The Godhead

Samuel Smith



You are welcome to another edition of Insights from God's Word, a Bible study programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.

In this edition, we continue with our series on The Godhead. The topic for this study is the same as the series title: The Godhead. In this study, we will consider what the Bible says in relation to the biblical doctrine of the Godhead.

Friends, the word ‘Godhead’ is found three times in the King James Version of the Bible. In all these three cases, the word is utilised by the apostle Paul to refer to 'Deity' or 'Divine Nature'. Here are the three references of the word in the New Testament of the KJV:

i) "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device" (Acts 17:29).

ii) "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).

iii) "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).

From the three texts above, it is clear that Paul utilises the word ‘Godhead’ not in reference to any kind of 'deity', but rather to the supreme Creator of heaven and earth. Over the years, not a few in Christendom have argued that the Godhead is made up of only One Personality, who is God the Father. Those who hold on to this view usually quote the following Bible texts among others to support their position:

i) "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deuteronomy 6:4).

ii) "That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else" (1 Kings 8:60).

iii) "Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one" (Galatians 3:20).

iv) "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2:19).

Friends, a casual reading of these texts of Scripture may suggest that the Godhead is made up of a single Personality. But when we consider the subject from the totality of Scripture, we come away with an entirely different position. A quick overview of certain passages of Scripture will validate this important point:


A casual reading of the first twenty-five verses of Genesis 1 may give the impression that the God of the Bible is a single Being. However, when we get to the verse 26, we come across the plurality of God in a very clear manner. Genesis 1:25-27 reads: "1:25 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.

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.

1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

(Genesis 1:25-27; Capital Emphasis Added)
In the verse 26 of Genesis 1, this supposedly singular Being suddenly makes the statement: "let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Genesis 1:26). This text makes it very clear that the Creator God is made up of more than one personality. But some have interpreted the word 'us' to mean angels rather than the Godhead. Such interpreters assert that in Genesis 1:26, a singular God sought the help of angelic beings He had already created to fashion mankind. But friends, this interpretation is incorrect based on two clear points:

i) As created beings, angels do not have the power to create (see Psalm 104:4; Psalm 148:1-5; Ezekiel 28:12-15; Colossians 1:16; John 1:1-3). And so in the account of Genesis 1:26, it is clear that one of the Godhead was referring to others of His own kind that possessed the attribute of Creator.

ii) Supposing that God was in a discussion with angels on the subject of how mankind was to be created, then an important follow up question will be this: Was mankind to bear the nature of God or the nature of angels? This will be a hard question to answer as the created angels do not have the same nature as the eternal Godhead. (Quiz: Examine Genesis 1:1-2 and John 1:1-3. Can you identify the divine Persons who constitute the US in Genesis 1:26?)

Beloved, besides what we have considered above, it is interesting to note that the Hebrew word used for God throughout the Genesis account of creation is the PLURAL noun 'Elohim' (see Genesis 1-2). This word expresses the PLURALITY OF GOD right from the opening of the Scriptures, and is used more than 2,700 times in the Old Testament (check this out from the Strong's Concordance, H430). There is basically no stated reason why the Bible writers decided to use the plural form 'Elohim' instead of the singular 'El' in several portions of the Bible to denote God, other than the fact that they were inspired by the Holy Spirit to use the plural 'Elohim' to denote the plurality of the Godhead. As we move on in this study, a further examination of the plurality of God in other passages of Scripture will make this point very clear.


After mankind transgressed the commandment of God in Eden, the Lord God made the following statement in relation to their original abode: "3:22 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 for ever.

3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

3:24 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 3:22-24; Capital Emphasis Added)
In this passage, we come across the statement: "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us". Clearly, the word 'us' in this text is used in direct reference to the Godhead. The Lord God in this passage is clearly differentiated from the cherubim (angels) who are given the instruction to keep the way of the tree of life.


After the flood, mankind began to multiply on the face of the earth. The Lord gave man the express command to spread out and occupy the face of the earth (Genesis 1:28; Genesis 9:1, 7). However, man decided on a different course of action. From Genesis 11, we read the account of what mankind began to do: "11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

11:7 Go to, LET US GO DOWN, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city."

(Genesis 11:1-8; Capital Emphasis Added)
From this passage, we clearly see how the plural word US is used in reference to the Lord. These are clear areas in the Old Testament where the plurality of God is vividly set forth. As we open the pages of the New Testament, the plurality of the Godhead becomes amazingly clear and beautiful. The New Testament does not only portray the plurality of God, it goes ahead to vividly set forth the Personalities who compose the Godhead. The New Testament portrays the personalities who make up the Godhead as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We will now examine some of the passages that clearly bring out this point.


From the gospel of Matthew, we read the following account in relation to the baptism of Jesus: "3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the SPIRIT OF GOD descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

3:17 And lo A VOICE FROM HEAVEN, saying, This is my BELOVED SON, in whom I am well pleased."

(Matthew 3:13-17; Capital Emphasis Added)
As we can see in the passage above, the three Personalities of the Godhead were clearly identified during the baptism of Jesus. As the Holy Spirit descends upon Christ as a dove, the voice of the Father is heard confirming His Son as the One in whom He is well pleased.


From the gospel of Matthew, we read the following account in relation to the commission that Christ gave the disciples before He ascended to His Father in heaven: "28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

(Matthew 28:18-20)
In giving out the great commission to His disciples, Christ clearly mentioned the three Personalities who make up the Godhead as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the name of these three Beings, mankind was to be baptised, and then reunited with the heavenly family.


In the letters of the apostles to the various churches of Christ, we see clearly the composition of the biblical doctrine of the Godhead. Outlined below are three of such expressions in the New Testament:

(i) "1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied" (1 Peter 1:2).

(ii) "4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come (The Father); and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne (The Holy Spirit); 5 And from Jesus Christ (The Son), who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Revelation 1:4-5).

(iii) "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen" (2 Corinthians 13:14).

These passages of Scripture clearly show the unity of the Godhead in their work for the salvation of mankind.


In John's exposition on the work of redemption, he made the following important statement:

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John 5:7).

In this text, we once again see in a clear manner, the three Personalities who make up the Godhead as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Some scholars have made the argument that the text in 1 John 5:7 was not part of the original Scripture, but was added later by a copyist who thought those words should be there. But I beg to differ on this point because of a unique reason. You see friends, the expression "the Word" is utilised in Scripture only by the apostle John in reference to Christ (compare 1 John 5:7 with John 1:1-3, 14; Revelation 19:13).

Now, my point is that supposing the text in 1 John 5:7 was put there by a copyist, such a person may not have likely utilised an expression which is so unique to the apostle John. Such a person may have simply made use of some of the common expressions which were used to describe the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament (review Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 1:4-5). Beloved, based on this point, I believe that the text in 1 John 5:7 which proclaims: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" is one of the solid proofs that sets out the doctrine of the Godhead in the New Testament.

Friends, besides mentioning the three Personalities that make up the Godhead, the text in 1 John 5:7 goes a step further to tell us that these Personalities who bear witness in heaven are one. Now, an important question that begs for an answer at this point in our study is this: How can the three different personalities of the Godhead be described as one? The answer is found by comparing Scripture with Scripture. From Genesis 2:24, we obtain an insight that helps us to understand the oneness of God. The text there reads: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be ONE flesh" (Genesis 2:24; Capital Emphasis Added).

The Hebrew word that is used to describe the oneness of a husband and wife is 'echad'. It is primarily interpreted as united. It is interesting to note that it is this same Hebrew word 'echad' which is used to describe the oneness of God in the Old Testament. For instance, in Deuteronomy 6:4, we read the following from Moses, the servant of God: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deuteronomy 6:4).

Beloved, as I stated at the beginning of this study, some interpreters read this text and quickly conclude that God is just one Person. But it is interesting to note that the word 'God' as found even in Deuteronomy 6:4 is in the plural form of Elohim instead of the singular El; and thus signify more than one Personality. It is also worth noting that the word God, which is translated from the plural Elohim is sandwiched between the words Lord (Jehovah) in Deuteronomy 6:4. What this basically mean is that the plural Godhead (Elohim) of the Bible, also share the same divine name Jehovah, which is literally interpreted as the Self - Existent One.

Besides this important point, the text in Deuteronomy 6:4 also makes it clear that this Lord (Jehovah) God (Elohim) is one (that is, echad); which we have seen is primarily interpreted as united. Thus friends, in answer to the question about the oneness of God, it is clear that the Scripture presents the Godhead as one not in the sense of a single Personality or Substance, but rather in the sense of their united purpose as we see in their work for the salvation of mankind.

8) From the scriptural passages we have reviewed so far, it is clear that even though we cannot understand everything about the doctrine of God, yet the biblical concept of the Godhead; that is, the three Personalities who make up the one eternal God is clearly set forth in the Bible. In our subsequent studies, we will take our time to consider in detail the nature, attributes and salvific work of each of these three Divine Personalities.

Exhortation: In the last book of the Bible, that is, the Revelation, we find the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all occupying the same high and lifted up throne in heaven, and reigning as the Supreme Controllers of the universe (see Revelation 1:4-5; Revelation 4:2, 5; Revelation 22:1; also compare Isaiah 6:5-10 with Acts 28:25-27). From the pen of inspiration, we read the following clear statements in relation to the three Divine Persons of the Godhead:

i) "The eternal Godhead--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost..." - UL 148.4

ii) "The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption." - CH 222.2, 1923.

iii) "The three powers of the Godhead have pledged Their might to carry out the purpose that God had in mind when He gave to the world the unspeakable gift of His Son." - EGW, 5 Review, 341.

iv) "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, man is laid in his watery grave, buried with Christ in baptism, and raised from the water to live the new life of loyalty to God. The three great powers in heaven are witnesses; they are invisible but present." - 6BC 1074.8 (Manuscript 57, 1900)

v) "The presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the three highest powers in the universe and those in whose name the believer is baptized, is pledged to be with every striving soul. It will impart grace and strength to all who will watch unto prayer, to all who will purify the soul by obedience to the truth. And it will make the believer instrumental in leading other souls to accept Christ by faith." - PUR July 2, 1908, Chapter 84, par. 4

vi) "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, powers infinite and omniscient, receive those who truly enter into covenant relation with God. They are present at every baptism, to receive the candidates who have renounced the world and have received Christ into the soul temple. These candidates have entered into the family of God, and their names are inscribed in the Lamb's book of life." - 6BC 1075.5 (Manuscript 27a, 1900).

vii) "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the three holy dignitaries of heaven, have declared that They will strengthen men to overcome the powers of darkness." - 5BC 1110.8 (Manuscript #92, 1901).

viii) "The work is laid out before every soul that has acknowledged his faith in Jesus Christ by baptism, and has become a receiver of the pledge from the three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." - 6BC 1074.9 (Manuscript 57, 1900).

In our next study, we will consider the topic: God the Father. The Bible Study references for this study are Matthew 3:13-17, Matthew 6:9, Exodus 6:2-3, Malachi 3:6, John 10:30, John 14:7-11, Ezekiel 18:32, 1 John 4:9-10, John 3:16 and 1 Timothy 2:4. Please do well to go through these passages before the next study is released.

Stay blessed and keep shining for King Jesus.


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