(DEALING WITH TRINITARIAN ARGUMENTS)
Does Genesis 1:26 teach the doctrine of the trinity? Notice this Scripture:
“And God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…”
The plural words “us” and “our” are found in this verse. These are plural words and because of this trinitarians teach that this is a discussion between the three persons of the trinity in regard to the creation of man. Is this true?
First of all, no where does the verse say this is the trinity speaking. That view is simply man’s speculation.
If this verse means there are three persons in the Godhead because of the plural usage, then what happened to the plural usage in the next verse,
Genesis 1:27? Notice the content in verse 27:
“So God created man in HIS own image, in the image of God created HE him; male and female created HE them.”
You will notice that in verse 26 God spoke in the plural concerning the creation of man. But in verse 27 He spoke in the singular and not in the plural. We know we are made in the image of God. And if God is a trinity of three separate and distinct persons, then where are your other two persons? You and I should be three separate and distinct persons if we were made in the image of this trinity God. The truth is, according to verse 27, we are made in HIS (singular) image and not in THEIR (plural) images.
So what is the explanation of verse 26 when God spoke in the plural?
Hebrew scholars have stated that the words “us” and “our” in Genesis 1:26 refer to what is called the plurality of majesty. In other words, it was common in the Old Testament for someone in royalty (like a king) to speak in the plural to show majesty unto himself. This plurality of majesty could also be used to show glory and honor even unto pagan gods. Let’s look at the following examples from the Old Testament Scriptures:
King Artaxerxes was the king of Persia during the time of Ezra, who was a priest and a scribe. There was ONLY ONE King Artaxerxes. This ONE king wrote a letter to Ezra and let’s notice a few things the king said. We will see that this ONE king wrote to Ezra referring to himself in the singular and ALSO IN THE PLURAL.
“I make a decree…” Ezra 7:13 Notice he writes in the singular, “I”
and later in the same letter the king says, “Also WE certify you…”
We know he is only one king but yet he referred to himself as “WE” which is an example of the plurality of majesty. Are we to gather from the word “WE” that the king is three separate and distinct persons? No.
During the time of Ezra, the enemies of the Jews sent a letter to King Artaxerxes. Ezra 4:11 says in regard to this letter, “This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto HIM, even unto Artaxerxes the king…” Notice the letter was to HIM, to ONLY ONE king, not two or three kings, just ONE.
When the king received the letter he responded to the writer in this manner:
“The letter which ye sent unto US hath been plainly read before ME.”
Notice that the King refers to himself in the plural (“US”) and also in the singular (“ME”) in this one sentence. Why would this one king refer to himself more than once in the plural using words like “WE” and “US“?
Was King Artaxerxes trying to show that he was three separate and distinct kings? Trinitarians would have you believe that based on their interpretation of Genesis 1:26.
The truth is that the king used the plurality of majesty to bring honor and majesty unto himself. If this carnal, pagan king could use the plurality of majesty to show his greatness, cannot the great King, God Almighty, also use the plurality of majesty in Genesis 1:26 to show His greatness and majesty?
DANIEL THE PROPHET
Daniel was a Jewish prophet who was part of the captivity of the Jews who were living in Babylon. Babylon’s king was Nebuchadnezzar. One night he had a dream. Troubled by his dream because he could not remember it he asked his wise men to tell him what he dreamed and then to give the interpretation. Obviously this was something that only God could do.
Daniel in a night of prayer received from God the dream and the interpretation of it. According to the Scriptures this dream was ONLY revealed to Daniel and no one else. Daniel 2:19 says, “Then was the secret revealed UNTO DANIEL in a night vision. Then DANIEL blessed the God of heaven.”
But when Daniel approached King Nebuchadnezzar to tell him what his dream was all about and to give him the interpretation, Daniel said:
“This is the dream; and WE will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.” Daniel 2:36. Though Daniel said “WE” only “HE” spoke to the king. NO ONE ELSE spoke to the king but DANIEL ONLY.
Here you have a SINGULAR prophet referring to HIMSELF not as “I” but as “WE.” Since Daniel referred to himself as “we” does that make Daniel three separate and distinct prophets? Once again, the Old Testament custom of the plurality of majesty is used here by Daniel. And if Daniel could use the plurality of majesty then how much more can Almighty God use the same plurality of majesty when He made man in Genesis 1:26?
SAMUEL THE PROPHET
Samuel was the prophet who anointed the young man Saul to become the first king of Israel. King Saul in time disobeyed the LORD to the point where God finally cut him off from His presence. You can read the entire history of this in the book of First Samuel. Years later the prophet Samuel died and was buried. Before an upcoming battle with the Philistines, King Saul fears the battle to come. He wants to hear from God but God will not answer him. Finally in desperation he goes to a witch in the town of Endor.
King Saul asked the witch to bring up Samuel from the dead so he could find out from the prophet what was going to happen in this battle. God allowed Samuel to speak concerning the king and the battle with the Philistines. Now keep in mind, there was ONLY ONE SAMUEL and not two or three.
The witch cried with a loud voice when she saw that the real Samuel had appeared and not some demonic impersonation of Samuel. She became fearful and King Saul said the following to her:
“…Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.” I Samuel 28:13
Notice we have ONLY ONE SAMUEL but the witch refers to him in the plural calling him “gods.” Why would she refer to a singular prophet in the plural? Because the plural word “gods” was used in regard to Samuel, does this mean there were three separate and distinct Samuels? No. Once again, the Old Testament custom of the plurality of majesty. And if a witch could use the plurality of majesty in regard to Samuel the prophet, cannot Almighty God use the plurality of majesty in regard to Himself during the creation of man?
THE GOLDEN CALF
When Moses the prophet went up to the top of Mount Sinai to receive the commandments of God, Israel waited on the plains for his return. During this time Aaron made a golden calf according to the demands of the children of Israel. Notice the following as recorded in Exodus 32:3-4:
“And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten CALF: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”
You will note that ONLY ONE CALF was made, a singular calf, yet this calf is referred to in the plural as “gods.” Because the singular calf was referred to in the plural as “gods” does this mean there were three separate and distinct calves? No. Once again, the Old Testament custom of the plurality of majesty. And again we ask, if a pagan golden image of a calf can be referred to in the plural to show majesty and honor to the image, can not Almighty God refer to Himself in the plural to show His majesty and honor and greatness when He created man in Genesis 1:26?
THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD
“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55-56.
Trinitarians have used these Scriptures and others that refer to the “right hand of God” attempting to prove at least two persons in the Godhead. First, let’s consider the term, “right hand of God.”
Does God truly have a literal right hand? Remember, when we speak of “God” we are referring to the Eternal Spirit for God is a Spirit. John 4:24.
Concerning the difference between a physical human body and a spirit, Jesus said:
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit HATH NOT FLESH and BONES, as ye see me have.” Luke 24:39.
Jesus in his physical presence possessed hands and feet. But a spirit does not have hands or feet. Therefore, God being a Spirit, does not have literal hands and feet.
If God had a literal “right hand” how big would it be? We have seen from our previous lesson in Godhead part two that the heaven of heavens cannot contain God. This being the case, if God had a literal “right hand” just the fingers of his right hand would be much longer than the entire distance of the Milky Way Galaxy!
Concerning the “right hand of God” let’s take a close look at Mark 16:19:
“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and SAT on the RIGHT HAND OF GOD.”
Now let’s look at some statements Jesus made in the Gospel of John:
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of MY HAND. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My FATHER’S HAND. I and My Father are one.” John 10:27-30.
Jesus in these Scriptures is referring to “hand” in symbolic terms. Otherwise, half the church is sitting on the hand of Jesus and the other half of the church is sitting on the hand of the Father (If there is a trinity).
But Jesus sums this up saying He and the Father “are ONE.”
If God has a literal “right hand” as trinitarians would have us to believe, then Jesus has sat down right on top of His own saints, the church!
In John 10:29 Jesus teaches that the believers are in God’s hand. But in Mark 16:19 we are told that Jesus SAT on the RIGHT HAND OF GOD. So did Jesus actually sit down on top of His children, His church?
In Hebrews 10:12 we read the following about the “right hand of God”:
“But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, SAT DOWN on the right hand of God.”
In Acts 7:56 Stephen said concerning the “right hand” of God:
“…Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man STANDING on the right hand of God.”
One Scripture says Jesus SAT DOWN on the “right hand” of God and another says Jesus was STANDING on the “right hand” of God. Which is it, is He SITTING or STANDING? Does the second person of the trinity sit sometimes then stands up at other times to stretch out and then decides to
And since we have already seen that the church is in the HAND of the FATHER (John 10:29), then sometimes Jesus is STANDING on top of His people and at other times He chooses to SIT DOWN on top of His people.
If there is a trinity then we have Jesus SITTING and STANDING all the time on the Father’s right hand, but then comes this other trinitarian theological problem to deal with:
“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which IS IN THE BOSOM OF THE FATHER, He hath declared Him.” John 1:18
Now we see Jesus not sitting or standing on the right hand of God, but in THE BOSOM OF THE FATHER. Dear trinitarians, please tell us, “Where is Jesus?” Is He sitting on the right hand, or standing on the right hand, or is He in the bosom of the Father, or is He here on earth with His people instead since He said where two or three are gathered together in His name He would be in their midst? (Matthew 18:20).
CONCLUSION ON THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD
From all the Scriptures we have read we now know that the “right hand” of God does not mean a literal hand but it is only symbolic language. Jesus made mention of Himself casting out devils with the “finger of God” which is only symbolic.
“But if I with the FINGER of GOD cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.” Luke 11:20
If the “right hand” of God is literal then so is the “finger of God.” So Jesus reached up into heaven and grabbed one of the Father’s fingers (we don’t know if it was His index finger or His pinky) and used it as a battering ram to beat devils out of people!
By doing a serious study of the Scriptures you will find that the term “right hand of God” refers to the “MIGHT” and “POWER” of God and has nothing to do with a literal right hand.
So any term involving Jesus being on the right hand of God refers to Jesus being the very power of God, a position of all power. In fact, Jesus said that
He had ALL POWER (Matthew 28:18) in heaven and in earth.
Concerning God, Psalm 98:1 states: “…His RIGHT HAND, and His HOLY ARM, hath gotten Him the victory.”
After God destroyed the Egyptian army in the Red Sea during the time of the prophet Moses the Word of God exclaimed:
“Thy RIGHT HAND, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy RIGHT HAND, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.” Exodus 15:6
“My HAND also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my RIGHT HAND hath spanned the heavens…” Isaiah 48:13
Right hand in Scripture in reference to God means His power and in no way teaches a plurality of persons in the Godhead called the trinity.
ONE FINAL THOUGHT
In closing, let’s look at a Scripture that Jesus quoted when He rebuked Satan during the time of His forty day fast. Jesus was quoting from the sixth chapter of the book of Deuteronomy when He said the following:
“Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the LORD thy GOD, and HIM ONLY shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:10
We believe there is only ONE GOD. Trinitarians claim the same belief. However, they believe this one God is a trinity of three separate and distinct persons making up the Godhead. Notice what Jesus said in reference to God, that “HIM ONLY” shalt thou serve.”
WHO is the HIM ONLY that Jesus was referring to? Was it the Father, the Son or the Holy Ghost? It cannot refer to all three, since Jesus said, HIM ONLY and not THEM. According to this Scripture, IF there is a trinity, then ONLY ONE of the trinity’s three persons is to be worshipped and served.
IF there really is a trinity of three separate and distinct persons, called God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, then consider the following:
Person number one, God the Father, is worshipped. The true worshippers
“…shall worship the FATHER…” John 4:23
Person number two, God the Son, was worshipped by his disciples when He ascended into heaven. “And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped HIM…” (referring to JESUS). Luke 24:51-52.
Under trinitarian theology, both of these persons in the Godhead are worshipped in John 4:23 and Luke 24:51-52. Since both are worshipped, it is “THEM” who are worshipped and not a singular “HIM.”
So according to trinitarians, since we are dealing with two persons of the Godhead, God the Father and God the Son, then we are dealing with a “THEM” and not a “HIM.”
But Jesus said emphatically in Matthew 4:10 when it came to worshipping God that “HIM ONLY shalt thou serve.” Again we ask trinitarians, WHO is the “HIM ONLY” of Matthew 4:10? Is it your “God the Father” or your “God the Son” or your “God the Holy Ghost?” Tell us WHICH ONE of the three it is, and of course give us the Scripture to substantiate your answer. WHICH ONE OF THE THREE PERSONS IN YOUR TRINITARIAN GODHEAD IS THE “HIM ONLY” THAT IS TO BE WORSHIPPED?
If you say it’s the second person, God the Son, then why does the Scripture say to WORSHIP THE FATHER? (John 4:23) If you say it’s the first person, God the Father, then why was JESUS WORSHIPPED (Luke 24:51-52)? If they are both to be worshipped then this contradicts the “HIM ONLY” of Matt. 4:10.
For Apostolic-Pentecostal believers the “HIM ONLY” is very easy to understand. Since we do not believe in the trinity doctrine of three separate persons in the Godhead, we believe the term “HIM ONLY” refers to JESUS, who is the FATHER in creation, the SON in redemption and the HOLY GHOST in regeneration.
JESUS as the FATHER created the universe and all life making Him the FATHER (John 1:3: All things made by Jesus, Isaiah 9:6: Jesus is called the Everlasting FATHER).
JESUS as the SON died for the sins of the world and was God manifest in the flesh on earth, the Father made flesh in the Son (I Timothy 3:16 and John 14:8-10 teach Jesus is God the Father in the flesh. Rom. 5:6: Jesus dies for sin as the Son of God, the Christ).
JESUS as the HOLY GHOST is now working in the church and filling people with His Spirit. (John 14:16-18: Jesus is the Comforter, in His spiritual essence Jesus is the Holy Ghost that was to come. Colossians 1:27: Jesus is the Holy Ghost referred to as “Christ in you, the hope of glory”).
Now that we know that JESUS is the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost through different dispensations and ages, we can safely come to the Scriptural conclusion that this Wonderful and Marvelous JESUS is the
“HIM ONLY” that is to be served and worshipped by all mankind!
The teaching of the Godhead is very exhaustive and the information given in Scripture cannot possible be covered in just two or three Bible studies. But as a student of the Word of God you can learn more by prayerfully studying the Scriptures. Keep the following in mind when you study:
1. God was manifest in the flesh - I Timothy 3:16
2. Jesus is the GOD-MAN, He has two natures, DIVINE and HUMAN.
3. Sometimes Jesus spoke as God and other times He spoke as a man.
4. The term, “Son of God” is in reference to the humanity of Jesus.
5. Jesus is God the Father in the flesh - John 14:8-10
Notice symbolic terms such as, “like” - “likened unto” - “such as” -
“right hand of God” and other such terms that do not refer to something literal but are symbolic in their meaning. May God bless all of you!