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RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Blake,

And when [u]the Comforter[/u] may come, whom [u]I[/u] will send to you [b]from[/b] [u]the Father[/u] -- the [u]Spirit of truth[/u], who [b]from[/b] the [u]Father[/u] doth come forth, [u]he[/u] will testify [b]of[/b] [u]me[/u]; (Youngs John 15:26)

How would you explain the distinctions between persons within the Deity in this proclimation that would do justice to how we normally understand the use of prepositions and personal pronouns?


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/11/11 16:11Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re:

Dear Robert,

Quote:
How would you explain the distinctions between persons within the Deity in this proclimation that would do justice to how we normally understand the use of prepositions and personal pronouns?



I don't have an adequate answer for you.

Something to consider....

"Yesterday, my dog Sadie had 15 puppies. She died during labor. My other dog Julie is from the pound and she is pregnant as well."

The use of prepositions and personal pronouns does not prove that God is three persons. It does not even prove God is a person.

The angels speak. Do you consider them to be persons?

Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2005/11/11 17:09Profile
Graftedbranc
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Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619


 Re:

Blake:

You have made some good points conserning the word "Persons". It's usage does convey a tritheistic concept. Most of the early theologins "such as Calvin" did not like the word "Persons" but rather used "Hypostasis".

The difficulty is that we cannot concieve that God is three yet one. But the revelation of the bible is that God is Three yet One at the same time. The "Persons" of the Godhead exists distinctly at the same time and under all conditions. They are not 3 modes of existance, They are eternally distinct.

But at the Same time they are not separate. They both co-exist and also co-inhere. They mutually indwell one another. They share One essense, One Life, and One Nature. This is a mystery but it is the Revelation of the Triune God.

The Lord Jesus said, The Father is in Me... And I am in the Father. And He also said, "No one has seen God at any time but the only begotton Son of God who is In the bossom of the Father, He has declared HIm.

And agian John 1:1 Says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

God is Triune. He is the Father, the Son and the Spirit. The Father is the Fountian, the Son is the Spring and the Spirit is the river of the Water of Life. They are One God with one Life and essense. And where you have One you have the other two. They are inseparable.

We can also say that the Father is the Source, the Son is the expression and manifestation of the Father, and the Spirit is the Transmission of God.

The Son has His Source and Eternal Being in the Father and manifest's the Father's Life and Nature and Being. The Spirit has His source also in the Father through the Son and He proceeds in an eternal procession. That is He is the flowing out of God to us.

IN Revelation 22 we have the consumation of the Bible and there we see the One Throne of God (the Father) and the Lamb (Christ) is on the Throne, and the River of the Water of LIfe proceeds from the Throne of God and of the Lamb. This is the Triune God.

GraftedBranch

 2005/11/12 9:11Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Pardon the rambling...

Well said GraftedBranch,

Quote:
This is a mystery but it is the Revelation of the Triune God.



Hope this is not misconstrued due to earlier comments here... But I have a neighbor who is an elder of some sorts in the JW's and can still recall that he mentioned something very similarly opposite in discussing this, that in effect "Would God not have us to understand this [i]IF[/i] it were supposed to be true?" meaning the 'trinity'. This was many years ago now and at the time he was quite capable of tying me into all kinds of knot's, don't mean than in an derogatory or higher minded sort of fashion. Another was "Where do you find Jesus in the Old Testament?" Oh my was I ever ignorant! At the time I could only mention a couple of verses... I need to thank him for that now that it comes to mind, it barely has dawned on me how much that comment stayed just below the surface all these years. Digressing here...

This goes back to another thread on evolution\creation. Mystery and as Robert pointed out there, Wonder! Is not a great part of all this just in that essence, to show us that God is distinctly [i]other[/i] than the creatures created in His [i]image[/i]? A distinction that separates us into worship, awe and wonder?

Why the [i]'silence'[/i]?
Why the [i]'hidden-ness'[/i]?
Why faith?

Isn't the point that we are not supposed to 'get it' in one respect? Doesn't it seem a bit strange that there isn't any real 'explanation' other than what is evidently and I will use a great word that Ron put forth [i]declared[/i] and is best done in John 14 - 17? Came back to that section yesterday after leaving off here.

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Joh 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

14:16 Seems to codify the trinity;
[b]I[/b]
[b]The Father[/b]
[b]The Comforter[/b]

Chapter 16 is similar. This may have already been established and perhaps is not in dispute, but there is something about the declaration within those chapters that also bears out into another area that was touched on here, that of 'revelation' in accordance or in relation to what scripture states, better [i]declares[/i]. (Am becoming quite fond of that word).

This goes back to what was expressed about the things we might want to equate in the sense of "felt" understanding that might be perceived 'of the Lord', generalizing it; "The Lord told me" in essence. It came alongside as a parallel reading back through these chapters to note all the times the word '[i]word[/i]' or '[i]words[/i]' is used. It is to draw attention to what Jesus [i]said[/i] (declared!)

It does come to practically a summary here;

Joh 17:1 These [u]words[/u] spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

Joh 17:6 I have [b]manifested thy name[/b] unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy [u]word[/u].
Joh 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
Joh 17:8 For I have [i]given unto them[/i] the [u]words[/u] [i]which thou gavest me[/i]; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

This may be a bit disjointed, thoughts have been branching off in all directions...

Just want to add one last thing. In scripture what is the 'usual' reaction upon anyone who encounters this mystery in His manifest presence?

Exo 3:6...And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

Isa 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Luk 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

Hab 3:10 The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.

Act 7:32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.

Mat 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
Mat 17:6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
Mat 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

What is noticeable in scripture is the abscence of long discourse of explanation into mystery (not completely of course) but that of reverence and awe. Think it is wonderful to dig into these areas and explore and learn and grow, this is one area that all must grapple with and maybe this is but an attempt to inject the wonder again. Personally having tied the knotted head into more of an impossible ball to unravel there is a contentment in this area of the triunity of God;

I get it now.
I am not supposed to "get it"
And am sure it makes perfect sense to God.


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Mike Balog

 2005/11/12 11:14Profile
Graftedbranc
Member



Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619


 Re: The word "Persons" and its relationship to God

Quote:
The use of prepositions and personal pronouns does not prove that God is three persons. It does not even prove God is a person.



The word "Person" means "one who has personality". It refers not to human 'person" but one who has the attributes of Personality. That is Self awareness, etc. And not only that but the Bible affirms that man was created in God's image and likeness. That is Man's "personhood" is the image and reflection of God who is "personality" as the Source of all being.

THe fact that we as human being are "persons" is derived from the fact that we were created in the image and likeness of God HImself. "Let US make man in Our Image and according to Our Likeness".

Man is unique in his "personhood" among all the creatures including 'angels'. And His "personhood" is derived from the "Person" of the Triune God Himself.

The reason the theologins chose to use the word "Persons" of the Godhead" is because there is no other word which can be used in language. Persons implies that the Three of the Godhead while co-inhering and have One Life and Essence, at the same time interact and have a relationship such as Father/Son etc. And they have personal awareness as distinct yet they are One in Life, Nature, Essense, etc.

This is a Mystery. But this is God and God is Spirit and not physical in essense and as Spirit God is able to exist in this way. We cannot as physical beings. Yet as regenerated believers we are indwelt by the Triune God. He is in us. Yet we are distinct from God and at the same time we live by HIm as our indwelling LIfe.

This is the Mystery of God and the Mystery of godliness. That is God manifest in the flesh.

When coming to the Divine Revelation we have to understand and define our terms according to its meaning as used in scritpure (or theology). The Revelation of God is not simple and human language is not adequite in and of itself to convey the Mystery of God. And to understand what is meant by "persons" we have to set aside our natural and pre-concieved concept of its definiton and understand it in its context and according to how those who use it mean it.

In our day to day life we only use the term person to refer to "other people". But this is not the meaning of the term in its whole definition.

We have to come to the Divine revelation with an open mind and not seek to read into it our pre-concieved concepts and Ideas. We also have to call on the Lord HImself and ask Him to enlighten us, Instruct us, and reveal Himself to us in the Divine Revelation. Only if we are open and willing to let go of our pre-concieved notions can we recieve Light.

And only by the Spirit's Light can we percieve in our inner man what language cannot convey. That is God Himself and the Things of God. "The soulish man cannot recieve the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him. Neither can he know them because they are dicerned spiritually.

We cannot merely by the exercise of our intellect apprehend God. IN Ephesians 3:17 Paul prays for the Ephesians that they be "strengthened by His Spirit into their inner man... That they may be made strong to apprehend with all the saints the length, breadth, hight, and depth and to know the Love of Christ which surpasses knowlege...

Our spirit alone is the organ for the knowlege of God. God is Spirit and our spirit is the organ which corosponds to God's nature. With our mind we can understand things but it is only in our spirit that we percieve and know the things of God even when our minds cannot fully explain or comprehend.

To know God and apprehend the Mystery of Christ we have to be strengthened into our spirit. That is our inner man. And this is by the Spirit of the Living Christ Himself. Only in this way can we genuinly know spiritual things and apprehend the Triune God in a satisfying way.

GraftedBranch

 2005/11/12 11:18Profile
Graftedbranc
Member



Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619


 Re: Ramblings

Quote:
Why the 'silence'?



I enjoyed what you wrote and there is a coherent thread. It is not rambling.

IN addressing the question I think another angle can be put forth. That is the very question ignores a grand reality. That is the fall of man and the condition of man. The question implies that God created man and then went and hid and only here and there reveals Himself which would seem to be a cruel state of things.

But the reality as the Bible unfolds is God created man in HIs image and Likeness with a spirit akin to Him. Man was created a vessel to recieve God and contain God and to live by God and be His expression and exercise His dominion on the earth.

To this end God placed Adam before the Tree of Life which represents the LIfe of God Himself. But Adam never ate of the Tree of LIfe but instead ate of the tree of the knowlege of good and evil and became an independant, self centered fallen person . His spirit died and he was separated from God and banned from eating the Tree of LIfe (Genesis 3:22-24).

Adam never had the Life of God within him. He had a choice and chose rather to go the way of independance and darkness. With the death of Adam's spirit came the inability to percieve God in an inner way. And that is the condition of man today.

God in a sense never intended man to know God merely in an outward way. But that is how God had to revealed Himself in the OT. But according to His eternal purpose in the fulness of Time Christ came to redeem us and to reconcile us to God and in resurrection as the Life Giving Spirit now imparts God into us as the Tree of Life. Our dead spirit is regenerated and we recieve the very Life of God in Christ (1 John 5:12, This Life is in His Son, He who has the Son has the LIfe). Ultimately through Christ's redemption and imparting Life we shall fullfill God's eternal Purpose for man. To be a vessel to contain God and express God now in the church as the body of Christ and future as the New Jeruselem in the New Earth for all eternity(Rev 21-22).

The reason God cannot be known and apprehended by man's fallen intellect is because man's spirit, the organ for the knowlege of God is dead and separated from the Life of God. Man Cannot know God because God is Spirit and man is of flesh and lives by his fallen soul life. He is spiritually dead.

1 cor. 1:10 For God has revealed them through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God

1 cor. 1:14 But a soulish man does not recieve the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them because they are dicerned spiritually.

It is not because God created man in this way and just cruelly hid himself. Man by sin died and lost his capacity to know God because God is Spirit. He also lost his access to God as the Tree of LIfe because of sin (Genesis 3:22-24)

Untill we have the conviction that we are fallen creatures separated from God and dead in trespasses and sins can we turn and partake of Christ's redemption and be restored and reconciled and recieve God's Eternal Life into us to become not only creatures of God but children of God with His LIfe and Nature (John 1:12). And thus our capacity to know and enjoy God is restored. God becomes a reality to us and we know Him as our indwelling Life

Graftedbranch

 2005/11/12 11:55Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re:

Dear Graftedbranc,

I appreciate everything you have said, and agree with what you have said.

Although, I think you have missed some of the other comments I have made in regard to the word "person".

By the way we defined the word "person" alone, we encounter two different doctrines on the trinity. One believes that God has three personalities but is one entity. This is called modalism. The second says that God is three personalities and three entities. This is called trinitarianism.

Obviously, the second is the accepted orthodox doctrine. The trinity says that God is three persons, and by this means it doesn't just mean that God has three personalities, but that God is indeed three seperate persons or entities. Some people establish this difference as being three "esse" or three existences. Ron said that this means each person in the trinity has a unique consciousness seperate from the others.

According to Hebrews 1:3, Jesus is the expressed person of God. To me, this means God is one person with one personality, and Jesus is the expressed image of that.

Thus, it is difficult for me to accept the statement in the trinity that says God is "three persons."

I think we would all agree that God is one, and Jesus is God. The question becomes, then, what is the distinction between the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit? Are they seperate enough to say that they are seperate persons?

I like what you said, "We can also say that the Father is the Source, the Son is the expression and manifestation of the Father, and the Spirit is the Transmission of God."

However, this statement leans more toward modalism.

I am curious to hear your thoughts,

Thank you,

Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2005/11/13 14:14Profile
Graftedbranc
Member



Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619


 Re: Trinitarianism vs. Trithiesm and Modalism

Quote:
One believes that God has three personalities but is one entity. This is called modalism. The second says that God is three personalities and three entities. This is called trinitarianism.



I think you acturally have a good grasp on the reality of the Trinity and the problems associated with the common concept of "Three Persons".

But above you said that "this is called trinitarianism. Actually this is called, "Trithiesm" which, like modalism is condemned by most as heretical. That is that God is three separate entities which exist side by side in agreement. This is not "One Essence and one substance" but rather just an agreement as a corporation.

But as was pointed out, what is missed by the modalist is that the Three of the Godhead are distinct and exist simultaniously eternally and under all conditions. They also "Co-inhere) and cannot be separatied. The Son is eternally generated from the Father. Historically this is called in theology "the Eternal Generation of the Son" That is The Son has existed Eternally in the relationship of Son to Father and is of the Esssence and nature of the Father. The Father is the Source and the Son is eternally distinct but not separate from the Father. He is the manifestation of the Father like a human son is the manifestation of his father but more than that, the Father is in the Son. and the Son lives not by an independant life but acturally lives by the life of His FAther.

We have to understand that our human sonship is a picture and a shadow of the Reality in God of the relationship of Father and Son. But in the Godhead the Son and the Father are One and co-inhere mutually indwelling one another. This is not so with us.

It is our natural concept that cannot see that God is One God with One nature, one essense and one Eternal BEing so to speak. But that this One God eternally exists in three "persons", the Father, the Son and the Spirit. When you recieve the Spirit you recieve the Son. When you recieve the Son you have the FAther also, They are One. They are never separated and do not exist apart from each other but they are One God and in reallity as the One God they are essentially ONe Person. Yet they are three.

It is a mystery but the true scritpural doctrine is not modalism nor is it tritheism. There is One God, not three and the One God is Triune.

In our experience we have to say that though we have the Spirit, we also have Christ. And in Christ we also have the Father. Yet the experience of the indwelling God is just one. We do not have three Gods within us. We have One God and we have the Spirit, the Son and the Father.

Graftedbranch

 2005/11/13 16:26Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Blake,

Certainly we could agree that God is a personal God? I would doubt that either of us would say that God is, 'impersonal'. Some have viewed the Holy Spirit as a 'force', but this cannot be so because of the repeated references to Him using masculine personal pronouns.

Quote:
"Yesterday, my dog Sadie had 15 puppies. She died during labor. My other dog Julie is from the pound and she is pregnant as well."



I'm terribly sorry to hear about Sadie. it is interesting to point out though, that the pro-choice proponents use the same type of argument to say that an unborn child is not a 'person'. The definition of 'person' is so blurred that they prefer to keep the whole argument contained in that obscurity. The better argument is to say that the unborn are 'human beings' and allow the implications of that to settle in.

Either way we know that a human being is a 'person'. Again, seclular society tries to blur the distinction between man and animals. Hence, save the whale and murder the unborn baby. But it does not end there. I knew a young man once who told of a drug induced story that depicted 'carrots' crying out in horror when they we being harvested- as if they were conscious or something.

Now, lets turn our scale the other direction and answer this question:

Quote:
The use of prepositions and personal pronouns does not prove that God is three persons. It does not even prove God is a person.



We know that man is a person. We know that animals and vegetables are not 'persons'. We also know that the use of personal pronouns does not guarantee that something is indeed a 'person' because after all inanimate objects such as cars and airplanes are sometimes refereed to as 'she' or 'her' or 'he', etc. But they have also been given proper names such as "Bessy" or "Christine", but we know that this certainly does not imply reproductive abilities, etc. It is clearly figurative language.

Quote:
The angels speak. Do you consider them to be persons?



So we have discussed so far living and non living things. All of which may be called by personal pronouns or even feminine or masculine proper names. However, there is a clear line of demarcation we must draw.

1) Non-living Objects
2) Bacteria
3) Plants
4) Animals
*****************
5) Human Beings
6) Angels
7) God

Quote:
The angels speak. Do you consider them to be persons?



If human beings have personhood it would reason that angels certainly have personhood as they are "greater in power, might,etc." and so would God as He is All Mighty.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/11/14 8:50Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re:

Dear Graftedbranc,

Again, with everything you have said I agree, and I do understand what you are saying.

The trinity, however, establishes this:

The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. However, the Father is not the Son, the Holy Spirit is not Father, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit.

Here is where I find error. I believe that the Son is the Holy Spirit, and the Father is the Son, and the Holy Spirit is the Father.

As I once pointed out, how can you say Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and then say Jesus is not the Holy Spirit? This could be true, if "God" were but an identifier of species. For instance, you are a man and I am a man. However, I am not you, and you are not me. We are seperate persons and seperate men. However, we are both men.

We cannot say this of God, for He is not seperate Gods who make up one God. He is one God. If I were to say that man walked on the moon, then we are saying our race has walked on the moon. However, if I were to say God walked on the moon, I am speaking not of a race, but of a person.

Likewise, Jesus was a man, and I am a man. The Holy Spirit indwells in me. Does this mean I am God? No, I am not God. I am a child of God, an adopted son, however, I am not God. Jesus is God. And thus, the person of Jesus is not seperate from the Father, Jesus is the Father.

I do believe God is triune. However, He is not three seperate persons. God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The father is the creator who is infinite, the Son is a man, and the Holy Spirit is a spirit. They are all the same, but each exists in these realms at the same time.

This is not to say Jesus is a mode of God. Jesus is the expressed image of God. A mode is like a mask. Jesus is not a mask of God. Jesus is God as a man. There is a difference.

Jesus was born of man and of God. Whatever substance God is combined with the substance man is to form Jesus. Let me explain what I mean.

If God wanted to, He could have just come down to earth as any man. He could have put on a mask, the clothing of a man, the human body, and appeared among men. God did not choose to do this. Rather, He combined His substance with that of Mary to form Jesus.

Jesus bears the blood of Adam in His viens. He is a descendant of Abraham, and King David. He had real human blood in Him, and not just any blood, but the very tainted blood that came from Adam. Jesus was born into sin just as we all were. This is how Jesus was able to carry our sins onto the cross.

Jesus was without sin. He carried this blood of ours, this spoiled blood, and made it clean by fulfilling the law. He then sacrificed His life, His good and sinless life, as a substitute or "propitation" for us.

Thus, it is very important that Jesus was in fact a man, not just any man, but a man who carried our sin. Jesus is the Son of Man.

Likewise, Jesus was God. Only God is good, and only God is capable of doing what Jesus did. Only God could live as a man and be sin free. Only God can forgive sins. Only God is worthy of worship. Only God can save His people. Only God is a righteous judge. Only God has the power to command demons and angels, and command the earth with His very word. Only God is the giver of life, and only God can resurrect. And so, for Jesus to do and be all these things, He must be God. Jesus is the Son of God.

Thus, it is very important to understand that Jesus is God. Especially since we cannot be saved unless we call upon Christ to save us. There is no other name by which we can be saved, and no other God who can save us. If we are not known by Jesus, then we have no hope.

In response to this, people immediately say that Jesus is the Son of God, and since Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus cannot be the same person as the Father. A son is the not the same person as the father. Therefore, they must be seperate persons. (This is the same argument I hear other religions use to defend that Jesus is not God.)

In my mind, this is the great mystery. How could God who is Holy come down from His throne and be born into our sinful condition?

In order for our minds to accept such a notion, we seperate God into parts. The Trinity says that Jesus is a seperate person from the father. The Trinity says Jesus is not the Father.

And yet, Jesus has been lifted and exalted on High. Jesus has been given all authority over Heaven and Earth. Jesus has been made judge. Jesus has been exalted, and His name alone has the power to save.

I guess, I just don't understand how Jesus is not the Father. God is the Father, and Jesus is God. Therefore, the Father is Jesus. That is why Jesus said to Philip, "If you have seen me, then you have seen the Father."

So, my question is, if the trinity is in fact true, then Jesus is not the Father. How is it then that Jesus is not the Father? In what way?

Thanks again,
In love,
Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2005/11/14 10:38Profile





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