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The God Head




Fear ye not, neither be afraid. Have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even My witnesses.
Is there a God beside Me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any.
Remember the former things of old : for I am God, and there is none else;”
Isaiah 44:8


“I am God, and there is none like me,”
Isaiah 46:9

There is a long standing tradition in the Christian Church that defines God as “Three persons in One.” But is this teaching correct?

We find in history that the early church did not follow this teaching but that it began to appear about 100 years after Christ. There was a good deal of debate at that time about whether Jesus was God, part of God or merely a man or an angel.

The Council of Nicea declared in the AD 300’s that “official” church doctrine would be what we call the Trinity today. Yet, the word “trinity” never appears in scripture. The scriptures generally used to promote this teaching could be translated differently.

The two essential and personal names of God in the Hebrew Scriptures are Elohim and Jehovah (YHVH in Hebrew. There are no vowels in ancient Hebrew, so there is some disagreement on whether it should be pronounced “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”).

“Elohim” calls attention to the fullness of divine power (The Creator or Father) and Jehovah means “He who is” thus declaring the divine self- existence (The Comforter or Holy Ghost). These terms are varied or combined with others to bring out or emphasize certain attributes of the Godhead.

These variations or combinations are rendered in our English version, God Almighty, The Living God, The Most High, The Lord, or The God of Host.

(The English word “God” is identical with the Anglo- Saxon word for good, and therefore it is believed that the name “God” in our English Bibles refers to the divine goodness.)

God as revealed through the scripture is the One infinite and eternal Being. He is purely spiritual, the supreme Intelligence, the Creator and Preserver of all things, the perfect moral Ruler of the universe and the proper object of worship.


“God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24
If you look at the references to God in the various books of the Bible you'll find that they are a blending of the Elohim (Creator) tradition with the YHVH (I Am) tradition, unified by the words of Deuteronomy 6:4,

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

The direct meaning would be:
1. YHVH (is) our Elohim, YHVH alone.
2. YHVH our Elohim (is) one YHVH.
3. YHVH our Elohim, YHVH (is) one.
4. YHVH (is) our Elohim, YHVH (is) one.

Or

1. The I Am (is) our Creator, The I Am alone.
2. The I Am our Creator (is) one “I Am.”
3. The I Am our Creator, The I Am (is) one.
4. The I Am (is) our Creator, The I Am (is) one.

The last two are repetitive and clumsy at best. The first two both emphasize that there is only one God-option for Israel, The Great I Am.

Israel was just coming out of Egypt, a polytheistic nation. They brought many ideas they had learned throughout their time there with them, including the Egyptian’s many gods. In this verse God is making sure they understand right from the start that there is only one God, The I Am, and they are not to even think of worshiping any other god.

How do you talk about new ideas?
With old words.

The danger is in then assuming too close a relationship between the old and new ideas because some of the words are the same.

Since the Egyptians believed in a number of different gods of varying power, the Israelites brought these ideas with them.

These gods were supposed to have had wars and love affairs among themselves.

This idea of a multitude of gods has been passed down throughout the ages. The writers of the Bible were attempting to portray a single God of multitude greatness with language used to portray a multitude of gods.



Is Elohim Three Persons?

The most commonly used Hebrew word for God is Elohim. This is the original word in almost every Old Testament passage where we see the English word “God.” It is the plural form of the Hebrew word Eloah, which means God or deity.

Only the noun in the verses using the word “Elohim” is in plural form, and all other nouns referring to God in the Bible are singular.

The verbs and other parts of speech are all singular. This made sense to those who wrote scripture. We can only speculate as to why and look for comparisons with similar usage. An indication of majesty or grandeur instead of multitude of numbers fits.

Part of what the Jewish re-imagining of the divine in ancient times does is move from images of concrete, specific deities (associated more literally with carved wood and rocks than we can really understand today) to a vast formless all-encompassing, single and unique deity.

Most scholars agree that the use of the plural word Elohim indicates God's greatness or His multiple attributes; it does not imply a plurality of persons or personalities. The Jews certainly do not see the plural form as compromising their strong monotheism.

(An example of this usage would be; My one year old grandson is a boy. My 6’3” son-in-law is a boys. He is not more than one in number but in substance and size.)

The Bible itself reveals that the only way to understand the plural form of Elohim is that it expresses God's majesty and not a plurality in the Godhead, both by its insistence on one God and by its use of Elohim in situations that definitely portray only one person or personality.

For example, Elohim identifies the singular manifestation of God in human form to Jacob (Genesis 32:24-30).

The Israelites used the word Elohim for the golden calf they made in the wilderness (Exodus 32:1, 4, 8, 23, 31), yet the Bible account makes it clear that there was only one golden calf (Exodus 32:4, 5, 8, 19-20, 24, 35).

The Old Testament often uses Elohim for singular pagan gods such as Baalberith (Judges 8:33), Chemosh (Judges 11:24), Dagon (Judges 16:23), Baalzebub (II Kings 1:2-3), and Nisroch (II Kings 19:37).

The Bible even applies Elohim to Jesus Christ (Psalm 45:6; Zechariah 12:8-10; 14:5), and no one suggests there is a plurality of persons in Jesus.

So the word Elohim does not indicate three persons in the Godhead. Only one being, called Elohim, wrestled with Jacob. Only one golden calf was called Elohim, and one Lord Jesus Christ is God made manifest in flesh (Colossians 2:9 Matthew 1:23). Just as Elohim is an expression of greatness in reference to God, the words “let us” in Genesis 1:26 is also an expression of the greatest of God’s creation.

So the meaning of the "plurality" of the title "Elohim" changed from the ancient, pre-mosaic times from meaning more than one possible deity to the more monotheistic idea of ONE Elohim of innumerable attributes (Omniscience, Holiness, Perfection ...) There is only one God of multitude greatness.

Problems in the New Testament

When the disciples asked Jesus to show them the Father his response was,

“Have I walked with you this long and you haven’t seen me yet?” (John 14:8-9)

And again:

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

In other words, Christ was claiming to BE the Father. This agrees with Isaiah 9:6;

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given (this is obviously referring to Jesus): and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, The Prince of Peace.”

Yet, Jesus prayed to the Father. How can he both BE the Father and pray to the Father.
“The Father” by definition, should be the one who impregnates the mother, right? Yet the Bible tells us that

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child OF THE HOLY GHOST.” Matthew 1:8

“But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the HOLY GHOST.” Matthew 1:20

If the teaching of the Trinity is true, how come the Holy Ghost is obviously the Father? Do we have illegitimacy in the Trinity? Did Mary “cheat” on the Father? Or is the Father and the Holy Ghost the same?

What’s more Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;”

Everyone assumes this Comforter is the Holy Ghost. But Jesus continued,

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”  
(John 14:16, 18)

Jesus was saying that HE would come as the Comforter.

So we aren’t any clearer on who exactly who is who.

Just to confuse things more, Revelations tells us in three places about the Seven Spirits of God (Rev 3:1, 4:5, 5:6) Just how many are there inside of God? Just what is God’s nature?

 

The Godhead

I have spent time looking at reproductions of the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, both paintings done by Leonardo Da Vinci. I can tell by looking at these masterpieces that the artist had an eye for color and perspective. He was a stickler for detail, also. But I can’t really tell anything else about him from looking at these two works. If I were to put all his works together I might could tell a little more, but in no way could I really know him.

To quote the Abeka Book Homeschool Catalog, 
“Math is the language God used to create the universe.” 
We humans actually know very little about math, though we think we know just about all of it. 

The entire universe is put together with a wonderful mathematical precision.

The question, then, is can we describe God using mathematics? Is God One or Two or Three or something else entirely?

The fact is that the Bible only ever uses one number to describe God: One. This would mean that Jesus was, in fact, the Eternal God (God was Jesus' Soul, Jesus was God's body).

However Jesus also prayed to the Father and submitted to the Father’s will. Clearly One doesn’t really describe God. But neither does three or two or any other number.

God is outside of mathematics just as He is outside of Time. He can not be described by this one aspect of His creation any more than we could draw the conclusion that Da Vinci didn’t have any eyebrows by looking at the Mona Lisa.

Math simply can’t be sufficient to describe our God.