Trinity, Part 3: Answering False Doctrines
Is God plural or multiple?
The cult that is probably the most outspoken against the doctrine of the Trinity is the group known
as Jehovah's Witnesses. With a basic premise that says "anything a human can't understand with
human reason, doesn't exist", Jehovah's Witnesses claim that the doctrine of the Trinity is the
same as believing in three gods, i.e., polytheism.
They put their own spin on Scriptures dealing with the Trinity:
- John 10:30 - "I and the Father are One". We say, One "in being, in essence".
JW's say, one "in purpose". They teach that Jesus was a created being not equal with God; that
he was manifested in the Old Testament as Michael the archangel, was incarnated as Jesus in the
New Testament, and resumed as Michael again after Jesus' death.
- Hebrews 1:3 - Jesus as "the express image of His [God's] person":
We say he is the
same as God; JW's say that Jesus is a "mirror image" (like a son "resembling" his father).
- On the Holy Spirit: - We say that the Holy Spirit is a person Who can be grieved;
JW's say that the Holy Spirit is an "it", and is spelled with a lower case 's'. "It" is merely
God's motivational force, impersonal.
How to answer? Let Scripture back up Scripture, and it will refute false spins put on it.
Scripture teaches that God is a jealous God, not a God with three faces:
- Deuteronomy 6:4 - "The Lord is one".
- Exodus 20:3 - "Have no other gods before Me".
- Isaiah 45:5 - "I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from Me there
is no God".
- 1 John 5:6-7 - "...it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the
truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are
in agreement - NIV. (KJV: "...these three are one". There are three separate
witnesses ("who testify"), not three faces on one.
- Matthew 3:16-17 - (at the baptism of Jesus) - All three persons of the Trinity are
manifested. Jesus is baptized, the Spirit descends like a dove, and the voice of the Father is
heard from Heaven, announcing his good pleasure in his Son.
- Psalm 2 - (a dialog between Jesus and God) Jesus asks, "Why do the nations
conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their
stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One."
[i.e., Messiah]. -
God answers, "I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill. I will proclaim the decree of
the Lord: ... You are my Son; today I have become your Father".
When did Jesus first arrive on earth? At Bethlehem?
First of all, the Bible teaches that Jesus was there at Creation. And
Bible scholars believe that many Old Testament manifestations are appearances of the "pre-incarnate
- John 1:1 - "...and the Word was God". - (JW's translate it "a god").
- John 17:5 - confirmed by Jesus himself: "And now, Father, glorify me in your
presence with the glory I had with you before the world began".
- Genesis 14:18 - "...Melchizedek, king of Salem ... High Priest of God Most High ...
blessed Abraham ... and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything". The Hebrews 7 commentary
expands on this by pointing out that Melchizedek was without a recorded beginning or end, and that
Jesus, our High Priest, has no beginning or end.
When did the Holy Spirit first exist?
- He, too, was present at Creation. "...and the Spirit of God was hovering over the
waters". - Genesis 1:2.
- Job 26:13 - "By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens". [KJV].
When did the Holy Spirit first come to earth?
- Luke 1:35 - at the Annunciation to Mary: "...the Holy Spirit will come upon you".
- Luke 1:41 - the baby (John the Baptist) leaped in Elizabeth's womb and she was
"filled with the Holy Spirit".
- John 16:7 - Jesus promised to send a "counselor".
- Acts 2 - At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the Church, the body of
believers. (This was a one-time historical event in the life of the Church, different from all
- Old Testament also: Genesis 41:38 - Pharaoh refers to Joseph as "one in whom is
the Spirit of God".
Next week: More questions on the Trinity.