“Do YOU believe in the Trinity? Most people in Christendom do. After all, it has been the central doctrine of the churches for centuries. …Why should a subject like this be of any more than passing interest? Because Jesus himself said: ‘Eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ So our entire future hinges on our knowing the true nature of God, and that means getting to the root of the Trinity controversy.” —Should You Believe in the Trinity?, 1989, p. 3
It has often been said that every theological heresy begins with a misconception of the nature of God. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we have a clear and accurate understanding of the nature of God and the identity of Jesus Christ, for Scripture declares:
“But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” —2 Corinthians 11:3-4
“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”—1 Corinthians 3:11
“I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”—John 8:24
At John 8:24, Jesus proclaims the seriousness of not believing He is who He claimed to be. He states: “…unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” The reason the word “He” is italicized in the statement “I am He” is due to the fact that it is not found in the Greek text from which our English translations are derived. Thus, Jesus is literally proclaiming that He is the “I AM” of Exodus 3:14: “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM…Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.’” This is significant when we consider the fact that Scripture also proclaims that we must call on the name of Jesus in order to “wash away” our sins:
“And now why do you delay? ‘Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling upon His name.…to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”—Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 1:2
What does it mean to “call upon the name of Jehovah” (Romans 10:13, NWT)? Every Jehovah’s Witness would testify that when Scripture states that we are to call upon the name of Jehovah, we are addressing our prayers directly to Jehovah God. In the same way, if someone states that he is “calling upon the devil,” he is proclaiming that he is praying to Satan. Thus, when Scripture states that we must “call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” in order to have our sins pardoned, it is literally compelling us to address our prayers directly to Jesus, asking Him to be our Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9).
What brings one into a true relationship with Christ is not just “taking in knowledge” about the Father and Jesus. John 17:3 states, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old And New Testament Words notes that the Greek word translated “know” (ginosko) in this passage “frequently indicates a relation between the person ‘knowing’ and the object known; in this respect, what is ‘known’ is of value or importance to the one who knows, and hence the establishment of the relationship.…such ‘knowledge’ is obtained, not by mere intellectual activity, but by operation of the Holy Spirit consequent upon acceptance of Christ.”1. This is illustrated by the following true story:
One day in 1860, a huge crowd of people gathered to watch the famous tightrope walker, Blondin, cross Niagara Falls. It was a 1,000-foot trip, 160 feet above the raging water. The crowd followed every movement tensely. Step by step he moved forward. The people on the shore reacted nervously to every sharp motion of the balancing pole. But their fears and forebodings were unnecessary; the great Blondin not only went across safely but returned as well—to the great relief and admiration of the people.
Turning to the audience, he now made a sensational offer. He would cross the falls again, this time with someone on his back! Who was willing to go? No one rushed forward to accept the offer. Picking out a man at random, Blondin asked, “Do you believe that I am able to carry you across?” “Yes, sir,” came the unhesitating reply. “Well, then, let’s go,” Blondin urged. “Not on your life!”—and the man withdrew into the crowd.
And so it went. One after another expressed great confidence in the tightrope walker, but they would not agree to let him take them across. Finally a young fellow moved toward the front of the crowd. Blondin repeated his question: “Do you believe I can carry you across safely?” “Yes, I do.” “Are you willing to let me?” “As a matter of fact, I am.”
The young man climbed onto the expert’s back. Blondin stepped onto the rope, paused momentarily, then moved across the falls without difficulty. There were many in the crowd who believed that Blondin could do it. But there was only one who was willing to trust him to do it.
It is one thing to believe a number of facts about a person; it is quite another thing to trust yourself to that person. For instance, there are many who believe the basic facts about the Lord Jesus Christ: He is the eternal Son of God, lived a perfect, sinless life, paid the price not only for Adamic sin, but for all of our own personal sins (1 Peter 2:24), resurrected and returned to Heaven. Many believe that Jesus offers us the “free gift” of eternal life (Romans 6:23), and that He offers us His perfection in exchange for our sins (Colossians 3:3), yet they have never gone directly to Jesus and asked Him for His righteousness (Acts 22:16). Many believe Jesus can save them, but they do not let Him do it. Every person needs to come to the place where he is willing to “lay on the back of Jesus” and let Jesus carry him across the cavern of sin into the presence of the Father, being clothed in Christ’s righteousness alone.
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, Satan!’…Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. And he spoke and said to those who were standing before him saying, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ Again he said to him, ‘See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.’ ”—Zechariah 3:1-4
Belief in facts about the Father and Jesus and regular attendance at meetings and field service2. does not bring a person into a proper relationship with Jehovah God anymore than being in a garage makes a person an automobile. To come into a proper relationship with Christ, one must first acknowledge that he is under a double condemnation of death not only due to Adamic sin, but due to all his own personal sins and that there is nothing he can do to earn Jehovah God’s eternal life (Ephesians 2:8-9), for “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” in Jehovah’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). Then, he must transfer his trust to Christ.
Just like the man who crossed the rope with Blondin had to lay his full weight on Blondin’s back and let him carry him across, we must place our full trust in Christ alone. If the man who crossed the rope with Blondin insisted on “doing his part” by walking behind Blondin instead of letting Blondin carry him, he surely would have fallen.
In the same way, we must trust Christ alone or we will “fall from grace” (Galatians 5:4), for we “stumble in many ways” (James 3:2). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Only the people who have gone directly to Jesus, asking Him to impart to them His righteousness in exchange for their sins (Hebrews 10:10, 14) are the ones who have transferred their complete trust to Him and as a result have come into a personal relationship with Christ. It is my prayer that as you read this book, you will not only grow in your knowledge of God, but that your relationship with Christ will deepen as a result of a greater understanding of “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
This book is written to provide a detailed Biblical and scholarly response to the Watchtower Society’s arguments against the Trinity set forth in their brochure, Should You Believe in the Trinity? As the chapters of this book correspond with the major sections in the Society’s brochure, what follows is a page-by-page analysis of the Society’s claims along with supporting documentation that demonstrate the Society’s deceptive misrepresentation of many facts concerning the doctrine of the Trinity.
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