Zig Ziglar is a famous inspirational speaker and writer who publishes a weekly newsletter. A regular feature of the newsletter is a note about something of importance that happened on that particular date in history. Recently, the featured event was the Council of Nicaea: “On August 25, 325, the Council of Nicaea concludes. The Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical debate held by the early Christian church, concludes with the establishment of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Convened by Roman Emperor Constantine I in May, the council also deemed the Arian belief of Christ as inferior to God as heretical, thus resolving an early church crisis.”
Zig, who become a Christian late in his life, no doubt thinks that this council is an important event because it established the position that the Christian church would take in the controversy over whether or not Jesus is God.
For us this bit of news is positive proof that the doctrine of the Trinity is not in the Bible, because it was formulated by men and only established after debate at a council hundreds of years after the Bible was written. The emperor Constantine favored the Trinitarian point of view, and his opinion prevailed for political reasons.
As a result, the Arians were persecuted for their belief that Jesus is not coequal with his Father, and all Christians were forced to believe that Jesus is not inferior to God or be considered heretics. Even in our age of tolerance today, those who reject the divinity of Christ are considered to be non-Christians by mainstream Christianity.
How could the church ignore such plain statements as the following? “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Also, “My Father is greater than I.”
How do Trinitarians respond to such incidents as the following? The rich young man runs up to Jesus and says, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” Jesus is plainly saying that he is not God. Would the Council of Nicaea call Jesus a heretic for this?
It is amazing that, of the many millions of people in the world who call themselves Christian, almost all of them believe that Jesus is the second person of the Godhead and is in fact God the Son. This terminology, this concept, is not found in the Bible. The very opposite, the supremacy of God and the subjection of Christ to God, is very clear in Scripture. Paul plainly says, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Christ will be subject to God throughout the ages in the future: “But when everything has been put under him, then the Son himself will also become subject to the one who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.”
Even after Jesus has risen from the dead, he acknowledges that God is his God: “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.”
Peter verifies that God is the God over Jesus when he says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Many Christians today also now teach a doctrine about an evil man they call the Antichrist. They teach that, before Jesus returns, this Antichrist will rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, attempt to rule the world, and do many other things that Scripture teaches will be done by the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
It is ironic that in the first century the Jews were looking for their Messiah, and when he came they denied him and crucified him; and now in the 21st century many Christians are looking for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ but will reject him when he comes. They believe that before Christ returns an Antichrist will arise and do the very things Scripture tells us the Lord will do. History is about to repeat itself. The Jews, looking for their Messiah, rejected him; and now many who call themselves Christian will reject the Lord Jesus at his return. How sad.
Unfortunately, those who hold the doctrine of the Trinity are actually themselves the antichrist, for as John tells us, “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist.” So the belief that Jesus was God and not flesh is that spirit of antichrist. Hebrews tells us plainly that Jesus shared our flesh and blood nature, and certainly God does not: “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil.”
How thankful we are that we have no part in the false doctrines that so many who call themselves Christians hold. We do not worship the same God; their concept of God is not Scriptural. Let us hold fast to our faith, for we believe as Jesus told us, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
Robert J. Lloyd