Who Is God?

There are many different concepts as to who God is. Many people accept god as only a force in the universe, such as “the Force” in Star Wars. Others accept the idea that there are many different gods. And they all have authority over us. Still others believe that nature itself is god. What is the truth? Our Bible explains it very clearly to us.

There Is Only One God

The first thing that we need to understand is that there is only one God. The Bible does not contradict itself.

Although the Bible does sometimes use a plural verb and a plural noun in reference to God, we must remember what the Bible says. Look at Isaiah 44:6 (NIV): “This is what the Lord says–Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” And again in Deut. 6:4 (NIV): “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

These two verses definitely state that God is only one entity. Why is a plural verb and a plural noun sometimes used? We are really only going to fully understand that when we are released from this finite world and are capable of understanding eternity. Just remember, this is a fact and we must accept it by faith. God definitely states that He is the only God and there is no other god or gods.

However, there are several things that we can know that can help us understand who God is.

Is Allah God?

The name that we use for God is not nearly as important as our concept of God. In Exodus 3:14 when Moses asked God what His name was, God answered (Exodus 3:14 NIV): “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

The Hebrew word translated “I Am” is “hayah” which means simply “to exist.” In other words, all we really need to know about God that He exists. Thus, the name that we use for Him is not really important.

Many have taught that “Allah” (the word that Muslims use for their god) refers to one pagan god or another. However, every Arab Muslin, Christian and Jew uses Allah as the name for the deity that they worship. In fact, in the Arabic translation of the Bible, whenever a reference to God is used, it is translated as “Allah.”

Allah, the Muslim name for God, may be a better name for the deity that we worship than our use of “God.” Allah comes from the Hebrew Elohim and the Aramaic word elo. However, the English word “god” comes from the Germanic “Gott” and that word is a pagan name for Germanic deity.

I am not saying that we should use “Allah” instead of “God” The important point here is that the name that we use for God is not nearly as important as our concept of God and that we are worshipping the true God in heaven.

The Importance Of a Person’s Name

We can begin to understand who God is by understanding the different names that are used for God in the Bible. We use the name of a person simply to identify that person in contrast to another person. In Biblical times, the name of a person was not a mere label of identification; it was an expression of the essential nature of that person. In other words, a persons name revealed his character, who that person really is.

This is why a person’s name was sometimes changed. Abram became Abraham. Abram means “high father.” “Abraham” means “the father of a multitude or of many nations.” God changed his name because God promised Abram that he would become the father of many nations. His new name identified the new person that he had become.

Jacob’s name was changed toIsrael. Jacob meant “heel-catcher.” His mother named him that because when he came out of her womb, his hand was on the heel of his brother, Esau. However,Israelmeans “he will rule as God.” Jacob had just wrestled all night with God and finally said: “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” God blessed him by changing his name toIsrael. His name change meant that now God was going to work through him and his descendants.

Thus, Jacob, nowIsrael, became the father of God’s chosen people. We know that people today as the nation ofIsrael. Remember this always,Israelis God’s chosen people. We can only know who God is throughIsrael.

Old Testament Names For God

One of the names the Old Testament uses for God is Jehovah. It means “the self-Existent One” or “the Eternal One.” It is often translated as “Lord” in the Old Testament. Sometimes this name is combined with another Hebrew word. These two combinations do help us to understand a little more about who God really is.

One combination is Jehovah-jireh and it is found in Genesis 22:14 (KJV): “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” The NKJV translates Jehovah-jireh as “The Lord Will Provide” because that is the meaning of “jireh.”

Another time is Jehovah-nissi and it is found in Exodus 17:15 (KJV): “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:” The NKJV translates Jehovah-nissi as “The Lord Is My Banner” because this is the meaning of “nissi.”

There is another Old Testament word for God that really helps us to understand who God is. Remember that we have already established that the Bible teaches that there is only one God. Yet, look at Genesis 1:1 (NIV): “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

The word translated “God” in this verse is “Elohim.” This is a Hebrew plural word for God. However, the next word “created” [Hebrew bara] is a singular verb. A singular verb cannot be used with a plural noun, and yet it is here. This is showing us that God is a single entity.

Think about the meanings of these three translations and you will begin to get a picture of who the Old Testament says that God is. But the biggest problem is that the word Elohim is a plural word for God. How can that be explained?

We Must First Understand Who We Are

We can better understand who God is by understanding who we are. We are also three in one. We are made up of a spirit and a body and when the two are combined, we are a living soul. We have a created body, into which God breathed our living spirit. When those two elements are combined, we become a living soul.

If we were just a body, we would be no different than an animal. If we were just a spirit, we would be like an angel. But we become a unique being when the body and spirit are combined. Becoming a living soul is what makes us a unique being. We are a trinity, a single being composed of three parts. If you want to understand this better, read my article “Body, Soul and Spirit.”

Even when we die and go to heaven, we will still be a trinity being. Yes, we will leave our earthly body behind and it will decay. However, we will receive a new body that is exactly like the body that Jesus now has. Philip. 3:20-21 (NIV): “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

God Is A Trinity

Jehovah God is not like the Greek or Roman Gods. Those gods are separate entities. They each operate separately. In fact, they usually are in competition with each other.

This is not what the Living God is. He is a single being composed of three parts. We understand these parts as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Remember, Jesus said that He did not do anything unless He saw His Father doing it. This is why they are one God. The three parts live in harmony with each other. They do not exist apart from each other. Thus, they are one.

As Christians, we understand God as a Trinity. Why? God is not three persons. God is not three entities. Why does the Bible talk about a Trinity? It is because God is so far beyond our comprehension that it is impossible to understand who He is. Thus, God has chosen to reveal Himself in three different ways. First, as a Father, Second as a Savior (Jesus), and Third as someone that can be everywhere at once (the Holy Spirit).

Accept God For Who He Says He Is

We do not need to fully understand who God is to commit our lives to Him. We only need to understand that He created us and He loves us and He does want all of us to live with Him in His Heaven. But the choice is up to us. No one determines our future eternal existence except us. I make the choice for me, it is not up to anyone else, even God. God has told us what He desires for us. It is up to us to make the decision as to whether we are going to fulfill His desire.

S




Leave a Reply