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The Biblical Three Person Godhead October 24, 2011

Posted by amministry in Bible Studies.
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The Biblical Three Person Godhead

In this study we will seek to uncover the Biblical evidences in regards to the three persons that comprised the Godhead.

In various churches it is commonly taught that Jesus is a created being or a superior-angel and that He did not exist from all eternity. Many of these Churches also believe and teach that the Holy Spirit is not a person, while others conclude that He does not exist at all.  But what do the Scriptures have to say? Let us turn to the Bible to find the answers concerning the Godhead.

1). What is the Biblical definition given for the three persons that comprised the Deity?  “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”–Acts 17:29.  Also read Rom. 1:20; Col. 2:9.

     Note.  The Bible’s definition of the Deity is Godhead and not trinity.  If trinity is not a Biblical term where did the expression come from?  What does it mean?  In a review of history we find that the word trinity was first used in the second century by *Tertullian; yet the doctrine itself was not invented until the fourth century.

*Tertullian – (160 – 220 AD), was an early Christian author from Carthage.  He has been called “the father of Latin Christianity” and “the founder of Western theology.”  He is perhaps most famous for being the oldest Latin writer in existence to use the term Trinity.  Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertullian for a complete history.

The definition of the word trinity in  www.dictionary.reference.com is as follows: “…the union of three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) in one Godhead, or the threefold personality of the one Divine Being.”

The definition of the word trinity given above expresses the false doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, who teaches that there is only one Divine Being who is the eternal God, and that apart from Him there is no eternal Christ and no Holy Spirit with a separate existence.  They further believe that, “The Son proceeds from the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds out of both of Them.”

Here is a quote from the Catholic Church that confirms the above statements: “‘The Father begets the Son, and the Son proceeds from the Father.  The Father and Son breathe forth the Holy Ghost, and He proceeds from Them, as from one Source.’”—“‘One God in Three Persons,’” My Catholic Faith p. 30.  Quoted in the book, Defending the Godhead pp. 71-72.

However, the Biblical term Godhead includes God the Father, God the Son who is eternal, and God the Holy Spirit who is also eternal.  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have an individual existence.

2). When God was about to create man what did He say?  “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”–Genesis 1:26.  Also see chapter 11:7.

Note.  The text uses the plural us, and our, instead of I, therefore.  It is very apparent that God was speaking to the other members of the Godhead, since created beings including angels do not have the power to create.

“The word, ‘God,’ in that verse is in the plural.  It is Eloheim, one of the Old Testament names for ‘God.’  Yahweh our Eloheim is one Yahweh.’  Eloheim is plural, like cherubim (Gen. 3:24, Ex. 25:19).  Why is there a plurality of Deity in this, the bulwark verse of the ‘one God’ concept?  Jewish rabbis and scholars have never been able to explain it.

“For example, all through the first chapter in the Bible, Genesis 1, Eloheim is the name of God.  Thus, in verse 26, we are told: ‘And God (Eloheim) said, Let us make man in our image.’  In Genesis 2, the name is Yehweh Eloheim, which still retains the plural Eloheim as part of the divine name.”—Defending the Godhead p. 139.

3). How many persons of the Godhead did Peter mention?  “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”–1 Peter 1:2.

Note.  The apostle Peter evidently shows how many persons comprise the Godhead, namely, God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and God the Son or Jesus Christ.        

     4). How did Jesus in the great commission identify the three persons of the Godhead?  “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”–Matthew 28:18-19.

Note. Jesus in setting forth the work of His church, in teaching the gospel to all nations, declares that they were to baptize all who accept salvation in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost or Spirit.  See John 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-14.

“The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.  In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin….”—CH 222.

“We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven,–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, –and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.”—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 51. (1905).

“….The work of salvation is not a small matter, but so vast that the highest authorities are taken hold of by the expressed faith of the human agent.  The eternal Godhead–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost–is involved in the action required to make assurance to the human agent, . . . confederating the heavenly powers with the human that man may become, through heavenly efficiency, partakers of the divine nature and workers together with Christ.”—UL 148.

“…The work is laid out before every soul that has acknowledged his faith in Jesus Christ by baptism, and has become a receiver of the pledge from the three persons–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”—5BC 1074.

5). At the baptism of Jesus how many persons of the Godhead were present?  “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”–Matthew 3:16-17.

Note.  Here we see Jesus the Son of God who was baptized, and then after being baptized the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove rested upon Him, and the voice of God the Father was heard saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  Without a doubt, the three persons of the Godhead were present at the baptism of Jesus.

6). How does the Bible refer to God the Father?  “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”–Ephesians 4:6.

7). By what other name does the Scriptures call God the Father?  “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”–Daniel 7:9.

“….The Father cannot be described by the things of earth.  The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight.”—Ev 614.

8). Based on Matthew 28 who is the second person of the Godhead?  “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”–Mathew 28:19.

Note.  Jesus in Matthew 28 clearly shows who is the first, second and third person of the Godhead.  The order in which Jesus outlined the members of the Godhead plainly reveals that Jesus is the second person of the Godhead.

9). Does the Bible recognize Jesus as God?  Jn. 1:1-3, 14; Tit. 2:13-14; Acts 2:29-36; Phil. 2:5-11; Rom. 9:5; 1 Jn. 5:20; 1 Tim. 3:16.

Note.  All the Scriptures listed above plainly reveals that Jesus is fully God and nothing less.

10). Was Jesus a created being as many are teaching, or did He exist from all eternity?  “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”–Micah 5:2.  Also read Matthew 2:1-6.

Note.  This prophecy of Micah clearly shows that Jesus had pre-existence before He came to this world in human flesh, because His goings forth or existence has been from the days of all eternity.  Thus, He could not be a created being as some are teaching today.

Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God…. In speaking of his pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages.  He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.  He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him.”—ST, Aug. 29, 1900.

“He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent. . . . He is the eternal, self-existent Son.”—Ev 615.

“But while God’s Word speaks of the humanity of Christ when upon this earth, it also speaks decidedly regarding His pre-existence.  The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father.  From everlasting He was the Mediator of the covenant, the one in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted Him, were to be blessed.  ‘The Word was with God, and the Word was God’ (John 1:1).  Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.

“The world was made by Him, ‘and without him was not any thing made that was made’ (John 1:3). If Christ made all things, He existed before all things.  The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt.  Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense.  He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.

The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father.  He was the surpassing glory of heaven.  He was the commander of the heavenly intelligences, and the adoring homage of the angels was received by Him as His right.  This was no robbery of God.  ‘The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way,’ He declares, “before his works of old.  I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.  When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.  Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.  When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth’ (Proverbs 8:22-27).”—1SM 247.

“No one of the angels could become a substitute and surety for the human race, for their life is God’s; they could not surrender it. On Christ alone the human family depended for their existence. He is the eternal, self-existent Son, on whom no yoke had come….”—12MR 395.

“With solemn dignity Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.’

Silence fell upon the vast assembly.  The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. ‘He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, ‘whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.’ Micah 5:2, margin.

“Again the priests and rabbis cried out against Jesus as a blasphemer.  His claim to be one with God had before stirred them to take His life, and a few months later they plainly declared, ‘For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.’  John 10:33.”—DA 469-470.

“If Christ made all things, He existed before all things.  The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt.  Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense.  He was with God from all eternity.  God over all, blessed forevermore.”—5BC 1126.

11). If Jesus is God and He existed from all eternity, does He possess all the characteristics of God the Father?  “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”–Colossians 2:8-9.

Note.  Let us carefully examine the characteristics of God to see if Jesus is fully God.

  1. Jesus has life in Himself even as God the Father has life in Himself.  John 5:26; 10:17-18.  “Jesus declared, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’  In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived.  ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’  The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.—DA 530.
  2. Divine names that are applied to God the Father are given to Jesus.  Isa. 9:6; 40:3; Jer. 23:5-6; Joel 2:32; Matt. 1:20-23; Acts 2:29-36; 1 Tim. 3:16; Rev. 1:8, 11-13.
  3. Jesus is all-knowledgeable or omniscient (Having universal knowledge or knowledge of all things; infinitely knowing; all-seeing), this attribute is peculiar only to the three person Godhead.  John 2:24-25; 21:17; Rev. 2:23.
  4. He is all powerful or omnipotent. Hence, Jesus is Almighty, possessing unlimited power.  Therefore the Being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.  Phil. 3:21; Heb. 1:3.
  5. He is unchangeable, that is, not able to change; immutable or absolute; not subject to variation.  Jesus is an unchangeable Being because He is God.  Heb. 1:2-3, 10-13; 13:8.
  6. He is God because He created all things.  John 1:1-3, 10; Col. 1:13, 16.
  7. Jesus has the power to forgive men of their sins, which only God can do.  Matt. 9:2-7; Mark 2:5-10; Luke 5:20-24; Col. 3:13.
  8. Honor or admiration is given to Christ, even as honor or respect is ascribed to God the Father.  John 5:22-23; 14:1.
  9. Jesus is called God and Lord over and over again.  John 20:24-31; Luke 2:11, 25-26; Acts 11:17; 1 Cor. 15:57; Eph. 1:3; Tit. 2:13; Matt. 12:8; 22:41-45; Mark 9:23-24; Luke 6:46; 22:31-33; John 13:13-14; Acts 2:36; Rom. 1:3; 2 Cor. 13:14; 10:9; Eph. 2:11; Col. 3:24; Rom. 16:20; Rev. 22:20-21.

10. Jesus is absolutely equal to God the Father.  Phil. 2:6; Rom. 9:5 1 John 5:20; John 10:28-33.

     Note.  Above we have only given a few of the characteristics of God. Jesus fulfills all of them. These characteristics are also peculiar and distinctive qualities of God the Father.  Undoubtedly we see that Jesus is fully God.

12). What about the Holy Spirit, is He God?  “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it, at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”–Acts 5:1-4.  Also see verses 7-10; Isa. 40:13-18.

Note.  The apostle Peter asked Ananias; why he allowed Satan to fill his heart with lies to tell the Holy Ghost, and then Peter told him that he lied unto God, and not unto men.  Plainly the apostle Peter called the Holy Spirit God.

“The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.”—Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37. (1897).—Ev 617.

“Evil had been accumulating for centuries and could only be restrained and resisted by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power.  Another spirit must be met; for the essence of evil was working in all ways, and the submission of man to this satanic captivity was amazing.”—TM 392.

13). Does the Holy Spirit possess all the attributes of God the Father, and God the Son?  Let us carefully examine the characteristics of God the Father and God Son to see if the Holy Spirit is fully God.

  1. The Holy Spirit is Omniscient or all knowledgeable, for He knows the mind of the Godhead, even as the other members of the Godhead know the mind of God the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has the power to search the deep things of God, which only a Divine Being can do, however, angels and men are unable to fathom the mind of the Godhead, but the Holy Spirit can understand.  1 Cor. 2:10-12; Rom. 11:33; Isa. 40:13-14.
  2. He is Omnipotent or all powerful; consequently, the Holy Spirit is Almighty; possessing unlimited power.  Therefore the being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.  The Holy Spirit has infinite power, for He was used to create the world.  Genesis 1:2-3.
  3. The Holy Spirit is Omnipresent, that is, He is present in all places at the same time.  Ps. 139:7-10; Jer. 23:2; John 14:17.
  4. He is everlasting or eternal, clearly then, there was never a time that the Holy Spirit did not exist.  Like the other members of the Godhead, he has been in existence from all eternity.  Heb. 9:14.
  5. The Holy Spirit is Love, that’s why He can create love in all who surrender themselves to the power of the Godhead.  Gal. 5:22.
  6. He is Holy, just like God the Father and God the Son is Holy.  He is completely free from all sin.  Matt. 12:32; Rom. 8:4-11.
  7. A person can blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, in the same way a person can blaspheme against the other members of the Godhead.  Lev. 24:16; Ezek. 20:27; Rom. 2:24; Matt. 12:31-32; Mark 2:29; Luke 12:10.
  8. He is Truth; Jesus calls Him “the Spirit of truth,” even as Jesus Himself is truth.  John 14:17; 15:26; 14:6.
  9. The Holy Spirit gives gifts according to His own will, even as the other members of the Godhead give gifts.  John 3:16; 1 Cor. 12:1-11; Eph. 4:7-13.

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.

“The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.  When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. . . .

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God.  He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God.  ‘For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.’”—Ev 616-617.

     14). What does the Bible say the work of the Holy Spirit will be?  We will turn to the pages of the Scriptures again to discover the work of the third person of the Godhead.  Here is a list of things that the Holy Spirit does:

  1. The Holy Spirit comforts or consoles those that need His comfort; hence, He is a Divine Comforter or Helper, even as Jesus was when He was here.  John 14:16.
  2. He is the Spirit of Truth, that is, He leads all who are earnestly searching for the truths that are found in the word of God to correct understanding of those truths as they are found in Jesus.  John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13.
  3. He is a Divine Teacher; therefore, He will teach all who submit to His Divine teaching.  John 14:26; 1 Cor. 2:12-13.
  4. He is a Divine Revealer, that is, He discloses or make known and brings to view the things of God to those that are seeking to know them.  1 Cor. 2:9-11; John 16:13-15.
  5. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Reminder; He brings all things of truth to our remembrance that have previously been studied and stored in our minds.  John 14:26.
  6. He is a Divine Reprover; hence, the Holy Spirit convinces or convicts the human heart of sin, and their need of the righteousness of Jesus, and the need to be prepared for judgment of God.  John 16:7-8.
  7. He is a Divine Intercessor, even as Jesus is.  He appeals or pleads with each one, whereas Jesus pleads with God the Father on our behalf.  Rom. 8:26; 1 John 2:1.
  8. He is the Divine Power of God, which enables the people of God to be effective witnesses, and to do effective work for Jesus.  Acts 1:8.
  9. He is the Divine Creator of the new birth experience, which all who will be saved eternally must experience.  The Holy Spirit uses the word of God to bring about this new experience.  Tit. 3:5; John 3:5-6; 1 Peter 2:22-23.

15). What other works does the Holy Spirit do?  Here are seven other points concerning the Holy Spirit:

  1. He spoke through the prophets and inspired them to write the holy word of God the Bible.  This work of speaking and inspiring that the Holy Spirit accomplishes is parallel to the works of God the Father.  1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Heb. 1:1; 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
  2. He seals all those that submit themselves to the word of truth as it is in the Bible until the day of redemption.  Eph. 1:13; 4:30.
  3. He is a Teacher, even as Jesus was a teacher who taught the disciples and the people.  John 4:26; 8:2; Matt. 26:55; 5:1-2.
  4. The Holy Spirit is often called or referred to as “He,” which is the masculine gender; therefore the Holy Spirit is a separate and Divine Person from God the Father and God the Son.  John 16:7-8, 13-14; 14:16-17, 26.
  5. He can be lied to even as a person can lie to us, obviously then, He is a Person and not a force as many are teaching today in the Christian world as supposed sound doctrine, but such teachings are really doctrines of devils.  Acts 5:3-12; 1 Tim. 4:1-2; 2 Tim. 4:2-4.
  6. He can be blasphemed or cursed, even as a person can speak of God the Father and God the Son in a sinful and disrespectful way.  Or He can be spoken of reproachfully, just as others can speak reproachfully about us.  1 Kings 21:10, 13; Mark 3:28-29.

     Note.  It is very evident from the 250 verses used in this study that there are three separate and distinct Persons, who are all knowledgeable, all powerful, and all eternal.  They possess the unlimited power that comprises the Godhead.

     16). What about the oneness mentioned in Deuteronomy 6:4?  “The ‘oneness,’ in Deuteronomy 6:4, refers to a unity of purpose.  For example, ‘The Godhead, our Gods, is one Godhead in unity of purpose.’”—Defending the Godhead p.139.

“The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either.  They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are one.”—MH 422.


~ (Tilde) denotes a volume or book number, as 1BC, 2SM


~BC – Bible Commentary

~MR – Manuscript Release

~SM – Selected Messages

CH – Counsels on Health

DA – Desire of Ages

Ev – Evangelism

MH – Ministry of Healing

ST – Signs of the Times

TM – Testimonies to Ministers

UL – Upward Look


Please feel free to copy and use this Bible Study.  Do not alter or change the content.


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