Perhaps the greatest challenge in dealing with the Muslim faith for Christians is the attack that we are polytheists (many gods). We deal with a very complex God that in many ways is beyond our understanding. But we are blessed; God has chosen to reveal Himself to us in our own language. Perhaps the central scripture that defines God for us is Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
The Hebrew word translated “ONE” in verse four is a composite word meaning a unit composed of several parts. For example, the word ‘car’ is a composite word indicating one car that is made up of a lot of pieces. Let’s let God explain this in His Bible.
God is speaking on the sixth day of cosmos creation: Genesis 1:26, Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Note here in verse 26 that the Triune God, speaking to each other, said, ‘LET US CREATE MAN IN OUR IMAGE.’
Jesus, who the prophets named ‘Emmanuel’, meaning ‘God with us,’ taught us to pray to God as “Our Father which art in heaven.” Jesus explained the Father who is in heaven a little better to the woman at the well in John 4:21, Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Note here in verse 24, Jesus describes God the Father as a SPIRIT.
GOD the Spirit Father has always been in communication and of one mind with Emmanuel. Go back in time to Nimrod and the tower of Babel.
Genesis 11:5, But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world.
Note here in verse seven, after observing the construction God said, “Let us go down and confuse their language…”
For our New Testament times I will let Jesus introduce the Holy Spirit.
John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave not you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 before long, the world will see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
Jesus is the member of the Triune God that took on physical manifestations to communicate with mankind. As he was getting ready to return to sit at the right hand of Father GOD, He promises the personal coming of another that will be a Comforter, the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit was the one promised as the personal God for each Christian to received at Baptism (Acts 2:38).
Exodus 3:1, Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” … 14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
15God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.
I want you to note in verse 2, the ‘Angel of the Lord’ is the one that appears in the burning bush, often times in the Old Testament. Emmanuel appears as a messenger of the Lord, translated as angel. This has led to a false theology that Jesus was an angel, a created being, created by Jesus himself as recorded in Colossians 1:15ff. Jesus is an eternal being, never created; He often has the title ‘Messenger of the LORD.’
Then the angel of the Lord said, “God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM—I AM HAS SENT YOU… THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISSAC, AND JACOB HAS SENT YOU…”
In the mind of God the three are one. Listen to Jesus on the subject.
John 14:1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
Jesus makes it plain that he and the Father are one, and he and the Holy Spirit are one, i.e., Holy Spirit and God are one.
John 15:12, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
Again, the Holy Spirit will work in harmony with the Father and the Son.
We live in a very complex and tremendously large universe. God designed and created it. God sustains it and directs it all— 50,000,000 light years in every direction and in a hands-on relationship with nearly 8 billion people just on our small blue dot. It takes a complex God to be in total control.
Hebrews 1:1, In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
As we are told in John 1:1-14, Jesus is the creator of all things and also the sustainer of the entire universe.
God is everywhere all the time; he is all-powerful and He is all-knowing. Now let’s put together what we have learned.
The one we call Father God is a spirit and lives in what the Bible calls The Third Heaven or Paradise. He is the one to whom we pray. He is all-knowing, all-powerful; He is every where present in all times, past, present and future. Thus he knows what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. He is eternal, not a created being, and will live eternally into the future. Jesus came to example God the Father to us; so, to know God personally requires knowing Jesus personally. The second best place to get to know God is in the book of Job.
Emmanuel speaks to Job for God. In Chapters 38-41, The Lord poses 64 questions to help you understand who he is. God reveals he is interested in his total kingdom. He is concerned about the animal kingdom and provides their provision year around. He sits on the mountainside and counts birth pains with a doe. He has orderly prepared for all creation with warehouses for snow, rain and hail. He is a very personal God who is thrilled when His children call him Daddy.
He is a God that really loves his children. He desires good for his children and sees to their needs. He is literally involved in each childbirth (Psalms 139). He commands million times a million of messengers—angels, a servant class to be everything from guardians, to warriors, messengers, and death escorts to aid God’s children. He is a most benevolent God toward His family.
Emmanuel, God with us, is the representation of God in person to all mankind. Today he is sitting at the right hand of Father God (Acts 2, Acts 7:56). Whenever God needed to show up in person, Emmanuel shows up in some physical being: angel, burning bush, whirlwind, the incarnation as Jesus.
Emmanuel is the creator agent for God; all things were created by him. He is our savior; it is by his blood we are cleansed. He is The Rose of Sharon and The Alpha and Omega. Jesus is eternal and will be on the throne of David in the millennium. He will rule the world.
The Holy Spirit is our personal comforter and of the same substance as Jesus. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was a charismatic gift that came and went. Since Acts 2, the Holy Spirit is given at baptism to all believers (Acts 2:38). He is to be our lawyer and comforter. He leads us in all truth, convicts us of sin, and is the 24-hour presence of God with us. We are the Temple of God, the dwelling place of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (John 14:23, I Corinthians 6:19).
When this life journey reaches the City Four Square with streets of gold, we will be dwelling with God the Father in person. There will be no temple there, for God and the Lamb will share the throne. The language of Revelation 21 and 22 could present God as one, The Lamb providing the light, jointly sharing the throne in the New Jerusalem. We will all be together to do the work of the Lord, FOREVER.
A thousand years before Mary birthed Jesus in Bethlehem, David in the pastures near Bethlehem wrote by inspiration of God the 16th Psalm that describes all this. In this Psalm David uses all the Hebrew names that describe Father God—and Emmanuel. This is hard to see in the English since we have just one word for God. When you see Lord in the Old Testament it is referring to Emmanuel/Jesus. I am closing this chapter with a portion of King David’s Psalm 16 (NKJV).
1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
2 O my soul, you have said to the LORD,
“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
3 As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”
4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;…
5 O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
7 I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the LORD always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.