Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Trinity - Does the Bible Teach This?

In some churches the concept is believed of a triune God. The concept states that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are all one mass: Not totally separate beings.

Hundreds of years after the death of the original apostles the Roman Emperors decided to take over control of the church. They set themselves up as the decider of doctrine on God's behalf. However a power struggle existed with the old authority and them taking over with their priests. To cement their authority their priests and doctrines had to be victorious.

A man named Arian presented a doctrine (we don't know the doctrine totally because we only have the Roman's version of it, and a person's version of their opponent's doctrine is often exaggerated and distorted. But we can establish some things). Arian had many others who agreed with him. His belief was that the Father and the Son were separate beings, and that the Father was superior to the Son. He stated that while on earth Jesus was just a man like any other, and that by obedience to God He earned His place in Heaven, just as any of us must.
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The trinity doctrine was put forward to combat Arian, so that he wouldn't have control. Also a new word was invented for God which meant "of the same substance", to replace the word that had been used, which meant "of similar substance".

A creed was made to explain God (which ultimately concluded that He couldn't be explained). But looking at the trinity it says there's one omnipotent but three omnipotents, one omnipresent but three omnipresent etc. So basically we have one being with three identities in it. The question comes as to whether the Scriptures, or even just the Bible preaches or even supports such a being.

The question as to whether the Bible preaches such a being is the easiest part to answer. Even those who preach the trinity admit, verbally and in books, that the Bible doesn't clearly state the trinity concept anywhere: There is no statement saying anything like, "God is one God, but three Gods." So does the Bible actually, at least support the concept? We'll look at those statements which are used by those people believing in the trinity and those that oppose it.

Supporting the Trinity Concept

Deuteronomy 6:4 _ "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one!"

This doesn't exactly state anything about a trinity, of course, but is used to establish that in some way The LORD is one. This "LORD" of the Old Testament is Jesus Christ (the name "Jehovah", as used here, is Jesus Christ). And He is one. No one disputes that. This is merely stating that Jesus Christ is the God of Israel, and the only God that they got.

John 10:30 here Jesus says _ "I and My Father are one."

Again this says nothing of a trinity, but states that in some way the Father and Son are one. He doesn't explain in this verse what He means by the statement, but a look around this chapter gives us some clues that He wasn't saying that He was the actual Father Himself. The Jews accused Jesus of saying that He was God (verse 33). However He denies this implication in verses 34 - 36, "Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law, 'I said, 'You are gods''? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), Do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?"

1 John 5:7 _ "For there are three who bear witness in heaven; the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one."

For those with more modern versions this probably won't be what you're reading. The oldest Greek manuscript of the book of 1st John that has been found, doesn't include this statement at all. In other words it appears some priest added it to a later manuscript to give some scriptural support for the trinity concept. The NIV version (which is quite popular these days) doesn't include this. Nor do many others. This means that they accept that this wasn't originally there.

1 Corinthians 8:6 _ "Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live."

This is fairly straightforward. It's stating that there is one God: whom it even qualifies to be the Father. And then it's stating that there is one Lord: whom it qualifies as Jesus Christ. No one is scripturally disputing the existence of both beings. But, again, this says nothing of any trinity. Nor does this particular Scripture even give a hint of a possibility of a trinity. Yet these Scripture references being given are those used.

John 14:8 - 9 _ "Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father''?"

This can appear as if Jesus is stating that He is actually the Father Himself. However a bit of a look at the verses around reveal that this isn't the case. You can't just take bits out of the Scriptures that you like and ignore the rest. The very next verse (verse 10) states, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works." In other words He's stating that the reason He's calling Himself the Father is because He's doing the works the Father wants Him to do. Also if the Father were there in that situation, that is exactly what the Father would be doing. And therefore in seeing Him you're seeing the Father. Three verses later (verse 12) He states, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." If He meant that He was literally the Father why would He then state that He was going TO the Father? Clearly His talk of the Father being actually in Him, or Him being the Father in a sense, doesn't relate to a physical joint-being concept any more than Jesus Christ or God being in us does. But we will come to more on this.

1 Timothy 3:16 _ "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory."

The statement about God being manifest in the flesh doesn't mean that the Father became flesh Himself. It would refer to the same sense as when Jesus was talking to Philip (as explained above). Either that or this is using the term "God" to define Jesus Christ Himself, in this case. Whichever it is, the Scripture states nothing of a triune God. No one is scripturally disputing that Jesus Christ was received up in glory to sit with God in His throne. Jesus Christ is the God of Israel. But He isn't the Father, as He made clear Himself (we will come to those Scriptures which oppose the concept of a trinity - though some we've mentioned seem to do so on their own).

John 1:1 _ "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Yet what does the text actually say in Greek? This is the Greek _

"In beginning was the word, and the word was forward to [ie. toward] the God, and a God was the word."

Unfortunately for the trinitarians this is very interpretable. Plainly the reference to "the word" has symbolic reference only (ie. Christ was not a word). So the verse has to be read with this in mind. Also a literal translation renders it that "a God" was the word. Other people are also refered to as becoming Gods (Jn 10:34-35). So this of itself is too ambiguous. This could imply, for example, that by the word being toward the god, became a god himself. Also the verse could imply that god was the word in the sense that the word spoken by Christ [ie. the gospel] was god's word.

Again, however, there is no trinity stated.

As can be seen from above, the Bible itself (from which the trinity concept supposedly derived) is rather devoid of any substantial support for the trinitarian concept. In fact it's rather short on even vague connection with the concept. There is no Scripture which states that the three beings (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) are one in substance and mass, as is presented in the trinity concept.

Opposing the Trinity Concept

Matthew 19:16 - 17 _ concerning Jesus it says, "Now behold, one came and said to Him, 'Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?' So He said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments'."

Here we have Jesus saying that He isn't to be considered as "Good" but only God is. So if He were God literally then this statement would be a lie.

Acts 4:32 _ "Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common."

This Scripture gives us some understanding as to how many can be "one" in Scriptural thinking. It says the "multitude" were of "one heart" and "one soul". If this were a Scripture about God people could get it confused and think it supported the trinity idea. So looking at the whole doctrine presented in Scripture is important to a proper understanding.

Romans 12:5 _ "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another."

Again we have reference to the concept of many being one. In fact here we have a statement of many being "one body". Also it's stating that these people were "members of one another". This would be very confusing stuff if it were being said of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. We know that these members were all individuals, and not many in one mass. So it must be remembered that this manner of speaking was common.

1 Cor 6:16 - 17 _ "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For 'the two' He says, 'shall become one flesh'. But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him."

It talks (as in Genesis) of husbands and wives being "one flesh". We know this doesn't mean so in a literal sense. Also it speaks here of believers being one Spirit with the Lord. Should we believe that this means literally? Of course the answer is, "no".

John 12:50 _ "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told me, so I speak."

So Jesus Christ is stating here that it isn't His own ideas that He speaks, but the Father's ideas. If He were the Father, as some confuse certain verses to presume, this wouldn't make any sense, as Jesus' opinion would be His (the Father's) own opinion.

Acts 2:33 _ It says of Jesus, "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear."

Well this presents a fairly clear message of separate beings, not one. We have Jesus Christ being on God's right-hand side, as opposed to being His right hand (a bit of humour there). We also have the Father promising the Son that the Holy Ghost would be poured out. This latter part seems an even stranger statement in that the trinitarian translation would have the Father promising Himself that He'd pour Himself out. No wonder there is so much talk of God being "incomprehensible". I'd be very confused with that. I hope anyone who was uncertain about the trinity concept has come to see by this point that it isn't supported in the Scriptures. But just in case more convincing is required, or would be appreciated, I'll go on.

John Chapter 17

Verse 1 _ "Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: 'Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You."

Jesus has "lifted up His eyes to heaven" and talked to the Father. Jesus is making a request of the Father. Jesus is saying that He'd like the Father to Glorify Him (Jesus), so that He can glorify the Father. Would this conversation make any sense at all if He (Jesus) was the Father? Jesus is praying! He's actually praying to God! If He were the Father would He be praying to Himself? Surely this would be madness. Jesus is coming to the time of the atonement, and He is asking for His God's support.

Verse 2 _ "As You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him."

So God (the Father) has given Jesus authority. Didn't Jesus just have it, being the Father Himself? Jesus didn't seem to think so, and that will do me. Next we have Jesus only being able to give eternal life to those whom the Father chooses. Jesus is speaking to the Father as a man to His God, not as equals or parts of the same being. Verse 3 informs us that we have to come to know both the Father and the Son, it doesn't say we just have to know one being or three beings, but two beings.

Verse 4 _ "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do."

The Father has given the Son this work to do. The Son hasn't given Himself the work. Also the Son hasn't glorified Himself, but the Father. If He were the Father, literally, He would have given Himself the work and be glorifying Himself. But this doesn't present this here. So again we have a separate Father and Son. We have the Father directing a Son as to what to do and when.

Verses 6 - 10 continue with this same concept with Jesus saying to the Father things like "You gave them to Me" and "They were Yours" and "I have manifested Your name" and "all things which You have given Me are from You" and "You have given Me" and "You sent Me" and "I pray for them".

Verse 11 _ "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are."

Here Jesus speaks of this oneness between Him and the Father. But note that He's asking that the Apostles (which are the people He's talking about) can be one as He and the Father are one. Is He asking that the Apostles become one mass or substance? _ A twelve in one? If He was the Father didn't seem to grant this request. I think it's rather obvious, again, that this isn't a oneness of being, but of doctrine and love.

Verse 20 - 21 _ "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."

So Jesus is asking that not only He and the Father and twelve Apostles be one, but that everybody else who believes in their word (Acts talks of 500 people being present at His ascension) being one "AS" they are one. So in the same way the Father and Son are one, all these others are to be one with them also _ hundreds in one.

Verse 23 says "I in them and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You loved Me."

This refers to Jesus being "in" His Apostles and the Father being "in" Him. It talks of being made perfect in one. Over and over we see that the oneness referred to isn't one mass. Jesus and the Father and the Holy Ghost being in us doesn't make us really all one substance, as the trinity doctrine claims.

Matthew 20:23 _ "So He said to them, 'You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father."

The Son is stating that He has no authority to decide who is going to sit on His right and left in the Kingdom of God. He's saying this is something only the Father has worked out. So how does this fit with the idea that He is the Father? Obviously He wasn't meaning to take the concept of Him being the Father literally.

Matthew 26:39 _ "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, 'O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.'

In this verse Jesus is asking that He not have to do the atonement. He, of Himself found it an enormously difficult thing to perform. But in spite of this He said to the Father that He was willing to suffer it (in obedience to the Father) if the Father really wanted Him to. Does this portray that Jesus is the Father? This totally opposes the trinity concept.

Luke 22:43 _ "Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him."

This was at the time of the atonement in the garden, and He needed an angel to help Him. So let's get this straight in our minds: We have the God of the universe, who's holding everything together, needing an angel to give Him extra strength. Does this sound right to you? Is God a little short on strength? Yet clearly this is what we have here if we are to believe that Jesus and the Father are the one being. This presents a VERY human Jesus Christ, not a God. At the same time we must realise that by His obedience in the pre-existence and this earth life He is the God of Israel etc. But He went through an earth life to gain a body and experience just like everybody else. He, however, didn't sin, and thus could perform the atonement. He also made the resurrection possible.

Luke 23:46 _ "And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, 'Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit'. Having said this, He breathed His last."

Jesus has told the Father that He's committing His SPIRIT to the Father. How can He do that if He and the Father are the same spirit? Didn't the Father already have His own Spirit? Should we believe that Jesus Christ had just temporarily borrowed the Father's spirit? This is telling us that Jesus' spirit is separate to the Father's spirit. How untrinitarian a statement can you get.

Matthew 27:46 _ "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' That is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'"

Jesus has stated that the Father has left Him. How could that be unless they are separate to be able to be away from each other? If they were one being and mass how could He leave Himself? And why even ask why, considering you would know why you were doing something, wouldn't you?

Luke 3:1 _ "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."

To believe Jesus is God the Father we would have to believe that he grew in favor with himself. Additionally, considering that he is supposed to be complete and ultimate already, how does he grow in favor with himself?

Summation on the Trinity

There are many Scriptures showing that the concept of the trinity is a man made, not God inspired, doctrine. The Bible clearly demonstrates that Jesus Christ and God the Father are separate individuals. Again I should point out that even many people supporting the trinity idea admit that there is no Biblical statement that actually states it: Nothing says anything about there being three in the one mass, or that there is three Gods in one actual God. There are statements that mention that God is one. But as we have seen, there are also statements about large groups of people being one, too.

33 comments:

yeti said...

I didn't have time to read this all, but so far, two thoughts.
Arian - I think one of the biggest things that he said (that people didn't like and fought against) was that there was a time when the Son was not. The book "On the Incarnation" Which was written by Athanasius, probably before Arian's ideas were well spread, talks about the Father and the Son being of one substance. He does not do this in as though he is fighting against opposing ideas. I was also under the impression that homoousious (one/same substance) probably was first used to talk about the Father and the Son's relationship like you said, sometime after Arian's ideas started to circulate. but i thought that the idea of homoiousios (like substances) came after that (I want to say it was the idea of constantine's son. I am not too sure on this, where are you reading your information from?)
I feel as if you go on to attack a Modalist view of God and not a Trinitarian view of God. These are quite different and modalism is extremely difficult to defend with the Bible. This being said if you label Modaliam as Trinitarian it is easy to attack, but Trinitarian IS NOT Modalism

JohnOneOne said...

It may interest you to know that there is soon to be published an 18+ year study (as of 01/2010) of this verse entitled, "What About John 1:1?"

To learn more of its design and expected release date, we invite you to visit:

http://www.goodcompanionbooks.com

Agape, JohnOneOne.

Doug Towers said...

yeti

Obviously we are getting our history from different sources, so it would be better to take a neutral stance on that, as we weren't there.

I neither believe in modalism nor the trinity. I believe in one God and Father of all. Yet I also believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, who has been assigned to act as a God to us of this earth and those of many other planets. I believe in one Holy Ghost, who I, personally, wouldn't describe as a "God" in the literal sense.

There was a point (note I have not used the term "time") at which Jesus was not a God to us. He was our brother. Before that he was a fellow intelligence with us all.

Doug Towers said...

JohnOneOne

18 years study of one Scripture. That sounds like "ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim 3:7)," to me.

My mouth is agape.

yeti said...

Doug, from what source do you get your history?
So I thought I should read this again as I never finished it last itme, but I am not going to lie, this time it just made me mad. It is an unfair attack of the Trinity because you do not understand the Triniy. As i mentioned before you are attacking more of a modalist or oneness theology. If Jesus is the Father, then it would be awefully strange for him to pray, but that is not a Trinitarian view.

Doug Towers said...

yeti

I spent years as a Protestant and have been to Presbyterian, Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist (many versions), Church of England (many versions), Pentacostal (many versions), Congregational, Church of Christ, the Brethren, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Spiritualist, Salvation Army, Methodist, Uniting Church, and who knows how many other groups. I went to church for at least 3 hours a day when a Protestant, often going to 3 churches that day. I have had seemingly endless conversations with such outside of meetings and met with those in other Protestant denominations.

The Trinity is a doctrine that makes God a three-in-one. Your desiring to divide the doctrine into segments doesn't change it. The trinity proposes that Christ is the God, and yet Heavenly Father is the one God and yet the Holy Ghost is the same one god.

Whether you wish to believe that it is done by modal ideas is your business. The trinity teaches a three-in-one. I have opposed this teaching.

If you are wanting me to discuss about the more recent philosophy of modalism as opposed to the original conventional teaching then pose it as a question to a church that believes in this division of the idea. But we don't even believe in the trinity AT ALL - either modal or conventional.

yeti said...

If we deny that God's ways are higher than ours, then I believe that the Trinity is uncomprehendable. BUt I found this quote which I think nicely sums up the Trinity, take a read.
""All those catholic expounders of the divine Scriptures, both Old and New, whom I have been able to read, who have written before me concerning the Trinity, Who is God, have purposed to teach, according to the Scriptures, this doctrine, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit intimate a divine unity of one and the same substance in an indivisible equality; and therefore that they are not three Gods, but one God: although the Father hath begotten the Son, and so He who is the Father is not the Son; and the Son is begotten by the Father, and so He who is the Son is not the Father; and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son, but only the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, Himself also co-equal with the Father and the Son, and pertaining to the unity of the Trinity. Yet not that this Trinity was born of the Virgin Mary, and crucified under Pontius Pilate, buried and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven, but only the Son. Nor, again, that this Trinity descended in the form of a dove upon Jesus when He was baptized; nor that, on the day of Pentecost, after the ascension of the Lord, when there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind,' the same Trinity sat upon each of them with cloven tongues like as of fire,' but only the Holy Spirit. Nor yet that this Trinity said from heaven, Thou art my Son,' whether when He was baptized by John, or when the three disciples were with Him in the mount, or when the voice sounded, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again;' but that it was a word of the Father only, spoken to the Son; although the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as they are indivisible, so work indivisibly. This is also my faith, since it is the catholic faith." Augustine, On the Trinity, I:4,7 (A.D. 416)."

The Testimony of Three Witnesses says "And honoir be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God, Amen."
I do not understand how you are opposed to the teaching of three-in-one.

yeti said...
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yeti said...
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Doug Towers said...

yeti

Your quote certainly makes me feel sad for Augustine. As you say in basic concept, it all makes God some fantasy. Nice stuff for folk law along with leprechauns and fairies. But we are adults. The Bible doesn't support this fantasy God (THANK GOODNESS).

Christ stated that he would like the apostles to be one as he and the Father are one.

John 17:20 - 21 _ "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us...

So if there were a thousand of us does that make usa milleniaty?

What does the Bible teach God is? We are formed in both the outward appearance and inward likeness of God. We look just like him and we are just like him in that which you can't see (Gen 1:26).

Paul declares that only men are in the outward appearance of God.

1 Cor 11:7
"For indeed a man ought not to cover his head, being the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man."

So while the man is in the image and glory of God, women are not stated as being in the image of God, but only the glory of the man.

The reality is that the trinity denies the true God and replaces him with a mythical being beyond anyone's comprehension. Yet the purpose of Scripture is to help us understand that God.

Denidowi said...

Doug, I can certainly 'dig' those views on the belief system concerning the Trinity in Christendom. Certainly, as I trunched the various 'halls of general Christendom', I understood the Trinity to be the belief that God is, indeed, despite scriptural appearances, really one single, unable-to-be-understood, ethereal essence.

Yet, as you say, scripture is quite open and forthright in declaring that we were created in the very image and likeness of God. Similarly, they are quite plain in declaring Him to be "Our Father who art in Heaven".
Well, everything I ever studied in science and biology declared that an offspring was born as its parents - their image and likeness!
I think Jesus made it quite clear concerning His oneness with His Father, when He declared that as a Church and as disciples of Jesus, we should be One just as he was one with 'the Father'.
It is also of note that when Jesus was baptized, we witnessed all 3 Godhead members all coming from entirely separate sources!
Was this meant to be some deceptive display of Magical wizardry, sent by God Himself to bamboozle us - His children whom He wishes to save and create a relationship??
If that be the case, Some "Father" he be!!!

Doug Towers said...

Denidowi

Amen, to that, Brother.

yeti said...

Doug, I am not really sure how to respond to this. I know why I believe in the Trinity, and I believe strongly in the Trinity because I seriously questioned it. I could share with you the verses, but i don't really think that you care.
I felt offended in how you responded to me, so I had to ask myself a lot of questions about why it offended me, if you meant to offend me, if God was offended, and if I needed to stick up for God. I realised that God can stick up for himself, and while I desire to always stand for him, quoting a bunch of verses at you isn't going to help.
Jesus' claim to be one with the Father, if that was the only signpost that points to the Trinity found in the Bible, you are right, it would be a unsupported doctrine.

Denidowi said...

Yeti, I think that there are a number of historical sources you could go to to see that quite various doctrines, during the next centuries following the 1st Century AD, started to come into existence and were actually argued over and debated by men for some time, before someone with more 'clout' and position among it all was the one that was mostly accepted by the ecclesiastical 'leadership' of the day.
From there, concepts were just handed down by tradition, generation to generation.
Occasionally, someone would dispute them, but never quite had the public clout to alter the status quo.
The trinity is one such doctrine.
Without the gift of prophecy, men of no real authority from God have merely argued over what should be believed, and people have errroneously believed that there is safety in numbers ... so they just go with what they were taught.
The trinity concept is not real.

Doug Towers said...

yeti

My attack was upon the concept, not at all aimed at you. So don't take it as a personal offence.

In regard God I have spent hundreds of hours speaking with Heavenly Father face-to-face as a man speaks with his friend (Exo 33:11). He won't be offended in the slightest. So you needn't worry there.

If you have Biblical texts that you feel support the trinity concept please share them with me. I am always pleased to hear the opinions of others.

yeti said...

maybe I will right an essay.
I actually did once you know, write an essay on the Trinity, but then someone stole my computer, and I had no other copy of it. twas sad.
what I wrote as part of the appendix to my last paper was "I can (and have) spent countless hours arguing the Bible against the Bible. Many cling to this sacred work, but derive interpretations completely contrary to my understandings. The above is a reminder that countless hours simply throwing Bible verses back and forth will be wasted. My LDS friends would simply conclude that this is why the Bible is not enough, and modern day scriptures and prophets have been provided."

I could throw countless scriptures at you, but I don't think that it is worth it. Is that alright?

yeti said...

P.S.
When you talk to God face-to-face, do you believe that he could be takling to someone else at the same time that he is talking to you?

Denidowi said...

Yeti,
If one were speaking with the true and physically living, Glorified God - face to face (as did Moses) - then, just as Moses, his face would shine with a brilliant, glorious lustre - obviously, not forevermore, but for quite some considerable time afterwards.
Also, when one speaks of specific, one-on-one dealings with Deity, it has happened through scriptural history before; so it is not impossible that God can do this and still provide means to address other things or people.
What must be kept foremost in thought is that God exists in Eternity ... it is only us that expereince this thing called "time"! Therefore, we are limited in our comprehension of the eternal reality by our observances of and experiences within a world of considerable here and now limitation. Yet before God, ALL things are ever present - both past, present and future.

yeti said...

Denidowi-
I do not doubt the greatness of God.
But when you talk about Moses and God takling face to face, is it not YHWH to whom Moses speaks? And if YHWH is pre mortal Jesus, at that point he was neither a Glorified God nor had a physical body. Right? I might be a little confused on this point.
The very fact that in the same Chapter where it talks about Moses talking to YHWH face to face, Moses asks to see the Glory of YHWH and is forbidden to see his face. this makes me ponder if his talking face to face with YHWH is more of a picture representing the openness and flow of their conversation than the physical positioning of their bodies. but that is a slightly different sidenote.
You have no idea how much I agree with you in regards to your thoughts on time.

Peace.

Doug Towers said...

yeti and Denidowi

The thoughts on time and eternity I agree with completely. YHWH (whom we refer to as Jehovah) wasn't in his pre-earth existence at that stage due to the same time-eternity situation. He was a fully experienced God. His flesh finger was seen by the brother of Jared. He ate with Abraham.

In regard Moses limitations we find Moses progressed. He initially could only talk to God through a burning bush. But time and exercised faith improved Moses. In regard to him seeing God's glory and face this is different from just seeing God with him holding back his glory.

I have seen both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's spirits talking with me. If they came physically and in glory I'd be having to sleep for a long time afterward, as the natural man can't see God. It would require a great spiritual effort on my part.

I have seen part of Heavenly Father's glory. But he was holding back a great proportion.

yeti said...

so this conclusion in my paper is wrong?
"The pre existent spirit bodies therefore resemble the physical bodies which are to come, having all the same parts. This is seen when Jesus, in his pre existent state, appeared to the brother of Jared. The brother of Jared saw Jesus as he would appear to the people in flesh, but what he saw was only the body of his spirit. It is in the image of the body of Jesus’ spirit in which all men are created. Beasts and all other creatures similarly contain a spirit which is in their likeness."
P.S. If you have a bit of extra time on your hands and would be interested in reading and criticing my paper, I would be open to that. I have already handed it in, but if I have misrepresented LDS doctrine, I want to know for my own study's sake.

Doug Towers said...

yeti

I would agree with that all other than that Jesus wasn't in his pre-existence. However the majority of members would disagree with me in that regard. However the Scriptures point to an experienced living Christ in the OT, not an inexperienced being.

Secondly, while it isn't incorrect to say that we are in the image and likeness of Christ. Yet you may just as well say that we are in the image and likeness of you or me. It is that Heavenly Father is our father. We all are in HIS image and likeness, including Christ.

I'll read your paper if you wish to email it to me.

yeti said...

so what you are saying is that I did not misrepresent the general Mormon thought, but what I wrote is not doctrine, and is not what you believe?
I guess if you read Ether 3:15-16, that is where I got us being created in the image of Jesus. Also, that he appeared to him in the spirit, and not in flesh.
It is not hard for me to imagine, with my "magical God," a God who exists outside of time, but I do have a hard time reconciling that belief to your God, And it does not really appear like the Brother of Jared story supports it, at least in regards to Jesus, and at that time.

Doug Towers said...

yeti

The story of the Brother of Jared has him seeing Jesus Christ's spirit. But it also tells us that he sees his flesh and blood finger.

Ether 3:16 has Christ telling him that he is seeing his spirit body. But verse 6 informs us that he saw his actual physical body finger. Verse 8 again states that Jesus actually had a physical body at the time.

Genesis 18 has the Lord sitting down eating with a body able to eat.

Denidowi said...

Yeti

How would you be?
I think I am inclined to agree with Doug here ... that our immediate experiences, even with God, progress.
For instance, when the Risen Christ tried to introduce Himself to the remaining more righteous Nephites [post the great devastation in the land], He had to address them 3 times before they were really humble and inclined enough to actually hear what He was saying to them.
Joseph Smith had to overcome the power and darkness of the devil before he humbled enough to call upon God, then God dismissed Satan and the presence and glory of the personages of the Father and the Son were able to come before his 'presence'.
Further, as all of us are saying, God exists in eternity.
As I understand it, it is only when we are humbled enough and when we are therefore "quickened by the spirit" [as holy scripture states it] that we are able to 'withstand' and stand in the presence of God. When that happens, we are being taken 'outside' of time... for those moments, we are in eternity.
So at that point, we can experience and see the eternity and the Glory and the "future", you might say, of God.
The account of Moses tells us that Moses beheld even to the ends of the earth. He saw you and me.

yeti said...

Doug, I guess that I may have to read the whole brother of Jared story.

Denidowi, how can a changing God be outside of time? does he have a past? If so that speaks of a progression along a timeline. Will he have a future?? is he ever progressing?
Is God fully present in our today, and in our yesterday and in our tomorrow all at the same time? Is he cuerrently living every day of his mortal life? his pre-mortal life? Is this somethng we can or will join in on?

Denidowi said...

Yeti,

Yes; it is currently something we are doing - just like our father who art in Heaven ... we are His children and therefore, Gods in embryo - as with parents of all life, as becoming like their parents - I am sure: yet another reason god gave us animals and all life - as further witnesses of how parenthood works.
Yeti, re "God-changing":
If I am understanding where you are coming from correctly, you DO believe that Jesus was "the Word", and the Word was 'with God' from the beginning: do you not?? ... that at that point, Jesus must have been 'mere spirit', as He was later born of Mary - and therefore, capable of pain and death, like any other.
He was born a baby and GREW.
In fact, the Bible says of the young Jesus: "And the child grew in wisdom [so He didn't know all thigns as a child], in stature, and in favor with God and man".
Hebrews 5 says: "Yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered".
So I would suggest to you that after He had died on the cross, and was afterward raised to an immortal body that he was progressed from His birth state, and had an Immortal, Glorified body that He may not have had "in the beginning".
Scripture tells us that He had also grown in Wisdom, etc. - wisdom 'of this life', at least.
Yet He was an immortal God [spirit God] in Heaven before earth-life ... AND He was living 'in eternity', experiencing eternity and ALL things, just as now, were and are Ever-Prsent with Him - both past, present and future!
Past, present & future only exist to the earth/universe state that we are currently experiencing.
In this fallen state, we do not, neither can we, really understand them.
We can only merely exercise faith in these things that God has taught.

yeti said...

I don't believe that Jesus was ever just a mere spirit.
Is it unreasonalbe to believe that Jesus being (a) God who transends time is currently fully present in his pre mortal life. is currently fully present as a baby, is currently fully present dying on the cross, is currently fully present in tomorrow. We only get slices of him, but did baby Jesus hold the world in his hands?
from our perspective in appeared like Jesus grew, but he was 12 when he was 10 and 10 when he was 12. We are just bound by time. he allowed himself to appear bound by time without being bound by time? I don't know. And I am okay not knowing. That is just the way I can kinda grasp it. does that make sense to you?

Doug Towers said...

yeti

I have several times begun to write to explain this and just realised every time that it is difficult to explain to a person who hasn't had the experience.

Also one major problem you have in this is that this is one area where guys excell over women: An ability to see the unseen concept that requires deep comprehension. Compareable women don't have the ability for such single focus as men do. Though I don't doubt that many women in history have come to understand. Yet these would be women who have spiritually excelled.

I can only testify to you that I have stood in eternity and that all things are present. I can see all that has been, all that is and all that will be, when there.

It won't make sense to try and use your thoughts in regard time while trying to comprehend eternity.

yeti said...

It is like a book. we think that we are on page 389202 and in the third line, but God is holding the whole book at once, it is all there. I can get that, I feel a little offened. I like to think. I don't have compassion and grand desires to be a mother. throw you explanations my way. I have grasped at the thoughts of being outside of time.
the author of a book might write a line "Sarah looked out of her window" then he might sit back in his chair and think, go, make a sandwich, smoke a cigar and come back and add "and saw a pink cab" what happened for Sarah in the same instance happened for the author over a couple hours. He can step out of her time. But God, unlike the author doesn't step into a separate time space. he steps out of time space all together. that make sense to me. what doesn't then make sense is how can God be continually progressing if he is outside of timee. If he progressed would he not have a history, a TIME when he is different then he is now? a past? and won't be be different as he progresses more, a future? that leaves him with a thin sliver of existance, and not outside of time at all. just in a diffferent time.

Doug Towers said...

yeti

You could look at it that way. Considering we are still thinking in time, all our explanations aren't going to make total sense.

You existed yesterday. And that was now, then. Today, today is now. You are constantly present in all your nows. You can say on the one hand that you had each now separately. Therefore each now has its progress. Yet in it all you are ever present. Take your mind out of time and you see there is always only you and now. It isn't really ever anything else, even though growth of you occurs.

Once you take yourself out of that and come back to trying to understand how that fits with time, you have lost it. The reason is that you have to take your mind out of this seeming reality and keep it there to keep understanding it.

yeti said...

so you think that we, existing for eternity, though bound by time are not actually only present today but fully present throughout time... and there will come a time (but it might be a time outside of time) when everything will be clear and we will realise that all in now?
what I am trying to say is as God is fully present and outside of time, are we the same just unaware of this?

Doug Towers said...

yeti

In answer to your last question, yes.

In regard how you've started I would more see it the other way around. Not that we are present in all times but that eternity is present before us. To put that as you may understand somewhat better - all times are present with us.

And, yes, we will grasp it better when things around us aren't decaying etc.