We resume our rebuttal to Mr. Reno Omokri. If you haven’t read the first part, you can find it [here]. In this articles, we are going to look at the Bible verses misrepresented and misinterpreted by Reno Omokri.
Firstly, Reno noted “According to the official creeds of the Catholic, Anglican and the World Evangelical Alliance, the Trinity is a doctrine that projects one God in three divine persons, in which the three Persons are co-equal and co-eternal and omniscient”.
Now, I am not going to give my opinion about the Trinity; rather, I will let the Holy Scriptures speak. Moreover, is there co-equality between God, His Son and the Holy Spirit?
Mr. Reno quoted John 14:28 where the Son stated My Father is greater than I, he then interpreted the verse to mean that this contradicts the first leg of the Trinity as he puts it. Obviously Mr. Reno did not allow the scripture to speaks for itself and his statement above basically expose his misunderstanding on the doctrine of Trinity. The Text didn’t say “and the Son is not God”, nor “greater in nature” .
If Reno has taken time to learn from the early Church Fathers with whom he accused of falsehood and criticized, (these are the people who suffered for the Gospel) he would definitely have saved himself from this gross misunderstanding and confusion. Even though one of our brothers had beautifully addressed this area, we only seek to put the icing on the cake.
The doctrine of Trinity teaches that each person is co-equal in nature, just as a wife is equal to her husband in nature. The son is not less divine to the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit less divine to both the Father and the Son.
To show that greater doesn’t always imply in nature, a chapter before the chapter 14, Jesus said “Truly , truly, I say to you , a slave is not greater (meizon) than his master , nor is one who is sent greater (meizon) than the one who sent him” ( John13:16)
We all know that both the slave and the one sent are just as human as the master and the sender, having the same human nature and essence that the master and the sender have. Thus, greater here must mean in position and authority not in essence and nature. The Father is greater than the Son by the virtue of the fact that the Father is on the throne in Heaven and the Son was here on earth, being emptied (made himself of no reputation) and took on the role of a servant.
In fact, reading the whole book of John in context, Christ again and again lay claims to things that can only be true of God. Both skeptic and conservative scholars agreed that “the Gospel of John has the highest Christology among the Gospels”. John starts his Gospel by saying Christ existence is from eternity. “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ) …and the Word(Christ) was God Himself” ( John1:1 AMP)
In John 8:58 Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am”. Those Jews that was listening understood him so well, “…so they picked up stone to throw at him”(John8:58a)
In John 10:30-31, Jesus said “I and my Father are one, and then the Jews took up stones again to stone him”. Why did they want to stone him? In verse vs 33 “…because you a mere man, Claim to be God” (NIV).
Two chapters later, the blessed Apostle John who helped us to believe that Jesus was Yahweh saw by Isaiah:
“But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in Him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?” For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, “HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES AND HARDENED THEIR HEART, SO THAT THEY WOULD NOT SEE WITH THEIR EYES AND PERCEIVE WITH THEIR HEART, AND BE CONVERTED AND I HEAL THEM.” These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. (John.1:37-41 bold and Emphasis are ours)
To the Blessed Apostle John, the person who Isaiah saw was Jesus, but according to Isaiah, he saw Yahweh sitting on a throne.
“In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord (Yahweh) sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.” (Isaiah 6:1-4)
Commenting on this verse, Dr. James R. White noted: “therefore, if we ask Isaiah, “Whose glory did he see in his vision of the temple?” He would reply, “Yahweh’s.” But if we ask the same question from John, “Whose glory did Isaiah see?” He would answer with the same answer only in its fullness, “Jesus’.” Who then is Jesus to John? There is no other than the eternal God in human flesh, Yahweh. [The Forgotten Trinity, (Minnesota: Bethany House Publishing, 1998), 148]
That’s not all, since in that same book of John, Thomas after he had seen the resurrected Christ, worshipped him, “he said UNTO HIM, MY LORD and MY GOD” ( John20:28) . In Greek it is “Ho kyrious, mou Kai ho Theos mou”, which literally reads “The Lord of me and the God of me” .
In case we missed all this, the blessed Apostle John reminds us of the main reason he has written his Gospel. He said “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ , the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31 )
According to the book of Apostle John, what is the implication of believing Jesus Christ as the Son of God? “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, MAKING HIMSELF EQUAL WITH GOD”. ( John5:18)
I was surprised at Mr. Reno claimed to have read the book of John as a whole and then had the impression that Jesus is not God in the flesh or that he did not claim to be equal with God in essence and nature. In fact, if he had read the whole chapter 14 alone, he would not have come up with the understanding that Jesus was not God nor equal with God the Father.
A critical look at the entire chapter 14, the Lord Jesus claimed to have all of God’s Omni-attributes:
“Whatever you ask IN MY NAME, this I WILL DO, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ASK ME anything in my NAME, I WILL DO it. (John14:13-14)
Christ said he is capable of personally answering all prayers that are directed to him or are addressed in his name. The only way that Christ can both hear and answer all these prayers is if he is both omniscient and omnipotent. “In that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me, and I IN you. “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. (John 14:20-21)
Christ says that he is IN all the Disciples; an impossible claims if he was only a man, or even an angel. But since Jesus is God, and since God is Omnipresent, it therefore makes perfect sense for Christ to say he is able to dwell in all the believers at the same time.
Lastly, “Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My Word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.”
Both the Son and the Father make their home with all true believers. Christ is clearly claiming Co-equality with the Father since he is present with every Believer in the same way that the Father is.
Sam Shamoun in answering this assertion concluded in his article that “Thus, the Father was greater in position and rank, not in essence and nature. The questioner is, therefore, committing a categorical fallacy. He/she is confusing the category of position and rank with the category of essence and nature, erroneously assuming that if one is greater in one way, i.e. position and authority, than he/she must be greater in every way, i.e. essence and nature. In light of these clear biblical truths, such is not the case at all.” [Sam Shamoun; A series of answer to common Questions]
We hope with this, Mr. Reno and any other sincere person will see that the Gospel of John teaches that the Son is Co-equal with the Father in nature.