“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
Roy Lanier, Sr. wrote, “There are many passages in the New Testament where all three Persons of the Godhead are mentioned in such a way that we are compelled to distinguish one from the other in order for the statements to make sense” (The Timeless Trinity, p. 50). This is certainly true. One such instance is Jesus’ baptism, where all three (Father, Son, Spirit) are present, yet obviously separate in time and space (Matthew 3:16-17).
However, there are passages that force us to accept the singleness of the Godhead as well, like Deuteronomy 6:4. This is the seminal Old Testament passage of God’s one-ness.
Let’s think about something interesting in the book of Revelation in this regard. In Revelation 1:8, it is almost universally accepted that this phrase,
“I am the Alpha and the Omega…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty”,
is spoken by the God “the Father.” Yet, later in the same book, the Scripture says,
“‘Behold, I come quickly,’ Jesus said, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end’” (Revelation 22:12,13).
It is not that there are two gods, or even three. It is that the qualities of deity – the essence of godhood – are shared by all three Personalities. By the way, this is only one of many passages in which equivalent terms concerning Father, Son and Spirit are found.
While a little mind-boggling, it is not impossible to catch at least a passing glimpse of this concept in our own relationships.
We know that children like to “divide and conquer” their parents when they really want something, and sometimes they are successful. But ideally, when children ask their parents for permission to do something, the answer will be unified. There will be total agreement between mom and dad. The personalities of the parents are distinct, but as they weigh the situation together, their hearts can find something they will both support. They will present a firm, unified answer. They become one.
Or, we might imagine the shepherds of a local church. All of them are distinctly different. But there are times they must take expedient actions – maybe they need to respond to a complaint. They must make a judgment about how best to handle it. In spite of their personal differences, they will work to find something upon which they can all agree, and will support one another. Their hearts, essentially, become one.
Now, as best you can, imagine hearts that are flawless and cannot be tempted by evil, and which need no time to deliberate. Weak as the illustration might be, it helps us understand and appreciate both the individual personalities, and the perfectly harmonious nature, of godhood.
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