Oneness Print E-mail

Author’s note: The purpose of this article is to reinforce the faith of oneness believers, not to inspire debate. Please remember that, in all things, we are God’s ambassadors, called to win souls, not arguments.

Oneness

By Bro. Timothy Gerbig

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:”

-Deuteronomy 6:4

There is a consistent theme throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation: “One.” “Only.” “None else.” “None like me.” “None beside me.” “Alone.” “By myself.” “None other.” These are the words that God consistently used to describe Himself.

The Jewish people realized this fact, and still believe it to this day. When Jesus was asked the most important commandment in Mark 12:28, He responded by saying, “The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.” (Mark 12:29-30)

Before we get in to the Oneness doctrine, let’s begin with what the Bible tells us about the nature of God. God is a spirit (Jn. 4:24), invisible (Co. 1:15), omnipresent (Ps 139:7-13), omniscient (Job 42:2), omnipotent (Re. 19:6), eternal (De. 33:27), unchanging (Mal. 3:6), has a will (Ro. 9:19) and reason (Is. 1:18). His characteristics include love (1 Jn. 4:8), light (1 Jn. 1:5), holiness (1 Pe. 1:16), mercy (Ps. 103:8), gentleness (Ps. 18:35), righteousness (Ps. 129:4), goodness (Ro. 2:4), perfection (Mk. 5:48), justice (Is. 45:21), faithfulness (1 Co. 10:13), truth (De. 32:4), and grace (Ps. 103:8)*.

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.”

- 1 Timothy 3:16

This is the foundation of the Oneness belief: at the moment of Immaculate Conception, all of the substance of God was poured into a body. The eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, unchanging, invisible spirit of God and all of His character, personality, identity, and nature were wrapped in flesh and blood, in order to become our sacrifice and to help us to know Him better. Since God is an eternal and omnipresent spirit, He did not forsake his omnipresence when He manifested. Eternal omnipresence is, by definition, something that cannot be given up. He instead remained in Heaven and throughout all space and time while also going to a specific time and place in flesh. To put it another way, He remained where He was, but also went where He was going, at the same time. Jesus is not a lesser god, a demigod, or a replication or clone of God, but all of God is both in Heaven and in the flesh of Jesus.

For proof of this claim that Jesus is God incarnate, the Bible states that Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15), omnipotent, or almighty (Re. 1:8), eternal (Re. 1:8, 22:13), omnipresent (Mt. 18:20), omniscient (Jn. 21:17), unchanging (He. 13:8), a spirit (2 Co. 3:17), and has a will (Lu. 22:42) and reason (Mt. 22:15-46 show his astonishing reason), is love (Ep. 5:25), light (Jn. 1:3-9), holiness (Lu. 1:35), mercy (He. 2:17), gentleness (1 Co. 10:1), righteousness (2 Ti. 4:8), goodness (Ja. 1:17 + Ac. 1:11, Mt. 19:16), perfection (Ep. 4:13), justice (Ac 3:14), faithfulness (Re. 19:11), truth (Jn. 14:6), and grace (Jn. 1:15-17)*. Every aspect of the nature of God is shown in the man, Christ Jesus.

For further support, both Jehovah in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament share the titles Creator (Is. 45:8, Col. 1:16), Redeemer (Is. 54:5, Gal. 3:13), King of Israel (Is. 44:6, Jn. 1:49), Lion of Judah (Ho. 5:14, Re. 5:5), Savior (Is. 43:11, Tts. 2:13), Judge (Is. 33:22, Ac. 10:42), Shepherd (Ps. 23:1, He. 13:20), Light (Ps. 27:1, Jn. 8:12), Salvation (Is. 12:2, Ac. 4:12), Holy One (Is. 12:6, Ac. 2:27),

the Rock (Ps. 18:2, 1 Co. 10:4), Lord of Lords (Ps. 136:3, Re. 19:16), Almighty (Ge. 17:1, Re. 1:8), the I AM (Ex. 3:14, Jn. 8:24, 58), God (Ge. 35:11, Re. 4:8)*, The Father (Mt. 6:14, Is. 9:6), Elohiym (Lu. 7:22 applies Is. 35:4-6 to Jesus), and Jehovah (Mt. 3:3 quotes Isaiah 40:3).

There are manuscripts of the Old Testament that were translated to Greek in the 2nd to 3rd century B.C. which always translate the Hebrew “YHWH”, the sacred name of God, as the Greek word “Kyrios,” meaning “LORD.” This translation in the Old Testament occurs over 6,000 times. The same Greek title “Kyrios” is used 748 times in the New Testament, the vast majority of which are directly attributed to Jesus. The authors of the New Testament knew “Kyrios” was the Greek name for God, and this title was used by the Apostles, Paul, and even Jesus’ earthly brother James.

The compound names of Jehovah are also all fulfilled in Jesus:

Jehovah-jireh (provider) – He. 10:10-12 (Jesus provides our sacrifice)

Jehovah-nissi (victory) – 1 Co. 15:57

Jehovah-shalom (peace) – Jn. 14:27

Jehovah-shammah (present) – Mt. 28:20

Jehovah-rapha (healer) – Ja. 5:14-15

Jehovah-tsidkenu (righteousness) – 1 Co. 1:30

Jehovah-m’kaddesh (sanctifier) – Ep. 5:26

Jehovah-sabaoth (Lord of Hosts) – Ja. 5:4-7

Jehovah-elyon (Most High) – Lu. 1:78

Jehovah-raah (Shepherd) – Jn. 10:11

Jehovah-hoseenu (Maker) – Jn. 1:3*

Jesus not only fulfilled all of the Old Testament titles of God, but His very Name, Jesus (meaning “Jehovah saves”), contains them all, because Jesus would have to be all of them in order to be able to save mankind. Jesus is the last name given for God and it is the completion of the story of the progressive revelation of His nature through his names. In the name “Jesus,” He has told us of His

Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, return in Spirit on Pentecost, return in flesh at the End of Days, and forgiveness of our sin at the Throne of Judgment. In Jesus, the story of man’s salvation has been completed, and the book is closed.

We now see that Jesus fulfills the description of God, the nature of God, and the names of God. Jesus is all the fullness of God in the flesh.

This means that Jesus had a unique dual-nature, unlike any other man. His flesh is man, but His Spirit is God. In the flesh, Jesus was born, hungered, thirst, prayed, was a servant, buckled under the weight of the cross, and died. In His Spirit, He is the Alpha and Omega, able to feed the five thousand and walk on water, the God who answers prayer, the King of Kings, the Almighty, and the Resurrection and the Life.

The Trinitarian doctrine is full of contradictions. God is one (De. 6:4) and three (no scripture). Jesus is supposed to be a member of the Godhead (no scripture), but the Bible says the Godhead is in Jesus (Col. 2:9). The Son’s Father is the Father (1 John 1:3), but also the Spirit (Mt. 1:18). God is supposed to be three equal persons (no scripture), but the Bible says they are not equal** (Jn. 14:28, Lu. 12:10). Jesus taught us to pray to the Father (Mt. 6:9), but Stephen prayed to Jesus (Ac. 7:59-60). The Father, the Spirit, and Jesus all dwell in the Christian’s heart (Jn. 14:17, 23, Ro. 8:9, Ep. 3:14-17), but there is only one Spirit (Ep. 4:4). The Father (Ep. 1:20), Spirit (Ro. 8:11), and Jesus Himself (Jn. 2:19-21) all raised Jesus from the dead, but he only has one body*. Even the followers of its doctrine call it a “mystery.” However, Ephesians 3:3-5 tells us that the mystery of Christ has been made known to the Apostles by the Spirit, the same Spirit we have. It is not sufficient to excuse these obvious contradictions with the statement that the trinity is a mystery, because the mystery has been revealed. Also, a mystery, by definition, must have an answer. The trinity is not a mystery. However, if we must say that the trinity is a mystery, then Oneness is the answer.

In conclusion, we will discuss a few Scriptures that are thought to enforce the idea of a trinity. First, the introductions to many of the Epistles include phrases like “our Father God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” In these cases, the word translated as “and” is the Greek word “kai.” “Kai” can mean “and,” but has many other English translations that are just as accurate, including “even.” With that knowledge, we see that it would be just as accurate to translate those lines as “our Father God, even the Lord Jesus Christ.” Clearly, this translation points to Oneness, and it is just as accurate as the translation we normally see.

We all know the Three Witnesses, in 1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” Let’s ask a couple of quick questions. To who are they witnesses? They are witnesses to mankind. Of whom do they witness? They are witnesses of God. Now, these three are witnesses of God to mankind. This is not a statement of three gods, but a beautiful description of how God has manifested Himself to man, and these three witnesses to man, or three manifestations, are one God.

Lastly, we will discuss the Word of John 1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (v. 1). “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” The word translated as “Word” is the Greek “Logos.” “Logos” can mean many things, one of which is “plan.” Now, let’s review this alternate translation. “In the beginning was the plan…” What was the plan? Revelation 13:8 states that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. The plan was for salvation! “And the plan was with God…” As He breathed life in to man, He knew He would take his last breath on the Cross. As he guided mankind throughout the ages, the idea that this would cost His life was always with Him. “And the plan was God.” How can God’s plan be God?

Let me give a sports analogy to answer that question. If the Indianapolis Colts are down four points with two minutes to go, what is their plan? Their plan is Peyton Manning, because he’s the one best qualified, and most likely to

succeed. In the 90’s, the Chicago Bulls always had a plan: Michael Jordan. They knew he’d get the job done. The whole idea is to take the most able, most skilled, most likely to succeed, and let him go do it.

In the same line of thought, God told us that there is none like Him, none beside Him, and none before Him. When God’s plan required a perfect man, He knew no man could do it, so God’s plan was to do it Himself. God’s plan was God. God didn’t require someone else to do His work for Him. He didn’t then, and he does not now.

Still today, God’s plan is not a man to work on His behalf. His plan is not a doctor when you are sick or a rich man when you’re poor. God’s plan to fix every situation in your life is still the same. HE will heal you. HE will bless you. HE will comfort you. God’s plan always has been and always will be the same. God’s plan is God.

In John 1:14, it states this same “logos,” this plan, God Himself, was made flesh and dwelt among us. This was always His ultimate plan – to be with us, and to make a way for us to be with Him.

*See The Oneness of God, by David K. Bernard

**Jesus is a less glorious manifestation of God, because the flesh is not as glorious as the Spirit.

 
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