Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sharing the Triune Nature of God


Late yesterday morning while walking my dogs back to our home, I found a man with a shoulder sack and his daughter standing at my front door.  I thought, "Let me guess...either they are Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons!"  Well, I was correct.  They were Jehovah's Witnesses (JW's). 

The man said, "Hello, my daughter would like to offer you some information."  Next, the little girl (I would guess she was around 8 years old) started talking about the Watch Tower pamphlets in her hands.  I politely listened to what she had to say,  knowing that I would not be taking the pamphlets.  However, I told her that I was very impressed with how well she briefly articulated what the pamphlets contain.

I have learned over the years that it is best to "cut to the chase" when speaking with JW's.  I looked at her father and stated that I had shared the company of a lovely woman named Teresa back in the 1990's.  She came to my door in her wheelchair, and I didn't have the heart to turn her away.  However, after several weeks of visits, we ended up parting ways when her faith teaching rejected the reality of our triune God. 

The man instantly knew who I was talking about!  This has been a typical reaction of the JW's with whom I have had encounters over the years.  They all know each other!  Teresa T.  had passed away many years ago.  The man said he knows of her legacy and he knows her husband.

I stated that Teresa had taught me a lot about the Old Testament Scriptures.  However, when the subject of the Trinity came up it was obvious that we had strong disagreement.  I added that Matthew 28:19 tells us that Jesus specifically stated that we are to go and make disciples, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  The original language in Aramaic reveals that Jesus used the singular version of "name."  He didn't say, 'in the names.'  Therefore, we have evidence of the Triune nature of God.  The fact that Jesus used the terms "and of the Son; and of the Holy Spirit" separately from his reference to God the Father reiterates that they are three Persons in one Godhead.

“Go therefore fn and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
(28:19) M-Text omits therefore.

The Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that believing in the Trinity is paganism.  They do not agree with the concept that God can be three Persons in One.  They think that believing in the triune nature of God is believing in three different gods.

Interestingly enough, the man pulled out his cell phone and went to an app for JW's.  He checked the concordance-like site and agreed that Jesus did use the singular term "name" in the Matthew 28:19 verse.  But he then added that the JW's have an explanation for that.

I briefly told him of my journey from Catholicism to becoming a born again Christian.  Then, I told him that I have been a student of Bible study for over 25 years.  He said that he has studied [his version] of the Bible for many years and appreciates meeting Christians who have done the same.

We both knew that we would not end up studying together.  But I urged him to seek out more information regarding the triune nature of God.  I encouraged him to do a computer search for D. James Kennedy's expose' on the Trinity.  It's a classic!  I also shared that there is scientific evidence of the triune nature of God within Creation. 

Talk Wisdom's previous posts about this topic:

Understanding the Trinity

The Trinity All Around You


In Dr. D. James Kennedy's booklet entitled "Understanding the Trinity; Evidence for God in Three Persons," Dr. Kennedy describes that the universe itself explains the Trinity.

Dr. Nathan Wood, formerly president of Gordon College of Theology and Missions, wrote a magnificent book, The Secret of the Universe. In it he spells out for us the result of years of searching in the natural realm for some kind of analogy that was correct for the Trinity. He finally came up with the universe itself.

It is so simple.

It is right there in front of us.

We can never get away from it.

It is always there.

We ought to see it very clearly.

He points out that any man who manufactures anything or makes anything with his hands is going to inevitably leave his fingerprints upon it. If you were to create a table or chair or something in your workshop, it would contain your fingerprints.

Dr. Wood says that the universe is covered with fingerprints of the Trinity because it was made by the Triune God. The Bible says that the Father created the universe, the Son created the universe, and the Holy Spirit created the universe - the Triune God created the universe.

What does Dr. Wood mean by that?

Well, there are fingerprints everywhere. We just don't see them.

I would suppose that there are literally millions of fingerprints in this very sanctuary. Did you see any today? Not a one. We are blind as a bat when it comes to fingerprints. We just don't see them. First of all, we're not looking for them. Now you might see them at home on a mirror or something like that, but ordinarily, we don't see fingerprints. However, if a detective were to come in here and begin to dust the wood on the pew in front of you, he would find thousands of them. So let's put on our Sherlock Holmes cap, get out our dusting brush, and see if we can see the fingerprints of Him who made all things.

What does the universe consist of?

If you were to ask a scientist, he would tell you it consists of space, time, and matter. Now amazing to tell, we find all of those three things everywhere in the universe - not that we have a universe where some of them exist sometimes and not at other times. It is also true that each of the triune parts of the universe is, in itself, triune.


Let us look at each one of them. For example, consider space. What is space composed of? It is composed of length and breadth and height. Always. There is nothing you could name that is not composed of all three of those things. If you were to simply take a pencil and draw a line on a piece of paper, it would have length, it would have a little bit of width, and if you looked in a powerful microscope, you would discover it has quite a bit of height. You can't see it with your naked eye; however, it's always there.

Something that I think is amazing about this is that God always consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - not one or the other. It is not a piece of the pie; it's the whole thing, always. Imagine a square block that a child would play with. Draw a picture of it in three dimensions. Then you could take that picture, and with a pencil and using all length, you could make a bunch of lines and fill in that entire block with nothing but length. I have done that sometimes in fancy lettering. Maybe some of you have as well. Or you could take the same block and make the whole thing out of width, or out of height. The fact of the matter is that it is all length, it's all breadth, it's all height all of the time. That's a perfect illustration of the Trinity.


Or take the matter of time. Of what does time consist? Obviously, it consists of the past, the present, and the future - those three. Any time we have ever known in this universe always consists of those three. Usually we have the idea that we come out of the past, that that really is first, because that is where we came from. The fact of the matter is, time comes from the future, and we meet it head on.

For example, today, yesterday was called tomorrow, and now it's today. A week ago it was called next week, and now it is today. A year ago, it was called next year. So as time approaches us and we move through it, that is what always happens. Anything is first in the future, then in the present, and then it disappears into the past. That is the way time always works. That in itself is an amazing story when you examine it carefully. Past, present, and future.

Dr. Nathan R. Wood gives a fascinating quote that is so remarkable I would like to share it with you. I would challenge you to try to see if you can follow his drift.

He is going to give a long paragraph. Then he is going to give it again, only this time he is simply going to change four words. These four words are "time," "future," "present," and "past". They are going to be changed into "God," "Father," "Son," and "Holy Spirit."

You are going to find out something some of you never knew before - that time, which you live by, which you look at constantly in the way of clocks you wind up every day, and which you make your lives run by, is an incredible illustration of the divine Trinity.

(Note: To make this paragraph easier to read, I will post it in a prose format).

Read carefully:

"The Future is the source.

The Future is unseen, unknown, except as it continually embodies itself and makes itself visible in the Present.

The Present is what we see, and hear, and know.

It is ceaselessly embodying the Future, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. It is perpetually revealing the Future, hitherto invisible.

The Future is logically first, but not chronologically.

For the Present exists as long as Time exists and was in the absolute beginning of Time.

The Present has existed as long as Time has existed.

Time acts through and in the Present.

It makes itself visible only in the Present.

The Future acts and reveals itself through the Present.

It is through the Present that Time, that the Future, enters into union with human life.

Time and humanity meet and unite in the Present.

It is the Present that Time, that the Future, becomes a part of human life, and so is born and lives and dies in human life.

The Past in turn comes from the Present.

We cannot say that it embodies the Present.

On the contrary, Time in issuing from the Present into the Past becomes invisible again.

The Past does not embody the Present. Rather it proceeds silently, endlessly, invisibly from it...

The Present therefore comes out from the invisible Future.

The Present perpetually and ever-newly embodies the Future in visible, audible, livable form; and returns again into invisible Time in the Past.

The Past acts invisibly.

It continually influences us with regard to the Present.

It casts light upon the Present.

That is its great function.

It helps us to live in the Present which we know, and with reference to the Future which we expect to see.

"That is an exact description of the way time operates. It is a perfect analogy. I'm using "analogy" not in the common sense of the word that something is like something or a simile or metaphor, but in the mathematical meaning of the word, which means it is an exact replica as far as every line, every angle, every corner is concerned.


Now let us replace the words. "Time" is replaced by "God"; the "Future" by the "Father"; the "Present" by the "Son"; and the "Past" by the "Holy Spirit" (every word the same but these four). You will see that perfect analogy and you will see the divine Trinity you have been swimming in all of your life!

"The Father is the source [every word the same, but those four].

The Father is unseen except as he continually embodies Himself and makes Himself visible in the Son.

The Son is what we see, and hear, and know.

He is ceaselessly embodying the Father, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment.

He is perpetually revealing the Father, hitherto invisible.

The Father is logically first, but not chronologically, For the Son exists as long as God exists, and was in the absolute beginning of God.

The Son has existed as long as God has existed.

God acts through and in the Son.

He makes Himself visible only in the Son.

The Father acts and reveals Himself through the Son.

It is through the Son that God, that the Father, enters into union with human life.

God and humanity meet and unite in the Son.

It is in the Son that God, that the Father, becomes a part of human life, and so is born and lives and dies in human life.

The Spirit in turn comes from the Son.

We cannot say that He embodies the Son.

On the contrary God, in issuing from the Son into the Spirit, becomes invisible again.

The Spirit does not embody the Son.

Rather He proceeds silently, endlessly, invisibly from Him...

The Son therefore comes out from the invisible Father.

The Son perpetually and ever-newly embodies the Father in visible, audible, livable form, and returns into invisible God in the Spirit.

The Spirit acts invisibly.

He continually influences us with regard to the Son.

He casts light upon the Son.

That is His great function.

He helps us to live in the Son whom we know and with reference to the Father whom we expect to see."

That, my friends, is an exact mathematical analogy that each of the portions of the triunity of the universe are in themselves triune."

Our Creator is so awesome!! He reveals Himself all around the existence of the universe He created!


What We Believe...

*  About God:
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe.  He has eternally existed in three persons:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 3:22; Psalms 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
* About Jesus Christ:
Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is co-equal with the Father.  Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on a cross.  He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death.  He ascended to Heavens glory and will return again, to earth, to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; John 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13



*About The Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son of God.  He is present in the world to make mankind aware of our need for Jesus Christ.  He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation.  He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual gifts, and guidance in doing what is right.  The Christian's responsibility is to seek and to live under His will daily.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; John 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1



GMpilot said...

So much to discuss here...*sigh*

CJW: ”...we have evidence of the Triune nature of God. The fact that Jesus used the terms "and of the Son; and of the Holy Spirit" separately from his reference to God the Father reiterates that they are three Persons in one Godhead.”

But when God the Son was crying out to God the Father from the cross, was he talking to himself, or not?
Following your line of reasoning(!), God sacrificed Himself to Himself to save mankind from Himself. Believers insist to me that this is wrong, but they never quite explain how. If this god is just one god, that's fine, but a three-gods-in one is polytheism, no matter how it's diguised. Polytheism is for the Hindus and other benighted peoples, not the proud descendants of Abraham. Apparently, the JWs feel the same way.

The 'fact' that your god is a trinity is a fact only to Christians—and as you've demonstrated, not all of them.

Dr. Wood did a marvelous job of hazing things over, and I can see why DJKennedy must have liked it. But it's built on so many assumptions that I almost feel embarassed in taking it apart.

”Dr. Wood says that the universe is covered with fingerprints of the Trinity because it was made by the Triune God...there are fingerprints everywhere. We just don't see them.”

Better men than I have been looking for those fingerprints, without success. If there was a great flood that drowned all the world, neither the Egyptians nor the Chinese nor the Toltecs had any idea of it. The volume of water required to submerge a place like Mt. Everest would be far greater than exists in all the world right now, and it had to go somewhere afterward; but there's no evidence of it ever having been here.
What about the triune god who decided to unleash such horror—was it a unanimous decision among the godhead, or merely a 2-1 (and who voted 'against', if that were true?)? Noah and his family were the only survivors of that holocaust; they knew it was going to happen, which makes them accessories to the crime--co-conspirators, in fact.
But the drowned people and animals and vegetation have all long since rotted away, which means that there are no traces of god's handiwork. One might suppose that a god is capable of making any evidence of itself disappear, and that may be what has happened. Then again, this same god seems to be mighty anxious about making sure people know that it is not only A god, but THE God—the one (oops, sorry) the three and only. (Ex 6:7, 16:12, 29:46, Lev 23:43, Deu 29:6, Isa 43:10, Jer 24:7, Eze 13:9, 20:20, 20:24, 23:49, 24:24, 28:22, 28:24, 28:26, 29:16, 34:30, 36:23, 39:22, 39:28, Joe 2:27, 3:17, Psa 46:10)

Time and space both existed long before there were any people to distinguish them. Although I must wonder about a god that (I'm told) exists outside of both. How can a being do that and create them, or influence them in any way?

Christinewjc said...

Sorry about the double post! Here is the answer I wrote on the previous post:


Perhaps what I wrote above answers your questions. Especially this verse:

Jhn 15:26

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

Notice that Jesus needed to depart in order for the Holy Spirit to be sent.

Jhn 16:7

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

Jesus also tells us the purpose of sending the Holy Spirit to us:

Jhn 14:26

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

And we also find out that the Holy Spirit will abide in us forever:

Jhn 14:16

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—

This is why Jesus claims that he will be with us always, even unto the end of the age:

Mat 28:18

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Mat 28:19

“Go therefore[fn] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mat 28:20

“teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.[fn]