Jehovah`s Witness/Welcome back Eddie
Hi Eddie or E====,
I had just complimented you in one of my posts for having taken the time to ask questions concerning Trinitarian beliefs. By the simple fact that you and Rando believe that studied Trinitarians would disagree with my statements shows that you and Rando are still unaware of what trinitarian beliefs are. The scriptures you brought up in no way contradict what trinitarians believe. The only thing that you "debunked" was the concept that you have of what we believe. And the thing that I have been trying to get across through ALL of these posts is that EDUCATED TRINITARIANS AGREE WITH YOU THAT THE CONCEPT OF THE TRINITY THAT YOU ARE TAUGHT IS UNBIBLICAL.
As I am sure you expected (and probably sent Rando in a private message), I am going to have to respond to these things even though I did this in personal correspondence with you many times.
On a personal note, I am glad to see you back. I was wondering who was sending letters to Rando using HTML code to make part of the questions bold. Only a current or former expert here would have known to do that. I do hate that you got caught up in that 2014/2015 Armageddon discussion that several of us warned others as being fraudulent. Although I do miss you and Drake and even Grunbaum.
Having observed JWs debate the Trinity, their main focus is to get their subject to admit that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct from each other, and thus by naming one of them as God or YHWH, we must necessarily leave out the other two from the same distinction. That is the point, right? I mean, if we believe there is one God, and we name the Father as God, then necessarily Jesus and the Holy Spirit cannot be God. This line of questioning makes total sense, but it is asking the wrong question.
In my explanation, I chose not to evoke what most Trinitarians use to describe God. Most say, God is revealed in three persons; The Father is God; The Son is God; The Holy Spirit is God; There is one God. While I do believe this is true, I believe it totally misses the real essence of HOW this can be true and thus can be scrutinized very easily. For this reason, I used the word "nature" because this is absolutely key in understanding the concept.
Try seeing the nature of God, the nature of YHWH. I am not talking about being a spirit. I am asking what is God that no other beings could possibly be? Here are the attributes that I believe apply to YHWH, most of which do not apply to any other being: called God, creator, resurrects, indwells, everywhere, all-knowing, sanctifies, life giver, fellowship, eternal, has a will, speaks, loves, and searches the heart. There are scriptures that apply ALL of these things to the Father, the Son, AND to the Holy Spirit. Most of these attributes of the nature of God cannot be applied to angels or humans in heaven or any other spirit beings.
Now some people will jump all over several of these (i.e. eternal, all-knowing, etc.) and show scriptures that say Jesus was "first-born" and "didn't know the day nor hour". I get that, and there is a reasonable explanation for all of these objections. But moving on...
My point is that if we start seeing the word "God" more as the nature or essence of a being, we can see how John 10:30 "I and the Father are one" suggests one in nature or essence, not "one and the same". The nature of God is better than the nature of every other being just like humans are better than animals. The nature of God can still have "rank" in which one is greater than the other within the same nature, just like the president is greater than I am despite us having the same nature. This is shown biblically in Matthew 18:1 in which the disciples argued who would be the greatest [Gr. "meizon"] in heaven (meaning ranking). Compare with John 14:28 "The Father is greater [Gr. "meizon"] than I. It is also shown in Hebrews 1:4 in which the Son is better [Gr. "kreitton"] than the angels (meaning nature).
So, the idea of the Trinity implies that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are co-equal in nature, but not in rank within that nature. The Father sends the Son, and both the Father and Son send the Spirit. Therefore the Son submits to the will of the Father, and the Holy Spirit submits to the will of both. Contrary to what Eddie said, every trinitarian will agree with this, and it does not detract from the equality in nature that is professed by them. This explains how the Father can be Jesus' God, how God can be the head of Christ, and how Jesus can be the Son of God and still have the same nature as God. Just like he was the Son of Man and still had the nature of man.
Now, by God saying that there is only one God and there are none formed before Him nor after Him (Is. 43:10), He is being very clear that there is only one being in the nature of God. Any of those other beings that are called "gods" certainly can't be true gods.
Try this, name anything in this entire universe in which one thing is labeled the "only true ______" that everything else in that category isn't false.
There isn't anything, and this includes God. This, by definition, means that if Jesus is a god formed after the Father than he CANNOT be a true God, or it means that YHWH is a liar in Isaiah 43:10. Or if Jesus is a true god and separate from YHWH, than there are two true gods, and believers in two true gods are bitheists. Please read that again because JWs believe exactly that, that Jesus is a true god separate from YHWH. There are NOT TWO TRUE GODS no matter whether they are almighty or mighty! John 17:3 is used to demonstrate that, but when cornered, JWs would never call Jesus a false god. But by calling Jesus a true god, and separating him from YHWH, they force themselves to have two true gods. I would think that a six-year old JW could also figure this one out with ease.
Since we all agree that there is one God, and His name is YHWH, that point is established. Simply put, if three distinct persons have the same nature as God, and there is one God, then this one God has revealed Himself as three distinct persons. I will conclude by bringing up some important scriptural points with reference to Jehovah and to Jesus.
Has anyone ever seen Jehovah (God)?
Genesis 17:1 - When A′bram was 99 years old, Jehovah appeared to A′bram and said to him: “I am God Almighty."
Isaiah 6:1 - In the year that King Uz·zi′ah died,+ I saw Jehovah
Genesis 16:13 - Then she called on the name of Jehovah, who was speaking to her: “You are a God of sight,”+ for she said: “Have I here actually looked upon the one who sees me?”
Genesis 18:1-3 - Afterward, Jehovah+ appeared to him among the big trees of Mam′re+ while he was sitting at the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day. 2 He looked up and saw three men standing some distance from him.+ When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, and he bowed down to the ground. 3 Then he said: “Jehovah, if I have found favor in your eyes, please do not pass by your servant.
Genesis 32:30 - So Jacob named the place Pe·ni′el,*+ for he said, “I have seen God face-to-face, yet my life* was preserved.”
Exodus 24:9-10 - Moses and Aaron, Na′dab and A·bi′hu, and 70 of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel
Numbers 12:8 - Face-to-face* I speak to him,+ openly, not by riddles; and the appearance of Jehovah is what he sees
Notice, the Bible doesn't say that they saw a representative of Jehovah. It says that they saw Jehovah. Exodus 6:3 and Genesis 17:1 are even clear that Jehovah appeared to them as "God Almighty". They understood that this was actually Jehovah manifested as whatever it was they were seeing and talks to/about this manifestation as Jehovah and not a representative of Jehovah. In fact, John describes in his gospel, chapter 12, verses 36-41 whose glory Isaiah saw. Who was it? Jesus!
On top of that, the New Testament is clear in John 1:18; 5:37; 6:46; 1 Timothy 6:16; and 1 John 4:12 that no one has seen THE FATHER at ANY time. If many people have seen Jehovah, but no one has seen the Father...who have they seen? If all of these people have seen Jehovah, but not the Father, another person called Jehovah must have been seen. Even JW's will tell you it was the pre-incarnate Jesus, although they would tell you that the pre-incarnate Jesus was an angel who had the nerve to refer to himself as "God Almighty" in Genesis 17:1. Would an angel, or any messenger, really call himself El-Shaddai? How blasphemous!
For some more comparative scriptures:
1)Jehovah or Jesus? (Passages)
a.Who did Isaiah see?
i.Isaiah 6:1-10 _____________________
ii.John 12:37-41 ____________________
b.Who do we boast in?
i.Jeremiah 9:24 ____________________
ii.1 Corinthians 1:30-31 ______________
c.Who ascended on high and led captives?
i.Psalm 68:18 _____________________
ii.Ephesians 4:8 ____________________
d.Who laid the foundation of the world, is the same, and years will not come to an end?
ii.Hebrews 1:10-12 (see vs. 8)_____________
e.To whom is a thousand years like one day?
i.Psalm 90:4 ___________________________
ii.2 Peter 3:8 ___________________________
2)Jehovah or Jesus? (Prophecies)
a.For whom is the way in the wilderness being cleared?
i.Isaiah 40:3 _____________________________
ii.Matthew 3:3 ___________________________ (see also Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4; John 1:23)
i.Malachi 3:2 _____________________________
ii.Matthew 11:10 __________________________ (see also Mark 1:2; Luke 7:27)
c.Whose price was 30 shekels of silver?
i.Zechariah 11:13 _________________________
ii.Matthew 26:15 __________________________ (see also Matthew 27:9)
d.Who have they pierced?
i.Zechariah 12:10 _________________________
ii.John 19:37 _____________________________ (see also Revelation 1:7)
e.Whose name shall we call on to be saved?
i.Joel 2:32 ______________________________
ii.Acts 2:21 ______________________________ (See also Romans 10:13)
f.To whom will every knee bow and tongue confess?
i.Isaiah 45:23 ____________________________
ii.Philippians 2:10 _________________________ (See also Romans 14:11)
3)Jehovah or Jesus? (Attributes)
i.Micah 5:2 _____________________________
b.Searches the mind and hearts?
i.Jeremiah 17:10 _________________________
ii.Revelation 2:23 _________________________
c.The Holy One?
i.Psalm 89:18 __________________________ (See also Is. 48:17; Jer. 51:5; Eze. 39:7)
ii.Acts 2:27 ____________ (See also Acts 13:35; Rev. 3:7; Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; John 6:69)
4)Who should be worshipped?
a.Deuteronomy 6:13 __________________________ (See also Matt. 6:13; Luke 4:8)
b.Hebrews 1:6 __________________(See also Matt. 14:33; 28:9,17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38; 20:28)
5)Who should receive glory?
a.Isaiah 42:8 _________________ (Who shares in this glory? _____________) (See alsoIs.48:11)
b.Revelation 5:13 _____________________________ (Who is worshipping here? ________) (See also Rom. 16:27; Eph. 3:21; 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 13:21; 1 Pet. 4:11; 2 Pet. 3:18; Jude 25; Rev. 1:6)
6)Who should receive honor?
a.John 5:23 ________________________________
7)Prayer – Who is prayed to?
a.Acts 1:24 _______________________________ (See also Acts 7:59)
b.John 14:14 ______________________________
c.2 Corinthians 12:8 ________________________
d.1 John 5:14 ______________________________
e.1 Corinthians 16:22 __________________ (What does Maranatha mean?) (See also Rev. 22:20)
8)Prayer – Did Jesus ever pray to Jehovah? _______________
a.Read Matt. 11:25-26; 26:39,42; Mark 14:36; Luke 10:21; 22:42; 23:34,46; John 11:41-42; 12:28; 17:1,5,11,21,24-25 Who did he pray to? ____________________
Quick recap: There is only one being with the nature of God (Is. 43:10); That being has the name of YHWH (Ex. 6:3); That nature is revealed in three distinct persons and no other beings; the difference between "greater" and "better" demonstrates the difference in "rank" and "nature" and thus the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can be co-equal in nature and still greater/lesser within that nature.
Are JWs bitheists? Saying that they have two true gods but worship only one is not an answer. A man with two wives is still a bigamist even if he only loves one. Saying that others were called gods is also not an answer. Moses, angels, and Satan are not true gods. Simply said, a person with two true gods is a bitheist. To escape this label, they must either renounce Jesus as a true god or admit that Jesus is one of the persons revealed as the one YHWH.
Finally, to Rando: Thank you for the suggestion on the link. It worked on a different computer. I am familiar with the shield, although I don't understand what you are getting at. God's name is YHWH. That is indisputable, so just substitute "YHWH" for "God" on the shield, and you get everything that I already said. I contacted Derrick to see if he disagreed with any of my statements on the Trinity. He said that he agreed with them all. You must have misunderstood what he believes, or what I believe, or both. Also, I don't understand your overwhelming reliance on refuting some kind of printed doctrine. I don't know how else to tell you that we don't care about printed doctrine.
I wish all of you the very best, and thank you in particular to Eddie and Rando for giving me the impetus to further describe our beliefs. It is a pleasure to share the truth of scripture with you and the readers around the world.