When you pray, who do you pray to? God? Jesus? The Holy Spirit?
Let me begin by speaking historically… before God manifested in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16) as the man Jesus Christ, there were already established in pagan cultures the polytheistic worship of a trinity of gods. Let me state several and you can do your own research and verify the validity of these “trinity of gods”:
Before the birth of Christ:
After the birth of Christ:
Polytheism is the belief and worship of many gods. The “trinity” idea focuses that worship on three of those gods, either solely, or as pre-eminent gods amongst the many other gods. The idea of a “trinity” has so permeated our “religious thought” that we have come to accept its validity without researching its origins. This list above shows that a lie repeated often enough and long enough becomes tomorrow’s prevailing truth.
I don’t have the time to go in depth into the origins of all this… I simply put it out here to help us who are ignorant (and I don’t mean that negatively, rather just a statement of “not knowing”) of these facts to consider that what we have accepted as truth thus far, even though disseminated from sincere and genuine individuals could be wrong. Jack Deere said,
"All 'Christians' are at once beneficiaries and victims of traditions... What we must do, rather, is acknowledge that we are full of tradition. Good or bad, to a much greater extent then we realize and must learn to ask by the light of scripture, critical questions about what we have, thus far, taken for granted."
Having said that, allow me to speak biblically concerning this question. The answer to this question is quite simply, a matter of “REVELATION”.
The word “LORD” translated YHWH or Jehovah means existing one. In Jewish history and culture, there is probably no more highly esteemed scripture than Deut 6:4 which states, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” One of the many things that made the Israelites so distinct and different from other cultures is the fact that they were strictly monotheistic. That can be verified biblically and historically. That belief set them apart from the nations that surrounded them. There is a reason for this… God was astoundingly explicit that He was God alone…
…that He is the first and the last…
…that no God was formed, no God shall be made after Him and beside Him there is no savior…
…that beside Him there is no God…
…that He is the LORD that made all things, stretched forth the heavens and spread the earth by Himself…
If you continue to read these verses, God is quite emphatic, repetitive and explicit:
God Himself stated (paraphrasingly), “How dare you compare me to anyone or anything else? Who would you even attempt to compare me to?”
Through the prophet Isaiah, God decreed the identity of a unique son that would be born of a virgin woman…
This child, born of a virgin, will be named “Immanuel” which according to Matthew 1:23 means “God with us”. His name shall also be called among many, “the Mighty God” and “the Everlasting Father”.
The prophetic identity of the man had been decreed before He was even born… before the foundation of the world. It is those who have been deceived by the doctrines of this world that have yet to properly identify who the man really is… sadly some of the deceived are themselves “Christians” who claim to know Him.
Up to this point, I have shared of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob… in other words, the God of the Old Covenant/Testament. The demarcation point between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant can be said to be the birth of this child named Jesus, who would save His people from their sin OR the death burial and resurrection of the man Jesus Christ.
The Identity of the Man Jesus Christ
The man Jesus Christ was very clear concerning his identity as well, even though he alluded to it many times, the Jews understood what He was saying, but sadly, we who read the scriptures fail to understand who He said He was.
Jesus said, “I am He”… he spake to them of the Father… and said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” He also said, “I and my Father are one” in John 10:30 and that “He that hath seen me has seen the Father” in John 14:9. So who was Jesus saying He was?
Now, if Jesus was not meaning to say that He was God, their Father, standing right before them, he would at this point have said something like this... “Woah! Hold on a second there! That’s not what I meant to say. Let me correct myself and clarify what I meant.”
We know Jesus didn’t do that because He said what He meant and meant what He said. The Jews understood what He was saying. He made Himself God and that is what offended them.
So now let us see what the apostles said of the Son of God…
It was God that manifested in the flesh. Not another God/god or and 2nd person (son) who was in the heavens. The Old Covenant scriptures state God was alone, with no other beside Him, and He alone was the redeemer and savior.
So Paul’s New Covenant revelation is in line with God’s Old Covenant revelations through the prophets.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was not only with God, but was God. The Word/God was stated to be made flesh. We now have confirmation through John, another apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, stating what Paul, the apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, said separately.
Furthermore, Paul states that God was in the man Jesus Christ at work reconciling the world to Himself.
Many will say Jesus is in the Godhead, yet that’s not at all what the scriptures state. It clearly states “all the fullness of the Godhead” is in Jesus bodily.
Paul said Jesus was the image of the invisible God of Israel in the flesh. No man can see God unless He makes Himself visible and perceivable in some fashion. He made Himself visible and perceivable in the flesh. That’s why Jesus said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Paul confessed that Christ Jesus was his Lord. According to the scriptures (Mark 12:29, I Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:5) there is only one Lord. Did Paul believe that he submitted himself to two Lords? God the Father and Jesus His Son? Not according to Paul.
Paul addressed the diversity of gifts and said they are from the same Spirit. He said there are differences of administrations of these gifts, but they are still from the same Lord. There are diversity of operations, but it is the same God that works in them all. Paul understood that there was one God, who was and is the same Lord, who was and is the same Spirit from the Old Covenant.
Paul said to Timothy that, “We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men.” Was Paul’s God and Savior two different persons? Paul's God was His Savior. His Savior was God.
Paul testified to Titus that the Lord Jesus Christ was the “our Savior”! Are we to believe that “God our Savior”, “God the Father”, and “the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior” are 3 different persons? Paul was writing of his God, his Savior, and recognizing Him in His roles as God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ the Redeemer.
Paul said in the same letter to Titus a little later that he was looking for the glorious appearing of his great God and Savior - Jesus Christ!
Paul is not acknowledging two different persons. Paul is speaking of Him in terms of His roles or offices. The man Jesus Christ was none other than our God and Savior come in the flesh.
Let us look at Peter's testimonies identifying who Jesus Christ was to him:
Was Peter misguided, deluded and deceived? He emphatically confesses and claims that Jesus Christ is his God, Lord, and Savior. Peter is in complete agreement with Paul on the identity of Jesus Christ.
Let us look at Thomas' testimony identifying who Jesus Christ was to him:
Thomas probably made the greatest statement of faith before receiving the blessed Holy Spirit. Jesus was to him, “My Lord and my God.” Three witnesses who testify that the true identity of Jesus Christ is God. Not another God (god). Not a 2nd person of God (god), but God Himself – manifested in the flesh.
John, the apostle, wrote a letter we call 1 John and in this letter he begins in very much the same style as the gospel of John that he wrote:
In this verse John starts with that which was from the beginning (just as “in the beginning was”– from John 1:1). That which he heard, saw, looked upon and touched was/is the Word of life (also known as “the Word” – from John 1:1). This life was manifested (also known as “the Word” [of Life] was made flesh – from John 1:14 & I Timothy 3:16), and John states that he saw the Word and witnessed that the Word dwelt among us (John 1:14).
Who was the Word (of Life) that John the apostle kept referring to in his writings? In the beginning, was the Word, the Word was with God, and God was the Word (of Life). The Word, who is God, manifested Himself in the flesh. This manifestation in the flesh was Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.
The final witness in agreement with Paul, Peter, and Thomas is John. John testifies with emphatic agreement that Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life. The identification of Jesus is undeniable.
To further confirm these declarations of faith and belief by our ancestors in the faith, it is written…
God purchased the Church with His own blood.
As I said previously, it is the revelation of Jesus Christ that answers this question.
I conclude with this…
Let us pretend "Jack" is a father, a son and a husband... if his wife called him “honey” she’s still talking to Jack. If his children called him “daddy”, they’re still talking to Jack. If his Dad or Mom called him “son”, they are still talking to Jack. Regardless of what people call him, based on their relationship with him, he is still Jack. In Jack, dwells all the offices or roles necessary to interact with others.
Jesus is the Father of all creation… Jesus is the Son of God in redemption… Jesus is the Holy Ghost indwelling the born again child of God, and Jesus is much, much more… but remember, that in Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, the offices, the roles, and all that makes Him Deity.
© copyright 2011 Jesus M. Ruiz