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Friday, October 23, 2015

Understanding The Godhead

Understanding The Trinity, Triune, and the Godhead “…always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks...” (1 Peter 3:15). There are many doctrines that embrace different ideas and views concerning many different issues in the Bible. The view of the trinity is no different. Different religions and sects of religions sometimes claim that the trinity refers to essentially three different gods. Remember, though, the word trinity is not mentioned in the Bible, which may be part of the confusion. I partially see why that might be an idea. The Bible tells us there is one God: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one…”(Mark 12:29). Let me give you an example of why people might not understand that Jesus was God. Let’s say I create a puppet show. I am in the rear of the stage. The audience notices two figures because I am using one hand for each puppet. They see two identities, which are still an extension of me. God is definitely capable of bringing an extension of himself to earth. At this point, we have a situation where God is still operating as God Almighty in Heaven, but is also carrying out a role as a human here on earth, yet still part of the Godhead. This God-man would have a variety of self-imposed limitations. He would have a body that will grow old and die, or could be murdered. There will be many things he doesn’t know. He would have an inherent knowledge. He is part of the Godhead, but otherwise, His knowledge would be very limited. Even though this God-man recognizes He is a portion of the Godhead, He is restricted in His expansive skills. He has to correspond in the similar primitive way as other humans. As part of His self-imposed restrictions, He is forced to communicate with the Godhead the same way as everyone else. Why did Jesus pray aloud? He was teaching us how to pray to the Father. First, I think many of Jesus’ audible prayers were done for our
benefit. I think Jesus used His audible prayers to teach us more about Himself and the Godhead. There are a couple of places in the Bible that talk about how the audible communications between Jesus and the Godhead were for the benefit of those nearby. In John 12:30, Jesus said the voice from Heaven was for their benefit, not His. In John 11:42, Jesus was raising Lazarus from the dead. He said His prayer was for the benefit of those who were around Him. Second, our audible prayers are not the full essence of our prayers. Romans 8:26 says, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Our prayers are not the full communication being sent to God. We have no idea what type of internal communications Jesus had with the Godhead. I believe even if the disciples could have heard His complex communications with the Godhead, I’m sure it wouldn’t have made any sense to them. Apart from experiencing the limited life of incarnate man, God also has a specific task He wants to accomplish. He, therefore, gives Himself the ability to carry out certain miracles in order to demonstrate that His life is a mission from God. Midway through His time on earth, a violent crowd murders Him. In the same manner, an all-powerful God can do the same. People say Jesus couldn’t have been God because that would imply that God would have to take a time off or a leave of absence. God would not have to take a leave of absence. Like the analogy of the puppet show, the Lord is definitely able to come to earth as an extension of himself. First, He would need a normal-sized body. Jesus was limited in His ability to communicate and be all-knowing, in some respects. So does “God-man’s” death mean that He died? No, He left the body but He was never dead spiritually. Are God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit one being or separate? First, let me make it clear — there is one God and one God only. In no way should we take the trinity and suggest there are three Gods. We know that is not true. There is no mention of the word trinity in the Bible but triune God is mentioned. Let’s understand that throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, it is continuously mentioned and referenced concerning the manifestation and or theophanic revelations. The Word of God makes it clear that God is consists of three parts of the same God. The three-in-one never contradict one another and are always in agreement. “Scripture is abundantly clear that there is only One God. The three different persons of the trinity are one in purpose and agreements, and are one in essence. Christianity is not a belief in three Gods, but one God” (OneGod.htp).

Let’s look at an example. I look up high at the sun. The sun has light; the sun also has energy and power. The sun was created this way by God. Without one of these characteristics, the sun couldn’t function as intended. The same is true with what we call the trinity, or the Godhead. These three persons or attributes mentioned in the trinity all cooperate with each other. A lack of the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit would be deficient. Here are some Scripture verses which talk about or reference the idea of the trinity. “In the beginning, God.....and the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2; John 1: 1-3). The word for God is ‘Elohim,’ plural of the Hebrew word ‘El.’ It is a uni-plural word denoting the plurality of divine persons without stating the number, but which subsequent Scriptures show to be three divine persons being The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit (OneGod.htp) this citation needs to be clearer. “God (Elohim) said: ‘Man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (Gen 1:26, 27). “The voice of the Lord saying, who will go for us?” (John 12:41). These verses speak of the plurality of divine Persons in the one God, and generally this Hebrew unit plural word “Elohim” is used in the Old Testament to speak of the eternal Godhead. It is the Old Testament equivalent to the New Testament definition of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; or, the Godhead. “The Lord God (the Father) and His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) has sent Me (the Son)” (Isaiah 48:16). “The Spirit (the Holy Spirit) of the Lord (the Father) is upon me, because He has anointed Me” (Isaiah 61:1). “The Lord (the Father) said unto my Lord (the Son), sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1). “Then the Lord (the Son) rained fire and brimstone from the Lord (the Father) out of heaven” (Genesis 19:24). “Your throne O God is forever....therefore God, Thy God (the Father) has anointed You” (Psalms 45:6-7). The Old Testament speaks of: the Father (Isaiah 63:16; Malachi 2:10) the Son (Psalm 45:6-7; 2:6- 7,12; Proverbs 30:4; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6) the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2; Isaiah 11;1-3; 48:16; Genesis 6:3 61:1; 63:10. “In the New Testament, the trinity is referred to as the
Godhead, meaning the completeness of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit “(OneGod.htp). “For in Him (Christ) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). “For the invisible things of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:19, 20). These verses are a proclamation of things seen through faith and are made clear in spirit. God the Father is God and has the fullness of the Godhead. The Son is God and has the fullness of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is God and has the fullness of the Godhead. The Bible reveals that the Son is fully united with the Father and the Holy Spirit which is identified with God. The Father speaks to The Son from Heaven; The Spirit speaks to the Father on behalf of the believer. The Son glorifies the Father. The Spirit glorifies the Father and the Son. The Father sent the Son to reveal the Father. The Father testifies through the Son. God sent the Holy Spirit; the Son gave the Holy Spirit from the Father. The Father sends the Holy Spirit through the Son. It should be clear that while there are separate attributes of God. We need to glorify God by acknowledging that He is perfect in all ways. In His perfection, we find truth and comfort. The relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are: God the Father has delegated His authority to the Son; the Father and the Son are equal and dwell within each other; the Holy Spirit is that of God the Father and Jesus Christ, who complete the totality of God.

In conclusion, there is one God. God is one being with three equal attributes, the whole in disclosure and demonstration. God is one in operation, but three in revelation and made obvious. Each attribute of the Godhead is the one supreme being, not just a function. God’s revelation of Himself is that He is clearly sovereign over all. No human can define God. The Scriptures do not attempt to explain the mystery; they simply declare it. “Pray in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 1:20, 21). To an unbeliever (and even some who are believers, the concept of understanding the Godhead can be overwhelming. I would like to point out again that we serve an all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal God. This is even more of a reason to believe in that which is unseen yet definitely and undeniably in existence. We can’t put restrictions on God’s ability. We cannot deny the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit for they are all one in God. With all of God’s attributes, He is the king of all kings, the creator and giver of everlasting life! I believe if you read this and seek other Scriptures on this topic you will understand through God‘s grace. The following verses might help; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11; 2; Revelation 1:1-3; John 3:16-17 and 4; and John 5:17, 14:10. The Father initiates all of these things. The Son is the agent through who the Father does the following works: the creation and maintenance of the universe, as told in 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17); divine revelation, as told in John 1:1; Matthew 11:27; John 16:12-15; Revelation 1:1; and salvation, as told in 2 Corinthians 5:19; Matthew 1:21; John 4:42. When studying, remember that we have limited comprehension of the ways or attributes of an all-knowing, all-powerful, and eternal God. God made us this way so that we might seek Him.

He will give us what He chooses, but He will give! Verses saying Jesus is God God the Father called the Son “God”(Hebrews 1:8) The “child” is called the “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6) Jesus is called Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14) Jesus (the “Word”) is called “God” (John. 1:1) Paul said Jesus was God “manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16) Paul said Jesus was the “fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:8, 9) Thomas said to Jesus, “…my God” (John. 20:28) Paul called Jesus “the great God” (Titus 2:13) Paul said Jesus didn’t feel it was wrong to be considered “equal with God” (Philippians 2:5, 6) The Jews wanted to kill Jesus because He was “making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18) Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) The Bible said God created all things and that Jesus created all things (Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:16) The messiah (Jesus) had always been in existence (Micah 5:2) God claimed to be the “First and the Last.” So did Jesus. God clearly states that He is the only savior. The Bible also says Jesus is our savior. (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:2, 8,11,13) Verses saying the Father is God “The only Father we have are God Himself” (John. 8:41). “ … one God and Father of all …” (Ephesians 4:6). 70 Verses saying the Holy Spirit is God “… you have lied to the Holy Spirit … you have not lied to men, but to God” (Acts 5:3, 4) Referring to Isaiah 6:9,10, Peter said the “Holy Spirit” spoke to the prophet Isaiah. In the book of Isaiah, it says the “Lord” spoke to the prophet Isaiah. (Acts 28:25, 26) “We are part of the Temple of The Lord” (1 Corinthians 3:16) Verses saying there is only one God “You are right in saying God is one and there is no other but him” (Mark 12:32) “The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Mark 12:29) “For there is one God…” (I Timothy 2:5) “…and there is no God but one” (1 Corinthians 8:4) “…but God is one” (Galatians 3:20) “You believe there is one God. Good!” (James 2:19) “…you alone are God” (Psalms 86:10) “The Lord our God, the Lord is one…” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) “Is there another God beside, me?” (Isaiah 44:8) “There is no God apart from me … there is none but me” (Isaiah 45:21) “For I am God and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22) “I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 46:9) “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5) “I am the Lord, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:18) “Did not one God create us?” (Malachi 2:10)

 Andrew Cyr, M.Th (C) 2015

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