The Godhead explained, part 1
We update studies as the Lord Jesus leads us. You can find the latest update of this study at ChurchAges.net
We need to know Who God is.First published on the 11th of August 2013 — Last updated on the 23rd of December 2020
The Godhead: we need to know Who God is.
I TIMOTHY 3:16
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.Manifest. God showed Himself in a Body of flesh.
Was God outside this Body of the Man Jesus, using a remote control, or was He inside this Body?
The great mystery of the Old Testament for the Jews was that God was an infinite Spirit Who would one day come into their presence inside the Body of a Man, the Messiah. The Jews could not grasp that God could be a Man, Jesus.
The mystery of the New Testament, that Christians struggle to grasp, is that this Man could also be God. That Jesus is Almighty God.
The search for truth begins when we try to unravel the mystery of the Godhead.
Can we succeed?
“God is a mystery that we cannot really understand” claims a famous evangelist. But does this stop us from knowing who God is?
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.If we listen to the preaching of the seventh angel, then we should be able to puzzle out the mystery of Who God is.
Not “would be finished” as if the understanding is inevitable, but “should be finished” meaning we may get it right or we may confuse the issue with our own ideas.
We do not understand something unless we can see a clear picture of it. Most Christians see God as one God Who is also, somehow, three separate Persons.
This picture is obviously fuzzy and will always remain a mystery. Can we get a clearer focus in order to finish this mystery?
I CORINTHIANS 13:12
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.Our ignorance and the misconceptions that we learned in the past will always be a barrier to our ability to learn the truth.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.A Spirit has no shape or form.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.Inside your body is a spirit that is the life that flows through your bloodstream and keeps you alive. You cannot see this life. So a spirit is always invisible to us.
Thus we cannot see God. He is the Holy Spirit. This is our best description of God.
“Holy” is His nature and “Spirit” is His substance.
But now we have a problem because we cannot picture a spirit. A spirit has no shape or form. Your spirit, which has no shape, flows through the fingers and hands of your body which have shape. Your spirit makes your hands alive. You will never see your spirit but you know that your spirit works from within you and controls you, even making your heart beat and your lungs breathe when you are asleep.
Try a new viewpoint. The invisible spirit within you is the “father” and your visible body is the “son” that obeys the invisible, indwelling spirit. After all, your spirit controls your body and motivates it to do what you do.
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.We will never see the Spirit of God. The Spirit has no shape.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.One Spirit, one God. After all, God is a Spirit.
God is a Spirit.So this is one and the same Person.
In between is mentioned, one Lord. Why? Lord means Master. Today we would probably say, Boss. This means that God is not just Someone Who we should learn about, but He is also the Boss who needs to be obeyed.
The Bible puts a big emphasis on the fact that there is only one God, one Boss. Why is this so?
Because God is infinite.
A physical creation will always have its limits and its boundaries and thus cannot handle infinity. If an infinite Spirit pours Himself into a finite creation, then He will fill it to overflowing. Thus there cannot be room for a second or a third infinity as well.
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.
Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?If Heaven is merely God’s throne, then His Spirit is bigger than and outside of Heaven.
Infinity cannot be contained or limited by Heaven, however big Heaven is.
I KINGS 8:27
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?Thus we have no picture of an invisible, infinite God.
Our finite brains cannot make a picture of infinity. Infinity is a concept that we humans cannot understand as there is nothing in our physical universe that we can see that is infinite. All physical things have their limits. God has no limits as He dwells beyond the limits of His creation. We are limited by dwelling inside of the pipeline of time. This stops us from seeing the future. God dwells outside of time and that is why He can prophesy to us through the pages of the Bible.
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.This is a very brave statement. Babylon, the world’s greatest city, would finally disappear and would never be rebuilt. Alexander the Great, possibly the world’s greatest military genius, decided to make Babylon the capital of his huge world empire. He chose Babylon so as to make it great but then he died mysteriously soon afterward. Five men who were with him at his death wrote about the event later. Each one told a very different story. So the truth behind his death at the young age of 32 years old, remains blurred. Isaiah had condemned Babylon. Alexander tried to exalt the city. After Alexander’s death, Babylon faded into ruins and was deserted for centuries until Saddam Hussein, ruler of Iraq, decided to rebuild the city ruins. In his defiance of prophecy, he also foolishly angered America and her allies who smashed him with their bewildering tidal wave of high technology warfare. Whatever their reason for the Gulf war, God used America's incredible military superiority to make sure that Saddam would die and Babylon would remain unbuilt. The prophet Isaiah had spoken. Saddam and Alexander should have listened.
Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;
The wind is symbolic of war and strife.
America's attack on Iraq was called "Desert Storm". Now, no-one is trying to rebuild Babylon. From God's viewpoint, the attack was against ancient Babylon, which was about to be rebuilt.
God rules outside of time and outside of space. He knows the future.
Just do not try to contradict His Word.
Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!God’s Great Plan was to humble Himself so that He could come down to our level.
God wants to be worshipped. “God” means an object of worship.
God created the spiritual world of Heaven and then created angels, who have spiritual bodies, to dwell there.
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
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.
:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
:4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.God first created heaven, a spiritual world.
GENESIS 1:1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
He then created angels to worship Him in Heaven. But angels could not worship Someone that they could not see. So He made a spiritual Body for Himself and “shrunk” Himself so that He dwelt in that Spirit Body on a throne. The angels could not see the Spirit of God that was inside this Spirit Body. They could only see the celestial Body (or Spirit Body or Theophany) that God dwelt in.
I CORINTHIANS 15:44
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.Then God decided to create the earth and fill that with human beings who would also worship Him.
And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
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.God’s first plan on earth was to reveal Himself by living in a Spirit Body like a Cloud or a Pillar of Fire in the Old Testament. His second plan, in the New Testament, was to reveal Himself by living in a Human Man that He called Jesus.
I CORINTHIANS 15:50
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.As long as we have blood in our veins, we cannot enter the spirit world of heaven.
So blood holds the mystery of life and the mystery of original sin. That is why God requires blood as an atonement for sin. Blood draws a veil around us which separates us in this physical world of earth from those in the spirit world of heaven.
God, the invisible Spirit, dwells in heaven inside a Spirit Body or Theophany that He created for Himself.
The Spirit Body is visible to the angels, but they cannot see the invisible Spirit that lives within this Spirit Body.
The real God is the indwelling Spirit that controls this Body.
This Spirit is God Who calls Himself the Father. But the Old Testament never says "God the Father". Why not?
Trinitarians have no answer.
The Body that the Father dwells in can be called the “Son of God”.
The Bible never says "God the Son".
But there is a deeper mystery to God than Heaven and the angels.
God is a supernatural Spirit but He also has human characteristics.
God wanted to dwell in a human Body and appear on earth as a Man.
These human characteristics were not that obvious in the Old Testament when God dwelt in Heaven and mainly showed (or manifested) Himself in a Spirit Body.
But God Who was the Father, the invisible Spirit, wanted to reveal Himself inside the human Body of a Man. This outward Veil that was a human Body was called the Son of God.
The "Son of God" was only the outer veil of human flesh.
The supernatural Spirit was hidden inside a veil of human Spirit and flesh, the Man Jesus. So the human part of God was called the Son of God.
The Bible speaks of the "Son of God" but never says "God the Son" as God is not flesh and blood. God is not a Man.
NUMBERS 23:19 God is not a man,
The Son was the human part of God. The Father is the supernatural indwelling Spirit.
So in the Old Testament, the Jews were aware of the supernatural Spirit of God but they did not realize that there were human characteristics of God as well, that were hidden or veiled within His supernatural Spirit.
The Devil is content to dwell in animals as indicated by the demons, called Legion, which were cast out of a man and went into a herd of pigs. Possessed by the Devil, these pigs were driven to suicide by drowning themselves in the sea.
God however wants to dwell in the hearts of men and women who have been born again.
God made man as the highest point of His creation so that He could indwell mankind.
Thus Jesus is both Man (the Son of God) as well as being God the Father (the supernatural Spirit) because the supernatural Spirit dwells within Him, and thus is Him. You are everything that is within you.
You are both a human body and an invisible spirit or life that dwells within your body. The spirit within you is in control (the “father”) and your body is under control (the “son”).
The ultimate goal for a human being is to have the Spirit of God indwelling that person so that the person is in submission to the will of God.
The Man Jesus was the first Body that the infinite Spirit of God could indwell and fully express Himself because that Man was in full subjection to Him. So when Jesus was born as the "Son of God", the Spirit of God indwelled Him and for the first time ever God was able to call Himself "God the Father". At last, He had a human Body in which God the Father could fully manifest Himself without anything going wrong.
As the Father, God was above the Jews. They called Him Lord. The modern word would be Boss.
As the Father He had no name. Elohim means God. Adonai means Lord. I AM is not a name, it is a statement of self-existence.
Jehovah or Yahweh are man-made names. The original YHWH is unpronounceable as it has no vowels. This became JHVH just around the 1500s when"J" gradually became a letter of the English language.
An unpronounceable word is not a name.
In the Old Testament, as the Father, God did not reveal His name.
Samson's parents asked God for His name. They were told that the name of God was a secret.
To this day, the Jews do not try to pronounce the name of God.
The pagan tribes knew them as the worshipers of the nameless God.
JUDGES 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?
JUDGES 13:22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
As the Son, God dwelled with us inside Jesus. Emmanuel.
MATTHEW 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
As the Son, God took on a human name, Jesus.
JOHN 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
The Spirit that dwelled with the Jews would return in the church.
MATTHEW 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
The Holy Ghost is never given a name in Scripture.
Thus, of the three manifestations of God, above, with, and in His people, only the second manifestation as the Son of God had a name, Jesus.
Thus the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is Jesus. This is the only name given in Scripture.
But many people have the name Jesus.
So we must at least have one title to specify which Jesus we are talking about. Lord and Christ are the titles.
So we must say "Lord Jesus" or "Jesus Christ" or "Lord Jesus Christ" when baptizing.
ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
ACTS 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
ACTS 8:16 (For as yet he [the Holy Ghost] was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
ACTS 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Jesus was clearly the name of the Lord, as far as the early disciples were concerned.
ACTS 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
There is only one name for the Lord in Scripture. That name is Jesus.
There are many difficulties that we still need to consider when discussing the concept of the Godhead.
This study is only an introduction.