SECOND TREE

CHRISTIANITY EXPLAINED

THE THEOLOGY JOURNAL OF CHUCK PORRITT
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GOD IS A FAMILY CALLED THE TRINITY

AN EXPLANATION OF THE THREE TRAITS SHARED BY GOD, AND A HUMAN RACE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD:
1) THE UNITY OR 'ONENESS' OF MANY
2) THE TWO-STAGE EXISTENCE OF THOSE ORIGINATING FROM WITHIN THE 'FATHER'
3) HETEROSEXUALITY: MASCULINITY, FEMININITY AND THE BEGETTING OF CHILDREN.


MY DEFINITION OF THE TRINITY

The word 'Trinity' refers to three divine Persons revealed in the Bible. These three Persons are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We see these three Persons coming together at Jesus' baptism, just before He began His preaching ministry. And these three Persons are found together again in Jesus' final instructions to His disciples, prior to His return into heaven:

And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water. And the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him. And a voice (the Father) spoke from heaven, saying "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased".

Matthew 3:16-17

And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:18-20

Many people, since the earliest days of the Christian faith, have had various understandings regarding who these three Persons are, and Their relationships with each other. At this point I wish to simply present my own understanding of the Trinity; based upon both personal experience and my study of the Bible. For me an understanding of the Trinity begins with three basic points:

    1) Unity (Oneness) Within the Father  If we could go back into eternity past (before time and the universe began) and had 'spiritual eyes' to see with, we would at first see one God; the Father. But unseen by us, existing within the Father as conscious individual Persons, would be the Son and the Holy Spirit.
    Stage One

    THE SON AND SPIRIT INSIDE OF THE FATHER
    This 'oneness' was such that all that the Father thought and did was also done simultaneously by the Son and Spirit. And yet it was a union in which the Son and the Spirit existed as fully independent Persons.
    2) A Two-stage Existence of the Son and the Spirit  If we could have been able to continue observing the Father (again before time or creation began), we would have seen the Son and the Spirit come out from within Him; to exist separately from Him. It is this two-phase existence of the Son and the Spirit that explains how They can both come from within the Father, and yet also be as old as He is (co-eternal with Him).

THE SON AND SPIRIT OUTSIDE OF THE FATHER
    3) Heterosexuality  The Bible makes a distinction between how the Son came out of the Father, and how the Holy Spirit came out. The Bible says that the Son was begotten of the Father (John 1:14), while the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (John 15:26).
    In the original Greek version of the Bible, the word translated 'begotten' often refers to the role that a father plays when both he and his wife come together to 'beget' a child, and then birth that child into the world.
    In regard to the Holy Spirit, the original Greek word translated 'proceed' simply means 'to go out' or 'to go forth'.
    Personally I believe that there was a specific order in which the Son and the Holy Spirit came forth from within the Father. I believe that the Holy Spirit proceeded from within the Father first; coming out of Him to become His Companion (Greek 'Paraclete'), and ultimately His Spouse.
    And I believe that the Son of God was then begotten of the Father through the Holy Spirit; all of this taking place before time or creation began.
Alternate View

I believe that God the Father and God the Son are 'masculine' Persons, and that the Holy Spirit is 'feminine' in nature. And I believe that masculinity and femininity within the human race is patterned after this divine heterosexuality. In short, I believe that the one true living God is a Family, and that human families have been created in the image and likeness of this divine Family.

SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE

In the following sections of this web page, I will be quoting Bible verses that reveal and explain the nature of God. But before I do that, in this section I would like to explain my personal discovery of the Trinity. Since I first heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the age of 16, I have read many scriptural arguments for the Trinity. But my own understanding of God comes not only from the Bible, but also from personal experience. It comes from what I have learned about myself as a person created 'in the image and likeness of God':

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness".

Genesis 1:26

I was the firstborn of four children in my family. And as the oldest child, for the first 4.5 years of my life I was also the only child in our home. As such I had a 'ringside seat' to observe the relationship between my mother and father. From the earliest age I knew that their relationship was deeply flawed, and was likely to end in divorce. As a young boy I would sometimes cry myself to sleep at night, anticipating the approaching 'end of my world'. My fears were realized when, at the age of 15, my parents finally did divorce.

I was immediately caught up in the 'back and forth' argument between my parents about who was right and who was wrong. I was being encouraged to judge my parents. A year later however (at the age of 16), God commanded me to judge myself. The Holy Spirit began to warn me about my own guilt and the dreadful consequences of dying with my sins unforgiven. I made a false profession of faith, pretended to be a Christian for four years, and then left the church. But one of the things that I learned during that time was that a good marriage was more important to me than anything else.

At the age of 23 I married a sweet young woman, and two years later she left me because I had been intolerably selfish and arrogant. It was not until I was confronted with the loss of my wife, that for the first time in my life I was sincerely willing to take an honest look at myself. I began to 'break up the hard ground' of my stubborn heart, to acknowledge that I was wrong, and to commit to doing whatever was necessary to restore my marriage.

But unknown to me there was another force at work in my life; a spiritual being within my body that the Bible calls 'Sin'. The word 'sin' has two meanings in the Bible. It is a verb, and refers to evil actions that people perform. But the word 'Sin' is also a noun, and it refers to a spiritual being within people that can deceive them, overpower them and cause them to do things that they themselves do not want to do. This spiritual being fulfills the same role within non-Christians, that the Holy Spirit fulfills within Christians.

As I focused intently upon being the kind of person that I knew I should be, Sin awakened within me. It then deceived me and brought me to do the very thing that I did not want to do; throw away my relationship with my wife and break her heart. It was not until after this happened, that I realized what I had done. And because I had hurt her very deeply, I also knew that my father-in-law wanted to kill me.

In that moment of terror I came to see not only my sinfulness, but also to discover the spirit of Sin within my body. I realized that something within me had deceived me and had kept me from doing what I wanted to do. Instead it had brought me to do the very thing that I did not want to do. The apostle Paul described my experience in Romans 7:15-24 (see Testing Christianity for a further explanation of Romans 7):

For that which I do, I do not approve or understand. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not do, I consent to the Law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but Sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my body) dwells no good thing. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would do, I do not do. But the evil that I would not do, that is what I do. For I delight in the Law of God in the inward man. But I see another law in my body, warring against God's Law that is in my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of Sin which is in my body. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

As I saw how wicked and shameful I had been, and how hopelessly enslaved I was, I came to realize that I needed a real atonement for my sins, and a powerful deliverance from my bondage. In that moment of moral clarity, I saw that Jesus' death, burial and resurrection are historical events, and were the only solution for my problem. In desperation I called upon Him to prevent my wife from taking her own life, so that my own life might be spared also. My desperate cry was heard and a week later, on my 25th birthday, Jesus forgave me and I was wonderfully born again.

In Romans 5:12 the apostle Paul wrote that, when Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, every individual member of the human race was also sinning with him. But up until the break-up of my marriage, the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and my own participation in Adam's sin, had made no sense to me. But as I discovered Sin within my body, which had been there since my body's conception in my mother's womb, the story of my own rebellion against God in Eden became real to me as well. I came to realize that I had been, as King David described, 'conceived in Sin and shaped in iniquity' (Psalm 51:5).

In Christian churches it is commonly taught that when Adam sinned, he brought himself into spiritual bondage, and that his bondage is inherited by all of humanity through biological reproduction. This is a concept known as 'hereditary depravity'. But as I discovered my bondage to indwelling Sin, my conscience knew that a holy God would never allow one person's sinfulness to be transferred to another person. Such an idea goes against everything that we know about the holiness of God, and against the word of God itself.

Thus I concluded that if my body had been conceived in Sin, then my soul must have existed before my body did; that I must have chosen to rebel against God before my body was ever conceived in my mother's womb.

When Jesus called me and saved me, the Holy Spirit showed me that I had died in union with Christ on the cross, and that my sins therefore had been condemned and fully punished. I became aware of a real union with Christ; that somehow His shed blood and death were also my own shed blood and death. And over the first five years of my Christian life I sought to understand the similar union between myself and Adam; how I could have been 'one' with Adam, just as I was now 'one' with Christ.

In 1980 my search intensified, as I began going to libraries to examine microfilm of old theological documents, and to borrow old books from other libraries in other states. Finally I found the answer. I discovered that the Bible is very clear about the nature of a Christian's union with Christ. It is a union that is similar to the union between the Persons of the Trinity. It is...

A TRINITARIAN UNION

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eats Me, even he shall live by Me.

John 6:56-57

Yet a little while, and the world will see Me no more; but you will see Me. Because I live, you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

John 14:19-20

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your own name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one, as We are.

John 17:11

That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that You have sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one. I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them, as You have loved Me.

John 17:21-23

The Bible indicates that the connection between Jesus and His people is similar to the connection between Adam and the human race:

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, ever over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure (foreshadowing or type) of Him (Christ) that was to come.

Romans 5:14

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.


And so it is written "The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit."

1 Corinthians 15:21,45

Thus I have concluded that this same 'Trinitarian Union' that exists between Jesus and His people, also existed between Adam and the rest of humanity.

CENTRALITY OF THE TRINITY

The doctrine of the Trinity is the fundamental doctrine of Christianity. It is the 'rock' upon which the Christian church is built. This is because it not only explains who God is, but also how we could have sinned within the first Adam, and how we can be forgiven and restored within the last Adam; through a 'Trinitarian Union' with each of them.

Thus there were three reasons why Jesus instructed Christians to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19):

    1) That people might understand God.
    2) That people might understand their past 'Trinitarian Union' with Adam.
    3) That people might understand that water baptism symbolizes a new, cleansing union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.

It is this 'rock' of Trinitarian truth that was declared by Peter, and is the foundation of God's church:

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked his disciples, saying "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" And they said "Some say that You are John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets". He said unto them "But whom do you say that I am?" And Simon Peter answered and said "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God". And Jesus answered and said unto him "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say also unto you that you are Peter (rock), and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven". Then He charged His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ.

Matthew 16:13-20

There are some who reject the oneness of the Trinity, because it does not make sense to their philosophical minds. The idea that multiple persons can be both fully independent, and at the same time 'one' defies human logic. They might liken this 'oneness' to three people tied together in a three-legged race, tripping all over each other.

But while philosophy, logic and reasoning often serve us well in our everyday lives, when we approach divine and eternal things, sometimes human wisdom is best set aside. God sometimes ignores our insistence upon 'reason', and simply gives short, declarative answers to our questions:

And God said unto Moses "I am that I am". And He said "Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel: 'I AM has sent me unto you'".

Exodus 3:14

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

Proverbs 3:5-7

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways My ways" says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts".

Isaiah 55:8-9

One does not need to 'check his brains at the door' in order to be a Christian. But we are commanded to acknowledge our limitations, and to recognize the superiority of God's wisdom over our own.

Beyond rejecting the 'oneness' of the Trinity, others reject the eternality of the Son of God. They deny that the Son can be as old as the Father; having existed within the Father before coming forth from within Him (before creation began).

In the past these people were called 'Arians'; named after an early theologian named Arius who denied the eternal existence of Jesus. Arians base their thinking upon the fact that human sons are not as old as their fathers. And thus they conclude that the Son of God cannot be as old as His Father either. One of the famous slogans of the Arians is...

"THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THE SON WAS NOT!"

Arianism has always been around, but it is found much more widely in the professing Christian church today than one might think. Although many Christians profess to be 'Trinitarian', insisting that the Persons of the Trinity are 'one' and 'co-eternal', they deny these truths when speaking about a human race made in the image and likeness of God.

Beginning with Augustine, Christians have commonly denied that all of humanity pre-existed consciously within Adam. They deny that we were all one with him in Eden. Instead Augustine taught that God has pronounced a sentence of death upon all of us, because He 'sovereignly' decided that we would all inherit the penalty and power of Adam's sin; without any of us actually sinning ourselves.

In denying our pre-existence within our father, Adam, Augustine was denying the pre-existence of the Son of God within His Father. To be Augustinian in our view of original sin, is to be Arian in our understanding of whether or not the Son of God is eternal. Our understanding of God, and of a human race made in the image and likeness of God, cannot be separated from each other:

And God said "Let Us make man in Our image and according to Our likeness".

Genesis 1:26

This is why the doctrine of the Trinity is attacked by so many. It's not so much because it doesn't make sense to our 'logical' minds, but because it explains our genuine guilt; how we all sinned in Adam, and therefore why we must all earnestly and repentantly seek union with the 'last Adam' if we would be saved.

Just as each one of us freely chose to disobey God in Eden, now each one of us must also repentantly choose to embrace God's remedy for our sin; the cross. If we are unwilling to agree with God about the death penalty that we deserve, then we cannot be saved through union with Christ in the death that He has died on our behalf:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 51:17

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me (to the place of crucifixion).

Matthew 16:24

For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor (lawbreaker). For I, through the Law, am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God.

Galatians 2:18-19

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts.

Galatians 5:24

To deny mankind's pre-existence and oneness within Adam is to close our eyes to our fundamental problem:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23

By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin. And so death passed upon all men, because all sinned.

Romans 5:12

If we say that we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and His word is not in us.

1 John 1:10

One cannot be 'right' about the Trinity, and yet wrong about a human race created in the image of the Trinity. To join Augustine in denying our pre-existence and oneness within Adam in Eden, is to be Arian in our understanding of God.

Augustine took a 'spoonful of God's sovereignty' and mixed it into the Biblical narrative about mankind's sin in Eden. And what came out was a theology that denies our real sin with Adam, while making God a liar and the actual cause of humanity's predicament. By portraying God as unjustly condemning humanity, Augustine and those who follow him are accusing God of breaking the ninth commandment:

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Exodus 20:16

HOW WE KNOW WHO GOD IS

The Bible tells us that God has revealed Himself to every member of the human race in three ways:

    1) God is revealed through His WORD.

God's word has come to mankind in two ways. Firstly it has come to us through the Son of God, Who is the living Word of God. His face was the first thing that we saw, and His voice was the first sound that we heard when we began life within Adam in Eden.

All that Adam saw, heard and did as he walked and talked with the Son of God in Eden, each one of us was also experiencing within Adam. The Lord Jesus Christ is the 'Word' of God, the One who created Adam, and Who then enlightened Adam as they fellowshipped together in Eden:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world.

John 1:1-4,9

Because each one of us enjoyed the same interactions with the Son of God that Adam himself experienced, we not only knew a lot about God, but we also knew God personally; face to face. The apostle Paul described mankind's rebellion in Eden as a denial of this intimate, personal knowledge:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Romans 1:21

It is this same 'living Word', Whom we all knew in Eden, Who has also come into the world in a human body in order to accomplish the redemption of humanity:

And the Word (Jesus Christ) was made flesh, and dwelt among us. And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father; full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

Secondly, God's written word has come to humanity through human prophets inspired by the Holy Spirit:

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man. But holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:20
    2) God is revealed through our CONSCIENCE.

When God created us, He made us 'moral' beings. He wrote His Law within our hearts, and made us sensitive to right and wrong:

For as many as have sinned without the Law (of Moses) will also perish without Law. And as many as have sinned in (possession of) the Law will be judged by the Law (for not the hearers of the Law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the Law will be justified). For when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, by nature do the things in the Law, these, although not having the Law, are a Law to themselves. Who show the work of the Law written in their hearts. Their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Romans 2:12-15

The Lord Jesus told the story of a wicked man who died and went to hell (Luke 16:19-31). In hell he cried out to Abraham, asking him to raise someone from the dead and send him to his brothers in order to warn them. But Abraham's reply was that the man's brothers had the Law of Moses to warn them; and that if they would not listen to Moses, then they would not be persuaded if someone were to rise from the dead.

This is an important Biblical truth. Our eternal destinies are determined by whether or not we are willing to listen to our conscience. It is through the 'eyes' of the conscience that people come to acknowledge their sins, and to see their need for the Savior:

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Matthew 5:8

And this is the condemnation; that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:19
    3) God is revealed through His CREATION.

God has been revealed to mankind through what He made during His six creation 'days' of Genesis chapter 1:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made; even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

Romans 1:20

In this verse Paul is providing a brief, 'A to Z' summation of the six creation 'days' of Genesis 1. The 'A' of Paul's summation is the revelation of God's 'eternal power' through His creation of the universe. The 'Z' of his summation is the revelation of the 'Godhead' (God's personal nature) through the creation of mankind.

Genesis 1:1 says 'In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth'. This is a description of what people call the 'Big Bang'; the moment roughly 14 billion years ago when time and the universe began (for a discussion of my views on God's creation 'days', see my web page 'Science and the Bible').

The universe has been sustained and expanded by God ever since, and it now contains billions of galaxies, each galaxy containing billions of stars. The material universe is the perfect revelation of God's infinite power.

On the sixth and final creation day (the seventh day was a day of rest), in His final creative act on that day, God made mankind in the 'image of God'. And I believe (as I have explained above) that the revelation of God's personal nature, as a divine Family, is seen in humanity.

THE UNITARIAN CHALLENGE: ONE GOD, THE FATHER

In the Fall of 2020 I began to listen to podcasts and YouTube videos by people who call themselves 'Unitarians'. They define themselves as Christians who believe in one single, 'unitary' God; the Father.

It is important to distinguish between Unitarians, and the Unitarian Universalist Church (UUC). Universalists believe that all of humanity will be saved by God in the end; that salvation is 'universal'. In 1961 the Universalists united with some Unitarians to form the UUC. But there are other Unitarians who have not joined the UUC, and do not embrace 'universalism'. It is these unaligned, 'original' Unitarians that I am referring to in this section.

The challenging Unitarian question that confronted me was this:

'If Jesus is God, then why is it that the New Testament often distinguishes between Jesus and 'God'?

Unitarians base their belief, that the Father alone is God, upon 'proof-texts' like the following one from the apostle Paul:

But for us there is but one God, the Father, from Whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things, and we through Him.

1 Corinthians 8:6

Unitarian theology is built upon this distinction, found everywhere throughout the New Testament, between the Father as 'God' and Jesus as 'Lord'. Below I present New Testament verses that distinguish the Lord Jesus from 'God':

    1) INITIAL GREETINGS  The initial greeting in most of the New Testament epistles distinguishes between the Father as 'God', and Jesus as 'Lord':

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God. Which He had promised before by His prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 1:1-3

The apostle Paul used a consistent, formulaic greeting that always distinguished between God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ:

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3. Ephesians 1:1-2, Philippians 1:1-2, Colossians 1:1-2, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2, 1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:2, Philemon 3

And it was not Paul alone who distinguished between 'Jesus' and 'God' in his greeting:

God who at various times and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.

Hebrews 1:1

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greetings.

James 1:1

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ; to them who have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

2 Peter 1:1-2

Grace be with you, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father in truth and love.

2 John 3

Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ and called: mercy unto you, and peace and love be multiplied.

Jude 1-2

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.

Revelation 1:1
    2) THE 'GOD AND FATHER' OF JESUS CHRIST  The New Testament declares not only that the Father is 'God' over all things generally, but that He is 'God' to the Lord Jesus as well:

That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:6

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is blessed for evermore, knows that I lie not.

2 Corinthians 11:31

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

1 Peter 1:3

I used to believe that these 'God and Father' verses indicated that the Father was 'God' to the Lord Jesus only within the context of His humanity. As the Son of God, Jesus related to the Father eternally as His Parent. But as a Man, born under the Law (Galatians 4:4-5) and obligated to keep the Law, the Lord Jesus related to the Father as 'God'. This was the only sense in which I believed that the Father was 'God' to the Son.

I no longer believe this, however. The New Testament nowhere expressly states that this 'God and Father' formula applies only to Christ's earthly human existence. And so I have no right to assume that the Father was not in some sense 'God' to the Son before creation began.

    3) OTHER EXAMPLES  Below are further examples of the New Testament distinction between 'God' and Christ:

And this is life eternal; that they might know You, the only true God; and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 17:3

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:4

God is faithful, by Whom you were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:9

But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 11:3

And when all things have been subdued under Christ, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto the Father Who put all things under Him; that God may be all in all.

1 Corinthians 15:28

Him that overcomes will I (Jesus) make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God; which is New Jerusalem. Which comes down out of heaven from my God. And I will write upon him My new name. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

Revelation 3:11-13

After this I beheld a great multitude, which no man could number; of all nations, tribes, peoples and languages. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and with palms in their hands. And they cried with a loud voice, saying "Salvation to our God Who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb".

Revelation 7:9-10

For someone who had always believed that the Father, Son and Spirit are 'one God', the fact that the New Testament regularly distinguishes between 'God' and the 'Lord Jesus' was unsettling. I had to honestly ask myself whether or not I had gotten God 'right'.

What I had failed to recognize for many years (and for which I am now both embarrassed and thankful) is that the distinction between 'God' and 'Jesus' is an essential part of the New Testament. It cannot be ignored, and must be incorporated into any explanation of the Trinity. It had been sitting there right before my eyes, but I had never seen it. And now here I was, supposedly 'mature' in the faith, having to admit that I wasn't as knowledgeable as I thought I was:

And if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

1 Corinthians 8:2

At earlier points in my Christian life I would have quickly written off Unitarians as 'antichrists' who 'deny the Father and the Son' (1 John 2:22). But now the Lord was leading me to stop and hear them out. And in this process, reexamining my own beliefs, I had to concede that many people in Unitarian churches were probably like me; on a 'journey to discover God'.

But while I have become more charitable toward Unitarians, I am not charitable toward Unitarianism. I make a distinction between the two. Unitarianism is defined by a settled conclusion; that the Son and the Spirit are not fully divine and co-eternal with the Father.

The Unitarians have taught me. And they have compelled me to 'go back to the Book'. But in this process the 'Unitarian Challenge' has not moved me away from Trinitarianism. Instead, it has confirmed me in it. I am now more confident in my 'Trinitarian' beliefs than ever before. I am more certain than ever that the doctrine of the Trinity is essential to a true and proper understanding of God.

But how can Jesus be God, when the Bible repeatedly distinguishes Him from God? I begin my answer with the following three Bible passages. These passages all describe Jesus as 'God', and yet they also portray Him as being in a relationship with 'God'.

The first passage describes Jesus as the Creator of the universe. The second passage glorifies Him for bringing that universe to a just and righteous conclusion. And the third passage, while it tells us that Jesus has turned sinners into Priests and Kings for His God, ends by declaring that Jesus Himself is the almighty, everlasting God:

In the beginning was the Word (Jesus Christ). And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him. And without Him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:1-3

But unto the Son He says "Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness, and hated lawlessness. Therefore God, even Your God (the Father), has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.

Hebrews 1:8-9, Psalm 45:6-7

Unto Him (Jesus) Who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. And has made us kings and priests unto HIS GOD AND FATHER; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Behold, He comes with clouds. And every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him. And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. "I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending" says the Lord (Jesus), "Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; the Almighty".

Revelation 1:5-8

In all three of these passages Jesus is called 'God', and is also portrayed as interacting with 'God'. How can this be? The answer lies in the highlighted phrase above; "HIS GOD AND FATHER".

As the Son of the Father, Jesus is fully divine and a Member of the eternal Family. And yet there are important distinctions between the Persons of the Trinity. The Father so excels the Son and the Holy Spirit in glory, majesty and power that They reverently look up to Him not only as a Companion and Father, but as Their 'God' as well.

In the next nine sections of this web page I explain how the glory of the Father excels the glory of the Son and the Holy Spirit. And yet I maintain at the same time the full and eternal deity of the Son and the Holy Spirit as well.

THE EXCEEDING GLORY OF THE FATHER

The apostle Paul, in a verse that I have already presented, explains why the Father is uniquely 'God'. It is because all things come from Him, and the entire created universe exists for Him:

But for us there is but one God, the Father, from Whom are all things, and we for Him. And one Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things, and we through Him.

1 Corinthians 8:6

God the Father is not only 'God' in His relationship with the universe, but is also 'God' in His relationship with the Son and with the Spirit. Why? Did He create Them? No. Did the Father exist before the Son and Spirit? No. But even though the Son and the Spirit have always been 'one' with the Father and co-eternal with Him, nevertheless He excels Them in two important ways:

    1) THE FATHER ENCOMPASSES THE SON AND THE SPIRIT  The Son and the Spirit are from the Father. If we were to go back far enough into eternity past, we would reach a point where the Father alone could be seen. There would be one God visible to our spiritual eyes; before the procession of the Spirit and the begetting of the Son from within the Father.

And so the words 'one God, the Father' declare this foundational truth about the 'unfolding' of the Trinity in eternity past; that the Father possesses the dignity of priority within the Trinity. His divinity is unique. The Father is the 'first among equals'. He is "God Most High". And so He is not only a 'Father' to the Son and to the Spirit, but is also worshiped by Them as well.

What kind of worship do the Son and the Spirit direct toward the Father? The same kind of reverence that is commanded within human families. I believe that the Holy Spirit reveres the Father as a Spouse should, and the Son honors the Father as a Child should:

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not from the woman, but the woman from the man. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man. For this cause the woman ought to have authority upon her head; because of the angels.

1 Corinthians 11:7-10

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves; being in subjection unto their own husbands. Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him 'lord'.

1 Peter 3:5-6

Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving to you.

Exodus 20:12

Children, obey your parents in all things. For this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

Colossians 3:20

And so, although the Son and the Spirit are co-eternal with the Father, and are both comprised of the same 'spiritual substance' as He is, nevertheless the Father's glory distinctly excels Theirs.

    2) THE FATHER IS SOVEREIGN  The entire created universe, and all of its inhabitants, are not only 'from' the Father but also exist FOR the Father. Here we are referring to the predestinating 'sovereignty' of God. It is the Father alone who predestines:

All who the Father gives to Me shall come to Me. And he who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me. And this is the Father’s will Who has sent Me; that of all whom He has given to Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:37-39

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life. And they shall never perish. Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father Who gave them to Me is greater than all. And no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.

John 10:27-30

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

1 Peter 1:1-2

Here, in the words of the Lord Jesus, we see a distinction between the Son of God and the created world. Although the Son is 'from' the Father, He is not a created Being and does not exist 'for' the Father. The Son and the Spirit are eternal, and Their relationship with the Father is everlasting.

However, the universe and its inhabitants are created (including angels and men), and exist for no other reason than to provide God the Father with the opportunity to reveal His own glory. The apostle Paul likened the Father's sovereignty to the authority that a potter has over clay; to make from it whatever kind of vessel that He might wish:

Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy. And whom He will he hardens. You will say then unto me "Why does He find fault? For who has resisted His will?" No, O man, but who are you that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it 'Why have You made me thus?' Has not the Potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?

Romans 9:18-21

And so the Father excels the Son and the Spirit not only because They are 'from' Him, but also because all of creation is both 'from' Him and exists 'for' Him. The Father is so unspeakably glorious and terribly majestic that it is only right that angels and men should exist for no other reason than to provide God with the opportunity to reveal His glory.

GOD THE FATHER IS NOT ONLY THE SOURCE OF THE UNIVERSE;
HE IS THE REASON FOR THE UNIVERSE!

THE LORDSHIP OF THE SON

So how are we to understand the Lordship of Christ. First we must define the word 'Lord'. The original Greek word that Paul used, that is translated 'lord' in our English bibles, is 'kurios'. In the original Greek this word meant 'master', 'ruler', or 'commander'. It conveys the idea of 'authority'; someone who exercises dominion.

Although I have already touched upon this point, I will again point out that the 'Lordship' of the Son began before time itself. He was with the Father, and was planning the management of the universe with Him before creation began:

And now, Father, glorify Me with Yourself; with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

John 17:5

Giving thanks unto the Father, Who has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son. In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn (or One born before) of every creature. For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible; whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.

Colossians 1:11-17

So what is it that distinguishes the title 'God' from 'Lord'? Two things are communicated in these titles:

    1) THE SON IS SECOND IN COMMAND  Jesus' title of 'Lord' expresses the idea that, while the Father is 'God', the Son stands one step below Him. The titles 'God' and 'Lord' represent a chain of command; of the Father ruling over the Son, and the Son in turn ruling over creation, including angels and men.

    2) THE SON EXECUTES THE FATHER'S SOVEREIGN PLAN  How does the fact that all things are 'through' the Son of God make Him Lord?

But for us there is but one God, the Father, from Whom are all things and we unto Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things, and we through Him.

1 Corinthians 8:6

An illustration that comes to my mind is the story of King David's desire to build the first Temple for God in Jerusalem. God told David that, because he had been a man of war and had shed much blood, the Temple would be built by his son, Solomon. So David, wanting to do what he could for the glory of God, provided things for Solomon's project (1 Chronicles 22). David bought the land, provided the blueprints, and set aside money and building materials. But it would remain for Solomon to actually build the Temple. The Temple was from David, through Solomon.

Another illustration, that I use in my web page titled Navigating Predestination and Freedom of Choice, is that of the Chairman of the Board of a Corporation, and the corporation's Chief Executive Officer (CEO). God the Father is the divine 'Chairman of the Board'. All of the needed 'funds' and 'resources' for the business are from Him, and the purpose and direction of the 'corporation' are determined by Him. But the use of the resources and fulfillment of the Chairman's 'goals' are through the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is here, in the very 'proof text' that Unitarians use to deny that Jesus Christ is fully God, that their argument begins to fall apart. Paul sets before us a distinction between the Father and the Son that is defined by Their relative glory and rank within the Trinity. And this is a distinction that is found throughout the Old and New Testaments, where the Son and the Spirit are both called 'God', but are also consistently portrayed as worshipful and subservient toward 'Their God': the Father.

We shall see, as we go on to examine the Bible further, that the Unitarians have not only erred in their handling of God's word, but have also put themselves at cross purposes with the Father; whose desire before the foundation of the universe was to reveal the full glory of the entire Trinity through the submission of the Son and the Spirit to His plan.

THE NOUN 'ELOHIM'

The Hebrew word 'Elohim' is the first reference to God that we encounter in the Bible; and it is the only word for 'God' that is used in Genesis chapter 1. The word 'Elohim' is found throughout all of the Old Testament.

'Elohim' is not a personal name. It is the plural form of the singular Hebrew noun 'El', which means 'a god' or 'the god'. And so the plural word 'Elohim' might be translated 'the Gods'.

The use of the plural word 'Elohim' suggests the possibility that there may be more than one divine Person revealed in Genesis chapter 1. In fact, the activity of three divine Persons is found in Genesis 1.

    1) THE FATHER CREATED FROM NOTHING  In verse 1 we see 'Elohim' creating the heavens and the earth:

In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

The Hebrew word for 'created' in this verse is 'bara', which means to bring something into being that never existed before. It means to create something out of nothing ('ex nihilo' in Latin). This is an activity that we might expect by God the Father, from Whom are all things.

The word 'bara' is only used two more times in Genesis chapter 1; in Elohim's creation of great sea creatures in verse 21, and in Elohim's creation of mankind in verse 27. In every other verse in Genesis chapter 1 the original Hebrew words translated 'create' describe using materials that already exist to form or build something with them.

I believe that Genesis 1:1 describes the 'Big Bang'; the beginning of time and the universe 14 billion years ago. This was a moment when all of the physical laws and components of the universe suddenly sprang into existence from nothing.

    2) THE HOLY SPIRIT MANAGED THE WATERS  In Genesis 1:2 we see the 'Spirit of Elohim' hovering over the waters of the earth:

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:2

I believe that verse 2 describes our solar system and planet 10 billion years after the 'Big Bang'; when the planet Earth was 'without form and void'; being simply part of a debris field orbiting around a central mass that would eventually become a star. This was a point before our sun had ignited; when the Spirit of God was taking a special interest in the water content of our planet.

This idea, of 10 billion earth-years passing between God's initial creation of the material 'stuff' of the universe, and the subsequent creative activity of the Holy Spirit upon the planet earth 4 billion years ago, is referred to by some people as a 'Gap Theory'.

There are many different 'Gap' theories that have been proposed by people in order to provide a transition from Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 1:2. I would simply suggest that for 10 billion years the universe was divided into purely physical things operating in accordance with the laws of physics, and purely spiritual beings called ‘angels’ who were not bound by the laws of physics. God created them to oversee and manage the vast expanding material world.

In Genesis 1:2, after having ruled over the universe for 10 billion earth-years as the 'Lord of Hosts' (hosts of angels), God set about to create a unique planet where His creative genius would be revealed during 6 creation 'days'. The revelation of God's creative glory would begin with God setting up the planet earth to support biological life, and culminate in the creation of human beings; incredibly sophisticated biological 'machines' inhabited by spiritual 'souls'. This uniting of the physical and the spiritual is seen in the account of mankind's creation:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And man became a living soul.

Genesis 2:7
    3) THE 'WORD' OF GOD IGNITED OUR SUN  In Genesis 1:3 we not only see the moment when our sun first roared to life, but the establishment of the earth's precise distance from the sun, the speed of the earth's rotation, and the speed of earth's travel around the sun; all things that came together as God 'spoke' to create and define earth's 'days' and 'nights':

And God said "Let there be light", and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good. And God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Genesis 1:3-5

We see this same connection, between Elohim's 'Word' and His creative activity, throughout the rest of Genesis chapter 1. And we find a parallel between these 'words of God' in Genesis chapter 1, and the apostle John's description of the Lord Jesus as 'the Word':

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him. And without Him was not any thing made that was made.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father; full of grace and truth.

John 1:1-3,14

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are 'front and center' in the activities of creation day 1, and throughout all of the other creation 'days' of Genesis chapter 1. And the plurality of these Persons who comprise 'Elohim' is especially revealed in Genesis 1:26, where Elohim says...

Let Us make man in Our image and according to Our likeness.

Genesis 1:26

The three Persons of 'Elohim', and their distinct roles, are revealed throughout all of the Old Testament. The Father is revealed as Elohim from Whom are all things, for Whom are all created things, and who sovereignly does with those things whatever He wishes:

Remember the former things of old. For I am 'El' (God), and there is no other. I am Elohim, and there is none like Me. Declaring the end from the beginning. And from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure". Calling a bird of prey from the east; the man who executes My counsel from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it. I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.

Isaiah 46:9-11

The Son is revealed as the angel, messenger or 'Word' of Elohim, through Whom God communicates with mankind:

Then the Angel of Elohim spoke to me in a dream, saying "Jacob". And I said "Here I am". And He said "Lift your eyes now and see. All the rams which leap on the flocks are streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted. For I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God (El) of Bethel; where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family".

Genesis 31:11-13

And the Angel of Elohim, which went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them. And the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them. And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. And it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to Israel. So that the one came not near the other all the night.

Exodus 14:19-20

And the 'Spirit of Elohim' is described as sometimes dwelling within people; giving them wisdom and the ability to serve God:

And Pharaoh said unto his servants "Can we find such a person as this (Joseph); a man in whom the Spirit of Elohim is?"

Genesis 41:38

And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying "See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of Elohim; in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship".

Exodus 31:1-3

THE NAME 'YAHWEH'

Beginning in Genesis 2:4 Moses, who wrote the first five books of the Bible, began to refer to God as 'YHWH-Elohim'. These words are translated 'LORD God' in some English Bibles. The word 'YHWH' is pronounced 'Yahweh' by some, and 'Jehovah' by others.

The name 'Yahweh' stems from an answer that God gave to Moses, when God was preparing to send Moses to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt. Moses asked God what His personal name is:

And Moses said unto Elohim "Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them 'The Elohim of your fathers has sent me unto you'. And they shall say to me 'What is His name?', what shall I say unto them?" And God said unto Moses "I AM THAT I AM". And He said "Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel; 'I AM' has sent me unto you". Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘YHWH Elohe of your fathers, the Elohe of Abraham, the Elohe of Isaac, and the Elohe of Jacob has sent me to you'. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations".

Exodus 3:13-15

God revealed two things to Moses in this conversation:

    1)  GOD'S PERSONAL NAME IS 'YHWH'; WHICH MEANS 'THE GOD WHO EXISTS'. In other words, YHWH is the one true living God.
    2) YHWH's MEMORIAL (what He wants to be remembered by) IS THAT HE IS THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB.

What we see here is God establishing a firm linkage between His name, and His promise of redemption through Abraham. God had promised that through Abraham's Seed (Jesus Christ) all of the nations of the world would be blessed (Genesis 12:3, 22:18). And God went on to specify that Abraham's 'Seed' would come into the world through Isaac and Jacob. And so as God gave His personal Name to Moses, He also connected it to His promised redemption through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

And because the nation of Israel is the 'family' of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Yahweh is uniquely Israel's God. And so we find both 'Elohe' (another form of the word 'El') and 'Yahweh' in Moses' famous 'Shema' declaration to Israel:

Hear (shema), O Israel. Yahweh our Elohe (God), Yahweh is One! And you shall love Yahweh your Elohe with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5

When Moses wrote the book of Genesis, though he used the word 'Elohim' for God in chapter 1, beginning in Genesis 2:4 he began to refer to God as 'Yahweh-Elohim'. First of all, this was done in order to convey the fact that Yahweh and Elohim are the same God. But secondly and just as importantly, it was because beginning in Genesis 2:4 God's personal moral relationship with mankind was introduced.

Beginning in Genesis 2:17, God gave one commandment to Adam and Eve; 'You shall not learn right from wrong'. That commandment centered around the issue of whether or not Adam would acknowledge God's existence, and simply believe Him (see 'Why God Requires Our Faith'). That commandment embodied the very essence of God's Name; 'I Am':

But without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

And subsequent to Adam's disobedience, the issues of God's judgment and forgiveness would become the central theme of the Bible (Genesis 3:14-19, 21). This is why, beginning in Genesis 2:4, the words 'Elohim' and 'Yahweh" are found throughout the remainder of the Old Testament; sometimes used separately and sometimes found together.

Just as with the revelation of Elohim as three divine Persons (beginning in Genesis chapter 1 and on through the rest of the Old Testament), we also find Yahweh revealed as a 'Father', as the 'Spirit of Yahweh', and as the Angel or Messenger of Yahweh. This makes sense, inasmuch as Elohim and Yahweh are the same triune God.

When we read about angels in the Bible, we usually think of non-physical spiritual beings. But the original word 'angel' simply means 'messenger'; someone who conveys the 'words' of one person to another. In both the Old and New Testaments, human prophets are sometimes referred to as 'angels' of God. And it was the Angel of Yahweh (the Son of God) Who met Moses in the burning bush:

Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of Elohim, even to Horeb (Sinai). And the Angel of Yahweh appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. And he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire; and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said "I will now turn aside, and see this great sight; why the bush is not burned. And when Yahweh saw that he turned aside to see, Elohim called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said "Moses, Moses". And he said "Here I am". And He said "Do not come near. Put off your shoes from off your feet. For the place whereon you stand is holy ground". Moreover He said "I am the Elohe of your father, the Elohe of Abraham, the Elohe of Isaac, and the Elohe of Jacob". And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon Elohim.

Exodus 3:1-6

In this passage the 'Angel of Yahweh' is also called Yahweh, Elohim and Elohe. These are all different names for the same God. God wanted Israel and the world to know that this 'Yahweh' Who spoke to Moses from the bush is the 'Elohim' of Genesis 1.

Besides the many appearances of the 'Angel of Yahweh' (the Son of God) in the Old Testament, there are references to Yahweh as a Father, and many mentions of the 'Spirit of Yahweh':

Doubtless You are our Father. Though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel (Jacob) acknowledge us not, You Yahweh are our Father; our Redeemer. Your name is from everlasting.

Isaiah 63:16

But now, Yahweh, You are our Father. We are the clay, and You are our Potter. And we all are the work of Your hand.

Isaiah 64:8

And the Spirit of Yahweh began to move Samson at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 13:25

Who has directed the Spirit of Yahweh, or being His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel. And who instructed Him, taught him in the path of judgment, taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding?

Isaiah 40:13-14

THE TRINITY IN THE TABERNACLE

Unitarians claim that the doctrine of the Trinity was invented in the centuries following the times of Jesus and His apostles. They claim that it has derived its 'authority' from various church councils and creeds, and was imposed upon people through the military power of 'Christian Emperors'. This is not true, as I have shown.

The Trinity is present in the very first verses of Genesis chapter 1, and throughout the Old Testament. And the Trinity was revealed through the human race itself, made in the image of God, long before Moses sat down to write the first five books of the Old Testament.

But there is another important revelation of the Trinity (apart from the names and activities of God) in the Old Testament. The Trinity is revealed in the Tabernacle of Moses. This Tabernacle is described in the book of Exodus. It was first built around 1480 BC, according to God's exact instructions:

And let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, after the pattern of the Tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall you make it.   Exodus 25:7-9

Tabernacle

THE TABERNACLE

The author of the New Testament book of Hebrews tells us that the Tabernacle was a symbolic replica of God's true Tabernacle in heaven:

Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum. We have such a High Priest (Jesus), Who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true Tabernacle, which the Lord built, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices. Wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law of Moses. Who serve the example and symbol of heavenly things, as Moses was instructed by God when he was about to make the tabernacle. For God said "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown to you in the mount (Sinai)".

Hebrews 8:1-5

The Tabernacle was divided into two rooms; a first room called the 'Holy Place', and a second room called the 'Holy of Holies'. The Old Testament priests entered into the Holy Place every day of the year, fulfilling their responsibilities there. But the Holy of Holies could only be entered once a year, on the Day of Atonement. And it could only be entered by the High Priest, carrying the blood of a sacrificial animal, in order to atone for the sins of the people.

Tabernacle Cutaway

3D Tabernacle

THE TWO ROOMS

The Holy Place was separated from the Holy of Holies by the Veil. The Veil had angels woven into its fabric:


ANGELS IN THE VEIL

And the two rooms were surrounded by angels, symbolically woven into the walls and ceilings:


ANGELS AROUND GOD

The Holy of Holies represented the throne of God the Father. How can we know this? Because the author of the book of Hebrews tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ, as an eternal High Priest like Melchizedek, has entered within the Holy of Holies in God's true Tabernacle in heaven, to appear in the presence of the Father:

But Christ has come as a High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say 'Not of this world'. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place (in heaven), having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 9:11-12

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the symbols of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.

Hebrews 9:24

There were two pieces of furniture associated with the Holy of Holies. First, the Ark of the Covenant stood inside of the Veil; with winged angels above it. The Ark symbolized the dwelling place of God the Father. It's interesting that the Bible's visions of the Father's throne in heaven also portray Him as surrounded by special angels who glorify Him continually (Isaiah 6:1-4, Ezekiel chapters 1 & 10, Revelation chapter 4).

THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
Ark

THE FATHER'S THRONE

The second piece of furniture associated with the Holy of Holies stood outside of the Veil. It was the Altar of Incense.

ALTAR OF INCENSE

PRAYERS OFFERED

The burning of incense upon this altar symbolized the bringing of prayers to the Father. While people were not allowed to enter into the Holy of Holies, the sweet aroma of incense always found a way around and through the Veil to come to the Father's attention.

Whenever Moses' tabernacle was erected, its door always faced to the East. And when a priest entered through the door into the first room, the Holy Place, a Lampstand always stood on his left; on the south side of the room. The Lampstand symbolized the Holy Spirit. The Lampstand had seven lamps on it that had to be cared for twice a day; making sure that their wicks were trimmed and their oil supply was maintained. The Lampstand was kept burning continually.

Menorah

THE LAMPSTAND

The seven lamps represent the 'seven Spirits' of God. In the following verse all three Persons of the Trinity are described:

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come. And from the seven Spirits Who are before His throne. And from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful Witness, the First-Begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him Who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.

Revelation 1:4-5

There is only one Holy Spirit, but in this verse the Holy Spirit is described as seven Spirits before God's throne. This is because the number seven symbolizes fullness, completeness or perfection in the Bible. It corresponds to the seven glorious traits of the Holy Spirit described by Isaiah:

And the Spirit of 1) the Lord shall rest upon Him (Christ), the Spirit of 2) wisdom and 3) understanding, the Spirit of 4) counsel and 5) might, the Spirit of 6) knowledge and of 7) the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:2

Later in Revelation these seven 'Spirits' are also portrayed as seven Lamps or Torches before the throne of God:

And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Revelation 4:5
Menorah

THE HOLY SPIRIT

So we can see the that the Lampstand in Moses' Tabernacle symbolized the Holy Spirit in the God's true Tabernacle in heaven.

Opposite the Lampstand, on the north side of the Holy Place, stood the Table of Showbread.

TABLE OF 'SHOWBREAD'
Showbread

THE SON OF GOD

The Table of Showbread represented the Son of God. It had 12 loaves of bread stacked upon it, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Once a week on the Sabbath the priests would replace the old bread with new. But the old bread was not thrown away. Because it was holy, it was eaten by the priests during the following week.

How do loaves of bread symbolize the Son of God?

    1) Firstly, because Jesus is the 'Word of God', and God's word is spiritual food for mankind:

But Jesus answered and said "It is written 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God'".

Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3
    2) Secondly because Jesus is the redemptive 'Bread of Life'. His broken body and shed blood become spiritual food for sinners when they are united with Him in His death, burial and resurrection.

And Jesus took bread and gave thanks; and He broke it and gave it unto them, saying "This is My body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me".

Luke 22:19

I am the living Bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever. And the Bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

John 6:51
    3) Thirdly , the Hebrew phrase translated 'showbread' literally means 'Bread of the Face', or 'Bread of the Presence'. Jesus is the 'showing' or 'revealing' of God the Father to all of humanity. He is the full revelation of God that has been given to humanity for our spiritual 'consumption'. The Son Himself is 'the Father' before the world; Who speaks the Father's words to the world.

The Father is hidden from mankind behind a 'veil'. And the only way that any human being can ultimately come to Him, is through the One whom He has chosen. Here again we begin to see a hint of the distinction between the Father as 'God', and the Son as 'Lord'. Everything may be 'from' the Father, and every created thing may exist 'for' the Father. But the Father has determined that it will be 'through' His Son, and His Son's Lordship, that the full plan of God will be achieved.

The Old Testament priests entered into the Holy Place every day of the year attending to the Lampstand, the Altar of Incense and the Table of Showbread. They interacted with these things regularly. But the Holy of Holies was 'off limits' to them. It could only be entered once a year on the Day of Atonement, and then only by the High Priest.

Similarly mankind has interacted with the Son of God and the Spirit of God throughout human history. The Son of God has been the Word, the Presence and the Face of the Father ever since mankind came into existence:

No man has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has revealed Him.

John 1:18

It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me (Jesus). Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

John 6:45-46

Then said they unto Him "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You neither know Me, nor my Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also".

John 8:19

Philip said unto Him "Lord, show us the Father, and it will be enough". Jesus said unto him "Have I been so long time with you, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He that has seen Me has seen the Father. And how do you say 'Show us the Father?'"

John 14:8-9

And while the Son of God has been the Lord over mankind and creation from the beginning, the Holy Spirit has shed light upon the Son of God, and has also shown light into the hearts of men. And now the Holy Spirit labors to persuade a rebellious humanity to acknowledge this light, and submit to it:

And Yahweh said "My Spirit shall not always strive with man".

Genesis 6:3

And this is the condemnation; that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:19

And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they do not believe in Me. Of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more. Of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

John 16:8-11

You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.

Acts 7:51

BREAD OF THE PRESENCE

At His incarnation, coming into the world as a human being, the the Son of God became the 'Presence' of God in a new way. This is the meaning of 'Emmanuel' in the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah:

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken about the Lord by the prophet, saying "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son. And they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted means 'God with us'.

Matthew 1:22-23, Isaiah 7:14

But the Son of God was often 'present' with humanity in the Old Testament, though not in a human body. We first see this 'Presence' in the Garden of Eden:

And the eyes of them both (Adam and Eve) were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of Yahweh Elohim walking in the garden in the cool of the day. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh Elohim amongst the trees of the garden. And Yahweh Elohim called unto Adam, and said unto him "Where are you?" And he said "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked. And I hid myself".

Genesis 3:7-10

The 'presence' of God with the people of Israel was also a major concern for Moses:

And the Angel of Yahweh appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush.

Exodus 3:2

And Yahweh said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to Him “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

Exodus 33:15-16

In the words of Isaiah we see all three Persons of the Trinity actively involved in the early history of Israel:

In all of Israel's afflictions Yahweh (the Father) was afflicted. And the Angel of His Presence (the Son) saved them. In His love and in His pity He redeemed them, and He bore them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed His Holy Spirit. Therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them.

Isaiah 63:9-10

The 'Presence of God' is an important moral theme throughout the Bible. This is because the Bible tells us that God sees everything that we think, say and do. And so, because we will have to give an account of ourselves to Him, we must think and live as though God is 'present and watching us' at all times. This is the idea that God conveyed to Abraham when He said 'Walk before Me':

And when Abram was ninety nine years old, Yahweh appeared to Abram and said unto him "I am El Shaddai (God Almighty); walk before Me and be perfect".

Genesis 17:1

Now if you (Solomon) walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you; and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever.

1 Kings 9:4-5

Some people have described this idea of 'walking before God' as 'practicing the Presence'; reminding themselves continually that God sees everything that they think, say and do. This is a good habit to get into.

Cain, the first child of Adam and Eve did not do this. In fact, he wanted to believe that God could not see him when he murdered his righteous brother, Abel. And so, when God asked Cain where Abel was, Cain lied to Him:

And Yahweh said unto Cain "Where is Abel, your brother?" And Cain said "I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?"

Genesis 4:9

During the early days of the New Testament church a husband and wife, named Ananias and Sapphira, made a similar mistake. They sold some property, and then decided to lie about the selling price to the apostles; even though they were under no obligation to give all of the money to the church. God struck both of them dead because they had been foolish enough to think that God did not see them, and that they could lie to God. This brought great fear upon the early church, and upon everybody else who heard about it (Acts 5:1-11).

And so we see that God commands us to always act as though He is present. Why? Because it will be the Son of God, the 'Bread of the Presence', Who will judge all of us someday:

For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son. That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father Who has sent Him.

John 5:22-23

Neither is there any creature that is not revealed in His sight. But all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him to whom we must answer.

Hebrews 4:13

But without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

THE LIGHT AND WISDOM OF THE SPIRIT

Having explained how the table of 'Showbread' symbolizes the Son of God, I think it is important to further describe the relationship between the Lampstand and the 'Showbread'; between the Son of God and the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is symbolized by seven torches within the Holy Place. And those seven torches provide light in two ways:

    1) The Holy Spirit sheds light upon the Son of God, directing mankind's attention to Him.
    2) The Holy Spirit has provided light for the Son of God. The word 'Christ' or 'Messiah' means 'anointed One'. The Son of God was given the wisdom and understanding of the Holy Spirit from the very beginning of creation. And when He came into the world as a human being, Jesus was especially anointed by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of completing His ministry.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is 'Wisdom'; the feminine Person that is described in the following passages:

Wisdom cries out. She utters Her voice in the streets. She cries in the chief place of concourse; in the openings of the gates. In the city She utters Her words, saying "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning? And fools hate knowledge? Turn at My rebuke! Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you. I will make known My words unto you".

Proverbs 1:20-23

Happy is the man that finds Wisdom, and the man that gets understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you can desire are not to be compared unto Her. Length of days is in Her right hand, and in Her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon Her. And happy is every one that retains Her.

Proverbs 3:13-18

Wisdom has built Her house. She has hewn out Her seven pillars. She has killed Her meat, She has mixed Her wine, and She has furnished Her table. She has sent forth Her maidens. She cries out upon the highest places of the city; "Whosoever is simple, let him turn in here!" As for him that lacks understanding, She says to him "Come, eat of My bread, and drink of the wine which I have mixed. Forsake foolishness, and live. And go in the way of understanding".

Proverbs 9:1-6

Not only does 'Wisdom' offer light and instruction to the world, but 'Wisdom' claims to have existed before the world, and to have played an important role in its creation:

The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way; before His works of old. I proceeded forth from everlasting, from the beginning; before the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth. When there were no fountains abounding with water, before the mountains were settled, and before the hills I was brought forth; while as yet the Lord had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there. When He set a compass upon the face of the depth, when He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, when He gave to the sea His decree that the waters should not pass His commandment: when He appointed the foundations of the earth then I was by Him, as a co-Worker with Him. And I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him. Rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth. And My delights were with the sons of men.

Proverbs 8:22-31

Not only do we see that 'Wisdom' has existed "from everlasting", but also that Wisdom delights in the children of mankind; as we might expect a loving feminine Person to do. And so the passage above is immediately followed by a tender and earnest warning:

Now therefore hearken unto Me, children. For blessed are they that keep My ways. Hear instruction; be wise and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that hears Me, watching daily at My gates; waiting at the posts of My doors. For whoever finds Me finds life, and shall obtain favor from the Lord. But he that sins against Me wrongs his own soul. All those that hate Me love death.

Proverbs 8:32-36

From the moment that He came into the world to accomplish forgiveness for mankind, Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit. He would accomplish His mission through the wisdom, guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit:

And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him. And there came a voice from heaven, saying "You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days; tempted by Satan.

Mark 1:9-13

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Luke 4:18-19, Isaiah 61:1-2

How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 9:14

And ever since the ascension of the Lord Jesus to the right hand of His Father in heaven, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has continued to bring light to the world; pointing people to Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of mankind:

And when the Holy Spirit has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on Me. Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see Me no more. Of judgment, because the prince of this world (Satan) is judged.

John 16:8-11

However when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak from Himself. But whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak. And He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me. For He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you.

John 16:13-15

UNDERSTANDING THE VEIL

The last thing that needs to be understood about the Tabernacle, apart from its furniture, is the Veil that separated the Father from the Son and the Holy Spirit. What does the 'concealment' of the Father behind this Veil signify? I believe that it represents the boundary between the Father's unseen sovereign activities, and the visible world in which we live.

Our world is defined by our choices, rather than by the Father's choices. Because the Father's activities cannot be seen or known, we human beings are left with only one practical option; to embrace our freedom of choice in this visible, morally defined world.

This distinction between the Father's unseen realm, and our visible world was described by Moses:

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God. But those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this Law.

Deuteronomy 29:29

And Moses' distinction between the Father's unseen activities, and our own visible moral world, is also found in the New Testament. First of all we are given to know that the Father alone is the great, sovereign Predestinator of all things. This was declared by the Lord Jesus:

All whom the Father gives to Me shall come to Me. And he that comes to Me I will in no way cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father's will Who has sent Me; that of all whom He has given to Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:37-39

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life. And they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, Who gave them to Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

John 10:27-29

Paul is widely recognized as the apostle who explained the predestining sovereignty of the Father most clearly; as a Potter who has the right to use the clay in whatever way that He pleases. Paul answered objections to the sovereignty of the Father, and its seeming violation of free choice and simple justice, with the following words:

Nay but, O man, who are you that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it "Why have you made me thus?" Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory?

Romans 9:20-23

But while Paul was an unapologetic defender of predestination, he also preserved Moses' distinction between the Father's unseen activities, and our visible moral world. Paul presented the duality of these truths in words he wrote to Timothy:

Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, 1) 'The Lord has known those that are His' (predestination), and 2) 'Let every one that names the name of CHRIST depart from iniquity'.

2 Timothy 2:19

Paul then went on to tell Timothy how we are to handle this duality of predestination and our freedom of choice. While using the metaphor that he used in Romans chapter 9, of people being 'vessels' (pottery) that the Father can make for any purpose, Paul declared that we have power over predestination from our side of the 'Veil'. He said that if we choose to purge ourselves from sin, then we will become 'vessels' that were predestined by God for honor and blessing:

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore PURGE HIMSELF from these (iniquities or sins), he shall be a vessel unto honor; sanctified and ready for the Master's use, and prepared for every good work.

2 Timothy 2:20-21

This is the answer to our intellectual wrestlings with predestination and freedom of choice. It is not a riddle that can be solved. That is beyond our intellectual capacity. Rather it is a simple commandment to be obeyed; that we are to first define predestination and freedom of choice accurately, and then focus exclusively upon our decisions in the visible moral world in which we live.

The fulfillment of predestination through our own choice to believe the truth and obey the Law of God is repeatedly found in the New Testament. Below are just a few passages where the Father's eternal purposes are fulfilled in a person's moral sanctification:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. According as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world. That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved (Christ).

Ephesians 1:3-6

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:2

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them. For He is Lord of lords, and King of kings. And they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Revelation 17:14

Christ has always been with us here in this moral world. We have always had access to Him and to the Holy Spirit in the 'Holy Place'. It is through the Son that this world was created, and its government established. And the Son is the full visible revelation of Father to us; 'Being the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express revelation of His 'Person' (Hebrews 1:3).

The Son has been subject to the moral requirements of the Law. He has been charged by the Father to uphold 'truth' in this world, and to bring the universe to its conclusion in perfect righteousness and justice. And we are commanded to believe, obey and follow the Son.

It is this separation between the Father's unseen activities, and the Son Who is the 'Face', 'Presence' and 'Word' of the Father to us, that the veil in the Tabernacle represents. Because of the Son's worthiness as the Creator and Governor of the universe, He Himself is all of the 'truth' that we need. He has been the way, truth and life for mankind since before we rebelled in Eden:

Jesus said unto him "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes unto the Father but by Me.

John 14:6

By the Father's decree it is the Son alone Who is the way into the Holy of Holies. By the Father's command the Son has created a moral universe defined by truth and the Law of God. The Son Himself is subject to that Law; both to obey it, and to bring the universe to the Law-fulfilling end that the Father has purposed. And we, as God's creation, are commanded to obey the Son if we would enter into the eternal life that the Father promised for Christ's people before creation began:

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; in hope of eternal life which God, Who cannot lie, promised before the world began.

Titus 1:1-2

God does not forbid us to know about predestination. He is frank and open about it. But if we stray from correct Biblical definitions of predestination and freedom of choice, and then fail to obey the Father’s command that we can only come to Him through an obedient relationship with His Son and His Spirit in the ‘Holy Place’, then we will certainly fail to obtain the eternal life that the Father has promised.

Augustinianism, Calvinism and Reformed Theology attribute almost everything to God's sovereign activities, and contemptuously deride any claim that our eternal destinies are the 'wages' of our own moral choices. These 'wages' are sneered at by them as 'works', 'legalism' and 'subjectivism'; the idea that God will judge the world on the basis of who and what we actually, truly, 'subjectively' are.

This is truth that Reformed Theology absolutely denies; the idea that each one of us will end up in heaven or hell based upon our own free response to God's Law. Paul described the twofold error of Augustinianism and Calvinism; 1) Intruding into things that cannot be seen, and 2) departing from redemptive truth that they have been clearly shown:

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of messengers (like Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Arminius, Spurgeon and others). Intruding into those things which he has not seen (behind the Veil); vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. And not holding the Head (Christ); from Whom all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God.

Colossians 2:18-19

Christ is the 'Head' of the Christian, just as the Father is the Head of Christ. It is our relationship with Christ alone, and our response to His commandments that determines whether or not we are abiding in Him; spiritually alive through a Trinitarian Union with Him, and bringing forth holy, Law-fulfilling fruit through the Spirit.

If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.

John 15:10

A proper understanding of the Father's sovereignty does not require us to follow Reformed Theology's dark handling of it. For a further discussion of the doctrinal errors of Calvinism, I would point to my pages titled Navigating Predestination and Freedom of Choice, and The Truth About Original Sin . The Father's sovereign love for His elect is a glorious truth, and a source of great comfort, hope and encouragement to His people. But it must not be the Christian's primary point of reference. The Law must be our primary point of reference.

THE NORTH SIDE OF THE TABERNACLE

As I have pointed out earlier, God commanded Moses to build the Tabernacle according to a specific plan; because the earthly Tabernacle is a replica of God's true and eternal Tabernacle in heaven. And so the earthly Tabernacle reveals important heavenly truths to us.

One of those truths is that, while human beings are restricted from entering into the presence of the Father, interacting only with the Son of God and the Spirit of God in the Holy Place, the angels of God see and know everything that is happening within both chambers; on both sides of the veil.

The presence of angels woven into the fabric of the veil itself, woven into all of the walls and ceilings of both chambers of the Tabernacle, as well as their presence overshadowing the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies, indicates their intimate knowledge of the activities of the Persons of the Trinity. This angelic access was described by the Lord Jesus, when He warned about how children are to be treated:

Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones. For I say unto you that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father Who is in heaven.

Matthew 18:10

This direct angelic access to the Father, and to all of the activities of the Trinity, helps us to understand Satan's strategy to challenge God and glorify himself. Satan wanted to insert himself into 'the sides of the North':

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart "I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the North. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most High.

Isaiah 14:12-14

God had instructed that the Tabernacle always be set up with its entrance facing to the East. What this meant was that, whenever a priest entered into the Holy Place, the Table of Showbread (symbolizing the Son of God) would always be on the right; located on the North side of the Holy Place. This was God's explicit instruction:

And you shall set the Table (of Showbread) outside the veil, and the Lampstand across from the Table on the side of the Tabernacle toward the South. And you shall put the Table (of Showbread) on the North side.

Exodus 26:35
TABLE OF 'SHOWBREAD'
Showbread

SHOWBREAD ON THE RIGHT:
ON THE NORTH SIDE

In my web page titled Why God Requires Our Faith, I explain how a knowledge of right and wrong can enable a person to fight against God. This is because the foundation of God's kingdom is righteousness. And thus a knowledge of right and wrong can become a 'tool' that can be used to tempt people and lead them to sin; separating them from God and His kingdom.

I suspect that it may have been a knowledge of right and wrong that the devil was counting on in his hope to derail the government of the Son of God. The Bible does not tell us when this 'moral contest' might have begun; either shortly after the beginning of the universe, or sometime later. Whatever the case, the Bible takes us forward in time to see the final outcome; where the Son of God has been glorified for overcoming all of Satan's temptations and fulfilling God's will in righteousness:

But unto the Son He says "Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness, and hated lawlessness. Therefore God, even Your God (the Father), has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.

Hebrews 1:8-9, Psalm 45:6-7

The Lord Jesus has not only ruled the universe in perfect righteousness, but has also allowed Himself to suffer a criminal execution on a Roman cross in order to make a just way of forgiveness possible for sinners. In this we see the difference between Christ and Satan.

The Creator gave up His glory, entered a human body and then allowed Himself to be 'made sin' in order that He might save created beings. On the other hand Satan, who was a created being, sought to steal the glory of the Creator. And rather than be a blessing to others, he has been willing to deceive and murder in the pursuit of his goals.

And so what we see, as we look at the Tabernacle and the Table of Showbread, is the Son of God on the North side of the Holy Place; the One whose tested and proven moral character would become the foundation for the Father's everlasting kingdom:

For unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given. And the government shall be upon His shoulder.

Isaiah 9:6

Therefore thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a Stone; a tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation".

Isaiah 28:16

And this is why the Lord Jesus will be the final judge of all men and angels; because He has not only obeyed the Law, but has also become righteousness and life for those who have broken the Law:

He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many. For He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I (the Father) divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong. Because He has poured out His soul unto death. And He was numbered with the transgressors. And He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53:11-12

Seeing then that we have a great high Priest Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we do not have a high Priest Who cannot be touched with the feeling of our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted like as we are; yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:14-16

Who (Jesus) in the days of His flesh (His humanity), when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared God; though he was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all those who obey Him.

Hebrews 5:7-9

For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son. That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father Who has sent Him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears My word and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life; and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.

John 5:22-24

Now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world (Satan) be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth (on a cross), will draw all men unto Me.

John 12:31-32

Given that the Unitarians were used by God to send me back to my Bible, and to bless me, I cannot be too critical of them. That being said however, I believe that I have now clearly explained why the Father is often distinguished from the Son as being uniquely 'God'.

And when one considers my additional explanation that a Trinitarian Union is essential for understanding mankind's fall in Adam, and mankind's potential redemption in Christ, I believe that the truth of the Trinity must not be denied.

For Unitarians who may not be as willing to reexamine their views, as I have been willing to reexamine mine, I would sound the following warning. The apostle John defined Antichrists as having three traits:

    1) THEY DEPART FROM GENUINE CHRISTIANITY

Many Unitarians acknowledge that they were once 'Trinitarian' in their theology, but have now 'seen the light' and reject their old misunderstandings. Unitarians come on as 'Christians' of good will, and deceive the simple and unsuspecting. But their doctrines are an assault upon the very foundations of the Christian faith.

Little children, it is the last time. And as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us. But they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

1 John 2:18-19
    2) THEY DENY THE FATHER AND THE SON

Many Unitarians have an extensive knowledge of the Bible, and even talk about a trinity (with a small 't'). But they attack the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity and of the relationship between the divine Father and His Son. Unitarians talk a good game. But when you get right down to it, they have nothing to offer. They only deceive.

But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father. He that acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

1 John 2:20-24
    3) THEY DENY THE INCARNATION (THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD COMING DOWN TO LIVE IN A HUMAN BODY)

Hereby you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come. And even now it is already in the world.

1 John 4:2-3

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, does not have God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house. Neither wish him God speed. For he that wishes him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds.

2 John 7-11

CHRISTIAN OBJECTIONS TO DIVINE HETEROSEXUALITY

My claim that the Trinity is heterosexual will be questioned by many Christians. Here I seek to anticipate and answer some possible objections.

First let me say that I am dogmatic about the 'Oneness' of the Trinity, and a corresponding 'Oneness' of humanity in Adam. I am also dogmatic about a two-stage existence for Those coming from within the divine Father, and from within the father of the human race. But I am not dogmatic about the heterosexuality of God.

I believe that God has left the role of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity within the realm of 'mystery'; that the nature of the Holy Spirit 's relationship with the Father and the Son is 'veiled' from our sight. And so I believe that, while it is acceptable to discuss the Holy Spirit's possible nature and role in the Trinity, I don't believe that one can be dogmatic about it.

I personally believe that the Holy Spirit is the 'second' Person of the Trinity, and I will openly say so. But I must not expect others to agree with me. There must be room in my heart and mind for Christians who will disagree with me. I must ‘live and let live’.

Secondly, I can appreciate the cautious response that God-fearing people will have. It is one thing to consider what the 'image of God' in mankind might mean. It's another thing to make God bear our image. Our human sexuality includes physical attraction, passion and desire. It would be wrong to attribute this physicality to God. This is an error that has characterized fertility cults in the past.

But while agreeing that Christians should be skeptical about the heterosexuality of God, I would challenge them with this passage from the apostle Paul:

For we are members of His (Christ's) body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:30-32

This passage prompts two questions:

    1) What is the nature of this marriage between Christ and His bride? Why does Paul liken it to human marriages?
    2) Who is the 'mother' that Christ will leave as He takes His bride?

The great turning point in God's dealings with this present world, and His entrance into the future, is an event called 'The Marriage of the Lamb' (Revelation 19:7-9). When this event occurs the Trinity will enter heaven with elect angels, and with a redeemed people who will be both the children of the Father, and the bride of His Son.

It's interesting to observe the two Persons Who proclaim God's great invitation to join in this approaching joy. Could They be speaking together because they are the two feminine participants in that future glory?

And the Spirit and the Bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Revelation 22:17

What Christians need to recognize, whether the Spirit and the Bride are both feminine or not, is that the consummation of the ages is a wedding supper for Christ and His bride. This runs directly contrary to the idea that attributing heterosexuality to God is somehow inherently disrespectful.

Now for the second question: 'Who is the mother that Christ will leave when He takes the Church as His bride?' Most Catholics have a ready answer. Few Protestants have given it any thought. Many Catholics will tell you that the mother whom Christ will leave is the Virgin Mary. Roman Catholicism refers to Mary as "the Mother of God", and has elevated her to divine status. This deification of Mary is not Biblical, and I address it elsewhere in this web site (see The True Nature of Original Sin).

It may be, however, that Rome's veneration of Mary flows out of something deeply felt by many people. Such feelings characterized the pagan religions of Rome, as well as those of many civilizations before it; a belief that the divine Persons who govern the world are not simply a 'men's club'. For centuries people have believed that femininity is also to be found 'amongst the gods'.

In my opinion there is only one Person who can possibly be considered for this role: the Holy Spirit. This is because the Bible tells us that the Son was begotten of the Father in eternity past, before time or creation began. Any further discussion regarding a Mother of the Son therefore, must focus on either ruling the Holy Spirit in or out as a candidate for this role. If the Holy Spirit is not the Mother of the Son of God, then no one else can be. The apostle Paul does not answer this question. He simply describes Christ leaving His Parents and taking a bride as 'a great mystery'.

    OBJECTION #1: THE BIBLE IS SILENT ABOUT THE SPIRIT'S ROLE WITHIN THE TRINITY Many Christians will point out that the Bible says very little about the Holy Spirit's relationships with the other two Persons of the Trinity. But ironically, this silence supports the possibility that the Holy Spirit is the second Person of the Trinity.

Throughout the genealogies of the Old and New Testaments fathers and first-born sons are repeatedly presented, while wives, sisters and daughters are ignored (unless a woman has special historical significance, such as Rahab, Ruth or Bathsheba). In these genealogies the women are veiled from our sight. Although they are the 'second persons' in their families and vital to the human story, they are placed in positions of obscurity and relative humility. This is 'Biblical convention'. And the Bible's silence about the Spirit is consistent with this traditional practice.

    OBJECTION #2: THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A 'HE'  Repeatedly throughout the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is referred to as 'He':

Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak. And He will show you things to come.

John 16:13

Why would Jesus and His apostles consistently refer to the Holy Spirit as 'He', if we are supposed to perceive the Holy Spirit as a feminine Person? My answer to this question is twofold:

    1) First, I would answer that the use of the pronoun 'He' is consistent with 'the veil'; of veiling the feminine persons within a family. The pronoun 'He' might simply be misdirection; steering us away from thinking about the Holy Spirit as a feminine Person. But this doesn't mean that God forbids us to consider the possibility. It simply means that ultimately, regardless of what we might conclude personally, the veil must remain and be honored.
    2) Secondly, the pronoun 'He' might be 'nudging us' toward considering a possible 'spiritual sexuality' in God; a sexuality distinct from human sexuality. A look at the early church concept of 'Filioque' may help to explain what I mean.

THE 'FILIOQUE' PERSPECTIVE

How did the early church understand the role of the Holy Spirit within the Trinity? Early Christians were in agreement that both the Son and the Spirit came from within the Father. The Son has been 'begotten' of the Father (John 1:14, 3:16), and the Holy Spirit 'proceeds' from the Father (John 15:26). A simple triangle with the Father at the top, and two arrows pointing down to both the Son and the Holy Spirit might have represented this perspective on the Trinity.

Early Church View


At around 600 AD some leaders in the Western (Latin) church added a new component to their statement of faith, and began to teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. This doctrine came to be known as the 'Filioque', because 'filioque' is the Latin word which means 'and the Son'.

The Western teachers rotated the triangle clockwise, so that it rested on a point, with both the Father and the Son above, and arrows pointing down from each of them to the Holy Spirit. They taught that the Son was begotten of the Father first, and that the Holy Spirit was the subsequent offspring of both the Father and the Son.

Filioque


This is a viewpoint that was not only embraced by Rome, but is also found in the doctrinal statements of some mainline Protestant churches to this day. The Eastern (Greek) teachers, however, did not think that this doctrinal change was justified. And this caused a division between the Greek and Latin churches.

The point that I am making here is this: no one ever thought that the Latin doctrine of 'Filioque' was suggesting some kind of physical or sexual intimacy between the Father and the Son; resulting in the procession of Holy Spirit. Such thoughts were repulsive, and never arose within this discussion. And the same 'asexual' approach can be taken when considering the possibility that the Holy Spirit is the second Person of the Trinity.

No thought of physical sexuality needs to color our consideration of the possibility that the Father and the Holy Spirit together begat the Son; rather than the Father and the Son together being the source of the Spirit.

It is possible to believe that the Holy Spirit is the second Person of the Trinity, and a second 'Parent' of the Son of God, without bringing our own human sexuality into the picture.

One can tip the 'triangle' in the opposite direction of the Latin fathers, placing the Father and the Holy Spirit above, and the Son below. A person who does this is not implying anything more 'physical' or 'passionate' about the relationship between the Father and Spirit, than the Latin teachers implied about the Father and the Son.

It is with this kind of detachment that we need to consider the idea that the Holy Spirit might be the second Person of the Trinity, the Companion (Paraclete) of God the Father, and a possible second Parent of the Son.

Alternate View

When we grasp this concept, the word 'He' can be accepted as a 'neutral pronoun’, that carries no necessary sexual connotations. Although the 'Filioque' is a false doctrine, our consideration of it can liberate us to think in new ways about the Trinity. When we divorce the possibility of a divine Family from our own sexuality, we are freed up to think in new ways about how a divine Family might be understood.

When we focus upon the fact that God is a spirit (John 4:24), then it becomes possible to think in terms of spiritual masculinity and femininity. We become open to marriage as primarily a companionship between two Persons. And we might consider the begetting of children as a primarily spiritual process as well.

I am not saying that the Father is not definitely masculine, and that the Holy Spirit is not definitely feminine. I am saying that using the pronoun ‘He’ in reference to the Holy Spirit can move us toward meditating upon the nature of God in unique ways; ways that broaden our sense of what it may mean to be ‘male’ and ‘female’.

This discussion may also shed light upon a fundamental mistake that the Latin 'fathers' made. Because Rome exalted the 'Child' to the second position in the Trinity, they left themselves without a second Adult and feminine Person in the 'divine family circle'. Then, to compensate, Rome inserted Mary into the Trinity. Beyond that, Rome forbids marriage for nuns and priests (1 Timothy 4:3). And so Rome's perverse handling of sexuality has brought Marian heresy and unbiblical celibacy into its midst ever since.

It is commonly said that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. Apart from the fact that the Spirit is mentioned last in the baptismal formula of Matthew 28:19, I can find no other support in the Bible for assuming this. Given the fact that it is typical for the Bible to mention the second person in a family lastly (if at all), I would suggest that there is no reason to conclude from the baptismal formula that the Holy Spirit cannot be the second Person of the Trinity.

THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN

There are very clear instructions given by God concerning the behavior of women in the Christian Church and home. They are set forth by the apostle Paul:

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. I do not allow a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

1 Timothy 2:11-15

Be followers of me (Paul), even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head. For that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not from the woman, but the woman from the man. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves. Is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her. For her hair is given to her for a covering. But if any man seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

1 Corinthians 11:1-16

Many have objected to a head-covering, and to the Christian woman's obligation to obey her husband and other men in the church. They have described these notions as 'cultural relics' from the past. The apostle Paul, however, was one of the most 'progressive' men who ever lived, and he gave two reasons for womanly submission in the home and church. They are completely distinct from temporary cultural norms. Paul's instructions had their roots in...

    1) God's original creation of man and woman.
    2) The rebellion of mankind in Eden.

I believe, as I have already explained, that at the creation of humanity men were created in the image of God the Father, and women were created in the image of the Holy Spirit. As the first Person of the Trinity, and the one from Whom both the Holy Spirit and the Son have come, the Father has the pre-eminence. Paul may have been recognizing this, and instructing Christians to duplicate this pattern of fatherly preeminence. Even if Adam and Eve had never sinned, I believe that God would have had women wear veils in church, and obey their husbands. But Paul goes beyond God's original creative design.

The second thing that Paul points to is the fact that the woman was the object of Satan's attack. She was deceived by the devil, and then Satan used her to manipulate her husband. It was through this approach that Satan brought about the downfall of the human race. This is why, when He passed judgment on Adam and Eve, God said that rather than the husband being dominated by his desire for his wife, the wife would now be dominated by her desire for her husband. From that day forward, the husband would lead the wife, rather than be led by his wife (Genesis 3:16).

Satan had a special appreciation for the power of beauty; he himself had been deceived by it, and had used it to deceive others. The following passage is an Old Testament prophecy against the King of Tyre. But it is also a description of Satan, and the fact that his own beauty became his undoing:

Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying "Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord God: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I (God) established you. You were on the holy mountain of God. You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, until iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned. Therefore I cast you as a profane thing, out of the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you.

Ezekiel 28:11-17

Satan turned to wickedness because of his own loveliness. He used his glory to seduce one third of his fellow angels to rebel against God (Revelation 12:4). And then Satan brought this same type of temptation to mankind through feminine beauty. Satan knew how much Adam adored his wife, and how much he needed her. He used this knowledge to gain access to Adam through Eve, rather than to approach Adam directly.

This is why, in 1 Corinthians 11:10 (above) Paul says that the woman needs to wear a symbol of submission "because of the angels". Mankind (and especially the Christian church) is still under attack by angelic beings (Ephesians 6:12). It is imperative that Christians understand this, and understand how important it is that men and women prevent this demonic abuse of feminine beauty that Satan has used so effectively.

To this day society places tremendous emphasis upon womanly beauty, and women spend billions of dollars every year on cosmetics and other physical enhancements, believing that beauty is an important key to their success and happiness. The public media is saturated with scantily clad women, our young people are constantly encouraged to engage in sex outside of marriage, and the abortion industry has destroyed many millions of unborn children in order to facilitate 'sexual freedom'. It has gotten so bad that women who attend 'evangelical' churches often worship in tight clothing, bringing temptation into the church.

This is such a central issue that the apostles instructed the early churches that they would do well if they did two simple things; abstained from eating things offered to idols and from sexual fornication (Acts 15:29, 21:25, Revelation 2:14,20). Feminine beauty is an awesome thing, and truly reflects God's creative glory. It is the very 'stuff' of life, and makes the world go around. It is a gift from God to men, and makes men want to be men. Men who cannot humbly acknowledge their need and admiration for their wives are out of touch with reality and their own feelings.

Children rejoice and are nurtured by the fact that daddy is strong and mama is beautiful, and that daddy loves mama. But it is imperative that Christians understand Satan's ways, and that he is still using women to undermine homes and unleash hell on earth today. It is only as Christian women recognize their God-given role, and Satan's desire to abuse it, that they can resist the devil effectively.

I am convinced that all women intuitively understand how important they are to the stability of their families. What many Christian women may not have considered, however, is that their ability to bless their families may possibly be contingent upon their ability to emulate the Holy Spirit. It is only as a woman shows the same modesty and respect for her husband that the Holy Spirit has for the Father, that our homes and marriages can succeed.

It is not because her husband is great, but because his role is great, that a woman should seek to replicate what takes place within the divine Family. The world has gone mad in its embrace of Satan's original tactics in Eden. A disrespect for men generally, and for the role of men in the family, has been the cornerstone of much of today's 'feminism' and social decay. Christian women must appreciate how completely contrary this is to the will and glory of God:

Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

Proverbs 14:1

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

Likewise, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands. So that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the behavior of the wives; while they behold your chaste conduct coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel. But let it be the hidden person of the heart, in that which is not corruptible. Even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves. Being in subjection unto their own husbands, even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. Whose daughters you are, as long as you do well, and are not afraid with any terror. Likewise husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel. And as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

1 Peter 3:1-7

There might be some who would accuse me of trying to impose the same restrictions upon Christian women that Islamic women experience. There are profound differences, however, between the Christian veil and the Islamic veil.

First of all, God does not instruct women to cover their faces. This would be demeaning. A simple scarf or 'prayer' shawl, draped over the head during public or private worship, is what I believe that God requires. And Christian women are not instructed to wear a head-covering at any other time.

Secondly, although Christian women are instructed to obey their husbands in the home, and to obey male leadership in the church (except when men give instructions that contradict the word of God), they are not commanded to assume subservient roles in the world at large. Christianity does not mandate the general subservience of women to men in society. Although Paul encouraged Christian women to be good mothers and homemakers, neither he nor any other New Testament author restricted the lives of women to the home.

When a Christian man encounters any woman in the public setting, he is to respect her as an equal, and bow to any authority that she may have. It may be the authority of a superior in the workplace, of a policewoman on the street, or of a Governor, judge or magistrate. This runs completely contrary to Islamic society, where women are treated like sub-humans in practically every context.

The reason that womanly humility and submission can work within the Christian home and church is because the men in those places are Christians. A true Christian man fears God, and knows that God is not a respecter of persons. He knows that God will judge him concerning how he has related to his wife and children.

None of us had any say about whether we would be born male or female. It is incumbent upon Christians to fulfill whatever roles that we have been given by God in this world. In God's coming kingdom, many women who humbly submitted to husbands and church leaders in this life, will occupy lofty positions of authority for eternity. By the same token, men who abused their authority in this life will be humbled eternally. Gentleness and humility are to be the rule of life for all Christians in all contexts:

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:5-7

THE WORLD'S REJECTION OF DIVINE HETEROSEXUALITY

In Romans chapter 1 the apostle Paul summed up the essence of mankind's decision to disbelieve and disobey God in Eden:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.

Romans 1:21-23

Adam and Eve's decision to disbelieve and disobey God entailed the necessity of willfully ignoring everything that they knew about God (see Why God Requires Our Faith). And so they imposed darkness upon themselves, rendering their thoughts vain (useless) and their wisdom foolishness.

Paul then went on to state that, because they had embraced the high crime of despising their Creator, God gave mankind over to pursue all of the other crimes that are the logical follow-on of disrespect for God. And Paul lists the misuse of our human bodies as the first result of mankind's perverse attitude toward God:

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections. For even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was fitting.

Romans 1:24-27

Something must be recognized here. Homosexuality is listed by the apostle Paul as 'exhibit A' in the list of human wickedness that flows out of mankind's first choice to despise and disbelieve God. Paul places homosexuality ahead of all other crimes; including murder, thievery, and every other form of wickedness.

Why did Paul do this? I would suggest that there is a simple reason for it. It is because homosexuality represents mankind's most direct rejection of all that God is; a heterosexual Family. Homosexuality represents direct opposition to the image of God in mankind.

In his second Psalm, King David described the rising rebellion of the nations of the world against God the Father, and His Son:

Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His Anointed (His Messiah or Christ), saying 'Let us break Their bands apart, and cast away Their cords from us'.

Psalm 2:1-3

This is a rebellion that is reaching its greatest and fiercest level in our world today. After the end of World War 2 with its first use of nuclear weapons, the discovery of 6 million dead Jews in Europe, and the resurrection of the nation of Israel from the ashes of history (all in keeping with Biblical prophecy), the nations of the world saw that God's word was being fulfilled before their eyes. But rather than fear God, the nations have doubled down on their opposition to Him.

One of the foremost examples of this opposition has been an attack upon the institution of the family. The nations have gone from adultery and increased divorce in the 1950's, to reckless fornication in the 1960's (enabled by 'the pill' for birth control), and then to aborting unborn children in the 1970's.

Today the normalization of homosexuality has been replaced by an attack upon every notion of sexuality altogether. This attack has become so rabid that homosexuals, who laid the foundation for this 'gender confusion' in the first place, are now taken aback by it. But homosexuals need to understand that they are the 'parents' of today's 'Trans' mob. Their rejection of the image of God in mankind has birthed this generation that is set upon erasing any sense of heterosexuality whatsoever.

Truly the people of the world are 'raging' against God the Father, and against His Son. This is seen in today's outcry against 'toxic masculinity' and 'patriarchy'. This hatred is reaching a point where soon everyone who refuses to bow to it will be criminalized and even put to death. This is just like how the inhabitants of Sodom wanted to abuse Lot and his angelic visitors (Genesis 19:1-11). People need to remember, however, what God has said about the outcome of all this:

He Who sits in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His great displeasure. "Yet have I set my King (Jesus Christ) upon My holy hill of Zion (Jerusalem)".

Psalm 2:4-6

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