The “Right-hand” of God

(Acts 7:55-56)

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

The Trinitarian Question

The right hand of God is an age old question that is presented to the people of oneness to show distinction between the Father and the Son. Like the rest of the questions that have been asked, this one only requires a little bit of study to see the truth of the matter.

The question concerning this passage is about what Steven saw as he was being stoned to death for being Apostolic. His sermon itself should answer any questions about where he stood doctrinally, but we will entertain this question to show definitively what Steven saw.

Opponents of oneness raise the question as to what Steven meant when he said he saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. They say that Steven had a clear picture of the Father sitting on the throne and Jesus standing next to Him to His right. This is Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

So what exactly did Steven see, anyway?

The Trinitarian Dilemma

Let’s take a look at the dilemma that the believers in the trinity have concerning this.

Where is the Holy Ghost? How come “He” is never anywhere to be found? Why isn’t the Holy Ghost ever mentioned as being at His left hand or at His right hand or anywhere else? Maybe even hovering over the glowing head of the Father like in the Catholic stained glass artwork? It is always the Father and the Son being pointed out.

This is because of the dual nature of Jesus Christ. When talking about God, the only distinction is between the Deity and the humanity of Christ. That is the Father and the Son. This is not a distinction between persons, but of natures. The missing Holy Ghost is actually not missing at all. He is present as the Spirit of God. The Father and the Holy Ghost is the selfsame Spirit.

Secondly, who exactly was on the throne? They say that Jesus stood at the right hand of the Father, yet the bible says God was on the throne. Trinitarians assume that the “God” who was on the throne was the Father. The bible does not specifically say that the Father was on the throne. It says the right hand of God, not Father. According to the Athanasius Creed, the definition of God is all three persons; Father, Son and Holy Ghost. That would mean all three persons were sitting on the throne. So Jesus stood at the right hand of the trinity? This is confusing on more than one level. How many Divine Sons are there? Was one on the throne and the other standing off to the right? Was Jesus standing at the right hand of Jesus? No wonder people get confused about the topic of the Godhead.

The Omnipresence of God

To assume that what the trinitarians are saying is correct is to violently strip the word of God of one of its greatest truths; the omnipresence of God. The doctrine of God’s omnipresence states that the Spirit of the Almighty God transcends both space and time. In other words, God is everywhere at all times. He is not bound by any amount of space. He fills the universe. He has no place or time in which He does not exist. This is a truth that both Oneness and trinitarians alike believe in.

The problem here is that the stance of the trinitarians concerning what Steven saw utterly contradicts their belief that God is omnipresent. They depict Jesus standing at the literal right hand or right side of the Father’s throne. Where exactly is God’s right side? In order for Jesus to be standing on the right hand or side of God there first must be a place that God stops existing. Jesus had to have followed the Spirit of God to its furthest point to the right, found where it ended and stood to the right of it. Where exactly do we locate the place where God stops so that Jesus could stand at his right side? For Jesus to be standing at His right side, would obviously mean that God had to stop somewhere. Because He has a right side means that there is a place where He does not exist. Now that utterly contradicts the truth of God’s omnipresence.

The beautiful truth of God’s omnipresence declares that God transcends time and space. He is everywhere. God doesn’t have a right side. God fills the entire universe. God fills the heaven and fills the earth. David said “if I make my bed in hell, thou art there” (Ps. 139:8). God fills everywhere. There is not a place that God does not exist. There is not a place where God stops, or ceases to exist. There is no such thing as the right side of God because God is endless. God is absolutely endless and has no place where he ceases to exist where we can say we have come to the end or the side of

God. To say that Jesus was standing at the literal right side of God is a detriment to the truth of his omnipresence.

God’s Body Parts

The next question we must ask ourselves in order to understand what Steven saw is whether or not God actually has a right hand? The bible tells us that God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24). God is not a person. No matter how many times they use the word person concerning God, the fact remains the same; God is a Spirit. Understanding this will help us to a greater understanding of what it was that Steven saw.

Jesus unearths a great truth during His departure as He bids farewell to the disciples in Luke 24. Jesus appeared before the disciples in a sudden and almost frightening way. The disciples were afraid because at first they thought it was a spirit that appeared. Jesus then makes a statement that would have much more meaning to it than just what the context allowed. He tells them “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” (Lk. 24:39). He was saying this to calm them and give them peace over their heightened fear, but at the same time He unfolded a great mystery concerning the physical nature of God. Simply stated; a spirit doesn’t have body parts.

If God is a Spirit, and a spirit does not have body parts, then how can God have a right hand? The bible is clear about the fact that God does not possess a physical body other than Jesus, yet all throughout scripture it speaks of body parts as they were His. It talks about “the eyes of the Lord” and about how He would make your enemy “the footstool” and now about the “right hand of God”. What do these references to body parts mean if He does not actually have body parts? These are what you call anthropomorphisms. Anthropomorphism is a reference to something that is not human (deity, animals, etc.) using human terminology with the intent if helping to familiarize the reader with the non-human subject.

For example, when we see the eyes of the Lord running to and fro upon the earth, are we actually seeing God’s literal eyeballs (pupils and retinas included) physically running across the land, or are we seeing an illustration of the fact that God sees everything? When we see God making a footstool of our enemies, are we seeing God place His literal feet upon the back of our prostrate enemy? No. We are being told that God will come to our aid when we are in despair. It is an illustration of something supernatural taking place, but being put in human terminology.

We cannot fathom in our finite minds the infiniteness of our awesome God. This is why He uses terms that we can relate to. When God speaks, does He literally form words using a tongue, lips and His larynx? All I know is that from His being comes forth utterance and all of creation obeys. Again, we are seeing human verbiage so that we can relate to or even fathom what it is that God is doing because we cannot really grasp or comprehend all that God can do. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher \ than our thoughts (Is. 55:9).

Knowing this, does God have a literal right hand? The answer is no. We see in the Old Testament that when the Red Sea was parted, that it was the right hand of God that caused an east wind to part the sea. Did God literally stand there fanning the water with His hand until the wind was strong enough to part it? God, by His power and authority over creation, simply caused the wind to part the sea. He did not need an actual hand to do it. It was His supernatural authority that caused the miracle to take place and save His people. The right hand was symbolic of His divine power and authority.

Right Hand Man

In the Jewish culture to say somebody was at your right hand was more than just a figurative statement. When a king sat down his most powerful men sat to his right and the least of his people sat to his left. It was more honorable to sit at the furthest seat away from the king on the right side than it was to sit at the closest seat to the king on the left.

When you were on his right side you were considered a person of power. If you were on his left side you were just a common person. When they said somebody was at their right hand they meant this person is in a position of power, glory and authority. We have no problem seeing that same truth even in today’s culture. When we say this is my right hand man or this person’s my right hand, we are declaring their importance. We would not say this person is like my left hand. Nobody would say that. When we cannot do without somebody we say man this persons like my right hand. It is a statement that we borrowed from the Jewish culture. When the Jews called somebody the right hand man or somebody who was at the right hand what they were saying was that vested in this person is my very own authority. If the king was to give somebody the right hand position, when the king was away the person at the right hand position could speak in the king’s behalf and the entire kingdom would have to obey that decree because the king gave that man the right hand blessing. When the king was blessing somebody it was his right hand that he laid on them because it was showing everybody around that this person was now vested with the power and the authority that the king had.

In the book of Genesis when Joseph was promoted into the office of second under Pharaoh, the pharaoh even told him, laying his right hand on him, said the only thing that separates you from me is this throne. You have all the power of my kingdom and every decision that you make is like the pharaoh himself made it. The only thing that separates me from you is my throne (Gen. 41:40).

When Stephen said he saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God he was saying he saw Jesus in all of His power and authority. I see Jesus in all the glory of the kingdom. He saw the same thing John saw; one throne and one who sat upon it (Rev.4:2). He did not see God sitting in the throne and Jesus standing to the right side of Him. God does not have a right side to stand at. What he saw was Jesus in all of His glory. What he saw was Jesus sitting on the throne and he used a very familiar Jewish statement “I see Jesus at the right hand of God”. I see Jesus reigning supreme in heaven with everything under His power. He saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. What a glorious sight to behold!

Blasphemy?

What happens next is very telling of the answer to this question. They were already beating him and even biting him for calling Jesus the Messiah and the Son of God. The punishment for that was a severe beating. When we read verse 57 we see something change in their behavior toward Steven. “Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him…”

Before, they did not intend to kill him. They were beating him because he called Jesus Christ the Messiah. He called him the Son of God. It was not the same level of blasphemy to call him the Son of God so they were not going to kill him for doing so. Something changed when he saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. Why all of a sudden did this anger and rage come out against him? Why did the punishment suddenly change from a beating to a death?

They were not going to kill him because he said Jesus was standing next to God. That would have been a relief to them. They probably would have let him go for saying that. Hey, the guy went to heaven, no big deal. They probably would have let him go for that. But all of a sudden they wanted to kill him. They wanted to murder him because of what he said. Why? Because they had no problem understanding what he was saying. When he said the right hand of God, they understood. This man is calling Jesus God. This man is saying that Jesus is standing in all the authority of the kingdom and we know that that is only reserved for God. They cast him out of town and brought him outside of the city gates and they killed him there because Stephen was calling Jesus God. The Jews had no problem understanding this saying and neither should we.

There Is A Name

Here is the real clincher. “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Ac. 7:59) As they are stoning this man to death for saying what he said, the bible says he called upon God. That is a good thing for a Christian to be doing in such a time of distress, but what is he saying when he is calling upon God ? “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He is calling upon God and saying Lord Jesus. He is calling God by name.

As a trinitarian would tell it, Stephen was calling upon God saying Lord Jesus, yet Jesus was standing at the right hand of God. This is a confusing mess. We have one on the throne, we have one standing next to His throne, we have him calling upon God and calling Him by the name of the one standing next to God. This is all so confusing.

Here is what really happened. He saw God sitting on the throne and it was Jesus Christ. He called upon that God by using the name he was taught, Lord Jesus. This is something we still do today. When calling upon God, we do so in the name of Jesus. The act of using the name Jesus while calling upon God gives a very clear view of the position of Jesus when Steven saw Him. Jesus was on the throne in all of His glory.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we can clearly see that the question that is asked of oneness proponents about Jesus standing on God’s right hand is not troublesome to answer, but actually enhances the full depth of understanding concerning the oneness of God.

Steven is being beaten for calling Jesus the Messiah. He looks up and sees Jesus in all power and glory. He is considered a blasphemer for saying that he saw that and as they start stoning Him to death, with one of his very last breaths, he calls one more time upon that wonderful name; the name of God as it is given to men; Jesus (Ac. 4:12). What an inspiring insight to the depth of the great truth of God’s oneness.

Scripture References

Psalm 139:8

If I ascend up into heaven, ihou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

John 4:24

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

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.

Isaiah 55:9

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Genesis 41:40

Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

Revelation 4:2

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved

Let “Us” Make Man in “Our” Image!?

(Genesis 1:26)

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

The Trinitarian Question

This is a favorite of the trinitarians when looking for something to show their doctrine of multiple persons in the Godhead. To prove the existence of multiple persons is something they cannot do. The trinitarians use this verse in an attempt to prove that there is a distinction of persons in the Godhead, but nowhere in the verse does it say so.

The question that is presented to oneness believers is: “If God is only one numerically, then who is He talking to in this verse?” God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Gen. 1:26) According to the trinitarian, this is an obvious reference to the three persons of the Godhead; Father speaking to the other two persons, Son and Holy Spirit.

There are a number of ways that people answer this question, each having their share of validity, but there is one answer that trumps them all. Before we look at the actual answer to the question, let us examine all of the possibilities, starting with the least likely.

The Trinity

The trinitarians say the answer to this question is that God was speaking to the other members of the trinity. The first problem with that is that no other scriptures support this doctrine. The bible itself says that every word should be established out of the mouth of two or three witnesses (Mt. 18:16, 2 Cor. 13:1). If this is the trinity then we have one witness to testify of this fact; Moses, the writer of Genesis. Who are the other witnesses? No other witnesses stand up and declare in scripture that one person of the trinity is speaking to the other persons in this verse. There is simply no other scriptural proof to back the claim of the trinitarians.

If this verse is such an obvious reference to the three persons, why does it not speak of any of the other persons in the verse? It says, “And God said…” According to the doctrine of the trinity where all three persons are co-existent and co-equal, this verse is contradictory. It does not say that the Father speaks these words; it says that God speaks these words. The word God is supposed to represent all three persons; Father, Son and Spirit. The obvious question then is, “did all three persons speak simultaneously?” It says that God said, let us make man. It does not say that a specific person spoke to the other persons, it is very clear that God spoke. God, meaning all of God. All that God is, the very being of God spoke these words.

If all of God (the three persons) spoke these words, who were they speaking to? Were they all simultaneously speaking to each other in a confusion of everyone speaking at the same time? Even more interestingly, if all three were talking then none of them could be the person who the statement is directed at. Who then is the statement directed at? Were all three persons speaking to the angels or to the stars, or maybe the animals? If all three spoke, the question is, who were they speaking to? It seems pretty obvious that all three persons could not have been making the declaration all at once.

Since we know that all three persons did not speak, we must assume that trinitarians will say that the Father is the one speaking and the other two persons are the ones He is speaking to. This is what almost all trinitarians will say, because they know it is foolish to say that all three were speaking at the same time. They will say this even though the bible says that God (three persons by their definition) made the statement. If the Father is the one doing the talking, who was He talking to? It couldn’t have been the Son, for He had not yet been born until 4,000 years later in Bethlehem. It would be very hard for Him to be speaking to a Son who He had not yet begotten.

With all of this information in mind, it is very difficult for one to see the trinity in this verse of scripture. Are there words being spoken by God? Yes. Are those words being spoken from one person to another? I think the answer is quite obvious.

The Angels

Many oneness proponents will use the argument that God was speaking to His holy angels. This is a very easy answer to lean on because there are other places where God uses the word “us” to include Him and His angels (Gen. 3:22-24, Gen. 11:7, Gen. 18:1-2, 22; 19:1-2, Is. 6:8). We also know that the holy angels were present at the creation (Job 38:4-7), so this would seem like a perfect fit.

In Genesis 3, God uses the “us” to include Him and the Cherubim. We know this when we look at verse 24 where God places those Cherubim at the east of the garden, to krqi the way of the tree of life. Further, we know this could include the angels because they too had knowledge of good and evil. Lucifer’s rebellion is proof of that.

In Genesis 11 and 18, we see God take the angels will) Him to visit and inspect the cities of Babel, Sodom .mil Gomorrah. The angels had a purpose in being there. God uses His angels throughout the bible to execute judgment upon the ­land of the wicked and idolatrous. We know He was definitely talking to angels in these instances.

We see in Isaiah 6:8 that the Lord, in Isaiah’s vision of the throne, asks the Seraphim “Whom shall I send, who will go for us?” God is speaking and including His angels in this. He is sending a representative for the kingdom as a whole. This is another scripture that they will try to show multiple persons in. The problem is the first part of God’s question “Whom shall I send?” Not, “Whom shall WE send?” He is speaking to His angels because they were included in His kingdom, but did not give them the authority to do the sending. This is where Genesis 1:26 comes in.

“And God said; Let us make man, in our image, after our likeness…” In all of the other verses that have been referenced, the angels are in attendance and either have a job to do or were discluded from actually fulfilling any purpose. While the angels were definitely present during the creation, they lack having a purpose in creation beyond rejoicing over the handiwork of God Almighty (Job 38:4-7). The angels did not take part in the process of creating mankind. God reserved this task for himself alone (Is. 45:12, 18). So while angels were in attendance, they did not create man.

While it is easy to see the angels present at the event of creation, they surely did not have the authority from God to themselves create. This is the problem with the belief that God was talking to His angels in this verse, the angels would have to have been makers of man. This, they are not.

Foreknowledge of Christ

This position holds that God was speaking to Christ in His foreknowledge. We know that God is omnipresent. This means that He is not bound by space or time. He fills the universe with His presence. We know God is everywhere because David even said if he ascended to heaven God would be there, even if he made his bed in hell God would also there. God is everywhere. Looking at omnipresence we need to see the other and more commonly overlooked aspect of the quality.   Not   being   bound   by   time.   God   is   not   only everywhere, but He is always everywhere. This means that God has no past, or future. He is eternally in the present. His lime is always now. Our past and future is His now. He knows no limitation concerning time.

This is why some will teach that God is talking to a present Christ prior to Him ever being born. In other words, in God’s omnipresence He was already in the future at Christ’s birth so He was talking to Jesus in a timeless statement.

While we can all agree that God is omnipresent, and that Christ did exist in the foreknowledge of God as the Word or Logos, I do not see how Christ created anything as a human. We see in the first chapter of John where everything that was made was made by Christ, but this is a reference to j His divine nature. This is not saying that the man Jesus Christ was in heaven creating the world. Further, how would a begotten man create more begotten men? As a man, Jesus could not have  created  men, but  as  God Jesus created everything. This is because the Father dwelt in Him doing the works (Jn. 14:10). Jesus’ human nature did not take part in the creation of the world or the men in it.   God speaking to the man Jesus in His timeless omnipresence cannot be the answer to the question because Jesus’ human nature did not create.

The Real Answer

To know the answer to whom God was talking to when He made man, we must see who He was talking to when He created everything else. God has a strict process of how He does things. Notice in every day of creation before He created the life itself; He created the sustainable atmosphere for the life to dwell in. Before He made trees He made earth; before He made fish He made water; before He made birds He made sky and trees; before He made man He completed the earth for man to dwell upon. God creates the occupancy before He creates the occupants.

When we watch God as He creates all of creation He uses a very powerful phrase in every step of the creation process. In Genesis 1:3 we see the creative phrase for the first time. “And God said, let…” He created light by speaking to something that was not yet formed and causing it to be so. “And God, said, let there be light: and there was light.” He did not say “Let us make light.” If this is the three persons talking and conversing, why were the other persons involved in creating man, but not light?

This phrase “And God said, let” is used several times throughout the creation process (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24). In fact, every single act of creation was done using this vital four-word phrase “And God said, let.” Why in none of these occasions does the word “us” occur? Why did the other two persons not get included until the creation of man?

Keeping in mind that God always created the habitat for the creation to dwell in prior to actually creating the created being themselves; we can easily see why God all of a sudden added a word to the creative phrase. The stage was set; all was in place for God to bring out His final and greatest masterpiece. He created everything and now it was time for Him to make man. Man had an earth and all he needed on it to occupy sustainably.

Ask yourself, what is man made from? The dust of the earth, of course. If God were to say, “Let us make man” at this point, of all that was created and in existence, what is the only thing that could rightfully say it had a part in the making? The earth and its substance, dirt.

On the first day, God spoke to the formless earth. “And God said, let there be light…” There was light at His command. No need to say us, because the void did not have the substance to produce light. On the second day, God spoke to the earth again and commanded that there be firmament to divide the waters. “And God said, let there be a firmament…” No need for the word us because the earth did not have the substance to bring forth the firmament.

On the third day, God created dry land by forming the waters into bodies. “And God said, let the waters be gathered… and let the dry land appear…” No need for the word us because the earth had no land to bring forth yet. He then created the grass and trees, etc… “And God said, let the earth bring forth…” Again, no need for the word us because the earth had not yet been seeded to bring the grass forth, so God did this by creation.

On the fourth day, God created the sun, moon and stars. “And God said, let there be lights…” This is another case of God using no substance of the earth, so again, no “us”. On the fifth day, God created the life to occupy the land and sea. “And God said, let waters bring forth…” Notice that God didn’t make the fish out of water or animals out of land, so again, no need for the word us.

Something happens on the sixth day that is different from every other day of creation. God adds the word “us” to the creative phrase used in every other creative act. It becomes, “And God said, let us…” Now there is an “us”. All of a sudden something else has a part in the process of making. Who did God speak to in every other day of creation? The earth. This is exactly what He was doing again, only this time it was different. All of the other times, the earth just obeyed and had no part in the making, but now, this new creation, man, would be made of the substance of the earth; it’s dust.

Notice it does not say “let us create man in our image”. He already created the substance, now it was time to make or form man. To create is to use nothing and end up with something, but to make is to use something that already exists and form something out of it. This is why the earth could be involved, because it had no need to create, it just needs to be part of the making process by being the created substance that man was made from.

The earth could fulfill the words of God at this creative stage. “And God said, let us make man, in our image, after our likeness…” The earth had part in making because man is made of earth. How much more of an image could a person be of the earth then to be made from the very substance of the earth itself? To be after its likeness is to be fruitful and multiply just like the other creation was to do. We follow the order of nature and reproduce after our own kind. We are made of and in the image of earth after its likeness. This is obviously who God was talking to in Genesis 1:26.

Further, the very law of reproduction, according to that which God has set up for mankind, is for the seed of a man to impregnate and bring life into the womb of a woman creating life. Surely, God would not break His own law concerning man. We see this beautiful picture in place as God proceeds with making man.

Genesis 2:7 – “And the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Notice that man was not complete until the process of birth happened. God breathed the breath of life into the substance of the earth and it became alive. It was when the

Masculine seed (God’s breath) entered into the substance of the woman (dust of the earth) that man became a living soul. Maybe this is where we get the idea of Father God and Mother Nature?

Genesis 1:26 – “And God said, let us (God and earth) make man, in our image, after our likeness…”

Conclusion

Of all of the answers that have been presented to the question, the trinitarian answer is the one that makes the least sense. Arguments can be made for the other views, but the thing that makes the most sense is that God sets in order His own laws and establishes a pattern that creation would follow forever.

God spoke to the earth every day during the creation and that did not change on day 6 during the creation of man. We literally come from the dust of the earth and have been made into the most complex creature on all the face of the earth. What a testament to the power and infinacy of God.

Scripture References

Genesis 1:26

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Matthew 18:16

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

2 Corinthians 13:1

This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

Genesis 3:22-24

And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Genesis 11:7

And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.

Genesis 18:1-2

And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he an to meet them from the tent door; and bowed himself toward the ground,

Genesis 18: 22

And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

Genesis 19:1-2

And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

Isaiah 6:8

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Job 38:4-7

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Isaiah 45:12

I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have commanded.

Isaiah 45:18

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

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.

Genesis 1:3

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Genesis 1: 6

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Genesis 1:9

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Genesis 1:11

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

Genesis 1:14

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

Genesis 1:20

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Genesis 1:24

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

Genesis 2:7

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Introducing Mineola Bible Institute and Seminary

There is no better way to learn the Bible than to attend a Bible College, but sometimes this is not possible.  This is the reason Mineola Bible Institute and Seminary has developed the External Studies Program.

Whether you study online or by home correspondence, this program is designed to help your knowledge of the Bible as a pastor, teacher, missionary, or student.   We feel it is very informal and practical. All course requirements are included in your very low tuition. There are no extra or hidden costs.

It is up to you to take the first step.  In order for you to achieve your degree, you will have to enroll with us, but that is the easy part.  You need no previous experience.

Now, you can get your diploma, just like many others, the easy way. You study at your own pace in the comfort of your own surroundings, no one holds you back.  Everything you need to know is in the materials we send to you.  Your program is special, which means that every one of your courses are designed to help you learn more of God’s Word.  The diplomas are very impressive and may open doors of opportunity for you.

At MBIS there is no waiting line.  Open enrollment is now available.  The Admissions Board is ready to evaluate your application and previous experience.  When you have a question about anything that is not clear to you in the course, you can write to us or call for the answer.  As you complete each subject, you are gaining more than knowledge, you are gaining credits toward your degree in theology.

So, do not wait another moment.  Enroll now and start the path toward a rewarding education in theology.  You can get all the training you need in your own time. If you are working, your program will not interfere with your schedule.

Please…..don’t let indecision rob you of your chance to achieve your dreams and to have your distinguished diploma and have a greater understanding of the Bible.  Now, it is up to you, we have given you the opportunity, we will be waiting for your reply and your application in the mail.

What is the Meaning of “Elohim?”

(Genesis 1:1) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

The Trinitarian View

The next question we will take a look at is the question surrounding the word “Elohim”. Most trinitarians won’t even use this argument anymore because they have finally figured out that it presents much more difficulty to their plurality doctrine then it does to our absolute doctrine. In fact, it presents no problem at all to our oneness belief. When you have true understanding of what’s being written here, it’s not a problem for oneness believers or true monotheism – which the Jews were the original believers of. The Jews have no problem calling God Elohim, yet they are as monotheistic as it comes. Let’s examine the case.

 The Trinitarian Question

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The Hebrew word for the word “God” used here is “Elohim”. Elohim is the actual translation. The argument that the trinitarian will use to show us multiple persons in the Godhead is the fact that this word “Elohim” can be used in the plural. They will be quick to show us how this word “can be” used in the plural form, but neglect to mention anything else about the word. They drop their little bit of information and then, as fast as they can, scurry off onto the next topic. This is the tactic. Let us hold them here on this topic for a while before letting them lead us on a wild goose chase through the scriptures.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

What they forget to mention is another very important fact about this word, “Elohim”. This word, while able to be used in the plural, is in and of itself not a plural word. It can also be used in the singular form. In fact, it is more often used in the singular form than it is in the plural. Elohim is a noun that is compatible to plural or singular language. Let’s examine the word itself.

A Lesson in Language

The “im” at the end of the word Elohim is a Hebrew suffix denoting plurality. It is like when we see the words Seraphim, Nephilim or Cherubim. The “im” in the Hebrew acts the same way that the “s” does for the English language. Adding an “s” is usually an indication of plurality in the English language. With that understood, we should also understand that this rule does not apply to every word in either language, Hebrew or English, respectively.

The English word “deer” is singular when you see a deer in the woods, and it is Plural when you see a group of deer. No “s” is necessary to signify plurality.. This is one example of a word that is used both in plural and singular forms. You would never say you saw a group of “deers”. Another example of this is the English word “aircraft”. The word aircraft can accurately be applied to one plane as an aircraft, or to a fleet of planes as aircraft. Boeing is not a manufacturer of “aircrafts”, they build “aircraft”.

More specifically, look at the word “species”. It ends in an “s” so should we assume that because it does it is an absolute plural? “Species” is one of those funny words that can be used in both the plural and the singular form. “There are many different ‘species’ of animals on the earth”, is an accurate statement in the plural form, because I am referring to the abundance of different kinds of animals that are resident upon this planet. Another statement that is true is; “the specific ‘species’ that this animal comes from is the aardvark.” This time the word “species” is also accurately applied, but in reference to a specific type of animal, therefore making it singular. If we are going to employ this word in the singular, should we drop the “s”? Of course, not. It is just part of the word, singular or plural.

There are many other words like this. Moose, fish, you, pants, shorts, eyeglasses, offspring, scissors, shrimp, elk, corps, premises and series are like this, to name a few. These are all words that can be used in either form. Even though the “series” ends in an “s” you would not drop the “s” when talking about one of them. It is not accurate to say “one’serie”‘. It would be series, either way. When using it as a plural and group many of them together, you would never say “serieses”. This would be a major grammatical mistake. It is series whether it is one or 1,000.

Back to Elohim

The Hebrew word “Elohim” is much the same as some of the English words we just examined. It can be used in either the plural or singular form accurately. If it was only a plural word then the translators to English would have had no choice but to translate it as “Gods” instead of “God” as they did. Though in Hebrew the word “Elohim” can be used in this plural form, the English counterpart “God” cannot. We can translate this word as one or the other, plural or singular. Our word “God” cannot be applied to a group of deities, but only to a single deity. Where the bible uses the word “Elohim” it translates it one way or the other, not both. If we are to take the word of the trinitarians here and use the “Elohim” in the plural, then it would be necessary to translate it as “Gods” instead of “God”, because the word “God” cannot be used in the plural form. “In the beginning ‘Gods’ created the heaven and the earth.” So I guess our accusation of the trinitarians belief in 3 gods is accurate after all. Remember, it cannot be used in both forms at the same time. It is either singular or plural. So… which one is it? Is He one God or is He three? There is no way to use this stance to support three persons, because it cannot be plural in form and singular in form at the same time. I’d say this is a dilemma for the plurality proponents.

True Monotheism

When looking at the word “Elohim” the thought of monotheism comes to question right away. The very definition of monotheism does more than suggest the absolute oneness of God. The Jews, who were the original believers in a monotheistic faith, reject any reference to God in three persons as completely pagan and tri-theistic. It is impossible to have three persons within one God and still be truly monotheistic. True monotheism is the belief that there is only one God. While a trinitarian may say they fall under that category, “three persons” is nowhere found under these definitional margins. It is either one God or three persons, but it cannot be both.

Correct Form Identification

Since the word “Elohim” can be used in either the singular or plural form, in order to indentify its correct form, we must first identify its correct usage. The word in and of itself cannot be the determining factor to its correct form, since it can be used in both ways. The way we identify which form an irregular noun is being used in is by identifying the form of the verbs and adjectives surrounding it.

The English verb “created” has the same form in the singular and in the plural. The sense, however, is clearly seen when a pronoun is attached (he created, or they created). In Hebrew, the singular and plural of this verb are two different forms. This verse uses the singular form (bara, “he created”). This verb, then, prevents the interpreter from considering only the form of the English verb. One must look at the sense, otherwise a wrong interpretation will be attached to the verse. In the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1, both the form and the sense of the verb “created” are singular. There is no possibility of a different understanding of that verb. By itself, it means “he created.

Armed with this understanding, it is impossible to misinterpret the scripture that uses the word “Elohim”. We see that it is one who created, all throughout Isaiah’s prophecies. The Lord leaves it up to no interpretation when He says that He created everything “alone” or “by Himself”. Connecting the understanding given throughout the bible on this “aloneness” of God, we can clearly determine that this creator in Genesis 1:1, the ‘Elohim”, is just one and not three. This “aloneness” shows us true “oneness”.

Who Exactly Is “Elohim”?

Elohim has not only been used to identify God, but in other cases within the text of scripture it has been used to identify many other things as well. Elohim does not refer only to the Most High God. In the Canaanite religion they referred to deity in general as Elohim, not just Jehovah. Pagan gods were called Elohim, men and angels were called Elohim, and Jesus was even called Elohim, prophetically. If we read one of Isaiah’s many prophecies concerning the Messiah we will see Jesus being called Elohim. In Isaiah 40:3 we see Isaiah giving a prophetic word concerning John the Baptist. He is saying that this man John would come and make straight the highway of our God. This is a clear reference to John’s ministry making the way straight for Christ as it clearly shows us in the New Testament and confessed by John’s own words (Jn. 1:23). Since we know that this is the plot that is being foretold by the prophet, let us take a closer look. Who is John actually making the way straight for? “The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” He is making the highway straight for “God”. John is preparing the way for “Elohim”.

Here we see Jesus clearly being called Elohim. Now, the immediate, overzealous and hair-triggered response you will get from a trinitarian is that this simply shows Jesus to be a part of Elohim. The problem with this argument is that again this word is used in the singular form disqualifying anyone else from being part of this equation. Further, if “Elohim” is a reference to multiplicity, as they will quickly point out concerning Genesis 1:1, then we must conclude here that Jesus is actually more than one person. We must assume that what Isaiah was actually saying was that John was making way for all three persons of the Godhead, not just the second person (God the Son). Whoa! Let’s slow down. That destroys the triune stance on too many issues at one time. We’ll save some for the other chapters.

Other “Elohim” References

Pagan gods were called Elohim (Ex. 12:12,1 Ki. 11:33). These references are used in both singular and plural form. We see in Exodus a reference to “the gods of Egypt”. This is a plural use of the word. Egypt was a nation of many Gods. In 1 Kings, however, we see a reference to Chemosh, “the god of If we read one of Isaiah’s many prophecies concerning the Messiah we will see Jesus being called Elohim. In Isaiah 40:3 we see Isaiah giving a prophetic word concerning John the Baptist. He is saying that this man John would come and make straight the highway of our God. This is a clear reference to John’s ministry making the way straight for Christ as it clearly shows us in the New Testament and confessed by John’s own words (Jn. 1:23). Since we know that this is the plot that is being foretold by the prophet, let us take a closer look. Who is John actually making the way straight for? “T7te voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” He is making the highway straight for “God”. John is preparing the way for “Elohim”.

Here we see Jesus clearly being called Elohim. Now, the immediate, overzealous and hair-triggered response you will get from a trinitarian is that this simply shows Jesus to be a part of Elohim. The problem with this argument is that again this word is used in the singular form disqualifying anyone else from being part of this equation. Further, if “Elohim” is a reference to multiplicity, as they will quickly point out concerning Genesis 1:1, then we must conclude here that Jesus is actually more than one person. We must assume that what Isaiah was actually saying was that John was making way for all three persons of the Godhead, not just the second person (God the Son). Whoa! Let’s slow down. That destroys the triune stance on too many issues at one time. We’ll save some for the other chapters.

Other “Elohim” References

Pagan gods were called Elohim (Ex. 12:12,1 Ki. 11:33). These references are used in both singular and plural form. We see in Exodus a reference to “the gods of Egypt”. This is a plural use of the word. Egypt was a nation of many Gods. In 1 Kings, however, we see a reference to Chemosh, “the god of Moab”. This is used in the singular. It referred to one deity of the Moabites. We surely are not going to consider that these “gods” are equal to our God, are we?

In Exodus 4:16, Moses is told that Aaron would be to him for a mouth, while he would be for a god (Elohim) to Aaron. First, the form of Elohim is plural, yet Moses was clearly one person — not a group or family of beings. This is sufficient to indicate the distinction that must be drawn between the form and the sense of a word. Second, Moses was to be like Elohim to Aaron, only in the sense that he would be in a position of more authority and respect. The same expression is used in 7:1, where Moses is told that he would be like Elohim to Pharaoh.

All throughout the proverbs and psalms, in verses that used ‘Elohim”, it was employed in the singular form. When you look at angels they were called “Elohim” in a number of places. We would never argue that they were Gods. Jacobs’ ladder had the angels running up and down it. Scripture referred to them as Elohim, also. We would never argue that this was many Gods. Was it Father, Son, and Holy Ghost manifesting in the form of a plethora of different angels?

The witch of Endor brought “Elohim” up out of the earth to meet Saul (1 Sam. 28:13). This wasn’t Jehovah; this was demons that they called Elohim. Now are demons a trinity? Do we believe the devil is a trinity? Do we believe the devil is the father, son and “un”holy spirit, or is he just an angel? He’s just an angel. Are angel’s trinities? Well no. Are demons trinities? NO! Then why are they all called Elohim? So why is it when it comes to the devil, angels, demons, pagan gods, Moses and prophetic views of Jesus, they can be called Elohim and still be one, but when it comes to the one true God, He has to be three when Elohim is His title? That’s very hypocritical and it really backfires on the trinitarian when looking at it in light of scripture.

EL

The word “El” is singular and it’s a standard term for God. This is the base or root of the word, “elohim”. When you use it with a plural word it means gods, when you use it with a singular verb it means god. The God of Israel was always talked about as singular. The gods of the nations, because the people were pagan and believed in more than one god, in a lot of cases were called Elohim. Why? Elohim was the only word for god that you could use in the plural form. When you use the word Jehovah, that’s the name of God and they wouldn’t have dared to say that was plural. The only word that they had to use, calling something a god, was Elohim meaning there were more than one. So when you’re talking about pagan gods there is thousands of gods, the only word that they could come up with was Elohim because it was the only one that meant “god” but was still plural.

Will The Real Elohim Stand Up?

Here’s where it really comes down to it. Psalm 82:1 says “God stands in the congregation of the mighty and judges among the gods.” Now, scripture uses “Elohim” in reference to both the “God” (Jehovah) and “the gods” (false gods). God (Elohim) stands in the congregation of the mighty, among the gods (Elohim). So wait a minute, in the same verse we have Elohim used as singular and plural. Is this a contradiction in scripture? Of course the bible doesn’t contradict itself. What this specific scripture shows us is the One Almighty God standing in authority among all the false gods as the One Supreme Being in the entire universe. It refers to Jehovah in the singular form of Elohim, God. It refers to the false gods in the plural form of Elohim, gods.

Elohim is meant in plurality only when it’s used with plural verbs that would show or denote plurality for the one they are talking about. If you go into a pagan nation where they believe in many gods you would use the word Elohim because it means “gods”. But when you use it in the singular form it simply means “God”. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

The thing we need to realize here is if we are going to use “gods” (plural) for Jehovah then we need to use “gods” (plural) for Jehovah everywhere. Don’t just pick and choose where it’s convenient for your doctrine. If it’s going to be plural it’s got to be plural everywhere. It either fits in the scriptures or not. We can’t pick and choose where we’re going to put it. You’ve got to put it everywhere or don’t put it anywhere. In the beginning “gods” created the heaven and the earth. How many exactly were there?

When God said He stretched forth the heavens by Himself, Where were the “Gods”? Isn’t this a contradiction to scripture? We are saying that He is plural but God Himself is saying that He is singular? Who shall we believe? Should we believe the prophet Isaiah who God spoke through mightily and under a holy unction of the Holy Spirit wrote the words of God, or should we believe the trinitarians who are trying to fit the bible into their view for over 1,700 years now?

Majestic Plural

Armed with this understanding, it is very easy to see how the word Elohim can be used in both forms and still be correctly applied to the one true God. The Jews had no problem with their own language nor do they have a problem with the doctrine of monotheism.

Elohim is not a plural word. When used in the plural form concerning God, “Elohim” simply means God, in His majesty. Let’s say we do use the plural. We need to understand that this doesn’t hurt us, it helps us. To say the plural form should automatically assume more than one person is a contradiction to so many scriptures that refer to God as one. “Hear o Israel the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4). Too many verses of the bible refer to an absolute numerical oneness of God for us even consider plurality of persons. It is nowhere in scripture and should be dismissed based upon the lack of evidence found in scripture.

When the bible does use the Plural form of Elohim in reference to the one true God it is showing royal majesty. I’ll give you an example, when the queen of England stands up to speak and says “We come in peace” She’s the only one standing there talking. Who exactly is “we”? She, as the royal leader of her nation, speaks on behalf of all of her nation. It’s the royal majesty, it’s what some people have called the royal we, or the divine council. In other words, she’s not speaking only for herself but everything that is under her. She is speaking as the leader, as the queen, as the ruler over all that is hers.

The same is true with God. When God is referred to in the plural form, it is not denoting His plurality of persons, but the majesty of His person. The scripture tells us that God works everything according to the council with his own will (Eph. 1:11). Does that mean that God councils himself? No. It simply means that His will is enough. He doesn’t need anybody else’s decisions. He doesn’t need anybody else to make up his mind for him. The only council He needs is His own thoughts. Now does that mean two things? Him and His will are two separate things? No it’s not two separate things, its saying that He doesn’t need anybody or anything. He makes his own decisions and His is the final decision.

When you’re looking at Elohim in the plural form concerning the Almighty God all it is saying is that He comes in the majesty of His entire kingdom. He comes and He speaks for everything that He has ever done, everything that He has ever created, every action He has ever taken, He speaks for all of it. Because everything He has ever done is

perfect. Everything He has ever done is royalty. Everything He has ever done was with the council of His own will.

Conclusion

Whether we see “Elohim” used in the singular (much more common) form or in the less common plural form we understand that God is only one Spirit, one being and should be understood as a single Deity in every sense of the word. To use the argument that “Elohim” shows us the trinity is a very shaky stance to take. Nowhere else in scripture is “Elohim” used to show multiplicity of persons within one deity; not even the pagans did that. Trinitarians are treading upon ground that no Jew or Apostolic age Christian ever walked concerning the doctrine of the Godhead. The “Elohim” argument was a far stretch to find something plural about God to stabilize their doctrine. It is a staff they should never have picked up during this dangerous walk, for all it has done is crumble in their hands. The triune doctrine is no more sturdy with this included than it was without it. In fact, it is actually weaker. I think it is time they finally walk in a different direction, away from it. The ground is much more solid over here.

Scripture References

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Isaiah 40:3

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

John 1:23

He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

Exodus 12:12

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the lord.

1 Kings 11:33

Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.

Exodus 4:16

And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shall be to him instead of God.

Exodus 7:1

And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

1 Samuel 28:13

And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

Ephesians 1:11

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

The Benedictions and Salutations

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, ~be with you all. Amen.”

(2 Corinthians 13:14)

The Trinitarian Question

The question that. trinitarians present to oneness believers concerning these benedictions and salutations is about the way the scriptures read. For example, in the scripture cited above. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” At face value without having an understanding, this could present a look of pluralism or plurality in the Godhead. In other words God, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are being mentioned in these verses. This is another one of their arguments in scripture where they’re kind of stuck if they do and stuck if they don’t.

False Accusations

See, the problem with trinitarians is that they try to label false doctrines on our behalf. They try to say that we take doctrinal stances that we don’t actually believe in. For example, they say that we deny that there is any distinction between the Father and the Son at all. They try to label us as “Jesus-only”. They say we do not believe in the Father. They say that we believe that there is no distinction between The Father and the Son. Truth is; they are wrong Yes, The Father and the Son are one. Yes, Jesus is the embodiment of the Father, but there is a distinction between the Spirit and the flesh, the Deity and humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The deity is what is known as Father, or the eternal God. The humanity is the man, Christ Jesus. Where a lot of trinitarians misrepresent our stance, whether purposely or not, is in the statement that we deny any distinction at all. This is simply not true.

We Have No Issue

Trinitarians say these passages show the distinct persons of the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in one verse. This, according to them, shows plurality. In no way, shape or form does the salutations or benedictions show plurality in the Godhead. In fact, upon a closer examination, they show the exact opposite.

These passages are making reference to the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ. They talk about the Spirit and they talk about the man. They talk about the deity and they talk about the humanity. That does not mean these are two persons. It refers to two aspects of the same person. I would never deny the fact that I possess a body and a spirit, yet I would never say that I was two persons because of it.

Because of this understanding, we have no issue with these written greetings just the way that they are written. We have no problem with the salutations making reference to God and the Lord Jesus Christ. We understand that the writers are making a clear and unmistakable reference to the Spirit and the humanity of Jesus Christ, His dual nature.

Dual Nature

The hypocrisy of the whole issue is that trinitarians believe in the dual nature of Jesus Christ, yet ridicule us for using it as our explanation for seemingly plural examples of the Godhead. The reason is because their dual nature is much ‘, different from biblically explained dual nature. The bible explains very clearly that God the Father dwells in His son Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:10). Trinitarians, however, will not say that God the Father was the Spirit nature of Christ; they say it is God the Son, a completely unbiblical term in and of itself.

This is the reason we have no problem with the way the salutations are written. Taken at face value, they say exactly what we believe and teach, namely the dual nature of Jesus Christ. For us to mention God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ together is fine as long as we understand that it is God the Father IN the Lord Jesus Christ. It is acceptable to label the Father as distinct from the Son. It is acceptable to label the Son as distinct from the Father in the sense of natures but not in the sense of persons. It is reasonable to say that the Father is the Spirit nature and the Son is the human nature. It is all right to make distinction in the natures of the Father and the Son, but it becomes improper when we try to separate them into persons and that’s what trinitarians are trying to stretch out of this scripture.

As an example of this understanding I will use my own person. I am the son of LaVerne Yates and the father of Kimberly Yates… That does not make me two persons; it just means that I hold more than one title as pertaining to who I am. The aforementioned titles are two of the hats that I wear as Larry Yates. Nobody would ever argue that I should hold two social security numbers or two birth certificates, one as the son of LaVerne and the other as the father of Kimberly. When it comes to Jesus, it is much the same. There is no logical or rational reason to assume that because God is both the Father and the Son that He should be considered two persons. Why does it have to be two persons? Scriptures are clearly talking about the Spirit and the Deity of Jesus Christ, namely, the Father; and about the humanity and the human nature of Jesus Christ, namely, the Son.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

So, we see that there is no problem when we take the salutations and benedictions at face value, but, now, let’s take it a step further. When we analyze these salutations we will notice that it says things like “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bring you peace”, and “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you” notice in these verses it does not say “God the Father the Lord Jesus Christ AND the Holy Ghost.” Only in one benediction does it mention the three supposed “persons”. 2 Corinthians 13:14 gives this benediction and uses the words, Lord Jesus Christ, God and Holy Ghost all in the same verse. Let’s take a look. The verse says…

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

The first problem I see with this is the trinitarian use of the word God. According to them God is comprised of three persons. So this is actually not mentioning three persons, but the Son (Lord Jesus Christ), the trinity (God) and the Holy Ghost. Where is the specific mention of the Father? This, of course, presents a problem for triune theology. So what is really meant by this benediction?

A Great Blessing

If you read this chapter, even the whole letter to the Corinthian church you will see that Paul attributes many traits and characteristics to God. He talks of God’s mercy (1:3), His grace (1:2), His comfort and consolation (1:5), His liberty (3:17) and many other traits as well. It is not a problem for us to see these many things God encompasses in each role of the Godhead. It actually further demonstrates our point that God is not three persons, but rather one Spirit that manifests in three ways.

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost…”

Paul didn’t say God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost be with you. He talked about 3 attributes that refer to 3 titles.

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…” It does not say “the Lord Jesus Christ”. It says “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ”. It is accurate to say that grace is from the Lord Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ in His humanity is the one that died on the cross for us and gave us that grace. His sacrificial death on the cross is how we access grace. Because of what Jesus subjected His own self to upon that hill of Calvary you and I can find atonement in His blood. Thank you, Jesus for showing us grace.

“The love of God…” It does not say ‘God’; it says the LOVE of God. Would anybody argue that Jesus Christ is not God? Of course not. So did the love not come from Jesus Christ? Of course it did. What we understand is that the love aspect of God’s nature is best shown in His action as Father. John 3:16 – “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…” When Paul referred to the love of God he was accurately attributing the love characteristic of God to the act of the Father sacrificing His only begotten son. This whole plan of mankind’s existence and salvation came to fruition because we have a loving Father who had it in Him to redeem mankind from our sin nature. He took upon himself the form of a servant and in His humanity, died to fulfill His plan. I’d say love is an accurate word to describe this plan.

“The communion of the Holy Ghost…” Notice that the verse does not say “the Holy Ghost be with you”. It says “the COMMUNION of the Holy Ghost.” How is the church in unity or in communion with one another except through the spirit of God, or as the scripture calls it, the Holy Ghost? Because we have the Holy Ghost we are unified. Because we have the Holy Ghost residing within us we are part of the body. It’s when we are baptized in the Spirit of God that we become the sons of God (Jn 1:12). I am able to be connected to the rest of the church because I have the same Spirit as they do. We are like-minded because we are driven by the same Spirit and purpose. Communion comes from the Holy Ghost.

When we see Paul give this benediction to the Corinthians he is not saying that three persons of the Godhead are with them; rather that the grace, love and communion of God were to be with them. He was pronouncing a blessing over them, as they went that they would remain in the grace that was shown to them, the love that was bestowed upon them and the communion that would hold them together as a strong body of believers.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost…” As we have seen, this is not talking about three persons. It is attributing characteristics of God to the different manifestations that He did them in. He gave us love as Father. He gave us grace as Son. He gives us communion as the Holy Ghost. That does not show us three persons, it simply means that the characteristics Paul is mentioning here are attributed to the different manifestations, or the titles, that God performs His actions in. This is not the trinity, this is pure oneness.

Where is the Holy Ghost?

Another issue for the trinitarians stance is the fact that the Holy Ghost is never mentioned in any of the salutations. In every place that a salutation is given mentioning what the trinitarians would call “persons’ it neglects to mention the Holy Ghost. Why? Paul always offers “grace… and peace… from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Why does he never bring the Holy Spirit into the equation?

In the previous discussion about 2 Corinthians benediction, the subject matter was different than it is here in the salutations. In the benediction Paul says “the grace OF the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love OF God, and the communion OF the Holy Ghost…” The subject matter is the attribute that belongs to God. Grace, love and communion are the pronounced blessing, not the person of God. However, in the salutations it is the other way around, “grace and peace… FROM God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The subject matter is no longer the characteristic of God, but God from whom these things come. This makes all the difference in understanding these verses of scripture.

So when talking about the person of God, why is the Holy Ghost never mentioned in the salutations? This would be a great opportunity to show the world the trinity. Here’s the reason why, it would be absurd to call God the Father and the Holy Ghost in the same statement. That would be like saying Larry Yates and Larry Yates. Imagine someone asking for me by two titles and expecting two persons to come. “Would the father of KimberlyYates and the husband of Shelia Yates come forth?” That is a redundant statement. I am the father of my daughter and the husband of my wife. I am but one person. These salutations never mention the Holy Ghost and the Father in the same breath, because the Father IS the Holy Ghost. There is but one Spirit of God (Ep. 4:4).

The next question a trinitarian will present in this case is that if Jesus is the Father, wouldn’t that be the same thing? Wouldn’t it also be redundant to mention the Father and the Son? The answer is no. It is not the same. To say Father and Holy Ghost is to say the same thing. It is using two words to describe the same Spirit. To say God and to say Jesus is not to say the same thing necessarily. To say God and Jesus could be describing the dual nature of Christ. When we say these two things, God and Jesus, we could accurately be talking about the Spirit and the humanity of Jesus Christ. It only refers to Father and to Son because that is not redundant. That is Deity and humanity. But it would never say Spirit and Spirit because there is only one Spirit. This shows us that the Holy Ghost and the Father are not separate entities, but one Spirit that manifests Himself in Jesus Christ’s person. This again shows true biblical oneness, not tri-unity.

Talk About Distinction

Romans 1:7 says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” According to the trinitarians we should see God our Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ, two separate and distinct persons. Let’s take a closer look.

That word AND in the English language would sometimes show distinction. It is a conjunctive word that means the first thing that we’re talking about, is distinct from but connected to the second thing that we are talking about. God our Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ would therefore show separation or distinction between the two persons, according to the trinitarians. There are a number of problems with that way of thinking. One of those problems is found in Galatians 1:4. This verse tells us that Jesus “gave himself for our sins… according to the will of God and our Father.” We immediately see the major issue at this point. Paul uses this word AND here in mentioning God and our Father. Was Paul trying to show distinction between God and our Father? Is God a separate and distinct person from the Father? Everyone who reads this would see that Paul is clearly not making distinction between persons of the Godhead here. He is simply saying that Jesus’ sacrifice was the will of God, who is our Father.

When scripture says “God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” trinitarian proponents want to denote a separation between two distinct persons of the Godhead, but when it says “God and our Father” they do not make the same distinction.

Colossians 1:3 says, “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” Is this yet another and even clearer picture of distinction between God and the Father? Of course not. Again, we have this word AND supposedly separating God and the Father into distinct persons. Not one trinitarian would dare say God is a different person than the Father. Not one person in the world would even dare to say that God is distinct from the Father, but when scripture shows the Father and the Son, suddenly we are supposed to make a comprehensible distinction between persons. Why is there a distinction when it is between Father and Son, but not a distinction between God and the Father? Oneness believers agree that there is no distinction between God and the Father, what we are showing is that just because the bible uses the word “and” does not mean that we are seeing two separate and distinct persons. The Father is no more separate from the Son than is God from the Father because of the word “and”.

“Kai”

That word “and” doesn’t absolutely denote a distinction or a separation. In some cases it can in the English language, not in every case. In this case it doesn’t. We know this because when we are using the translation from the Greek text we see the word’s true rendering. Ephesians 1:2 says, “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, AND the Lord Jesus Christ/Tn the English that word “and” is translated from the Greek word “kai”. This word can be translated as “and”. It is also translated in some other verses as “even” or rendered as “who is”. In the Greek (which is where we get our King James from), we would see these salutations to read “God our Father EVEN the Lord Jesus Christ.” All of a sudden it doesn’t seem like a separation anymore, now it seems like God our Father and He’s giving us His name. “God our Father EVEN the Lord Jesus Christ.” That sounds very oneness to me.

Colossians 1:2 says, “…Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ.” This verse again shows Paul using the word “kai”. In this case, the verse could very accurately be translated as “God our Father “WHO IS” the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Greek New Testament (which is the original form of the English New Testament) it doesn’t use the word “and”. Further, in the Greek there is no punctuation, so there are no comma’s to mark separation as there are in the English. We use commas to denote separation or pauses in our sentences, whereas, in the Greek they don’t use punctuation, they use words for everything. So if they wanted to use a word to denote a separation, surely the word would not have been “kai”. In English we can use the word “and” with the use of a comma to show a separation because we use punctuation to show distinction. Greeks do not use punctuation to show distinction. All of the distinctions that are made between the persons or things talked about within the subject of a topic are separated through the use of words not punctuation.

Surely they would have chosen a better word to show a true | and obvious separation if they were denoting a distinction ; between the persons of the Father and the Son. They would not have used a word that would have been translated as EVEN. “God our Father “EVEN”  the Lord Jesus Christ.” “God our Father “WHO IS” the Lord Jesus Christ.” This is absolute oneness.

Romans 1:7 (looking at the word “kai” being rendered) would read “grace to you and peace from God our Father ‘EVEN’ the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:2 would read “grace unto you and peace from God our Father even the Lord ‘WHO IS’ Jesus Christ.” Again, we see absolute oneness.

Greeks had no problem with this rendering; the early church fathers had no problem with it. Paul and Peter and John and James, had no problem with the way it was written. It was only after the introduction of the Nicene trinity and the separation of persons that this even became an issue. On what premise should we stand; upon biblical credence or upon the end result of an epic clash between backslidden church officials?

Conclusion

In closing, whether we look at the salutations the way they are written in English using the word AND denoting the distinction between the dual nature of Christ, or if we use the true rendering of the Greek and the word “kai”, as “even” or “who is”, we, as oneness believers in the Godhead, are fine with it, seeing how either way preaches untainted oneness theology. Trinitarians that get distinction of persons out of these salutations are clearly reaching for anything to back their stance and only ending up with a handful of straw. They pull out two titles that were spoken of and call it two distinct persons. The devil will use anything he can; he will twist any little thing he can to try to find his self a trinity. Everywhere he goes to get one, they must be fresh out, because in every question brought up, we still fail to see a trinity.

Scripture References

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.

1 Corinthians 1:2-3

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, catted to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:5

That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

1 Corinthians 3:17

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

John 1:12

The same was in the beginning with God. Ephesians 4:4

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

Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

Romans 1:7

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:2

Grace unto you, and peace, from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 13:14

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Three that Bear record?

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one

–1 John 5:7

Biblical Validity

Some students of the bible have made claims that 1 John 5:7 is not a true scripture of the bible. Some of the ancient manuscripts do not contain this verse and so the position is that it may be an interpolation. These claims are usually followed by a reference to the Catholic Church. Not all scholars adhere to this conviction.

The purpose of this book is not to prove or disprove the validity of the bible. This book is written with the assumption that the reader is a believer in the bible’s validity and is seeking to further their knowledge concerning the Godhead.

When examining scripture, just remember that the God who inspired men to write it can preserve the integrity of his work. Heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s words will never pass away (Mk. 13:31; Lk. 21:33). God’s word has and always will stand the test of time. You can always trust what you read in the bible.

The Trinitarian Question

The plot in the argument that the trinitarian presents concerning this verse is much like the rest of them, a stretch at best. We are supposed to be floored when we see the verse of all verses where the “three members of the trinity” are shown as “divine persons.” For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.” Well, I guess that is that. There are those three missing persons we have been searching for. Well, actually not. Let’s take a look.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

The first thing that we have to understand is that this verse, or any other one for that matter, is not a problem for us. It is, however, a problem for trinitarians. Here is how.

The first quandary they find themselves trying to resolve is the definition of the word ‘one’. There are two different words that are used in the Greek New Testament that are translated as the English word ‘one’.

The first of these words is “uia”, pronounced ‘mee’ah’. This word by definition is to agree, or to express unity.

The second of these two words is “eis”, pronounced ‘hice’. This word by definition is literally one; the numerical value, one.

We have all heard the analogies of how the Godhead is comprised of three individual persons who are one like a committee, a clover, even an egg. The purpose of these inaccurate analogies is to help us understand that God is three persons who are one in unity. You will notice, however, that the word translated as ‘one’ in the verse in question, is the word “eis”. This is the word that literally means the numerical value of one. This scripture is not saying that God is one because of some unification between distinct persons, but literally one sole entity. This obviously defies the logic of the trinity (one God comprised of three persons). This is not unity being shown here, but individuality. God is simply one.

The Task of Bearing Record

Another thing to look at is the task of bearing record. The scripture tells us that there are three that bear witness heaven. Is it saying that there are three people in heaven all keeping track of what they have done? Of course not!  What is actually being referred to, are the titles that God uses to accomplish His mighty works. It is a categorical breakdown of the works of God in heaven. He created the earth and all that is therein as Father (Mal. 2:10). Therefore He bears record of creation as Father. As Son, He became the sacrificial atonement and redeemed mankind (Ph. 2:8). Therefore He bears record of the great redemption as Son. He, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, has regenerated mankind, effectively reuniting the fallen creation with its maker; Himself (Ti. 3:5). Therefore He bears record of the church as the Holy Ghost. This is in no way separate divine entities, but one majestic God who created, redeemed and regenerated His people without any help.

Basically, everything that God has ever done has been recorded in heaven under three categories. Things He did as Father, those that He did as Son and others that He did as Holy Ghost; and these three titles belong to one God.

We often hear someone exclaim that we are saying the same thing, just in two different ways. That it is actually an argument of semantics. This, however, is not true. There is a clear difference and the difference is very simple. Trinitarians start with three persons and end up with one God, effectively going from 3-1. Oneness, on the other hand, both starts and finishes with the same one God, never changing that position, just proclaiming the works of that one God under the biblical titles, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. This stance never departs from biblical monotheism.

The Three That Bear Witness

The next problem that faces the doctrine of the trinity is the very next verse. We are reading about three that bear record in heaven, but the next verse lets us in on a great revelation if we will open our eyes to see it. It is the three that bear witness on earth. The blood, the water and the Spirit. Trinitarians tell us that the previous verse tells of three divine persons who are one in unity. Not one numerically, as we oneness suppose. They are one because they agree. Why then didn’t John just say that? Why did he confuse everything?

In verse 8, the writer tells of three that bear witness in earth, that agree in one. He had no problem telling us that the blood, water and Spirit were not actually one object; just that they agreed in one. Why then did he have such a hard time doing the same thing in the prior verse? If the Father, Word and Holy Ghost are one only because they agree, why didn’t John just say that? Nevertheless, he didn’t say it. He actually said exactly what he intended to say; that these three do not agree in one, but that they are one. There is a vast difference between something agreeing in one and something actually being one. My wife and I are one in the agreement we made at our wedding. We made vows that make us one, but we are not the same person. We agree in one. We are not one person.

Further, in examining these two verses, the subject of each is vastly different. Verse 8 is talking about three things that we know, without argument, are very different from one another; the blood is not the water, the water is not the Spirit, and the Spirit is not the blood. These three things do, however, agree in one. These are three separate parts that together become one experience; the new birth. Without one of these parts the experience is incomplete, therefore they agree in one. They are bonded together in marriage one to another bringing forth the great experience the new birth. The blood works alongside of the water and the Spirit. Repentance, water baptism and the infilling of the Holy Ghost bare witness in this earth of the redeeming power of God in the soul of man; these three agree in one.

In this verse the word translated as “one” is the Greek word ‘uia’. This, again, is the word meaning one, or unified together. This is not the case with the Father, Word and Holy Ghost. That verse uses the word ‘eis‘, meaning numerically one. He didn’t say that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost “agree in one”, he said they “are one”.

Proper English

The next major problem for trinitarians is the use of the English language in the King James Bible. The scripture says, “there are three THAT bear record in heaven…” This is King James English we are reading. If the three in question here were persons, as the trinitarians would have us to believe, wouldn’t the writer have had a little more regard for their personage? Proper English does not refer to persons, especially those of higher regard, as “thats”. “That” refers to an inanimate object or an impersonal thing. You would never refer to a human as an “it” or a “that”.

The proper rendering when referring to persons would have been “who” or “whom”. There are three “whom” bear record in heaven… You would never refer to God as a “that”, or a thing, you would refer to him as a “who” or a “whom”. Armed with this understanding, we know that this verse is not referring to three persons, much less “divine persons” when it says “there are three THAT bear record in heaven…” It is obviously referring to something either inanimate or impersonal. It is not referring to the actual person of God, but to His titles. Father, Word and Holy Ghost are not three persons, but three titles for the one mighty God.

Conclusion

1 John 5:7, whether an interpolation or not, is not a detriment to the truth of the word of God. It is actually a great help to the rest of the bible that is wholly oneness. The bible loudly exclaims all throughout its pages the very doctrine upon which the church was built; namely, that the Father was manifest in the Son and dwells in the church today as the Holy Spirit. This is not three, but emphatically one.

Scripture References

Mark 23:31

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Luke 21:33

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Malachi 2:10

Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

Philippians 2:8

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

1 John 5:8

And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

The Great Commission

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:19)

The Trinitarian Question

The biggest problem that trinitarians face when trying to use the bible to present their view of the Godhead is that there are so few scriptures that even remotely mention Father, Son and Holy Ghost in the same verse. Matthew 28:19 is one of those few verses of scripture that does so.

In this verse of scripture, Jesus is giving the disciples a mandate to teach everywhere they go. He told them when they baptized people who they had taught that they should do so in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Mt. 28:19).

The question then that trinitarians ask is actually more of a statement then a question. They say that we see three persons in this verse because it mentions the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. This, they say, is sure proof of the trinity. If not, then who are the three that Jesus refers to?

The Trinitarian Dilemma

This verse is commonly known as the Great Commission. One of the main things we must understand, that most have missed concerning this great commission is the fact that it is exactly that; a commission. There was no one actually being baptized here. This was not a baptism taking This verse does not display any kind of a baptismal formula. This is Jesus simply talking to his disciples giving them a command to go out teaching, and baptizing their converts using the understanding that He imparted to them. The understanding of who He was – God.

Easy Religion

I want to talk about something else concerning baptism that does not necessarily fit in to the topic of this book, but is vitally important. The necessity of baptism is something that the church has gone away from teaching, but must be recognized again. In this day we live in mainstream Christianity has embraced this easy-believism. Most teachers, even those who embrace these teachings, will never say that they do. Most shun it with their words, but embrace it with their actions and teachings.

The vast majority of Christianity teaches that all you have to do to be saved is to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior. He has given us an offer and we have a choice whether to accept his offer or reject it. Accepting Jesus as your savior is nowhere found in the scripture. No one in the bible ever asked the Lord into their heart as their personal savoir. Not one decision card was ever signed in the scripture. This is simply a biblical new birth experience.

In the generation we live in, it is unpopular to call people sinners. It is much more easily accepted to say that people made mistakes or bad choices. To say that mankind has a sin nature that separates us from God is not what people want to hear. We are considered judgmental if we tell someone that they must repent of their sins. Easy-believism has replaced repenting of your sins with, a much more easily swallowed, accepting Jesus as your personal savior. It went from us belonging to Him, to Him belonging to us. This may be the message of today, but it is not the message of the bible. The bible still says that if you do not repent, that you will perish (Lk. 13:5). It is time, in these last days, for true Christians to find religion that is not centered around us, but on Christ Jesus the Lord. We need a revival of repentance throughout our land.

Plan of Salvation?

Accepting Jesus as your savior has been coined the “plan of salvation”. They tell people to accept Jesus and to say a prayer with them. “If you want to be saved, say this prayer with me”. This is simply not biblical. Jesus never told people to have a plan of salvation, but always told them to be born again. We are not “saved” until we get to heaven. The bible says that when we endure until the end, then are we saved (Mt. 24:13). You do not become a Christian by obeying a plan of salvation, but by obeying the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4). This is better identified as a new birth experience.

Obey the Gospel

Paul said that the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The bible tells us that those who do not obey the gospel will be punished with everlasting torment and separation from God (2 Th. 1:8). If we are to be saved, we must obey the gospel. This raises a great question. How do I obey the gospel? How do I obey a death, a burial or a resurrection?

Death

As we have already seen, there is a stringent call for New Testament believers to repent. The bible tells us that when we repent of our sins that our old sinful man is now dead and we become a new creature in Christ (Rm. 6:6). This is how -we identify with the death of Jesus. When we repent of our sins, we obey or identify with the death part of the gospel.

Burial

After Jesus dies, He was buried. This is the same process we must go through if we are to completely obey His gospel. The scripture we have been talking about in this chapter was a commission from Jesus to His disciples to teach sinners and lead them to conversion. As we briefly talked about earlier in this chapter, Jesus assumed that the converts would be baptized. Baptism wasn’t a suggestion. It wasn’t meant for those who felt lead or who were part of a certain church. It was absolutely essential that if somebody was going to be converted into the church that they were to be baptized.

Jesus said this to Nicodemus: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:5). This is a reference to water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Mark recorded the great commission as well. He wrote it like this: “.. .Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mk. 16:15-16) He was very clear here about the fact that Jesus required baptism for one to be saved. When the first converts in the book of Acts asked how they could be saved or what they should do, the apostolic response was to repent AND to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ FOR the remission of sins (Ac. 2:38). The word ‘for’ used here means; to obtain. Converts were baptized to obtain the remission of sins. They had to be baptized in order to have their sins remitted. If they were not baptized, their sins were not remitted. Water baptism is not a request, it is required.

Why is this so? Why is baptism required for salvation? Because it is a part of the new birth experience. Remember, we must obey the gospel. Paul said that we are “buried with Christ by baptism” (Rm. 6:3-4). This water baptism is more than some ritual we do to let people know we are Christians, but a meaningful burial with Christ into His death. When we are baptized, we are identified with His burial.  We are obeying the gospel.

Resurrection

Jesus Christ was raised back to life by the Spirit on the third day. His Spirit came back inside of His body and brought Him back to life. Every human is born with a sin nature; therefore, the Spirit of God must bring life into you, as it did with Christ in the tomb.

We are baptized into death, but if we are buried with Him in baptism, then we will also be in the likeness of His resurrection (Rm. 6:5). If we are dead with Him, we will also live with Him (Rm. 6:8). Just like with Jesus, this happens to us by the Spirit. We must be born of the Spirit (Jn. 3:5).

When a person receives the gift of the Holy Ghost, they are born of the Spirit. This is the experience of Christ coming to live in you. Most teach that Christ comes to live in you when we ask Jesus into our hearts. This is not what the bible says. Every person in the New Testament who ever received the baptism of the Holy Ghost did so with the accompanying sign of speaking in other tongues (Ac. 2:4, 10:46, 19:6). There is not one case where someone had this experience and did not speak with tongues. When someone receives this precious gift of the Holy Ghost, they have identified with the resurrection of Jesus. This is new life inside of a person.

The Key

Peter was given the keys to the kingdom and this is what he preached and taught. The gospel is like a three-toothed key that opens heaven’s door. If the key is missing one tooth it will not open the door, because it does not match the pattern. Repentance without baptism is an incomplete experience and does not fulfill the gospel. The key must have all three teeth in order to effectively open the door. Make sure you identify with all three parts of the gospel. It is the most important thing you will ever do.

A Biblical Illustration

People always ask for one scripture that says specifically that baptism saves us. Here is one scripture.

Peter uses an illustration about Noah and the floodwaters in his teaching about baptism. He said that in those days a boat was built and that by water eight souls were saved (1 Pe. 3:20). In other words, God destroyed all of the sin in the earth by the flood and eight souls were saved by this water. Then Peter makes his illustration clear in the next verse when he says openly that he is talking about baptism.

“Baptism does also now save us” is what peter said (1 Pe. 3:21). Now (the church age), just like the water saved them from sin in the days of Noah, so also does the water saves us from sin by baptism. Water baptism washes all the sin away. The flood was a type of baptism. Baptism is a part of how we experience the new birth.

Back To the Godhead

Let’s get back to the topic of the Godhead. Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Mt. 28:19).

Notice that is says in the NAME (singular) of, not in the NAMES (plural) of. If the words Father, Son and Holy Ghost referred to three separate and distinct persons of the Godhead, would it not have been more accurate to use the word ‘names’? It is spoken of here in the singular not plural form.

The word ‘of is used in this verse and it is very important. In the name of the Father, and o/the Son, and o/the Holy Ghost. The word ‘of means; belongs to or belonging to.

Understanding this, we can have a better grasp on what Jesus is saying here. What Jesus is actually telling the disciples to do is baptize converts in the one name that belongs to the Father AND belongs to the Son AND belongs to the Holy Ghost. This does not sound like three distinct persons to me. This sounds more like three titles that refer to one name.

Divine Power Struggle

When looking at this verse of scripture, one doesn’t have to go far to find another verse to cause a contradiction with the trinitarian view. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Mt. 28:18) Only one verse before the great commission was given to the disciples, Jesus told that He had all the power in heaven and earth.

We know that heaven is the Father’s dwelling place; and we also know that God is omnipresent. How could Jesus make such a statement? The trinitarian doctrine says that all three persons are co-equal, but Jesus says all power has been given unto Him in heaven and in earth. This is a problem for the other persons of the trinity. ALL power, not some; not a portion; not the “second person’s” portion; ALL power. Since we know that all the power belongs to Jesus, does that make the Father and the Holy Ghost powerless? Does that mean neither one of them have any power? If we are talking about three separate and distinct persons and Jesus claims He has every bit of the power, wouldn’t that render the Father and the Holy Ghost powerless?

Even if I were a trinitarian, I would not want to serve a trinity of whom two-thirds of the substance was incapable. We know that Jesus cannot have more power than the Father because Jesus said the Father is greater than Him (Jn. 14:28). How can Jesus have all the power yet the Father be greater? How does that even make sense? Here is how the scripture is reconciled together: Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”.

The key to understanding this is realizing that the power was “given” to Him. He had to have it given to Him before it was His. Trinitarians say that Jesus is the eternal Son, therefore having always been the co-equal second person of the trinity. This cannot be true, because at what point did an eternally powerful person receive His power that was “given” to Him? If He is an eternal equal then He must have always had this power. The bible says otherwise. Again, I believe the bible.

When the Father manifested in His Son Jesus at His conception in the womb of the virgin, then and only then did Jesus begin to have all the power in heaven and earth. What Jesus was saying was that the Father has all the power, but the Father is in me which gives me all the power. “Because the Father is in me I have all the power in heaven and I have all the power in earth. If the Father was not in me, I would not have all the power in heaven and in earth. The all-powerful and Almighty Father dwells in me, therefore, I have all power in heaven and all power in earth.” From an oneness viewpoint, this does not render the Father and the Holy Ghost powerless because the Father and the Holy Ghost are one Spirit. That one Spirit of God dwells inside the person Jesus Christ giving Him all power.

Who Is With Us?

The next problem for the triune viewpoint is found in verse 20. “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Mt. 28:20) Here is the problem. After fulfilling His duties of dying on the cross, Jesus ascended to the Father (Lk. 24:51). Was Jesus incorrect in His statement? He said He would always be with them and right after He made this statement He left. Jesus was about to give a whole new meaning to the expression “I’ll be with you in Spirit”.

Jesus said He was going to leave and send the Comforter. How can these things be? He tells them He is leaving and sending the Comforter; then He tells them He will always be with them as He is leaving. This sounds contradictory until we examine His words. Jesus made a statement to His disciples that gives us a better understanding on this topic. He said “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you” (Jn. 14:18). He said this right before telling them that the Comforter was the Holy Ghost (Jn. 14:26). What Jesus was saying to them was that when the Holy Ghost would come to them at Pentecost, it would actually be Him there with them as the Comforter. He would not leave them comfortless, He would come to them (Jn. 14:18). When someone receives the Holy Ghost they receive Jesus because Jesus and the Holy Ghost are not two different persons, but the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Jesus that now dwells in the believer.

This is what gives Jesus the basis for making the statement that He did in verse 20; “…I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, Amen.” He is able to leave them in the physical and tangible sense and yet still be there with them, because He was speaking not only as the human Son, but as the divine Spirit. This sounds very oneness.

Conclusion

The great commission does not prove the trinity any more than it proves the triune baptismal formula. The reference to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are not a proof of three persons, but that one God has at least three titles. I am a Father, because I have children. I am a Son because I have parents. I am a preacher because I proclaim the gospel of Christ. This in no way makes me three persons, but one person who fulfills three offices. This is the same way that we can understand these titles as referring to God. He is the Father in creation; the Son in redemption and the Holy Ghost in regeneration.

What this commission also teaches us is that not one person in the New Testament was baptized any other way except for in the name of Jesus Christ, once the church began its work. The church, from day one, baptized exclusively in the name of Jesus Christ. Over 2,000 years have passed and that fact has still never changed. True baptism is still done in the name of Jesus Christ and is still essential to the new birth experience.

The most important thing to consider in this chapter is not whether you have a scholar’s understanding of the Godhead, but if you have experienced the new birth according to the scriptures. If you’ve never been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, I urge you to do that today. If you have only been baptized using the titles Father, Son and Holy Ghost, merely repeating verbatim the words of Jesus and not fulfilling them, I am asking you to contact an Apostolic minister in your area and have him baptize you into the name of Jesus. If you are part of the bride you will never regret taking on the name of your husband.

Scripture References

Acts2:38

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.

Acts 10:48

And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Acts 2:37

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Luke 3:5

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

Matthew 24:13

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 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 preached unto i/oh, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of nil that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose ugain the third day according to the scriptures:

2 Thessalonians 1:8

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 6:6

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

John 3:5

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Mark 16:15-16

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Romans 6:3-5

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Romans 6:8

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Acts 2:4

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 10:46

For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Acts 19:6

came

And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

1 Peter3:20-21

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

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 unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Luke 24:51

And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

John 14:18

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:26

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever 7 have said unto you.

Why Hast Thou Forsaken me?

(Matthew 27:46)

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The Trinitarian Question

Some questions are answered in the same way that others   are   answered.   This   is   one   of   those   questions. Trinitarians will bring up this argument when they are trying to show that the Father and the Son are two separate and j distinct persons of the triune Godhead. The problem is that | they use this same position for so many scriptures that one answer will always suffice the question that is being asked; namely, the dual nature of Jesus Christ. Let’s take a closer look.

Jesus said “My God my God why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mt. 27:46; Mk. 15:34) This took place as He was dying on the cross upon the hill called Calvary. It is one of the seven things recorded in the bible that Jesus said while He was on the cross.

What we are reading is the story of how Jesus is being put to death, after being brutally punished, for the sins of the entire world. It never gets old to think about the wonderful mercy that Christ displayed for us even while we were yet sinners.

While He was hanging on the cross as He drew near to His sacrificial death, with the weight of the world’s sin upon Him, He looked up and said these words “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani”. These words were interpreted as “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The question that is then brought to oneness people is “who was Jesus talking to?” If Jesus is God, who was it that He was crying out to?

Their stance is obvious. It is that this shows Jesus talking to the Father, showing that there are 2 separate entities or persons in the Godhead. How then will the “Jesus Only’s” figure this one out?

The Trinitarian Dilemma

When someone raises this question concerning this statement that Jesus made on the cross, they should be prepared to answer some questions themselves; a lot of questions. Not questions about the bible, but about the doctrine that for centuries has been believed on without biblical backing. The doctrine of the trinity finds no support biblically and usually puts its proponents into a position of answering more questions then they ask.

Where Is The Holy Ghost?

For starters, where is the Holy Ghost? Why when showing distinction between persons of the Godhead does the Holy Ghost never seem to be part of the equation? Why is there never a conversation in scripture between the Father and the Holy Ghost? We always see a distinction between the Father and the Son, but never with the Holy Ghost. The reason is simple. The Father is the Holy Ghost! Saying Holy Ghost is the same as saying Holy Spirit. We know that God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24) and that there is only one Spirit (Ep. 4:4). We know that the Father is holy (Lv. 11:44) so we must assume that the Father is the one Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. This is why we never see the Father and Holy Spirit communicate with one another, because there is no “one another” at all. It is the same Spirit. There is only one (Eph. 4:4).

This, in and of itself, is proof that the trinity is false, but I will entertain the question anyway, for the sake of the reader.

Who Is Jesus’ Talking To?

Let me be very clear about this next dilemma. Oneness; people believe that Jesus was talking to the Father when He made the statement in question. What I am about to present is only to show the falseness and biblical contradiction of the doctrine of the trinity, not to question who Jesus was talking to.

The trinitarians assume (so do oneness people) that Jesus made this statement to the Father. When the bible declares the Father to be God, it does so rightly, but just to be clear about the definition of the trinity, the word ‘God’ does not automatically mean ‘Father’. This story does not say that Jesus said “Father, Father, why hast thou forsaken me”, but rather “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”. Biblically speaking there isn’t much of a difference, but when it comes to the dogmatically defined trinity these are two very different statements.

According to the definition of the trinity given to us by the early church fathers at the council of Nicea and in the Athanasius Creed when we use the term ‘God’ we are talking about a triune God who is three in essence. The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost would make up who God is. Three persons. So when Jesus looked up and said “My God, my God…” we must assume (if we are using trinitarian understanding) that He is talking to all three members. He didn’t say Father, He said God. That, by their standard, is three persons Jesus must have been talking to. Was Jesus talking to Himself? Did Jesus forsake Jesus? And we are accused of sounding ridiculous?

When will they learn that they cannot use these standards of doctrine when it is convenient for their stance and throw them aside when it becomes a burden for them?

Co-existence

The next problem the trinitarians find themselves trying to work out is their traditional and essential doctrine of co-existence. This doctrine says that each member of the Godhead is eternally co-existent, meaning that the three exist together, without separation, for all eternity.

If this is true concerning the trinity then we have to ask a major question. How can the Father, who is eternally co­existent with the Son, possibly forsake Him, therefore separating the two? This presents a problem for them on a number of levels. According to this doctrine, wherever the Son is so is the Father. Wherever the Father is, so is the Holy Ghost. Three separate and distinct persons yet they are all eternally together. They cannot be separated. Jesus said that

the Father forsook Him. If this is talking about a true forsaking where God left Jesus, co-existence goes out the window because they cannot co- exist and forsake each other at the same time? The Father’s forsaking of the Son is not consistent with the co-existence of the trinity. Either they are together or they are not together, but it cannot be both.

This is another case of having to choose to believe the bible or the teaching of the trinitarians. It usually bodes well for those who choose the bible.

Forsaken?

Some people teach that the Spirit of God left the body of Jesus while He was on the cross at the point of his death. They say that this is because sin came upon Him and that God cannot come in contact with sin. Therefore, in that last moment of Jesus’ life, when sin came upon him completely and He cried out asking God why He had forsaken Him, the Spirit of God physically departed from the body of Jesus because He cannot touch sin.

The problem that I have with this teaching is that the very thing that made Jesus God was that the Spirit of God dwelt in Him, bodily (Col. 2:9). It is this heavenly infusion that is the core foundation of the fact that Jesus is God in the first place. If God forsook Jesus and left Him hanging there empty, void of the Spirit that was once so pleased to dwell in Him, was Jesus still God on the cross? How could He be? The very thing that made Him God is that the Spirit of God dwells in Him. If the spirit of God no longer dwelt in Him did He surrender His position as the second person of the Godhead for those three days? Does that mean that it was not actually God that made this sacrifice? This would make void any further need to discuss whether or not Jesus is a second person of God or not; now He is not even God at all. This is blasphemy.

So Was Jesus Forsaken?

This action was not as much a physical forsaking as much as it was an emotional abandonment. In everything that Jesus ever went through the Father was there to help. In everything that Jesus ever dealt with the Father was there to comfort Him. In Jesus’ darkest hour of prayer, the Father met Him in the garden. In His wilderness temptation, the angels ministered unto Him at the Father’s beckon call. Now, all of a sudden, in Jesus’ hardest trial, the Father could not help Him. The Father could not do anything for Jesus because it was His destiny to carry the burden of sin. Why wouldn’t Jesus feel forsaken at this moment?

To say that God cannot come in physical contact with sin does not make sense. God is in you and I, and we still sin. We are not perfect; so if God cannot come in contact with sin does God leave us every time we sin? “…Lo, I am with you ALWAY (always), even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Mt. 28:20). “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). Every time you sin does God leave you? Paul said that evil (sin) was always present with him (Rm. 7:21). He even said that sin dwelt in him (Rm. 7:17). Does that mean we don’t have God with us because we have a sin nature? Wasn’t the purpose of this sacrifice to reunite us to Him, rather than to still be separated from us (2 Cor. 5:19)?

God has no problem physically touching sin. God is omnipresent; God is everywhere even in hell according to David (Ps. 139:8). If God is everywhere, surely He has come into physical contact with sin somewhere.

God’s Holy Nature

What then are people talking about when they say that God cannot come in contact with sin? It is His moral excellence. It is His holy nature that cannot endorse, or come into a union, with sin. God will never unify with sin and evil. God has to physically make contact with sin every day because God is omnipresent. Surely He dwells somewhere where sin exists? What He will not do is mingle with it. When Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”, it was not that the Father left him physically alone (Jn. 8:29), as much as it was that the Father allowed Him, for the first time, to go through something by Himself. God allowed Him for the first time to feel what it was like to exist without the intervention of the Spirit. Did the Spirit of God literally leave him? No, but for the first time the Spirit of God, because of Jesus’ destiny to save mankind from sin, had to allow Jesus to feel the full sting of death (1 Cor. 15:55). He had to literally be the bearer of man’s sin, without the help of the Father, because He was literally taking man’s place; under the curse of sin, apart from God.

I don’t know about you, but when I’ve done something wrong I feel terrible about it. If I am under some sin, it feels terrible. I would feel terrible about it. I have God inside of me yet would sometimes even question God about why He let it happen to me? That is what sin makes you feel; each is the action of all; the action of all is the action of each. The divine action is essentially one.

dark, alone and separated from God. Now, imagine having to go through that type of experience for sins you did not commit. Imagine going through it not only for one person’s sin, but for the trespasses of entire world from Adam until the very last person that would ever exist. Having the Father inside of you and knowing it, while the weight of sin literally crushes you, yet the Father does nothing about it. Wouldn’t you feel forsaken? Wouldn’t you feel like your father turned his back on you?

Did God physically leave Jesus on the cross alone? No. It was not that at all. It was that Jesus Christ for the first time felt what it was like to do something as a human without His Father helping him, and in that moment, He felt forsaken. Jesus did not get left as a mere human on a cross. He had the Spirit of God still within Him.

Scriptures declares that it was the Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead (Rm. 8:11), but Jesus said He would raise His own person from the dead (Jn. 2:19). When He said that if they were to “destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” the bible says that He “spake of the temple of his body” (Jn. 2:19-21). So, who raised Jesus from the dead, the Father or the Son? We know that it was not two different persons doing two distinct actions.

Jesus could never have made this claim had He not been God manifest in the flesh. This was Jesus speaking as God. This shows us that the Father could not have departed from the body of His Son Jesus, because that would mean two distinct persons raised Christ from the dead. Jesus said He would raise His own person from the dead because He knew that the Father would not leave Him; could not leave Him because the Father is His Spirit nature. It was His own Spirit; therefore He could never be alive without it. It is the essence of who He is.

It was only at the point when Jesus died that the Spirit of the Father came out of His body; a dead body. When Jesus said “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” the bible tells us that Jesus “gave up the ghost”, meaning He died (Lk. 23:46). That is when the Spirit of God left the body of Jesus Christ, not when He asked the Father why He was left forsaken.

At that point Jesus had a feeling of forsakenness like He had never felt before because of the heaviness of sin that was upon Him as He carried out His destiny. Jesus was never left alone by the Father. The Father promised that He would never leave us, nor forsake us. That promise included every person, even His own Son (Heb. 13:5).

Unity of Divine Essence

This great understanding does not coincide with the belief in a triune God. The trinitarians hold another doctrine close to their hearts called the unity of the divine essence. This doctrine says that whatever the Father wills, the Son and the Holy Spirit also will. Since they are one, whatever the Father wills, the Son and the Holy Spirit will also. Whatever the Father does, the Son and Holy Spirit do also. There is no will and no action of God the Father which is not at the same time the will and action of God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. You see the unity here? Every action of God is the action of the Three. No one person of the trinity acts independently of or in isolation from the others. The action of each is the action of all; the action of all is the action of each. The divine action is essentially one.

If this is the case then why was Jesus asking inquisitively why the Father was turning His back on Him? I mean, they make no decisions without each other, right? If their minds or wills are in one accord at all times then Jesus would have had no need to ask the Father why He was forsaking Him. It would have been one action being made by the whole Godhead team, including the Son.

Conclusion

So to answer the question of this scripture showing two persons, the answer is no. This does not show two persons of the Godhead. This does show, however, the struggle of Jesus’ humanity as He was forfeiting His life for the sake of mankind. It shows that this was real, flesh humanity that died for our sins. It is a beautiful picture of the dual nature of Christ and that in his humanity, Jesus submitted to the will of the Father to redeem mankind in its helpless state.

I don’t know why anyone would ever want to change this into two persons. It is perfect the way it is. The humble submission of Jesus to the Father’s plan; how incredible! He knew that the Father was in Him and would be with Him forever. He was not forsaken by the Father literally, physically; He was forsaken of him in His emotion and strength. Reading this story, one can almost hear the Father’s heart cry; “I am here with you, and I am always going to be inside of you, but right now I have to let you go through this because you have to fulfill your destiny. I have to let you suffer and feel what this is like, because this is how man will feel for all eternity without me. I have to let this crush you. I have to literally let this kill you because through this, you are going to save the world.” The agony that He allowed His own flesh to feel was excruciating. I imagine it was hard, but He never gave up and came off of the cross. He did that for us. How amazing? What a beautiful picture of God going the distance to reconcile our relationship with Him. I don’t see why anyone would want to have it any other way.

Scripture References

Mark 15:34

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

John 4:24

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

Ephesians 4:4

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

Leviticus 11:44

For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Colossians 2:9

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Hebrews 13:5

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Romans 7:21

I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with
me.

Romans 7:17

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

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.

Psalms 139:8

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

John 8:29

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

I Corinthians 15:55

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Romans 8:11

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

John 2:19-21

Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.

Luke 23:46

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

I Go to the Father!

(John 16:28)

I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

The Trinitarian Question

Jesus said He would go to the Father (Jn. 16:28). He also said that He came forth from the Father. The question that trinitarians will ask concerning this verse is; “if Jesus is the Father, who is Jesus going to”? They say that Jesus going to the Father is proof of more than one person. They say it shows us that there is distinction between the Father and the Son.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

Is it just me or is defining the “distinction” a pretty major problem for trinitarians? The common accusation that they falsely (and ineffectively) throw at us is that we believe there is no distinction between the Father and the Son. We do believe in a distinction between the Father and the Son concerning the natures, not as in persons (Ep. 4:4). They are not two persons, but two natures of one person; Jesus (Jn. 10:30). The Father dwells in the humanity of Jesus; therefore, Jesus is the Father by way of His divine nature (1 Tim. 3:16).

This is another stance that will always backfire on the Trinitarians. Quoting this verse of scripture and then asking us to see two individual persons is at best a stretch. At worst, it is a detriment to the whole scheme of trinitarian thinking. The question that the trinitarian will ask when citing this passage is “If Jesus is the Father, who is Jesus going to?” “Is Jesus going to Jesus?” This is the standard trinitarian straw man argument.

Co-existence

To fully understand the dilemma that faces the trinity doctrine, we must revisit the underlying principle of co­existence. The trinity, according to the creeds, is co-existent. According to this definition, wherever the Son is, so is the Father also. This is known as the doctrine of perichoresis. This means that everywhere that Jesus ever was, the Father had to be with Him.

Jesus said that the Father was with Him repetitively (Jn, 8:29). Jesus constantly reminds the disciples that the Father is with Him. It almost seems to make perichoresis sound correct until we get to the place where Jesus is going to the Father. When Jesus says He is going to the Father, perichoresis goes out the window. If I am going to come to you, then I am not with you. How could Jesus have the Father with Him, and at the same time be going to the Father? How can He be with the Father and not with the Father at the same time? This is impossible. If Jesus is going to the Father then He cannot have been with the Father the whole time. This is utter contradiction.

Reconciling the Contradiction

If we are to understand what Jesus meant when He said He was going to the Father, we must understand the context in which He was saying it. Notice that He was not just going to the Father, but He also came forth from the Father (Jn. 16:28). The key word there is the word “forth”. He didn’t say I came from the Father. He said He came ‘forth’ from the Father. These are two different things. To come from something is to say I was there and now I am here. Like saying I came from New York and now I live in Florida.

To say I came forth from something is another thing altogether. The word ‘forth’ means ‘into view’. What Jesus was saying was that He came into view from the Father. Before He could not be seen, but now He has become tangible. In other words, He came from being invisible and intangible and returned to being invisible and intangible. He came forth from deity and returned to deity; He came forth from Spirit and returned to Spirit. This refers more to His office and position rather than His location. He couldn’t have been saying He was going back to the location where the Father was, for the Father was ever with Him. The Spirit of God is omnipresent. It is everywhere present. You can never go anywhere where God is not.

Conclusion

Jesus, when making this statement, was not saying that He came from where the Father was and was returning again to that place. He was saying that He once was an invisible Spirit and after becoming a man, physical in nature; He was going back to His divine state of being. He was the Father, unlimited; then as the Son, He was the Father humbling Himself as a man, taking upon Himself the limitations of humanity (Ph. 2:7-8). After His purpose on earth was fulfilled, He went back to the Father; the deity.

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17). The Lord Jesus is that Spirit. The Lord Jesus is the Spirit of God in the form of a man. When He was finished with His work as a sinless man, He returned to His existence in the realm of the Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that is still in operation in the church today, and the Lord is that Spirit.

Scripture References

Ephesians 4:4

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

John 10:30

I and my Father are one.

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, received up into glory.

Philippians 2:7-8

But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

John 8:29

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

2 Corinthians 3:17

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

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.