always been with the Father. That eternal life which was with the Father (1 John 1:2), was placed in His Son Christ Jesus at the incarnation: “For as the Father hath life in himself, so bath he given the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). And by means of this, the eternal life of God “was manifested and we have seen it” (I John 1:2). “God was manifest in the flesh…seen of angels, preached unto Gentiles…” (I Tim. 3:16). Apostle John says be means of this miraculous incarnation of the eternal God in our Lord Jesus Christ, the early disciples actually saw Him who was from the beginning! “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life”(l John 1:1). In Christ was life, the eternal life of God, and this was the light of men (John 1:4). The fusing of the divine nature with the human nature of man in Christ which gave our Lord an eternal Pre-existent memory and nature.

CONCLUSION

Thus we see from a study of Christ’s attributes, that through the indwelling of God the Father in his incarnational Son all the attributes and powers of God are transferred to Christ, and made characteristics of this person. He is therefore omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and eternal. Paul expressed it beautifully when he said: “In whom (Christ) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col., 2:3).And this he describes as the real “mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ” (Col 2:2). A far cry from another “Three Person” mystery that was yet to be invented, in which the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are divided up equally between three co-existent divine Persons.

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Poisoned Wells, Empty Cisterns

Poisoned Wells, Empty Cisterns How Trustworthy Were the Theologians Who Produced the Trinity? Is There a Conspiracy of Silence? What Really Happened at the So Called Ecumenical Councils?
By Ross Drysdale
THE ROLE OF CHURCH TRADITION IN TRINITARIANISM

Martin Luther, the Great Reformation Champion, had as his battle cry -“Scripture and Scripture Only.” He viewed the Catholic Church as Babylon the Great, mentioned in Revelation 17, and placed little confidence in her Councils, decrees, and dogmas. He wasn’t concerned with the confused peeps and mutterings of Catholic Church “fathers” – The Bible and the Bible Only! He abhorred the idea that the church was the infallible”interpreter of the Bible,” or that we are “to follow” the church as she explained to us what the Bible really meant to say. For this stand he was excommunicated (and glad of it!)

It therefore seems strange to Protestant ears, especially that segment known as Pentecostal, to hear such statements as these:

“The Trinity, the church has always held, is not inconceivable by analogy” (Boyd, p. 173).

A far wiser methodology has been followed by church throughout the ages, however” (Boyd, p. 51).

“When we, following the church, do this we discover that God can be truly one…” (Boyd, p. 52).

“There is only one problem with this portrayal of the Trinity: It has little to do with what the church has traditionally believed…� (Boyd,p. 171).

“The traditional doctrine of the Perichores is or mutual indwelling…”(Boyd, p. 171).

“They were the first to stand up behind church tradition” (Boyd, p. 162).

“This is, in fact, what the church has always done.” (Boyd, p.162).

“For good reason the church has always interpreted the Father/Son distinction.., as being at the very heart of New Testament proclamation”(Boyd, p. 182).

“As a number of the church’s best thinkers have seen throughout the ages” (Boyd, p. 191).

“And rather than tell Scripture what the deity of Christ must imply, the church has allowed Scripture to tell us what this truth in fact implies”(Boyd, p. 52).What is all this talk about the church and church tradition? “The church has always held;” “wiser methodology has been followed by the church;” “when we, following the church,” “What the church has traditionally believed;” “the traditional doctrine;””church tradition;” “church has always interpreted;” “the church has allowed Scripture to tell” etc., etc. What church is this that we are “to follow” because she has “always held,” and “traditionally believed” “the traditional doctrine,” “throughout the ages?”

All this has an odd ring to evangelical ears (or it should!). One expects to find this type of appeal to church authority and church tradition in Catholic Apologetic works, not in evangelical writings. Perhaps we get an idea of what church Dr. Boyd has in mind by the statement on Page 212: “The great saints of the church – Augustine, Thomas Acquinas, Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa…” To what church do they belong? The Roman Catholic of course! A church which believes authority for doctrine springs from the church and church tradition, as well as the Bible. Immediately after citing the aforementioned “saints of the church,” Dr. Boyd adds: and the great Protestant Reformers: John Calvin, Martin Luther…”(Boyd, 212). Subconsciously, or perhaps consciously, he has distinguished between “the church,” to which he often appeals to as an authority, and Protestantism. The “church” ends with Mother Teresa, and Protestantism begins with Calvin!

Oneness Pentecostals will never follow Neo -Trinitarians in that direction. Our sights are set “homeward,” not “Romeward.” We have no intention of exchanging our Biblically based Oneness-Revelation, which emerged from the spiritual fire of the greatest Holy Ghost Revival since Pentecost, for Esau’s mess of pottage, no matter how many centuries he cooks it. Our doctrine was revealed to God-fearing, holy living men, who took the Bible at face value. There were no bone worshipers or necromancers among them. The light they received in 1914 came as a fulfillment of Christ’s promise: “for when the Spirit of Truth is come, he shall guide you into all truth (John 16:13). And he did not guide into “consubstantiality,” or “Perialloresis” or “Co-equal, Co-eternal Persons.” Neither did He lead us to “eternal generation theories,” “Psychological models of the Trinity” or “Mother of God doctrines.” And the Spirit’s guidance certainly never revealed to us any “manners of subsistence” or “personally distinct fashions!” What we did get however, was what was promised, a revelation of the Father, in the Son, and Christ in us! (John 14:20).

However, in Dr. Boyd’s book, Catholic “saints” and “fathers” are constantly appealed to for support, such as the Cappodocian Fathers (St. Basil and the Two Gregories), St. Augustine, St. Aquinas, Origin and Justin Martyr. (Boyd, p. 173, 161).

Now of course it is going to be argued that these are not really “Catholic” in the sense of holding “Roman Catholic” dogmas and practices. Is that so?

ORIGIN

Let us take Origin for a starter. Boyd says of him that he had an “unqualified Trinitarianism” that “structured everything about his Faith.” Origin, along with others, “understood himself to be simply
passing on the faith that had been handed down by the apostles. When anything new was purposed…they were the first to stand up behind the Church tradition” (Boyd, 161-162). If he was so good at “handing down” the apostles’ faith, why did the church find it necessary to excommunicate him for false doctrine? He also taught the “pre-existence of human souls,” as well as the “Apocatastasis doctrine,” which states that everyone, including the devil, will be saved in the end! He also has to his credit the invention of purgatory, his “ascensiones in corde” in which souls are purified after death. Is this what happens when you “structure everything” around your “unqualified” Trinitarian Faith? Where did the Apostles teach salvation of the devil, pre-existence of souls, and purgatory? And these are the men Dr. Boyd tells us “were the first to stand up behind the church tradition” when anything “new” was proposed! They would have done better to remain seated!

ST. ATHANASIUS

St.Athanasius, another theologian of the Trinity (Boyd, p.179), in his “Life of St. Anthony” did much to promote monasticism. Think about it! Christ said: “Go ye into all the world!” and Athanasius, founder of Trinitarianism says: “Hide in a cave!” An advocate of a totally masochistic life-style! And yet he is supposed to be “handing down” the original faith! He also was one of the first to believe in transubstantiation, the Roman practice of Worshiping the wafer as Christ. Should we follow him in this wafer worship also? Why not?

ST. BASIL

Now we come to St. Basil, one of the Cappodocian Fathers we hear so much about, and whom Dr. Boyd cites on page 173. He was a founder of nunneries and monasteries. Is that Catholic enough? Pre-adolescent boys were forced into unnatural existences, thanks to him. “Boys at puberty were not allowed to sleep in beds beside one another; there was always an older monk in a bed between them.” (Robert Payne, The Christian Centuries, p.177). Joy and happiness were out of the question for Basil’s inmates: “Under no condition must monks give way to laughter” (Payne, p. 177). He had an UnChristlike, arrogant spirit:

“Be mindful of the last day, and if you please, do not think of teaching me! We know more than you, and we are not so choked up by thorns, nor do we have the advantage of being able to mingle a few virtues with ten times as many vices” (Payne,p.178). Basil’s “charitable” spirit lampooned those who disagreed with him as: “lizards and toads,” “animals of the springtime,” “unclean,” “women-mad,” “effeminate,” “slaves of their bellies,” “money hunters,” and “coarse oafs.” (Basil, Epistoloe 95; Payne, 178). And it was this pleasant soul who was the “first to fix the accepted formula of the Trinity: one substance (ousia) and three persons (hypothesis)” (H. Dermott McDonald, Basil the Great, p. 167).

GREGORY OF NYSSA

Then there is Gregory of Nyssa, another Cappodocian Father who had such marvelous insights into the Trinity. He became a Universalist (like Origin) who believed that all men and demons would be saved. And of course, this included his friend the devil. If we follow him in that “tradition” we will eliminate the need for preaching the gospel entirely!

Let us read about Gregory’s “Conversion,” so called. “Gregory woke up weeping, and made his way remorsefully to the garden, where the pickled bones of the martyrs, gathered together in an immense urn, were being worshiped by the faithful. A contrite Gregory watched the proceedings to the end. He became a practicing Christian” (Payne, p. 182) Practicing what, we wonder? Yet it is from this “bone bag” believer we are to be instructed on such deep Godhead revelations as the Perichoresis Theory, and the “mutual indwelling of the three persons.”

He hated the God given institution of marriage and believed “mortality and marriage were bedfellows; death brooded over the marriage bed”(Payne, 183). Truly a morbid and sick individual. He said the only way one could hope for “blessedness” was to live in solitude and have “no human entanglements”(Payne, 18). Is that not deranged? Something is definitely wrong here. He did get into financial entanglements however!

He was finally accused of embezzling Church funds and Gregory, the Bishop of Nyssa, “was bound in chains and led off to meet his accusers, and at the same time during the journey managed to escape”(Payne, 184).

And of such Dr. Boyd writes: “Indeed, the frequent Oneness Portrayal of the early church fathers as sinister philosophers preaching a ‘seductive philosophy,’ and therefore seeking to corrupt the apostolic faith with pagan ideas, could not be further from the truth”(p.60).

In addition to these “fathers,” the Trinitarian understanding receives an additional boost from “a great number of philosophers throughout history” who recognized “that the very idea of an absolute or undifferentiated unity is incoherent”(Boyd, p.176). And who might these “philosophers” be who take it upon themselves to tell God how he must exist? For Jehovah tells us that He was “alone” and “by himself” in eternity past (Isa. 44:24). But these great thinkers have concluded that He must be mistaken, for such “absolute unity” is incoherent to them! So they invent “company” for Him, and waste reams of paper writing about it!

Two, to whom Dr. Boyd refers us, are St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. Much can be learned from examining both of these leading Trinitarian theologians.

ST. AUGUSTINE

Of St. Augustine we read: “His mind was a crucible in which the New Testament was most completely fused with Platonic Tradition of Greek Philosophy (Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume II, p.754). Of course Plato, the pagan philosopher of Greece, was famous for his “Platonic Trinity” invention. Now we see exactly what it was St. Augustine “fused” to New Testament religion. This is exactly what Paul warned us about in Colossians 2:8 -“philosophy,” “vain deceit,” and “tradition of men.” Things which would “spoil us” and lead us away from Christ, “in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). Isn’t it more than passing strange that the things which Paul warns us against, namely “Philosophy” and “tradition” are the very things Neo-Trinitarians recommend to us in order to understand Christ better?

Aside from his philosophical infatuation with Plato, Augustine had other beliefs which bear mentioning. He was an extreme predestinationist, believing only the elect were given grace to be saved. He believed in purgatory naturally, and prayed for the repose of his mother’s soul on every altar where he offered up the “most holy and acceptable sacrifice of the mass.” He believed in baptismal regeneration for infants, and linked original sin with human sexuality! (St. Gregory would have liked that). “To be sure” Dr. Boyd writes, “one might even follow the lead of such great thinkers as Augustine and C.S. Lewis…”(Boyd, p.61). And where is it that Augustine and these other “great” thinkers wish to lead us? To a concept of God or ultimate reality as possessing a ‘certain threeness’…”(Boyd, p.61). And should we also follow them into baptismal regeneration, transubstantiation, purgatory and celibacy? Isn’t it amazing how these great Church thinkers get everything wrong, except the Godhead doctrine? At least it seems that way. For nobody but Catholics seem disposed to follow their “lead” into these other teachings. Neo Trinitarians use them like taxis; they get out at the stop they want, and then let them drive on!

If these were the only nightmares that Augustine was guilty of bringing into the world it would have been enough. But there is more. “One woe is past; and behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”

Augustine was so eager to get heretics, like the Pelagians and the Donatists, back in the arms of Rome, that he invented a theological justification for physical persecution that has over the centuries resulted in the deaths of millions! He is virtually dripping in the blood of martyrs!

“It was one of the darkest hours in the whole history of Christian thought when Augustine…set forth the terrible principle: ‘Cogite intrare – ‘compel them to enter’. The greatest of the Fathers of the Church had almost committed treason against the gospel…the sword had been drawn from the sheath. All those instrumental in the ferocious suppression of the heretics in the Middle Ages could call upon the authority of St. Augustine – could and did. The violence and cruelty unleashed by this one man was beyond measure (Walter Niggs, The Heretics, p. 116-117).

While giving the Church of Rome a justification for “making martyrs” out of disbelievers, he simultaneously fostered the pagan cult of worshiping the bones and corpses of Catholic martyrs!

“Competition for saintly corpses soon degenerated into a superstitious search for relics…the cult arose among the people, but was approved by the Great Christian leaders of the age – Jerome, Ambrose and Augustine” (Richard A Todd, Constantine and the Christian Empire, p.67). And yet we hear: “The earliest Christian fathers cared about nothing more than preserving intact, without any alteration, ‘the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints’…”(Boyd, p.61). Did that “preserving intact” include pickled bones and festering cadavers? It seems so.

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

We have saved the worst till last (although that would be difficult to judge in this “leper pageant”) – St. Thomas Aquinas. Dr. Boyd conjures up this saint also for our edification on page 173 of his book. But he could have spared us; for this thorough going Papal stooge can add nothing to our understanding of God. Aquinas’ fort was mixing Aristotle’s pagan philosophy with the Romanism of his day. Naturally he gave it all a unique turn and “developed his own conclusions from Aristotilian premises” (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. II, p.162).

Is it any wonder that a church which “mixes and matches, and picks and patches” would come up with such a doctrinal oddity as the “Three Person” Godhead?

Aquinas was a Catholic, a Dominican, and a loyal subject (read “lackey”) of the Pope. Mariolatry, Transubstantiation, Papal Primacy, Purgatory etc. were all staple fare in his theological diet. But even that was not enough for this dean of saints; he had to dabble into spiritism! “On another occasion St. Paul came quietly into his room to explain a problem of interpretation. Toward the end of his life he spoke frequently of seeing the Virgin” (Payne, 370). Who are these “spirits” that are impersonating Paul and Mary? We shall soon see. “When he described the appearance of the Virgin in his cell, he said she was like the brightest of bright mirrors, more polished and pure than the Seraphim, of such purity that nothing purer can be imagined, except it were God” (Payne, 371). The Bible itself explains these “visitors” in II Corinthians 11:14, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.” One can only imagine how many Trinitarian insights Aquinas received in this manner from his “spirit visitors,” insights that Dr. Boyd and other Neo Trinitarians want to pass on to us, second hand, from the “great beyond” (Boyd,212).

SPIRITISM

The best we can hope for is that Aquinas’ addled brain suffered from dementia, rather than “spirit concourse.” The whole thing degenerates into outright sances, with Aquinas seeing all kinds of shades and specters. “He spent the remaining years of his life at Naples…seeing visions and talking to the dead. He once saw the devil as a negro…A more convincing vision occurred when he saw Father Romanus, the man to whom he had vacated his chair at the University of Paris. Romanus was dead. Seeing him, Thomas said, ‘How do I stand with God, and are my works pleasing to him?’ ‘Thou art in good state’ Romanus replied, ‘and they works are pleasing to God”(Payne, 371).What a busy night that was!

What does God think of such a person, who makes contacts with the supposed spirits of the dead? “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 19:31). Who were these spirits Aquinas entertained nightly? Paul calls them “seducing spirits,” to whom, those who have “departed the Faith,” will give heed (I Tim. 4:1-3). The result of this consorting with spirits is always the same – the issuing forth of doctrines of devils! So when our Trinitarian friends recommend insights from “teachers” like Aquinas, or use reasoning’s he developed, we must keep in mind God’s warning: “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto God?” (Isaiah 8:19).

Pentecostal people will never be impressed with arguments drawn from such “authorities” as we have just surveyed. And evangelicals should not be either. No enlightenment can come from those who worship bones, kill with the sword, embezzle money, and consult familiar spirits. How could these men develop a true doctrine of the Godhead while advocating just as vigorously, Purgatory, Mariolatry, Wafer Worship, and a host of other bizarre and blasphemous teachings? “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?”(James 3:11).

BROKEN CISTERNS

Would Dr. Boyd, or any Trinitarian, please explain to us how a church which has gotten every other doctrine of Christianity wrong, managed to deliver the central most important truth, namely The Godhead, in perfect purity and accuracy? They are wrong as to baptism, for they “regenerate” infants through sprinkling, pouring and even spitting! Wrong as to salvation, for it is works from the first rosary bead to the last lighted candle. Wrong as to the Virgin birth, for they have Mary, their “Mother of God” also miraculously conceived and sinlessly pure. They distort Christ’s resurrection with the fantastic doctrine of Mary’s bodily assumption, as “Queen of the Universes) into heaven (without even having to wait three days!). The work of the cross is diminished horribly, because Mary is also Co-Redemtrix and Co-Mediatrix, even ordering her Son around in heaven! Their doctrine of the Bible is wrong due to the addition of the uninspired, non canonical Apocrypha, with its stories of lying angels. And yet with a track record like this, we are asked to trust their teachers like Augustine, Aquinas, Basil, Gregory, Athanasius, as they unfold the Trinity to us.

The Trinitarians will have to excuse us if we decline to drink from these wells. They are polluted and poisoned. So they have hewn out Neo Trinitarian cisterns to relieve the situation, but these are alsouse less. “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the Fountain of Living Waters, and hewn them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13). Though they insist the cisterns’ broken pieces are all “co-equal” and of the “same substance,” they still will not hold water.

For the more eclectic minded among their readers, Neo-Trinitarians have something special to offer additional light on the Trinity, but this time from India and other heathen domains. For they too have things to say, useful things, pertaining to the Trinity. Neo-Trinitarians venture timidly into this perilous water at first, for they know how turbulent it can become. But once in, they begin to splash about quite giddily.”I’m not presently arguing that this view is or is not correct” writes Dr. Boyd, “I am only maintaining that the presence of trinitarian parallels outside of Christianity certainly has no negative bearing on the truthfulness of this doctrine. If anything it supports its truthfulness” (Boyd, p.61-62). This comes on the heels of a discussion in which Dr. Boyd denies that Christianity incorporated any Trinity
concepts from the Pagans. “The claim is simply false” he says. Yet on page 150 he quotes Ignatius (Mag.7:2) who describes the Father as “The One”. This word, “the One,” was the pagan Platonic name for the first Person of their Trinity, which consisted of: The One, the Logos, and the Wisdom. If Ignatius is not incorporating a pagan trinity, why is he using their vocabulary? Dr. Boyd might have been afraid that we would catch this “one”, so he writes later on: “Hence they employed Stoic and Platonic categories when possible to help express their faith” (Boyd,161). We see. Something like transporting the Ark of God in a Philistine Cart. That’s fine as long as you don’t try to steady it!

St. Augustine and C.S. Lewis, whose lead “one might even follow,” were not so timid as Dr. Boyd on this question. They thought the prevalence of pagan trinities was a further evidence that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity was true. As far as the Oneness claim that these pagan trinities of Greece, Babylon, and India have a causal link to the Catholic Trinity, Dr. Boyd feels we have “never substantiated” that contention (Boyd,45).

We will save ourselves some energy and let the Trinitarians themselves substantiate it.

I have before me as I write a popular polemic against the Oneness Doctrine by Charles Wm. Walker, D.D., entitled “The Jesus Only Theory.” On page 21 to 22 he writes: “Using material in the pagan world would not necessarily convince us of the validity of the doctrine of the Trinity, but, like Paul, we would use this as an argument ad hominen…Hence we refer to the fact that even the heathen believed in a Trinity as set forth in the following paganistic religions of the ancient World:

A. The Greek Triad: Zeus Athena Apollo

B. The Egyptian Triad: Osiris Isis Horus

C. The Trinity of the Vedas: Dyaus Indra Agni

D. The Brahman Trinity: Brahma Vishnu Siva (source) (supporter) (the end)

What next! How desperate must Trinitarians be to seek support for their theory from Fire Walkers, Rope climbers, and Snake Charmers of darkened India! These Fakirs are politely asked to contribute their trinities to the common cause. How far afield Trinitarians are willing to go. They have now crossed the Indian Ocean and are plundering the temple records of that sad, benighted land in hopes of finding some trinitarian gems that might have been overlooked. “Brethren, these things ought not to be!” How empty must the Trinitarian arsenal be that they have to forage around in long exploded shells of Hinduism for additional fire power. God have mercy on them and return them to the Bible!

TRINITARIANS THROUGHOUT THE CENTURIES HAVE SEARCHED THE WRITINGS OF PAGANS TO FIND COMPARATIVE SUPPORT FM THEIR UNSCRIPTURAL TEACHING.

WHAT ABOUT THE EARLY CHURCH COUNCILS

Trinitarians often cite for support the creeds and doctrines that resulted from the early church ecumenical councils. Dr.Boyd, while mentioning that Paul arrived at the “essence” of the Trinity doctrine, remarks that: “It would, of course, take several hundred years of believers and opponents asking questions to iron out all the implications of this belief. This is what ultimately produced the fully developed doctrine of the Trinity in the early fourth century.” (Boyd, 122). My! “The very inner being of the eternal God” took four hundred years of “ironing” before it was “fully developed” as a doctrine. And
what “ironing” it was!

TRINITARIAN IRONING DAY AT NICEA

The Council of Nicea is often pictured by Trinitarians as an illustrious gathering of persecuted Bishops, replete with scars and wounds, calmly reasoning with each other over the nature of the Godhead. Carl Brumback even remarked that we owe a great debt to these early Fathers who defined so carefully for us the doctrine of the Trinity (Brumback, p. 197).

This idealistic picture couldn’t be further from the Truth. The assembled bishops probably inflicted as many wounds as they brought with them! The historian H.G. Wells informs us that a fist fight broke out
between Arius and another bishop right before the astonished eyes of the Emperor Constantine (H.G. Wells, Outline of History, p. 552). At one point the delegates plugged their ears with their fingers and ran out of the building screaming like spoiled children. (Wells, p. 552). The Emperor Constantine presided and controlled the whole council, even though he was unbaptized and not even eligible to take communion! Not a single Bishop protested this usurpation!

“Diplomacy was wielded like a weapon and intrigues often replaced intelligence. There were so many ignorant bishops that one participant bluntly called the Council ‘a synod of nothing but blockheads.’ Constantine who treated religious questions solely from a political point of view, assured unanimity by banishing all the bishops who would not sign the new profession of Faith. It was altogether unheard of that a universal creed should be instituted solely on the authority of the Emperor, who as a Catechumen was not even admitted to the mystery of the Eucharist. Not a single bishop said a single word against this monstrous thing” (Walter Nigg, Heresies, p. 127).

The delegates were about as “intelligent” as they were calm. “The conference was now open and at once it became evident that the Arians and the Orthodox were at each others throats. Denunciations and angry accusations flew across the hall. Everyone was suddenly arguing, ‘it was like a battle in the dark,’ wrote the historian Socrates. Hardly anyone seemed to know the grounds on which they culminated one another! Constantine did his best to restore order, regarding himself as the presiding judge empowered to intervene. In all the debates, he rebuked those who spoke too angrily and sternly silenced those where arguments seemed to him fallacious ” (Robert Payne, The Christian Centuries, p. 109). And it is to this fist-fighting, ear-plugging, screaming match that we owe such a “debt” for “ironing out” the Trinity doctrine!
CONSTANTINE AS EMPEROR OF ROME INSISTED ON THE TRINITARIAN DEFINITION OF THE GODHEAD ENFORCED ITS ACCEPTANCE UNDER THREAT OF BANISHMENT.

COUNCIL OF ROBBERS

Shall we take a trip to another Trinitarian Council? This one was dubbed “The Council of Robbers.” I am quoting from the Catholic Encyclopedia: “The assembly turned into a riot. Imperial troops and bands of fanatical Egyptian monks attempted to force the 135 bishops present to sign a condemnation of the doctrine of the two natures in Christ. Bishop Falvian, severely beaten in the melee, died a few days later. The Papal legates, though managing to escape, had also been badly mistreated. The Pope annulled the proceedings at Ephesus describing it as a Council of Robbers ” (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1965 ed., Volume VII, p. 312).

Quite an “ironing”, wouldn’t you say!! If this is the tree, how corrupt is the Trinitarian fruit which hangs from its branches? Of course, Apostle Paul, though not having the benefit of these “Councils” did arrive at the “essence of this doctrine” according to Dr. Boyd (p. 122). Too bad poor Paul could not have lived four hundred years longer so he could have enjoyed the “fully developed doctrine” that these theologians “ironed out” for us! (Or perhaps Paul was spared all this, having had enough beatings from the Jews!)

Oneness Pentecostals are quite satisfied that Christ himself brought to earth the “fully developed doctrine” of the Godhead. It was without spot or wrinkle, and therefore needed no “ironing out” in order to be perceived more clearly. What can four hundred years of fist-fighting add to the revelation of God’s nature contained in Christ’s words: “He that= bath seen me, hath seen the Father.” Paul didn’t feel a need for any further development of the “essence” he had “arrived at!” For he boldly proclaimed: “I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). And that included his doctrine, “fully developed;’ I might add, that in Christ “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” (Col. 2:9). I’d rather have Paul’s “counsel” than Nicea’s “Council.

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADGE - General Apostolic Theology, AIS File Library0 Comments


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