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ONENESS OR TRINITY? It all comes down to this…

God the Father, or God the Son?

Within the realm of Christianity, there are two main views concerning God. The Trinitarian point of view believes that there is One God in three persons, and three persons in One God; all being truly distinct from one another; co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent. “The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion— the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another.” – (The dogma of the Trinity – Catholic Encyclopedia online @ newadvent.org).

The Oneness, or Apostolic point of view is that there is One God and Father of all. God, who is a Spirit, overshadowed Mary and she conceived Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to the world as The Son of God. Jesus became the visible manifestation of the invisible God. Jesus still abides with us, comforts us, and empowers us today through the indwelling of The Holy Spirit. These are not three separate and distinct persons, but rather three expressions of the One God of the bible. He is Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Spirit in regeneration.

It is important to note that the New Testament church began in approximately 33AD. The dogma of The Trinity was not officially developed as doctrine until 325AD, and later revised in 381AD. (See New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1977, vol. 13, pg. 1021 & American Encyclopedia Dictionary, pg 4189) It is also important to note that neither Jesus, the prophets, nor the apostles ever mentioned the terms, “The Trinity”, “One God in three persons”, “God the Son”, or “God the Holy Ghost”. Jewish believers and early Christians were Monotheistic: they believed in One God who cannot be divided and cannot have and equal:

Deuteronomy 6: 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Isaiah 46: 5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? (See also Isaiah 42: 8)

Ephesians 4: 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all…

In short, the Trinitarian belief is that God was a SEPERATE PERSON from Christ; sending the Son down to earth. The Apostolic belief is that God was IN Christ, reconciling the world to himself. While both viewpoints believe Jesus to be Deity and to be the Son of God, Trinitarians believe He was “God the Son” in human flesh. The Apostolic belief is that Jesus was the revelation of God the Father in human flesh: God Himself came down to dwell among men through the person of Jesus Christ.

If He was GOD THE SON, a separate and co-equal person, then the controversy is over, and The Trinity exists. However, if Jesus was the human manifestation of GOD THE FATHER, The Trinitarian doctrine has to crumble, and it should be forever settled that God is One.

In the Bible, when the word, “God”, is mentioned, it speaks of “The Father”. If you read these four scriptures, substituting “The Father” for “God”, it may make easier to understand who Jesus was:

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God (The Father) with us. KJV

1 Timothy 3: 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God (The Father) 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. KJV

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God (The Father), because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. KJV

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God (The Father), which he hath purchased with his own blood. KJV

Here is another very simple method of understanding the Oneness of God:

1. There is only one God. Isaiah 45: 5 ; Malachi 2: 10
2. God was manifest in the flesh. 1 Timothy 3:16;John 1: 1,10,14
3. Jesus is God. Matthew 1: 23; John 10: 31 – 33; John 20: 28

Jesus was the personification (manifestation) of the one and only God

Hidden Gems of History

One of the greatest joys of writing historical fiction is those moments during the (0ften-arduous) research process when you stumble upon some detail, some event, some facet of the historical truth which is, in fact, stranger than fiction.  These discoveries often fit perfectly, or with small changes allowed by artistic license, with the flow of your novel.  Other times these nuggets will be so dramatic and gripping that they will demand a change in the flow of the book.

In A War Within: The Gladiator, Antonius Maximus and his friend, Theudas ben Yair, both have reason to hate Emperor Commodus.  The Emperor made Antonius unwittingly carry his own mother’s death warrant to the Praetorian Guard, and he killed Theudas’ father in a gladiator bout.  The two young gladiators escape from the Ludus Magnus – the gladiator school in Rome – and swear vengeance on the Emperor.  As I was researching Commodus and the Coliseum I discovered an intriguing fact.  There was a secret passage that led into the Coliseum for the Emperor to use to come and go.  More than that, there was actually a failed assassination attempt that took place in that passage!

Coliseum tunnelsEdward Gibbon, in writing The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, records “One evening, as the emperor was returning to the palace, through a dark and narrow portico in the amphitheatre, an assassin, who waited his passage, rushed upon him with a drawn sword, loudly exclaiming, “The senate sends you this. ”

The assassin’s shout warned Commodus just in time and the Emperor escaped death.

What potential for a gripping scene!  I set Chapter 17, “To Kill an Emperor” here in this passage.

Fifteen feet below the very feet of the marching patrol Antonius and Theudas crept quietly around the bend to the right that would take them directly under the soaring walls of the Coliseum.  Antonius held his torch high, surprise registering on his features.  Here the plain rough-hewn tunnel turned into lavish luxury.  Dark stone walls gave way to the translucent glow of white marble and alabaster.  The vaulted ceiling was covered in lavishly-patterned stucco, the floors paved with intricate mosaics.  The Emperor’s secret entrance!

Plug my characters into this historical event, change the assassin’s shout to Antonius’ cry “For my mother!” that foolishly warns Commodus of their ambush and allows him to escape, and you have the ingredients for a powerful chapter.

Discovering hidden gems of history and rolling them together with fiction into one entertaining and informative whole that brings the past alive: what could be more fun than that?

Writing With A Passion

Being a new author I simply think you have to have a passion about whatever you do.

When I wrote my first book recently, “Loving Your Spouse” it was because my wife and I have been married 26 years and soon to be 27 years. Most people say it is best to know the person you are going to marry several years. This can seem helpful but can also provide a false sense that you will have fewer issues once you get married. I met my wife on my birthday, October 12th and on November 3rd asked her to marry me. More…

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