Is there only one God?
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is claimed that our Lord Jesus is spoken of as God, and that
there is but one God, and that hence God the Father and God
the Son must be two names for the one person. Let us examine
this question in the light of the divine Word, taking nothing
for granted, but proving every step of our way. We labor under
the disadvantage that almost all translators of the Old Testament
have not been exact or uniform in their translations of the
several appellatives to deity. For instance:
of Deity in the Old Testament
(1) The name Jehovah is properly rendered only four times, where
it seemed impossible to do otherwise (Exod. 6:3; Psa. 83:18;
Isa. 12:2; 26:4); it is rendered God 298 times, and Lord over
(2) The title Adonai, generally properly rendered Lord, is once
(3) The title Adon is rendered Sir, Master, Lord.
(4) The word elohim, with its modifications eloah, elah and
el, occurs over 2,500 times. These most frequently refer to
Jehovah; but in many instances with evident propriety are applied
to others: hence the connections must determine who is referred
to. We will give Scripture illustrations which will make the
matter perfectly clear, and prove beyond a doubt that elohim
signifies mighty. It is properly applied to Jehovah, because
he is All-mighty, all-powerful. It is properly applied to any
angel, for they are mighty, powerful, and in their visits to
man recorded in the Old Testament they were specially mighty
because representatives of Jehovah, the All-mighty. Great, influential
men were also properly described as elohim--mighty. Like our
English word "sheep," elohim is used either in the
singular or plural as occasion may require.
These are facts, and our quotations from the Common Version
Bible will substantiate them thoroughly; and thus will demonstrate
the Scriptural propriety and consistency in referring to our
Lord Jesus Christ as God [elohim] and as Adon [Master, Lord]
and as Adonai [my Lord], and yet never as Jehovah.
[Mighty] Translated "Angels"
Psalm 8:5--"Thou [Jehovah, vs. 1] hast made him a little
lower than the angels [elohim], and hast crowned him with glory
That this is a proper rendering of elohim is proven by the fact
that the inspired Apostle translated it thus into the Greek,
angelos--when, referring to how our Lord humbled himself, he
says--"Thou madest him a little lower than angels."
[Mighty] Translated "Gods"
In referring to false gods of the heathen, the word elohim [mighty]
is used 196 times; and quite properly, too, for they were mighty
or influential to their devotees.
the [All-Mighty] Elohim Contrasted With Other Elohim [Mighty
Psalm 86:6-8--"Give ear O Jehovah unto my prayer.... Among
all the gods [elohim--mighty ones] there is none like unto thee."
Psalm 95:3--"Jehovah is a great God [el--mighty one] and
a great King above all gods [elohim--mighty ones]."
Psalm 50:1--"The mighty God [lit. God of gods--el elohim--
the mighty of the mighty], Jehovah, hath spoken."
Psalm 29:1--"Give unto Jehovah O ye mighty [el--gods],
ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength. Give unto Jehovah the
honor of his name; and worship Jehovah in the beauty of holiness."
Genesis 17:1--"Jehovah appeared to Abraham and said unto
him, I am the Almighty God [el]."
Exodus 15:11--"Who is like unto thee, O Jehovah, among
the gods [el--mighty ones]." See margin.
Genesis 14:22--"Abraham said, I have lifted up my hand
unto Jehovah, the most high God [el], possessor of heaven and
Psalm 96:4--"Jehovah is great, and greatly to be praised:
he is to be feared above all gods [elohim--mighty ones.]"
These instances suffice as samples: others may be found by those
who desire and seek them.
Applied to Men
In the aforementioned 196 translations of elohim by the word
gods, probably fully one-half refer to men--mighty ones--kings,
princes, nobles, etc., but now we notice a few instances in
which elohim is applied to the Lord's people.
Genesis 23:6--Abraham is styled elohim, the word being translated
mighty in our Common Version Bible. "Thou art a mighty
[elohim] prince among us."
Exodus 7:1--Moses is denominated the god [elohim] of Pharaoh.
"I have made thee a god [elohim] to Pharaoh."
Exodus 21:6--The judges [rulers, mighty ones] of Israel were
styled elohim. "His master shall bring him unto the judges
Exodus 22:8,10--"If the thief be not found, then the master
of the house shall be brought into the judges [elohim]. ...Both
parties shall come before the judges [elohim]; and whom the
judges [elohim] shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his
Exodus 22:28--"Thou shalt not revile the gods [elohim--
margin, judges]." Note the Apostle's sanction of this translation.
Saints Called Elohim
Psalm 82:6,7--"I have said, Ye are gods [elohim--mighty
ones], all of you sons of the highest, ye yet shall all die
like [other] men, falling like one of the princes [heads]."
The saints must all die, but like Christ Jesus their "head,"
sacrificially, and not as Adam for his own sin. This passage
was quoted by our Lord Jesus, and applied to those who received
the word of God at his lips--those having ears "to hear":
and it applies still to the same class."Beloved, now are
we the sons of God," reckonedly, hoping by divine grace
to "become partakers of the divine nature." John 10:34,35;
1 John 3:2; 2 Pet. 1:4
Rendered "Great," "Strong," Etc.
This word is sometimes rendered strong, power, great, etc.,
in connection with inanimate things; as "Great [elohim--
mighty] tremblings" (1 Sam. 14:15); "Great [elohim--
mighty] wrestlings" (Gen. 30:8); "Great [el--mighty]
mountains" (Psa. 36:6); "The strong [el] among the
mighty" (Ezek. 32:21); "It is in the power [el] of
my hand." Gen. 31:29
and "Lord" in the New Testament
In the New Testament the matter is simplified by the use of
fewer words; but it may be said that nothing whatever in the
words used distinguishes the Father from the Son in the words
rendered Lord and God. The matter is left entirely to the judgment
of the reader, and indicated only by the construction of the
sentence--except that where the word Theos is used twice in
the same clause the Greek Prepositive Article is sometimes used,
so as to give the effect of the God in contrast with a God.
An illustration of this is found in John 1:1-- "The Word
was with the God [ho theos] and the Word was a God [theos]."
But the careful student (freed from prejudice) will generally
have no difficulty in determining the thought of the Apostle.
Indeed, the language is so explicit that the wonder is that
we were heedless of it so long.
The word God in our New Testament, whether in referring to our
Heavenly Father or to his Heavenly Son, our Lord Jesus, or to
false gods, is almost invariably the translation of the Greek
word Theos. Exceptions are that the word kurios is once translated
God when it should have been rendered Lord or Master, namely
in Acts 19:20; and in Acts 17:18 daimonion is rendered gods,
and should be demons.
The title "Lord," whether applied to Jehovah, or Christ,
or man, or angels, is generally the translation of the Greek
word kurios signifying Master, or Lord. It is frequently translated
Sir and Master. Exceptions are that in five places Lord is the
translation of despotes, where it would better have been translated
Sovereign or Autocrat. The cases are:
(1) Luke 2:29--"Lord [despotes] now lettest thou thy servant
depart in peace."
(2) Acts 4:24--"Lord [despotes] thou art God which hast
made heaven and earth....The rulers were gathered together against
the Lord [kurios] and against his Christ. For of a truth against
thy holy Son Jesus, whom thou hast anointed,...were gathered."
(3) 2 Pet. 2:1--"Heresies, even denying the Lord [despotes]
that bought them."
(4) Jude 4--"Denying the only Lord [despotes] God, and
our Lord Jesus Christ."
(5) Rev. 6:10--"How long, O Lord [despotes], holy and true,
dost thou not judge and avenge our blood?"
Rabboni [master] is once rendered Lord. Mark 10:51
Kurieno [to be lords] is once rendered lords. 1 Tim. 6:15
about Jesus, Is he or is he not God?
Searching the Scriptures carefully to note just what they do
say, and what they do not say, respecting our Lord Jesus, we
find their testimony very explicit, harmonious and satisfactory.
We will first state, in synoptical form, what we find to be
the Scriptural teaching, the proofs of which we will give further
(1) Our Redeemer existed as a spirit being before he was made
flesh and dwelt amongst men.
(2) At that time, as well as subsequently, he was properly known
as "a god"--a mighty one. As chief of the angels and
next to the Father, he was known as the Archangel (highest angel
or messenger), whose name, Michael, signifies, "Who as
God," or God's representative.
(3) As he was the highest of all Jehovah's creation, so also
he was the first, the direct creation of God, the "Only
Begotten," and then he, as Jehovah's representative, and
in the exercise of Jehovah's power, and in his name, created
all things--angels, principalities and powers, as well as the
(4) When he was made flesh, to be our Redeemer, it was not of
compulsion, but a voluntary matter, the result of his complete
harmony with the Father, and his joyful acquiescence in carrying
out every feature of the divine will-- which he had learned
to respect and love, as the very essence of Justice, Wisdom
(5) This humiliation to man's condition was not intended to
be perpetual. It accomplished its purpose when our Lord had
given himself, a human being, as our ransom, or "corresponding
price." Hence, his resurrection was not in the flesh, but,
as the Apostle declares, "He was put to death in the flesh
but quickened in spirit." 1 Pet. 3:18
(6) His resurrection not only restored to him a spirit nature,
but in addition conferred upon him a still higher honor, and,
as the Father's reward for his faithfulness, made him partaker
of the divine nature--the very highest of the spirit natures,
possessed of immortality.
(7) It is this great One, who has been thus highly exalted and
honored by Jehovah, whom we delight to honor and to worship
and to serve, as one with the Heavenly Father, in word, in work,
in purpose and in spirit.
Let us now consider the Scriptural evidences substantiating
these positions. We begin with the first chapter of John's Gospel.
Here our Lord, in his prehuman existence, is referred to as
"The Word" (Greek, Logos). "In the beginning
was the Logos." Dr. Alexander Clarke says, concerning this
word Logos: "This term should be left untranslated for
the same reason that the names Jesus and Christ are left untranslated.
As every appellative of the Savior of the world was descriptive
of some excellencies in his person, nature, or work, so the
epithet, Logos, which signifies a word, a word spoken, speech,
eloquence, doctrine, reason, or the faculty of reason, is very
properly applied to him." The Evangelist, in his epistle,
uses the same title in respect to our Lord again, denominating
him "the Word of life," or the "Logos of life."
1 John 1:1
The title, "Word of God"--"Logos of God"--is
a very fitting one by which to describe the important work or
office of our Master, prior to his coming into the world. The
Logos was the heavenly Father's direct expression of creation,
while all subsequent expressions of divine wisdom, power and
goodness were made through the Logos. It is said that in olden
times certain kings made addresses to their subjects by proxy,
the king sitting behind a screen, while his "word"
or spokesman stood before the screen, and addressed the people
aloud on subjects whispered to him by the king, who was not
seen: and such a speaker was termed "The King's Logos."
Whether or not the legend be true, it well illustrates the use
of this word "Logos" in connection with the prehuman
existence of our Lord and Master and his very grand office as
the Father's representative, which the Scriptures, in this connection
and elsewhere, point out as having been his office.
Be it noted that the Apostle, writing under inspiration, tells
us that "The Logos was in the beginning with the God, and
the Logos was a God." This is the literal translation of
the Greek, as can be readily confirmed by any one, whether a
Greek scholar or not. The Greek article ho precedes the first
word "God," in this verse, and does not precede the
second word "God," thus intentionally indicating God
the Father and God the Son in a case where without the article
the reader would be left in confusion. Similarly the article
precedes the word "God" in the second verse. The entire
verse therefore reads--
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with [ho
theos] the God, and the Word was [theos] a God. The same was
in the beginning with [ho theos] the God." John 1:1
What "beginning" is here referred to? Surely not the
beginning of the existence of Jehovah, the God, the Father;
because he is "from everlasting to everlasting," and
never had a beginning. (Psa. 41:13; 90:2; 106:48) But Jehovah's
work had a beginning, and it is to this that reference is here
made--the beginning of creation. The statement, thus understood,
implies that our Lord Jesus, in his prehuman existence, as the
Logos, was with the Father in the very beginning of creation.
This confirms the inspired statement that the Logos himself
was "the beginning of the creation of God": this is
the precise statement of the Apostle, who assures us that our
Lord is not only "the Head of the body, the Church,"
and "the first-born from the dead," but also the beginning
of all creation--"that in all things he might have the
pre-eminence." His words are: "He is the image of
the invisible God--first born of all creation; because by him
were all things created, those in the heavens and those on the
earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or lordships,
or governments, or authorities: all things were created by him
and for him, and he precedes all things, and in him all things
have been permanently placed." (Col. 1:15-18) Hear also
the word of prophecy concerning the Only Begotten, not only
declaring his coming exaltation as King of earthly kings, but
describing him as already being Jehovah's first-born, saying,
"I will make him, my first-born, higher than the kings
of the earth." (Psa. 89:27) Note also that our Lord (referring
to his own origin), declares himself to be, "The faithful
and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God."
In harmony with this thought of our Lord's pre-eminence from
the very beginning, as the "first-born of every creature,"
and in harmony with the thought that he was the Logos or Expression
of the Heavenly Father, in respect to every matter, is the next
statement of the Evangelist's record, viz., "All things
through him came into existence; and without him came into existence
not even one thing which hath come into existence." (John
1:3, Rotherham's translation.) What a grand thought this gives
us respecting the majesty of the Only Begotten Son of God, the
Logos! From this standpoint of his original greatness and pre-eminence,
we have a clearer view than from any other of the import of
the Apostle's words, "He who was rich, for our sakes became
poor, that we through his poverty might become rich." (2
Cor. 8:9) From this standpoint we can see how rich he was in
the honor and glory of which he himself made mention in prayer,
saying, "Father, glorify me with thine own self, with the
glory which I had with thee before the world was." (John
17:5) Although everything connected with the divine plan of
redemption is wonderful, astounding in its manifestations of
divine love, mercy, sympathy for fallen men, yet, from this
standpoint of view, all is reasonable--consistent with the divine
character and statement.
Those who hold that our Lord Jesus never had an existence until
he was born a babe at Bethlehem have a very inferior view of
the divine plan for man's succor; and they are left without
a use for the many scriptures above cited, and others, relative
to our Lord's glory with the Father before the world was, relative
to his great stoop, in which he humbled himself to take a nature
a little lower than the angelic, leaving therefore a nature
that was above that of angels. And the Scriptural view relieves
us of all the unreasonable and fallacious theories of men, by
which, in attempting to honor the Son, they have gone beyond
the Word of God, and have dishonored the Word of the Lord and
the apostles, which declare him to have been the Son or offspring
of God, and that the Father is greater than the Son. The false
view has involved its millions of adherents in inextricable
difficulty in every direction.
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