Part 2: Understanding the Manifestations of Father, Son, and Spirit
Mark 12:29 (King James Version)
29And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Because of the priority that the scripture places on God being absolutely one, we must be careful that we don’t confuse this truth. We should avoid non-biblical terminology such as “God in three persons.” Jesus is not a person in the Godhead; the Godhead, the very essence and nature of God, is in Him.
Colossians 2:9 (King James Version)
9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
God has manifested, revealed Himself, in many different ways. In the Old Testament, He manifested his presence as a fire, cloud, and voice. The children of Israel also knew Him as their creator, protector, and provider. Today, He is primarily revealed as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Bible identifies God as a singular Spirit.
John 4:24 (King James Version)
24God is a Spirit…
Ephesians 4:4 (King James Version)
4There is one body, and one Spirit...
God is not limited by time or space as we are. Because God is a Spirit, people around the world can enjoy His presence and pray with confidence that He hears each of our prayers individually and simultaneously.
The Bible usually refers to the Spirit of God when describing God in activity.
Genesis 1:2 (King James Version)
2…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Numbers 24:2 (King James Version)
2…the spirit of God came upon him.
2 Samuel 23:2 (King James Version)
2The Spirit of the LORD spake…
Most Christians today also refer to the moving and ministry of God as the work of the Spirit. For instance, it would be rather odd to hear a minister say, "the Son is moving in this service." We would expect to hear, "the Spirit is moving in this service."
Jesus promised that anytime that we gather in His name that He will be there. He is no longer here bodily, but He ministers as the omnipresent Spirit.
Philippians 1:19 (King James Version)
19For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
2 Corinthians 3:17 (King James Version)
17Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Jesus made it quite clear to His disciples that He would go away bodily and that they would experience Him in a whole new spiritual way.
John 14:26, 16-18 (King James Version)
26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, …16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
The Comforter, the Spirit, would come, but the world didn't know Him. Who was Jesus speaking of? In John 18:9, Jesus said that the world did not know the Son; basically, they didn't understand His true identity. The disciples knew Him and He dwelled with them. In that day after His ascension, He would dwell in them. The only way that Jesus could dwell in His disciples was as the one Spirit of God. In case there were any questions regarding the true identity of the coming Comforter, Jesus said, " I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."
There is no distinction between the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ. In fact, the scripture actually uses these phrases as interchangeable synonyms.
Romans 8:9 (King James Version)
9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Father and Son
Father: God, the creator and life giver
Malachi 2:10 (King James Version)
10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?...
Colossians 1:16-17 (King James Version)
16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Speaking of Christ)
Father of the only begotten Son
Matthew 1:20 (King James Version)
20...fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
The Spirit of God was literally the Father of the Christ. The terms Father and Son are terms of relationship. They are not names, positions, or titles of persons.
Matthew 1:18 (King James Version)
18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. (Father)
Luke 1:35 (King James Version)
35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
The Spirit moved on Mary. A baby boy, or son, was conceived. Since Jesus was conceived by the Spirit of God, He can be called the Son of God. However, the scripture is quite clear that He was more than just the Son of God.
Isaiah 9:6 (King James Version)
6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
The Son was the everlasting Father and mighty God. The one Spirit dwelled in the flesh.
2 Corinthians 5:19 (King James Version)
19...God was in Christ
The terms "Father" and "Son" are distinctions between manifestations but not a distinction of persons. Jesus Christ can not be divided any more than our spirit and flesh can be divided.
John 10:30 (King James Version)
30I and my Father are one.
John 12:45 (King James Version)
45And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
John 14:7 (King James Version)
7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
1 John 2:22-23 (King James Version)
22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
Most questions concerning the nature of God can be answered when we recognize that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man. The Father was in the Son.
John 14:8-10 (King James Version)
8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? 10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Father – Spirit of God
Son – Child (Flesh) that was born.
The incarnation was aptly called Emmanuel, God with us. He was the perfect union of God and humanity. Jesus Christ was both Father and Son, limited flesh and all powerful Spirit.
Revelation 22:16 (King James Version)
16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David
Root - Father, Offspring - Son
1 Timothy 3:16 (King James Version)
16And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…..
The terms “Son of Man” and “Son of God” emphasize these dual natures of Christ.
Son of God
Besides for referring to Christ as the only begotten Son, the title "Son of God" also refers to anyone that is holy and sanctified by God including angels (Job 1:6), believers (John 1:12), those led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14), and saints (Phillipians 2:15).
Son of Man
Just as “Son of God” describes Godliness, “son of man” describes humanity. This expression is used often in scripture.
Ezekiel 2 (King James Version)
1And he said unto me, Son of man…3And he said unto me, Son of man,…6And thou, son of man,.. 8But thou, son of man
His Godly nature (Son of God) allowed Him to live a sin free life. His human nature (Son of Man) allowed Him to pay our penalty for sin and die. Both roles were vital in allowing Him to become our supreme sacrifice. Without the Son (the flesh), redemption would have been impossible. God cannot die. He had to become a man to shed blood.
Acts 20:28 (King James Version)
28...the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Galatians 4:4 (King James Version)
4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Begotten refers to conception and birth. It is the opposite of eternal. The Son was made of a woman at a specific time. If the Son was an eternal person, what qualified him to be called a Son? A Son has to be conceived by a Father. God first experienced sonship when He humbled Himself and was born of a virgin.
Philippians 2:6-7 (New International Version)
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
The Purpose of the Son - Redeemer
Romans 6:23 (King James Version)
23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Purpose of the Son – Mediator
1 Timothy 2:5 (King James Version)
5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
The Purpose of the Son – Illuminator
2 Corinthians 4:6 (King James Version)
6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
His Final Revelation
The primary role of the Son is salvation. The sonship consists of God manifesting Himself, taking the place of man, and bearing the weight of our sins.
Hebrews 2:14 (King James Version)
14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
1 Corinthians 15:21 (King James Version)
21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
This purpose will be completed when the church is presented to God.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (King James Version)
25… Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
When Christ presents the church to Himself, we will see Him exalted. Instead of a humble servant, we will see Jesus seated on the throne as the Almighty God.
Revelation 4:2 (King James Version)
2And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Revelation 21:5-6 (King James Version)
5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6And he said unto me, It is done…
God’s great act of redemption will be finished, and Christ will be victorious over death, hell, and the grave. The lamb will show that He is the Lion that reigns eternally, the Great I Am!