Over the next few blogs we will discuss statements that Christ made that have been misunderstood (and misused) to say that the Father and the Son are two separate and distinct persons of the Godhead. Christ never referred to the Father as a separate person. What was He referring to then?
To better understand these statements that were made we will first need to visit the doctrine of Christ’s dual nature. Oneness and Trinitarians alike can agree on the fact that Jesus was dual-natured. Both will readily make the statement that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. However, the disagreement arises rapidly when we begin discussing what, or who, these natures are; namely, the God nature.
The belief in only one God is called monotheism, which comes from two Greek words: monos, meaning alone, one, single, and Theos, meaning God. This is an essential doctrine for Christians to believe. The purport of this doctrine is that it not only places God alone, but also unequaled. (The Oneness of God, David Bernard)
God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24). This truth is consistent throughout the entire bible. He is called “the Father of spirits.“(Heb. 12:9) As a Spirit, God is an intelligent, supernatural being who does not have a physical body (Lk. 24:39). Not having a physical nature, He was not visible or physically tangible to mankind. This was the main reason for the incarnation.
The bible teaches that there is only one Spirit that makes up the Godhead (Eph. 4:4). There are not multiple spirits in the Godhead of whom one manifested in a flesh body as the Son of God. The Spirit that performed the creation of the universe is not different or distinct from the Spirit that was in Christ, or from the Spirit that is active in the church today. There is but one Spirit of God, and He is immutable, unending, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Other references to this truth can be found in (Genesis 1:2; 1 Corinthians 12: 4-13; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 4:5) to name a few.
When we see that one Spirit move as the Father, we see the same Spirit that was incarnate in Christ’s person. It is also the same Spirit that we see in action in the life of a believer in the church body. Paul described it as “one and the selfsame Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:11). The word selfsame means exact. The essence of the Spirit has been compared to or illustrated by the substance, H2O. When you have water in a cup it is H2O in liquid form. If you freeze the water from the cup, it is no longer liquid but ice, or if you boil it, it will become steam. The form changed, but the substance was always the same, unchanged. So it is with the Spirit, the form may change, but the substance is immutable.
Jesus promised to send “another comforter”, or the Holy Ghost. A few verses later He said “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you” (John 14:18). When you have the Holy Ghost you truly have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in you. Now the Lord is that Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17). We see Jesus clearly being identified with that one Spirit, it is no wonder why He said it was the Father who dwelt in him that did the (Jn. 14:10).
The centrality of this teaching goes back to the very j earliest of time, at creation. Then it was firmly stated in what | is known as “the Shema” (Deuteronomy 6:4). This is the core value of Judaism and true Christianity. The Jewish people recognize this as Jehovah or YHVH, and consider pluralizing the Lord’s oneness, blasphemy. This is to say there is one Lord (Eph. 4:5).
Acts 10:36 says, “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all:)”. Jesus on earth was God manifest in the flesh. He was the fullness of God embodied in humanity. He was not a half God half man hybrid. He was 100% God and 100% man. He was the fullness of both natures interpenetrated into one being. He was the Son of God by way of humanity, and God Himself by way of His deity. Simply stated… “For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9)
These verses of scripture are very clear and explicitly definitive in declaring that Christ is God. If this is so, then where is the problem? The problem arises when we start to probe the trinitarian doctrine for explanation on which of their persons it is that actually embodies this man Christ through the incarnation. The bible is very clear about who dwelt in Jesus making Him God. It was the Father (Is. 9:6, Jn. 2:19, Jn. 8:19-30, Jn. 10:30, Jn. 14:10-11, Jn. 14:13, Jn. 17:21). The scriptures never declare one time that God the Son indwelt Jesus. In fact, the words “God the Son” aren’t declared anywhere in scripture. It is a term that is foreign to biblical verbiage.
The dual nature of Christ doesn’t even make sense when looking at it as the Son being indwelt by the son. What makes God the Son, a son if he were never begotten by the Father? Would He really be the Son, who was never begotten? This shows that the Son is not an eternal being, but that sonship began in the womb of the virgin. This was not the Father in heaven sending the second person (God the Son) to indwell a man and do a work while He and the third person (Holy Spirit) stayed back and watched. This is so far away from biblical truth.
What we really see is a beautiful symphony of God’s perfection and wisdom in action at the incarnation. God, who is the Father, placed His seed in the womb of the Virgin Mary and she brought forth a son called Jesus (Mt. 1:18-23). This son would be the savior of all mankind. This was called Emmanuel or God with us (Mt. 1:23).
This Jesus was completely human because He was born of a woman, His mother. He grew both in wisdom and stature as a man (Lk. 2:52). He was both hungry and thirsty as a man (Jn. 19:28). He wept (Jn. 11:35), slept (Mt. 8:24), mourned (Jn. 11:38) and scorned as a man (Mt. 21:12). He did all that a human does in life with the only exception; sin. He was completely perfect, but He was completely human.
This same Jesus was not just a man, but was also completely God. This is so because He was conceived by the Spirit of God (Mt. 1:20). God is His literal begetting Father (Jn. 3:16). We see Jesus do many things that a man could not do, even though He be the Son of God. Jesus raised the dead (Jn. 11:43). Who can raise the dead except God? We see Jesus walk on water (Jn. 6:19). Jesus saw Nathanael before He ever even met him in person (Jn. 1:48). He knew what people thought in their hearts without them ever saying a word (Mk. 2:8). These things He did as God. For what man could do these miracles except the Father be with Him (Jn. 3:2)?
The thoughts that Jesus perceived in the hearts of these men without them saying a word (Mk. 2:8) started because of the actions of Jesus prior in the story. They reasoned within themselves because Jesus, the man that stood in front of them, forgave the sins of a man sick with palsy. Their reasoning… “Why doth this man speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” (Mk. 2:7) Jesus forgave sins. No man can do that in and of Himself, not even the Son of God. This He did as God. We know this is the case because of the first part of the response of the men. “Why doth this man speak blasphemies?” It would not be considered blasphemy to call Himself God’s Son. He did that many times and they just thought He was crazy. It was when He, being a man, made Himself Jehovah that they wanted to kill Him for blasphemy. “The Jews answered Him, saying, for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, maketh thyself God” (Jn. 10:33). Jesus Christ was not only completely man, but also fully God and had no problem making that clear in the ears of all who would listen.
Why would the dual nature seem illogical at all? Think about it, when a child is born to his parents, he is not half from his mother and half from his father. He is not only half his mother’s child. He is completely of his mother and completely of his father. I was born to Leroy and LaVerne Yates (Maiden Name “Bush”). I am not a half a Yates because my mother was a Bush. I am completely Yates (ask my mom, she will tell you). Without my father I could not be born. Without my mother I could not be born. I am completely of both of my parents.
Why would this truth be any different in Jesus? He is completely man because of His mother’s DNA, and completely God because of His Father’s DNA. He was both a God product as well as a human product, both completely and simultaneously. Jesus had both human and God DNA as the makeup of His person. He was completely full of God DNA and completely full of human DNA. This makes Jesus both God and man. This is the dual nature of Christ.
Now on to more questions…
God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Furthermore we have had Fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
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.
1 Corinthians 12:4-13
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these things worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
1 Corinthians 12:11
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
- will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
- 1 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
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.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Isaiah 9:6
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 answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? Because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him.
I and my Father are one. John 14:10-11
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. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
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.
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. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 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.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thy self God.