Saturday, May 5, 2018

Who is God?

This post is not yet complete. 

Who is God? There are lots of opinions and ideas on the nature of God. However, to understand the correct answer to this question, it's best to go directly to His word.  

1. God is incomparable.

2. There is, has always been and forever will be only one true God.

3. A) The Father is God.
    B) The Son, Jesus, is God.
        1a) While maintaining His divine nature, the Son set aside his divine prerogative and became a man, having two natures: God and man
    C) The Holy Spirit is God.
        1a) The Holy Spirit, like the Father and the Son, is personal being, rather than an impersonal thing.

    A) The Father is not the Son.
B) The Son is the Holy Spirit.
C) The Holy Spirit is not the Father.

1. God is incomparable.

  • To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?  (Isaiah 40:18)
  • To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? (Isaiah 46:5)
2. There is, has always been and forever will be only one true God. 
  • See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  • Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. (Isaiah 43:10)
  • 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. (Isaiah 44:6)
  • Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. (Isaiah 44:8)
  • Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, (Isaiah 46:9)
  • As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. (1 Corinthians 8:4)
  • See also Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; Isaiah 45:5, 14, 21; 2 Kings 19:19; John 17:3; 1 Timothy 1:17
A) The Father is God.
  • Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. (John 6:27)
  • See also 1 Corinthians 8:6

B) The Son, Jesus, is God.

Old Testament
·        Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23; a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14)
·        For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty [gibbor] God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Note: The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty [gibbor] God. (Isaiah 10:21, also see Jeremiah 32:18)
·        The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (Zechariah 12:1, 10)

John’s Gospel
·       In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14)
ESV:” ...and the Word was God.”
NASB: “...and the Word was God.”
NKJV:” ...and the Word was God.”
AMP: “...and the Word was God Himself.”
NIV:” ... and the Word was God.”
KJ21: "...and the Word was God.”
ASV” ...and the Word was God.”
YLT: “...and the Word was God;”
DARBY:” ...and the Word was God.”
HCSB” ...and the Word was God.”
NIVUK: “...and the Word was God.”
Note: According to the rules of Greek grammar, when the predicate nominative (God in this clause) precedes the verb, it cannot be considered indefinite (and thus translated “a god” instead of God) merely because it does not have the article. That the term God is definite and refers to the true God is obvious for several reasons. First, theos appears without the definite article four other times in the immediate context (vv. 6, 12, 13, 18; cf. 3:2, 21; 9:16; Matt. 5:9). Not even the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ distorted translation of the Bible renders the anarthrous theos “a god” in those verses. Second, if John’s meaning was that the Word was divine, or a god, there were ways he could have phrased it to make that unmistakably clear. For example, if he meant to say that the Word was merely in some sense divine, he could have used the adjective theios (cf. 2 Peter 1:4). It must be remembered that, as Robert L. Reymond notes, “No standard Greek lexicon offers ‘divine’ as one of the meanings of theos, nor does the noun become an adjective when it ‘sheds’ its article” (Jesus, Divine Messiah [Phillipsburg, N.J.: Presb. & Ref., 1990], 303). Or if he had wanted to say that the Word was a god, he could have written ho logos en theos. If John had written ho theos en ho logos, the two nouns (theos and logos) would be interchangeable, and God and the Word would be identical. That would have meant that the Father was the Word, which, as noted above, would deny the Trinity. But as Leon Morris asks rhetorically, “How else [other than theos en ho logos] in Greek would one say, ‘the Word was God’?” (The Gospel According to John, The New International Commentary on the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979], 77 n. 15).
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John chose the precise wording that accurately conveys the true nature of the Word, Jesus Christ. “By theos without the article, John neither indicates, on the one hand, identity of Person with the Father; nor yet, on the other, any lower nature than that of God Himself” (H. A. W. Meyer, Critical and Exegetical Hand-Book to the Gospel of John [Reprint; Winona Lake, Ind.: Alpha, 1979], 48).
·        No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. (John 1:18 ESV)
·       Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God (John 5:18)
·        Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. (John 8:58)
ESV: “…I am."
NASB: “...I am."
NKJV: “...I AM.”
NIV: “…I am!"
ASV: “...I am.”
DARBY: “...I am.”
YLT: “...I am;”
Note: Exodus 3:14 states, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament that dates prior to the birth of Christ, renders the Hebrew phrase for “I AM” in Exodus 3:14 as “ego eimi.” In John 8:58, this is the same phrase, the same Greek words Jesus uses, translated as “I am”.
·        I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. (John 10:30-33)
·        And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. (John 20:28-29)

Other the New Testament writings
·        Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)
·        Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 9:5)
·        ...lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them... the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6)
Note: Isaiah 42:8 states, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
·        Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)
·        In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (Colossians 1:14-19)
Note: The term “firstborn” refers to the preeminence of Jesus. Just as David, the youngest of Jesse, was said to be the “firstborn” in Psalm 89:27. Also, Manasseh was born to Joseph first, but Ephraim, his younger brother, was “firstborn” due to his position as given by Jacob/Israel (Genesis 48:13–20, Jeremiah 31:9).
·        For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9)
·        And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)
·        God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: (Hebrews 1:1-3)
·        But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: (Hebrews 1:8-10)
Note: This passage quotes from Psalm 45:6-7; 102:25.
·        Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: (2 Peter 1:1, NKJV)
Note: "The Greek construction has only one article before this phrase, making the entire phrase refer to the same person. Thus, Peter is identifying Jesus Christ as both Savior and God." (MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1997) See also the Greek construction of Titus 2:13 where Jesus is said to be “…our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
·        And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (1 John 5:20) 

Other demonstrations of the deity of Jesus

·        Omnipotence (all-powerful): John 14:13-14; Philippians 3:21
·        Omniscience (all-knowing): John 16:30; 21:17
·        Omnipresence (present everywhere at once): Matthew 18:20; 28:20
·        Immutable (unchanging): Hebrews 13:8
·        Eternal: Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2
·        Power to raise Himself from the dead: John 2:19
·        Prayed to: John 14:13-14; Acts 7:59; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 12:8; 1 John 5:13-15

Prepare the way of the Lord
·        Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)
·        And thou, child [John the Baptist], shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; (Luke 1:76)
·        The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:3)
·        As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Mark 1:2-3)
·        See also Matthew 3:3; 11:10; John 1:23

The first and the last is the Almighty
·        I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Revelation 1:8; 22:13)
·        See also Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12
Jesus is the first and the last
·        And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; (Revelation 2:8)
·        See also Revelation 1:17-18

God alone is the Creator
·        Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; (Isaiah 44:24)
·        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. (Isaiah 48:13)
·        Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11)
·        See also Genesis 1:1; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 95:5-6; 102:25 Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 40:12-14, 28; Malachi 2:10; Hebrews 3:4
Jesus is the Creator
·       All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)
·       He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (John 1:10)
·       For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16-17)
·       See also Hebrews 1:2, 10

God alone is to be worshiped [Greek: proskuneo]
·       Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship [proskuneo] the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:10)
·       And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship [proskuneo] before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship [proskuneo] God. (Revelation 22:8-9)
·       See also Deuteronomy 5:7-9; Acts 10:25-26; Romans 1:25
Jesus received worship [Greek: proskuneo]
·       And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped [proskuneo] him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (Matthew 8:2)
·       And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship [proskuneo] him. (Hebrews 1:6)
·       See also Matthew 2:1-2, 10-11; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 28:9, 17; Mark 5:6; Luke 24:52; John 9:35-38; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 5:8-14

·       God: Psalm 23:1, 80:1; Genesis 49:24
·       Jesus, the “one Shepherd,” the “Chief Shepherd”: John 10:11, 16; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4

·       God (besides Him there is none): Hosea 13:4; Isaiah 43:11; 45:21-22; Luke 1:47; 1 Timothy 2:3; 4:10; Titus 2:10
·       Jesus: Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Acts 4:12; Titus 1:4; 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1; 3:18; 1 John 4:14

Judge of all-
·       God: Genesis 18:25; Hebrews 12:23; 13:4
·       Jesus: John 5:22; Acts 10:42; 17:31; 2 Timothy 4:1

The Rock-
·       God only: Psalm 62:2, 6
·       Christ: 1 Corinthians 10:4

1a) While maintaining His divine nature, the Son set aside his divine prerogatives and became a man, having two natures: God and man
·        Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)

·        Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17)

In his incarnation, Jesus…

·       said the Father was greater than Him (John 14:28; the Father being greater than the Son doesn’t negate the fact that they are of the same nature. In 1 Corinthians 14:5 it is recorded, “…he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues…” yet he who prophesies is of the same nature as he who speaks with tongues. See also Luke 22:27)
·       was born (Galatians 4:4)
·       was made lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9)
·       didn’t exercise omniscience (Mark 13:32)
·       grew (Luke 2:40)
·       increased in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52)
·       was under the law (Galatians 4:4)
·       was tempted (Matthew 4:1; Hebrews 4:15)
·       prayed to the Father (John 17)
·       got thirsty (John 19:28)
·       got hungry (Matthew 4:2)
·       got tired (John 4:6)
·       has a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39)
·       submitted to the will of the Father (John 5:30; 6:38; 1 Corinthians 15:28)

·       and died (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-5)

C) The Holy Spirit is God.
·       Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
·       But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. (Acts 5:3-4)

1a) The Holy Spirit, like the Father and the Son, is a personal being, rather than an impersonal thing.

The Holy Spirit…

·       has a mind (Romans 8:27)
·       can be grieved (Isaiah 63:10; Ephesians 4:30)
·       loves (Romans 15:30)
·       bears witness (Romans 8:16; 1 John 5:6; John 15:26-27)
·       is a witness (Acts 5:32)
·       testifies (John 15:26)
·       can be lied to (Acts 5:3-7)
·       has an awareness of goodness (Acts 15:28)
·       appoints overseers (Acts 20:28)
·       can forbid (Acts 16:6)
·       searches all things (1 Corinthians 2:10)
·       is referred to using masculine pronouns (John 16:13–14)
·       has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11)
·       can have fellowship/ communion (2 Corinthians 13:14)
·       has knowledge (1 Corinthians 2:11)
·       intercedes (Romans 8:26)
·       teaches (John 14:26)
·       speaks and hears (John 16:13; see below for more)

The following are examples of the Holy Spirit speaking throughout the Scriptures. It’s important to note, these examples are from historical narratives (i.e. they’re not parables or proverbs).
·       Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. (Acts 8:29)
·       While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. (Acts 10:19-20)
·       As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. (Acts 13:2)
·       Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (Hebrews 10:15-16)
·       See also 2 Samuel 23:2; Acts 11:12; 21:11; 28:25–26; 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 3:7-8; Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22; 14:13; 22:17