good evening everyone I was expecting something to put my stuff on huh all right well I guess I'll set it on the ground um our presentation over the course of the next five meetings is going to be on the unknown God and can you think of a passage in Scripture that comes to mind when I say that phrase the unknown God is there anything that does that ring a passage for you Acts chapter 17 very good of course in Acts chapter 17 Paul is there in what city does anyone remember he was in the city of Athens I heard someone say and he was wandering around and he saw the various idols that were constructed and his heart was pained within him as he thought about these very intelligent very sophisticated people but in their sophistication and in their intelligence they came to believe that somehow their constructions and their idols and their buildings actually contained God and in some senses were gods or at least were representations of God and in Paul's wanderings there around the Athenian area he saw this this phrase that said to the unknown God on one of the idols to the unknown God and so when Paul stood there before the Areopagus at Mars Hill he stood up and he said I have a message from the unknown God for you and is it possible that for those of us even within Christendom we're not Greeks we're not pagans we believe the Bible amen is it possible that even for us there is a sense in which God is unknown one of the members of the Godhead well I am persuaded that that is the case and I'll just sort of start with a brief word of Prayer then I'll do a simple little illustration that will sort of help us to get our minds wrapped around this idea of the unknown God let's just pray briefly Father in Heaven what a privilege to be here this evening with these dear people and father with those that are viewing through the television or the computer screen or listening in on the radio we would ask that you'll be with us now as we open scripture we would ask that you would open us and we thank you for your love and mercy and we claim the promise that your spirit will guide us into all truth in Jesus name Amen tada you see how that works it reminds me one time I probably shouldn't even tell you this story I have two little boys ages nine and ten and one time we were at the table this is years ago and I think I've repented of it since and there was a pizza sitting on the table and I said okay boys let's pray and thank Jesus for this pizza and I really wanted to like make it clear to them that we were thanking God for the food that he had provided so while they were praying I secretly grabbed the pizza and I moved it off the table and I set it on the chair right beside me and they opened up their eyes and the pizza was gone and I said boys where's the pizza and they said Papa they were quite young Papa Papa where's the pizza I said I don't know let's pray that it'll come back oh hey right there like Lord Jesus please bring back our pizza we're really hungry and while they were praying I put the pizza back when they opened their eyes like Papa the pizza's here so look the pizzas here so anyway great thank you guys for bringing that out I didn't want to put all my stuff on the floor so here let's start with this very simple exercise we've got a lot of information to cover tonight and in subsequent nights and on Sabbath so I want to get right into this okay we're going to do just a very simple game or maybe a game is the wrong word an illustration or I'm gonna say a word and then you're going to get a mental picture okay simple so if I say school bus do you have something that comes into your mind what color is it okay of course it's yellow if I say baseball game does something come into your mind okay if I say let's try something even even a little more abstract if I say warm do you get a picture in your mind just a picture a mental picture okay so you're getting how this is working now let's try this one father when I say father does something come into your mind do you have a mental picture okay let's try this one son do you have a mental picture when I say son okay so when I say baseball game when I say bus when I say warm when I say father when I say son you're able to grab a mental picture that you can associate reasonably with that thing right so try this one Holy Spirit do you have a mental picture if you're anything like me you really don't maybe you see some sort of vapor so what Holy Spirit what it's very much unlike a yellow school bus or a baseball diamond or a fireplace that would keep us warm when Paul stood before the Athenians there and said I bring to you a message from the unknown God he of course wasn't referring just to the Holy Spirit he was talking about the transcendence or the unknowability of God another word for this is the enough ability of God the in communicability of God and there is a very real sense even for those of us that are believers in Scripture that there's a very real sense in which we know who the father is we have a mental idea a mental conception a picture of the father we've got that we can understand the idea of a son I was just telling you a moment ago that I have two sons Landon and Jabil 10 and 9 so when you say son I see their faces I see their pic they just come into my mind but when we say and when we think and when we talk about the Holy Spirit do you find that it's difficult to know exactly what we're talking about how many of you have had that experience before where you thought okay so who exactly is the Holy Spirit and what exactly does he do and maybe what does he even look like there are some in our ranks and there are some in the world a great many in fact who are what we would call non Trinitarian monotheists now let's just sort of unpack that a little bit what do you think the fray what do you think the word monotheists means what does that mean they believe in one God ma no Theo's stay us so they believe in one God so people that are monotheists are people like them Muslims are monotheistic and the Jews are monotheistic and Christians are monotheistic and there are other these are the primary monotheistic religions but there are other instances of monotheism but when we talk about nontrinitarian monotheists we're talking about people who believe okay now follow this carefully here that God write the the God of the universe the Creator God the God that is out there is rigidly singular okay there Unitarians that would be one way of saying in fact this is the central tenet of Islam that there is only one God Allah right and Muhammad is His Prophet so this idea that God is rigidly singular in the most emphatic sense of oneness God is one do Christians believe in one God absolutely no question Christians affirm that God is one and so in that sense we are monotheistic but we do diverge very significantly from our nontrinitarian monotheistic brothers and sisters because we say yes there is one God but he is not rigidly singular in the absolute sense of oneness God is three persons that comprise one God three persons one God now many of us the moment we hear that it's not easy to get our minds wrapped around the idea of 3 & 1 1 & 3 and there's a word that we sometimes use to communicate this singularity and yet plurality and what's the word the word is Trinity and there are people that I have met all over the world who have a very serious very significant objection to the use of the word Trinity they'll say things like the word Trinity does not occur in the Bible I have a question for you is that true it is true it's absolutely true so they'll say I'm not going to use the word Trinity because it doesn't occur in the Bible so I have a simple question for you here is there anything particularly special or anything essential about the word Trinity yes or no are we are we married to that word do we have to use that word now we don't have to use that word at all the word simply is a word that is trying to communicate what we were just discussing a moment ago that God is singular in one sense and plural in another comes from try like a tricycle or a tripod meaning three and unity and divinity so three-in-one now what we're going to do in our time here today and especially tomorrow is we're going to try and unpack the biblical foundation for this idea that God is singular and yet plural are you with me on that what's our what's this whole series called what's that what does that say back there anchors of what truth and where would we get truth from what what is our definition of truth we're from very good thy Word is truth sanctify them through thy word thy Word is truth and so we arrive at truth by a study of scripture as Bible believing Christians are you comfortable with that yes or no now just a word on them some people say we're not we reject the idea of the Trinity and we reject the use of the word Trinity because the word Trinity is Catholic the idea of the Trinity is Catholic and they say if the Catholics believe it it must be false and therefore we don't believe it but I want to ask you a very simple question at first that sounds may be mildly persuasive I'll ask you a very simple question do we arrive at truth by a rejection of Catholicism or by an acceptance of Scripture by an acceptance of Scripture because our friends the Catholics teach many things that are absolutely true for example they teach that there's a God do you believe there's a god okay so if we're going to reject everything that's Catholic wholesale or everything that's Orthodox or everything that's Protestant right if we're going to reject something wholesale we're going to find ourself in a bit of a pickle we do not arrive at truth by a rejection of what someone else teaches but by an acceptance of what Scripture teaches amen so over the course of our time together what we're going to try and do especially in our to presentations here is we're going to try and lay a broad biblical foundation a broad what everyone a broad biblical foundation for this idea that God is one and yet is also plural in one sense he is a singularity and in another sense he is a plurality in fact I think that's the title of her presentation tonight the mystery of God singularity and plurality now for ease of communication for what words that I say everyone for ease of communication we are going to use probably sparingly but we will employ the word Trinity but let's be very clear let me be very clear with you what I mean when I say that word when I use the word it means what I define it is meaning not what somebody else defines it as meaning makes sense in fact a friend of mine recently wrote a book it's a small book only about 900 pages I'll show it to you tomorrow night on the Trinity and his name is Glenn Parfitt he's an Australian a scientist and really a wonderful wonderful man the book only took him 12 years to research and writes ok so just a quick just a quick little book he wrote nine hundred short pages and at the very beginning of that book when when Glenn is writing he has to defend his use of the word Trinity he has to defend is you how else are we going to communicate this idea of God's singularity and yet God's plurality if we don't use some word whatever that nomenclature whatever that language is and I want to just say tonight what Glynn says right in the opening page of his book so listen to this and tell me if you think this is the better part of wisdom he writes I would be happy not to use the word Trinity at all as it does not occur in the Bible moreover the word Trinity means different things to different people and there are some statements made by Trinitarians with which I could not agree I could therefore give the wrong impression by saying I am a Trinitarian on the other hand because my beliefs fall within range of beliefs generally regarded as Trinitarian I would certainly give the wrong impression if I were to say I am NOT a Trinitarian for this reason when I am asked I have to confess that yes I am a Trinitarian and then do any explaining necessary does that sound reasonable to you everyone very simple so we will be using the term as we define it what that doesn't what that what that basically protects us from then is somebody coming up with some strange odd weird unbiblical definition that they find on the internet because you know everything on the internet is true some strange odd weird definition on the Internet of the Trinity and then coming to me and saying do you believe in the Trinity and I say so they said well you believe this no no no no no that's not my definition that might be someone's definition but let me tell you what I believe now I happen to be a member of a community of faith called seventh-day adventists and seventh-day Adventist have a single Creed and that Creed is the Bible the Bible and the Bible on the Sola scriptura they say men to that very reasonable what the Adventists have done and I think it was the better part of wisdom and I totally support this is rather than having a Creed they have a series of statements that are called fundamental beliefs it comes from the Latin word fundament which just means foundation okay a series of foundational beliefs these things are not set in stone in a creedal sense where you have to say it just like we say it or you're not a member of our club there's simply ways of articulating how we understand scripture what we think scripture is teaching and this is where we're at now these are our beliefs all that's inspired is scripture amen in fact there's a very simple rule of thumb for all of us to always bear in mind there are only two kinds of words in the universe right when it comes to these kinds of things you have God's words which are contained in Scripture and then we have words about God's words right the words of theologians and expositors and preachers like myself so two kinds of words God's words and words about God's words okay now which is absolutely authoritative God's words and are these words authoritative the answer is yes in as much as they are in harmony with what these words we together everyone on that okay so when I'm going to read you this very simple statement that my community of faith has said this is what we believe I think they've done a very good job and it's going to sort of lay out for us as we start tonight definitionally the direction that we're going okay this is what's regarded as are called fundamental belief number two for the Adventist community anchors of truth now again this is not a an authoritative creedal statement it's simply an articulation of what my community of faith believes the Bible is teaching we're together on that everyone here we go there is one God we comfortable with that we're gonna be looking at that in just a moment there is one God there's the singularity Father Son and Holy Spirit there's the one plurality very good there was one God Father Son and Holy Spirit a unity of three Co eternal persons God is immortal all-powerful all-knowing above all and ever-present he is infinite beyond human comprehension yet known through his self revelation he is forever worthy of worship adoration and service by the whole creation that's the end now when I read scripture and I've had the privilege of being a Christian now for 15 years I've read the Bible many times where I'm at right now today what is today January whatever 2012 where I'm at right now I think that that is a very accurate very good articulation of what Scripture teaches are you with me on that but the authority resides here not in any words that any man says about Scripture so far so good okay so now let's get in description the first thing that we're going to do even before we get in to the discussion on God's singularity and yet plurality which is going to set the table for us to get into the unknown God the Holy Spirit which is going to be nights or sessions three four and five so we've got to do with this before we can deal with this but before we can deal with this the triune nature of God as singular and plural we have to deal with something very fundamental right at the outset and that is we have to recognize the limits of language let's all say that together we have to recognize the limits of language right every one of us in this room has had the experience before of trying to communicate something and and it's not coming across to our listener is that true and you do you're very in fact just it's so funny just last night I was having a conversation with my wife and we got into a bit of an argument is that okay sometimes dick I mean occasionally it happens the the the the sign of a good marriage is not whether or not you get into arguments but how you deal with those arguments amen so we were just here's what happened short version she got a speeding ticket a speeding ticket ah just when our record was clear since September of last year all tickets are in the past it was like it was like the Jubilee right and then my lovely wife was driving a little bit too fast and I rather than being the gracious understanding husband that I could have been and should have been I got a little upset and then she got a little defensive but then I tried to say sweetheart I'm sorry and I was trying to communicate and and she felt like I had attacked her and she was upset she felt like I wasn't understanding and we had a lack of communication does that ever happen with you now we had we made up and we kissed and everything's great you lasted sweetheart we can't leave on this note because what happens if I die what happens if my plane crashes we can't leave like this and so yeah okay and that we everything was great but the point is this communication is a tricky thing to really get another human being to actually understand what it is you're saying is not an easy thing and as a public communicator I tell you to get hundreds or thousands of people to try and understand what you're saying is No easy feet now if I'm describing to you chocolate chip cookies or a baseball game or a school bus language is going to do pretty well so if I say yellow you've got a picture if I say tires you've got a picture if I say baseball mitt you've got a picture if I say baseball bat you've got a picture but when we start talking about God language begins to show its limitations it begins to show it's not perfect ability the inability to communicate things that are eternal things that are ineffable things that are in communicable very quickly so what we have to do anytime that we talk about God is recognize that there are very serious and very significant limitations that language has when it comes to describing God and the things of God are we together on that everyone okay the temptation to go back to Paul standing before the Greeks who had crafted all of their statues and they had their pantheon of deities the Greek temptation in Greek mythology was - I'm gonna give you a big word here and throw up amorphize you ever heard that word before anthropomorphize ER and anthropomorphism okay it comes from two words very simple the word morphe which means to change right and anthropos which means mankind so an anthropomorphism is making something like man are you tracking with me and we do this with our pets you know our little dog will come is oh oh he's so sad no he's not sad I don't know what he is but he's probably not sad you see characteristics and that dog that looked to you like human characteristics and so you anthropomorphize and you say oh if that was a human being that would be called sadness or that would be called GLaDOS I'm not saying that dogs can't experience some level of emotion I think they can but we do this we we give human characteristics to things that are not human sometimes that's appropriate but when it comes to god there's a slippery slope what our Greek friends did is they imagined that that God was like themselves and so they made gods who sought revenge and who had malice and who had jealousy and envy and anger and etc they made gods in their own image these were anthropomorphisms or they basically turned God into something like themselves now there are certainly passages in scripture where God is in his own language communicating to us so that we can understand who and what he is in language that sounds very human are you with me like for example the Bible says that God wrote the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone with his own finger okay so we get the idea here we get the idea a finger this is this is a human entity a finger part of a hand part of an arm Bart of a body and God wrote with his own finger it's not to say that he didn't do that he may well have done that but this is taking God and using human language to try and communicate what he's doing these anthropomorphisms can be appropriate up to a point okay now I want you to imagine that up here on our platform we'll be using this over and over again I want you to imagine that there's a line right here okay what is there everyone there's actually we do it even better we'll just say there's a line right here because in fact there is a line right here so you see how the stage ends right here and beyond there is no stage we together on that okay for those of you that have been to the ocean you've stood on the shore and you've looked out and the ocean looks big or small it looks huge doesn't it you're standing here and you look out that the vastness of the ocean okay I want you to have that picture in your mind we're standing here at the edge of human language okay this is the very edge of the very best and clearest articulation that human language can give us English can give us that's the only language that I speak so I'm going to speak in English tonight the very closest and best articulation of who and what God is gets us here but the point is this there is still an infinity beyond and in and eternity beyond of what God actually is this is just really getting us headed in the right direction but at some point we we come up to the sea and we say wow God is all of that beyond are you with me on that everyone now there are many passages in Scripture that demonstrate this let's just look at a few of them come with me to Deuteronomy come with me to Deuteronomy that's the fifth book of scripture Deuteronomy chapter 29 I'm going to go through these very quickly so hopefully your fingers are feeling dextrous and quick Deuteronomy chapter 29 and I'm going to read the very last verse of that chapter Deuteronomy 29 verse 29 Deuteronomy 29:29 says the secret things belong to the Lord our God but those things which are revealed belonged to us and to our children for ever that we may do all the words of this law Moses here demarcates between two things the secret things and the revealed things the revealed things are the things that God has shown us that's what the word means he has revealed them he has disclosed them those things belong to us and they take place within the limits of human language right right here all of this Moses is saying has been revealed but there's an infinity beyond there is an ocean beyond that that we don't understand the secret things have not been revealed to us who and what God is in his actual essence impenetrable ineffable in communicable so we we need to just be clear right upfront that all of the language that we're going to use all of the analogies that we're going to use they have limitations inherent limitations because human language has limitations amen everyone okay another passage of scripture just a couple more to this effect notice with me the book of Job join me in Joby Levin will stay in the Old Testament here for just a moment Jove 11 and verse 7 Jove 11 verse 7
job 11 verse seven says can you search out the deep things of God that's very much in keeping with our ocean metaphor here can you search out the deep things of God can you find out now what does your Bible say the limits of the almighty and obviously the question is asked in a rhetorical sense can you and the answer the implied answer is what of course not verse eight they are higher than heaven what can you do deeper than shale what can you know their measure is longer than the earth and here's our here's our metaphor again broader than the sea okay so we need to understand that we are like little children boobies EW gag a did you did you boys a boo that's us right trying to communicate quantum cosmology right that's us with all of our sophisticated theological language is the equivalent of Chichibu Gigi oh did you lose your dutiful write with an infinity beyond with an eternity beyond is there things that we can know about God yes or no are the things that he has revealed yes or no but are there limits to what that can actually reveal of course again and we need to be very clear right up front that in a very real sense God is the unknown God he is known to us of course the fullest disclosure of who and what God is was revealed to us in the life death and resurrection of Jesus amen but language words have they're clumsy they have their limitations they begin to stretch and they begin to break one more passage from the Old Testament then we'll look at another one from the New Testament this is a favorite it's from Psalm 145 Psalm 145 and verse three Psalm 145 verse 3 it says great is the Lord can you say amen to that great is the Lord and greatly to be praised God deserves our praise in great is the Lord and greatly to be praised but notice this notice what the psalmist follows up with here and his greatness is what does your Bible saying now unsearchable his great is the Lord and greatly to be praised and here we're praising him and his greatness is here we are standing on the sea of the shore the shore of the sea his greatness is unsearchable right can we fully apprehend the the limitlessness the in limit ability of God the eternality of Gatineau no absolutely not so when we come to the New Testament okay Paul you've heard of him right he wrote a letter to a young man named Timothy okay let's read the first of those letters first Timothy chapter 3 join me there this will be our sort of final passage here to underscore this introductory point first Timothy chapter 3 and we're going to read verse 16 first Timothy chapter 3 verse 16 the Bible says and without controversy great is the mystery of what does your Bible say great is the mystery of godliness not when Paul employs this phrase here without controversy what he's saying is this cannot be disputed without dispute ation some translations say no one can argue with the fact that the mystery of God and of godliness is awesome he then begins to give an articulation of the central feature of that mystery which is the Incarnation namely God becoming a man he continues God was manifested in the flesh justified in the spirit seen by angels preached among the Gentiles believed on in the world received up in glory so the first thing that we want to lay down here as we're sort of we have five presentations together we're going to be talking about God as a Trinity is God is there one God yes or no okay is he singular in his godness yeah he alone is gone but God we're going to see his also reveal to us as a plurality Father Son and Holy Spirit we want to spend most of our time on the Holy Spirit because for the most part we have a mental picture of God yeah we got God for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son we've got a pretty good picture of the son we know the father we know the son we understand these roles and relationships but who is this spirit who and what is this what's he about what's his job what does he look like what's his role but before we can spend too much time diving right into what this the Spirit is and who the Spirit is and what the Spirit is we first need to establish what does scripture reveal about God in his nature and God in his character okay and before we can do that we need to recognize that there are very significant very serious and very real limits of what word am I going to say here limits of language okay so language has its limit so we've looked at many passages here that basically say that the secret things they're forgot the things that are revealed there for us in our children without controversy great is the mystery of godliness right can you search out the the limits of God of course not great is the Lord and greatly to be praised how unsearchable is his greatness so far so good everyone so a very appropriate place for us to start in trying to put together our picture of who and what God is and by that by the way that's what the word theology means the study of God of God's revelation of God's nature of God's character a very good place for us to start in a brief but systematic study of who and what God is would be in what book I mean where if you were just going to start where would you start start let's start in Genesis what chapter do you think we should start in let's just start in Genesis chapter one go there with me if you would Genesis chapter one and of course we know these words right out of the gates in the beginning one so we're introduced to God on the very first phrase of the very first verse of the very first chapter in scripture verse book in scripture in the beginning what did God do in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and what we have here is a very wonderful very beautiful very poetic chronological laying out of God's creative acts day one he did this and day two he did this and day three he did this and day four he did this and as Moses is moving through as God has shown him this in cinematic vision as as Moses is moving through in this beautiful passage of God's creative acts he gets to the crowning act of God's creation the top the most important thing it wasn't the hippopotamus it wasn't the river it wasn't the ocean it wasn't the meadow it wasn't the sea anenome the crowning act of God's creation is that which was in his own image mankind so we're gonna look at that here in verse 26 Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 it says then God said let's and what does your Bible say there that's a very interesting thing isn't it now us is a pronoun right and is that a plural or a singular pronoun that's a plural pronoun let us now this is a little confusing in the English because God which is the antecedent noun to us is singular right I can see it right there then God said God is in the singular there's no S at the end so there's my antecedent noun it says then God said let and here comes my pronoun but it's not in the singular it's in the now why might that be well the answer is that what appears singular to us in the English God said in the Hebrew is actually the word Elohim which is in the plural Elohim plural it would be the functional equivalent of our gods right but Moses of course is writing from a monotheistic perspective we're going to get to that in just a moment and so the singular and the English is retained appropriately then God said let us make man in here comes another pronoun plural possessive our image according to our lightness the three pronouns there let us make man in our image according to our likeness let's what is it what does your Bible say let them is that plural or singular that's plural referring to Adam and Eve mankind let them have dominion over the fish of the sea over the birds of the air over the birds of the air and over the cattle over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth so God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him male and female he created what's our word they're them then God blessed them and God said to them be fruitful and multiply the very first command that God gives to the couple is to be fruitful and multiply to make others now let's just try here to appreciate the significance of this this is the first introduction that we have to God I mean right at the very beginning Genesis chapter 1 were introduced to God as creator and we're introduced to God as not only creating the mountains and the meadows and the streams and the forests and the hippopotamus and the giraffes and the solar systems and the stars he creates man mankind but when he creates mankind he says let us make man in our image let them have dominion when he creates of them he creates a male and a female that is to say - how many everyone - and what's the first thing that he says to both of them what's the first command he gives to them make another make another be fruitful multiply make a family now I want you just to imagine a very simple thing here imagine that this is a mirror it's not it's a book but just imagine it's a mirror okay now if I have a mirror right here okay and I'm looking in the mirror just like this now let's say there's another person that's standing right here okay they're standing right here and they're looking sort of at an angle here at the mirror but I'm standing directly in front of the mirror when that person looks at the mirror this person here what are they going to see in that mirror okay okay now be very careful what you say here what are they going to see in the mirror let me ask a simpler question okay you're correct when you say they see me okay so here's a question is that me okay what is that that's a reflection or an image of me now here's something very interesting about mirrors and images that isn't me but whatever is there is a very accurate picture of this because this is an image of this are you with me on that so I'm going to ask you a simple question according to Genesis 1 right here in the very beginning we're just being systematic as we begin our study five-part study what was it that was in the image of God be more precise male and female and what is the first command that God gives to them make another so I'm going to say it this way what God made in His image was a family God made a family in his image now let's go back to our illustration here if I'm looking in the mirror here and there's a person standing right here okay is that image a very accurate reflection of me yes or no is the image me no but it's a reflection of me so what do we see when we look in the image that God made of himself in Genesis 1 what do we see there we see a man and a and God saying to them make a make another we see a family in the image of God very interesting let us plural make man in our image plural possessive let them I'm going to say something here that I think you'll get only of them could represent an us right how could a he singular or just a she singular represent and us no no no let us make man in our image let what's the word let them a plural represents a plural okay that's Genesis 1 but things get very interesting in Genesis 2 join me there Genesis 2 just starting very slowly here laying the groundwork are we going too fast no nice and slow Genesis chapter 2 by the way tomorrow night's on I'll be here tomorrow night are you gonna be here tomorrow night I will be here tomorrow night I give you a solemn promise that it as long as I'm still alive I will be here tomorrow night this program starts at what time do we start tonight oK you've got tomorrow night after this program there's another live program because 3abn does their live programs on Thursdays and tomorrow night it's my friend from the seminary at Berrien Springs dr. Ranko Stefanovic is doing a two-hour live program and guess what his topic is Holy Spirit good guess in a sense it is he's doing a two-hour live program on the Trinity tomorrow I'll be sitting there live I'm gonna go in there and make faces at and try to get him to know but anyway the point is this to me it's such if I didn't know that he just stopped by my room today with dr. Russell and they had prayer with me and they said oh we're here we're recording some programs on the book of Matthew and tomorrow night he said tomorrow night I'm doing a program on the Trinity I said Ronco I'm speaking about the Trinity tonight he said well this must be very necessary and let me tell you something it is and let me say it this way it is important that we understand the Trinity and that we understand the nature of God not because it's unclear but because many of our own people and many well-meaning Christians out there just don't know what Scripture teaches so when someone comes perhaps a well-meaning person perhaps even a sincere person and puts a pamphlet or puts a track or puts a CD in their hand that says all this is pagan oh this is Catholic oh we can't believe this and they don't know what scripture actually teaches they're led away by the nose into something that seems plausible and seems realistic but what we want to do here and tomorrow night and dr. Stefano Mitch's program we want to look at anchors of so that's what we're doing we're just going through a very simple very methodical study of Scripture first understanding God and His nature and then looking specifically at the Holy Spirit we together everyone Genesis chapter 2 Genesis chapter 2 verse 7 actually we'll pick it up in verse 24 I was going to read verse 7 let's just do this therefore verse 24 of Genesis 2 therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife now watch this and they they that's plural shall become what does your Bible say one flesh okay now this is a very important point here the two become one okay now I'm gonna ask you a question is that a contradiction what I thought we were talking about - are we talking about - but I thought we were talking about one are we talking about one well which is it one or two yes is the answer right are we talking about - yes we're talking about Adam and Eve male and female two individuals one family the - one flesh and in that procreative union that sexual union another is created which is the first thing that God had said to them be fruitful and multiply now the word here for one this is an important word we're going to come back to it tomorrow but this is a something for you to remember the word here is the Hebrew word Akkad Akkad and it means one but it doesn't mean one in necessarily in the rigidly singular sense okay that word is yucky yucky this is the word Akkad which means one in terms of unity in terms of what where did I say everyone unity okay because we have the man we have the woman there how many is that one plus one is but when they come together they become what one flesh so the to become do we see plurality there do we see singularity there we sure do Genesis chapter 3 join me we're just going to walk through this Genesis chapter 3 we might get one more passage in tonight and then we'll have set the groundwork very nicely set the table very nicely for tomorrow night Genesis chapter 3 verse 22 this is after Adam has partaken of the fruit the the wife Eve have partaken of the fruit they have fallen into sin and rebellion verse 22 then the Lord God said Behold the man has become like one of us to know good and evil and now lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever therefore the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden so behold the man has become like one of us okay so here's a fascinating thing we are introduced to God right at the very beginning I mean at the very outset of Scripture as one God who is also and us do we see singularity God said yes but do we also see plurality yes and we see it most strikingly in the thing that God makes in his image this is the mirror God is essentially saying hey this is what I'm like do you want to know what I'm like we're going to pick that up tomorrow night this is the most beautiful glorious life-transforming picture of who and what God is because when we get to the New Testament John John the Apostle is going to say three of the most phenomenally beautiful words in all of the English language when put in juxtaposition he's going to say as many thousands of years future yet but this is where he said this is where scripture is headed god is love not merely loving which would be an adjective describing a behavior God is in his very nature in his very essence God is what's our word love but wait a minute love by definition is the principle of putting others first yeah that's love right love seeketh not its own first Corinthians chapter 13 verse 5 greater love hath no man than this that a man would lay down his life for his so love by definition as others are you with me on that now hear it again god is what love if love is the principle of putting others first then what by definition do we have to have in order to have love got to have others and that's where we're headed with this so right here at the outset in in Genesis chapter one and two were introduced to God right God the Creator God the sovereign and he says let us make man in our image here's a mirror a God can show to the Angels and God can show to the other planets into the other universe hey this is what I'm like now why would God have to create something in his image I don't have time to unpack this but the short version is because of the limits of language because of the limits of language and of analogy and of because God is so totally awesome so totally different so totally amazing he creates a thing and says well this is what I like this is what I'm like but the question is is what was that that he made in his image what was that thing that he made in his image was it just males are males in the image of God and not females no our females also in the image of God so what is it that God made in His image he made a family he made a man he made a woman and the very first thing he said to them was make another are we beginning to lay the groundwork here for our time together we're talking tonight about the mystery of God's singularity and plurality we have effectively set the table all the pieces are on the table the silverware is there the plates are there and tomorrow we're going to continue to set the table and then we'll start eating the meal but let me tell you the picture that emerges the picture of God is so beautiful so stirring and so uniquely Christian that it will just melt your heart it is so profoundly beautiful and what's more than that it's not only beautiful it's true
More from this creator:
"In general, we know about God the Father, and we certainly know about God the Son, Jesus Christ," David says. "But what about the third member of the Godhead—God the Holy Spirit? Do we know Him as we ought? Do we understand His identity, personality, and work?
"The answer for too many of us is: not really," he continues. "In this five-part series we'll take an in-depth look at the Biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. More than this, we'll seek to understand what it means to be truly filled with the Spirit. Our goal will be to know Him and to be known by Him. He is, after all, for far too many of us, the Unknown God."
This Anchors of Truth series will be held at the 3ABN Worship Center and broadcast live on Three Angels Broadcasting Network. We hope you can join us in person, or through television, or the Internet. We know you won't want to miss this blessing!