What the Bible Teaches



Chapter 20

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020.000.000       Torrey: p18


020.010.000       Torrey: p18, T:I
Topic 10:   The Fact of the Unity of God.

020.010.010       Torrey: p18, T:I, P:1
POINT 10:   The Lord our God is one Lord, and there is no god besides Him.

      Deuteronomy 4:35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.

      Isaiah 43:10 You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

      Isaiah 44:6 This is what the LORD says -- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

      Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. ...       1 Timothy 2:5-6 [5] For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, [6] who gave himself as a ransom for all men -- the testimony given in its proper time.

      Mark 10:18 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good -- except God alone."

      Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

020.012.000       Torrey: no
Topic 12:   Nothing is even similar to God.

      Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.


   Two things can be very similar, yet not identical. There aren't additional gods, and there aren't even beings similar to God.

   QUESTION: Genesis 1:27 says "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him." Doesn't that mean that man is like God?

   ANSWER: Man is like God, but only to a limited extent. Man was created. He cannot survive without God's continuing help. He has a physical body. He experiences death of the physical body. He has gender. He changes. He has limited knowledge. He has limited power.

   Like man, angels were created and they have limited knowledge and power.

020.014.000       Torrey: no
Topic 14:   The Importance of the Unity of God

020.014.012       Torrey: no
POINT 12:   God's unity is the most important commandment.

      Mark 12:28 ... "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."

020.014.022       Torrey: no
POINT 22:   Mormonism denies the most important commandment. It preaches that the Trinity is three separate gods and any male can become a god. It is a non-Christian polytheistic religion.

   Mormonism claims to be the only true Christian religion; however, it preaches that there are many gods.

020.020.000       Torrey: p18, T:II
Topic 20:   The Nature of the Divine Unity.

020.020.012       Torrey: p18
POINT 12:   God is a 'compound' unity, not a 'simple' unity. There are several persons in this one God.


   Unfortunately, the English language does not include the concept of a 'compound' unity. 'Collective' nouns such as 'family' and 'people' probably are the closest in concept, e.g. when a political leader says "We are one people." or a parent says "My family is coming home for Christmas."

020.020.012a       Torrey: p18
POINT 12a:   The Hebrew word translated "one" in these passages denotes a compound unity, not a simple unity.

      Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

      Genesis 11:6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them."

   We find a similar use of the Greek word for "one" in the New Testament.

      1 Corinthians 3:6-8 [6] I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. [7] So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. [8] The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.

      1 Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free -- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

      Compare John 17:22-23 [22] I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: [23] I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

      Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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POINT 12b:   The Old Testament word most frequently used for God is plural in form.

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POINT 12c:   God uses plural pronouns in speaking of Himself.

      Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

      Genesis 11:7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.

      Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

      Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

020.020.012d       Torrey: p18
POINT 12d:   Here, the LORD says He was sent by the LORD Almighty.

      Zechariah 2:10-11 [10] "Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. [11] "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you."

   In this excerpt it is most likely that the LORD who is speaking is 'the Angel of the Lord', who, as we have seen, was Jesus before He became man, and the LORD Almighty who will send the speaker is Jehovah.

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POINT 12e:   "The Angel of the Lord" is at the same time distinguished from and identified with the Lord.

   See the discussion on "The Angel of the Lord" in the preceding chapter.

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POINT 12f:   The Word was God. The Word also was with God.

   John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

020.020.012g       Torrey: p18
POINT 12g:   Each member of the Trinity is clearly distinguished.

   We shall see later that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all clearly distinguished from one another (e.g., Matthew 3:16, 17; 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14.)

020.020.022       Torrey: no
POINT 22:   Triune deity: One God consisting of three persons.

   The Judeo-Christianity God is a 'triune' Deity. He is one God consisting of three distinct persons. This 'three-in-one' concept is termed 'triune': 'tri' meaning 'three' and 'une' meaning 'one'.

020.020.032       Torrey: no
POINT 32:   Unique to Christianity.

   Christianity is unique in that it believes there is only one God, but that God consists of three distinct persons.

020.020.042       Torrey: no
POINT 42:   Multiple persons in one God is not a psychiatric disorder.

   It is important not to confuse tri-unity with Multiple Personality Disorder, a psychiatric disorder introduced to the public by books and movies such as Sybil and The Three Faces of Eve. In Multiple Personality Disorder, a victim of severe physical abuse suffers a mental breakdown, and his personality divides itself into distinct sections which manifest themselves as distinct personalities. This breakdown is so extensive that each personality has distinct brainwave patterns. Although the various personalities appear to be totally separate, there is still only one person.

   The Bible makes it clear that God consists of three distinct persons, not simply three personalities.

002.020.052       Torrey: p20, T:II
POINT 52:   God is not both three and one in the same sense.

   God is not three and one in the same sense. In what sense can He be one and three? A perfectly satisfactory answer to this question is manifestly impossible from the very nature of the case: (1) Because God is Spirit, and numbers belong primarily to the physical world, and difficulty must arise when we attempt to conceive spiritual being in the forms of physical thought (2) God is infinite, we are finite. He "dwells in the light no man can approach unto." Our attempt at a philosophical explanation of the tri-unity of God is an attempt to put the facts of infinite being into the forms of finite thought and of necessity can be, at the best, only partially successful. This much we know -- that God is essentially one, and that He also is three. There is but one God: but this one God makes Himself known to man as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and they are separate personalities.

      John 14:16-17 [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- [17] the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

      Mark 1:10-11 [10] As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. [11] And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

   In a sense, God is like a partnership. There can be three partners, and they are "the partnership". And yet, there is only one partnership.

020.020.062       Torrey: no
POINT 62:   Triunity is not polytheistic.

   Three persons in one God is not the same as three separate gods, just as three persons in one family is not three separate families.

      Mark 12:28 ... "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."


   There is one God eternally existing and manifesting Himself to us in three persons -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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