"GOD IN THREE PERSONS" OR A THREE-PART ELOHIM? Julio Dam Rébe Judio Mesiánico Renovado
"GOD IN THREE PERSONS"
OR A THREE-DIMENSIONAL
By Julio Dam
Messianic Renewed Rabbi
If there is
one mystery worth revisiting, surely it is the mystery of the nature of
Elohim's Trinity. Theologians throughout the ages have devoted themselves to
delve into this arcana with--fervorous enthusiasm albeit meager results--many a
Christian sages' inquiries revolved around ponderous themes. Among these themes
are questions such as the following, which have not been examined thoroughly,
however, if one were to judge from the end results. How did this
"Three-Persons-in-One-God” originate? And a Divine Person? Is Elohim a
three-in-one Elohim? And, if so, in what way? Does indeed Elohim possess three
Persons or is He a Three-Dimensional Elohim?
THE ORIGIN OF THE
“THREE-PERSONS OF GOD” FORMULA
the Church pick up the "three Persons-in-One-God" formula? Let us
state it right at the beginning:
It is not
based on Scripture nor is it derived from it; and unfortunately, as we will try
to show, it is an erroneous one.
Irenaeus, and Origen pursued the study of the Trinity. In fact, the former is
responsible for the
"One Substance in three Persons" in the fourth century A.D. Now then,
where did this "God: One
in three Persons" come from? From Tertullian, a gifted theologian and
writer. [Surely, if the "three
Persons" Dimension of the Tertullian phrase is not quite accurate, in its
present connotations, then his whole phrase
may fall aDimension
in a second.] Athanasius proclaimed it as the faith of the church at the
Council of Nicea in 325
A.C. as a
riposte to the onslaught of Arrianism. Augustine devoted fifteen years of his
life to meditating on it
De Trinitate. He reformulated it as the "Athanasian Creed". John
Calvin took it up and after him it
of the Reform.
happened is that Tertullian used the Latin word "persona" for
its legal connotations, at his time,
"Part of a litigation." That is to say, that what he thought, when he
said "...in three Persons,"
"..in three parts." That is absolutely correct. The problem began
when the word "persona" took on its
meaning, as we shall see below. (For a brief discussion of this semantic change
from "Part" to
"Person," see History of Christianity, by Kenneth Scott Latourette,
Vol. 1). If we stick to his original
formulation, there is no problem at all, since Elohim does have three Dimensions.
As a Elohim in three Dimensions, He made us
His shadow/tzel and likeness," also with three Dimensions. Surely,
nobody would argue that we have three persons.
1. WHAT IS A PERSON?
successful theological explanation regarding Elohim's Persons should, perhaps,
satisfy two preconditions.
should be found in Scripture, as clearly and free of dogmatic interpretations
and manipulations, and
unmistakably as possible.
should be fit to be understood via the digestion organs of man's mind, which
are, after all,
Elohim-given. Blind faith should come after the understanding. Believers should
not be forced to swallow "by
something which it cannot digest with her collective mind in the first place,
especially if this "blind
is used to cover up something totally unscriptural. Let us see how these two
preconditions meet our
What is a
person? Webster's Dictionary defines it "as individual man, woman or
child". Then, the word
"individual" (as in "individual man" above) is defined as
coming from the Middle Latin word individuus,
divisible, "existing as a separate thing or being." Thus, a person is
a separate being, distinct from
person or being. Therefore, if Elohim has three Persons, it should somehow be
referred to in Scripture.
nowhere in Scripture does the word "person" as such appear in the
original languages. In the
"Old" Covenant] the word used is "ben Adam", meaning,
"son of Adam" i.e., "man". In the New
there are three words, sometimes translated as "person", but none in
fact, meaning so. The word
for "person" is the Greek word prosopon, which according both to Vine
Lexicon of Greek Words, means "a face". Moreover, the word antropos,
really means "man" not,
"person", as in the word "antropomorphic", manlike.
person is supposed to have a personality. The word "personality,"
according to Webster's Dictionary is
it takes for a person to be a person," i.e., certain characteristics that
make him what he is and
him from his next-door neighbor. Now, what do we make of a guy who has not one,
personalities? The scientific world would call him "schizophrenic,"
and the Bible a "double-minded man"
Thus, it follows that a Elohim with three Persons should necessarily possess
What are we
the use of the word "Person" as referred to Elohim. The New Bible
Dictionary quite convincingly
case against it: "Person' is, however, an imperfect expression of the
truth inasmuch as the term
us a separate rational and moral individual. But in the being of Elohim there
are not three individuals,
three dimensional self-distinctions within the one divine essence. Then again,
personality in man implies
independence of will, actions, and feelings, leading to behavior peculiar to
the person. This cannot be thought
connection with the Trinity." [R.A.F., New Bible Dictionary, Inter-Varsity
Fellowship, London, 1962,
We have to
agree with the Bible dictionary commentator, since the word "person"
automatically implies a
"separate rational and moral individual", with the operational word
being separate. Elohim is not made of three
Persons, no matter how attuned they are to each other, since Elohim does not
Personalities. That is Tritheism, a belief in three Elohims.
addition, nowhere in Scripture is there a verse which specifically states that
Elohim has three Persons. We
up our minds, and Protestantism has long ago decided against it, whether we
will believe in
which is clearly not in Scripture just because it has come down from a long
line of tradition.
time and again, commentators urge their readers to "have faith" in a
Elohim who is both One and
without any further explanation about how this can be plausible. Our minds,
thus, clearly reject this.
first, Tertullian hit the right formula with his "...in three Dimensions."
The problem has been with the
connotations of the word "persona." Second, the word
"person," semantically, means a human
separate from another, and it never appears even once as such in the whole of
Scripture. Third, there are
specifically saying that Elohim has three Persons. As the Bible Dic- tionary
quoted above says:
"Scripture does not give us a fully formulated doctrine of the Trinity."
[The New Bible Dictionary, op. cit.
Fourth, the given explanation of a three-Person Elohim who is at the same time
One does not sound
2. WHICH CHARACTERISTICS MAY A
seen above how a person possesses certain characteristics which constitute his
characteristics may a person have? A person, as "a separate being"
has an ego, a self; he is morally and
separate from any other person; he has a self-will [which might coincide or not
distinct culture, mother tongue, and an upbringing and background (childhood,
adulthood) which is
from that of any other person, just as different as his unique fingerprints.
instance, you and I are two separate persons. Aside from the fact that we are
both human beings, we have
things in common. We do not share an identical moral and scriptural code, since
we were brought up
different denominations. Neither do we share the same will, culture, mother
tongue, upbringing, or
since we have not even met. In short, there is very little that we do have in
common. Thus, we can
we are the same person, nor can we say this about any other person on the face
of the earth. We are
not least, one of the most important traits a person possesses as a human being
is the fact he is
made up of
three Dimensions, according to I Thess. 5:23: "And the very Elohim of
peace sanctify you oloteleis
["perfect, complete in all respects";Thayer's Lexicon] and I pray
Elohim your olokleron ["complete in all its
entire" Thayer's Lexicon] spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless
unto the coming of our
3. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PERSON AND A PERSON'S DIMENSIONS
above verse from I Thess. means is that a human being, a person is made up in
its entirety of a spirit,
a soul, and
a body; these are his three Dimensions. In other words, a person's body is not
the complete person; he still
spirit and soul. And viceversa. A person's spirit does not constitute the
entire person; he still lacks
and his soul. Similarly, his spirit is not a person, but a third of his person,
which is likewise for his
body. Not even your body and your soul is your whole person; you still need
your spirit to make a
person. Thus, a person's olokleron,
"complete, entire" being is made of these three Dimensions, and no
because Scripture says so.
When we see
a person vis-a-vis a person's three-Dimensional being, we may begin to clear
our minds about their
differences. Let me give you a "for instance" that I hope will
suffice to clarify matters in your mind. Your
wish to eat right at the time you are in church, but both your soul (made up of
your mind, your
and your will) and your spirit may want to remain seated where you are,
enjoying the Lord's peace.
may appreciate the difference between a person and a person's three Dimensional
Who is the
one who wishes to leave church? Your whole per- son? No, it is only a third of
your being, your
hungry, who signals you to leave. Both your soul and your spirit tell your
whole person: "Don't.
it is finished. Enjoy the Presence of the Lord."
4. GOD'S THREE PERSONS OR ELOHIM'S THREE DIMENSIONS?
TRINITARIANISM AND UNITARIANISM COMBINED
and Unitarians have waged a centuries-old war of words regarding paradoxical
contradictory ones, such as the following. But there is a way to unite the two
extremes and still
translation from the original Hebrew is the author's.]
this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true Elohim, and Jesus
Christ, whom thou hast
for us there is but one Elohim, the Father, from whom all things came and for
whom we live; and there is
Lord, Yeshua Messiah, through whom all things came and through whom we
live" (I Cor. 8:5-6)
Lord, one faith, one baptism; one Elohim and Father of all, who is over all and
through all and in all"
ELOHIM IS THREE
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Mt.
the grace of the Lord Yeshua Messiah , and the love of Elohim, and the
fellowship of the Ruach ha Kodesh be
all" (II Cor./Korintiim Beth 13:14)
other hand, in Gen. 1:26 it is written: "And Elohim said, Let us make man
in our image, after our
as mathematicians say, from the two verses above that if Elohim made us in His
image, after His
what we are made of He is made of. Thus we can conclude by saying that Elohim
also has three Dimensions, a
Soul and a Body, since He created us in His image and likeness.
these three Dimensions of Elohim? ADONAI, Elohim the Father, Yeshua, Elohim the
Son, and the Ruach ha Kodesh of
remains to be ascertained which Dimension of Elohim corresponds to which Dimension
of His Holy Being. Let us take
simplest one to figure out. Which Dimension of the Three is the Spirit Dimension
of Elohim? Why, the Ruach ha Kodesh, of
Which Dimension of Elohim is the Body? Let us see what it says in Yochahan/John
1:1,14: "In the beginning
Davar [the Word], and the Davar was with Elohim, and the Davara was
Elohim...And the Davar was
and dwelt [tabernacled] among us..."
Logos might be conceived as the tabernaculization, the embodiment of the
Supreme Thought of
Elohim, a Dimension
of Himself. Since, as we will see next, ADONAI Elohim the Father is the Soul Dimension
of Elohim, this Soul
Feelings, Will, Judgment, Ego, Social Ego, and Moral/Conscience) of Elohim
needs a vehicle to be made
for putting flesh and blood, so to speak, unto His Thoughts; this carnalization
of His Supreme
Yeshua Himself. And Scripture says so in Yochanan/John 1:14: "...And the
Logos was made
dwelt among us..."
It is clear
from Yochanan/John 1:14 that Yeshua is Elohim manifested [phaneros], made
visible, and He is in
described in I Timothy 3:16: "And without controversy great is the mystery
of Elohim-liness: Elohim
was ephaneroze [manifested, made visible] in
the flesh..." Even His name in Hebrew is extremely revealing,
and that is
precisely why Elohim«s enemy has struggled so hard to hide it under its
Greek-derived translations, as
Yeshua comes from: "Y" (IHVH) plus "Yeshua," meaning
Dictionary, Vol. 3, p 316; and Ben-Yehudah«s Hebrew-English Dictionary, p.
So, we may conclude
that Yeshua is the Bodily Dimension of Elohim.
remains is only the Soul Dimension of Elohim; since there is only one name
left, that of ADONAI, Elohim the Father,
safely say that ADONAI Elohim is the Soul Dimension of Elohim.
ELOHIM IN THREE DIMENSIONS
REVEALED IN THE TEMPLE`S STRUCTURE
chosen remetz (allusion) as a way to
share these truths with His sons, the believers. One of these
is the Jerusalem Temple. We must not forget that both the Tabernacle in the
desert as well as the
king Shlomo (Solomon) in Jerusalem was made up of three Dimensions: the Kadosh
Holies), the Holy Place (Makom ha Kadosh) and the Outer Court, or Court
of the Women.
There is no
coincidence here that it is made up of Three Dimensions: It corresponds exactly
with the three Dimensions of
also with the three-Dimension man, His creation. The Holy of Holies is the
place reserved for Yahveh, Elohim
That is why only the High Priest could enter it, and only once a year, on Yom
Ha Kipurim. Then
the Holy Place, representative of the Holy Spirit. And there is the Outer
Court, representative of
is the only One who put His feet on this earth, as the Outer Court is the
accessible Dimension of all three Dimensions of the Temple.
ELOHIM IN THREE DIMENSIONS
REVEALED IN THE THREE GREAT YEARLY FEASTS
remetz (allusion) Elohim used were His three great yearly feasts referred to in
Called/"Lev." 23, when the eight feasts mentioned there were
compacted into three yearly feasts, and one
feast, the Shabat.
great yearly feasts were: Pesach/Passover, in remembrance of Yeshua the
Messiah, who gave His
us; Shavuot/Pentecost, in remembrance of the Holy Spirit, as it was in
Shavuot/Pentecost that the
woman called Israel was born again in the spirit; and
Sukot/Cabanas/Tabernacles, in remembrance of
Elohim the Father. (See A Staircase to Heaven, by the author).
ELOHIM IN THREE DIMENSIONS REVEALED IN THE LETTER ALEPH
first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the Aleph, reveals the three-Dimensional
nature of Elohim. The aleph (a) is made up of three strokes, as seen from right to left. The first,
right-hand stroke, which never touches the Earth
(represented by the writing line) is representative of ADONAI, Elohim the
Father. Then there is a middle, long
left to right coming down from above and touching the writing line, which
represents the Holy
the third stroke issues from the second stroke and puts its "foot" on
the writing line, a symbol of
Messiah. One letter made up of three Dimensions. One Elohim made up of three Dimensions.
To sum it
up, Elohim, like us humans, made in His image and likeness, has three Holy Dimensions:
a Spirit, the Holy
Spirit; a Soul
Dimension, ADONAI ("The LORD"); and a Body Dimension, the only one of
the three who was made flesh,
Once we thoroughly understand this, there is no need to entangle ourselves with
the mistaken notion of Elohim's having three Persons.
the Soul, a Third of Elohim, is not the olokleron,
the complete Elohim. There still remains His Spirit,
Third, the Ruach ha Kodesh, and His Body, His final Third, Yeshua; and the same
goes for each of the
of Elohim. Just one Third of Elohim is not the Whole Elohim.
manner, Yeshua, for instance, as a Dimension of Elohim, and not as a separate
and distinct Person, does not
culture, language, background and upbringing which is different from the
Father's, or from the Ruach ha Kodesh. The same thing happens to us as a triDimensionite
being. Our body does not possess a separate upbringing or
from our soul (mind). Your body, dear reader, was brought up in the same house,
family, and heard the same words as your soul and your spirit--precisely
because you are not made up of
different persons, but only three different Dimensions.
One, just you and I are one; and He is made of three Holy Dimensions, just as
Tertullian first formfulated it,
and just as
you and I are made of three (unholy) Dimensions. It is only when we perceive
Elohim as one Elohim made up
of three Dimensions
that all the apparent contradictions dissolve into nothingness! It is only when
we realize that
Yahveh made flesh that we begin to understand "in spirit and in
truth" the nature of the Trinity. It
then than Trinitarianism and Unitarianism come together and evolve into
something higher: a
Elohim. Let us hope this view helps Christiandom and even some quarters in
Messianic Judaism understand our Elohim better.
MESSIANIC RENEWED RABBI JULIO DAM IS THE SPIRITUAL LEADER OF THE BEIT SHALOM
MESSIANIC CONGREGATION, IN ASUNCION, PARAGUAY.
HE IS AVAILABLE FOR TEACHING FREE SEMINARS ON THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS: 1)
THE TRUTH ABOUT
“ANTICHRIST” AND ARMAGUEDDON; 3) HOW TO ACHIEVE A CLOSER, MORE INTIMATE
RELATIONSHIP WITH ELOHIM; 4) ADVANCED SPIRITUAL WEAPONRY AND DELIVERANCE.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE HIM IN YOUR MESSIANIC SYNAGOGUE FOR ONE OF THESE
SEMINARS, OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE
EMAIL HIM AT: email@example.com
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El Rabino Dam es el líder espiritual de la kehiláh Mesiánica Renovada Beit Shalóm (Familia de Paz/Completación) en Asunción, Paraguay, Sudamérica.
Ha escrito 'La Verdad Sobre El Anticristo Y Armaguedón'. Y varios libros ya publicados en español: 'Mi Amigo Hashém', '¿Jesús Era Un Niño Cristiano Que Iba A La Iglesia Todos Los Domingos? ¿Cuántos Errores Puede Usted Detectar En Este Libro? ¡Hay Cuatro!', 'Matitiáhu: Una Traducción Con Comentarios Judíos Mesiánicos Renovados', y una serie de libritos de comentarios de 'Romanos'.
El Rabino Dam además brinda seminarios gratuitos sobre los siguientes temas: 1) Judaísmo Mesiánico Renovado; 2) La Verdad Sobre El Pseudo-Salvador 'Anticristo' Y El Armaguedon; 3) Como Llegar A Ser Amigo De Elohím; 4) Armas Avanzadas De Liberación Y Guerra Espiritual; 5) El Hebreo Como Herramienta Para Entender Mejor Las Escrituras; 6) Las Diferencias Entre El Cristianismo, El Judaísmo Mesiánico y El Judaísmo Mesiánico Renovado; 7) ¿Hay Errores En El Nuevo Testamento?; 8) La Verdad Acerca de 'Romanos'.