Grace Family Bible Church
Fullness of the Godhead
By: Scott Morton
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
We have come to a verse which has created a lot of confusion for many individuals. The reason there is difficulty is because there are many things out there which people teach that attack the Godhead. While some of the things which are taught seem innocent, they do attack who God is and therefore would have an impact on many of the doctrines which are found in the Bible.
Paul is stating here that the fulness of the Godhead is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. This making a reference to the fact that He is filled up with the Godhead. This is reflecting the unity of who He is: the full man and the full God. We can see this in many different passages and will cover this in more detail in the next article.
By using the term Godhead we see there is a concept that has caused the confusion. There are three individuals who make up the Godhead:
1 John 5:7
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
These three passages show the unity of the three individuals who make up the Godhead. There is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. These three make up one entity known as the Godhead.
Many of the modern translations attack this concept by leaving out the second half of 1 John 5:7, stating this is not found in the best manuscripts. The issue with this is it not found in two of them, while there are hundreds that actually contain the second half of the verse. This is supposed to be there and those who are making this statement are choosing for it to not be there based on their own preconceived ideas. By seeing this being brought up in both Matthew by the Lord Jesus Christ and in 2 Corinthians by the Apostle Paul, we can see how this is a Biblical concept.
The words which are used to describe God show this concept as well. This can be seen from the very beginning:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.  And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
These three passages show an interesting use of pronouns, especially for those who have problems with the concept of the Godhead. We see the use of the pronoun us, which is a plural pronoun. This means there is more than one individual who is part of the discussion which is going on at each of these events. We can even see this in the Hebrew word which is used to indicate God:
Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: - angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.
Plural words mean more than one individual. All of them would also be at the same level to be considered as equal, which is what 1 John 5:7 teaches. This is what is under attack by many of the cults and through some of the doctrines which have been coming into the local assemblies such as kenosis and modalism.
The reason this is under attack us because it attacks who God is and then can allow for other errors to come in to explain away passages which clearly are teaching the concept of the Godhead, which leads to other errors coming into the assembly. The goal from Satan's perspective, who is the one influencing people to follow these things, is to make individuals less effective in their ambassadorship.
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
This verse shows how there is a distinction between the Father and the Son. The Lord Jesus Christ is praying to the Father, as can be seen in the first verse of the chapter. Many would take this to show how there is subservience or that the Lord Jesus Christ is lesser than the Father. However we can see how there is a statement of each of them being in the other. This is showing their unity, but also their separateness. It is also showing how each part of the Godhead is separate.
Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.  Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.  All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.  I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.  Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.
God the Father is speaking here to the nation of Israel. He is speaking to them to try to encourage the nation to be following the program which has been laid out. As this is being done we see God the Father making a reference to being sent by the Lord God (God the Son) and his Spirit (the Holy Ghost). It is clear these three are being identified as being separate and equal.
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
This passage has caused confusion for many. The statement of being able to sit at the right hand is an actual statement and is not figurative. The ability to sit means there are actually two individuals who are having a conversation. It is God the Father speaking to God the Son in this passage. This has to be looked at as figurative if someone is looking at the idea of the Godhead from a perspective of modalism and saying God is switching the way He presents Himself. This does not make sense. In fact, this verse is quoted in Matthew to show some things of who Christ is:
Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.  He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,  The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?  If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?  And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
He clearly states He is God in this passage. This is why they were not able to answer Him in any manner, as they did not really have an answer. This is a passage which clearly points out the Lord Jesus Christ knew exactly who He was and was functioning in a manner which is consistent with this.
We can see how the Holy Ghost is called God as well:
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Here we have Peter telling Ananias that the Holy Ghost is also God, as he had lied to God by declaring they only sold the piece of land for so much. This goes against the thought process of individuals who believe the Holy Ghost is nothing but a force or the way God does things. It is clear the Holy Ghost is a distinct part of the Godhead, which will be covered in the May 2022 article.
Peter continues to speak about the Godhead and teaching the truth of this. He starts out his epistle speaking of this:
1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
We see how all three members of the Godhead are mentioned as Peter is writing to Israel giving them doctrine which they are going to need in the 70th week of Daniel. As he is doing this, he mentions how they are considered elect (chosen for a particular purpose) according to the will of the entire Godhead, with each of them playing a part in identifying them in this manner.
As we think about the Godhead it is easy to start getting confused by this. There are three who each function independently, but also function collectively in order to complete the will of God. We can see through what the Bible says how the Godhead functions. The following table is going to show how the Godhead functioned together in the creation of the universe:
This shows how the entire Godhead was involved in the process of creation. They are unified in their purpose and plan, which can be seen throughout the entire Bible. There should be no confusion for individuals on understanding how the three parts of the Godhead are all God and are unified in what they do.
The issue of the Lord Jesus Christ being God was revealed to man throughout the whole ministry He had in the gospels. This starts before His birth:
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
It is also declared as He is beginning His ministry:
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?  And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
These verses show how this was something which they were hearing proclaimed over and over again. Those who were witnessing these events, or hearing from others about what transpired, had no excuse related to this. They clearly had this knowledge presented to them and it could only be a willful rejection of this information.
John explains these things several times in his account as well. It clear He is explaining to the individuals reading his book that Jesus Christ is God:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.  And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.  And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:  Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.  But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.  The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.  And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.  Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
These three passages help to demonstrate the viewpoint of the gospel of John. This gospel presents the Lord Jesus Christ as God. There are many passages which demonstrate this idea. Here we see the epistle beginning with the issue of the Lord Jesus Christ being identified as God and we see this near the closing of the book as well. There should not have been any confusion for the people who were receiving this message.
The Bible also makes it very clear that the Holy Ghost is God as well:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The author of the book of Hebrews identified all three members of the Godhead being involved in the work that was done to take care of sin. Here we see the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was offered up as the payment for sin through the Spirit. This shows how it was only the Godhead which was going to be able to do these things in order to fulfill the plan which had been developed before the foundation of the world.
1 Corinthians 2:10-16
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Here we see how it is a member of the Body of Christ is able to learn. It is only the Spirit which can help in this process. The Spirit takes the things we have been studying in God's Word (rightly divided) and compares the spiritual things with spiritual. This means the verses we are studying are being compared and we are given the insight into what the passage means. This can only happen by having the information inside of the person.
It is also clear that only a saved individual can have this process occur. This is because only someone who has put their trust in the gospel message (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) has the Spirit in them. Those who are not saved do not have this and therefore cannot gain insight into what the Word is telling them.
We see through a number of passages both the Son and the Spirit are identified as being sent. This is not an indication that either of them is subservient or lesser than God the Father. It is an acknowledgment of the role each is going to play in the redemptive work:
Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
These passages show how there was a promise of the Comforter (the Spirit), which was going to be sent to Israel after the rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were not going to be left without a chance for salvation and the kingdom being established, until they rejected the offer of the kingdom through the Holy Ghost as well.
Just as we can see from Israel's perspective that there were different roles for the parts of the Godhead, we see this for the Body of Christ as well:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
These passages are not an extensive list of everything which has been done for us by the Godhead during this dispensation. These are provided so individuals can see how the entire Godhead had a role in this, with some of these showing how the Godhead was collectively doing these things.
In conclusion, the Bible makes it clear there is one God. The Bible also makes it clear there are three members of the Godhead that make up the one God. While this can be confusing for some, if we just let the passages say what they actually say, there would be confusion.
Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.