Is God Three People? THE ONGOING REVELATION OF JESUS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (9)
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“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM…” [John 8:28 NAB]
God is not three people. There is no such thing as three persons in a “Godhead.” Most Christians don’t even know what a “Godhead” is. The term derives from a bad translation. It began in the King James Version of the Bible, which is over 400 years old.
“Godhead” only appears three times in the KJV New Testament. The word also appears in other versions. The NASV95, a much better translation, uses the terms “Divine Nature” and “Diety.”
Other versions use the terms, “God,” “that which is divine,” “divine being,” “divinity,” “existence,” and “God’s being.” These terms are derived from only three Greek words. Each word refers to the singular.
THE ONE GOD OF THE ANCIENT HEBREWS
The entirety of Old Testament Scripture NEVER teaches anything closely resembling a trinity of persons. To the Hebrews, NOTHING COULD BE MORE HERETICAL. It was the ancient Hebrews, and only the ancient Hebrews, who were originally blessed by the one God with the great revelation that God is one Being. Every other nation on the entire planet believed in a plurality of gods, a sad fact which the Old Testament refers to multiple times. The idea that God was one Being was rejected as heresy by all other nations and the Hebrews paid dearly for the truth God gave them.
But they prevailed. God blessed them. God multiplied them and raised them up. Then the day came when Egypt, the greatest nation on the planet, destroyed itself in attempting to force God’s hand and force His people to remain slaves.
Though Israel later proved itself to be unfaithful and became an adulterous nation which reverted to gross idolatry and a belief in multiple false gods, God remained faithful and there remained a small remnant of faithful believers in His one nation.
No Hebrew prophet ever preached about God being a multiplicity of persons. The entire idea makes absolutely no sense whatsoever anyway. One must remember that when the “Trinity Doctrine” was officially formalized and adopted by Constantine in 325AD, the resultant theology which came much later was superimposed upon Holy Writ in a deceptive attempt to transform truth, and especially the truth of the Lord’s real identity. It is also why the Lord’s powerful Name was eliminated from water baptism.
Wrongheaded theologians began applying Trinitarian theology to a few verses here and there in the attempt to authenticate it upon the minds of their underlings. The OT prophets would have destroyed such theologians in a debate. They would have each insisted and proved that the classic “Trinity Doctrine” was absolutely false and full of holes in that it portrays God as being composed of three people.
“Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.” [Isaiah 44:8]
“I am the LORD (YHWH): that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. [Isaiah 42:8]
THREE PERSONS IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THREE PEOPLE
Christians theologians do not use the term “three people” when referring to God. They prefer the term “three persons.” They insist that “people” and “persons” are two completely different words with different meanings. Hence, if one says “God is three persons” one is correct. But if one says “God is three people” one is incorrect. Such a belief is beyond ridiculous and is nothing more than ultra-religious semantic jargon used in the attempt to prove something unprovable.
THE ONGOING REVELATION OF GOD’S REAL IDENTITY
In Genesis 1, God is known primarily by the Hebrew word Elohim. He is always referred to in the singular. ALWAYS.
In Genesis 2:4 a change occurs. It is the actual beginning of the second Genesis creation story. From this point on, God began being known by the words YHWH Elohim:
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD (YHWH) God (Elohim) made earth and heaven. [Genesis 2:4]
The name YHWH was considered so incredibly reverent and holy that is was not even written down by Hebrew scribes in the original OT Scriptures. Instead, the substitute word Adonai was used. Adonai is translated as “LORD” in English versions of the Old Testament and this is why “LORD God” is used in your Bible instead of YHWH God. “LORD God” is translated from YHWH Elohim.
Of course, YHWH is not actually a word in the typical sense but a descriptive Name of God using four Hebrew letters which illustrated a greater relational closeness to His creation. It comes into use just as Adam is created. It is singular. God is always referred to in the singular. ALWAYS.
“JEHOVAH” IS A CORRUPT AND INCORRECT TERM
Thousands of years later, this name of God—YHWH—was corrupted into the form many Christians are familiar with—“Jehovah.” Of course, there is no “J” in the Hebrew and the ancient Hebrews NEVER used this corrupted form. All Christians who use the corrupt term “Jehovah” should cease using it upon learning this truth and begin referring to the real term—the actual OT name of God—YHWH.
I AM WHO I AM
In Exodus 3:14 an even greater revelation of God came forth:
Then Moses said to God (Elohim), “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God (Elohim) of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
God (Elohim) said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
God (Elohim), furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD (YHWH), the God (Elohim) of your fathers, the God (Elohim) of Abraham, the God (Elohim) of Isaac, and the God (Elohim) of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.” [Exodus 3:13-15]
Only a few people were relationally close enough to God to use and understand this Name. Moses was the first.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Posted on December 30, 2015, in Teaching and tagged Divine Revelation, Elohim, I AM, Jesus is God, Lord Jesus, Moses, One God, Real Identity of Jesus, The Trinity, YHWH. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
Hello again! As another lover of the Truth, I am not understanding your claim, “God is always referred to in the singular. ALWAYS.” Please know I ask this in love, and not to be contentious 😊. What do you make of Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…’ “? See, I thought perhaps you were moving towards saying God is two, Jesus and His Father the Holy Spirit. Again, please forgive me if this is addressed later in your series.
Thanks again Deanna. Again, it would be good if you read the entire series. There is much foundational knowledge to be gained. Regarding the fact that God is ONE, I will quote from what has become the foundational rock of this revelation:
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” [Deuteronomy 6:4]
This is repeated by the Lord Jesus in Mark’s gospel:
One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12:28-31]
With regard to the oft-quoted Genesis 1:26, this is the only verse in Genesis 1 that implies a plurality to God in the English translation by using the words “Us,” “Our,” and “Our:”
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” [Genesis 1:26]
Please note the verse that directly follows the above, which reverts again to God as singular:
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 1:27]
Trinitarian doctrine uses Genesis 1:26 (and ignores all the rest) to demonstrate the viewpoint that God is three persons. Keep in mind that God had not yet revealed Himself to mankind in the first chapter of Genesis. Keep in mind also that even though Elohim is the only word used in all of Genesis 1 and in Genesis 2:1-3 to refer to God, and that it is a plural word, it always translates correctly into the singular when referring to God. It is only in verse 26 when it appears to be otherwise. In this verse are three plural pronouns referring to God: “Us,” “Our,” and “Our.” To use the argument that Elohim is plural and should thus translate this way does not make sense in light of the fact that it translates singular in every other instance:
• In Genesis 1, verse 2 is Ruwach Elohim, or “Spirit of God” (singular).
• In Genesis 1, verses 5, 10, 16, 27 (twice), and 31, and in Genesis 2, verses 2 (three times), and 3 is the personal pronoun “He” (10 total, all singular).
• In Genesis 1, verse 27, and in Genesis 2, verses 2 (twice), and 3 is the personal pronoun “His” (4 total, all singular).
• In Genesis 1, verses 29 and 30 is the personal pronoun “I” (2 total, both singular).
• In addition to these, from Genesis 1:1 to 2:3, the word “God” (singular) is used 34 times.
To sum up, in the first 34 verses of the Bible, God is referred to as singular 51 times (94%), and plural 3 times. The New American Standard and the King James are identical in this regard. Even if the word “God” and the title “Spirit of God” are not counted, there are still 16 singular personal pronouns used (84%) and only 3 plural. The point is simply that there is a much greater argument against the triune idea using this method than there is for it!
For the ancient Hebrews, it was not a viable idea anyway because they were given the revelation that there are not many gods, or in particular “three gods in one” (an ancient idea), but only one God, and to make the claim that the one God was actually composed of three persons was not only completely irrational to the Hebrews, it was heretical. Yet, one must keep in mind that the use of the word Elohim denoted first-level revelation.
“Elohim is actually what is known in the Hebrew as a majestic plural. A majestic plural is a special type of plural in Hebrew that has a plural suffix even though it is numerically singular with a singular verb and singular adjective. In Biblical Hebrew, plural nouns also have plural verbs and plural adjectives. The word Elohim appears in its plural form over 2000 times throughout the Hebrew Scriptures and in virtually every instance it has a singular verb. It is always, “And Elohim (He) spoke to Moses,” and never, “And Elohim (they) spoke to Moses.” The same thing can be found with the adjective. The adjective for Elohim is singular, not plural. The meaning of the plural suffix in the majestic plural is not that there is more than one of the noun, but that the noun is “great, absolute, or majestic.” Elohim is quite simply an example of the majestic plural and means “great God.” Yet, it is worth noting that the word Elohim is not always a majestic plural. When referring to the pagan gods, the term Elohim is usually a numerical plural. In both instances the accompanying verbs and adjectives reveal to us which meaning is intended.” [Nehemiah Gordon, in his paper, Elohim: Plural or Singular?]
Blessings to you.