As a Christian, who do you say God is?
Our answer to this question is crucial because it has everything to do with our perception of the essence of who God is. So let’s compare and differentiate what the church believes versus what other religious organizations think regarding the doctrine of God.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”
Deuteronomy 6:4, NKJV
We believe there are three persons in the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. However, even though there are multiple parts, we must acknowledge that He is one God who reveals Himself to us in each aspect.
Secondly, each element of the Godhead is the same in substance and equal in power and glory. Therefore, one is not greater than the other!
Now, one thing we must grasp is that we cannot and will never truly understand the Trinity with our finite human mindset. We can never contemplate the full magnitude of this mystery of God.
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3:16-17, NKJV
This passage shows that Jesus, God in human form, has just been baptized by John the Baptist. Soon after, the heavens opened up, and the Spirit of God came upon Him in the form of a dove, followed by the voice of God. This is one of the few places in the Bible where we see the essence of God manifested to us in completion!
Jehovah’s Witnesses: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the opposite of what we believe. They do not believe God is a triune God.
We find evidence of this in the Bible the Jehovah’s Witnesses use (the New World Translation).
New King James Version
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 1:1, NKJV
This ‘Word’ He is talking about is Jesus!
New World Translation
“The Word was in the beginning with God and was a god.”
John 1:1, NWT
This translation not only mentioned that there was a god with God, but the significant shift in capitalization has removed the deity of Jesus, the very essence of who He is.
We must embrace and understand who Jesus is because, without Him, we would not have eternal life.
God’s Vindication and Spirit
The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe God’s purpose is to vindicate His name.
They also believe that the Holy Spirit is not a person but rather Jehovah’s invisible, energizing force, which could be likened to that of electricity.
One thing that frustrates me the most in the Christian church is when we refer to the Holy Spirit as an ‘it.’ Never refer to the Holy Spirit as a thing; He is a person. He has a personality, emotion, a mind, and can speak.
He is God!
The Mormons: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
The Mormons believe there are three separate Gods, physically distinct from each other.
“One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Ephesians 4:5-6, NKJV
God lives and abides inside us when we accept Jesus, and He does so by sending His spirit to dwell in us.
The Mormons also believe God is a progressive being. This means that they think He was once a child and rose step by step in the scale of progress to becoming a God.
LDS Apostle James E. Talmage says, “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.” This quote acknowledges that the Mormons accept that man can ultimately progress to the status of being a god.
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
Psalms 90:2, NKJV
God has been God from before time began. He didn’t have to earn it or grow into it. He just was.
Flesh and Bones
The Mormons believe that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as a man’s.
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:24, NKJV
One Place at One Time
Another belief in the Church of Latter-Day Saints is that God can only be in one place at a time.
God is omnipresent. However, if I believed God was made of flesh, I supposed the only logical explanation is that He could only be in one place at a time.
“Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.”
Psalms 139: 12,15, NKJV
God’s Word promises that wherever we are, mountains or valleys and awake or asleep, He is there.
The Moonies: The Unification Church
The Moonies believe that God exists because of the reciprocal relationship between positive and negative. This belief claims that the relationship is unified between positive and negative powers.
They also believe that God was incomplete before the universe’s creation. In fact, they currently believe that Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, came to finish what Jesus didn’t finish. However, if memory serves me correctly, the last thing Jesus said on the cross of Calvary was, “It is finished.”
He paid in full what was needed for our salvation; it is complete and lacking nothing.
God Cannot Exist Without Man
The Moonies believe God cannot exist without man, as man cannot live without God. In other words, God cannot be God without man. However, the Holy Scriptures teach that God existed before the creation of the world when He made us.
Continuing from the last point, they believe man is incarnate God, and God and man are one.
John the Baptist
One final thing the Moonies claim is that John the Baptist rejected Jesus as the Messiah. (This belief began from a revelation recorded in a book they believe to be truth.)
Believers, I want to caution you to be careful about any organization that wants you to hold something as an authority in addition to the word of God.
We have been given God’s Holy Word to govern our lives and provide insight into His character and heart. The more time we spend with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the stronger our discernment will be as we encounter beliefs that go against His word.
Continue connecting with the Holy Spirit that dwells in you because He will never steer you wrong.