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04 Who is God?

The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost (Red letters do not record) God in the Bible Where does God reveal Himself to man? What does the Bible say? Is God Jehovah only? Is Christ only the Son of God? Is Jesus God or is He not ? Is the Holy Ghost an impersonal force? God reveals Himself by three means: the Bible, Jesus, and Nature. God reveals Himself in nature, through the things he created; all of nature, its phenomena and perfection, speak of a Creator. To see how God reveals Himself in the Bible, we will consider that the subjects covered in this seminar will answer that question, especially the topic "The Bible - Interesting secrets". In our search for knowledge of God, we must submit ourselves to the authority of His Selfrevelation: The Bible. Inasmuch as the Bible interprets itself, we should submit ourselves to the principles and methods that it provides. Without these biblical indicators, we cannot know God. (*1) The Bible: (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) The Bible is unified in defining the oneness of God; in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 4:35 reads, Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him, as well as in the New Testament: Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord a passage which Jesus has taken from Deuteronomy 6:4. The apostles also had it clear: 1 Corinthians 8:4 reads, 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. Isaiah 45:22 declares: Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. There is none else! So, does the Bible teach the existence of 3 that are 1 if there is but one God? This monotheistic emphasis does not contradict the Christian concept of the threesome God or Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; instead, it affirms that a pantheon of diverse divinities does not exist. (*2) The Bible is also unified in defining the plurality inside the Deity: on repeated occasions, plurals are used such as: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness Gene 1:26. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us... Gene 3:22. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one... 7Go to, let us go down, and there confound... Gene 11:6,7. In different references, a distinction is made between God and his Spirit. In the story of creation, Gen. 1:2 says: And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Some texts refer not only to the Spirit, but include a third Person in the work of redemption that God carries out: and now the Lord GOD (the Father speaking), and his Spirit (the Holy Ghost), has sent me (the Son speaking) Isaiah 48:16. Behold my servant (the Father speaking). I have put my Spirit (the Holy Ghost) upon him (the Son): he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles Isaiah 42:1 (*3) How does the Bible present the Father? God the Father In diametric contradiction to any other religion, God presents Himself as a Father, in the entire good sense of the word, an attentive Father concerned about the situation of mankind, desiring to alleviate his pains, to participate actively so that justice triumphs and mercy is exercised among His creatures. He seeks to establish lasting relationships with people like Noah: And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; Gen. 9:9; and Abraham: Gen. 13:14-15 And the LORD said unto Abram... Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. These pacts reveal a loving and personal God. God told Noah that there would be regular seasons (Gen. 8:22) He also said that the great flood would never occur again (Gen. 9:11). He promised Abraham numerous descendants (Gene 15:5-7) and promised him a land where he could dwell Gen.15:18.

In Exodus, God miraculously guided a nation of slaves to their freedom. This act of redemption serves as the backdrop of all the Old Testament and provides an example of God's yearning to be our Redeemer (*4). He guides and establishes a nation in a land previously promised and begins to identify Himself as a Father: Like a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him. (Psalms 103:13-14), a Mother: Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. (Isa 49:15). And a Husband: For thy Maker is your husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isa 54:5-7). But now, O LORD, thou art our father... says Isaiah (64:8), and through Malachi, God affirms his paternity: A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear? Said the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. Malachi 1:6 And the clearest example of all: the parable of the Prodigal Son, of Luke 15:11. A parable is a long simile, whose comparison or likeness is affirmed or implied. This is where Jesus illustrates the love of the Father, toward the sinner. It can truly be said that the Bible identifies God as a Father. How does the Bible present the Son? God the Son The words Son of God appear 46 times in the Bible, a messianic title applied to Jesus which emphasizes His deity; comparable to "Son of man" (89 times in the Bible) which emphasizes His humanity. Additional aspects to the meaning of the phrase "Son of God" are registered in Colossians 1:15: Jesus Who is the image of the invisible God"; Hebrews 1:3 "the express image of his person" and Philippians 2:6 prior to his incarnation, Christ was "in the form of God" and "equal to God"; all these expressions affirm the absolute and unqualified deity of Jesus. Another related mention is found in the announcement made by Gabriel the angel to the virgin Mary: by virtue of the power of the Holy Ghost overwhelming her, her Son would be called "the Son of God", Luke. 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Here the angel clearly attributes the title of "Son of God" to Deitys only link with humanity, the Incarnation of our Lord. (*5). Jesus Christ in his incarnation on Earth was God and was man. Nevertheless, this concept of God-Man has led many believers to become polarized as to the essence of Jesus and not to identify Him as God the Son. In spite of the abundant textual evidence that Jesus is God, religious factions have risen denying the absolute divinity of Jesus, separating Jesus from the Deity or declaring Him alone as God, without the Father or the Holy Ghost. So then, Is Jesus God or Is He not? One of the names of Jesus was Emmanuel, or God with us Mat 1:23. This appellation reflected his human-divine nature and illustrated the identification of God with humanity (*6). In Jesus, the three exclusive attributes of Divinity exist: Omnipotent: Omniscient: Omnipresent: All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Mt 28:18. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:3 ...to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Col 2:2,3. ...and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Mt 18:20.

If Jesus were not God, why were these passages given, and what would they mean? Isaiah 40:3 3The 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. Other passages given are, Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:13; Luke 3:1-6 and finally John 1:19-23, which applies to John the Baptist, who prepared the way of the Lord Jesus, our God.

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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 Those who teach others that Jesus is not God, even using the Bible itself, will have serious problems with these and other passages. The Bible will be of no use to them. One cannot teach with one part of the Bible and ignore the other part. One must utilize, study, and teach the whole Bible. God the Holy Ghost The Bible reveals that the Holy Ghost is God and is a person, and not an impersonal force. Statements like this, in Acts 15:28 "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us...", reveal that the first believers considered Him as a person. Christ also referred to the Holy Ghost as a distinct person: John 16:14 "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you". The Scriptures, when referring to the triune God, describe the Spirit as a person. Mat. 28:19, 2 Cor.13:14 (*7) The Holy Ghost has a personality. It grieves! Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. It strives! Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, It teaches! Luke 12:12; It convinces! John16:8; It directs matters of the Church! Acts, 13:2; It assists and intercedes! Romans 8:26,. It inspires! II Peter 1:21 And It sanctifies! I Peter 1:2. These activities cannot be carried out by a mere power, an influence or an attribute of God. Only a person can carry them out! The Holy Ghost is truly God. The scriptures introduce the Holy Ghost as God. Peter told Ananias that he had lied to the Holy Ghost: Acts 5:3,4. "thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." Jesus described the unpardonable sin as; "blasphemy against the Spirit" in Mat 12:31,32 by saying: "And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come".. This would only be true if the Holy Ghost were God. The Scriptures associate divine attributes with the Holy Ghost; Paul called it, Spirit of life" in Romans 8:2. Christ called it the truth "Spirit of truth in John 16:13 The expressions, "The love of the Spirit in Romans 15:30 and "Holy Spirit of God" in Ephesians 4:30 reveal that love and holiness are part of Its Nature (God is Love). Furthermore He has the same attributes exclusive to God: Omnipotent: Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Zechariah. 4:6 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Corinthians 12:11 even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.. 1 Corinthians. 2:11 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? Psalm 139:7,8

Omniscient: Omnipresent:

Since the Old Testament, the Spirit of God or Holy Ghost has participated with the Father and the Son. Genesis 41:38, And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? The same Spirit was in Balaam Numbers 24:2; He was in Saul when he still pleased God 1 Samuel 10:10; In Azariah 2 Chronicles 15:1; In Zechariah, 2 Chronicles 24:20; Ezekiel Ezekiel 11:24; And He was in David himself, Acts 1:16. It moved upon the face of the waters in the creation: Genesis 1:2, Here the Hebrew uses the word Elohiym, the plural name for God. Three Entities which, as we mentioned at the beginning, are not a pantheon of gods, but rather 3 Beings, the One True God. The Trinity, a word that does not occur in the Bible, but whose evidence is axiomatic.

Conclusion Now let us look at the participation of the 3, or the one and only God, in the story of the redemption of man, from Genesis to Revelation. Summary: The use of plural form: Let us make, as one of us, let us go down; the identification and similitude of each of the individualities of God throughout all of the Bible, and the groupings of the three persons as in Genesis 18:1, where the LORD went to visit Abraham in the heat of the day, and in verses 20 to 22, when the LORD says that He is going to visit Sodom and Gomorrah; the Scriptures register a very interesting plurality: And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. 22And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. The Lord told him that he was going to visit and 2 men went, and a third stayed with Abraham, who stood yet before the Lord! In Isaiah 44:6 and 48:12, Yahweh or the LORD, uses a very particular phrase to identify Himself: 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., a phrase God uses again, but this time it is the Son in Revelations 1:17, ...And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last Isaiah 45:22 says: Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. The LORD has called Himself Redeemer of Israel Isaiah 43:14. John the Baptist prepared the way of the LORD and straightened his paths to have a town ready to receive its Redeemer and Savior, and just at the moment of the inauguration of His work of Salvation, which had been announced and promised for so long, the following took place Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Here, three beings of the Deity, the same three in whom God the Son commissioned his disciples to baptize: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost Matthew 28:19. "Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. " Isaiah 40:10 "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" Revelations 22:12-13. God is not nature, nor a river, or a tree; neither is He inside of us as the new era teaches. God is not only Jesus, nor only the Father. God is not a material object. God is as He reveals Himself in the Bible. Bibliographical references: *1 - Beliefs of the Seventh Day Adventists (BSDA) (A Biblical Exposition of the 27 Fundamental Doctrines) Publisher Association Inter-American, Choir Gabbles, Florida, United States, 1988. Chap 2, Page 24. *2 - Ibid. Chap. 2, Page 29. *3 - Ibid. Chap. 2, Page. 30. *4 - Ibid. Chap. 3, Pages 36 and 37. *5 - APIA. CD-ROM Electronic Library of Hope. (CD-ROM BEFE) Folio VIP Electronic Publishing. Folio Corp. 1992-1993. Adventist Biblical Dictionary (ABD). God Son definition. *6 - BSDA. Chap. 4, Page 49. *7- Ibid. Chap. 5, Pages 69 and 70. Biblical passages taken from the King James Version. David Obando Cano Project CD-ROM The Greatest Biblical Lessons

IASD Inter-American Division 2006