SHORT CHRISTIAN READINGS SELECTED FOR FORMER JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES


Colossians 1:15

By Natalie Pappas

(edited)


"He is the exact image of the unseen God, the Firstborn of all creation,"

The verses from 15-20 form a hymn of sorts. R.T. France writes of them, "One of the arguments for Christ's deity being affirmed here is that this is a hymn. Hymn were [traditionally] sung to deities, not mere mortals."

The passage does not deal with the eternal relation of the Son to the Father, but with the Son's relationship to the universe and to the church. (Nicholl) It "is parallel to the LOGOS passage in John 1:1-18, and to Hebrews 1:1-4, as well as Philippians 2:5-11, in which these three writers give the high conception of the person of Christ." (RWP) These verses "are entirely about Christ who has already been called 'the Son of the Father's love ... .'" (Lenski)

A perverted view of Christ was present at the Colossian church -- thus they were in need of the true doctrine of Christ. Doctrine means "teachings". They needed to be taught Christ accurately -- His person, His relation to creation, and His relation to the church.

He is the exact image. 

The word used here for "exact image" is "eikon", which is an obsolete form meaning 'a material image'. (Perschbacher). The Bible Knowledge Commentary says that it is the "very substance or essential embodiment of something or someone."

Unseen. 

The Greek word "aoratos" is made up of two words meaning "not" and "seen". Some translate this word as "invisible". "God is invisible, which does not merely mean that He cannot be seen by our bodily eye, but that He is unknowable. In the exalted Christ, the unknowable God becomes known." (Nicholl) "The Word, whether pre-incarnate or incarnate is the relation of the unseen Father, compare John 1:18." (Lightfoot) "The one who sees Jesus has seen God, compare John 14:9." (RWP)

Firstborn of all creation. 

Years ago, when I was a brand new Christian, some JWs came to my door and presented this verse to me in their argument that Jesus was not God, but "a created being". It took me by surprise, because I was familiar with the book of Colossians, but that particular meaning had never occurred to me. I remember telling the JWs that I would have to look into it, and I remember wishing I knew Greek because they seemed to really be positive that the Greek really said Jesus was a created being.

Of course, it didn't take knowing Greek to figure out that firstborn did not mean "born first". All it took was a quick peek at a Strong's Concordance. Unfortunately, those ladies never came back to talk to me again.

The term "firstborn" is a legal term, not a biological term. In Scripture, Isaac was the "firstborn", though he was not born first. Jacob also was not born first, but he too is called the "firstborn". In prophecy, the Messiah is said to be the "firstborn" (see Exodus 4:22; Psalm 89:28), though out of all of His earthly brothers and sisters, Jesus was born first.

If Paul had used the word "protoktistos", instead of "prototokos", then the case for Jesus being a created creature could be presented. Protoktistos means "first-created", while prototokos means "firstborn". The word used here, in fact, is "prototokos", or "firstborn".

In Psalm 89:27, the word "firstborn" is used to designate a position of superiority, of supremacy, of uniqueness. There, God says that He will make David His firstborn, higher than the Kings of the earth. David was actually the last-born son of Jesse according to the flesh. But God determined to give him a place of unique supremacy, primacy, and sovereignty." (MacDonald)

For other instances of secondary uses of "firstborn" in the Old Testament, where the idea of "priority of birth" is overshadowed by and lost in the idea of "pre-eminence", see Job 28:13, "the firstborn of death", Is. 14:30, 'the firstborn of the poor.'" (Lightfoot)

Of all creation.

Paul is here refuting the Gnostics who pictured Christ as one of the aeons by placing Him before 'all creation", angels and men. (RWP) Modern day Arians (such as JWs) insert the word "other" to make the fragment read "of all [other] creation".  Instead of "completing the meaning", as claimed by the WatchTower Society, the addition of "other" perverts the meaning of the scripture. Paul had the choice of two words meaning "other". He could have used "allos", meaning, "other of the same kind", or he could have used "heteros" meaning "other of a different kind".  Paul used neither. The reason he used neither is because Jesus is not a created creature. It's really very simple if you just let the text say what it clearly says.

"Paul really was concerned to show not only that Christ was superior to the angels, but that He and not the angels was Lord of the material creation." (Nicoll)

Paul was not dealing with the issue of Christ's relationship to the Father, Paul was "dealing with one of the philosophies of that day. ... it held that God created a creature just beneath Him; then that creature created a creature just beneath him; then that creature created a creature just beneath him. You can just keep going down that ladder until finally you come to a creature that created this universe... Gnostism taught that Jesus was one of those creatures, an emanation from God. Now Paul is answering that." (McGee)

What this verse is saying is that no other compares to Jesus in their humanity. Therefore, Jesus has all the legal rights of a firstborn. Christ literally outranks all creation in His humanity. Later, Paul will speak of Jesus Christ and how "all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form." (Col 2:9, NIV)


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Jesus, the One and Only

By Natalie Pappas

(edited)


"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." -- 1 Corinthians 3:11 (NIV)

This is why the gospel is so important. If the gospel isn't laid correctly, then all the other teachings are for nothing. If we haven't believed the right things about Jesus, we haven't believed at all.

John the Baptist urged his Jewish brothers and sisters to turn away from their sins and pointing to Jesus, who was coming toward him, said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!". (John chapter 1). He also testified that Jesus is the Son of God.

John the disciple elaborated upon this in John chapter three when he wrote, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." These same words, "one and only" are also used in John 1:14 and John 1:18.

The words "one and only" are one word in the Koine Greek language: "monogenes", and literally means "only born" [mono=only genes=born]. A well respected Greek scholar by the name of A.T. Robertson comments on this word when he writes that it is used strictly in the sense of meaning, "As of the only begotten from the Father" (pg 13, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. 5) as it is defined in John 1:18.

Although no one was ever or ever again conceived in the same manner which Jesus was, this word "monogenes" has deeper implications, because it reaches further back in time before his virgin birth all the way to eternity.

Furthermore, the Greek grammarian R.C.H. Lenski writes, "Jesus never unites himself with us by saying 'our Father'. When he says 'my Father', he distinguishes himself, the essential Son, from all others who are only adopted sons. This is made evident with greatest clearness in John 20:17, 'I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.'" (pg 100, The Interpretation of St. John's Gospel).

Jesus is different from all created creatures. Satan can't make this claim. Neither can the angels, or any higher ranking angel. As Paul the Apostle wrote in Colossians, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."

Make sure you have believed the right things about Jesus Christ. It is important. What you believe will determine exactly how you will spend all of eternity.


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THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY

By Natalie Pappas

(edited)


Jehovah's Witnesses believe with all their heart, and all their soul, and all their mind that Watchtower publications present the truth about the Bible and about Christendom. With these "deeper truths" firmly in hand, they fearlessly set out to share what they have learned with others. One of the main things Jehovah's Witnesses seek to share is their disbelief in the Christendom Trinity.

When meeting people in their door to door work, they find out quickly how easy it is to show WHY the Trinity is confusing and contradictory. Jehovah's Witnesses are able to do this because Watchtower publications misrepresent the Christendom Trinity.

Please remember, however, that Jehovah's Witnesses truly believe they are doing those in Christendom a favor. They are completely unaware that the Christendom Trinity has been twisted into an unrecognizable doctrine which can only be rightly termed "THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY".

It may come to a gigantic surprise to Jehovah's Witnesses that Trinitarians ALSO cannot agree with, nor believe in THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY.

EXAMPLE #1 of THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY

One of the clearest examples of how Watchtower publications accomplish confusing Trinitarianism is in the book: "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth", first published in 1982.

There are three such examples of THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY on page 39 of this book.

In paragraph 14, the book cites an accurate definition of the Christendom Trinity:

According to the teaching of the Trinity, there are three persons in one God, that is, there is "one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit".

The two study questions on the bottom of this same page are:

14. What is the Trinity teaching?

15. How does the Bible show that God and Jesus are two separate persons who are not equal?

And the third example of THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY, on page 39, is the caption under the picture of Jesus. It reads:

Since Jesus prayed to God, asking that God's will, not his, be done, the two could not be the same person.

I. Examining the first example in detail.

According to the teaching of the Trinity, there are three persons in one God, that is, there is "one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit".

This is a rare and accurate portrayal of the Christendom Trinity in a Watchtower publication. As shown, the Christian Trinity is monotheistic. Monotheism is the belief in only one God. The Jewish people are monotheistic as were the Apostles.

Many Jehovah Witnesses mistakenly believe that Trinitarians are polytheistic and that the Trinity TEACHES polytheism. Polytheism is the belief in more than one God. However, Trinitarians firmly state belief in Deuteronomy 6:4:

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the LORD is one." (NIV)

There is another belief that is not mentioned much by Watchtower publications. That belief is called "henotheism". Henotheism is the belief that one God is bigger and mightier, and in control of the other god/gods. Both Henotheism, and Polytheism are condemned by the Bible.

There are four places in the Bible where the word "God" is defined:

The kind of gods men make out of idols (Isa 44:17;1 Cor 8:5:6), who are really no gods at all.

Human judges (gods) who come under judgment themselves (Ps 82:6.)

The kind of god Satan is: A so-called god who has already been judged (2 Cor 4:4; Isaiah 14:15).

The one True God in the Bible (John 17:3).


Trinitarians believe in only one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are separate, distinct, and equal, yet all three exist as only One God. Trinitarians believe that the Old Testament is in agreement with the New Testament's belief that there is only one God.


II. Examining the second example in detail

The two study questions on the bottom of page 39 are:

14. What is the Trinity teaching?

15. How does the Bible show that God and Jesus are two separate persons who are not equal?

A. Let's look at study question 14 first.

14. What is the Trinity teaching?


The Christendom Trinity teaches that:

"The Father is God, the Son is God , and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods, but

one God" -- Athanasian Creed.


The Christendom Trinity does NOT teach that the Father IS the Son, or that the Father IS the Holy Spirit.

It does NOT teach that the Son IS the Father, or the Son IS the Holy Spirit. 

It does NOT teach that the Holy Spirit IS the Father or that the Holy Spirit IS the Son.


The Christendom Trinity teaches that:

The three persons of the Trinity are separate and distinct, all equal in power, substance, and eternity.


The Christendom Trinity does NOT teach that there are THREE Gods in ONE person.

The Christendom Trinity teaches that there are three Persons in One God.


B. Study question #15:

15. How does the Bible show that God and Jesus are two separate persons who are not equal?

The Bible DOES show that the Father and Jesus are two separate persons at 1 Cor 8:5-6. The Trinity teaches this concept also. The Bible ALSO shows that Jesus was equal with God in verse John 5:18.

The Jews tried to kill Jesus for three reasons.

1) Jesus worked miracles on the Sabbath (verses 17-18)

2) Because Jesus called God HIS OWN FATHER, the Jews RECOGNIZED and UNDERSTOOD that Jesus was making himself EQUAL with God.

3) The term "Son of God" does not express the idea that Jesus is inferior to the Father. In fact, the opposite is true. This verse shows that Jesus claimed equality with his Father's nature. To the Jewish people, this was pure blasphemy, as John 19:7 clearly demonstrates:

"We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God." (NIV)

The Bible says that Jesus was sinless. Jesus, by calling himself the "Son of God", made himself out to be equal with God. If Jesus WASN'T equal to the Father, then Jesus WOULD be guilty of blasphemy and could NOT have been a perfect ransom for our sins. The sin for blasphemy was stoning.


III. The third example of THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY, on page 39, is a written caption under the picture of Jesus. It reads:

Since Jesus prayed to God, asking that God's will, not his, be done, the two could not be the same person.

This is THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY. Christendom Trinitarians do not believe that Jesus is the Father, nor do Christendom Trinitarians believe that the Father is Jesus.

There is a term for the belief that the Father IS the Son IS the Holy Spirit. It is called "MODALISM" and it was condemned in the second century by Polycarp. Polycarp was a disciple, or a student, of the Apostle John.

When a Jehovah's Witness asks a Trinitarian a question like the one above, [Trinitarians] unknowingly, fall right into the Watchtower's trap of teaching THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY instead of CHRISTENDOM'S TRINITY.

Falsifying the Christendom Trinity has been a longtime Watchtower tradition. There are many books and publications where the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society promote THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY. ...

Which God gave unto Him. -- "The declaration that 'the Son can do nothing of Himself,' if it were not backed up as it is by a score of other testimonies from the same interested and inspired Teacher, is a contradiction to the common thought of Trinitarians, that the Son is the Father." -- The Finished Mystery (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol 7), 1917, page 11.

Here, [the FM book] says that the common thought of Trinitarians is that the Son is the Father. As shown above, the belief that the Son is the Father is a MODALISTIC point of view and NOT shared by Trinitarians.

In the 5th volume of Studies in the Scriptures, Charles [Russell] writes:

Moreover, the very words "Father" and "Son" imply a difference, and contradict the thoughts of the Trinity and oneness of person ... -- The Atonement Between God and Man, 1906, page 60.

Here, [CTR] says that the distinction between the Father and Son contradict the Christendom Trinity. What does the Trinity teach?

That there are three persons in one God, that is, there is "one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit".

No contradiction of the Christendom Trinity is found in the belief that the Father is distinct from the Son. Indeed, the distinction between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit IS taught in the Trinity as well as in the baptismal formula in Matthew 28:19.

On page 76 of Volume 5, [CTR] writes:

"How strange that any should attempt to misuse and pervert these our Lord's words, to make them support the unreasonable and unscriptural doctrine of a Trinity, -- three Gods in ONE PERSON."

How strange, indeed! That is, IF the Trinity was DEFINED as three Gods in ONE PERSON. This false claim, that the Trinity is three Gods in one person, can be found sprinkled throughout Watchtower publications.

An example of this can be found in the April 1, 1970 edition of the Watchtower (page 210):

Ask the student, "How many Jehovahs are there?" Let him answer. The answer is obvious that there is only one Jehovah. When he discerns this, you have caused him to register an important fact in his mind that he might otherwise have missed. Help him to appreciate further what this means to him. Reason with him, perhaps in this way: "If he is one Jehovah, then could he be three gods, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, as the Trinitarians teach?" ... You have also exposed a basic false doctrine -- the doctrine of the Trinity.

Again, this Watchtower publication is teaching THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY. 

The Christendom Trinity does not teach belief in three Gods (polytheism). The Trinity teaches belief in one God (monotheism).

CONCLUSION:

The WATCHTOWER TRINITY teaches:

That there are three persons in one God, that is, there is "one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit". That the Son is the Father. That the Trinity is polytheistic. That there are three Gods in one person.

The Christendom Trinity teaches:


The Creed of Athanasius

And the universal faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.

The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Ghost uncreated.

The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.

And yet they are not three eternals, but one Eternal.

As there are not three Uncreated nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible.

So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty.

And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.

And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord.

And yet not three Lords, but one Lord.

For like as we are compelled by the Christian to verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord,

So are we forbidden by the catholic (universal) religion to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.

The Father is made of none; neither created nor begotten.

The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten.

The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.

And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another;

But the whole three Persons are coeternal together, and coequal: so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped.

He, therefore, that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.


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The Trinitarian's Answer

By Natalie Pappas

(edited)


A few years ago I was sent oodles of questions from a JW who was determined to prove the Trinity ridiculous. I noticed that all the questions fell into four basic catagories.

polytheism

modalism

How can Jesus be 100% God as well as 100% man?

Jesus relationship with his Father

The Modalism issue came up the most frequently. A few of these are mixed with other issues, such as mixing modalism with polytheism, or modalism with how Jesus can be 100% human and 100% God, or the assumption that Jesus' subordination to his Father takes away from his deity. Therefore, this only addresses the basic Watchtower teaching that Trinitarians are Modalists.

The Modalist believes the Father, and the Son, and Holy Spirit are the same person, as well as the same being, AND that God's name is now only JESUS, while the Trinitarian believes that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct persons who make up One God. Modern day Modalists are those in the United Pentecostal Church.

The UPC cult believes the Trinity is pagan, and feel their mission field is Christendom. (I invite you to call a United Pentecostal Church in your area and confirm this statement). There are three cults who are preying on Christendom the fastest: One of these is the Unity Church of Christianity, this is a belief system that actually outprints the Watchtower (REALLY). It is a mixture of New Age beliefs with Christian-like terms. The other is the United Pentecostal Church. And the third is the Islamic movement.

There is a common thread with all these cults. Each one denies the Trinity.

If you decide to call the UPC minister, while you are on the phone with this UPC minister, ask him some of these questions and see how he reacts to them.

1) Whose voice was it that spoke from the heavens when Jesus was baptized?

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's answer: The Father spoke from Heaven. This does not contradict the teaching of the Trinity. However, it DOES contradict the teaching of Modalists who teach that Jesus IS the Father.

2) Who was Jesus praying to when he prayed? Himself?

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's answer: Jesus was praying to his Father. This does not contradict the teaching of the Trinity. However, it DOES contradict the teaching of Modalists who teach that Jesus IS the Father.

3) If God was on earth as the Son for thirty-three and a half years, who was looking after or running things in the heavens.

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

This does not contradict the teaching of the Trinity. However, it DOES contradict the teaching of Modalists who teach that Jesus IS the Father.

The Trinitarian's answer, "The FATHER was in heaven, looking after and running things in the heavens."

4) If God was to be known by the name Jesus, instead of Jehovah, after coming to the earth, why is the name of Jehovah still used over 260 times in the early manuscripts of the Greek Scriptures?

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. 

Secondly, this also assumes that the name "Jehovah" appears in early Greek manuscripts: it doesn't. JW's check in your own Kingdom Interlinears. The name "Jehovah" doesn't appear in there once. If there were any Greek manuscripts with the name "Jehovah", your organization would have used it.

The Trinitarian's Answer: The UPC says God's name is now only JESUS, not Trinitarians.

5) Who has immortality? God? Jesus died (an impossibility of one with immortality) and was dead for parts of three days. How could God die? Who resurrected him? (Heb 5:7; Rev 2:8)

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. This also fits the third type of question about how God can be 100% man and still remain 100% God.

The Trinitarians answers: When Jesus's body died, the Father did not die as well. This does not contradict Trinity doctrine. However, it does present a MAJOR problem for Modalists. And when Jesus's body died, His spirit went to Paradise.

6) Who was Jesus talking to when hanging on his torture stake at Matthew 27:46? "About the ninth hour Jesus called out with a loud voice, saying:  'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'"

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's answer: Jesus was talking to his Father.

7) How could Jehovah, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit be one or the same person when Acts 7:55 shows that God and Jesus are seen next to each other in heaven while the Holy Spirit was filling Stephen? And how can you be full of someone?

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's Answer: The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one, but they are NOT the same person. They are distinct. This passage in Acts does not contradict the teaching of the Trinity, instead, it supports the teaching of the Trinity doctrine.


8) If Jesus is God, explain the scripture at John 1:18, "No man has seen God."

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. It also a question of the third type: How can Jesus be 100% man and a 100% God.

The Trinitarians Answers: But the entire quote is: "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side has made him known."

This pictures Jesus alongside of his Father. No contradiction of the Trinity here.

By the way, this next question REALLY makes modalists uncomfortable.

9) If Jesus is God, why call him Jesus Christ? Is Christ his last name? God was known as Jehovah God. Since "Christ" is just a title just like "God" is a title, shouldn't we just call him "Jesus God"? Or could it be that the title "Christ" gives us insight as to Jesus' position in relation to the Father?

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. Christ means "the Anointed One".

The Trinitarians Answer: Do JWs believe that God's first name is Jehovah and God's last name is God? The title Jehovah, applies to the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit. Perhaps a good illustration is Jehovah-the Father, Jehovah-the Son, Jehovah-the Holy Spirit.

Modern day Modalists who claim that God's name is now JESUS are the persons this question needs to be directed towards.

10) How is it that the Son is subjected to God along with all other things if the Son is coequal with the Father, or rather IS the Father also? (1 Corinthians 15:27,28)

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. It also addresses the question of the fourth type: Jesus' relationship with his Father.

The Trinitarians Answer: This has to do with the Son's relationship between Father and Son. This does not contradict the teachings of the Trinity. This teaches that there is a DEFINITE distinction between the Father and the Son. It does not contradict the Trinity.

11) Who was Jesus talking to, and whose name had he made know? His Own? (John 17:6,26)

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trintarian's Answer: Jesus in this passage is praying to his Father. Jesus revealed his Father to those whom he [the Father] gave him [the Son] out of the world. In verse 11, Jesus says, "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name -- the name you gave me -- so that they may be one as we are one."

The entire chapter 17 of John shows the relationship between the Father and the Son. The Father gave Jesus a name, and Jesus asks that the Father would protect his disciples by the power of the Father's name. This does not contradict the Trinity because in ancient times an individual's "name" summed up his entire being.

12) Why couldn't Jesus do anything of his own initiative, if he is "Almighty God"? (John 5:30 "I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative; ... I seek not my own will but the will of him that sent me.") If Jesus were God, would he not send himself? (John 6:38 "Not my will, but the will of him that sent me.")

The Trinitarian's Answer: This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. There is a relationship between the Father and the Son. Jesus is not the Father. Jesus seeks the will of his Father, there is UNITY within the Godhead. The Father is the head of Jesus as Jesus is the head of the church as a husband is head of his household.

13) Who made Jesus come to the earth to die for us? Was it his idea? Hebrews 2:9 says: "but we behold Jesus who has been made a little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death, that he by God's undeserved kindness might taste death for every [man]." It was God who sent him. If Jesus were God, why even make the distinction here, as is done throughout the Scriptures?

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The distinction is here because the Father is distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. And the Son is distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Father and the Son.

14) If Jesus were God, how could he appear before the person of himself? Hebrew 9:24 states: "For Christ entered, not into a holy place made with hands, which is a copy of the reality, but into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us."

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian answers: The Son appeared before the Father.

15) Could it really be possible that the Almighty God and the creator of the universe was confined for nine months in the womb of Mary. If so, why didn't Satan take over the heavens with his demon angels and procure worship for himself, since this is what he has wanted from the beginning?

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's Answer: The Father ran the universe

16) What is a "son"? If Jesus were actually God himself, why is he referred to as the Son of God, or God's Son over 85 times in the New Testament? Is the Bible making an inaccurate statement in each case? Why even describe him as the "Son of God", and confuse us if he was in fact Almighty God himself? Wouldn't it be simpler to just say that God came to the earth, the Almighty was born of a virgin, etc.? Why would Jesus continually talk about his Father in the heavens if in fact he was the Father in the form of the Son here on the earth? Wouldn't that be misrepresentation? (Luke 1:30-32)

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's Answer: Jesus is described in the book of Matthew as the "only-begotten son". The word for "only-begotten" means "unique" or "one and only". The Book of Matthew also describes Jesus as "Immanuel" which means "God with us". It is obvious that Trinitarians do not believe that the Father was in the form of The Son.

17) Wouldn't it be simpler to just say that God came to the earth, the Almighty was born of a virgin, etc...

The Trinitarian's Answer: YES, and in fact, that is exactly what Christendom TEACHES. Jesus continually talks about his Father in the heavens ... but the Trinity does NOT teach that Jesus was the Father in the form of the Son on earth. Modalists teach that. The fact that the Watchtower continually brings out this point is a blatant misrepresentation of what the Trinity teaches.

18) If Jesus Christ is going to rule the Kingdom for a thousand years, (Revelation 20:4) who rules after that? 1 Corinthians 15:24 shows that Jesus turns all things over to GOD and his FATHER. Why would this be necessary if they are the same? Does this mean that Jesus turns it over to himself?

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's Answer: The Son turns all things over to his Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is not the Father or the Holy Spirit: thus the distinction. This does not contradict the teachings of the Trinity.

19) Matthew 26:39 says: "Going a little farther he [Jesus Christ] fell on his face and prayed, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.'" If the Father and the Son were not distinct individuals, wouldn't such a prayer have been meaningless? Jesus would have been praying to himself, and his will would of necessity have been the Father's will.

This fits the second type, and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i.e., the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's Answer: This passage INDEED shows that the Father and the Son are distinct individuals. And Jesus' will WAS that of the Father's, as he showed in verse 43: "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done".


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Will the Real Polytheists Please Stand Up!

By Natalie Pappas

(edited)

There is no question that Scripture only teaches one True God. The Hebrew portion of Scripture agrees 100% with the Greek portion in every respect. Deut. 6:4 says Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Isaiah 43:10 says, "Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me," and John 17:3 says, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." It is worth noting that this last Scripture was prayed by Jesus right before being captured and put to death in the most horrendeous way man has ever devised.

The question arises when John 1:1 is examined:

en arche nv ho logos kai ho logos nv pros ton theon kai theos nv ho logos

Since there is only ONE true God, and since Jesus is the Word made flesh (speaking of the incarnation), where does that put Jesus? John chapter one is one of my favorite passages of Scripture and reading this first chapter in the Koine Greek is absolutely thrilling, especially so for the first 18 verses. 

Verse one starts by proclaiming a certain Word being God, and verse 18 ends with proclaiming Jesus' certain uniqueness in being God and revealing that same God. Here is a rough translation:

"No one has ever seen God; the only unique God, The One in the bosom of the Father, that One has revealed."

Actually, what is going on in John chapter one is not so new or different. The same exact thing happened in the Hebrew Scriptures when the Angel of the LORD is time and time again revealed to be the LORD! The exciting part is that it is right here in this first chapter of John that we discover that those special appearances of the Angel of the LORD was the pre-incarante Christ revealing God the Father! Yet, instead of assuming a body as in times of old, He wrapped Himself with human flesh and mingled among us. Is this not incredible?

Another thing to consider when dividing the entire Word of God is that the same author of John 1:1 also authored John 17:3. Did John simply not remember what it was he wrote before? If Jesus is not the same God as the Father, then there would be two Gods (polytheism) or there would be a God and a god (henotheism -- which is merely a branch of polytheism). As you rightly divide the whole Word of God, remember this: God is not the author of confusion, but He does often ask us to believe the unbelievable. What? Snakes talk? (Genesis chapter three) Food from heaven? (Exodus 16) Donkeys talk? (Numbers 22) Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego coming out of the fire, and not even a hair of their heads singed? (Daniel 3) Jesus feeding the five-thousand? (Matthew 14) Not to mention Jesus raised many people from the dead! There are many seemingly unbelievable examples put forth for us in Scripture. The question is: are we going to believe God or not?

As you go about your days this week, consider what the Bible teaches, and read some of these chapters listed above. Ask the Father to draw you closer to Jesus, for Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one can go to the Father except through Him.


Will The REAL Polytheists Please Stand Up! Part II

I have heard a JW say when discussing John 1:1: "If John the Apostle wrote: 'The Word was with God,' and if that God was defined to be 'The Father' by Trinitarians, then when Trinitarians claimed The Word was God ? Don't they need to be consistant and interprete the second usage of the word "God" in the same manner? In other words, "The Word was with the Father and the Word was the Father."

Scripture defines Scripture. Verse 18 of John chapter 1 is John 1:1 in detail. It has the same exact meaning as John 1:1. You can call it the complete details of John 1:1.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (vs 1)

"No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." (vs 18)

So, here we have Jesus with the Father, explaining God (meaning all the persons in the godhead) to mankind (not just the Father). This is exactly the same point verse 14 has made previously:

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (vs 14)

If you are grasping this, you are on your way to becoming a Trinitarian.

Now, one might ask: "Well then, if Trinitarians interprete John 1:1 as saying: 'In the beginning the Word was with God,' (the Father and the Holy Spirit), then shouldn't that same Trinitarian be consistant and admit that the Word would then be the Father and the Holy Spirit?

In one word: no. And the reason is that the Word is part of that same Godhead. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit are all the same God. I suppose God could have had John the Apostle write: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and they were all three the same God", but that's not how God chose to compose that particular verse. I'm sure He had extremely good reasons to have John write down that bit of theology in exactly that particular way. Was it perhaps to get us to really dig in the Bible and be curious about how the Word could be with God and be that same God?

Think about it.