A few years ago, I found a glossy orange book in a praline shop entitled New Orleans Classic Desserts. I was enticed by its alluring photographs of Café Brûlot Pudding Cake, Crème Brulée, Beignets, and Wedding Meringue Kisses. Even the descriptions were tantalizing with their delicious words, dripping temptingly like honey from the hive.
“Meringue kisses are bite-sized clouds that dissolve on the tongue, and just one kiss is never enough. To form the kiss, two pieces of baked meringue-like candy are married, using butter-cream icing. Chocolate is exquisite, vanilla subtle, and lemon or lime sweetly tart.”
I purchased the book.
My family deeply relishes time spent together in the kitchen. My mom especially loves to bake cakes, but dad, on the other hand, enjoys the art of baking a good pie. Personally, I love baking bread-any bread. At this moment, I have a beautiful loaf of Irish Soda Bread in the oven.
A lot of my memories from childhood involve watching my mom in the kitchen. Around the holiday season, our church would have a bake sale. For nearly two months, our house would be saturated with the scent of rising dough-melting sugar and butter into the most scrumptious aroma on Earth.
I and my sister Krista would sprinkle coconut atop the coconut cakes, or drizzle hot, white icing over the Death by Chocolate Cakes, or, if we were really lucky, we would lick the bowls of their remnants of icing before filling them with soapy suds of water.
For several months, I have been pondering on how I should write about God’s monotheistic nature. Some say that God is One Supreme Being. Some say that there is One God in three distinct Persons. In the Book of Revelation, John wrote about seven Spirits of God (Revelation 1:4; 3:1; 5:6.) However, the Bible also clearly states that there is only One Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4.) What is the ultimate truth?
That truth is something which I have gone on a long journey to discover. As I looked through some recipes in a cookbook, I realized that, in some ways, God’s oneness is wrapped up as fully and as sweetly as a layered cake.
Honestly, Oneness is something that I have personally struggled to understand. For many years, I have attended a trinitarian Christian academy which loves to stress “One God in three Persons” frequently. My conscious has felt so tortured and even persecuted at times! I would be reduced to tears as I diligently searched through my Bible, thinking, “How can I really be struggling with this? My dad’s a minister, my grandparents were missionaries, and my own uncle has written several books on the subject, including The Oneness of God! How is this happening?”
It is very scary when something you believe in is put to question. I have learned from that experience to never underestimate another person’s struggles. For some people, they may struggle to understand the purpose of modesty. For others, they may struggle to understand the correct way to salvation. For myself, I have struggled to understand Oneness.
In my long quest for the truth, I not only looked to Scripture, but also counseled with my family, watched a Oneness debate, and, finally, dug out The Oneness of God, the book which my uncle, David Bernard, wrote.
We must start at the very beginning, and we will look at the Bible, the infallible Word of God, as the perfect recipe to God’s fulness.
Like Paul, I also pray,
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”(Ephesians 1:17-18)
“Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all.”(Ephesians 1:23)
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
“May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
“And to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”(Ephesians 3:16-19)
Although many aspects of God may be mysterious, we, as believers, are given the opportunity to have our knowledge extended to understand “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height,” and love of God. We are given the possibility of being “filled with all the fulness of God.” That means that God has chosen to completely reveal Himself and His Nature to us, the members of the New Covenant.
If you have ever made a cake, you know that the ingredients themselves never make much sense on the page yet form a very pleasurable confection after being compiled, baked, and taken out of the oven. God’s attributes, His names, and His different roles may appear confusing in words, but, really, He is the one and only God! Perhaps it may be deemed sacrilegious to compare God to a pastry, as decadent as it may be, but we will make an exception just this once.
The first “ingredient” which we will dig into is found in Genesis, the beginning.
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”(Genesis 1:2)
You might think that I am insulting your intelligence by using such a “common” Scripture. Every child in Sunday School knows that one. Just like flour or salt, this Scripture may be “common” or “everyday,” but it is a wonderful foundation and vital to our study. Look at the latter part of verse 2: “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
When we measure this verse out, along with the aid of other Scriptures, we are able to affirm that God is a Spirit. Every Christian will agree with this fact.
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”(John 4:24)
Solomon, the King of Israel, said at the dedication of the Temple, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less the house I have builded?”(1 Kings 8:27)
Solomon clarifies for us that, as a Spirit, God cannot be contained by the means of man, which brings to mind the failed attempt at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:4.)
“THUS saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?”(Isaiah 66:1)
God is a Spirit. He cannot be contained by the means of man. He is always present. He is everywhere.
Paul said, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”(Acts 17:27-28)
We have the ability to feel God, to find Him, to live in Him, and to belong to Him because we, as believers, are His offspring, His children. This Holy Spirit, in whom we exist, becomes our Father.
“Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?”(Malachi 2:10)
Please understand that Malachi is talking about God, our Father. We know that we have only one God, and we have learned that God is a Spirit who is our spiritual Father.
That is our first layer. The Jews were taught by the prophets that God is a singular Being who is ever-present, all-knowing, and all-powerful.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one Lord.”(Deuteronomy 6:4)
We understand this easily; however, controversy arises in the form of the Son, Christ Jesus. We should notice, though, that controversy never arises in Scripture, but in man’s interpretation of Scripture.
Also in Deuteronomy, Moses wrote, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;”(Deuteronomy 18:5)
This prophesy came to pass nearly two thousand years later in John chapters 5 and 6. Jesus said, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive…For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.”(John 5:43+46)
Previously, I wrote a blog post about the precious name of Jesus. There is so much which can be said and written about God Himself. There is an infinite amount of words to describe and explain God. The more I study, the more the beauty of God’s oneness opens up to my mind’s eye. Here, I would like to show you my favorite verse of Scripture regarding the true identity of the Messiah, Jesus:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”(Isaiah 9:6)
Again, this is a Scripture which many have been familiar with since infancy; but do not let simplicity blind you to brilliance. It is a commonly known fact that fire is hot, but enough heat can break down compound metals. Therefore, the basic truths of the Bible can break down complex principles.
Read the Scripture again.
“a son is given…and his name shall be called…The mighty God, The everlasting Father.”
Jesus, the Son of God, is the Father.
John 10:30 says, “I and my Father are one.”
Paul wrote, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
“One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
But the incredible message of God’s unique oneness does not stop there.
Paul continues to say, “(Now that he ascended [Jesus], what is it but that he also descended [Holy Spirit] into the lower parts of the earth?
“He that descended [Holy Spirit] is the same also that ascended [Jesus] up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”(Ephesians 4:9-10)
So the Spirit which “descended into the lower parts of the earth” in Ephesians 4:9 and “moved upon the face of the waters” in Genesis 1:2 is the Father in Acts 17 whose birth as the Son of Man was prophesied in Isaiah 9:6. Jesus who ascended into heaven in Acts 1:9 is the same Spirit who descended at Pentecost in Acts 2:4. The Son is the Holy Spirit.
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.”
“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have preeminence.”(Colossians 1:15+18)
As I wrote before, there is an infinite amount of words to be said about the complete fulness and unity of God. He is a Spiritual Father who came to Earth as a Man to die for our sins that He might save us.
James wrote, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”(James 2:19)
For those of you who, like me, have had difficulty grasping the full understanding of God’s awesome oneness, I pray that this helps you on your own journey.
We find in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
God will reward us as long as we diligently seek him. If you are anything like me, you might think, “How do I diligently seek God?”
Get down on your knees, clutch your Bible, and cry out to Jesus for understanding! God is not monotheistic because I, Von de Leigh Hatcher, say that God is monotheistic. God is not monotheistic because David Bernard says that God is monotheistic. God is monotheistic because the Word of God emphasizes that God is monotheistic!
In the Revelation of Jesus Christ (the title in itself is a wonderful promise,) John says, “And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.”(Revelation 4:2)
There is one God who has revealed Himself in many ways. I have known Him as Savior, Comforter, Counselor, Father, Friend, and mighty God. His attributes are endless, but His identity is changeless.
For further reading, I fully recommend the Bible, obviously, and The Oneness of God, Essentials of Oneness Theology, and The Oneness View of Jesus Christ, which were all written by David Bernard. He also has other books which dissect and compare Trinitarianism to Scripture, such as Oneness and Trinity, A.D. 100-300.
I’d love to hear your questions and comments. God bless and bon appétit!