A New Look at the "Trinity":

                THE TRINITY DOCTRINE --

                        Is It Biblical?

                            The TRINITY doctrine claims that God is a monolithic

                            "Three-in-One" Godhead composed of three Personalites,

                           the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Where did this doctrine

                            come from? Is it Biblical? Why is the word "Trinity"

                            NOT ONCE found in the Scriptures? If God is a "Trinity,"

                            then which one is really the "Father" of Christ -- the Father?

                            or the Holy Spirit which begot Him? (Matt.1:18, 20.) Its

                            high time we take a careful look at this strange but well-

                            nigh universal doctrine among Catholics and Protestants!

                            Your own salvation could very well be at stake!!!

                                                      William F. Dankenbring

         In the gospel according to Matthew, we read of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Matthew relates, under divine inspiration, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit " (Matt.1:18). Joseph, her husband, feared the worst -- that she must have been with another man, so he decided to cancel the nuptial agreement and cancel the betrothal, but an angel of God appeared to him in a dream, saying to him, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit " (verse 20).

         This matter-of-fact statement of Scripture poses a mind-boggling conundrum for believers in the Trinity doctrine, who profess that God is a divine "Trinity." If that is true, and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three Persons or Personalities, which together combine to form ONE "God," then how could God the "Father" be the Father of Christ when he was conceived by the HOLY SPIRIT?

If the Holy Spirit is a Person, the "Third Person" of the Trinity, and "HE" begat Christ, then HE would have to be the FATHER!!!

         What a mystery! What a mind-twisting, head-wrenching, brain-teasing spiritual HEAD-ACHE for all believers in the "Trinity"!

                                      A New Look at the Trinity Doctrine

         Thoughout his ministry, Herbert Armstrong taught vehemently that the Bible does NOT teach the doctrine of the "Trinity." Years ago, around 1962-63, in the first article I ever had published in the Plain Truth magazine, I wrote a "Question Box" article proving and showing that the verse in I John 5:7 is spurious, was not in the original manuscripts of the Bible, but was added by a monk or copyist in the Middle Ages, first appearing in a Latin text! All Bible scholars are agreed upon this point, today -- it is not even controversial -- and modern translations of the Bible leave this fake verse out!

         Isn't it strange -- if the Trinity is such an important concept, as Catholics and Protestant churches believe, who claim it is a major tenet and article of their faith -- then why doesn't the Bible refer to the "Trinity" concept clearly, and why is the word "Trinity" NOWHERE found in Scripture?

         The doctrine of the Trinity is so important to mainstream "Christianity," that according to some theologians,

                                 "The mind of man cannot fully understand the mystery of the Trinity.

                                            He who would try to understand the mystery fully will lose his mind.

                                            But he who would deny the Trinity will lose his soul" (Harold Lindsell

                                            and Charles J. Woodbridge, A Handbook of Christian Truth, p.51-52).

         The New Catholic Encyclopedia admits,

                                 "It is difficult, in the second half of the 20th century, to offer a clear,

                                            objective, and straightforward account of the revelation, doctrinal evolution,

                                            and the theological elaboration of the mystery of the Trinity. Trinitarian

                                            discussion, Roman Catholic as well as other, present a somewhat unsteady s

                                            ilhouette " (vol.XIV, p.295).

         Asserts The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia,

                                            "The term 'Trinity' is NOT A BIBLICAL TERM, and we are not using

                                            Biblical language when we define what is expressed by it as the doctrine "

                                            (article "Trinity," p.3012).

         This fact has caused no end of embarrassment to Trinitarian theologians over the years. Search as you might, you will NOWHERE find the concept or doctrine of the "Trnity" delineated or discussed in the Bible. The apostles never heard of it. Jesus Christ never referrred to it. The apostle Paul not so much as mentioned it even once, in passing! It is simply not there. The word isn't there, and the concept of three divine Persons being "one God," "Three-in-One," each one being co-equal, and co-eternal, simply cannot be found stated or clearly implied in Scripture -- not from Genesis to Revelation!!!

         Doesn't that sound strange, that such a cardinal "Christian" belief and tenet of modern Churchianity is NOWHERE taught in Scripture?

         In a book entitled The Trinity, Catholic theologian Karl Rahner confesses that theologians in the past have been

                                 ". . . embarrassed by the simple fact that IN REALITY the Scriptures

                                            DO NOT EXPLICITLY PRESENT a dcctrine of the 'imminent' TRINITY

                                            . . . " (The Trinity, p. 22, emphasis mine throughout article).

         Theologians have long puzzled over the first few verses of the gospel of John. We read, "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 anything made that was made. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us . . ." (John 1:1-3, 14).

         This passage clearly delineates TWO Persons in the God-head -- the Word, or "Logos" of God, in the Greek language, and the One whom we refer to as the "Father." But if the Holy Spirit is a Third Person of the Godhead, then WHY ISN'T HE MENTIONED in this verse?

         Says Dr. William Newton Clarke about this passage, "There is no Trinity in this; but there is a distinction in the Godhead, a DUALITY in God" (Outline of Christian Theology, p.167).

         As we explore this subject further, the mysteries only deepen and intensify. For example, the Trinity doctrine teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all co-equal and co-eternal -- none is superior to the other -- each and all three are equally "GOD" in every respect. But if this is true, then this very belief makes Jesus Christ Himself out to be a LIAR, for He said plainly, "My Father is greater than I " (John 14:28). In His last recorded prayer to the Father, Jesus prayed, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3).

                                                  The Teachings of Christ Himself

         Clearly, Jesus looked upon the Father as GREATER than He Himself! He continually said that the Father "sent" Him (John 5:24, 30, 36, 37; 6:38, 39, 40, 44, 57; 7:18, 28, 29, 33; 8:16, 18, 26, 29, 42, etc.). On one occasion, He said plainly, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him" (John 13:16). Obviously, the master is greater than the servant, and the sender is greater than the one sent! Therefore, Jesus taught that the Father is SUPREME in the Godhead! The doctrine that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all "co-equal" is false! And when this cornerstone of the Trinity doctrine falls, then the Trinity doctrine itself crumbles into dust!

         Making this truth even more plain, the apostle Paul declared, "But to us there is but ONE GOD, THE FATHER, of whom are all things, and we in him; and ONE LORD JESUS CHRIST, by whom are all things, and we by him" (I Cor.8:6). Clearly, in the Godhead there is a distinction between the Father, who is Supreme, and Jesus Christ, who is lesser! Both are "God," as John wrote in John 1:1-3, but the FATHER IS SUPREME!

         If we were to liken or compare God to a human corporation, we might say that the Father is the "Chairman of the Board of Directors," who has final authority in all things, and Jesus Christ is the "Executive Officer," or "Executive Vice-President"!

         In even plainer language, Paul declared of the plan of God and the coming resurrection, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ Jesus shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom TO GOD, EVEN THE FATHER. . . . And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto HIM THAT PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIM [that

is, the FATHER!], that GOD may be all in all " (I Cor.15:22-28).

         Isn't this plain? There is NO ROOM in these Scriptures for the so-called "TRINITY" doctrine, as it is taught by Protestants and Catholics, at all!

         The prophet Daniel recorded, "I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man [Jesus Christ] came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the ANCIENT OF DAYS, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him [to Christ, by the Father] dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an oeverlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Dan.7:13-14). Isn't it clear which is greater? Obviously, the FATHER is the greatest in the kingdom -- in the entire Universe! Christ Jesus, who was the "Word" of God, and who sits now at the Father's right hand, is SECOND-IN-COMMAND!

                            The Trinity -- the FOUNDATION of Catholicism!

         This teaching is very clear in the Bible. Unfortunately, it flies right smack in the face of the traditional, conventional "Trinity" doctrine of the Protestant-Catholic world! Truly, Satan the devil is he which "DECEIVETH the whole world " (Rev.12:9; 20:10).

         But why would the Devil seek to deceive people as to the very nature of the Godhead? Why does he even care? Why is it important to him -- what does he get out of it? WHY does the WHOLE WORLD, deceived by Satan, believe in the TRINITY doctrine?

         According to the Catholic Encyclopedia,

                                            "This [the Trinity doctrine] the Church teaches, is the revelation regarding

                                            God's nature which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came upon earth to deliver

                                            to the world: and which she [the Catholic Church] proposes to man as the

                                            FOUNDATION of the whole dogmatic system. "

         But isn't it surpassingly strange that IF Jesus Christ came upon earth for the major purpose to REVEAL THE TRINITY, WHY is it He never said ONE WORD about it?!!

         Yet the Catholic Church makes this doctrine the pivotal doctrine of ALL faith and practice. And Protestants concur. If you don't subscribe to this ONE DOCTRINE, they consider you to be a HERETIC! Cursed of God! Anathema from Christ!

                                        The Incredible True ORIGIN of the "Trinity"

         The historical truth is that it was several hundred years AFTER the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles before the TRINITY doctrine became a part of Catholic dogma. It was during the last twenty-five years of the convulsive fourth century that "what might be called the definitive trinitarian dogma 'one God in three persons' became thoroughly assimilated into Christian [sic] life and thought" (see the New Catholic Encyclopedia, article "Holy Trinity").

         Interestingly, however, although the "Trinity" doctrine is nowhere mentioned in Scripture, and is totally without Scriptural basis or proof, it has become the rock-solid core doctrine of the professing "Christian" world. It is also interesting to note that a belief in the "Trinity" was a very COMMON DOCTRINE among the ancient PAGAN NATIONS, long before "Christianity" in its modern garb appeared on the scene!

         Hasting's Bible Dictionary points out:

                                 "Although the notion of a Triad or Trinity is a characteristic of the

                                            Christian religion, it is by no means peculiar to it. In Indian religion,

                                            e.g., we meet with the trinitarian group of BRAHAM, SIVA, and

                                            VISNU; and the Egyptian religion with the trinitarian group of

                                            OSIRIS, ISIS, and HORUS, constituting a divine family, like the

                                            Father, Mother and Son in medieval Christian pictures. Nor is it only

                                            in historical religions that we find God viewed as a Trinity. One recalls

                                            in particular the Neo-Platonic view of the Supreme or Ultimate Reality,

                                            which was suggested by PLATO" (vol.12, p.458).

            Writes James Bonwick in Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought,

                                 "Though it is usual to speak of the Semitic tribes as monotheistic;

                                            yet it is an undoubted fact that more or less ALL OVER THE WORLD

                                            the deities are in TRIADS. This rule applies to eastern and western

                                            hemispheres, to north and south. Further, it is observed that, in some

                                            mystical way, the triad of three persons is one. . . . The definition of

                                            Athanasius [fourth century theologian] who lived in Egypt, applied to

                                            the TRINITIES OF ALL HEATHEN RELIGIONS" (p.396).

            Athanasius was the Catholic scholar and theologian of the fourth century who first formulated and delineated the Trinitarian doctrine for the Church. His teached was adopted and embraced by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. The thinking of Athanasius and his cohorts was strongly influenced by Plato's philosophy. Thus the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity does not come from the Bible at all, but from PAGAN PHILOSOPHERS and was strongly influenced by PAGAN RELIGIONS!

         Admsits the New Catholic Encyclopedia, article "Trinity,"

                                 "There is recognition on the part of exegetist and Biblical theologians,

                                            including a constantly growing number of Roman Catholics, that one

                                            should not speak of Trinitarianism in the New Testament without serious

                                            qualification. There is also the closely parallel recognition -- that when

                                            one does speak of unqualified Trinitarianism, one has MOVED FROM

                                            THE PERIOD OF CHRISTIAN ORIGINS to say, THE LAST QUAD-

                                            RANT OF THE FOURTH CENTURY. It was only then that what

                                            might be called the definitive Trinitarian dogma 'one God in three persons'

                                            became thoroughly asssimilated into Christian life and thought" (vol.14,

                                            p.295).

         At the Nicean Council in 325 A.D. the doctrine of the Trinity was formally adopted by the Church in the Roman Empire, with headquarters at Rome. Convoked by Emperor Constantine, the main purpose of the Council was to bring CHURCH UNITY. Constantine believed that a strong, unified Church would help him unify the fraying remains of the Empire.

         Writes Will Durant in The Story of Civilization,

                                 "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. The Greek mind,

                                            dying, came to a transmigrated life in the theology and liturgy of the

                                            Church . . . the Greek mysteries passed down into the impressive mystery

                                            of the Mass. Other pagan cultures contributed to the syncretist result.

                                            From Egypt came the ideas of a DIVINE TRINITY . . . Christianity was

                                            the last great creation of the ancient pagan world" ("Caesar and Christ,"

                                            vol. 3, p.595).

            How did these pagan concepts creep into the far-flung Church? Will Durant explains:

                                 ". . . the Church felt the need of unity; it could not safely allow itself to

                                            be divided into a hundred feeble parts by every wind of intellect, by dis-

                                            loyal heretics, ecstatic prophets, or brilliant sons. Celsus himself had

                                            sarcastically observed that Christians were 'split up into ever so many

                                            factions, each individual desiring to have his own party.' About 187

                                            Irenaus listed twenty varieties of Christianity; about 384 Epiphanius

                                            counted eighty. At every point foreign ideas were creeping into Christian

                                            belief . . ." (ibid., p.616).

         As the centuries passed, the power of Rome grew. "By the middle of the third century the position and resources of the papacy were so strong that Decius vowed he would rather have a rival emperor at Rome than a pope" (p.618). Durant goes on:

                                 "It was not merely that the Church took over some religious customs

                                            and forms common in pre-Christian Rome -- the stole and other vest-

                                            ments of pagan priests, the use of incense and holy water in purifications,

                                            the burning of candles and an everlasting light before the altar, the worship

                                            of the saints, the architecture of the basilica, the LAW OF ROME as the

                                            basis of canon law, the title of Pontifex Maximus for the Supreme Pontiff,

                                            and, in the fourth century, the Latin language as the noble and enduring

                                            vehicle of Catholic ritual. THE ROMAN GIFT WAS ABOVE ALL A

                                            VAST FRAMEWORK OF GOVERNMENT, which, as secular authority

                                            failed, became the STRUCTURE OF ECCLESIASTICAL RULE. . . .

                                            The Roman Church followed in the footsteps of the Roman state; it

                                            conquered the provinces, beautified the capital, and established discipline

                                            and unity from frontier to frontier. Rome died in giving birth to the

                                            Church . . ." (p.618-619).

         What about the Trinity doctrine? This doctrine did not become formulated in professing Christianity until the Nicean Council of 325 A.D., a council convoked by Emperor Constantine because the unity of the Church, and even of the Empire, seemed to be threatened by a hot new schism and dispute over the nature of God and Christ which had arisen. The most challenging crisis in the history of the Church arose because about 318 a priest named Arias from the Egyptian town of Baucalis startled his bishop with a new and powerful opinion about the nature of Christ.

         According to Arias, Christ was not God Himself, but was rather the Logos, the first and highest of all created beings. He argued that if the Son had been begotten by the Father, it must have been in time; the Son therefore could not be "coeternal" with the Father. Arias further reasoned that if Christ were "created," it must have been out of nothing, not from the Father's substance, thus not "consubstantial" with the Father.

         These shocking and novel views spread like wildfire among the clergy. Alexander, his bishop, persuaded the Egyptian council to defrock Arias and his followers, but many priests sympathized with Arias throughout Asia, and the cities rang with tumult and disorder, leading Emperor Constantine to involve himself in the fray. Writes Will Durant:

                                 "If Christ was not God, the whole structure of Christian doctrine would

                                            begin to crack; and if division were permitted on this question, chaos of

                                            belief might destroy the unity and authority of the Church, and therefore

                                            its value as an aide to the state. As the controversy spread, setting the

                                            Greek East aflame, Constantine resolved to end it by calling the first

                                            ecumenical -- universal -- council of the Church. He summoned all bishops

                                            to meet in 325 at Bithynian Nicaea. . . Not less than 318 bishops came,

                                            'attended' says one of them, 'by a vast concourse of the lower clergy'"

                                            (Story of Civilization, vol.3, p.659).

            Constantine himself presided at the opening ceremonies, and appealed to the bishops to restore the unity of the Church. He chaired the meetings, listened to the debates, and even joined in the argument.   Countering Arias' view that Christ was a created creature, Athanasius, an eloquent and pugnacious archdeacon, argued that if Christ were created and not of one substance with the Father, polytheism would triumph. He argued that God must be a Trinity, despite the difficulty of understanding how "Three Persons" might be "One." Athanasius, "conceded the difficulty of picturing three distinct persons in one God, but argued that reason must bow to the mystery of the Trinity" (Durant, ibid., p.660).

         Eventually, all but two bishops signed a formula put forth by the council declaring that Jesus was "not made, being of one essence with the Father." Those who refused to sign, along with Arias, were anathematized by the Council and exiled by the Emperor. An imperial edict ordered all books written by Arias to be burned and made the concealment of such books a crime punishable by death! The Nicean Council, however, did not settle the controversy. In the ensuing years, more Christians were killed over that doctrine than were killed by all the pagan emperors of Rome!

         The Encyclopedia Britannica, eleventh edition, says of this Council,

                                 "Finally, the Council marks an epoch in the history of the conception of

                                            the Christian religion, in that it was the first attempt to fix the criteria of

                                            Christian orthodoxy by means of definitely formulated pronouncements

                                            on the content of Christian belief -- the acceptance of these beliefs being

                                            made a sine qua non of membership in the Church. Moreover, it admitted

                                            the principle that the state might employ the secular arm to bring the

                                            Christian subjects of the Roman world empire under the newly codified

                                            faith " ("Nicaea, Council of," vol.19, p.640).

            Actually, the majority of bishops at the Council were not inclined to take either side of the controversy, but the bulk of the members occupied a position between the two extremes as set forth by Arias and Athanasius. They did not accept the views of Arias, but neither did they endorse the "Trinitarian" concept of Athanasius. They were neutral in their sentiments. However, the majority eventually acquiesed to the Trinitarian dogma, not due to

internal conviction, but because of "indifference," and largely due to "the pressure of the imperial will" of Constantine (ibid., p.641). Eventually this decision, which was to bring unity to the Church, only succeeded in convulsing the whole Empire.

         Thus it was that Constantine's fears of the disintegration of the Roman Empire were the real motive behind the legislation at the Nicean Council to force the Church into unity on the question of the Godhead. It was finally decided by the bishops that "the Son was 'of the same substance' with the Father, and all thought of his being created or even subordinate had to be excluded " (Encyclopedia Britannica, article "Arias," vol.2, p.543, eleventh edition).

         Thus when the Trinity doctrine was embraced by Catholicism in 325 A.D., the very words of Christ Himself that He is subordinate to the Father were rejected as heresy! Dogma replaced Biblical revelation; error was substituted for truth -- on the pain of death to any who disagreed with the new dogma!

                                          The True Plan of God Revealed

         The Bible reveals, not a Trinitarian, but a FAMILY relationship in the very Godhead. Many times Jesus and the apostles addressed God as the "Father." When Jesus asked Peter who he believed He was, he answered, "Thou art the Christ [Messiah -- Anointed One], the Son of the living God" (Matt.16:16). The Father-Son relationship is definitely a "FAMILY" relationship! It is also a relationship in which One is clearly superior to the other, although BOTH are of the same kind, or essence.

         The Scriptures reveal that the Father used Christ, or the Logos, as the creating agent - the One who created the Universe and everything in it (Col.1:13-17; Heb.1:1-3). The apostle Paul declared, "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten THEE? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?" (verse 5). It was of the Son that God the Father said, "And let all the angels of God worship him" (v.6). Paul went on, "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O GOD, is for ever and ever . . . Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, EVEN THY GOD, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (v.8-9).

         Clearly, God the Father is the God of Christ! And Christ is also God, because He is here called God, and the angels are told to worship Him! Does this mean there are TWO "Gods"?

         Not at all -- Christ and the Father are perfectly united, as ONE in mind and thought and action. They are One in spirit and action, thought and activity. God is a FAMILY! This is perhaps the greatest revelation that God ever gave to mankind -- and to Herbert Armstrong during this 20th century -- that God the Father is planning a great celestial FAMILY, and Jesus Christ is the "firstborn" into that Family!

         Notice this carefully now!

         Jesus speaks of us, true Christians, as His brethren, and His children.   We read in Hebrews, "But we see Jesus . . . For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing MANY SONS UNTO GLORY, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified ARE ALL OF ONE: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name UNTO MY BRETHREN . . . And again, Behold I and the CHILDREN which God hath given me" (Heb.2:9-13).

         Jesus is bringing us to "glory." What glory? "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that THEY MAY BE ONE, even as we are ONE " (John 17:21).

         How astonishing! How remarkable! How incredible! GOD is a FAMILY, and the Father is in the process of EXPANDING HIS DIVINE FAMILY!!!

         The apostle Paul put it plainly: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS OF GOD. . . The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we ARE the children of GOD: And if children, then HEIRS; HEIRS OF GOD, and JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also GLORIFIED TOGETHER. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the GLORY which shall be revealed in us " (Rom.8:14-18).

         This incredible TRUTH runs throughout the New Testament as a major theme, yet carefully hidden from the eyes of the blind and foolish. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the WHOLE FAMILY in heaven and earth is NAMED" (Eph.3:14-15).

         To the Philippians, Paul wrote that CHRIST "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto HIS GLORIOUS BODY" (Phil.3:21). Christ's body is DIVINE! His face shines like the SUN in its strength (Rev.1:13-16). We will have bodies like His -- we will SHINE like He shines in GLORY!

         The apostle John writes, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the SONS OF GOD: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall SEE him as he IS " (I John 3:1-2).

         Notice carefully! We are going to be JUST LIKE CHRIST -- AND JUST LIKE THE FATHER! We will literally be "SONS OF GOD"! Can't we just believe God's Word?

         How precious a thought! How staggering a truth! How dumfounding and mind-boggling a revelation from God! Our true destiny should make us want to leap for joy -- dance pirouettes, and turn summersaults and cartwheels of delirious ecstasy and sublime rapture and delight!

         In the book of Genesis we read of the inception of this plan, when God and the Logos said, "LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, after OUR likeness " (Gen.1:26). "So God created man in HIS OWN IMAGE, in the IMAGE OF GOD created he him . . ." (verse 27).

         God first created the human family in His physical image and likeness. After we learn the lessons of obedience to His ways and His laws, and accept Christ as our personal Saviour, and repent of our sins, and are baptized, He promises to GIVE US the Holy Spirit, even as Christ Himself had it (Acts 2:38; 5:32; Gal.2:20). As Christ is "formed" in us as we follow Him and obey Him (Gal.4:19), we grow in spiritual character and begin to form the mind of Christ within us (Phil.2:5). Why is God going to all this trouble?

         Notice! The apostle Paul was inspired to explain God's awesome purpose. He wrote, "But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and honour, and did set him over the works of thy hands: Thou has put ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left NOTHING that is not put under him. But now we see NOT YET all things put under him " (Heb.2:6-8).

         Consider this thought carefully. The expression "all things" is also found in Hebrews, chapter 1, where we read of Christ, that God "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed HEIR OF ALL THINGS, by whom also he made the worlds" (Heb.1:1-2). Moffatt translates this verse, "But in these days at the end he has spoken to us by a Son -- a Son whom he has appointed heir of the UNIVERSE . . ."   The expression "all things"

means, literally, EVERYTHING THAT IS -- ALL THE CREATION -- THE UNIVERSE!

         Thus when God says that He has put "all things" under MAN, but we see "NOT YET" ALL these things placed under man, the inference is that in the future, when mankind has qualified, God intends to place him over ALL THE UNIVERSE (Hebrews 2:8)!

                                    Satan's Great Deception -- the Cruel Hoax

         The whole world is blind to this sublime, majestic truth. Only the few, the very few, really, have even a glimmer of it. The Worldwide Church of God has in recent years LOST COMPLETELY this precious knowledge! But why is Satan the devil so desirous of blinding the eyes of mankind to this incredible truth and awesome understanding?

        

         Of course, if mankind understood this truth, then Satan the devil would have a hard time getting the world to worship HIM in place of the true God! If people really knew their potential -- their divine calling -- they might not be so ready to listen to the charms and subtilty of Satan! Therefore, Satan does his level best to HIDE this truth from mankind. He calls it HERESY, and gets his ministers, churches, and servants to blast this truth as cursed "error," heresy, and blasphemous!

         But why does Satan even care? Have you ever thought about it? Satan the devil is JEALOUS! He knows that today there is no chance for him to ever qualify to become a member of the GOD FAMILY! He disqualified long, long ago -- aeons ago, when he attempted to seize the throne of God by force! Isaiah the prophet described that ancient rebellion: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning [or, morning star!]! how art thou cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations [of angels -- one third of them followed him in his abortive rebellion -- see Rev.12:4]! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne ABOVE the stars [angels] of God . . . I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH " (Isaiah 14:12-14).

         Lucifer was undoubtedly the most beautiful and intelligent of all the beings that God -- the Father and the Logos -- created. God's own word says of him, "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering . . . the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast CREATED. Thou art the ANOINTED CHERUB THAT COVERETH; and I have set thee so . . . . Thou wast PERFECT in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, TILL

INIQUITY was found in thee . . . Thy heart was lifted up [vain, proud] because of thy beauty . . . I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God; and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire . . ." (Ezek.28:12-17, 16).

         These few verses tell us an incredible story. Ages ago, in a remote time and place, God created a spectacular angelic spirit being -- who was to be a shining jewel of His Creation. That premier or prince among the creation was named Lucifer, the "light-bringer." He was designed to be a powerful arch-angel, a highest ranking cherub, a "bringer of light," entrusted with guardianship of the throne of God as a "covering" cherub (compare Ezek.28:14; Exodus 25:10-22). He was to be a "morning star," or "light-bringer." The clear indication is that if he had remained faithful, and served God loyally, in due time God may have made Lucifer part of his Divine Family -- third in authority over the Universe! But something went wrong! Something happened, and Lucifer decided that God's way was not for him. When God would not share His throne with Lucifer on Lucifer's terms, he plotted to rebel, and eventually led one third of the angels astray (Rev.12:4).

         Do you see the point? Satan seems to have an obession with the concept of a "Trinity." Perhaps he still lusts and pines away for the glory which he once had, and the potential to be THIRD IN THE UNIVERSE! Perhaps aeons ago he envisioned himself as the "Third Person" in the supreme Universe-ruling Godhead -- a sort of divine "Trinity"!

         Therefore, after he rebelled, and was cast down to the earth, he set up religions among mankind, leading them to worship him, "the god of this world" (II Cor.4:4), the "prince of the power of the air' (Eph.2:2). And in these religions around the world, he instituted the concept of the TRINITY -- among the Hindus, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, religions of Northern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, and throughout the inhabited regions of the earth!

         Satan lusted and aspired as a cherub to be a part of a Universe-ruling "Trinity." But God rejected his plan and offer. Jesus said, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18). Satan was CAST OUT! Ever since that time, he has nursed a grudge and grievance against God, and has secretly desired to BE A PART OF A DIVINE TRINITY!

         Not only this, but he seeks to be the FINAL "Person" in the Godhead. He knows the Spirit of God is not a "person" but is the POWER of God, the substance of God which fills the Universe (II Tim.1:6-7; Jer.23:23-24; Psa.139:7). An angel told Mary of her conception of the child who was to

be the Messiah, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the POWER of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). The Holy Spirit is not a "Person," but the very SUBSTANCE which composes both the Father and the Son -- their Spirit which they share mutually. It fills all space!

         But the world's religions consider the "Holy Spirit" to be a Person. That "Person," in Satan's scheme of things, is Satan himself -- a "Spirit Being" who considers himself to be "Holy"! Satan, or Lucifer, sought to be the final member of a divine Trinity. But God rejected his devious, short-sighted, selfish, proud plan, and cast him out of heaven to the earth, to be restrained until the final time of Judgment comes.   God, in so doing, revealed that it was NEVER His intention of sealing up the Godhead, or the God-Family. Rather, He created mankind to eventually become as He is -- DIVINE!

        

         Satan desperately doesn't want to you have a part in God's great Plan. He desperately wants you to FAIL -- as he did! He wants you to follow him, and disqualify as a potential God Being and member of the God Family! He seeks your everlasting DESTRUCTION!

         That is why Satan has "BLINDED THE MINDS of them which believe not, LEST the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, WHO IS THE IMAGE OF GOD [and we, too, shall be the VERY IMAGE OF GOD, AND HIS LIKENESS!], should shine unto them" (II Cor.4:4).

         As Paul wrote, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are LOST" (verse 3). Satan had "hid" it. He has blinded the world to this incredible TRUTH! His attitude is, if he can't make it, then NOBODY will make it!

         What about you? Do you see how the doctrine of the Trinity is a self-defeating, limiting doctrine which rejects and hides the true awesome plan of God from the eyes of mankind? As Paul wrote, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the HIDDEN WISDOM, which God ordained before the world unto OUR GLORY: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which GOD HATH PREPARED for them that love him. But God hath REVEALED THEM unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (I Cor.2:7-10).

         This is precious knowledge. This is PRICELESS truth! The Worldwide Church of God, in its descent into Apostasy and error, has already lost this sublime, magnificent, mind-boggling knowledge!

         Let us PRAISE GOD for His inestimable truth! And let us HANG ON to ti, and never let it go!   Let us "lay hold on eternal life," whereunto we are CALLED -- lest we allow Satan an edge, and make shipwreck of the faith (I Tim.6:12; I Tim.1:19).

         Thank God for His TRUE Plan of Salvation, and the TRUTH about the nature of GOD!

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