Distinction of God's 3 Persons
3. Do you believe the Godhead is One Being (of one substance) in thee Persons, each having their own distinct will (John 6.38, Luke 22.42)?
"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of US, to know good
and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of
life, and eat, and live for ever" (Gen. 3.22). "Who hath believed OUR report?
and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" (Is. 53.1). "And Enoch walked with
God: and he was not; for God took him" (Gen. 5.24). "Go to, let us go down, and
there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's
speech" (Gen. 11.7). "And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and
he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and
looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw [them], he ran to meet
them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord"
(Gen. 18.1-3). "Let them bring them forth, and shew US what shall happen: let
them shew the former things, what they be, that WE may consider them, and know
the latter end of them; or declare US things for to come. Shew the things that
are to come hereafter, that WE may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do
evil, that WE may be dismayed, and behold it together" (Is. 41.22,23).
Do you believe the Godhead is One Being (of one substance) in three Persons, each having their own distinct will? Do you believe Jesus is one with the Father though having His Own personal will (John 6.38, Luke 22.42)? The Triune God is not a Person nor one of the three Persons only. "God" is not gods or beings. You are not God, part of God or God in life or nature or a god in any way, though you have God's life and nature. Do you truly believe you will never be divine, for only God is divine deity? Once saved (born-again, new birth), what is revealed intuitively first in the spirit then communicated to the soul's understanding is that God's three Persons are distinct, but not separate? There is no requirement you need to believe in the Father or the Son first, but salvation does require you accept the Trinity of God, otherwise you worship not the Triune God but something else. Read all of John 14-16, especially chapter 15: “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me" (v.26). In one verse, the Father is mentioned twice, the Son mentioned twice, and the Holy Spirit is mentioned three times. Is that distinct?
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 28.19). "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24.49). "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if not, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake...And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever...Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him...But the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14.1-11,23,26). "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me" (15.26). "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you" (16.7). These verses testify to the distict personages of the Trinity have their roots in the teachings of Jesus Himself.
"For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (2 Pet. 1.17). "Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?" (Acts 5.9). "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1.1). "The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deut. 6.4). Somehow the 3 Persons each being God are One God, One Being of One Substance, Co-equal, and Co-eternal, distinct, but not separate. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 28.19). "The name...the name...the name" have to mean distinct Persons according to the Granville Sharpe Rule of Greek Grammar. There are no exceptions. These are not created names, but always existing Persons from before time began. "For I am the LORD, I change not" (Mal. 3.6). "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Is. 9.6). Father in "Father of eternity" is referring to the "originator and source of all things, a term of respect or honor, ruler or chief" of eternity. He is not His own Father. Satan is the Father of lies, not God the Father. Jesus is a child born, not the Father of Himself. He is begotten of God the Father. Who originated the universe? The 3 Persons of the Godhead from everlasting to everlasting. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him" (Col. 1.16). Isaiah 9.6 makes sense.
"I the LORD [Jehovah] that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself" (Is. 44.24). There are not 3 separate Jehovah's, but One Jehovah in 3 Persons: Jehovah the Father (2 Pet. 1.17), Jehovah the Son (John 1.1; 8.58 Jesus identifies Himself as "I AM" from Ex. 3.13-15), and Jehovah the Spirit (Acts 5.3). "I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son" (Heb. 1.5) indicates there was the preincarnate Person of Jesus with the Father before becoming the Son. Did Jesus exist with the Father before the creation? "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world" (John 17.5,18).
"And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me" (John 8.16-18). "Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name" (Phil. 2.6-9). God the Father exalted Jesus. 2 Persons. Jesus took upon Himself the form of a servant before entering creation then came in the likeness of men. Jesus is equal with God because He is co-equal from before time began, therefore He is not God the Father, but God the Son; there is no way you can claim the Father became the Son.
"Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord Jehovah hath sent me, and his Spirit" (Is. 48.16). 3 Persons are mentioned here in the Old Testament. Not solitary unity, but composite unity, a plurality in the Godhead. While Christians are able to deal with both the plurality and the singularity of God in the OT and NT, Modalists only know how to take in the verses of God's singularity. Elohim (God) is a plural noun in Genesis 1.1. "God said [in 3 Persons], Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. 1.26). There is no plurality of majesty; such a concept came when kings would link themselves to God in later centuries from the well established plurality in Genesis. From the 13th century, men transpose plurality of majesty back to a period of 2000 BC lacks credibility as do Jews who add in this new interpretation as well in response to Christian Trinitarianism. Barnabas, a direct disciple of the Apostles, in his epistle, chapter 6, wrote, "the scriptures concerning us, while He [the Father] speaks to the Son, let us make man after our image and after our likeness, and let them have dominion...these things were spoken to the Son" (AD 100 latest). John A. T. Robinson dates this epistle at about 75 AD.
"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born" (Zech. 12.10). The "I" is God the Father and "him whom they have pierced...shall mourn for him" is God the Son. "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god" (Is. 44.6). "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last" (Rev. 1.7-8,17). "I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he" (Is. 44.4); "I am he; I am the first, I also am the last" (Is. 48.12). No creature could claim this divine title as Jesus did. He was deity from the beginning to never ending.
As conversation within the Trinity, "let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech" (Gen. 11.17). "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" (Is. 6.8). "I and my Father are one" (John 10.30), 2 Persons as "we are in union." This is a devastating passages for modalists. "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son" (1 John 2.22). "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever" (John 14.16).