Continued from Part 1
Quite a number of Scriptures make a clear distinction between the three members of the Godhead. We will take a look at a few of these Scriptures. It is worth noting that in the Old Testament, LORD is distinguished from Lord. Two Scriptures that use LORD are found in Genesis 19:24 and Hosea 1:4.
Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. (Genesis 19:24)
Then the LORD said to him: “Call his name Jezreel, for in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of jezreel on the house of Jehu, and bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. (Hosea 1:4)
The next two Old Testament passages speak of the LORD having a Son.
I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession…Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way. When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.(Psalm 2:7-8, 12)
Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know? (Proverbs 30:2-4)
In the next two Scriptures we find that the Spirit of God is distinguished from the LORD.
And the LORD said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him…” (Numbers 27:18)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” (Psalm 51:10-12)
Going a little farther, we find Scriptures that plainly distinguish God the Son from God the Father. One is an Old Testament Scripture which is later quoted in the New Testament by the writer of the book of Hebrews.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is thy scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions. (Psalm 45:6-7)
But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions.” (Hebrews 1:8-9)
One other Scripture I would like to add at this point is John 14:16-17. This passage speaks of God the Son speaking to God the Father about sending God the Spirit.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it either sees Him nor knows Him; but you know him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
Obviously, from reading these Scriptures, Jesus did not consider Himself either the Father or the Spirit. He made the distinction very clear. It is also clear, however, that each person of the Trinity contains within all of the attributes of Almighty God.
As we read the Word of God, we find that the different members of the Holy Trinity have different tasks:
The Father is the original source of the entire universe.
…yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, all we for Him…(1 Corinthians 8:6a
You are worthy O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created. (Revelation 4:11)
The Father is the source of salvation
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.(John 3:16-17)
The Father is the source of the works that Jesus did on earth
But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working (John 5:17)
“Do you not believe that I am in the father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” (John 14:10)
The Son is who God has worked through to create and maintain the entire universe
…yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:15-17)
All things were made through Him (The Word), and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:3)
The Son is who the Father uses to bring divine revelation
“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and then one to whom the Son wills to reveal him” (Matthew 11:27)
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him (Christ) to show His servants–things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.
The Son was used to bring salvation.
But we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the world of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
Then said they to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42)
The Holy Spirit is also used by the Father in the creation and maintenance of the universe
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
By His Spirit He adorned the heavens…(Job 26:13a)
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth. (Psalm 104:30)
The Holy Spirit also leads us into divine truth and revelation
“…Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. ANd when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of Judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:7-15)
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:19-21)
The Holy Spirit is also part of the salvation process.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ…(1 Peter 1:1-2)
The Holy Spirit is the means the Father uses to work the works of Jesus Christ
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound ; to ;proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD…(Isaiah 61:1-2a)
The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all–that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:36-38)
The Holy Spirit is also who baptizes the believers with supernatural power and gifts for witnessing to the world.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)
Now as we can see by the Scriptures we’ve used to this point (and there are many, many more), the Creator God we are getting to know, is way beyond our capability to fully comprehend or fully fathom the infinite depth of His deity. We dare not allow ourselves to try and define Him through the extremely limited understanding of human intelligence, and we certainly don’t want to fall for the “doctrines of demons” which purposely distort, diminish, and weaken the true identity of Who and What our omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God really is. Ancient pagan cultures had “gods” whose characteristics were no more than glorified versions of humans ruled by lust for power, sexual lust, extreme jealousy, and every other form of wickedness. The God of creation, the God who rules the universe, and the God that took on the form of man in order to sacrifice Himself to rescue the human race from eternal death, is in a category all by Himself. This God has made Himself known to us in three divine personages. These three divine personages, or members of the Godhead, comprise the One and Only GOD.
There are those who contend that the Old Testament speaks of there being only one God, without any reference to the Trinity, while the New Testament refers to the Triune God many times. This is not really true, however, and three examples from Genesis illustrate that the Old Testament actually did refer to the Trinity.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”– (Genesis 3:22)
And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. (Genesis 11:6-8)
Here we have three passages that show the Triune GOD speaking as the three members, making comments concerning the condition of things on the earth. There is obvious plurality of personages, yet it does not challenge the Oneness of God.
One other fascinating scenario that I will make a few comments about before I offering my conclusion is found in Isaiah 6. The passage reads:
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” (Isaiah 6:1-8)
Here we see God referring to Himself in the plural. Who is the Lord of Hosts? Most scholars acknowledge that this is referring to God, the Father. Yet, it is interesting to find that John the Apostle attributes this passage to Christ (in John 12:41), and the Apostle Paul attributes it to the Holy Spirit (Acts 28:25). So, once again, all three persons are included! The two passages read like this:
But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which He spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.” These things Isaiah said when he saw his glory and spoke of Him. (John 12:37-41)
Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:6-8)
After looking at all these passages of Scripture, it is clear how God has revealed Himself. Is it hard to really get a full understanding of? Absolutely. We just need to remember that it is impossible for our finite minds to fully take in the infinite. That is our GOD. He is infinite!
Although we could take this much deeper, taking the theology of the subject to depths that would tire the mind, I will rather bring this study to a conclusion with a look at a fascinating Psalm, presumably written by King David, Psalm 2. In this psalm, we find the three members of the Trinity having a conversation among themselves about the end times that you and I are living in today. Please follow as I separate the conversation between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit begins by sorrowfully lamenting…
“Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure:” (verses 1-5)
The Father answers Him by saying…
“Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” (verse 6)
The Son then responds by saying…
“I will declare the decree; The LORD has said to Me, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” (verse 7)
God the Father, then speaking to Jesus, the Son, says…
“Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession, You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
The Holy Spirit, who has been sent to comfort and advise us, closes the psalm with His closing counsel…
“Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little, blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” (verses 10-12)
Very soon now, in fact, it is imminent, the second member of the Trinity (the Son) will call His faithful home. It will be the first member of the Trinity (the Father) who decides the actual timing. And, when this happens, the power of the third member of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit), working through the true Church, will lift the restraints on evil. When this happens, hell will break out on this planet. The Bible calls this the Apocalypse. The four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are prepared to run their last stampede around this earth. This will go on for seven years, and then the Messiah, the second person of the Trinity, the Son, will return to rule the earth with an iron hand, as KING, just as was predicted by the Godhead in Psalm 2. God the Father, will rule the Earth through the Son, who will speak to the repopulating earth through the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.
As stated earlier in this study, this is a difficult and deep subject and many volumes have been written about it. I pray that this “shorter” study will help us to have a better understanding of the great God we serve, and also help us not fall for some of the distortions that have been presented by different belief systems of Our Triune God.