Trinitarian Dogma: The Very
As depicted in Revelation 17:5!
by Mark Lerner
New Covenant Christians regard themselves as 'Proto-Trinitarians' and have deliberately kept themselves apart from the Trinitarian debate. The following articles, which are not written by a New Covenant Christian, take an anti-Trinitarian stance. For an excellent pro-Trinitarian view, see the article, A Defence of the Trinity Doctrine. We encourage healthy debate in doctrinal areas where the Bible is not definitive.
I. Trinitarian Dogma": What Is It?
The expression, "trinitarian dogma," refers to the classical "Christian" doctrines of the "trinity" or "triunity of God" and the "incarnation" (of God) or "deity" of the Messiah, which (doctrines) normally go together and constitute the core doctrines of most Christian denominations today, including Messianic Judaism. The term, "dogma," refers to the "dictatorial"  behavior associated with trinitarianism.
The doctrine of the "trinity" or "triunity of God" refers to the idea that "there is one G-d, eternally existent in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit"  or somehow "triune" at the same time that He is "one." The three "Persons," according to the classical dogma, are "co-equal, co-eternal, co-omniscient," etc., i.e. equal in every way, but they are also distinct from each other, each "Person" having a discrete existence and function of his own. Because the Son has a discrete existence of his own, he is not identical to, i.e. the same Person as, the Father; hence the idea of the "plurality of the Godhead." The dogma of the "deity" of the Messiah, however, is unequivocally the emphatic assertion that the Son is God in the full sense of the word, that he is God incarnate, God in the form of a man, "ontologically," i.e. actually, God, rather than that the Son is merely figuratively God, not God in the full sense of the word but a portrayal of God, like a painting rather than the actual subject of the painting. The doctrine of the "deity" of Yeshua ("Jesus"), therefore, actually contradicts the doctrine of the trinity because it implies a oneness of identity between the Father and the Son in contrast to the duality of the Father and the Son asserted in the doctrine of the trinity. This is the fulcrum of trinitarian dogma, the dogmatic insistence on both the complete identity or equality and the simultaneous duality of Yeshua and Yah'weh, which trinitarians believe is an accurate and authoritative description of all that scripture says about the Messiah and God and to which, they say, all Christians must subscribe in order to go to heaven.
What's Wrong with Trinitarian Dogma?
Many Christians accept trinitarian dogma because many scriptures seem to support it and because trinitarians have a lot of control in Christianity and exert immense, sophisticated, sometimes even violent pressure on Christians in order to keep them in the trinitarian corral. Because of the many scriptures which do indeed seem to support trinitarian dogma, many Christians are not inclined to argue with it and may even become ardent trinitarians themselves. The relatively small number of sheep who choose to question trinitarian dogma are normally easily reined in by trinitarian membership requirements, which are used as a kind of fence to keep the sheep from breaking out of the trinitarian corral. Those who persist in such non-conformity may be expelled from congregations, and those who go to the extreme of actively, effectively opposing trinitarian dogma face such obstacles as employment discrimination, slander, possibly even violence.
Perhaps this dogmatic atmosphere surrounding trinitarian dogma should be the first thing listed in answer to the question, What's Wrong with Trinitarian Dogma? Such dogmatism is symptomatic of an underlying weakness, resulting in the defensive or even "dictatorial" behavior of trinitarians.
One weakness of trinitarian dogma is its subtle, or sometimes not so subtle, deviation from scripture. The Messiah Yeshua once said, for example, that it is not for him to decide who will sit on his right and left hands in his Kingdom "but for whom it is prepared by my Father" . There is at least one area, then, viz. determining the positions of individuals in the Kingdom, in which the Father, i.e. Yah'weh, has authority that Yeshua does not have. This is not just due to the three Persons of the trinity having different functions or domains in the Kingdom, like the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the American government, which "balance" each other. The Messiah Yeshua cannot do anything "of himself."  He only does and says what Yah'weh authorizes. The very life of Yeshua comes from Yah'weh,  a fact which trinitarians deny.  The dominion of Yah'weh, therefore, is all-inclusive. It includes and exceeds the domain of Yeshua's authority. They are not separate and equal. It is misleading, therefore, to speak of the "deity" of Yeshua or to say that he is "fully God," "true God from true God . . . of the same substance as the Father" and so forth. To impose such dogma, finally, and to discriminate against or persecute those who fail to conform to such false standards is atrocious.
Another discrepancy between scripture and trinitarian dogma is the insistence that one must believe that the Holy Spirit is a "Person" or at least has a measure of autonomy in the Godhead such that God is to be regarded as triune, rather than just dual, not to mention one. Never does the Holy Spirit appear as a distinct man or person in scripture. The mere fact that three "men" met Avraham when "Yah'weh" appeared to him in Gen 18:1-2, for example, does not necessarily mean that one of the "men" was the personification of the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not tell us that one of the three men is the Holy Spirit, and to make such an assumption is presumptuous, especially in the light of all of the evidence concerning trinitarian dogma.
The mere fact that scripture speaks of the Holy Spirit as thinking, talking and acting also does not necessarily mean that he, or it, is a "Person." Spirits think, talk and act, too. Demons, i.e. evil spirits, for example, speak, as when they told Yeshua that they were "Legion" when he healed the man with an unclean spirit in the country of the Gadarenes.  The Spirit of Yah'weh also dwells in some people and may be transferred from one to another, as when Moshe (Moses) laid hands on Aharon (Aaron)  or when Eliyahu (Elijah) gave a "double portion" of his spirit to Elisha. . Scripture routinely describes spirit(s) as "wind" or "breath" or as being "poured out" or "entering into" or "dwelling in" people, not as the people themselves. Perhaps spirits could or did appear as persons, but there seems to be a difference between persons and spirits. It is tendentious, therefore, to insist that the Holy Spirit is a "Person."
Nor does the fact that the Holy Spirit seems to have a certain measure of autonomy show that God is triune. Everybody's spirit has a certain measure of autonomy precisely because spirit is not perishable flesh and is not subject to the same constraints, e.g. distance, heat, cold, etc., as flesh. Just because we have spirits, though, does not make us dual. One's spirit is like the gas in a car: It is what makes us run, and if someone has no spirit, that person is dead. A car is not dual because it has gas in it and one if it doesn't have gas; neither is an individual dual because he or she has a spirit and one if he or she doesn't have a spirit. Neither does the freedom of the Holy Spirit make God "triune."
The argument (of trinitarian dogma) is contrived. The Bible is being made to fit some preconceived philosphy or religion, and it is not true that trinitarian dogma faithfully conforms to all of the Biblical data. The more closely one scrutinizes trinitarian dogma in comparison to scripture, the more one sees the discrepancies between the two, which is precisely why a continuous train of people, including some of the most pre-eminent in history, such as Isaac Newton, John Locke, Joseph Priestly, John Adams and others, have opposed trinitarian dogma. Trinitarian dogma, therefore, contrary to the claims of its adherents, does not promote unity in Christianity, much less the attractiveness of Christianity to non-Christians, especially Jews. Just the opposite is true: Trinitarian Dogma is probably the deepest source of division within Christianity, and it is certainly one of the main factors which alienates Jews and others from the Truth.
To add insult to injury, finally, trinitarians have actually changed the Bible itself to try to force scripture to preach trinitarian dogma, even though it is alien in both letter and spirit to scripture. A case in point is 1 Jn 5:7, an alleged trinitarian proof-text, which for centuries now has been shown by scholars to be a complete fabrication.  Another case in point is 1 Tim 3:16, in which the word, "God," was substituted by forgery for the word, "who," in an attempt to bolster the doctrine of the "deity" of the Messiah.  Mat 28:19, the famous "Great Commission," also appears to be another very early trinitarian substitution. 
What these more egregious discrepancies between trinitarian dogma and scripture, these desperate attempts to force the Bible to become trinitarian, highlight so well is that trinitarian dogma does not really come from the Bible! If sincere Christians will pay attention to the proponents of trinitarian dogma, they should be able to notice that trinitarians only highlight those scriptures and ideas which support trinitarian dogma. If someone makes a point which does not support or even opposes trinitarian dogma, trinitarians immediately jump to another scripture or idea which, again, supports the trinitarian point of view. Trinitarians, in other words, are one-sided. They will not look at another side, and they will not allow another side to be heard. They are like the monopolists earlier in this century, who sought to control segments of the economy and used any means necessary to keep others from encroaching on their commercial empires. The spirit of trinitarian dogma, in effect, is a spirit of intolerant, monopolistic domination, absolutely convinced of its own righteousness, absolutely unwilling to listen to another point of view and willing, if necessary, to resort to any extreme, from simple dishonesty to political chicanery to blatant violence, to keep trinitarian dogma in the ascendancy in Christianity. Trinitarian Dogma, in other words, is not really Christianity in the true sense of the word.
Since Trinitarian Dogma Is Not Really Christianity and Does Not Really Come from the Bible, What Is It, Really, and Where Does It Come from?
Several years ago I went to the public library to look for books about the Arian or Trinitarian Controversy of the fourth century in which trinitarian dogma finally took over in institutional Christianity, and I happened to check out a book by Cardinal John Henry Newman, a famous Anglican turned Roman Catholic, entitled, The Arians of the Fourth Century. That was the beginning of a new era in my life and has a lot to do with why I am writing this tract. Before I read Newman's book, I opposed trinitarian dogma because of the obvious discrepancies between scripture and trinitarian dogma and because I detected something abominable in trinitarianism. After I read Newman's book, I began to discover why the discrepancies between trinitarian dogma and scripture exist and why trinitarianism is an abomination. Newman, an ardent trinitarian, did not hesitate to admit that trinitarian dogma does not come from the Bible but from the "mystery cults" of antiquity and from the "dispensation of paganism."  The "secret tradition" of the mystery cults, wrote Newman, was "perpetuated" in the "early Councils," meaning that the "secret tradition" of paganism was used to solve the Arian Controversy by superimposing trinitarian dogma on Christianity. The famous Nicene Creed, in other words, the foundation of Roman Catholicism and most Protestant denominations, including Messianic Judaism today, and the basis of later trinitarianism, is the very "secret doctrine" of the ancient "mystery cults" in disguise!
Newman's statement arrested my attention. I realized that this was a revelation so I began to study further. What was this "secret tradition"? I read other books like Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop and The Mysteries of Mithra by F. Cumont. Now, some four years and many books and articles later, it is painfully obvious what the "secret tradition" really is, where it came from and why trinitarian dogma has the devious, "dictatorial" character that it has. A number of eminent church historians, notably Prof. Johann Laurence von Mosheim and the great physicist, Sir Isaac Newton, traced the secret tradition back to its origin in remote antiquity.  The secret tradition began in ancient Babylon. From the Babylonians it spread to Persia, and from Persia it spread to ancient Greece and thence to ancient Rome. It was invented and kept alive by the magi, the ancient Babylonian priests. It is in fact magic,  i.e. the secret essence of the power of the magi. This is why many are fooled by it. It is like the magic tricks, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat or the sleight-of-hand tricks, of magicians. Another word for it is witchcraft, but the Biblical term for it is the very "MYSTERY BABYLON" of Rev 17:5! It is the "mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth," i.e. the covenant with Satan made by those who, unlike Yeshua, choose "all the kingdoms of the world and their glory"  instead of the Kingdom of Yah'weh. Trinitarian dogma, in other words, is the gospel of Satan, which leads, not to heaven, as the deluded trinitarians believe, but to "condemnation."
Now That We Know the Truth about Trinitarian Dogma, What Shall We Do?
What is the Truth? It is so simple: Yah'weh, the God of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), is the one, true God, and He is echad, one, not "triune" or "plural." We must cleave to the exact Word of God, i.e. scripture, and not be fooled by any deviations from the Word, such as "God the Son," "fully God and fully man," "of the same substance as the Father," etc., however "orthodox" such expressions may seem.
Satan is more clever than any human being. By quoting scripture, though, and by being unwilling to subscribe to anything more or less than the unadulterated, verbatim Word of God, we have a way to escape from Satan's tricks, no matter who we are.
"Stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle," said the Apostle Paul : One must not subscribe to the trinitarian membership standards or doctrinal statements of Messianic or other organizations. This is the meaning of the commandment of the angel in Rev 18:4 for us today to "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues!"  Those who subscribe to trinitarian dogma have the name of the "whore" on their foreheads and are driven to persecute the saints and to suffer the judgements poured out on those who "do not have the seal of God," i.e. the Sh'ma, "Hear, O Yisrael, Yah'weh is our God, Yah'weh is one" (not "triune"), "on their foreheads."  Yah'weh commanded the Yisraelim (Israelites) to "bind [the Sh'ma] as a sign" on their hands, and "they (the Mitzvot (Commandments) of Yah'weh) shall be as frontlets between your eyes,"  meaning that the righteous look upon the Sh'ma on the "hand" and obey the Mitzvot. Obeying Yah'weh is the point, but those who insist on tampering with the Truth and "making the Mitzvot of no effect,"  neutralizing the Word with their infernal alterations, compromises, creeds, dogmas, and manipulative "doctrinal statements" and membership standards, censorship, inquisitions, forgeries, murders, plots, greed, and so forth, are the "children of disobedience"  who do not have the seal of Yah'weh on their foreheads. Confess only the very Word of Yah'weh; do not be fooled by the "unrighteous deception"  of the enemy! Choose Life! 
If you, too, recognize the discrepancies between trinitarian dogma and scripture, if you deplore the calculated, manipulative imposition of trinitarian dogma in Messianic Judaism and Christianity today and believe, as I do, that this is the very "MYSTERY BABYLON " of Rev 17:5, please join with me in exposing this "accursed Babylonian garment" hidden among us. Please tell others about this hidden atrocity. Copy this information and pass it on to others. If the Restoration we seek is to occur, the problem of trinitarian dogma and "MYSTERY BABYLON" cannot remain an unmentionable "taboo." This gateway to the Restoration must be opened. Christianity must be de-paganized so that Judaism may be set free from anti-Messianic bondage. The whole world is waiting in misery and degradation for liberation from the slavery of its "Babylonian captivity." Please don't make them wait any longer.
Shalom b'Shem Yeshua Adoneinu (Peace in the name of Yeshua ("Jesus") our Lord).
II. To Those Who Have Ears . . .
1. "Dogmatism" means "positiveness in assertion of opinion esp. when unwarranted or arrogant" or "a viewpoint or system of ideas based on insufficiently examined premises." "Dictatorial" is synonymous with "dogmatic" and "stresses autocratic, high-handed methods and a domineering manner" (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, Mass., 1989), pp. 373 and 352, emphasis mine).1
2. "By-laws of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations," 9/83, Appendix I, p. 6. It is my understanding that the pertinent standards 2 & 3 have not changed from this 1983 revision.2
3. Mk 10:40 (emphasis mine).3
4. Cf. Jn 5:19, 30, 8:28.4
5. Cf. Jn 5:26, 6:57.5
6. See, for example, Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D., Was Christ God? (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1966), pp. 50, 65, 127.6
7. Cf. Mk 5:1-20.7
8. Deut 34:9.8
9. Cf. 2 Kgs 2:9-15.9
10. Cf. "Johannine Comma" in the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), p. 1175.10
11. Cf. Louis Trenchard More, Isaac Newton: A Biography (New York, 1934), pp. 634-637. Newton's tract, An Historical Account of two Notable Corruptions of Scripture, a treatise concerning the discovery of the trinitarian alteration of 1 Tim 3:16, is hard to find-another victim, no doubt, of trinitarian censorshipbut More provides some essential details.11
12. Cf. David Flusser, "The Conclusion of Matthew in a New Jewish Christian Source" and Hans Kosmala, "In My Name" in Annual of the Swedish Theological Institute, Vol. V: 1966-67, pp. 111-120 and 86-109. "Coincidentally," the last two chapters of Matthew have been lost or destroyed in every Greek ms. dating before the 4th century (cf. Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, 26th ed. (1979) pp. 684-702 and Kurt Aland, The Text of the New Testament, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, 1989), pp. 96-128)!!12
13. Newman, Arians (Westminster, MD, 1968), p. 81ff.13
14. Cf. Mosheim, Historical Commentaries on the State of Christianity . . . (New York, 1854), especially Vol. 1, and Sir Isaac Newton Mss. and Papers on microfilm (Chadwyck-Healey Inc., phone 800-752-0515) especially reels 18 and 33-39! The most significant parts of Newton's superb theological research, actually probably his greatest achievement, still remain mostly inaccessible because they do not support, but in fact expose the truth about, trinitarian dogma and church history generally!14
15. The word "magic" comes from the word "magi".15
16. Mat 4:8.16
17. 2 Th 2:15.17
18. Rev 18:4.18
19. Rev 9:4.19
20. Deut 6:4-9.20
21. Mat 15:6.21
22. Col 3:6.22
23. 2 Th 2:10.23
24. Deut 30:19.24
One of my main fields of study has been the paganization of the early church, exactly how far this process extended and whether it was malignant or benign. I have done some research on this topic, and I have discovered something, which I believe must be publicized. The "secret doctrine" of the ancient mystery cults, according to Cardinal Newman, was "perpetuated" in the "early Councils."  The "secret doctrine," according to other sources, e.g. Alexander Hislop, etc., was, in its simplest terms, the doctrine of the triunity of God:
"Now, viewed in this light," Hislop wrote, "the triune emblem of the supreme Assyrian divinity shows clearly what had been the original patriarchal faith. First, there is the head of the old man; next, there is the zero, or circle, for "the seed"; and lastly, the wings and tail of the bird or dove; showing, though blasphemously, the unity of Father, Seed, or Son, and Holy Ghost. While this had been the original way in which Pagan idolatry had represented the Triune God, and though this kind of representation had survived to Sennacherib's time, yet there is evidence that, at a very early period, an important change had taken place in the Babylonian notions in regard to the divinity; and that the three persons had come to be, the Eternal Father, the Spirit of God incarnate in a human mother, and a Divine Son, the fruit of that incarnation . . . ." 
Also central to the secret doctrine was the doctrine of the equality and even the identity of the Father and the Son:
"This lamented one," Hislop went on, speaking of the basic Babylonian myth of Nimrod, Ninus and Semiramis, the father, son and mother of the Babylonian trinity, "exhibited and adored as a little child in his mother's arms, seems, in point of fact to have been the husband of Semiramis, whose name, Ninus, by which he is commonly known in classical history, literally signified 'The Son' . . . . Now, this Ninus, or 'Son,' borne in the arms of the Babylonian Madonna, is so described as very clearly to identify him with Nimrod . . . . Now, assuming that Ninus is Nimrod, the way in which that assumption explains what is otherwise inexplicable in the statements of ancient history greatly confirms the truth of that assumption itself . . . . Thus, then, looking at the fact that Ninus is currently made by antiquity the son of Belus, or Bel, when we have seen that the historical Bel is Cush, the identity of Ninus and Nimrod is still further confirmed.. . ." 
When the languages of the world were confounded at the Tower of Babel, this "mystery Babylon," according to Hislop, spread all over the world and formed the basis of the various mysteries such as those of Dionysus, Eleusis, the Phrygian mysteries, the cults of Adonis and the Egyptian mysteries (hence the apostolic expression, "mother of harlots" . The names varied according to locality, but the underlying "mystery" did not change:
"In every case [of the mystery cults] there is a basic pair of deities dissimilar in rank. Of these two, the female figure embodies fertility itself, whereas her male companion (who is intended to portray fecundity, the result of fertility, i.e., the abundant growth of plants and animals) is represented sometimes as her son, sometimes as her lover, and hence exhibits a peculiar hybrid character." 
It is easy to recognize in this description the basic elements-Nimrod the rebellious father, Semiramis the lascivious "Queen of heaven" and Ninus the illegitimate, incestuous son-of the pagan trinity, the "mystery of iniquity," as described by Hislop. The "peculiar hybrid character" of the male deity corresponds to the Babylonian maxim, "Ninus is Nimrod," referring to the "miraculous" replacement of the dead father, Nimrod, by the bastard, Ninus, who becomes his mother's husband and thus exhibits the "peculiar hybrid character" of son-lover. It is easy to see, in other words, that the data in the New Catholic Encyclopedia corroborates both Hislop and Newman concerning the identity of "mystery Babylon." Three weighty authorities, two Catholic and one Protestant, thus agree in regard to "mystery Babylon," and these three authorities base their scholarship in turn on many other specialists in ancient civilization. We can, therefore, presume that additional research will simply bear out past research and that we can be confident that "MYSTERY BABYLON" has been identified.
"If it be inquired what was the object and design of these ancient "Mysteries," it will be found that there was a wonderful analogy between them and the "Mystery of iniquity" which is embodied in the Church of Rome . . . . These Mysteries were long shrouded in darkness, but now the thick darkness begins to pass away. All who have paid the least attention to the literature of Greece, Egypt, Phenicia, or Rome are aware of the place which the "Mysteries" occupied in these countries, and that, whatever circumstantial diversities there might be, in all essential respects these "Mysteries" in the different countries were the same." 
Here Hislop is just echoing the previous quote from the New Catholic Encyclopedia to the effect that the basic trinitarian pattern is ubiquitous in paganism. When Newman says that the secret doctrine was "perpetuated" in the "early Councils," what he is saying is that the Alexandrian faction at Nicaea, long noted for their gnosticizing tendencies,  cast the secret doctrine, or "MYSTERY BABYLON," in Biblical terms, though it took some wrenching to do this:
"The decisions of Nicaea," according to Henry Bettenson, "were really the work of a minority, and they were misunderstood and disliked by many who were not adherents of Arius. In particular the terms ek ths ousias ["of the substance"] and homoousias ["of the same substance"] aroused opposition, on the grounds that they were unscriptural, novel, tending to Sabellianism [i.e. tending to exaggerate the divinity of Yeshua to the point that the distinction between the Father and the Son ceased to exist] and erroneous metaphysically." 
This wrenching at Nicaea immediately led to 50 years of war, followed by recurrent storms throughout history up to the present. Thus, the secret doctrine was preserved or "perpetuated," unbeknownst to any but the elite initiates into the mysteries. Newman's entire book, in fact, incredible as it may seem, defends Nicene orthodoxy, the very centerpiece of Roman Catholicism and much of Protestantism, on this basis! There had always been certain striking resemblances between Biblical and pagan religion, but there had always been certain critical differences, too. When the Apostolic faith came along in antiquity, the pagan priests, feeling mortally threatened, sought to efface the differences between pagan and Biblical religion. Paganism, according to E. L. Woodward, "could only rival Christianity by using the methods and even the doctrines of the church, and . . . These new elements could never really attach themselves to the old pagan foundations."  This statement by Woodward is extremely important to understanding what really happened in and after the Trinitarian Controversy of the fourth century. Now that we can see what the secret doctrine was, clearly it is evident that an attempt was made at Nicaea, contrary to the objections of many, to bridge the gap between "the old pagan foundations" and the new Apostolic faith, to effect a compromise, and that the hue and cry that followed was and is simply the inability, as Woodward put it, of the "new elements" to "attach themselves to the old pagan foundations."
The "secret doctrine," therefore, was foisted on the bishops at Nicaea and possibly on Constantine as well by the so-called "orthodox" fathers, e.g. Ossius (Hosius), bishop of Cordova, Spain, who was Constantine's key religious advisor, Alexander, bishop of Alexandria and opponent of Arius the presbyter, Athanasius, Alexander's successor, etc. Nimrod, Zeus, Osiris, Baal, etc., were all lumped together to become "the Father." Hislop also explains how "the Mother" or "Queen of heaven," Isis, Hera, Astarte, etc., came to be identified as "Mary," the "Mother of God" and the Holy Spirit, and the place of "the Son," otherwise known as Ninus, Apollo, Horus, Bel, etc., was taken, of course, by "Ye-Zeus," i.e. "Jesus." The infamous "homoousion," which was the cause of so much "strife about words," was simply the translation of the basic pagan doctrine that "Ninus is Nimrod," i.e. the son is (of the same "substance" or "essential being"  as) the father. With a relatively small amount of manipulation and subsequent dissent, the Biblical data was forced at Nicaea into the foreign mold of the secret doctrine creating a perfect, though monstrous, marriage of Biblical and anti-Messianic elements which had the double "virtue" of not provoking a wholesale revolt by the faithful and reconciling pagans with the mushrooming new religion from the Middle East. The secret doctrine, "MYSTERY BABYLON," the "doctrine of the Nicolaitans," the "mystery of iniquity" and "anti-Messiah" apparently are all terms for the same thing.
What Newman is really saying, therefore, is that the secret doctrine, which is really " MYSTERY BABYLON," was and is the basis of the very trinitarian or "triunitarian" dogma which continues to predominate in most Christian denominations, including Messianic Judaism. Not only is it the basis of trinitarian dogma: It is trinitarian dogma. The pagans had no problem with changing the names of the gods whenever it suited them. It was no great hurdle, then, to annex the New Testament terminology so long as the critical elements and spirit under the surface continued to advance the basic pagan agenda, following the Tower of Babel, of world domination and control, irrespective of, or rather in opposition to, the Kingdom of Yah'weh. "Constantine," as Newman put it, "in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own."  The heathen world possessed traditions, Newman wrote, "too ancient to be rejected and too sacred to be used in popular theology."  The doctrine of the trinity, he said, was:
A "shadow," a "representation, . . . necessarily imperfect, as being exhibited in a foreign medium, and therefore involving apparent inconsistencies or mysteries;" it was given to the Church by "oral" tradition "contemporaneously with those apostolic writings, which are addressed more directly to the heart;" but it was "kept in the background in the infancy of Christianity, when faith and reason being disproportionately developed, and aiming at sovereignty in the province of religion, its presence became necessary to expel an usurping idol from the house of God." 
Here, in his oblique way, Newman names the secret doctrine of which he had been speaking. It is the doctrine of the trinity, which comes, not from the Bible nor even from Judaism but from the "dispensation of paganism"-the mystery cults. Here Hislop and Newman are in agreement; they both identify the secret doctrine as the same thing. First, in the "infancy of Christianity," this "mystery" was in the background, viz. in the pagan mystery cults. Later, when the opportunity arose, when there were no more Apostles around to speak authoritatively against it, it leapt into the mainstream of Christianity and has been there ever since. Far from expelling an usurping idol, it was and is an usurping idol-the very idolatry from which all the other idols came.
Just as the devil told Chava ("Eve") that it was ok to eat of the forbidden fruit, today he is still secretly trying to trick people into eating of the forbidden fruit of "MYSTERY BABYLON" by confusing it with Biblical faith. According to the Apostles, however, the idols of the pagans are "demons," and "you cannot drink of the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons . . . ."  So likewise today, it is still a fatal mistake to subscribe to both trinitarian or "triunitarian" dogma and the doctrine of the Apostles. They are two different things, as different as night and day. The basic doctrine of Biblical Christianity or "Messianic Judaism" is that "Yah'weh is our God, Yah'weh is one," which does not mean three or "triune" or "plural," and that the Messiah Yeshua is the yachid (unique, one-of-a-kind, beloved) Son of Yah'weh. That Yeshua did not claim to be Yah'weh is abundantly clear in the New Testament. He claimed to be one with Yah'weh. There is a difference between being someone and being one with someone. Yeshua said he was "in" the Father, and the Father was "in" him,  just as all believers are "in" Yeshua and Yeshua is "in" all believers.  There is a sense, then, in which believers are Yeshua and a sense in which they are not. If believers express their oneness with Yeshua wrongly, if they claim to be the Messiah in the sense of taking his place rather than obeying him, they may be guilty of spiritual aggression, a kind of ambition contrary to Godliness. Indeed, they may not even be believers but have a wrong spirit. The same kind of spiritual aggression or ambition is fostered by the dogmatic notion of the "deity" of Yeshua, not taking into account all the pertinent scriptures and projecting the idea that Yeshua is "God" in an aggressive, ambitious sense rather than in the correct sense in which the term "God" is applied to Yeshua in the New Testament. This aggressive ambition to take Yah'weh's place comes from the enemy, i.e. Satan, not from scripture, and trinitarian dogma, alias "MYSTERY BABYLON," is Satan's hidden way of promoting his agenda of "[sitting] as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."  The "head" of the Messiah is Yah'weh.  "My Father is greater than I," [199 Yeshua said. The same "God" who is our God is also the "God" of Yeshua.  These and many other pertinent scriptures which highlight the inequality of the Father and the Son are being hidden in the dark cloud of trinitarian dogma in Messianic Judaism today just as they have been suppressed in Christianity ever since the monstrous "early Councils" of the fourth century. The question might also be asked: How can God be eternally triune when He will be "all in all" when the Son in the end "delivers the kingdom to God the Father"?  When Yah'weh is "all in all," there won't be anything but Yah'weh. So Yah'weh in the end is not "triune" or "plural." He is echad, one, or first, and echad does not mean "triune."
The scarlet beast under the whore in Rev 17:3 is "full of blasphemous names." The mysteries and their gods, therefore, are blasphemous. How much more, then, is the mother, the source, of these mysteries and gods, "MYSTERY BABYLON," blasphemous, so much so that the name on the forehead of the whore, " BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH," is written in all capital letters in the New Testament. So long as trinitarian dogma continues to be a predominant membership standard in contemporary Messianic Judaism, not to mention Christianity, "MYSTERY BABYLON" continues to be written on its forehead, and Messianic/Christian organizations continue to be in the infernal "whore" of Rev 17-18. When the "voice from heaven" says, "Come out of her, my people,"  what this means for us today is that we must replace trinitarian dogma in Messianic and Christian membership standards with the fundamental Biblical principles of the deity and oneness of the Father and the acceptance of the Messiah Yeshua as the yachid (unique, one-of-a-kind, beloved) Son of Yah'weh, the "Word," as described in the prologue of the book of Yohanan, the "image of Yah'weh,"  and so forth, according to the scriptures, but "Babylonian" expressions such as "God the Son," "fully God and fully man," the "deity" of Yeshua, the "triunity" of God, etc., which are not found expressly in scripture, must be eliminated. These are the "accursed Babylonian garments" hidden in our midst, which, like the accursed Babylonian garments in the time of the conquest of the promised land under Yehoshua (Joshua),  will only bring us defeat and misery in the form of the "sins" and the "plagues" of the iniquitous "whore" in the perilous days ahead and which, like those ancient Babylonian abominations, must be burned and buried. Only in this way can we elevate the Word to its proper place, viz. the "head," in contemporary Messianic Judaism and Christianity, and put "mystery Babylon" in its proper place, viz. the garbage heap, even the "Gehenna" of "unquenchable fire." 
1. John Henry Cardinal Newman, Arians of the Fourth Century (Westminster, MD, 1968), p. 55
2. Rev. Alexander Hislop, Two Babylons (London, 1932), p. 18-19
3. Hislop, pp. 22-23, 25 and 28-29 (emphasis mine)
4. Rev 17:5
5. "Greco-Oriental Mystery Religions" in the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), pp. 155-156
6. Hislop, pp. 5 and 12
7. Cf. John C. Dwyer, Church History (New York, 1985), pp. 80-81
8. Henry Bettenson, Documents of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press, 1978), p. 41. See also Dan Juster, "The Christological Dogma of NicaeaCGreek or Jewish?" in Mishkan 1:1 (Jan 84?), p. 51, in regard to the "docetic" tendencies and other weaknesses of the Nicene formula
9. Woodward, Christianity and Nationalism in the Later Roman Empire (London, 1916), p. 10
10. J. F. Bethune-BAker, B.D., The Meaning of Homoousios in the Constantinopolitan Creed (London, 1901), pp. 60-61
11. Newman, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, p. 352
12. Newman, Arians, p. 91
13. Newman, Arians, p. 145
14. 1 Cor 10:30 (RSV)
15. Jn 14:10
16. Jn 14:20
17. 2 Th 2:4
18. 1 Cor 11:3
19. Jn 14:28
20. Jn 20:17
21. 1 Cor 15:24
22. Rev 18:4
23. 2 Cor 4:4
24. Cf. Josh 7
25. Mat 3:12, Lk 3:17
III. 666: The Symbol of Trinitarian Dogma
The Initial Identification of 666 as Trinitarian Dogma
Towards the end of the summer of 5985(?)(1995), suddenly the thought occurred to me that the three sixes in the yet "unsolved puzzle"  of the infamous "number of the beast . . . 666" of Rev 13:18 might stand for the "three Persons of the Godhead" of the trinitarian dogma of classical Christianity.  Because most of the Christian world has been and still is officially trinitarian, the rather obvious  idea of a connection between "666" and trinitarian dogma seems to have been completely overlooked: One of the best places to hide something is precisely where nobody would think to look because it is obvious that no one would hide something right in plain sight. Such a tactic, though, is perfectly consistent with the macabre character of Satanic humor, which delights in laughing as a further refinement of torture and hate.
The "Equality" and "Oneness" of the Three
Two of the central features of classical trinitarian dogma are the alleged "equality" and "oneness" of the "three Persons of the Godhead." In the authoritative "Athanasian Creed," for example, Athanasius, the aggressive  bishop and champion of trinitarian dogma during the Arian Controversy in Alexandria, Egypt in the fourth century, wrote that "Whosoever will be saved" must "hold the Catholic faith," which is "that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity . . . . For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one : The Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal . . . . And in this Trinity none is afore, or after another: none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together: and co-equal. So that in all Things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved: must think thus of the Trinity . . . ."  So, just as the "three Persons" of the classical dogma are "equal" and "one," the three sixes of the "number of the beast" are equal and one in that they are all the same number, viz. six.
The Significance of Six
There is another striking connection between "666" and trinitarian dogma, viz. the number six itself, which, according to many scholars, represents imperfection, incompletion, and evil. "As a symbolical number," as Bullinger put it, "[six] denotes imperfection, non-completeness, falling as it does just short of seven, which denotes perfection . . . . [Seven is God's perfect number=3":, to be or become satisfied, filled; the number that satisfies God's work in nature, as in sound, in colours, and light.] Six (::, with an unknown root) is a perfect number, the first and the only number that equals the sum of the three figures that will divide it, and these the first three digits, 1, 2, 3. But it just falls short of God's, as does everything human . . . ."7 666 is "a concentration of evil," according to J. B. Phillips, "six being the number of imperfection."  Jacques Ellul thought 666 actually meant 666..., i.e. an endless string of sixes, denoting the illegitimate attempt of the imperfect to reach perfection, to be God,  not by faith and righteousness but by sophistry, sorcery, violence, etc. Donald Richardson called 666 "triplicated evil."  The whole purpose of the Lord's using the number six in Rev 13:18, these scholars imply, was to point to something striving to be perfect, even something or someone striving to replace God, but failing to do so, falling short due to imperfection and sin and ending up accomplishing just the opposite, viz. "ultimate evil."
666: The Perfect Symbol of Trinitarian Dogma
From these initial observations it should be obvious that "666" at the very least could symbolize trinitarian dogma. Why "666"? Swete asks. Why not "66" or "6666," etc.? Why three sixes?  One obvious possibility, noted by more than one scholar,  is that the three sixes could be a reference to trinity. To continue Swete's line of questioning, though, why not "621" or "642," etc.? Why three equal numbers? Again, the connection between the equality of the sixes and the alleged equality of the three "Persons" of the Godhead of trinitarian dogma is an obvious possibility. Even trinitarians, if they are willing to be honest, must, just on the basis of what has been said so far, admit the possibility that "666" could symbolize trinitarian dogma. If there is any doubt at all concerning the orthodoxy of trinitarian dogma, not to mention even the possibility that trinitarian dogma is, or is even just connected with, "mystery Babylon" or "666," moreoever, this is reason enough to steer a wide path around even the idea of including trinitarian dogma within the domain of modern Messianic Judaism and Christianity, too, as it is written:
"Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you'" (2 Cor 6:17).
Now as one can see, such a possibility certainly does exist so that, just on the basis of this possibility alone, the sensible and safe thing to do is to steer towards the solid ground of the "pattern of sound words" of the Apostles (2 Tim 1:13), i.e. purely Biblical terminology, and to avoid "arguments over words" (cf. 1 Tim 6:3-4 + 2 Tim 2:14). When all of these factors, the threeness, the equality and oneness of the three + the significance of the use of six, are added together, each factor multiplies the probability that the similarities between "666" and trinitarian dogma are no mere coincidence. Just taking these four factors together, in fact, honesty compels us to admit that, thus far, "666" is a perfect symbol for trinitarian dogma. If the Apostle Yohanan wanted to symbolize trinitarian dogma in a rather cryptic way, certainly using "666" would have been one perfectly sublime way to do so.
To be continued . . .
1. Cf. Henry Barclay Swete, D.D., F.B.A., The Apocalypse of St. John, 2nd edition, McMillan and Co., Ltd.: London, 1907, p. cxxxvii + Robt. H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation (Eerdman's, 1977), p. 265 + Herbert Lockyer, Drama of the Ages (Harvest House, 1980), p. 200. (return to text)
2. By 'classical,' in contrast to Biblical, Christianity, I mean the paganized version of Christianity that emerged especially in the fourth century starting with the Council of Nicaea and which includes such features as trinitarian dogma, Christmas, Easter, Virgin Mary worship, the Papacy, official ecclesiastical violence, etc. For a definition of trinitarian dogma, see my tract, "Trinitarian Dogma: The Very 'Mystery Babylon' of Rev 17:5!"
3. 666, according to Ethelbert W. Bullinger, D.D., is "clearly emblematic of Trinity . . ." (A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament (London, 1969), p. 391).
4. Athanasius, according to church historian Timothy Barnes, organized, among other things, an "ecclesiastical mafia" (Constantine and Eusebius (Harvard University Press, 1981), p. 230). For a more complete catalogue of Athanasius' misdeeds, see "Paradoxical Questions Concerning the Morals and Actions of Athanasius and his Followers" in Sir Isaac Newton Manuscripts and Papers on microfilm (Chadwick-Healy Inc., phone 800-752-0515), reel 18, #89. K.Ms. 10.
5. Compare this to an ancient Egyptian text: "'All gods are three, Amon, Re, and Ptah, and they have no second.' Amon is the name of this single being, Re is his head, and Ptah is his body. 'Only he is Amon and Re (and Ptah), together three.' Three gods are one and yet the Egyptian elsewhere insists on the separate identity of each of the three" (H. and H. A. Frankfort, John A. Wilson and Thorkild Jacobsen, Before Philosophy, (Penguin Books: New York, 1946), p. 75). The suggestion, which should be obvious, is that trinitarian dogma is just a "Christianized" version of the ancient Egyptian formula. The names of the gods were changed, but the underlying "substance" remained: "Old beliefs and sanctities in Europe," as W. M. Flinders Petrie put it, "[are] overlaid by the official forms of Christianity, which took the substance and gave it the shadow of a new name, to fit the new orthodoxy. Yet the old faiths linger" (Religious Life in Ancient Egypt (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1924), p. 2).
6. Quoted from William Whiston, Memoirs (London, 1749-50), pp. 493-96 (emphasis mine).
7. Bullinger, p. 707.
8. J. B. Phillips, The Book of Revelation (Geoffrey Bles, Ltd.: London, 1957), p. 31.
9. Jacques Ellul, Apocalypse and the Book of Revelation, George W. Schreiner, trans. (The Seabury Press: New York, 1977), p. 88.
10. Donald Richardson, D.D., The Revelation of Jesus Christ: An Interpretation (John Knox Press: Richmond, Virginia, 1957), p. 118.
11. William Milligan, D.D., The Book of Revelation (A. C. Armstrong & Son: New York, 1899), p. 236.
12. Swete, p. cxxxvii.
13. See also Chas. R. Erdman, The Revelation of John (Philadelphia, 1936), p. 108 + Mounce, p. 265. Erdman and Mounce do not entertain the idea of the connection between classical trinitarianism and 666 but only, like Bullinger, the idea that "666" refers to some kind of evil trinity.
Not all the views expressed in this article are necessarily those of the New Covenant Church of God
This page was created on 5 February 1999
Last updated on 5 February 1999
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