The World Tomorrow

Religious Confusion - Trinity

by Herbert W Armstrong


Well greetings everybody. Of all religions of the world, of all denominations of Christianity, there is only one true Church, only one; and only one that has the real knowledge.

Now I learned, not only that God is Creator, but God is the Revealer of basic knowledge. And I tell you why the greatest intellects are the most ignorant. It's because THEY DON'T BELIEVE GOD! And it's because they have the one spirit that imparts the power of intellect to a physical human brain, which no animal has, so they have very great minds and mind power, but they are LIMITED. And they are confined to the physical and the material: only what they can see or hear, smell, taste, feel, or touch. And you can't see spirit; and you can't hear spirit; and you can't touch it or feel it, smell it, or taste it.

So the result is how are you going to know anything about spirit? Normally, naturally, you simply cannot! There is another Spirit and God intended that we should receive that other Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God! That's the very Spirit that comes from God! That will beget us with God life, a new kind of life!

And in this life now, as long as we're in flesh and blood, we can only be begotten children of God – never born. By the way, a lot of people wonder what it is to be born again; and almost nobody understands that!

You know sometimes I just wonder if anybody understands anything. People believe so many things that are absolutely not true! It's ridiculous! What Do You Mean – Born Again? Write in for a special booklet: 'What Do You Mean – Born Again?.' You know even heads of governments don't know that – they just don't know. But God reveals what it means to be born again and I would like to have you get that little booklet. And there's no charge whatever; I'll send it to you free.

Well the generally accepted Christian teaching about God, now getting into the Christian religion, is that God is a trinity; that is three persons in one. And they say it's one God but in three persons – 'God in three persons - Blessed Trinity.' I used to sing that song before I knew better. I don't sing it anymore, because it's as fake and false as it can be.

Lost Century Of The Church (PLAY FROM 03:05)

How did that trinity doctrine get in there? Well, Jesus Christ came and raised up His Church; and He said His Church would last through all generations. But there was, beginning somewhere between, oh say 60 and 70 AD, a lost century, for a hundred years, when all the recorded history regarding the Church had been systematically destroyed! You can't find it; there isn't any! It was all destroyed!

But a hundred years later, about 170 AD, the curtain will lift and you look on and there is a church; and the church called itself, 'Christianity.' But it is about as different from the Church of 31 and 40 AD and along in those years, as black is from white, or up is from down. It was just about as opposite. And there's no record; you can't find a record of it. But we find the record before that happened; and we find the record of what happened afterward.

Now Jesus had said, as I say, that "...the gates of hell [or the grave], would never prevail against his Church" (Matthew 16:18 parphrased). His Church was founded in 31 AD.

But by 58 AD, and some so-called authorities say it was about 53 when the apostle Paul wrote his book to the Galatians, you will find that here in Galatians the first chapter, Paul said in writing to the churches up in Galatia, this was about, let's say, 58 AD.

"I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel [they had been removed from God into another gospel]: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-7)

Trinity and Easter Doctrines (PLAY FROM 05:09)

Now some may think it is Paul that called them, but God is the One who calls us.

Well, now I wanted to come to this thing about the mystery of the trinity doctrine. By the fourth century there had been a dual, very violent controversy, raging around Rome. And Rome, by that time, was the center of what was called 'Christianity.'

There was one leader by the name of Polycrates who had a very great controversy against the bishops of Rome on the matter of whether we should observe the Passover, which is the fourteenth day of the first, sacred month as Christ set it, or whether we should observe the pagan day of Easter!

And then there was a Doctor Arias, who was a priest from Alexandria, and he was in a red-hot argument against the bishops at Rome about this trinity. The bishops at Rome wanted the trinity doctrine. And as a matter of fact they had the same gospel that had really come out of ancient Babylon – the Babylonian Mystery Religion.

Doctor Arias didn't have it right. He didn't have the truth, but at least he was against the trinity. And we don't need to go into what he did believe because he was wrong too, as far as that is concerned. But, to show you how bloody it was, Doctor Arias was finally burned at the stake.

Now that question, both questions, were settled by the Emperor Constantine in 325 AD. Constantine was the Roman Emperor. Constantine claimed that he had seen a vision one time, of a cross; and it said, 'by this sign you may conquer.'

So he said, "Well I'll tell you: I'll adopt the Christian religion. Maybe I can win this battle I am going into – in a war." And he happened to win that war. So he said, "Well, I'm going to join the Christian Church."

Now he didn't come to it in the way I did. He just said, "I'll join the Christian Church." That's the way most people do. They just go in and join like you join any club, anything of the kind.

But Constantine is the one who settled this controversy. He called what is called the Nicene Council. And that Nicene Council was the first real ecumenical council. And the Catholic Church is still holding some now and then. And there the trinity was made official, and so was Easter. And anyone that would observe Passover would've been persecuted – and probably martyred and killed.

Also, in the Authorized Version of the Bible commonly called 'The King James,' and that's what I use mostly just because most people do. It is not necessarily the best. I would say that one is probably even more accurate; it is the Revised Standard translation in the English language, but it's a newer translation and there are not as many people that have it, so I use the King James most of the time. But in the King James translation, the Holy Spirit is referred to, a great many times, as 'he' or 'his' or 'him,' and not as 'it.'

And so they say, "Well that proves that the Holy Spirit is a person;" but there are other places in the New Testament where the Holy Spirit is referred to as 'it.' And they overlook that; don't they?

The Holy Spirit is not a person. It is the Spirit that emanates from God; that emanates, also, from Christ – the same identical Spirit. And both of Them are of one mind. They are both Spirit and composed of Spirit.

God In The Beginning (PLAY FROM 09:01)

And so, now if we want to know the beginning about God, and who and what God is, we begin in John the first chapter and the first verse, John 1:1:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

Now this, 'Word,' it's translated from the Greek word, 'logos.' "In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God." Logos means 'word,' or 'spokesman; the one who does the speaking.' And it's a Personage, but it is the Personage who was the Spokesman of the Godhead.

"The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." (John 1:2-3)

Now in Ephesians, the third chapter and the ninth verse, it speaks there of "...God, who created all things by Jesus Christ," (Ephesians 3:9); you'll find it if you turn to it.

And now I'd like to have you turn over to Hebrews, the seventh chapter of Hebrews, verse three, speaking of Christ here - while it's speaking of Melchizedek - if you want to know who Melchizedek was, write in for a free booklet on, 'Who Was Melchizedek?' and it'll prove to you that Melchizedek was Christ.

Now verse three "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life [there never was a time - He was never born, never a time when He did not exist. He has ALWAYS existed – the same as God, which now we think of as God the Father]; but made a Son of God; abideth a Priest continually." (Hebrews 7:3)

And that is really speaking of Christ there. As I say, "...God created all things by him." (Ephesians 3:9)

Now, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God..." (John 1:1). That Word, let me go back; I shouldn't have passed that up yet, in John 1, because in the fourteenth verse it says: "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of [God]), full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

I'm a little slow in turning to it, so I just said it anyway, because I happen to know what it says.

And I once knew a man who never opened his Bible. But he quoted the Bible and he just had one scripture after another; but he had them all memorized. But I never would do that; I usually want to turn to it because I found I can get one word wrong and don't realize it once in a while if I'm not very careful. I'm human; so are we all. And we just need to be careful. So I usually like to turn and read it.

Now then let's go back to Genesis 1:1. And this is supposed to be the creation chapter.

"In the beginning God created the heavens [and it should be plural, 'heavens,' as Moses wrote it in the Hebrew language] and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

Now the word for 'God' in the Hebrew language is 'Elohim.' Elohim is a word like the word 'family,' like the word 'church,' like the word 'group,' or like the word 'team.' It's more than one person, but making one church, one family, one group – not several groups, but one group. And it might be of four or five people, it might be of four or five thousand people – it all depends.

And "In the beginning Elohim ... " (Genesis 1:1). Now that is more than one Person, but forming one God!

Now this does not say it was three Persons, four Persons, or how many! But I can tell you right now – by putting it together with John 1:1, it is referring to God and the Word! And it is not referring to three persons, but two – two Persons forming one God " ... created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

Now actually it was God who did it by, and through, the Word, who became Jesus Christ much later.

Now then notice Genesis two and verse four. Let me explain first: the word, 'God,' all the way through the first chapter of Genesis, has been translated from the name that Moses wrote, 'Elohim.' Elohim is the uniplural that means, 'more than one person, but one God,' not two gods – only one God. But God is more than one Person! And I'm going to show you that we can be born into the Family of God.

Family of God (PLAY FROM 13:52)

And now God is the Father of Christ. He wasn't originally, but He is now. And Christ is "...the firstborn of many brethren" (Romans 8:29). And we can be born of God and be born into that Family – and it is a great Family!

And the trinity doctrine limits God so that it prevents the very purpose for which men were placed on this earth – to become members of that God Family! God is reproducing Himself; that's what He put human beings on the earth for! Now you never heard anyone else say that. I don't know anyone that says such a thing.

Now all the way through the first chapter of Genesis the word, 'God,' always was written, 'elohim,' by Moses. In other words, it included both the Father and the One who became Christ, or 'God and the Word.'

Now we come to the second chapter of Genesis and it starts out: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and the host of them. And on the seventh day Elohim [God – and there the word is, 'elohim,' which means both God and the Word] ended his work which he [now here is the singular pronoun, 'he,' used] which he had made; and rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." (Genesis 2:1-2)

Now He did create on the seventh day; He created the Sabbath. But it was not created by work; it was created by rest. But He ended all work which He had made. He had not ended creation. He was only starting the spiritual creation on that day!

"And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God had created and made." (Genesis 2:3)

Now we come to a new word introduced by Moses.

"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the [here you find] LORD God..." (Genesis 2:4)

Now in the King James you find that the word, 'LORD,' will appear in capital letters. And wherever it appears in capital letters that means it came from the Hebrew, 'YHWH.'

Now no one knows exactly how to pronounce it so I may not pronounce it correctly, but if you think I don't, you don't either, because no one knows what is the correct pronunciation; and anyway it's in the Hebrew language. They use only the consonants and the vowels are just added. It's Y-H-W-H, but usually spelled like y-a-[h]-w-e-h, Ya[h]weh.

Now there is no word in the English language that is the equivalent of this YHWH – which is one of the names of God. But that is the Name that is of the specific Person that was called 'the Word' in John 1:1 – John in the New Testament.

Now we begin to see a difference between the 'elohim.' 'YHWH' - elohim' means, 'the LORD God,' or the YHWH is the one of the God Family that is here referred to. He is the one who was the Spokesman and it meant 'word' or 'speaker.'

There's no word in the English language that properly translates 'YHWH' and the translators have always had difficulty. In the King James they put, 'LORD,' which means, 'Master,' - the one that you obey. But in the Moffatt translation he translated it, 'the Eternal.' And the Ferar Fenton translation translates it, 'the Ever Living.'

Now the word 'YHWH' means, 'the Self-Existent One – One Who has ALWAYS existed and always will – "...without father, without mother, without beginning of days or end of life" (Hebrews 7:3). That's exactly what it means.

And it is 'the One that was with God,' and 'the One by Whom God made everything,' and 'the One Who did the speaking.'

Now I prefer to use the name that the Moffatt translation does – 'the Eternal.' 'The Ever Living' is fine, but it takes two words. But it means 'the One Who is eternally living, self existent,' and also, 'Who is Lord and Master.' It involves all of those things and there's no one word in the English language that will answer to that. So I just say, 'the Eternal God;' and 'Eternal' means 'the One Who became Christ.'

Now finally it says: "The [Eternal] God [verse seven] formed man of the dust of the ground..." (Genesis 2:7). And let me see, I think we have to come down to about verse fifteen before we get what I wanted. "...the [Eternal] God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it. And the [Eternal] God [or LORD God] commanded the man, saying, [now here it is YHWH Who does the speaking; it is this YHWH Who is the Word! and said], Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil..." (Genesis 2:15-17). That was the one that had the forbidden fruit.

YHWH Becomes a Son of God (PLAY FROM 19:13)

Now then the God of the Old Testament was this YHWH. Now by a resurrection from the dead Jesus has become Very God. Back here in Hebrews the first chapter and verse eight: "But unto the Son [meaning Christ] he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom" (Hebrews 1:8), meaning Christ's Kingdom; He's the King of that Kingdom.

Now then I'd like to tie that in with Romans, the first chapter of Romans – that's chapter one, verse one of Romans – Romans 1:1.

"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." (Romans 1:1-3)

Now as a human being according to the flesh He was a Son of David, because His mother, Mary, was descended directly from David just as I am, but probably through another strain.

"And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead! (Romans 1:4)

Now as a human being, He was the Son of David. But by the resurrection He became the Son of God.

Now He was also the Son of God before His crucifixion. And He was the only begotten Son of God; the only One who had ever been begotten by God PRIOR TO HUMAN BIRTH!

But we can be begotten of God prior to our Spirit birth in the Kingdom of God, but that's a little different than the way Jesus was the only begotten Son of God.

Now the one true Church in the world, which today is the Worldwide Church of God, knows that God is not a trinity; He is not a trinity. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit that emanates from God, and from Christ, and can enter into man.

Holy Spirit is Spirit of Begettal (PLAY FROM 21:36)

Now you notice that in the second chapter of Acts, for example, in verse thirty-eight, how Peter had said – this is when Peter had just received the Holy Spirit – his first inspired sermon.

"Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

In other words the Holy Spirit can come into us. And we can be begotten of God, and then can be born of God.

Now if you turn back to John, again, right at the very beginning, in the third chapter of John. Here Nicodemus came to Jesus. And he was a Pharisee. And he sneaked in by night because he didn't want the other Pharisees to know he was seeing Jesus, because they wouldn't have anything to do with him.

And so: "The same came to Jesus by night [verse two – that's in John, the third chapter – John 3:2], and he said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God [we know, we Pharisees know; all the Pharisees knew it. So they had no excuse for what they did]: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:2-3)

Now the kingdom of God is something that can be seen! But it can only be seen by those who have been born again!

And let me tell you something: the President of the United States has not yet seen the kingdom of God. What do you think of that? Nor has the Queen of England, nor has the head of any other government anywhere in the world, nor have I, nor have you. You haven't seen the kingdom of God because it hasn't appeared yet!

Now let's continue a little further here: "Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto you [verse six], that which is born of the flesh is flesh." (John 3:5-6)

I was born of the flesh; I am flesh! YOU were born of the flesh; you are flesh! You're not spirit; you're flesh.

There is a spirit in us, but that is not us. It's just like, well I've often said you swallow a little tiny marble, and the marble is not you, but it's in you. And the spirit is something that is in us, but it's not us. And it's not a soul.

And He said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit [when you're born of the Spirit you will become Spirit]. Marvel not that I say unto you, You must be born again." (John 3:6-7)

Now He said, "...unless you are born of the Spirit [in verse five], you cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5 paraphrased). So it's something we can enter into, but not in this life, not while we're born of the flesh.

Now then if you turn over to I Corinthians the fifteenth chapter you'll find something on that, that I'd like to turn to for just a second right here.

"And so it is written [in verse forty-five], the first man Adam was made a living soul [not an immortal soul, a living soul]; the last Adam [meaning Christ] was made a quickening Spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural... The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren [listen carefully], that flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (I Corinthians 15:45-50)

I am flesh and blood. And as long as I'm flesh and blood I cannot enter the kingdom of God. The President of the United States is flesh and blood, therefore he is not entered into the kingdom of God, and has not been born again. The same is true of the Queen of England; the same is true of all of you listening. It's true of all of us. We're just all of us human; we're all in that same boat together.

The Holy Spirit of God, then, is the Spirit that imparts to us the Divine Life by which we can be born into the very Family of God.

Now God is not a trinity. God is the Creator; He is the One who created heaven and earth, Who created all the nations of one blood; and not of one language, because He divided the languages.

But I think I've pretty well shown you, now, something of the nature of God.

God, originally, was God and the Word. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and became Jesus Christ. And by His birth from the virgin Mary, Jesus became a Son of God, but He also was the Son of man! By a resurrection from the dead, He became a Son of God, and the firstborn of many brethren to be born again of God by a resurrection into the Family of God! And the message that He preached was the gospel of the kingdom of God into which we are born. In other words: it's the Family of God, as a government, ruling the whole vast universe! And that is the astounding, almost inconceivable, human potential!

So I leave that with you until next time. This is Herbert W Armstrong saying, "Goodbye friends."