God – The Original Monotheist
J. Dan Gill
I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King (Isa. 43:15).
Who would not desire to hear God speak? If he spoke to us, what would he say? What would he want us to know? Perhaps he would tell us that he loves us. Perhaps he would say that he wants us to love one another. These are matters of great importance. Both are true. Yet he would likely surprise us. There is something even more fundamental he wants us to know. He wants us to know who he is. He wants us to know him.
To know God as he really is, we must understand that he is a category of one. The individual speaking to Isaiah above says that he is the “Holy One” of Israel. No Scripture in the Bible refers to God as the “Holy Two” or “Holy Three.” In the Book of Isaiah, he is referred to as the “Holy One” some 30 times. Rhetorically he asks:
“To whom then will you compare me? Who is my equal?” says the Holy One (Isa. 40:25).
To whom can they compare him? No one else in the universe! YHWH is the original monotheist. He is not confused! Neither is he ambiguous. While the people of the nations quibble over how many gods there are or how many persons equal one God, he is certain: He alone is God. There is no question where he stands. The only question is, Will we stand with him? His people of old did:
Now therefore, O LORD our God, deliver us from [Sennacherib’s] hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God (Isa. 37:20).
People are aware that the Bible teaches there is only one God. However, they are often not aware of how many times the same Bible speaks of only him — the LORD — as being that God. Why should we embrace the Bible when it says there is one God, and not equally embrace when it tells us there is only one individual who is that God?
Monotheism is an incidental truth on the way to the one God. However, if it brings us to anyone other than YHWH, it is not original monotheism. If it brings us to “persons,” “personalities” or supposed “manifestations” of God, it is not the monotheism of the Bible. If monotheism is a bridge to God, then let us make sure that we have the right monotheism — the right bridge — the right God.
Continue reading – next in series →
Gill, J. Dan (2016). God – The Original Monotheist. In, The One: In Defense of God (pp. 91-92). Nashville, TN: 21st Century Reformation Publishing.