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The Mystery of Deity

John R Gavazzoni

May, 2003

Thousand Oaks, CA

Editor's Note: The following essay was John's answer to a brother's question about the eternal nature of God. Jan Antonsson

Hi Doug (not his real name),

I received this question or one like it a while back and responded to it rather exhaustively, but this time around I'll keep it short and try to deal with the most essential issues involved. The problem with the kind of approach this brother takes toward the mystery of Deity and Its relationship to humanity is that, without knowing it, he starts with presuppositions that don't hold water and then proceeds to support them with what I call a proof-text mentality. You can "prove" nearly anything with that sort of mindset.

So much of this sort of controversy is based upon trying to affirm or deny the doctrine of "the trinity," which was a valiant effort on the part of early church fathers to affirm the essential unity/plurality of Deity, while avoiding the many gods of paganism. I'm thoroughly convinced that the doctrine of the trinity fell short of that goal, and am very much of the same opinion as J. Preston Eby that it is much more accurate to think of Deity as Family. If Deity is Family, then every member of the Family is essentially eternal in nature.

If I were to choose a proof-text for that assertion, it would be where Paul speaks of "the Father, from whom every family on earth is named (natured)" (Eph. 3:15). One must distinguish between Being and existence. God is pure eternal relational Being by which divine Fatherhood/Motherhood proceeds eternally out of "I AM," and from our Father Mother God, the Son is eternally begotten (eternally, being the very operative word).

Existence has to do with the space-time continuum and Deity's presence from out of eternity into the age(s), thus, again John speaks first of "our" experience with "life" and then with that life as "aionian life." The eternal has taken up abode in time, which is the essential meaning of the Greek which is erroneously translated "eternal" or "everlasting" in most translations of scripture, as I know you are very aware of.

I am amazed that some can read the statement of Paul concerning Christ, that "In Him dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9), and not realize that for this to be so, God Himself would have to reproduce Himself and be a Son to His own Fatherhood. This is "the mystery of godliness (Godlikeness), God manifest in the flesh" (I Tim. 3:16). When something is manifested or revealed does that imply that in manifesting it becomes less than what it is?

Is the manifestation generically lesser than what is manifested? For me, my testimony of Jesus is that of Thomas, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). Of course we could go on and on into the wonder of our essential divinity and eternal sonship in Christ, and how we have been given participation in Deity itself by our Father's grace, but that requires more time than this response allows for.

You might want to access our web site for the many articles on the truth about the Son(s) of God and also our 5 part series on "The Coming of the Lord" which deals with the family nature of God.

Love ya' brother,

Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.

John Gavazzoni

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John R Gavazzoni
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