The Lamb at the Throne of God

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation’, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom,   and   strength,   and   honour,   and   glory,   and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying,  lessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

–(Revelation 5:1-14)

The Trinitarian Question

The Revelation 5 question is one that many trinitarians will not bring up, because of the fact that there are so many holes in the argument. It is the equivalent of Godhead evolution because of its missing links, as well as its animals changing into humans. This is a flawed argument from the start. It is built upon a shaky foundation and gets even flimsier as we go up.

The presentation that will be made from a trinitarian viewpoint concerning this chapter is the following. God the Father is sitting on the throne and being exalted by all the elders and angels. He has a book closed with seven seals in His right hand. There is no one worthy to open it, until the Lion of Judah comes and takes the book out the Father’s right hand and opens it. At that point all worship is directed to the lamb, who is also the lion and the root of David. This, they say, shows that the Lion, Lamb and root are Jesus, while the Father, distinct from the son, was on the throne; therefore, two distinct persons of the Godhead are present. They explain it and then wait on us to find an answer to give them concerning who these two persons are.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

This, like the baptism of Jesus question, has a missing persons list. We see three different descriptions of their Jesus in this story. Isn’t it kind of funny that they am s.iy, concerning Jesus, that He is the lamb, the lion and the root, yet still be just one person? When we say He is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, yet all one person, we are wrong. I guess it only works when it is convenient to their theology. We don’t get the same luxury.

Literal or Figurative?

This question, even more than the others, has numerous major flaws in its standing ground. First, is the obvious question: was the lion a literal lion? Was the lamb a literal lamb? Was the root a literal root? If so, do we have 3 separate beings taking the book from the Father’s right hand? How many can the Godhead contain before it is finally full?

We see in the book of Revelation throughout that it is full with both literal and symbolic instances. It is literal when it says that Jesus is going to return to reign on the earth (Rev. 19:11). It is literal when it says that there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 21:1). It is literal when it says that there is a great city, New Jerusalem, coming toward us from the heavens (Rev. 21:10). These things are obviously literal. We are living in hope of a literal heaven and being in the presence of a literal God as He literally wipes away all tears from our eyes while we literally live eternally never experiencing death (Rev. 21:4).

There are some things, however, that are not so literal in the book of Revelation. Some things were not completely understood, due to lack of familiarity, by the writer so John wrote his best understanding of what he saw. For instance, there will not be a literal beast having seven heads and ten horns rising up out of the sea with literal crowns on his horns having the word “blasphemy” literally written on his head (Rev. 13:1). We know that this represents the nations that will rise up as the beast kingdom. John never could have known this in its fullness, because he is not alive in the time of its fulfillment.

There will also not be a literal woman, a whore, riding on a literal beast, literally clothed in scarlet linens and literally having these horrible words written upon her head (Rev. 17:3-5). People have had different interpretations of what this represents: the harlot Catholic Church, currency, false doctrine, even the trinity. One thing we know for sure is that it will not be a literal woman riding around fornicating with all the kings of the world. Again, how could John have known this when his day had not seen these things come to pass?

Neither should the picture presented in Revelation 5 be taken literally. There was no literal lamb, no literal lion and no literal root. Yes, these things all represent Jesus. If you were to ask who the lamb is, the answer would be Jesus. But Jesus is not a literal lamb or a lion. These are things that have been attributed to Him because of different characteristics of His nature. This picture in Revelation 5 was a symbolism of the great work of the mediator, Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5).

The reason John could put this into these words was because he knew the names and titles that were given to Jesus as the savior. He knew he was called lamb by sacrifice (Jn. 1:29), a lion in judgment (Hos. 13:7) and knew that he came from the house of David (Is. 9:7). He was able to effectively attribute these things to Jesus because they had already in his day been fulfilled.

As we have seen, there is also no literal right hand of God. He doesn’t have a hand with five fingers located on the right side of His body (Lk. 24:39). Again, John could attribute this to God because it was something that he had already seen done. This was a symbolic story showing the power and authority that Jesus has because of the atonement He gave us through His sacrificial death. Because He was the one who died to save mankind, He also had the authority, as the savior, to pour out judgment upon those who received Him not (Mk. 16:16).

Where Is The Holy Ghost?

The next problem that faces the doctrine of the triune God in this passage is the absence of the Holy Spirit. If this is a picture of the trinity, where is the third person? Surely at such a momentous occasion the Holy Spirit would be present. The answer that the common trinitarian will give is that He is in the church at this time. Isn’t the Holy Spirit Omni-present? Can’t He, as a person of the Godhead, be everywhere? Further, wasn’t John the Revelator a part of the church. Wouldn’t he have mentioned the Holy Spirit that was within him if he recognized it as being there present in some bodily form? The reason we do not see the third person, God the Holy Ghost, mentioned, is because it is not a separate person from the one that was mentioned, God, who was on the throne. The Holy Spirit was present. He was sitting on the throne. The Father and the Holy Spirit are the same thing.

Who Was Found Worthy?

Now we get into the real problems that will face trinitarians using this argument to prove tri-unity in the Godhead.

Verse 2 and 3 of this chapter present quite a predicament for this doctrine. Verse 2 tells us that the angel stood to ask if there was anyone worthy to open the seals of this book. When the question was presented, no one came forth from heaven, from earth or from under the earth. At this point, where was the Son? With all three persons being coexistent shouldn’t He have been there the whole time? Why didn’t He step up right away? Did He have to have the Father’s permission before opening the book? If He was there the whole time, then why do trinitarians say that He came from somewhere else and took the book from the Father? This is a complete contradiction, not only to scripture, but also to their own statements.

Further, if the Lamb was the only one who was worthy to open the seals, does this mean that the Father was not worthy? No one in heaven was worthy until the Lamb came. This must mean that the Father was not worthy to do the work Himself. He is a person, right? This is borderline blasphemous. Beyond being blasphemous, it is a contradiction to scripture. This says that the Lamb (God the Son) was more worthy than the Father, while Jesus said the Father was greater than Him” (Jn. 14:28), and the triune doctrine itself says they are equal. So are they equal or what? Who is greater? I think scripture has proven its validity over the years. I will stick with the bible.

Who Holds The Scroll?

Another problem presents itself when we look at who was sitting on the throne. The scripture doesn’t say – though trinitarians would like it to – that the Father was on the throne or that it was the Father’s right hand that the book was in. It says God Almighty was the occupant of the throne (Rev 4:8). This, according to the doctrine of trinity, is not just the Father. God Almighty would be all three persons in one. The Athanasius Creed tells us that “the Father is Almighty, the Son is Almighty and the Holy Ghost is Almighty, yet there are not three Almighty’s but one Almighty…” So with this understanding the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were sitting on the throne, all three holding the book. If this is so, who is the Lamb that took the book from their hands? It would be the Son, of course. If the Son was the Lamb taking the book, from all three persons, are there two sons; one Son on the throne holding the book as part of the trinity and another taking the book from Him as the Lamb? We are adding persons to this Godhead continually.

This is an obvious contradiction to the word of God.  Of course there are not two Sons. In fact, there are not even two persons. John said he saw one throne and one sat on the throne (Rev. 4:2). He saw Jesus. Jesus is the embodiment of the Father. He saw all the fullness of God sitting on that throne in the body of Jesus. This was clear when the angels sang unto Him “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Rev. 4:8). “Which was, and is, and is to come” is an apparent reference to Jesus.

The Appearance of the Lamb

Finally, another point that will bring us more understanding to this passage is the location of the Lamb at His appearance in the story. Some would have you to believe that the Lamb kind of walked up from the distance as everyone searched for one who could prevail in opening the seals. This could be no farther from the truth. If you look at verse 5 the Lion of Judah was said to have prevailed to open the book. In verse 6 we first behold this Lamb as it had been slain. Where was He standing? Do we see Him walking up from some other place? No. We see Him standing in the midst of the throne. We see this Lamb rise up from the very throne that the Lord God Almighty was upon.

If we are to see this from the trinitarian perspective than we would have the literal Lamb (God the Son) taking the book from His own hand as He sat upon the throne. They would never say this because it obviously makes no sense scripturally. Bottom line, this is not the second person (God the Son) taking the book from the less worthy first person (God the Father). This is a beautiful harmony of scripture seen in a divine vision of the heavens.

What a Vision

What is actually being portrayed is a symbolic depiction of the work of Almighty as Father in authority and as Son in redemption. We are seeing the oneness of God in its most perfect clarity.

Remember the mount of transfiguration, where Jesus showed forth the indwelling Father and the disciples did not want to leave? From the earthly view we saw the Son of God as the vessel of the Father who emanated from His person. As natural humans, they could see Jesus and He revealed to them who was inside of Him: the Father. In the heavenly vision, it was almost opposite, if you would. Here we see the Father seated on His throne and the Lamb coming forth from Him (Jn. 16:28). This Lamb, a symbol of the sacrifice for atonement, stood up from the throne, yet when John saw the throne there was only one sitting on it (Jn. 4:2). This is because the Lamb that we see is a symbol of the work of reconciliation that God did as He dwelt in His son Jesus. It is literally showing, through symbolism, that the Lamb, who came from God, was God (Jn. 1:1).

Remember, this is a symbolic event and not a literal lamb at the throne. This is a representation of Jesus being the only one worthy to invocate judgment upon the world that rejected His offer of emancipation. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh, making this lamb a symbol of the work of the Father in the Son – namely, the atonement. The Lamb standing up from the midst of the throne is clear statement that the only one truly worthy to redeem and judge mankind is the Father Himself. It is almost as though God looks around and sees there is no man to open the seals, and He seizes the opportunity to show His limitlessness so the heavens can celebrate His greatness. When John sees that NO MAN could do it, God shows forth His own MAN, His own person, Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God to open the seals, thus proving that God was the only person who could do the work of redemption.

One Name, One Face

The opponents of oneness will always ask for a specific scripture for everything (though they don’t appreciate when we ask them to follow the same rules). That

is no problem, however. We have an abundance of scripture to provide to make our case.

Just look at Revelation 22:1, 3, and 4 for our proof text to seal this position in stone.

Verse 1: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

The throne of God and of the Lamb. It did not say the thrones of God and the Lamb. It is just one throne for God and the Lamb. This takes away any reason to believe that I there were two separate and distinct thrones to occupy.

Verse 3: “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him:”

His servants shall serve Him. Did it say their servants shall serve them? Of course not! That would be ludicrous. This takes away any reason to believe that there were two distinct persons present. The so-called “THEY” is called “HIM”. It cannot get any more oneness than that, can it?

Verse 4: “And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.”

So, not only are “THEY” declared to be one “HIM”, but that “HIM” has only one face and one name. This takes away any reason to talk about this any further.

Conclusion

This is why the oneness of God makes so much sense. Who else could redeem man but God, Himself? Who could be righteous enough to be able to judge us in integrity, but God? I ‘a u 1 said it perfectly, “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.” (1 Tim. 3:16)This celestial vision is a portrait of the oneness of God at its finest.

Scripture References

Revelation 19:11

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness doth judge and make war.

Revelation 21:1

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Revelation 21:10

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Revelation 21:4

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 13:1

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Revelation 17:3-5

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

1Timothy2:5

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

John 1:29

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Hosea 13:7

Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:

Isaiah 9:7

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Luke 24:39

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hah not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Mark 16:16

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

John 14:28

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Revelation 4:8

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is and is to come.

Revelation 4:2

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

I Timothy 3:16

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The “Right-hand” of God

(Acts 7:55-56)

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

The Trinitarian Question

The right hand of God is an age old question that is presented to the people of oneness to show distinction between the Father and the Son. Like the rest of the questions that have been asked, this one only requires a little bit of study to see the truth of the matter.

The question concerning this passage is about what Steven saw as he was being stoned to death for being Apostolic. His sermon itself should answer any questions about where he stood doctrinally, but we will entertain this question to show definitively what Steven saw.

Opponents of oneness raise the question as to what Steven meant when he said he saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. They say that Steven had a clear picture of the Father sitting on the throne and Jesus standing next to Him to His right. This is Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

So what exactly did Steven see, anyway?

The Trinitarian Dilemma

Let’s take a look at the dilemma that the believers in the trinity have concerning this.

Where is the Holy Ghost? How come “He” is never anywhere to be found? Why isn’t the Holy Ghost ever mentioned as being at His left hand or at His right hand or anywhere else? Maybe even hovering over the glowing head of the Father like in the Catholic stained glass artwork? It is always the Father and the Son being pointed out.

This is because of the dual nature of Jesus Christ. When talking about God, the only distinction is between the Deity and the humanity of Christ. That is the Father and the Son. This is not a distinction between persons, but of natures. The missing Holy Ghost is actually not missing at all. He is present as the Spirit of God. The Father and the Holy Ghost is the selfsame Spirit.

Secondly, who exactly was on the throne? They say that Jesus stood at the right hand of the Father, yet the bible says God was on the throne. Trinitarians assume that the “God” who was on the throne was the Father. The bible does not specifically say that the Father was on the throne. It says the right hand of God, not Father. According to the Athanasius Creed, the definition of God is all three persons; Father, Son and Holy Ghost. That would mean all three persons were sitting on the throne. So Jesus stood at the right hand of the trinity? This is confusing on more than one level. How many Divine Sons are there? Was one on the throne and the other standing off to the right? Was Jesus standing at the right hand of Jesus? No wonder people get confused about the topic of the Godhead.

The Omnipresence of God

To assume that what the trinitarians are saying is correct is to violently strip the word of God of one of its greatest truths; the omnipresence of God. The doctrine of God’s omnipresence states that the Spirit of the Almighty God transcends both space and time. In other words, God is everywhere at all times. He is not bound by any amount of space. He fills the universe. He has no place or time in which He does not exist. This is a truth that both Oneness and trinitarians alike believe in.

The problem here is that the stance of the trinitarians concerning what Steven saw utterly contradicts their belief that God is omnipresent. They depict Jesus standing at the literal right hand or right side of the Father’s throne. Where exactly is God’s right side? In order for Jesus to be standing on the right hand or side of God there first must be a place that God stops existing. Jesus had to have followed the Spirit of God to its furthest point to the right, found where it ended and stood to the right of it. Where exactly do we locate the place where God stops so that Jesus could stand at his right side? For Jesus to be standing at His right side, would obviously mean that God had to stop somewhere. Because He has a right side means that there is a place where He does not exist. Now that utterly contradicts the truth of God’s omnipresence.

The beautiful truth of God’s omnipresence declares that God transcends time and space. He is everywhere. God doesn’t have a right side. God fills the entire universe. God fills the heaven and fills the earth. David said “if I make my bed in hell, thou art there” (Ps. 139:8). God fills everywhere. There is not a place that God does not exist. There is not a place where God stops, or ceases to exist. There is no such thing as the right side of God because God is endless. God is absolutely endless and has no place where he ceases to exist where we can say we have come to the end or the side of

God. To say that Jesus was standing at the literal right side of God is a detriment to the truth of his omnipresence.

God’s Body Parts

The next question we must ask ourselves in order to understand what Steven saw is whether or not God actually has a right hand? The bible tells us that God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24). God is not a person. No matter how many times they use the word person concerning God, the fact remains the same; God is a Spirit. Understanding this will help us to a greater understanding of what it was that Steven saw.

Jesus unearths a great truth during His departure as He bids farewell to the disciples in Luke 24. Jesus appeared before the disciples in a sudden and almost frightening way. The disciples were afraid because at first they thought it was a spirit that appeared. Jesus then makes a statement that would have much more meaning to it than just what the context allowed. He tells them “behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Lk. 24:39). He was saying this to calm them and give them peace over their heightened fear, but at the same time He unfolded a great mystery concerning the physical nature of God. Simply stated; a spirit doesn’t have body parts.

If God is a Spirit, and a spirit does not have body parts, then how can God have a right hand? The bible is clear about the fact that God does not possess a physical body other than Jesus, yet all throughout scripture it speaks of body parts as they were His. It talks about “the eyes of the Lord” and about how He would make your enemy “the footstool” and now about the “right hand of God”. What do these references to body parts mean if He does not actually have body parts? These are what you call anthropomorphisms. Anthropomorphism is a reference to something that is not human (deity, animals, etc.) using human terminology with the intent if helping to familiarize the reader with the non-human subject.

For example, when we see the eyes of the Lord running to and fro upon the earth, are we actually seeing God’s literal eyeballs (pupils and retinas included) physically running across the land, or are we seeing an illustration of the fact that God sees everything? When we see God making a footstool of our enemies, are we seeing God place His literal feet upon the back of our prostrate enemy? No. We are being told that God will come to our aid when we are in despair. It is an illustration of something supernatural taking place, but being put in human terminology.

We cannot fathom in our finite minds the infiniteness of our awesome God. This is why He uses terms that we can relate to. When God speaks, does He literally form words using a tongue, lips and His larynx? All I know is that from His being comes forth utterance and all of creation obeys. Again, we are seeing human verbiage so that we can relate to or even fathom what it is that God is doing because we cannot really grasp or comprehend all that God can do. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher \ than our thoughts (Is. 55:9).

Knowing this, does God have a literal right hand? The answer is no. We see in the Old Testament that when the Red Sea was parted, that it was the right hand of God that caused an east wind to part the sea. Did God literally stand there fanning the water with His hand until the wind was strong enough to part it? God, by His power and authority over creation, simply caused the wind to part the sea. He did not need an actual hand to do it. It was His supernatural authority that caused the miracle to take place and save His people. The right hand was symbolic of His divine power and authority.

Right Hand Man

In the Jewish culture to say somebody was at your right hand was more than just a figurative statement. When a king sat down his most powerful men sat to his right and the least of his people sat to his left. It was more honorable to sit at the furthest seat away from the king on the right side than it was to sit at the closest seat to the king on the left.

When you were on his right side you were considered a person of power. If you were on his left side you were just a common person. When they said somebody was at their right hand they meant this person is in a position of power, glory and authority. We have no problem seeing that same truth even in today’s culture. When we say this is my right hand man or this person’s my right hand, we are declaring their importance. We would not say this person is like my left hand. Nobody would say that. When we cannot do without somebody we say man this persons like my right hand. It is a statement that we borrowed from the Jewish culture. When the Jews called somebody the right hand man or somebody who was at the right hand what they were saying was that vested in this person is my very own authority. If the king was to give somebody the right hand position, when the king was away the person at the right hand position could speak in the king’s behalf and the entire kingdom would have to obey that decree because the king gave that man the right hand blessing. When the king was blessing somebody it was his right hand that he laid on them because it was showing everybody around that this person was now vested with the power and the authority that the king had.

In the book of Genesis when Joseph was promoted into the office of second under Pharaoh, the pharaoh even told him, laying his right hand on him, said the only thing that separates you from me is this throne. You have all the power of my kingdom and every decision that you make is like the pharaoh himself made it. The only thing that separates me from you is my throne (Gen. 41:40).

When Stephen said he saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God he was saying he saw Jesus in all of His power and authority. I see Jesus in all the glory of the kingdom. He saw the same thing John saw; one throne and one who sat upon it (Rev.4:2). He did not see God sitting in the throne and Jesus standing to the right side of Him. God does not have a right side to stand at. What he saw was Jesus in all of His glory. What he saw was Jesus sitting on the throne and he used a very familiar Jewish statement “I see Jesus at the right hand of God”. I see Jesus reigning supreme in heaven with everything under His power. He saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. What a glorious sight to behold!

Blasphemy?

What happens next is very telling of the answer to this question. They were already beating him and even biting him for calling Jesus the Messiah and the Son of God. The punishment for that was a severe beating. When we read verse 57 we see something change in their behavior toward Steven. “Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him…”

Before, they did not intend to kill him. They were beating him because he called Jesus Christ the Messiah. He called him the Son of God. It was not the same level of blasphemy to call him the Son of God so they were not going to kill him for doing so. Something changed when he saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. Why all of a sudden did this anger and rage come out against him? Why did the punishment suddenly change from a beating to a death?

They were not going to kill him because he said Jesus was standing next to God. That would have been a relief to them. They probably would have let him go for saying that. Hey, the guy went to heaven, no big deal. They probably would have let him go for that. But all of a sudden they wanted to kill him. They wanted to murder him because of what he said. Why? Because they had no problem understanding what he was saying. When he said the right hand of God, they understood. This man is calling Jesus God. This man is saying that Jesus is standing in all the authority of the kingdom and we know that that is only reserved for God. They cast him out of town and brought him outside of the city gates and they killed him there because Stephen was calling Jesus God. The Jews had no problem understanding this saying and neither should we.

There Is A Name

Here is the real clincher. “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Ac. 7:59) As they are stoning this man to death for saying what he said, the bible says he called upon God. That is a good thing for a Christian to be doing in such a time of distress, but what is he saying when he is calling upon God ? “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He is calling upon God and saying Lord Jesus. He is calling God by name.

As a trinitarian would tell it, Stephen was calling upon God saying Lord Jesus, yet Jesus was standing at the right hand of God. This is a confusing mess. We have one on the throne, we have one standing next to His throne, we have him calling upon God and calling Him by the name of the one standing next to God. This is all so confusing.

Here is what really happened. He saw God sitting on the throne and it was Jesus Christ. He called upon that God by using the name he was taught, Lord Jesus. This is something we still do today. When calling upon God, we do so in the name of Jesus. The act of using the name Jesus while calling upon God gives a very clear view of the position of Jesus when Steven saw Him. Jesus was on the throne in all of His glory.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we can clearly see that the question that is asked of oneness proponents about Jesus standing on God’s right hand is not troublesome to answer, but actually enhances the full depth of understanding concerning the oneness of God.

Steven is being beaten for calling Jesus the Messiah. He looks up and sees Jesus in all power and glory. He is considered a blasphemer for saying that he saw that and as they start stoning Him to death, with one of his very last breaths, he calls one more time upon that wonderful name; the name of God as it is given to men; Jesus (Ac. 4:12). What an inspiring insight to the depth of the great truth of God’s oneness.

Scripture References

Psalm 139:8

If I ascend up into heaven, ihou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

John 4:24

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Luke 24:39

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Isaiah 55:9

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Genesis 41:40

Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

Revelation 4:2

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved

Let “Us” Make Man in “Our” Image!?

(Genesis 1:26)

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.

The Trinitarian Question

This is a favorite of the trinitarians when looking for something to show their doctrine of multiple persons in the Godhead. To prove the existence of multiple persons is something they cannot do. The trinitarians use this verse in an attempt to prove that there is a distinction of persons in the Godhead, but nowhere in the verse does it say so.

The question that is presented to oneness believers is: “If God is only one numerically, then who is He talking to in this verse?” God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Gen. 1:26) According to the trinitarian, this is an obvious reference to the three persons of the Godhead; Father speaking to the other two persons, Son and Holy Spirit.

There are a number of ways that people answer this question, each having their share of validity, but there is one answer that trumps them all. Before we look at the actual answer to the question, let us examine all of the possibilities, starting with the least likely.

The Trinity

The trinitarians say the answer to this question is that God was speaking to the other members of the trinity. The first problem with that is that no other scriptures support this doctrine. The bible itself says that every word should be established out of the mouth of two or three witnesses (Mt. 18:16, 2 Cor. 13:1). If this is the trinity then we have one witness to testify of this fact; Moses, the writer of Genesis. Who are the other witnesses? No other witnesses stand up and declare in scripture that one person of the trinity is speaking to the other persons in this verse. There is simply no other scriptural proof to back the claim of the trinitarians.

If this verse is such an obvious reference to the three persons, why does it not speak of any of the other persons in the verse? It says, “And God said…” According to the doctrine of the trinity where all three persons are co-existent and co-equal, this verse is contradictory. It does not say that the Father speaks these words; it says that God speaks these words. The word God is supposed to represent all three persons; Father, Son and Spirit. The obvious question then is, “did all three persons speak simultaneously?” It says that God said, let us make man. It does not say that a specific person spoke to the other persons, it is very clear that God spoke. God, meaning all of God. All that God is, the very being of God spoke these words.

If all of God (the three persons) spoke these words, who were they speaking to? Were they all simultaneously speaking to each other in a confusion of everyone speaking at the same time? Even more interestingly, if all three were talking then none of them could be the person who the statement is directed at. Who then is the statement directed at? Were all three persons speaking to the angels or to the stars, or maybe the animals? If all three spoke, the question is, who were they speaking to? It seems pretty obvious that all three persons could not have been making the declaration all at once.

Since we know that all three persons did not speak, we must assume that trinitarians will say that the Father is the one speaking and the other two persons are the ones He is speaking to. This is what almost all trinitarians will say, because they know it is foolish to say that all three were speaking at the same time. They will say this even though the bible says that God (three persons by their definition) made the statement. If the Father is the one doing the talking, who was He talking to? It couldn’t have been the Son, for He had not yet been born until 4,000 years later in Bethlehem. It would be very hard for Him to be speaking to a Son who He had not yet begotten.

With all of this information in mind, it is very difficult for one to see the trinity in this verse of scripture. Are there words being spoken by God? Yes. Are those words being spoken from one person to another? I think the answer is quite obvious.

The Angels

Many oneness proponents will use the argument that God was speaking to His holy angels. This is a very easy answer to lean on because there are other places where God uses the word “us” to include Him and His angels (Gen. 3:22-24, Gen. 11:7, Gen. 18:1-2, 22; 19:1-2, Is. 6:8). We also know that the holy angels were present at the creation (Job 38:4-7), so this would seem like a perfect fit.

In Genesis 3, God uses the “us” to include Him and the Cherubim. We know this when we look at verse 24 where God places those Cherubim at the east of the garden, to krqi the way of the tree of life. Further, we know this could include the angels because they too had knowledge of good and evil. Lucifer’s rebellion is proof of that.

In Genesis 11 and 18, we see God take the angels will) Him to visit and inspect the cities of Babel, Sodom .mil Gomorrah. The angels had a purpose in being there. God uses His angels throughout the bible to execute judgment upon the ­land of the wicked and idolatrous. We know He was definitely talking to angels in these instances.

We see in Isaiah 6:8 that the Lord, in Isaiah’s vision of the throne, asks the Seraphim “Whom shall I send, who will go for us?” God is speaking and including His angels in this. He is sending a representative for the kingdom as a whole. This is another scripture that they will try to show multiple persons in. The problem is the first part of God’s question “Whom shall I send?” Not, “Whom shall WE send?” He is speaking to His angels because they were included in His kingdom, but did not give them the authority to do the sending. This is where Genesis 1:26 comes in.

“And God said; Let us make man, in our image, after our likeness…” In all of the other verses that have been referenced, the angels are in attendance and either have a job to do or were discluded from actually fulfilling any purpose. While the angels were definitely present during the creation, they lack having a purpose in creation beyond rejoicing over the handiwork of God Almighty (Job 38:4-7). The angels did not take part in the process of creating mankind. God reserved this task for himself alone (Is. 45:12, 18). So while angels were in attendance, they did not create man.

While it is easy to see the angels present at the event of creation, they surely did not have the authority from God to themselves create. This is the problem with the belief that God was talking to His angels in this verse, the angels would have to have been makers of man. This, they are not.

Foreknowledge of Christ

This position holds that God was speaking to Christ in His foreknowledge. We know that God is omnipresent. This means that He is not bound by space or time. He fills the universe with His presence. We know God is everywhere because David even said if he ascended to heaven God would be there, even if he made his bed in hell God would also there. God is everywhere. Looking at omnipresence we need to see the other and more commonly overlooked aspect of the quality.   Not   being   bound   by   time.   God   is   not   only everywhere, but He is always everywhere. This means that God has no past, or future. He is eternally in the present. His lime is always now. Our past and future is His now. He knows no limitation concerning time.

This is why some will teach that God is talking to a present Christ prior to Him ever being born. In other words, in God’s omnipresence He was already in the future at Christ’s birth so He was talking to Jesus in a timeless statement.

While we can all agree that God is omnipresent, and that Christ did exist in the foreknowledge of God as the Word or Logos, I do not see how Christ created anything as a human. We see in the first chapter of John where everything that was made was made by Christ, but this is a reference to j His divine nature. This is not saying that the man Jesus Christ was in heaven creating the world. Further, how would a begotten man create more begotten men? As a man, Jesus could not have  created  men, but  as  God Jesus created everything. This is because the Father dwelt in Him doing the works (Jn. 14:10). Jesus’ human nature did not take part in the creation of the world or the men in it.   God speaking to the man Jesus in His timeless omnipresence cannot be the answer to the question because Jesus’ human nature did not create.

The Real Answer

To know the answer to whom God was talking to when He made man, we must see who He was talking to when He created everything else. God has a strict process of how He does things. Notice in every day of creation before He created the life itself; He created the sustainable atmosphere for the life to dwell in. Before He made trees He made earth; before He made fish He made water; before He made birds He made sky and trees; before He made man He completed the earth for man to dwell upon. God creates the occupancy before He creates the occupants.

When we watch God as He creates all of creation He uses a very powerful phrase in every step of the creation process. In Genesis 1:3 we see the creative phrase for the first time. “And God said, let…” He created light by speaking to something that was not yet formed and causing it to be so. “And God, said, let there be light: and there was light.” He did not say “Let us make light.” If this is the three persons talking and conversing, why were the other persons involved in creating man, but not light?

This phrase “And God said, let” is used several times throughout the creation process (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24). In fact, every single act of creation was done using this vital four-word phrase “And God said, let.” Why in none of these occasions does the word “us” occur? Why did the other two persons not get included until the creation of man?

Keeping in mind that God always created the habitat for the creation to dwell in prior to actually creating the created being themselves; we can easily see why God all of a sudden added a word to the creative phrase. The stage was set; all was in place for God to bring out His final and greatest masterpiece. He created everything and now it was time for Him to make man. Man had an earth and all he needed on it to occupy sustainably.

Ask yourself, what is man made from? The dust of the earth, of course. If God were to say, “Let us make man” at this point, of all that was created and in existence, what is the only thing that could rightfully say it had a part in the making? The earth and its substance, dirt.

On the first day, God spoke to the formless earth. “And God said, let there be light…” There was light at His command. No need to say us, because the void did not have the substance to produce light. On the second day, God spoke to the earth again and commanded that there be firmament to divide the waters. “And God said, let there be a firmament…” No need for the word us because the earth did not have the substance to bring forth the firmament.

On the third day, God created dry land by forming the waters into bodies. “And God said, let the waters be gathered… and let the dry land appear…” No need for the word us because the earth had no land to bring forth yet. He then created the grass and trees, etc… “And God said, let the earth bring forth…” Again, no need for the word us because the earth had not yet been seeded to bring the grass forth, so God did this by creation.

On the fourth day, God created the sun, moon and stars. “And God said, let there be lights…” This is another case of God using no substance of the earth, so again, no “us”. On the fifth day, God created the life to occupy the land and sea. “And God said, let waters bring forth…” Notice that God didn’t make the fish out of water or animals out of land, so again, no need for the word us.

Something happens on the sixth day that is different from every other day of creation. God adds the word “us” to the creative phrase used in every other creative act. It becomes, “And God said, let us…” Now there is an “us”. All of a sudden something else has a part in the process of making. Who did God speak to in every other day of creation? The earth. This is exactly what He was doing again, only this time it was different. All of the other times, the earth just obeyed and had no part in the making, but now, this new creation, man, would be made of the substance of the earth; it’s dust.

Notice it does not say “let us create man in our image”. He already created the substance, now it was time to make or form man. To create is to use nothing and end up with something, but to make is to use something that already exists and form something out of it. This is why the earth could be involved, because it had no need to create, it just needs to be part of the making process by being the created substance that man was made from.

The earth could fulfill the words of God at this creative stage. “And God said, let us make man, in our image, after our likeness…” The earth had part in making because man is made of earth. How much more of an image could a person be of the earth then to be made from the very substance of the earth itself? To be after its likeness is to be fruitful and multiply just like the other creation was to do. We follow the order of nature and reproduce after our own kind. We are made of and in the image of earth after its likeness. This is obviously who God was talking to in Genesis 1:26.

Further, the very law of reproduction, according to that which God has set up for mankind, is for the seed of a man to impregnate and bring life into the womb of a woman creating life. Surely, God would not break His own law concerning man. We see this beautiful picture in place as God proceeds with making man.

Genesis 2:7 – “And the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Notice that man was not complete until the process of birth happened. God breathed the breath of life into the substance of the earth and it became alive. It was when the

Masculine seed (God’s breath) entered into the substance of the woman (dust of the earth) that man became a living soul. Maybe this is where we get the idea of Father God and Mother Nature?

Genesis 1:26 – “And God said, let us (God and earth) make man, in our image, after our likeness…”

Conclusion

Of all of the answers that have been presented to the question, the trinitarian answer is the one that makes the least sense. Arguments can be made for the other views, but the thing that makes the most sense is that God sets in order His own laws and establishes a pattern that creation would follow forever.

God spoke to the earth every day during the creation and that did not change on day 6 during the creation of man. We literally come from the dust of the earth and have been made into the most complex creature on all the face of the earth. What a testament to the power and infinacy of God.

Scripture References

Genesis 1:26

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.

Matthew 18:16

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

2 Corinthians 13:1

This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

Genesis 3:22-24

And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Genesis 11:7

And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.

Genesis 18:1-2

And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he an to meet them from the tent door; and bowed himself toward the ground,

Genesis 18: 22

And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

Genesis 19:1-2

And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

Isaiah 6:8

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Job 38:4-7

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Isaiah 45:12

I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have commanded.

Isaiah 45:18

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; he established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

John 14:10

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

Genesis 1:3

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Genesis 1: 6

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Genesis 1:9

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Genesis 1:11

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

Genesis 1:14

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

Genesis 1:20

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.

Genesis 1:24

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.

Genesis 2:7

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.