Faith and God
Faith and God
·Who is the God of the Old Testament?
·Who is the God of the New Testament?
·Who or what is “GOD”?
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God...”. In the Hebrew language, the word we translate as God in this text is written in the plural form. It should be translated, “In the beginning (the) Gods...”. The Gods: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were all involved in planning and creating the world. They also became involved in a very personal way in making man. “Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness.” Gen. 1:26. “The man has now become like one of Us.” Genesis 3:22
“Us” and “Our” are key words. They are plural, as is “God”. They worked as a team in building our planet. The Father acted like the Architect. Jesus was the Builder and the Holy Spirit was the Inspector.
At this point in a study a Rabbi would know there were more than just one individual with the God-title. How many more were there? The Jews might not know the answer to that question. How many was not important. Only that there were more than one entity holding the God-title. The problem that arises is when people misquote the Bible. How many times have you heard the phrase, “the Lord our God is one God”? The sad fact is, this is a misquote. The truth is found in Deuteronomy 6:4. “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one.” This does not say that there is one God, only that the LORD is one. You see, the individual with the God-title who is called “LORD” is only one person. He is not many. Only one person of the three God-title holders can be called “Lord”. That person is Jesus Christ.
In studying the book of Daniel, the Jews would have gained further understanding into this truth. In Daniel 7:13, 14 Daniel shows us the “Son of man” approaching the Ancient of Days. The Son of man (Jesus) was given authority, sovereign power, dominion and most importantly, worship.
The Ten Commandments strictly forbids the worship of any other person or thing. Therefore the Jews, and us, would have known that these two individuals had the God-title. They also knew from scripture that the Holy Spirit was a holder of the God-title. Put it all together and you have One, Two, Three individuals with the one God-title.
So what was the problem with the Jews? Why did they have such a problem with Jesus being their God? To understand their thinking you need to put yourself into their shoes. In 605 BC Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonian Empire, attacked Jerusalem. In three successive campaigns he wiped out Jerusalem and destroyed the temple of God. 2 Kings 21:1-18; 24:2-4; 25:1-21.
These calamities happened because the Jews were unfaithful to the God of heaven. They worshiped many “gods” including the god of Baal (the god of the sun: Sun-day worship), Asherah and Molech. When they returned from captivity to rebuild their nation, they learned their lesson: worship only the “one” God of heaven. But they made up their own “one-god” and again refused to listen to the truth of the Bible.
Are you as guilty of believing what you or your denomination want you to believe instead of believing what the Bible says?
Titles of God
* ROCK: Genesis 49:24; Psalm 18:2, 46; Isaiah 44:8
* SHEPHERD: Genesis 49:24; Psalm 23:1; Ezekiel 34:11, 12
* I AM: Exodus 3:14; Leviticus 18:2-6, 21, 30; 19:3, 4, 10, 12, 16, 18, 28, 31, 32, 37
* THE WAY: Deuteronomy 1:33; 4:7; 5:33; 8:6; 9:16; 10:12; 11:22, 28; 19:9; 26:17; 28:9
* THE LIFE: Proverbs 6:23; 8:35; Deuteronomy 30:20; 32:47
* THE KING: Psalm 5:2; 10:16; Isaiah 44:6
The “I AM” split the Red Sea for the Israelites to pass through. This Jesus claimed to be the “I AM”. John 8:12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21, 23, 24, 28, 38, 46, 49, 50, 58. The Way and the Life were references to the Ten Commandments and the Yahweh God who gave them. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” John 14:6. The “son of man” of Daniel was given worship. Jesus claimed to be the son of man - Matthew 8:20. Yahweh was Israel’s King. Jesus let the people call Him King - John 12:12-15. Then He took the title Himself - John 18:37. The Jews were not ignorant of this. They knew that He was their Yahweh God of the Old Testament. Zechariah, one of their own priests, had been told by the angel that his son, John the Baptist, would prepare the way for their “Yahweh” God. Luke 1:17, 76. The Jews tried to kill Jesus because “He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” John 5:18. Months later they changed from “being equal” to “You a mere man, claim to be God.” John 10:33. In fact, Micah 5:2 of the Old Testament told the Jews that the Yahweh of the Old Testament would be born.
If the Jews, who were well acquainted with the Old Testament, recognized that Jesus claimed to be the God of the Old Testament, then I needed to recognize the claim of Jesus as the Yahweh God of the Old Testament.
This understanding of Jesus, as One with the God-title of the Old Testament, helped me to trust Jesus as God. When He spoke in the Old Testament as LORD I knew that He, as Lord in the New Testament, would not change. My Jesus was the same in both Old Testament and New Testament and today. My faith now had a Rock, a firm foundation I could put my faith (trust) in. I knew that the Lord Almighty of the Old Testament was the same Lord Almighty who died on the cross for me. Isaiah 44:6, 8; 45:5, 18, 22; Revelation 1:8, 17, 18. Now that I knew who Jesus was I could worship Him. Thomas did. He said, “My Lord and my God.” John 20:28. All the disciples worshiped Him. Matthew 28:17. Jesus accepted their worship without breaking the Ten Commandments. Why? He was a holder of the God-title. Since He is a holder of the God-title I knew He would not lie to me. Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Malachi 3:6; Titus 1:2. Now I was ready to listen to what He had to say. Are you?
At this point, write down your feelings, concepts and perspectives of Christianity. Then check them out after you have read the book. See if they have changed.