by Tad Lindley
It is one of the great truths central to scripture: there is one God. This is why when the scribe came to Jesus and asked him which commandment was the greatest, Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29). Jesus was referring the scribe back to the Law of Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4. So important is this Bible verse, that it is the first scripture that many Jewish children learn. So powerful is it, that converts to Judaism are baptized under the recitation of those same words. The gas chambers of Auschwitz once echoed with the voices of their human victims calling out in Hebrew these same words, Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad, literally, Hear, Israel, Adonai is Lord, Adonai is One.
Over fifty times in the Bible the Lord is referred to as the Holy One. He is never referred to as the Holy Two, or the Holy Three, or the Holy Seven, always as the Holy One. In defense of this fact, the apostle James wrote, Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble (2:19). The letter to the church in Ephesus records these words: One Lord, one faith, and one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Ephesians 4:5-6). God is one.
God’s claim to oneness
Here are some scriptures where the Lord describes himself:
•I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior (Isaiah 43:11)
•I am the first and I am the last; beside me there is no God (Isaiah 44:4)
•I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself. (Isaiah 44:24)
•Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. (Isaiah 46:9)
The Lord goes to great pains in the book of Isaiah to make it very clear that he is One. In creation, he acted alone (up to the point where he spoke to the angels and said, Let us make man in our own image [Genesis 1:26]).
Then how does Jesus fit into all of this?
Since the first century people have wrestled with this question: who is Jesus? The Pharisees saw him as a deceived man claiming to be God, and sought to kill him. The Romans saw him as a religious nut. The men at the Council of Nicea, nearly 300 years after the crucifixion saw Jesus as one person in a three person godhead that would later be called the Trinity. But for a moment let us forget about what the Pharisees, or the Romans, or the men at Nicea said, and see what the Bible says about Jesus.
What does the Bible say about Jesus?
1. You just read Isaiah 44:24, which states that God created the world by himself. Look what the New Testament says about Jesus: He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not (John 1:10). The only way the two Testaments can agree is if Jesus is God.
2. You also just read a scripture in which God claims to be the first and the last (Isaiah 44:4). Now turn in your Bible to Revelation 1:17. Here Jesus says, Fear not; I am the first and the last. That cannot be true unless Jesus is also the Holy One of the Old Testament.
3. In Isaiah 43:11, the one God of the Old Testament states that he is the only saviour. How then can Peter speak of the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? (II Peter 1:11) Unless Jesus is the one God of the Old Testament.
Jesus is the One God
Ever since a group of bishops convened in Nicea in 325 AD and ignored the fact that the Bible describes God as one person (Hebrews 1:3), and voted instead to declare that God is three persons, there has been world-wide confusion about the issue. When we study about Jesus in 2012, we have to ask ourselves this question, “Will I stand upon the teaching of men, or upon the word of God?” To which question the Bible gives a very direct answer: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of this world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him which is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:9) There is one God, and he is Jesus!
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.