In my article "One God - Multiple Manifestations," I explained how that God revealed (manifested) Himself through various forms that we call Theophany’s. What is very important about this concept is that to fully understand the Godhead going forward, you have to understand that just because God can do many things doesn't mean we can divide him up into independent, co-equal and co-eternal spirits. Now, we are going to look at the plural uses of some terms in scripture in light of the Trinitarian viewpoint.
THE TRINITARIAN VIEWPOINT
One of the main teachings of the Trinitarian doctrine is how the terms "God", "Let Us" and "Our" is used in the Old Testament. Their main point is that these terms prove that there is three persons in a Godhead because all these prove plurality (multiple) beings. Let’s look at this.
IN THE BEGINNING, GOD
Throughout scripture the word "God" is used over-and-over. The word God has two parts to its meaning; 1) 'ĕlôahh (el-o'-ah); a deity or the deity: - God. 2) ̂hı̂ym (heem'); gods in the ordinary sense of many.
The complete meaning for "God" is... 'ĕlôhı̂ym (el-o-heem'); specifically used of the supreme God; deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative of angels, exceeding, great, mighty.
When you break this down, you first have to understand that the first part, "Elo" means ONE DEITY - GOD Himself; the majestic, exceeding, great God. And the second part, "heem" means the plural, general term to describe many or all gods (including heathen gods).
In the time of the writing of the Old Testament, there were many gods and idols. So, Moses is saying here that "God" (Elo) is the majestic, greatest God above all other gods (Heem) -- Eloheem (Elohim). The word God is denoting the supreme God above all other gods. Because Judaism did not believe in multiple Gods, it is evident that this is the correct interpretation of the word God. It does not prove or mean that God is multiple Gods, but instead it proves He is the one true God over all other gods (many - the plural use).
LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE
With everything we have mentioned up to this point, that there is ONLY one Spirit of God and angels in heaven. We now have to tackle the terms "US" and "OUR" with a scriptural balance. What is meant when God says "Let Us?" Here are the only times in scripture where God speaks with these kinds of terms...
Gen 1:26-27 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Gen 3:22-23 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as 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 for ever: (23) Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen 11:7-8 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. (8) So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Isa 6:6-8 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: (7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. (8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
THE THREE MAIN VIEWPOINTS
There are three main interpretations on these verses, and they are...
1) There is a trinity that God is conferring with;
2) God was speaking to His angels;
3) God was speaking after the counsel of His own will as the majestic King of His entire kingdom.
In light of the ONE-SPIRIT-of-God truth, and since the above scriptures do not even mention any interaction with any individual entities, we cannot prove that these verses apply to a trinity; because when this was written, there was no trinity concept in the minds of Jews.
When you consider how Kings ran their kingdoms, you will often hear them speak for their entire Kingdom, which included all their people and servants. It was a common practice for a King to say something along these lines; "Be it know to all, let us make a decree that taxes be collected once a year."... and then he would say; "I the King, have made a decree on this day as a commandment for all people!" We can see that the King said "let us make a decree", yet it was only Him that actually made the command.
Therefore, we can only conclude by the way God was speaking in those verses that God was either speaking to His angels or most importantly, speaking in terms of His entire Kingdom realm of heaven. You have to come to this conclusion because notice these points of action on God's part...
• Let us make man in our image.... God created man IN HIS OWN image.
• Let us go down... the Lord scattered them abroad.
So, it is clear, that even though He may of spoken to angels or spoke as the King of His entire realm of heaven, it is still Him that actually did what He said, even using angels to help him do His work. It was God who created man in His own image. And, as you read the scriptures above, it even sounds like God is speaking in the broad sense of His kingdom, spirit and knowledge; He is speaking as the Great King!
When you understand that there is only ONE SPIRIT of God that rules supreme, it is very easy to understand the Godhead! And when you eliminate the confusion of dividing God up into separate, co-eternal and co-equal persons in a Godhead, it's no wonder it becomes much easier to understand.
When you look at the plural uses of the word "God" and the terms "Let Us" and "Our", you can clearly see that they speak of God being the supreme God above all gods and when He speaks, He is speaking in a broad sense of His kingdom and conferring with his own will... it really is that easy!
We do not want to inject a meaning into these scriptures that is not there; that is twisting scripture. And as you can see, I have maintained the consistent theology of the ONE SPIRIT of God manifesting and speaking on the behalf of His Kingdom.
Now, as we move forward, we are going to do more studies and bring us into the New Testament and how we are to maintain the concept of the ONE SPIRIT of God manifesting Himself in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost!
READ: God The Father