Church of God, New World Ministries

God - Trinity Or Family?

Is God a Trinity or a family? Was Jesus Christ God, or merely a man? Was Jesus the born Son of God, or only an adopted son? Is the Holy Spirit a person or the creative power of the Godhead?

The belief that God is one substance, yet three persons, is one of the central doctrines of the Christian religion. Yet for all this belief in the Trinity, it is a doctrine that is not clearly understood by most Christian laymen. Few are aware of any problems with the doctrine of the Trinity. They simply take it for granted, leaving the mysterious doctrinal aspects to theologians.

And if the laymen were to investigate further, he would be confronted with discouraging statements similar to the following: The mind of man cannot fully understand the mystery of the Trinity” or “He who would try to understand the mystery fully will lose his mind, but he who would deny the Trinity will lose his soul.”

Such a statement means that the concept of the Trinity should be accepted or else. But, merely to accept it as doctrine without proving it would be totally contrary to Scripture. God inspired Paul to write: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thess. 5:21). A Christian should prove to himself once and for all whether or not God is a Trinity.

Let’s look at two verses in the Bible that supposedly mention the Trinity and see what they really say. Turn to I John 5:7-8. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

Virtually all scholars agree that the words “the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit,” are wrong words that have been inserted into the text in an attempt to bolster arguments for the Trinity.

The Interpreter’s Bible states, “This verse (I John 5:7) in the KJV (King James Version) is to be rejected. It appears in no ancient Greek MS (manuscript) nor is it cited by any Greek father; of all the versions only the Latin contained it, and even this in none of its most ancient sources.”

Jamieson Fausset and the Brown’s commentary shows that the only Greek manuscripts containing this “Trinity reference” are either “copied from the modern Latin Vulgate,” or “added in the margin by a recent hand,” etc. “All the old versions omit the words….(I John 5:7) which were first written as a marginal comment to complete the sense (which is the Trinitarian rationalization), then, as early as the eighth century, was introduced into the “text” of the Latin Vulgate.”

What does I John 5:7-8 really mean. We’re going to see that the very section in God’s Word which has been tampered with to try to prove the trinity in fact proves just the opposite.

First, here’s how I John 5:7-8 should read: “For there are three that bear record, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and these three agree in one.” So there are indeed three things that bear record or give testimony, the Spirit, the water and the blood. But what do they bear record to? To a closed Godhead clique of three beings? NO! Just the opposite!

The record of what they are witnessing to is clearly given in verses 11-12. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” So what is witnessed to is the fact that if we have Jesus Christ living His life in us, then through Him we have eternal life residing in us right now.

In other words, to use the analogy given throughout I John and elsewhere in the Bible, we are now begotten sons of God and if we don’t abort ourselves in this growth process, we’ll later become born sons of God. That is, we’ll actually become members of the greatly expanded Family of God.

There can be only three God-beings in the trinity idea. But isn’t it ironic that the place where a verse has been inserted to try to establish a God-clique, a closed trinity, is the very place where God is showing how He is adding to His “Family.”

  1. God’s Spirit, which is not a person but the power of God, the “down payment” of begettal, given by God to show that He means business and will later finish the payment when you’re born into the Kingdom of God with a wholly spiritually body. (Eph. 1:13-14).

  2. The water represents baptism, which symbolized our burial and death so that a new entity can begin to exist. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4), an entity that can grow into a “Son of God.”

  3. The blood represents Christ’s death, which reconciles us to God, by paying our death penalty incurred for our sins, thereby enabling us to go on to become a “Son of God.” “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Rom. 5:10).

Every Christian who is on the way of becoming a member of the “Family of God” must partake of the three things that witness to the fact God wants all mankind to join Him in His eternally ruling Family …baptism, the receiving of the Holy Spirit, and the yearly Passover that commemorates Jesus Christ’s death.

These three unique occurrences in one’s life prove powerfully that you are another “Son of God” on the way to becoming born of God. God is a “Family”…not a trinity. God’s Family will not be limited to an intractable closed circle of three. This is one group you don’t have to be excluded from! You can be put into the greatest group of all. God’s Family is open!

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