Vol.VIII No.XII Pg.5
February 1972

The Persons Of Deity

Robert F. Turner

When you think of God the Father do you think of an elderly gentleman, perhaps with a well-dressed beard and a stately, yet kindly bearing? Many do use a sort of composite father image, for reference, even though they know God is Spirit. I suppose no great harm is done in this — if we leave it right there — a crutch for earth-bound creatures. But this is not what is meant by the person of God, and is not what one counts in considering the trinity.

God the Son did not come into existence by a birth process. His glory is as of an only begotten (Jn. 1:14— the expression is qualitative, without the article) and He existed and functioned co-eternal with the Father (Jn. 1:1 Heb. 1:2). He has person — apart from His earthly sojourn — but there is far more involved than a number to add to the first paragraph.

And God the Spirit (Acts 5:3-4) is no less person because He is Spirit. I would not presume to explain DEITY to you, but we should learn something about the person of God, if only to recognize the ridiculous treatment given the trinity by JWs, and Jesus Only advocates.

The Divine personality could only be conceived after the analogy of the human, as far as it could be conceived at all; but God transcends the whole of nature and all that is human Person simply means that deity is revealed as something more than an impersonal force. God evidences the characteristics of person, such as conscious apprehension, rationality, and a moral sense. (Webster) Nor can we expect it to be otherwise. God must be superior to His creatures. Man is both conscious and self-conscious. He thinks, acts, and is antecedent to his actions as an intelligent being. Surely God — also. These characteristics of God are expressed in the Bible by God purposed — knew — was grieved — loved — forgave — etc. Multiples of such qualities attributed to God the Father show person.

And such characteristics are also attributed to the Son, even while the personality of the Father continues to be acknowledged. He is exalted at the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost. He hath shed forth this — (Acts 2:33) Gods Son was with the Father before His incarnation, (Jn. 1; 1-3) creating all things; and He said that following His death He would return to the Father. (Jn. 14:28) There are two persons here.

But the Holy Spirit is also given personality by the scriptures. He is grieved (Eph. 4:30) insulted (Heb. 10: 29). He knows (1 Cor. 2:11) and can be lied to (Acts 5: 3-4). He is a person on exactly the same basis as the Father and Son are persons. He joins with the Son to say Come.

In Jn. 14:16 the Son says, I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter,... even the Spirit of truth. (Three persons — one praying, one heeding and sending, and the third being sent — to teach and comfort the Apostles. V.26)

Youll find this kind of trinity in the book of Gods revelation.