Comprehending God, Understanding the Trinity Pt. 1

Scripture: Isaiah 40:28, Isaiah 55:9, Romans 11:33
Date: 05/17/2003 
The subject deals with seeking to understand God, His nature, and the trinity. It is a vast subject that as mortals cannot think to comprehend. It is a mystery how God the Father, Son and Spirit can be one.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Pray for me as I share this subject with you. It’s not that I’m in any kind of crisis it’s just the subject is so important that I’m afraid… You know ten years I’ve been here this September. Ten years at Central. I’ve never preached a sermon on something as basic as understanding God and part of the reason is because I just haven’t felt worthy and it’s arrogant when you think about it for any mortal to say, “Sit back. I’m going to explain God to you.” But the Lord does reveal a lot about Himself in His Word and those things that are revealed are for our knowledge. Some things are a mystery.

This is going to be the first part in a two part message (unless I don’t finish part two and I have to go to three parts) but at least two part message dealing with comprehending God. I picked that title because that’s my goal that we will better understand the nature of God and some of these difficult subjects dealing with the name of God, the trinity, the oneness of God, the form of God. And so we’re going to be delving onto sacred ground in a very real sense. So you pray for me. Matter of fact, I would like to pray one more time. Just bow your heads with me as we pray.

Father in heaven, Lord, we are asking now in a very special sense that you will fill this place and as you flood this place with your light it will expel all darkness all distractions. I pray, Lord, that in spite of the unworthiness and the sins of the vehicle that is to speak that you will speak, speak through your word. Help this complex subject become clear, Lord. We want to know you better and we want to understand you as much as is mortally possible. And so please bless we ask for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Now I picked this specific picture here because I remember when I first saw the space Hubble reveal this beautiful picture of the Hourglass Nebula, this is a nebula a zillion light years out in space. Is it just me or does it look like an eye in the middle? And I thought “Wow! That looks like the eye of God!” You know where the word nebulous comes from? Something that is vague and hard to comprehend. And there is so much about God that is incomprehensible for us. When we talk about this theme of better understanding or comprehending God we are on Holy Ground. You know I actually thought I ought to kick off my shoes for this sermon but some might interpret that as irreverent and I don’t want to do anything to distract you. But this is Holy Ground. This is the highest subject that we could study. We will spend endless ages in eternity studying the theme of God, who He is, knowing His character. There is nothing more precious than this that He would reveal Himself to us. It is God in whose image we are created. Let me give you a few passages at the very beginning, just, I’m going to start by telling you what I don’t know. That this is a subject that you cannot expect… I’m beginning by telling you you cannot expect to really wrap your mind around who is God. Isaiah 40:28, “His understanding is unsearchable.” The Bible describes Him as “unsearchable”. Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” You think about the nearest star.

It’s supposed to be Alpha Centauri or Alpha Proximi they’re not sure but if you travel 186,000 miles per second, the speed of light, traveling the speed of light it will take you four years to get to the first out of billions of stars. And then God says, “As the heavens are high above the earth so are my ways above your ways.” You and I can’t travel far and fast enough to understand God. Psalms 145:3, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised and his greatness is unsearchable.” There you have it again. Romans 11:33 Paul says, “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God how unsearchable are his judgements his ways past finding out.” Some things we cannot comprehend and I want you to know that just from the beginning. But Paul also adds this, I Cor. 2:10. I hope you have your Bibles and a pencil. I’ll be giving you many very important passages. “But God has revealed them to us by his spirit for the spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” Does the Lord want us to study the subject of who He is? What do you think? He wants us to study this.

There is no greater theme of study than the person of God. Now one of the issues that we’re going to address and it continues through history to come up and down is the subject of what is sometimes referred to as the Trinity. And we’re going to give you a little history on this. First of all, the word trinity is talking about tri-entities. That would be the three entities of God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit that comprise who we believe God is. Originally, back in about the fourth century, there was a priest by the name, he was actually the Bishop of Alexandria, and his name was Arroyos. He lived about 256 to 336 AD. He did not accept this concept that the one God was comprised of three distinct persons and he said that Christ was a lesser god who was created and the Holy Spirit is the impersonal force or vehicle through which God works and that the one God would only be God the Father. This was studied by the early church and believed to be heresy. They asked him to renounce this. He modified, Arroyos modified his teachings but only after the teachings had spread quite a bit and became better known as Aryanism. And you’ve probably heard of this. If you have two people that knock on your door they’re typically Jehovah Witnesses or they could be Latter Day Saints, Mormons. And you know I must admire these people for their dedication. I think in many respects they’ve got a good method. The method of going out two by two is a biblical method. I don’t agree with their message. But I remember years ago, oh, twenty-five years ago when I was still living up in the hills in Covelo and selling firewood two people came driving down our dirt road. Now you need to know this is dedication because we’re talking twelve miles to get to our house.

They take it seriously going into all the world. And it was a Jehovah Witness couple and they asked if I wanted to study. I was still a comparatively young Christian. I said, “Absolutely!” I was so excited about the Bible. And after a few preliminary things that we talked about they got into the subject of God. Now I always thought that it was just common knowledge that God was the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I’d never heard anyone challenge that. And Jehovah Witnesses really have their black belt in this subject because their teaching is based on Aryanism and they began to go through a series of scriptures in the Bible that they would kind of pull out by themselves and say, “Look at this. Look at this. Look at this. Look at this.” That kind of study you’ve got to be careful. You need to read things before and after in their context with scriptures on all sides of an issue. But if you get someone who is a baby Christian and then you get someone who is skilled in saying, “I want you to focus here, now focus here, now focus here, now focus here.” They can almost lead a person anywhere with that method of teaching. And I’ll tell you when they got done with their study I was really shook up. I’ll admit it. After they left, I still, it’s still vivid in my mind, in the house we had a picnic table.

That was our dining table. It was a redwood picnic table and I knelt there by this beat up picnic table and I said, “Lord.” I was not yet baptized as a Seventh Day Adventist and I just wanted the truth. I had no particular… it didn’t matter to me. I just wanted the truth. I said, “Lord, this is confusing me. If I have misunderstood then I need to know.” I said, “I want you to show me the truth. Make this clear.” Now about that time I began to continue studying on this subject and matter of fact, I don’t know if you’re here, David? Yeah. You remember that? I wasn’t baptized yet but I knew Dave Boatright back then and he and I at one point studied with him and we went through a study specifically dealing with “is Jesus Jehovah?” and I’ll talk about some of the things that we discovered during that time, but this was a very important subject to me to understand the nature of God and I praise the Lord that I think he did help me to understand, and obviously I didn’t become a Jehovah Witness so I think you know where I landed. But it’s a very important subject and I believe that from the Bible you can clearly teach what you would call the Trinity. Now be careful. Some people say, “Well, trinity the word is not even in the Bible and so obviously it’s not a Biblical teaching.” Well that is an absurd argument. The word millennium is not in the Bible, but the Bible does teach about the thousand years. You don’t find the word rapture in the Bible, but it does talk about when we’re caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

I’ve got news for you, the word bible is not in the Bible so don’t use that word any more. Just try that! The word trinity is a Latin word that describes the teaching of the tri-entities. Someone else will say, “Well that came from the church during the dark ages!” And it is true that the Roman Catholic Church believes in the Trinity but they don’t believe it like Protestants do. For one thing, let’s face it, our Catholic friends sort of believe in a holy quartet because they believe that Mary is a co-redeemer with Jesus. It’s a very different thing. When you say the word gospel the Catholic Church will say, “we believe in the gospel.” And the Baptists will say, “We believe in the gospel,” which is going to be a little different. The Calvinist version of the gospel is a little different than the Wesleyan version of the gospel and you and I believe in the gospel. And so sometimes different words, let’s face it, do have different meanings to different groups so we need to define things. The Bible does talk about the godhead. And Protestants prefer that term but for common usage we’ll say trinity. It means “tri-entities or the three persons of the Godhead.” So just be clear on a little bit of what the history is behind this. Now here’s where the problem arises.

There’s a number of passages, the most famous being Meshima where Moses said, of course, in Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 4, “Hear, oh Israel, the Lord, our God is one Lord.” How many? One. Can’t be any more clear than that. But it was the same author who said, in Genesis, “God said, Let us.” Now I’ll get to that in just a minute. But Moses said, “one Lord. The Lord our got is one.” New Testament. I Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God.” Ephesians 4:6, “one god, one father.” But then it goes on to say, “but there’s one savior, one spirit” too. And so the question is if there is only one god and the Bible is very clear there is only one god then how could it be composed of three persons? Well, I think the answer of that can be found in a simple understanding. Is God speaking when he says the word “one”? The word one can mean numerical quantity, and the word one very often in the Bible is used to describe unity, cohesiveness. Now we need to use words the way God uses them. Moses also said in Genesis that a man leaves his father and mother and he cleaves unto his wife and they become, they become one. Well there you’ve got multiple becoming one. So it’s an issue of really unity. Jesus said in John chapter 17 that the apostles should be one. Well, there’s twelve of them! It doesn’t just mean two becoming one. You could have twelve being one. Matter of fact, he said the whole church should be one. John 17:22 Jesus said, “And the glory which you gave me I have given them that they may be one as we are one.”

Notice Jesus is referring to his relationship with the Father and he says, “they may be one as we are one.” So isn’t it clear Biblically that the word one can also be used speaking of a unity, a combined purpose? Romans 12:5, “So we,” speaking of the church, “with many gifts are one body in Christ.” It’s a very common Biblical teaching that the word one is used to describe many who are united. Now someone will say, “Well then why did Moses say there is one God?” Keep in mind Moses came out of Egypt, which was also the civilized center of the world at that time. You could learn about almost any religion of the world in Egypt as well as the Egyptian religion. Moses knew that the world was absolutely riddled, it was rife with, these polytheistic religions that had many different gods like the Greeks and these gods weren’t getting along. These gods were fighting and warring with each other. There was petty rivalry. Have you ever studied mythology and some of the stuff the gods did to each other? When Moses said, “Our God is one” he’s not talking about numerical, he’s talking about united. “Hear, oh Israel, the Lord our God is one God.” You don’t have to say, “Well, I worship this god. No, I worship this god.” You can’t do it that way with our God. He’s one. He’s united.

This was what Moses was emphasizing there, the unity of God. Now keep in mind that these three entities can be seen throughout the scriptures and we’re just going to look a few. It would take quite a bit of studies on this subject to go through every reference in the Bible Old and New Testament where you can see a picture of the three entities that make up God, God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. First of all you can go to Genesis, “And God said, Let us,” and this is of course 1:26, “make man in our image.” And many times there… at the Tower of Babel… God says, or when man sinned there in the Garden of Eden, God says, “Man has become like us to know good and evil.” And at the Tower of Babel it says, “Let us go down.” I mean, over and over again there in Genesis either God is schizophrenic the way He is talking to himself. You ever known somebody who walks around talking to himself? “What shall we do? I don’t know. What do you want to do?” God is not like that. He’s not insane. The word that is used there is the word El’ohiem. That is the plural form of God.

It is used 2,700 times in the Old Testament and the inspired authors could have used the other word El which is singular but they used El’Ohiem when describing God Jehovah ten times more than the singular form El and so they knew what they were saying when God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Here’s a few other references. Isaiah 48:16, “Come near to me. Hear this. Have I not spoken in secret from the beginning? From the time that it was, there I Am.” Now who is “the I Am”? That’s the one that revealed himself to Moses. “And now the Lord and His Spirit have sent me.” The I Am is saying, “the Lord”. Who’s that? “And His Spirit have sent me.” Do you see three people there? I see three individuals in that passage. Isaiah 44:6, “Thus sayeth the Lord the king of Israel and His Redeemer the Lord of Hosts.” Well, there again you’ve got the Lord, the king of Israel and the Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts. He says, “I am the first and the last beside me there is no god.” Who is it that identifies himself as the first and the last in Revelation? That’s Jesus.

Daniel chapter 7 gives us a vivid picture of at least God the Father and the Son. You can read there where this heavenly judgement scene. And it says, “I was watching,” this is verse 13 of Daniel chapter 7, “I was watching in the night visions and behold one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven…” Who is the Son of Man? That was one of the favorite terms that Jesus used to identify himself. “…one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven and he came to the Ancient of Days and they brought him near before him.” Well, if Jesus is the Son of Man then who is the Ancient of Days? Well, that would be God the Spirit, I mean, that would be God the Father, right? God the Spirit is not technically mentioned in this phrase here. But you at least have those two there mentioned. Now the New Testament there is a lot of evidence.

Probably one of the most common and powerful references is in I John 5:7. I’m going to start with that. Sometimes I go through my references sequentially, for those of you who are flipping through the Bibles it makes it easier, but I’m going to jump around a little bit here. I John 5:7, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven.” You’ve got the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit. These three are one like a rope is one thing and that rope is typically made up of what? Generally a rope and a cable is made up of three strands and that’s where you get the greatest strength. He’s saying, “These three bear witness in heaven, the Father,” well we know who that is, “the Word” who is the Word? Jesus. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” “And the Holy Spirit.” These three are what? If that’s a clear verse say, “Amen!” I mean, that to me, if there were no other passage in the New Testament would be a pretty strong argument. Some people when they hear these things they say, “Well, we’re not sure that was in the original manuscript!” And they begin to question the very definite verses in the Bible. Matthew chapter 3 at the baptism of Jesus, again we see a picture, little vignettes of the sanctuary. Verse 16 & 17, “And Jesus when he was baptized he went up straightway out of the water and lo, the heavens were opened to him and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him and lo, a voice from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!’”

Now do you see the three entities there? You’ve got God the Son Jesus in the water, God the Father is saying, “This is my Son” and God the Spirit is coming down in the form of a dove. God the Spirit is probably the hardest member of the godhead to describe because you and I think in terms of visual images and he’s the hardest to visualize. We often use a dove. Sometimes he appears as fire or water or wind and so it’s really hard for me to say, “Hey! Come on over to my house. I’ll show you pictures of the Holy Spirit.” Because we can’t picture the Holy Spirit, but God does give us some things here and the dove is the closest thing we have. Again you’ve got, of course, Matthew 28. Jesus concludes the gospel by commissioning people to “baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Now some people will take you to the New Testament and they’ll say, “Yes, but the apostles said, baptize in the name of Jesus, in the name of the Lord, or in the name of the Lord Jesus.” And that’s true. I have no problem with that. I think you can do it either way, but you still cannot delete Jesus’ reference in Matthew where he says, “The name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” And again there are critics who will say, “Well, that must have been added by the Catholic Church.”

You start doing that with your Bible, you find something you don’t like or you can’t explain and you say, “Well, it was added. It’s been changed. It’s a questionable manuscript.” Don’t do that with your Bible, Amen? I agree that some translations are interesting but a translation is different than questioning the original manuscripts that we’ve got. II Corinthians 13:14, here are some references still in the New Testament showing that you’ve got these entities of God. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all, Amen.” You notice “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ”, “the love of God” that would be the Father, “the communion of the Holy Ghost.” In his benediction he calls upon the three in Heaven. Can you see that? Say amen. It’s so clear. You know there’s so many things that you can see where if you delete any member of the godhead it ceases to be the God of the Bible. Time is composed of three parts; past, present and future but you and I can only live in one of those which is the present. Isn’t that right? Space is comprised of three things. You’ve got matter, space and time. That’s the universe it’s composed of matter, space and time. But the only one that’s really visible to us is matter.

You can’t see time. You can look at your watch but you’re not seeing time. See what I’m saying? You can’t see space. That’s like trying to see a vacuum. We see matter, but the universe is composed of these three. You take any one of them away and it ceases to be. The sanctuary in the Bible had three places where salvation was demonstrated. They were justified in the courtyard, sanctified in the holy place, glorified in the most holy place. We are justified by Jesus, sanctified by the Spirit, and we will be glorified when we see God face to face, the Father. See what I mean? All through the Bible you can see these three entities. Now let me tell you another. It’s an elementary argument you will hear, but this is something you need to consider. “Why, there are pagan religions out there that have three people in their religion and the Trinity is a takeoff on them!” Well, I’d respectfully disagree. I would tell you that the devil has a counterfeit for every truth of God. If I told you, “Hey! Don’t tell anybody, but I’ve just counterfeited some bills at my house!”

We heard about that during our children’s story, right? Don’t want the kids to go home and place those dollar bills on their copy machine and have the FBI come to visit. But if I was going to counterfeit what choices do I have as far as numerical? I can counterfeit ones. That’s not profitable, right? I can counterfeit fives, tens, twenties or hundreds, fifties. Can I counterfeit a $30 bill? Would there be any sense in that? Would anybody be fooled? How many agree that the devil has a counterfeit for every truth of God? He does! Of course he does. Why would it surprise you then that there are counterfeit tri-entities in pagan religions? Yeah, of course there are. That is not an argument against the truth of the Bible. And I’ve heard people say, “Well, there are pagan religions that have three.” Well, of course. The Bible tells us that you’ve got the beast, the dragon and the false prophet that have this three fold confederacy that unite against God the Father, Son and Spirit. It doesn’t mean there are not three in God’s army. Gideon divided his army in three parts too, right? You start playing with the number three like that and you can find all kinds of examples on both sides, amen? So you’re going to hear some interesting arguments on this subject. Just be intelligent about it. Now I want to be honest with you. God is a mystery. The Bible speaks of it as a mystery. I want you to notice a verse in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 31.

Ephesians 5:31. I’ll read verse 32 also. “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother be joined to his wife and those two become one flesh.” Now notice how Paul comments on this. “This is a great mystery but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Now here Paul refers to two becoming one as a mystery. Keep that in mind and then you look in Colossians 2:2, “and attaining to all the riches of the full assurance of the understanding and the knowledge of the mystery of God both the Father and of Christ.” And so when he speaks about the mystery of God, could it be that Paul is also saying it’s a mystery how God the Father and Christ and the Spirit can be one? That’s a mystery. We can’t fully comprehend that. And this has been the cause for a lot of interesting discussions. You know people always want to know, “where did God come from?”

If you can explain that then you could also explain some of these other mysteries of God. I can’t explain it. Colossians 1:27, “to them God will to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” It is something of a mystery. Colossians 4:3, “Meanwhile praying also for us that God would open to us a door for the word to speak the mystery of Christ.” The incarnation is a mystery. Now there are several mysteries in the Bible. There are two prominent mysteries. The Bible speaks about the mystery of godliness. Let me explain what that is. The mystery of godliness. Anyone have a guess? That the creator could be a creation. How does the creator become a creation? I don’t know. You know what the mystery of iniquity is? That a creation would want to be the creator. The fact that the devil wants to be god, that’s a mystery! It’s the mystery of iniquity. The reverse of that is the creator becoming a creation. These are the two great mysteries in the Bible. People want to know where evil came from.

It’s a mystery. That’s the mystery of iniquity that the devil would want to be god. The creation would dare to say, “I want to be the creator.” Don’t you think that it would be insanity for the creation to rebel against the creator? Well, the devil is insane so that works. Now some people get hung up on the phrase “the only begotten son” and they go, “Aha! The Bible says that Jesus is begotten and the fact that it declares him begotten means that he was born. And that means that somewhere back in the remote eons of time when God the Father got lonely he decided to have a baby without having a wife. There are people who have a very elementary view of this and they believe that God the Father and the Spirit had some kind of intimate relations and Jesus was the product. Yes, I have met people who believe that. I’ve seen it in print. I know that sounds absurd but that tries to reduce God. We try to give him some gender and they said the Holy Spirit is a woman. Any of you run into this before? Am I the only one that’s run into this? There’s all kinds of strange things out there.

The Bible says, “there’s no end to doctrines of devils.” But people say “the only begotten” that proves that Jesus at some point was begotten. Well, it is true. He was begotten. It’s speaking of when Christ was begotten as a human. Now the Bible tells us that Adam was called the son of God. You and I could be called sons of God. When we’re born again we’re begotten of God the Bible says, but the only time that God was begotten as a human was the incarnation. That’s why it’s talking about the only begotten son of God. Let me give you some scriptures on that. John, the Gospel of John, chapter 1 verse 18, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father hath declared Him.” Christ, who is the only time that God became a man, in the bosom of the Father, he came to reveal, declare, the Father. Luke 1:35, you know what the angel said to Joseph? “The angel answered and said…” I’m sorry the angel said to Mary. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore that Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” That’s explaining how He was begotten of God. Now you know why there’s so much confusion? There are times in the Bible where it appears that Jesus has not always been divine.

For instance, in Matthew 24 when Christ talks about His Second Coming, “No man knows the day or the hour, not the angels of Heaven, not even the Son.” Oh, people say, “Aha! Voila! There you have it. Jesus does not know everything. He is not omniscient.” Well, when Christ was on Earth as a man He didn’t know everything. That is because He humbled Himself. People miss this very important point. When Christ, it’s a mystery, the Incarnation, but when God took on the form of a man He laid aside some aspects of His divinity. Do you really think that Jesus as a baby when He was born of Mary was wiggling around in His manger there all knowing? Never had to be taught anything? That’d be great not having to potty train your kids. Was He all knowing? You know what it is? He humbled Himself, and here’s some scriptures that explain that. Philippians chapter 2 verse 5.

Are you still writing them down? I like to see you writing, you might have time to turn. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.” Now don’t miss this. This is a very important verse. Jesus does not consider it robbery to be equal to God. In other words during His life on Earth He equaled Himself to God. You know I don’t want to rush past that without giving you another verse on that. Sometimes I’ve got these things in my notes and sometimes… I’m not too worried about this because I know those in the studio can edit this part out when I’m walking around looking confused. Let me see here. John 5:17 & 18, “Jesus answered and said, My Father has been working until now and I have been working. Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him because He not only broke the Sabbath but He said God was His Father making Himself equal with God.” The wanted to kill Him because they understood He was making Himself equal with God. So He “thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”

Now I’m jumping back here to Philippians again. But He made Himself… He humbled Himself… “He made Himself of no reputation.” So if it seems like He was lacking in some of the attributes of God on Earth, He was. He laid that aside so He could identify with you and me. Did Jesus fully identify with humans? How could He do that if He was walking around just oozing with godliness all the time? He wasn’t. He laid that aside. Was He completely human? We’ll talk more about that in our next study. “He made Himself of no reputation taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men” and being found in the appearance as a man. He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death even the death of the cross. Again, II Cor. 8:9, He humbled Himself. “For you know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that though He was rich for your sakes He became poor that through His poverty you might be rich.” He laid aside His divinity when He came to earth. Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor.” So, yes, it is true when God the Son became a man He laid aside a dimension of His divinity. Now this for me, this next phase, I’m going to go quickly through several passages.

We need to establish something. Is Jesus… You notice I don’t say was Jesus… Is Jesus fully God? Well, you don’t have to answer that yet, but let’s look at some of the evidence in the Bible. First of all you can just go to the Old Testament. In Hebrews chapter, and Hebrews is quoting from the Old Testament, Hebrews 1:8. Here it says, “But unto the Son,” this is quoting from the Psalms “He sayeth, thy throne oh God.” God the Father is speaking to the Son and God the Father says to the Son, “Thy throne, oh God, is forever and ever. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.” Was Jesus God? Well, God says He was. Matter of fact, when He came in the beginning, Matthew 1:23, this is where the angel spoke to Joseph. It says, “They shall call His name Emmanuel” which is translated, what? “God with us.” When Jesus came to the earth God was with us in the form of a man. It’s inconceivable, incomprehensible, I agree, but I believe it because the Bible says it. Amen? This idea of trying to build this doctrine of Aryanism on a couple of passages is like trying to build a house on a few fence posts and this is what has happened. It is a heresy and I want you to be on your guard. God with us. It’s a miracle. Now some of the other evidence the Jesus is God. The Bible says, “God and God only can forgive sin.”

Do you agree? The Bible says, “The Lord God only is our redeemer.” Let me give you references because I’ve got so much. You write these down and check on me. Isaiah 43:25, Mark 2:7, Micah 7:18, and there are others you’ll find in your Bible. Look at the cross-references. Many references say only God can forgive sin because it’s His Law we have broken. Could Jesus forgive sin? Jesus saw their faith. He said to the paralytic son, “Your sins are forgiven.” Jesus said to Mary, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Many times in the Bible He said that He had come to forgive their sins to seek and to save the lost. The Bible tells us that only God, matter of fact, it says Jehovah. This scripture was a big help for me. “Only Jehovah knows the thoughts of men’s hearts.” Can the devil read your mind? That’s something sacred that only God can reveal.

You remember the story where King Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t remember his dream and he told the wise men. He said, “Tell me what I dreamed.” And they said, “You’re asking for something that only the gods know!” Only God knows what’s in our hearts. When you pray… Now the devil can tempt you and look at your expression and make a calculated guess. Your wife can read your expressions and guess too pretty accurately, but that doesn’t make you God. Doesn’t mean you’re reading the mind. It means you’re looking at external evidence. Only God can really read the hearts. They even have people who can fool a lie detector. Isn’t’ that right? No kind of physical sign. With the blinking of their eyes, with their heartbeat, with their perspiration they can fool the whole thing. But God reads their hearts. They can’t fool Him. The devil cannot read your heart. Only God can read your heart. Could Jesus? Incidentally that verse,

I Kings 8:39, “God and God only knows the thoughts of men’s hearts.” The Bible says that when Philip…When Jesus saw Nathaniel He said, “Before Philip called you…” And this is John, Gospel of John 1:48, “When you were under the fig tree I saw you.” He knew what he was thinking about the Messiah. John 2:25, “For He knew what was in man.” Mark 2:8, “But immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they reasoned within themselves…” And on and on through the Gospels you’ll see examples where Jesus knew what they were thinking. He would answer questions that they did not even ask because he knew what they were thinking. God knows your heart. Another definition for God, He created everything. Go to the first words in the Bible. “In the beginning” who created? “God created the Heavens and the earth.” Who is it that did that creating? John 1:3, “All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made.” How much was made without Him? Nothing. How many things did He make? All things. Now this is something that… this chokes Aryan people, people that believe in the idea that Jesus was created at one point. The fact that… they’ll agree yes, Jesus is the one that God created through. But then the Bible says, “All things were made.”

If they say He was made then it isn’t true that all things were made by Him. Did He make Himself? It says all things! “Nothing was made without Him.” That would include Him, right? That must mean that He was always there. Colossians 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, that are in Heaven, that are on earth, visible or invisible, thrones or dominions of principalities or powers.” That’s a pretty thorough broad definition, don’t you agree? “Through Him also He made the worlds.” That’s Hebrews 1:2. The Father made the worlds through Jesus. Revelation 4:11, “For you are worthy, oh Lord,” they’re singing to the Lamb. “…to receive glory” who is the Lamb? Just want to make that clear. “…to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things and by your will they exist and were created.” They exist by him. They were created by Him. Is this clear that Jesus is God? Amen? Say amen. But wait! There’s more. I’m not done. The Bible says Jesus is self-existent the same way the Bible tells us God the Father is self-existent. John 1:2, “He was in the beginning with God.”

Alright you get your cosmic slingshot. You try to catapult yourself as far back into time as you can conceive. No matter how far you go Jesus was always there. Wherever you find the beginning He was there in the beginning with God. That means if you try and make a point when God made him and you go beyond that point and you’re not at the beginning anymore. These are deep thoughts, aren’t they? Some of us, I can hear your brains boiling right now. Some of you you’re going to sleep because you’re going “whew! I can’t comprehend this!” But He is, He’s self-existent. John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, most assuredly I say to you before Abraham was, I am.” You remember when the religious leaders were going to stone Him? Why were they going to stone Him? For blasphemy. Why? Because they said He was putting Himself in the place of God claiming the title of God. “Before Abraham was, I am.” They knew what that meant. They picked up stones. It’s so clear. Micah 5:2, “But you Bethlehem, Efretah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah yet out of you shall he come forth to me the one who will be ruler of Israel whose goings forth are from old even from everlasting.” His goings forth are from everlasting. As far back as you can go he was already going forth. From everlasting. He is eternal.

Now why is this all important? Your worship of God, your trust in God, your acceptance of God is going to be influenced by your concept of God. Having a wrong concept of God is going to corrupt or effect or influence how you view Him as Savior. This understanding of God creates such a broad respect and reverence that we can’t escape it. Revelation 1:8 Jesus identifies himself as what? “I am the Alpha and Omega.” These are the beginning and last letters in the Greek alphabet. It’s like saying, “I am the A to the Z.” “The beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is and was and which is to come.” You hear what He’s saying there? I inhabit past eternity, present eternity, future eternity, the Almighty. That’s the term that Jehovah uses to identify himself in the Old Testament. Is Jesus God? Yes, but I’m not done. Jesus is all-powerful. The Bible tells us that God all power belongs unto God. Matthew 28:18, “Jesus spake and said, all power is given me in heaven and in earth.” All above and all below, all power. Revelation 19:16, “He had on His robe and on His thigh a name written King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Now this is, stay with me, these terms are important. If there is somebody over you can you ever take the title King of Kings? If you’ve got a king over you can you take the title King of Kings?

You know Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon he had many kings under him. You read about Ahazueras who had 127 kings under him and you can read many stories in the Bible of kings that had kings under them, but a King of Kings has no king over him. Jesus is God the Son. Amen? He’s all-powerful. And there’s some more definitions here or I should say there are some more evidence here that Jesus is God. Jesus is eternal life. He says in John 10:18, “No one takes my life from me. I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down. I have power to take it up again.” You know sometimes it says that God the Father raised the Son and sometimes Jesus says He raised Himself and sometimes it says the Spirit raised Him. Well that would just actually support the Trinity concept of God. But that He has inherent power in Himself. He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that has the Son has life. He that doesn’t have the Son does not have life.” Jesus is the essence of life because all created things came from Him. I had a disturbing experience this week.

Came downstairs, second time it’s has happened, and one of our goldfish jumped, must have made some kind of kamikaze leap for freedom, just right above the drain board on a little shelf, jumped from his bowl, water must have been too high, and landed in the sink. Now the first time it happened he landed in the sink and he swam around in a pan half filled with water and grease, swam there all night and I thought, “He’s done for now.” But he survived that. This time I came in and there was nothing in the sink, no water. And there in the little, you know the little catch you’ve got for your drain, he’s laying there… dry. Wasn’t moving. Eyes glazed over. I felt really bad because he had survived this other episode. And I… it was in the morning. I’m the first one downstairs. I thought I’d better do something about this. I don’t want the boys to have to see poor dead fish and so. I didn’t have time to go out and have a formal service in the backyard. I thought about, “Well, there’s the garbage disposal.” Then I thought, “No, I shouldn’t mince him.”

I mean, even if he’s a goldfish, but I don’t want to be disrespectful. So I took him to the bathroom. And I had a few kind thoughts and shook him out of the drain trap. And just before I flushed the toilet I saw him flinch! And he began to swim. He was off-keel, but he was… I thought, “Aww, man! I can’t flush the toilet.” So I stood there for a long time. It was just a goldfish. I’ve been trying to get rid of him for years, you know. And so I had to scoop him up, put him back in the bowl. And I thought, Well, you know, I don’t believe in euthanasia. Even though he doesn’t have any quality of life left I know he’s going to die but I thought I’ll let God decide when. I thought he’ll float to the surface any time. He’s been laying in the dry sink for half the night. He’s doing fine! He’s swimming on keel now. He’s excited. Matter of fact, we had to lower the water because we’re afraid he’s going to jump again. And I’ll tell you the reason I’m sharing this. I don’t want to be disrespectful but I thought for sure he was dead! How much more incredible is it that Jesus was dead three days and He said, “I’ll raise myself up.” The incredible power of God that He is Life! I still, I tell you what, friends, I been telling everybody all week about my goldfish. I couldn’t believe it.

I know he was dead. I never would have done that if I didn’t think he was dead. I don’t understand it. Another definition for God. The Bible says, “Worship God only.” You remember the devil wanted to tempt Jesus to worship him and Jesus quoted the Bible, “You are to worship God only.” Did Jesus accept worship? Yes, the Bible tells us Matthew 28 after He rose from the dead and they went to tell the disciples Jesus met them. Jesus said, “All hail.” And that means worship. “And they fell down and they worshipped Him.” The Bible tells us that the angels worship Him. Hebrews 1:6, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” You remember Thomas fell down before Christ and he declared, “My Lord and my God” and they worshipped Him. Mary clung to His feet worshipping Him. He didn’t say, “don’t worship me.” He said, “Don’t detain me because I still have to ascend to the Father.” You’ve got to let go. He didn’t say, “Don’t worship me.” You remember when John fell down in Revelation to worship an angel in chapter 19 and the angel said, “Don’t worship us! We’re just angels, your fellow servants. We minister with God and serve God like you do. Worship God!” But do the angels worship Jesus? The fact that Jesus accepted worship means either Jesus is God Almighty or He’s not God at all. He was taking something that belonged to God. The fact that He would receive worship means that He’s God. But isn’t that interesting that Jesus would quote to the devil “only worship God”?

While He was on earth He laid aside that dimension of His divinity. But wait there’s more evidence that Jesus is God. The Bible says in the Old Testament that God is the judge. Psalms 50:6, “For God Himself is judge.” If that’s a clear definition say Amen. Hebrews 13:4, “But fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” So the judge is God, very clear. Now who is the judge? John 5:22, “For the Father judges no man, but He’s committed all judgement to the Son.” God the Father is not the one who does the judging but God the Son. So when it says God is judge it tells us which member of the Godhead has had judgement committed to them. Who is it? Jesus is the, He’s God, no question about it, but He is the one who will judge. Romans 14:10 & 11, “For we will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ for it is written, ‘as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me and every tongue will confess to God.’” And we confess to Him as well. Notice that? We are bowing before the judgement seat of Christ and confessing to God. It’s calling Jesus, the one on the throne, who is the judge… You don’t sit before the judge and then confess to a different entity. It’s to the judge that you make the confession and here it calls Him the judge and it calls Him God. Amen? And I’ll probably need to wrap up with this thought today. The Bible tells us that God is omnipresent. Now Jesus, when He was on earth, laid aside a dimension of His omnipresentness. I don’t know any other way to say it.

He was confined within a human body. And even this is why Jesus said, “It is expedient that I go that the Holy Spirit might come. I can be with you but He can be in you.” And then as Christ went and the Holy Spirit came Christ is in us through God the Spirit. Notice here Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always even to the end of the age.” Now some are going to say, “Well, God is only with them. Jesus is not with them in person, but only through the Holy Spirit.” That’s not entirely true. Let me show you a scripture. Acts 23:11. You might even look at this with your own eyes. Paul is getting ready to go preach somewhere and he’s expecting some persecution. “The following night the Lord stood by him.” Is that the Spirit or was that Jesus standing by him? Did Jesus physically appear to Paul at another time? And so Christ can be anywhere He wants to be. “The Lord stood by him and said, be of good cheer, Paul. As you have testified for me in Jerusalem so you must also bear witness at Rome.” Ephesians 4:6, “There is one God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in you all.” One Lord, one Spirit and that’s telling us about the three. Christ says, “Abide in me and I will abide in you. I am with you wherever you go.”

Now I agree even after studying this with you I’m finishing where I started. There are things about God that we can’t comprehend. It’s just so vast. I like to refer back to this experience that Augustine had when he was trying to understand the magnificence of the Godhead, these three entities, of God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit and how they are One and yet distinct. And he’s walking along the beach thinking about the vastness of God and trying to comprehend these cosmic thoughts and he was interrupted in his thoughts because as he was walking he saw there was a little toddler playing on the beach. About a three or four year old child that was running down to the ocean, scooping a little bit of the seawater in a shell and then he was running up on the beach and then he would carefully pour it down a crab hole. Then he would go back and he would scoop it. And while Augustine was thinking about God he was watching this child and he had to stop thinking about God and just admire the persistence of this child who kept going back and forth scooping up the seawater dumping it in the sea hole back again more. Finally he said, “Child! What are you doing?” And he said, “Oh, mister, I’m going to put all that water out there in this hole.”

You’ve probably heard that but it’s a fitting illustration of what we’re trying to do when we try to fit the vastness of who God is in our puny brains. We can’t completely comprehend this, but there are some things that we should comprehend. That God is composed of three persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit in the names of which we are to baptize. These three are one. They are perfectly united in their work. They have different offices in the work of salvation just as there are different phases of justification, sanctification, and glorification. But they are all united. Just as the sanctuary is one thing, just as the church is one body, God is one. And He wants you to know Him and to trust Him and to worship Him. If you don’t know who He is, if you don’t have a basic concept of who God is you can’t really give Him the worship that is due His name.

The angels say Holy for the Father Holy for the Son and Holy for the Spirit. This is a God that we can know and a God that we will spend eternity getting to know better.

Father in Heaven, we thank you for meeting with us. We thank you for the evidence that we see in your word that helps to clarify this mystery of your person. We ask, Lord, that you will give us wisdom as we continue to delve into these sacred mysteries of how one could be three. And Lord, I pray that you will help us to also know you better, to remember that you are with us always and that all of us will someday stand before you and see you face to face. Please be with us as we go from this place we ask in Jesus name. Amen.

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