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Justice

John 17

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Here is the official invitation for anyone who wishes to explain the Trinity using John 17. I'd like to see all uses of the word "one" in John 17 explained from a Trinity perspective. Of course, I want it taken in perspective of the entire chapter, and New Testament, so if you have to post other scriptures to explain these verses please feel free.

Here are the specific verses I see:

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

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I'd like to see all uses of the word "one" in John 17 explained from a Trinity perspective.

Justice

I don't see your point.

When LDS say "the Godhead is one" do you mean the Godhead is one person or one being or one in unity?(unified) (like minded) (single will) (on the same page) (have same purpose) etc.

Of course you mean unity. Trinitarians also believe the Godhead is unified and verses such as these show that.

Try substituting "one" with "unified" and see if that helps.

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, (unified) as we are. (unified)

21 That they all may be one(unified); as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one(unified) in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one(unified), even as we are one(unified):

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one(in unity); and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Christians as God's image bearers should be unified or of one accord as Christ taught us;

John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Phil 1:1-5 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,...

It is only because the Spirit of God dwells in us (Rom. 8:9-11) that we can do His will.

That is what Jesus prayed for us in John 17:23, I (Christ) in them (Rom 8:9) thou in Me (2 Cor 5:17)

"that they also may be one in Us" NOT "like" Us

Seriously, is it your understanding that Trinitarians believe somehow the Godhead and all believers will all be the one God?

Is that how LDS interpret these verses?

Will you be one in being with God?

The Persons of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, indwell believers as Jesus prayed they would in John 17.

Father - 2 Cor 6:16

Son - Col 1:27

Holy Spirirt - John 14:17

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Trinitarians do not deny that the Father and the son are one in purpose, as LDS doctrine teaches. John 17 highlights that very well. We also believe that Jesus is God, and that God is one, and that there is no other. Therefore, Jesus is not only one in purpose (as described in John 17), he is also of one essence with the Father. Otherwise, he is either not God, or there is more than one God.

So, the short answer is that we agree with John 17, and with the LDS teaching that Jesus is one in purpose with God the Father. We go further, believing Jesus is also of one essence with the Father. John 17 would neither confirm nor deny this trinitarian teaching.

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This scripture makes a direct comparison to the manner in which the Father and the Son are one.

"as we are one"

"even as we are one"

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one God.

We may become one with them, even as they are one.

"Perfect in one" as they are one.

We can become one with them the same way they are one with each other.

So, your explanation is that, even though this is the most detailed description of how the Father and the Son are one, it is in fact, not describing the "bodily" one, but "just" their unity of will?

Well, I find that rather convenient.

The best, most descriptive scripture in the Bible has Jesus Himself explaining how He and the Father are one, but it's not the same thing as when it says "one" elsewhere.

Very convenient, indeed.

I guess there's no need to discuss it further. You admit that this "oneness" being described in John 17 is of unity and will, and not bodily, but you don't see it describing they manner in which they are one elsewhere.

I guess I'm done.

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John 17 would neither confirm nor deny this trinitarian teaching.

John 17 goes out of the way to say it is exactly how they are one... no more, no less.

"perfect in one"

If this oneness spoken of in John 17 is one in it's perfection, it would mean the ultimate oneness that they share.

It further clarifies...

"as we are one"

"even as we are one"

Better comparison language doesn't exist in written form.

This is describing how the Father and Son are one. It says clearly they are perfect in will and unity, and wants all believers to share in the same "perfect" oneness as they have.

I understand that scriptures need to be interpreted based on other scripture, but if there is another place that describes this "oneness" that exists between them as being "bodily" then show it.

Edited by Justice

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Therefore, Jesus is not only one in purpose (as described in John 17), he is also of one essence with the Father. Otherwise, he is either not God, or there is more than one God.

Why are those the only choices? Why can't God be one but the Father, Son and Holy Ghost be separate ousias?

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Since trinitarians believe that the Father is Spirit, not corporeal, the oneness of Jesus and the Father would be of essence...not "bodily." The problem with seeing John 17 as the comprehensive definition of the oneness between Jesus and the Father, is that we would all then be one with God. We would all be part of the Godhead, since we shared the same oneness that Jesus has with the Father. Yet, we surely do not believe that. Prehaps that's what Lekook was driving at in post #3.

John 17 is about unity, not the essential nature of the Godhead. It describes an aspect of Christ's unity/oneness with the Father. I see no reason to "close the canon" on any discussion of God's nature with this passage.

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Why are those the only choices? Why can't God be one but the Father, Son and Holy Ghost be separate ousias?

Could we not all join then, as Lekook hints at? We could all be one with the Godhead?

It's also difficult to reconcile the schema: Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is one, with a vision of the One God as two essential beings (not to mention the Holy Spirit):

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ_-0fQ69XzMtxQPtedTxEUEb2FvBEfOXqAqYHvGcWQaMVAjtsR1w = 1 is just hard to reconcile.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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Not really. It's no more difficult that to render John 17 as including bodily.

I am a father. Any male who has a child is a father. But, I am not the father of anyone else's kids but mine.

So, to my kids I am the only father they need be interested with. I am the only one who provides for them. There are no fathers besides me to my kids. There are no other fathers who provide for them the necessities of life.

The Father is the Father of our spirits. We need not be concerned with any other Father. In fact, we gave up our sonship through sin. We are adopted back into the Father's family by the Son.

As far as we are concerned, there is only One God, the Father, who provided a way whereby we may be perfected. To us, there is but One God. He sent His Son, who had already attained the rank of Godhood in the pre-mortal existence, and is and was one with the Father in will and purpose.

That's much simpler than the mystical Trinity. Both fit the words and can be a proper interpretation.

John 17 points to one more than the other. There really is no other place in the Bible where an attempt is made to explain what is meant by "one." This alone tells me it was simple to them. The Trinity can't even be explained well in long and elaborate treatise on the subject. Yet, no one tried to explain it in the Bible? To me, that says they viewed it as simple. They described them as Father and Son, one in will and purpose. If more was meant to "one" it would be addressed. Since it is "eternal life" to know God and Jesus Christ, it would be a critical part of what the Bible should do.

It does not.

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= 1 is just hard to reconcile.

The funny thing about the picture and comment, PC, is that we do not "equal" that picture to "1" but to "one." Trinitarians are the one trying to render "1" from the picture, not LDS.

We see 2, yet they are "one"... not 2 that are "1" like you try to explain.

So, to me, it's the Trinity that is hard to explain because that equation is an impossibility. We, as mortal man, are intelligent enough to know that 2 = 1 is a false statement (or 3 = 1).

Our formula is 3 = one.

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Not really. It's no more difficult that to render John 17 as including bodily.

I doubt that anyone would see John 17 as including "bodily." Even trinitarians would not pretend so. We simply do not see the chapter as addressing God's essential nature. Instead, it speaks to unity, and urges Christians, with God's help, to attain it.

I am a father. Any male who has a child is a father. But, I am not the father of anyone else's kids but mine.

So, to my kids I am the only father they need be interested with. I am the only one who provides for them. There are no fathers besides me to my kids. There are no other fathers who provide for them the necessities of life.

The Father is the Father of our spirits. We need not be concerned with any other Father. In fact, we gave up our sonship through sin. We are adopted back into the Father's family by the Son.

As far as we are concerned, there is only One God, the Father, who provided a way whereby we may be perfected. To us, there is but One God. He sent His Son, who had already attained the rank of Godhood in the pre-mortal existence, and is and was one with the Father in will and purpose.

That's much simpler than the mystical Trinity. Both fit the words and can be a proper interpretation.

It may be simpler, but it is not monotheism. The Trinity achieves the difficult task of reconciling belief in Jesus' deity with the monotheism of the schema. The henotheism you seem to espouse abandons that effort, and redefines Moses' admonition as simply picking the right God to serve.

John 17 points to one more than the other. There really is no other place in the Bible where an attempt is made to explain what is meant by "one."

I frankly disagree. One is one. It is single, it is 1, it is alone. John 17 is Jesus' prayer to God that his followers would be united the way He and the Father are united--in agreement. I doubt seriously that Jesus would find it necessary to address matters of essential nature in a prayer to his Father.

This alone tells me it was simple to them. The Trinity can't even be explained well in long and elaborate treatise on the subject. Yet, no one tried to explain it in the Bible? To me, that says they viewed it as simple. They described them as Father and Son, one in will and purpose. If more was meant to "one" it would be addressed. Since it is "eternal life" to know God and Jesus Christ, it would be a critical part of what the Bible should do.

It does not.

The Bible tells us that Jesus is God, and it says there is only one God. In the early years of the church that was enough. There were other matters--such as spreading the gospel, while under persecution. Not given in to the temptation to revert to Mosaic legalism, nor to pre-Gnostic heresies.

Besides...the Trinity really isn't that hard...1X1X1=1. Three distinct persons, but only one essential God. It's as easy as early third grade mathematics. :)

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I understand that scriptures need to be interpreted based on other scripture, but if there is another place that describes this "oneness" that exists between them as being "bodily" then show it.

You got me, I can't find that anywhere.

John 17 goes out of the way to say it is exactly how they are one... no more, no less.

"perfect in one"

"one" what?

This is describing how the Father and Son are one. It says clearly they are perfect in will and unity, and wants all believers to share in the same "perfect" oneness as they have.

That is what PC and I said.

From PC

So, the short answer is that we agree with John 17, and with the LDS teaching that Jesus is one in purpose with God the Father. We go further, believing Jesus is also of one essence with the Father. John 17 would neither confirm nor deny this trinitarian teaching.

From me

John 17:21 That they all may be one(unified); as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one(unified) in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Note, "that they also may be one(unified) in us" NOT "LIKE" US

As far as we are concerned, there is only One God, the Father, who provided a way whereby we may be perfected. To us, there is but One God.

Did you forget about the one God, the First and the Last, of Isaiah 44:6-8 Whom LDS refer to as Jesus?

Mark 12:32 “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.

Edited by Soninme

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I doubt that anyone would see John 17 as including "bodily." Even trinitarians would not pretend so. We simply do not see the chapter as addressing God's essential nature. Instead, it speaks to unity, and urges Christians, with God's help, to attain it.

You have to ignore the "as we are" and "perfect in one" statements... or at the very least, reduce their significance.

It may be simpler, but it is not monotheism. The Trinity achieves the difficult task of reconciling belief in Jesus' deity with the monotheism of the schema. The henotheism you seem to espouse abandons that effort, and redefines Moses' admonition as simply picking the right God to serve.

If you understand that the scriptures mean one and not 1, it's not difficult. God the Father is God, and even Jesus Christ is subordinate to Him. One God the Father from which all known things to us have come. It is by His power and authority that all this (creation) exists. His Son did the creating, but not without His power and influence.

I frankly disagree. One is one. It is single, it is 1, it is alone.

Show me in scripture where any use of "one God" means number and not unity of will. No where in the Bible does it attempt to explain "one" like it does in John 17. Isaiah is replete with phrases such as "none beside me" and "none before me" but that is easily understood as I described earlier.

The intent of saying "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" to the Israelites was clearly meant to instruct them to not worship any other Gods, and was not meant as a description of eternity, where or if any other Gods exist. If you follow this line of teaching the Bible becomes clear. John 17 then supports what is taught elsewhere as "one."

John 17 is Jesus' prayer to God that his followers would be united the way He and the Father are united--in agreement. I doubt seriously that Jesus would find it necessary to address matters of essential nature in a prayer to his Father.

I feel differently. If it is as important as the Bible says it is, "to know God," then it would be given. If it were more complicated than Father and Son it would say. But, no need for me to go 'round and 'round about it.

The Bible tells us that Jesus is God, and it says there is only one God. In the early years of the church that was enough. There were other matters--such as spreading the gospel, while under persecution. Not given in to the temptation to revert to Mosaic legalism, nor to pre-Gnostic heresies.

Yet, many of the early Christian fathers, disciples of the original Apostles, taught that the Father and the Son were different beings, and that the Son was subordinate to the Father. We both choose what we believe. The Trinity wasn't official church doctrine until the 4th or 5th century, depending on which council you believe had final say.

Besides...the Trinity really isn't that hard...1X1X1=1. Three distinct persons, but only one essential God. It's as easy as early third grade mathematics. :)

You're the one that gave the 2 = 1, not me. :)

Besides, this multiplication trick is a falsehood. When 3 are mentioned, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, it is not a multiplication problem, but an addition problem.

In multiplication you take 1 thing and multiply it so many times; or you increase the original by a set size. That would suggest there are 3 Fathers, or 3 Sons, or 3 Holy Ghosts.

A x A x A = 3A

The Godhead is A x B x C, even if multiplication was used, and cannot be simplified to one letter 3 times.

They are different and unique, and therefore must be added together.

A + B + C = one in will

Sometimes taking an analogy too far destroys it's meaning. We should stick with the addition.

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Did you forget about the one God, the First and the Last, of Isaiah 44:6-8 Whom LDS refer to as Jesus?

No.

John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Jesus calls the Father "His God" and "His Father." The Father is greater than all, even Jesus. That doesn't support a Triune make-up where they are co-equal.

John 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

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John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Jesus calls the Father "His God" and "His Father." The Father is greater than all, even Jesus. That doesn't support a Triune make-up where they are co-equal.

Justice, these are 2000 year old arguements.

Yes, there is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

Philippians 2:6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God

John 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Note He made Himself (voluntarily) of no reputation, or as Hebrews 2:7 puts it "You have made Him a little lower than the angels" so, in that position, yes, the Father was higher in rank yet, because He humbled Himself-

Phil 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand

In context;

John 10:28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

No one can snatch them from Either's hand.

Rev 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Please answer, How many Almighties are there?

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Many responses has missed the most obvious point of John 17. This obvious point is where Christ requests that the Father restore unto him the Glory and honor he had held with the Father in the Beginning.

Here, we must understand the terminology - Essence. What do Trinitarians mean by essence? Well, to properly understand the term Essence in Trinitarian construct, we must go back to the original use of the word which was the debate of two Greek words. Arianus, if you actually study the dispute out, believed that Christ and the Father were separate and of separate natures. The misunderstanding of Arianism was not so much on the nature of the Father and Son, but on the doctrine of subordination of the Son to the Father (which was actually a prevalent thought up until the Council of Nicea). Prior to the Arian Controversy, Valentinus taught that the Father and Son were of different substances and essences, and that one of the differences is due to the fact that the Father was a duality God (masculine=feminine), and a being that was both incomprehensible, invisible, and unknowable:

Valentinus and his followers believed that God, the supreme Father is "uncontained, incomprehensible and cannot be seen or heard" (Against Heresies 1:2:5). Therefore he defies accurate description. He is infinite, without beginning or end and is the ultimate origin of all things. He encompasses all things without being encompassed (Ep5:3, Gospel of Truth 18:34, Valentinian Exposition 22:27-28, Against Heresies 2:2:2). Everything including the world lies within the Father and continues to be part of him. God manifests himself through a process of self-unfolding in the subsequent multiplicity of being while maintaining his unity.

All Valentinians agree that God incorporates both masculine and feminine characteristics. This is in opposition to traditional Jewish and orthodox Christian descriptions of God in exclusively masculine terms. According to most sources, the Father (or Parent)can be understood as a male-female dyad. This is related to the notion that God provides the universe with both form and substance.

When we come to the scene of the Council of Nicea, we come to understand that the Bishops had an alternative view of Christ and the Father. A view that no longer held a First-Century understanding of Christ.

This is why there was a need of a Restoration. Humanity had lost understanding of who God the Father is and Jesus Christ. Yet, when we look to the scriptures, we find that Christ not only distinguished himself as being separate from the Father, he also distinguished himself as being subordinate to the Will and Desires of the Father (one can only study the Garden of Gethsemane where the true idea of subordination between the Divine Son and the Divine Father is self-evident).

Let us get back to John 17 where Christ prays to the Father. We know they are separate and distinct. We also know that Christ, while praying in John 17, does not possess the same essence, substance, and nature of the Father. We also know that Christ is the creator of all things and that Christ existed prior to Abraham. Christ existed as a premortal spirit, yet appeared in anthropomorphic human forms. This also is evident in the Old Testament where Christ is YHWH, the One True God of Ancient Israel.

Thus, Christ essence, and nature and substance, had changed from one of divine glory to a mortal flesh. He then died, was buried and rose with a perfectly glorified resurrected body of flesh and bone. He still possesses this resurrected body.

What the problem becomes for the Trinitarian is that if Christ has a body of flesh and bone, and that the Father restored the same glory Christ had with the Father from the Beginning, how then can they have the same essence and nature if Christ's nature is ontologically different than that of the Father since one has a resurrected body and the other is a mere incomprehensible spirit? How then can they be "One in Essence"?

This is where the doctrine of modalism enters in and we know it is a heretical doctrine because one, then, can't argue that God could not have taken on Mortal flesh when Christ did that very thing.

What then is the answer to this? We only look to Revelation 3:21 where Christ says that those who overcome, He, Christ, will grant to sit with him on His Throne, as he sits on the throne With His Father. We also know that there are 24 thrones surrounding Christ's throne, and seated on these thrones are Elders in White Garments with golden crowns. We also know that Christ is also mentioned to be on the Right hand of God - a position of authority and majesty. Revelation has the one handing the scroll to the Lamb of God (which is Christ).

Now, think about this, if God the Father is seated on a throne, Christ is seated on the Throne, and they are separate and distinct from one another then we know that there are two distinct individuals who are seated on two separate and distinct thrones - Christ being on the Right hand side of the Father.

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Making Himself "equal with God" is different than making Himself God the Father. Jesus claimed to be the God of the Old Testament. He is. He is Jehovah, not Eloi.

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Jehovah, the premortal Jesus Christ, was the God of the Old Testament. Because of the fall of Adam, mankind was separated from the Father. Jehovah was called to speak for the Father as part of the Godhead, and did everything the Father asked Him... which includes at times speaking in first person for the Father because He is one in will and on His errand.

How can one be greater or lesser than himself?

In any case, John 17 is the clincher. Jesus said all of us can be perfect in one even as the Father and Son are one. This is the best and clearest explanation of how the Father and Son are one. You add to it, I do not.

The Bible never states the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are bodily one. That wasn't doctrine until centuries after Christ's death.

Interpreting the words can be difficult. The events teach us how to interpret the words. Jesus lived as a spirit before He was born into mortality. He was born of a mortal mother. He suffered for the sins of the world because mankind was separated from the Father. He died. He was resurrected. He is now glorified and perfected.

These are all true, and leads me away from the Trinity belief.

But, the bottom line is, we have modern revelation and scripture through prophets that teach us the truth about God. They cannot be disproven in the Bible, only interpreted differently. My belief stands or falls on the Book of Mormon being true.

I have the Bible, but I also have these other witnesses.

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Well, that's the billion dollar question, isn't it?

If it's in body, then all will be joined in mass bodily.

If it's in will and purpose, then it makes much more sense.

You use the term "bodily" and assign it to trinitarians. And yet, we believe that the Father is Spirit, not body. Further, that prior to the incarnation (enfleshment) of Christ, he did not have a body either. So, "essence" is not "body." And yet, it's more than will and purpose, because it is their shared essence that allows us to say they are the one Old Testament/New Testament/Eternal God.

Perhaps the following resource will be a helpful insight. It is written primarily for pastors, encouraging us to teach the Trinity.

The Trinity: Why We Should Teach It

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Making Himself "equal with God" is different than making Himself God the Father. Jesus claimed to be the God of the Old Testament. He is. He is Jehovah, not Eloi...

The trinitarian belief does not see only the Father as God. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each are distinct from each other, but each are the one and only God. Scripture is firm on saying there is only one God, and scripture also shows that the Father is God, the Son is God and the HS is God. The only way to reconcile a one and only God with three persons is by realizing that each person is God collectively and individually. John 17 is not a scripture (as PC has pointed out) that is explaining God's essense, nature, divinity, how the three are one. It is explaining the Son's and Father's unity - unity in plan and purpose.

M.

Edited by Maureen

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Well, that's the billion dollar question, isn't it?

If it's in body, then all will be joined in mass bodily.

If it's in will and purpose, then it makes much more sense.

I think it can be both, "not join in mass bodily" but possibly bodily oneness as in one type of body. 1 Corinthians 15: " 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another."

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, in reference to this said; "“In the resurrection there will be different kinds of bodies; they will not all be alike. The body a man receives will determine his place hereafter. There will be celestial bodies, terrestrial bodies, and telestial bodies, and these bodies will differ as distinctly as do bodies here. … Some will gain celestial bodies with all the powers of exaltation and eternal increase . These bodies will shine like the sun as our Savior’s does, as described by John. Those who enter the terrestrial kingdom will have terrestrial bodies, and they will not shine like the sun, but they will be more glorious than the bodies of those who receive the telestial glory” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:286–87).

So he said, "...they will not all be alike." As in, there will be some that are alike but not all of them because there will be some that are Terrestrial and some Telestial etc. He said "these" bodies will differ, referring to the differences between Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial or just referring to the Telestial body alone as that was the last thing on the list before saying "differ as distinctly as do bodies here". That would make sense as Paul describes the body of the stars as differing one from another. Even then there are some in the Celestial that are at different levels than the highest within the Celestial. But Paul in Corinthians, used the word "one" there. Now look at the picture that was presented in this thread even and think about the word "one". Also take into consideration that Paul describes Jesus as the "express" image of the Father. And also think about inheriting all. What would happen if you inherited all of the genes from your Father, what would you look like? Anybody who receives a full inheritance receives all. All equals all and therefore is "one".

Edited by Seminarysnoozer

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You use the term "bodily" and assign it to trinitarians. And yet, we believe that the Father is Spirit, not body. Further, that prior to the incarnation (enfleshment) of Christ, he did not have a body either. So, "essence" is not "body." And yet, it's more than will and purpose, because it is their shared essence that allows us to say they are the one Old Testament/New Testament/Eternal God.

Perhaps the following resource will be a helpful insight. It is written primarily for pastors, encouraging us to teach the Trinity.

The Trinity: Why We Should Teach It

I will read it, PC.

I use the term "bodily" as the context to join them in "one" substance. You say essence is better, I'll go with it. In any case, it has absolutely no bearing on my point. I may have called in "bodily" but "essence" works just the same for the point of discussion.

Christ now has a body of flesh and bones. Can He now not be re-joined into this "essence" because He is now different? What significance does His body play now that He is resurrected? If it is His ultimate destiny to be rejoined to this "one-in-three essense," then must He lose His body at some point?

And, I have to be honest with you PC, I don't like your answer for John 17 one bit. You agree it says they are "perfect in one" and that we will be "one as [they] are one" but it's referring to a different "one?"

I expect you know I'm not buying it.

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The only way to reconcile a one and only God with three persons is by realizing that each person is God collectively and individually.

It is not the only way, but the way you have chosen. In your very next sentence you explain that there is a different understanding to "one" in the Bible, which offers another possible interpretation.

John 17 is not a scripture (as PC has pointed out) that is explaining God's essense, nature, divinity, how the three are one. It is explaining the Son's and Father's unity - unity in plan and purpose.

So, do I believe people who interpret it because it doesn't fit their view of God, or do I believe the words in the scripture? I do not add to the words, you do.

The words clearly say "as we are one," even "perfect in one." This is describing how the Father and Son are one. There is NO OTHER explanation given anywhere in the text of the Bible that leads one to believe John 17 is wrong, or not enough. There are no scriptures that state the "one" in "one God" is speaking of "essense" and not will and purpose.

It can be understood either way with the given words.

There's at least this one other possible explanation.

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John 17: 11. Here are three branches of this petition:—

(1.) Holy Father, keep those whom thou hast given me.

[1.] Christ was now leaving them; but let them not think that their defence was departed from them; no, he does here, in their hearing, commit them to the custody of his Father and their Father. Note, It is the unspeakable comfort of all believers that Christ himself has committed them to the care of God. Those cannot but be safe whom the almighty God keeps, and he cannot but keep those whom the Son of his love commits to him, in the virtue of which we may by faith commit the keeping of our souls to God, 1 Pt. 4:19; 2 Tim. 1:12. First, He here puts them under the divine protection, that they may not be run down by the malice of their enemies; that they and all their concerns may be the particular care of the divine Providence: "Keep their lives, till they have done their work; keep their comforts, and let them not be broken in upon by the hardships they meet with; keep up their interest in the world, and let it not sink.’’ To this prayer is owing the wonderful preservation of the gospel ministry and gospel church in the world unto this day; if God had not graciously kept both, and kept up both, they had been extinguished and lost long ago. Secondly, He puts them under the divine tuition, that they may not themselves run away from their duty, nor be led aside by the treachery of their own hearts: "Keep them in their integrity, keep them disciples, keep them close to their duty.’’ We need God’s power not only to put us into a state of grace, but to keep us in it. See, ch. 10:28, 29; 1 Pt. 1:5.

[2.] The titles he gives to him he prays to, and them he prays for, enforce the petition. First, He speaks to God as a holy Father. In committing ourselves and others to the divine care, we may take encouragement, 1. From the attribute of his holiness, for this is engaged for the preservation of his holy ones; he hath sworn by his holiness, Ps. 89:35. If he be a holy God and hate sin, he will make those holy that are his, and keep them from sin, which they also hate and dread as the greatest evil. 2. From this relation of a Father, wherein he stands to us through Christ. If he be a Father, he will take care of his own children, will teach them and keep them; who else should? Secondly, He speaks of them as those whom the Father had given him. What we receive as our Father’s gifts, we may comfortably remit to our Father’s care. "Father, keep the graces and comforts thou hast given me; the children thou hast given me; the ministry I have received.’’

(2.) Keep them through thine own name. That is, [1.] Keep them for thy name’s sake; so some. "Thy name and honour are concerned in their preservation as well as mine, for both will suffer by it if they either revolt or sink.’’ The Old Testament saints often pleaded, for thy name’s sake; and those may with comfort plead it that are indeed more concerned for the honour of God’s name than for any interest of their own. [2.] Keep them in thy name; so others; the original is so, en toµ onomati. "Keep them in the knowledge and fear of thy name; keep them in the profession and service of thy name, whatever it cost them. Keep them in the interest of thy name, and let them ever be faithful to this; keep them in thy truths, in thine ordinances, in the way of thy commandments.’’ [3.] Keep them by or through thy name; so others. "Keep them by thine own power, in thine own hand; keep them thyself, undertake for them, let them be thine own immediate care. Keep them by those means of preservation which thou hast thyself appointed, and by which thou hast made thyself known. Keep them by thy word and ordinances; let thy name be their strong tower, thy tabernacle their pavilion.’’

(3.) Keep them from the evil, or out of the evil. He had taught them to pray daily, Deliver us from evil, and this would encourage them to pray. [1.] "Keep them from the evil one, the devil and all his instruments; that wicked one and all his children. Keep them from Satan as a tempter, that either he may not have leave to sift them, or that their faith may not fail. Keep them from him as a destroyer, that he may not drive them to despair.’’ [2.] "Keep them from the evil thing, that is sin; from every thing that looks like it, or leads to it. Keep them, that they do no evil,’’ 2 Co. 13:7. Sin is that evil which, above any other, we should dread and deprecate. [3.] "Keep them from the evil of the world, and of their tribulation in it, so that it may have no sting in it, no malignity;’’ not that they might be kept from affliction, but kept through it, that the property of their afflictions might be so altered as that there might be no evil in them, nothing to them any harm.

Edited by LADYWILLIAMS

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