Re: Trinity and Deity

From: Robert J. Brown (
Date: Fri Sep 22 1995 - 10:39:10 EDT

>>>>> "Williams" == turquoyz <> writes:

    Williams> Thought this discussion might interest some on the list.
    Williams> Warm regards,

    Williams> Bro. Williams
    Williams> =========================================================

>> Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 15:06:03 -0400 (EDT) From: David Moore
>> <> Subject: Re: Trinity and
>> Deity To: Cc: X-Status:
>> X-UIDL: 811737035.029
>> On Wed, 20 Sep 1995 wrote:
>>> I have had some experience with people involved in cults
>>> before but I have just encounter a new twist. This fellow was
>>> at one time involved in The Way International but came to the
>>> conclusion it was a cult and left. However he is an adamant
>>> anti-trinitarian and flatly denies the deity of Christ. My
>>> conclusion? He left the cult but apparently kept the
>>> doctrine. His claim? Both doctrines are man made and the
>>> Council of Nicea was nothing but Catholic propoganda.
>>> Question-- is there a good text dealing with the greek N.T
>>> passages concerning the deity of Christ. I have just ordered
>>> Murray Harris' monograph on the topic. Any other suggestions?
>>> Also what is a good rigorous treatment of the Trinity that
>>> would go beyond the typical Systematic Theologies? My goal is
>>> not so much to take this guy on as these situations usually
>>> prove frustratingly futile. I do feel the challenge to get
>>> razor sharp in my thinking on these two areas. Thanks in
>>> advance for recommendations
>> You might look into church history around the period of the
>> Council of Nicaea. The period following the Council is of
>> special interest. According to sources I've read,
>> Constantinius, seeing that the orthodox position was not
>> supported by the majority, bowed to political pressure and
>> exiled the leaders of the Nicene position.
>> But when the Arians had fully come to power, it became apparent
>> that there were deep divisions among them concerning _where_ to
>> situate Christ on the scale between diety and humanity. Their
>> differences became so great that their administration failed,
>> and the orthodox bishops were recalled from exile to again take
>> over pastoral care of the church.
>> I realize this post is somewhat off topic for this list, but
>> since we have dealt extensively with passages that are the
>> basis of the doctrines dealt with here, I hope no one objects
>> to my citing some historical background on this point.
>> David L. Moore Southeastern Spanish District Miami, Florida of
>> the Assemblies of God
>> Department of Education

I wrote the following originally as a letter to a friend in 1990. It
expresses my understanding on the subject of who Jesus is.

---------------- cut here ----------------

God's Name
Bob Brown

What is God's Name? I propose to you that this simple question has a
simple answer which is readily discernable by a logical examination of
the scriptures. That a logical treatment of God's word is a valid
approach to the study of the Bible is attested to by the Bible itself;

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though
they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Logic is a tool that allows us to determine truths that are not
explicitly stated, by using a process known as deduction. When He
said, "Come now, and let us reason together", God was making the
invitation for us to use the method of reasoning, or logic, as later
refined by Aristotle some 500 years later, and again by Robinson in
1965. This technique of reason, or logic, is to be used to examine His
own words. In order to make a deduction, one must have the facts at
his disposal. This too is encouraged by the Bible itself:

2 Tim 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

There is irrefutable evidence that there is only one Lord, as is
stated explicitly 5 times in the KJV:

deut: 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:

eph: 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

icor: 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all
things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all
things, and we by him.

mark: 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the command-
ments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

zech: 14:9 And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day
shall there be one Lord, and his name one.

There is likewise irrefutable evidence that there is only one God:

eph: 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all,
and in you all.

itim: 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus;

james: 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the
devils also believe, and tremble.

mal: 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?
why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by
profaning the covenant of our fathers?

mark: 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said
the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

rom: 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision
by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

Now, concerning God's name, consider the story of Paul's conversion on
Damascus road:

acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly
there shined round about him a light from heaven:

That the light came "from heaven" and not "from the heavens" describes
its origin as divine rather than celestial. This light was from God.

acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him,
Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

By association, we may infer that the voice, like the light, was from
God. Saul also knew that the light and voice were from God, for he
knew none other could perform such a miracle. Saul was well educated
in the scriptures, and siezed the opportunity to ask the age old
question that had been asked by Jacob before him:


32:27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel:
for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast

Having been asked of his own name, Jacob returned the question and
asked the name of the questioner:

32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name.
And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he
blessed him there.

32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen
God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Thus we know that this was God, for the scriptures declare it when
Jacob says in verse 30, "I have seen God face to face". Moses also
asked the same question of God:


3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of
Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me
unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say
unto them?

3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt
thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

As if this were not enough, consider Jesus' response to the Jews:


8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and
was glad.

8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old,
and hast thou seen Abraham?

8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before
Abra- ham was, I am.

8:59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself,
and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so
passed by.

Note the deliberate parallel between John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14. Not
only is Jesus claiming to be older than Abraham, and to have seen him,
but Jesus is also as much as saying that he is God, a statement for
which the Jews tried to stone him. This would be the correct
response, were he not really God, for were anyone other than God to
make such a statement, it would constitute the highest form of
blasphemy, but for Jesus to make it was absolute truth.

How did God answer Saul?

acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am
Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the

This time, God answered Saul directly, and he said, "I am Jesus"!
Consider also the Christmas story, as prophesied by Isaiah. Here we
are told some very definite information about the Messiah that is to

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold,
a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name

This prophecy is fulfilled in the new testament by the birth of Jesus:


1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his
mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was
found with child of the Holy Ghost.

1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to
make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the
Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David,
fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived
in her is of the Holy Ghost.

1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name
JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a
son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted
is, God with us.

1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord
had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son:
and he called his name JESUS.

The parallel between Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 is explicitly
pointed out in Matthew 1:22. Matthew 1:23 makes it even more clear by
telling us that this Emmanuel is "God with us". Thus we have
certainly established who Isaiah was talking about. Now, consider
what else Isaiah has to say about Him:

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and
the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be
called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.

Who is Isaiah talking about? We have already established that it is
Jesus, as is again evidenced by the reference to the child being born,
but this child has a name, which we find in the new testament is
"Jesus". Why is it then that the prophet says, "his name shall be
called...The mighty God, The everlasting Father"? It is because Jesus
IS God, and hence God's name is Jesus!

We can easily amplify this by reference to the book of John.


14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no
man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from
henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth

14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet
hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the
Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in
me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the
Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or
else believe me for the very works' sake.

So John 14:6 says there is only one way, echoing:

eph: 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

But it goes farther, saying that that one way is Jesus, hence He is
that "One Lord". But is this Lord the Father or the Son? Verse 7
quotes Jesus Himself saying, "from henceforth ye know him, and have
seen him." Jesus is telling the eleven remaining disciples that He is
God the Father, as Isaiah said over 700 years earlier.

The passage in verse 10 tells us that Jesus is in the Father. This is
set containment. It means that Jesus is contained by the Father, that
every part of him is a part of the father. It also tells us that the
Father is in him. This is set containment in the other direction.
Whenever set A is contained by, or a subset of, set B, and at the same
time, set B is a subset of set A, we may infer, or deduce, that set A
is equivalent to set B, that they are the same set. Thus Jesus is the

It is important to observe that this discussion between Jesus and the
disciples is taking place after Judas has left the group:


13:21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and tes-
tified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you
shall betray me.

13:22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he

13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom
Jesus loved.

13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it
should be of whom he spake.

13:25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I
have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas
Iscariot, the son of Simon.

13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto
him, That thou doest, do quickly.

13:28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto

13:29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus
had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the
feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

13:30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was

13:31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of
man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

So what Jesus is telling the remaining eleven, who are to become the
first of the apostles, is the answer to the question asked by Jacob
and Moses, among others. He is revealing the answer to the age old
question, the mystery of the Godhead, the name of God. He is telling
them that He is God. His name is Jesus; therefore, God's name is

So what's in a name? Why is this name so important? The church is
compared in her relationship with Christ to the bride and He the
groom. The wedding metaphor is predominant in old and new testaments
alike. A study of ancient and conservative Jewish wedding traditions
reveals some interesting parallels.

When a man and a woman become engaged, there is an exchange of gifts.
The woman gives something of her own handiwork, and the man gives a
gift of great value. The man also pays a price, or dowry, to the
woman's father, for the privilege of the woman's hand in marriage.
The gift of great value survives in our customs today as the
engagement ring. At the time of the engagement, a contract, or
covenant, is entered into by the two parties.

Unlike our courtship customs, the Jew of old times would then leave
his fiancee and go establish a household and livelihood for them. The
time of his return was only known approximately. When the appointed
time was approaching, the bride would prepare herself by first
submitting herself to a ritual cleansing by total immersion in a bath
of water. Following this, she would adorn herself in a wedding
garment of white linen.

She could tell when the loved one was approaching, because the
watchmen would announce his approach. At this time, she would hasten
to the path through the garden that led to the gate through which he
would come. It was customary for the groom to meet her suddenly
somewhere along this path. When this occured, he would carry her away
to a wedding feast that lasted seven days.

Consider the ritual of Christian baptism. Observe how it parallels
the ritual cleansing of the Jewish wedding tradition. Consider the
suprise meet- ing on the garden path. Observe how it parallels the
meeting between Jesus and Mary on the first Easter Sunday morning:


20:14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw
Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest
thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if
thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I
will take him away.

20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto
him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

They were obviously in a garden, since she supposed him to be the gar-
dener, so the path to the tomb was a garden path. The meeting was
certainly a suprise for Mary, as she did not even recognize Jesus at
first, for she cer- tainly did not expect to see living the one whose
dead body she had come to see. But when Jesus called her name, she
recognized him. He will recognize us when we call his name too.

Given that our relationship with Jesus is that of espoused wife to
husband, consider what happens when a woman marries a man. She takes
on his name. Miss Jones becomes Mrs. Smith. This means a lot:

Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and
shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

"They shall be one flesh" means they have the same body. We are the
body of Christ. We take the name of Jesus in water baptism. We recieve
the thing of great value, the gift of the Holy Ghost.

To try and get these great privileges without taking on the name of
the groom is to try to be the concubine, rather than the wife, of Him.
He tells us that these kinds of people are not His own:

1 Cor 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the king-
dom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor
adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

So the concubine approach will not work; we must be a true wife. This
means we must take on the name of the husband. This is really to our
benefit, as the husband has great wealth and authority, and we are
given power of attorney to use His name to do things that our own name
could never do:


16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall
they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing,
it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they
shall recover.

So how do we know that the name is given in water baptism?


28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given
unto me in heaven and in earth.

28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have com-
manded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
world. Amen.

So verse 18 establishes that "All power is given unto me in heaven and
in earth." If we have power of attorney, we have access to this power.
He tells the disciples what to do; He tells them to baptise "in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost". But in
typical form, He does not give the name to use explicitly. This is
beacuse the disciples already knew it. They were there when He told
them who he was in the book of John. Furthermore, note that although
three descriptive titles are given, "(1) of the Father, (2) and of the
Son, (3) and of the Holy Ghost", that the number of the noun "name" is
singular, not plural. Thus Jesus is giving us a word problem to solve,
using logic. What is the one name that satisfies all three descriptive

You may argue that you don't know the name of the Father, and you
don't know the name of the Holy Ghost, but you will have a very hard
time defending the position that you don't know the name of the Son!
His name is Jesus. Can we substitute this name into the formula for
baptism and get a scripturally verifiable result? How did the apostles
baptise? Consider the record:

acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one
of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

acts 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the
Lord Jesus.

rom: 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus
Christ were baptized into his death?

Furthermore, it is not recorded anywhere in the Bible that anyone was
ever baptised "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost". Why then do so many protestant denominations baptise this
way? Because of their heritage. Protestant denominations arose by
taking excep- tion to other denominations, beginning with the Roman
Catholic Church. The Catholic church, in turn, was created by men in
326 A. D. at the con- vening of the Nycian Council. It was at this
time that the Catholic religion was invented. Because of the pervasive
influence of the Roman Empire, this religion rapidly became
widespread; death was the penalty for not professing it.

Prior to 326 A. D., the Apostolic Church was the only church. It is
called "apostolic" because it was founded upon the doctrine of the

acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and
fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

This doctrine was perverted by the political forces that shaped the
Cath- olic church. Martin Luther was able to recognize that something
was wrong, and he had the courage to stand up to the Catholic church,
but he could only protest against those things that he saw as wrong.
Other protestant religions protested against Lutheranism, or each
other, as well as directly against the Catholic church.

This business of contradicting aspects of a logical system (in this
case the Catholic church, or some other church derived from it by a
similar process of contradiction) is not able to properly reconstruct
the elusive original entity after which it is seeking. Only a return
to first principles is able to do that:


2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left
thy first love.

2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do
the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will
remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

We must therefore examine once again the Word of God to determine what
is valid doctrine and what is the invention of man's mind:

col: 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain
deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world,
and not after christ.

Do you know who Jesus is? Do you know what God's name is? Do you
know the power that is in that wonderful name? Are you authorized to
exercise that power by having duly taken on that name in water
baptism? Are you in possesion of that gift of great value, the Holy
Ghost? If you have answered any of these questions in the negative, I
urge you to take definite actions to be able to answer them in the
positive; your very soul is at stake!

---------------- cut here ----------------

I hope that this will provide a basis for the discussion of Apostolic
Oneness Pentecostal doctrine of the Godhead.


This letter states my understanding and is not to be construed as the
official statement of the United Pentecostal Church, but only of my
understanding of its doctrine.

--"Hear now my reasoning, and harken to the pleadings of my lips." [Jb 13:6]--
Robert J. Brown  (Bob/Rj)  1 708 705-0370 (vmail/fax/data)
Elijah Laboratories Inc;  759 Independence Drive;  Suite 5;  Palatine IL 60074
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