The Dual-Nature of Christ

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…

Scripture References

John 4:24

God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

Hebrews 12:9

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?

Luke 24:39

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.

Ephesians 4:4

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Genesis 1:2

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.

Ephesians 2:18

For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Ephesians 4:5

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.

John 14:18

  1. will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
  2. 1 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

John 14:10

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.

Deuteronomy 6:4

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Acts 10:36

The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

Colossians 2:9

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.

John 2:19

Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

John 8:19-30

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.

John 10:30

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.

John 14:13

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 17:21

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.

Matthew 1:18-23

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.

Luke 2:52

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

John 19:28

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

John 11:35

Jesus wept.

Matthew 11:38

Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

Matthew 21:12

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,

Matthew 1:20

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.

John 3:16

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.

John 11:43

And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

John 1:48

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.

Mark 2:8

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

1John 3:2

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.

Mark 2:7

Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

John 10:33

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.

Did Christ Pre-exist the Incarnation?

Let me start by saying that this is the single most difficult topic to understand concerning the Godhead. If you have a grasp on everything else but are still tackling this, you are ahead of the game.

There are some major problems with the Trinitarian view of Christ’s pre-existence. Let us take a look at that first.

The Trinitarian View

Trinitarians say that God the Son (the second person) existed in eternity and became the Son of God. It was the second person of the Godhead that is incarnate in the person of Christ Jesus. This is the trinitarian position.

Basically Jesus (God the Son) always was and when it was time for Him to come into the world, He did so as the Son of God. Remember, this is not the Spirit of the Father doing this, but the Spirit of God the Son. This is unscriptural on many levels. Let’s take a look.

Ephesians 4:4-6

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.

This verse of scripture sums up the whole question of the Godhead quite well. It is impossible for Christ to have pre-existed the incarnation as the second person or God the Son.

How could the second Spirit person of the Godhead exist eternally when there is only one Spirit to begin with? There is but one God, and that God is the Father.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

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;

Isaiah 45:18

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

In the beginning there was just God. He was alone and by Himself. There is no God beside Him. He performed the act of creation alone.

This is a very easy understanding until we come to a statement that John makes to start his account of the gospel.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

We know that Jesus is the Word of God. The “Word” was in the beginning with God. How can this be? How can the “Word” be with God and yet God be alone? Further, how can Jesus be the Word that is with God and yet be God at the same time? This is a little confounding until we seek a better and clearer understanding of the whole picture.

Ephesians 3:9

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

What does it mean that God created all things “by” Jesus Christ? What trinitarians will say is that God created all things using Jesus’ body as the vehicle of His physicality. Basically, that He used Christ as the vessel through which He created everything.

This wreaks havoc on the entire trinitarian doctrine of the incarnation. According to the Trinity, it is not God the Father, but God the Son, who manifested to the world in Christ. If the Father created the world from within the body of Jesus Christ, did He then get out of that body when it was time for God the Son to get in at the birth of Jesus? This is utter confusion.

If Jesus’ physical body was not the vehicle through whom the Father performed creation, then what does Paul mean when he says that God created the world “by” Jesus Christ?

Ephesians 3:9

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

The Greek word used here for the English word ‘by’ is diot, pronounced ‘dee-ah”.

This word has a number of applications. It is defined as: causal, after, always, at, to avoid, because of (that), briefly, by, for (cause), by occasion of, of, by reason of, for the sake of, that, thereby, therefore.

As you can see there are many applications of this word. The word is applied as ‘because of, by reason of and for the sake of. This shows that Jesus’ body was not the physical vehicle used to create the world, but the reason why the world was created. The Father didn’t create the world using the physical body of Jesus. He created it with Jesus as the central focus of its purpose.

We know this is so because of verse 11…

Ephesians 3:11

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Eternal Purpose

This verse tells us clearly that God did this act of creation for the eternal purpose that is in Christ Jesus. It was all part of God’s plan of the ages. He never does anything “off the cuff”. His plan is eternal. He never had a time where He had to figure it out, He just always knew. There was always a purpose and that purpose was fulfilled in Christ.

Truth of the Pre-Existence

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Isaiah 45:15

Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

Isaiah 45:18

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

This is clearly telling us that Jehovah is going to be the Saviour of mankind. This is a problem because we know that Jesus is the one who died for the sins of the world, effectively becoming the saviour.

When the words of these verses were spoken, had Jesus/Jehovah saved the world yet? Not physically. We had not yet seen the redeemer come and make the ultimate sacrifice. That makes these statements odd. God spoke of Himself in present tense as the saviour of the world, before the world was actually saved. How could He do this?

He rightfully spoke of Himself as Saviour prior to the salvation of man’s souls in His divine omnipresence. God, being omnipresent, transcends space and time. He fills the entire universe and does so in all times of existence.

God is the only one who can speak about something that is not going to happen for another 2,000 years as though it were right now. His omnipresence allows Him to exist at all times.

We call this foreknowledge. He can tell us things about what is going to happen before we ever get there, because He is already there. That is how He can call Himself Saviour before we ever see His saving action. In God time, it is already done.

This is much the same way that Jesus is spoken of in the present tense in the Old Testament. When John said that Jesus was in the beginning with God (Jn.l:l) it was in this God-time foreknowledge. Jesus was not physically present in His human body. He was there only in the omnipresent mind of God.

In fact, the word ‘word’ used in John 1:1 in the Greek is ‘logos’, meaning a thought, blueprint or plan. This shows us again that Jesus was the blueprint and the reason for creation, not the physical vehicle. Prior to the incarnation at Bethlehem, where Jesus was born of a woman, He existed only in the foreknowledge of God.

The Father did have a form in the Old Testament, but that form is not the man Christ. A few examples of this are found in the following verses.

The Angel with the Name

Exodus 23:20-23

[20] Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. [21] Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. [22] But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. [23] For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.

Some people will say that this angel is actually Christ in the Old Testament. The whole stance is based on the angel bearing the name. It is the angel in whom the name is. They say this must be Christ in the Old Testament because this angel has the name of God. The problem is; we have the name of the Father as well. When someone is baptized into Christ they literally take upon themselves the name of God. Since you have the name, does that make you God?

Just because the angel came bearing the name of the Father that does not mean he is the Father. That just means that he came bearing the name, the same way a believer bears the name. This angel was literally part of the family of heaven. This angel was definitely not Christ.

The Angel Of The Lord

Zechariah 1:12-13

[12] Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of ]udah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? [13] And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.

The stance some take here is that the angel of the Lord is the body of God in the Old Testament. They say, when you see the bible say “angel of the Lord” that is God in an angelic bodily type form.

In some cases, when we see the angel of the Lord it is the Lord. This is true, but not in every case.

Matthew 1:20

[20] 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.

An angel comes to deliver the birth announcement of the Christ to Joseph, telling him not to worry because this baby was from God. This angel is called the angel of the Lord. Is this God manifesting to do this?

Luke 1:26

[26] And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

This is not God delivering this message, it is Gabriel. We aren’t going to say Gabriel is God next, are we? Gabriel is called the angel of the Lord. Just because an angel is said to be the angel of the Lord doesn’t mean it is the Lord Himself. It simply means that the angel belongs to God.

This angel in Zechariah is not the Lord, but an angel of the Lord. What we are seeing is an angel asking the Lord a question and the Lord replying to that question. This, again, is not Jesus.

Christ In The Old Testament

Daniel 10:5-6

[5] Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: [6] His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

Daniel 12:7

[7] And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

This one is the most interesting of all. The argument, again, is that this shows Christ in the Old Testament. Wouldn’t you know it? This time they got it. This is Christ! They are exactly right about one thing. This does show Christ in the Old Testament. However, this is not Christ in pre-existence. Confused?

Remember, we are not saying that Christ did not exist; we are saying He did exist, but only in foreknowledge. This is absolutely the same description given i)y John as to the one He saw in His vision. This is Jesus.

How do we understand what it was that Daniel is talking about? Who did Daniel see?

Daniel 10:7

[7] And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

What we must understand is the fact that this was not a physically present Christ. This was a vision. Notice that the other men did not see this man. This is because it was a vision exclusively for Daniel. God showed Daniel a vision of a victorious Christ in a time before He had ever corporeally existed. In other words, Daniel was allowed to look into God’s mind and see His future plan. What an amazing experience. God showed Daniel what He showed John, but Daniel saw it many years early.

Conclusion

The question is, did Christ pre-exist the incarnation? The answer is yes. Christ existed for all eternity, in the mind and foreknowledge of God, but not in physicality until the incarnation and birth in humanity.

God had a plan the whole time. Because God is omnipresent and reserved the ability of foreknowledge to Him, we could not always see that plan. Jesus was always the plan for mankind and through the ages certain people were blessed to have seen glimpses of this blueprint as God opened their eyes to be aware of His mind as He revealed it to them.

Concerning our human time, Christ did not exist until He was born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem. Before that, He was just a prophecy. The plan had not yet been fulfilled, so to mankind, He did not exist. It was in God time that He existed eternally, and that was only in the omnipresent, omniscient foreknowledge of God.

Who was Jesus Praying to?

(John 17:1)

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

The Trinitarian Question

This question always starts out the same way. “If Jesus is the Father, why is he praying to the Father? Is Jesus praying to Jesus?” This is what they ask as they snicker at us “helpless” oneness folks, who can only pray that this cup would pass from us, like Jesus did in the prayer we debate over.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

The thing that a Trinitarian, daring enough to bring up this topic, should always be reminded of is that this prayer that Jesus prayed does not present a problem for oneness theology. However, it presents a major catastrophe for the trinitarian concept of the Godhead from his perspective. Think about it… a co-equal, co-eternal, and co-essential person of the triune God asking for help from His co-existent partner person who he is equal to in every way. In other words, Jesus is saying, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42) to a person who has the same will as He does. He is asking a co-omnipotent person, who by definition, has no more power than He has, to help him? He is asking that He could be glorified, concerning the glory that He had with the Father before the world was, when in all actuality they are both together already eternally co-existent? Why is Jesus praying to the Father if they are the same in every way measurable?

Wouldn’t the co-equalness of the two persons make both wills the same? Wouldn’t Jesus’ statement, “Not my will, but thine, be done” actually be more accurate in saying, “Not my will, but thine, which is the same as mine, be done”, making this prayer pointless? Wouldn’t both persons will the same things to take place if they were in perfect tri-unity? Was there a disagreement within the Godhead?

This is an utter contradiction in the scriptures. If the Son, who is equal to the Father as a co-essential person of the Godhead, has the same will as the Father, why is He praying that the Father’s will and not His own be done? The only explanation is that the human will of the man Christ Jesus is in direct subordination to the will of the Father which is Spirit. Christ as a man is in full submission to the will of the Spirit of God, His Father, who dwells inside of Him. The natural will of flesh is to remove itself from pain and anguish. This human will was overcome through prayer and placed in complete subjection to the will of the eternal Spirit of God, which was to save mankind through the atoning death, burial and resurrection of Christ, fulfilling the fore-ordained plan of redemption.

Omnipotent God

The next position that needs to be established is this question. Wouldn’t the omnipotence of two equal persons make Jesus’ power equal to that of the Father? If “God the Son” has the same power, being an equal person of the Godhead, as the Father has, why would Jesus have a necessity to pray to the Father for help? After all, according to the doctrine of the trinity, the Son is equal in every way to the Father, therefore He can do all that the Father can do. Why does the all-powerful person of the Godhead, “God the Son”, need so much help from His equal, the Father? The answer is simple. Jesus is not the second co-equal person of the Godhead. In fact, He is the only person of the Godhead. There are no other “persons”. Jesus said, “My Father is greater than I” (Jn. 14:28). This sure doesn’t sound like equal persons to me. Jesus, because He was a human, was inferior to the Father.

Jesus, as a human, was not omnipresent, omnipotent or omniscient as the Father is. He did not know the end from the beginning (Mt. 24:36) nor was He able to exercise authority in the realm of the spirit except it is for the Father giving Him the authority to do so (Jn. 5:27). He was a human in every sense of the word, subjected to the Father. This is why He prayed for the Father’s help.

Former Glory

Even more interesting is Jesus’ prayer to the Father that He would be glorified again. He asks to be glorified by the Father’s own self, like He was before (Jn. 17:5). The trinitarian position on the Godhead says that all three members of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are eternally co-existent. They are eternally co-equal persons. This prayer is a major setback to their doctrine.

The first and most obvious question is; why is God the Son asking for glory from the Father? Did He lose His own glory in the transition from heaven to earth? God the Son, according to the trinitarian standpoint, is equal to the Father in every way. The Athanasius Creed says, “There is one glory of the Father, another glory of the Son, and another glory of the Holy Spirit, yet there are not three glories, but one glory.” Why is God the Son asking for the Father’s glory, from His own self, when He has His own glory that is rightfully His? Was He not satisfied with His role in the Godhead? Was His co-equal glory lesser than the Father’s in some way? Was His glory not enough to do the job? Why then did He need the Father, an equal person with the same glory, to glorify Him?

What many trinitarians will say is that there is only one glory, period. The Father and Son share an undivided glory. Well, isn’t that a very contradictory statement? An oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one. Shared, but undivided glory? Seriously? Just to appease the appetite of the hungry trinitarian who only has this on his plate, let’s examine the facts.

If the glory is a shared, yet undivided glory, why then is God the Son not able to take care of this glorification on His own? He shares in this undivided glory, meaning He should have access to it in its fullness. It is undivided, right? Why can’t God the Son be glorified in His own glory? Why must it be the Father whose own self does the glorifying? The problem that they have here is that only one being can possess one glory – If it is truly one glory they believe in that is. Something cannot be shared, yet undivided. The Father alone has glory, and He will not GIVE it to another (Is. 42:8).

Co-existence

Even further into this point we find that Jesus is asking to once again have the glory with the Father that He once had (Jn. 17:5). The immediate question is – did the situation between Father and Son change? Did the two co­existent persons become non co-existent during the time of the Son’s visitation to the earth? Are the two persons immutable? Can God be changed? “For I am the Lord, and I change not…” (Mai. 3:6). According to this scripture from a Trinitarian understanding; the Father and the Son had glory together, but at the point of the incarnation of God the Son in the Son of man, everything changed; and the glory of the second person, God the Son, could no longer have been intertwined with the glory of the first person, God the Father. In this passage, Jesus is praying to have the two glories become one again. Problem is -I thought the two glories were one the whole time? I thought God was immutable and couldn’t change? What I can tell you is the inevitable. This will be chalked up to God’s spiritual infinacy. We just can’t comprehend it because we are finite humans.

They are right when they say there is only one glory. Where they go wrong is in determining who that one glory belongs to. The Father alone has glory (Is. 42:8). He shares it with no one. He alone is God ((Is. 44:8). There is none beside Him (Is. 44:6). The Son has no glory of His own. In fact, He cannot even do any works except it be by the Father that dwells in Him (Jn. 14:10).

Understanding this glory question will go a long way in helping someone understanding the Godhead question. Jesus was asking to be glorified by the Father’s own person because it was unquestionable that the Father was the only one who could glorify Him (Jn. 17:1). Returning unto the former glory that was had since before the world was, is also a very easy understanding. No need to multiply glories. It was the glorious Father who dwelt in the Son (Jn. 14:10). It was not God the Son incarnate in the Son of God. It was the Father, full of glory. Jesus’ prayer simply stated that He wanted to return unto the place where He was not in flesh on this earth anymore. He wanted to be glorified in a spiritual body with no more fleshly pain and agony. He wanted to complete His work as the sacrifice and return to His glorified form.

Conclusion

Truth is, Jesus, is praying, just like anyone else who prays. Jesus is indwelt with the Spirit in a far more complete way than a Christian believer is. For we have been given OF the Spirit in measure (Acts 2:17), but in Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9). Even with that, we do not believe that Christ is a half-man half-God hybrid. He is 100% God and 100% man. Because He is 100% God, He has the God-authority; because He is 100% man, He has a need to pray. What is the problem with Jesus praying to the Divine Spirit that dwelt fully in Him? We are not saying that Jesus’ human side prayed to His divine side in the sense that Trinitarians accuse us of doing. It is not so much that He prayed from His human side as much as it is He prayed because of His human side. We are saying He prayed because He was a complete human, even though He was indwelt by the Spirit of the Father. The location of the Spirit of God does not determine whether or not a human should pray. It is no different for Jesus, who is fully human, in His human necessity of prayer.

The funny thing is that when the tables are turned on the trinitarians, they use the very same argument to explain why Christ prayed. Why is it alright for Jesus to pray when they need Him to pray, but not when He is praying for the oneness people? In Luke’s account of Jesus’ prayer, he states that an angel came and strengthens Jesus (Lk. 22:43). Why would the almighty God need strength from an angel, whom He created? The trinitarians will quickly refer to the dual nature of Christ to explain this. They will say it was the human side that needed strength. So, let me get this straight. Jesus prayed because of His humanity and God sent an angel to strengthen Him? Isn’t that funny? It is incorrect that He prayed because of humanity, but that same prayer was answered because of humanity?

Next question…

Scripture References

Luke 22:42

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

John 14:28

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Matthew 24:36

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

John 5:27

And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.

Isaiah 42:8

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Malachi 3:6

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Isaiah 44:8

Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me ? Yea, there is no God; I know not any.

Isaiah 44:6

Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and His redeemer the Lord of Hosts; I am the first and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

John 14:10

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.

Acts 2:17

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Colossians 2:9

For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Luke 22:43

And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him.

Who was at the Baptism of Jesus?

Good Questions!

For many years, believers in the trinity have carefully planned out arguments that were sure to finally put an end to the annoying oneness doctrine that just won’t go away. They plot against it with scripture (and without it when necessary) to try and defeat it in a match of doctrinal chess, in which they hope for the favorable end result, the always desired checkmate. They use one piece until it has been taken off of the board by their opponent and then skillfully they move to the next one, usually without even allowing for the point to be proven or explained. They wish to jump around from one topic to the next, never dwelling upon one for too long. Once the defeat is imminent, so is moving to another topic. And so, another piece off the board. This never stops them running a pawn down to your side to retrieve an old piece and bring it back into the game.
 
In the process of trying to overcome the doctrine of the oneness of the Godhead, they have used debate tactics and arguments that have never ceased to exist. In fact, the ones they bring up are just the same old questions in a recycled form. Solomon had it right when he said, “there is no new thing under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9). There is never a new question for us to answer. This is because there are only so many scriptures that can be even remotely misunderstood to be speaking of a plurality in the Godhead. These passages of the holy word of God that are “showing us the trinity” are very easily understood when looked at from a biblical viewpoint. It doesn’t take much to see it once we look at it through the light of the whole counsel of the word, not just segregated scriptures.

When we rightly divide the word of truth, we soon see that there is but one God and that He is not in any way, shape or form triune in persons. There is no plurality concerning who God is or what His nature and essence are. When examining the holy writ we see that God is absolutely one and He is very clear about that fact. Even in the so-called “trinitarian passages”, it is plain to see that Christ is God the Father manifest in the flesh.

Let us take a look at these age old questions presented by the three-person proponents. When we have finished examining those questions, they will have one to ponder themselves – are there ‘Any More Questions?’

(Matthew 3:13-17)
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and earnest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. The he suffered Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.

The Trinitarian Question
Let us start off by getting right to the heart of the argument. The place where every trinitarian secretly thinks, that they are presenting to us for the first time, a revelation of the three persons. They all want to take us to see the baptism of Jesus. In this baptism, we are supposed to believe that we are seeing three divine persons at work. We are supposed to be in awe of the great glory of the trinity. The problem is that two out of three of the divine persons are not in attendance. There is only one divine person present and that was Jesus.

Why Baptism?
Here at this momentous occasion as Jesus is being baptized by His cousin John the Baptist, we see an inspiring scene of the power of the Almighty at work. Jesus had no need of repentance seeing He was a perfect man (I think we still agree on that), yet He was going down in the water for baptism. What we see is Him setting the precedent for what all believers would do during the reign of His great church on earth. Who can deny water when the Lord Himself subjected his own sinless life to the rite of water baptism?

Types and Shadows
Not only was Christ being baptized for an example for believers to come, but was also fulfilling the types and shadows of ages past. The tabernacle, the exodus, the flood, the story of Jonah, the first murder and the sower all had heavenly light cast upon them showing us the shadows of God’s plan in heaven (Heb. 8:5). Every one of these stories and many more show the death, burial and resurrection as God’s plan of the ages. Each element of this gospel plan having its own significance in each of the shadows is fulfilled in a part of each story. Eventually, these types would no longer just be shadows, but would be fulfilled in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord. Once the church began, we see the same plan in effect as sinners were introduced to the gospel message (Acts 2:38). We see repentance, water baptism and the infilling of the Holy Ghost clearly identifying the gospel message that saves us (1 Cor. 15 1-4) to these same events in Jesus’ Calvary experience. Death = Repentance, Burial = Water Baptism, Resurrection = Spirit Baptism.

In the tabernacle, the altar was the first place that the priest would stop, offering a sacrifice, thereby, identifying with the death and repentance. His next stop would be at the Brazen Laver as he washed himself before entering the inside. This is an obvious identification with the water baptism and burial. This is what Jesus was fulfilling at His baptism before entering into the ministry. The last place the priest would go was the Holy of Holies, being a type of heaven, but before he could go in he had to stop at the candlestick. The candlestick is a representation of the Holy Spirit baptism. We see the flames at Pentecost on the people’s heads. All of these stories show the elements of the gospel when light are cast upon them. (Ex. 38-40)

At The Baptism
Now that we know why Jesus was being baptized in the first place, let us look at the baptism actually taking place. We look and see Jesus in the water; we see a dove descending upon Jesus; we hear a voice speak saying “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”, and we see John the Baptist as the baptizer.

What oneness believers are missing, according to the trinitarians, is that the voice IS the first person (Father) and the dove IS the third person (Holy Spirit). However, like many of the claims that they make, the bible simply doesn’t say that. My question is, if these occurrences are actually the persons of the Father and the Holy Spirit, first and third respectively, why doesn’t the bible indicate so? Why doesn’t it say that “the Father” spoke from heaven and the “Holy Spirit” was a dove? It says there was a voice, but doesn’t specify the voice to a first person. It says that the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus “like a dove”.

Further, it is very interesting that we must have missed in the scriptures where the “person” of the Holy Spirit was actually not a person, but a dove. So far, according to this passage, where we were sure to be convinced of the three person trinity, we have an invisible person who speaks but doesn’t actually appear, another person in the water, and a bird. So we don’t actually have three divine persons, we have one divine person, a voice and a bird.

This is the very reason why oneness proponents insist on using biblical vernacular. Using unbiblical terms such as persons is very damaging to scriptural understanding.

Oneness uses, instead of the word persons, the term manifestations; a very biblical word (1 Tim. 3:16). What we actually see here is not three divine persons, but one divine person. We see the Omni-present Spirit of God simultaneously producing a voice from the heavens, and manifesting in the likeness of a dove as a representation of the anointing coming upon the ministry of Christ.

Listen To The Voice
Let’s listen to the voice for a second. Firstly, this is not the first time that God speaks from an unlikely place. He spoke from a donkey in Numbers 22. He spoke from a bush in Exodus 3. He also said that stones could cry out in Luke 19. Is the donkey, the bush or the stones going to be added to the list of persons next? Further, He now speaks from within the heart of Spirit-filled men (1 Cor. 12). So unless we are going to become as Mormons and call ourselves gods or “persons in the Godhead”, this voice cannot be classified as a divine person. It is a manifestation of the voice of God speaking from the heavens, for the heavens are His to speak from.

Taking a closer look, we not only hear a voice, but actually have the words that the voice said recorded. “This is my beloved son IN whom I am well pleased.” Colossians 1:19 says, “For it pleased the Father that IN Him (Jesus) should all fullness dwell.” Paul was surely schooled on what happened at the baptism. When He said these words it was a clear parallel to the words of the voice at the baptism. What exactly was the Spirit of God saying? It pleased Him to dwell in this man Christ in all fullness. This shows that the Spirit didn’t actually speak from heaven out of necessity, because of His location, for He was IN Christ as well. This doesn’t mean that there were two spirits, one in heaven and one in Christ. No -it meant that the same Spirit that allowed His voice to be heard from heaven was also in Christ, therefore making “hrist the dwelling place of the Father (Col. 2:9).

 The Heavenly Dove
Now; on to the dove. First of all, there was no dove. It was the Spirit of God that descended like a dove. It was not actually a dove, it just moved like one. It literally perched itself upon Jesus like a bird. The dove was not a description of what John saw, but how John saw it move.

The Spirit like a dove was a symbol to John that the Messiah was in front of him. It was a manifestation with a purpose. The purpose wasn’t to show us a third person, but to show John in whom the Spirit dwelt. It was to show John who was going to take away the sins of the world. How do we know this? John says so, “Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Also, right after Paul said that it pleased the Father to dwell in Christ (Col. 1:19) he went on to say why. “And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself (Father)…” (Col. 1:20). The Father was the one taking away the sins of the world. He was the one doing the reconciling. He was doing it in Jesus. Once, Jesus told a man he was forgiven of his sins and the Jews called him a blasphemer. Their reason, “Why does this man speak these blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mk. 2:7). “…God (Father) was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself…”(2 Cor. 5:19).

In other places in the bible, the Holy Spirit is likened unto a dove, fire, clouds and even breath (Dt. 1:33, Jn. 20:22). So with this understanding we must assume that fire, clouds and even breath are all persons of the Godhead as well. So what John should have said was “the one who comes after me will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with a person.” Or, since we know that the person the fire represents is the Holy Ghost, it should more accurately read “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with the Holy Ghost.”

Conclusion
They will stop at nothing to get three divine persons to be present at that baptism, but no matter how long they endure in following this course, they will always end up with only one divine person in attendance. It is the one being baptized; Jesus the Christ.

Scripture References

Hebrews 8:5
Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, see, sayeth he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee on the mount.

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preach unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, ho that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Exodus 38-40
Chapters referenced from the Authorized KJV of the Bible.

1 Timothy 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, and received up into glory.

Numbers 22:28
And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times ?

Exodus 3:4
And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

Luke 19:40
And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, z, hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

1 Corinthians 12:11
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Colossians 1:19
For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell;

Colossians 2:9

For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

John 1:29

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and sayeth, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Colossians 1:20
And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.


Mark 2:7
Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?

2 Corinthians 5:19
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Deuteronomy 1:33
Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to show you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by.

John 20:22
And when He has said this, He breathed on them, and sayeth unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

New Testament Salvation

No examination of the Oneness view of God is complete without the discussion of how this view affects the doctrine of the New Birth and our understanding of the nature of New Testament Salvation. A crucial difference exists between the Gospel presentation of mainstream Christianity and what you will find in Oneness Pentecostalism. In essence, the primary differences center on justification. It is an inaccurate over simplification, however, to claim that traditional Christians define justification as being counted righteous by faith alone and that Apostolics somehow believe justification to involve both faith and works. This doctrine is such a major source of tension and controversy between Apostolics and Orthodox believers it is helpful to examine the truth regarding the Apostolic understanding of justification and the New Birth.


In his work Justification and the Holy Spirit, Bernard points out that:

“Traditional protestant theology emphasizes the forensic model of justification. Under this view, justification is essentially something that takes place outside of humans. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for human sins on the cross and God accepts this atoning act as the necessary and sufficient satisfaction for those sins. This remedy is applied to an individual’s heart by grace, though Faith, which enables the person to be justified, or counted righteous. In the theologies of both Martin Luther and John Calvin, even this faith is extrinsic to humans… Luther even insisted on adding the word “alone” to his German translation of Romans 3:28 so that it is said, “a man is justified by faith [alone].” (Bernard 2007.117, 106).

On the other hand traditional Catholic theology goes to the opposite extreme in emphasizing that justification is of works and requires the active cooperation of humans. While this view also has merit, Apostolic theology recognizes that neither position is an accurate representation of the process of the New Testament justification


While justification begins with faith, it nevertheless, also involves the active cooperation of the believer—it is both maintained and increased by works, which are motivated by grace through faith. Justification therefore, involves both being counted as righteous and actually being made righteous by the work of the Holy Spirit. Bernard again:

“The forensic model accurately describes Christ’s death as the necessary atonement for all human sins, and Protestantism correctly insists that…no human works can earn salvation. Nevertheless, the traditional Protestant interpretation of justification does not give sufficient attention to the resurrection of Christ and to the corresponding role of the Holy Spirit. Here the Catholic explanation gives a useful hint by pointing to the work of the Spirit in the believer’s life”. (Bernard 2007, 118)

What is needed for a full and complete theology of justification is something more than either of those two approaches. Bernard explains the Apostolic view as a synthesis of the traditional perspectives. Which is why Romans certainly “serves to invalidate any system of legalism or works—righteousness, it is important to place it in its historical and social context. The Jews who rejected the Christian message were intent on maintaining their identity and their status by keeping the law. Their error was not merely covenantal monism or legal exclusivism, but it was supremely their rejection of the saving work of Christ—specifically, his death, burial, and resurrection. The error was not in acting as opposed to believing; rather it was in acting by the power of the flesh rather than by the power of the Spirit. They sought to obey God by the law, which was outmoded because it relied on the ability of the flesh…When Paul stated that no one could be justified by the works of the law (Roman 3:20), he referred to the inability of the flesh, the inability of a person who has not received the power of the Spirit (Ro 8:3, 7). But when people believe in Jesus and obey his gospel, then they receive the Holy Spirit, with accompanying power to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law” (Bernard 2007.113, 79).


Oneness Pentecostals recognize that the atoning work of Christ is the only basis of salvation in every age. In Apostolic theology, this means that God himself came in the flesh as Jesus Christ in order to provide salvation for his fallen creation. The incarnation was thus, for the express purpose of the atonement. In the context of scripture, salvation means deliverance from all the power and effects of sin, and it has past, present, and future aspects.


Scofield, in his notes on Romans 1:16 states it this way: “the Heb. And Gr. Words for salvation imply the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness. Salvation is the great inclusive word of the Gospel gathering into itself all the redemptive acts and processes: as justification, redemption, grace, propitiation, imputation, forgiveness, sanctification, and glorification. Salvation is in three tenses:

1) The believer has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin (Lk 7:50; I Cor 1:18 II Cor 1:15; Eph 2:5,8; II Tim1:9) and is safe.
2.) The believer is being saved from the habit and dominion of sin (Rom 6:14; Phil 1:19; 2:12, 13; II Thess 2:13; Rom 8:2; Gal 2:19, 20; II Cor 3:18).
3.) The believer is to be saved in the sense of entire conforming to Christ (Rom 13:11; Heb 10:36; I Pet 1:5; I Jn 3:2). Salvation is by grace through faith, is a free gift, and wholly without works (Rom 3:27, 28; 4:1-8; 6:23; Eph 2:8).”
—-(Scofield 1901, 1192)

Apostolic theology fully recognizes that justification is by faith and not by works of the law. It also recognizes however that biblical faith is far more than mental assent. “It involves trust, reliance, and commitment, which in turns means acting upon what we believe and obeying what we are convinced is true…Faith and obedience are two sides of the same coin”. (Bernard 2007. 74). While conversion is a result of belief in the gospel (Ro 6:16, 17), it is clearly also the result of obeying that Gospel (Ro 6:17). For Apostolics then, true belief in the doctrine of Christ is equivalent to acting in accordance with that doctrine. Thus “it is proper to attribute conversion to faith but also to the response of faith. There cannot be one without the other. This response of faith is not equivalent to works of the Law, or meritorious works in general, but is the essence of saving faith…A lack of obedience is equivalent to a lack of faith.” (Bernard 2007. 75).


I believe this is what Hebrew 4:2 is speaking of when it tells us of those who had the gospel preached to them—“but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with the faith in them that heard it.”
Scripture plainly declares that faith without works is dead—it explains that the reason it is dead is that it is faith “alone”. (James 2:17,20). This presents us with an interpretational or hermeneutical dilemma because Ephesians 2:8,9 says it is “by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, less any man should boast.”


So in one place we are told that it’s all of faith not works and yet the very same New Testament tells us that faith without works is dead and cannot save us—that man is, in fact, justified by works and not by faith alone; on the surface a seemingly clear and unavoidable contradiction. The confusion is not resolved by reaching for your Strong’s concordance of your copy of Zodhiate’s either. In both passages the Greek word for works is exactly the same–ergon. As students of scripture, we must accept the reality that when faced with two scriptures that seem to contradict one another—we can’t simply pick the one we like and ignore the other because it doesn’t fit our theology. This is precisely what orthodox Christianity has done in this case. Most people never even consider that the reason it might not fit their theology because their theology is in error.


How then do we resolve this? The solution is simply to realize that despite their use of the exact same Greek word, Paul and James are nonetheless speaking of two completely different things. Paul is speaking of works of the law or works of the flesh which are activities done in an effort to impress God and somehow earn favor with him—while James is using the very same word—ergon—to refer to legitimate works done in obedience to the command of God.


So we see that a crucial difference exists between Apostolic theology’s definition of “faith” and the common understanding of orthodoxy. Some have found it helpful to understand that “faith without corresponding actions is dead;” Not the “works” of the flesh spoken of by Paul but rather the “corresponding actions” of faith.


In a similar way, in Apostolic Theology grace is viewed not merely as “God’s unmerited favor” as in orthodox theology, but as an endowment of power from God. For Apostolic believers grace is the power from God that enables us to do what he has called us to do. In New Testament times…”The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we all should live sensibly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11,12). In the biblical mind then, Grace must be understood as inspiring and requiring action on our part in obedience to faith.

The “Formula” for Water Baptism

Formula for Water Baptism

   The actual significance of the name of Jesus in water baptism simply cannot be overemphasized. The combination of the theology of the name and the explicit rejection of trinitarianism demands the use of a Christological formula for water baptism. Therefore, Apostolic Theology teaches that water baptism should be administered with the verbal invocation of the name of Jesus. Usually the titles Lord and/or Christ are also used for the purpose of further identification as seen in the book of Acts. Outsiders or those with little knowledge or understanding of Apostolic Theology or church history have often used this fact to ridicule or minimize the Oneness Movement–labeling it as the “Jesus only” movement.

  Exponents of Oneness however, simply point out that every time the Bible describes the formula used at an actual Baptism, it is always the name of Jesus alone that is used (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16). Were the apostles then “Jesus only,” or did they perhaps understand something essential and vital that the modern church has long forgotten? In addition to these historical accounts in Acts, the Epistles make several allusions to the Jesus name formula (Ro 6:4; I Co 1:13; Gal 3:27; Col 2:12).

  The controversy over this issue surrounds the fact that the vast majority of Christendom views the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 as the only valid formula of baptism to be used by the church. Oneness exponents however, believe that even Matthew 28:19 refers to the name of Jesus, for it describes a singular name which represents all the redemptive manifestations of the Godhead.

  The Apostolic understanding of Matthew 28:19 can be summarized as follows;

  • The grammar of Matthew 28:19 itself denotes a singular name. Jesus said we are to baptize “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. We know that the Name of the Son is Jesus, however, “son” indicates relationship or modes of activity of the One God. Since Jesus is at once Father, Son, and Spirit, since he came in his Father’s name and sends the Spirit in his name, this supports the view that the one name of Matthew 28:19 is Jesus. Many trinitarians readily admit that “the name” is singular, though they assert it to be a reference to Jehovah. As we have seen Apostolic theology points out that God’s redemptive name in the New Testament is not Jehovah but Jesus.
  • The very concept of Matthew 28:19 demands a Christological formula. Christ was saying in effect, “I have all power and authority, so go and make disciples unto me, baptizing them in my name”. Many trinitarian scholars have openly acknowledged the force of this argument. Many also claim that this verse represents either a paraphrase by Matthew or a later insertion by a copyist rather than the ipsissima verba  or actual words of Jesus.
  • Significantly, Eusebius often quoted this verse prior to the Council of Nicaea, as “in my Name.” Many other early writers do this as well. Still other trinitarians suggest that the church did not originally see this verse as an actual baptismal formula. The accepted wording poses no problem for Apostolic believers who recognize it simply as descriptive of the full authority of the Name of Jesus.
  • The parallel accounts of the Great Commission in Mark 16 and Luke 24 both prescribe the Name of Jesus.
  •  The early Church, of which Matthew was a prominent part, carried out Christ’s instructions in Matthew 28:19 by baptizing in the Name of Jesus. The significance of this must not be overlooked. 

   Church historians now generally admit that the original formula for water baptism was indeed “in the Name of Jesus”. Not all trinitarians however, accept that this denotes the oral invocation of the Name of Jesus. Apostolic theology affirms that it does because:

  • This is the most natural, literally reading linguistically.
  • In Acts 22:16 Paul was instructed by Ananias to invoke the Name of Christ in baptism.
  • Both Acts 15:17 and James indicate that the Name of Jesus was orally invoked over Christians at a specific point in time. The Amplified Bible identifies James 2:7 as a reference to water baptism.
  • When the disciples prayed, laid hands on the sick and cast out devils in the name of Jesus, it always involved the oral invocation of the name. (Acts 3:6; 16:18; 19:13).
  • While the phrase does indeed represent the power and authority of Jesus. That power and authority is always invoked by the actual use of his Name.
  • If Acts 2:38 doesn’t represent a biblical formula, then neither does Matthew 28:19, because in the original language the grammatical structure is identical.
  • Although the precise wording of the various baptismal accounts differ, all, (including Mt 28:19), describe the Name of Jesus alone.

  The book of Acts establishes beyond question that the apostles and the early church consistently baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. This should be the pattern and norm for the church today as well. It is our responsibility to obey the commands and follow the example of scripture regardless of whether or not we understand the reasons for this practice or the importance of it.

  In 1913 when R.E. McAlister noted that the Church in the book of Acts always baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and not in the traditional trinitarian formula of “the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost,” it was quickly recognized as the restoration of a vital and significant truth from the Word of God, His observation stirred immediate interest as well as controversy.

  By the following spring, Frank Ewart had likewise concluded that the singular name in Matthew 28:19 was Jesus Christ. To support this assumption he pointed to the baptismal accounts in Acts, as well as to the multiple references in the epistles, while noting the full deity of Christ in Colossians 2:9.

  Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is not an arbitrary practice; it is inextricably linked with the very purposes of baptism itself. All of the reasons for being baptized in water in the first place are the very same reasons for the use of the Name of Jesus.  Those who refuse to acknowledge the significance of the Name of Jesus in water baptism have simply not grasped the significance of water baptism itself, or the reasons why baptism is commanded in the first place. Let’s examine some of those reasons:

  1. All Christian groups or denominates agree as a minimum, that water baptism is to express faith in Jesus as Lord and savior. When the listeners on the day of Pentecost accepted Jesus as their Messiah and Lord, they were baptized (Acts 2:36-38, 41). When the Samaritans “believed Philip preaching…concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized” (Acts 8:12). The disciples of John at Ephesus, upon hearing that Jesus was the fulfillment of John’s prophecy, were baptized (Acts 19:4-5). When the Corinthians “believed on the Lord” they were baptized (Acts 18:8).  The proper way to express faith in Jesus is to confess his name. In all of the above cases, the Baptismal candidates expressed their faith in Jesus by being baptized in his Name. (Acts 2:28; 8:16; 19:5; and Co 1:13).
  2. Water Baptism is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), or to “wash away…sins” (Acts 22:16), and the name of Jesus is the only name given for remission of sins. It is “through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). Thus the proper way to seek remission of sins at baptism is to invoke the name of Jesus in obedient faith. Acts 2:38 and 22:16 not only connect the remission of sins with water baptism, but they specifically link remissions of sins to water baptism in the Name of Jesus.
  3. Baptism is part of our experience of salvation (Mk 16:16; I Pet 3:21), and the name of Jesus is the only name given for salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other way: For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12; 2:21; Romans 10:9, 13). Thus the proper way to integrate water baptism with New Testament salvation is by invocation of the name of Jesus in the waters of baptism.
  4. Baptisms represents our burial with Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4; Col 2:12). The Spirit of God did not die for us, neither did the Father; only the man Jesus died for us and was buried in the tomb. To be buried with Christ, we must be baptized in his Name.
  5. Baptism is part of our personal identification with Christ. so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death” (Ro 6:3). “For as many of you that have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27). If we truly want to be identified with him, we should take his Name.
  6. Baptism is part of the New Birth by which we are born again into the spiritual family of God (Jn 3:5; Titus 3:5). It is also compared to our adoption into God’s Family (Ro 8:15, 16). A newborn or adopted child always takes on the name of his new family. Since we seek to enter the Church of Jesus Christ, his body, and his bride, we must therefore take on his name (Eph 5:23, 24-32).
  7. Baptism is part of our spiritual circumcision—our initiation  or entrance into the New Covenant (Col 2:11-13). Under the Old Covenant a male child officially received his name at the ceremony of circumcision (Lk 2:21). Water Baptism is the New Covenant equivalent and the time when our new family name is invoked upon us. In this connection, we know that the identifying name of our new spiritual family is Jesus, for at least two reasons. First, it is the only name in which we can receive salvation (Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12). Second, it is the supreme name by which God has chosen to reveal himself to us—the name “above all names”. (Phil 2:9-11) (Essentials of Oneness Theology, David K. Bernard, Word Aflame Press, pp 24-26).

  Colossians 3:17 says “whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” This does not require us to pronounce the Name of Jesus orally before every activity, but rather deals with the attitude of heart with which we approach and conduct those activities. All of our words and actions should be consistent with our declaration of Jesus as Lord. When we have cause to invoke the name of Jesus formally, as in water baptism, this verse is particularly relevant. It tells us that we are to approach Holy God in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  Just as we pray, lay hands on the sick, and cast out  demons in the Name of Jesus, so should we baptize in his name. Using the Name of Jesus in the formula for water baptism expresses our faith in the person of Christ (who he really is); the work of Christ (his death, burial and resurrection—the gospel); and the power and authority of Christ (his ability to save us by himself).

  In short, water baptism in the Name of Jesus signifies that we trust in Jesus alone as our savior, and thus it expresses the essence of saving faith. Since the only one who can take away sins is Jesus—not the water, and not the preacher—we call upon Him in obedient faith, depending on him to do the work he has promised to do.

  The Bible teaches plainly that everyone should be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. It also reveals that every single one of the reasons for water Baptism is intimately connected to the Name of Jesus. Thus we understand that water baptism in the name of Jesus demonstrates reverence for and obedience to the Word of God over and above man-made tradition, convenience or peer pressure.

  In the view of the scriptural significance of the name of Jesus, why would anyone doubt the need to be baptized into his name? Why would anyone hesitate to take on the precious name of the one who died for us and to identify publically with him? Why would anyone reject the only saving name, that name that is above every name?

  The Early Church continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine (Acts 2:42) and the Apostles held water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins to be essential to the New Birth constituting the entry into the New Covenant—both their preaching and their example makes this clear and indisputable.

The “trinity” in Creation?

     In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. 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.”

                                                                                            –Genesis 1:1, 2.

          Based upon a misunderstanding of the Hebrew language and occasionally, even outright misrepresentation–trinitarians often advance the idea of plurality of persons involved in creation. This comes not only from the misuse of the Hebrew Word for God–Elohim which is found here in Genesis 1:1; but also from a failure to understandthe nature of the Spirit of God and the removal of certain other passages from their context of scripture as a whole, which are then misinterpreted in isolation to support their views.

   It is helpful, sometimes even necessary to remind ourselves that we must not permit occasional “difficult verses” to override the overall testimony of Scripture.

   Typical of those who advance the argument for the presence of a trinity at creation is Wayne Grudem, research professor of Bible and Theology at Phoenix Seminary in Scottsdale, Arizona. Writing in his volume, Systematic Theology, he says:

   “God the Father was the primary agent in initiating the act of creation. But the Son and Holy Spirit were also active. The Son as the one through whom creation came about. ‘All things were made through Him and without Him was not anything made that was made’ (John1:31). Paul says ‘There is one Lord, Jesus Christ through whom are all things and through whom we exist.’(Col.1:16). We read also that ‘the son is the one through whom God created the world’ (Heb1:2). These passages give a consistent picture of the son as the active agent carrying out the plans and directions of the Father.” (Grudem.1994; 266).

   Regarding the alleged role of the Holy Spirit, Grudem has this to say: “The Holy Spirit was also at work in creation. He is generally pictured as completing, filling and giving life to God’s creation. In Genesis 1:2, ‘The Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters,’ indicating a preserving, sustaining, governing function” (p.267).

   To be fair, a casual approach to scripture, coupled with a trinitarian theology will certainly seem to support these statements. Take for instance the words of the writer of Hebrews who tells us that God, “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.” (Heb. 1:2). Or, consider the words of the Apostle Paul, to the Church at Colossi: “For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him.” (Col. 1:16).

   Here again, on the surface, these are seemingly clear and straight forward assertions of the role of Jesus in creation. But we must not take these texts in isolation and forget that their context is the whole of scripture.

   Highly placed in Jewish religious circles and self-described “Hebrew of Hebrews,” without question Paul’s background would have made him uncompromisingly monotheistic–a dedicated advocate of belief in the One True God as a single person. Paul’s Jewish heritage had placed the single-person God of Israel at the pinnacle of his belief system. His complete devotion to this one God of the Hebrew Bible remained, after his conversion to Christianity, the prime motivating force behind all his activity.

   We have noted earlier that when Paul insists “that there is no God but One,”he also laments the fact that “Howbeit then there is not in every man this knowledge”(I Co 8:4, 6). Paul made repeated and consistent references in his letters to the One True God, meaning the Father alone, even in contexts where both Father and Son are mentioned together. This is a reflection of Paul’s revelatory understanding of the distinction between the Deity and humanity of Christ.

   We must be careful to avoid, at all costs, the tendency of reading our own twenty-first century interpretations into the writings and beliefs of the first century Church. Words must be permitted to mean what they meant in their original context. Paul’s thinking is inherently consistent. He expressed himself with complete clarity, when he spoke of the One True God. So we must guard against the danger of reading Paul as though he must have been familiar with the much later decisions of the multiple Church Councils. Suggestions of a plural Godhead would not appear for almost three hundred years after the ministry of Jesus. Paul’s letters should be read and understood in their own Hebrew context.

   Too many authors and teachers make the mistake of reading later trinitarian tradition into first century monotheistic Hebrew understanding. As noted, this tendency is known as eisegesis, and is quite prevalent in popular Christian literature. Consequently, it is all too easy for those trained in a trinitarian model to fall into the trap of unconsciously, reading scripture through lenses tinted with the doctrines formulated in the second to fifth centuries.

     Referring to the One God of Israel, Paul says: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of Heaven and Earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24). Compare this with God’s declaration to the Prophet Isaiah: “I am the LORD that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the Earth by myself” (Is 44:24). To interfere with or to ignore this fundamental aspect of Jewish monotheism and introduce another uncreated “person” as an active agent in the creation would have been totally contrary, even offensive to Paul’s belief in the basic tenets of Jewish theology, primarily its uncompromising unitary monotheism.

   Much of trinitarian theology relies on “proofs” heavy on inference drawn from single verses taken out of context. Consider the passage in Colossians1:16 for example. It has been supposed by many that this verse is evidence of an eternal preexistence of the Messiah and that Jesus created the world. This might seem to be confirmed by a casual reading of the King James Version which claims that “all things were made by Him.” Examination of the Greek however, reveals that this phrase is more properly translated “Through Him.” It is the Son, “Through whom also He (God) made the ages [not ‘worlds’].” (Heb. 1:2). Likewise, Paul believed that it was “in” and “through” Jesus that “all things have been created” (Col 1:16). He did not say or mean to imply that in fact they had been created “by Him.” This is an important, if not obvious distinction, which will become clear.

   Paul’s firm belief in monotheism can be seen in his own words:

     “We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one…to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by (through) whom are all things and we (through) Him”

—— I Co 8:4,6

   As a Jew Paul understood that the Father alone is Jehovah God. As an expert on Hebrew scripture he was well acquainted with the facts of creation. As Nehemiah explains:

“Thou, even Thou art LORD (Jehovah) alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas and all that is therein; Thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshipeth Thee–Thou art the LORD, the God [Lit. the Jehovah-The Elohim] who didst choose Abraham…”

——-Neh 9:6, 7.

   We might take note here of the relationship between the LORD, Jehovah who “preservest them all” and Jesus, who is the “brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person,” who “upholds all things by the word of His power.” It is the same Lord Jesus of whom it is said, “and again when He bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith, ‘and let all the angels (the host of heaven) worship Him” (Heb 1:3, 6). It is this same Jesus who said in Luke 4:8, “it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him alone shalt thou serve.”

   So, how are we to understand, that according to Hebrews 1:2, God made the worlds by, or more properly, through the Son? Well, certainly, the Spirit of God who was in the Son was also the creator of the worlds.  Scripture has much to say on the subject of creation and we must consider all of it in balance and context. Isaiah, for instance, tells us of the prayer of King Hezekiah, who prayed: “O LORD of Hosts, God of Israel, that dwelleth between the Cherubim, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the Earth: Thou hast made heaven and Earth.”(Isaiah 37:16).

   According to Isaiah then, God was unaccompanied at creation. Further on he records:

“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.” [Lit. Heb. “who was with me”]

——Is 44:24

   Isaiah makes dozens of references to the oneness of God; references that only make sense if understood to mean, not a compound unity, but rather, an absolute numerical oneness. He has much to say as well, regarding the activities of this one God in creation.

          “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me…there is none beside me. I am the LORD and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness…I the LORD do all these things…for thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited. I am the LORD; and there is none else

         ——-Is 45:5-7, 18

   There is nothing here that allows for or even hints at a second or third person of the trinity present at creation; quite the opposite. We find here as well as in Hebrews, that the One True God, Jehovah, Elohim, was alone present at creation. But He established the ages of human history with Jesus at the very center of His purpose. It is this God who declares: “It is I who made the Earth, and created man upon it…there is none else, no other God.” (Is 45:12, 14).

   How, on the basis of these, and the many similar verses, scattered throughout scripture, can the idea of a plurality of persons in creation be sustained? Even Jesus, in the Gospels, attributes the work of creation to the Father.  He makes no claim of partnership or agency in the Genesis creation (Mk 10:6; Mt 6:30, 19:4; Lk12:28). Why does He seem to make it a point to expressly declare the Father to be the sole creator? If Jesus had indeed played a role as co-creator of the heavens and earth in Genesis, why does He not tell us this? Perhaps more significantly, if He is indeed the physical manifestation of the creator God, why not simply declare, “I did it”?

   I believe that Jesus in fact, does just this, but only to those who have, “ears to hear and eyes to see.” He spoke to His disciples in Mark chapter four, in a conversation that bears directly on our subject. Following His presentation of the Parable of the Sower, Jesus responds to a question regarding the purpose and use of parables. Jesus answers:

          “Unto you (true disciples) it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God; but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: that seeing, they may see and not perceive; and hearing, they may hear, and not understand”

          ——Mk 4:11,12

     Jesus told Philip in John 14: “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” (Jn14:9).This statement has tremendous significance. As we have already seen, a study of the Hebrew Elohim lends no support to the persistent idea that “God” in Genesis 1:1 refers not only to the Father, but also the Son and Spirit as well. It is important to note that Isaiah, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, identifies Elohim (God), as Jehovah and the Hebrew scriptures plainly limit the name Jehovah to the Father alone (See Dt 32.6; Is 63:16, 64:8; Jer 31:9). Malachi has this to say: “Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us”? (Mal 2:10).

   By the careful comparison of scripture with scripture, it quickly becomes clear that the idea of a trinity of persons present at creation is simply not supported by the Biblical evidence. What we find instead, is the declaration of the One True God, who alone is the creator, sustainer, and redeemer. This is the God “which alone spreadeth out the heavens and treadeth upon the waves of the sea” (Job 9:8). For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, do we have in this brief passage a clue to the identity of the Man from Galilee? Consider carefully, for we find in the Gospel of Matthew that “…in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the sea…” (Mt 14:26).

   Rather than trying to allege the presence of a trinity at work in creation, a more Biblical approach would be to take the scriptures themselves at face value.  When seen in balance and context, all of the “problem passages” fall into place and our eyes are opened to a simple and marvelous truth:

 “By the Word of the Lord were the Heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath [Heb. Ruach/spirit] of His mouth”

——Ps 33:6

   The One True God of the Bible, who is spirit–Jehovah-Elohim–the Father, that “calleth those things which be not as though they were” spoke the worlds into existence. It’s just that simple. Nothing in the Genesis account or anywhere else in scripture requires a trinitarian explanation or the presence of a supposed co-creator.