Pro and Con 434
Incoming EmailThanks for P&C432 (Trinity)
Re: Trinitarian theology (What follows is a very brief discussion of an unfathomable Mystery; please forgive the generalizations I am making due to lack of space and time)
Hello Mrs. Agee: Glory to the Holy and consubstantial Trinity!
Agape to you and your family.
I wanted to commend you on your exposition of Jesus as the Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, which you wrote in P&C 432.Your use of and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures are appreciated by me and many.
I would like to add two ideas to this discussion.First, I think that, as Trinitarian Christians (who recite the Nicene Creed in faithfulness), it is important to be clear about all three Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity.When one speaks of "the spirit of God" (as so many people do in perhaps a casual way), one must not confuse this "turn of phrase" with God the Holy Spirit, Who is the third Person of the Holy Trinity. It is very important to speak clearly about the Holy Spirit; He is not a force, nor some spiritual emanation of the Father, nor some spiritual presence of the ascended Jesus.The Holy Spirit is God.Jesus is God.The Father is God.God is a trinity of Persons and a unity of Essence.
God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are both "pure spirit"; God the Son is both spirit and flesh.However (and this is the Mystery, the paradox, of God) all three Persons are co-equal and consubstantial. Each Divine Person is fully God in and of Himself; each is a unique Person, and each has a unique relationship to each of the other Persons of the Godhead (e.g., The Father is the "font of Divinity" and the "Maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen"; the Son is the "only begotten of the Father" "from before all Ages" and is the Incarnate God, Who is "very God of very God"; the Holy Spirit is the "treasury of blessing and giver of life", the One Who "is in all places, and fillest all things," Who "proceeds from the Father," and "with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified," "He spake by the prophets").
The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are unified in their intentions (wills), and, though they are individual Persons, they each are consonant in and with each other in their actions and wills, and are together said to Be, and truly Are the One God -- the "Godhead." God is One-in-three and three-in-One; without beginning or end; all-holy, perfect, uncircumscribed, and beyond all capability of being known. (God is transcendent.) And yet, through the Incarnation, God is also truly man, born of a Virgin, He suffered and died for our salvation, He rose again from the dead on the third day after descending into the very depth of Hell and bringing a host of captives to freedom. (God is imminent.)He is our God and our Friend; He is our Maker and Spouse; He is our Judge and He is the One Who takes our debt upon Himself; He is closer than our breath and yet He Exists outside/above/beyond all of this created cosmos.God as Trinity is wholly beyond our capability of comprehension (this is the Great Mystery), and yet He has condescended to reveal Himself to us.
This brings me to my second point, it is not correct to say (as you did in one of the P&C's several weeks ago) that the Trinity is like God which presents Himself to us in three different ways.This is an old heresy called "modalism"--that is, that God only appears in three different modes according to the various circumstances: in one place God presents Himself like a father, in another place like a son/servant, in another place like a creative spirit.The Nicene Creed is especially crafted so as to deny this error (The Baptism of Christ is a Biblical revelation of the truth of the Three Divine Persons; as is Pentecost).God is not like some monster with three faces;God is a trinity of Persons in a unity of Essence.The essential unity of the Godhead, and the inter-penetrating unity of purpose and will of the three Persons, is a paradox of logical reasoning.This is why the Trinity is a Truth which God revealed to us; it is not something which can be gotten at by logical means.
The one, great distinguishing characteristic of God is love -- total, self-sacrificial, unconditional love -- and this is the mark of the inter-relationship of the three Persons of the Trinity. Though each of the Divine Persons has a unique relationship to each of the other two, the mark of each relationship is Love.None of the Persons acts or wills apart from the Others -- there is a perfect unity of and harmony in the Mind of God. This "Divine dynamic" is the prototype for all of the relationships which was part of creation before the Fall and will mark the creation when God has "made all things new." (BTW, this self-sacrificial Love is the diametrical opposite dynamic of the Evil One, who willfully chose self-exaltation and enticed our forbearers, Adam and Eve, to follow in this deadly error).
The Holy Trinity is a very difficult concept to explicate (because our intellect is both fallen and corrupt, as well as being a created thing and thus even in a perfect state could not comprehend the Incomprehensible Godhead), but the Nicene Creed (without the "filioque") is the best, most concise intellectual exposition of this Great Mystery of God.Faith in God the Son is the only way to approach God-the-Holy-Trinity, and the presence of God the Holy Spirit in our heart and mind is the only way to a personal communion with God-the-Holy-Trinity; with faith in Jesus and with the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, we are able to confess the unsurpassable magnanimity and holiness of God the Father. As the elders do in Revelation, we fall on our faces in worship of the blessed One, God-in-Trinity, Who alone is worthy of worship and praise.(Please note, I say God-in-Trinity, not God-as-Trinity, because God does not pose as a trinity, God Is Trinity.)
Thank you again for the beautiful exposition of the Biblical texts which show the central place of our most dear Lord Jesus Christ in the life of the world (both as pre-Incarnate and Incarnate -- Who is "begotten" of the Father before all Ages).I would appreciate a similar treatment of the Biblical texts which speak of God the Holy Spirit's activity in the cosmos (as we recite in the Nicene Creed, "He spake by the prophets").
I and many others are keeping you and your loved ones in our prayers.Keep up the good work!
Yours in Christ Jesus our Lord, to the glory of God the Father
My reply Thanks for your kind words. I am determined to do my best until the Lord comes--everything for him who did so much for us.
I will give you some Biblical texts. That is my way. I hope I do not ever come across like the author of a textbook that expects to be believed because he says that is the way it is. The only real truth that we can rely on is Scripture.
In the Old Testament, we can get a glimpse of our triune Elohim. Isa. 48:16 says, "Come ye near unto ME (i.e., the pre-incarnate Christ, God's Son), hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now (1) the Lord GOD (Adonay YHVH, or Yah Veh, i.e., the Father), and (2) HIS SPIRIT, hath sent (3) ME" (Christ, Yah Shua).
It is easier to see in the New Testament. Mt. 28:19 says, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The three are one, as De. 6:4 tells us, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD (YHVH) our God (Elohim, plural) is one (echad, united) LORD (YHVH)."
As for understanding the Holy Spirit, we cannot fully understand our own selves, body, soul and spirit, and we cannot fully understand the Godhead. We are so physically oriented that when we find out that the soul is in the blood, we can't see exactly how since our emotions are of the soul, but we have to accept on faith what we can't understand.
Man's test is to walk by faith. If we knew everything, that would not be possible. God has given us the Bible, and what he has told us is pure truth, whether we fully understand it or not. In my new exeGesis literal Bible, Gen. 9:4 says, "the soul, which is the blood." When the blood is poured out on the ground, it can cry out to God (Gen. 4:10), and the body is dead. Yet the saved now goes directly to Heaven, still alive, but without the physical body. II Cor. 5:8 says, "absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." Can we fully understand how that can be? No, but we must accept it by faith. I Cor. 15:40 assures us that "There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another."
Let's see what the Bible tells us about the Holy Spirit/the Comforter. Jesus said, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you ANOTHER Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the SPIRIT OF TRUTH; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I AM IN MY FATHER, and ye in me, and I in you...If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and WE will come unto him, and make OUR abode with him" (Jn. 14:16-23). Then this indwelling includes the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, our Elohim.
Jn. 15:26 helps us understand a little bit. Jesus said, "when the Comforter is come whom I WILL SEND UNTO YOU FROM THE FATHER, EVEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, WHICH PROCEEDETH FROM THE FATHER, he shall testify of me." In Jn. 17:7, Jesus explains, "I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I WILL SEND HIM UNTO YOU."
Rom. 8:8,9 says, "So then they that are in the flesh ('carnally minded,' v. 6) cannot please God. 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." Here we see that the terms, the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are interchangeable.
In Jn. 17:3-8 Jesus said, "this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent....now O Father, glorify thou me WITH THINE OWN SELF with the glory which I had with thee before the world was...they...have known surely that I CAME OUT FROM THEE, and they have believed that thou didst send me." Can we fully comprehend all this? No, but we know it is all true, nevertheless.
When our son David was younger, he said that our trying to understand God must be like the ants trying to understand us. At least God has communicated with us. We do have that advantage. We haven't done that with the ants. Even so, we can learn a lesson from the wise ants (Prov. 30:25).
Since Elohim dwells in us, we keep learning a little more all the time, as we can assimilate it. I love I Cor. 2:9-12: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
Some day, we will understand more, but even in the heavenly New Jerusalem, we will still see God in the face of Jesus Christ (Yah Shua Messiah). Rev. 22:3,4 says, "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne (one throne) of GOD AND OF THE LAMB shall be in it; and his (singular) servants shall serve him (singular): And they shall see his face (one face); and his name (singular) shall be in their foreheads." He is the shepherd and we the sheep. He knows more than we will ever know, but we know enough to follow him all our days.
> The Father is the "font of Divinity" and the "Maker of heaven and earth, of all that is,
> seen and unseen"
We need to give credit where credit is due. Heb. 1:1-3 says, "GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by (en, in) his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE WORLDS; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and UPHOLDING ALL THINGS BY THE WORD OF HIS POWER, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
John 1:1-3 says, "IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM; AND WITHOUT HIM WAS NOT ANY THING MADE THAT WAS MADE." Agape
Thank you for the Bible verses.
I often feel toward Jesus like my mother told me she felt when her own father had to go off on long trips to find work. She grew up in the hills of Kentucky and there weren't many jobs back then. Her father had to go way up into Indiana to find factory work so he could send back a few dollars for the family (there were 12 kids in her family). She said she knew that her dad would be back "someday" but she just didn't know exactly when. When he did return, there was jumping and hooting and laughing for joy (and a lot of crying for joy, too). I think I'm going to feel just that way when Jesus comes back for us. Agape
Incoming Email TIFFANY CORONA wrote: hi marilyn, i got your email, however i was specifically confronting you on the dates which u are predicting. u didnt really talk about that alls u did was give me bible verses on "the end times" daniels years, etc.
as far as daniel, daniel was a prophet from God. Daniel is NOT YOU. what Daniel had insight on, is from God. What jesus did say was like u said to watch the signs of the times, i fully agree were are in the last days as u said. However, THERE IS NOTHING IN THE BIBLE THAT STATES THE ACTUAL DATE OF THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. THERE IS NOT ONE VERSE IN THE BIBLE THAT SAYS 2,000 IS THE YEAR THAT CHRIST WILL RETURN, OR ANY OTHER YEAR FOR THAT MATTER. iF YOUR SO SURE OF YOUR DATE PREDICTIONS QUOTE ME A VERSE FROM THE BIBLE RIGHT NOW THAT SPECIFICALLY SAYS 2,000 IS THE YEAR. YOU CANT , THERE IS NO VERSE IN THE BIBLE THAT SAYS THE EXACT YEAR. YES, THE BIBLE TALKS ABOUT YEARS, AND HOW THE NUMBERS 6 AND 7 PLAY A PART. BUT ITS NOT YOUR JOB TO FUGURE IT OUT!!! U CAN STUDY IT, BUT TO PRESUME YOU KNOW EVERYTHING AND YOUR RIGHT FOR SURE ON THE DATE, I FEEL AS THOUGH YOUR TRYING TO BE GOD BY KNOWING FOR A FACT WHAT THE DATE WILL BE.
I KNOW YOUR DEFENSE IS GOING TO BE EITHER:
1. hOW THE EARTH WAS CREATED IN 6 DAYS,A ND THE SEVENTH DAY HE RESTED. AND IT WAS FINFISHED. YOUR GOING TO TELL ME THAT UP UNTIL NOW THERE HAS BEEN A TOTAL OF 6,000 SINCE CHRIST ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN. AND THIS MILLENIUM, WILL BE 7,000. I FULLAY AGREE WITH YOU ON HOW LONG ITS BEEN. IT HAS BEEN 7,000 SINCE CHRISTS ASCENSION
u DONT HAVE TO DEFEND YOURSELF IF YOU WANT, WERE BOTH CHRISTAINS AND LIKE U SAID WE HAVE OUR OPINIONS.
BUT JUST ANSWER THESE 3 QUESTIONS
1. qUOTE ME A SPECIFIC VERSE WHERE THE BIBLE SAYS THE RAPTURE IS IN 2,000
2. hOW DO U INTERPERT " nO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR"? THAT MEANS jESUS DOESNT KNOW, ONLY THE FATHER. WHICH WE AGREE ON RIGHT??? DOES THAT MEAN U KNOW OR US MORTALS KNOW HERE ON EARTH BY FIGURING IT OUT IN "HIDDEN CODES IN THE BIBLE" BUT THE SON OF GOD DOESNT??? u DONT KNOW MORE THAN GOD.
3. WHY CANT U STOP SPECUALTING AND WASTING SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY AND TRUST JESUS WHEN THE TIME IS, PLEASE DONT BE OFFENDED, I TRULEY AGREE WITH YOU WE ARE IN THE LAST DAYS, AND YES I SEE EVENTS THAT FULLFILL BIBLE PROPHESY EVERY DAY/ SO YES JESUS IS NEAR!!!! AND YES THE RAPTURE IS NEAR, PRAISE GOD!!
HOWEVER, I DONT KNOW EXACTLY TO THE "DAY AND HOUR" WHEN HE WILL RETURN, NETHER DO YOU. IN FACT THE BIBLE STATES TO NOT BE DECEIVED. IT ALSO SAYS THAT PEOPLE WILL BE SAYING "WHERE IS THIS COMING HE HAS PROMISED?? BY U PUTTING DATES IN PEOPLES HEADS, IF THE RAPTURE DOESNT COME ON THE DAY U PREDICTED, THEY ARE GOING TO SAY TO YOU "WHERE IS HIS COMING U HAVE PROMISED" AND IF U LOOK CLOSLEY, THAT IS A SIGN OF THE END TIMES, DECEIVERS.
My reply Tiffany, you are not listening. What does Mt. 24:35 say?
Also, I am not predicting anything. I am not a prophet. I am only sharing the way it looks to me, and in God's agape love.
Aren't you the least bit scared to judge others harshly? Lu. 6:37,38 says, "Judge not, and he shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven...For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
> alls u did was give me bible verses on "the end times" daniels years, etc.
I see. You mean that you are not interested in what the Bible says on this subject.
> THERE IS NOTHING IN THE BIBLE THAT STATES THE ACTUAL DATE OF THE RAPTURE OF
> THE CHURCH.
Not in those words, but take a look at Mk. 13:23. Jesus says, "But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things." What would you take out of "all things"?
> ITS NOT YOUR JOB TO FUGURE IT OUT!!! U CAN STUDY IT, BUT TO PRESUME YOU KNOW
> EVERYTHING AND YOUR RIGHT FOR SURE ON THE DATE, I FEEL AS THOUGH YOUR TRYING
> TO BE GOD BY KNOWING FOR A FACT WHAT THE DATE WILL BE.
How do you know it is not my job to study and write? When I saw a rectangle of light on Jer. 50:2 and it said to publish and conceal not, I told the Lord, "OK, I'll continue to study and write." Isn't that between me and the Lord? Who are you to tell me what is my job and what isn't. Your father wrote me an apology for your letter, hoping I was not offended. He said that was what he got for letting you use his computer to send these things out to some people. Are you the judge and jury?
I have not once said that I know for a fact what the date will be. I am not that stupid. From 1968 to 1998, I thought it would be in 1998. Then I thought it would be in 1999. Now I am hoping for 2000. I don't presume to know everything. I know enough in my intensive studies for 38 years to know that there is more packed in the Bible than any one person can ever dig out in a lifetime. I have read every word of at least 15 versions of the Bible. How many have you read? I certainly would never try to be God. I have the fear of God in me. Don't you?
> IT HAS BEEN 7,000 SINCE CHRISTS ASCENSION
Well, I don't think so. I think he ascended in 30 AD. 1999 - 30 = 1969 years. Try it on your calculator. See what it says in case mine is broken.
> hOW DO U INTERPERT " nO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR"?
Until you either bother to click on the link to it that is near the top of my Home Page, or look at the preceding verse, Mt. 24:35, you will have to wait to know more than this. The word "KNOWS" is present tense. It was true in the day in which it was stated.
> THAT MEANS jESUS DOESNT KNOW, ONLY THE FATHER. WHICH WE AGREE ON RIGHT?
No. I do not agree on that. Jesus has two natures. He is both man and God. In fact, he is the creator (Jn. 1:1-3; Heb. 1:1-3). II Cor. 5:19 says, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself." As God, he made the plans before the world began. He could speak as a man, but he was not just a man. He knows all things. As God, he knows the day of his Second Advent, why would he not know the day of the Rapture when he said in Mk. 13:23 that he had foretold us all things? Zech. 14:5-7 says, "the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee....it shall be one day WHICH SHALL BE KNOWN TO THE LORD."
The Jewish month and day of the month of the Second Advent was already in the OT when Jesus made that statement in Mt. 24. The date is set in Eze. 29:17: "in the first month, in the first day of the month." That is Nisan 1, the first day of the Jewish Regnal and Sacred Year. Then verse 21 says, "In that day (Nisan 1) will I cause the horn (king) of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth (Word, Logos) in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD."
Are you aiming to forego "the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of TIME the Spirit of Christ which was in them (the prophets) did signify"? (I Pet. 1:10). As for me, I want all the grace I can get.
> DOES THAT MEAN U KNOW OR US MORTALS KNOW HERE ON EARTH BY FIGURING IT OUT
> IN "HIDDEN CODES IN THE BIBLE"
What does Prov. 2:2-5 mean? It says, "incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for HID TREASURES; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God."
> WHY CANT U STOP SPECUALTING AND WASTING SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY AND
> TRUST JESUS WHEN THE TIME IS, PLEASE DONT BE OFFENDED
Because I am doing what Jer. 50:2 said. Don't worry, I am not offended. I have to answer to God for my actions, and so do you, shouting at me in all caps included. I Pet. 1:22 says, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren (believers), see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently." I am sorry that we don't see eye to eye, but I am grateful to know that you believe in Christ. People can be wrong about a lot of things and still make it to heaven if they are just right about Christ. Everything else takes a back seat.
> "WHERE IS HIS COMING U HAVE PROMISED"
II Pet. 3:4-8 says, "Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this THEY WILLINGLY ARE IGNORANT OF, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved (believers), be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." We do have a clue there. Wonder why we are given any clue at all? Wonder if there others scattered through Scripture? One thing for sure, we'll never know if we don't look. Agape
Incoming Email Re: battle with Gog:
If the Jews spend 7 years burning the war implements of the Russians who come against them, and if they are persecuted severely by the AC during the Tribulation, might it not be that the Gog invasion of Israel, their defeat, and the burning of the weapons starts prior to the Tribulation?
If this invasion happens on the Last Day, how would there be 7 years left to burn the weapons before the Second Coming?
My reply They can burn the weapons for the first seven years of the millennial Day of the Lord. It doesn't say that they have to burn them before Christ returns. This way, they can let the natural growth of the land restore itself. The Lord will also refresh the face of the Earth after his return.
Zech. 14:1-3 shows that this battle led by Gog will take place as the Day of the Lord comes. It says, "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather ALL NATIONS against Jerusalem to battle: and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle."
The day of battle refers to the long day of Joshua (Yah Shua, i.e., Jesus). Jos. 10:11 says, "the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword." Verse 14 says, "for the LORD fought for Israel."
This is the Day of God's Wrath. Eze. 38:18-20 says, "at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that MY FURY shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of MY WRATH have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea (one asteroid strikes the Mediterranean, Zech. 2:4,5), and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence (paneh, face; seen in the sky, the Sign of the Son of Man, Mt. 24:30; Rev. 6:14-16), and the mountains (asteroids of Rev. 8:8 and 10) shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground."
Eze. 39:12,13 says, "And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land....it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified (Second Advent), saith the Lord GOD." The Second Advent is 7 months after the Day of God's Wrath .Nisan 1 is 7 months after Tishri 1 in the Jewish Leap Year, 5768. Agape
Incoming Email Re: PC 432
An excellent question by a thoughtful person, and an outstanding response from you. Should be required reading for all serious students of the Bible.
May this holiday season be filled with blessings for you and your family.
My reply Thanks. God bless.
Pro and Con 435 Or Return
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