THREE POPULAR BELIEFS ABOUT GOD

Trinitarianism, Dualism, and Monotheism are the three most popular theories about who and what the God of the Bible is. However,  most people who hold any one of these beliefs cannot  even superficially begin  to  explain how a being with multiple personalities  or  a single entity could function as the Father, Jesus Christ, and the holy spirit.

TRINITARIANISM

The theory of a trinity is the  most  popular belief about who and what the God of the Bible is. Trinitarianism is the belief that God is a combination of three beings or personalities within one entity. This  is a very difficult  concept to prove because of the total lack of  scriptural evidence.

The Council of Nicaea

After  the Babylonian mystery religion was well established as  a Christian  church,  the  Council of Nicaea was  convened  in  325 A.D.  to  solve  some major political  and  theological  problems within this church.    

One of the major problems that had to be solved was the  question of who and what God is. Two members of the Alexandrian  congregation appeared before the council to declare their theories on the subject: One of them was a priest named Arias who believed that Christ was  not  God but  a created being. The other was a deacon named Athenius  who  believed  that the  Father, the Son, and the holy spirit were the same being living in the form of a trinity.

Emperor Constantine, who had convened the council, made the  final decision  in  this  matter. Although he had  little  interest  in religion,  he had a great deal of interest in politics.  Constantine knew this theological question had to be solved in order  for unity  and  harmony to prevail within this politically powerful religion.

Emperor Constantine declared God to  be  a trinity and excommunicated Arias, the priest. This single act  by Constantine solidified the church and produced a doctrine that is still believed by millions with no question as to its veracity.

The Facts About 1.John 5:7

The  foundational  scripture  used in attempting to prove the  validity  of  the trinity doctrine is 1.John 5:7:

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father,  the Word,  and  the Holy Ghost: and these three  are  one"  (1.Jn.5:7 KJV).

This  is  the only scripture in the entire Bible  that seems to give credibility to the teaching of a trinity. However, the historical facts surrounding this verse reveal that it does not support this teaching. Moreover, it is a clever deception.

The following facts about this verse reveal that it was intended as a deception:

The  historical record and multiple biblical scholars have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that 1.John  5:7  was  not in the original writings of the New Testament,  and that it was actually added to the Bible. Simply stated, this scripture is not a part of the Word of God, and it was added in an attempt to justify the teaching of a triune God.

DUALISM

Dualism is the belief  that   God is  composed  of  two  personalities  within  one entity, and the holy spirit is a power or  energy of this entity. This theory allows for God to be two persons: the spiritual God, and the physical God.

MONOTHEISM

Monotheism states that there is only one God. There are many versions of this doctrine, and each version has  a different explanation of what the holy spirit is and who and what Jesus Christ was and is.

Most people who  adhere to this doctrine believe that the Creator God is the Father spoken of in the New Testament.

The Three Theories

All three of these popular theories about the identity of God have extreme difficulty explaining how a being  with multiple  personalities or a single entity could function as  God the  Father, Jesus Christ, and the holy spirit. In order to disprove these three popular theories and discover the truth of who God is, which is revealed in the Bible, this study will answer a number of questions about God using the Bible.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

There is and endless amount of questions that could be asked about God. Below are a few of the more important questions with answers and comments that should help one to understand  who and what God is.

THE GODHEAD

Q. What is the meaning of the word Godhead?

A. In the Bible, the  English word 'Godhead' is translated from the Greek word 'theotes',  which means  'divinity'. 'Theios' and 'theiotes' are other forms of this word that connote duality. See Acts 17:29; Rom.1:20.

Colossians 2:9 is the only place in the New Testament  where  the word 'theotes' is used. In this verse it is used to indicate the fullness of Christ's divinity, power, and authority:

"Beware,  lest  any  man spoil you through  philosophy  and  vain deceit,  after the tradition of men, after the rudiments  of  the world and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead ['theotes', divinity] bodily" (Col.2:8-9 KJV).

In Acts, 'theios' is used to show that the divine majesty of God is above that of human concepts and representations of God.

"Forasmuch  then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not  to think  that  the Godhead [theios] is like to gold or  silver,  or stone, graven by the art and man's devise" (Acts 17:29 KJV).

In  Romans, 'theiotes' is used to indicate that something  is  divine  or has the quality of being divine:

"For  the invisible things of him from creation of the world  are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,  even his eternal power and Godhead [theiotes]; so that they are  without excuse" (Rom.1:20 KJV).

When  King James authorized the Bible to be translated into  English the concept of God as a triune being was popular, which is inferred by the Greek word 'theotes' being  translated into the English word 'Godhead'.

The  meaning  of the word 'Godhead' used in the 1611  King  James translation  of the Bible is basically the same today as  it  was then. The word 'Godhead' still indicates the nature of God and the concept of God existing as a dualistic or triune being of  multiple personalities.

However,  when the word Godhead is properly translated  into  the word 'divinity' with its various word-forms, the scriptures containing it do not support a dualistic or triune concept of God. See pages  119-123,  vol.3, Theological  Dictionary of the New Testament, (G.Kittel)  for  a more in-depth analysis of the Greek word 'theotes' (divinity).

THE EVERLASTING FATHER

Q. Isaiah 9:6 says that the Messiah was the everlasting Father. However, does this prove that Christ is also God the Father?

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government  shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall  be  called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isa.9:6 KJV).

A. In this scripture, there are five different names given for  our Savior, and each has a different meaning, which shows  different functions, characteristics, and aspects of his office.

The  first chapter of John reveals that the Creator was the  One who  became the Christ. Jesus said he came to reveal  the  Father whom  no one knew. And  in the Book of Mark, God the Father called  Jesus  his beloved  Son. Can Jesus be both a son and be a Father? The  answer is  yes! Simply stated, the Creator God  who became the Savior was the Father of humanity, but he is not the  Supreme Father who he came to reveal. See Matt.3:13-17; 11:27; Jn.16:25-29; 17:25-26.

THE FATHER IS GREATER THAN THE SAVIOR

Q. How  could the Father be greater than Christ when  Paul  said that Christ was equal with God?

"For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who subsisting in the form of God thought it not robbery to be  equal with  God,  but emptied himself, taking on the form of a  slave, having become in the likeness of men" (Phil.2:5-7 Para.).

A. Before the Creator God emptied himself of his spiritual glory, he was equal to God the Father in that he was also an immortal God.

Comment

Many  would  like  to believe that there  was  little  difference between the God in Heaven (the Father) and the God on earth (the Savior) during the life of Jesus and that this  difference  only pertained  to the physical  versus  the  spiritual condition, which supports the theory of  an omni-present triune,  dualistic, or monotheistic God-being. However, the  concept that Jesus  and the apostles continually taught about  the  God Family was one of a Father-Son relationship: 

"You  have heard how I said to you, I go away, and come again  to you.  If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father:  for my Father is greater than I" (Jn.14:28 KJV).

Not  only did Jesus acknowledge that the Father was greater  than he but also acknowledged that his Father was his  God  (see Mk.  15:34-35).  How could the Father be greater than  Jesus,  if they were the same spirit-being? How could one part of a being be greater than the other? And how could the Father be Jesus' God, if Jesus was that same God?

The reason the Father was greater  than Jesus during his human existence was that the Father was the only immortal spirit sovereign in existence while  Jesus was living in human flesh. Moreover, the reason that the Father  is greater that Jesus today, is that Jesus is now the son of the Father's New Creation, and he is second in authority to  his Father  in  the Kingdom of God. See Matt.26:62-64; Mk.10:35-40; Acts 7:51-56; 1.Cor.15:23-28; Eph.5:19-20; 1.Pet.18-22.

THE HOLY SPIRIT

Q. If the holy spirit is not a God-being, what is it?

A. A short study into the Greek language will eliminate the 'proof' that most theologians use in claiming that the holy spirit is person. The Greek language, like many other languages, has gender associated with nouns: an object can be feminine, masculine,  or neuter. This treatment of a word has nothing to do with whether the object  is feminine, masculine, or neuter; it is just a grammatical tool.

The text  used by most people to prove that the holy spirit is  a person,  is found in John chapters 14, 15, and 16. In these chapters, the apostle  John  quotes  Jesus speaking about the  spirit  as  a Comforter (Greek: parakletos). John speaks of the holy spirit using the pronoun 'he' in connection with the  word 'parakletos'. However, with the exception of these few scriptures the spirit of God is always described with words that mean  'breath', 'wind', 'mind',  or 'spirit'.

As diligent as the King James translators tried to be, they were influenced by the theology of the day, which stated that God was a trinity.  Therefore, it is not hard to understand why they  would translate any word that referred to the holy spirit into "he".  However,  in Romans 8:16 they did  translate  the gender  of the noun correctly:

"The spirit itself  bears  witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."

Very rarely did the writers of the Old Testament attribute emotion or intellect to the holy spirit and when they did, these expressions are allegorical or mere figures of speech. Moreover, there are no references to the holy spirit-being an individual in any of the Old Testament writings.

In the Old and New Testaments the holy  spirit is pictured as the power  of God. The New Testament details many of  the  attributes,  functions , and qualities of the holy spirit  as  they relate to the elect of God, and the majority of the  New  Testament texts reveal the holy spirit as a thing and not a personage. Moreover, when a manifestation of the spirit is ascribed to the holy  spirit, there is never a contextual justification for its  personification. For a full explanation of what the holy spirit is, see our studies concerning the various attributes,  functions, and qualities of this energy and power that is referred to as the spirit of God  

The Holy Spirit is Power

"If  you  then, being evil, know how to give good gifts  to  your children:  how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy spirit to them that ask him?" (Lk.11:13 KJV).

Jesus  says that the holy spirit is something that will be  given to  those who ask the Father for it. The reason that  the  Father can  give  the holy spirit to each and every person  who  follows Christ is that the holy spirit is a thing; it is an energy or a power, it is not a person.

"And he said, Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah  must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day; and that this message of salvation should be taken from Jerusalem  to all the nations;  There is forgiveness of sins for all who  turn to me.  You have seen these prophecies come true. And now I  will send the holy spirit upon you, just as my Father promised.  Don't begin telling others yet—stay here in the city until the  holy spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven"  (Lk.24:46-49 LBP).

"And behold,  I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high" (Lk. 24:49).

When the apostles were told to wait until God sent power from on high,  they were being told that God would send them something that was going to give them power.

"Now  the  God  of  hope  fill you with  all  joy  and  peace  in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of  the holy  spirit"  (Rom.15:13 KJV).

Notice that  Christians  are  to abound  in  hope through the power of the holy spirit. Power is definitely associated with the holy spirit.

"For  God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power,  and of love, and of a sound mind" (2.Tim.1:7 KJV).

Again, we see that the holy spirit is power, and this  power is given  to the elect of God.

The simple truth is that the holy spirit is not a personage,  but it is the energy and power of the Father through which he causes his will to be performed throughout his kingdom. See our study paper 'The spirit of God', which explains what the holy spirit  is  and does.

We  have seen scripture after scripture showing that  the  Father and  the  Son are two distinct individuals, each with  their  own personality and separate functions in the Family of God.  However, we  can search the Bible from beginning to end and never find any evidence to support the theory that the holy spirit is a third member of the God family.

COMMENTS

The Creator God of Israel stated that he would not give away his glory:

"I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory I will not give  to another . . ." (Isa.42:8 KJV).

Some say this scripture proves there is only one God. But this is not  the case at all. Isaiah 42:8 just tells us the Creator  will not  share  his personal glory with others. It does not  tell  us that  others cannot  have their own glory.  See  also  Dan.12:3; Rom.8:18;  Col.1:26-27; 1.Thes.2:11-12; Rev.15:8; 18:1; 22:22-23.

Return to Glory

"And  now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self  with  the glory  which  I had with you before the  world  was"  (Jn.17:5,24 KJV).

Here,   Jesus asks the Father to use his power  to  return him to the state of spiritual glory that he had as a part of  the God family  before he created the  world  and before he became  the Savior  of humanity. This request by our Savior to his Father  is one more proof that the Father and the Son are individuals in the God family.

ANGEL OR GOD?

There is a teaching that the One who came as the Savior was an angel  sent from the Creator. This belief assumes that the Savior was not God incarnate,  but  a  being of lesser status and  power.   If this doctrine were correct, mankind would not have  a Savior,  because  neither angels nor ordinary humans can  atone  for sin.

The  law of sacrifices clearly shows that a sacrifice  of  lesser worth than the individual being sacrificed for could not forgive sin, but could only temporarily forestall the punishment for sin.

Only  a sacrifice of  greater value than the  sinning  individual could pay the full penalty for sin and allow the sinner to be set free. Until a sacrifice of greater worth was  made, the sinner was  still under the death penalty for their  sin (Ezk.18:4-32; 33:11-20).  This is why only a God-being could fulfill the  ultimate  of  sacrifices; only a being who was the Supreme  Being  or equal  in  status and power to the Supreme Being   could  fulfill this requirement of an ultimate sacrifice.

Because the Savior was the Sovereign of ancient Israel and the Creator  of all that exists, including mankind  (Jn.1:1-18;  Eph.3:9; 1.Cor.10:1-4), he was superior to his creation (Gen.1:26;  11:7). Only when the Sovereign Creator gave up immortality  and  became flesh was he inferior to the spiritual realm (Jn.14:28; Heb.2:9),  and then this inferiority was only one of mortality versus immortality.

If  the Creator Sovereign who was our Savior was not the  supreme sacrifice,  we do not have a Savior  (Heb.9:9-28;  10:1-22; 6:4-8).   It is an abominable thing for anyone to disdain the  sacrifice of our Savior as anything less than the supreme sacrifice, when the price paid for our salvation was the death of the  Sovereign who  created mankind.

There  is no salvation for anyone who does not believe  that  the Savior  was the literal Son of the Father—the Son of God. Please read  John 1:18,34,36; 3:16-18; Matt.3:16-17 to see how serious it is to disdain our Savior's sacrifice.

NO OTHER GOD FORMED

Based on what Isaiah recorded, some people believe that the Creator God is the only God-being in existence  and  no other God-beings will ever exist:

"You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I  have chosen; and that you may know and believe, and understand that  I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me" (Isa.43:10 Para.).

Although  Isaiah's statement does raise some questions as to  the eternal  past of the Creator God, because it seems to imply that  the Creator  may  have himself been created, there are  a  number  of things which should be considered before making any conclusions as to the meaning of what Isaiah recorded:

ONE GOD

"Thus says the Lord [Yahweh] the king of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord [Yahweh] of Host, I am the first, and I am the  last, and beside me there is no God [Elohim: 'Gods']" (Isa.44:6 KJV).

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for both the  Lord of  Israel  and its redeemer is 'Yahweh'. When the last half of verse 6 is translated without the extra words that were added to the text by the English translators, the intended meaning becomes clear. "I the first and I the last and beside  me  no God [Hebrew,Elohim. English, Gods].

"Fear you not neither be afraid:  Have not I told you  from  that time, and have declared it? you are even my witnesses. Is there a God  [Eloah] beside me? yes, there is no God [rock]; I know  not any" (Isa.44:8).

Here we find Eloah [God] describing himself  as the  rock, which indicates that he is a  protector, a stabilizing force, solid, and enduring.

 In much of Isaiah chapters 44 and 45 the  Creator God is telling the Israelites not to worship false gods.

"And there is no God [elohiym: 'gods'] else beside me and  a just  God   [El, 'A Mighty One' or 'The Almighty']   and  a Savior there is none beside me. Look to me, be you saved, all the ends  of  the earth: for I am God [El], and there is  none  else" (Isa.45:21-22 KJV).

National  Israel only knew the Almighty One. To them the  Creator was  the only Sovereign (Psa.83:18). There was none other  beside him, because he had not yet come as the Messiah to reveal God the Father.

THE ONENESS OF GOD

The  scripture that is most used to prove Christ and God the  Father  are one and the same being is John 10:30, which states, "I and my Father  are  one." Although this statement is true,  there  is a problem with what has been taught about what it means. Traditionally  it has been taught that this statement means  that the Father and Christ are a single spirit-being.

It is a scriptural fact that the Father and Christ are one:  one  family,  of one kind, of one purpose, of one  thought pattern  and attitude, of one opinion, and of one spirit- energy and  power. However, they are not one spirit-being, they  are  two distinct spirit-beings.

The  Greek language in this verse shows the concept  of  oneness, but it does not denote a single being. If this verse were saying that these  two beings  were encompassed in one entity, what do we do  with all  of  the  scriptures which clearly show  they  are  separate individual beings in the sovereign spiritual Family of God?  See Eph.3:15; Jn.14:28.

Another  scripture used to prove that there is only one  God,  is John 17:3:

"These  words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven,  and said,  Father, the hour is come; glorify your Son, that  the  Son may  glorify you: As you have given him power over all flesh,  that he  should give eternal life, to as many as you have  given  him. And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only  true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (Jn.17:1-3 KJV).

The  English  words 'only' and 'true' are from  the  Greek word 'monos' which means 'alone', or 'solidarity', and 'alethinos', which denotes 'true', in the sense of 'real', 'ideal', or 'genuine'.

Given the meanings of these two Greek words, John 17:3 takes on a different  meaning from the English translation:  

"That  they might  know  you,  a genuine God, and Jesus Christ  whom  you have sent."

John 17:4-6 KJV

"I  have glorified you on earth: I have finished the  work  which you  gave me to do. And now, O Father, glorify you me  with  your own  self  with the glory which I had with you before  the world was."

These scriptures make sense when one understands that the  people of  Christ's day did not know God the Father and for the  most  part, they had a perverted concept of God and how to worship him, which Christ tells us in Matthew 23:1-3 and John 8:54-57.

COMMENT

When one compares the various beliefs about the identity of the God of the Bible with the many clear scriptures that speak of a father-son relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ, only one conclusion can be reached concerning the identity of the God of the Bible. Two god-beings—the Sovereign God and the Creator God—comprised the Family of God before the advent of the Messiah, and  there are two god-beings that presently comprise the Family of God—the Sovereign Father, and Jesus Christ. Moreover, these two Gods have a father-son relationship (God the Father and God the Son).

By B.L. Cocherell, file b3w4            home.gif (1487 bytes)