Plurality of Divine Beings
Are there other things besides the Most High called God?
Should we join anything called God to our concept of God only because they are called God in some way?
Why does the bible say that Moses was a God to Aaron and Pharoah in Ex 7:1?
Was Moses a true or a false God?
Could Jesus be appointed as God to the creation just as Moses was named a God to Aaron the High Priest of Israel and The King of the Gentiles?
Would that make him an Agent of God or would that make him one with the Almighty? And what didi it make Moses?
Today we are going to be looking at a plurality of God or what is perceived as a plurality in God. So there are a few verses that are questionable as to what they mean by describing a plurality of divinities, for the Trinitarian, it means that God is a plurality of beings. And with this, the Trinitarian believes that it shows that their assumption about the doctrine of the Trinity is being vindicated by these verses. So we read other scripture that talks about their only being one God. And now we're going to look at verses that speak of a plurality of divinities.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So in this verse we see that God is using a plural pronoun for himself using the word us and our to describe a conversation by God and perceptibly with someone else. So to begin with we must assert that this verse does not describe God as a plurality within the unity of any kind. It does reveal plurality but no unity within that plurality so it can mean and should, to begin with be assumed to be two different beings having a conversation. So far this is the first chapter in the Bible, and nothing up to this point has described God as a plurality in unity, so that does not necessarily come from the text. So just judging on the merits of whether it represents the doctrine of the Trinity explicitly it does not. What we can gather is that two beings are in conversation one is said to be God, and they apparently share image and likeness. To make this sharing of image clearer, in the simplest of terms, I would describe this in the following analogy. If there were two scientists and one was the father of the other, and they said let us make a robot in our image and according to our likeness. We would not assume that the two scientists were one human with two heads because they said our image and our likeness. But we would naturally think that they were two separate beings until evidence presented itself to the contrary. So what we have is to beings that are in a conversation that shares likeness and share image. Now going back to the analogy of the scientists they are human are related to each other and may have some resemblance to each other because they are related. This would be a plausible answer as to why they would share image and likeness nothing in the text as of yet insists or infers that they are together one. Although the Trinitarian sees this and does not want to consider that because of a great need to find Scripture that supports the doctrine of the Trinity which is scarce. On the flipside for Arianism, this is God the father speaking to his son Jesus Christ that they should make man and that they should have a resemblance of themselves. Now in Arianism, we understand that no one can see God the Father because he is invisible there are many verses that talk about God being invisible. And according to Arianism God created son as his image to creation. In fact in Arianism we go so far as to say that God did not have an image before he created one in his son that is how invisible God is in Arianism. This is an important point because when they say let us make man in our image, the only image available is technically the image of the son, Who is the image of the invisible God according to Colossians 1:15. So when they both are commenting on making man in this image that image is Christ's. And this endeavor is not completed until man becomes one with Christ spirit and the body of Christ. We are one body in Christ, therefore, fulfilling the desire of them making us in the image of God who is Christ. So Arianism sees this as God and the son two separate beings in conversation about making man after the image of his Son who is the image of God.
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—
So the next verse we want to look at that Trinitarian's want to point to as affirming the multiplicity the plurality of God. Is Genesis chapter 3 verse 22 it once again says us in this verse, and therefore it is assumed by Trinitarian's that it is explaining the multiplicity of God the plurality of God in verse. But in the context of the verse nowhere in within this chapter is it alluded to that this is a plurality of beings in unity. All of that is being taken or assumed into the text it is not part of what's being said here. For anyone to say that it does is not being honest about the text. But we can see how the Trinitarian assumes that it is because there are verses that talk about there being only one God and then there is this conversation that uses “us” as though it were a plurality. It is a plurality of beings but nowhere are we to assume that they are conjoined or consubstantial. That is not part of the text. For Arianism, this is the Lord God is handling the predicament that they now have with Adam having sinned and the possibility of taking from the tree of life. One of the most interesting parts of this verse that lend itself towards Arianism is the comment "one of us." For the doctrine of the Trinity Jesus by himself cannot be one apart from the Father and the Spirit. The totality of who God is for Trinitarian is all three and as the saying goes all three are one. But in this verse, those who are in conversation say that each one is a whole numeric one. Because in the phrase “one of us” shows that each one is one individual who could be counted as one independent of the other. So essentially we have two in conversation, and each one can be one independent of the other. The doctrine of the Trinity will not allow for just Jesus alone to be God Almighty nor the father alone to be God Almighty nor the Holy Spirit alone to be God Almighty each one of them together must be a one. If each could be one independent of the other, then the argument that they are polytheists comes into reality. It would mean that they have multiple gods because Each one essentially can be one independent of the others.
This verse is supportive of Arianism because Arianism says that they are two independent beings. And that each one can be a numerical one independent of the other. But then we must answer the question what about the verses that say that there is only one God. To answer this question in Arianism, there is only one most high being, and that is God the Father. And so Arianism understands that other beings can be called God because of their role in representing God because they are an agent for God and because God has given them that anointing to be as God to others they can be called God but in a lesser sense. For Jesus, he is the only created God according to John chapter 1 verse 18 in the new American Standard version and others. So all of those verses that are explaining that there's only one God are saying that there is only one supreme being who is the original cause of all else. Because Jesus came into existence at the will of the father even Jesus is not at the level of the father even though he is called a God. So all of those verses that explain that there is only one God in Arianism it's understood that it's talking about this position of the sovereign, all-powerful being who has no authority above him and that's the reference that all of those verses are explaining. That there is no one created before or after the Uncreated one who is above all authority and is under no one. Jesus explicitly said that the father is greater than him which lends itself towards Arianism. So although Jesus is called God, he is not the highest God. So based on the evidence we see that these two verses in Genesis although they are assumed to be explaining the doctrine of the Trinity are being found to be affirming only two separate beings and never has it been indicated that they are joined as the doctrine of the Trinity explains.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
This verse again explains a plural pronoun it is being used by God. Like the other verses, nothing in the text or the context explains that these beings are a tri-unity order they are con substantially God. All that we can gather from this is that God and someone else is looking for someone to send on a mission. Because there is no verse or anything in the context that tells us that we must assume that they are Trinity or consubstantial or plurality in unity we cannot for any reason explain this to be a Trinitarian verse. We can because naturally when someone says us assume that it is at least two separate independent beings one of them being called the voice of the Lord which can also be interpreted as the word.
So looking at these verses we see there is a plurality in conversation but were not seeing a plurality or anything that is indicates to us that these are the same one God speaking that this is a plurality of unity in God there is no indication of that in the context at all so we must realize we do not have as of yet any verse that gives us the right call this a Trinitarian affirmation or evidence of trinitarianism.
I understand what the Trinitarian would want to weigh out verses that say that there is one God and then see a conversation that says plural pronouns could be taken as though it's talking about two persons who are God and because there's only one God they're both that one God. It's understandable how to see that by unfortunately nothing in the Bible at all gives us the right to assume that they are together one. Part of the reason is that we have lost the understanding that the Jews have had for centuries for thousands of years honestly about how beings who are agents and messengers and representatives of God were called God. We get an indication of that in Exodus 7:1 where Moses is referred to as a God to others. And so it's known in the Jewish community that someone can be appointed to a position called God and represent God for him. And because God himself set up Moses to do this it's not blasphemy is not sacrilegious to say that Moses was a God because God appointed him to that position and you and I would have to respect that because God himself had appointed that position. So Jews understood that it's possible and that it does happen that are representative of God what have so much authority to recall a God but not to the level of being God himself but being known as the representative of God. We lost that today because the doctrine of the Trinity virtually could not coexist with this Jewish understanding. Until we realize that it is okay to understand other beings being called God's because they are representatives and messengers of God and under his authority and may have been placed in a position called God we're not going to understand the Old Testament and why there is or seems to be a plurality in conversation. God is talking to his son at creation about creating Adam about sending Isaiah because God is in a relationship with his son but we have no reason to join them consubstantially together, so we must accept that they are one in purpose and not consubstantially one.
So, in conclusion, there are verses that say that there is only one God and there are verses that show a plurality of conversation of beings who are involved in the creation and in sending forth people for the purpose of God. The answer to this is not the doctrine of the Trinity because there are no verses that explain that God is a tri-unity. Trinitarian's want to believe that because they can show you that there is only one God and that there is a plurality it in a conversation that that means that what they're saying has been proven. And they assume that there is no other way of understanding that, so the conversation is closed. But what the Trinitarian does not realize is that the Jews read these verses before Christians did and they understood that the word of God was a being who was an agent or representative of God was not God himself but could be called God and was created as the first of God's creations. And that this first creation was the son of God that is a Jewish understanding of what was happening here. That is the same explanation that Arianism gives these verses. So the explanation is consistent from Judaism to Arianism on what's happening here the only difference is that we understand that the word of God became a man and his name was Jesus, and he died for our sins and saved us. Judaism did not have that understanding, but they knew that there was someone who was a representative of God who was assisting in the creation and assisting in representing God to the world. And so that is the understanding of the Jews before Jesus came at the time of Jesus and in Arianism today. Trinitarianism is not an answer for these verses.