Nature of God

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Jesus is deity but not part of a Trinity:

Jesus upholds the Shema - the Heavenly Father is the one true God and Jesus is His son

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

The Shema is the Jewish confession of faith that is comprised of three sets of verses (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21; Numbers 15:37-41) which tells us that God is one God, we are to love Him with every fiber of our being and His people must be holy and keep His commandments.

 

The Shema is summarized and most well-known by the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-5. Indeed, the Shema gets its name from the very first word in verse four. The proclamation to the people to “Hear” is the Hebrew word “shema”.

 

Deuteronomy 6:

4 "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!

5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  

(NASB)

 


It must be noted that whenever we see the LORD (in capital letters), it represents the name of God, YHWH which is called the Tetragrammaton.  It represents the 4 Hebrew letters ‘yod’, ‘hey’, ‘waw’, ‘hey’ which is read and written right to left as:  יחוח

 

The LORD is in most Bibles and appears almost 7000 times.  Some Bibles translate it as Yahweh or Jehovah.  While Jehovah is not correct (there is no’J’ sound in Hebrew), Yahweh (yah-way) is also questionable and there are many different views on how YHWH should be pronounced. 

 

Since we want to be as accurate as possible in pronouncing the name of God, we advocate using God’s short-form emphatic name Yah (YH) which appears almost 50 times not including in person and place names.  The name Yah is undeniably His name and is agreed by all to be correct without any issues on how to pronounce.  For example, whenever we say “hallelujah”, we are in fact really using God’s name Yah and are saying: “everyone praise Yah”.

 

Therefore, when we see God say “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” the Shema is not merely saying that God is one, but it says that God is a person and this person is YHWH, and YHWH is one YHWH:   “Hear, O Israel! YHWH is our God, YHWH is one!”

 

The King James is translated as follows, making it again clear there is only one God person and His name is YHWH:   “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD” which means “YHWH our God is one YHWH” (Deuteronomy 6:4).


Since God’s word says that YHWH is God and He is already one person, how does a Trinity doctrine make the one person YHWH into three different persons in a godhead?

It is quite evident that Judaism is monotheistic and with good reason: God says so. However, Christianity claims to also be monotheistic even though it teaches a three-person godhead. It says that “one” means a composite unity.

 

What does the New Testament have to say about the Shema? Does it teach it? Yes.

 

Does it elaborate upon it by explaining that one God is somehow in three persons? No.

 

In Mark 12, the Lord Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment. How did He reply? He replied by confirming that God is one God and that it is required to know this in order to love God with every part of our being. The Lord Jesus responded by saying the Shema is the greatest commandment:

 

Mark 12:

28   One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him,

     "What commandment is the foremost of all?"

29   Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord;

30   and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'

31   "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

32   The scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him;

33   and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength,

     and to love one's neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

34   When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."

     After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.    

     (NASB)

 

 

This is the perfect opportunity for the Lord Jesus to explain how God being one God is actually one God in three persons. However, He did not explain to either His disciples or the populace that one God exists as three persons or 3 in 1 or 1 in 3. He never mentions anything about a Trinity doctrine.

 

Please note that when the scribe who asked the Lord the question reconfirmed what Jesus said about God being one (in verse 32), the Lord called the scribe intelligent – which is a double confirmation that God is one God with absolutely no mention of anything resembling a Trinity nature of God.

 

When the Lord Jesus confirms what the scribe said in verse 32 is true, it means that the Lord agreed that God “is one, and there is no one else besides him”. This means that the Lord is including Himself as being one who is external to God and is a part of “no one else besides him”; the Lord is saying He agrees He is not that one God.

 

However, according to a Trinity doctrine, the Lord Jesus is one of three persons in that one God, so He could not be exempting himself. This would be the ideal time for the Lord to explain what the Trinity is and what the Shema really means if somehow God being one God did include Jesus in a Trinitarian formula. The Lord has to explain to everyone, including His disciples, how He is one person in the tri-une godhead and “there is no one else besides him” does not apply to him since He is one of three persons in that one God. However, the Lord Jesus does not do this. Instead, He agrees there is no one else besides God and therefore contradicts a Trinity doctrine.

 

It should be noted that the Lord Jesus had many opportunities in His 3.5 years of ministry to explain to His disciples and the people what God being one God means if it truly meant a Trinitarian definition of one.  

 

He could also use these times to at least call Himself God and explain what that might mean, but He never even does this. Why would the Lord not call Himself God and explain that God is a Trinity and He is God by being one of these three persons in this Trinity?

 

Here is such an example:

 

Matthew 16:

5     He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

16   Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

17   And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you,

     but My Father who is in heaven.

18   "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

19   "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven,

      and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."

20   Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.    

     (NASB)

 

 

The foundational truth expressed here for which Peter is commended is that there is a God and the Lord is the son of God and is the Messiah (Christ). There is no mention of a Trinity or the holy spirit at all. This is a private and perfect time to teach the apostles about a Trinity nature of God, but the Lord does not do this.

 

What we find is instead of calling Himself God, He consistently calls Himself the Son of God. The Lord Jesus always called Himself the Son of God and never God or God the Son. Again, if a Trinitarian doctrine is true, why does He never explain to everyone this nature of the godhead? He could easily call Himself God or God the Son, and then proceed to explain how He is also God as a 2nd person in a Trinity. Why does He not explain what the Great Shema, that YHWH is one YHWH, really means if it really means 1 is 3 or 3 in 1?  

 

Instead, all the while He upholds that YHWH is one, never telling us that one means three, and always calls Himself the Son of God and not God or God the Son or one of three in a Trinity. The simple reason for this is because a Trinity godhead is not true and His being God is by virtue of being the only-begotten (the only-born child) of God. The Bible says He is God - deity, because He is the Word of God and the Son of God, not God the Son. The Lord Jesus Himself makes the distinction so we know that God is a title that is most true when it is reserved for His father alone. This is why He says the following:

 

John 17:

3     "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.   (NASB)

 

 

Note that in saying the Father is the one true God, the Lord naturally exempts himself from being that one true God so again a Trinity is shown false since it claims God is 3 equal persons. Calling another the true God automatically means you are not that true God and are not the equal of that true God.

 

Who could the Lord Jesus be referring to? It is the same one God of the Great Shema. The “only true God” of John 17:3 is the same one God in Mark 12:28-34 whom the Lord agrees “there is no one else besides him”. This true God is His father. One verse supports the other; the Lord exempts Himself as being this one true God.

 

 

The Lord Jesus mentions the Shema in other places as well where He specifically states that there is only one true God and He is not that same God:

 

John 5:

44   How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?     (NKJV)

 

Comment: He is not referring to Himself as God, but to His father; remember, He seeks not His glory, but God seeks glory (John 8:50).

 

 

That Jesus is not the one true God, but it is His father, can be seen in all salutations/introductions and references to both in the New Testament; our Heavenly Father is always called God and His son is always called Lord. Also, many times, God is called the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. Please see articles: Paul's greetings in his epistles disprove a Trinity and Who is equal to his God - Jesus says His father is His God.   In these instances, the Bible again is upholding the Shema that there is only one person who is God – the Lord Jesus’ father, and there are not three persons in one God.

 

 

The apostles also support the words of the Lord regarding God being one again a clear delineation is made between the one God and His son Jesus:

 

1 Corinthians 8:

6     yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ,

     by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.   (NASB)

 

Comment: There are 2 distinct persons and the father is called God and Jesus is called Lord. Even though it acknowledges that the Lord Jesus created all things (“by whom are all things”), a Trinity doctrine is not explained, but only His father is called God, which upholds the Shema and the Trinity doctrine as being false.

 

 

2 Corinthians 11:

31   The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.   (NKJV)

 

Comment: The Lord Jesus’ father is also His God which upholds the Shema and the Lord’s words in John 17:3 that there is only one true God.

 

 

1 Timothy 2:

5   For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;   (KJV)

 

Comment: All Christians know that the one God is the Lord Jesus’ father and He is the mediator between His father and us.  

 

 

Everything about Jesus including His own words reveals that His Father is greater than He is and the Father is the one true God, and there is no mystery of 3 being 1 and 1 in 3.  If the Shema that YHWH is one YHWH meant a Trinity doctrine, than we would be told so many times in the Bible. Instead, what we find is that it is not explained at all, but the Bible consistently declares the Shema is true: God is 1 person – the father and God of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

A Trinity doctrine is something that would require multiple upon multiple declarations and explanations. The Lord Jesus did a great many things in His years of ministry:

 

John 21:

25   And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one,

     I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.   (NKJV)

 

But one thing He did not do was declare and explain there was a triune God of which He was supposedly just one of three persons. This either means a triune godhead is not important at all or it is a false doctrine.

 

 

The Trinity does not exist.