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.
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:
This verse does not appear in any of the Greek manuscripts prior to the fourteenth century.
Jerome's original version of the Vulgate does not include this verse.
The first person to formally quote this verse was Priscillian who died in 385 A.D. after which this verse was noted in Latin texts.
The first Greek Testament published by Erasmus in 1516 A.D. omitted this verse.
Nearly all Bible Commentaries confirm that the King James translation of this verse is a blatant alteration of early manuscripts (circa. 800 A.D.) where this verse is found.
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 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 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 chapter answers a number of questions about God using the Bible.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
There are an 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.
Q. What is the meaning of the word Godhead?
A. In the Bible, the English word Godhead is translated from the Greek word theiotes, 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 theiotes 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 [theiotes, 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 theiotes 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 theiotes (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.
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 omnipresent 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 but also 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 than 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 a 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 in an attempt 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.
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.
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.
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 for the Sovereign God, 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 God who is now 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 record 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:
Questions about the eternal existence of the Creator God do not eliminate the clear scriptures which show two individual God-beings in the Family of God at this present time.
It is very possible that there may be some senses or inflections of the Hebrew word yatsar that may mean fashion, form, or make, which are not understood at this time, therefore, it is impossible to correctly translate this scripture.
The being Isaiah speaks of is obviously the Creator, and if we accept the fact that the Creator was the One who became Jesus, then there must have been another God who did the forming of the Creator. Therefore, we can establish that there was another God besides the one who was formed.
Although this scripture is often quoted to put forth the idea that the God family is a closed unit and no more God-beings will be added, it actually only says that no more will be 'formed' (created), which imposes no restriction against others being born into the God family.
"Thus says the Lord [Yahweh] the king of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord [Yahweh] of Hosts, 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 KJV).
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 in an attempt 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 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 in trying 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 words 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" (Jn.17:3 Para.).
"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" (Jn.17:4-6 KJV).
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.
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 b3w4