Think about it: three separate, distinct, equal, coeternal Gods functioning as one God because of love! Just saying God is love is insignificant until you realize that each deity still has the power, rights, and prerogatives that come with being deity, yet, each day, freely chooses to forfeit two-thirds of His powers, rights, and prerogatives so, together, they can serve the universe as one. No one else in the universe would dare do this for even a minute–much less eternity!
My best deduction is that after the three Gods determined what their relationship should be, they began to discuss the changes they would have to make. Two Gods agreed to give up omnipresence so only one would be omnipresent. This may seem strange, but we see this decision in Jesus’ words when He said to His disciples, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”1 Jesus is saying He and the Father surrendered the power to be everywhere at the same time to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only God using the power of omnipresence. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Jesus would be with His disciples in real time wherever they are. If one disciple was in Rome, one in India, and one in northern Africa carrying the gospel, Jesus could not be with each of them if He remained on Earth. This is why He said, “It is for your good that I am going away.”
Two Gods agreed to give up the power of omniscience so only one God has foreknowledge. Jesus stated He did not have foreknowledge when He said, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”2 Later, when Jesus was exalted to the throne, I am confident the Father told Him the appointed time.
If Jesus and the Holy Spirit were to have access to the foreknowledge that deities inherently possess, an important problem arises. The Bible teaches the Father used His foreknowledge to write a book containing top-secret information before anything or anyone was created.3 This book contains a history of the drama of sin, and information about who will be saved and lost.4 The Father recorded this sensitive information before anything was created to exonerate Himself from false charges that would arise later on. Afterwards, He secured the book with seven seals so that no one could know what He foreknew until the book was opened and its contents revealed at the end of the 1,000 years.5
If Jesus and the Holy Spirit had foreknowledge, they also would know what the Father foreknew: the contents of His book. If the Holy Spirit and Jesus foreknew what was in the book, the devil would have a compelling argument against the Godhead! Satan could argue that since the Godhead already knows who will be saved and lost, the eternal destiny of angels and human beings has been predetermined. This would bolster his assertion that free will is a joke because everyone’s destiny is already written down.
Many Christians believe in predestination. For them, nothing a person can do will change his eternal destiny because God has predetermined it. This conclusion places the Bible in a state of internal conflict. The Bible teaches that God’s children have free will and are gifted with the power of choice. We are self-directing individuals and the Godhead will not overrule our power of choice; our eternal destiny is determined by our response to the Holy Spirit. Lucifer and his followers were cast out of heaven because they chose to defy the Holy Spirit and override their propensity for righteousness, violating the boundaries God had established. When it comes to eternal life or death, we have a choice!
The Bible says, “That whosoever believes in him [Jesus] shall not perish, but have eternal life.”6 This means believing in Jesus is a choice. Another verse says, “Let the one who is thirsty come [to the Holy City, New Jerusalem]; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life [also come].”7 Still another says, “[the Lord] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”8 These verses are in conflict with any verse that attempts to undo what they say. Whenever a doctrine or concept puts the Bible in a state of internal conflict, we can be sure that doctrine or concept is false. No wonder the world is full of false doctrines.9
Two Gods agreed to surrender their foreknowledge and trust one God with foreknowledge throughout eternity. This kind of surrender can only come through pure love; each God loving the other two with all of His heart, mind, and soul. Who else would give up such amazing power?
Keep in mind each member of deity has free will to break His vow of love and violate the first law at any time. Of course, this would be out of character and contrary to their faithfulness, but I mention it to underscore why their enduring love for one another is so important. Love literally holds the universe together and anyone wishing to become a member of the “family of God” has to love the Godhead in the same way each member loves one another! This explains why their offspring are granted life for as long as they choose to love the Godhead with all of their hearts, minds, and souls. We demonstrate our love for God when we choose to obey and live within boundaries ordained by divine wisdom. Considering the natural propensity for love given to the angels, and which Adam and Eve enjoyed before their fall, and what history reveals the Godhead has done for sinners, who can find fault with the first and greatest commandment? The whole universe is built around it!
The Bible affirms that two Gods agreed to give up omnipotence so that only one God would have authority over everything.10 This is difficult for our sinful natures to comprehend so it is understandable why people conclude there is only one God! Remember, the greatness and largeness of the Godhead is an endless and difficult study. However, no study or research produces a greater blessing, because this study ends with a transformative understanding of love! Love awakens love. Even though the Godhead is unlike us in so many ways and we have many serious impediments in understanding them, each person has an ability to comprehend their love. Paul wrote, “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.”11
Two Gods agreed to give up their ability to create so that one God would be the Creator of everything that exists; everything in the universe is held together by His power alone! “He [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”12
The three Gods also agreed that only one God would be their spokesperson, and He would be called “The Word.”13 This meant the universe would hear one God speaking throughout all eternity. Also, one God would sit on the throne of the universe and the other two would submit to His foreknowledge and will. They also agreed two Gods would remain invisible for all eternity.
Note: All three Gods are actually invisible. The God we call “Jesus” lives within the form of a created being. Of course, His form can be seen, but the deity living within the form cannot be seen. Before coming to Earth, Jesus lived in the form of an angel and after His birth, in the form of a man, but these are only “forms.” Jesus was given a body at birth because He is invisible.14 We see this phenomenon in the fifth trumpet. During the Great Tribulation, the devil and his demons will be allowed to appear physically. They will be given “bodily forms” which human beings can see and touch. At the Second Coming, these “forms” will be thrown into the lake of fire,15 but the devil and his demons will be returned to the Abyss for 1,000 years.16 When Lucifer tempted Eve, he inhabited the form of a serpent. Demons can inhabit pigs and drown them;17 they can also inhabit human beings and give them incredible strength.18 Samson’s great strength was the result of the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.19 I have digressed for a moment to better explain that three infinite Gods are invisible because a finite form cannot define an infinite God.
The three Gods also agreed that whatever was created belonged to the God who sat on the throne.20 The other two Gods would own nothing unless the Father gave it to them. Remember, infinite love and wisdom compelled three Gods to voluntarily surrender themselves to one another so that their children would worship them forever as One God. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God [elohiym, plural], the Lord is one [in purpose, plan and action]. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength [this is the first and greatest commandment].”21 Although no one other than the three Gods attended the meeting, we can safely assume they actually made these decisions because the Bible affirms as much. If one God is changeless, so are the other two.22 Their love for each other has not changed from the beginning. What we know about their relationship has endured since their relationship began. They are equals, like identical triplets, with the same nature and substance.23 They have chosen to live forever as Gods with self-imposed limitations so they may serve their offspring as one God. Truly, God (elohiym, plural) is love.
The Godhead Living with Limitations
We need to consider one more point to fully appreciate the untold story of Jesus. After agreeing how their rights, powers, and prerogatives would be divided, I believe the three Gods cast lots24 to see which role each God would take on. As distinct, separate, coeternal deities, any one of the three Gods could perfectly fill any of the three roles.
Assuming lots were cast, they chose one God to serve as “Ruler of the Universe”25 who would sit on the throne and be called “Holy Father.”26 He alone would have foreknowledge,27 be forever invisible, live in unapproachable light,28 and own the universe including everything in it, albeit, with self-imposed limitations. The awesome glory and power which surrounds Father God would be a visible reminder of the divine power that actually belongs to the other two members of deity as well. A few of His self-imposed limits are: He does not speak for the Godhead, this is Jesus’ role; He cannot be everywhere at once, this is the Holy Spirit’s role; He is isolated from everyone, and were it not for the ministry of the other two Gods, the Father would have no communication with anyone in the universe.29
Another God was chosen to serve as the Holy Spirit. He also agreed to remain invisible for all eternity and to never speak of His own accord. When we consider that a deity can speak and planets and stars appear,30 I cannot imagine a member of the Godhead giving up the right to speak for eternity! Of course, He speaks privately with the other two Gods when they have meetings, but He does not speak on His own to created beings.31 Consider this scenario: When Jesus was mocked and beaten before going to the cross, the Holy Spirit said nothing. When Jesus was nailed to the cross, the Holy Spirit said nothing. Knowing that the Holy Spirit loves Jesus with all of His heart, mind, and soul, how could He remain silent? The Holy Spirit’s behavior at the crucifixion demonstrates the conviction of His vow to remain silent. This is overwhelming!
You may notice most of the discussion in this book centers on the Father and Jesus, and conclude the Holy Spirit is not allocated a “fair share.” The silence and invisibility of the Holy Spirit is part of the design to which the three Gods agreed. The Holy Spirit is hidden from view most of the time so that He can exalt the Father and Jesus. His power and work were prominent during the first century of Christianity, and will be prominent again for 1,260 days during the Great Tribulation.32 The Holy Spirit is as humble as the other two Gods. When I think of the Holy Spirit’s humility, I am reminded that when Jesus came to Earth, His glory and power were shrouded in the form of an unremarkable man.33 He could have chosen to be the most handsome man to have ever lived, but, instead, chose to be homely in appearance. The humility shown by one deity is demonstrated in the other two as well.
The members of the Godhead do not lord their vast superiority over their subjects; they, in fact, serve their subjects. All they do is directed toward the well-being and happiness of their children. It should be obvious now that instead of the Holy Spirit’s role being diminished, it is critical. He is the invisible link between the Father and Jesus, and the only connection existing between the Godhead and their children. He causes life to flourish; He makes ecstasy, joy, and happiness possible; He brings healing, spiritual gifts, conviction, courage, comfort, and strength as the Father and Jesus ordain them. If it were not for the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Father, Jesus, and this marvelous story would be unknown! The quiet ministry of the Holy Spirit God is as much a vital part of the story as are the attributes of the other two deities.
Because the other two Gods agreed to forfeit their omnipresence, the Holy Spirit is the only God that can be everywhere at once.34 This attribute means He can actually live within billions of people at the same time! He alone knows every mind and heart, which is why He is the one who determines when a person commits the unpardonable sin.35 He alone hears and sees everything36 and transmits this information to the Father and Jesus using sounds we cannot understand.37 Imagine Him as a huge network of fiber optic cables carrying billions of messages back and forth between the Father and Jesus, and between the Godhead and every created being every second, in real time! Of course, the Holy Spirit takes this responsibility very seriously because He loves sinners just as much as He loves Jesus and the Father.
Finally, the remaining God was appointed to serve as “Creator and Speaker of the House.” Today, we call this God, “Jesus.” In addition, the Three agreed the Creator would live in the visible form of a created being. They wanted a member of the Godhead to live and experience life as would one of their created beings. By doing this, their offspring could observe what God would do in any situation as He had “walked in their shoes.”
At the end of the meeting, the three Gods were satisfied with their agreements, plans, limitations, and roles. A new organization was established called The Godhead or Trinity. It will endure for all eternity. Now that thousands (perhaps billions) of years have passed, time has revealed their trust and love for each other. They are truly holy, set apart, and unique.38 It overloads my mind to think that three Gods forfeited some of their powers, rights, and prerogatives to function as “one deity.”
However, when I look at the willingness of Jesus to humble Himself, to wash the feet of His disciples, and to die a horrible death on the cross, I know this is a pure reflection of the love which the other two Gods have for us. The greatness and largeness of the Godhead is mirrored by their humility and love. Their kindness, generosity, thoughts, and ways are far beyond my comprehension. I am sure that if the Father had thought it best, He would have gladly died for repentant sinners; but, instead, He did something more difficult: He gave Jesus whom He loved with all of His heart, mind, and soul to die for all repentant sinners. There is no question He suffered pain greater than Abraham or Jephthah could have known.39
To consummate their agreement to live as one deity for eternity, I believe each God swore an oath40 to the other two. These eternal vows were needed to secure and ensure the foundation of the universe would be permanent. No home can be built if the foundation is not firm. When a man and woman exchange vows of fidelity, they are making a promise to stay within boundaries. If there are no boundaries, a commitment is not possible.
The Godhead swore to one another to live as “limited Gods” and serve as one deity for eternity. This union is bound by two covenants. First, each God promised to love the other two with all His heart, mind, and soul. Second, each God promised to love His neighbors (the beings that would be created) as they love themselves. For as long as three deities choose to love each other and their neighbors as themselves without reservation, the future of the universe is secure and wonderful.
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1. John 16:7
2. Matthew 24:36
3. Revelation 17:8
5. Revelation 20:12
6. John 3:16, insertion mine
7. Revelation 22:17, insertions mine
8. 2 Peter 3:9, insertion mine
9. 1 John 2:21-26
10. 1 Timothy 6:15-16
11. Romans 2:4
12. Colossians 1:17, insertion mine
13. John 1:1
14. Hebrews 10:5
15. Revelation 19:20
16. Revelation 20:2-3
17. Matthew 8:32
18. Mark 5:4
19. Judges 13:24-25
20. Revelation 4:9-11; John 17:6; Hebrews 2:10
21. Deuteronomy 6:4-5, insertions mine
22. Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8
23. Philippians 2:6-7
24. God approves the casting of lots. See Leviticus 16:8; Acts 1:26.
25. 1 Timothy 6:15
26. John 17:11; Matthew 23:9
27. 1 Peter 1:1-2
28. 1 Timothy 6:13-16
29. John 1:18; 6:46; Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:11
30. Psalm 33:9
31. John 16:13
32. Revelation 11:3
33. Isaiah 53:2
34. Psalm 139:7-8
35. Matthew 12:31-32
37. Romans 8:26
38. Revelation 4:8
39. Genesis 22:2; Judges 11:34-36
40. Examples: Psalms 106:26-27; 132:11; Isaiah 45:22-25; Hebrews 6:13-14; Revelation 10:6