Ultimately, taking the time to discover the truth becomes a moral issue. God teaches his child to be concerned with how his or her decisions affect others and to behave in a fair and just manner. Therefore, being certain of the truth will affect your personal behavior and establish the difference between right and wrong. In the long run, being certain of the truth not only affect your life, but the lives of the people your decisions affect.
Truth is verifiable component crucial to our life because it is consistent with the reality of this world and spiritual matters related to Christians. Truth is embedded within facts that agree and imparts the assurance of actuality as opposed to something that is not real or has the potential of being merely possible. Christians have heard the theory that anything can be said once and still be true. While this belief has the potential of being true, there is no certainty or assurance that the statement is consistent with fact.
When properly used the constancy and character of truth offers the ability to properly achieve and stability to oneís life. The knowledge of truth has the power to give you an assurance that whatever you do will be done right. On the other hand, truth is like a double-edged sword that can be used to put you in your place or elevate you to a place of authority.
Sir Isaac Newtonís third law of motion states for every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. Nearly all of us have heard your bad deeds will come back to haunt you and what goes around comes around. The law of motion becomes very important to understand spiritual principles of truth regarding relations with others.
In human relations there is an equal and opposite reaction to what we say and do. Godís word advises these actions,
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6
The common factor in each verse above is that the actions we take produces a spiritual reaction. The spiritual reaction is similar to Newtonís law of motion. Godís word reveals that by controlling our action we can produce a favorable reaction. There are hundreds of promises that guarantee a favorable response from God providing we obey him. When we obey Godís word we meet the conditions that God wants to see. God responds to our actions the way we respond to his. The truth of this principle is to control your actions by doing the good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
How does one correctly handle the word of truth? Learning how to handle the word of truth comes through the experience of faith. Experience and faith work hand in hand just as faith is dead without works. David said this, taste and see that God is good. Psalms 34:8. This requires an action on your part to taste Godís good and precious promises. Tasting requires you to sample a small portion to see whether or not you like it enough to eat more. To taste the truth of Godís word you have to demonstrate the actions God wants to see. Your actions will require a reaction from God and with patience you will see a favorable answer.
You would think that because Godís word is the truth all one would have to do is to study Godís word to learn the truth. Learning the truth is not as easy as one thinks. Godís personal involvement in your study time is very important because he sheds light on his word for you to see. God reveals the truth in bits and pieces throughout the bible in a straightforward manner.
If there were rules to learning the truth the first rule would be to speak to the author of truth before a study session. Ask God to be your teacher during your study time and keep the prayer open while you study. Then ask God questions pertaining to his word that you donít understand. Remember this, expect to receive Godís answer.
If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him. James 1:5
Paul advises the church to
"Do not go beyond what is written." 1 Corinthians 4:6
In other words, keep things in context - do not add substance or explain things away -taking substance from what is written. The Bible was written for a specific purpose in straightforward language. Prudent beings such as God will make every effort to make the purpose for their letters clear to you. Reading between the lines to discover the real intent of ones actions should not be done even for deceptive people you donít trust. On the other hand, adding substance or taking substance from Godís word alters the outcome and purpose God had planned. For example adding one letter turns how into show, One can be turned into bone and can into canít. Notice how the word by adding one letter changes the entire meaning of the word and the paragraph it is in.
Therefore go 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 I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20
The passage above is called the great commission because it contains the orders of Jesus Christ to take the gospel to the world. The content of this command is an operational procedure with steps in making disciples. First evangelize by going and preaching the gospel to bring those who would accept Christ to a point of repentance. Secondly, the first outward sign of a new convert is baptism. The disciples were to baptize the new converts in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Following the baptism the new disciples would need to be strengthened to remain a child of God, therefore they were to be taught to obey everything Christ taught his disciples. Finally there was a promise, the assurance that God would be with you to the end of the age.
"Do not go beyond what is written." 1 Corinthians 4:6
However this passage is a classic example of what can happen when one goes beyond what is written. From the phrase baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit found within Matthewís version of the great commission the doctrine of the trinity has been extrapolated. The doctrine is based on the three names God that is known by and through an assumption these names belong to three persons who are united as one God.
The subject matter of Matthew 28:19-20 is not about the makeup of the divine known as the Godhead, but about carrying out Godís plan to spread the good news of the gospel so that no one perishes. This command is a simple plan of how and what to do to make disciples in the process of recruiting and training men and women for the Kingdom of God.
This foundational basis for the doctrine of the trinity needs to be verified to establish whether or not it is true. In this case the concept of the trinity has a potential to be true but no assurance of actuality. The truth of the matter must be established with corroboration by how the disciples responded to the great commission. God provides a rule of thumb to establish the truth to determine the guilt or innocence of a man accused of a crime.
One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. Deuteronomy 19:15
The purpose of two or more witnesses was to hear related statements and establish facts in agreement. Mark tells us that when Christ was on trial for blasphemy Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. Mark 14:56 and again Yet even then their testimony did not agree. Mark 14:59. When Jesus answered the question are you the Christ? The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked. "You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think? "They all condemned him as worthy of death. Mark 14:63-64. In this case several priest heard what they considered to be blasphemy.
The testimony of two or more witnesses is a biblical principle used to establish the truth for multiple reasons. The testimony of two or more witnesses for discovering facts in agreement related for those accused of a crime. (see Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15) for accusing the elders of the church of wrong doing, (2 Corinthians 13:1, 1 Timothy 5:19) to establish the truth for confronting another person (Matthew 18:16-17) and for the purposes establishing worship in truth and in Spirit and for binding together in prayer. (Matthew 18:18-20)
Two or more witnesses provide the opportunity to hear both sides of the issue so that a fair decision can be reached. Verifying the facts gives you the certainty that you have the actual truth, but as long as the witnesses do not agree the issue will remain in doubt.
Lets consider the statement baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19. We must consider that all of the recorded baptisms within the New Testament were performed in the name of Jesus. Simple logic tells that the zeal of the apostles would have carried out baptism in agreement with Christís command over forty years of ministry. The formula is stated once in the entire bible and is used in our churches today to be in agreement with Matthew 28:19. However, the biblical record demonstrates that the disciples baptized in the name of Jesus.
How do we go about verifying the issue that Matthew 28:19 is talking about a triune God? First, since the issue is in written form, we must consider how you would write about your family in a precise manner. Would you write directions how to drive to your home and expect others to know the names of your family? Since you have to work out your salvation with God you have to decide whether the subject matter of this passage is related to anything more than a process of making disciples in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
God primarily used two words to describe the nature of his being. Moses said, Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God(elohiym), the LORD (Jehovah) is one (united or one). Deuteronomy 6:4. Elohiym is a word that shows God in a plural form without specifying an exact number. God is one meaning united to the point of being one with Jesus Christ. The oneness of God can be seen in the statement of Christ when he said that anyone who has seen me has seen the father. John 14:9 and, I and the Father are one. John 10:30. In the Old Testament The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Genesis 11:6 Again the oneness of God is shown in another statement of Christ.
For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say." John 12:49-50
When God spoke of unity they used the word one to incorporate the thought of being completely united in word and deed. For example God uses the term one to express the Lord our God is one, one accord, one flesh, one Spirit and I and the Father are one. John 10:30.
The night before Jesus was crucified he prayed for those who believed in him with these words.
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: John 17:20-22
Jesus reiterates the oneness of God during his prayer by saying that they may be one as we are one. John 17:22 This statement shows an agreement on the issue of unity with I and the Father are one. John 10:30. At the same time God is talking about the kind of unity that he wants his disciples to achieve. In the passage above Jesus speaks of unity with the father in another way. That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. Which corresponds with, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. John 10:38. The theme of oneness is brought up again in John 14:23 as Christ talks of the day when he comes to live in the heart of men, he says
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23
Most Christians do not know that God the Father lives with in our heart because he lives in Jesus. Jesus said No one comes to the Father except through me John 14:6. Jesus confirms this with saying
But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." John 10:38
Putting a drop of water into a glass of water best illustrates what Jesus meant when he said I am in the father and the father is in me. John 14:10-11. Lets say for example that the drop of water represents Jesus and the Glass of water represents the Father. What happened to the drop of water when it is put into the glass of water? When the two become one you can not distinguish the drop of water from the glass of water. This is a complete unity, the kind of unity God wants to achieve with his children.
After his resurrection Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God where he received the promised Holy Spirit from the Father and poured the Holy Spirit out on the day of Pentecost. See Acts 2:33. This was in fulfillment of what Joel spoke proclaiming God said that in the Last days he would pour out his Spirit on all people including his servants.
"'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. Acts 2:17-18
Keep in mind that Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God where he received the promised Holy Spirit from God the Father. Peter quotes God who said ď I will pour out my SpiritĒ and Paul continues that thought by quoting God in saying,
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them and I will be their God and they will be my people." 2 Corinthians 6:16
God wants a personal relationship with his children, his servants, and his people, thus he puts his spirit in us to guarantee of what is to come.
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
A physical description of the Holy Spirit does not exist, still God describes the Holy Spirit in this manner. Three times Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing what is to come, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, 2 Corinthians 5:5, Ephesians 1:14. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, Ephesians 1:13, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Revelation 9:4 . We were anointed, 2 Corinthians 1:21, 1 John 2:20,27 through the pouring out of the Spirit Acts 2:38, 10:45, and Titus 3:5-6.
A person is characterized by a combination of personality and a physical presence (a body). Therefore if we are going to distinguish God as three persons we must be able to physically describe their physical body separately. With a little research we can come with a physical description of the Father and of the Son.
Ezekiel gave this description of God the Father.
Then there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Ezekiel 1:22-27
John gave this description of God the Son
I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. Revelation 1:12-15
God the father describes the Holy Spirit in this manner.
Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, Acts 2:18
The potential for God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit to exist as a triune God is highly improbable. We must ask who is the father of Jesus Christ? He was concieved through the third person of God, but the first person of God claimed to be the father of Jesus Christ.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:20
And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3:16.
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. John 17:1
There appears to be a difference of opinion of who the father of Jesus Christ is. Gabriel told Joseph that the baby conceived by his espoused wife was from the Holy Spirit. The Father referred to Jesus as his Son and Jesus was quoted as saying that he was the one and only Son of God. Jesus also referred to God as his Father. However, every one of these statements are true. The problem is not in how the statements are recorded, but in how we interpret who God is. Letís attempt to verify God in another way, for God said,
Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:6
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8
The Holy Spirit said nothing about his deity.
When we look back to God, who said he would pour out his Spirit and claimed to be the Father of Jesus Christ, we have to come to one conclusion. The scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit is a Spirit belonging to our Father and that he lives in us by his Spirit. Jesus said this.
Even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." John 10:38
You donít have to believe the comments of thinkgodly on the Holy Spirit because the scriptures speak for themselves. It is task of those who teach to gently bring everyone into the unity of faith. However, following the crowd is not an acceptable way to teach the truth. Being a person of morals requires that you take the time to discover the truth, because what you teach affects the lives of those who learn from you.