How many Gods are there?
““Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. ‘And who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’”” (Isaiah 44:6–8 NASB)
God very clearly says that He is the only God. There is only one God.
If there is only one God, then who is Jesus?
God said that He would raise up a prophet:
““And the LORD said to me, ‘They have spoken well. ‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. ‘And it shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:17–19 NASB)
““For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak. “And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”” (John 12:49–50 NASB)
Jesus is the prophet God promised to raise up.
When God says “from among their countrymen” he is saying that he will be an Israelite. As an Israelite he is also a human.
“And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”” (Matthew 8:20 ESV)
Over and over again in the bible Jesus emphasizes that he is a human being by referring to himself as “the son of man.” The son of a man is a man.
Jesus is a man.
Jesus is not just a man.
“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:15–17 ESV)
Jesus is the Son of God.
The apostle John gives us more information as to who Jesus is.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1–5 ESV)
“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.” (John 1:9–10 ESV)
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)” (John 1:14–15 ESV)
Jesus is the Word of God
John says that the “Word was with God” and the “Word was God,” and that “He was in the begging with God.” This is very confusing to us. How can someone be with someone else and be that someone else?
When God said “I will raise up a prophet … and I will put My words in his mouth”, that is exactly what He did. However God did this in an unexpected way. He didn’t just put his words into another person, His words became a person.
If you understand that the Word that John is talking about is literally the words of God, then John’s statements are not so confusing.
If you speak words, your words are with you and your words are you.
Jesus is God in that He is the Word of God.
Is God a trinity?
The doctrine of the trinity dominates Christianity. Most Christians would go so far as to say, “If you do not believe in the teaching of the trinity, then you are not a Christian.”
How can people say that “God is three” when God says that He is the only God?
They do this by separating the essence or substance of God from the person of God. I have heard it expressed these ways:
- God is one what and three whos
- One in Essence, Three in Person
Are these statements true?
Read Isa. 44:6-8 again and you decide. Is God here declaring that He is the only God essence or is He declaring that He is the only person who is God? Is He using impersonal or personal language? Does God throw out a challenge to a what or to a who?
““Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.
‘And who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place.
‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’”” (Isaiah 44:6–8 NASB)
The doctrine of the trinity would say that Jesus and God the Father are two, but what did Jesus say?
“I and the Father are one.”” (John 10:30 ESV)
And in the same conversation Jesus says the same thing in different words.
“but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”” (John 10:38 ESV)
If you look at the surrounding text you will see that the people that Jesus was talking to understood completely what Jesus was saying.
“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.”” (John 10:33 ESV)
What they got wrong was that they thought that Jesus was only a man, but He was actually God’s Word in person.
Later on Jesus says the same thing, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”
“Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 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’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” (John 14:8–11 ESV)
Philip is asking Jesus to show them the the person of the father not the essence the Father. Jesus answers in a personal way “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me?”
The person of the father and the person of Jesus are one and the same.
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