Imagine you’re challenged about your beliefs in the reality of God’s triunity, you’re not however being questioned by a Muslim, Hindu or atheist, instead you’re being challenged by a Jehovah Witness, Mormon or another member of a minority group who claims that the Bible is their source of authority on God. The Bible is God’s revelation to humanity about Himself, that’s your claim, and that’s their claim too, so, do you feel at an advantage? If you don’t, then you’ve got to get into the Word of God, you’ve got to brush up on your Scripture. You’re in discussion, and your conversation partner looks at you, puzzled, even angry, they flinch at the prospect of Jesus’ divinity with disgust, and describe the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force.
“Jesus even said the Shema,” They begin by explaining, “Hear of Israel, the Lord is ONE. That shows there’s only one God, not three gods, ONE. How could God die, that’s impossible. Don’t you know there’s no trinity mentioned in the Bible?” They continue, reeling off every idea they’ve ever read and comments overheard in the mess of unschooled opinions they have been introduced to in a markedly post Christian culture. Do you reply by correcting their misconceptions about three gods, or by clarifying what the Shema was in reference to, of course that’s an excellent way to begin, however, at some point you’re going to have to move from repairing and defence into offence. You’ve got to make the positive case for the personality of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ divinity and God’s trinity. Are you prepared? Where would you go? Very recently I came across this very same kind of claim online, with which I replied, not by shot gunning, not by giving an overview, but by going into a single claim the writer made. The claim being “God cannot die”, to prove He has died from the Scriptures would do a great deal of help to our conversation partner. Let’s read on.
Hey, Hanover. I’d like to suggest you reread John chapter 1 as a favour to me, one stranger to another. In that chapter the eternal Word, who is in nature and essence God, entered into creation to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin. The eternal Word then had two natures, one human, another divine, one is an imperishable nature, another perishable. God certainly died, in a fashion, that fashion being in the God man Jesus Christ. The Father wasn’t murdered, nor the Word, neither was the Spirit who was crucified, in that sense God didn’t die, God couldn’t, but rather, the Word having became our sacrifice as the son entered His creation to be killed and die on our behalf. I believe, with respect, you’re mistake when you write God didn’t die, because Jesus is God, and Jesus was murdered, after which He rose again, victorious over death and the grave (God died, in a fashion). This is an example of the greatest love in the Word, true humility, even going so far as to lay aside Their divine prerogatives in order to be totally dependant upon the Father, whereby He (Jesus) could rescue mankind. I’d like to also show you how God died according To Christ, and we two should take Jesus’ words very seriously.
For reading Isaiah 44:6 we’re introduced to The First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega: “This is what the LORD says– Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”
So, The Lord Almighty, it is He who is First and Last. During Revelations 1:8 we’re met by a similar description of God: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Therefore The First and Last, Alpha and Omega, He is coming (Revelations 22:7): “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.” And in the same chapter (verse 12): “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
However, who the First and the Last are, that’s further explained by way of verses 16 and 17 in the same chapter: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
Remember chapter 22 verse 12: “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
The Alpha and Omega is described as coming quickly, They are God, the Almighty, and yet, Revelations continues by (Rev 22:20): “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
Jesus wasn’t simply “the son of man”, but also, the Alpha and Omega, the Living One, who was dead, and now, alive for evermore. I truly believe you’re mistaken when you write God didn’t die, not because that’s my preference, but because Jesus Christ taught in direct contradiction to your message (Rev 1:12-18):
“I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstandswas someone like a son of man [Jesus’ most used name for Himself], dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was 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.
In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
I believe this an extremely explicate teaching, Jesus taught He is the First and the Last, just as Isaiah taught, God Almighty, and that He had died. The Trinity is God’s highest revelation to mankind about Himself, and in that, that’s the only way to truly read and understand the Scripture. Thank you for taking the time to read my reply everyone who has.
When you read Scripture in context, not jumping like a frog through books and ripping the word to shreds, the message of the author comes together so perfectly. There’s no mistaking it. Now the question is, are you going to answer the critics too, could you personally be salt and light in your workplace, your home, even on the streets, answering contempt with gentleness and reverence. I believe regular visitors to the blog can.
― T. C. M