Over 500 Scriptures Proving a Divine Trinity
There are over 500 plain Scriptures that refer to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as being three separate and distinct persons, each with His own personal body, soul, and spirit in the sense that all other persons have them. Two and three persons must be understood in all the passages below if the plain language is to be understood as it reads, for first, second, and third personal pronouns are used in the singular and the plural in the same way that we use them in reference to other persons. If two and three persons are referred to in all these passages and they are called God, then we must understand them as referring to this many divine persons, as we do when the same statements are made of two or three persons of the human race. Note the following Scriptures:
Two persons are referred to in:
- The Pentateuch: Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; 19:24; Exod. 14:19; 23:20-23; 32:34; 33:1-3; Num. 20:16; Deut. 18:15-19.
- The historical books: Josh. 5:13-15; Judg. 2:1-5. The term, “the angel of the Lord” means “the angel from the Lord.” The Lord is one person and the angel that comes from Him is another person. Both persons are divine, for the angel proves to be God in many of these passages, and certainly the Lord who sends the angel is another divine person. Also, “the Spirit of the Lord” means “the Spirit from the Lord.” The Lord is one divine person and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, from the Lord is another divine person (Judg. 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6, 19; 15:14; 1 Sam. 10:6; 16:13-14; 2 Sam. 23:2). The same is true of the “Spirit of God” which is the Holy Spirit who was the agent of God and spake by the mouths of the prophets since the world began (Acts. 3:21; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:21).
- The poetical books: Ps. 2:1-12; 8:3-6 with Heb. 2:5-8; Ps. 16:8-11; 22:1-31; 34:20; 45:6-7; 68:18; 69:8-9; 89:27; 110:1-5; 118:26; 119:97-104; 132:11, 17; Prov. 30:4.
- The prophetic books: Isa. 7:14; 8:18 with Heb. 2:12-13; and Isa. 9:6-7; 11:1-5; 42:1-7; 49:1-12; 50:4-11; 52:13-15; 53:1-12; 55:4-5; 63:1-10; Jer. 23:5-8; Ezek. 33:15-18; 34:29; Dan. 7:9-14; Hos. 11:1; Mic. 5:1-6; Hab. 2:7; Zech. 6:12-13; 12:10; 13:6-7; Mal. 3:1-3.
- The Gospels: Mt. 1:18-20; 2:6, 15, 22; 5:44-48; 6:1-18; 7:21; 9:38; 10:32-33, 40; 11:10, 25-27; 12:18, 28, 31-32, 50; 14:33; 15:13; 16:27; 17:5; 18:10, 19, 35; 19:17; 20:23; 21:9, 16; 22:21, 42; 23:8-10, 39; 26:29, 39, 42, 44, 53, 63-64; 27:43, 46; Mk. 1:2, 8, 12, 24; 2:7; 3:11; 5:7; 8:38; 9:7; 11:25-26; 12:27; 14:36, 62; 15:34, 39; 16:19; Lk. 1:32-33; 2:11-14, 22, 38, 40, 49-52; 3:16; 4:1-14, 18, 41; 7:27; 10:21-22; 11:13; 12:5-10, 32; 16:13; 19:38; 20:35, 38-44; 22:29; Jn. 1:1-3, 5, 14, 18, 29, 36; 2:16-17; 3:2, 16-17; 4:10; 5:17-45; 6:27-65; 7:16-18, 28-29, 33-39; 8:14-56; 9:3-5, 33; 10:15-18, 25-38; 11:4, 22, 27, 41-42; 12:26-28, 44-50; 13:1-3, 20, 31-32; 4:1-31; 15:1-25; 16:3-32; 17:1-26; 18:11; 20:17-23, 31.
- The book of Acts: Acts 1:16; 2:22-39; 3:7-26; 7:59-60; 9:3; 13:17-41; 16:6-34; 17:18-31; 18:5, 24-28; 19:1-7; 22:14; 26:8-9, 18-23; 28:23-31.
- The Pauline Epistles: Rom. 1:7-10, 16; 2:16; 3:22-26; 4:24; 5:1-21; 6:3-23; 7:25; 8:29-34; 14:10-12; 15:5-7; 16:20-27; 1 Cor. 1:1-9, 14-30; 3:9-15; 4:1-21; 5:1-13; 8:4-6; 10:4-31; 11:3; 14:2-33; 15:15, 24-28, 57; 2 Cor. 1:1-23; 2:17; 4:2-15; 5:18-21; 8:1-19; 9:7-15; 10:1-14; 11:1-11, 31; 12:1-12, 19-21; 13:4-7; Gal. 1:1-12, 15-24; 2:16-21; 3:13-29; 5:1-6; 6:14-18; Eph. 1:1-2; Phil. 1:26-30; 2:12-16; 3:3, 14; 4:5-23; Col. 1:1-2, 12-28; 2:2–3:17; 4:3-12; 1 Thess. 2:1-18; 3:8-13; 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 1:1-12; 2:1-12; 3:1-18; 1 Tim. 1:1-2, 11-17; 2:3-7; 5:21; 6:1-17; 2 Tim. 1:1-2; 2:1-26; 3:12-17; 4:1-2, 8-22; Titus 1:1-4, 7-16; 2:1-13; Phl. 1-25; Heb. 1:1-14; 2:5-18; 4:4-16; 5:1-14; 6:7-20; 7:1-26; 8:1-13; 9:24; 10:5-9, 19-23; 10:5-9, 19-23; 11:25-26; 12:2-3, 22-24; 13:4-21.
- The General Epistles: Jas. 1:1; 2:1-5; 1 Pet. 1:5-9; 2:3-25; 4:1-11; 5:1-14; 2 Pet. 1:1-2; 2:1-4; 1 Jn. 1:1-7; 2:1-2, 22-25; 3:1-3, 8-10; 4:9-10; 5:1, 20-21; 2 Jn. 2; Jude 1, 4.
- The Revelation: Rev. 1:1-2; 2:7, 10-11, 16-18, 28-29; 3:14-16; 4:5-8; 5:1-11; 6:16-17; 7:9-17; 11:15; 12:10; 15:1-4; 17:14-17; 19:1-21; 20:4-6; 21:2-14, 22-23; 22:1-21.
Three persons are referred to in:
- The Old Testament: Plural pronouns are used of God (Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Ps. 2:3; Isa. 6:8). Elohim, the Hebrew word for “God” in 2,700 places, is a uniplural noun, meaning “Gods” and is so translated 239 times.
Two persons called God are often referred to, as seen in points 1, 2, 3, and 4, above. Three persons are clearly referred to in Ps. 45:6-17; Isa. 10:20–12:6; 42:1-7; 48:16; 59:15-21; 61:1-3 with Lk. 4:18-21; Isa. 63:9-10; Zech. 3:8-9; 12:10–13:1.
- The Gospels: Mt. 1:20-25; 3:9-17; 4:1-11; 12:18-21; 6:16-17; 22:42-46; 28:19-20; Mk. 1:10-11; 12:35-37; Lk. 1:32-35, 67-80; 2:25-35, 38; 3:22; 11:9-13; 24:49; Jn. 1:31-34; 3:34-36; 14:16-21, 23-26; 15:26; 16:7-17; 20:21-23.
- The book of Acts: Acts 1:1-8; 2:17-21, 33-39; 4:8-12, 24-31; 5:30-32; 6:1-15; 7:1-53; 7:54-56; 8:5-23, 29-39; 9:5-20; 10:2-48; 11:15-25; 13:2-12, 46-52; 15:7-29; 18:24-28; 20:21-35.
- The Pauline Epistles: Rom. 4:1-4; 5:1-5; 8:1-27; 9:1-5; 14:17-18; 15:8-30; 1 Cor. 2:1-15; 3:16-23; 6:9-19; 7:22-24, 40; 12:1-29; 2 Cor. 1:18-23; 3:3-18; 5:1-10; 6:1-18; 13:14; Gal. 3:1-11; 4:7; 5:16-26; 6:2-8; Eph. 1:3-21; 4:3-32; 5:1-21; 6:6-24; Phil. 1:1-19; 2:1-11; Col. 1:3-8; 1 Thess. 1:1-10; 4:1-18; 5:9-28; 2 Thess. 2:13-17; 1 Tim. 3:15-16; 4:1-10; 2 Tim. 1:6-14; Titus 3:4-7; Heb. 2:1-14; 3:1-12; 6:1-6; 9:6-14; 10:10-18, 26-31.
- The General Epistles: 1 Pet. 1:1-4, 10-25; 3:15-22; 4:13-19; 2 Pet. 1:16-21; 1 Jn. 3:23-24; 4:2-3, 12-16; 5:5-11; Jude 20-21.
- The Revelation: Rev. 1:4-6, 9-10; 3:1-13, 21-22; 4:1-3; 5:1-10; 11:3-13; 14:12-13; 19:1-10; 22:16-21.
Thus, the whole Bible abundantly proves that there are three separate persons in the Godhead, or in the “one Lord” and “one God” or deity; that these three are in absolute unity and “are one” as believers are supposed to be (Jn. 17:11, 21-23); and that all three persons have their proper place in the creation and redemption of all things, and to each we owe honor and respect in all our worship and service to the Godhead.
If we are not going to believe what God says in His revelation concerning Himself, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, then He is under no further obligation to give another revelation in order to make the subject of God clear to men. If we will not believe one revelation, we would not believe another. If we will believe at all, then let us believe these scriptural facts of human language concerning more than one person in the Godhead. Then we will not have to teach that God is a mystery, that the Trinity cannot be understood, and the other foolish doctrines as expressed by men who refuse to take the plain language used by God in the Bible revealing the Trinity of separate persons in the Godhead, as seen in Mt. 7:21; 10:32-33; 11:27; 15:13; 16:17; 18:10, 19, 35; 19:17; 20:23; 24:36; 25:34; 26:29, 39, 42, 53; Lk. 2:49; Jn. 5:17, 43; 6:32, 65; 8:19, 28, 38, 49, 54; 10:17-18, 25, 29, 30, 32, 37; 12:26-28; 14:7, 12, 20, 21, 28; 15:1, 8, 10, 23; 16:23-26; 18:11; 20:17, 21; Rev. 1:1; 2:27; 3:5, 12; 5:1-7, 13; 7:9, 15-16; 10:6; 11:15; 12:10; 21:22-23; 22:1-5.
Other Proofs in the Old Testament of Three Persons in the Godhead
1. In the very beginning God used plural names and plural verbs and pronouns of the Godhead (See Point I, 1, above). He has also revealed the Godhead as consisting of several persons, as seen in Point 2, below. Many plain statements of two and three persons in the Godhead are found in Scripture. In Gen. 3:22 He plainly said, “The man is become as one of us.” The phrase “as one of” means “like each person of several persons of the same kind,” as proven wherever “as one of” is found in Scripture (Gen. 19:14; 42:27; 49:16; Exod. 12:48; Lev. 19:34; 24:22; Num. 12:12; 2 Sam. 13:13; 14:13; Job 12:4; 13:9; 19:11; 29:25; Ps. 119:162; Mk. 1:22; 6:15; 9:26). No person could use such a phrase and not refer to more than one person who could make “us.” If God refers to the Godhead as “us” here and elsewhere, we certainly ought to have enough sense to believe that He knows what He is talking about and forget the idea of only “one person.” Many other examples will be given in the following points.
2. Theophanies or appearances of God to men prove plurality of persons. Two and three persons called “Lord” and “God” are seen at the same time and at the same place, so the deity must be as many persons as are clearly seen. Each has been seen with a separate body and separate acts as in the case of other persons, as is clear from the following points:
(2) Two are seen with the eyes as two separate persons with two separate bodies in Dan. 7:9-14; “the ancient of days” sitting on a throne and “one like the Son of man” coming with the clouds of Heaven down to where the other one was on the throne, and the one on the throne gave to the Son of man a kingdom. One reading of this passage by any honest person will prove to him that there are two separate persons referred to. The one sitting on the throne had to have a body, or He could not sit down, and He could not wear clothes or have hair on His head. He is referred to as a real person in the same sense that others are. Seven times personal singular pronouns are used of Him. God was actually seen by the prophet, or he told a lie. If we cannot believe the writers of the Bible, then we cannot believe the book itself.
The fact that a literal description is given of God as a person is proof that He is a real person. He was seen bodily; He sat on a seat; He had clothes on; He had a head and hair on His head; He had a throne and personal attendants, ministers, and subjects standing around Him; and He sat in judgment like any other judge. Also, literal books of record were opened before Him as at any court trial. The Son of man was brought before Him as any other person could be, and He gave to the Son of man a kingdom to reign over forever, thus proving that He was a separate person from the Son of man. He had a body and the Son of man had a body, or both could not have been seen coming before each other bodily. Shall we deny such plain, literal passages giving actual descriptions of both God and the Son of man? Shall we reject the Bible in part or in whole just for the sake of holding on to man-made ideas and theories about God? To me, such a program is rebellious and sinful, and it is confusing if we want a simple understanding of the Bible.
(3) Two separate persons are clearly seen and referred to in Zech. 1:7-21, where “the angel of the Lord” and “the Lord of hosts” are talking together. The Lord of hosts commands this angel what to say to Israel. This angel is also called “the Lord” in Zech. 1:19-20; 2:1-13. The one “Lord” says to Israel, “And ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me . . . for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord . . . and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee” (Zech. 2:8-13). Here we have two Lords, one called “the Lord” and the other called “the Lord of hosts” who sends “the Lord” to Israel. The angel, or “the Lord” refers to Himself as Me and to the Lord of hosts as his and he (Zech. 2:8-11). In the other chapters of Zechariah the Lord of hosts continues to use the angel as a spokesman until at the end of the book He is called by the Lord of hosts “my shepherd” and “the man that is my fellow” (Zech. 13:6-7; see Points 26-27, below). This angel is called “mine angel” in Exod. 23:20-23; 32:34; 33:8; and Num. 20:6, so He could not be the same person as the Lord of hosts Himself.
(4) Three separate and distinct persons are seen and heard in Mt. 3:16-17. When Jesus (one person) was baptized the Spirit of God (another person) was seen manifesting Himself in bodily shape like a dove and descending upon Him, and at the same time these two were seen by the same eyes at the same place, the voice of the Father (another person distinct from both Jesus and the Spirit) was heard from Heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” If two persons were seen on Earth and one was heard from Heaven, then there must be three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead.
See also Jn. 1:31-34, where we find that John did not know Jesus, but he did know the Father who had sent Him. John said, “I knew him [Jesus, one person] not: but he [the Father, another person] that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”
(5) Two are seen and heard in Mt. 17:5: “While he [Jesus] 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.” Years later Peter made it clear that the voice that they heard on this occasion was the actual voice of “the Father . . . from the excellent glory” and “from heaven” (2 Pet. 1:16-17). Peter here states that those that were with him on the holy mount “were eyewitnesses of his majesty” and that “we heard” this voice from Heaven at the same time we saw Jesus in visible form on the Earth, so there must be at least two persons in the Godhead. Not only did three disciples see and hear two persons on the mount, but on another occasion multitudes of people saw and heard these same two persons. Jesus said, “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes” (Jn. 12:26-33).
(6) Two separate and distinct persons were seen by Stephen in Acts 7:54-60 and a third is referred to as filling him: “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Stephen had to see both God and Christ in order to see Jesus standing at God’s right hand. God has to be a separate person from the Son in order for them to be standing and sitting side by side as stated here and in Mk. 16:19; Rom. 8:34; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:22; Acts 2:33. These passages cannot possibly be understood in connection with one person, and all theories that will not teach two persons seen in these Scriptures are plainly of the devil and are out of harmony with the Word of God.
(7) Two are seen and referred to in Rev. 6:16; 7:9-17; Rev. 21:22; 22:3. In these passages we have statements of the wrath of God “that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb . . . before the throne, and before the Lamb . . . Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb . . . the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” and “the throne of God and of the Lamb,” all proving that God and the Lamb are two different persons. In fact human language means nothing if we do not take it to mean exactly what it says.
(8) Two and three separate and distinct persons are clearly seen and referred to in many passages. In Lessons Twenty-one and Twenty-five there are scores of plain references to the Bible concerning one person of the Godhead speaking to and of other members of the deity. The following are a few passages which prove this point:
“I seek not mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true . . . ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape” (Jn. 5:30-37); “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter . . . the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father . . . I will send unto you from the Father”’ (Jn. 14:14-17, 26; 15:25-26; 16:7-15); “He shall not speak of himself . . . He shall glorify me” (Jn. 16:13-15); “If I go not away, the Comforter will not come” (Jn. 16:7); “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him” (Mt. 12:31-32); “Father, glorify thou me with thine own glory which I had with thee before the world was . . . thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (Jn. 17:5, 24); “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise . . . as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (Jn. 5:17-27).
(9) Three separate persons are seen and definitely symbolized in Rev. 4:2-8; 5:1-7. One person is seen on the throne; one person is symbolized by a “Lamb” who takes a book out of the hand of Him who sits on the throne; and a third person is symbolized by “seven lamps of fire” and “seven horns” and “seven eyes,” which are the seven spirits of God. This symbolizes the fullness of the one Holy Spirit upon Jesus Christ (Jn. 3:34; Acts 10:38; Isa. 11:1-2; 42:1-5; 61:1-2; Lk. 4:16-21).
(10) Two persons are seen and referred to in Rev. 10-11. The angel is Christ because of the description and because He says in Rev. 11:3 that the two witnesses were “my two witnesses.” The other person was God in Heaven on the throne, to whom this one on Earth raises a hand and swares to Him that delay should be no longer.
3. The phrases “the Spirit of God” and “the Spirit of the Lord” and like expressions prove more than one person, for the Spirit could not be “of” or “from” God unless there was a God left behind who sends the Spirit. The Spirit could not be “from” the Lord and still be the Lord left behind after the Spirit is sent from Him. The God who is left behind is a person, for He thinks, wills, and acts as a person, and the Spirit that came from God is also a person, for He also thinks, wills, and acts as a separate person from the one who sent Him. Over 272 passages prove the Spirit to be a self-acting person from the Father and Son, as we have seen in Lesson Twenty-five.
4. Psalm 2 clearly reveals two and three separate and distinct persons: David by the Holy Spirit (one person) speaks in Ps. 2 of two other persons. He says that the people would be gathered together “against the Lord [one person], and against his anointed” [another person]. Plural pronouns are used of “the Lord” and “his anointed,” proving them to be two persons: “Let us [the people] break their bands . . . their cords from us . . . Yet have I [the Lord, one person] set my king [the Messiah, another person] upon my holy hill of Zion.” Then the Messiah answers His Lord, “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Then the Lord answers the people, “Serve, the Lord . . . Kiss the Son, lest he be angry.” All Bible writers who spoke of God having a Son always made it clear that God Himself who promised the Son was not going to be that Son, as seen in Lesson Twenty-one, Point VI.
Christ is referred to again in Ps. 132:11-18 as the Lord’s “anointed” and as “the horn of David” who was to sit on David’s throne and reign forever (Lk. 1:32-35). In 1 Sam. 2:3-10, 27-36 Christ is called the Lord’s “king” and the Lord’s “anointed.” We are to understand these passages in the same literal sense that we do of other anointed men, such as “the priests” (Lev. 4:3-16; 6:22); “Saul” (1 Sam. 12:3-5; 24:6-10); “David” (1 Sam. 16:6; 2 Sam. 19:21; 23:1); “Abraham,” “Isaac,” and “Jacob” (1 Chron. 16:16-22; Ps. 105:9-15); “Cyrus” (Isa. 45:1); and “the nation of Israel” (Hab. 3:13). There must be two persons for anyone to be anointed—the one doing the anointing and the one being anointed; so if Christ is the anointed of the Father, He could not be the same person as the Father.
6. Psalm 16:8-10 with Acts 2:25-36 proves two persons, for one is on the right hand of the other, one did not leave the other in Hell, or suffer His flesh to see corruption in the grave. Jesus is now on the right hand of the Father, and the Father is on the left hand of the Son, and this could never be unless there were two separate persons (Ps. 16:8-10; 110:1, 5; Mt. 22:44; 26:64; Acts 2:33-34; 7:54-56; Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:22; Rev. 22:3).
7. In Ps. 22:1-22 we have the Messiah talking to another person and calling Him “God” and “my God” and in every statement referring to Him as a separate person. This was fulfilled with two persons (Mt. 27:35, 39-43, 45-46; Heb. 9:14; 10:5-12; 1 Pet. 1).
9. Psalm 45:6-7 with Heb. 1:8-9 proves two persons: the Son, who is “anointed” and blessed above His fellows, and the Father Himself, who blesses the Son. Both are called “God,” but one “God” blessed and anointed the other “God.”
10. Psalm 89:19, 27-37 and 132:11-18 speaks of two persons: the Messiah—who is God’s “holy one,” God’s “one that is mighty,” God’s “one chosen out of the people,” God’s “firstborn,” “the horn of David,” “mine anointed,”—and God Himself.
12. Proverbs 30:4 speaks of two persons: one the Father and one the Son, and each has a name separate from that of the other, “What is his [the Father’s] name, and what is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” The Son’s name then is not that of the Father and the Father’s name is not that of the Son.
13. The prophets speak of the Messiah as “the branch of [from] the Lord” (Isa. 4); “a righteous Branch, and a King . . . his name shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23:5-8); “the Branch of righteousness” (Jer. 33:14-26); “my servant the BRANCH” (Zech. 3:8-10); and “the man whose name is the BRANCH” (Zech. 6:12-13). These passages clearly prove two persons: the Father, who was to raise up this “Branch” and “King” to be His servant, and the Son, who is to fulfill these passages and reign under the Father until all enemies are put down; then the Son Himself will deliver His kingdom to the Father who becomes supreme over this rebellious part of the universe, as He is now the head of Christ (1 Cor. 11:3; 15:24-28; Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:9-14; Zech. 14; Mt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8-12; Isa. 32:1-5; Ezek. 43:7; Lk. 1:32-35; Rev. 5:9-10; 11:15; 19:1-21; 20:1-10).
14. In Isa. 10:16-17 the Lord of hosts is spoken of as having a Holy One, called “his Holy One.” This proves two persons, for the Lord of hosts is one person, and “his Holy One” must also be a person. The Lord of hosts could not be “his Holy One,” and “his Holy One” could not be the Lord of hosts.
15. In Isa. 11:1-2; 42:1-5; 61:1-2 we have clear references to three persons: the Lord Himself (one person), who was to send the Spirit (another person) upon the Messiah (still another person). When fulfilled two persons were seen with the natural eyes, and the third person (the Father) spoke from Heaven concerning the Son, while the Holy Ghost descended upon the Son (Mt. 3:16-17; Lk. 4:16-21; Jn. 1:31-34).
17. Isaiah 42:1-7 refers to three persons: God the Father Himself (the first person), who was to have a “servant,” called here “my servant” and “mine elect in whom my soul delighteth [the second person], I have put my spirit [the third person] upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” God Himself, the Servant of God, and the Spirit make three persons.
18. In Isa. 48:16 we have another clear reference to three persons: “The Lord God [one persons, and His Spirit [another person], hath sent me [Jesus, another person].”
19. In Isa. 49:1-10 two persons are referred to: “The Lord [one person] hath called me [the Messiah] from the womb . . . he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword . . . his hand hath hid me . . . And said to me, Thou art my servant, O Israel [Jesus is here called Israel, or a man that has power with God, as Jacob in Gen. 32:28] . . . [He] that formed me from the womb to be his servant; to bring Jacob again to him . . . yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength. And He said . . . Thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give thee to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be for salvation unto the end of the Earth. Thus saith the lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers . . . he shall choose thee . . . I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages. That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth.” What could be more clear than that two persons, the Father and the Son, are referred to in these statements?
20. Isaiah 50:4-11 refers to two persons: “The lord God [one person] hath given me [the Messiah] the tongue of the learned, that I may know how to speak . . . he wakeneth mine ear to hear . . . The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious . . . I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me.” This prophecy was fulfilled in Mt. 26:67; 27:30; Mk. 14:65; 15:19; Heb. 10:5-10.
21. Isaiah 52:13–53:12 refers to two persons: “Behold my [the Father’s] servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and be very high . . . his form was marred more than the sons of men . . . He shall grow up before him . . . he hath no form nor comeliness . . . he is despised . . . he hath borne our sorrows . . . we did esteem him smitten of God . . . The Lord [one person] hath laid on him [another person] the iniquity of us all . . . it pleased the Lord to bruise him . . . I [the Lord] will divide him a portion with the great . . . he bare the sin of many . . . thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.” What simple language referring to two persons: the Lord and His servant, whom the Lord made an offering for sin!
22. In Isa. 59:19-21 we have a clear reference to three persons: In verse 19 we have the Holy Spirit as a self-acting, intelligent person, whose work it is to raise up a standard against the enemy; in verse 20 we have the Messiah in His Second Advent to the Earth to reign, and save Israel; and in verse 21 we have the Father as the third self-acting, intelligent person, who is going to make a covenant with Israel. Note the phrase “As for me,” which was made after the work of the first two had been outlined. The Father promised the Spirit to raise up a standard in verse 19 and the Son to come back to Zion in verse 20 but “As for me saith the Lord” I will make a covenant with Israel when the Redeemer comes to Zion.” Thus, it is clear that the Father is one person and He is speaking concerning two other persons—the Son and the Holy Spirit.
23. In Isa. 62:11 two persons are referred to: the God, who proclaims to the world that Zion’s “salvation cometh,” and the salvation itself, which is none other than the person of Jesus Christ (Lk. 1:69; 2:30; 3:6; Acts 4:12).
24. In Isa. 63:1-14 three persons are referred to: the Messiah, whose Second Advent is foretold in verses 1-6 and two other persons, “the Lord” (verse 7) and “his [the Lord’s] Holy Spirit” (verse 10), of whom He spoke in verses 7-14.
25. In Mic. 5:1-5 we have two persons referred to: the Messiah who is called here “the judge of Israel” and “ruler in Israel,” who was to come “forth unto me” (the Lord, another person) from the tribe of Judah and “stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.” The Lord was the “God” of the Messiah, who was to come from Judah and rule for “the Lord his God.”
26. Zechariah 12:10 refers to three persons: “I [the Father] will pour upon the house of David . . . the Spirit of grace [the Holy Spirit, another person] . . . and they shall look upon me [Him, the Messiah, as found in many MSS. and as translated in the rest of the verse and in Zech. 13:6] whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him . . . and shall be in bitterness for him.” Thus God (one person) foretells how He was going to send the Holy Spirit (another person) upon Israel, who would cause them to repent and accept the Messiah (another person) and mourn for him . . . look upon him whom they crucified . . . mourn for him . . . and be in bitterness for him.
27. Zechariah 13:6-7 refers to two persons, and both are called “Lord.” In verse 6 the Lord speaks of what Israel will say concerning the Messiah when they see Him. In Verse 7 the Lord (the Father) calls the Messiah “my shepherd” and “the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd [my shepherd, not me] and the sheep will be scattered: and I [the Lord of hosts] will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” Christ is the “shepherd” (Mt. 26:31, 67; Mk. 5:19); so He could not be the other person called “the Lord of hosts.” If the Lord calls Christ “my fellow,” then there are two separate fellows.
The Hebrew word for “fellow” is awmeeth, from a primitive root “to associate with,” “companionship,” “comrade,” “kindred man,” or “another fellow.” It proves that there is more than one person in the Godhead. This “shepherd” was a fellow God, another God, a comrade, an associate and a kindred of the Lord of hosts. This is the only place where this Hebrew word is translated “fellow,” but the way it is translated elsewhere proves that it refers to another person of the same kind as the Lord. It is translated “another” (Lev. 19:11; 20:10; 25:17); “neighbor” (Lev. 6:2; 19:15, 17; 24:19; 25:14-15) and “neighbor’s” (Lev. 18:20; 25:14). If Christ is a fellow God with the Lord of hosts, then we would have to believe in two persons called “God.”
Thus, the Old Testament abundantly teaches a Trinity of persons in the “one God.” Many scores of other passages as clear as the above could be given to prove the doctrine of the Trinity, but these are enough to prove that there are three persons in the Godhead.
IV. Other New Testament Proofs of Three Separate Persons in the Godhead
1. Jesus Christ is called “the son of Abraham,” “the son of David,” “the son of man,” “the son of Mary,” and “the Son of God” (Mt. 1:1; 8:20; Mk. 1:1; 6:3). Jesus is just as much a separate person from His God and Father as He is from Abraham, David, and His mother, Mary. If He could not be the Son of God except by the Father incarnating Himself in Jesus, then it is just as sensible to believe He could not be the Son of these other persons except by incarnation. He is called “only begotten Son” of the Father and therefore could not be the Father (Jn. 1:14, 18; 3:16; Rom. 1:1-4; 8:29, 32; Heb. 1:1-9; 2 Jn. 3; 1 Jn. 5:1-18).
2. Many statements are made in the New Testament that clearly distinguish between the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. These statements are utterly irreconcilable if we force a meaning into them of only one person, but how simple and how clear they are when we understand that two and three persons are referred to. Scores of plain statements are given in Lesson Twenty-one, Point V, proving that Jesus Christ is a separate and distinct person from the Father. In Lesson Twenty-five, Point III, there are many proofs that the Holy Ghost is a separate and distinct person from both the Father and the Son. The following are a few more proofs not given in the other lessons that prove that Jesus Christ is not the Holy Ghost.
Jesus Christ is Not the Holy Ghost
(1) In Lk. 4:1 we read of Jesus being filled with the Holy Ghost. There must be a difference between them in order to understand this statement. We must understand it in the same sense as we do when it is said that others were filled with the Spirit. Shall we say that Jesus was filled with Himself and that He was setting an example to believers to be full of self, or shall we say—when other people are filled with the Holy Ghost—that they become the Holy Ghost when they become filled with Him? There is just as much difference between Jesus and the Holy Spirit as there is between believers and the Spirit when they become filled with the Holy Ghost.
(2) Jesus emptied Himself in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so if He were the Holy Ghost He would have already been filled with Himself, and this self-emptying would not have been necessary. In Lesson Twenty-one and in Point 19 below, it is clear that it became necessary for Him to empty Himself to be filled with the Spirit, thus proving that He is not the Holy Ghost.
(3) In Isa. 11:2; 42:1-5; 61:1-2; Mt. 12:18-21 we read that the Holy Ghost was to be put upon Jesus and rest upon Him. How could Jesus be the Holy Ghost and rest upon Himself and put Himself upon Himself?
(4) In Mt. 3:16-17 John saw the Spirit descending upon Jesus. Did he see Jesus descend upon Himself?
(5) In Mt. 4:1 we read of the Spirit leading Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. Are we to understand that Jesus was the Holy Ghost leading Himself to be tempted?
(6) In Mt. 12:28 we read of Jesus casting out demons by the Holy Spirit. Are we to understand that He cast them out by Himself, and thus contradict other Scriptures which say that He could not and did not do anything of Himself, as stated in Lesson Twenty-one, Point V, 31?
(7) In Mt. 3:16-17 we see the Spirit descending in bodily shape like a dove upon Jesus, who had a human body. How could He be the Holy Ghost and be a real human being on Earth and at the same time descend from Heaven upon Himself as a Spirit?
(8) In Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:35 it is stated that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost and by the Spirit overshadowing Mary and coming upon her. Shall we understand this to mean that Jesus Himself was the Holy Ghost coming upon Mary to conceive Himself?
(9) In Lk. 2:25-35 we read of the Holy Ghost upon Simeon revealing to Him that he would not die before he had seen God’s salvation. Shall we believe that Jesus was the Holy Spirit upon Simeon revealing something about Himself and also at the same time believe that He was a little human baby in the arms of Simeon? Could the Holy Ghost be a Spirit-being and be a human being at the same time?
(10) In Jn. 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15 we read that it was necessary for Jesus to go back to Heaven to send the Holy Spirit. Shall we understand this to mean that it was not necessary for Him to go and send the Spirit and that He was already here as the Holy Ghost, and shall we understand that He was going to send Himself from Himself when He went to Heaven?
(11) In Jn. 3:34 we read of God giving the Holy Spirit without measure to Jesus. Shall we believe that this means that He was both God the Father and God the Holy Spirit and that He gave Himself to Himself without measure?
(12) In Lk. 24:39 Jesus claims that He was not a Spirit-being. Shall we make Him a liar and say that He was God, who is “Spirit” (Jn. 4:24), and that He was the Holy Spirit Himself? This would make the human Jesus Christ to be more than what He claimed to be and less than what God the Father and God the Holy Ghost really are. This would make all the Godhead a human being and as not existing in any form outside of the body of Jesus. Who, then, ran the universe and carried on God’s business in Heaven while all of God was in the womb of Mary and during His earthly life—and when he was dead for three days?
(13) In Jn. 7:37-39; Acts 2:33-34 we read that the Holy Ghost could not be given before Jesus was glorified. Jesus was given to men before He was glorified; so how could He be the Holy Ghost given to men before He could be given?
(14) In Acts 8:5-20 we read of men receiving Jesus before they received the Holy Ghost. How could this be if He were the same as the Holy Ghost?
(15) In Acts 10:38 we read of Jesus being anointed with the Holy Ghost to heal. Shall we understand that He was anointed with Himself?
These are just a few of many scores of foolish and illogical and unscriptural beliefs we would have to accept if Jesus and the Holy Ghost were the same.
3. Jesus taught that there were three persons in the Godhead in Mt. 22:43-45. He spoke of the Spirit (one person) in David speaking of two Lords sitting side by side: “The Lord [one Lord, the Father who spoke by the prophets, Heb. 1:1-3] said unto my Lord, [another Lord, who was David’s son in the flesh], Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.” This is quoted from Ps. 110:1, and is the Lord’s own sanction of the doctrine of more than one Lord in the Godhead. (See Point III, 6, above.)
4. Several times Jesus is spoken of as having been with God and of God being with Jesus (Jn. 1:1-2; 3:2; 8:13-19, 29; 16:32; Acts 10:38). The Greek word pros means “in company with” and “having companionship with” and could not be used unless there were two separate persons as there are in other situations of which it is used (Jn. 1:39; 3:22, 26; 4:9). If both the Father and the Son are spoken of as with each other, they must be two separate persons.
5. John speaks of both the Father and Son each having a “bosom,” thus proving two persons (Jn. 1:18; 13:23; 21:20). Jesus-only people teach that the Father was inside of Jesus incarnated, but Jn. 1:18 speaks of the Son being in the bosom of the Father, which is just the opposite of this false teaching. Being in the bosom, as in Jn. 13:23; 21:20, means being outside of the person as a separate person but having a close relationship with Him and being close to in fellowship and love with Him.
6. Acts 2:33-39 refers to three persons: It is said of Jesus (one person), “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted and having received of the Father [another person] the promise of the Holy Ghost [a third person], he hath shed forth this [the Holy Ghost] which ye now see and hear.” Thus two persons stayed in Heaven sitting side by side, and the Holy Ghost (a third person) came from those two to take the place of Jesus among men.
7. In Acts 3:13-26 two persons are mentioned: one person called “God” who spoke from creation by the prophets (Heb. 1:1-3) through the Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21) and another person called “Jesus Christ” who was sent by this God to bless Israel, and who is now on the right hand of this God, whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things. If Heaven must receive Jesus Christ until then, He could not possibly have come back as the Holy Ghost ten days later, as some teach.
8. Peter refers to three separate persons in Acts 4:8-12; 5:30-33: He was “full of the Holy Ghost” (one person), and he speaks of “The God of our fathers” (another person), who “raised up Jesus [the Son of the Father, and another person] . . . Him hath God exalted to be a Prince and Saviour . . . we are witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost [another witness and therefore another person] whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Peter here and in Acts 5:3-4 teaches that the Holy Ghost is a separate person, witness, and God, from the Father and the Son, whom he was speaking about by the Holy Ghost. (See Point V, 32, Lesson Twenty-one and Point 22, below.)
9. In Acts 4:23-31 the whole Church recognizes three persons: They were “filled with the Holy Ghost” (one person), and “they lifted up their voice to God” (another person, in Heaven), and told God about what David had said about the people gathering together against “God” and “his anointed One” (another person, the Messiah), and prayed for “God” to work “by the name of thy holy child Jesus.”
10. We have twenty-three other places in Acts where two and three persons are referred to. They are clear in themselves like the above examples; so the references are all that is needful to give here. Each one of them speaks of, and requires us to understand that two and three persons are referred to. They do not make sense if we try to understand them in connection with only one person (Acts 8:15-24, 29-37; 9:1-17, 20, 31; 10:38-48; 11:14-18, 24; 13:1-5, 17, 22-24, 28-30, 33-39; 15:7-11, 19, 28; 17:30-31; 19:1-7; 20:21-23, 28; 22:6-21; 26:6-23; 28:22-28).
11. In the introduction to all of Paul’s epistles he clearly distinguishes between “the Father” and “the Son” and “the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 1:1-4, 7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:3; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; Phil. 1:2; Col. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:1-2; 2 Tim. 1:1-2; Titus 1:4; Phm. 3; Heb. 1:1-3).
12. Not only in the introduction of Paul’s epistles, but many times through the epistles He clearly distinguishes between the three separate persons of the Trinity (Rom. 5:1-11; 8:1-39; 9:4-5, 33; 10:9; 15:5-19, 30; 16:20; 1 Cor. 1:9, 24, 30; 2:10-12; 3:23; 5:9-11; 6:14; 8:6; 11:3; 12:3; 15:24-28, 57; 2 Cor. 1:19-22; 2:14-17; 3:3-4; 5:19-21; 11:4; 13:14; Gal. 1:15-16; 3:11, 19-20; 4:4, 7; Eph. 1:3-23; 2:4-7, 18-22; 3:5, 10-11, 13-21; 4:3-4, 30-32; 5:1-5, 17-20; 6:11-23; Phil. 1:8; 2:5-11; 3:14; 4:7, 19; Col. 1:12-24; 3:1, 17; 1 Thess. 3:11; 5:18-19; 2 Thess. 2:16; 1 Tim. 2:5; 2 Tim. 1:7; 4:1; Titus 2:13; 3:4-5; Heb. 2:3-4; 6:4-6; 7:14-25; 8:1; 9:14, 24; 10:5-31; 12:1-2, 22-24; 13:20).
13. The other apostles in the introduction to their epistles also clearly distinguish between the three persons of the Trinity (Jas. 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:2-3; 2 Pet. 1:1-2; 1 Jn. 1:1-7; 2 Jn. 3; Jude 1; Rev. 1:1-6).
14. In other parts of their writings they also make the same distinction (1 Pet. 1:10-21; 2:3-5; 3:18-22; 5:10; 2 Pet. 1:16-21; 1 Jn. 2:1, 22-24; 3:8, 23-24; 4:15; 5:5-20; Jude 20-24; Rev. 2:27-29; 3:5-6, 12-13, 21-22; 4:2-5; 5:1-13; 7:9-17; 11:15; 12:10; 14:1, 4, 12-13; 20:6; 21:22-27; 22:1-5).
In all the 117 separate passages cited above in the last four points try to interpret or understand them to refer to only one person and note the results. One would have to be a better biblical magician than Satan has yet raised up to change these passages to make sense with only one person. Repeatedly one will find phrases like “peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ,” “God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” “from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father,” and “from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ.” Are these statements of only one person? If so, the following also expresses only one person: This is a gift from John and from James and from George. Anyone knows that all such statements refer to three persons. Not one time do we have a statement like this: “From the Father, who is Jesus, and the Holy Ghost, or from Jesus, who is the Father and the Holy Ghost.” All three persons in the Godhead are always clearly distinguished from each other in all Scriptures.
15. The words “through” and “by,” used of Christ and the Holy Spirit only and never of the Father, prove the Father is the head of Christ and the Holy Spirit, working through and by them (1 Cor. 3:23; 11:3; Jn. 10:29; 14:28; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Acts 2:33-34). Note the following passages where certain acts were done “through Jesus Christ” (Acts 4:2; Rom. 1:8; 5:1, 9, 11; 7:25; 15:17; 16:27; 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 3:4; Gal. 3:14; 4:7; 5:10; Eph. 2:7, 18; Phil. 4:7, 13; Titus 3:6; Heb. 13:21; 1 Pet. 1:22; 4:11; 1 Jn. 4:9), “through the Holy Ghost” (Acts 1:2; 21:4; Rom. 8:13; 15:13, 19; Gal. 5:5; Eph. 2:22; Heb. 9:14), “by Jesus Christ” (Jn. 1:3, 10, 17; 10:9; Acts 4:10; 10:36; Rom. 2:16; 3:22; 5:17, 21; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:5; 3:9; Col. 1:15-20; 3:17; Heb. 1:1-3; 1 Pet. 2:5; 5:10), and “by the Holy Spirit” (Ezek. 11:24; Mic. 3:8; Zech. 4:6; Mt. 12:28; Lk. 2:27; 4:1; Acts 11:28; Rom. 5:5; 15:19; 1 Cor. 2:10; 6:11; 12:3, 13). The Father must be a separate person from the Son or Spirit, or He could not do these things “through” and “by” them, and they must be separate persons from the Father, or they could not act as persons in doing all these things in the will of and at the command of the Father.
16. Paul said that “Christ was God’s and God was “the head of Christ” (1 Cor. 3:23; 11:3). So, if Christ is the one who is head, the whole Godhead, the only one person of God, and over all, Paul lied, and if he did not tell the truth on this point, how do we know but that many of his other statements are lies? Jesus taught the same doctrine that Paul did; so if Paul lied, Jesus did also, and if both were false teachers, then the whole Bible may be a lie and man has nothing to base faith and hope upon (Jn. 10:29; 14:28; Acts 1:4-8). How could Jesus be the Father and these Scriptures be true? How could Jesus-only people be correct and these Scriptures be true? How could we believe both? That is impossible; so we better reject all theories that teach that Jesus is the Father and Holy Ghost and hold to the old faith and the old book. Jesus not only taught that “the Father is greater than I” but also that both the Father and Son were greater in position than the Spirit, for the Spirit proceeds from them in obedience to them (Jn. 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15). Peter and others taught the same doctrine (Mt. 3:11; Jn. 1:31-34; Acts 2:33-34; 5:32; Lk. 11:13). The Old Testament also teaches that the Father is “head of all” (1 Chron. 29:11 with Heb. 1:1-3; Acts 3:21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 11:3).
17. The pronouns “himself,” “myself,” “ownself” and other terms that distinguish one person from another are used many times of each of the three persons in the Godhead. The word “himself” is used “of the Father” (Mt. 6:4; Jn. 5:20, 26, 37; 13:32; 16:27; Acts 14:17; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Eph. 1:5, 9; 1 Thess. 3:11; Heb. 6:3; Rev. 21:3); “of the Son” (Mt. 8:17; Lk. 24:15, 27, 36; Jn. 5:18-19, 26; 7:18; Acts 1:3; Rom. 15:3; 1 Cor. 15:28; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 2:20; 5:2, 25, 27; Heb. 1:3); and “of the Holy Spirit” (Jn. 16:13; Rom. 8:15, 25). It is used of both the Father and Son in the same passages to distinguish between the two (Jn. 5:19-20; 17:5). The words “myself” and “himself” are used of the Father many times in the Old Testament, for He was the prominent speaker in the Old Testament. The word “myself” is used of the Father in Isa. 33:10; 42:14; 43:21; Jer. 22:5; 49:13; Ezek. 14:7; 20:5-9; 35:11; 38:23, and “himself” is used of Him in 1 Sam. 3:21; 10:19; 2 Chron. 13:12; Ps. 135:4, 14; Isa. 7:14; 8:13. The word “myself” is many times used of the Son in the Gospels, for He was then the prominent speaker and worker present among men (Lk. 24:39; Jn. 5:31; 7:17, 28; 8:18, 28, 42, 54; 10:18; 12:49; 14:3, 10, 21; 17:19). Jesus makes it very plain in these passages that He did not come of “myself” and that He could not and did not do anything “of myself.” The words “him” are also used of both the Father and the Son to distinguish them and to prove they are two separate persons (Dan. 7:9-14).
18. In 1 Cor. 14:2, 28 Paul says speaking in tongues is by the Spirit and unto God. The Spirit must be a person or He could not speak and exercise personal traits or have personal acts. If He is a person, we know there are two persons, for the God He talks to must also be a person.
Paul, several times in distinguishing between the separate persons of the deity, said that there was “one God, the Father (thus defining whether he means the whole Godhead or one person of that Godhead), of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ [another one from the Father and the Spirit], by whom are all things, and we by him and one Spirit (a different one from the first two), by whom we have access unto the Father” (1 Cor. 8:6; 12:13; 2 Cor. 11:4; Eph. 2:18; 4:3-4). Here “one” in number is clear for three “ones” are mentioned in the same passages together as being distinct from each other, and each one is definitely defined and set apart from the others by qualifying statements. The first three “ones” of Eph. 4 (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) are distinguished as three separate persons just like the other four “ones” (one faith, one hope, one body, and one baptism) are distinguished from each other as four separate entities. One would have just as much right and it would be just as logical and scriptural to make one faith, one hope, one body, and one baptism all one thing as to make one God, the Father, one Lord Jesus Christ, and one Spirit just one person (Eph. 4:3-6). The true sense of this passage is that there are seven separate and distinct persons and things referred to and not just one person and one thing.
19. In Phil. 2:5-11 we have the fact stated that the second person of the Trinity, before He became man, was “in the form of God,” i.e., had a spirit-body as the Father and the Spirit each still has. He thought it not robbery to be equal to God, but humbled Himself and took human form to pay the penalty for man and redeem men to God. For this humiliation He was highly exalted on the right hand of the Father. The Greek word for “robbery” is harpadzo, “a thing to be grasped after.” It is translated “pluck” (Jn. 10:28-29); “catcheth” (Mt. 13:19; Jn. 10:12); “caught up” (1 Thess. 4:17); and “pulling” (Jude 23). From these meanings of the word, we can see that Christ did not try to hold on to equality with God, but for an unselfish purpose was willing to lay aside His equality to become man to redeem. He laid aside His spirit–body to take a human body, His immortality in body to become mortal, His Lordship to become a servant, His spirit-form to take human form, His omnipresence to be limited in presence like men, His omniscience to grow in knowledge and learn obedience like men, His omnipotence to receive power from the Spirit to do the works and will of God as required of all men, and other powers to be limited as a man to prove to men and set an example before them that by the same means of grace He used they can live the same life and do the same works that He did (Jn. 14:12). For proof of these claims see Lesson Twenty-one, Points IV and VII. Thus, Phil. 2:5-11 definitely teaches two persons: one who humbled Himself and became man and another who still stayed in His God form and glory and who brought about the incarnation and ran the universe and again brought the humbled one back to His former glory and power (Jn. 17:5; Mt. 28:18).
20. “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). This is taken by some to mean that all of God dwelled in the body of Jesus and there was no person or any part of God existing outside of the body of Jesus. This is not the meaning of this passage at all, for there were two separate persons with their own bodies, souls, and spirits who still existed outside the body of Jesus, as we have seen. The true meaning is that all of God’s provision for man is in and through Jesus and came to man through the offering of the body of Jesus in sacrifice, thus meeting all the demands of God and the needs of man. It was for this purpose that His body was prepared (Rom. 7:4; 1 Cor. 11:24-29; Eph. 2:14-16; Col. 1:20-22; Heb. 10:5-10; 1 Pet. 2:24). It may be translated “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the atonement bodily or the fullness of the Godhead sacrificially.” It is the only body the Godhead provided as a sacrifice for the lost world, and it is the only body provided among men for the Godhead to dwell in as a man (Heb. 2:9-18). All the blessings and “fullness of God” are provided for man by God being manifested in the flesh and dwelling in a human body (Jn. 1:17; Rom. 15:29; Eph. 1:23; 3:19; 4:13; Col. 1:19; Jn. 3:34; 7:37-39). That this idea of the fullness of God for man dwelling in and coming through Christ is the right one is stated by Paul in the very next verse: “And ye are complete in him,” or you have all God’s fullness by Him.
21. In 1 Tim. 2:5 Paul speaks of Christ as a “mediator” between God and man. No person can be a mediator between himself and another person. A mediator must be a separate person from the two persons he is to mediate between. It is used of Moses, who mediated the Old Testament between God and Israel (Deut. 5:5; Gal. 3:19-20), and of Christ who mediated the New Testament between God and man, thus proving Christ to be a separate person from God the Father, as was Moses (Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). Some have made an attempt to prove that Jesus, the only personal God, left His own throne to mediate between Himself and man by a fairy tale of a king who left his throne and became his own mediator in trying to win a wife. If we have to prove Bible doctrines by fairy tales instead of Scripture, we have no proof. The meaning of “mediate” according to the Funk and Wagnall Dictionary is “To interpose between parties in order to reconcile them; to be intermediate; acting as an intervening agency between.” Webster says, “To be in the middle, or between two; to intervene; to interpose between parties as the equal friend of each.” This requires a separate person from the two at enmity. Thus, if Jesus is the mediator between God and man, He could not be the God or the man, but He must be a separate person from each and a friend of both to try to reconcile them.
22. John definitely says, “there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these three are one (1 Jn. 5:7-8). This proves them to be three separate persons or they could not be three witnesses. Three persons cannot be one except in unity. One person cannot be three persons or three persons cannot be one person in any sense. Any number above one implies plurality, and any number of persons can be one in unity (Jn. 17:11, 21-23). It does not say “there is one witness who bears record, but “there are three” and “these three are one.” Three what? Three parts of one person? No! That is not the subject of John. It is three witnesses for bearing witness to the sonship of Jesus is the whole subject of 1 Jn. 5:5-11, 13, 20. Both God and man demand more than one witness to confirm truth, as we have seen in Lesson Twenty-one, Point V, 31. Any set of three witnesses could not be just three parts of one person, for this would not be accepted in any court and would not meet the demands of God Himself, but they must be three separate persons to confirm anything. God the Father is a witness separate from both the Son and the Holy Spirit (Jer. 29:23; Mal. 3:5; Jn. 5:31-37; Rom. 1:9; Heb. 1:1; 2:3-4); God the Son is a witness separate from both the Father and the Holy Spirit (Isa. 55:4; Jn. 18:37; 1 Tim. 6:13; Rev. 1:5); and God the Holy Spirit is a witness separate from both the Father and the Son (Rom. 8:16; Jn. 15:26; Heb. 10:15). If all three are witnesses then all three must be separate persons. They must be separate persons, or they could not be called witnesses, nor could each bear witness. No three parts of any one person could be called three separate witnesses; so if there be three witnesses they could not be anything else but three persons. Each witness to be accepted by God or man must be an intelligent free will capable of seeing, thinking, hearing, speaking, and acting. Only a responsible person could be a separate witness, or be any kind of witness to testify to facts.
When God said, “there are three that bear record [witness] in Heaven, the Father, the Word (Son, Jn. 1:14), and the Holy Ghost; and these three agree in one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one,” He definitely said there were three separate persons and two separate things that bear witness in both Heaven and Earth. The Spirit bears witness in both places. In addition to two or three witnesses in any court there can be any number of things shown to confirm the testimony of the persons who are witnesses in the case. So here in addition to three persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost), the “water” and the “blood” confirm the witness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that Jesus was and is the Son of God with a flesh body to atone for sin and fully redeem man to the Father. There are then three witnesses and two things that witness in Heaven and Earth to His sonship.
The three witnesses are:
(1) The Father (one person, who begat the Son).
The two things are:
(1) The water (referring to the water baptism of Christ when witness was given to Him by the Father speaking of Him from Heaven and the Spirit from Heaven descending upon the Son, Mt. 3:16-17; Jn. 1:31-34; 1 Jn. 5:6, 9).
(2) The blood (which was shed to seal and witness the New Testament, Mt. 26:28).
The phrases “these three are one” and “these three agree in one” mean the same thing as seen by like expressions in Scripture. In both cases the “three” are “one” in unity, or to one point; that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, not the Father or the Holy Ghost.
23. Many Scriptures speak of the Holy Ghost as a Spirit-Being and as a separate person from both the Father and the Son, all the time that Jesus was a human being on Earth and as a resurrected being since His ascension to Heaven. This distinction is clear from Lesson Twenty-five.
24. Many Scriptures speak of God as being a Spirit-Being and as a separate person from both the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is clear from Lessons Four, Twenty-one and Twenty-five.
Finis Dake-God’s Plan For Man