THREE That Bear Record? (Mat 28:19 and 1 John 5:7)
Know my Heart
Before we begin, I would like to share the intent of my heart, the purpose of this hub. You may sense pain, grieving, pleading and a heart of prayer for all who read. I think of Psalm 98:9, which states, “He will judge the world”. The word ‘judge’ is ‘shaphat’ (avenge). The word ‘world’ is ‘tevel’ (confusion). I pray He will use me for this purpose, to bring clarity to His Divinity and identity to His flock!
If you begin reading and feel offended, it is not my intent. I pray you will read to the end and let the Lord confirm His truth to you, for He does this when we call upon Him, for He is the Spirit of Truth. Amen.
Did you KNOW?
Have you read 1 John 5:7-8? This is what it says in the NAS, “For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”
Yet, if you read the same verses in the KJV we get a lot more: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” Check out the actual Greek wording here. Notice the footnote states, "(not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century)"
WHY IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
I looked this up and found there historical question amongst biblical scholars as to the authenticity of this specific passage of scripture. You can read about it on Wikipedia. Truly, the words “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth” were NOT in any Greek manuscript prior to the late 15th century! This is why this 'insertion' has a name: The Joahnnine Comma or the Comma Johannium.
Furthermore, Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” didn’t originally contain the bolded text, but stated, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations in My name”! It didn't even include baptism! What’s the clue? Even if one were to read this text in the KJV, notice the word 'name' is indeed singular. Considering Mat 28:19 was a direct command of Jesus Christ before His ascension, do you see the Apostles carrying out this command of utilizing "the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" ANYWHERE in the Bible? No. Rather, they baptized "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 2:38; 10:48; 19:5). The inserted text was added later!!
"The Baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son and Holy Spirit by the Catholic Church in the 2nd century (The Catholic Encyclopedia, 2, pg 263)"
It’s insertions like these that have fostered abounding error in the doctrine of God: is He One LORD, as the first Commandment states or is He really three ~ maybe two? Even well-versed Christians KNOW the word 'Trinity' is NOT found in the Bible anywhere...thus, the concept of our eternal LORD God has become highly thwarted. Even Messianic Jews, the “firstborn of God”*, do not believe in a trinity.
1 Tim 3:16 is truth: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
The LORD our God is One LORD
If you haven’t read the hub, “Let Me Tell You WHO GOD IS!”, I recommend it, as I can summarize it here, but the inductive study results give you a very clear picture of who God is. He is not three separate entities. I was raised with the ‘trinity’ doctrine, and yet God truly revealed Himself to me as ONE LORD. Okay, so the word ‘one’ is tricky. I will attempt to summarize this as well, but it is more inductively explained in my hub “GOD: Let Us Make Man In Our Image?”
The Bible states that God is spirit (John 4:24). The word ‘spirit’ in this verse is the Greek word ‘pneuma’, which is the same as the Hebrew word ‘ruach’. The Bible states God is holy. God is the Holy Spirit. Of the multitude of scriptures that confirm this fact, just look at Isa 6:3 and Rev 4:8. We know God created man, right? Check out Job 33:4: "The Spirit [ruach] of God [El] has made me, And the breath [neshamah] of the Almighty gives me life."
Did not the Spirit of God overshadow Mary to beget the Son of God? Did you catch that? If the Holy Spirit were a third person of a 'trinity', and separate from the Father, God would not be the Father of the Son, but the Holy Spirit would be. We are all familiar with the passages that state clearly that Jesus is the Father. Read Isa 9:6, Mat 1:23 and John 14:8-9. Likewise, for an inductive study on the identity of Jesus Christ, I have a hub called “Who Do You Say That I AM?”
Father, Word, Holy Ghost
Whether or not 1 John 5:7 (KJV) should or shouldn’t be in the Bible, let’s observe it in a Biblical context: “three that bear record in heaven”. In my hub, "Let Me Tell You WHO GOD IS!" we can really see the order in which God revealed Himself to mankind. God, the Holy Spirit, manifested Himself to all the fathers of faith, right up to Israel (Jews) in Spirit. He also revealed Himself in the flesh to Abraham (Gen 18) and even Jacob (Gen 32:28-30). Believe it or not, this was His Christ, Yeshua (Jesus), the image of the invisible God! (Col 1:15).
Some think the ‘Trinity’ visited Abraham, but the two men that were with the LORD went on to Sodom and Gomorrah to rescue Lot (v. 22; 19:1), while the LORD stayed behind. Those two men were angels! God showed Himself as clouds by day and fire by night to Israel. He called Israel His firstborn son (*Ex 4:22) and thus He was and is Her Father, for out of Her, He would be born! The Prophets (i.e. Isaiah) wrote of the coming Son, that His name would be called Mighty God and everlasting Father! Well, I'm calling Him by that name; are you?
Thus, we get to John 1:1 “The Word was with [pros - to] God [theon - object] and God [Theos - subject]” was the Word" (Θεος ην ο λογος) and 1:14 “And the Word became flesh”. This is the second way God revealed Himself to Man. In my hub, God: Let Us Make Man in Our Image? it is revealed that the Greek word for "with" God is "pros", meaning "to" God, not "par", meaning "beside" God. He was born out of Israel, and indeed said to the Jews in John 10:34-35, "Has it not been written in your Law, 'I said, you are gods [elohim/theos]'? [cross-reference with Ps 82:6]. If he called them gods, to [pros] whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?” Now, this is tricky; it sounds like Jesus just said He is the Son of elohim (Israel). The Word was certainly 'to elohim (God)', with this understanding. Truly, Jesus was the Son of God, but not in a ‘trinity’ manner. He was the image (tselem/eikon - spiritual nature) and form (morphe) of the invisible God (Col 1:15), and was made in the likeness (homoioma) of man, taking the form (morphe) of a bond-servant (Phil 2:7). Therefore, He also referred to Himself as the Son of Man.
Why did the LORD not just appear on earth in the flesh as He did in the Old Testament? Because heavenly bodies do not shed blood (1 Cor 15:50). He had to be born of the flesh in order to die on the cross for our sins. Acts 20:28 tells us that God purcahsed the Church with His OWN BLOOD. God Himself said in Isa 43:11; 45:21 and Hos 13:4 "There is no Savior besides Me."
Notice what Jesus told His disciples, after His resurrection, in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans [an orphan is one whose parent has died]; I will come to you.” In this passage, Jesus let them know the Holy Spirit would come soon to indwell them, which happened on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Do you doubt that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of God? Consider Rom 8:9, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” What, do we have two or three spirits living within us? How do you explain 1 Peter 1:11? “seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them [the Prophets of old] was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.”
We do need to address Jesus stating, "I will send you 'another' Comforter" (John 14:16), as some seem to think this means a 'different' entity. What is the Greek word used in this passage? It is 'allos', meaning 'more of the same'; while the Greek word for 'another' as in 'different' is G2087 'heteros'. Check out Mark 16:12 "After that [His resurrection] He appeared in another [heteros] form [morphe] unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country." They had walked, talked and eaten with Jesus (prior to His death), yet now did not recognize Him! After His ascension, when Jesus later appeared to Saul, He was invisible (Acts 22). Yes, God is invisible (1 Tim 1:15).
Spirit, Water and Blood
Now, let’s correlate the “three that bear record in heaven” with the “three that bear witness in earth”.
We saw that God was first manifested to Man in Spirit.
We saw that God was then manifested to Man in the flesh. The only begotten [physically born] Son was born of water (the womb). While doctrines wish to align this with water baptism, this is NOT what this passage is talking about in the context of John 3. Truly, we must first be born of water (the womb; the flesh) to be "born again" of the Spirit (by His blood).
We saw that God’s purpose for being born of a woman was to shed His blood on the cross, for the remission of sins. The Spirit (God), Water (born) and Blood (died) - the gospel in a verse!
Thus, we go back to square one, but with a greater result. Jesus is once again Spirit, the Holy Spirit that indwells every believer that comes to Him by faith. As it was in the beginning, even at the time of Abraham, the people of God were saved by faith. If you read Hebrews 11, you will not see the Law of Moses mentioned once. Why? This is the FAITH chapter and the Law is not of faith! (Gal 3:12) The Law was later added because of the transgressions of Israel (Gal 3:19), and was then nailed to the cross (Col 2:14) ~ taking us back to the original Covenant of salvation by grace through faith because of the blood!
CONFESSION of FAITH
What is the confession of faith that saves us? Let’s read Rom 10:9: “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord [Kurios], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Does this separate God from Jesus because “God raised Him from the dead”? What about John 2:19-21 that clearly quote Jesus saying, "in three days I will raise it up"? And yet Acts 8:11 states the Spirit of God raised Him from the dead! There is no contradiction, when you KNOW who God is; amen,
What’s the revelation in the confession of faith in Rom 10:9? Did you know the Hebrew word for the Greek word 'Kurios' is Yehovah (YHWH)? Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is LORD (Yehovah)?
Do you need a second 'witness' found in the Word? Look at 1 Cor 12:3: "Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord [Kurios]," except by the Holy Spirit. Is His Spirit in YOU?
Is Jesus a lesser god, or an equal god separate from the Father? There's more and I invite to explore. Is Jesus Yehovah Elohim (LORD God) or merely a lesser Lord? Will you be one that says, “Lord, Lord” and are told to “Depart from Me, for I never knew you”? Let me leave you with the following passages:
1 Tim 4:10: “we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior”.
1 John 5:20 "And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life."
I sincerely pray the Lord Jesus Christ reveal Himself to each one that loves Him, in His Holy Name and by His Spirit; Amen.
Don't Let the Typo's Detract from the Truth
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