Jim: I was brought up believing that there is one God that can appear in three different forms – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit but there are other churches that teach that there are three different gods – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and one of my questions was, was Christ praying to Himself when He prayed to the Father, or is there three different gods?
Irvin: Well Jim, it’s an easy question to answer because the first commandment says, Hear O Israel the Lord our God is one. It does not say, Hear O Israel the Lord our God is three. So it is an easy question to answer. However, to understand what happened when Jesus – who was God, prayed in the garden, and He prayed to the Father… now that becomes a little more difficult. Here’s the big question, does God have to pray? We know that you pray when you need help. If you’re God and you have all power, you don’t need any help. So what was happening when Jesus was praying in the garden? Jesus was both God and man; He had a divine Father, He had a human mother, so Jesus was God robed in human flesh. The Bible also says that God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempteth He any man. And yet, we know Jesus was tempted. So the question is, does that mean Jesus wasn’t God? No. It just simply means that He was both. He was both human and divine and His flesh had the ability to be tempted, and His flesh needed to pray. Now the easiest way that I have been able to understand this is… you know Jim, have you ever been tempted to do something and your spirit said, “No, no, no, don’t do that!” And your flesh was saying, “Yes, yes, yes!” When you have that struggle does that mean that you are two people? Of course it doesn’t. It just simply means that you are flesh and you are spirit. And the Bible says the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. So your flesh is being drawn while your spirit is resisting. Well Jesus was both spirit and flesh – His flesh was human, that’s the reason He could die. God can not die. When Jesus died on the cross God did not die but Jesus was still God, He was simply both God and man. When you die and your body is in the funeral home, your body is left there and your spirit is gone but that does not mean that you were two individuals while it was there. So there’s one God, but He does fill three roles. I’m a father, son and husband; God is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost so there’s one God but He does fill three roles.