One God, One
The Bible picture of God. The loving Father. The obedient Son. One in Spirit.
Father and Son are One
Jesus and his Father are one because they share the same Spirit.
1Cor 6:17__But he that is jointed unto the Lord is one spirit
Union of spirit and mind brings peace and harmony
|Zech 6:13||the counsel of peace shall be between them both|
|Eph 4:3||Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace|
Their shared Spirit is expressed as being or dwelling in each of them.
John 10:38__the Father is in me, and I in Him.
Their spirits are joined in one Spirit. Thus they come together by Their Spirit.
"By the Spirit the Father and the Son will come and make their abode with you." EGW, Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January 15, 1893
This refers to the words of Christ in John 14:23: "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." But also in another sense the meaning of spirit includes the mind, thinking, character in which they are one.
"From eternity there was a complete unity between the Father and the Son. They were two, yet little short of being identical; two in individuality, yet one in spirit, and heart, and character." E.G. White, The Youth's Instructor, December 16, 1897
Being one cannot mean equal identity,
i.e., the same person, the same being, the same substance.
Jesus prayed that all believers might be one (Greek hen), even as he and the Father are one (hen). John 17:11,21-23. All believers are not one person, but they are united in their belief and worship of God and their confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
John 10:30___I and my Father are (hen) one, said Jesus.
But Paul, speaking about himself
and Apollos, said "He that planteth (Apollos) and he that watereth
(Paul) are (hen) one" 1Cor 3:8. Obviously, Paul and
Apollos were not the same person, but two separate, distinctly different individuals,
but they were both engaged in the same work of preaching the gospel, of reaching
souls, of working for the Lord. Likewise, Jesus and his Father are one in purpose,
"in spirit, and heart, and character," yet they are two separate and
distinctly different persons.
The Hebrew word Elohim is pleural for El, God, which is seen in the ending of many personal names (Abel, Daniel, Michael, Joel, Samuel, Ahithophel, etc). Elohim occurs hundreds of times in the OT. But it is not always pleural. For example
Exodus 7:1__God tells Moses "See, I have made thee a god (Elohim) to Pharaoh"
But God didn't make Moses
into a pair or even a trio of gods.
The Hebrew uses what is called the "honorific pleural" to indicate majesty and greatness.
Here God said He would exalt Moses in the eyes of Pharaoh as if he were a mighty god.
Elohim is applied to foreign gods
and idols as an indication of dignity, majesty, honor, excellence, etc.
Baal-berith is called their Elohim (Judges 9:33)
The Philistine's idol Dagon is called their Elohim (Judges 16:22, 24)
Ashteroth, Chemosh, Milcom, Baalzebub, Nisroch all were called Elohim (1Kings 9:32; 2Kings i:2; 19:37)
1Ki 18:27__ Likewise, Elijah mocks the prophets of Baal, "Cry aloud: for he is a god" (Elohim)
In this case, Elijah also
uses the pleural form, not in respect, but in sarcasm.
Scripture makes a distinction between different kinds of Elohim. Jehovah is called the true Elohim.
Jer 10:10__ the LORD is the true Elohim, he is the living Elohim, and an everlasting king
The Hebrew word for Lord,
Adonai, also appears in the plural as recognition of dignity and greatness:
Eliezar put his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his master "Adonim" (Gen. 24:9, 10, 51)
Potiphar is called Joseph's Adonim (Gen. 39:2,3,7,8,16,19,20)
The captain of the guard is called Adonim (Gen. 40:7)
Joseph, as ruler of Egypt, is called Adonim (Gen 42:30,33; 44:8)
Yet, each of these usages are titles to designate single individuals, not multiple persons.
However, the Hebrew Schema uses a specific Hebrew word that implies God is united in some way.
Deut 6:4___"Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is one (echad)Lord"
There are two Hebrew
words for "one":
echad (unity of a group), and yahid (one of a kind, unique).
Deut 6:4 uses echad as do these passages:
|Ex 26:6, 11||fifty gold clasps hold the curtains together so that the tent would be one (echad)|
|2 Sam 2:25||many soldiers made themselves into 'one group' (echad)|
|Gen 34:16||men of
Shechem pose intermarriage with Jacob's sons
to become 'one (echad) people'
And perhaps the best example: mankind who are created in the image of God.
|Gen 2.24||the man
and his wife will be one (echad) flesh--
a composite unity yet still two individuals
in God's Image
We can understand something of the Godhead by the things that are made.
|Rom 1:19||That which may be known of God is manifest...for God has shown it.|
|Rom 1:20||The invisible
things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen
being understood by the things that are made,
even his eternal power and Godhead
Besides the pleural
noun Elohim, honorific or otherwise,
pleural pronouns indicate at least two at creation.
Gen 1:26__God [Elohim] said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness"
The Father and the Son worked together in the creation of this earth.
"After the earth was created, and the beasts upon it, the Father and Son carried out their purpose, which was designed before the fall of Satan, to make man in their own image. They had wrought together in the creation of the earth and every living thing upon it. And now God says to his Son, 'Let us make man in our image.'" The Spirit of Prophecy, V.1, pp. 24, 25
"The Father consulted Jesus in regard to at once carrying out their purpose to make man to inhabit the earth." EGW, Signs of the Times Jan. 9, 1879
"Especially was his Son to work in union with himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon the earth. His Son would carry out his will and his purposes, but would do nothing of himself alone. The Father's will would be fulfilled in him." EGW, Spirit of Prophecy V.1, p. 18
"In the beginning the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after Their work of creation." EGW, Desire of Ages 769
"The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate-a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. (John 1:1, 2). Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father-one in nature, in character, in purpose-the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. (Isaiah 9:6) (Micah 5:2)" Patriarchs and Prophets p. 34
But the next verse uses singular pronouns:
|Gen 1:27||So God made man in His own image, in the image of God created He him.|
all things by Jesus Christ.
Two were involved in the world's creation
The Father said to Jesus "Let us make man" Then Jesus made man "in His own image"
Gen 1:27__So God created man in his own image…male and female
"Man became a living soul. Through Christ the Word, a personal God created man and endowed him with intelligence and power." EGW, Ministry of Healing p. 415
Ezekiel saw the glory of
God supported by four living creatures who moved with wheels wherever
the spirit went. And the appearance of the wheels was "as it were a
wheel in the middle of a wheel." Ezek 1:16
This is reminenscent of the crown within a crown on the table of shewbread.
A wheel describes a circular motion, a reciprocal exchange, a circuit of flow between at least two parties.
Jesus referred to this when He prayed to His Father,
"I have glorified thee...and now, O Father, glorify thou me.
I came out from thee...And now come I to thee.
As you, Father, are in me, and I in thee" John 17:4,5,8,13,21.
This same mutual dependency,
adoration, love and care was also created in mankind.
We, as humans, share the same image of God's wheel in a wheel.
While all other creatures were spoken into existence, man and woman were formed.
And woman came forth "out of man" as part of his very own body.
|Gen 2:21-22||And he
[the LORD God] took one of [Adam's] ribs, and closed up the flesh…
and made a woman, and brought her unto the man.
|Gen 2:23, 24||Adam said,
"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh…
because she was taken out of man…and they shall be one flesh."
Eve is begotten of Adam's side, she shares the same substance, the same human nature.
"Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam,..to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation." EGW, Patriarchs and Prophets p. 46
Eve was of the same nature
as Adam, equal in nature: human just as he was human.
Adam and Eve: without father, without mother…like Melchizadek, created in God's image.
The Son is also the Father's equal, His second Self, Life of Life, Spirit of Spirit, of the same divine nature, coming forth from the bosom of His Father, from the side of God.
"There are light and glory in the truth that Christ was one with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. This is the light shining in a dark place, making it resplendent with divine, original glory. This truth, infinitely mysterious in itself, explains other mysterious and otherwise unexplainable truths, while it is enshrined in light, unapproachable and incomprehensible." (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, April 5,1906)
The use of Elohim's plurality for supporting a specific three-person Deity, therefore, is questionable.
"Only an inaccurate exegesis which overlooks the more immediate grounds of interpretation can see references to the Trinity in the plural form of the divine name Elohim, the use of the plural in Genesis 1:26 or such liturgical phrases as three members of the Aaronic blessing of Numbers 6:24-26 and the Trisagion of Isaiah 6:3" (The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. 12, p. 18).
by the Same Spirit
John 10:30___Jesus said, I and my Father are one
Jesus and His Father are one because they are joined by the same Spirit.
1Cor 6:17___He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Union of spirit and mind brings peace and harmony.
|Zech 6:13||the counsel of peace shall be between them both|
|Eph 4:3||Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (peace = one spirit)|
Their shared Spirit
is expressed as being or dwelling in each of them.
The same divine Spirit of God is in the Father and the Son, two manifestations of the one God.
|John 10:38||the Father is in me, and I in him [Their spirits are joined in one spirit]|
|John 14:9||He that
has seen [Christ] has seen the Father
(because they are united by the same Spirit)
|John 14:10 and vs 11||[Christ]
is in the Father, and the Father is in [Christ]
the Father (His Spirit) dwells in [Christ] (and) does the works
to come and abide in us with the same shared Spirit so we can abide in Him.
The Spirit of God links up with the spirit of His creatures
for real-time synchronous bidirectional duplex communication.
|John 14:20||I am in [union with] my Father, and you in [union with] me, and I in [union with] you|
|John 6:56||He that
eats my flesh and drinks my flood dwells in [union with] me
and I in [union with] him
|John 17:11||that they may be one as we (are one) [one in unity by joined spirits]|
|John 17:21||that they
all may be one as you Father are in [union with] me
and I in [union with] thee
|John 17:21,22||that they
may be one in [union with] us…
even as we are one [in union with each other]
lives in [union with] me;
and I live by the faith of the Son of God. [unity of Spirit]
|John 14:23||We [Christ
and the Father] will come and make our abode
with [those who] love [Christ] and keep his words.
"By the Spirit the Father and the Son will come and make their abode with you." EGW, Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January 15, 1893, par. 8
2Cor 5:19___God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.
They were united in the
plan of redemption. This same unity of purpose is to exist between us and God.
They have one purpose, not one person; we are to have one purpose, not be one person!
"The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are one." 8T, p. 269.
Jesus and His Father are
one; they are joined by one Spirit.
The counsel of peace is between them both.
They keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Their shared Spirit dwells in each of them.
Our spirit joins with the Lord's Spirit to become one spirit.
Jesus promises to come and abide in us with the same shared Spirit.
God was in Christ because Jesus fulfilled the Father's will.
They are one Spirit, in mind, in character, in purpose but not in person.
Continued: The Only Begotten Son