Daniel Mesa was asked questions (in red) and the ministry who asked the questions wouldn’t publish the answers.
Recently you posted an online series of videos and papers on the topic of the Godhead, along with a PDF called “50 Questions about the Trinity.” Give us the short version, what is your belief on the doctrine of the Trinity?
Jesus said there is one true God, with Himself as His Son (John 17:3). Paul said there is one God and Father of all (1 Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:6). Paul taught this to Timothy (1 Timothy 2:5). James said the fallen angels believe there is one God (James 2:19). The demons know that Jesus is the Son of God most high (Mark 3:11-12, Luke 8:28). The scribes knew there was one God, which brought commendation from Christ (Mark 12:32-34). Malachi said there was one God who created us (through His Son) (Malachi 2:10). Moses agreed, laying this foundation many years before (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Without covering everything—due to the shortness of space—and taking all inspiration “as it reads” (GC 598.3), the word “both” in Zechariah 6:13 means two. The words in Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.1 (“an,” “a,” “only,”) mean one, and Proverbs 8:22-30 is applied to Christ. Notice Christ as wisdom in 1 Corinthians 1:24 and 30.
“Goings forth” in Micah 5:2 is used only one other time in the Bible. It’s translated “draught house” in 2 Kings 10:27; a small house set apart from the bigger one. This illustrates the same as does the stone cut out of the mountain without hands (Daniel 2:45)… Jesus, the chief corner Stone, said Himself, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28). (The word “greater” is one time translated “elder” in Romans 9:12.)
This same illustration is brought out in Adam and Eve:
- Genesis 1:26 – “When God said to His Son, “Let Us make man in Our image…” (EW 145.1) it equalled two—Adam and Eve. (The Spirit of God was IN all the fullness of humanity (Genesis 2:7, Job 27:3), just as “the Spirit [is] IN all the fullness of the Godhead” BTS March 1, 1906, par. 1-2.) Christ breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life, just as Christ breathed upon His disciples the Holy Ghost, in John 20:22.
- Romans 1:18-20 says what may be known is manifest in us, even God’s eternal power and Godhead (and man “is the image and glory of God” 1 Corinthians 11:7):
- 2 sides of 1 brain (generally) – used together
- 2 ears – 1 hearing experience – used together
- 2 eyes – 1 seeing experience – used together
- 2 nostrils – 1 nose – used together
- 2 sets of upper or lower teeth in 1 mouth – used together
- 2 vocal chords – used together
- 2 arms – used together
- 2 hands – used together
- 2 lungs – used together
- 2 kidneys – used together
- 2 lobes of the liver – used together
- 2 legs – used together
- 2 feet – used together
- Genesis 2:7 – Adam, representing the “Father of all”, was first in existence (illustrating one with no beginning) (Psalm 90:1-2 which EGW applies to the Father, GC 479.2)
- Genesis 2:21-22 – Eve, representing the begotten Son, was brought forth from the side of Adam (Proverbs 8:22-30, Daniel 2:45, RH July 9, 1895, par. 13)
- Eve was from the man (Genesis 2:22, John 7:29, 8:42, 16:27-30, 17:8 – See Daniel 3:26)
- Eve was made/formed from the substance of Adam (Genesis 2:22, Philippians 2:5-7)
- Eve was the glory of the man (1 Corinthians 11:7, John 17:5)
- Adam declared Eve as equal, ‘bone… flesh…’ (Genesis 2:23, John 5:18)
- Eve was a help meet (fit) for Adam (Genesis 2:20, Zechariah 6:13)
- Eve was “the only being” for Adam (Genesis 2:20-24, PP 34.1)
- Adam gave her a name (Genesis 2:23, Hebrews 1:4-8)
- Adam, as most men are, was taller (John 14:28)
- Adam and Eve were “one” (Genesis 2:24, John 10:30)
- Compared to the others around, they were “little short of being identical” (Genesis 2:23, YI December 16, 1897, par. 5)
- EGW uses the terms “from eternity” and “from everlasting” differently than “through everlasting” or “throughout eternity,” etc. “From eternity” Christ has existed with the Father, but not “throughout eternity.” Through or throughout eternity is always used in a future tense by EGW.
In Genesis 16:1-4, Ishmael was used to “obscure” the “fact” of Isaac being the only begotten Son (Hebrews 11:17). The fallen angels did the same, “This fact the angels would obscure, that Christ was the only begotten Son of God…” (Lt42-1910.3).
Christ was certainly not created. “Not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten…” (ST May 30, 1895, par. 3).
This is how Christ is equal and authoritative, “God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father…” (8T 268.3).
Now, regarding the Comforter: there are only five times the Bible uses the Greek word for “Comforter.” The first is in John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7, and once in 1 John 2:1. The last time the word is used a name is given to the “Comforter.” It is translated “Advocate,” who is “Jesus Christ the righteous.” This is how Ellen White was free to write things like the following:
“Christ is to be known by the blessed name of Comforter. “The Comforter,” said Christ to His disciples, “which is the Holy Ghost…” (Ms7-1902.10).
“While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by His Spirit the minister of the church on earth. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but His parting promise is fulfilled, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, His energizing presence is still with His church” (DA 166.2).
“Christ gave His representative, the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. This gift could not be excelled. The divine Spirit, converting, enlightening, sanctifying, would be His donation, because He would give all gifts in one” (Ms44-1898.11).
Many will say that it is not essential to study the Spirit because “silence is golden” (AA 52.1). I agree. The context says the “nature” of the Spirit is what we are to be silent on, not the who. We must be careful not to go beyond what inspiration has revealed. For example, speaking of John 14:15-16, EGW says, “This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter” (14MR 179.2).
It would be well for all to read the context of each of these statements: “Jesus comes to you as the Spirit of truth“ (2MR 337.1), “Christ was the spirit of truth” (SW October 25, 1898, par. 2), “We want the Holy Spirit, which is Jesus Christ” (Lt66-1894.18), “After Christ’s ascension His enthronement in His mediatorial kingdom was signalized by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit was given” (COL 118.3).
After Pentecost, notice what is said about John receiving the Revelation, “When John received it, he was worked by the Holy Spirit, for Christ Himself came from heaven and told him what to write” (18MR 37.1).
Carefully read John 7:37-39 without the supplied word “given”. Notice: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (39) (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Have you noticed John 14:23 lately? “We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” This follows verse 10 which says, “the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” If the Father was dwelling in Christ, then what about the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost?
All of John 14, 15, 16, & 17, while speaking of the coming of the Comforter, speaks in the future tense about His coming. Why is this? It is because Christ was able to give the gift of His Spirit, after becoming human, after overcoming temptation, after dying, after being raised, after being glorified—then, He was able to give the amazing gift of His omnipresent spirit.
How then did people like Adam, Abraham, Noah, Elijah, David, Micah, and Malachi all have an experience with the Lord? It was done just as they had received forgiveness—by faith in the coming Christ! There is SOOO much more to learn! But, with my hand on the Bible, I can say that all of what is written above proves consistent with all of the prophets of God.
Where does the word Trinity come from?
It is not a Biblical term. Much of its popularity can be traced back to a Roman-lead ecumenical gathering called the “Council of Nicea” in 325 AD (just four years after Rome established the Sunday law in 321). Tertullian introduced the word into Christianity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertullian).
Also, there is a good historical resource in the second chapter of The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship by the late Alexander Hislop.
Where does the word Godhead come from?
Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, and Colossians 2:9. These are from three different but related Greek terms. (Strong’s Greek numbers 2304, 2305, and 2320.)
Back in the 80’s I worked with an Apostolic Pentecostal contractor as a roofing subcontractor. They believed in Jesus only, that He was Father and Son and Holy Ghost all by Himself. Is that what you believe?
No. What you are describing sounds like Unitarianism (and I do accept the full deity of Christ). I suppose we could almost call this Modalism. Clearly the Father and the Son are not the same person. In regards to the Holy Spirit, I believe the Holy Spirit is the “Third Person of the Godhead,” one of the “three great powers of Heaven,” one of the “Heavenly Trio,” etc. just as much as EGW says it! The Spirit proceeds from the Father (John 15:26) and He is “the Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the only begotten Son of God” (RH April 5, 1906, par. 16). The Spirit was given in a special sense at Pentecost (Acts 2, Revelation 5:6), just as we can see in John 14, 15, 16, and 17 that the coming Comforter was referred to as future tense.
In light of all the challenges that the church is currently facing, why go after the doctrine of the Trinity? Doesn’t that risk dividing conservative Adventists at a time when they need to be more unified than ever?
Just like everyone else, I don’t like to say it, but “Divisions will come in the church. Two parties will be developed. The wheat and tares grow up together for the harvest” (Ms32-1896.34).
“Men would effect a union through conformity to popular opinions, through a compromise with the world. But truth is God’s basis for the unity of his people” (GW92 391.2). (See John 17:17)
Nancy and I enjoyed our time with you and Julie in San Antonio, and will always consider you friends. How will your new beliefs regarding the Godhead affect other friendships? Or will it?
Brother! I pray God’s truth never leads us to love people less! We sooo enjoyed our time with you too! And Thai food to boot! =)
I agree that the word trinity is not in the Bible, but the doctrine of the Godhead is certainly in there.
Truth… The question is, what does inspiration say about the identity of each of the “three powers of the Godhead”?
“The Father IS all the fullness of the Godhead… The Son IS all the fullness of the Godhead… The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit IN all the fullness of the Godhead” (BTS March 1, 1906, par. 1-2).
At the baptism of Jesus, all three members of the Godhead show up (The Son, The Holy Spirit [dove] and The Father [voice]). Whether we call it trinity or the Godhead, there were three there, no?
Actually… “Never had angels listened to such a prayer. They were solicitous to bear to the praying Redeemer messages of assurance and love. But no; the Father himself will minister to his Son. Direct from the throne proceeded the light of the glory of God. The heavens were opened, and beams of light and glory proceeded therefrom and assumed the form of a dove, in appearance like burnished gold. The dove-like form was emblematical of the meekness and gentleness of Christ” (YI March 1, 1874, par. 4).
If everyone in the church changes their minds and rejects the trinity, would that make us more righteous?
“Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in” (Isaiah 26:2). Simply put, the wrong god will give us the wrong righteousness.
Do you see yourself as a reformer?
More like a “repairer of the breach” (Isaiah 58:12). See Ezekiel 20:12, 20.
How does this new belief make you a better father or husband?
One thing I have learned much more about is love—real love. I pray continually that will be reflected to my family and those I interact with.
If the church doesn’t accept the anti-trinitarian perspective, will you stay with the church and support it?
Though I love this church, she is in the process of getting rid of me. I hope she heeds John 7:51, “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?”
Any parting words?
Thank you for asking me to respond in this way.