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July 5, 2020 12:01 am
In this episode, the sons of light tackle questions that Michael, The Ex-Mormon Apologist, used to toss at Christians to try to undermine the Doctrine of the Trinity. They talk about their own struggles with understanding this doctrine and what ultimately convinced them that it is a biblical doctrine, and led them to accept it. The questions here stem from LDS Article of Faith #1.
This is conducive to life's darkness is anything any of question will give some guy doesn't right she is ready for my white number one argument from when I was in more apologists. Matthews I'm doing this one right. You, how can it kill us to see a God who cannot be seen, how can it kill us to see a God, it cannot be seen right so in Exodus 33 verse 20 says God spoke to Moses any and says he added, you cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live.
Also, later we learned when Gideon spoke when he had seen the angel of the Lord face-to-face.
Judges chapter 6 verse 22 when getting realize it was the Lord's angel. He said oh no sovereign Lord. I have seen the Lord's Angel face-to-face angel of the Lord face-to-face. But in verse 23, he was unsure that he would not die so there was this understanding among the Israelites, probably based on Moses's words that if you receive God would be fatal to us so what is this mean well there's two different ways that were talked about in Scripture about seeing God so there's one expression that's uses a figure speech when he says that we speak to God face-to-face.
So in Exodus chapter 33 says the following, it came about, whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent and the Lord would speak with Moses when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent all the people would arise and worship each at the entrance of his tent. Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face-to-face.
Just as a man speaks to his friend when Moses returned to the campus servant Joshua the son of Noone, a young man would not depart from the tent.
So if we compare that verse in Exodus 33 with the verse that I read previously Exodus 3320 where it says you cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live.
It seems like this is a contradiction, but if we see these these figures.
This figure speech, face-to-face is not saying that Moses actually exited the tent and saw human face and spoke with that face. So if we see, if we continue on in and 33 in particular with verses 18 following it says Moses said, I pray the show me thy glory. And he said I myself will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion but he said you cannot see my face for no man can see me and live then the Lord said, behold, there is a place by me, and you shall stand there on the rock will come about my glorious passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by then I will take my hand away and you shall see my back to my face shall not be seen so God is speaking to Moses face-to-face, but it also says that he would not allow Moses to see his face so in this context, we can see that when it speaks of God speaking face-to-face. That's not the same as saying seeing his face so face-to-face is kind of an expression that means that your having a close, intimate conversation with someone but it doesn't necessarily mean that you're actually physically face-to-face talk to them so God was speaking with Moses intimately every apply that expression speaking with Moses intimately.
He saying that you would not actually be able to see God and live and so we see elsewhere in Scripture again. First Timothy one and first Timothy six it talks about God living in unapproachable light or elsewhere like in John one, where it says that God is invisible. This is also reiterated in Colossians chapter 1 where it says that Christ is the image of the invisible God.
So throughout Scripture we see that that God is seen as a spiritual being, which is reiterated in John forward says that God is spirit, we must worship him in spirit and in truth. We know from these teaching passages that God is spirit. God cannot be seen completely or physically, and we cannot actually see him in his fullness and in his glory and live if we imagine it would be like if you if you stare at lightbulb you can you can look at the lightbulb and not cause severe damage to your eye because the amount of lumens the amount of light that it produces is not so great as to burn RI but if we look at the sun that produces enough light radiation that could cause permanent damage if we stare at it with RI now we compare the glory or the light comes from the sons of the glory in light of God. If we have if we in our limited human physical capacity to actually see the fullness of the glory of God the absolute fullness. It would just be so much like glory that we just could not comprehend it are our hope.
It would be fatal to us literally fatal. We could not completely comprehend or see the glory of God.
So even in instances where, for example, on this on the Mount of Transfiguration, and in Matthew 17, where Peter, James and John are allowed to go to the mall with Christ and where his glory had been withheld from them. At that point. On the mount of transfiguration that glory is allowed to shine through Christ. But even in that instance, they are not seeing the fullness of the glory of Christ, there are only seeing the amount that they could withstand their physical bodies could be able to take so if we compare always cultures together and we look at a systematically we can see that man can only withstand so much of the glory of God before it's just so great and so powerful that we just couldn't withstand it so that is why would you fail to us. If you're to completely try to comprehend the glory of God.
So we won't be able to really truly withstand God's fullness until after this life that make sense of the Cigna.
Throw in some epiphany I had just read. Looking at the question here tonight. Intent is just a shortened version of what you are saying but when I wrote this question out originally united for gorgeous adding an extra step. That's not really there just to make it more like a trick question. But really just boils down to, you know God cannot be seen because it would kill us to see him.
I like it that the word invisible and I just think like oh yeah, I can look at him. I just wouldn't see him because he's he's invisible but it's more saying like he just not possible to see him in our capacity. You know, as he really is. So act of grace for God to withhold from us was for glory and power. Yes, I agree.
Does that answer your question, Mr. X, Mormon apologists and answers and the answers really well, I've decided to convert Mormonism.
I have a question for you Mr. X Mormon apologists okay but you realize I'm at X Mormon hat back on for why did you review this question as your number one argument. Second question, I just felt like there was a contradiction in the New Testament. There were verses and I get arguments from Christians all the time against the first vision, saying that it was impossible because you have home would say God is invisible and in the other half would see if you saw him, he would die and I'm like okay these are contradictory arguments because if he's invisible how can it kill us to see him and solutions, my way of trying to you know bash some some Christian heads together and kind of turn them against each other, my specialty at the time. I remember right I do remember the spouses being viewed as problematic for Latter Day Saints.
I remember conversations in another storm about the first vision and and people questioning will you know was Joseph Smith transfigured so that he could experience that Latter Day Saints viewed those passages as being accurate in terms of representing the idea that the being with being in God's presence would would actually kill you. And so another sought to somehow make it possible for Joseph to see God absolutely and one things to remember using an in my argument was I would throw omnipresence into the mix and try to disprove it all it wants because it see if it would kill God if he would kill us to see God and he is omnipresent, you know that we should be able to walk around with our eyes open because he's everywhere. As you know we should all be dead but were not so.
The Trinity must be false.
See classical view of omnipresence.
Yes, that is, that is an interesting argument. I could see how that would be enticing to letter to say okay here's my next point.
My next question for you. Matthew, one of the big things that made me believe the first vision was valid was that it appeared that Stephen had a very similar vision and the acts he saw Jesus standing on the right hand of the father and so my question is how can you stand to the right of an omnipresent being in how does this. Is there any way that this doesn't prove the first vision or lending credibility. I guess okay Mr. X more apologists. I just read up Allie Meridian King James 22 apiece trip easier as I saw some peaks. Let's go for solids in acts chapter 7 and artistry from verses 54 through 60. So this is after the trial of Stephen. He's addressing the Sanhedrin and basically they determine that he's a heretic. So Sima verse 54 when they meeting the Sanhedrin heard these things, they were cut to the heart and they gnashed on him with 13 but he, being full of the Holy Ghost. Look up steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God and said, behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice and stop their ears, and ran upon him with one accord and cast him out of the city, and stoned him and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul and they stoned Stephen, calling upon God and saying, Lord Jesus.
See my spirit. And he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge, and when he had said this, he fell asleep so this is the instance of her talking about where or excitement. Stephen's vision is a very common argument that it's used, to demonstrate both that the God is omnipresent or that that the father has a body but if we if we look at and we just read what it says we have to we have to take off our goggles.
We have to try as best as we can to get rid of our preconceived notions on our and our traditions is read what it says now doesn't say anywhere in here that the father has a body so I'll read again that the relevant part says it, but he Stephen being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. Now again, if we look at that. There's no reference anywhere to the father having a body but what you'll often have is that you'll see you'll see Latter Day Saints inject that idea into the passage and say see you got Jesus he's got his body and he standing right next to the father that has a body but if we really look at it. There's nothing that says that know we talked about earlier. We talked about exit as we talked about when God demonstrated displayed his glory to Israel. Now when we talk about God's displaying his glory.
It's often spoken of as like in a cloud or with fire, smoke, or some kind of like physical manifestation or an instance where Moses saw the Lord in the burning bush. We saw fire in the bush so there's many different ways a God demonstrates his presence or his glory without having to actually show up body. A physical body and also when we spoke of Matthew chapter 16 or Matthew 63 team visibly 17 where the three disciples in Christ reach to the top.
The Mount of Transfiguration and I see the glory of God through Jesus. What do they see Jesus's face. They see they see light. They see glory see they see this this divine presence about Jesus's face, says that his face glowed so everything about that and we realize that glory is demonstrated in this kind of white power fire enemy. Reread the passage. Think about it says that being full of the Holy Ghost. He looked up steadfastly to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God whether we want to take this literally to mean that Jesus stood on the right hand of God, or that it's figurative. Either way, it's saying that he saw the glory of God. This does not require whatsoever to see the father of the physical body and Jesus was standing on his hand exactly as you get to that if we if we want to take that literally how literally do we want to take it like you said, if we take it absolutely literally, it's saying that God has a hand in Jesus standing on top of his feet touching his hand.
But of course Latter Day Saints able.
You're being too literal. Okay well so to some degree we have to understand that it's and it's an expression expression opposed to demonstrate what it what it saying so you could actually, you could understand this to say that Jesus is literally standing right next to God, but even in that case like that, it does not require that it means that the father also has a body, it could mean that there is the glory in light of God shining through to Stephen and next to that glory and light is Jesus.
Another way is to understand it, which is how most understands passages is that in Jewish culture and they see standing on the right hand of somebody somewhere actually to how lease talk about sitting on the right hand of someone we talk about you know this is my right hand man, meaning that this is a guy that I trust the most. So when it speaks of Jesus being on the right hand of God. Speaking of how he has the preeminent authority over all of God's creation of of any person of any man that has lived in creation.
Jesus being God in flesh.
He is the preeminent man so he has full authority equal in power and glory and authority to God himself. So when we really examine this it the argumentation that it must mean that a that both the father and the son have exactly similar bodies and that and that be that God the father has a body flesh and bones and that is just like the sun all all these argumentation just kind of collapsed very easily if we just try to look at the text itself without injecting our presupposed ideas. While I think it's pretty clear that the Scripture saying that you, God the father is really big and strong and was holding Jesus up with just the palm of his right hand by the economic amount that makes a lot of sense and I don't really have anything to add to that I was I was going to mention on that passage before when it talks about God passing over Moses says that you cannot pass by Moses and put his hand over Moses to protect them in the rock so does that mean that like you know it's like stretch Armstrong rate. If you were to take that literally were his hand is literally covering the entire body. Moses, as he is flying by and that's it's like if you if you want to take these things literally. It kind of does make sense yeah and that's another thing I mean I hadn't really thought about this. Back when I was LDS but you know, for all this. All the same species give us and God of the same species than we were the same species as Goliath like people were just bigger back command like maybe God is a giant to war.
I don't know reduces to serve too literal holistically. I just noticed something on my Skype screen Michael when you're speaking. When Matthew speaks his little icon shows a little picture to me when you speed it shows like a generic icon that's like three people which is interesting given their intro list for the sub rosa victory on their salute to Derek okay yeah it hasn't shown me so I have no idea what you're seeing on your screen, but I will. I was at her and saw that as America's I just I just see your initials are just as MF on yet it's all I see on my screen is you guys the initials I don't see any pictures. How really interesting I see I see Paul's picture but yours is just MF place a new C- ME. I do so when I'm talking you think me is talking like does not desire a freak you out. You hadn't really noticed how now I can't see it. All my gosh I have the treatment.
The S modal is in Patrick another that did that make sense. I think I tend to repeat myself often, so I'm sure we can cut some of you know I made me brilliant sense to me.
I read a lot of commentaries and I kind of just kept coming to the same conclusion that most people saw about this that that the odd pre-much like Yemen and does the right there in the passage that he saw the glory of God, and it mentions the glory of God first, but then it starts to sing God. After that, it's definitely makes more sense just to assume that that's the glory of God. It's it's easier not to see it as being a physical embodiment that looks like a person's okay so moving, moving on here. How could the father forsakes Jesus on the cross if they share, in essence, there's a really great video from Dr. White, Dr. James Wade if you go on Google and you search for Psalm 22 and are Jesus present on the cross because he's used to be.
To a lot of Muslims that use this argument to try to demonstrate that Jesus is not God or that their separate because if Jesus were God. How could godforsaken. How could he forsake himself well for some on Trinitarian theology. We do not believe that the father is the son not believe the son is the Holy Spirit.
We do not believe the Holy Spirit is the father. They are distinct persons within the Trinity. So we've we've been talking about this all throughout, but just to make it more explicit.
We don't we don't believe that Jesus was praying to himself to this to his own person. When he was praying and in the garden of Gethsemane. We believe he is praying to the father. However, each person shares the essence of God go equally co-eternally.
So when Jesus descended in his incarnation to become man, he humbled himself and took on human flesh, but this does not mean that she gave up divinity was always God, but that that godliness that divinity was kind of veil within his flesh. He didn't go walking on the street with the divine. Like the divine glory constantly around him.
It was it was veiled for the purposes of performing the work that he had to do in his incarnation, so we remember that and we speak of Christ being on the cross.
I'll just read passage here is that Matthew 27 so Matthew 27 verse 45 onward, says this not from the sixth hour. There was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour, and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying Eli Eli Lammas about the new, that is my God, my God, why have you forsaken me, and some of the bystanders hearing it said this man is calling Elijah and one of them at once ran and took a sponge filling it with sour wine and put it on a read and gave it to him to drink, but the other said wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit.
So when you read this, it does appear that the God is for seeking Christ. However, there there are different ways to look at this one way to look at this is that Jesus is crying out in humility of his position as the God man so he's in his humanity and his flesh, and Orthodox Christianity is taught Christians truly believe that Christ was truly man, so it wasn't as if he was some kind of like Superman in the sense of like he wasn't truly like us. He just kinda looked like us.
We believe that he truly had a human body and human spirit. We believe that he truly grew up he learned at the same time he is also God and this is because a lot of controversy over the centuries trying to understand this because God is so much different than man, but what we know is that Christ is man truly suffered. He truly felt pain and menus on the cross and he was taking the weight and the guilt of sin upon him. He had to feel some kind of separation in terms of just just the other shame and guilt of humanity, of that the sins that he took upon him. I read earlier. I read the apostles Creed and all read one part that is really interesting. So in that second parapet says in Jesus Christ his only son is only son, our Lord was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead he ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the father Almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead and the phrase that says that he descended into hell is because a lot of controversy and heal in the original language is taught is as written as holidays or Hades.
So that could either meet the grave or it could mean it could mean the place of suffering, but people such as John Calvin believe that when it says that he descended into hell.
This is speaking of his suffering up on the cross so in his suffering on the cross. It is as if he descended into the into the depths of pain-and-suffering and torment on the cross in order that those who believe in him might have everlasting life. So when he was on the cross. It is not as if God truly forsook him, in the sense that he completely cut off his presence because as as we were talking about Christ is truly God. So it is not as if you can take the godliness or the deity out of Christ. But it's as if it's as if the presence or the other that the special grace of God had been granting Christ out his ministry had been kind of all the way slightly so that Christ could really descend into that into that that hell that he was in on the cross and end throughout his ministry, Christ had the Holy Spirit working in him to perform miracles and to do all kinds of of work and III believe that on the cross. It now is when kind of that that special grace of a special presence that had that that always been with him perhaps was was pulled away slightly, but this does not mean that Christ divinity or his status as God was taken away.
Yeah, I mean it.
That makes sense to them and I was thinking about that a little bit emailed just as a latter-day St. you nice all, the word forsaken. I just automatically assumed that Owen had to mean that if it was a Trinity event that essence is broken apart and it doesn't mean that at all because that essence can't be broken by Magnus a way I can kind of explain it to us see this is what you're not supposed to do right. Let's try to come up with comparisons for the Trinity you nice and think this resource. It's only just stopped by to let you know it's like it's a gift. My son was in some kind of a situation I didn't come help him with like it would it would be it would stop him from being related to me. You know that that blood that we have wooden would disappear. I think it's okay to use certain analogies for certain aspects of the Trinity, but we have to always remember that analogies always break down at some point and there's no completely analogous representation of the triune God in creation.
First of all, just for the fact that God is not created, so to say that a created thing is analogous to noncreative thing is what it already immediately falls apart, but like I think we can talk about like certain aspects like you just did we think we can show that we can we can use examples to try to help demonstrate an idea. So I agree with that I was. I was kind of thinking. It also is like.
If you have a part of your body where like imagine your slapping your hander beating your hand your causing pain to the hand but you're not separating it from your body. You know so when when Christ was was pouring out his wrath upon son on the cross so the father was at his wrath upon son. He was forsaking him and in terms of putting placing all that wrath upon him, but he Christ was always God. You cannot take away that essence from you know, that's great. I love that.
Did you really wanted to add to that Paul's not really well I think you did to okay one popular Mormon YouTube or is fond of saying that if God is a spirit that he is not matter and therefore does not exist. How would you respond is a really good question. I'm assuming the question is, to me right yes it is to you. Okay, so we must really be careful when we look at anything through our own limited perspective. When we try to understand Scripture through our own experiences rather than try to understand in its own context. I can be really dangerous and when we even tried to actually inject our own meaning into a text rather than extracting meaning from the text that; I said Jesus and that's very very dangerous.
So when we think of spirit and we think all based on either what people taught us what it is or what we think it is. If we think it must have must be visible or must and must be met, material or matter or else it doesn't exist that's injecting our own personal understanding of the world into Scripture. So in John four women.
Jesus says that God is spirit, and we must worship him in spirit and in truth. If we say if Jesus of the God is spirit.
He's not saying God is spirit, and he doesn't exist.
It would it would make sense for Jesus to say the got a spirit while Summit simultaneously saying there is no God self-contradictory. So spirit than is the negative of what matter is so matter is material that spirit is immaterial. So so think everything about Scripture with what we talked about.
We we talked previously about verses like John chapter 1. First Timothy chapter 1, for some of the chapter 6 Colossians chapter 1 where we see throughout that that God is invisible. Also in Romans chapter 1 it talks about God's invisible attributes in speaking and speaking of creation is demonstrating God's glorious power and so it's in the creation of God in the strictest power and it's in Christ that God the father demonstrates his action so we can't see father's physical body because he doesn't have a physical body but we can still interact with God in various ways, but this also doesn't require a physical body. There's nothing that says that we require physical body or or material or matter to exist. We can that we can think of. It also really depends what you mean by matter does matter have to have mass zapped have energy. Are we looking at a purely scientific view, like how would you define matter but I think of it, how I would define matter is something that you can interact with assumptions in the sense that you can measure it, you can way it you can you can perform scientific tests on it and I don't think you can do that with spirit he can't really measure spirit he can't detect spirit because it's something different.
Since God preexisted creation. He preexisted matter and energy in time and space.
He can't be composed of matter he is he something other.
He's immaterial. He's pure being pure essence, he's eternally's uncreated so they met that there's there's nothing that requires God a physical in order to exist. If we do, then we would have to ask the question if if you can exist without coming physical and that must mean that some somebody or something must've created God to give him physicality and who is that the creator God and give him physicality while D St. theology. They believe that there is a God above God the father created him and gave him a physical body and goes on and on and on for an infinite regression of God's there really is no answer to who was the first God in Mormon theology. And that's a real problem. So long answer but you can have essence are being without requiring physical matter. Probably any thoughts on that. A lot of thoughts on this