Back in 1992 I had a Jehovah’s Witness come to my door with an offsider, as they do.
Being frequently in and out of employment at the time, I had the time to spend in much prayer and much study.
Instead of spraying him with a hose pipe as many find themselves doing (do people really do that?), I invited him in.
We had a conversation for 2 hours and I discovered that I possessed more enthusiasm for my faith than knowledge.
Not a problem for me but certainly one for him, cause I did not have answers.
The key lacking in my knowledge was in the issue of the Trinity.
I had taken things for granted and settled upon what I considered safe ground without testing it.
I had heard a Christian comedian of all things and had taken his explanation as a good argument, what a joke, (pun intended).
This Christian Comedian stated that the Trinity was like a cherry pie (um where in the Bible is God a cherry pie?).
Cutting it into three pieces represents the Trinity, and when you cut it the pie filling runs into itself and is one.
Well you can see it coming now can’t you.
The Jehovah’s Witness smashed that foolish idea stating “What if I cut into 8 pieces?”
My head dropped and trying to regroup I came back with blithering nonsense talking about the attributes of God representing 8 pieces.
I admitted to him, “Ahh that doesn’t work does it.”
We agreed to meet in a couple of months.
In the meantime I studied harder and read much. Understanding Jehovah’s Witness false prophecies.
Understanding why John 1:1 is not “a god” but “God” “ho theos” and so on.
Specifically understanding the Trinity in scripture through the Old and New Testament.
Great, much better shape than last time.
We met again for a second time and this time the encounter endured for 4 hours where a stalemate was reached.
(Notice the language I am putting this in. I was dealing with a soul, but taking on an argument. This is a key point later, one I did not get till afterwards.)
Well, we again agreed to meet in a couple of months and this time at his place.
This time I thought about what I was missing and like a bolt from the blue I was hit with the realisation that I might have studied hard but I did not pray.
This time I took a reverse tack, instead of studying intensely, I kept it on simmer and prayed, seeking God for answers. This produced results contrary to academic expectations.
The first answer came in making me realise that if I wanted to make the argument for the Trinity stick it had to be rooted in scripture and that scripture would require clear connection to the concept of 3 and yet 1.
Where would I even start looking to find that, if it even existed.
Well, faith told me it had to else something was wrong with the teaching in which case there was nothing to fear by seeking truth.
Casually reading a very thin book I encountered the idea that the Bible spoke about the fullness of God and that fullness was a matter of volume and volume was represented as
1 x 1 x 1 = 1 which contradicted the claim that Christians believed in 3 gods 1+1+1=3.
What was needed though was a tether, it couldn’t just float in the ethereal realm. It sounded nice but it needed grounding in something clear in scripture.
It was within a matter of days that I found the mathematical equation in scripture that was undeniable proof.
In tow with this nuclear warhead as I see it now, I walked into a 6 hour discussion with what I discovered was a Jehovah’s Witness Elder with a complete library at his disposal.
I was actually not daunted but encouraged by this because I could use his books to show the false prophecies in the Watchtower and Awake publications along with others.
The discussion was amicable and educational but discussing for 5 and a half hours the Jehovah’s Witness Elder said we have been going at this for over 5 hours and we might have to agree to disagree.
I said “One more thing.”
He said “I don’t know if there is any point.”
I told him “God had revealed it to me in prayer and I had been leaving it till now.”
He graciously allowed this last point.
Away went fat man and little boy.
Here is the understanding of the Trinity that I explained.
Trinity in Scripture
The first port of call in this discussion we had was where in scripture you find the word Trinity.
Well like many words used to explain something, it is not always found as described by mere mortals.
Instead it is taught but not given a name per se.
So let’s examine a few of these passages from where the teaching of the Trinity is obtained.
First let’s see Genesis
“26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
“6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.”
Also the title “God” in Hebrew is “elohim” which is seen frequently in the Old Testament referring to both God and gods.
That is because the word is both singular and plural.
“32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
The writer of Acts is referring to Psalms 110:1
“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
The scriptures are replete with references to the unity of the Godhead.
As Rev. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee writes in his paper “God Triune in the Holy Bible”
“The Triune God as such, should be seen to be reflected in all the various tri-uni-ties within God’s ‘tri-uni-verse.’ Such created trinities would include: past-present-future (within time); the two-heavens-and-the-one-earth (within Genesis 1:1’s primordial tri-uni-verse); length-breadth height(within dimensions); the triadic chord (within music); blue-yellow-red (within the primary colours); father-mother-child (within families); Preachers-Elders-Deacons (within churches); State-Church-Society (in sociology); Legislatures-Administrations-Judiciaries (within civic governments); Cities-States-Federations (within lands); and body-soul-spirit (within each human). Note that the latter presupposes neither tri-chotom-y nor di-chotom-y, but precisely an a-chotom-ous tri-unity! Indeed, “’ashreey ” or triunely “blessed is the man” of God in Psalm 1:1f.
As the Trinitarian King Solomon exclaimed in Proverbs 22:20, “Have I not written to you excellent things in counsels and knowledge?” These English words “excellent things” translate the original Hebrew shalishoom (meaning “thrice” or “in a threefold way”).”
But lets get to the point of this blog today.
Explanation of the Trinity as a Mathematical Equation
The original problem with the explanation of the Trinity as a Cherry Pie was that
1. There was no basis or foundation, grounding upon the Bible to which to tether the explanation
2. There was no tether to connecting the fact that God is One and yet Three.
It was these two factors that were required to make a water tight presentation.
The truth is that I did not doubt that it would not be found since I believed God has explained far more than we can currently comprehend in His Word.
To discover what is there you need to be asking questions that allow you to see the answers. Thus you need to know the right answer before asking the right question.
The Occult would call this intuition, the Word of God calls it revelation.
One comes from within, the other from the outside. They are not two different ways of describing the same thing.
One comes from the heart of man, the vain imaging’s of the sinful man, the other comes from a Holy Magnificent unfathomable God who only reveals himself out of His own good pleasure to whosoever He wills.
What was discovered is the following.
If we look at Colossians 2:6-10 we read
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 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. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”
It was quite apt that the prior verse was regarding the vain philosophy of man which comes from man pulling from out of himself ideas and imaginings regarding the world and the universe and even God. A seeker after God must lay his opinions at the foot of God’s throne if they are to learn anything.
This was God’s revealed Word upon which we find these facts stand or fall and from no where else.
Verse 9 makes the great opening to this understanding being sought.
There is a clear clarion call in just this verse that Jesus was God but the key here is the word “fulness”.
plh,rwma pleroma ( a word worth exploring as God’s back hand against the vain pagan Gnostic idea and philosophy of Sophia and the divine spark and creation, but that for another time.)
This word from the root plh,rhj pleres Meaning:
1) full, i.e. filled up (as opposed to empty) 1a) of hollow vessels 1b) of a surface, covered in every part 1c) of the soul, thoroughly permeated with 2) full, i.e. complete 2a) lacking nothing, perfect.
The Louw Nida Lexicon says
“… a quantity which fills a space…”
Google’s dictionary meaning is
– the state of being filled to capacity.
– the state of having eaten enough or more than enough and feeling full up.
– the state of being complete or whole.”
And provides these synonyms which I found quite apt (remembering this I have included as merely supportive information since back in 1992 there was no real usable internet.)
completeness, comprehensiveness, thoroughness, exhaustiveness, all-inclusiveness, extensiveness, length, depth
So Fulness can be contextually in respect to either Area or Volume (especially in the context like a vessel or container which holds a substance or various sorts, a full cup is a cup whose volume is used to its capacity. It is Full.
Christ was Full of the Godhead.
Now let me refresh any who have forgotten some basic concepts in Maths.
A perimeter is the outside of a shape.
Height + Breadth + Height + Breadth = Perimeter
(Another word for breadth is width)
An area is the size of a surface like a square, rectangle etc.
This is calculated as Height x Breadth = Area
The amount of 3-dimensional space an object occupies. Capacity.
To Calculate a Volume we use the formula
Height x Breadth x Depth = Volume
Of course Height has length, Breadth has Length and Depth has Length.
Length is the measurement or extent of something from end to end; the greater of two or the greatest of three dimensions of an object.
How far from end to end. Or from one point to another. http://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/length.html
It is thus upon reflection we find this equation right in scripture itself of which we are told we can indeed comprehend.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
One may be misled by the mention of four terms in verse 18, but remember length is what breadth, depth and height possess.
So by the process of simple substitution we attain :
Height x Breadth x Depth = Volume
Father x Son x Spirit = Fulness / Volume
1 x 1 x 1 = 1
Then substituting length for God since it is the Father Son and Holy Spirit which possess God just as breadth, depth and height possess length.
Here we find Father Son and Spirit is God. Every aspect of the persons is the Godhead.
But as scripture states
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD”
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
“Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.”
The statement that God is One Lord is part of what is called the Shema.
Of course I do not wish to give the impression or concern that I have put God in a box or I am relating this in some way to the occult. Not in the slightest.
I completely understand anyone’s concerns regarding this. For example:
I am not imitating or intimating those above occult geometric shapes.
So consider it like this as an eternal cube. In fact any shape that allows you to convey volume works. I chose a cube purely for ease of drawing.
As the Lord Jesus Christ stated to the Pharisees with their evident response.
“I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”
The Jews clearly understood what Jesus was saying. Jesus was claiming to be God.
The Heart Wrenching Response
Unfortunately in the zeal of my youth, my pursuit of winning the argument was seen as one and the same thing as winning the soul.
This was not of course the reality.
Having shown this Jehovah’s Witness elder’s response, his response did leave me stunned and saddened by the fear this man must have been living under.
His wife was in their bedroom praying during the time we were talking. Utter dedication.
His entire family, employment, friends and social circle was embedded in this organisations structure. It was like asking him to jump off a cliff with no protection.
It thus explains his frightful comment
“I can’t believe it. I mustn’t believe that.”
The point was proven. That was a given. It was the lack of readying the soul for the kicking out of the crutches.
I had done no preparing him for the abyss that lay before him.
I had fought the wrong battle.
None the less God can work in his heart by His Spirit with the question now planted in his heart.
Hopefully this short piece answers some questions you may have regarding the Trinity.
This in no way even scratches the subject on this, but was merely an exhortation on the nature of God revealed in His Word and in Nature.
Be encouraged to do the words of 2 Timothy 2:15
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”