Who is God?
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Col 2:9
Who is God? Trinity? Oneness? Who is Jesus?
This study will help give us an understanding of who God is. To fully understand, it is helpful to use the whole scripture.
- God is a Spirit
- God does not change
- God is one
He consists of what we can only call spirit. This spirit is singular in fashion.
Jhn 4:24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
Pnuema. pnyü'-mä )new ma This is the singular form of the word, if it were plural it would be Pnuemata. Pnuema in this case is not referring to person, but substance or being. Singular. God is one spiritual being. A being that has no physical constraints or boundaries.
Jer 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
God is not a man.
Num 23:19 God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
Isaiah 55:8-11 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
We don’t always know mind of God, or why He does what He does, but we know Word. He has spoken to us through his Word. It is through his Word we begin to understand him.
He is forever eternally the same God.
Malichi 3:6 For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Psalms 48:14 For this God [is] our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide [even] unto death.
Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God
Psalms 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night.
Humans tend to think beginning/end, life/death. Time is irrelevant with God.
Det 6: 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:
Isaiah 45:5 I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me
Isaiah 43:11 I, [even] I, [am] the LORD; and beside me [there is] no saviour.
No Saviour, No God, None Else beside
God manifests Himself in many ways through out the Bible.
Gen 3:8 The voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden
Exodus 3 Moses and the burning bush
Exodus 13 Leading the Israelites out of Egypt into the promised land. God manifested Himself as a pillar of a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night.
We've established in the O.T. that:
1. God is a Spirit
2. God is one
Because God is a Spirit that fills the heaven and earth, he can manifest himself in multiple ways while still being one Spirit.
3. God does not change.
Because God does not change, the Old Testament God is and must be the same as New Testament God.
Psalms 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Begotten: To bear young, birth, bring forth(children), born beget, in this case, to bring forth a child. The word yalad (3205) is used many times throughout the old Testament, always to refer to birth:
Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said , I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth (3205) children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived , and bare (3205) Cain, and said , I have gotten a man from the LORD.
Gen 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born (3205) a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
Gen 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat (3205) [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
God, the Eternal Spirit, chooses a particular point in history to manifest himself as both the Father and Son.
You can't have a Son without a Father.
God created us.
God Beget Jesus. Important
The Bible says we are joint-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17).
So in the New Testament, God becomes our personal Father.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
The SON. – His Kingdom will not end.
The SON will be called the Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father.
Trinity: The word trinity, while not found in the Bible, has come to mean a few different things over the years. The most popular belief in the Church today, is that the Triune God is One being, consisting of three separate, co-equal, co-eternal persons. God sent his Son Jesus Christ, who was the second person in the Trinity, to give us the way to salvation. Jesus was fully God and fully man (almost all believe Jesus was equal with God, some believe he was lesser than God), Jesus was with God The Father and The Holy Spirit from the beginning. It is through belief in Jesus Christ, that the Holy Ghost (the third person in the Trinity), comes and dwells inside of us. A common illustration used to explain the Trinity is a triangle. The triangle is God, but each corner represents a unique person. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and so on.
The concept of the trinity is something that occurred over a period of time. Around 300 AD, the Church was wresting against opposing views on the deity of Christ. Some believed Christ was somewhat like God, but not fully God (Kuiper 30), This dispute was known as the Arian Controversy, and lasted for many years. Finally, in 325 AD, Constantine called a general council to settle the argument once and for all. This council became known as the "Council of Nicaea". The "Nicene Creed" came as a result of this council. This creed was refined over the next 60 or so years, and another council was held in Contantinople in 381AD. The council put the finishing touched on the creed by declaring the deity of the Holy Spirit.
“The doctrine of the Trinity is a fundamental article of the Christian faith. The belief of the Church in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as the triune God was now fully established (Kuiper 32).”
Almost 400 years after Christ, through councils, the Church had finally came to an agreement on Who God was. Or did they? No, there was still question on whether Jesus was fully God, fully man, or fully God and man. The Council of Chalcedon was held in 451. The church decided that Christ was both fully devine, and fully human. The confessed two natures in Christ, the human and divine. "Concerning the relation of these two natures to each other the Church confessed that they exist in Christ without confusion, change, division or separation. Finally, the Church decided that while Christ has two natures, He is one person, not two persons (Kuiper 33).
A brief word on the doctrine of Messianic Duality:
“God the Father and Christ the Son are two separate Holy existences and divine entities that are united both as one Holy Spirit that is divided duality. The two different beings are both one soul and therefore neither the Son nor the Father are separate spiritually form each other, though they are separate mentally and physically in different states of existence, dually. God is the Father and Christ is the Son and both are two different forms of one Holy Soul. The Holy Spirit does not exist separately alone but in duality as both God and Christ, as two separate existences simultaneously existing at once in different realms of being” (Amanual).
There are other variations of two or three persons acting as one God in the Christian world today.
The remainder of this study will examine God in the New Testament and show that God is not three people acting as one God, but One God who can manifest himself in multiple ways. In the New Testament, he primarily chooses to manifest himself in multiple ways.
There are many scriptures that talk about God in the New Testament. We are going to focus on the introduction of Jesus into history. Understanding that Jesus was fully God, and combining that with what we already know from the Old Testament (God is One, God is a Spirit, God does not change) will allow us to understand the rest of the New Testament much better. It will allow us to make sense of the multiple manifestations of God.
John 1:1-3 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. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
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.
"In the Beginning", “Created Everything”. Here’s what we know:
God created the world alone...
Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I [am] the LORD that maketh all [things]; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;(Emphasis mine)
,yet he spoke it into existence.
Gen 1:3-4 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Emphasis mine)
The Spirit of God (God is a Spirit), was moving, and it says God spoke.
Anything God’s Spirit does that we can see, smell, taste, feel or hear, is a manifestation.
A manifestation of One Spirit, accomplishing a task.
John goes on to say that "…the Word was with God".
Here many Trinitarians will say that this proves that the son Jesus and God the Father were two seperate persons from the very beginning (despite the verse we just read about Jesus being begotten at a certain time)
This doesn't mean two "persons" any more than other numerous scriptural references to a man and his spirit or soul mean two "persons" existing within one body.
Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry
Matt 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
If I say hello, and somebody replies "hello", are their words and being two separate persons? No, they are still one.
It doesn't say the Son of God was with God, and was God, it says the Word was with God and was God.
God beget the son at a certain time (Psalms 2:7, Hebrews 1:5)
God's Word became 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.”
So quite plainly, Jesus was not a person with God from very beginning, as some Trinitarians would claim.
Also, God was not "Jesus Christ the Messiah" since the beginning of time as a few groups who claim the oneness doctrine might believe.
God was God from the beginning. (Yahweh) God chose a particular point in time to give us a manifestation, the only begotten Son of God, the Messiah, who's name was called Jesus.
"In Hebrew Jesus' name is spelled as "Yeshua." The "Ye" in Yeshua is the abbreviated form of YHWH. "Shua" is from the Hebrew word for salvation, yasha. Jesus' name literally means "YHWH is salvation." The name "Jesus," then, actually contains the name "YHWH" in abbreviated form. While YHWH simply describes who God is, when it is combined with a verb it describes what God does. The name "Jesus" describes the fact that YHWH has become salvation. Who is Christ? He is YHWH, saving His people from their sins (Dulle)."
Jesus was and is God, God is Jesus, yet the name Jesus was given to us at a particular point in history, as was the new testament covenant. It was necessary that a man, who was fully God and fully man, shed his blood for us.
Back to John 1.
Let's examine other ways the "word" is referenced in the Bible:
In John 1 we read that "...in him was life, and the life was the light of men (referring to The Word)
Psalms 119:105 Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. (Emphasis mine)
Jesus (The Living Word, 1 John 1:1) accomplished what God sent him to do as we read at the conclusion of John's account:
John 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. (Emphasis mine)
God's word spoke through the prophets in the old Testament, in the New Testament, God's Word became Flesh and spoke to us!
Heb 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (Emphasis mine)
Jesus himself states this in his words:
John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Jesus is the Perfect Example. He is the image of the invisible God.
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Hopefully now, we can understand a little more about what John meant when he wrote John 1:1.
John was a devout Jew.
John was also the closest to Jesus of Nazareth, as is referenced on numerous occasions as the "disciple that Jesus loved" (John 21:20).
First thing he does is acknowledging Jesus as God, as fully human, yet also encapsulating the fullness of God.
John said "and the Word Was God". Had John believed in Trinitarian doctrine, he most likely would have phrased it similar to this:
"In the beginning was the Son of God, and the Son of God was along side God the Father, and the Son of God and God the Father work in perfect harmony as one God."
Remember, there is no other saviour beside God (Isaiah 43:11).
God is a Jealous God..
Let's keep going in the New Testament and examine Jesus' life. Matthew gives us more detail on "the Word being made flesh".
God beget the son. God’s Holy Spirit made Mary pregnant.
Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
They were set to be married, but had not slept together, fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus being born of a virgin.
If we tried to confine God to three persons, we would have to say the Holy Ghost is the father of Jesus, not God the Father,
However, we know that God is one Spirit. God's Word "was made flesh", or some versions say "became flesh". Either way, "was made" or "became" does not change the fact that "...this day have I begotten thee.”
Matt 1: 21-23 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Jesus is God with us.
Father & Son
John 14:6-10 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
As a man, Jesus was our perfect example. He was subject to the laws of humanity. He prayed, fasted, wept, and was tempted as we are, yet without sin (Heb 4:15).
Jesus never gave glory to the flesh, but always gave glory to the Father. The same Spirit that dwelt in the Father, dwelt in the Son. God is a Spirit. Jesus is explaining to Philip that he is God.
Let's continue on in Jesus' talk to his closest disciples:
John 14:16-18 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 14:26 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.
Jesus freely uses the titles of Father and Holy Ghost, and refers to himself as I.
The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, which is the Holy Ghost, shall come and abide in us. He also says "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." He also says "we" (him and his Father) will come make their abode in us.
Jesus calls himself both the Father and Holy Ghost (Comforter). Let's read the prophecy of the Son again. Prophecies about Jesus were given as a sign so we might recognize and believe, and know that Jesus, the Son of Mary, is the Christ.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth accomplishes all these titles, including "Counsellor, Mighty God, and everlasting Father". Why? Because Jesus is God.
Jesus lets us know that a portion of God will come dwell in us if we receive his salvation. We refer to this portion of God as "The Holy Ghost", "or Holy Spirit". From John 14, we see that this Holy Spirit is not a separate being from God. Remember, God is one Spirit with no physical boundaries.
Eph 4:4-6 says it plainly.
[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.
One Spirit. Spirit is capitalized. Not school spirit, it is talking about God's Spirit.
above us, through all, and in us all.
It doesn't get plainer than this:
1 Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Only Jesus Christ fullfilled the duty of being manifest in the flesh, seen of angels, preached unto the gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.
Yet 1 Timothy 3:16 says all this was done by "God". How can this be? Jesus was and is
God (remember, Emmanuel= God with us). God is a Spirit. God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These are all titles that describe one, singular undivided God performing multiple operations.
Through Jesus is the only way to salvation
There is no Saviour besides God. There is no Saviour beside God.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus was put on earth not as a separate being from God, but as the Word of Life, by through whom God ordained salvation, for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved (Jesus was a name given to man).
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
The Word of Life is truly Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:1)
Jesus Christ is Cornerstone.
Full understanding of God not essential to Salvation
Recognition of Jesus as the Son of God, repentance and belief in his name is. It all starts with Jesus.
The Bible says that no man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost (1 Cor 12:3) however, when one looks at the fruits of those who believe Trinity.
Matthew 28:18-19 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
The disciples received a commandment from God, to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (him referring to Jesus)
Every account of baptism in the New Testament, was done in one name, the only name give for salvation, the Name of Jesus Christ, who is God's Word of Life.
Dulle, Jason. "Yahweh or Jesus: What Is God's Name?" Institute for Biblical Studies - (OnenessPentecostal.com). Web. 04 June 2011.
Kuiper, B. K. The Church in History. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1951. Print.Move on to Q&A
This question stems from the fact that we refer to God as our Father and He and other masculine forms. We have already established in the previous questions that God is a spirit, but let us look at this question in depth.
Both men and women are made in the image of God. Man was created first by God, then woman made from the rib of man.
So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27
We talked about anthropomorphism in the question dealing with “the Right hand of God” to help us understand the characteristics of God. This does not imply that God is physical or has parts as a human would, but to help us relate to the God who created us. While it is important to note the difference in the way man and woman were created, it was the same spirit of God that breathed life into each, this is the image of God we are created in. Our spirit or soul, is the in the image of God. (Genesis 2:7)
That God is a spiritual being and does not contain physical traits or characteristics, does not limit how God may choose to reveal Himself to mankind. There are approximately 170 references to God being our Father. He chose masculine pronouns for us to better understand Him. It helps us define our relationship with Him by relating to our physical understanding. We understand that our natural father is supposed to take care of us, be a provider and protector as well as someone who corrects us when we are wrong. This helps carry the idea of God to us.
Since God revealed Himself to us in masculine terms, it is correct to refer to him in that way. This is not anti-female. In fact, there are things that could lend itself to women relating and understanding God easier; e.g. the Church as the bride of Christ ( Ephesians 5:22-33)
The issue is: who defines how we relate to God: us or God? If we refer to humans by the names, and even with the pronouns, that they wish to be known by, it seems to be common courtesy to do the same for God. If God reveals Himself as Father, King, Lord, etc, it seems improper to call Him Mother, Goddess, etc. As Michael Bott argued, ‘respecting the requested manner of address is good manners at least. So we call God our “Father” because to do otherwise is simply rude.’8 Furthermore, in the Bible naming someone or something symbolized authority over that person.
It is important to also recognize that God manifested himself in the flesh in the man Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Luke 1:35 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.
Romans 1:3-4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4. And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Jesus was a man, in the physical sense, however that was only the flesh that the spirit of God dwelt in.
Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
In summary, God is a Spirit and is not physically male or female. He is no more male than a table or car is and certainly does not have genitalia. However, It is proper when referring to him, to refer to him as our Father and the masculine pronouns given in scripture as that was God inspiring men to write what they wrote. ( 2 Timothy 2:16) ?
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. Gen 1:26
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: Gen 3:22
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. Gen 11:17
Let us start be examining the word God that is used here:
The Word God itself is Elohim. Elohim is the plural form of the word, but unlike some Trinitarians may try to prove, it does not mean more than one God.
The word Elohim is an "intensive plural". The intensive plural has the plural ending but the verbs and adjectives that accompany it are singular. The intensive plural denotes a singular object or individual but adds a connotation of greatness. So the majority of the time it is used in the Bible, Elohim does not mean gods but great God.
A numerical plural (e.g. dogs) would be accompanied by plural verbs and plural adjectives. However, Elohim appears over 2000 times in the Tanach and in virtually every occurrence it is accompanied by singular verbs and singular adjectives.
Strong's Number: 0430
plural of (0433)
TWOT - 93c
Parts of Speech
1. rulers, judges
2. divine ones
2. (plural intensive - singular meaning)
1. god, goddess
2. godlike one
3. works or special possessions of God
4. the (true) God
King James Word Usage - Total: 2606
God 2346, god 244, judge 5, GOD 1, goddess 2, great 2, mighty 2, angels 1, exceeding 1, God-ward + (04136) 1, godly 1
So, we know that when the Bible says "God" did or said something in these three scriptures, it is referring to one person, not two or three.
Next, when we look at the verses following any of the above scriptures, we see that is was one God who carried it out. For example, Gen 1:27 says: So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. This is clearly referencing one God. If God had been talking about more than one person in verse 26, verse 27 would have had to read: "So they or 'the God' created man in their own image, in the image of the Gods 'or themselves' created they him, male and female created they them." If one reads the scriptures following the other two accounts, we can see the same thing.
So, the question now is, why did the One God appear to reference more than one person in these three scriptures? The most probable answer is a combination of two popular ones. The first is the Heavenly Hosts. We see God speaking to angels in other places in the Bible (Job 1:6, 1 Kings 22:19) God spoke in the midst of his heavenly hosts, or what could be considered his heavenly courts. Another popular explanation is the "Royal We". Let's look at how the 'Royal We" and Heavenly Hosts (angels) fit together:
The Royal We: There is a linguistic phenomenon in which a speaker refers to himself in the plural. In many cultures and civilizations kings refer to themselves in the first person plural as "we". This is generally considered a sign of self-magnification, similar to the intensive plural used to magnify nouns. In the ancient times, speakers often referred to themselves in the plural form when addressing the context of a royal court. An ancient king was always surrounded by a host of advisors, ministers, and attendants known as the "royal court" or "royal council". Daniel, standing in the Babylonian royal court, said to king Nebuchadnezzar, "This dream and its interpretation we shall say in the king's presence " (Dan 2:36 [Aramaic]) Also in Job 18:3 when Job's friend was before Job and the people giving Job council and comforting him.
It's very possible that the Lord was addressing the council of heavenly host from his position of Majesty.
God councils with his heavenly hosts:
And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade [him], and prevail also: go forth, and do so. (1Ki 22:19-22).
Also in Job, we see the angels came and presented themselves before God. This happened on at least two occasion that we know of. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1:6; ).
Psalms 89:6-8 references God's hosts about him and the "sons of the mighty" For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? [who] among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all [them that are] about him. O LORD God of hosts, who [is] a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee
In the sixth chapter of Isaiah we find that God uses the "royal we" when addressing the heavenly council. In Isaiah's vision he sees God on His throne surrounded by the heavenly council of angels:
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me.
And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
We have seen that kings and courtiers use the royal we as a formal mode of address in the royal council. We have also seen that God is described as being surrounded by a heavenly council of angels.
It would also make sense for God to be addressing the angels in Genesis 1:26 and 3:22 based on what he is referring to. In Gen 1:26, God is saying he is going to make man in "our" image. The Celestial bodies and God are set apart from anything else God had created at that point. They have the ability to think, to make choices, and they are spiritual beings.
In Gen 3:22, Man becomes even more like them, because he know has the knowledge of good and evil. At that point, only God and the angels have the capability to make right or wrong choices. We know for sure the angels had it because of Satan and the other fallen angels. The animals, and surely the trees didn't have this choice, so, "man has become as one of us".
These are the most likely explanations. We know by the supporting scriptures that surround our key scriptures, and from the rest of the Bible, God was not referencing another person who was also God and coequal with him. That would not make sense in light of the surrounding scriptures.