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The Oneness of God 01-01-2023

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Opening thought
Was God lonely?
Is that why he created us?

Oneness of God in the Old Testament

In my reading this fall,
I ran across a discussion of Old Testament truth that
God is One
verse the New testament idea of the Trinity.
I thought I would start today
1st day of the year
1st week of the year
1st month of the year
with a discussion of the Oneness of God
especially looking at Deut 6:4
Deuteronomy 6:4 NIV
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Amid all the pantheism (many Gods) of the Old Testament world
Canaanites, Philistines, Phoenicians, Edomites, Moabites, Ammorites, Arameans, Egyptians and so on,
where they had a collections of Gods to worship.
Israel was unique with the
One true God
and denouncing all the others as false God.
I looked at the Hebrew word for “One” used here in Deut 6:4
E-had
Which is mostly translated “One” but also first, list the firstborn son.
and in context
first as in highest
first as in a beginning
also single
same
In Exodus 18:3-4 we learn the names of Moses sons
Exodus 18:3–4 NIV
3 and her two sons. One son was named Gershom, for Moses said, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land”; 4 and the other was named Eliezer, for he said, “My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.”
A literal translation could be
One son was named Gershom .........and the one was named Eliezer
but "one brother and one brother” does not sound good in English so it’s translated the “other” the second time.
One interesting fact is that king David was something like the 8th son of Jessie.
But is Psalm 89 God will appoint King David as firstborn
Psalm 89:27 NIV
27 And I will appoint him to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
Clearly the psalm has some overlap with Jesus.
Are there any other uses of One in the bible?
One as a Unit
Shoulder Zeph 3.9
Zephaniah 3:9 NIV
9 “Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
that phrase serve him shoulder to shoulder.
Youngs literal translation is

serve Him with one shoulder.

Tabernacle Curtains Ex26.6
Exodus 26:6 NIV
6 Then make fifty gold clasps and use them to fasten the curtains together so that the tabernacle is a unit.

and the tabernacle hath been one.

Exodus 26:11 NIV
11 Then make fifty bronze clasps and put them in the loops to fasten the tent together as a unit.

and it hath been one.

Exodus 36:13 NIV
13 Then they made fifty gold clasps and used them to fasten the two sets of curtains together so that the tabernacle was a unit.
Nation judges 20.8 Ezek37.22
Ezekiel 37:22 NIV
22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.
Peaple as a unit
Genesis 34:16 NIV
16 Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We’ll settle among you and become one people with you.
Countries as a unit
In the pledge allegiance we say “one nation under God”
Families as a unit
One Flesh Gen 2.24
Genesis 2:24 NIV
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
This one association with a unit is what I am thinking about as we look back at
Deuteronomy 6:4 NIV
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Is there any reason to think One in this verse as meaning a unit?
The word Elohim,
translated “God”
is plural
So you could say, the Lord our Gods is one.
Not a great way to describe God in a world full of
pantheons of God, but it would leave room for the New Testament Trinity.
Christians have often pointed out the scriptures say
Genesis 1:26–27 NIV
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Christians will say, that’s the Trinity,
and Jewish folks may say, no, it’s the angels helping him.
Likewise with the Tower of babel
God took exception to man’s pride when they were building the Tower of Babel and He said
Genesis 11:7–8 NIV
7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
Who is the us, could it be the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?
There are some events in the Old Testament that theologians call Theophanies where the invisible God, makes an appearance.
Now why to I say the invisible God, well in New Testament teaching it says
1 Timothy 6:16 NIV
16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
and
John 1:18 NIV
18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
So, theophanies, appearances of God in the Old Testament, here are two great ones
Genesis 32:22–32 NIV
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” 31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.
What did Jacob say

I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

and another appearance of God in the invisible God in the Old Testament Genesis 18 which we will skim through.
Genesis 18:1–2 NIV
1 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
Genesis 18:9–10 NIV
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said. 10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
Genesis 18:13–15 NIV
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Genesis 18:17 NIV
17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?
lastly lets read Gen18.22-23
Genesis 18:22–23 NIV
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
Abraham works God down to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if 10 good people could be found there.
IF GOD THE FATHER IS SPIRIT, INVISIBLE, UNAPPROACHABLE, WHO DID THEY SEE AS GOD EXCEPT THE PRE-INCARNATE CHRIST?
Who did Jacob wrestle with?
Who did Abraham bargain with?
Then there is also the Holy Spirit spoken of in the Old Testament
The Spirit of God Gen1.2
Genesis 1:2 NIV
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Judges 6:34 NIV
34 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him.
The Holy Spirit made other appearances in the Old Testament.
1 Samual 10 Saul was given quite a complicated list of events, of people and places including prophets and Saul prophesying because the Spirit of God would strongly come upon him, and he would be changed.

The Trinity in the New Testament

5 quick points

1 Jesus Baptism Matt 3.16-17 father, HS present

Matthew 3:16–17 NIV
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Wow, we had Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father Speaking.

2 Baptism in the name of

Matthew 28:18–19 NIV
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

3 Apostilic Benedition

2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

4 Jesus sending the comforter John14.16

John 14:16 NIV
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—
Jesus accepts Worship from doubting Thomas as Lord

5 God verses

God the Father
Romans 1:7 NIV
7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
God the Son
Heb 1.8
Hebrews 1:8 NIV
8 But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
God the Holy Spirit
Act 5.3-4
Acts 5:3–4 NIV
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
They lied to the Holy Spirit, the is they lied to God!
And about the Holy Spirit scriptures also say that He can be:
Grieved
Ephesians 4:30 NIV
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
He speaks Act 13.2
Acts 13:2 NIV
2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
He can be lied to Act 5.3-4
Acts 5:3–4 NIV
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
He is God also in Acts 5:3-4

Jesus inferior to God

So say Jesus can’t be God because he is inferior to the Father
You could ask them
are you inferior to the Commander in Chief of the Army?
In what way are you inferior?
in authority
In position/role
In what way are you equal to the Commander in Chief?
We are both human beings made in God’s image.

Jesus role

Jesus role is inferior or
subordinate to the Father
Jesus nature is not
Philippians 2:6–11 NIV
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Illus
Wright Brothers Manufacturing was mainly the work of 3 brothers
and the people they hired.
1 brother was the promoter, the salesman
2 bother was the inventor, the engineer
3 brother (my dad) was the get it done and done right guy.
Their positions said who did what but
But outside of work, the brothers were equal.

Test time

I am going to read you a verse and you are going to answer who is the First and the Last
Isa44.6 God
Isaiah 44:6 NIV
6 “This is what the Lord says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.
Who is the first and the Last
The Lord
Rev1.17-18 Jesus
Revelation 1:17–18 NIV
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Who is the first and the last, that was dead and now is alive?
Jesus Christ.
They can’t both be God, unless Deuteronemy 6:4 should be considered a unit like
a husband and wife becoming one flesh.
Dr. Pat Zukeran says this
The doctrine of the Trinity is the belief that there is one God
who has revealed Himself in three persons,
the Father,
the Son, and
the Holy Spirit.
These three persons make up the one true God.
These three persons are of the same substance, equal in power and glory.
It is important we understand this doctrine because the wrong Jesus or
the wrong God cannot save us from eternal death.
Paul makes a clear warning of this in 2 Corinthians 11:4
2 Corinthians 11:4 NIV
4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
That was part of a warning not to be gullible.
Wrap up
God was not lonely
living in heaven, all by Himself because
He has always been in unity with
the Son and
the Holy Spirit.
The trinity does not violate the Oneness of God expressed in the Old Testament
Those that would convince you it does, sometimes use their own
and might I say UNIQUE
translation of the Bible that do not agree with any of the other bibles
in a few key verse.
How does this discussion of the Trinity of God help us?
It gives us another link in our armor against false teachers that would lead us astray.
It gives us the example of perfect unity,
which we all needs in our families,
in our church and
in our community.
all people having equal value
but diverse roles.
Let me pray for your Oneness this new year.
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