For Paul and the Christians at Colossea who is God? Do they know about the trinity?
Let us analyse all verses that mention the word ‘God’ in the letter.
Col 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
Col 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Notice for Paul, Christ Jesus and ‘God’ are two different beings. For Paul, God is the God of Israel, the God of his ancestors, the God that Jesus came to preach about. For Ptaul, Jesus is the messiah or the anointed man, whose apostle he claims to be.
Col 1:3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Wow, Paul leaves no room for trinity what so ever. He clearly shows is Jesus is subordinate to the Father post his resurrection just as he was in the days of his flesh. This expression makes perfect sense if Jesus was a man and not a member of trinity. Paul express his thanks to the God of Israel and Jesus and continues to pray for the folks at Colossae.
Trinitarians make a two nature excuse when reading the gospel. Is he still a God man in heaven post the resurrection. For Paul he is a resurrected human being whose God is still the God of Israel.
Col 1:6 which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also, since the day ye heard and knew the grace of God in truth;
Col 1:10 to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Reading with a trinitarian or oneness glass, will cause the reader to mistake the above mention of ‘God’ as Jesus rather than the Father, thereby missing the original message and imagining a new message.
“increasing in the knowledge of God;” <– If his knowledge is a mystery then how can a Christian grow in the knowledge of God who they deny with names they have invented for him (‘trinity’)?
Col 1:15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;
Jesus as a human being was the image of God. He is not God. Yahweh God is invisible. The human Jesus reflected God’s will in his life.
Jesus Christ reflected or manifested God in the spiritual realm in two major ways:
- By living a life perfect in faith and obedience – hence he was living in the image of God. He reflected God’s will in his life. In Jesus we see how a man ought to live life so he or she can reflect the image of God in their lives – i.e. shine the light of God in their lives by way of living
- He reflected God’s image as one who repressed God to the people. Jesus was a mediator of God to man like Moses had reflected the image and glory of God to the children of Israel. (Jesus gave God the glory and therefor brought full glory to God, while Moses on occasion failed the glory of God)
Previously the Jewish race had experienced the glory of God in the face of Moses (which they unfortunately preferred veiled):
“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.” (Exo 34:29-30 ESV)
More on Image of God here:
- 63 of 100: being renewed in knowledge after the IMAGE of its creator as Jesus who is the IMAGE of the invisible God
Jesus as firstborn
This is a problem verse for trinitarians as Arians would use it show that Jesus is the first begotten and not eternally begotten i.e. a time when Jesus did not exist.
Jesus came much later than Adam and has been made firstborn and heir of the worlds. The Father did not asexually multiply into Father and son or as trinitarians have coined ‘eternally begotton’.
Firstborns of God:
Exo 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, my firstborn
Jer 31:9 for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
Col 1:15 the firstborn of all creation;
Who is the real firstborn of God?
As seen in the illustration, changing the rights of the firstborn is a prominent theme, deliberately showing God’s choice is not one born first but the one who is spiritual.
Example: Joseph made firstborn over his brothers mirrors Jesus’ exaltation:
1Ch 5:1 And the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s couch, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
1Ch 5:2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the prince; but the birthright was Joseph’s:
Joseph’s dreams pointed to his brothers bowing to him.
The context of Jesus as firstborn is:
“For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29)
Col 1:25 whereof I was made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which was given me to you-ward, to fulfill the word of God,
Who is referred to as God here? Lord God Yahweh.
Col 1:27 to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Who is referred to as God here? Lord God Yahweh. For Christ is God’s doing.
Col 2:2 that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, even Christ,
Mystery of God is Christ and not trinity. God purpose and delight has been seen in the life of the obedient son. We like the son of God are called to be knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding
Col 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Again, Yahweh the Father is God who raised the mortal Jesus from his state of death. The only gospel christians aware are of, is, how God or a spirit being became man to die for the sins of the world. Doctrine of resurrection is undermined and the power his exaltation is not understood.
Col 2:19 and not holding fast the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increaseth with the increase of God.
Interesting phrase: “increaseth with the increase of God.”
Col 3:1 If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.
The Christian message is how a man has been exalted to the very right hand of God and we out to set our minds like how Jesus had set his mind on spiritual things.
Col 3:3 For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
God has given Christ as our means of redemption. We die to the world and our former ways and commit to follow the example of God’s Christ.
Col 3:6 for which things’ sake cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience;
Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as God‘s elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
Have you ever thought of yourself as Yahweh’s elect?
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God.
Do you ever sing to the God of Jesus? When you listen or sing this song, are you thinking of Jesus or his God?
Paul and the Colossian christians had an intimate relationship with God their Father, but creeds like that of Athenaeus take you away from the Lord God Almighty.
Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
God the Father is biblical, but God the son is not found in the bible.
Col 4:3 withal praying for us also, that God may open unto us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds;
Again Paul has an intimate relationship with ‘God’ who is no trinity. What is the mystery of Christ?
Col 4:11 and Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision: these only are my fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God, men that have been a comfort unto me.
Did not Christ preach about the Kingdom of God? Jesus is made the king of this Kingdom, in the present age and in the age to come.
Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, saluteth you, always striving for you in his prayers, that ye may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.
Jesus himself fulfilled the will of his God:
“In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hadst no pleasure: Then said I, Lo, I am come (In the roll of the book it is written of me) To do thy will, O God.” (Hebrews 10:6-7)
Having considered all occurrence of ‘God’ in the letter, it should be obvious to the reader that for Paul Jesus is not his ‘God’. The Father is both Paul and Jesus’ God. While trinitarians pick up few verses to state their case, reading the entire bible in context is proof text that the trinity is false. No mention of the word trinity and no attempt is made develop the doctrine of trinity. The Athanasius creed which trinitarians adhere to is incorrect and sadly requires one to believe in the doctrine of the trinity to be saved. The brothers and sisters at Colossae at the time Paul and under his guidance lived in faith without knowledge of a three personal God.
Take any letter and try the above exercise, if, you are open to seek out the truth:
The work of Christ (Few Colossian verses)
Col 1:14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins:
“And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him:” (Colossians 1:21-22)
Jesus is the mystery of God hid in the past but now revealed:
Col 1:26 even the mystery which hath been hid from all ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints,
A higher calling to be saints of light:
“giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;” (Colossians 1:12-13)
“When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with him be manifested in glory.” (Colossians 3:4)
Walk in his example:
“As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,” (Colossians 2:6)
Col 3:1-2 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at them right hand of God. Be mindful of things above, not on things on the earth
- Having put on the new,
- having been renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
- as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
- put on tender feelings of mercy, kindness,
- humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering,
- forbearing one another and
- forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye:.
- Above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.
- And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.
A RADICAL NEW SOCIETY OR KINGDOM OF GOD IN OUR HEARTS – Christ is all, and in all
“where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman: but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:11)
Jesus is supreme over every ‘philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world’ because the full will of God was realised in Jesus. Jesus was 100% authorised / ratified by his God and loved by God – therefore Jesus’ words were God’s words:
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, (Colossians 2:9)
This verse is covered in detail here:
‘Fullness of deity’ simply means Jesus had the FULL approval of God that was demonstrated by the powerful miracles he could perform. Jesus’ etchings were also FULLY God authorised for Jesus claimed to have got from his God.
The Preeminence of Christ – “for in him were all things created”
“for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; and he is before all things, and in him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:16-18)
The above passage is often cited as proof that Jesus existed as a spirit being or God. The Christians at Colossae are being assured by Paul that God has given Jesus pre-eminence over all, especially of the old Jewish world (Torah and prophets) that was passing away.
“In” Him – “for in him were all things created”
Some translations have ‘in him’, some translations have ‘by him’:
(ASV) for in him were all things created,
(KJV) For by him were all things created
(YLT) because in him were the all things created,
(RV) for in him were all things created
we have seen his star in ( G1722) the east – Mat 2:2Mat 2:18 In ( G1722) Rama was there a voiceMat 3:6 And were baptized of him in ( G1722) JordanMat 5:48 Father which is in ( G1722) heavenetc.
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in (G1722 ) Christ Jesus:
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in (G1722 ) Christ Jesus,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus,
1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
The mystery of God revealed – Christ in us (Not a mystery of trinities)
“to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Colossians 1:27)
The context of Colossians is not the genesis creation but the new covenant IN Christ Jesus. In Jesus, has God the Father created all things to hold. The context of this creation is the spiritual kingdom of God established in his son eventually leading to the political kingdom to be established at his return.
God the Father has:
“made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;” (Colossians 1:12)
“delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;” (Colossians 1:13)
It is this kingdom of the son spoken of that has been established through his son. (Correct context)
- The creation spoken of here refers to the new beginning (v 18) which we are called to participate in:
“who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)
The beginning is a new beginning and not the Adamic one. This had its beginning when Jesus was begotten from the grave. He is the firstborn from the dead.
Jesus himself is made heir because the true source is, his God and Father:
Luk 20:14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned one with another, saying, This is the heir: let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.
Heb 1:2 hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things
Rom 4:13 For not through the law was the promise to Abraham or to his seed, that he should beheir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith.
Gal 3:29 And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.
We are heirs and this is the good news. We are joint heirs with his son:
Rom 8:17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.
Does it make sense to say “joint heirs with God”?
- The new “Kingdom of the son” (v 13) has been established post his resurrection through the new covenant which supersedes the torah, prophets, temple sacrifices, Herod’s rule, etc.
- A new “world order” or “New creation” including Jews and non-Jews (Col 3:11) has been established with Jesus as the King and High Priest where “Christ is all, and in all.”:
Col 3:11 “where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman: but Christ is all, and in all.”
- While the POLITICAL Kingdom of God will be established in the age to come, the spiritual kingdom of heaven has been ESTABLISHED and has been preached to all under heaven (Col 1:23).
Col 1:23 if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister.
Bible writers use ‘all’ to refer to a majority and in a context.
Mat 2:3 And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
All ‘Jerusalem’ refers to certain men mostly his political well wishers in the context.
- Jesus spoke of this kingdom:
“the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a merchant seeking goodly pearls…” (Mat 13:45)
Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat 4:17).
“neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)
It is in this context that Paul refers to all things being created “in” Christ, the new kingdom of the son that God has established with the birth of the son.
“in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him;”
The new creation:
- Creatures both in heaven and earth have been radically affected by the victory of the son of God. There is now a resurrected human being in heaven “made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Heb 1:4). Does God need to obtain a better name than angels? No! The point is only significant because a man has obtained this status.
- The new beginning context is the resurrection: “WHO IS THE BEGINNING, the FIRSTBORN from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18). The ‘BEGINNING’ refers to the point when Jesus was brought back to life and the rest will follow at his return.
NOTE ONLY “thrones or dominions or principalities or powers” are mentioned in the context of “all things” CREATED – Not mountains, fish, Adam, etc which were part of the Genesis creation. Nor the establishment of powers such as David’s kingdom, Nimrod’s power, etc. when it says ‘all things’
What was Paul thinking when he says “thrones or dominions or principalities or powers” which are political in nature.
- “Visible creation” refers to the hierarchy established in his church (Spiritual kingdom of God):
- “first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues” (1 Co 12:27-28)
- “Invisible creation” refers to the new order in heaven, wherein the son now has angels at his disposal and is seated at the right hand of God:
“And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18)
Does God need to be ‘given’ authority? Yet we do not see all things in subjection to him in the preset world. The church is but not the rest of the world.
“and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church,” (Ephesians 1:22)
“Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he subjected all things unto him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we see not yet all things subjected to him.” (Hebrews 2:8)
“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” (John 3:35)
Eventually, once God has achieved his purpose with Christ, being all in all, then the son himself will be made subject like the rest of his brothers to his God and all will attain the status of the son.
“And when all things have been subjected unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subjected to him that did subject all things unto him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28)
- In the age to come a political kingdom will be established when the apostles will be made judges (have dominion) over the 12 tribes, etc
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28)
“It shall happen in the latter days, that the mountain of Yahweh’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many peoples shall go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go out, and Yahweh’s word from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)
“because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.”” (Acts 17:31)
- Heaven and earth have been united under one man whom God has exalted over all his creation:
“and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:20)
Hebrews 1&2 show how Jesus is now made over the angels and that we can in the future be made immortal like the angels. The creatures in heaven sing a new song to this effect. It is a new song because previously Jesus did not exist in the heavens:
- “And they sing a NEW song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and didst purchase unto [YHWH] God with thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and madest them to be unto our [YHWH] God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon the earth.” (Rev 5:9-10)
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church
This is the context of the creation. In him all things have been created and he is made the head of the creation that includes the Church.
An illustration that summarises the new creation in Jesus
1. Did the Father and the son create the universe? Was Jesus present as an agent at creation?
This post explores in detail how the Genesis world was created “because” of Jesus though he was not physically present then.
2. Does Hebrews 1:10 show Jesus created the genesis world?
No. See this post for details:
- 74 of 100: Is YHWH a trinity or is YHWH Jesus or is Yahweh a compound unity? YHWH is ONE – the Father [includes Mark 1:3, Hebrews 1:10]
3. Did Jesus pretext his birth?
No. Refer to these posts:
- 69 of 100: Reasons why Christ did not Pre-exist his birth
- 70 of 100: Did the Christ pre-exist? Examining the Gospel of John (Ch 1-6)
- 71 of 100: On the Glory of the Christ before the world was (John 17)
- 72 of 100: The Apostles’ Glory with the Father before the world was and the Book of Life
- 73 of 100: The tale of two men – Adam and Jesus (Are you of Heaven?)