Let me begin by stating I don’t believe man will ever know what God is…short of our asking Him in the Kingdom of the New Heaven and the New Earth.
The Bible says we are to know who God is and to make Him known. Therefore, the Scriptures explain in every possible way, WHO our Father is, WHAT He is like, WHERE He is, and WHY He loves us.
This is how we can know Him:
1John 2:3-6 3This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments. 4One who says, “I know him,” and doesn’t keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth isn’t in him. 5But God’s love has most certainly been perfected in whoever keeps his word. This is how we know that we are in him: 6he who says he remains in him ought himself also to walk just like he walked.
As far as explaining what He is, the best a human can know is by analogy.
So, let’s get some Scripture:
Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, Israel: YHWH is our God. YHWH is one.”
The “one” in this passage is “echad” in Hebrew which is a plural noun. Similar to using it as “ONE team”…it’s many that make-up the one…or for example when the word “echad” is used to describe man and woman uniting and becoming one (echad) flesh.
Does this mean YHWH is many gods? No…Biblically, the Scriptures declare YHWH manifests Himself in many ways, at many times, for many reasons. He displays Himself in ways we (simple humans) can understand:
Hebrews 1:1-2 1God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the Earth.
Many ways…as a hand:
Daniel 5:5 “In the same hour, the fingers of a man’s hand came out and wrote near the lamp stand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace. The king saw the part of the hand that wrote.”
…in visions and dreams:
Numbers 12:6 6He said, “Now hear my words. If there is a prophet among you, I, YHWH, will make myself known to him in a vision. I will speak with him in a dream.
Isaiah 1:1“The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”
…as the Angel of YHWH:
Genesis 22:15, Zechariah 3:6, Judges 6:22, Judges 13:21, Psalms 35:5, Numbers 22:25, 1 Kings 19:7 etc.
…as a burning bush:
Exodus 3:2 YHWH’s angel appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
…as a pillar of fire and cloud:
…as the incarnate Word of YHWH, His Appointed Prophet, His only begotten Son:
John 1:1-5 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him. Without him, nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn’t overcome
Psalms 2 “Give sincere homage to the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish on the way, for his wrath will soon be kindled. Blessed are all those who take refuge in him. Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth take a stand, and the rulers take counsel together, against YHWH, and against his Anointed, saying, “Let’s break their bonds apart, and cast their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens will laugh. YHWH will have them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his anger, and terrify them in his wrath: “Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion.” I will tell of the decree: YHWH said to me, “You are my son. Today I have become your father. Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron. You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Now therefore be wise, you kings. Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve YHWH with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
Isaiah 9:6-7 “For a child is born to us. A son is given to us; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on David’s throne, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever. The zeal of YHWH of Hosts will perform this.”
…as His Holy Spirit:
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Messiah, he is not his.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
There is nothing that anyone can know about God’s nature unless He reveals it to humankind. Without divine revelation humanity will be in darkness. Fortunately, the Bible has told us about God’s nature. From the Scripture we can discover four basic description of God’s character.
1. God Is Spirit
God is a spirit being. Yahushua described The Father, YHWH in this manner.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
God is not “a spirit” rather He is “spirit.” Spirit…is His nature – He is not a physical being. Because YHWH has no physical form, His chosen people, Israel was forbidden to make any images of Him…He desires to be worshiped personally.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, YHWH your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments“ (Exodus 20:4-6).
2. God Is Light
The Bible also says that YHWH is light.
This is the message we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
This can refer to the glory and majesty of YHWH. Notice the Bible does not say that YHWH has light; He is light. The Bible says…
Which he will bring about at the proper time – he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen (1 Timothy 6:15,16).
3. God Is Love
The Bible says that God is love.
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:16).
Love involves other attributes of God including grace, kindness, and mercy.
4. God Is A Consuming Fire
The Bible also describes God as a consuming fire.
For our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).
Again, fire is not YHWH…He is like fire. The analogy of fire refers to the holiness and absolute righteousness of God’s nature.
Fire Is Frequent Symbol Of God and His judgment against sin.
The Bible speaks of a flaming torch and smoking fire pot when God made a covenant with Abraham.
As the sun went down and it became dark, Abram saw a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses (Genesis 15:17).
YHWH’s judgment appeared on the altar of fire. Elijah the prophet taunted the false prophets of Baal.
Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of YHWH. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed. . . . Immediately the fire of YHWH flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the ditch! And when the people saw it, they fell on their faces and cried out, “YHWH is God! YHWH is God!” (2 Kings 18:24,38,39).
A couple of illustrations that can be used is this.
God is like a fire.
His Spirit would be like the heat of a flame. It can extend from Him and one can experience the power, the danger, the fear and the presence of Him from this heat.
His Word, His Right-Hand, His Anointed-One, His Messiah, His begotten Son is like the light of the flame. It also can extend from Him and one can see, appreciate, be lead, and experience Him from this light.
They both are a part of Him, one with Him, from what our limited minds can fathom, it is Him.
The other illustration is derived from the Son being called the “Right-Hand” of YHWH (The Father). (i.e. Luke 22:69, Psalms 118:15-16, Acts 2:33).
I admit this example is simple, but your arm is one with you, but it doesn’t make any decisions, it is controlled by you. It can do nothing without your will to move it. It can extend from you and manipulate your environment and even if it were severed from you, it would still be considered your arm. Yahushua made all these claims about His relationship with The Father.
Above all, we must remember…as far as the Gospel is concerned…our end goal is not the Son of YHWH, Yahushua… it is the Father, Himself. Yahushua said, “no one comes to the Father, but by me.” All praise and honor go to the Father. YHWH is and should always be our focus. Yahushua, as the Son of YHWH, has been given power and authority to rule our lives and rightly so, He is our King. He comes from the Father, but the man, Yahushua is not The Father.
Philippians 2:5-11 and John 10:22-39 tell us that Yahushua IS God – but we need to understand that the RUACH (Spirit) OF YHWH was encased in the flesh of the SON, and it is THAT FLESH which was pierced! YHWH the Father, Himself was never born, nor did He die.
Does that make sense to you?
The Bible does not attempt to prove God exists or give any definition of YHWH. Yet, apart from revealing His name, YHWH…the Bible does describe His nature in four ways:
- YHWH is spirit – His nature is not flesh and blood.
- YHWH is also light – there is no darkness in Him at all.
- YHWH is also love…and finally…
- YHWH’s nature can be compared to a consuming fire.
These four descriptions provide some insights into YHWH’s nature and character rather than giving us a definition of Him.