“God Spake all these Words”

By James H. Brookes

Chapter 2



In the first verse of the Bible we read, “In the beginning God [plural] created [singular] the heaven and the earth,” Gen. i. 1. Here we have unity of action with plurality of persons; and the number of persons is afterwards exhibited by Moses in the announcement, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord,” Bent. vi. 4. On this passage the Jews lay great stress; and it is one of the four texts which they write on their phylacteries. On the word Elohim [God] Simeon Ben Joachi, one of their greatest expositors, says: “Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim: there are three degrees, and each degree is by itself alone, and yet they are all one, and joined together in one, and are not divided from each other.”

As Dr. Bullinger has shown, this definition “is equally opposed to all forms of Theism and Deism, which are the creations of man’s ideas, as well as to polytheism on the one hand, and national or local deities on the other.” In the Hebrew there are two words in use for the number “one,” Echad and Yacheed. The latter Yacheed means absolute unity, or uniqueness, an only one, and it occurs twelve times in the Old Testament. The former Echad does not mean absolute unity, but a compound

unity, and it occurs more than eight hundred and fifty times, in every instance implying one united with more than one. It is one of others, and this is the word used in the passage taken from Deuteronomy: Jehovah [the Father], Elohirn [the Son], and Jehovah [the Spirit] is Echad—One Triune God.

Then notice how God is revealed: “Glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders,” Ex. xv. 11. “Yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight,” Job. xv. 15. “Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; neither shall evil dwell with thee,” Ps. v. 4. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; His glory is the fulness of the whole earth,” Isa. vi. 8. “It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers,” Isa. xl. 22. “The Lord is the God of truth, He is the living God; the King of eternity. . . . He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion,” Jer. x. 10, 12. “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and eanst not look on inquity. . . . His brightness was as the light; He had rays coming forth from His hand; and there was the hiding of His power, . . . The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; at the light of thine arrows as they went, at the shining of thy glittering spear,” Heb. i. 13; in. 4, 11.

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen,” Rom. xi 33-36. The four living creatures in heaven “rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which -was and is, and is to come.” Then “the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created,” Rev. iv. 8-11. R. V.

Such testimonies might be multiplied indefinitely, and how comes it that in the Bible, and the Bible alone, we have such magnificent conceptions of the being and nature of God, His unity, holiness, purity, justice, goodness and truth? When Paul preached in Athens, he “found an altar with this inscription, to the unknown god,” Acts xvii. 23; and the cultivated Greeks had 30,000 gods whom they adored. In India there are 330,000,000 gods; and in view of this universal and inveterate tendency to idolatry in ancient and modern times, a tendency to which the Jews too yielded through nearly the whole of their national history, how did the Bible form an exception, and denounce idolatry with unsparing severity?

Look at this definition of God, drawn wholly from the Scriptures, by the Westminster Assembly of Divines, a body of godly and and scholarly men who studied the Bible for years:

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, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity transgression and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal most just and terrible in His judgments; hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty. Con. of Faith Chap. II.’

Contrast this definition with the views of the most advanced and philosophical people of antiquity, and with the faith of heathen nations in modern times, inventing gods innumerable, and attributing to them the passions and vices of human nature, and let the honest skeptic account for the difference between the Bible and every other religious belief on this fundamental subject. “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many and lords many), but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him,” 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6.