One of the great misconceptions about the faith of New Covenant believers is that “they believe in three gods.”
Of course this is untrue from the clear teachings in the New Covenant:
“And Jesus answered him and said ‘The first of all the commandments is: Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.’” (Mark 12:29, Deut. 6:4; see also 1 Cor. 8:4; James 2:19, etc.). Thus, New Covenant faith is biblically Jewish. Because of the ignorance of the Scriptural teaching of the “tri-unity” of God (the word “trinity” is a contraction of “tri-unity”) there is confusion on the subject.
The Testimony of the Jewish Scriptures
As we look into the Jewish Scriptures we see the mystery nature of God presented: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Duet. 6:4).
As one Jewish man commented to me, “God is mentioned three times right there in the verse that speaks of his oneness!” “But,” one might object, “it does say one in the verse. True, but the word “one” (“echad,” in the original Hebrew) can be a one of a “complex unity.”
For example, when God established the marriage relationship the Scripture states: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife; and the two shall be one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24) Here we see that “one” is used not in the absolute singular sense, but “one” as a complex unity. In another text of scripture this complex unity is explained further:
“And they came to the brook of Eshcol and cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes.” (Numbers 13:23). Here again one is used to refer to a cluster, which is a complex unity.
There is another word for one in the Hebrew: “yachid.” Yachid is used in Gen 22:2 when God is speaking to Abraham about Isaac, “Take now your son, your only son.” Though Abraham had another son, Ismael, God refers to Isaac as a one-of-a-kind son, the son of the covenant. This word is used for an absolute one, and never for God in the Bible! This complex nature of God is assumed in the Scripture, rather than explained. That’s why a portion like the following in Genesis can only make sense in light of this assumption:
“The Lord (who was on earth conferring with Abraham) rained upon Sodom brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.” (Gen. 19:24)
When God created man, we are brought into the counsels of God’s own heart when we read: “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.’”
Please notice the plural possessive pronoun, our. God reveals His own complex nature. The scripture goes on to say, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them” (v. 27). Therefore, God’s complex nature alone is the reason for the use of our.
Isaiah the Prophet as well assumes this complex nature of God in several places. In a vision of his own commission as a prophet of Israel, he writes of God saying: “Who will go for us, whom shall we send?” (Isaiah 6:8). Once more in God’s own counsel, God refers to Himself with a plural pronoun. Isaiah again assumes this complex unity of God’s nature when he refers to the practical activity of God in regards to our redemption.
“Come near to me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time it was, there am I; now the Lord God and His Spirit has sent Me.” (Isaiah 48:16).
Who is the one “from the beginning” and the one who is always “there?” Only God alone (cp. Isaiah 48:3, 5). Thus it is the Lord Himself in that verse, who is sent by The Lord God and His Spirit!
Many more portions of the Jewish Scriptures could be presented to reiterate the same truth: There is only one God, who is complex in nature. This complexity is revealed in three persons: As ‘Father” (Isa. 63:16; 64:8), as ‘Son’ (Isa. 9: 5-6; Psalm 2; Prov. 30:4), and as the ‘Holy Spirit’ (Isa. 48:16; 63:10, etc. or the Spirit of God, Isa. 63:14), but always there is only one God.Written by: Sam Nadler Word of Messiah Ministries P.O. Box 21148 Charlotte, NC 28277