The God Family
By Doug Royer
December 2000 (Updated Oct. 2007, June 2017)
In the July 31, 1998 edition of The Journal various articles address the topic of the nature of Jesus. One of the quotes states, “The Bible never once defines God as a family. Just as the Bible never refers to God as a Trinity, it never calls God a family. Not even once”. In this article I will examine this reasoning and the conclusions drawn by it. Also, I will introduce other pertinent factors that I believe prove that God the Father and Jesus are in fact a family, a God family, and that it is God’s purpose for mankind to become a part of the family of God. I believe that God the Father is the Supreme Being of the universe (John 10:29; 14:28), and that his Son, Jesus Christ, is God (John 1:1), and sits with God at his right hand (Heb. 1:3; 10:12; 12:2). In the past it could be said that many emphasized Jesus Christ in their preaching with little credit given to God the Father. However, to swing to the opposite side of the pendulum and deny the Glory of Jesus Christ is a very serious mistake. Both God the Father and God the Son are worthy of all praise and to deny either their glory is to deny both.
To Deny Jesus Christ his Glory is to also Deny God the Father
A doctrine that denies the true glory of Jesus, that denies Jesus is in fact a God, is not to be taken lightly. To take away from the glory of the Son is a belief that defines in part the spirit of antichrist. The proponents of the “One God” theory would do well to read I John 2:18-24 over and over again. This passage sets a foundational principal which I believe is quite clear and the focal point of this article. If one denies the Son his glory, one also denies the Father, no matter how well intentioned an individual might be. Perhaps “One God” proponents believe they are giving God the Father his due honor. However, what they are doing is the exact opposite. In verse 22 it states, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son.” When one states that Jesus was only a special representative used by God and not a deity, they deny that Jesus is the Christ. The belief that Jesus is not divine is part of the spirit of antichrist. If you deny the glory of the Son you also deny the Father. These scriptures set the foundation for a basic principle, the Father and the Son are one and of like kind. To deny either is to deny both. I John 5:1 in the Living Bible states, “If you believe that Jesus is the Christ—that he is God’s Son and your Savior—then you are a child of God.” Verse 5, “But who could possibly fight and win this battle except by believing that Jesus is truly the Son of God?” I don’t believe you can truly believe in Jesus as the Son of God without acknowledging Jesus is God. There are those who will say, “I still believe that Jesus is the Christ, I just don’t believe that Jesus is God.” Those who make such statements are illogical in their thinking. God the Father and Jesus as God the Son go hand in hand, to deny one being its deity is to deny the other.
In John 14:6-7 we see that Jesus is the path to the Father and there is no other way. Jesus states that if you know who I am then you also have known the Father. These scriptures are once again emphasizing the unity and oneness of Jesus and God the Father
Satan the Deceiver
It is my opinion that a doctrine that denies Jesus Christ his glory is not only wrong, but evil and satanic in origin. Satan hates mankind and has devoted the last 6000 years to deceiving mankind. Why? Because Satan understands the ultimate reward awaiting mankind. Satan and his demons understand their fate, yet they continue their work of trying to deceive all of mankind. Satan knows he can never attain what mankind will attain. Satan is angry, he is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Pet. 5:8). A doctrine that detracts from the glory of Christ and from the glory we can receive is a triumph for Satan. Satan failed in his attempt to overthrow God and was deprived of the glory he sought. It is hard to comprehend how Satan could actually believe he could overthrow God. I have to believe that an archangel is a far more powerful being than what we might imagine. After all, Satan was able to deceive a third of the angels. How much of mankind will Satan be successful in deceiving?
All Scriptures Work Together
I’ve heard statements made from both sides of this issue saying that the majority of the scriptures justify their belief. I’d like to point out that all scriptures point to a common understanding of the nature of Jesus. There is no contradiction in the Bible as we know all scripture is given by the inspiration of God (I Tim. 3:16). The Bible does not have two opposing views of the nature of Jesus. All scriptures work together to give us an understanding of the nature of Jesus. The Bible either supports that Jesus is God in all scriptures or denies that Jesus is God in all scriptures. What scriptures plainly state the supposed unique and limited powers of Jesus? It is my opinion that those believing that Jesus is something less than a God are misinterpreting the scriptures. Someone does not have the inspiration of God behind them.
God the Father and God the Son are of Like Kind
What is God’s plan about? Why did God create mankind? What reward are you striving for? These are questions that should be asked when analyzing the family of God and the nature of Jesus. What is one of the most characterizing aspects of mankind? The answer: the family structure. Genesis 1:27-28 states, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth …”. All of life is based on this theme and is one of the reasons the gay lifestyle is unacceptable in the eyes of God, as there can be no family in a gay lifestyle. When one states they believe the lack of a specific scripture in the Bible defining God as a family lends credence to their belief that Jesus is not a God, denies the overall theme of the unity of God the Father and God the Son and the plan for mankind. In Mark 10:7-8 we read, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh; so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.” It’s very obvious that a husband and wife are two separate beings; however, God views them as one when they become married. In John 10:30 Jesus states, “I and my Father are one”. To be one you must be of like kind. All of creation is based on the principle that kind reproduces after like kind. How could God the Father and God the Son be one and Jesus be anything less than a God? The plan of God is about the Father and Son adding to their family. This would be impossible if they weren’t of like kind, which is proof alone that Jesus is in fact a deity. The people listening to Christ understood the implication of, “I and my Father are one”, as the next scripture explains they took up stones to stone him for blasphemy. On another occasion they also took up stones to kill Jesus, Why? Notice in John 8:58, “Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” In other words, Jesus is saying, “I never came into being at all, but existed before Abraham and have eternally existed.” Jesus and God the Father have both eternally existed. Read John 17:21-24 and notice the oneness of God the Father and Jesus.
Doesn’t the word Father of and by itself denote or imply a family relationship? Isn’t a father one who has a family? God the Father and God the Son are a spiritual family and we are to become the spirit begotten children of God. I John 3:2 states, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”. Phil. 3:21 states that our bodies will be fashioned like his glorious body. To be children or offspring you must be of like kind. Kind reproduces after kind. We are to be part of the family of God. Notice that God does not put angels into the classification of being a Son of God. Reading in Hebrews 1:5, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” Also in verses 13 and 14 of the same chapter, “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation?” God has put into motion a plan that is beyond our comprehension.
The Book of Revelation and Titles
Examination of four interchangeable terms found in the book of Revelation shed some interesting light on this topic. The four terms or titles used are, “I am Alpha and Omega”, “the beginning and the ending”, “the first and the last”, and “which is, which was, and which is to come”. All four of these terms are essentially synonymous and imply eternity. A paraphrase might be, “I have always existed and always will exist”. Is it possible that these phrases are interchangeable between God and Christ? I ask this because in chapter 21 verses 6 through 7 it plainly states that he who is Alpha and Omega is God. Notice starting in verse 6, “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son”. This reference certainly must be referring to God the Father. The reference of being the sons of God is always made relative to God the Father in the Bible. As quoted previously, I John 3:1-2 shows that we are to be called the sons of God. As we further examine the book of Revelation relative to these four titles I believe one will come to understand the oneness of God the Father and God the Son.
First let’s establish that it’s God the Father sitting on the throne described in chapters 4 and 5. In chapter four we read about a throne in heaven that has a sea of glass like crystal before it. Surrounding this throne are twenty-four thrones that have the twenty-four elders seated in them. Also in the midst of the throne and about the throne are the four living creatures which rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is, and is to come. The “who was and is and is to come” is also used in the first chapter and verse 4, also implying God the Father. It reads, “John to the seven churches which are in Asia; Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ…” Notice that the title “which is, and which was, and which is to come” is made in reference to “his throne”. In chapter 5 we continue to read about this throne, and Jesus Christ taking the scroll out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. The context of these verses certainly implies that God the Father sits on this throne. Breaking into the middle of verse 13 it states, “Blessing and honor, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever”, again showing that it is God the Father sitting on the throne.
Now, turning back to verse eight of chapter one it states, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Is this referring to God or Jesus Christ? One might assume it’s referring to God the Father since we’ve seen in 1:4 and 4:8 that, “which is, which was, and which is to come” refers to God the Father and that the Alpha and Omega of Rev. 21:6-7 also refers to God the Father. However, it’s my belief that the context of this verse is referring to Jesus Christ. The verse previous to this (7) is obviously referring to Jesus Christ, “Behold, he comes with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also who pierced him”. Verses 9 through 20 continue to be representative of Jesus Christ. In verse 10 we see John heard behind him a great voice as of a trumpet. Continuing in verse 11, "Saying, I am Alpha and Omega the first and the last”. In verse 12 we see John turned to see the voice that spoke to him and what did he see? Verse 13, “And in the midst of the seven lampstands one like the Son of man…”. Later in verse 17, “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, fear not; I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore”. This plainly shows the context of these verses is in reference to Jesus Christ and that Jesus Christ also takes the title of Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending, and which is, which was, and which is to come. As further proof that verses 7 through 20 are referring to Jesus Christ, notice what the Alpha and Omega says in verse 11. "What you see, write in a book…”. In verse 18 it states, “I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold I am alive for evermore…”. Verse 19, “Write the things which you have seen”, which plainly show that the Alpha and Omega is instructing John to write. These scriptures show both God the Father and God the Son sharing these four titles. In other words, both are eternity, without beginning, without end.
Now let’s look at another instance of Alpha and Omega referring to Jesus Christ. In chapter, 22, starting in verse 12, “And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Notice the descriptive phrases of “the beginning and end”, and “the first and the last” and how these phrases are interchangeable with the phrase of Alpha and Omega. These verses must refer to Jesus Christ as Matthew 16:27 states, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works”. In John 5:22 it states, “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son”. Also, the reference of coming quickly is used in the context of Jesus Christ. Notice in Rev. 2:5, 16 and 3:11 that the reference to coming quickly is relative to Jesus Christ.
In summary, the point in these previous references is that both Jesus Christ and God the Father refer to themselves as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and which is, which was and which is to come. These expressions lend credence and give insight into the fact that God the Father and God the Son are as one.
God the Father and Jesus Christ Share Similar Titles
Let’s continue by looking at other scriptures that show God the Father and God the Son using similar titles. For example, both are referred to as Creators and Saviors. In Titus 1 verses 3 and 4 we read of God, our Savior and of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior. An interesting verse is found later in chapter 2 verse 13, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for us…” Here we have a scripture that not only refers to Jesus as our Savior but also refers to Jesus as the great God. The phrase, “the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ” is in direct reference to Jesus Christ. Jamieson Fausset and Brown state, “There is but one Greek article to God and Savior, which shows that both are predicated of one and the same Being.” (This is discussed further under the Granville Sharp Rule) Other scriptures referring to God as our Savior are, Luke 1:47, I Tim. 4:10, Titus 2:10, Titus 3:4, and Jude 1:25. Other scriptures referring to Christ as our Savior are, Phil. 3:20, I John 4:14. II Peter 3:18, and many more.
If one asks the question, “Who created all things?”, one could answer Jesus Christ or God the Father. We read in John 1:3 that all things were made by the Word and without him nothing was made. In Colossians 1:16-17 we read, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Notice that Christ made all things including the invisible which would mean spirit beings like the angels. Also note in verse 17 that he is “before all things”, further showing the eternity of Jesus Christ. In reading Ephesians 3:9 and Hebrews 1:2-3 we see that God created all things through Jesus Christ. Note in Heb 1:3 the expression that Jesus is the “express image of his person” once again illustrating the oneness of God the Father and God the Son.
Who can forgive our sins? Of course, we all know that only God can forgive us of our sins as this is emphasized in the Lord’s Prayer (Math. 5:12). We come before God the Father in our prayers asking for his forgiveness of our sins. In Math. 9:1-7 we read how Jesus Christ had the authority to forgive sins. (6) “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins”. In Luke 7:47-48 we see another occurrence where Jesus forgave the sins of the woman who came to anoint his feet.
God the Father and Jesus Christ are Both Worshipped
Another proof of the oneness of God and his Son is the fact that they both are worshiped. Notice in Rev. 19:10 and 22:8-9 that John fell down on his knees to worship the angel and was not only stopped by the angel but was also informed to “Worship God”. I think it’s interesting that after Christ fasted for forty days and was subsequently tested, that the final test by Satan was in regards to Satan’s desire to be worshiped. We know Jesus withstood the test by refusing to worship Satan and stated, “You shall worship the Lord, thy God, and him only shall you serve”. The question should then be asked, Why did Jesus allow himself to be worshiped? We see in Matthew 28:9 that Mary came and held him by the feet and worshiped him, yet Jesus didn’t stop her. Later in verse 17 we see the disciples also worshiped Jesus when he appeared unto them. The disciples also worshiped Jesus after Peter was rescued by Jesus when he attempted to walk on water (Matt. 14:31-33). Even unclean spirits worshiped Jesus. Notice in Mark 5: 2-7 that a man most likely possessed by many unclean spirits acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God and worshiped him. So, do we have a contradiction in the Bible? We are instructed to worship God only. Of course, we know there is no contradiction, both God the Father and God the Son are worthy of all worship and praise and honor.
The Granville Sharp Rule
Granville Sharp lived from 1735 to 1813 and among many things was a biblical scholar. One of his theories became known as the Granville Sharp Rule which is a grammatical principle which when applied to the translation of New Testament Greek the deity of Christ is explicitly affirmed. The rule is generalized as follows:
When two nouns (non-proper nouns) describing a person are connected by “and” and the first noun has the definite article “the” in front of it and the second noun doesn’t have a definite article, then the second noun refers to the same person as the first noun and is a further description of the first noun (person).
Here are a few scriptures demonstrating the application of the rule where God is further described as the Father.
Rom. 15:6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II Cor. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
II Cor. 11:31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
Gal. 1:4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
The following two scriptures clearly state the deity of Jesus Christ.
II Pet. 1:1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
“One God” proponents maintain that there are numerous examples in the Greek where Granville Sharp's rule fails to hold up, however, this is due to a misapplication of the rule. What is often overlooked is that Granville Sharp distinctly noted that the rule applies when the two nouns are singular and apply to persons, not things. When these restrictions are considered, there are no exceptions to be noted in native Koine Greek constructions. In my opinion, “One-God” proponents continuously propose weak explanations that overlook the simple truths in many scriptures.
Look at the Whole Picture
As stated in the beginning of this article, all scriptures work together as proof of the deity of Jesus Christ. When one puts all the scriptures together with the spirit power of God inspiring them it leads to the plain understanding of the unity of God the Father and God the Son, and how they are truly one. Those who were once enlightened with this truth but now teach otherwise are wresting the scriptures to their own destruction (Isa. 28:13). One could say there is only one God in the sense that God the Father and Jesus are as one. One could also say there is only one God, the Father, just as there is only one God, the Son. If Paul in the book of I Timothy were trying to help us understand that there is only God the Father in the Godhead, then why did he later describe Jesus as God manifest in the flesh? (1 Tim. 3:16) If Paul in I Corinthians 8 were trying to prove that only God the Father existed in the Godhead, then why did he turn around and acknowledge that there is but one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ all in the same context of expounding on the fact that there are no other Gods besides God and Jesus.
The understanding of mankind’s purpose in life is a foundational doctrine that should inspire us in our every day life. God and his Son have put a plan into motion that will result in the expansion of the family of God. The resurrections of the future point to the time when we will be changed and spiritually become a part of the family of God. I Corinthians 15:49-58 talks about the first resurrection and how we are to be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. We are to be changed into spirit beings, to become the sons of God, a part of the family of God. A common belief of many Christians is that mankind’s destiny is to become angels and float around in heaven playing harps. What a depressing description of a supposed future of mankind. We can give thanks for the promise from God that we have the opportunity to become a part of the family of God.
Hold Fast to the Foundation
In closing I’d like to mention another fact that I believe has bearing on this subject. There are many scriptures that point out the necessity of holding fast to a foundation. (Jude 3-4, Titus 1:9-16, Heb. 3:12-14; 10:23; 13:8-9, II John 6-11, I Tim. 4:16) The definition of what is the foundation is a large subject that deserves space and time and goes beyond the scope of this article. I wish only to point out at this time that there is a doctrinal foundation to which we must hold fast. One must prove whether an end- time era of Gods church was established with the basic foundational doctrines, and if so what comprises the foundation that we are commanded to hold fast to. Is the belief that God the Father and God the Son are both Gods acting as one and that mankind is ultimately to become a part of the God family a part of the foundation?
It is my belief that the proper keeping of the Sabbath and Holy days are the core of the doctrinal foundation combined with the basic understanding of the plan of God. Understanding the plan of God and the ultimate destiny of mankind is portrayed in the proper keeping of the Sabbath and Holy days. Are those who teach that Jesus is not a deity holding fast to the foundation as given in the beginning? Do they even keep the Sabbath and Holy days?
In summary, there are many scriptures which warn God’s people to hold fast to a foundation. The doctrine of Jesus not being a God is just another example of the departure from the faith once delivered. This doctrine does not build upon the revealed foundation. It isn’t growth into new understanding. It’s a departure from the truth that erodes away from the basic foundation as given in the beginning. It is a doctrine of the antichrist. Will you hold fast to the faith once delivered, or will you become another casualty in this long trial of striving to hold fast?