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Trinity, or Tertium Quid ?

 

As has been mentioned on this website many times "Satan will always give you at least two clear-cut opposing choices, both of which are wrong".

Trinitarians and anti-Trinitarians are, surprisingly, another example of this.

Persons who believe in the Trinity, in any of it's many descriptive forms, invariably do so as a way of honouring Jesus. What greater view of anyone could you have than to view them as God ?

Anti-Trinitarians feel that saying Jesus is God dishonours God, and although they really do have truly great reverence for Jesus, they feel that God is a separate person and deserves greater respect.

And yet this little monograph would suggest that there is a third position, a 'tertium quid', as it were, that honours both God and Jesus higher than either of those two schools of thought.

Impossible you say? you be the Judge.

A noted Roman philosopher, Cicero, stated that "gratitude... is the greatest of all virtues". This may well be the ultimate/penultimate truth. What greater gift can we give God than our gratitude? (some would add "obedience" to gratitude, and there is no quarrel with that, although obedience is more for our own benefit).

If God values our gratitude as the greatest gift we can give him, would not that indicate that he himself is also a grateful, appreciative person? Look at the gratitude and appreciation he showed to Abraham, David, Job, and others.

Now imagine this same very tender-hearted, dear, kind, grateful, person (God) being put in a position where he has to ask someone else (Jesus) to do a horrible dirty job that he can't do, namely die. Imagine that this person (Jesus) is the person he already loves more than anyone else in the universe, imagine that he had already created the universe through and for that person.

If you had to ask your husband/wife/son/daughter to risk and lose everything that they had to help you, and they not only did it willingly, exactly as you wished, with no ifs, ands, or buts, with no thought for themselves, because their love for you was so great. How would you feel towards them? You would give them everything you own, the "moon" as they say, yes ?

God has total and complete trust in Jesus. (Hebrews 5:8) His appreciation for Jesus and what he did is ganormous. What does God stand to lose by showing Jesus immeasurable gratitude ? Again, really, what does he stand to lose ? What risk is he taking ? In fact, by God's showing such extreme gratitude in raising his son to a level equal to or very nearly equal to himself we get to see what a truly humble, good, trusting, grateful, appreciative, and loving person God really is.

Jesus himself seemed to express surprise in the gifts his Dad was going to give him (John 5:22, Matthew 28:18*). Jesus basically just wanted his old job back. (John 17:5) But God insists on Jesus receiving Kingship, powers of resurrection, judging, and worship (Hebrews 1:6). In fact, relative to the 1000 year period of the Kingdom Jesus functions in a position higher than God. It is only at the end of the thousand year kingdom rule that Jesus gives "all things" back to his Dad. You can't give something back if you don't have it. (1 Corinthians 15:28, read the Scripture, that's what it says). Really, doesn't God take a position of serving his son when he says ' Son, sit here at my right hand while I make your enemies a stool for your feet', (Psalms 110:1, Heb 1:7) in essence God is saying 'Son, you've done enough, please now, let me do this for you'. He loves his Son. (Please compare with John 3:35)

God out of his love and appreciation wants Jesus to have it all, Jesus out of his love and respect for his Dad refuses to take it. It's kind of a "no, you" "no, you" "no, you" sort of thing. It kind of reminds me of two people fighting over the tab after dinner in their desire to honour the other. (maybe not the best illustration, but you get the point).

Any decent person in God's circumstance would do the same thing.

Think about it. Jesus was his firstborn, (Colossians 1:15) God made the universe for him in the first place, Jesus showed absolute obedience, absolute love and trust for his father, took the ultimate risk, Saved the world, hey, what more do you want ?

So the greatest possible act of love and loyalty is rewarded with the greatest possible act of gratitude and appreciation. Kinda makes sense, yes ?

Grasping the concept of how much God trusts and appreciates his son will make this little monograph clear and understandable, and in fact is the whole point.

Trinitarians inadvertently obscure the depth of God's amazingly deep appreciation and grateful nature. Anti-Trinitarinans unintentionally obscure Jesus's greatness, and the depth of God's grateful nature.

{If you're a Trinitarian dealing with an anti-Trinitarian, please remember, this person is trying to honour God. If you're an anti-Trinitarian dealing with a Trinitarian, please remember, this person is trying to honour Jesus. ("Be tenderly compassionate with one another" Eph 4:32, play nice.)

If you honour the Son you honour the Father, if you honour the Father you honour the Son (John 5:23).

The biggest mistake we can make here is imputing bad motives to anyone. No Christian is trying to make God or Jesus look bad, period. Both groups are good people who are trying their best to honour God and Jesus. I've never known God or Jesus to ever get mad at anyone for misunderstanding something or not understanding something. Have you? Well.... honestly have you? The only reason the thoughts in this little monograph are offered is that I think they are interesting, true, and give a more accurate view of the nature and mind of God. Personally, it's caused my love and respect for God to go "off the chart", and I hope it has that effect on you as well. But it's not life or death and quite frankly, I don't think God or Jesus are particularly worried about it.}

Trinitarians may occasionally find themselves struggling  with Scriptures like ......
John 20:17 , John 14:28, 1 Corinthians 11:3, and other similar scriptures.

Anti-Trinitarians  might occasionally find themselves struggling with Scriptures like......
Hebrews 1:3, John 20:28, John 14:9, and other similar scriptures.

This explanation has problems with neither. It's just not what you and I are used to hearing. Neither Trinitarian nor anti-Trinitarian can lose with this explanation. Unless, perhaps, there is a wee bit of a problem with pride ?

Is Jesus lesser than God ? He was.

Is Jesus greater than God? He will be relative to the thousand -year Kingdom event(1Cor 15:28).

Is Jesus equal to God? Short answer: Yes, "with an explanation". Long answer: Yes, and the explanation. Just as in the case of the father who gives all the honours and gifts and family business to the son in our illustration, that's coming up, there will be areas where there are differences. But, when the Scripture says "He is the reflection of his glory and the exact representation of his very being" (Heb 1:3) that sounds pretty close to equal to me. I don't know where you learned to read, but where I learned; that sounds pretty much like "equal". Equal does not mean same, two separate one ounce gold coins of the same minting and vintage are exactly equal, but they are two separate coins.

The feeling here is that if you were to ask God if Jesus is equal to him he would say "Yes", And if you were to ask Jesus if he is equal to God he would say "No". Deep mutual respect.

If you try to comprehend this religiously, that is to say, with the concepts and feelings that are normally associated with religion, I think you will find it impossible or nearly impossible to do so. For in fact, God is not a religious person. He is more of a practical person, strongly emotional, but common sense, reason, and law are never overridden.

Maybe an illustration would be helpful here.

Imagine a good man who owns a large, successful, good, business. The product produced by the business is very good, and he has many happy employees. But only one son, and an only child at that. The product he produces is so good, and his employees are so happy that other people become jealous. With lies and sabotage they attack the owner and employees. The only person who can save the business and his father's reputation is the only son. With great courage and honour the son is successful, he clears his father's name of any blemish, saves the jobs of hundreds of people, only to be murdered by the jealous people. If you were that father how would you feel about your son? What would you have wanted to do for your son? And what would you do if your son came back to life? Gift upon gift, privilege upon privilege, the family business, everything you had. There would be no limit to what that father would give his son.

So that human father shows more appreciation, depth of emotion and trust than God !?! In the real world you know how that father would treat that son. This may come as a surprise, but God lives in the real world too. He made the real world, and he made it based on himself and the principles and emotions that describe and define him. We cannot act on a higher level of emotions and principles than he does. And he cannot act on a lower level of emotions and principles than we do.

You know what he did for his Son when he returned to heaven. And so do I.

So there.

 

Here's a little afterthought to consider:

Satan, in his continual quest to, as Paul said, "blind the eyes" of mankind, Sometimes has to deal with truths that he can't conceal, as in the case of the Bible. What he does in cases such as these is to confuse or distort the perception of what would otherwise be plainly or patently obvious. One of his most clever tricks is to take a truth, split it in two, give one half each to two separate groups And then get the two groups to hate each other. Getting the groups to hate each other is, sadly, the easy part.

In my many travels I have often stopped at different churches to share Bible thoughts. And I have noticed something disconcertingly consistent: Virtually all Christians have a propensity for beating the hell out of each other. If you're not a member of their particular flavour of Christianity be prepared for some abuse. Or at best, some condescension, there are exceptions, but not often. But here's an interesting observation; the more established or more powerful the church, the more likely you are to be shown the door. The few (only) times I've been treated well have been in small non-denominational churches.

All of this is a long way of saying that Satan has little trouble splitting up Bible truths and distributing the fragments amongst mutually antagonistic groups. Namely us, Christians. Each will see the truth of their "piece of the cloth" and as a consequence never see the whole pattern of the entire fabric.

On the night that Jesus died he prayed that his followers would be united, this because he knows our bad inclination, (John 2:25) and that we would tend to not get along. The letters of Paul, Peter, John, James, and Jude show that his wish was not granted, but, if you remember, that same night he also requested that he would not have to drink from "this cup", but he did. The point here is: just because Jesus asked for something, that didn't mean it happened. Everyone wants their children to get along, but if you have children ....  you know how it usually turns out.

This little "divide and conquer" "obscuring technique" of Satan's has been very effective. And perhaps you can see how effectively he's used this little "obscuring technique" in relation to the subject of this monograph.

*The word "all" is an interesting word. Broken down into it's basic elements and reduced to it's etymological roots it means, well, "all". So when Jesus said "I have been given 'all' authority in heaven and on earth".....(John 3:35,  1 Cor 15:27,28  )

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Just a brief thought on Prayer here;

Why are Prayers through Jesus?
When God gave Jesus all authority it included prayer.
But He is a very personal God and still has a deep interest in his creation.
What to do?

I can imagine a conversation in heaven something like this:

God:   Jesus, may I ask you a question?
Jesus: Of course.
God:   I know I gave you All authority in heaven and earth, but there is a favor I'd like to ask of you.
Jesus: Anything Dad.
God:  Would you be so kind as to let me hear the prayers of my servants?
Jesus: Oh, Dad, you don't even have to ask, Yes, of course.
God:   Thank you, and yes I do have to ask, I gave you all authority, and I meant it, but that doesn't mean I can't ask a favor from you. But I'll still respect the authority I gave you over all creation, prayers will always go to you first. Then through you they can come to me.
Jesus: It's ultimately all possible because of you anyway.
God: (sounding suspiciously like a Jewish mother)  Yes, Of course, Yes,Yes, I know,  but you've been such a good Son.

Think about the word 'through', if I go 'through' your house to your backyard, where do I go to first? Your house. And then 'through' your house to your backyard . So all prayers actually go to Jesus first. That's what 'through' means, you can't go through it if you don't go to it.