The Upper Room Discourse 15 Rabbi Micheal Weiner
John 14:16-1 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper so He may be with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him. You know Him, because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not abandon you as orphans; I will come to you.
We’ve been studying the Upper Room Discourse. As you can see, we are continuing with part 15 today. As I prayed over these three verses, I was saddened by the thought that many Jewish people do not consider Christianity as a monotheistic religion. They think that, because we have the trinity, we don’t have one God.
We are not helped by the old Anglican hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy” which contains the line, “God in three persons, blessed trinity.” Additionally, part of my problem with the novel, “The Shack” (2007) (there are other problems) is how the author, William P. Young, describes the trinity. Our subject verses help me explain my point of view. While I do believe in the tribune nature of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I see these three as parts or aspects of one God. They are not to be taken apart, but we have Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three aspects or functions of Who God is.
Yeshua is speaking these words. And He is using the third person when referencing the Father and the Holy Spirit Whom Yeshua calls the “Spirit of Truth.” Then suddenly, Yeshua says “I will come to you.” In one moment, Yeshua is praying that the Father will send the Spirit of Truth, and in the next moment, He IS the Spirit Who is coming to us.
There is one verse of the Hebrew Scriptures that mentions all three in one verse. Isaiah 48:16 Draw near to Me, hear this: Since the beginning, I have not spoken in secret. From the time it existed, I was there. So now Adonai Elohim has sent Me, and His Ruach. We have to know it is Yeshua who is speaking. Here is a matching verse from the New Testament, where all three are mentioned … 1 Corinthians 13:13(14) The grace of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and the love of God and the fellowship of the Ruach ha-Kodesh be with you all. Amen.
In the very first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, the word for God is Elohim. The “I-M” ending is masculine plural. In English, plural is more than one. In Hebrew, plural (of this type) is more than two; three is more than two.
He goes on to say, Genesis 1:26a Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image.” This has been explained in various ways, but we should never ignore the obvious, that God is appropriately speaking of Himself in the plural. Man is also made three in one, body, soul, and spirit. These three are only separated in death.
I’m just writing a short devotional for your consideration, not an exhaustive discourse intended to be all encompassing on this subject. But before we break this off, let me bring one more issue forward. All three were present at Yeshua’s baptism. Matthew 3:16-17 After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him. And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!” And the Lord is well pleased when we have a correct understanding of Who He is.