Unus Deus – Genesis 1:26 – Who, with whom and what?

What follows is a move to answering Trinitarian arguments on Genesis 1.26. This is not complete and should not be taken as thus, but I thought that I would put it out there simply because I could use the quick wit that will be provided by others to sharpen and shape, or discard, this argument.

Genesis 1.26 Let us create man

And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26 KJV

Trinitarians usually point to this verse and say that God is speaking to the pre-existent Son. Some oneness believers will point to this verse justify it by saying that God was speaking to the future Incarnation. Others will say that the ‘us’ is the will and counsel of God, or related to His Majesty.

A major problem remains in that we have to make our interpretation fit within logic, reason, and the strict monotheism of the OT as well as God’s plan of salvation.

Several questions we have to ask ourselves are: Did God know humanity was going to fall before He created them? Is strict Calvinism and the issue of God’s sovereignty the answer here? Is even moderate Calvinism an answer to a verse that as long plagued Modalism?

To create the body of the Son for a sacrifice for a sin that has not happened yet and then to clothe the Son in the flesh of sin which is putting on the flesh of the servant where the servant came first would create a paradox. I speak here to the Modalists: If God looked through history and saw 1.) man would fall and 2.) made man according to His Son, what does that say to Modalism? What does that say to Arminianism[1]? Nothing in the Bible lends itself to this interpretation. Nothing in the Bible states that we are created in the image of the Son but that He came and dwelt in our flesh.

The verse of Genesis 1:26 (as translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, The Living Torah, page 5) states: God said, “Let us make man with our image and likeness; let him dominate the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock animals, and all the earth – and every land animal that walks the earth”.

Rabbi Kaplan in a footnote there, explains, “Let us… God was speaking to all the forces of creation that He had brought into existence (cf. Targum Jonathan; Ramban). Now that all the ingredients of creation had essentially been completed, all would participate in the creation of man, the crown of creation. Others interpret “we” in the majestic sense, and translate the verse, “I will make man in My image” (Emunoth veDeyoth 2:9; Ibn Ezra)

Let us examine the creation of Man for ourselves,

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:20-21 KJV

We see on the fifth day God commanded the waters to bring forth those creatures that swim and those that fly and yet, we read in the same account that God did it Himself. Further, it goes on to say that the water brought those creatures forth.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25 KJV

On the same Day of Creation, God commanded the earth (land) to bring forth those creatures that inhabit the land. Again, we read that God, although he commanded the earth (land) to do something, He did it himself.

We read on the next Day,

And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 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, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:26-31 KJV

Taking into the account of the living creatures that God made on the fifth Day, we see here the same pattern develop. God is speaking to someone or something. Using conjecture and the context of the passage, we have to understand that the Rabbi’s are right. God is not speaking to the angels or to a non-pre-existent pre-existent Son, but to those things of life that He has created before. For the water and air creatures, God told the water to bring them forth, and with the water, God brought them forth. For the land creatures, God commanded the earth itself to bring them forth. God brings them forth.

With Humanity, God is speaking to all things that He has created (again, He spoke to the Water and to the Earth to bring forth non-human life) to bring forth Man. We were formed out of the dust of the earth, and yet we are seventy percent water. We have flesh and in our base instincts we are little better than the animals. Our body and it’s functions are mimicked everywhere throughout the animal kingdom, no matter the genus or species. Yet, when God breathed into us, we became alive like nothing else on this planet or in all of the cosmos.

One the issues that will be quickly raised is that of the omnipotence of God. First, one has to understand that Time and Eternity are two different realities. Time has a progression. It has a past, present and future. Eternity does not. In eternity, existence is. Eternity is defined by the lack of time progression. The omnipotence of God comes into effect when Time was created by the Fall of Adam. Before then, everything existed. When God told Moses that He was the ‘I Am’, it is because God is from eternity and in eternity, God never was, never will be, but is. We have to remember that God existed before the creation of the World, but the mystery that is the Redemption only existed before the beginning of time.


[1] Arminianism is the name given to a system of doctrine that states that man has free will to accept God’s Grace and that that grace is open to all, as opposed to Calvinism which says that before the Fall, God had ordained certain souls to salvation and some to eternal damnation and only those souls predestined to salvation would be saved.

Did you miss the weekly news?

The Angels Rejoiced Last Night

The above video features Rhonda Vincent and Rebecca Lynn Howard performing what has quickly become a favorite of mine.

We live in a very trouble world, as you may have noticed, and the very base unit of humanity is under attack. We have mothers and fathers who act only as machines for reproduction, expecting to enjoy the act of creation and to dismiss the created. Families are the beginnings of civilization, the very root of our communities. Without the basic family unit, we have no communities, and thus no civilization.

I heard the Dolly Parton/Sonya Isaacs version on XM-14 last night on my way home from Church. Being tone deaf, bluegrass is the only music that I can actually pick out and enjoy. (Or maybe Souther Gospel just sounds like everything else and thus I reject it). As you will see from the lyrics, it tells the story of a harden father made low by the death of his wife. I have to wonder, how many homes now experience a set of hardened hearts…hardened to the word of God, to the love of God, to the grace of God. And what does that do to the family? The children, I mean.

What drives love but God?

What drives compassion but the mercies of God?

When this world finally rids itself of the awful burden of a loving God, what will become of the children? Who will take care of them when their loving, and many of them God-fearing, grandparents and parents are gone. From whom will the children learn compassion and to be led by the heart instead of the wallet or the survival instinct? What about the love for one another that is derived from being in a family?

Doesn’t a family teach children about love, security and responsibility? Doesn’t the family show the nature of the relationship between God, the Church, and us?

Do you realize that in 2005 nearly 1500 children died from child abuse, but some researchers say that about 50 to 60% of children deaths by abuse are unreported?

In the song, the father is pictured as a drunk and angry man, with the usual sin of gambling. He wasted the time that he had with his children, and railed against the wife’s submission to Christ. In the end, it took the words of his dying wife to bring him around. That is not always the case for parents who need humbling. And if it does happen, how solid is that person anchored in the Church?

We have to remember to pray for the families, not just those ‘in Church’ but all families as all share the same responibility, whether they know it or not. I would hate to stand in front of God and give account to the Judge and Father of us all, on my example that shoved my children from God. I would hate to think that my life hardened my children from God or that I allowed them to do anything that they wanted just to get them out of my hair, pushing them into sin. So pray for the children and the families.

Here, first.

Go here. I know that this is old, but go here too. And here

Written by Ira & Charlie Louvin

A house, not a home
Was the picture Satan painted
For sweet little sister and me
Our daddy would frown
While mother was prayin’
His heart was so hardened
That he would not believe

In anger he’d swear
His voice cold and loud
His Sundays were spent
Out with the gamblin’ crowd
I’ve never seen my daddy
Inside a house of God
For Satan held his hand
Down the path of sin he trod

Not long ago
Our circle was broken
When God called on mother one night
In a voice sweet and low
Her last words were spoken
Asking our daddy
To raise her children right

The angels rejoiced
In Heaven last night
I heard my daddy pray
Dear God, make it right
He was smiling and singing
With tears in his eyes
While mother with the angels
Rejoiced last night
While mother with the angels
Rejoiced last night

Devotional 6/30 – In the Wrong Place

Thus says the LORD:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Jer 17:5-8 NKJV)

Gill says,

The Vulgate Latin version renders it, “myrice”: and so the Latin interpreter of the Targum; but the word that paraphrase makes use of according to R. Hai, mentioned by Kimchi, signifies something that is thorny without, and eatable within; but this is not likely to be intended here. The Septuagint version renders it, “wild myrice”; it seems to be the same that is called “erice”, or “ling”, and “heath”; which delights to grow in wild and waste places; hence such with us are called “heaths”, whether this grows upon them or not. It is a low shrub, fruitless and useless; and, because neither bears fruit nor seed, is reckoned by Pliny among unhappy plants, and such as are condemned or forbid religious uses; and very fit to represent such persons as truest in men and in themselves, and not in the Lord:

Basil, whom the Catholics and Orthodox calls the Great, said, “Think again of the double life of the tamarisk; it is an aquatic plant, and yet it covers the desert.” What the ancient helps to point to is the clear comparison of those that trust in the flesh and those that trust in God. We have a tamarisk, something that should not be in the desert, but readily makes it home there. It has no roots and no supportl; it is literally born to die. The righteous man, however, the righteous man he is seen as a stout tree, something that is planted by the source of health, and is born to live.

So many times, we find ourselves in a desert land not because we got lost, but because we were led astray by those that we put our trust in. People, saints, those that crave water and need water (Spirit) to live, find themselves in the desert, a place that they do not belong. Some choose to stay there, perhaps out of apathy, while others stay in the desert out of pride.

I grew up at a Church in Louisiana in which we were led to put our trust only in the man behind the pulpit. When this man fell, so did my faith. Instead of having my trust in God, my faith was in flesh and thus I found myself in a desert place, left in the hot burning sun, near burning, and craving water. This is not to say that we do not need pastors and ministers, but they cannot save us. We trust them in as far as they follow God, yet our faith is not in the man or the position, but in God who called them. But then, for that man, he positioned himself as the sole arbiter of Truth. He chose to instill in us a separation that wedged us from the body of Christ so that his ego might be sustained.

So, he brought us into the desert and would have left us there, but for the grace of God who called us and gave this man’s congregation a second chance.

I had friends (yes, I actually had friends) that were not in Church, professing or non-professing, and I quickly followed them into those things that I should not have done. In college… well, I was a somewhat typical college student. I sought friendship and companionship above the things of God. I found myself always falling and failing. I never got my head on right and ruined some wonderful opportunities. I did things that declared openly my allegiance to flesh and each time, I lost the battle.

But when I began to trust in God, and place my faith in Him alone, I began really traveling with God. I was actually able to plant some roots and to begin to flourish, not just with my family and professional life but first and foremost with God.

If you are in a desert place, the first thing you have to do is to call out to God. Don’t worry about examining how you got there, but just get out. Did your friends lead you there? (Or did you follow them there?) Did you blindly trust the man, forgetting that God had to be followed first, and only faith in God inspires the man? Who cares, as long as you get out.

And when you do, if God allows you, then stay where you are planted, grow there, thrive there, serve God there.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
(Psa 92:12-13 KJVA)

Devotional – Chasing the Wind (6/23)

(NOTE TO READERS: I have created a new category, Devotional. It will be the parent directory of Sermon Notes, which most likely will not be used again, but I don’t want to remove a category that I have posted into. For the first few, they will be ‘left over’ sermons, so they will not be detailed, but I hope to be able to move into true devotionals later in July.)

Chasing the Wind

Ecc 1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecc 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Ecc 4:6 Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

Ecc 5:16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?

vexation of — “a preying upon”

the Spirit — Maurer translates; “the pursuit of wind,” Ephraim feedeth on wind.” .

Therefore we have ‘CHASING THE WIND’

Hag 1:1-10

In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built. Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.

Hos 12:1 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.

feedeth on wind

Hos 8:7 For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.

Isa 44:20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

Pro 15:14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

1Pe 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

vain conversation, or Futile (mataios from maten = groundless, invalid) means vain, empty, devoid of force, lacking in content, nonproductive, useless, dead, fruitless, aimless, of no real or lasting value. This adjective describes an ineffectual attempt to do something or an unsuccessful effort to attain something. Mataios emphasizes aimlessness or the leading to no object or end and thus is used to describe false gods or idols in contrast to the true God

Act 14:14-15 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Mat 16:26-27 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 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.

Application

The idea that I would have expressed is that mortal man chases the wind, lives like their is no tomorrow, ‘parties like it is 1999’ in the hope of getting something, anything, but material things will last for only as long as the holder has breath. Yet, God and His good riches, will out last it all. It is the only thing worth holding on to.

When it comes to God, people will hold to family and friends, claiming that they fear loosing them, if they come to Christ. Yet, we are told to let all things go in order that we may hold to God and gain eternal salvation. How many times have we seen someone wanting the love of friends or family instead of the love of God, reject God, and end up with neither? What about the man who holds on to his job to tightly that he lets God fall away? Or holds to his family that he forgets his duty to the only One that matters? What about the woman that worships her house more than that of the Lord Christ?

What about the youth that seeks the gains of this world, making every effort to plan for their 16th, 18th, and 21st birthday but forgetting that they may not make it that far? What about the youth that plans for college, and once there, plans for a career, and then for retirement, but makes no plan for death they only sure thing?

What about the parents who encourage their children in sports, theater, and talents, but will not encourage them in the things of God? The parents readily lay plans and hopes that their children will be the next great musician or sports star, but do they build their children up in the most holy faith? Would they not rather send the children to church than to attend as a family?

When humanity fails to understand that it exists not in a vacuum, but under the watchful eye of an Almighty God who is holy and just and righteous and demands such things from us, then humanity will seek only those things that make itself happy for the present time.

In Hebrews, the writer tells us that Moses chose the reproach of Christ rather that all the riches of Egypt and affliction over the pleasures of sin.

We have to understand that all things on this earth are fleeting, but a vapor. Granted, we are in this world, but we are in this world to get out, not to make ourselves a homeland here.

Below are passage from Wisdom and my favorite non-canonical work, the Epistle of Diognetus, that I think are fitting.

(For righteousness is immortal:) But ungodly men with their works and words called death to them: for when they thought to have it their friend, they consumed to nought, and made a covenant with it, because they are worthy to take part with it.
(Wis 1:15-16 KJVA)

They who said among themselves, thinking not aright: “Brief and troublous is our lifetime; neither is there any remedy for man’s dying, nor is anyone known to have come back from the grave. We came into being by chance, and hereafter we shall be as though we had not been; Because the breath in our nostrils is a smoke and reason is a spark at the beating of our hearts, And when this is quenched, our body will be ashes and our spirit will be poured abroad like unresisting air. Even our name will be forgotten in time, and no one will recall our deeds. So our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud, and will be dispersed like a mist pursued by the sun’s rays and overpowered by its heat. For our lifetime is the passing of a shadow; and our dying cannot be deferred because it is fixed with a seal; and no one returns. Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are real, and use the freshness of creation avidly. Let us have our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no springtime blossom pass us by; let us crown ourselves with rosebuds ere they wither. Let no meadow be free from our wantonness; everywhere let us leave tokens of our rejoicing, for this our portion is, and this our lot.
(Wis 2:1-9 NAB D)

For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. They are poor, yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.- Epistle to Diognetus (125ad)