God is "triune"; that is to say, He is 'Three-in-One'. A common form of proof of God's triunity are the many instances where scripture ascribes one divine work indifferently to a.) God, and b.) Father, c.) Son and d.) Holy Spirit. Examples:

Return to the True and Living God...

Who raised Jesus from the dead?

God raised Jesus from the dead: "...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9).

"In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Colossians 2:11-12)
"He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God." (1 Peter 1:20-21)
"And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power." (1 Corinthians 6:14)
"Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it." (Acts 2:23-24)
"But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses." (Acts 3:14-15)
"But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.  And we declare to you glad tidings -- that promise which was made to the fathers.  God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus...And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: 'I will give you the sure mercies of David.'...For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption." (Acts 13:30-37)
"Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will..." (Hebrews 13:20-21)

It could scarcely be otherwise, given that the gift, prolongation, and eventual end of human life are all in God's hands:

The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up." (1 Samuel 2:6).

"Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; nor is there any who can deliver from My hand." (Deuteronomy 32:39).

To wit, the Father of glory:

"Therefore I not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him...according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places..." (Ephesians 1:15-20).
"Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4)
"Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)..." (Galatians 1:1)
"For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

But wait, God the Son raised Himself from the dead:

"Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.'  Then the Jews said, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?'  But He was speaking of the temple of His body.  Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said." (John 2:19-22)
"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.  This command I have received from My Father." (John 10:17-18)

Not to be left out, the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead:

"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:11)
"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit..." (1 Peter 3:18)

"Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." (Romans 1:1-4).

So what Biblical conclusion can be reached from these facts?  That God has authored confusion?  Or that the one God who raised Jesus from the dead is Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

Who Authored Holy Writ?

Who inspired the prophets of old, like David?  The LORD God?:

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
"And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear." (Jeremiah 25:4).
"...because they have not heeded My words, says the LORD, which I sent to them by My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; neither would you heed, says the LORD." (Jeremiah 29:19).
"Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.  A lion has roared!  Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:7-8).
"Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began..." (Luke 1:68-70).
“But I am the LORD your God, ever since the land of Egypt. . .I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets.” (Hosea 12:9-10).

More to the point, is it God the Father who inspired the prophets?:

"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds..." (Hebrews 1:1-2).

  • "So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: 'Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: "Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the LORD and against His Christ." For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done."
  • (Acts 4:24-28.)

Not to mention that God the Son inspired the prophets:

"Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow." (1 Peter 1:10-11).
Prophets are visited by the 'Word of God': "Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD." (1 Samuel 3:21).
"Therefore, indeed, I [Jesus is speaker] send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar." (Matthew 23:34-35).
"...since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you." (2 Corinthians 13:3).
"Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:10).

Or rather, God the Holy Spirit inspired the prophets:

"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:19-21).
"Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry." (Acts 1:16-17).
"For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."'" (Mark 12:36).
"Now these are the last words of David.  Thus says David the son of Jesse; Thus says the man raised up on high, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel: 'The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.  The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: "He who rules over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God."'" (2 Samuel 23:1-3).
"Then Saul sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as leader over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied." (1 Samuel 19:20).
"Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the LORD; and they testified against them, but they would not listen.  Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, 'Thus says God: "Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He also has forsaken you."'" (2 Chronicles 24:19-20).
"Then the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said to me, 'Speak!' Thus says the LORD: 'Thus you have said, O house of Israel; for I know the things that come into your mind.'" (Ezekiel 11:5).

Who authored scripture?  The One God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

A case in point:  Who authored of the Book of Revelation?  The Same who inspired the Old Testament: "Then he said to me, 'These words are faithful and true.' And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place." (Revelation 22:6).

God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw." (Revelation 1:1-2).  A typical route: "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me." (John 17:8).

Or God the Son?: "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star." (Revelation 22:16).  Or the Spirit?: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." (Revelation 2:7).  Or the One God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

You Alone are Holy

Who alone is Holy?  Only One, in the fullest sense: the Lord God Almighty: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are Holy..." (Revelation 15:4).

"No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God." (1 Samuel 2:2).

Do not fear any other,

“Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread." (Isaiah 8:12-13).

Peter quotes and explicates Isaiah 8, “'And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.' But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. . .” (1 Peter 3:13-14); in some versions, this actually says 'Christ.'

So the people of God are to hold the Lord of hosts holy. In more detail, "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses." (Acts 3:13-15).

"For you will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption." (Psalm 16:10).

The Holy Spirit: "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things." (1 John 2:20).

Not to mention the Father: "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are." (John 17:11).

  • "The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day and night, saying: 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!'  Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 'You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.'"
  • (Revelation 4:8-11).

The One God, worshipped and adored, is alone Holy:

Who Sanctifies Believers?

God the Father sanctifies believers: "Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you." (Jude 1:1-2).

"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:17).

The Holy Spirit: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied." (1 Peter 1:1-2).

"But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).

The Son: "For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: 'I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.'" (Hebrews 2:11-12).

"But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, 'He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.'” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).

"By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." (Hebrews 10:10-14).

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:25-27).

To sum up, the One God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit sanctifies His people:

"Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.'" (Exodus 31:13, Leviticus 20:8);
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Who Gives Eternal Life?

The Son: "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:28).

"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.'" (John 11:25).

God the Father: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23).

"For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself..." (John 5:26).

The Spirit: "For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." (Galatians 6:8).

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:2).

The living God: "Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand." (Deuteronomy 32:39) — namely, "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." (Jude 1:20-21).

"'Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.  I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land.  Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,' says the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:13-14).

Pastoral Supply

Who supplies pastors to the church?  The living God, of course: "And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding." (Jeremiah 3:15).

"And you shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD: "If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you, to heed the words of My servants the prophets whom I sent to you, both rising up early and sending them (but you have not heeded), then I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth."'" (Jeremiah 26:4-6).

That is, the Father: "So He said to them, 'You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.'" (Matthew 20:23).

The ascended One, the Christ: "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ..." (Ephesians 4:11-12).

"These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: 'Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.'" (Matthew 10:5).
"This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God.  And when He had spoken this, He said to him, 'Follow Me.'" (John 21:19).
"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry..." (1 Timothy 1:12).

The Holy Spirit: "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." (Acts 20:28).

"As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'" (Acts 13:2).

In summary: the One God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Who Draws Believers?

The Father: "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44).

"And He said, 'Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.'" (John 6:65).

The Son: "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." (John 12:32).

The Holy Spirit, who convicts us of sin: "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment..." (John 16:8).

Who Regenerates Believers?

Whose special work is the act of regeneration, the 'second birth?' God the Father:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. . ." (1 Peter 1:3).

Christ (He who will appear "at his coming"):

"And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him." (1 John 2:28-29).

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." (1 Peter 1:23).

Or the Spirit:

"But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:4-7).

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:5-8).

That is to say, we are born again of God:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13).

The Comforter

Who is the believer's comforter? Who stands besides and pleads for us? That's easy, the Holy Spirit:

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14:16-18).

But as "another" already implies, Jesus, speaking in John 14:16, is Himself a comforter:

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate [παρακλητον] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:. . ." (1 John 2:1).

The Rabbis who wrote the Talmud knew that the Messiah was a Comforter: "Others say: His name is Menahem the son of Hezekiah, for it is written, 'Because Menahem ['the comforter'], that would relieve my soul, is far.' [Lam. I, 16.]" (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, 98b).

Or, it may be, the Father:

 "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort [παρακλησεως]; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort [παρακλησεως] wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Tempting in the Wilderness

God the Father blames the the Israel of Isaiah's day as rebellious children: "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me." (Isaiah 1:2). To get down to cases, whom did Israel tempt in the wilderness? The living God:

"Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? . .And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?" (Exodus 17:1-7).

Moses, looking back on these various rebellions, sees the injured party as Israel's "father:" "They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?" (Deuteronomy 32:5-6). Moses delivered a harsh verdict: "Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you." (Deuteronomy 9:24). In one specific incident, God sent fiery serpents against Israel when they rebelled:

"And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people." (Numbers 21:5-7).

As remembered in the Psalms, they tempted God:

"They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert." (Psalm 106:13-14).
"And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness. And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?. . . How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel." (Psalm 78:18-41).

Those destroyed by serpents in the wilderness had tempted Christ, says Paul:

"Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents." (1 Corinthians 10:9).

Psalm 95 retells the story of the wilderness failures:

"For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work." (Psalm 95:7-9)

Who is the speaker who says "To day if you will hear his voice?" The Holy Spirit:

"Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.)" (Hebrews 3:7-9).

Another scripture that recalls the Holy Spirit as the victimized party is Isaiah 63:10, "But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them."

Who did Israel tempt in the wilderness? The one God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Judge of All the Earth

There is one judge:

"For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us." (Isaiah 38:22).

He is judge of all the earth:

"That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25).

This is no designated task, God Himself judges: "And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah." (Psalm 50:6).

Would this be God the Father?: "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:. . ." (1 Peter 1:17).

Or God the Son:

"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him." (John 5:23-24).

"But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." (Romans 14:10).

"And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead." (Acts 10:42).

"I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season." (2 Timothy 4:1).

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10).

There is a spirit of judgment, and spirit of burning known to scripture, which may well be the same Spirit Luke refers to, "John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:. . ." (Luke 3:16), the Holy Spirit:

"And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning." (Isaiah 4:3-4).

The one God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit judges the world.

Who Created the World?

Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Father: "And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:. . .For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done." (Acts 4:24-28).

"The heavens are the works of His hands, and though they perish, He remains — the same yesterday, and today, and forever. However it is not only that our beloved Savior is the maker of the starry hosts, not only that He upholds (i.e., bears on surely to the goal) all things by the word of His power. It is also true that when the heavens 'shall wax old as doth a garment,' and He shall 'fold them up as a vesture, and they shall be changed,' He Himself will abide, unchanged and unchangeable." (H. C. Hewlett, The Glories of Our Lord, p. 31).

Spirit: "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth." (Psalm 104:30).

The First Page
The Last Page

The First Page of the Bible.

The Last Page of the Bible.

Who quickens, or gives life to living things? The Spirit: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63); "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." (Job 33:4). The Son: "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." (John 1:4).

The Father: "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;. . ." (John 5:26). God: "See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand." (Deuteronomy 32:39).

"I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:14-16).

The pattern should be familiar by now. God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, gives life.


True GodOnly One GodThe Father is GodThe Son is GodThe Holy Spirit is God

It is hard to find any great work of God which is spoken of as the work of one divine person only. This is not to suggest that the Three all play the same role in these joint projects, they don't:

"There are many things we say about the Son of God that we would never say about the Spirit. We are to be conformed to the image of the Son (Rom. 8:29), not the Spirit. We are told to be like Christ, and even to imitate God the Father in a certain sense (Eph. 5:1), but never to imitate the Holy Spirit. Again, there is one mediator between God and men (1 Tim. 2:5), and that is the man Jesus Christ, not the Holy Spirit." (Fred Sanders, The Deep Things of God, p. 140).

Still, it is striking that acts which are definitional for God, such as creation, are ascribed alike to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.



Father, Son and Holy Spirit

No finite, creaturely analogy for the infinite God can ever 'fit' in all respects. No creature is like God: "To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?" (Isaiah 46:5). In truth, not even the analogy of one creature to another is ever perfect. Are believers really in all respects just like a mustard plant? Yet Jesus likened the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed.  In respect of 'having woody stems', believers are not at all like a mustard plant; but looking to 'things that start small and end up big', the indicated point of resemblance, the Kingdom of God is just like a mustard seed. Is God really all that much like a forgetful housewife sweeping the place for a lost coin? Yet Jesus likened God's search for the lost to her absent-minded mission.

Lost Coin, John Everett Millais

In finding cases where a thing can be said to be three in some respect, one in another, Christians quite naturally look to composite material things, even knowing that God is perfectly simple. It should be understood that these analogies are not offered in hopes of forcing bad theology, as Timothy I explained to the Caliph:

"And our King said to me: "Do you say that the nature of God is composed of the above three, as the human nature is composed of its being living, rational, and mortal, and as the sun is composed of light, heat, and sphericity, and as the soul is composed of reason and intelligence, and as gold is composed of height, depth, and width?"—And I denied this and said: "No, this is not so."—And our King said to me: "Why then do you wish to demonstrate with bodily demonstrations One who has no body and is not composed?"—And I answered his Majesty: "Because there is no other God like Him, from whom I might draw a demonstration as to what is a being that has no beginning and no end."—And our King said to me: "It is never allowed to draw a demonstration from the creatures concerning the Creator." —And I said to Him: "We will then be in complete ignorance of God, O King of Kings." (Timothy I, Apology for Christianity, Dialogue with the Caliph).

Nothing is like God. But silence is unedifying. So putting aside unreasonable expectations of perfect 'fit' in all respects, here are some interesting analogies for the Trinity:


Return to the True and Living God...

The Sun

"There are two more eminent and remarkable images of the Trinity among the creatures. The one is in the spiritual creation, the soul of man.  There is the mind, and the understanding or idea, and the spirit of the mind as it is called in Scripture, i.e., the disposition, the will or affection. The other is in the visible creation, viz., the Sun.  The father is as the substance of the Sun. (By substance I don't mean in a philosophical sense, but the Sun as to its internal constitution.) The Son is as the brightness and glory of the disk of the Sun or that bright and glorious form under which it appears to our eyes.  The Holy Ghost is the action of the Sun which is within the Sun in its intestine heat, and, being diffusive, enlightens, warms, enlivens and comforts the world.  The Spirit as it is God's Infinite love to Himself and happiness in Himself, is as the internal heat of the Sun, but as it is that by which God communicates Himself, it is as the emanation of the sun's action, or the emitted beams of the sun.

"The various sorts of rays of the sun and their beautiful colors do well represent the Spirit. They well represent the love and grace of God and were made use of for this purpose in the rainbow after the flood, and I suppose also in that rainbow that was seen round about the throne by Ezekiel (Ezek. 1:28; Rev. 4:3) and round the head of Christ by John (Rev. 10:1), or the amiable excellency of God and the various beautiful graces and virtues of the Spirit.  These beautiful colors of the sunbeams we find made use of in Scripture for this purpose, viz., to represent the graces of the Spirit, as (Ps. 68:13) 'Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold,' i.e., like the light reflected in various beautiful colors from the feathers of a dove, which colors represent the graces of the Heavenly Dove." (Jonathan Edwards, Unpublished Essay on the Trinity).

This imagery might have been suggested by Hebrews 1:1-3,

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory. . ."

H. C. Hewlett updates the imagery with his usual insight:

"The Father is the living fount of this glory and the Son is the living stream. The Son is the brightness, the effulgence, the outshining of the glory, so that the relationship between the Father and the Son has intimacy like to that between the light and the ray that streams from it. As is the light, so is the ray, and neither exists without the other. As are the holiness, the love, and grace of the Father, so are those of the Son. Indeed all the glories of God shine forth unchanged in Christ, undimmed in their lustre, fadeless in their beauty, and constant in their ardor. Moreover, light may be known only through its own rays, so God may be known only through Christ. Our Lord in His eternal being, apart altogether from the changing manifestations of His own majesty, is uniquely and exclusively the outshining of the glory of God." (H. C. Hewlett, The Glories of Our Lord, p. 36).

Three Dimensions

"Objects have three dimensions -- length, breadth, and height - that are distinguishable, but inseparable, unified in a single object, yet three-dimensional. Our experience of the physical world always has three dimensions -- space, time, and matter - unified in the being of any physical object, yet distinguishable. The seeming paradox of three in one is familiar to the human experience of physical reality." (Thomas C. Oden, The Living God, p. 185).

Memory, Understanding, Will

"Since, then, these three, memory, understanding, will are not three lives, but one life; nor three minds, but one mind; it follows certainly that neither are they three substances, but one substance. Since memory, which is called life, and mind, and substance, is so called in respect to itself; but it is called memory, relatively to something. And I should say the same also of understanding and of will, since they are called understanding and will relatively to something; but each in respect to itself is life, and mind, and essence. And hence these three are one, in that they are one life, one mind, one essence; and whatever else they are severally called in respect to themselves, they are called also together, not plurally, but in the singular number. But they are three, in that wherein they are mutually referred to each other; and if they were not equal, and this not only each to each, but also each to all, they certainly could not mutually contain each other; for not only is each contained by each, but also all by each. For I remember that I have memory and understanding, and will; and I understand that I understand, and will, and remember; and I will that I will, and remember, and understand; and I remember together my whole memory, and understanding, and will. For that of my memory which I do not remember, is not in my memory; and nothing is so much in the memory as memory itself. Therefore I remember the whole memory. Also, whatever I understand I know that I understand, and I know that I will whatever I will; but whatever I know I remember. Therefore I remember the whole of my understanding, and the whole of my will. Likewise, when I understand these three things, I understand them together as whole. For there is none of things intelligible which I do not understand, except what I do not know; but what I do not know, I neither remember, nor will. Therefore, whatever of things intelligible I do not understand, it follows also that I neither remember nor will. And whatever of things intelligible I remember and will, it follows that I understand. My will also embraces my whole understanding and my whole memory whilst I use the whole that I understand and remember. And, therefore, while all are mutually comprehended by each, and as wholes, each as a whole is equal to each as a whole, and each as a whole at the same time to all as wholes; and these three are one, one life, one mind, one essence."
(Augustine, On the Trinity, Book 10, Chapter 11, 18).

The Fountain

"The Word, therefore, is both always in the Father, as He says, 'I am in the Father'; and is always with God, according to what is written, 'And the Word was with God;' and never separate from the Father, or other than the Father, since 'I and the Father are one.'...For God sent forth the Word, as the Paraclete also declares, just as the root puts forth the tree, and the fountain the river, and the sun the ray...I should not hesitate, indeed, to call the tree the son or offspring of the root, and the river of the fountain, and the ray of the sun; because every original source is a parent, and everything which issues from the origin is an offspring.  Much more is (this true of) the Word of God, who has actually received as His own peculiar designation the name of Son.  But still the tree is not severed from the root, nor the river from the fountain, nor the ray from the sun; nor, indeed, is the Word separated from God...Everything which proceeds from something else must needs be second to that from which it proceeds, without being on that account separated: Where, however, there is a second, there must be two; and where there is a third, there must be three.  Now the Spirit indeed is third from God and the Son; just as the fruit of the tree is third from the root, or as the stream out of the river is third from the fountain, or as the apex of the ray is third from the sun.  Nothing, however, is alien from that original source whence it derives its own properties.  In like manner the Trinity, flowing down from the Father through intertwined and connected steps, does not at all disturb the Monarchy, whilst it at the same time guards the state of the Economy."
(Tertullian, Against Praxeas, Chapter VIII).


"A common symbol for the Trinity, the triangle, will help to explain this conception.  Picture a triangle made of gold with each angle taken as one of the three persons.  The material out of which the triangle is made is the common substratum and provides the unity of substance.  The three angles provide the triad since they are identical neither with each other nor with the gold out of which the figure is made."
(Linwood Urban, A Short History of Christian Thought, p. 60).

Physical analogies suffer from this disadvantage: material things are divisible into parts, whereas God is simple: "There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions;..." (Westminster Confession). Nevertheless such analogies are helpful, because antitrinitarians assume that, because God is one, the answer to every question about God must be 'one.' But this is like saying, 'If a man is one, then he can only have one kidney,' or 'If a car is one, then it can only have one spark plug.' The issue is rank, not divisibility.

Three Lamps

"Let me resort here to examples from what we perceive and from what is familiar. In a house the light from all the lamps is completely interpenetrating, yet each is clearly distinct. There is distinction in unity and there is unity in distinction. When there are many lamps in a house there is nevertheless a single undifferentiated light and from all of them comes the one undivided brightness. I do not think that anyone would mark off the light of one lamp from another in the atmosphere which contains them all, nor could one light be seen separately from the others since all of them are completely mingled while being at the same time quite distinctive." (Pseudo-Dionysius, The Divine Names, Chapter 1, 641B).

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