Arguments about the “nature of God” have divided men for millenia, often to the point of bloodshed, war, and inquisition. And although Shaul (Paul) distinguished the Biblical Yahushua from “another Jesus, whom we have not preached” in epistles like that to the Galatians, disputes about whether He could be “fully God and fully man” still abound. Finally, while this author is familiar with differential equations and integral calculus, the math behind “is three identically equal to one” is still beyond my understanding. But I learned long ago not to ‘divide’ from those who follow Him just because we do the math differently! At least I have a better grasp of what the Hebrew word “echad” (Deut. 6:4) means in context.
The problem seems to rest on the concept of metaphor. Torah, or His instruction, includes stories and examples, as well as His “statutes, judgments, and commandments.” Yahushua taught using parables, among other things. YHVH is described in a number of ways that humans can relate to — King, Master, Father, Husband, Judge, Lawgiver, Savior, and Creator among them — but He is clearly more than even all of these. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” *
Some time ago, I came across another, more “modern” metaphor that many people have found helpful, perhaps because it helps avoid certain traditional stereotypes, and may even have some parallels to quantum physics, since most of us struggle with concepts like, “how can the Creator be outside space and even time?”
Consider a brand new computer video/interactive game, like Worlds of Warcraft or countless others. How does the designer go about developing a whole new “fantasy world”? There are literally many layers to the effort – from what kind of computer hardware and operating system will run it, to crafting the rules of the game, the types of characters who will inhabit it, and, of course, deciding the purpose of the game itself.**
What the designer does, up front, in other words, is to literally outline the “torah” for this virtual universe — the instruction, even the laws of nature and the rules for the inhabitants.
But more to the point, how does the creator of a world interact with his creation? How does he test the game, and communicate with its inhabitants? Does He talk to some of the people – say, from a burning bush or cloud – or does He speak with a voice that rattles the mountains? Might He even choose to participate in the game in the same form as one of those within it, by literally becoming a player, entering His creation as a character within it, subject to the rules He Himself Wrote?
Think about the implications of the metaphor of YHVH as “Game Designer.”
What do those creatures inside the electronic universe think? Can they even begin to conceive of how the very fabric of their entire world runs on a computer system that is utterly outside their ability to perceive? And how much more so, then, the mind and capabilities of the Creator of that entire system? (Could one even, “see His face and live?” Certainly not in any way they could understand.) Even their perception of time is utterly different from the Creator, who is “outside” their time reckoning. (He can hit the pause button, for example — and they’d never know it.)
So, when the Creator chooses to enter that world as a participant — what is the nature of the entity those WITHIN that universe see? Certainly an aspect of Him they can relate to. And it is one which “does the will of the One Who sent Him,” too. Literally, in the Hebraic meaning of the term, that person “comes in His Name,” and does exactly as He directs.
But, would they say that the representation of the Creator they see from their perspective is “identically equal” to the very person of the Creator ‘Himself’? And does it really matter?
In THIS Universe, our own Creator has given us His instruction about how to “win the game.” That instruction includes the fact that we must t’shuvah, or “return to Him,” and seek to obey Him, as we would a Father, King, or Master, so that we might dwell in His house forever. He even says, “if you love Me, keep My commandments.” But thankfully, He doesn’t require us to know exactly how His design works, or to understand His nature in full.
* Isaiah 55:9
** How does one save the fairy princess, or liberate the forces of Good from the Dark Tower? Are there angels and demons, evil armies, orcs, dwarves, and hobbits, or flying monkeys and dragons to lead or to fight? What powers, capabilities, limitations, and authorities to each have, and so on, and so on.