JESUS CHRIST IS GOD (part 6)
Genesis 1:26 is also not referring to angels. There is no Scripture in the whole of God’s Word that indicates God having used angels to create anything. Angels themselves are mere created beings (see Col. 1:16). Job 38:4-7 tells of angels shouting for joy at God’s creating, or during His creation of the world and everything in it, but there is not a word written which would indicate angels assisting, or being used in any way in the creation process. Ignoring such Scriptural facts, and the lack of any Scriptural support whatsoever, most Jewish interpreters believe that God is speaking with angels in Genesis 1:26. Such a flawed understanding of the Scriptures is highlighted by the very next verse in the passage: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him…” (Gen. 1:27). This verse explains with transparent lucidity who the Us is in the previous verse: the US is God. “God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…” (Gen. 1:26), “So GOD created man in HIS own image, in the image of GOD created HE him…” (Gen. 1:27). When one attempts to link the US to angels, or the earth, one runs into serious and obvious problems. When one takes an honest look at God’s wording, one can see clearly that there are more Persons in the Godhead than only one. God created man not in the image of angels, not in the image of God and angels, but God Himself alone. There is not a single verse in the Word of God which says that angels were created in the image of God, nor that God created man in the image of angels. God creating man in 'His own' image is proof positive that the ‘Us’ and ‘Our’ of the preceding verse can only be referring to the plurality of God. God is singular only in a plural sense and His plurality is uniquely singular. Yet, God is not a plurality of Gods, but one God.
Interestingly, “God uses the plural pronouns when He comes to create man, an act which we know He performed by Himself: ‘And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul… And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man’ (Gen. 2:7,21,22 cf. Gen. 3:5,22; 11:5-9). And yet we are also told that God’s own Spirit, Who is mentioned in Genesis 1:2, created man: ‘The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life’ (Job 33:4). We therefore have very strong grounds to conclude that the use of the plural pronouns is because the Divine Persons of God were communicating with one another in their deliberation regarding man’s creation. Basically this means that the inspired author used ‘Elohim’ in reference to the entire Godhead, not simply as an intensive plural.” If God had been speaking with angels, then He would not only have created man is His own image, but also that of angels, making angels equal to Himself. God is the Creator and no one else, and nothing was created without God the Son, Jesus Christ: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (Jn. 1:1-3 cf. Eph. 3:9; 1 Jn. 1:1-3). The Holy Spirit was, of course, also involved in the creation of all things: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2 cf. Psa. 33:7). The Hebrew text says “and Spirit of Elohim”. “The Hebrew word for ‘Spirit’ is often translated as ‘wind’ or ‘breath’ in the Old Testament (see also Jesus’ words in John 3:8). The same word is found in Psalm 33:6, where we again catch a glimpse of the Spirit’s work in creation: ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath [Spirit] of His mouth’.
“Basically, the existence of such plurals is actually what we would expect to find if the Bible does present a Triune God. In other words, if our arguments regarding there being more than one Divine Person existing as God are exegetically sound, then it should not come as a surprise to find the Holy Bible speaking of God in the plural, i.e. we would expect to find plural nouns, verbs, adjectives being used for God to denote the fact that He is a multi-Personal Being. Someone may interject and claim that these plurals would actually prove that there are multiple Gods, not multiple Persons of God. This would be a valid objection had it not been for the fact that the Bible clearly and emphatically teaches that there is only one God.” Neither the fact that God is multi-Personal, or the teaching that He is one can be validly denied based on Scriptural evidence. “God says: ‘See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me…’ (Deut. 32:39).” God is One. No lesser God, no minor God, no God or god at all is with God, for there is only ONE GOD. “‘O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even Thou alone…’ (Isa. 37:16); ‘Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD, even Thou only’ (Isa. 37:20); ‘Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me’ (Isa. 43:10).” Clearly, there is only one God, as there always has been, and will always and only ever be. This teaching sounds the death knell to every argument that claims there is more than one God/god, but not to the plurality of God, which is not a sign that there is more than one Deity, but that there is most definitely only one Deity Who is a multi-personal God, a Tri-unity of God. God declares: “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me” (Isa. 46:9); “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord…And the scribe said unto Him, Well, Master, Thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but He” (Mk. 12:29,32); “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:3). “What all this suggests is that the Bible writers used plurals, not because they intended to convey the notion that there is more than one God, but because they were trying to communicate the truth that God exists as multiple Persons. They communicated this divinely revealed truth by expressing it in the thought patterns and categories of the Hebrew language. In the biblical world of the Hebrews they didn’t use terms such as persons and beings as distinct categories whereby they could communicate the fact of God existing as one Being in three different Persons. They would therefore need to relay this truth in a manner appropriate to the Hebrew mindset and language, and one way to do that would be to refer to God by using both singular and plural nouns, verbs etc.”
As we have seen, “The plurality of God is also discovered in the creation of man. According to this fascinating verse, Genesis 1:26, man was created by God in His own image. However, there is something provocative and unexpected in this verse. Prior to the creation of man we find a conversation between God (Elohim) and an unidentified being: ‘Let Us make man in Our image’. Who is this person (or persons) with whom God is speaking? This person, or intelligent being, has some attributes that we can glean from the text. First, the personage is able to speak with God in the realm of timeless eternity. Secondly, this being apparently has the same kind of creative ability as God (‘Let US make’). This describes a cooperative effort between Elohim and the person with whom He is speaking. Finally, the likeness or image of this being is comparable to God's: ‘In OUR image, after OUR likeness’.” Verse 27 of Genesis 1 makes it perfectly clear that “…God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him…” Man was not created in the image of angels and God, or the earth and God, but in the image of God alone. The Word of God does not say ‘Let us make man in My image’, but “Let us make man in Our image”. “In the original Hebrew it says: ‘And He is saying Elohim WE shall make human in image of us as likeness of US’. As we learned earlier, when confronted with this passage, modern rabbis often claim that God is speaking to the angels. However, this explanation fails to recognize a number of problems. First, there is no indication in the Bible that angels can create life. Secondly, nowhere is it indicated that angels are made in the image of God. Finally, there is no indication that mankind was made in the image of angels either! We may conclude that the person with whom Elohim is conversing lives in the eternal realm, has His creative power and exists in the image and likeness of God. NO ANGEL, NO MAN, NO CREATED BEING IN HEAVEN OR ON EARTH COULD POSSIBLY FIT THESE CRITERIA.” Evidently, unless there is a being not mentioned, or even hinted at, in all of Scripture, who exists outside of time, has a God-like power to create, is the express image and likeness of God, is no angel, nor man nor any other created being, we are left with only two possible alternatives: (1) there is more than one God, or (2) there is only one God Who is more than one Person. The ‘possibility’ that there is more than one God is quickly dismissed by the words of the only God Himself: “…I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour…I am the first, and I am the last; and beside Me there is no God…is there a God beside Me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any…I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside Me…there is none beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else…there is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside Me. Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me…” (Isa. 43:10,11; 44:6,8; 45:5,6,21,22; 46:9). “…the Lord He is God; there is none else beside Him…the Lord He is God in Heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else” (Deut. 4:35,39).
“The plurality of God is also seen in Genesis 3:22. After Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden we find a fascinating conversation: ‘And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of US, to know good and evil…’. ‘Man is become as one of US’. To whom is the LORD talking? Again in Genesis 11:7, God is discussing His solution to the whole earth having one language at the time of the Tower of Babel: ‘Go to, let US go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech’.” The original Hebrew states: “…We shall descend and We shall disintegrate their lip…” And in Isaiah 6:8 “…I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?...” The original Hebrew reads: ‘…I am hearing voice of my Lord saying whom? I shall send and who? he shall go for Us…’ “This last passage would appear contradictory with the singular ‘I’ and the plural ‘us’ except as viewed as a plurality (us) in a unity.” THE US IS ONE, AND THE ONE IS US. “The use of the plural noun is clearly seen in these verses. The fact that the LORD (Yahweh) refers to Himself in these passages as ‘Us’, is indeed a fascinating hint to the plurality of God. The ‘Creators’ of the Universe? The plurality of the Creator seen in Genesis 1:1 has been dismissed by some as simply a description of God's plural majesty.” A person speaks only to that which can hear, not to that which is merely an attribute. Persons speak to persons. “…the plurality of the Creator is also seen in a number of very provocative verses. One point that also comes out of the Hebrew language is the fact that often nouns and adjectives used in speaking of God are plural. Some examples are as follows: In Ecclesiastes 12:1 we read: ‘Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them’. The Young's Literal Translation, 1898 says: ‘Remember also thy CREATORS in the days of thy youth, While that the evil days come not, Nor the years have arrived, that thou sayest, 'I have no pleasure in them’.” The original Hebrew text states: “and remember you ONES CREATING of you…” “The word ‘Creators’ is a plural form of the word ‘bara’, which means to create out of nothing. The notion of a plural Creator is also seen in Isaiah 54:5, where the prophet states: ‘For thine Maker is thine Husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called’.” Once again, a look at the original Hebrew text reveals the plurality of God: “that ones possessing of you ones making of you Yaweh of hosts name of Him and one redeeming of you Holy one of Israel Elohim of all of the earth He shall be called”. “Young's Literal Translation, has it: ‘For thy Maker is thy husband, Yahweh of Hosts is His name, And thy Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, 'God of all the earth,' He is called.' In this verse the word ‘Maker’ is the plural form of the word ‘asa’, which means to form or make.” The plurality of God is also readily observed as we read Psalm 149:2: “Let Israel rejoice in Him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King”. The original Hebrew reads: “he shall rejoice Israel in ones making of him sons of zion they shall exult in king of them”. (see also Josh. 24:19). The Ones making of Israel is their King.
“…some passages in Isaiah, clearly indicate that Jehovah was the lone creator and builder of the heavens and the earth: “Thus saith the LORD, Thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself” (Isa. 44:24). This verse alone completely destroys Watchtower theology because it obliterates any notion that Jehovah used a junior partner in the act of creation, as they allege. This is what sets Yahweh apart. Regarding creation, Yahweh claimed, ‘I am the LORD that maketh all things…by Myself’. Yahweh is creating and building alone. Clearly, God is distinguishing that He alone, and not created things, creates (see also Isa. 45:12). Yahweh was the lone craftsman. ‘Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together’ (Isa. 48:13). This verse not only indicates that Yahweh’s own hand created heaven and earth, but that Yahweh, ‘I’, is sustaining His creation as well. When one examines New Testament verses regarding Jesus, one can see that Jesus is also credited as Creator and Sustainer. For example: “All things were made by Him (the Word); and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (Jn. 1:3); ‘In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist’ (Col. 1:14-17).” Jesus being the “firstborn of every creature” does not signify that He was created, but that He is the Parent of all creation. The very next words in the passage are: “FOR by Him were all things created…” “…or it may be understood of Christ, as the King, Lord, and Governor of all creatures; being God's firstborn, He is heir of all things, the right of government belongs to Him; He is higher than the kings of the earth, or the angels in Heaven, the highest rank of creatures, being the Creator and upholder of all, as the following words show; so the Jews make the word ‘firstborn’ to be synonymous with the word ‘king’, and explain it by (rvw lwdg), ‘a great one’, and ‘a prince’; (see Psa. 89:27; Heb. 1:2,6).
“‘God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds’ (Heb. 1:2). Though the Father made the worlds through the Son, Scripture affirms that only Yahweh created. Therefore, the Father and Son must be Yahweh. Given the strength of these comparisons, the JW ought to give serious reflection as to what the author of Hebrews meant when he called Jesus ‘…the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person…’ (Heb. 1:3). It is particularly interesting to compare Isaiah 45:12 (which is a quote from Yahweh) with Hebrews 1:10 (in which the Father is speaking about the Son): ‘I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded’ (Isa. 45:12); ‘But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of Righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands’ (Heb. 1:8-10). The same language is used of the Father and the Son. Creation is the work of both Their hands, both have stretched out the heavens, and both sustain all things. But if only Yahweh’s hands created, and the Father and the Son’s hands created, is not the only logical conclusion that both the Father and the Son are Yahweh? If Yahweh created everything by Himself, how is it possible that He did so through a separate being? Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus created and sustains all things and yet, Isaiah is clear that Yahweh alone created and sustains everything:" 'For by Him (Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him' (Col. 1:16); “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself” (Isa. 44:24); “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded” (Isa. 45:12). “If Yahweh alone created and sustains everything, and Jesus created and sustains all things, then Jesus must be of the same nature as Yahweh.” “Jesus is God, and God created all things alone.” Three Persons one God. Three Persons one Creator. The one Creator is more than one Person. The Scriptures do not speak of two Creators, but only one. There are not two or more Gods, but only one, therefore, Three Persons one God/Creator.
Our passage from Hebrews 1:8-10 is taken from the Psalms: “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy Kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows” (Psa. 45:6,7). “As if to even make the case for plurality stronger, there are situations in the Hebrew Scriptures where the term Elohim is applied to two personalities in the same verse, as is evidenced in the above passage from Psalms. It should be noted that the first Elohim is being addressed and the second Elohim is the God of the first Elohim. And so God’s God has anointed Him with the oil of gladness.” Jesus Christ must be God. Another quite stunning verse of Scripture which shows the plurality of God is Exodus 33:14, which, in the King James Bible, reads: “And He (God) said, My Presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest”, however, the original Hebrew text reads: “And He is saying faces of Me they shall go and I give rest to you”. "Another example is Hosea 1:7: ‘But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen’. The speaker is Elohim (see verse 6) Who says He will have mercy on the house of Judah and will save them by the instrumentality of YHWH, their Elohim. So Elohim number one will save Israel by means of a second Elohim. Not only is Elohim applied to two personalities in the same verse, but so is the very name of God! The original Hebrew reads: ‘and I save them in Yahweh Elohim of them…’ Another example is Genesis 19:24 which reads: ‘Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of Heaven’. Clearly we have YHWH number one raining fire and brimstone from a second YHWH Who is in Heaven, the first One being on earth. The original Hebrew states: ‘And Yahweh He caused to rain on Sodom and on Gomorrah sulphur and fire from Yahweh from the heavens’. A second example is Zechariah 2:8,9: 'For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath He sent Me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye. For, behold I will shake Mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent Me'. Again, we have one YHWH sending another YHWH to perform a specific task. These verses present a remarkable paradox. The Bible clearly teaches that there is but one God and one Creator. Yet this one God is a plurality of more than one Personage, each of which has the attributes of God and performs the works of God. Everything said so far rests firmly on the Hebrew language of the Scriptures. If we are to base our theology on the Scriptures alone, we have to say that on the one hand they affirm God’s unity, while at the same time they tend towards the concept of a compound unity allowing for a plurality in the Godhead.
“If the Hebrew Scriptures truly do point to plurality, the question arises, how many personalities in the Godhead exist? We have already seen the names of God applied to at least two different Personalities. Going through the Hebrew Scriptures, we find that, in fact, three and only three distinct Personalities are ever considered Divine. First, there are the numerous times when there is a reference to the Lord YHWH. This usage is so frequent that there is no need to devote space to it. A second Personality is referred to as the Angel of YHWH. This individual is always considered distinct from all other angels and is unique. In almost every passage where He is found He is referred to as both the Angel of YHWH and YHWH Himself. For instance, in Genesis 16:7 He is referred to as ‘the Angel of the Lord’ (YHWH), but then in 16:13 as YHWH Himself: ‘And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me…’ In Genesis 22:11 He is the Angel of YHWH, ‘And the Angel of the LORD called unto him out of Heaven…’ but God Himself in the very next verse: ‘And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me’ (Gen. 22:12). A very interesting passage is Exodus 23:20-23: ‘Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in Him. But if thou shalt indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For Mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off’. This Angel has the power to pardon sin because God’s own name YHWH is in Him, and, therefore, He is to be obeyed without question. This can hardly be said of any ordinary angel. But the very fact that God’s own name is in this Angel shows His Divine statua. ‘for He will not pardon your transgression’, or suffer them to pass unchastised and uncorrected, but will, as He did, take vengeance on their inventions, and on them because of them, though He forgave their iniquities; for that He was such an Angel as could forgive sin, which none but God can do, is evident; because it would be absurd to say He will not pardon, if He could not pardon their transgressions, ‘When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in His Spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, He said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (He saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion' (Mk. 2:5-12 cf. Matt. 9:6). ‘For My name is in Him: the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father; the nature and perfections of God are in the Word and Son of God, and so His name Yahweh, which is peculiar to Him; Christ is Yahweh our Righteousness. A third Personality that comes through is the Spirit of God, often referred to as simply the Ruach Ha-kodesh. There are a good number of references to the Spirit of God, and that He is God, among which are Genesis 1:2, 6:3; Job 33:4; Psalm 51:11; Psalm 139:7; Isaiah 11:2, Acts 5:3,4; Phil. 2:1; 2 Cor. 13:13,14; etc. The Holy Spirit cannot be a mere emanation because He contains all the characteristics of personality (intellect, emotion and will) and is considered Divine. So then, from various sections of the Hebrew Scriptures there is a clear showing that three Personalities are referred to as Divine and as being God: the Lord YHWH, the Angel of YHWH and the Spirit of God.
“The Hebrew Scriptures also include all three Personalities of the Godhead together in one passage. Two examples are Isaiah 48:12-16 and 63:7-14. Because of the significance of the first passage, it will be quoted: ‘Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: He will do His pleasure on Babylon, and His arm shall be on the Chaldeans. I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. Come ye near unto Me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and His Spirit, hath sent Me’. It should be noted that the speaker refers to Himself as the one Who is responsible for the creation of the heavens and the earth. It is clear that He cannot be speaking of anyone other than God. But then in verse 16, the speaker refers to Himself using the pronouns of ‘I’ and ‘Me’ and then distinguishes Himself from two other Personalities. He distinguishes Himself from the Lord YHWH and then from the Spirit of God. Here is the Tri-unity as clearly defined as the Hebrew Scriptures make it. Isaiah 48:16 is an address to the Jews, to attend the ministry of Christ, and hear the doctrine He had delivered to them: ‘I have not spoken in secret from the beginning’; from the beginning of His ministry; which He exercised not in private houses, but in the synagogues of the Jews, and in the temple, whither a large concourse of people resorted, (see Jn.18:20). ‘from the time that it was, there am I’ (Isa. 48:16); from the time that His ministry began there, He was in the same places, in Judea and Galilee, always publicly preaching the Gospel, and doing good: or rather, ‘before the time that it was, there was I’; Christ existed before His incarnation, before He appeared as the great Prophet in Israel; He existed as the Word and Son of God from all eternity, and was with God His Father from everlasting.” Jesus prayed: “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world” (Jn. 17:24); “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own Self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” (Jn.17:5). “He was by Him, and brought up with Him, and lay in His bosom so early: ‘and now the Lord God and His Spirit hath sent Me’; in the fulness of time, in the likeness of sinful flesh, to preach the Gospel, fulfil the law, and to redeem and save the Lord's people. Here is a glorious testimony of a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead; Christ the Son of God is sent in human nature, and as Mediator, Yahweh the Father and the Spirit are the senders of Him; and so is a proof of the mission, commission, and authority of Christ, Who came not of Himself, but was sent of God (see Jn. 8:42), it is rendered in the Hebrew: ‘and now My Lord Yahweh He sends Me and Spirit of Him’. Young’s Literal Translation reads: ‘And now the Lord Jehovah hath sent Me, and His Spirit’; both were sent of God, and in this order; first, Christ, to be the Redeemer and Saviour; and then the Spirit, to be the Convincer and Comforter (see Jn. 14:26; 15:26; 16:7,8).
“Isaiah 63:7-14 states: ‘I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. For He said, Surely they are My people, children that will not lie: so He was their Saviour. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed His Holy Spirit: therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them. Then He remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? where is He that put His Holy Spirit within him? That led them by the right hand of Moses with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make Himself an everlasting name? That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst Thou lead Thy people, to make Thyself a glorious name’. In this second passage, there is a reflection back to the time of the Exodus where all three Personalities were present and active. The Lord YHWH is referred to in verse 7, the Angel of YHWH in verse 9 and the Spirit of God in verses 10, 11 and 14. While often throughout the Hebrew Scriptures God refers to Himself as being the one solely responsible for Israel’s redemption from Egypt, in this passage three Personalities are given credit for it. Yet, no contradiction is seen since all three comprise the unity of the one Godhead. The teaching of the Hebrew Scriptures, then, is that there is a plurality of the Godhead. The first Person is consistently called YHWH while the second Person is given the names of YHWH, the Angel of YHWH and the Servant of YHWH. Consistently and without fail, the second Person is sent by the first Person. The third Person is referred to as the Spirit of YHWH or the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit. He, too, is sent by the first Person but is continually related to the ministry of the second Person. If the concept of the Tri-unity in the Godhead is not Jewish according to modern rabbis, then neither are the Hebrew Scriptures. Jewish Christians cannot be accused of having slipped into paganism when they hold to the fact that Jesus is the Divine Son of God. He is the same One of whom Moses wrote when he said: ‘Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in Him. But if thou shalt indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off’ (Ex. 23:20-23).
“Surprisingly, the solution to this paradox may be found in one of the strongest monotheistic passages in the entire Bible. Let us return now to Deuteronomy 6:4, the very heart of Jewish and Christian Monotheism known as the Shema: ‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD’.” It should be noted from the outset “that the very words ‘our God’ are in the plural in the Hebrew Text and literally mean ‘our Gods’. The use of the term ‘our God’ shows that the meaning simply is Yahweh is Israel’s only God. Nothing is said as to the existence or non-existence of other gods, and the verse is therefore on an equality with Deuteronomy 5:7, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me’, the First Commandment, and with Deuteronomy 7:9, ‘Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God…' which implies no more than that Yahweh is a, or the God indeed. In Deuteronomy 6:4 we are told that God is One. However, when we examine the word ‘echad’, translated ‘one’, we discover an interesting meaning. This word, ‘echad’, comes from a Hebrew root which means ‘to unify’ or ‘to collect together’, a ‘united one’. Here is the Hebrew transliteration of this Old Testament monotheistic creedal confession: ‘Shema Yisrael Yahweh Eloheinu Yahweh Echad’. A literal translation of the above would be: ‘Hear, O Israel; Yahweh [is] our Gods, Yahweh is a Unity’. The Hebrew word Eloheinu, which we translated as ‘our Gods’, is the first person plural declension of Elohim. Elohim, as most people know, is a plural noun which is regularly translated as God when referring to the one and only God, Yahweh. One Reformed Jewish source made the following interesting claim regarding this specific word: ‘Eloheinu is the first-person plural possessive form of the Hebrew noun Elohim, which is translated ‘God’ but literally means ‘our God’. Yet strangely, this plural noun is virtually always translated as a singular. Our mystics understood this to be the One manifesting as the many’ (Lev Sham Tov, ‘Life At Its Highest’ by Ted Falcon as seen in Reform Jewish Magazine). We can get a better feel for its usage by examining a couple of additional verses. After the creation of man we find the establishment of the marriage relationship: 'Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one (echad) flesh’ (Gen. 2:24). Regarding the people of the earth after the flood we read: ‘And the LORD said, Behold the people is one (echad), and they have all one language…’ (Gen. 11:6 cf. Gen. 34:16,22; 41:25,26). In each of these verses we see the idea of separate persons viewed as a unified ‘one’. The man and woman become ‘one flesh’. The people of the earth become unified together as ‘one people’. This unification in these verses obviously does not mean that they physically unite into a single being. The individuals still retain their personal identity and distinct personage. The word ‘one’ here implies a ‘compound unity’. It is in this sense that we can understand the ‘One of God’ in Deuteronomy 6:4—He is clearly One God, yet He manifests Himself in more than one distinct Personage—something totally compatible with the Christian concept of the Trinity.
“The word ‘yachiyd’ (pronounced ‘yaw-kheed’) is used to indicate ‘one and only one’. This word is frequently translated into the English word ‘only’. However, it literally means ‘only one’ or ‘solitary one’. It is a word which suggests an indivisible one as opposed to the compound unity implied by the word ‘echad’. If God was an indivisible unity, as opposed to the compound unity implied by ‘echad’ then surely the Holy Spirit would have inspired Moses to use the word ‘Yachiyd’. The problem was recognized by Moses Maimonides, a twelfth-century Hebrew Sage. Maimonides, also a Jewish rabbi and scholar, who denied the Messiahship and Deity of Jesus, recognized that the word ‘echad’ in Deuteronomy 6:4 implies a compound unity—a plurality of Personages in Yahweh. Consequently, Maimonides stated that Moses used the wrong word when he wrote the book of Deuteronomy! …the fact that Maimonides felt the need to insert yachid in the place of echad, betrays the fact that the Christians had a strong argument based on the original form. Maimonides seemed to be aware that echad could function as a uniplural, suggesting a plurality-within-unity, and chose another word that he thought would more strongly emphasize that God is a singularity or a solitary existence. Finally, we see a hint of the Trinity, the Three in One, in a number of other provocative verses which declare the holiness of God. In Isaiah 6:1-3 we read: ‘In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, 'Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory' (Isa. 6:1-3). In Revelation, chapter four, John is given a view of the four living creatures around the throne of God: ‘And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Which was, and is, and is to come' (Rev. 4:8). Why ‘Holy, holy, holy’? This is just another hint of the plurality of God and the Three in One seen throughout the Scriptures.”
“The repetition of a name or an expression three times was quite common among the Jews. In Jeremiah 7:4, the Jews are represented by the prophet as saying, ‘…The temple of the Lord…’ three times, expressing their intense confidence in their own worship, even though it was hypocritical and corrupt. Jeremiah 22:29, Ezekiel 21:27, and 2 Samuel 18:33 contain similar three-fold expressions of intensity: ‘O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord’ (Jer. 22:29); ‘I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it…’ (Ezek. 21:27); ‘…O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!...’ (2 Sam. 18:33). Therefore, when the angels around the throne call or cry to one another, ‘Holy, holy, holy’, in Revelation 4:8, they are expressing with force and passion the truth of the supreme holiness of God, that essential characteristic which expresses His awesome and majestic nature. In addition, the trihagion expresses the triune nature of God, the three Persons of the Godhead, each equal in holiness and majesty.” God the Father is referred to by Jesus His Son as ‘Holy Father’ in John 17:11: “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are”. “Jesus Christ is the Holy One Who would not see decay in the grave, but would be resurrected to be exalted at the right hand of God: ‘Because Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption’ (Acts 2:27; cf. 13:33-35). Jesus is the ‘Holy One and the Just’ (Acts 3:14) Whose death on the cross allows His people to stand before the Throne of the Holy God unashamed. The third Person of the Trinity—the Holy Spirit—by His very name denotes the importance of holiness in the essence of the Godhead. Finally, the two visions of the angels around the Throne crying ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’, in Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4, clearly indicates that God is the same in both Testaments. Often we think of the God of the Old Testament as a God of wrath and the God of the New Testament as a God of love. But Isaiah and John present a unified picture of the Holy, Majestic, awesome God who does not change, ‘…I Am the Lord, I change not…’ (Mal. 3:6), ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day and for ever’ (Heb. 13:8), and ‘…with Whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning’ (Jas. 1:17). God’s holiness is eternal, just as He is eternal.”
Another aspect which features prominently in the denial of the ‘Trinity’ is the fact that the word ‘Trinity’ is completely absent from the Bible. Many try to make a quite sizeable mountain out of that which fails to even qualify as a molehill when it comes to certain words like ‘Trinity’ not even being in the Bible, as some supposed proof that the entire concept cannot, therefore, be in any way true. Simply because a word which is commonly used today does not appear in the Bible, does not automatically deny the existence of the doctrinal concept. “For example, the word ‘omniscience’ which means ‘all-knowing’, ‘omnipotence’ which means ‘all-powerful’, and ‘omnipresence’ which means ‘present everywhere at once’, are words not found in the Bible either, but we use them to describe these undeniable attributes of God. We don't have to see a specific word in the Bible in order for the concept it describes to be true.” God is omniscient, all-knowing, “…God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things” (1 Jn. 3:20 cf. Job 21:22; 37:16; Psa. 44:21; 139:4; 147:4,5; Isa. 46:9,10; Rom. 11:33). God is omnipotent, all-powerful, and declares: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:27 cf. Gen. 18:14; Job 42:1,2; Dan. 4:35; Isa. 14:27; 43:13; Matt. 19:26; Eph. 1:19). The word omnipotent does appear in Revelation 19:6: “…the Lord God omnipotent reigneth”. God is omnipresent, He is everywhere at once: “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill Heaven and earth? saith the Lord” (Jer. 23:24 cf. 1 Kings 8:27; Psa. 139:3,7-10; Prov. 15:3; Matt. 18:20). “This is not to say that God’s form is spread out so that parts of Him exist in every location. God is Spirit; He has no physical form. He is present everywhere in that everything is immediately in His Presence. At the same time He is present everywhere in the universe. No one can hide from Him and nothing escapes His notice.”
In addition to this, the following statement, which will no doubt come as quite a shock to many, is the fact that Scripture does not record the Lord Jesus as ever once uttering the word grace during His Ministry on earth, and yet we know that He is the Prince of grace, He is the grace of God personified: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14); “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jn. 1:17); “…much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many” (Rom. 5:15). Therefore, those who claim the Trinity is not a biblical teaching, must deny that grace cannot be a biblical teaching either, based on the fact that Scripture does not record God the Son as having used the word in His earthly Ministry. This line of ‘reasoning’ is promptly exposed as weak at best, and totally ridiculous at worst. Weather, or not, a word appears in the Bible is not how the truth of its concept in doctrine is to be rightly judged. The word grace only appears a total of 5 times in the Gospels (Lk. 2:40; Jn. 1:14,16,17), and 126 times in the rest of the New Testament. Though the Scriptures do not record the Lord Jesus as having uttered the word grace during His Ministry on earth, The Lord Jesus did use the word ‘grace’ after His resurrection and ascension, in reply to Paul’s prayer concerning the thorn in the flesh: “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee…” (2 Cor. 12:9). Christ did assuredly teach the principle of grace during His earthly Ministry: “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you…” (Jn. 15:16 cf. 1 Jn. 4:10,19). Does the fact the Lord Jesus never once mentioned the word grace during His earthly Ministry mean that He never taught the principle, concept of grace, in any of His preaching, or conversations with His disciples, or that grace is some pagan concept adopted by true Christianity? Is it surprising that Jesus did not utter the word grace as recorded in Scripture? Of course it is, but as we shall see the Lord Jesus surely taught grace in His ministry: “Jesus taught about grace in His parables: Jesus’ primary teaching method was telling stories, and many of these parables have the thread of grace woven throughout. The parables of The Good Samaritan (Lk. 10:25-37); the Prodigal Son (Lk. 15:11-32); the Wedding Feast (Lk. 14:7-14); the Two Debtors (Lk. 7:36-50), and more, all resound of grace without using the word. Jesus talked about grace with people: He told the woman caught in adultery, ‘…Nether do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more’ (Jn. 8:11). That was grace. When Jesus told the royal official, ‘…Go thy way; thy son liveth…’ (Jn. 4:50), that was grace too. When Christ told the thief on the cross, ‘…Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise’, we see grace again. Read Jesus’ conversations with ordinary people and you’ll see grace. Jesus embodied grace in His Person: The apostle John says that Jesus came, ‘…full of grace and truth’, and ‘…of His fullness have we all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ’. Jesus personified grace. If you want to see grace in action, read the Gospels and look at Jesus. In fact, nowhere do we see the grace of Jesus displayed more than at the cross.”