Is it possible a Christian can believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and not believe the doctrine of the trinity?
[Darris McNeely] Is it possible to believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, but not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity? Yes, it is.
How many of us want to live forever with God? Let me ask you another question. Do you really know God? Do you know who He is? Do you know what He is doing? Don't be too sure that you know the full answer to those questions and know the full story. If you want to live forever with God we have to know who God is and we have to know what He is doing with human life, with His whole creation. As I get into this subject there's a scripture that I like to turn to. To me it's kind of a bedrock anchor scripture on this whole topic. It's in John 17:3 John 17:3And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
American King James Version×and it says, "This is the way to have eternal life." It is a part of the prayer Christ made on the night before His death. "This is the way to eternal life," He says. "To know you the only true God and Jesus Christ, the one who you sent." He's praying to the Father.
Now we're going to show you today from the Bible three important keys that can help you to understand God and the Bible because the Bible gives us absolute truth about God. Three keys to help us to understand. There are three keys at the very core of knowing God and knowing His purpose especially in having a relationship with Him. With these keys we can be assured and have an eternal assurance that we understand and we know the true God, the God to whom Jesus Christ prayed.
Let me begin this today with a story. I think the story that I'm telling going to tell you illustrates a lot of the confusion that people have about this subject. It's a story that involves my wife and I. Both of us had been in Jordan in the Middle East a few years back. We were observing the Feast of Tabernacles which is one of the annual New Testament biblical festivals of God. Now my wife went home earlier while I stayed behind to go into Israel with a colleague for some further travel. My wife was on a plane. She got on the plane to leave from Amman, Jordan, and she happened to be seated right in the midst of a group of ladies who had been in the same area of Jordan for the recent days touring with a very famous American evangelist, biblical sites, and on a study tour. Well they all got to talking on the plane about their experiences. My wife was kind of the stranger in the midst. They started quizzing her, "Who are you? Why were you over in Jordan?" And they got to talking about their beliefs, their biblical beliefs. And suddenly one of the ladies kind of pointed at my wife and challenged her faith. She said to my wife, "You're a member of a cult."
They kind of shouted this out. And here my wife was 35,000 feet in the air trapped in an airplane with a group of ladies. All of a sudden she’s kind of being challenged and she's thinking, "Oh boy it's going to be a long 10 hours to get to Chicago." Why did they say that? Well they said that because they came to the conclusion that my wife did not believe in the traditional teaching that people have of the Trinity. That is that there are three beings in the Godhead, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. And because she didn't believe in the Trinity they thought that she actually denied Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Him being who He was. My wife thought pretty quickly. I think God helped her on that answer. She gave an answer and she told them very quickly, "I do believe in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice." And you know what it calmed the waters. Everybody kind of settled down and the flight went pretty well from that point forward.
It illustrates the confusion that is on this topic and it illustrates what people don't understand about the very nature of God, the most bedrock aspect of reality and God. Is it possible to believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit but not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity? Yes it is. You see many churches who believe and teach the idea that God is a Trinity. And by the way quite frankly a lot of people who are believers in their churches they don't necessarily even know what their church believes on this topic and probably couldn't explain it. It's one of those topics that's so bedrock and yet people just don't know. But it has become the litmus test, the bedrock test of who or who is not a Christian in people's thinking.
You know if you would do a search into a textbook on the topic or on the internet, you would find a number of interesting statements about the doctrine of the Trinity. Probably one of the most interesting one is this one that is from a book called "The Forgotten Trinity." And it says this about the Trinity, "We hang a person's very salvation, their very salvation upon the acceptance of the doctrine. No one dares question the Trinity for fear of being branded a heretic." Remember that's what they said about my wife, that you're a heretic basically because she didn't believe that. Quote goes on. "We must know and love the Trinity and this concept this teaching to be fully and completely Christian." That's quite a strong statement to make about a teaching that really can't be found in scripture. Admittedly it cannot be found. You are called a heretic or a non-Christian by people if you do not accept this teaching.
Yet look at the many reputable sources on the Bible doctrine and you will find shocking admissions about the teaching of the Trinity. A few of them will go like this. "The Trinity is an absolute mystery," or "the Trinity is mysterious in its origin and its content." "The Trinity," they will say, "is impossible for Christians to understand." That's an interesting one, impossible for Christians to understand. Why would a fundamental teaching about God be impossible to understand? You'll see terms like, "it's unintelligible" or it's "widely disputed," and it is. From all the study and the reading that I've done on it over the years every one of these statements is true by their own writings. If scholars, theologians, and religious authorities admit that we cannot understand such a major doctrine said to be so essential for salvation, don't you think that should tell us something that may be seriously wrong with the teaching of the Trinity? I think so.
Those of you that are watching this program, bear with me a few minutes and keep an open mind and let me show you from the Bible what we can know about God and about the family of God. And really when we understand the truth it sets us free from a lot of error and ignorance and opens up an entirely new universal understanding about God. What we're going to do is look at the biblical keys to knowing God. Here's the first one that we want to talk about today. There are two God beings. Two, not three. Let's turn to the book of Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
American King James Version×and a very important bedrock scripture about the creation and about the creation of human life. And here's what it says. Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
American King James Version×, "And God said let us make man in our image after our likeness." "Let us make man in our image after our likeness."
Who's the "us" mentioned there, the "us?" Why is it in the plural and why is the pronoun "our" mentioned twice in that sentence, in that verse? In fact throughout the first chapter of Genesis, the Hebrew word that is translated God, the English word God is the Hebrew word Elohim, and it is a plural noun and it denotes more than one entity as it is used in scripture. And here it's used about God. Why did our Creator purposefully use these plural expressions of "us" and "our?" The reason is there's more than one. And that's very plain. And frankly, it's accepted and it's understood by people who can be honest with the scriptures. That's what Genesis says.
Now let's look at another passage in scripture that really correlates this. It's out of the New Testament. So in the book of John 1. Here really we could say is that the real beginning of the understanding about this topic about God and what we need to understand as the first principles. In John 1:1 John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
American King James Version×it says this, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, all things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made." That's John chapter 1:1-3.
The actual Greek wording there says that the one called the Word was with the God, the God, while the Word Himself was also God. There are two beings that are mentioned in these verses. John clearly describes two divine beings in this passage. Again, not three. If God were three wouldn't you think that there would be a reference to three but there isn't? There's one called God and the other referred to as God the Word who was with Him. Down in verse 14 of John 1 it explains exactly whom this Word, this being described as the Word, actually became. And it says this, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory. The glory is of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." The Word was conceived in the flesh is what it's saying as a physical human being. The one we know as Jesus Christ.
So you see when my wife said to these ladies in this airplane 35,000 feet accusing her being in a cult, she believed in Christ, always has. Those who may not accept the Trinity cannot be branded as denying Jesus Christ. It doesn't happen. Here in this passage in John we have two great personages, two uncreated eternal beings. The God or God the Father as we know Him and the Word who became Jesus Christ, both divine and both presiding over and very deeply involved in the creation.
What does this mean? Well frankly it means everything to us. It means everything. It means that the classic Trinitarian doctrine is false. There is no third Being, only two. If you hold this idea that there are three you have a wrong understanding of God. You really cannot worship the true God described in scripture with a concept of three beings. You have a false concept. You have to examine and you have to believe the truth about God if you're going to worship God in spirit and in truth. The Bible tells us God is a family and we're going to see more about that in a moment, and that's really where it really comes down to what it means to us. What you believe about the nature of God does matter. We can't have a relationship with God unless we understand the truth of who He is and what He is.
The booklet that they we’re offering on today's program is entitled, "Is God a Trinity?" And it reveals what the Bible really says about this topic. You may be surprised; it is one of the most thorough researched books that we have put together on this topic, "Is God a Trinity?" You can call the number on your screen or go to beyondtoday.tv to get your free copy of this booklet and get it today.
Now we've talked about the fact that there are two beings. Let's go to key number two. It's this, God is a family. God is a family. That's brought out in 1 John 1 beginning in verse 1. Here's what it says. The Apostle John writes, "We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have seen and heard. We saw Him with our own eyes and we touched Him with our own hands. He is the word of life." "This one," it goes on to say, "who is life itself was revealed to us and we have seen Him and now we testify and proclaim to you that He is the one who is eternal life."
Remember Jesus prayed to the Father. This is eternal life. He was with the Father it goes on and He was then revealed to us. And John writes and concludes in verse three, "We proclaim to you what we heard ourselves and actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us and our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ."
Here in these few verses, it is very clearly put together and revealed that God the Father and Jesus Christ form a divine family, a divine family, a Father and a Son. And they have a very loving relationship. In John 17:24 John 17:24Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world.
American King James Version×Jesus addressed this other being as the Father. He said, "You loved me before the world began." They existed in that relationship. And here's the beauty of the family relationship that God has and offers to us as something that we can take part in. Those that don't have family, perhaps came from disruptive families, we can understand that. Two beings existed in this realm. They determined a plan to share their Divine nature with the created human realm. And that's the beauty of what God offers to us as a result. It's through that family relationship that we humans can share in this love of God at a much higher level than we can ever imagine. That's why the family relationship between a man and a woman bearing children in marriage is so important. What God describes in scripture in that marriage union is the essence of God's design for human beings, a man and a woman together in marriage as a family bearing children. It mirrors what God is doing. This is why the family is so important to us, and this is something that is frankly not offered by false teachings such as the Trinity that hide the truth about what God is doing and desiring that relationship with mankind.
The God and the Word that we read about, they purposed a way for this to happen. God decided before the world was even formed to bring us to Him through Jesus Christ. There's a very warm passage in Hebrews 1 verse 8. It's actually quoting from one of the Psalms, Psalms 45. And it says, "But to the Son, He says, your throne, oh God is forever and ever. A scepter of righteousness is the Sceptre of your kingdom." The Father here is calling His Son Jesus Christ. He calls Him God. Christ is not only the Son of God, He is God and He is a member of the family of God. The scriptures throughout from Genesis all the way to Revelation reveal God in terms of a family relationship. God the Father and Jesus the Son together and the God family. And when we understand this it changes how we understand God's eternal plan for us because it is what God has purposed to have and to be with His creation.
God calls us sons and daughters and we can become a part of the family of God. And that's where the lonely, the dispossessed, those without a family come in because God offers a family relationship for those who accept that. It means God is personal and that He wants a relationship and brings us many sons to share the glory of the divine nature. The teaching of the Bible is that there are two beings, God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. And their purpose is to share their divine nature with human beings, the human family. The traditional Trinity doctrine doesn't teach that. I haven't found that teaching there. The Trinitarian teaching is a non-biblical teaching that distorts and actually hides when it's all said and done, the true God what who He is and what His ultimate purpose is for human life. That's why this is so important. We have to get this right from the beginning. If we want to worship God in spirit and in truth to know Him, we have to understand this very basic teaching about who God is, two beings in a family.
So those of you that have wondered about this, some of you that may be puzzling over what exactly I'm talking about, the booklet that we are offering today helps us to understand the truth. "Is God a Trinity?" will walk you through the origins of the false teaching of the Trinity and it will show you the truth about the nature of God and Jesus Christ whom He sent for our ultimate salvation. So call the number on your screen or go to beyondtoday.tv to get your free copy of our booklet, "Is God a Trinity?" It will challenge your belief but it will bring you closer to an understanding of the true nature of the true God.
We've talked about the fact that there are two beings. We've talked about the fact that God is a family. Now let's go to key number three and let's look at that. It's this, God wants a relationship with you. In Genesis 2:7 Genesis 2:7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
American King James Version×, the kind of the second verse in that part of Genesis that talks about the creation. It really does open up a whole new dimension of understanding when we read it. Genesis 2:7 Genesis 2:7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
American King James Version×it says this, you know it, "The Lord formed man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man." Here's this very close, intimate, warm picture of God shaping and forming man from the dust of the ground, kind of like a potter with the clay as other verses show. And it tells us God is not impersonal. You know in the first chapter of Genesis God's kind of far off and let there be light and He separates the water from the dry land.
But when we come down to this verse we don't see an impersonal God at all. We see a God who is gentle, who desires a close family relationship with us, with human beings, the highest expression of His creation. Man created in His image. Think about that. We're created in the image of God to have a relationship with God.
In Philippians 2 there's a beautiful passage beginning in verse six that the Apostle Paul writes. Philippians 2:6 Philippians 2:6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
American King James Version×speaking of Jesus Christ, it says, "who though He existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking on the form of a slave and looking like other men. And by sharing in the human nature, He humbled Himself and by becoming obedient to the point of death," even the death of the cross. Says He emptied himself.
God so wanted to share glory and divine life with a human creation that He emptied Himself of that to take on human flesh. The divine nature took on the nature of the human creation and just joined flesh. By coming in the flesh God the Word took the longest of steps for mankind. His coming as the only begotten Son of God makes possible our hope for salvation and for sharing that divine glory. That's the beauty of that particular passage. The very essence of salvation and the desire to live forever, which I opened by asking you do you want to live forever, is to know that God is able through the life of Jesus Christ to begin the process of a new life and those who are called to the purpose of God. And that purpose is to put His life, His Spirit, His very essence, His power into us in the act of a spiritual creation, forming us in His image by the power of His life which is the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is not a third being of the Trinitarian godhead. The Holy Spirit is the very power of God. It is the very essence of the nature of God and He puts that in us. The Holy Spirit is the agency of spiritual conception into a relationship with God. So it’s just described in Romans 8:16 Romans 8:16The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
American King James Version×where it says, "The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." God's spirit joins with the spirit of man to bear witness that we are the children of God. It's through that spirit that we then become possible to take on and to partake of the divine nature, the very nature of God and the purpose and the plan that He's bringing to pass. God dwells in us through His spirit, His essential life. God's very DNA is in a Christian, in one who has repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior, been baptized and with the laying on of hands and then they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is the very source of the power that begins to connect us into a new life relationship with God.
In 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 1:7For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
American King James Version×it says, "That God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. It is a spirit and a power that changes us." Ladies and gentlemen the Holy Spirit is not a third person of a Trinitarian concoction. The Holy Spirit is the essence and the power of God. It is the means by which God the Father and God the Son live in us and impart to us the very divine nature. It's how we enter a relationship with God. It's how we take on the security from that relationship with God. To be blunt the Trinity as that has been taught is a reprehensible heresy that denies the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ. That's the doctrine of antichrist. Those who teach it and those who promote that false teaching will have to answer for that in the judgment to the one true God. Think about that as we study the nature of God.
The book that we're offering today, "Is God a Trinity?" explains what I've been talking about today much more deeply from the scriptures. It shows how this false teaching of the Trinity confuses and blurs God, His true purpose for mankind. This booklet can help you sort out through the knowledge of the true God. God is in the business of building His family and you can be a part of that. Call the number on your screen. Go to beyondtoday.tv to get your free copy and learn the truth about the Trinity.
I asked at the beginning, do you want to live forever with God? You can, in a relationship with your Father and Jesus Christ as your elder brother. God has a family and He will expand it. The truth is what God is doing. Begin to worship that true God today.
[Narrator] Call now to receive the free booklet offered on today’s program, “Is God a Trinity?” Many churches teach the Trinity as a foundational doctrine but at the same time they call it a mystery, impossible to understand. What does the Bible say? Our free study aid “Is God a Trinity?” uncovers the truth about the nature of God. So many have struggled to fit the trinity into what they read in the Bible. Our booklet will walk you through the origins of this doctrine, and will show you the truth about who and what God really is. Order now. Call toll free 1-888-886-8632 or write to the address shown on your screen. The nature of God does not have to be confusing. You can understand God, and come to have a relationship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. When you order this free study aid, we’ll also send you a complimentary one-year subscription to Beyond Today magazine. Beyond Today magazine brings you understanding of today’s world and hope for the future! Six times a year you’ll read about current world events in the light of Bible prophecy as well as practical knowledge to improve your marriage and family. Call today to receive your free booklet, “Is God a Trinity?” and your free 1-year subscription to Beyond Today magazine. 1-888-886-8632 or go online to beyondtoday.tv.