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The World Tomorrow Telecast
Is God a Trinity?
Herbert W Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Ordained: 1931
Office: Apostle

Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.

Telecast Date: December 27, 1978
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   Well, greetings, everybody! You're living in a world that is just filled with religious confusion. I wonder if you've ever stopped to think about how many religions we have in other parts of the world we don't think of them much here in the United States: Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, Hinduism, the Moslem religion that fills the Arab world and spills over into a great deal more, especially in Africa, then the religion of Christianity that pretty well engulfs the world, but especially in Europe and America, and South America.
   The largest religion in the world is the Roman Catholic religion, and if you take what is called Christianity including the Protestant religion, it is really by far bigger. Now, you might have thought that some religion like Buddhism or Confucianism would be larger, because they're the religions over in India and China, and nations like that that are far more populous nations, and so many more people than there are here, but the Christian religion, as it is called, is by far the largest.
   Well, the generally accepted Christian teaching about God, now getting into the Christian religion, is that God is a Trinity that is, three persons in one. And they say it's one God, but in three persons, God in three persons. "Blessed Trinity," I used to sing that song, before I knew better. I don't sing it anymore, because it's as fake and false as it can be. Sometimes I think of these intellectuals as someone told me the other day they are the S-S-S's. You know, the "Smart Smart Stupid". That's just what it is.

How Did That Trinity Doctrine Get Started?

   Now then, how did that Trinity doctrine get in there? Well, Jesus Christ came and raised up his church, and he said his church would last through all generations, but there was a beginning somewhere between, oh, let's say 60 and 70 A.D., a lost century for 100 years, when all the recorded history regarding the church had been systematically destroyed. You can't find it; there isn't any. It was all destroyed. But 100 years later, about 170 A.D., the curtain will lift, and you look on, and there's a church, and the church called itself Christianity.
   But it is about as different from the church of 31 and 40 A.D., and along in those years, as black is from white, or up is from down. It is just about as opposite. And there's no record, you can't find a record of it. But we find the record before that happened, and we find the record of what happened afterward. Now Jesus said, as I say, that the gates of hell, or the grave, would never prevail against his church. His church was founded in 31 A.D., but by 58 A.D., and some so-called authorities say it was about 53 when the apostle Paul wrote his book to the Galatians, you will find that here in Galatians the 1st chapter.
   Paul said, in writing to the churches up in Galatia.... This is about, let's say, 50 A.D. "I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel." (Galatians 1:6) Now some may think that it was Paul that called them, but God is the one who calls us. But they'd been removed from God into another gospel, "Which is not another, but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ."

The Gospel of Jesus Christ Suppressed

   The gospel of Jesus Christ had been suppressed. Jesus came with the gospel which is his message, and that message was suppressed. Now it has been supplanted, and in our day, you hear a lot about what they call the gospel of Jesus Christ. But that is only a message of men about the person of Christ. Now Jesus Christ was the messenger, as you read back in Malachi the 3rd chapter and the 1st verse (Malachi 3:1). He was the messenger of the covenant. So a lot of people have the gospel of the messenger and about the messenger, but they forget his message.
   Now I will say, it's very well and good to preach about the messenger, because he is a very important part of that gospel. But he, after all, was the messenger, and that's not the whole gospel, and what he came preaching was the gospel of the kingdom of God, and that, no one has preached for over.... well, for over 1900 years, not from around 58 or 60, and certainly not after 70 A.D., until 1953 A.D., when I first began to preach that gospel all over Europe, on the most powerful radio station in Europe. It was not preached 1900 years went by.
   Well, now I wanted to come to this thing about the mystery of the Trinity doctrine. By the 4th century, there had been a dual, very violent controversy raging around Rome, and Rome by that time was the center of what was called Christianity. There was one leader by the name of Polycrates who had a very great controversy against the bishops of Rome, on the matter of whether we should observe the Passover, which was the 14th day of the first sacred month, as Christ said it, or whether we should observe the pagan day of Easter.
   And then there was a Doctor Arius, who was a priest from Alexandria, and he was in a red-hot argument against the bishops of Rome about this Trinity. The bishops of Rome wanted the Trinity doctrine, and as a matter of fact, they had the same gospel that had really come out of ancient Babylon, the Babylonian mystery religion. Doctor Arius didn't have it right; he didn't have the truth, but at least he was against the Trinity. And we don't need to go into what he did believe, because he was wrong, too, as far as that is concerned. But to show you how bloody it was, Doctor Arius was finally burned at the stake.
   Now that question, both questions, were settled by the Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. Constantine was a Roman emperor. Constantine claimed that he had seen a vision one time of a cross, and it said, "By this sign you may conquer." So he said, "Well, I'll tell you, I'll adopt the Christian religion. Maybe I can win this battle I'm going into, in a war." And he happened to win that war, so he said, "Well, I'm going to join the Christian church." Now, he didn't get, he didn't come to it in the way I did. He just said, "I'll join the Christian church." That's the way most people do, they just go in and join like you join any club, anything of the kind.
   But Constantine is the one who settled this controversy. He called what is called the Nicene Council, and that Nicene Council was the first real ecumenical council, and the Catholic Church is still holding some now and then. And there, the Trinity was made official, and so was Easter, and anyone that would observe Passover would have been persecuted and probably martyred and killed. Also, in the authorized version of the Bible, most commonly called the King James, the Holy Spirit is referred to a great many times as "he" or "his" or "him," and not as "it." And so, they say, "Well, that proves that the Holy Spirit is a person."
   But there are other places in the New Testament where the Holy Spirit is referred to as "it." And they overlook that, don't they? The Holy Spirit is not a person; it is the spirit that emanates from God that emanates also from Christ the same identical spirit. And both of them are of one mind. They are both spirit and composed of spirit.

[Commercial break: Just What Do You Mean... Kingdom of God?]

   Now if we want to know the beginning about God, and who and what God is, we begin in John the 1st chapter and the 1st verse. John 1 and verse 1 (John 1:1): "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Now this Word is translated from the Greek word "logos". "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God." Logos means "Word" or "Spokesman," the one who does the speaking. And it's a personage, but it is the personage who was the spokesman of the Godhead. "The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made."

All Things Created Through Jesus Christ

   Now then, in Ephesians the 3rd chapter and the 9th verse (Ephesians 3:9), it speaks there of God who created all things by Jesus Christ. Ephesians 3:9, you'll find it if you turn to it. Now I'd like to have you turn over to Hebrews, the 7th chapter of Hebrews, and beginning with verse 3 (Hebrews 7:3): "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life." There never was a time. He was never born, never a time when he did not exist. He has always existed, the same as God the... which now we think of as God the Father. "But made a son of God, abideth a priest continually." And that is really speaking of Christ there.
   Now then, let's go back to Genesis 1:1. This is supposed to be the creation chapter. "In the beginning God created the heavens," and it should be plural, "heavens" as Moses wrote it in the Hebrew language, "and the Earth." Now the word for "God" is the Hebrew language is "Elohim." Elohim is... It is a word like the word "family," like the word "church," like the word "group," or like the word "team." It's more than one person, but making one church, one family, one group, not several groups, but one group, and it might be of four or five people, it might be of four or five thousand people. It all depends.
   And "in the beginning Elohim." Now that is more than one person, but forming one God. Now this does not say it was three persons, four persons, or how many. But I can tell you right now, that putting it together with John 1:1, it is referring to God and the Word. And it is not referring to three persons, but one, I mean, but two. Two persons forming one God, created the heaven and the Earth. Now, it actually, it was God who did it by and through the Word who became Jesus Christ, much later.
   Now then, let me see, from there notice Genesis 2 and verse 4 (Genesis 2:4). Let me explain first. The word "God" all the way through the first chapter of Genesis has been translated from the name that Moses wrote: Elohim. Elohim is the uniplural that means more than one person, but one God not two Gods, only one God. But God is more than one person, and I'm going to show you that we can be born into the family of God, and now God is the father of Christ. He wasn't originally, but he is now.
   And Christ is the firstborn of many brethren, and we can be born of God, and be born into that family, and it is a great family! And the Trinity doctrine limits God, so it prevents the very purpose for which men were placed on this Earth to become members of that God family! God is reproducing himself. That's what he put human beings on the Earth for. Now you never heard anyone else say that. I don't know anyone that says such a thing. They'll all tell you I'm crazy or something. Well now, you'd better decide who's crazy.
   Now we come to a new word introduced by Moses. "These are the generations of the heavens and of the Earth, when they were created, in the day that they were..." Here you find "Lord God". Now in the King James, the word "Lord" will appear in capital letters. And wherever it appears in capital letters, that means it came from the Hebrew "Yahweh." Now no one knows exactly how to pronounce it, so I may not pronounce it correctly, but if you think I don't, you don't either, because no one knows what is the correct pronunciation. And anyway, it's in the Hebrew language. They use only the consonants, and the vowels are just added. It's Y-H-W-H, but usually spelled like Y-A-H-W-E-H, Yahweh.
   Now there is no word in the English language that is the equivalent of this Yahweh, which is one of the names of God. But that is the name that is of the specific person that is called the Word in John 1, verse 1 (John 1:1), John in the New Testament. Now we begin to see a difference between the Elohim. Yahweh Elohim means "the Lord God," or the Yahweh is the one of the God family that is here referred to. He is the one who was the spokesman, and it meant "Word" or "speaker." Notice what it says here: as they were created, "in the day that the Eternal," or I like the word Eternal.
   Let me go back and finish what I started there. There's no word in the English language that properly translates Yahweh, and the translators have always had difficulty. In the King James, they put "Lord," which means "master," the one which you obey. But in the Moffatt translation, he translated it "the Eternal," and the Ferrar Fenton translation translates it "the Ever Living." Now the word Yahweh means "the self-existent one," one who has always existed and always will, without father, without mother, without beginning of days or end of life.
   That's exactly what it means, and it is the one that was with God, and the one by whom God made everything, and the one who did the speaking. I prefer to use the name that the Moffatt translation does, the Eternal. The Ever Living is fine, but it takes two words. But it means the one who is eternally living, self-existent, and also who is lord and master. It involves all of those things, and there's no one word in the English language that will answer to that. So I just say "the Eternal God," and "Eternal" means the one who became Christ.

Resurrection From The Dead

   Now, by a resurrection from the dead, Jesus has become very God. Back here in Hebrews the 1st chapter and verse 8 (Hebrews 1:8), "But unto the son," meaning Christ, "he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom," meaning Christ's kingdom. He's the king of that kingdom.
   Now then, I'd like to tie that in with Romans: "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ." That's chapter 1, verse 1, of Romans. Romans 1, verse 1 (Romans 1:1): "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures), Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." Now, as a human being, according to the flesh, he was a son of David, because his mother Mary was descended directly from David, just as I am, but probably through another strain. "And declared to be the son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead."
   "Declared to be the son of God by the resurrection from the dead." Now, as a human being, he was the son of David, but by the resurrection, he became the son of God. Now he was also the son of God before his crucifixion, and he was the only begotten son of God, the only one who'd ever been begotten by God prior to human birth. But we can be begotten of God prior to our spirit birth in the kingdom of God, but that's a little different than the way Jesus was the only begotten son of God.

[Commercial break: Just What Do You Mean... Born Again?]

   The one true church in the world, which today is the Worldwide Church of God, knows that God is not a Trinity. He is not a Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the spirit that emanates from God and from Christ, and can enter into man. Now you'll notice that in the 2nd chapter of Acts, for example, in verse 38 (Acts 2:38). This was when Peter had just received the Holy Spirit, his first inspired sermon. "Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." In other words, the Holy Spirit can come into us, and we can be begotten of God, and then can be born of God.
   Now if you turn back to John again, right at the very beginning, in the 3rd chapter of John. Here, Nicodemus came to Jesus. And he was a Pharisee, and he sneaked in by night because he didn't want the other Pharisees to know he was seeing Jesus, because they wouldn't have anything to do with him. "The same came to Jesus by night," verse 2. That's in John the 3rd chapter. John 3 and verse 2 (John 3:2): "And he said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God." "We know, We Pharisees know," all the Pharisees knew it. So they had no excuse for what they did.

Except A Man Be Born Again

   "For no man can do these miracles which thou doest except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Now the kingdom of God is something that can be seen, but it can only be seen by those who have been born again. And let me tell you something the president of the United States has not yet seen the kingdom of God. What do you think of that? Nor has the queen of England, nor has the head of any other government anywhere in the world. Nor have I, nor have you. You haven't seen the kingdom of God, because it hasn't appeared yet.
   Now, there is the kingdom of God. Let's continue a little further here. "Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, That which is born of the flesh is flesh." I was born of the flesh; I am flesh. You were born of the flesh; you are flesh. You're not spirit; you're flesh. There is a spirit in us, but that is not us. It's just like... Well, I've often said, you swallow a little tiny marble, and the marble is not you, but it's in you. And the spirit is something that is in us, but not us. And it's not a soul.
   And he said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit." When you're born of the spirit, you would become spirit. "Marvel not that I say unto you, You must be born again." Now he said, "Unless you're born of the spirit," in verse 5 (John 3:5), "you cannot enter into the kingdom of God." so it's something we can enter into, but not in this life, not while we're born of the flesh.
   Now then, if you'll turn over to I Corinthians the 15th chapter, you'll find something on that that I'd like to turn to, for just a second right here. "And so it is written," in verse 45 (I Corinthians 15:45), "The first man Adam was made a living soul," not an immortal soul, a living soul. "The last Adam," meaning Christ, "was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural. The first man is of the earth, earthy, the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy. And as is the heavenly, such are they that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
   Now this I say, brethren, listen carefully, that flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom of God! I am flesh and blood, and as long as I am flesh and blood, I can't enter into the kingdom of God. The president of the United States is flesh and blood, and therefore he has not entered into the kingdom of God, and has not been born again. The same is true of the queen of England, and the same is true of all of you listening. It's true of all of us. We're just all of us human, and we're all in that same boat together.
   The Holy Spirit of God, then, is the spirit that gives, imparts to us the divine life by which we can be born into the very family of God. Now God is not a Trinity. God is the creator. He is the one who created heaven and Earth, who created all the nations of one blood, and not of one language, because he divided the languages, but I think I've pretty well shown you now something of the nature of God.
   God originally was God and the Word. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and became Jesus Christ, and by his birth from the virgin Mary, Jesus became a son of God, but he also was the son of man. By resurrection from the dead, he became a son of God, and the firstborn of many brethren to be born again of God, by a resurrection into the family of God, and the message that he preached was the gospel of the kingdom of God, into which we are born. In other words, it's the family of God, as a government ruling the whole vast universe.
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Telecast Date: December 27, 1978
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