THE BLESSED TRINITY

THE BLESSED TRINITY

By: Robert Haddad (Lumen Verum)

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http://www.theworkofgod.org/Library/Apologtc/R_Haddad/Course/Book1.htm#THE BLESSED TRINITY

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“The doctrine of the Trinity is really a disguised form of polytheism – worshipping three gods in one!”

The Blessed Trinity is three divine Persons in one undivided God. It was Jesus Christ Himself who revealed the Blessed Trinity. Sacred Scripture clearly testifies to the existence of three distinct Persons in the one God:

“Then God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him…” (Gen. 1, 26-27);

“Then the Lord God said, See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil…” (Gen. 3, 22);

“…Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there…” (Gen. 11, 7);

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (St. Matt. 28, 19-20);

“And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased” (St. Mark 1, 10-11).

This last verse most clearly reveals the First and Second Persons of the Blessed Trinity. Jesus Christ coming out of the water and His Father’s voice from heaven. The Holy Spirit, the Third Person, is revealed as a dove, descending from heaven onto Christ.

Jesus Christ as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity is equal to the Father:

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel, which means, God with us…” (St. Matt. 1, 23);

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

St. John 1, 1).

The Word was with God in the beginning, and the Word was God. Two divine Persons, yet only one undivided God.

“The Father and I are one (St. John 10, 30);

“…the Father is in me and I am in the Father” (St. John 10, 38);

“…Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (St. John 14, 9).

The Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son as the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, will be a living teacher of truth:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate (Holy Spirit)…” (St. John 14, 16);

“…the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything…” (St. John 14, 26);

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (St. John 16, 13).

To sin against the Holy Spirit is to sin against God:

“…why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?…You did not lie to us but to God!” (Acts 5, 3-4).

Finally:

“And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. And these three are one (1 John 5, 7 [Douai]).

The Fathers:

St. Clement of Rome, Letter to the Corinthians (C. 98 A.D.):

“Do we not have one God, one Christ, and one Spirit of Grace poured out upon us? And is there not one calling in Christ?”

The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp (C. 155 – 157 A.D.):

“…In this way and for all things I do praise you, I do bless you, I do glorify you through the eternal and heavenly High Priest Jesus Christ, your beloved child: through whom be glory to you with Him and with the Holy Spirit, both now and through ages yet to come. Amen.”

St. Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus (181 A.D.):

“The three days before the luminaries were created are types of the Trinity: God, His Word, and His Wisdom.”

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies (C. 180 A.D.):

“If any one, therefore says to us, ‘How then was the Son produced by the Father?’ we reply to him, that no man understands that production, or generation, or calling, or revelation, or by whatever name one may describe His generation, which is in fact altogether indescribable. Neither Valentinus, nor Marcion, nor Saturninus, nor Basilides, nor angels, not archangels, nor principalities, nor powers (possess this knowledge), but the Father only who begat, and the Son who was begotten. Since therefore His generation is unspeakable, those who strive to set forth generations and productions cannot be in their right mind, inasmuch as they undertake to describe things that are indescribable.”

St. Ambrose of Milan, Hexameron (Post 389 A.D.):

“But let us consider the course of our own creation. He says: ‘Let Us make man to our image and to our likeness.’ Who says this? Is it not God, who made you?…To whom does He say it? Certainly not to Himself, for He does not say ‘Let Me make’ but ‘Let Us make.’ Nor to the Angels, for they are ministers; and servants can have no partnership in the operation of the master, nor works with their author. It is the Son to whom He speaks, even if the Jews will not have it and the Arians fight against it…[And it is the Son] who is the image of God the Father, the Son who always is and who was in the beginning.”

St. Augustine of Hippo (+430 A.D.), De Trinitate, Bk. 7, Ch. 4:

“For that which must be understood of persons according to our usage, this is to be understood of substances according to the Greek usage; for they say three substances, one essence, in the same way as we say three persons, one essence or substance.”

Catechism of the Council of Trent (1566):

Since nowhere is a too curious inquiry more dangerous, or error more fatal, than in the knowledge and exposition of this, the most profound and difficult of mysteries…

But these truths which should not be made the subject of too subtle investigation, when we recollect that he who is a searcher of majesty shall be overwhelmed by glory. We should be satisfied with the assurance and certitude which faith gives us that we have been taught these truths by God Himself, to doubt whose word is the extreme of folly and misery. He has said: Teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and again, there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.

Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992):

No. 234: The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them…

No. 237: The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God. To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

 

A Case Against The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Founded By Felix Manalo) Part II Divinity of Christ

A Case Against The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Founded By Felix Manalo) Part II Divinity of Christ

By: Bro. Isahel N. Alfonso

 

 

 

One of the distinctive teachings of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is their belief that Jesus Christ is just a man and not God. While they boast Felix Manalo as an angel sent by God, they ridiculed Jesus Christ by teaching and believing that He is only a man. They inherited their teaching that Jesus Christ is just a man from an ancient heretic named Arius. Arius was the one who vigorously defended the heretical teaching that Jesus Christ is just a man and not God. This brings us to another point where is the Iglesia ni Cristo during this great council (as founded by Felix Manalo) to defend their heretical doctrine that Christ is just a man? If they are the true Church  as what they claim then they should be the first one to raise a defense on this theological matter, yet, they are not able to do so because the Iglesia ni Cristo did not exists yet during those time.

 

 

The INC And The Divinity Of Christ

A close analysis on the contentions of the INC ministers on the nature of Christ will give us an insight that their arguments are not really arguments at all. If we are going to observe an INC minister preaching or debating about the nature of Christ notice that all the biblical passages that he will quote are the ones that will prove that Christ has a human nature thus they would emphasize on the qualities or elements that tells us that Christ is a man. Upon hearing statements from an INC minister that Christ is just a man we do not have to hassle and refute each and every scripture passage that they quote in proving that Christ is a man because the Catholic Church teaches that Christ has two natures, Human and Divine nature. The Catechism is very clear on this matter;

The unique and altogether singular event of the Incarnation of the Son of God does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it imply that he is the result of a confused mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man while remaining truly God. Jesus Christ is true God and true man. During the first centuries, the Church had to defend and clarify this truth of faith against heresies that falsified it. CCC 464


For an INC minister to prove that Christ is a man in front of a Catholic apologist is irrelevant in a debate concerning the nature of Christ for we Catholics do not deny the fact that Christ is a man. However what we do believe is that Christ is true God and true man. For the INC arguments to prosper they should be debating people who do not believe that Christ is a man, but in front of a person who believes that Christ is true God and true man their efforts in proving their cause is futile.

In our exposition we no longer have to prove that Jesus Christ has a human nature since this is part of the fundamental teaching of the Catholic Church about Christ. Our foremost concern is establishing the divinity of Christ using the Scriptures. There are numerous passages in the Bible that tells us that Christ is God but the INC ministers preferred to give a twisted and at times hilarious interpretations just to do away passages that clearly points to Christ’s divinity.

Let us start with the Gospel of John in proving the divinity of Christ, for John’s Gospel is highly theological and gives emphasis on Christ divinity. In the opening chapter of John’s Gospel we are told about the “Word” or logos in Greek.

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God. John 1:1

The Word that St. John is talking about in this passage is none other than but Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament Scholar Antonio Garcia-Moreno he said;

The Logos is neither a philosophical abstraction nor a divine being merely clothed with a human appearance, as the Docatae taught. For the Evangelist the Logos is the personal and pre-existent Christ who, in a specific moment in history, had taken unto himself a human nature.Antonio Garcia-Moreno, Jesus of Nazareth The King of the Jews: A study on Johannine Christology, p.62, 2010

In a debate between a Catholic apologist and a district minister of INC Rizalito Ocampo, the minister was asked “if Christ is not the Word in John 1:1, then who is it?” The only response that can be heard from the district minister was “in John 1:1 you cannot read Jesus Christ”. Such is not even an answer but an escape goat to avoid answering the the unanswerable question hurled to him. But how are we to know that the Word in John 1:1 is truly Jesus Christ?

John 1:1 is a very short passage yet it is very much sufficient to prove the divinity of Christ. Upon close reading of the passage it tells us of three important elements of the Word which is also applicable and belongs to Jesus Christ.

 

 

In the beginning was the Word


This passage points not to the time wherein the world was created but on the time before the world was created, this tells us about the preexistence of the Word. Jesus Christ on the other hand manifest his existence before the world was created in John 17:5 Jesus Christ said,

Now Father give me in your presence the same glory I had with you before the world begun. John 17:5

Jesus Christ is speaking here in the past tense which means that he was already with God before the world was created. This is a very clear and explicit words from Christ that he himself confess that he was with the Father before the world begun. So who are we to believe? The INC ministers or our Lord Jesus Christ himself? St. Paul in his epistles also affirms this truth, in his epistle to the Colossians he speaks about Christ preexistence.

He is the image of the unseen God, and for all creation he is the first-born, for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, thrones, rulers, authorities, powers all was made through him and for him. He is before all and all things hold together in him. Col.1:15-17

St. Paul is telling us that it was through Christ that everything was created and this would only be possible if Christ has a preexistence. But on the same passage Christ’s preexistence is affirmed with the words “He is before all”. 

 


And the Word was with God


This statement tells us of the distinction between the Father and the Son, some pseudo Christians believe that the Father and the Son are one and the same, this is a serious error concerning the relationship of the Father and of the Son. Since Christ has a preexistence as proved by the passages we quoted above this brings us to a logical conclusion that Christ is distinct from the Father. This distinction was already been prefigured in the Old Testament when God showed himself to Abraham under the appearance of three men.

Yahweh appeared to Abraham near the oak of Mamre. Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent, in the heat of the day, when he looked up and saw three men standing nearby. Genesis 18:1-2


In this passage we are told that Yahweh appeared to Abraham under the appearance of three men. But why three men? Because it is a revelation that there is one God in three distinct persons. In like manner Christ was with God in the beginning because they are distinct yet shares that nature of God. In the Gospel of Matthew such a distinction is also mentioned by the Gospel writer in Mt.28:18-19, Jesus Christ said,

Go therefore, and make disciples from all nations, Baptize then in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Mt.28:19


Notice that the Gospel writer wrote “in the name” not “in the names” which is plural, because the Gospel writer is referring only to one God in three distinct persons which is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

 

And the Word was God


St. John when writing his Gospel carefully wrote “Word was God” and not “Word was a god” which would imply that Jesus Christ or the Word is a God lower than the Father as what the Jehova’s witnesses believed. He did not also write “Word was the God” because it would mean that the Father and the Son are one and the same. What St. John wrote was crystal clear “And the Word was God” referring to the nature of the Word which is divine. In St. Paul’s epistle to the Colossians he is telling them that Christ possess a divine nature, hence Christ is truly GOd.

For in him dwells the fullness of God in bodily form. Col.2:9


Such a fact is irrefutable but the INC ministers will surely find a way to beat around the bush and raise hilarious and illogical explanations regarding this passage. In Hebrews chapter 1 verse 8 it is no longer the apostles who professed Christ divinity but it was already the Father who is telling us that Christ is God. Who then shall we believe the INC ministers who are famous for deceiving people of God?

But of the Son we read this: Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a rule of justice is your rule. Hebrews 1:8


Beyond any reason of a doubt it is quite clear from the passages of the Holy Scripture that Jesus Christ is God. Any person who deliberately refuses to believe such truth will have nothing in the end of times but the fires of Hell.

CATHOLIC FAITH DEFENDERS: REFLECTION ON THE LOGOS THE WORD OF GOD

CATHOLIC FAITH DEFENDERS: REFLECTION ON THE LOGOS THE WORD OF GOD

By Bro. Cleb Calimutan

 

 

St. John wrote a very deep and remarkable truth, the “Logos” or the Word of God who is God. The Word here is not the spoken word but it is the intellect the unspoken word: the mind of God. Hence it is consubstantial with God – or in one with the very substance of God. And so since God is eternal the word is also eternal, as St. John said, “In the beginning was the Word” it is when the beginning (time) started – the Word existed already, for it is co-eternal with the Father. For if the Word is not co-eternal with God then God would exist in eternity without a Word, which is explicitly absurd.

 

 

And since the Word is consubstantial with God the Word is also infinite with God for if not then in the very substance of God there would be something that is not infinite namely the Word; again this opposite proposition leads to absurdity. And so it remains that the Word is infinite with the God. But two diverse infinite beings cannot exist at the same respect in the same sense; for they become the limit to each other. Hence, the truth then proceeds to the next manifestation that the very, “Word of God is God” as the apostle declared. He is not a different God but God in one with the nature of God.

Now a distinction is made manifest that the Word of God – is of God wherefore even they exist in one but the distinction remains for God is declared in the first hence in the first person and the Word is manifested as the second person as the apostle declared, “The Word was with God.” And so the procession is enunciated, that God is the first and the Word is in the next – namely the 2nd from the first; and so the Word is the Second Person of God.

 

 

Consequently a proposition of truth is verified that in the very nature of God there is always a First and a Second Person. But, between the first and the second Person in this very one God a relation is existing for if there is no relation then the two persons exist with absolute diversity hence they cannot exist as one, but they exist as one, hence the spirit of relation is realized with the first and the 2nd Person hence the third one proceeds from the first and the second persons which must follow as the third or the third person. Now the truth of the mystery is complete that in one nature of God there exist three different persons.

 

The mystery is so deep that a thorough reflection is needed, and God who got a dialogue with mankind revealed Himself with an ultimate mode of communication that this very Word is made flesh and now known as the Son of God (Jn.1:18). And so if the Second Person is the Son it follows that the First is the Father for I started my argument of truth from the Son, however the truth can be demonstrated in different many ways of elucidation.

 

            The “Word is made flesh” a term indicating a lot of solid truth – for flesh is used as a synecdoche pertaining to the humility of God who became a man. And so the Second Person assumed another and a lower nature of being that is the nature of man. And so Jesus the Second Person of God united Himself with the nature of man. He is now Person with two natures one is of His Divinity and the other one is of His Humanity.

 

            The motive then of the incarnation is knowing and loving. For God loves us and He wanted us to love Him. But, man cannot love whom he does not know and so God manifested Himself as the truth – the very Word of God whom we shall know and love. For, He the Lord who knows us in the most absolute way manifested His love in the most perfect way. That is through His death on the cross.