Who is "God"?

a Father's Day essay composed by Daniel Roy Bloomquist, Honorary S.T.D. [Doctor of Sacred Theology], edited by Bauder

In the opening chapter of Genesis in the Judeo-Christian (Old and New Testaments) Holy Bible, we read these words:

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.
Genesis 1:2 The Earth was without form and empty (no land mass visible), and darkness was upon the face of the deep (deep whatever - whether waters and internal lava core and barrier between waters and lava?); and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters (of all types - of solid, liquid, and gaseous?).

Notice that "God" created the heavens and the Earth. Not any "Big Bang." It is not recorded that "the Father created the heavens and the Earth" nor does it state that "the Son created the heavens and the Earth" in Genesis 1:1 -- although it does state (in John chapter one and Colossians chapter one and Hebrews chapter one) that "the Son" created everything within the Universe.

As to describing Divinity, the Creator, verse two begins to differentiate the sentient manifestations, characteristics, persons, or names of "God" (the Creator) into a new, or additional, designation called: "the Spirit of God" instead of merely the term: "God" all by itself.

Notice also that verse two does not read: "the Father was moving over the face of the waters" nor does it read: "the Son was moving over the face of the waters."

So, where and when did those two additional personage names of the Trinitarian God originate? According to Judaism and Islam, God is ONE God - not several independently-isolated entities of Father, Son, American Indian Great Spirit, Elohim, Adonai, and so forth? Sort of like a total egg being in independently-autonomous-but-unified parts of yolk, white, and shell . . . or "waters" being gaseous, liquid, or ice?

All throughout the Old Testament, we read phrases like "the Spirit of the Lord" or "the Spirit of God" came upon him.

But even in the Old Testament (and New Testament relating to the Old), the following quotes are found:

Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the [clockwise south, west, north, east] ends of the Earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name? Surely you know!

Luke 20:41 But He [Jesus] said to them, "How can they say that the Christ is David's Son?
Luke 20:42 David himself says in the Book of Psalms, 'The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand,
Luke 20:43 until I make your enemies a stool for your feet.'
Luke 20:44 David thus calls him Lord; so how is He his Son?"

I hope the capitalizations are justified, but they shall be explained.

I think that it is misleading, in one sense, to declare in any creed that the "Son of God" was "begotten" before of all worlds (part of the Nicene Creed), but is correct to declare that God foreknew the incarnation (or begottenness) which was to happen long before it occurred as described in Matthew 1:18-24 and Luke 1:26-38.

Of necessity, "begottenness" in the case of Jesus consisted of a non-sexual (male-human-excluded) conception directly related to and preceding birth of the God-Man Entity (utilizing the female human Mary) created (i.e. conceived or begotten) in human form, "which" (better yet: who) did not previously exist in human form.

Even though the "Son of God" (so named even previously before His human conception because of His timely incarnation by means of the Spirit within Mary) always existed, His human form did not always exist as Christ or Messiah, but began for the first time at the incarnation.

Having said that, it seems that there were infrequent instances of theophany throughout the Old Testament, in which the Son of God (or angel?) apparentlytook human form, such as Jacob wrestling with the divine being (Genesis 32:24-32), Joshua meeting and bowing before the Commander of the Army of the Lord (Joshua 5:13-15), and the Fourth Person in the fiery furnace who Nebuchadnezzar called: "The Son of God" (Daniel 3:20-30).

English translation discrepancies (some based on serious and not trivial Greek-text differences - as between the Westcott-Hort/Nestle partially-spurient text compared to the Scrivener Trinitarian inerrant Greek Text) cause confusion, misunderstanding, and needless demonic disunity. But sometimes both Greek-texts-based English translations convey the same meaning, but has to be understood rightly as to timing, as for example:

Acts 13:32 And we declare to you glad news of the promise which was made to the fathers:
Acts 13:33 God has fulfilled the same to us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm: `You are My Son; this day have I begotten You.'

In verse 33 above, David writing that: "you are My Son, today I have begotten you" makes no sense as applying to David himself as Divine Son, nor that, at the time of day which already-born Dave wrote that, that he was (on that day) experiencing conception of himself or someone else as if it was currently happening. I assure you that fully-grown adult David was not even a fetal womb babe (let alone being begotten/conceived) when he wrote about thay today begottenness. It was a Spirit-inspired prophecy of a distant future event involving Mary and the Spirit.

To elaborate, there are crucial non-trivial differences between the RSV translation of:

Acts 13:34 [RSV] And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he spoke in this way, 'I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.'
35 Therefore he says also in another psalm, 'Thou wilt not let thy Holy One see corruption.'
36 For David, after he had served the counsel of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid with his fathers, and saw corruption;
37 but he whom God raised up saw no corruption.
38 Let it be known to you therefore, brethren, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,
39 and by him every one that believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.

. . . and the KJV/KJ21/MKJV versions of the same passage:

Acts 13:34 And concerning that He raised Him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, He said thus: `I will give you the sure mercies of David.'
35 Wherefore He saith also in another Psalm: `Thou shalt not permit Thine Holy One to see corruption.'
36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers, and saw corruption.
37 But He whom God raised again saw no corruption.
38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins;
39 and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses.

First of all, the KJV types are incorrect using the word: "concerning" in verse 34 above whereas they should instead have used the word: "regarding" or at least: "pertaining to".

Second, the RSV phrase: "served the counsel of God" is discrepant against the KJV-type phrase: "served his own generation" of verse 36.

Thirdly, the RSV words: "freed from the law of Moses" are discrepant against the KJV-type phrase: "justified by the law of Moses." That is a serious doctrinal error of the RSV, because "freed from everything in the law of Moses" implies discarding the moral law completely, whereas the KJV-type accurately uses the word: "justified" which in this case is directly synonymous with atonement and not merely salvation.

Note that both versions discredit the Creed statement that upon death Jesus "descended into Hell". Jesus instead descended into the abode of the dead (both righteous and wicked ones) in that abyss called "Sheol" and at no time did Christ, upon His crucified demise, experience "corruption" (see verses 36 and 37 above) in the form of torment of the fires of Hades, unlike the rich man who disregarded the beggar Lazarus finally residing in Paradise.

Relating to Divinity, or Creatorship, or God, the Entity mentioned above is none other than Jesus Christ who was birthed by the human being Mary, but only at one particular time on the timeline of all existence, at which particular time the manifestations of the Divinity and Creatorship of God (of "Father of the Son") and "Son of the Father" became existent even applying to God as to His names (of "Father" and "Son") before that particular time.

To put it another way, the incarnation of Jesus in Mary by the Spirit was the cause and reason for the names "Father" and "Son" even very infrequently in the Old Testament. It was, shall we say, retroactive in reverse. Particular God names of "Father" and "Son" were stated before the Actual Incarnative Event that caused the inception and declaration of those particular names of God.

In other words, before Jesus Christ, the God/Man was conceived and birthed by Mary, the Father/Son designation was stated even in the Old Testament way before Jesus Christ was conceived and birthed by Mary.

The integrated Trinitarian Persons of Spirit plus both "Father" and "Son" pertaining to Divinity, or Creatorship, or God, existed before all time - all of whom always existed as Divinity, or Creatorship, or God. There was no sexually-related or other conception and birth of the Trinitarian God as One God always existent.

Interestingly, the Creatorship manifestation of God the Creator, was logically evident not merely relating to the creation of "heavens and Earth" as Genesis 1:1 states, but the possibly-previous-to-Eden creation of Lucifer (who in rebellion became the Lying Deceptive Serpent by the time Eve and Adam became existent in The Garden), Michael, Gabriel, and other angels of various hierarchy, and probably also "the Seven Spirits of God" (Revelation 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, 5:6) and "the Twenty-Four Elders" and "the Four Living Creatures" mentioned in the New-Testament book of Revelation.

It is orthodox theological knowledge that Jesus Christ was and is both Son of God (by mysterious impregnation of sorts or however within Mary) and Son of Man (by Mary birthing Jesus Christ, or as Elizabeth put it: "the mother of my Lord").

Jesus frequently alluded to "His Father" in heaven, and used that name only because of His incarnative conception (i.e. begottenness) by the Spirit/Mary combo, but again, the term: "Son of God" is mentioned in the Old Testament before Mary in union with the Spirit (or before the Spirit in union with Mary) created/conceived/begot and birthed Jesus Christ.

To put it another way, God in the person of the Holy Spirit and not the Father created/begot/conceived Jesus Christ (note that I did not say created/begot/conceived: "Son of God") before Mary was created. God foreknew when He created free-willed-fallible Eve and Adam plus the imposed Garden-of-Eden stumbling blocks of Tempting Serpent and lethal Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that He was going to provide God's Just-and-Fair-Minded Gospel Contingency Plan in case of sinful screwup by His already-wayward and eventually-wayward creatures (both the impenitent Devil in serpent form, and the penitent human couple Eve and Adam) which was the atoning Messiah sacrificing Himself on a cross a long time later (but which atonement applied to the penitent human couple (not impenitent Satan) previous to The Atonement Event happening centuries later).

It is both the Holy Spirit and Mary who conceived (i.e. begot) Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that Scripture never states that God "the Father" was either created/conceived/begotten or birthed by Mary, nor that the "the Spirit of God" was created/conceived/begotten or birthed by Mary. Nor that the Trinitarian God who always existed was created/conceived/begotten or birthed by Mary. And although begottenness is credited to males, certainly both human and Divine begottenness vitally involves females - directly and indirectly.

The Trinitarian God created Mary before He and Mary created/conceived/begot Jesus Christ, and the Trinitarian-God's name of LORD (all caps, meaning Trinity of Father and Son and Holy Spirit as mentioned in the KJV rendition of First John 5:7) was the "I AM" Divine Entity who spoke from the burning bush to Moses, which was the term Jesus Christ called Himself when He uttered:

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truthfully I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

And even the Hebrews [Jews from Jacob/Israel onward] in their Hebrew language (the original language of all humankind, from Adam and Noah on), had different names for the Trinitarian God (e.g. Adonai, Elohim, El Shaddai, etc.) as to referencing His manifestations and characteristics and personages.

Even though Jesus did not call himself "the Father" and but instead petitioned "His Father in heaven", the mystical unity of Father with Son and Son with Father, plus the Father as Son and Son as Father is substantiated by:

Isaiah 9:6 To us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called: "Wonderful Counselor (i.e. who Jesus called the Holy Spirit), Mighty God, Everlasting Father (i.e. the Father), Prince of Peace (note the word Prince and not King, implying a reproduced or begotten underling considered the Son)."

Why the separate names of The One God as "Father" and "Son"?

The separation of God into names of "Father" and "Son" (with the exception of the "Spirit") is of necessity related to the incarnation of God in flesh as "child" through incarnation with the human person Mary, because the innate or inherent nature of a father (separate from his son) is superiority to his son, and the innate or inherent nature of a son (separate from his father) is inferiority to a father.

Also, there is also an authority distinction, with the father having higher authority over his son. "Only the Father knows the Day and the Hour" (Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32) said Jesus Christ God Himself and simultaneously the "Father's Son." He the Son will "turn over all authority to the Father" Jesus Christ also stated (which is interesting and somewhat perplexing, being that usually a father turns over authority to the son when incapitated and dying, rather than son turning over authority to the dying father, which authority was his father's in the first place). And there is also the cessation of authority of a father, as father, because of the father's eventual existence termination or demise with automatic transfer of that authority upon the father's death as to inheritance to his son.

But God "the Father" will live forever, and thus will have no opportunity to transfer authority to His Son while that Father yet lives to retain His authority and superiority over the Son. Thus it so happens that "the Father" will never become deceased for authority transfer to the Son to occur.

John 14:28 You heard me say to you: "'I go away, and I will come to you." If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.

First Corinthians 15:28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be everything to everyone.

Plainly in accord with the two passages above, there is an inherent inequality between Father and Son in terms of innate essence which cannot be disregarded or overlooked, and is both caused and resolved by the oneness of God in and through the incarnated Jesus Christ being conceived in and birthed by Mary, since it has been written: "The two shall become one" (First Corinthians 6:17) plus "The Sanctifier and those who are sanctified are all of One" (or have one origin, according to Hebrews 2:11).

. Why then the distinction of Father and Son in both the Old and New Testaments? For one thing, it was to affirm and promote the family structure (involving sexual reproduction of offspring with a woman involved) as example to humanity, and it was to promote the authority structure (involving sexual reproduction of offspring with a woman involved) of the superior father compared to the inferior son.

Notice above that the word: "woman" is not capitalized; yet the Spirit inspired St Paul designated woman (in First Corinthians chapter 11) as integral (if not co-equal) components of the family structure. Remember, the Old-Testament Ten Commandments which Jesus reiterated does NOT state: "Honor your father" and that is all. Instead it states: "Honor your father and your mother which is where the Father/Son distinction and nominclature falls short, is lacking, or is discrepant as to the Father/Son-named components of the Trinity which contain only male pronouns and male personages.

Even in redemption and atonement, there is operational differentiation between Father and Son. The Son (Jesus) actually did the work of dying on a cross. It is not said, theologically, that the Father nor the Spirit died on a cross for atonement purposes. So who of the Godhead persons did the actual redemptive work: the Son who died and then lived -- or instead the Father or Spirit?

How should "God" be addressed in prayer?

God Above? God Above in Heaven? Our Father? Our Father in Heaven? Heavenly Father? Dear Heavenly Father? Holy Father? (The catholics would react to that one concerning the pope). Dear Jesus? Lord Jesus? Lord Jesus Christ? Holy Spirit? LORD God? Creator God? Great Spirit? Sky Daddy? Pops on High?

Your choice. God's name say in reverence, take it not in vain, nor misused as expletives. Variety is possible.

Concerning accusations of presumed non-solicited "proselytizing" or alleged "invasion of privacy"

Is it true that one should NOT convey any information to someone or some group who that conveyor of information reasonably does NOT know whether or not the recipient(s) of that information will react negatively?

In other words, should a Christian missionary of law and gospel NOT witness to anyone if there is a reasonable chance that the recipient(s) of the missionary's message MIGHT react adversely?

The answer to both questions is the same: The conveyor-of-information missionary must be prepared to experience whatever consequential response or outcome from the recipient(s) the missionary's information is conveyed to.