In the Old
The LORD God in the Old Testament has introduced himself to all men that he is ONLY ONE, especially to the children of Israel. This has been his emphatic declaration.
The Ten Commandments begin with “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Ex. 20:3-6).
Deut. 6:4-5 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
Deut. 32:39 “Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me;”
In the Old Testament days there were two divisions of people, Israel, ONE God believers and Gentiles, those that didn’t have the knowledge of God and worship many gods. Often times we see the children of Israel forsake the true one God and worship Idols. The LORD was showing his jealousy by delivering them to the hands of their enemies and they were made captives and slaves.
He has said “I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images” (Is.42:8).
In the books of the Law, Psalms and Prophets, the LORD had declared emphatically that He is ONE, not even a single verse is written that makes us doubt HE is more than one or that there is union of gods.
HE used the strongest possible language available to describe that HE is absolutely ONE.
- As Creator, HE has declared that HE alone created and none besides him (Is. 44:24-25).
- HE has made it clear that with HIM, or before HIM, and after HIM there is no other God (Is. 43:10-11; 40:13-14).
- In the case of Salvation, there is none beside HIM that has been waited to save (Is. 25:9; 64:4).
- He has clearly told he will be the one who reveal himself as a Son (Is. 9:6).
In the Old Testament, this one God is only known as Spirit and Word, not in any body form. Owing to this, it is an abomination to make any image in any form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. It is counted as worshiping idols.
- Deut. 4:12; 15-18 “And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice… Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth.”
- When the Lord appeared to Adam in the garden, Adam never saw God, but only heard his voice (Gen. 3:8).
- To Moses he said “But He said, You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (Ex. 33:20).
- “who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen” (1 Tim. 6:16).
In related to this, one might ask what does “God created man in His own image” Gen. 1:27 show?
When the LORD God created Adam from the dust of the ground, God had already the image of Christ in his mind whom HE is going to reveal himself. It is written in Hebrew 1:3 that Christ is the brightness of HIS glory and the express image of HIS person. So, Adam was created in that image. But at the moment, God didn’t have the body that Adam had (Rom. 5:14; Eph. 1:4-11; John 1:3).
Passing to the New Testament with the faith in ONE God, it introduces us the same unchanging one God of the Old Testament yet again.
“I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he” (Is. 41:4).
The gospel declared God became Emmanuel, God with us. The angels announced the Savior, Christ the Lord is born. John wrote that “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:10-11). Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: “without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16).
After observing carefully throughout the Old Testament that God is ONE, we cannot be confused in the New Testament to create second god. It is always important to go back to the basic whenever we face obscure ideas. “Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me” (Is. 46:9).
Jesus explicitly affirmed to the Jews saying “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). The titles Father, Son and Holy Ghost should not be taken as a new development that perplex the truth of one God. Rather, those titles reveal the same one God operating in three different modes. This is the place where many were led astray and as it is written in Isaiah 8:13-15 numerous offences have occurred (1 Pet. 2:6-8).
Let us look at what the Bible has to say on “God was manifest in the flesh” (1Tim. 3:16).
As it is mentioned above, one God who is the Father of all creation (Mat. 2:10) is Spirit and HE can’t die. In order to redeem mankind, HE prepared for HIMSELF a body which HE can reveal HIMSELF and do the work of salvation. This is the fulfillment of the prophecy of David written in Hebrew 10:4-6 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.”
The God who declared “beside me there is no savior” Is. 43:11 did not need another god, but he was looking for:-
- An eternal temple whom the fullness of God can dwell in (John 2:19-21, Col. 2:9-10).
- Son of God who is Holy and separate from sinners (Heb. 7:26-28).
- Second Adam who has no flesh and blood relation with the fallen Adam (1 Cor. 15:45-48).
- A Sacrifice (a Lamb of God) prepared by God himself that can take away the sins of mankind once for all (Is. 53:4-9; John 1:29).