Wednesday, September 13, 2006

60 questions

60 Questions on the GODHEAD With Bible Answers
(This is my response to the 60 questions
from the UPCI website that I wrote several years back Their original answers are in Italics. My answers are in blue.)

1. Is the word Trinity in the Bible? No.
And neither is the term Oneness.

2. Does the Bible say that there are three persons in the Godhead? No.
1 John 5:7 speaks of the three in heaven, and these are one.  That is the summit of the Trinity.

3. Does the Bible speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Yes.
4. Do these titles as used in Matthew 28:19 mean that there are three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead? No, they refer to three offices, roles, or relationship to humanity.
The continual use of the word three in scripture makes it hard to reconcile the Oneness position.  God had more that three roles, Creator, Redeemer, Judge, Father, Councilor…. 

5. Does the Bible use the word three in reference to God? Only one verse in the entire Bible does so-I John 5:7. It speaks of the Father, the Word (instead of Son), and the Holy Ghost, and it concludes by saying, "These three are one."
Does the UPCI contend that because this verse is the only one specifically referring to the word three, that it is invalid?  Because there is no explanation for the Oneness position, do they just ignore this verse?   This cannot be reconciled to a belief in Oneness, but it is not a problem for belief in the Trinity.  God is one, yet there are three distinct persons.  The Word is the Son (see John 1:14) and the Holy Ghost cannot be merely a force.  These three are all in heaven.

6. Does the Bible use the word one in reference to God? Yes, many times. For example, see Zechariah 14:9; Malachi 2:10; Matthew 23:9; Mark 12:29, 32; John 8:41; 10:30; Romans 3:30; I Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; I Timothy 2:5; James 2:19.
Not an issue, God is one.  That is very clear throughout the Bible and in Trinitarian theology.

7. Can the mystery of the Godhead be understood? Yes. Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 3:16.
Romans speaks of those who see the beauty of creation, but fail to recognize the creator.  Your translation puts the word Godhead into Romans 1:20 that aren’t there in other translations.     Colossians states that “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporeally;” This again is consistent with our theology that Jesus was fully God and fully man.  Jesus was 100% God and 100% man.   In Timothy, St. Paul speaks of the great mystery of godliness and that God was manifest in the flesh.

8. Has the Christian only one Heavenly Father? Yes. Matthew 23:9.
9. Then why did Jesus say to Philip, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:39)? Because Jesus is the express image of God's person. Hebrews 1:3. The Greek word for personin this verse literally means "substance."
Express image of God’s substance?  So was he merely an image of God?  No, again this fits perfectly into Trinitarian theology.  God the Son is the complete and eternal Knowledge God the Father has of himself.  Furthermore, in John 6:46 we read “Not that any man hath seen the Father; but he who is of God, he hath seen the Father.”  Would that contradict John14:9?  And how does it reconcile with verse 28 of that chapter where Jesus says “my Father is greater than I.”?  Jesus is saying to Philip, why do you continue to seek signs?  I do the will of the Father, we are in union with one another.  So stop seeking signs and believe.

10. Does the Bible say that there are two persons in the Godhead? No.
Because there are not two.

11. Does the Bible say that all the Godhead is revealed in one person? Yes, in Jesus Christ. II Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:19; 2:9; Hebrews 1:3.
Yes, God is revealed in the humanity of Jesus.  Jesus is the not a mere prophet who God decided to ransom for our sins, but He is God himself.

12. Is the mystery of the Deity hidden from some people? Yes. Luke 10:21-22.
Yes we must approach God in humility lest our own pride blind us.  A literalist reading of tract 12 conflicts with #7.

13. Who is the Father? The Father is the one God, particularly as revealed in parental relationship to humanity. Deuteronomy 32:6; Malachi 2:10.
Father also as the one eternal source from which everything proceeds.

14. Where was God the Father while Jesus was on earth? The Father was in Christ. John 14:10; II Corinthians 5:19. He was also in heaven, for God is omnipresent.
How does this reconcile the Oneness concept.  If God was in Christ, how could he be in heaven?   Does not the pastor in the “Rightly dividing the Word” tape set teaches that in Matthew 28:18 Jesus was granted all power on heaven and earth, and he claims that if Jesus had all the power on heaven and earth, there could be no other holding the power?  And I say to this pastor, who GAVE all this power to Jesus?  If not for the Father in heaven there could be no action of giving.

15. Did the prophet Isaiah say that Jesus would be the Father? Yes. Isaiah 9:6; 63:16.
Using the word Father for Jesus in this context shows his parental (fatherly) love.  And if chapter 63 is speaking of Jesus, how does this reconcile with the UPCI belief that Jesus did not exist prior to his earthly birth?  Read verse 17 and 12, if Jesus made [Israelites] and led Moses, he must have pre-existed his human birth.  Nowhere in the New Testament is the word “father” used as a reference to Jesus.  But he is referred to as “the Son” over 200 times.

16. When God said, "Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26), was He speaking to another person in the Godhead? No. Isaiah 44:24; Malachi 2:10.
Read John 1:1-3.  The Word was WITH God, the same was in the beginning WITH God.  Is this another contradiction in scripture?  Not if we believe in one God which we do.

17. How many of God's qualities were in Christ? All. Colossians 2:9.
Whoa!  All of God’s qualities are in the human Jesus?  What about question 14 claiming God is omnipresent?  Jesus was physically located in a remote area of Judea for most of his life.  Don’t leave out the word corporeally.  And what about infinite, eternal… Jesus’ humanity had a beginning.  I would say this exegesis is not very sound, but reaches to insert meaning that is not there.

18. How may we see the God who sent Jesus into the world? By seeing Jesus. John 12:44-45; 14:9.
We have covered that; Jesus is God dwelt among us.  God in his essence is spirit and cannot be seen.

19. Does the Bible say that Jesus is the Almighty? Yes. Revelation 1:8
Once again, Jesus is God.  The Alpha and Omega.  That is true according to our beliefs.

20. Whom do some designate as the first person in the Trinity? God the Father.
21. Whom do some designate as the last person in the Trinity? The Holy Ghost. But Jesus said that He was the first and last. Revelation 1:17-18
Very poor exegesis.  Jesus is the Beginning and the End.  Furthermore, this proves the eternal existence of Jesus.  Another stretch to prove the Trinity false.

22. How many persons did John see sitting on the throne in heaven? One. Revelation 4:2.
First, Rev 4:2 doesn’t mention any “persons” but simply “one” seated on the throne.  And back to 1 John 5:7, there are three.  So who are the other two?  Well in Rev 5:6 John sees (apparently for the first time) a Lamb standing as though it had been slain.  And where is this Lamb?  Some translations have it between the throne and the four creatures.  The Douay Reimes has the Lamb in the midst of the throne, the creatures and the ancients. 

23. If Jesus is the first and the last, why did God say in Isaiah 44:6 that He was the first and the last? Because Jesus is the God of the Old Testament incarnate.
So are there two Gods?  God is one, yet Jesus existed in the Old Testament.

24. Did Jesus tell Satan that God alone should be worshipped? Yes. Matthew 4:10
25. Does the devil believe in more than one God? No. James 2:19.
26. Does the Bible say that God, who is the Word, was made flesh? Yes John 1:1, 14.
And in John 1:1, the Word was WITH God.  In John 1:2, He was in the beginning WITH God.  John 1:14, …glory as of the only Son from the Father.

27. For what purpose was God manifested in the flesh? To save sinners. Hebrews 2:9, 14.
28. Was Jesus God manifested in the flesh? Yes. I Timothy 3:16.
29. Could Jesus have been on earth and in heaven at the same time? Yes. John 3:13.
So the Son of Man descended from heaven?  The evidence points to Jesus pre-existing his human birth.  And the portion of 3:13 “who is in heaven.” is not in all ancient texts.  Yet even this does not shake my belief in the Trinity.  God’s ways are beyond our ways, and He is beyond our understanding.

30. Does the Bible say that there is but one Lord? Yes. Isaiah 45:18; Ephesians 4:5.
31. Does the Bible say that Christ is the Lord?
Yes. Luke 2:11.
32. Does the Bible say that the Lord is God?
Yes. I kings 18:39; Zechariah 14:5; Acts 2:39; Revelation 19:1.
33. How could the church belong to Jesus (Matthew 16:18) and yet be the church of God (I Corinthians 10:32)?
Because Jesus is God in the flesh.
Yes to all above, and what Church is it that has existed since 33 AD?

34. Will God give His glory to another? No. Isaiah 42:8.
Nope, only one God.

35. Was there a God formed before Jehovah, or will there be one formed after? No. Isaiah 43:10.
No, Jesus is eternal, begotten, not made.  One in being with God.

36. What is one thing that God does not know? Another God. Isaiah 44:8.
Very evident throughout scripture.

37. What is one thing that God Cannot do? Lie. Titus 1:2.
And in his Word, He states there is three in heaven, and these three are one.  That doesn’t work mathematically or logically, so is he lying?  No, there are three persons, but one God.

38. How many Gods should we know? Only one. Hosea 13:4.
39. How many names has the Lord? One. Zechariah 14:9.
Does changing the word ‘names’ to ‘titles’ or ‘offices’ reconcile this verse for the UPCI?  If you want to get into names, then his one name isn’t Jesus but Yahweh.

40. Is it good to think upon the name of the Lord? Yes. Malachi 3:16.
Many of the early church fathers pondered his name, and many have come to understand the same concept that has been taught for almost 2000 years.

41. Does the Bible say that God alone treads upon the waves of the sea? Yes. Job 9:8
42. Why, then, was Jesus able to walk upon the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:25)? Because He is God the Creator. Colossians 1:16.
Jesus is the Creator.  In Genesis, it says “let us” make man….  But Jesus as Creator is not the same as Jesus as God the Father.  John 1:3 states all things were made through him.

43. Is God the only one who can forgive sin? Yes. Isaiah 43:25; Mark 2:7.
44. Why, then, could Jesus forgive sin in Mark 2:5-11? Because He is God the Savior.
Amen.  That proves the Jehovah Witnesses are faulty in their disbelief of the Trinity also.

45. Is Jesus the true God? Yes. I John 5:20.

46. If God and the Holy Ghost are two separate persons, which was the Father of Christ? Matthew 1:20 says that the Holy Ghost was the Father, while Romans 15:6, II Corinthians 11:31, and Ephesians 1:3 say that God was the Father. There is no contradiction when we realize that God the Father and the Holy Ghost are one and the same Spirit. Matthew 10:20; Ephesians 4:4; I Corinthians 3:16.
If you claim the Holy Spirit was the physical father, then there must be at least two separate beings.  That is false!  The Holy Spirit is the messenger.  In Trinitarian theology, all are equal.

47. When Paul asked the Lord who He was, what was the answer? "I am Jesus." Acts 9:5.
48. When Stephen was dying, did he call God Jesus? Yes. Acts 7:59.
49. Did Thomas ever call Jesus God? Yes. John 20:28.
50. How could Jesus be the Savior, when God the Father said in Isaiah 43:11, "Beside me there is no Savior?" Because "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself." II Corinthians 5:19.
51. Does the Bible say that Jesus was God with us? Yes. Matthew 1:23.
52. Did Jesus ever say, "I and my Father are one?" Yes. John 10:30.
The answer in scripture to all these is an obvious yes.

53. Can it be proved scripturally that Jesus and the Father are one in the same sense that husband and wife are one? No. The Godhead was never compared to the relationship of a husband and wife. Jesus identified Himself with the Father in a way that husband and wife cannot be identified with each other. John 14:9-11.
I am in the Father as I am in you and you are in Me.  So we can be in Jesus just as he is in the Father.  No, the marital union is different from the unity of the Father and Jesus.  Theirs is a unity of love and purpose and being.  The marital union has some of the aspects, but the family is an imperfect example of the Trinity.  From the love of a father and mother proceeds forth a new person.  In the Trinity, the love of  the Father and Son is so complete, it IS an eternal person (not person in the human person aspect.) Nothing on this earth is a perfect example of God but there are many things that reflect the image of God.

54. Does the Bible say that there is only one wise God? Yes. Jude 25.
55. Does the Bible call the Holy Ghost a second or third person in the Godhead? No. The Holy Ghost is the one Spirit of God, the one God Himself at work in our lives. John 4:24; I Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19; 12:13.
56. Can Trinitarians show that three divine persons were present when Jesus was baptized by John? Absolutely not. The one, omnipresent God used three simultaneous manifestations. Only one divine person was present--Jesus Christ the Lord.
Only one divine human was present, but God is evident in three personally distinct ways.  This tract refers to three manifestations, not three beings, but three separate persons.  This seems to compromise the Oneness concept.  So how does the UPCI still claim there are not 3 persons (manifestations?)  This ties it all together with 1 John 5:7.  There are three, and these three are ONE.  That is Trinitarian theology in a nutshell.

57. Then what were the other two of whom Trinitarians speak? One was a voice from heaven; the other was the Spirit of God in the form of a dove. Matthew 3:16-17.
58. What did the voice say at Jesus' baptism? "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Mark 1:11. As the Son of God, Jesus was the one God incarnate.
59. Does the Bible say that God shed His blood and that God laid down His life for us? Yes. Acts 20:28; I John 3:16. God was able to do this because He had taken upon Himself a human body.
60. The Bible says that God is coming back with all his saints (Zechariah 14:5) and also that Jesus is coming back with all his saints (I Thessalonians 3:13). Are two coming back? No. Only one is coming back--our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13.
*Taken from the Word Aflame Tract "60 Questions on the Godhead with Bible answers" #6125

The 60 answers do little to prove the Trinity is a false doctrine and even less to prove that the UPCI has the fullness of the faith.  For me and my family, we will follow the Church that Jesus founded on the Rock and promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against her.  And one final point, if the UPCI wishes to prove the Trinity is an invention of the early Catholic Church, then the UPCI will have to use documents other than the Bible.  The New Testament which the UPCI and other Protestants so graciously accept from the Catholic Church was gathered and canonized by the Catholic Church in 382 AD after the doctrine of the Trinity in 325 AD.  So if you wish to take the Bible as the inspired Word of God, then one must accept that God guided his Church in teaching faith and morals also.  For Jesus wants his flock to be of one shepherd and said He would send the Spirit to guide her in ALL truth.

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