2. The Godhead
By John Thiel, First Angel’s Message, study 2, mp3
We are to glorify God in a way that is pleasing to Him so as to know Him. To know God is to understand the deep things He has revealed about Himself to us through the scriptures. One of the deep things that God delights in us understanding about Him, is that He is three and yet He is one.
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.
Through this understanding we realise that where one of the Godhead dwells, the other two persons are perfectly represented. The Holy Trio are three separate beings who are so close to one another and share such an intimate interwoven love relationship that even when they are apart, they are the perfect manifestation of one another. Christ during his time on this earth was the perfect representation of God the Father and the Holy Spirit. We must understand that when we enter into a relationship with Christ, we become partakers in this great love relationship that the Godhead shares.
The scriptures reveal that one day those who become one with Christ will share in His inheritance and become joint heirs with Him. If we are to be joint heirs with Christ and to be bestowed with the gifts that the Father has bestowed upon Him, we will be brothers and sisters with Christ and sons and daughters of God. In our budding understanding of the great love and unity of the Godhead, let us further comprehend that we too may be partakers in this wonderful, intimate relationship that the Godhead share and have extended to the human family.
Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The scripture says that we are to worship God but who is God and what is the truth about Him? Jesus reveals there is a requirement to the worship God. While speaking to the woman at the well about the Samaritans Jesus says;
John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 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. 24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
God is a spirit, a person with a personality, and the scripture says that TRUE WORSHIPPERS will worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
This is life eternal – to know God. To worship God in spirit and in truth is part of salvation.
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise [man] glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty [man] glory in his might, let not the rich [man] glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I [am] the LORD which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these [things] I delight, saith the LORD.
For God to delight in us, we need to glorify Him from the position that we know and understand Him. It is our task then to humbly seek and know Him so we can fear Him and give Him the glory.
Job 11:7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? 8 [It is] as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?
While the stipulation is laid out before us that we are to know God for this is life eternal, we are to worship Him in spirit and in truth and we are to glorify Him in the sense that we know and understand Him. Is this really possible?
In the previous study it was revealed that God has a means of communicating Himself to us so that we might come to know and understand Him. In Zechariah we recall the two cherubim (olive trees) standing in the presence of God communicated the oil (the Holy Spirit) through the golden pipes to lighten up the candlesticks (the seven churches). If we understand this principle correctly, the Old and New Testament are the knowledge of God recorded by human agents. (See Revelation 11:3-4).
1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
It is not what man has searched out that we are about to understand but what is under the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Not the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
God communicates the inward thoughts and feelings and the deep things about Himself through the Holy Spirit that we may come to know and understand him not according to man’s wisdom but by what the Holy Ghost teaches. Is the Godhead, the three persons of the heavenly trio, a deep thing of God that needs to be revealed by the Holy Spirit?
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: The Lord our God is one Lord.
Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I [am] the first, and I [am] the last; and beside me [there is] no God.
There Is Only One God
Isaiah 45:5 I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Here is the one who created the heaven and the earth: The Spirit of God moved upon the waters while God (in heaven) spoke light into being.
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
God says ‘let US’, plural, make man in ‘OUR’, plural, image after ‘OUR’, plural, likeness. God made man in His own image.
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.
To clarify that God is One and yet three separate persons we further read;
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
The Word was with God and the Word was God. They are two separate entities and yet one was the other. Creation took place because the Word that was spoken was with God and was God.
Job 33:4 The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
This text explains that it was the Spirit of God that made man and the breath of the Almighty gave him life. The Spirit of God moved upon the waters. God spoke and the Spirit of God moved. Creation therefore was the activity of three individuals recorded to us as ‘these three are one’.
The Tower of Babel
Genesis 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
Let US (plural), go down and there confound their language.
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
Genesis 18:16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
Abraham was visited by two angels and the Lord to discuss the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and a few other things.
Genesis 18:17 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
The Lord is speaking to the two angels here.
Genesis 18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. 22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
Two of the men (the two angels that rescued Lot from Gomorrah) went on their way, but the Lord remained with Abraham for a little longer.
Genesis 18:33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.
The story then continues about how the two angels visited Lot in the city of Sodom and told him about the destruction that was going to take place.
Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
The Lord who was one with God was again in this representation a plural entity. There was the Lord out of heaven and there was the Lord on earth and the Lord on earth rained fire from the Lord out of heaven.
Isaiah 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I [am] he; I [am] the first, I also [am] the last. 13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: [when] I call unto them, they stand up together.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and all things were made by Him. Who is speaking here in Isaiah? ‘My hand hath laid the foundations of the earth?’ It is the Word.
Isaiah 48:16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there [am] I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.
The Word was sent by the Lord God and His Spirit the other two persons of the Godhead who created the world. In placing together the meanings from the different scriptures it becomes abundantly clear that we worship one God and one Lord meaning three persons. They are three separate individuals that can be separated in place. One or more may dwell in heaven while the other is on earth and there is so much unity between these three persons that they can move and speak as though they were one. In Summary the plurality and singularity of God may be explored in these scriptures.
Isaiah 44:6 I am the first and I am the last, beside me there is no God (Singular)
Isaiah 48:12 I am he; I am the first, I also am the last (Singular)
1John 5:7 There are three that bear record in heaven (Plural)
Genesis 1:1-3 Story of creation ‘let US make man’ (Plural)
Genesis 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us (PLURAL) go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
To know God is eternal life. How does the knowledge of the Godhead, the three Persons of the Godhead, become so relevant and essential to our salvation?
John 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
The Father loved the disciples because they believed that Jesus (the Word) came out from God to this earth. They believed that although there was one God this one God was three Persons and that one of them was sent from the Father into the world. The disciples believed Jesus when He told them ‘I leave the world and go to the Father.’
In Jeremiah we read that God delights in the fact that we know and understand Him. The fact that the disciples knew and understood that Jesus was God pleased the Father so much that He loved them. To know God and to receive His blessing we too must understand and believe that Jesus was God and one of the three persons of the Godhead. For this is eternal life – to know God.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
When Jesus departed He promised to send us another comforter, the Holy Spirit, who would teach us to worship God in spirit and in truth.
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.
It was impossible for the disciples to search out God from their own understanding, but Jesus promised they would know God because He would dwell with them and be in them.
John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Jesus will come to us through this comforter the Holy Spirit. He goes back to His Father and yet through the Comforter He promises that He will come to us.
John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. This is the Atonement – Christ’s AT-ONE-MENT with us. A very essential element to our salvation. Through the Holy Spirit who reveals the deep things of God to us, we come to know that Jesus dwells with us in the ‘plurality’ of the Godhead. When Jesus ascended back to heaven He sent the Holy Spirit down to us as another Comforter. The Holy Spirit IS the representation of the Father and the Son here on earth for wherever one is there are the other two perfectly represented.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
God being AT-ONE with us is revealed in these words ‘We will come unto him’ and in verse 20 ‘I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you’. That Jesus partook with us of our human nature makes us human beings in Jesus. Jesus Christ is with the Father therefore we also are with the Father and we are in the Father through Jesus Christ and Jesus is in us and the Holy Spirit dwells in us so we may become a saved entity. Here is the knowledge of the Godhead for our salvation.
John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Here is the expression of singularity in plurality. They are one even though they are three that we may be one with God even though we are many. We may be one of the Godhead.
John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
The knowledge of the Godhead is important to our salvation. The first angel’s message declares ‘Fear God and give him the glory.’ In Jeremiah 9:23-24 it says that to Fear God and give him the glory is to know and understand Him. Let the world know by our unity in Jesus that through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we know and understand that three can be one just as many can be one. It is the manifestation of this oneness in plurality that is one of the deep things that God has chosen to reveal about Himself to us.
May God assist us in the comprehension of this important element of the first angels message, to fear God and give Him the Glory in the manner in which He has prescribed? Let us contemplate it and make this the meditation of our minds so that we will be part of the unity that Jesus has spoken of.