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Letter to a Trinitarian

Dear Trinitarian friend,

You have been a committed believer in the Lord Jesus Christ for considerable time now. Your life has changed positively, and you became a different person. You have been baptized in water. You have been active in your church community. You love the Lord and His atoning work on the cross with all your heart. So the last thing you need now is someone challenging your beliefs. I can understand that. But sometimes in the Christian life our will may differ from God’s will, and I believe it is the will of God that you are reading this. Our faith can only grow through trials and times of testing. And if you are willing to grow in Christ, this letter is for you.

These words however are not intended to attack or insult you. Nor is the aim to put a wedge between you and your faith, or to sow discord in your local assembly. This is a time for earnest prayer, and a careful and thoughtful approach to understanding our shared Christian faith. Because the times are difficult.

Christianity in the west, especially in Europe, is in decline. Despite high immigration levels keeping traditional churches afloat, the overall picture is bleak. Biblical morals are under attack on a global scale. In the churches, standards of holiness and doctrinal purity are slipping away fast. Foreign religions are on the rise. Many western children grow up not even knowing the basics of the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ. Millions are setting themselves up for empty and sinful lives which are focused on entertainment and self-indulgence.

In Christian families we can also see worrying developments. Many Christians are struggling to really follow Jesus. They are forced to live as the Jews in Babylon. Their faith is constantly under attack from atheism and false beliefs. Many are spiritually weak. They lack a firm doctrinal foundation. They go through the motions of church but do not experience the transforming power of Christ. It has been a long time since they last felt the fire of the Holy Spirit. They are not able to pray or fast much. A certain level of worldliness and dryness has entered into their walk with the Lord.

Perhaps you are one of these Christians. Or perhaps you still consider yourself to be on solid ground. In any case, we should not be afraid to test if we are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). The Bible encourages us to investigate the fruit of Christ in our life. God has allowed you to believe the gospel and share it with other people, and perhaps even to minister for Him. This is undeniable fruit, which I believe is written in heaven. It is a great privilege to serve the one true God Jesus Christ.

It is regarding this fruit that I would like to encourage you to do some serious soul searching. The Spirit of the Lord can guide us into all truth. The Bible demands that we test the spirits by the Word of God using both our rational abilities as well as the spiritual gifts:

Matt 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

2Petr 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

1Tim 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

2Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2Tim 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

It is on the principle of sound doctrine that I would like to share this message from the Word of God. God loves you, and He has used you for many years now. But there exists what the Bible calls the perfect will of God. That is why the Spirit of God has prompted me to write this message. It is about the doctrine of the apostles as it was written in the scriptures. I humbly request and pray that you will consider these lines, as understanding them could potentially bring great blessings. I have two messages for you.

Regarding the identity of God

As a Christian you have given your life to Jesus Christ. It is only Him that you worship, and only His name is the name above all other names. You will not accept any other god or gods beside Him only. Jesus, through His Word, made it clear to you that He is the great I AM, the image of the living God. The Bible says that if you see Jesus, you have seen the Father, for the Father is in Him (John 14:10-11).

It is all the more surprising then that you openly confess a belief in the theological Trinity. For the doctrine of the Trinity claims that the Father is outside of the Son, and they are only the same in essence, but not in identity. Probably you are familiar with the historical background of the doctrine of the Trinity, and how it was gradually developed by Christian thinkers and philosophers (sometimes called church fathers). Because of their efforts, the church doctrine gradually digressed from the Bible and adopted this speculative theology.

The New Testament shows that the distinctions between Father and Son are the result of the birth of the Messiah. They do not reflect a distinction in persons, since God is numerically one (Deut 32:39). God started to use the title Son after He begat Jesus in the womb of Mary. There is no God the Son from eternity, for then we would have two Gods, one God the Father and one God the Son. The correct interpretation of Father and Son is demonstrated by scriptures like Isaiah 9:6, which remind us that Father and Son are titles for the same one God:

Is 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The Son is called the everlasting Father. This clearly contradicts the doctrine of the Trinity, which maintains that the Father is not the Son, as can be seen from a popular graphical representation of this triune theology:

Trinity shield

So how did the strict monotheism of the Jews change into the worship of God as three distinct persons? Unless you understand this development, your faith may ultimately turn out to be in vain. This process started in the late second and early third century with men like Justin Martyr and Tertullian.

Justin (who came from a pagan background and was trained in Greek philosophy) tried to separate the Word of God from God into two distinct beings in his writings. This is called the logos doctrine (not to be confused with John 1:1’s Logos). He relied on his knowledge of neo platonic thinking, where God was considered unmovable and impassionate with regards to suffering. Another church father, Tertullian, a lawyer from Carthage, was the first to use the term “trinitas” when he referred to God as three persona.

This reveals the elitist mind of these church doctors. In contrast, the Jews considered the Word of God to be identical to God. For them, the Word of God is God Himself in action (Gen 3:8).  When God speaks, He is not a different person from His own Word, just as your voice is not a different person from you. Being one God believing Jews, the apostles never preached that the Word of God was a distinct person from God. Neither did any of the apostles ever teach that God is unity of three distinct persons. The distinctions between Father and Son they recorded in the Bible are distinctions of titles, glory and roles, but never of personal identity, for else we would have two Gods.

Church father Origen also played an important role in the development of the Trinity. He invented the theory of the “eternally begotten Son” in the third century. The idea that the Son is eternally born from the Father is a theological innovation that helped resolve the contradiction between the Son’s eternity (Micah 5:2) and the Son’s actual birth some 2000 years ago (John 1:14). But the flesh of Jesus is not past-eternal, only the Spirit is. The flesh of Christ was begotten of the Father in our time and space (Ps 2:7).

Without these carefully crafted extra-Biblical constructs by Justin, Tertullian and Origen, the Trinity would have remained a theological oddity. The Bible does not support it at all. God took on the title Son when He manifested in the flesh as Jesus. The Old Testament contains much prophecy referring to that event. But the Son is only eternal as the Word of God, but not as God the Son (a term that is not in the Bible). That is why the titles Father and Son are mainly to be found in the New Testament.

Many Trinitarian theologians further contributed to the gradual development of the dogma. They relied heavily on extra-Biblical concepts borrowed from Greek philosophy, such as homo-ousis (essence) and hypostasis (person or identity). They weaved these ideas into their understanding of scripture. Tertullian states in his third century tract “against Praxeas” that while the simple Christians believe that God is numerically one, educated people like him know that He really is three in number(!).

In a bizarre twist, some of these theologians were later condemned as heretics due to their other speculative beliefs (Origen for instance believed that the devil would be saved, and Tertullian joined the ecstatic sect of the Montanists). But without their determined adoption of neo-platonic philosophy, the doctrine of the Trinity would never have made it into mainstream Christianity.

Around 300 AD, the Trinity was still not finalized. For one, the official version did not have a clear role for the Holy Ghost. Only Father and Son were classified as distinct persons. In fact the earlier form of the Trinity had a distinct Arian flavor to it, as the Father and the Logos were placed in a hierarchy. It was not until 325 AD at the council of Nicaea that emperor Constantine coerced the assembled bishops into signing a hastily drafted text that was to become the (in)famous Nicene creed. The text was mostly a political attempt to enforce unity. It however failed to clarify anything, and employed unbiblical terminology such as God from God.

In the Nicene creed we can recognize the two Gods that the theologians desired ever since the time of Justin Martyr (God the Father as the platonic unmoved mover and God the Son as the divine logos, forever emanating from the Father).

Between 325 and 381 AD, the three so called “Cappadocian fathers” completed the doctrine. They designated the Holy Ghost to be a third member of this celestial committee of three hypostases, and made them all coequal and coeternal. Emperor Theodosius I declared the Trinity a church dogma in 381 AD at the council of Constantinople. This new alliance between church and state kick started the first systematic persecution of Christians by other Christians. It was forbidden to have any other doctrine at the threat of expulsion and even death. The rest is history. I do not need to repeat the ugly blood soaked history of Trinitarian Christendom that ensued for the next 1600 years until the time of the reformation.

So why am I sharing all this? Well, there is a reason the apostles never spoke of a Trinity in heaven. The reason is that the Trinity is a man made construct, and not divine reality. No Biblical person ever saw a Trinity in  heaven. In fact the eyewitnesses of heaven that are available to us all speak of a single person sitting on one throne:

Is 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Rev 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Eze 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Whenever people in the Bible meet God, He is numerically one, and not three. When God speak about Himself, He consistently uses the first person perspective: I and me:

Is 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Is 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

Deut 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

Trinitarians will make the claim that the three persons can speak and act as a single person. But this is profoundly illogical as such thinking introduces a whole new concept of individuality and obfuscates the meaning of personal identity. The concept of self would become meaningless by blurring the lines between I and we. God’s personality would not make much sense anymore, as He would be alternating between a plural and a singular state. If so then God could be accused of playing ontological tricks on His subjects.

It is no wonder that many Trinitarians admit to the incomprehensibility of the Trinity and conveniently call it a mystery. This complicates matters even more, as God’s revelation to mankind would be just another mystery. But the Bible says that the mystery is manifested to the saints (Col 1:26, 1 Tim 3:16). Despite the mystery they also claim that one must believe in the doctrine in order to be a proper Christian. However, the apostles never commanded converts to believe in the Trinity. They called on people to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If the Trinity is really that important, the apostles would at least once have clearly explained that God eternally exists as three coequal and consubstantial persons Father, Son and Holy Ghost. But they haven’t.

Thankfully God is not a Greek philosopher. God is not a Trinity. He is the Almighty Lord, and He is one. One simply means one, nothing more. He is one in person, one in will and one in identity. Over and over again, the Bible writers attest this eternal and saving truth, a truth that distinguishes the one true God from all the false gods that represented a multiplicity:

Is 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

The devil himself is afraid only of the one God. He is not scared by a Trinity (there are many trinities in the various world religions). Remember that satan always tried to lead the Israelites astray to worship a multiplicity of gods. The devil seeks to divide God:

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Judges 2:17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.

What is the first commandment? It is the famous Shema:

Deut 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD

Some claim that God is one, but that this one (Hebrew: echad) is somehow special, like a composite one, as in a bunch of grapes. But echad does not hide a special mystery. Echad is simply the Hebrew word for the ordinal number one. The same flawed logic lies behind the “let us make” argument. Let me make it clear that Genesis 1:26 is in no way proof for a secret trinity. Theologians with a background in Hebrew almost universally reject that interpretation now. This is evident when we examine the next verse, verse 27:

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

He created, not we created. The Hebrew language often uses the plural form to refer to something singular, like Elohim (plural) refers to a single God (Him). Elohim therefore does not imply many gods or persons. “Let us make” could plausibly refer to Gods heavenly court or represent His majestic glory.

If God were a Trinity, why is Adam, who is created in His image, a single person? To argue that “let us make” must be referring to three persons, is a form of special pleading. Plurality does not imply a trinity. A Hindu may use the same verse to prove the 33 millions gods from his religion. The fact is that for the Trinity to be “found” in scripture, a person must already have a Trinitarian presupposition. Unfortunately many Trinitarians fail to see this, and continue to point at the use of the terms Father and Son in the Bible as some kind of proof for a Trinity. There is however no logical connection between the two.

Simply nowhere in the Bible is God being defined as three distinct, co-equal and co-eternal persons. Therefore, a verse containing some linguistic distinction between Father and Son can never be proof for the theological Trinity. The Trinity is not the same as a distinction between the title Father and Son.

The Catholic church was aware of this lack. That is probably why they thought it necessary to insert a fake proof text, the well known Johannine Comma (1 John 5:7) in the Bible. Almost all modern Bibles omit this verse today because it has been exposed as a fraud by Bible scholars. Its origin can be traced to a comment from Cyprian written in the margin of one of his manuscripts in the third century. Sometime in the middle ages this comment made its way into the Latin Vulgate. But no ancient Greek manuscript contains it. Despite these attempts at forgery, the Word of God remains crystal clear:

Neh 9:6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

So it is clear that God alone created, a fact that is repeated many times in the scriptures. Even Jesus Himself confirms that God is one in creation:

Matt 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not change at the birth of Jesus. He is still the same, and He is a Spirit (John 4:23-24). This God manifested Himself in flesh as the Son (John 1:14, 1 Tim 3:16). The Bible does not speak of God the Son, only of the Son of God. The difference is essential. God the Son would mean that there is more than one God, which would contradict the strict monotheism of the Bible. The Son of God is God Himself appearing in the form of a Man. But He is still the same person. The Father Himself appeared to mankind in flesh and blood as Jesus Christ:

John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

The Word of God, who is God Himself and not a distinct person, was made flesh. The Bible speaks about the Father sending the Son, but this is not to present two separate persons. It is the way God distinguishes His eternal Spirit from His earthly manifestation in flesh and blood as the God-Man Jesus Christ. The Father and the Son are indeed two distinct titles or offices, but they are the same person called YHWH in the OT. To separate God from His Word into distinct beings is unbiblical.

God spoke, and His Word landed in Mary, and she became pregnant by the Holy Ghost:

Matt 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, 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 Ghost.

So who is the Father of Jesus? The one who conceived the flesh, the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is not a third person of a Trinity, but He is the Father Himself, as the Father is a Spirit (John 4:23-24). There are no two Spirits in God, but one Spirit (Efe 4:4). The Holy Spirit is also the same as the Spirit of Jesus Christ:

Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

I trust by now the Biblical doctrine of the Godhead is clearly seen. God the Father is one, and He manifested in flesh as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Son represents the flesh aspect of God. The Father miraculously begat a body made from His own Word, and He dwelt in that flesh. Jesus is called Lord because He is God the Father in the role of the Son, the King of all kings:

1Cor 8:6 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.

Some would contend that Jesus prayed to the Father and therefore we have two persons. But why would one heavenly person have to pray to another completely equal heavenly person? That makes little sense. The reason Jesus prayed was due to His role as the Mediator (1 Tim 2:5). Jesus represented the collective will of humanity as He died on the cross to redeem our sins (Matt 26:39). But He rose from the grave by Himself. No other God needed to assist Him (John 2:19).

The prayer of Jesus to the Father was for us, and by this The Father Himself was interceding for humanity, as He dwelt in that flesh (Jes 59:16, John 8:28). Jesus never prayed for Himself nor did He pray because He was weak. God took on flesh and He spoke the words to Himself. All prayers come from Him and go back to Him, as He is the beginning and the end (Rev 1:8). That is why the prophet Isaiah reveals a deep truth when he explains that many will misunderstand the identity of Jesus Christ:

Is 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Is 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

You see, the main mistake that Trinitarians make here is that they automatically assume that since Jesus is praying, He must be praying to another person. That may be the case for us humans, but not for God. Jesus, being God Himself, does not need to pray to another divine being. Therefore His prayers are ultimately towards His own Spirit. This Spirit is God the Father Himself. The fact that Jesus did not need to pray to an external source outside Him is confirmed in the following verses:

John 16:26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

John 16:28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

The fact that Jesus is praying on our behalf in the role of the Mediator, is apparent from the following verse in Romans:

Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

We could ask the question, to whom is the Spirit praying? Since God is a Spirit (John 4:24), would God need to pray to another Spirit outside Himself? In that case God would be two Spirits, which clearly contradicts the Biblical teaching of monotheism. What Trinitarians should try and understand is that God was praying to Himself on behalf of fallen humanity. This is the ultimate mystery that the apostle Paul is speaking about. God was fully in Christ (not just partially):

2Cor 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

So if the Father is in Jesus, how are we to understand the relationship between the Father and the Son? The Bible gives the answer. The Son is the manifestation of the Father. God the Father manifested in flesh as the Son:

1Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

In a few places (Is 59:16, 63:5) the Messiah is called the arm of God. This means that if Jesus touches you, the hand of the Father is touching you. To touch Jesus is therefore to touch the Father Himself. If my own hand touches someone, it is me who is touching and not another person called “the hand of pastor Lars”. This means that Jesus is 100% God, and not partially God and partially human (the word human comes from humus meaning corruptible). Today many Christians call Jesus “fully human and fully God”, but this reveals a wrong understanding of scripture. The flesh of Christ is from the Father and not from the dust. The dust is cursed by God and carries no heavenly glory:

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 16:28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

Phi 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Phi 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

That is why the body of Jesus that the apostles saw in the transfiguration was glorious and not lowly human. Neither was His body purely spiritual like a ghostlike body. Jesus evidently has real flesh and blood, but His flesh is from a different source, the Word of God (and not of the dust) (Gen 2:7, John 1:14). The flesh of Jesus has its origin in heaven, and not in Mary or Joseph:

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

1Cor 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

The Bible is adamant that the flesh of Jesus is not of the same nature as our earthly, corruptible body. Our flesh is subject to sin, disease and corruption. The body of Jesus is our atonement and there is no sin in Him. The origin of Christ’s flesh is from heaven, from the Word, and not from Mary or Joseph:

John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

Heb 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens

Today scientists are uncovering more and more secrets about our DNA. Their research shows how the human genome has been degrading steadily over the past millennia, accumulating all sorts of mutations and corruptions. They even discovered that genetically, we share much material with animals, especially with the great apes. This makes sense when we realize that all earthly flesh is taken from the same dust (Gen 2:7), and will eventually return back to it (Gen 3:19).

In stark contrast, the Bible states that the body of Christ was taken directly from the Word (John 1:14). Jesus obviously never returned to the dust, but was taken up into heaven, which was also His origin. Jesus thus never shared in any of our human DNA corruptions, nor does His flesh have any similarity to that of animals. It would be absurd to believe otherwise about the body of our Lord from heaven!

But there are more complications with the “fully human” view. If we are to assume that Jesus took corruptible “Adamic” flesh from Mary, it is difficult to see how He could have been sinless as well. A human is a sinner by definition. And there is another problem. A person can only be considered human if he or she inherited 23 chromosomes from the mother and 23 from the father. We know that Joseph was not in any way linked to her pregnancy. It must therefore puzzle Trinitarians how Jesus can be called “fully human” while He supposedly only took 23 chromosomes from Mary. At best such a being could be considered human-like but not fully human.

How can we solve this apparent contradiction? The answer is simple. Mary was a blessed woman and chosen vessel, but she gave birth to Jesus as a surrogate mother only. At no point did she contribute to the flesh of the Son, as He was begotten of the Spirit only:

Matt 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, 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 Ghost.

This is corroborated by the fact that Jesus never recognized Mary as His biological mother. He addressed her as woman, which could be considered very rude, unless we understand that there was no bloodline between her and Jesus. This understanding also avoids the unbiblical practice of attributing some pseudo-divine status to Mary as mother of God or The Blessed Virgin, a dubious practice we still find in some traditional denominations.

Today many Christians adhere to the “fully God and fully human” dogma regarding the nature of Christ. What they do not realize is that this dual nature doctrine is not from the Bible at all. It was formulated during the council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. As with the doctrine of the Trinity, we have another case where a pope, many bishops and am emperor are gathered to produce yet another piece of manmade doctrine. It was pontiff Leo I who wrote the letter (called “Leo’s Tome”) that resulted in the Chalcedionian creed. But just as the apostles never spoke of any God the Son or Trinity, they never wrote of Jesus having a human body.

It is high time that seeking, hungry Christians start to cleanse their faith from all the confusing doctrines spawn from Greek philosophy and catholic councils!

The bottom line is: a corruptible human body cannot be a covering for sin. Therefore, the heavenly flesh of Christ redeemed mankind because it was undefiled and holy, and could not commit any sin. This belief is essential if we want to understand the new birth. This will be the subject of the next part of this letter.

Regarding the new birth

There is much confusion amongst Christians about the meaning of the new birth. Often the new birth is equated to “having faith” or “repentance”, but this is not what the Bible teaches. The gospel was not delivered to any Christian denomination, which is obvious from the fact that they all have different teachings about the new birth. Instead, the gospel was delivered to the apostles who lived with Jesus and wrote about Him. So to understand what the new birth is, we must study their teaching only, which is the teaching of the Holy Ghost (2 Pe 1:16, John 14:26). To understand the new birth, we have to understand the apostles’ doctrine. What did they teach?

The new birth is an essential requirement for salvation, as we can see from the words Jesus spoke to Nicodemus:

John 3:3 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.

The word “born again” can also be translated with “born from above”, indicating the spiritual origin of the new birth. Jesus then further explains what “born again/born from above” actually entails:

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

So we can conclude that born again equates to born of water and of the Spirit. Two elements are brought together: water and Spirit. Some try to explain this away by substituting “water” with “having faith”,  “the Word” or “repentance”, but the context of the passage and the practice of water baptism by the apostles indicates that Jesus spoke about water baptism and Spirit baptism. Such interpretation is supported by additional passages:

Ti 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word

1Petr 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ

Several important prefigures (types and shadows) of water baptism are presented in the Old Testament. (Eze 36:25-26, 37:1-14, Mi 7:18-20, Zec 13:1, Je 31:31-34, Is 53, Ps 74:13-14). The prophet Ezekiel especially spoke of “clean water” that would wash away the filthiness of sin and idols. The apostle Paul revealed that the covenant of circumcision that God made with Abraham was a shadow of baptism through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Gal 3:8, 16, 29, Col 2:11).

The apostle Paul further explains that a form of spiritual surgery takes place when the “old man” is “buried with Christ in baptism” (Col 2:12, Rom 6:3-4), and we have undergone a “circumcision made without hands” when the “putting off the body of the sins of the flesh” has occurred in the waters of baptism. The prophet Micah foretold this when he declared “thou shalt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19). The Bible says that Christ came by flesh, water and blood for our atonement (1 John 4:3, 1 John 5:6).

To complete the picture, Paul writes that “for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27). This was foreseen by the prophet Isaiah when he prophesied about the robe of righteousness (Is 61:10), which is the flesh of Christ that is put on in baptism in Jesus name. His words are echoed by the story of the man who entered the wedding celebration without a wedding garment. As he had not obeyed water baptism, he could not enter into the Kingdom (Matt 22:11-14).

Baptism is therefore not some optional procedure that comes after our “real” salvation through a prayer or some initial faith in God. The Bible clearly connects baptism to salvation (forgiveness of sins):

Mark 16:16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned.

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Acts 2:38 Then 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 Ghost.

In the book of Acts we find the practical application of the Great Commission given by Jesus to the early church. On your website you state that baptism should be “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. But be aware that Matthew 28:19 is the only verse in the Bible that uses this supposed Trinitarian formula. The apostles however only baptized in Jesus name. Contrary to what some claim, baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is based on overwhelming evidence. It has many witnesses in the Bible.

There are at least 5 verses that provide the only correct name to be baptized in: Jesus (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5, 22:16). In addition, the apostle Paul only speaks about baptism in Jesus Name (Rom 6:3-8, Gal 3:27, Col 2:10-13, Ti 3:4-7). Sins are remitted only at the moment of baptism in Jesus Name. The reason is that the Name of Jesus is the Name above every other Name, and the Name by which we must be saved (Phil 2:9-10, Acts 4:12, 10:43).

In fact, “Father”, “Son” and “Holy Ghost” in Matthew 28:19 are not names at all. Father is not a name. Son is not a name. Holy Ghost is not a name. They are all titles for the same One God. The only real name of God to be used for our salvation is Jesus (Matt 1:21). Note that Matt 28:19 speaks about a single name. The name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is “Jesus”. Therefore if a person is not baptized in Jesus Name, their sins are not forgiven, and he or she cannot enter into the kingdom of God. The Bible admonishes us to do everything in the name of Jesus:

Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

It is not necessary to call any other name than Jesus, not even “Father”, because the Father was in Jesus, not outside Him. By calling Jesus, we call upon the Father Himself. (Is 9:6, John 5:43). The Holy Ghost is also Jesus. The Bible says that when we receive the Holy Ghost, we receive the Spirit of Christ Himself (the Father), and not a third person of an imagined Trinity:

Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Matt 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

So Jesus is all three: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. He is God alone, manifested in flesh and blood. To put on His glorious and heavenly body, we must repent, be baptized in Jesus Name for the remission of sins, and receive His Spirit (The Spirit of the Father). The Holy Spirit begat Jesus, which makes the Spirit the Father of Jesus:

Luk 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost 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.

The voice that was speaking at the baptism of Jesus (Matt 3:16) was not that of another divine person, but God Himself. God is in heaven speaking as the Father, but at the same time He was on earth in flesh and blood as the Son.

I hope you will acknowledge from this that the pattern of salvation which the apostles followed is quite different from what is practiced in today’s churches. The apostles never made people recite a “sinners prayer”. Neither did they tell people to “receive Jesus in their heart”. Instead, the apostles preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then called the people to repent of their sins, and subsequently baptized the believers in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins. In baptism, the dead flesh of Adam is put off and the glorious heavenly body of Jesus is put on:

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ

Baptism is an act of faith, not a work. Without faith it is impossible to please God. But it is only in the water and through Jesus’ Name that sins are actually remitted and Christ is put on. The apostles encouraged newly baptized Christians to seek and receive the filling with the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in tongues and prophesying.

That is the apostles doctrine, and no one has the right to change that doctrine, not even God Himself, for He cannot lie. The Bible warns that even if an angel from heaven would teach another gospel than that of the apostles, he will be accursed. If someone has told to you that you are born again by reciting the Lord’s prayer or by repenting, that voice or person was not from God. You have been deceived into a false belief. But now the Word of God has come to you.

Final remarks

The Bible is clear. The apostolic doctrine does not mention any Trinity. Nor does it speak of any dual natured second person. The Bible is content to speak about one God. The fullness of the Godhead is dwelling in Jesus (Col 2:9), not just the second person is dwelling in Him. Jesus is in fact not a second of anything, for He is the beginning and the end. He is the one God coming in flesh and blood. The theology of one God manifesting in flesh is the hallmark of the apostles teaching:

1Cor 8:6 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.

Paul knew of no Trinity, and believed in One God, The Father, who is manifested in flesh as (one Lord) Jesus Christ (1 Tim 3:16).

The development of the doctrine of the Trinity and its associated downgrading of baptism into a ritualized act constitutes a corruption of church doctrine. The devil hates and fears the name of Jesus so much, that he decided to corrupt the belief of the early church by bringing confusion. He attacked baptism because the water separates the living from the dead. He attacked the identity of Christ by inventing the Greek philosophy of “three in one”. But we have the Word of God and the Spirit of God.

2Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Dear friend, the Word of God has spoken to you now. It is up to you to study these words prayerfully. Please consider this letter and be baptized in Jesus name. Your Christian life or ministry will then take a new turn. If you accept the apostolic doctrine, many former friends and so called Christians will leave you, and you may well become an outcast within the Christian community. It could mean you must start all over again. This is the call that God has for true believers. Choosing Jesus will bring much persecution and personal sacrifice, but you will receive a crown in heaven.

In the Bible there is a story of a powerful preacher named Apollos. He was preaching Jesus according to his best understanding until he met Aquila and Priscilla:

Acts 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

It will take wisdom, courage and humility to accept this truth. I would like to encourage you to seriously pray and fast about what I have written to you, and to ask God to confirm this truth. The Lord will answer. Feel free to contact me for more information.

May the Lord Jesus bless you,

Sincerely,

Pastor Lars Oberink

Den Haag, The Netherlands

info@www.apostolischekerk.info

 

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