The Triune God

by | Feb 28, 2024

This writing serves as an addendum to the writing “Yahweh, His Breath, and His Word” which was written to answer some questions concerning the concept of God being a trinity. Since writing that article I have had further correspondence, and encounters with teachings, that have centered upon this topic, and the Father has permitted me to encounter some of the erroneous conclusions that the saints have arrived at as they have wrestled with understanding His nature. The Father has previously ordered my steps in this way to bring me to study a matter more and to arrive at His mind, that I might be instructed and that this instruction might be shared with others.

Let me begin by sharing in brief the conclusions that some others have arrived at as they have considered Yahweh’s nature, and particularly as they have looked at the Son of God and have tried to arrive at His identity.

This first teaching might strike some as bizarre and without a shred of support, but I believe it is not as obscure as some might think. This teaching asserts that Yahshua was known in former times as the archangel Michael. Some may recognize this as a teaching of the Mormons, but it also is held by some saints who are not from this group, and it is even suggested that some of the ancient Jews in their Talmudic writings considered Michael to be the Word of God.

Those who teach this concept have very many Scriptures that they point to in support of this conclusion, and though I believe this teaching to be absolutely wrong, I do not want to suggest that those who have arrived at this thinking are insincere, or that they have departed from placing great value upon the testimony of Scripture. They have simply sought to understand some of the mysteries of the Godhead and have been led into false conclusions by not understanding the Scriptures correctly, nor having received the witness of the Spirit concerning the truth.

Some of the basis for this belief that Michael and Yahshua are one and the same, is the assertion that the name Michael means “image of God”, and Yahshua is the image of God and the exact representation of His nature. Another point is that the term “Archangel”, which is only applied to Michael in Scripture, literally means “chief messenger”, and Yahshua came to “fully explain” God, and, as the “Word of God”, Yahshua is certainly Yahweh’s chief messenger. Another point is based upon the following verse:

I Thessalonians 4:16
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

It is asserted by those who hold this view that the voice of the archangel spoken of here is a direct reference back to the Lord Himself giving a shout, and that the sense of this verse is that the Lord Himself will descend, and the Lord will give a shout, and His shout will be the voice of an archangel. Thus Yahshua is identified as the archangel, the chief messenger of God.

One must wonder, however, if this were true, why the Scriptures never say that Christ was the same person as Michael the archangel. Even in the New Testament when Michael is mentioned, there is no mention of his being the same as Christ. For example, Jude writes:

Jude 8-9
Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile dignities. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

It would have been a simple thing for Jude to state that this Michael is the same as Christ, if Jude had believed this to be true. It certainly would have boosted his argument here, for if Jude were to say that even Yahshua did not pronounce a railing accusation against the devil, then much more should the saints not do such a thing. Yet Jude speaks no such thing. He merely mentions Michael as an archangel. Nowhere does he say anything about the Son of God.

But the Scriptures do reveal that the Lord spoke these same words, though not in a dispute over the body of Moses, and those who contend that Michael and Yahshua are one and the same do point this out. In Zechariah we read:

Zechariah 3:2
And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! Even the Lord, Who chooses Jerusalem, rebuke you!”

I do not find it surprising to learn that the archangel Michael and the Lord have spoken similar words in different circumstances, for both are submitted to the Father, and both do His will. Yahshua when teaching His disciples to pray said, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In heaven the will of God is done both by the Son and by the angelic beings that stand in the presence of God. Therefore the mind of God will be carried out with equal obedience by all those submitted to the Father. As man also comes into submission to his Head, which is Christ, man too will find Himself speaking the words of the Father and doing His will.

One more tenet behind this belief is that the angels are often referred to as “sons of God” throughout Scripture, which is certainly true, and therefore it is not such a leap for those who hold this particular view to say that Michael was the Son of God. Suffice it to say that those who believe that Yahshua and Michael are one and the same do have many proofs to offer from Scripture, as well as from Talmudic writings and other sources. However, those with many proofs are often wrong in their conclusions, as were the Jews who crucified the Lord and said, “Search for yourself and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee” (John 7:52). As Christ Himself testified:

John 5:39-40
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”

It is quite possible to search the Scriptures and know every word and yet still deny the truth that is found in them. Let me now move on to the second encounter I have had recently. The former matter came from teachings found on a website that a brother in Christ directed me to, but this next was from correspondence.

There has for many long years been a dispute between those who hold to a Trinitarian viewpoint of God, and those who hold to a Unitarian doctrine. The brother who wrote me believes that there is only one God, this being Yahweh, and there is no other. In holding to this understanding, which also is defended with a wealth of Scriptures, this brother, and many others, deny that Christ Yahshua was Himself God. Declaring rather that He was a perfect man who knew no sin. They teach that the fulness of the deity dwelt IN Christ, but that Christ was not Himself God. This is based upon verses such as the following:

Colossians 2:9
For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form…

This verse is understood to be saying that Yahweh God dwelt in bodily form in Yahshua, but that Yahshua was not Himself God, for there is only one God. This brother also shared with me many Scriptures that speak of the humanity of Christ, and which he supposed disproved His divinity, namely that He had a body, and that Yahweh God has no body, but is Spirit; that Christ was tempted in all ways as we are, yet God cannot be tempted by sin; that Christ had a soul, but that God is Spirit only; and many other such things.

Once again, there is much in Scripture that can be used to support such a view, but it falls far short of the reality. We must take ALL Scripture into account and we must rightly divide the word of God. We must look to the Spirit to guide us into all truth, for the Spirit is the true author of Scripture. Both of these views mentioned deny that Christ was God. One says that He was an angel, and the other that He was a man. The apostles, however, tell us that He was much more than this.

Titus 2:13
Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus…
NASU

II Peter 1:1
Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ…
NASU

The apostles declared Christ to be God. The person who wrote me to say that Yahshua was a man, and not God, found fault with my stating that Christ existed as God in His pre-incarnate state, and that as man He was God incarnate. He pointed out that the words incarnate and pre-incarnate do not appear anywhere in Scripture, and this is true enough, but many English words that express various concepts do not appear in Scripture, yet this does not make them invalid concepts. The word “incarnate” means “to clothe with flesh, or embody in flesh”. This concept is certainly in the Scriptures.

I John 4:2
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Yahshua Christ has come in the flesh is from God…

Paul also writes about this same concept:

Philippians 2:5-8
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Yahshua, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

This passage speaks of Christ’s existence before appearing in the likeness of men, and we are told that His previous form was that of God. It does not say that His form was of an archangel, or of a perfect man, but of God. Before He was in the form of a bond-servant, He was in the form of God, being equal with God. Neither does it state that God the Father humbled Himself and took on the form of a bond-servant. It says that Christ Yahshua, the Son of God, did this. Therefore, it is not accurate to say that Yahweh the Father merely indwelt the man Yahshua, for it was not the Father who came in the form of sinful flesh, but it was the Son.

Romans 8:3
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh…
NASU

I think it would not be very profitable to refute point by point every tenet upon which these two concepts of Christ are built. What often occurs in our minds is that we have some point that we are stumbling over, and unless this point is addressed and understanding comes to us, we will not be receptive to what is written in Scripture, though someone points out to us many inconsistencies in our belief. What then is the point that these are stumbling over?

I believe it is just this, that there is truly only One God, and the mind of man has difficulty discerning how this One God can be seen in Father, Son and Holy Ghost. If there is only One God, then how can we declare all three of these to be God? If all three are God, then do we not serve three Gods, and not One? Many Scriptures plainly state that there is only One God, while others state that God exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. How do we reconcile these things?

As we have seen, some have tried to solve this puzzle by stating that Yahshua is not God. Some say He is an angelic being, others that He is man. But both of these diminish who He truly is, for Yahshua is God, and the Scriptures tell us this, and the apostles declared it to be true.

The puzzle is solved when we understand that there is but One God, but that He is a Triune God. The word Triune comes from “tri” (three), and “une” (one). He is One God seen in three distinct parts. As the writing “Yahweh, His Breath, and His Word” reveals, Yahweh is Spirit, and He has Breath and He has His Word. His Breath and His Word are as truly part of who He is as my soul and my body are part of who I am.

Part of the difficulty in discerning God’s triune nature is that we see the various parts of the Godhead speaking with One another, and we see that they each have will and desires and thought. It is difficult for us to comprehend that they could all be one if they are conversing with One another, and we also observe them being subject to One another. We can discern this more clearly as we look at our own make-up.

Man was created in the image of God, and man is a tri-part being. Man is spirit, soul and body.

I Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Yahshua the Messiah.

I am just one person named Joseph, yet I am comprised of three parts: spirit, soul and body. The various parts of my body also have their own will, desire and thoughts. My flesh always desires to do the things that pertain to the fallen nature of man. My flesh makes it’s will and desires known to the rest of my being. My flesh may see an attractive woman and want to lust after her, but then I find my spirit rising up in opposition. My spirit always desires to do the will of the Father, for it is heavenly in nature, whereas my flesh is of the earth. I then find my spirit communicating the desires of heaven within my being, and a battle ensues, for the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these two are contrary to one another.

I find then that the different parts of my being can be divided and identified. I can identify what thoughts and desires are arising from my flesh, and which ones are arising from my spirit, and my soul is caught in the midst of this tug of war. Paul speaks of this occurrence in his own being in Romans chapter seven. He says that in the inner man (spirit) he joyfully concurs with the rule of God, but he finds another law in his members, for his flesh always yearns to sin. A war then commences as his members all express their competing and conflicting desires and some order must be arrived at. The proper order is for our spirit to rule over our soul and our flesh.

I recognize that this intercourse occurs all the time between my spirit, soul and body. I see that each part of me expresses it’s own desires, and that an order has to be established between these parts. Am I then three persons? Are there three Joseph’s, or is there one? Of course I am only one person, but I exist in three parts that all interact with one another.

If I am only a man and I have three parts that all converse with one another, then how much more can God also be One God, and yet have three separate and identifiable parts that can all interact and hold conversation with one another? This does not make God three Gods, for He is only One. Yet He exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or, as we have seen, He exists as Yahweh, His Breath and His Word. The three parts of man find their perfect correspondence in God. Yahweh is Spirit and man has spirit. Yahweh’s Word is His outward and visible expression and our bodies are our outward expression. The Holy Ghost then corresponds to the soul of man.

The word for soul in the New Testament Greek is “psuche” which Strong’s dictionary defines as “breath”, and in our previous simile we saw that the Holy Ghost is the Breath of God. The correlation between the Breath of God and the soul of man is thereby established.

Knowing these things, consider how impossible it is to adopt the two beliefs I have mentioned. One says that Christ is an angel and the other a man. Both deny that He is God. Can you or I deny that our body is part of who we are? Can I say that this body I am clothed with is not Joseph, but it is really something else altogether? I dare not separate my body from my soul and spirit, for my entire being would be in peril. I will one day be given a new and glorious body, but for now this one that I am wearing is quite a part of the rest of me, and I dare not believe otherwise.

How then can we say that Christ Yahshua is not God? How could we say that the Holy Ghost is not God? They are all a part of God. They all converse with One another, but, unlike man, they are all in perfect agreement. The Son is submitted to the Father (John 14:10) and the Spirit is submitted to the Son (John 16:13, 14). There is perfect harmony in Yahweh, which is quite different from what I find in Joseph at this time. I long for the day when this divided house will be divided no more, and that day is coming. What a glorious day it will be!

There are consequences to all of our thoughts, and this is true regarding our understanding of Yahweh’s triune nature. If we make Christ to be less than God then we will certainly see bad fruit from this diminishment of His being in our thoughts. If we make Christ out to be merely a man, or an angel, then some rotten fruit must come forth from our beliefs. Because the identity of God is such a foundational matter, the effect of wrong thoughts concerning the Godhead must touch virtually every area of our lives.

The Scriptures declare that Christ is God. He is not just man indwelt by God, nor is He an angel with the Spirit of God resting upon Him. He is Immanuel, “God with us”. God did condescend to take upon Himself the likeness of His creation in order that He might redeem the creation from the curse of sin and death. He did not send an angel to do this work, nor did He send a mere man, even a sinless man, to do this work. Yahweh Himself became our Savior. He was God incarnate, in the flesh, and John warns that any who deny this truth are manifesting the spirit of anti-Christ.

I John 4:2-3
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Yahshua Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Yahshua is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

Certainly it matters who we confess this Yahshua to be. It is not the same thing to confess that God the Son, the Word of God who “was with God” and who “was God” came in the flesh, as it is to state that an angel came in the flesh, or a man came in the flesh. We must confess that Yahshua Christ, the Son of God who was Himself God, has come in the flesh.

May Yahweh give us all eyes to see the Truth of this great mystery.

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This is the Blog site of Joseph Herrin. It is a companion to the Heart4God Website. Writings are posted here first, while the Heart4God site contains an archive of all of my books, presentations, concise teachings, audio messages, and other material. All material is available free of charge. Permission is granted to copy, re-post, print, and distribute (free of charge) any of the material on these sites.

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