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  • Rick LoPresti

The nature of the Godhead

When seeking an understanding of God, we must be careful to avoid using our earthly human references. The carnal mind of man is tainted by sin, and sin has deception built into it (Romans 8, 1Corinthians 1-2). It distorts how we see God, others, and even ourselves. The only way to have a true understanding of God is for Him to reveal Himself to us (Matthew 11:27, Matthew 16:13-20, 1John 5:20-21). God knows we cannot comprehend a full revelation of Himself. So sometimes He uses things we can relate to in order to describe Himself. The Bible speaks of God's eyes, arm, hands, feet, and even wings, etc. God is a Spirit (John 4:24). That is where our understanding needs to start. He does not literally have body parts in His deity. These descriptions are used to help us relate to Him from our perspective, but God is not a person. Some debate whether God is one person or three persons. He is neither. He is a Spirit. Webster's Dictionary defines the word person as "a human being", or "the body of a human being." When God manifested Himself on Mount Sinai, the people could hear His voice, but they did not see anything besides the fire and smoke on the mountain top. God reminded them of this when warning them against idolatry (Deuteronomy 4). People try to visualize God, but He is invisible (1Timothy 1:17, Hebrews 11:27). The only way we will see God visually is in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the visible part of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). He is the only body God ever did or will have. However, God fills people with His Spirit, and then they become part of the body of Christ. This is the real meaning of the phrase "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." The Godhead does not consist of three persons, but a Spirit and the flesh the Spirit came in as Jesus Christ, and also to lesser degree in the church. A simple way to understand passages in the Bible regarding this is to recognize the two natures that were in Jesus: divine and human, Spirit and flesh, God and man, or Father and Son.

The singular word person appears 3 times in the KJV in relation to God (Job 13:8, 2Corinthians 2:10, and Hebrews 1:3). In Job it is the Hebrew word paniym which literally means face. This is the same word God spoke to Moses in Exodus 33:20-23. First, this is not a literal face. God did not have a body before Jesus was conceived (Psalm 110:1, Hebrews 10:5). God is everywhere (Psalm 139:7-10). God was telling Moses he could not handle the fullness of God’s direct presence. Second, it’s still only one, not three. In 2Corinthians 2:10 it is the Greek word prosopon which also means face. We can see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 4:6). It could also be interpreted as countenance or presence. Again, it is one person and not three. In Hebrews 1:3 it is the Greek word hupostasis, which means essence or substance. Once again, there is nothing of co-equal persons. Rather, these verses show God revealed in one person - the Lord Jesus Christ.

In order to have a right relationship with God, we need to understand who He is, how He exists, and how He has revealed Himself to us. For further study of this subject, you can read "Back to the Basics".

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