Colossians 2:8-10 (KVJ) – “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 fullness of the God-Head bodily. And ye are complete in him…”
Here in the book of Colossians the Apostle Paul warns the first century Church to beware of any system of thinking that would keep them from understanding the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I John 5:20 (KJV) – “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
Here John declares that Jesus Christ is the true God as well as being eternal life.
Who created the world and everything in it? We find the answer in the very first verse of the very first book of the Bible. Genesis 1:1 says that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Since God created the heaven and the earth then who created man? Again we go to the book of Genesis.
Genesis 1:26 (KJV) – “God said let us make man in our image.”
What’s interesting about this verse is the use of the plural terms “us” and “our”. This verse has confused some people since the Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God. To whom then could God have been speaking? Some would answer that question by saying that God was speaking to His Son Jesus Christ. However, a Son was not existing at that time because scripture tells us the Son was begotten or made.
Galatians 4:4 (KJV) – “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”
So to whom then was God speaking or counseling with in Genesis 1:26? There is the possibility of four (4) interpretations:
1. God was talking to the angels at creation
2. God counseled with His will
3. The passage uses a majestic or literary plural form of speech
4. A future arrival of the son was in God’s foreknowledge
Let’s explore each interpretation!
The Jewish people have traditionally interpreted Genesis 1:26 to mean that God was speaking to the angels at creation. This doesn’t imply that the angels took part in the creation but only that God informed them of His plans. According to Job 38:4-7 the angels were present at the creation. And on at least one other occasion God spoke to the angels and requested their opinions (I Kings 22:19-22).
The second possibility is that God counseled with his will. Ephesians 1:11 supports this view when it declares that God works all things “after the counsel of His own will.” This is similar to a person saying “Let’s see” (Let us see), even when someone is planning by to act by themselves.
The next option is that the passage in Genesis 1:26 is a majestic or literary plural. In formal speech or writings, majestic or literary plurals are used. It uses language that refers to one’s self in the plural, especially if the speaker is considered royalty. A good example can be found in Daniel 2:36. Here Daniel tells King Nebuchadnezzar ““We will tell the interpretation thereof before the King.” Daniel uses the plural “we” even though Daniel alone proceeded to give the interpretation to the king. Prophets often employ this majestic language.
The final possibility is that God was seeing the future arrival of the Son. We must remember that God is not subject or limited by time. Romans 4:17 declares “He calls those things that are not as they are. Time is meaningless to God. To God, a day is as a 1000 years and a 1000 years is like a day (II Peter 3:8). John 1:1 tells us that the incarnation existed from the beginning in the mind of God. God saw Himself as He would come thousands of years later and made Adam in the figure of Him (Jesus) who was to come. The first man Adam was made according to the same blueprint intended for Jesus. It can be argued that it was necessary to use the plural “us” in creation to explain the two natures of Jesus Christ – humanity and divinity.
Genesis 1:27 (KJV) – “So God created man in his own image….”
Notice the use of the singular when God created man! So how do we reconcile the use of the plural terms in Genesis 1:26 with the singular terms in Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:7? Any interpretation of Genesis 1:26 that includes there being more than one God runs into severe difficulties. The scriptures are clear that there is only one God.
Isaiah 44:24 (KJV) “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.”
There is only one creator according to Malachi 2:10. “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?” Some have interpreted the use of the plurals “we” and “us” in Genesis 1:26 as referring to Jesus Christ. But how do we reconcile this with the fact that the son was born thousands of years later in Bethlehem?
The Godhead – Part 2