Who is God? What can we Know about Him? These are questions that every person must answer for themselves. The Word of God tells us that when we begin to study God, we must start by understanding who Jesus Christ really is according to scripture:
Col 2:8-9 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, ESV
Col 2:8-9 Don’t let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men’s thoughts and ideas, instead of on what Christ has said. 9 For in Christ there is all of God in a human body; TLB
We are warned to not follow “man’s traditions” or “philosophies” but to base our doctrine on the Word of God and to remember that “in Christ dwells ALL of God in a human body.” Therefore any teaching of God that does not make Jesus Christ the supreme God come in flesh is errant. Jesus is more than just the Son and more than just a man, but He was ALL of God come in flesh:
1 Tim 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. ESV
“Manifest” means to “be made visible.” Jesus Christ was God made visible in the flesh.
Acts 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. ESV (Emphasis mine)
God purchased the church with “his own blood!” Who died on the cross and shed His blood for us? Jesus Christ! So to begin our study of God, we must realize that Jesus Christ is more than just one member of a trinity or a host of gods, but that Jesus Christ is God made flesh. Everything that God is, was, and will be was in Jesus Christ according to Colossians 2:9. This is why the prophet Isaiah foretold about Jesus with these words:
Isa 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ESV (Emphasis mine)
The son to be born would be called “Mighty God” or “the mighty God” and “the everlasting Father!” Jesus could be called those things because “all of the Godhead dwelt in Him bodily.”
Names and Titles of God
There is a difference between a title and a name. For example, I am an associate pastor and a husband, but those are not my names. There are thousands of titles for God in the Bible such as “healer, savior, father, deliverer, friend, brother, etc… . There were also many specific names of God given in scripture. As the Bible progresses, God revealed more of Himself to man and the later names reflected a better understanding of God. Here is a basic overview of the names of God along with a representative verse and it’s meaning:
Eloah – singular – Nehemiah 9:17 – means “god.”
Elohim – plural – Exodus 7:1 – means “a powerful god.”
Elah – Aramaic version of Eloah – Daniel 2:18
El – singular – means “almighty.”
As God revealed more of Himself to man, the “El” names were not sufficient to describe Him, so God began to be known by the “Compound El” names.
El-Shaddai – The Almighty God – Genesis 17:1
El-Elyon – The Most High God – Genesis 14:18
El-Roiy – The God of Sight or The God that Sees All – Genesis 16:13
El-Olam – The Everlasting God – Genesis 21:33
Notice that “Eloah” is singular and “Elohim” is plural. In the Hebrew language, plurality can mean “more than one,” or it can also be used to mean “majesty or rank.” This is called by scholars the “plural of majesty.” Even in modern languages other than Hebrew, there are plurals of majesty found. For example, in the German army, it is proper to reply to a commanding officer with the equivalent of “Yes sirs” even though there may only be one officer before you. The plural means respect to the officers rank. Some people teach that the plurality of some of the names of God in the Hebrew show that there must be a plurality in the Godhead, but even learned Trinitarian scholars do not believe this. To quote Smith’s Bible Dictionary; 1st Edition:
The plural form of Elohim has given rise to much discussion. The fanciful idea, that it refers to a TRINITY of persons in the Godhead, hardly finds support among scholars. It is referred to as the plurality of majesty, or the sum of all powers displayed by God, or it denotes the fullness of His divine strength. . . . (pgs 212-213).
Adon – means “ruler or master” – Joshua 3:11
Adonai – has an implied possession in the meaning and thus means “my lord/master” – Genesis 15:2
The name “Jehovah” did not fully reveal all of God’s glory either and so God began to reveal Himself through “compound Jehovah names.”
Jehovah-jireh – the Lord will see and provide – Genesis 22:14.
Jehovah-rapha – the Lord that heals – Exodus 15:26.
Jehovah-nissi – the Lord our banner (ie… He’ll fight our battles) – Exodus 17:15.
Jehovah-m’kaddesh – the Lord that sanctifies – Exodus 31:13.
Jehovah-shalom – the Lord our peace – Judges 6:24.
Jehovah-saboath – the Lord of Hosts – I Samuel 1:3.
Jehovah-elyon – the Lord most High – Psalm 7:17.
Jehovah-raah – the Lord my shepherd – Psalm 23:1.
Jehovah-hoseenu – the Lord our maker – Psalm 95:6.
Jehovah-tsidkenu – the Lord our righteousness – Jeremiah 23:6.
Jehovah-shammah – the Lord is present – Ezekiel 48:35.
Matt 1:23-25 Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. ESV
Jesus would be called “God with us!” The name “Jesus” literally means “Jehovah has become salvation.” The name of Jesus is the highest name of God that has ever or will ever be given:
Phil 2:9-10 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, ESV
The name of Jesus is a higher name than any in heaven or in earth because it is the revealed name of everything that God is! When you call upon Jesus, you are calling upon every title, office, and ability that God has! Jesus is more than the name of the son in a trinity, but is the revealed name of God by which we are saved (Acts 4:12).
How Many Gods are There?
Hundreds of times, the scriptures declare that there is only ONE God. The ONLY number associated with the person of God in scripture is one.
Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. ESV
This is the most important passage to the Jewish people.
Isa 44:6-8 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. 7 Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen. 8 Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” ESV
Isa 45:21-22 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. 22 “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. ESV
Eph 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ESV
James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! ESV
For more examples, see Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7; 32:39; 2 Samuel 7:22; I Chronicles 17:20; Psalms 71:22; 86:10; Isaiah 1:4; 5:19; 5:24; 37:16; 42:8; 44:24; 45:6; 46:9; 48:11; Zechariah 14:9; Malachi 2:10; Romans 3:30; I Corinthians 8:4; 8:6; Galatians 3:20; I Timothy 2:5; I John 2:20; 5:7; Revelation 4:2.
Jesus is the One God of the Old Testament
There are many examples of scriptural proofs that Jesus Christ is the one God of the Old Testament. For example, Micah 5:2 says that the ruler who has been in existence “from everlasting” would be born in Bethlehem. We just read in Isaiah where Jehovah God said that He was the only one who has ever been, so it is obvious that Jesus is that true God. Here is a few specific examples and then we will give you list to explore on your own:
Isa 35:4-6 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; ESV
Isaiah prophesied that the ONE God of the Israelites would come and save them, not another. He went on to prophesy that when God came “THEN” the blind, deaf, lame and dumb people would all receive healing. In whose ministry were all of these things fulfilled? Jesus Himself claimed to the fulfillment of this scripture:
Luke 7:22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. ESV
Let’s look at another simple example:
Isa 40:3 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. ESV
The prophet Isaiah also prophesied that when Jehovah (LORD) would come, there would first come someone preparing the way for Him as a voice crying “in the wilderness.”
Matt 3:1-3 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.'” ESV
Matthew wrote that John the Baptist preached in the wilderness of Judea that he was the one “crying in the wilderness” and the one who had come to “prepare the way of the Jehovah (LORD)!” Jesus was Jehovah God come to save His people!
Jesus perfectly fulfilled the compound Jehovah names. If Jesus is Jehovah, then He must be the One God of the Old Testament. Even this list is not comprehensive but is a fair representation of the scriptural text:
|Jehovah is . . .||Jesus is . . .|
|Almighty – Genesis 17:1||Almighty – Revelation 1:8|
|I AM – Exodus 3:14-16||I AM – John 8:58|
|Rock – Psalm 18:2; 28:1||Rock – I Corinthians 10:4|
|Horn of Salvation – Psalm 18:2||Horn of Salvation – Luke 1:69|
|Shepherd – Psalm 23:1; Isaiah 40:10-11||Good Shepherd – John 10:11; Great Shepherd –
Hebrews 13:20; Chief Shepherd – I Peter 5:4
|King of Glory – Psalm 24:7-10||Lord of Glory – I Corinthians 2:8|
|Light – Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 60:19||Light – John 1:4-9; 8:12|
|Salvation – Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 12:2||Only Salvation – Acts 4:10-12|
|Lord of Lords – Psalm 136:3||Lord of Lords – Revelation 19:16|
|Holy One – Isaiah 12:6||Holy One – Acts 2:27|
|Lawgiver – Isaiah 33:22||Testator of the First Covenant ie… Giver of the Law – Hebrews 9:14-17|
|Judge – Isaiah 33:22||Judge – Micah 5:1; Acts 10:42|
|First and Last – Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12||First and Last – Revelation 1:8; 22:13|
|Only Savior – Isaiah 43:11; 45:21; 60:16||Savior – Titus 2:13; 3:6|
|Giver of Spiritual Water – Isaiah 44:3; 55:1||Giver of Living Water – John 4:10-14; 7:38-39|
|King of Israel – Isaiah 44:6||King of Israel – John 1:49|
|Only Creator – Isaiah 44:24; 45:8; 48:13||Creator of Everything – John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:10|
|Only Just God – Isaiah 45:21||Just One – Acts 7:52|
|Redeemer – Isaiah 54:5; 60:16||Redeemer – Galatians 3:13; Revelation 5:9|
|Jehovah Compound and meaning||Jesus is our . . .||New Testament Scripture|
|Jehovah-jireh (provider)||Provider||Hebrews 10:10-12|
|Jehovah-rapha (healer)||Healer||James 5:14-15|
|Jehovah-nissi (banner, victory)||Victory||I Corinthians 15:57|
|Jehovah-m’kaddesh (sanctifier)||Sanctifier||Ephesians 5:26|
|Jehovah-shalom (peace)||Peace||John 14:27|
|Jehovah-sabaoth (Lord of hosts)||Lord of Hosts||James 5:4-7|
|Jehovah-elyon (Most High)||Most High||Luke 1:32, 76, 78|
|Jehovah-raah (shepherd)||Shepherd||John 10:11|
|Jehovah-hoseenu (maker)||Maker||John 1:3|
|Jehovah-tsidkenu (righteousness)||Righteousness||I Corinthians 1:30|
|Jehovah-shammah (present)||Ever Present One||Matthew 28:20|
Without a doubt, Jesus is the ONE Jehovah God of the Old Testament! This is why Thomas fell to his knees with these words:
John 20:28-29 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ESV
Jesus is the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
The titles of “Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost” refer to three roles or manifestations of the ONE God.
Father – emphasizes God’s roles as Creator, Father of angels, Father of born-again believers, and Father of the humanity of Jesus Christ It always refers to the invisible Spirit of God.
Son – refers to both the humanity of Jesus Christ, and the flesh that God became for the purpose of man’s salvation.
Holy Ghost – emphasizes God’s active power in the world and among men and refers to His work of regenerating a believer to a new life through the infilling of the Spirit. It always refers God’s ability to anoint, baptize, fill, bless, and indwell human lives.
Of course, these are not the only titles of God and nowhere in scripture are we commanded to limit God to only these three titles or elevate these three titles to a special place of prominence.
This explains why the disciples of Jesus obeyed Matthew 28:19 by always baptizing “in the name of Jesus” (see Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16; I Corinthians 1:12-13).
Jesus is the Father (He is human form of the invisible Spirit of God):
John 10:30-33 I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” ESV
John 14:8-9 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? ESV
Col 1:14-15 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. ESV
The Father is the Holy Spirit.
Eph 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— ESV
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus
The Trinity is a Tradition Invented by Man
We cannot use scriptures to prove a “trinity” because the trinity did not come from the pages of the Word of God, but rather from the blending of philosophy, pagan worship, and Christianity into a “universal” religion in the fourth century that would later become the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, the concept of “three in one” was not accepted until toward the end of the 3rd century in church councils that took place over 300 years after the time of Christ. These councils were the efforts of a non-believing emperor, Constantine, to force a universal system of beliefs in his kingdom. The theological decisions were based not upon scripture, but upon “finding a happy medium for all beliefs.” The Early Apostolic Church of the book of Acts did not believe in a trinity but simply believed that Jesus was the one God of the Old Testament and that the Holy Spirit was His Spirit living within them. Here are some quotes from eminent Bible scholars (most are Trinitarians) which show that even the learned scholars admit that the trinity is a later invention by man:
Jaroslav Pelikan in The Emergence of the Catholic Tradtion (100-600), vol. 1 of The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine:
You are not entitled to the beliefs you cherish about such things as the Holy Trinity without a sense of what you owe to those who have worked this out for you. To circumvent Saint Athanasius on the assumption that if you put me alone in a room with the New Testament, I will come up with the doctrine of the Trinity, is naive. . . . The dogma of the Trinity . . . was hammered out during the third quarter of the fourth century. (pgs 210-211)
Jaroslav Pelikan in The New Catholic Encyclopedia:
When one does speak of an unqualified Trinitarianism, one has moved from the period of Christian origins to, say, the last quadrant of the fourth century. It was only then that what might be called the definitive Trinitarian dogma “one God in three Persons” became thoroughly assimilated into Christian life and thought. . . . The formulation “one God in three Persons” was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and it’s profession of faith, prior to the end of the fourth century. (under “Trinity, Holy”)
At first the Christian faith was not Trinitarian. . . . It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in the NT and other early Christian writings. Nor was it so even in the age of the Christian apologists. And even Tertullian, who founded the nomenclature of the orthodox doctrine, knew as little of an ontological Trinity as did the apologists . . . (see article, “Trinity”)
John Baillie in The Library of Christian Classics:
The assertion that the Trinity is the distinctively Christian idea of God is seriously misleading. . . . What is true is that from the third century onwards the distinctively Christian idea of God began to fit itself into a trinitarian mould. This mould was adopted and adapted from Hellenistic (ie. . Greek) philosophy . . . (The Place of Jesus Christ in Modern Theology, pg 185)
The concept of the trinity was introduced due to the failure of many religious leaders to heed and obey the warning of Colossians 2:8-9. One of the many hurdles that you must overcome in your walk with God is to decide who you will believe: the Word of God or the traditions of men. In this lesson, we have given scripture after scripture defining who God is and they explicitly declare “God is one” and His name is Jesus!