Summary: Study 8 - Are you willing to struggle with the real meat of Christian teaching?
"God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit". It`s a strange formula, and one which many Christians prefer to accept on trust rather than struggle with it to see how it could possibly be like that. The Jehovah`s Witnesses say it has no foundation in Scripture, and is, in fact, of demonic origin! They are blind to the fact that the Trinity is to be seen from the very first verses of the Bible, right through to the last. Still, they say it is illogical, and they dismiss it as untrue.
Now, I have to admit that it IS a subject to be struggled with, and I thank God that those early Christians did struggle with it. There is excitement in struggling with the great truths of the Bible - that`s how you experience the fulfilment of the promises of God in your life. It is baby Christians who eat pre-digested food rather than chewing strong meat over and over so that they might grow in strength.
Those early Christians struggled. They struggled with the fact that GOD IS ONE. Maybe you don`t have a struggle believing that God is One - that`s because you`ve grown up believing that He is. But, in the old days, when men worshipped trees as gods. and many other things as gods as well, there was a god in the storm and a god in the hills, a god for women and a god for men, and woe betide you if you didn`t pray to one of them! How afraid they were, those early ancestors of ours. They couldn`t work out how to pray. What happened, for instance if you prayed to the sun god and forgot the god of rain. He (it) might just pour down on you when you least wanted it, ruining your crops. So you made an altar to the sun god, and one to the rain god, and you had an altar "TO THE UNKNOWN GOD", just in case there was one you had forgotten!
Then a race sprang up which said, "Hear, O Israel. The Lord our God is ONE Lord". "There is no other", and a milestone had been reached in human history. Now mankind could stop worshipping gods who had control over a small proportion of your life, and worship the One, True God, who controlled EVERYTHING.
But why didn`t it stop there? Why didn`t Christianity leave it as simple as that? Why didn`t Christians leave the Doctrine of One God where the Jews had taken it to? Why complicate things and start talking about "Three in One, and One in Three?" The answer is that God wouldn`t let us stay there. He burst into human history on two tremendous occasions so that men began to see that you couldn`t simply say that God is One and leave it there - you had, first of all, to explain Jesus.
When people saw Jesus they asked the question all of us have been asking ever since: "WHO IS HE? WHAT IS HE?". They scratched their heads and said, "He`s a man all right, we can see that. In fact He`s an extraordinary men. What kind of a man is this that even the winds and waves obey Him?". And His ENEMIES began to see the truth before His friends did - that`s why they accused Him of blasphemy. They refused to accept the truth that was staring them in the faith, so they killed Him. But then His Disciples saw Him again, and they came to a remarkable conclusion, that somehow God was in Jesus, even when He hung on the Cross - not the Father Almighty, because Jesus spoke about God and prayed to God,. Moreover Jesus was tempted and God cannot be tempted. And Jesus died, and God cannot die! What were they to say about Him?
Was He a second God, a sort of lesser god? Was He one of the angels, or an intermediary? And, if you look at the New Testament you will see something that Jehovah`s Witnesses are blind to, that they systematically dismissed ALL these possibilities (which are among the things that the Jehovah`s Witnesses teach about Him!). John denied that He was a second god, a lesser god (See Study 7). Likewise the Epistle to the Hebrews was written to reject the possibility that He was an angelic power, "For unto which of the angels did God say at any time, "You are My Son. Today I have begotten you", and that completely demolishes the J.W. teaching that Jesus was the Archangel Michael before He came to earth - for what is an archangel but one of the chief angels!). John also dismisses the idea of Jesus as an intermediary, though he accepts Him as a Mediator (One who can adequately represent both sides, because His status is completely true to both sides), which is a different thing altogether. So who WAS Jesus. WHAT was Jesus?