That the Apostolic church had not the least knowledge of a trinity of persons, or of three persons from eternity, can be clearly seen from the creed of that church which is called the Apostles’ Creed, in which are these words –
“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary;” and “I believe in the Holy Ghost.”
Here no mention is made of a Son born from eternity, but only of a Son conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary; for they knew from the apostles:
• That Jesus Christ was the true God (1 John 5:20)
• And that in Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9);
• And that the apostles preached faith in Him (Acts 20:21);
• And that to Him was given all power in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18).
What confidence is to be had in councils when they do not go directly to the God of the church? Is not the church the Lord’s body, and He its head? What is a body without a head? And what sort of a body is that upon which three heads have been put, under the auspices of which men hold consultations and pass decrees? Does not enlightenment (which is spiritual when it is from the Lord alone, who is the God of heaven and the church, and also the God of the Word) then become more and more natural and at length sensual? And then not a single genuine theological truth in its internal form is perceived without being instantly cast out of the thought of the rational understanding, and like chaff from a winnowing machine blown into the air. In this state fallacies steal into the mind instead of truths, and darkness instead of rays of light; and men stand as if in a cave with spectacles on the nose and torch in hand, shutting their eyes to spiritual truths, which are in the light of heaven, and opening them to sensual truths belonging to the fatuous light of the bodily senses. And it is the same afterwards when the Word is read; the mind is then asleep to truths and awake to falsities, and becomes like the beast described as rising up out of the sea:
• With a mouth like that of a lion, a body like that of a leopard, and feet like those of a bear (Apoc. 13:2).
It is said in heaven that when the Nicene Council had finished its work, that had come to pass which the Lord foretold to His disciples:
• The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken (Matt. 24:29);
and in fact the Apostolic church was like a new star appearing in the starry heaven. But the church after the two Nicene councils became finally like the same star darkened and lost to view, as has sometimes happened, according to the observation of astronomers, in the natural world. We read in the Word that:
• Jehovah God dwells in light unapproachable (1 Tim. 6:16).
Who, then, can approach Him, unless He take up His abode in light that is approachable, that is, unless He come down and assume a Human, and in it become the light of the world (John 1:9; 12:46)? Anyone can see that to get near to Jehovah the Father in His own light is as impossible as to take the wings of the morning and fly on them to the sun, or to feed upon the sun’s rays instead of material food, or as for a bird to fly in the ether, or a stag to run on air.
To be continued…