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Mike Reeves on the Vital Necessity of Trinity in Evangelism

[vimeo=http://vimeo.com/54603241]

"In many cases [of popular atheism] the world is reacting against a certain sort of God.  The concept of a loveless dictator in the sky.  Could such popular anti-theism in many cases be the rumblings of an unknowing hunger for a better sort of God?"

"When we are not robustly trinitarian, our gospel will not be robustly Christian... If we are not specifically and clearly trinitarian, none of our talk is specifically and clearly Christian."

"Today, given the widespread poverty of knowledge of God, it is especially important that Christians are  not heard to be speaking of God vaguely. If we do not expressly proclaim Father, Son and Spirit then we do not expressly proclaim a God of love - the sort of God who would have any fellowship to share with us.  The gospel we proclaim would then be essentially rootless - disconnected from the God whose gospel it is. And that must ultimately spell catastrophe.  No church can survive for long on such a superficial gospel.  And ever fewer outsiders will be persuaded by one.  Becoming more trinitarian today is a core need."

 

Go here to download a synopsis of Mike's talk and some questions you can use in discussion groups.

67 thoughts on “Mike Reeves on the Vital Necessity of Trinity in Evangelism

  1. Ephrem Hagos

    One does not have to guess hard to know what are the strongholds, false arguments and proud obstacles raised against the knowledge of God based on Christ's death on the cross.

  2. robind333

    Interesting post! However, I do not agree with his assessment. It is not what the Bible supports....Thanks for sharing and many, many blessings to you...Robin

  3. Howard

    How is it not what the Bible supports? God (The Father) so loved the world (us) that He gave His only Begotten Son (Jesus), that however believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life (know the Father through the Son). Isn't that the 'word of life' the Holy Spirit wants to convey to us to set us free? If the scriptures are not a lamp that lead us to this central truth, what are they about?

  4. Brian Midmore

    The gospel might be summarised as: God who made the heavens and the earth has sent his son Jesus to live, die and be raised for us and if we believe in him we shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit the token of our salvation.

  5. Jonathan

    If God is just a monad, then unity is the ultimate reality and the only thing to do is submit or be crushed (Islam). If God is many, then diversity is the deepest reality and I can worship God by dividing from my fellow-man (Hindu). If God is Trinity, then neither unity nor diversity trumps, both are sacred. There is room for me to be myself, distinct from God. But there is also the call to unity in relationship with God and my neighbour. There is love.

    This is a beautiful thing and worth proclaiming to the world.
    :)

    Keep it up Glen.

  6. Ephrem Hagos

    The trinity (a theological construct), with its division of labour among three divine "persons", amounts to idolatry. With its semblance of Scriptures, it clearly contradicts the indivisible essence and self-revelations of Almighty God intimately knowable by all mankind in Christ's death on the cross as "living sacrifice".

  7. Si Hollett

    Ephrem - if Christ wasn't God, then how is it 'self-revelation'? And if he is God, who is he talking to when he says "Eloi, eloi..." on the cross?

  8. Ephrem Hagos

    Si Hollett, your first question needs clarification; "Eloi, eloi ..." is a simple hyperbolic question refuting all the unbelief surrounding the crucifixion then and now!

  9. Howard

    And what is the answer to Si's first question? If the Cross is a revelation of God in our world, how does Christ's death convey this?

  10. Ephrem Hagos

    @Howard God's self-revelation is not in the cross itself but rather in Christ's death on the cross, a.k.a. our pattern of "living sacrifice" defined in terms of being Spirit-active, perfect and transfigurative: complete with baptism with the Holy Spirit in the diacritical signs of "the blood and the water" pouring out from the pierced side of Jesus.

  11. Howard

    So Christianity is following a pattern (which makes us God-like?) - becoming imitators of Christ through a baptism in the Spirit which makes us, like Christ, living sacrifices? Is that the intent?

  12. Ephrem Hagos

    Christianity can speak for itself.

    The scripture, on the other hand, declares a truth for ever, a.k.a., "God called those people gods, the people to whom the message was given." (John 6:35 quoting Ps. 82:6)

    The intent is our obedience to the message which will result in our God-likeness, a.k.a., "being born spiritually of the Spirit", i.e., the image of Christ (eternal life) through baptism with the Holy Spirit outsourced from his death on the cross. (John 3: 1-15; ff.)

  13. Howard

    I'm just trying to work out what you're seeking to convey here. Is God's aim to conform us to the image of His Son through the work of the Holy Spirit? That seems to be what your last statement says, in which case, isn't that what really matters - that we come to know this God through what He has done?

  14. Ephrem Hagos

    Exactly! What really matters is that we all come to have personal knowledge of God, as exclusively revealed by the Holy Spirit, in Christ's death on the cross. That is "the Good News from the glorious and blessed God". Amen.

    The alternative is dying in one's sins! (John 8: 21-32)

  15. Howard

    So eternal life is really knowing God the Father through Jesus Christ whom He has sent, trusting in His saving work and love, by the power and life given to us through the Holy Spirit... that sounds like a Trinitarian Gospel to me.

  16. Ephrem Hagos

    A theological construct, e.g., the doctrine of Trinity, by random manipulation of three words in the Scripture, viz.: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which proves otherwise completely spurious under verifiably critical condition, a.k.a., Christ's death on the cross, i.e., the "tree of life", is strictly prohibited! (John 16: 5-33; Rev. 22: 18-21)

  17. Howard

    You've totally lost me hear. The scriptures talk about God being Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father gives the Son to the world to reconcile us to Himself, and lives in us through His Spirit. How is that a 'theological construct'? It's merely stating the reality of the God who is there.

  18. Ephrem Hagos

    The essence of God's self-revelation, a.k.a., "life-giving Spirit" (Gen. 2: 7-9); Almighty "God of the living, not of the dead", as in the self-sufficient fire for Moses (Ex. 3: 1-15); and, finally, "Christ's death on the cross" (John 6: 62-64; 8: 21-32; ff.) is in form and substance thoroughly identical and consistent with independence of all matter including the flesh.

    Hence, the Scripture-free terms of the "new covenant"! (Jer. 31: 31-34) and Jesus' temporary use of "figures of speech" about the Father which proved spurious upon the coming of "that day" inscribed with: "People will look at him whom they pierced", i.e., Almighty God in person! (John 16: 5-33; 19: 30-37)

    Blessings!

  19. Howard

    When Jesus prays to the Father in the garden, He is saying that eternal life amounts to KNOWING that Father, and Jesus Christ. He also teaches the Disciples that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will come and live and abide in us - that is at the core of our fellowship with God. Is that just a figure of speech?

  20. Ephrem Hagos

    Jesus, who "gave up all he had of his own free will", used necessarily and characteristically altruistic language in addition to "figures of speech about the Father". Beginning on "that day", a.k.a., the day of his death on the cross, however, he speaks "plainly" in the language of works rather than words unlike us humans. That is the attitude Christ Jesus had for our imitation. (Phil. 2: 5-11)

  21. Howard

    So what He's teaching His disciples and praying in those last few days and hours before His death is 'altruistic language'.... that's it. ? Isn't He spelling out exactly why He came to those He loves before and during and following that last supper - to restore what was lost between the Father and the world by His being 'lifted up' at Calvary? If it's all just a 'figure of speech', then what does any of it really mean, Ephrem. No, Jesus is giving us something very real here - that is what the Cross is all about.

  22. Ephrem Hagos

    The "altruistic language" applies only to Jesus' testimony on his own behalf; and the "figure of speech" about the Father. The cross, on the other hand, plainly reveals the truth about God in terms of eternal life or "source of life". Howard, nothing is more important!!! (John 16: 5-33)

  23. Howard

    So, if what Jesus says does not open and unpack what happens at the Cross - it's just language, not teaching, where do we go to understand God's work? If Jesus isn't telling us what's going on here, then who is?

  24. Ephrem Hagos

    This is exactly where Jesus speaks in plain language through his works that speak louder than any words.To listen to CROSS RADIO, tune out "the first and last" ever kind of death, a.k.a., Spirit-active, perfect and diacritical. It is about an open-house call to all "people to look at him whom they pierced" and be saved by the BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT! It is an endless feast. Enjoy!

    (John 16: 5-33; 19: 30-37)

  25. Howard

    Sorry, Ephrem, but we have to start with the WORDS that Jesus speaks to us to understand what He has done, for these are 'Spirit and Life' (John 6:63) and allow us to truly 'eat and drink' Christ - that is why His teaching through the word regarding Himself, the nature of the Father and the work of the Spirit is so key to understanding what His been done through His incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension. This brings about our union with God through Jesus Christ - that union is the work of His Spirit, and it is this work that is at the core of our redemption. It is through the preaching of this word that Christ is lifted up today, and thereby draws men and women to Himself.

  26. Pingback: Trinity The Truth

  27. Howard

    sorry for the typo in the last message, That line should have read:"what has been done through His incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension".

  28. Ephrem Hagos

    Based on prophecy, the Gospel and many confirmations, Jesus speaks directly and personally through the vision of "living sacrifice" by his "life-giving Spirit" outpouring from his pierced side. All the rest is hearsay and fallible.

    (John 19: 30-37)

  29. fruitofhisdeath

    P.S. The "words" that are Spirit and life belong not to the Son of Man in the INCARNATION but rather in his GLORIFICATION, a.k.a., his "going back up to the place where he was before" at exactly the same time as Christ's death on the cross, i.e., his great defining moment. (a doctrine lost in Christian tradition)

  30. Howard

    So you're not talking about the scriptures, but 'lost traditions'. Where do these derive from? Who re-discovered them and when? Paul commended those, like the Bereans, who SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES to determine if certain things were sounds and profitable, so they could then obey from the heart the form of doctrine (the word of life) given to them. In this manner, we are exhorted to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good, so do the 'doctrines' you are seeking to present here pass or fail this Apostolic test?

  31. robind333

    What I'm specifically referring to is the word "trinity" and how it's used. The bible does not support the trinity as being one. It does support the father, son and Holy Ghost(Spirit). I believe the use of the word "trinity" causes confusion and can cause false doctrines. And since the Bible doesn't used the word trinity, I don't believe we should either....Many, many blessing to you...Robin

  32. Ephrem Hagos

    You are more than welcome to test the eternal validity and reliability of A KEY DOCTRINE which, although exclusvely based on the Scriptures, is necessarily lost in the "used wineskins" of Christian theology and tradition. Familiar to the prophets and to CERTIFIED DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST, the doctrine, a.k.a., "seeing the Son of Man go back up to the place where he was before" (in his distinct mark of synchronized suffering and glory), "draws everyone to himself".

  33. Howard

    So, here I've been seeking to speak of the issue of the revelation of the nature of God as declared by Jesus Himself in His teaching to His disciples, for example, in John's gospel, and the replies I've received state this is just "altruistic language" and "figures of speech", and what really counts, apparently, is a 'lost' teaching which appears to be viewed by some as counting far more than what Jesus teaches us about the Father, Himself (the Son) and the Spirit. What manner of 'teaching' is this? No one appears to be willing to give a clear answer to that.

  34. Ephrem Hagos

    God's WORKS have much more conclusive impact on the individual life than his WORDS or claims. That is why one can trace the history of God's personal revelation of his sovereign nature, a.k.a., "source of life" or eternal life, on the ROAD MAP which begins at Paradise with its "tree of life" (Gen. 2: 7-9), goes through the "self-sufficient fire" in the burning but unconsumed bush (Ex. 3: 1-15), and comes full circle at Paradise in Christ's death on the cross (Luke 23: 30-43; John 19: 30-37).

  35. Ephrem Hagos

    The word *bodily* by itself is misleading as it means either spiritual or physical.

    The two differentiated meanings refer to the well documented redeeming "resurrection appearances" and unredeeming "post-resurrection appearances", respectively.

    Only the former vindicates Jesus Christ as LORD, a.k.a., "the first to be raised from death" endlessly taking many captives in his procession! Amen.

    (Ps. 68:18; John 6: 62-64; Eph. 4: 7-13)

  36. Howard

    Ephrem wrote: "God’s WORKS have much more conclusive impact on the individual life than his WORDS or claims".

    This only deepens the problem, Ephrem, because you are creating a dichotomy where none exists.
    The scriptures clearly teach us that we understand by faith that God created the universe by His word (Hebrews 11:2), so we cannot divorce God's actions from this. We also understand that we are saved when faith comes to us and enables us to 'hear' the living word of God, and believe it (Romans 10:17), so again, your teaching here distances us from Christ, who taught us that the wise hear His word, and are thereby changed.

  37. Theo K

    Ephrem,

    Let me rephrase then!

    Was Jesus physically raised from the dead?
    Is He in heaven now having a glorious, human body?

  38. Ephrem Hagos

    In the whole of "Scriptures" proper (the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets and the Psalms), the RESURRECTION refers consistently and conclusively to God's final self-revelation to the whole world: in Jesus Christ's unique death on the cross, as “life-giving Spirit”, in power, glory, honor, and completely independent of the human body!

    Jesus Christ’s POST-RESURRECTION appearances in the flesh had the special purpose of extended rehabilitation of unbelieving disciples.

  39. Ephrem Hagos

    @Howard The dichotomy is always there!

    We are also called to make a RADICAL CHANGE in our way of thinking, by the inherent power in Christ's death on the cross, or to get off the "tree of life", a.k.a., eternal life.

    (Matt. 16: 13-28)

  40. Howard

    The 'tree of life', mentioned in Genesis, is BARRED to humanity after the fall in Eden, so naturally, we cannot be 'on' it. The tree will be in the midst of the New creation, but right now, we are dealing with the consequences of eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil - our act there spawned evil and allows sin and death to have dominion over us. Only Christ, sent by the Father to save us from this by His death and resurrection, can set us free from this.

    It's not merely a case of making a change in our thinking, it's about redeeming the entire creation, that is what is going on.

  41. Theo K

    Ephrem,

    Is it too much to ask for a direct and clear answer?

    Was Jesus physically raised from the dead? Is He in heaven now having a glorious, human body? Or not?

  42. Howard

    The tree of life, from what I can see in Genesis and Revelation, is a real tree which grew in Eden and shall flourish in the midst of the new creation. It bears a fruit our first parents were free to eat, and it shall indeed express that same renewal of untarnished life from God in the midst of the world.

    What is imperative, I think, to the history, not the 'cycle' (this isn't Hinduism) of Gods relationship with His handiwork is the essential character of the love of the Father toward the Son, which is reflected in the pleasure of the Son to accept and express that love back to the Father. This is why Christ is spoken of as both a Lion (a nature of power and authority) and a Lamb (willingness to delight in doing the Fathers will) (See Psalm 2). This is why He IS 'The Lamb slain from the creation of the world', for it is His life alone which can undo the pain and slavery of our sin and remove the poison of evil from creation.

    It is this life which is the mark of the new creation.
    So, what we're actually talking about with regards to redemption is our having been crucified with Christ, as Paul clearly states in Romans (chapter 6), and raised with Him - that is the astonishing gift that God has given the world in His Son.

    So yes, we can speak of the cross as the place that brings us life, but only because of the one who hung and died there - it's what He did, God giving Him as a propitiation through His blood (Romans 3:25).

    The thief on the cross had faith in the one who loves and gives Himself for us - that is what truly opens the gate to paradise.

  43. Howard

    So, if I'm reading you right, Ephrem, you believe in a revelation of Jesus which supersedes and surpasses the teaching of scripture regarding the nature of the revelation of God (who is not a trinity of persons), which is seeking to make us, through imitation, 'spiritual' in the sense that Jesus is 'spiritual', and this doesn't include His raised humanity ( a bodily resurrection) - is that right?

  44. Ephrem Hagos

    THAT IS RIGHT! Continuous growth in faith is only possible in firsthand knowledge of God, personally revealed in Christ's death on the cross, superseding and surpassing the Scriptures on which it is based! (John 19: 30-37 as explicitly expressed in v. 35)

  45. Howard

    OK Ephrem, so if the experience you're describing supersedes and surpasses what is spoken about in scripture, so what is the measure by which you define your experience? You refer to the account of the crucifixion in John, but why do you give weight to this, and not to Jesus words about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (which we've previously established you view as “altruistic language” and “figures of speech”)? Why is this of more value and import than the passages which speak of Jesus being raised, bodily from the tomb? Is it of more import purely because an experience, in your view, makes it so?

    If 'first hand knowledge of God', as defined by this experience you speak of, is what really counts. why doesn't God just give everyone this knowledge - just put it right inside them? What does history, the Incarnation, and all this material stuff really matter and amount to if what really matters is purely 'spiritual'?
    It doesn't sound to me, from what you outline, as if Jesus really needs to redeem us in a bodily sense at all, so why would you view a physical death as so important? Couldn't Jesus just have redeemed us spiritually?

    Come to think of it, why do have bodies and a material universe at all? They don't sound that important.

  46. Theo K

    Ephrem,

    Apostle Paul said that if Jesus hadn't been raised from the dead, then our faith would have been futile.
    Moreover, he explained that the Christians' bodily ressurection at the second coming of Jesus is patterned after Jesus' own physical ressurection (1 Cor 15).

    In fact, the Christian's hope is that the Lord Jesus is coming, and when He does come, He "will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body" (Phil 3:21) - the glorious body that He now has.

    Your beliefs directly contradict the teaching of the inspired apostles, the apostles that were commisioned by Jesus himself.
    The apostolic preaching is the only infallible guide to the meaning and significance of the cross and physical ressurection of Jesus.

    I am pleading with you, "avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called 'knowledge'" (1 Tim 6:20), denounce any gnostic false teachers and receive the real Jesus, the Christ, the son of God the Father, as your Saviour, Lord and Treasure.

  47. Ephrem Hagos

    Given, IN ADVANCE, the *key*, a.k.a., the perpetual vision of Christ's divine identity and absolute authority (abandoned today); FOLOWED BY the choice between "rightly dividing the word of truth" and randomly fragmenting completely unauthorized Scriptures, I would not hesitate to grab the former opportunity!

  48. Theo K

    Ephrem,

    What false teachers have persuaded you that the letters of the inspired apostles of Christ are 'unauthorized scriptures'?
    You have no 'key'. You have fell for the lie that says tha one needs extra-biblical knowledge (gnosis) in order to understand the Bible and know God.
    But the Bible is clear in its main theme, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the son of God.

    You are following the doctrines of deamons. You have despised the Lord Jesus and his word. Repent while there is still time.

  49. Howard

    Back in the 70's when street witnessing, I used to encounter people from various religious groups who would speak of 'radiant light', 'burning in the bosom' and other such experiences that they felt validated the revelation they had received, but whatever their sect, they all had one thing in common - they had all received 'revelations' that denied the essential nature of God and especially of Jesus Christ as conveyed in scripture. The very fact, Ephrem, that this 'perpetual vision' - another Jesus, has been evidenced and shared by countless false movements should, at the very least, make you consider the need to examine and seriously weigh the concerns and key issues of genuine faith which have been raised here. If you are following a false gospel, common to all these groups which have succumbed to the spirit of error - and you’re advocating something contrary to the God revealed in scripture affirms that you are - then I would echo Theo's earnest warning, and seek the truth urgently.

  50. Ephrem Hagos

    As you can carefully check out for yourself, the Scriptures have long yielded to the authority of perpetually revealed KNOWLEDGE OF GOD: "finished" in Christ's death on the cross, wherein is God's personal revelation, a.k.a., "life-giving Spirit". (Rev. 5 refers.)

    On the other hand, demons and false teachers abound in the manipulation of the Scriptures.

  51. Howard

    Scripture confirms a true knowledge of God, by clarifying and defining the work of the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. The spirit of error denies Christ, His nature, His physical resurrection, and seeks to establish something other in its place - need I say more?

  52. Ephrem Hagos

    SIMON PETER was harshly rebuked by Jesus for his open opposition to the requirement of radical change in his way of thinking on the "CORE" values of Commandments, Obedience and Reward. (Matt. 16: 13-28)

    WE are, likewise, offered a choice between two options, viz.: either "the light" outsourced from Christ's death on the cross, or "Satan disguised to look like an angel of light".

    (John 3: 14-21, ff.; 2 Cor; 11: 1-15)

    By the grace of God, my choice is made. What is yours?

  53. Howard

    Mine (my reply) is to say yours (your choice) cannot be 'by the grace of God' if what you teach denies the very God who had revealed Himself in His word. If you say that word is a lie - in error, or not to be accepted as correct on a cardinal issue - because of the 'revelation' you hold to, and you have openly expressed that here, then I'm afraid that just puts you into the same category as all those others out there who have a 'jesus' by some special 'message' OTHER than the Gospel so clearly shown in scripture. I've seen plenty of this, Ephrem - enough to know that such a road is deadly. Paul warns us that it those who teach in this fashion who are deceived, so you really need to think seriously about this.

  54. Ephrem Hagos

    First of all, God is self-revealed by his WORKS but never in WORDS including the Scripture.

    Altruistic language and "figures of speech" are not lies at all but rather signs on the road map to God's final self-revelation to the world through Christ's Spirit-active, perfect and diacritical death on the cross, a.k.a., "the tree of life".

    There is nothing more important than the sustainable "source of life" and faith, a.k.a., the "knowledge of God", based on Christ's self-revelation and completely independent of matter or the flesh long expended in the kind of verifiable death he suffered.

    The acid test of TRUTH and ERROR is Christ's death on the cross. Obedience or disobedience thereof leads immediately to eternal life or death, respectively.

  55. Howard

    Again, you show how far you are from what counts. The Apostle Paul informs us that Christ was delivered to death and rose again ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES and Christ Himself is clear to inform us that He acts and works in His own ministry according to everything that was written about Him in the LAW AND THE PROPHETS, so God always acts in accordance with His word. The acid test of the faith is not 'the cross', in the context of the 'revelation' you espouse, but believing that Christ has come IN THE FLESH (Incarnated, crucified and raised bodily) - the spirit of anti-christ denies this, and as you have already denied this -you deny the bodily resurrection - you have judged yourself, so it's time you ceased holding on to this fabrication you hold and submit to the true Lordship of Christ, whose WORDS alone bring life.

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