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Genesis 1:26,27
The Mystery of the Triune God
Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.[1]
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hey come to your door in pairs.
A little green book (their own peculiar translation (or mistranslation) of the Scriptures) clutched firmly in their hands.
From the recesses of the cheap briefcases, which are apparently mandatory for the members of this particular cult, the pair will readily produce a copy of the King James Bible if you should challenge them in their practised presentation.
In addition, they will have at least one other, decidedly inferior translation (known as the New World Translation) and other assorted printed material that they will claim to be necessary to accurately understand the written Word of God.
If you permit them, they will challenge you to produce even one instance of the occurrence of the word *trinity* in any translation of the Bible.
Don’t despair.
Don’t permit yourself to be confused by their claims or challenges.
Simply because a word does not occur in a given translation of the Word of God does not constitute evidence that the particular truth in question is absent from the teachings of the Word.
For example, the word *rapture* will not be found in any translation of the Holy Scriptures, but the teaching is nevertheless valid since the truth is evident.
The word *millennium* doesn’t occur in the Scriptures, but its absence does not otherwise negate this comforting truth of Christ’s reign on earth.
*Natural depravity* and *eternal security* are self-evident and are clearly presented as a truth of the Word, though the terms are not found there.
Doctrine, the teachings of the Word of God, is but the truth of God that He has chosen to reveal in His written Word.
The descriptive words employed to identify the focus of our conversation should never cause us consternation and confusion.
The *Trinity* (or more properly the *Triunity*) is sadly misunderstood and is therefore subject to misrepresentation.
Consequently, the word lends itself to grave distortion.
You must understand that the nature of God is revealed and not assumed.
No mortal could discover God for himself.
God must reveal Himself to us.
As God reveals Himself through His Word, we are amazed to meet one God, but in three expressions.
We do not meet three gods, for that is sheer paganism.
We do meet God in three Persons, comprising the Godhead.
The passage under consideration does not conclusively teach the truth of the *Triunity*, for our understanding is retrospective.
We have the advantage of looking back with knowledge, with understanding.
Were we to have only this passage by itself we would no doubt draw some of the conclusions that others have drawn in times past.
Looking back, the full revelation of God has been accomplished and we are able to see the nature of God in the degree He has chosen to reveal His nature to mankind.
God’s Method of Revelation — In the Bible, the word *mystery* appears frequently, especially in the New Testament.
A mystery, in theological terms, is not an enigma, a puzzle or something unknown that demands that it be ferreted out.
A mystery is a truth which was at one point in time unknown or unrecognised, but which God has now revealed.
A mystery is capable of being recognised after divine revelation, but without the teaching of God, it could not be otherwise imagined.
As the Word of God was written, the Spirit of God revealed in progressive fashion the nature of the Living God.
Until the canon of Scripture was complete, man could not possibly grasp the full revelation of God.
In fact, we will not fully know God until He has manifest Himself after we are changed into His likeness and are at last enabled to stand complete in Christ in the presence of the Father.
Thus, the triune nature of God is a mystery.
Clearly revealed throughout the New Testament, this truth is only hinted at under the Old Covenant.
Knowledge of the triune nature of God is not a tricky discovery if we are conversant with the New Testament.
To the saint knowledgeable of the New Testament, *Genesis 1:26* speaks clearly of the triune Godhead.
The truth would have been more difficult to comprehend at an earlier time in the history of the Faith.
Read again the words of *Genesis 1:26* and *27*.
Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Throughout the account of the Creation provided in the first chapter of Genesis God is referred to as !yhil¿a>.
!yhil¿a> is a plural noun, but it is used as though it were singular.
To this point in the chapter the pronouns have all been singular.
!yhil¿a> appears in conjunction with singular verbs and the pronouns referring back to the word are also singular.
We accept that this is a means by which God at once emphasises that there is but one God alone though there is a plural dimension to His being.
I acknowledge that this information is not sufficient to definitively declare the Triunity of God, but it does suggest this great doctrine from the first chapter.
Then in *Genesis 1:26* God says, /Let *us* make man in *our* image, after *our* likeness/.
This is one of the very few places where a singular pronoun does not occur.
In *Genesis 3:22* we will again witness the use of the plural pronoun in speaking of God.
In that verse, He says Behold, the man has now become like one of *us* in knowing good and evil.
Who is *us* whom God addresses?
Who is *our* to whom God refers?
Some Bible teachers—but no Bible scholars—endeavour to teach that God spoke to angels in our text.
However, such a view appears fatally flawed in light of *Isaiah 40:14*.
Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
or showed him the way of understanding?
God would neither consult the angels nor invite them to enter into His grand work.
Since He presents His Son as /a lamb … foreknown before the creation of the world/ [*1 Peter 1:20*] and as the Lamb that was slain [*Revelation 13:8*], God would have no reason to invite the angels to share in that glorious work.
In fact we are told that angels are ignorant of salvation since the angels long to look into matters concerning salvation [*1 Peter 1:12*].
Other scholars consider the wording to be superfluous, thinking it to be meaningless.
Yet others have taught that God here addresses wisdom personified.
They base this thought upon the words of Solomon in *Proverbs 8:22-31*.
The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old;
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
before he had made the earth with its fields
or the first of the dust of the world.
When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned the sea its limit
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting the children of man.
There are some teachers who insist that God here employs the language of majesty.
There is, however, no other instance of God employing such pretentious language in the whole of the Word.
Why, then, should we expect that in this one instance He would speak in an artificial manner?
Others have speculated that this is simply the necessary agreement of number with the noun.
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