Who God Is

I could never exhaust the issue of "who God is" in a single study. The purpose is to lay groundwork to help Christians become adept at defending the faith. There's false teaching amongst Christians on this vital point. Getting grounded in the Word will help us prepare for battles we face in your own lives.

Why is this issue of who God is so vital? It's a matter of who we turn to, who we worship. Jesus said,

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23,24

Do we worship the fancies of opinions? This is fantasy! God is who He says He is, not who we sincerely believe Him to be.
As Christians, we gather to worship God. If we're gathering, or fellowshipping, with people who are worshipping other gods, this is confusion. This is the incompatibility of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. We're not of the same spirit. We can't approach God, in the only way available, with non-believers. Many Christians don't realize how important this foundation of our faith is. They mingle in worship and call "Christians", those who believe Jesus was a created being. They fellowship with others who deny the basic doctrine of the Trinity. I've heard that approximately two-thirds of the Pentecostal churches hold to the "Jesus Only" theology which teaches that Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son and Jesus is the Holy Ghost. They don't believe in three distinct persons in the one God-head. They serve a different god.

I see others who have no idea how to put the basic Mormon doctrine of deity to shame. Christians need to know how to discern their own brethren, and how to defend the faith.

I. One God
Let's begin with the foundation of one God. Being able to defend this scripturally, you'll be ready to answer the Mormon apostate teaching, "God was once a man who became God and we also can become Gods someday." Study the Bible, and you will be ready for the apostacies.
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: Deuteronomy 6:4

Note the words in the Hebrew this comes from. In the King James Version, the word for "Jehovah" is almost always translated in all capitals as "LORD," as in this verse. The word for "eloheem" meaning "gods", is translated "God". We see this verse tells us the named one, the self-existing I AM, is a plurality of Gods who is really one. This tells of the Godhead. One God, whose name is "Jehovah" (approximately pronounced).

10c before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. Isaiah 43:10c,11

God Himself is speaking in this verse. He declares there will never, ever be any other God. He says He is "Jehovah" and this same Jehovah is the only saviour. This shows Jesus is Jehovah.

24 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; Isaiah 44:24

Again, Jehovah is the savior and sole creator of everything. Jesus is the creator and the savior. We recall the Deuteronomy verse above, and remember that all the members of the Godhead took part in saving and creating, for they are the one Jehovah.

5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:5,6

Isaiah is clear on this issue.

21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:21,22

9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Isaiah 46:9

Are you getting the point? I hope so! Those who don't, don't want to get it.

11b and I will not give my glory unto another. 12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. 13 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. Isaiah 48:11b-13

This passage is cleverly spoken. It was done in such a way it would show who Jesus was, when He came. Jesus was clothed with God's glory, yet we find God wouldn't share His glory with anyone else. We also see Jesus' title as "the first and the last", is attributed to God. This first and last is the creator Himself. This passage speaks of one God, for His glory will not be shared and yet clearly identified Jesus. Hopefully our eyes begin to open! 16 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. 17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. Isaiah 48:16,17

This is a chief passage. The translators of Isaiah didn't always remain consistent in translating the names of God into English. Where it says "Lord GOD" at the end of verse 16, the Hebrew is "Adonai Jehovah". Adonai being a reverent title of leadership. We see the Spirit is a separate person speaking along with the "Adonai Jehovah", and yet that Spirit is the possessive of Adonai Jehovah. We have the Father and the Holy Spirit, yet wait! Verse 17 starts out as a third person speaking, relaying as the messenger of the Adonai Jehovah and His Spirit. From the verses that preceded, verse 12 reading on through the quoted verses, you can see God Himself is the one speaking, so when we get to verse 16, the speaking messenger, who is God says, "and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me." Do you see it yet?! The speaker of the first part of 16 declares His always existing, being the "I AM". God is sent by Adonai Jehovah and His Spirit. We see the triune Godhead in this Old Testament verse as loud as day!

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19

This last verse, coming from the New Testament, doesn't declare one Jehovah this time, but one God! The Godhead is clearly shown coupled with Deuteronomy 6:4.

These verses are VERY clear there is only ONE God.

There's one famous attack I wish to address. Jesus clearly declared He was God and defended Himself with a quote from the Psalms (John 10:32-38):

6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. Psalms 82:6

What was Jesus saying? He was pointing out that the strict usage of the term "god" can apply to designated authority in rendering the judgments of God's law. For instance, Moses gave God's judgments and laws. If he was rejected, the rebel rejected God, not Moses. Jesus' point to the Pharisees, was they had no legal grounds in condemning Jesus' statement. Even a man, who was only man, could, in the proper position, refer to his authority as being a reflection of God's. Jesus, who was far more than this, certainly wasn't sinning in His statement.

II. Three Persons
We know there's only one God, but what about this "Trinity" stuff? Actually, you'll not find the word "trinity" in the Bible. It's a term coined to express a Biblical teaching. The same was done with the word, "rapture," which isn't found in the Bible. The Bible does come close to the term "trinity" in the word, "Godhead" found in Acts 17:29; Romans 1:20 and Colossians 2:9. We also find a reference to the three distinct persons of the Godhead found in Isaiah 48:16,17.
Some verses listing the Father and the Son, showing their equality as a being, not authoritative position:

2 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; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Hebrews 1:2,3

Another verse refering to the Holy Spirit and the Father and showing their distinct individuality:

13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13

The following shows the deity of the Holy Spirit:

3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. Acts 5:3,4

III. Jesus Is God
We've seen the Holy Spirit is God, but we need to see Jesus is also God. A good starting point is:

16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

This verse refers to Jesus Christ. Since it's so clear, it's subject to attack from those who can't accept its teaching. The criticism aims at the manuscripts it came from. They take the word "God" from the modern translations, and charge that the "most ancient and reliable" manuscripts don't have this reading. This is about the weakest attack mounted against any of the original manuscripts. For a thorough coverage of the slander of this passage, see Dean Burgon's defense of its original reading of "God". The defense is most thorough and is a complete book in itself.

3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. Hebrews 3:3,4 This is clear in its declaration of Jesus' being God.

When "Jehovah's Witnesses" come knocking at your door, you can greet them with, "I believe Jesus is Jehovah." They love to sound agreeable in twisting definitions. They might spout off, "Oh yes, we believe Jesus is a god!" You will not find one who will say, "Jesus is Jehovah." (By the way, their pronunciation of God's name is wrong.) How do we know Jesus is Jehovah? We made some coverage in the first section, but let's take a look at another passage:

1b The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1b

We see Jesus is the shepherd referred to.

In the following we see there's only one shepherd:

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:11

Here we see Jesus is the shepherd referred to. In the following verse we also see there is only one shepherd:

16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. John 10:16

Jesus is calling Himself Jehovah the shepherd of the 23rd Psalm.

We have references showing Jesus is the Creator of ALL things:

16 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: Colossians 1:16

Compare Isaiah 44:24 with this verse about Jesus. There are many passages that show Jesus' deity, but these few can help prepare you for immediate head-on conflicts.
A note of warning: In cults, the major area of attack comes on the manuscripts and translations. I have talked with a Jehovah's Witness about the passage in Isaiah 48:16,17 and their Bible reads differently. They use corrupted original manuscripts or corrupted translations and launch their attacks from there. Stand firm on the Masoretic Text and the Majority Text, not giving an inch. Unless you do, your foundation of God's Word is destroyed and you simply cannot stand: P> 3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Psalms 11:3)

With Jesus being God, an omnipresent being, we know He has always existed. He was never a created being, such as the angels are. There are those who claim He was the Archangel Michael in the Old Testament. If He was ever an angel, He was created, and Hebrews is clear on this issue of the difference between Jesus and angels:

13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Hebrews 1:13

This passage in Hebrews is talking about who Jesus is. Scripturally, He was never created, He has always been.

8 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. Hebrews 1:8

God the Father was addressing Jesus in this verse from Hebrews, calling Jesus God. You may wonder, "Why is this so important?" We find the reason expressed by John:

9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 2 John 9- 11

John wrote, trying to bring Christians back to their proper moorings. This clear foundation is labeled here. This verse directly addresses that "Jehovah's Witness" who comes to your door. We must be firm in the "doctrine of Christ."

John outlined Jesus' diety in his gospel:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:1-3

"Jehovah's Witnesses" play word games twisting this. They fall on the Greek and twist from that angle. Since most don't know Greek, they can't respond. I'll let you in on a secret, most JWs don't know Greek either! They're parroting an argument that was developed for them. If you want to know the response for the Greek argument, you'll have to check the cult section for books on this. The answer's pretty straight forward.

The "Word" in this opening of John's Gospel is shown, in the first chapter of John, to be "Jesus".

IV. Jesus Is Not The Father, Jesus Is Not The Holy Spirit
We need to address the "Jesus Only" teaching. We have looked at the scriptural information on the three different persons of the Godhead. As far as Jesus being separate from the Father, and the Holy Spirit, we can see this in:

Jesus' Baptism

21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. Luke 3:21,22 The Father spoke from heaven to the Son on earth and the Holy Ghost was seen coming from heaven, where the Father remained, to the Son. Three separate persons. On the Cross - Jesus Prayed to the Father in Heaven

34a Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34a

There are many more accounts of Jesus praying to the Father in heaven. Jesus is clearly addressing someone else, separate from Himself. He's not praying to Himself.
Through Our Baptism

In 1 Corinthians 12:13 we see we're baptized by the Holy Spirit into yet another entity which is Christ Jesus. Jesus does not baptize us into Himself, the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Ghost and the Father become clear if we know who Jesus is. We are told:

23a Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father:... 24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father." 1 John 2:23a,24.

Concerning the Holy Ghost, Christ said He would send the Spirit to those who believed in Him. The Spirit is in all believers (Romans 8:9-11). The Spirit guides those who receive Him into all truth (which would include the truth concerning himself) (John 14:26). In the account of creation, we find the Godhead conversing amongst Himself in Genesis 1:26; 3:22. If God was only one personality, this wouldn't have taken place. Even the Hebrew word for God in these Genesis verses specifically shows the plural/singular oddity. The word is "eloheem" where the "eem" is the Hebrew plural ending, singular of this word is "elowahh". So, we find the Genesis account recording:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, Genesis1:26a.

We see distinct persons in the Godhead. While noting the unique singularity of the Godhead in passages such as:

. . . . I am the LORD that maketh all things; . . . .that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; Isaiah 44:24,

With the crowning confession of Israel:

"4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: Deuteronomy 6:4.

V. Jesus A Must
What of those who say they respect your beliefs, but cannot accept Jesus. For example, community prayers that refuse to close in "Jesus' name". You find this in graduation prayers or lodge prayers. Jesus was clear on this:

23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. John 5:23

You cannot approach God the Father and ignore God the Son. To do so is to claim to be honoring God, by approaching Him in prayer, while dishonoring Him in refusing to honor His Son.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

To reject the Son is to reject the Father!

This takes us to another aspect of accepting Jesus, the acceptance of the Holy Spirit:

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

To ignore the Son and the Spirit is to fail in worshipping God in Spirit and in truth.

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: John 15:26

The Spirit of truth will primarily testify to who Jesus is. If Jesus is pushed back, the spirit doing that is not the Holy Spirit.

9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Romans 8:9

Accepting Jesus is the heart of the Holy Spirit, as Romans attests.

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2 Corinthians 6:16

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, Ephesians 3:17

13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4:13

To reject the Holy Spirit is, likewise, to reject Jesus. The Godhead is intimately locked together. You cannot remove any one and still have a God of reality and truth.

You cannot have a fellowship with an Indian "Great Spirit" that is not the revealed God found in the Bible. He revealed Himself through only one nation:

2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. Deuteronomy 14:2

1 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, 2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Amos 3:1,2

For many, this is impossible to accept, but the scripture's clear. Only God, who has sent His Son and the Holy Spirit, is the true God. As I'm writing this, the one world religion has been created. A few weeks ago, the founding document was officially signed. It's a branch of the United Nations and is called United Religions. Heads representing the world's major religions have signed it. They have a list of goals. One of the goals is appreciation of different belief systems. To speak out against the other systems, that don't lead to the true God or eternal life, is considered an act of hate. A "Hate Crime". Undoubtedly, they will eventually gain power to punish violators of their "all religions are equally valid" philosophy. For now, you can see this stand of "Jesus is the only way" is intolerable to such a system. To stand with such is to deny the call of Christianity to:

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing (spirits that do not acknowledge Jesus according to the demands of the New Testament); and I will receive you, 2 Corinthians 6:17.

To join such, is to deny many other passages such as John 4:24; 8:24; 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:11,12; and 2 John 6.

VI. Understanding The Trinity?
We find references in the New Testament to God and His Son, distinguishing the two. Look at this closing to an epistle:

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14

In this, we see all three persons in the Godhead mentioned in their interaction with His people. The Father is called God and Jesus is Lord. We find the reason in 1 Corinthians 15:

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:23-28

We're told all things are to be under Jesus. Jesus will be under the Father. In this statement, we again see the application of the term "God" as referring to ultimate authority. The Father is Chief and Head. From this, Jesus is under the Father and man is under Jesus. In the Godhead, we have three equal persons with differences in authority. In another passage in 1 Corinthians, we have this ladder drawn out:

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3

This verse includes women in this ladder. This helps clear the picture. Men and women are equal beings, yet authoritatively the man is over the woman.

The Father and the Son are equal as a being, yet authoritatively unequal:

18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. John 5:18

It's interesting to note, the man and woman marry and become one flesh. God declared a special union that's pictured with two separate people yet forthwith, existing as a unit. Jesus referred again to a special union of the believers in Christ that takes place upon new-birth. He said:

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. John 17:21

A true union in the body of Christ takes place in the Spirit upon joining His body (Ephesians 5:30-32). We actually become living building blocks in His church (1 Peter 2:4,5).

God's Fingerprints

Hopefully, these bring a clearer understanding of the Godhead. An observation I heard, was how God's fingerprint is found in all creation. The world testifies about its Creator:

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:20

His Godhead is pictured in creation. What can we see?

Looking at three foundations of creation, we have TIME, SPACE and MATTER.

In TIME, we have past, present and future. Each is complete as a part of time. If we remove any of these elements from time, time ceases to be.

Next, we have SPACE. In space, we have height, width and depth. Each is fully space in its own dimension. Remove any of these from space and space literally ceases to exist.

Finally we have MATTER. Matter is comprised of electrons, neutrons and protons. Remove any of these from our universe and matter would cease to exist.

Put all three together again - TIME, SPACE and MATTER. These are the foundations of our universe. Remove any of these and our universe would cease to exist as we know it. All that we know of is not here because it has to be, it's here because God chose to create it this way. God is independent of His creation. He's independent of time for example. That's why He said His name is "Jehovah" which means the "I AM". Jesus used this term in referring to His own deity.

58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58

He didn't say, "I was", a reference of time in subjection to creation. He declared His independence of time. For us humans, who have only ever known the restrictions of time, this is essentially incomprehensible. We see from this name, though, that God is independent of the elements of His creation.

We've taken the briefest look at who God is. The Bible's a continuous revelation of God to man of this very thing. He wants us to know Him. He has a goal for us, and this knowledge of who He is, is quintessential to move toward this goal. Keep on the straight and narrow path that starts through these gates.

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Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

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