Is Either Believing or Rejecting the Trinity a Sin?

I recently wrote a message about different ways that verses from the Bible are used, and misused, to prove one’s beliefs. I mentioned the belief in the Trinity as one of those “hot” topics where the same verses can be used to justify either side. When reviewing some of the comments I received, I began to wonder if either belief in or rejection of the Trinity is a sin.

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Before we begin, let me state that I personally, having been raised (and still am) Jewish, do not believe in the Trinity. I believe God is a separate, unique spiritual entity and that the Messiah (Yeshua), although 100% filled with the Holy Spirit, was born as a 100% mortal human and remained that way throughout his lifetime. As for the Holy Spirit …well, I am not really sure how to explain the Ruach HaKodesh, but it is not God and it is not Yeshua.

That being said, I do not deny anyone their right to believe in the traditional Christian teaching of the Trinity, meaning that God, the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit are the same entity, one being in three different forms.

Considering that these beliefs seem to be polar opposites of each other, it would seem that either side would consider the other side as being in sin. The Non-Trins say that the Trins are making Messiah into an idol and thereby violating the 2nd commandment about worshiping other gods. The Trins say that the non-Trins are rejecting the Messiah’s deity and thereby rejecting him. In my opinion, there will never be absolute proof of either of these beliefs until such time as we face God and Yeshua, who will then tell us the truth.

The funny thing about that is when we finally get the definitive answer, it will be too late to make any difference.

Here is what I believe regarding the sinfulness of believing either side: neither side will be in sin so long as we respect and observe the position of each entity with regards to God’s plan of salvation. What that means is this: God is the only one who will forgive our sins; Yeshua is the Messiah, our Cohen HaGadol (High Priest) and our Intercessor, through whom we and our prayers are justified in God’s sight; and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is a comforting spirit which God gives to those who accept Yeshua as their Messiah and who helps us to better understand God’s word and guide us in the path of righteousness.

If I believe Yeshua is God in the flesh, but I do not pray to him or ask him for forgiveness, then what if he really isn’t God? If I still pray only to God and ask God for forgiveness, then I have not worshiped Yeshua as God. If I believe he is God, but I worship and pray to God, the Father, then I have not placed Yeshua in a position where he is idolized, and I have not violated the 2nd Commandment.

On the other side, if I do not believe Yeshua is God but he really is, again- so long as I worship God the Father, then I am following Yeshua’s lead because he prayed to God and he talked about God as something other than himself. Even in the Gospel of John where he often refers to himself and God as one, he is not saying they are the same entity; in John 12:49 he tells us that he only says what the Father tells him to say and only does what the Father tells him to do, so when he said that when we see him we see God he is talking metaphorically. He is saying he is the image of God. He is not God’s puppet, without his own thoughts or feelings, but his teachings are directly from God and his works are directly from God. Jews would understand this relationship because a traditional Jewish thought is that the Torah is a mirror and when we look into the Torah we should see ourselves. That is what Yeshua was saying about himself- he is the mirror image of God.

So the bottom line is this: believing in the Trinity, or not believing in the Trinity, is not sinful in and of itself. I believe there is nothing sinful if we do these two things:

  1. Worship God alone and respect his position as the Father;
  2. Accept Yeshua as our Messiah, looking to him to intercede with God the Father and when we pray for forgiveness or for other things, we pray to God in the name of Yeshua: Yeshua is to be the Intercessor of our prayers, not the Interceptor of them.

If we do anything else, such as praying to Yeshua for forgiveness, praying to a saint to intercede with God, or praying to anyone other then God, himself, then we have committed a sin. Praying to anyone or anything other than God the Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is idolatry and a sin.

I believe you can trust in this: pray only to God, ask only of God in the name of the Messiah, and whether you believe them to be the same personage or not, you will not be sinning.

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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!!

Let’s Talk Trinity

Get your fishing rod because I am about to open a can of worms. Hopefully I can do this without insulting or degrading anyone’s beliefs, which may or may not agree with mine.

Since this is my blog, I get to say what I want. Please do not hesitate to comment if you feel there is something you want to add- the comment field is below the blog entry, so just scroll on down and write away! Be aware that I am not going to confirm what I believe with verses from the bible as you can look them all up on your own. I am not doing this because I am lazy, but as a means to force you, the reader, to confirm what I say for yourself. One of the reasons so many people have so many wrong ideas is because they are too lazy to confirm what they are told by looking it up in the bible. This is what Yeshua called the blind leading the blind, and He tells us what happens to them: they both fall into a hole.

Ready? OK, then, here we go…

I believe that Yeshua was originally eternal and divine, equatable to, if not actually the same entity, as God the Father (hereafter to be referred to simply as God.) I am not sure if there was a Trinity before human existence, and after humans were created and living on the earth I believe Yeshua did visit the earth and interact with humans, but as a divine being in human form. I also believe that God would occasionally send His spirit (as a form of supernatural empowering) to humans as it fit His purposes, but that Spirit was not indwelling- power by the Spirit was given to the person, and when the action God wanted was completed, He took His spirit back again.

Once God decided it was time for Yeshua to go to earth and perform His duty as Messiah, in order that Yeshua be subject to temptation, illness, all the weaknesses of human nature, and be able to die, Yeshua had to voluntarily strip off His divinity so that He could take on a mantle of flesh. Consequently, He was born 100% human to a human woman, and lived a totally human existence except for the fact that being fathered by God’s Holy Spirit, Yeshua was born without the stain of Original Sin upon Him. Other than that, He was a human being. His power and authority was not of His own, but that which was given to Him by God through the Holy Spirit. He confirms this often enough throughout the Gospels, telling us that He does only what God tells Him to do, and says only what God tells Him to say. He also said that those following Him would perform the same, and even greater miracles, which leaves us with the question how can humans do more than God? As such, Yeshua on earth was a mirror image of God in the flesh. When Yeshua said He and the Father are one, He meant that being an exact human representation of God’s actions and thoughts, they were essentially the same. Not the exact same; since Yeshua did and said only what God told Him to do and say, He was the prefect representation of God in the flesh, but He was not God, Himself.

Yeshua, being totally human, allows Himself to be killed. When He was dead, he had no ability to do anything. God resurrected Him, in the same body that He died with. We know this because we read in the Gospel of John that Thomas put his hand in the hole in Yeshua’s chest and his fingers through the holes in Yeshua’s feet and hands. A new, resurrected body wouldn’t come with holes in it, would it?  Therefore, Yeshua is still in a physical form, but having been resurrected by God He is again eternal, but still separate.

Every letter Shaul writes to the Messianic Communities he founded starts with greetings from God and the Messiah, Yeshua. From God, and the son, the Messiah, Yeshua- Shaul knew that God and Yeshua were separate and different entities. In the Gospels, as I mentioned above, Yeshua told us He and the Father are One because Yeshua is doing and saying only that which God tells Him to do and say. The book of Hebrews also identifies Yeshua as a totally separate entity from God. Acts tells us when Stephen was just about to die, he saw Yeshua sitting at the right hand of God; at His trial Yeshua told the Cohen Gadol that He would be sitting at the right hand of God. We have heard that someone may be so angry that they are said to be “beside themselves”, but that doesn’t really happen, so if Yeshua, the Apostles, Stephen, and all the other writers of the B’rit Chadasha ( New Covenant) state that Yeshua is a separate entity from God, and they refer to the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) in the same manner, then from the point of Yeshua’s birth up to the present day, Yeshua is eternal, but not totally divine because He is still acting as Cohen Gadol for all humanity; He is sitting at the right hand of God but He is not God.  He cannot be God: if He is God then there is no High Priest, if he is God then He is not a Cohen Gadol to be compared with Melchizedek. That would mean the Messianic prophecies about Him are untrue, or that He isn’t really the Messiah God promised in the Tanakh.

But, He IS the Messiah God promised in the Tanakh, and He IS a Cohen Gadol to be compared with Melchizedek, and He IS our Intercessor who sits at the right hand of God. He is not to be worshiped in lieu of God, although He is our Lord (meaning that He has authority over us- Yeshua is our Lord, but not the LORD) and as such He is worthy of worship on His own merits. He is the one who carries our prayers to God, but He is not the one we should be praying to. Yeshua told us that in order to receive from prayer we needed to pray IN HIS NAME- that doesn’t mean pray to Yeshua, it means pray to God while invoking Yeshua’s name as the authority by which we present our prayer. We could say that His name serves to confirm our prayer, His name grants us access to the Holy of Holies, and that His name (as Shaul says) gives us the authority to march right up to the throne of God and present our petition directly to Him.

Lastly, Yeshua will return to earth as the conquering King; He will rule the entire earth until the Adversary is released and the final battle is completed. Then, and only then, will things change. The Torah will be written on our hearts, there will be a new earth and a new Jerusalem, where spirit and physical form are on the same plane of existence, and then…well, who knows? Will Yeshua then leave the right hand of God and be reabsorbed (for lack of a better word) into the Father? Will the Holy Spirit also disappear as a separate entity? Will the Trinity that has to exist at this time for God’s plan to be fulfilled no longer be needed once that plan is complete?

I don’t know, and I don’t believe anyone can be absolutely positive about what will happen once everything we know will happen has happened.

I will finish with this: maybe Yeshua is God, maybe He is not God, and maybe He is something totally different. Maybe the Holy Spirit is in the same boat. I am humble enough to confess that I really don’t know: for those that I hear tell me they are absolutely sure, well, maybe they need more humility or maybe God has singled them out with this knowledge. Generally, what I hear from people who want to express their belief as absolutely correct is that they have “received this knowledge from the Ruach HaKodesh.”  Maybe they have been blessed to have God grant them this special knowledge, maybe they are just saying that so we have to believe them. For me, it doesn’t matter.

The one thing I feel confident we all can agree on is this: as long as we accept Yeshua as our Messiah, constantly repent of our sins and ask forgiveness through the sacrificial death of Yeshua, and trusting in God faithfully try to be what He said He wants us to be, then this whole Trinity “thing” won’t matter as far as our salvation is concerned. Our salvation comes through confessing our sins before God and faithfully believing Yeshua is the Messiah whose sacrificial death enables us to receive forgiveness of sin. Our salvation is not based on whether Yeshua is God or is separate from God; salvation is based on faithfully believing Yeshua did exist, He did sacrifice His life, He did rise from the dead and He is still working on our behalf to help us be cleansed of our sins so we can be resurrected through Him and live eternal lives in God’s presence.

What we all should do is stay focused on what affects our salvation, and not let impotent discussion pull us off-course from that destination.