(WEB) For in him all the fullness of the Deity dwells bodily,
(KJV) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
The expectation of the Messiah was that he would be a man approved by God. God used Jesus to do his work – i.e. to lead people to himself. This was true of any prophet, but in Jesus was the full dwelling/authorization of the Father.
Example of Moses
When Pharaoh denied Moses, he was not denying Moses but Moses’ God. God was in Moses or worked through Moses to lead the children to the promised land, teaching them his ways as he led them. God gave his commands and Moses gave it to the people, so what Moses spoke were the very words of God. So the Godhead or divinity was upon Moses in his ordination as leader.
Here is Peter’s testimony on how the Godhead dwelled in Jesus:
Act 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a MAN approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know;
Again catholics looks that the miracles of Jesus and attribute to his divine nature, but Peter’s testimony is that God was doing the miracles through Jesus or that Jesus was given unlimited access to the spirit power at his baptism to perform signs and wonders.
The key to why God was fully with Jesus or manifested himself (revealed himself) through Jesus was because God was pleased with Jesus:
2Pe 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased:
I.e. Jesus fully pleased the Father but Moses on occasion faulted and did not enter the promised land.
How did Jesus please the Father?
Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear,
- Offered up prayers (Real and genuine prayers not faking it)
- with strong crying and tears
- unto him that was able to save him from death -I.e. Jesus himself needed to be saved from death even though the Father was in Jesus – not literally but authoritatively
- For his godly fear – This fear and submissions is what saved Jesus i.e. the saviour was first saved before he can save others.
Messiah means anointed of God or authorised of God and that is how the Godhead/dvinity/Father dwelled in Jesus. Trinity is an incorrect conclusion.
Fullness: What if the verse read, half of God dwelt in Jesus? Actually God was manifest in the flesh throughout history through various prophets, priests, etc, but upon Jesus his beloved son was his fullness found dwelling.
Here is an example. Many experienced the spirit of God but Jesus experienced it in an unlimited way or FULL way:
John 3:34 puts on aspect of fulness like this: “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the spirit without limit.”
Under the law every Tom, Dick and Harry judge could take on the title of Elohim and could abuse it. So Jesus appeals thus about his status as Elohim:
Joh 10:35 “If He called them elohim, to whom the word of Elohim came – and it is impossible for the Scripture to be broken –
Joh 10:36 do you say of Him whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of Elohim’?
So while many judges were partial Elohims, but Jesus is truly Elohim in that he would act and judge just like his Father.
Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works.
Here we see this principle come alive:
- The words that I say unto you I speak not from myself – Were the words that Moses spoke of Moses as recorded in the Torah? No they were the very words of YHWH!
- We can also have the Father abiding in us doing his work through us if Jesus’ prayer can come true in our lives. But it will not as ‘full’ as it was with Jesus.
If we can get our minds away from the standard trinity view, the spiritual message emerges – We are also called to have the Godhead/divinity dwell in us the very prayer of Jesus in John 17:
Joh 17:23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Joh 17:11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
Joh 17:21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
So yea re also called to be part of the Godhead/divine nature/divinity but in the spiritual sense. Jesus also was one with the Father in the spiritual sense.
This is what each member of the church is called to have ‘completeness of Elohim’:
Eph 3:17 that the Messiah might dwell in your hearts through belief – having become rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 in order that you might be strengthened to firmly grasp, with all the set-apart ones, what is the width and length and depth and height,
Eph 3:19 to know the love of Messiah which surpasses knowledge, in order that you might be filled to all the completeness of Elohim.
YOU ’filled to all the completeness of Elohim’? Yes! The goal is transformation, from fleshy to spiritual or divine.
It is God’s desire that you should share in the DIVINE NATURE, not that it means that you will be part of the trinity:
2Pe 1:4 whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust.
The context of of Col 2:8 is that:
Col 2:6 As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
Col 2:7 rooted and builded up in him, and stablished in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
That is the church was to continue in Christ (as under the OT they were to continue in Moses).
Col 2:8 Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:
I.e. people could be tempted to follow other philosophies but Paul instructs one to follow Christ – because his teachings were fully from God and he is the way to God.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day:
Following Christ means following God so if someone judged them w.r.t to the law they could be assured they were in the right directions because christ’s ways were FULLY authorised by God!