Biblical Answers to the World Mission Society Church of God

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.--1 John 4:1

Are you or a loved one struggling with this group? Do you need Biblical answers about the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCoG or CoGWMS), their founder Ahnsahnghong (Ahn Sahng/Sang-Hong) or their current leader "Mother Jerusalem" (a.k.a. "Heavenly Mother God," Zang/Zahng Gil-Jah, or Chung Gil Cha)? Thank you for coming here. I hope my blog helps you. Questions and comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Elohim, Part 3

So the question I left with last time was...
If Elohim is a singular God, why did he speak of "us" and "our" in Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:7, and in Isaiah 6:8?

I believe in the Trinity, so I would like to think that God is speaking to Himself as in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  But these verses are not what the concept of the Trinity is based on, and it is not necessary that God is speaking to His own Trinity.

A single person speaking in terms of "us," "we," and "our" when only meaning his own one self?  It happens in everyday life...

Have you heard of Queen Victoria, when she was not happy, saying, "We are not amused."  She didn't say "I am not amused" although that's what she meant.  This "royal we" happens with rulers all the time.  You can even look up "royal we" on Wikipedia--it's a well known phenomenon.
How about phrases like these.  Have you ever used these and really meant "I" or "me"?...
"Oh, yes, we'll be there!"
"Give us a chance!"
This happens with us regular people too.

Here is an example from the Bible:
Daniel 2:36
This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king.
Daniel talks about himself as "we" instead of "I" when it was really Daniel alone who received the interpretation of the dream and was taken to the king.  (See Daniel 2:19 & 24)

The "royal we" is one thing happening with these verses in Genesis and Isaiah.  But I want to show you something else.  A leader (like a King or Queen) who has a council, a group of their closest advisors, will use "we" when addressing his council.  It doesn't mean the other members of the council are also kings.  It happens today and through history, and you can observe it in the Bible.  Watch how King Ahab used "we" and "I":

2 Chronicles 18:5
Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”
So they said, “Go up, for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.”
King Ahab says, "Shall we go to war..., or shall I refrain?"  His council of prophets answers, "Go."  This "go" is not "take your army and all of you (plural) go"--it's a command for "you (singular) go."

Not that God actually needs advisors, but could He have a royal council which He converses with?  Yes!  Check out these verses...

Jeremiah 23:18 & 22 (NIV)
For which of them has stood in the council of the LORD,
      to see or hear His word?...

But if they had stood in My council,
      they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
      and would have turned them from their evil ways
      and from their evil deeds.

"They" in these verses are the false prophets.  They did not know what went on in God's council.

1 Kings 22:19-22
Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left.  And the LORD said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner.  Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’   The LORD said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the LORD said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’What a vision of the royal council of God Micaiah had!  Here's God allowing His angels to offer suggestions, and He accepts one of them.

Job 1:6 (NIV)
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.
Job 2:1 (NIV)
On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.
Here it is again--God surrounded by His angels for a meeting.

So there you go--God sometimes refers to Himself with the "royal we" because He is KING and has His heavenly council about Him.  It does NOT mean that He is speaking to another God with Him.

The conclusion is that Elohim uses a plural suffix with singular adjectives/verbs/etc. not to indicate plural Gods, but one God who is superior, majestic, great, and absolute.  And that He is.

Those of us who believe in the Trinity, the three-in-one God, can see hints of the Trinity in this interesting plural form of Elohim, used in a singular sense to describe God.  That, supported by the rest of Bible's insistence that there is only one God, makes it clear that indeed, there is only one true God.

But if God made humans in His image, and there are both male and female, doesn't that have to mean that there is a male God for the male image and a female God for the female image (as the WMSCOG claims)?  No.  But that's a topic for next time...

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