The Trinitarian's Answer

Copyright 1994 by Natalie Pappas

A few years ago I was sent oodles of questions from a JW who was determined to prove the Trinity ridiculous. I noticed that all the questions fell into four basic catagories.

  1. polytheism
  2. modalism
  3. How can Jesus be 100% God as well as 100% man
  4. Jesus relationship with his Father

The Modalism issue came up the most frequently. A few of these are mixed with other issues, such as mixing modalism with polytheism, or modalism with how Jesus can be 100% human and 100% God or the assumption that Jesus' subordination to his Father takes away from his deity. Therefore this only addresses the basic Watchtower teaching that Trinitarians are Modalists.

The Modalist believes the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit are the same person as well as the same being AND that God's name is now only JESUS, while the Trinitarian believes that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct persons who make up One God. Modern day Modalists are those in the United Pentecostal Church.

This cult believes the Trinity is pagan and feel their mission field is Christendom. (I invite you to call a United Pentecostal Church in your area and confirm this statement). There are three cults who are preying on Christendom the fastest: One of these is the Unity Church of Christianity, this is a belief system that actually outprints the Watchtower (REALLY). It is a mixture of New Age beliefs with Christian-like terms. The other is the United Pentecostal Church. And the third is the Islamic movement.

There is a common thread with all these cults. Each one denies the Trinity.

If you decide to call the UPC minister, while you are on the phone with this UPC minister, ask him some of these questions and see how he reacts to them.






The Questions

Whose voice was it that spoke from the heavens when Jesus was baptized?

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's answer: The Father spoke from Heaven. This does not contradict the teaching of the Trinity. However, it DOES contradict the teaching of Modalists who teach that Jesus IS the Father.






Who was Jesus praying to when he prayed? Himself?

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's answer: Jesus was praying to his Father. This does not contradict the teaching of the Trinity. However, it DOES contradict the teaching of Modalists who teach that Jesus IS the Father.






If God was on earth as the Son for thirty-three and a half years, who was looking after or running things in the heavens.

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

This does not contradict the teaching of the Trinity. However, it DOES contradict the teaching of Modalists who teach that Jesus IS the Father.

The Trinitarian's answer, "The FATHER was in heaven, looking after and running things in the heavens."






If God was to be known by the name Jesus instead of Jehovah after coming to the earth, why is the name of Jehovah still used over 260 times in the early manuscripts of the Greek Scriptures?

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. Secondly this also assumes that the name of Jehovah appears in early Greek manuscripts: it doesn't. JW's check in your own Kingdom Interlinears. The name "Jehovah" doesn't appear in there once. If there were any Greek manuscripts with the name "Jehovah", your organization would have used it.

The Trinitarian's Answer: The UPC says God's name is now only JESUS, not Trinitarians.






Who has immortality? God? Jesus died {an impossibility of one with immortality} and was dead for parts of three days. How could God die? Who resurrected him? (Heb 5:7; Rev 2:8)

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. This also fits the third type of question about how God can be 100% man and still remain 100% God.

The Trinitarians answers: When Jesus's body died, the Father did not die as well. This does not contradict Trinity doctrine. However, it does present a MAJOR problem for Modalists. And when Jesus's body died, His spirit went to Paradise.






Who was Jesus talking to when hanging on his torture stake at Matthew 27:46? "About the ninth hour Jesus called out with a loud voice, saying: '...My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'"

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's answer: Jesus was talking to his Father.






How could Jehovah, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit be one or the same person when Acts 7:55 shows that God and Jesus are seen next to each other in heaven while the Holy Spirit was filling Stephen? And how can you be full of someone?

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's Answer: The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one, but they are NOT the same person. They are distinct. This passage in Acts does not contradict the teaching of the Trinity, instead, it supports the teaching of the Trinity doctrine.






If Jesus is God, explain the scripture at John 1:18, "No man has seen God."

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. It also a question of the third type: How can Jesus be 100% man and a 100% God.

The Trinitarians Answers: But the entire quote is: No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side has made him known.

This pictures Jesus alongside of his Father. No contradiction of the Trinity here.






By the way, this next question REALLY makes modalists uncomfortable.

If Jesus is God, why call him Jesus Christ? Is Christ his last name? God was known as Jehovah God. Since "Christ" is just a title just like "God" is a title, shouldn't we just call him Jesus God? Or could it be that the title "Christ" gives us insight as to Jesus' position in relation to the Father?

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. Christ means "the Anointed One".

The Trinitarians Answer: Do JWs believe that God's first name is Jehovah and God's last name is God? The title Jehovah, applies to the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit. Perhaps a good illustration is Jehovah-the Father, Jehovah-the Son, Jehovah-the Holy Spirit.

Modern day Modalists who claim that God's name is now JESUS are the persons this question needs to be directed towards.






How is it that the Son is subjected to God along with all other things if the Son is coequal with the Father, or rather IS the Father also? (1 Corinthians 15:27,28)

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. It also addresses the question of the fourth type: Jesus' relationship with his Father.

The Trinitarians Answer: This has to do with the Son's relationship between Father and Son. This does not contradict the teachings of the Trinity. This teaches that there is a DEFINITE distinction between the Father and the Son. It does not contradict the Trinity.






Who was Jesus talking to, and whose name had he made know? His Own? (John 17:6,26)

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trintarian's Answer: Jesus in this passage is praying to his Father. Jesus revealed his Father to those whom he [the Father] gave him [the Son] out of the world. In verse 11 Jesus says ...Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-the name you gave me-so that they may be one as we are one.

The entire chapter 17 of John shows how the relationship between the Father and the Son. The Father gave Jesus a name, and Jesus asks here that the Father would protect his disciples by the power of the Father's name. This does not contradict the Trinity because in ancient times an individual's "name" summed up his entire being.






Why couldn't Jesus do anything of his own initiative, if he is Almighty God? (John 5:30 "I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative;...I seek not my own will but the will of him that sent me.") If Jesus were God, would he not send himself? (John 6:38 "Not my will, but the will of him that sent me.")

The Trinitarian's Answer: This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit. There is a relationship between the Father and the Son. Jesus is not the Father. Jesus seeks the will of his Father, there is UNITY within the Godhead. The Father is the head of Jesus as Jesus is the head of the church as a husband is head of his household.






Who made Jesus come to the earth to die for us? Was it his idea? Hebrews 2:9 says: "but we behold Jesus who has been made a little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death, that he by God's undeserved kindness might taste death for every [man]." It was God who sent him. If Jesus were God, why even make the distinction here, as is done throughout the Scriptures?

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The distinction is here because the Father is distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. And the Son is distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Father and the Son.






If Jesus were God, how could he appear before the person of himself? Hebrew 9:24 states: "For Christ entered, not into a holy place made with hands, which is a copy of the reality, but into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us."

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian answers: The Son appeared before the Father.






Could it really be possible that the Almighty God and the creator of the universe was confined for nine months in the womb of Mary. If so, why didn't Satan take over the heavens with his demon angels and procure worship for himself, since this is what he has wanted from the beginning?

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's Answer: The Father ran the universe






What is a son? If Jesus were actually God himself, why is he referred to as the Son of God, or God's Son over 85 times in the New Testament? Is the Bible making an inaccurate statement in each case? Why even describe him as the Son of God and confuse us if he was in fact Almighty God himself? Wouldn't it be simpler to just say that God came to the earth, the Almighty was born of a virgin, etc.? Why would Jesus continually talk about his Father in the heavens if in fact he was the Father in the form of the Son here on the earth? Wouldn't that be misrepresentation? (Luke 1:30-32)

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's Answer: Jesus is described in the book of Matthew as the "only-begotten son". The word for "only-begotten" means "unique" or "one and only". The Book of Matthew also describes Jesus as "Immanuel" which means "God with us". It is obvious that Trinitarians do not believe that the Father was in the form of The Son.






Wouldn't it be simpler to just say that God came to the earth, the Almighty was born of a virgin, etc...

The Trinitarian's Answer: YES, and in fact, that is exactly what Christendom TEACHES. Jesus continually talks about his Father in the heavens...but the Trinity does NOT teach that Jesus was the Father in the form of the Son on earth. Modalists teach that. The fact that the Watchtower continually brings out this point is a blatant misrepresentation of what the Trinity teaches.






If Jesus Christ is going to rule the Kingdom for a thousand years, (Revelation 20:4) who rules after that? 1 Corinthians 15:24 shows that Jesus turns all things over to GOD and his FATHER. Why would this be necessary if they are the same? Does this mean that Jesus turns it over to himself?

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's Answer: The Son turns all things over to his Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is not the Father or the Holy Spirit: thus the distinction. This does not contradict the teachings of the Trinity.






Matthew 26:39 says: "Going a little farther he [Jesus Christ] fell on his face and prayed, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.'" If the Father and the Son were not distinct individuals, wouldn't such a prayer have been meaningless? Jesus would have been praying to himself, and his will would of necessity have been the Father's will.

This fits the second type and assumes that Trinitarians hold a modalistic view of God, i,e, the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

The Trinitarian's Answer: This passage INDEED shows that the Father and the Son are distinct individuals. And Jesus' will WAS that of the Father's, as he showed in verse 43: "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done".



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Copyright 1994-2001 Natalie Pappas.
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