The No-Longer Neglected Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity

When I came into the church, having recently been introduced to the topic by a Jesus-Only Pentecostal (they use the word ‘Godhead’ too, but with a different meaning from ours), I soon noticed that in the then church hymnal, the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy, had the line “God in three persons: blessed Trinity” replaced with “God over all, who rules eternity.” Then on checking, I found the book to be free of any other Trinitarian lines. It was difficult at the time to reconcile that inferred position with the church’s stated position, as enshrined in the 28 Fundamentals–or was it 27 at the time?

When that hymnal gave way to the current one, and the original line in the hymn was reinstated, along with all the other lines affirming the Trinity, it eventually occurred to me that it may have been only the word ‘Trinity’ that the church had a problem with, rather than the doctrine itself.

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You say Jesus is the first begotten of the Father. Then go on to say "Not co-eternal as the trinity declares. And then launch into a defense of your position.
Tell me sir, how do you reconcile your reasoning with the following scriptures witnessed by the Apostle and Prophet John, a plague angel, The Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit ?

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.
So far we have John telling us God gave Jesus a revelation and sent by an angel to John. Please note, we’re not yet sure if it was Jesus or God that sent the angel.

Revelation 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. (And I would like to point you to who is saying this. If you go back to Rev 21:9 you will see that the ‘he’ who is speaking here is a plague angel.)

Rev. 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Uh OH! If we compare Rev.22 vs 6 with Rev. 22 vs 16 we see that the Lord God of the Holy Prophets IS Jesus Christ. (And ironically even though they believe Jesus was created as you do, The Jehovah’s Witness Bible actually reads LORD GOD JEHOVAH) in Rev. 22 verse 6. Lord God Jehovah…was NOT created.

If you also look to Chapter 2 and 3 of The Revelation where Jesus is speaking to the seven churches you will find "He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.

So the message is from Jesus, the Father who gave the Revelation to Jesus, recorded by John, interpreted by the Holy Spirit and delivered to John by an angel!

I don’t believe you’re going to find that kind of affirmation in such a compact series of related verses ANYWHERE else in scripture.

Furthermore, Jesus is referred to by John as the ‘first begotten of the dead’ in Rev.1. How do you see that? If Jesus is the ‘first begotten of the Father’ meaning God created him, then "first begotten of the dead’ means the dead created him, also?

I would suggest that first begotten of the Father does not mean God created him as the JW’s believe, but rather the eternal God the Son, became one with humankind when the Son of God, the Son of man, was born of a virgin. I would suggest that first begotten of the dead refers to His sacrifice for us, where for the first time in infinity he was unable to be connected to the Father…essentially experiencing a second death experience, but not dying the eternal, second death. He is fully God…and ‘the first and the last’, as Jesus refers to himself, in the Revelation,…the first to experience the second death experience and the last to do so…and yet live…He is God…and there is no greater view of who our God is then knowing what our God did for us, first in coming to and living as mankind in this dark World , and then dying for us in such a manner as EG White describes in the Desire of Ages.
Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God. {DA 753.2}”

I am no linguistic scholar, so cannot verify what I read recently, but it concerned what someone said concerning the holy Spirit being neuter.

In the English Language [as with most languages] there are 3 designations that are given for a
live “creature”.
It/It [when unknown]
No one has SEEN the Holy Spirit in “the flesh”.
So no one knows. The pronoun used for the Holy Spirit for 2000 years has been “He”, “Him”.
But we REALLY do not know.
Same with God [the Father]. Fathers in ancient times and up until recently where the ones who provided for the family – brought in the money, and “protector”. While the Female/Mother was
a lesser provider, most times in the Shadows, invisible.
All that has changed late 20th Century, 21st Century. Females/Women have been elevated as
more and more becoming the Provider, the “Protector” of the family.

So, since we DO NOT KNOW, the Holy Spirit could be a He, a She, and also be OK to say “It” when speaking of the Holy Spirit.

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In the The Greek language the term for Holy Spirit would be neuter not feminine or masculine. The point of the comment is to show that grammar alone is not a very good way to say the Holy Spirit is not a person. The point is made that the Greek word for baby is also neuter. The Greek for Jesus would be masculine. So in the gospels the baby Jesus (neuter) becomes at some point (masculine)?..doesn’t work.

While I have for a very long time been grappling with questions about the Trinity, and am at the same time puzzled as to what exactly was Adventism’s historical objection to it, I’m totally with you on this. I don’t see gender neutrality as necessarily precluding personhood. And I hope my comment isn’t misread as alluding to anything beyond the immediate context.

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I believe the timing of what God just showed me in John ch 14 and Revelation 22 nearly coinciding with the viewing of your reply is no accident. I see three persons as God here but not the Roman Catholic 3 co-eternal co-equal trinity.
My original comment showing Jesus is God with four verses from the Revelation is unassailable.
However, trying to conclusively prove the Holy Spirit is God is more complicated…and elusive. A young Pastor friend and I have been looking at this together…and we don’t always agree, but the exchange has benefited us both.
I would like to share with you what the Lord has just shown me. I’m just going to ask you to read the scripture and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit you come to your own conclusion. And then we’ll take a look at Revelation ch 22…the whole chapter…
First John 14 vs 9-15
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10 Don’t you believe that I AM IN THE FATHER, and that the FATHER IS IN ME? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am IN THE fATHER AND THE FATHER IS IN ME; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
13 And I (JESUS) will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the SPIRIT OF TRUTH. THE WORLD CANNOT ACCEPT HIM, BECAUSE IT NEITHER SEES HIM NOR KNOWS HIM. BUT YOU KNOW HIM, FOR HE LIVES WITH YOU AND WILL BE IN YOU.

O.K. Now I believe I have mentioned…somewhere,that I have been studying the Revelation for many years and have come to believe that it is something like trying to know God…there is no ending to the …revelation!
I see chapter 22 as a fact checker for the first 21 chapters. I won’t post chapter 22 here you can read it from your Bible. I would suggest KJV as it is very clear there as to what is going on.
I just want to suggest reading it using the following assumptions …suggestions.

  1. Read it from the perspective that this is the angel Jesus sent that is speaking…all the way through. Sometimes it is the angel speaking and sometimes it is literally Jesus speaking THROUGH the angel He sent.
  2. Keep in mind what you have just read in the Gospel of John. For me when I did this “the Spirit and the Bride say come” finally made sense to me!
  3. There is more to this having to do with the sacrifice that Jesus made for us that was necessary and unique that makes this NOT the Roman Catholic Trinity. (I’m still asking for more light on this). God is good.
    God bless you,
    Randall Smith

How do we really know that we have eternal life?

1 John 5:5-13

Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

[A] This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

[B] For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Notice the purpose of the passage in bold. Our faith in God is evidence of the Spirit with us; and the Spirit first witnessed to us through the accounts of the baptism and the death and resurrection of Christ.

The “Spirit is truth”. Therefore His witness about Christ is true. “They” three (the Spirit, the holy baptism and the atoning death) agree as one. We have eternal life if we believe; which is the whole point of the passage. Mat.18:16

The stricken text is superfluous, irrelevant and suspect.


The Trinity is not biblical. No biblical writer thought Jesus was equal to the Jewish El/YWYH/God.

The nature of Jesus was hotly debated for four centuries before the church settled on the Trinity, the view of at least some of the powerful in Rome, with many other views expressed and supported over the centuries. The Trinity was only one of them, and is among the most difficult.

Even after the councils that made the Trinity official doctrine, a couple more centuries passed before contrary views were finally more or less successfully suppressed.


The Trinity and saying Jesus is God are really NOT the same topic.
If you compare Rev.1:1 with Rev. 22:6, Rev. 22:16 and Rev 2:7 you will find that God(the Father), Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Apostle and Prophet John, and a plague angel(Read Rev. 21:9 through Rev. 22:6) ALL declare Jesus is God…THE GOD OF THE HOLY PROPHETS. Remarkably, you can read the same verses in the Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation…AND IT READS THE SAME!

Does that mean we have have to buy into the RCC doctrine of the Trinity? I don’t believe so. I see Jesus as coming to this earth as fully Son of man AND God, as a sacrifice that we cannot fully understand. Something that God had to do, something that Satan saw coming but didn’t fully understand, some ‘mystery of Godliness’ that we cannot fully understand. The Father Son and Holy Spirit are NOT coequal but they have their own responsibilities in the work of salvation for mankind.

As far as co-eternal is concerned, that is also somewhat called into question.
Take a look at what EG White wrote in Desire of Ages in the chapter Calvary pg. 753…
"The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God."
Christ feared His separation from God would be eternal! If not the ACTUAL second death, it would certainly be the EXPERIENCE of the second death.
I believe the Revelation with four heavenly and one earthly witness saying Jesus is God in just four verses is irrefutable proof that Jesus IS God.
The rest is up to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and truth certainly is progressive. You may have a different understanding than I…but I hope that we can at least agree Jesus is God based on this remarkable presentation in the Revelation…and continue to seek a clearer understanding of just WHO God is!

It is strange to call a doctrine biblical when it is not even mentioned in the Bible…Any belief that takes a person with a couple of Phds to explain sounds like wresting the scriptures.

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Because it was not found in the Bible


“Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.” - Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson in the 1943 decision West Virginia v. Barnette

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11/18/18 - #3 (54)

Wait…don’t we expect God to eliminate dissent by exterminating dissenters?

Then what on earth is morally wrong with exterminating dissenters?

And so far, Ted Wilson has stopped far short of God’s Final Solution.

If extermination of sinners is the best solution God Almighty can come up with, why, pray tell,
isn’t that a Model for human morality and justice?

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I don’t expect any such thing, but then I’m probably a heretic, a mantle thrust upon me by others that I’m perfectly content to assume. My estimation of that situation is that God exterminating dissenters is more than likely wishful thinking on the part of those wolves in sheep’s fleece who feel compelled to always be right.

11/19/18 - #1 (56)

My heretic mantle wears like a hair shirt, but I could just go away, so…my bad…

Though I don’t expect any such thing, either, I suppose the theory is made of the stuff of childhood nightmares.

This isn’t a theory anyone would consciously choose to believe, surely.

Something deeply subconscious is in play, I suspect—fear at base.

It it something that cannot be reasoned away.

I know from experience how terrifying it is to throw off this belief. It’s understandable that people are paralyzed about looking at it.

Think about it, though:

Is God going to burn us alive for not believing He’s going to burn us alive?

What would that say about God?

Hi Phil.
I believe in the Biblical view of “trinity.” A thought… Oneness of the Godhead does not mean they don’t have varying roles/“tasks” in that oneness. Likewise after the fall different aspects resulted as to “headship” that may not have been in place when there was complete oneness.
All one in Christ does not inherently mean all have the same roles/tasks.
Interestingly, I am linking to a theological article that claims anti-trinitarianism formulated under theological liberalism/humanist thought is the predecessor of modern liberalism. Liberalism needs to be defined also as meaning “classical political liberalism” or it’s today’s antagonist liberalism/progressivism…in the sphere of theology and politics.

@Nymous, here is the article for you to read about Eternal Functional Subordinationism, the new defense for not ordaining women.

Both this article as well as the study done by @phil can expand on this. Phil Brantley referred to an excellent history of this topic from an Andrews scholarly journal.

The things that are made often come in trinities, Richard.

Water is an apt example, being a vital scriptural symbol: it is a thing that was made and is seen as solid, liquid, and gas.

Time itself we experience as past, present, and future.

Space we experience as having three dimensions.

I could go on, but I will concede here that these inferences, while more numerous and powerful than those you cite, are decidedly weak foundations on which to base one’s theology.

I hardly expect that you mean to teach us that the Father is male while Christ is female, but I’m a simple man: when Jesus refers to someone as “He” then I take his meaning. Calling myself a Christian I take the words of Christ rather more seriously than the words of theologians.

Tell me, do you know why God chose to create in six days and thus to create a 7 day week? Can you tell me why He didn’t go for 8 & 9, respectively? 12 & 13, or 2 & 3?

don’t we expect God to eliminate dissent by exterminating dissenters?

No, we don’t.

Do you?