David Lamb Ministries

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lesson 4 - The Son In Oneness Theology

In this lesson, I would like to deal with what I consider the Oneness people’s weakest and most absurd doctrinal point: their doctrine on the sonship of Jesus Christ. I want to give you an overview of what they believe and why it is fallacious. If you are interested in a more exhaustive study, you can purchase my book which contains at least 50-60% more material than what you’re hearing in these audio lessons.

I. The Hypostatic Union In Oneness Theology.

I don’t want to bog you down with theological semantics, but the term “hypostatic union” is very important. I think everyone should know what it means. The hypostatic union is the union of Jesus Christ’s divine nature and human nature. Jesus is unique in that He was/is both God and man. The following are a couple verses that adequately prove that Jesus is God.

Mt 1:23 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.

Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

So, as you can see, the Bible calls Jesus “God” in no uncertain terms. It also tells us that He was/is a real and proper man just like each of us.

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

So, Jesus is both God and man: He is the God-man.

The Oneness adherents will tell you that they, too, believe Jesus was both God and man, but what they mean by that and what the Trinitarian means by that are very different.

Trinitarians believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God; that He has always been the Son of God; that there has never been a time that He was not the Son of God, but the Oneness people do not believe this. They believe He did not exist until He was born in Bethlehem in approximately 4 B.C. They believe that before His birth, there had never been a Son of God; that there was only the Father whose name was Jesus. They believe any Biblical reference that seems to suggest that the Son pre-existed His birth in Bethlehem is simply a reference to the idea of His birth that existed in the mind of the Father; that the Son existed in the mind of God as a mere concept and nothing more than a concept.

Trinitarians believe that Jesus, the Son of God, left His position in heaven where He had been for all of eternity past, came to earth via the womb of the virgin Mary, became a real and proper man, and joined His divine nature to a human nature, thus existing with a dual nature. The Oneness people do not believe this. They believe Jesus, as the Son of God, was nothing more than a man–a perfect and immaculately conceived man, but a man just like you and me nonetheless.

Trinitarians believe the Son is God, the second person of the godhead, thus being co-equal with the Father and Holy Ghost. The Jesus Only believers fervently deny the divinity of the Son saying that He is not and never has been and never will be God. I repeat: they believe He was simply the human body the Father came down and dwelt inside of.

Let me put this another way. Trinitarians believe that where you and I exist with a single human nature and are consequently only one person or being; Jesus exists with two natures (divine and human), yet is still only one person or being. We believe that Jesus was Jesus and only Jesus and He alone was master of both of His natures. The Jesus Only adherents on the other hand believe that the Son was the human nature of Jesus, but GOD THE FATHER was the divine nature of Jesus. So, the Jesus Only adherents believe it was God the Father that was incarnate in the Son; the Trinitarian believes it was God the Son who was made flesh and dwelt among us!

To further substantiate that this is the Oneness position, I’d like to look at the writings of a couple of well-known Oneness writers.

David Bernard said: “We do not believe that the Father is the Son, [but] we do believe that the Father is in the Son (John 14:10). Since Jesus is the name of the Son of God, both as to His deity as Father and as to His humanity as Son, it is the name of both the Father and the Son.” (A Review of E. Calvin Beisner’s “Jesus Only Churches”). Ken Raggio said, “Jesus Christ is not the second member of the Godhead. He is the man in whom the Father dwelt. This is what the Oneness of God refers to. The Spirit (Father) in the Body (Christ).”

So, as crazy as it sounds, the Oneness people teach that Jesus was the Father who became His own Son! That Jesus was SIMULTANEOUSLY the Father who sent the Son and the Son who was sent by the Father. That Jesus was SIMULTANEOUSLY the Son who prayed to and heard the Father and the Father who heard and answered the Son.

I know that this is hard to believe, but in the Oneness doctrine on the Son-ship of Christ there be a sense in which Jesus is not Jesus. Think about it! If they believe that Jesus the Father is not the same person or being as Jesus the Son, this can mean nothing else than the Jesus of Oneness theology is actually two persons rolled up into one (Father and Son). Their Jesus has a split personality. Their Jesus is a true blue bonafide schizophrenic. This is one of the main reasons I have said that the Jesus of Oneness theology is, as Paul put it, “another” Jesus. Their Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible. It’s no wonder they say we have to have a special “revelation” to understand their doctrine!

I know that this can be somewhat confusing. The reason is the Jesus Only people try very hard to sound orthodox. They use the same theological terms and semantics as we do. The problem is they make up their own definitions to these words and phrases in order to get them to fit their heretical positions. Brothers and sisters, you can’t go by what they “say” they believe; you have to pull the cover back to find out what they “really” believe. They hate it when you do that, but don’t allow them to intimidate you. Call their hand every time you hear them propagate a heresy. Call their hand every time you hear them contradict themselves.

This is what I mean: the Oneness people continually say they are Oneness, but they aren’t really Oneness at all, they are Arian, simply the opposite side of it. In both the Arian and Oneness belief systems, the Father and Son are separate entities. The only real differences are that the Father indwells the Son in Oneness theology, but does not in Arian theology. Another difference being that the Arian Son is more highly exalted than the Oneness Son because the Arians believe the Son is God. Another major difference is the Arians have settled the Son on the right hand side of the Father throughout the future ages, whereas the Oneness people don’t know what to do with Him. They don’t know if He’s walking around in heaven like everyone else, or whether He’s disappeared into the Father, or become one with the Father.

II. Biblical Evidence Refuting the Oneness Position On the Son.

At this time, I want to take the Word of God and show you how easily the Oneness view of the Son can be refuted.

Question number one:

A. Did the Son Exist Before His Birth In Bethlehem?

The Oneness view states that the Son did not pre-exist His natural birth in Bethlehem. The Trinitarian believes He has always existed, even as the Father and Holy Ghost. What does the Bible say about it?

1. The Old Testament.

If the Son is God, and has always been God, I think it is reasonable to expect the Old Testament to contain some references to Him. Let us look and see if the Son is mentioned in the Old Testament:

Mic 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, FROM EVERLASTING. (emphasis added)

This is a Messianic prophecy that demonstrates that the Son is eternal! It says He is from of old, from everlasting!

Here is another wonderful passage of Scripture:

Pr 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and WHAT IS HIS SON'S NAME, if thou canst tell? (emphasis added)

This is very clear! God is not only described as being the Sovereign of the universe, but, as we expected, He is also said to have a Son!

Here is another verse:

Ps 2:12 KISS THE SON, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (emphasis added)

Perhaps you’re thinking, “This could be referring to any son! What son are we supposed to kiss?” If you read the entire second chapter of the book of Psalms, you will discover it is a Messianic prophecy dealing specifically with Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 13:33)! And just one glance at verse 7 in particular should eliminate any doubt whatsoever.

Ps 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, THOU ART MY SON; this day have I begotten thee. (emphasis added)

Who is God’s only begotten Son?

Joh 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.

Jesus, the Son of God, is the Son we are to kiss!

2. The New Testament.

Hebrews 1:8 is my favorite verse to demonstrate the divinity of the Son of God. It is a fascinating interpretation of Psalms 45:6.

Heb 1:8 But UNTO THE SON he saith, Thy throne, O GOD, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (emphasis added)

The writer of Hebrews, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, understood Psalms 45:6 to be an address from God to another whom He called His Son! Not only did the Bible call Him “the Son”, I want to draw your attention to the fact the Father called the Son “God” and, considering the Father knows a “little” more about the Son than you and I, we should have no problem calling the Son “God”, too! I can assure you that the Father wouldn’t have ascribed divinity to the Son if the Son wasn’t divine! Is it possible that the Jesus Only adherents have been given a revelation that the Father Himself has not been given? I think we all know the answer to that!

Another thing I want you to notice about Hebrews 1:8 is the Son’s throne is said to be eternal! And this is not the only place the Son is said to be eternal, for example:

Joh 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

Dear listeners, the Son is eternal, and only God is eternal!

There are a host of other verses demonstrating the Son’s pre-existence. For example:

Joh 6:38 For I CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (emphasis added)

Joh 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where HE WAS BEFORE? (emphasis added)

Ro 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Please notice that God is said to have sent His Son, not become the Son. In order for God to have sent the Son, the Son must have pre-existed! The phrase “in the likeness of sinful flesh” indicates He previously existed in a form that was not fleshly. You can also examine St. John 13:3 and 17:5.

Here is another beautiful verse:

1Jo 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

If the Son is merely the human nature of Jesus, why did John say (in the present tense) that he was abiding in God’s “Son, Jesus Christ ... the true God”? Why are the Father and Son recognized as two distinct persons, even after Christ’s resurrection and ascension? I find it strange, considering the book of 1 John was written no earlier than 68 A.D. (over thirty years after the resurrection), that John (a supposed Modalist) would continue calling Jesus “the Son”! And this wasn’t an isolated event, John was continuously calling the resurrected Jesus “the Son”. For instance:

1Jo 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

2Jo 1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

These are very strange verses if Jesus is indeed the Father Himself.

Let’s look at another question.

B. Is the Son Divine or a Mere Human the Father Dwelt In?

The Oneness position states that the Son is not God; that He is merely the human man the Father dwelt in. The Trinitarians teach that the Son is God and has always been God. What does the Bible say?

1. The Father Called the Son “God”.

Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

This passage is crystal clear. The Father called the Son “God” and refers to Him as being eternal. If the Father calls the Son “God”, the Son is God.

2. The Son is the “Mighty God”.

The next verse I want to share with you is atomic in its doctrinal influence.

Isa 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. (emphasis added)

Please take note that Isaiah said the Messiah would be child, son, and God simultaneously!

I also think the order in which the words child and son were written is very significant. As a child He was born, but as the eternal Son He was given (Joh 3:16)! If the words child and son had of been reversed, the Oneness view on the Son would have a little more credence, but it just so happens that God is a Trinitarian, and, therefore, dictated Isaiah 9:6 perfectly! Thus showing that the eternal Son of God is The everlasting Father and The mighty God!

3. The Son Forgave Sins.

Lu 5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? WHO CAN FORGIVE SINS, BUT GOD ALONE?
22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?
23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
24 But that ye may know that the SON OF MAN HATH POWER UPON EARTH TO FORGIVE SINS, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
25 And immediately he rose up... (emphasis added)

I don’t know if a clearer passage demonstrating the divinity of the Son exists! The question was, “Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” The answer? No one! Therefore the Son of Man is more than a human nature, He is very God of very God seeing that He has the power to forgive sins!

4. The Son of Man Is God In the Book of Revelation.

Please, read Revelation 1:13-19 and Revelation 14:14. These verses are describing Jesus Christ in His post-ascension state, yet He is called “the Son of God” (Re 2:18). What makes this passage so troublesome for the Oneness people is the Son is obviously divine! Revelation 1:17 establishes this by saying the Son of man is the “first and last”! In fact, the first three chapters of Revelation is nothing more than the Son of God in His glorified state, walking amongst, and ministering to, the seven churches in Asia. I would like to remind you again that David Bernard said: “The Father is not the Son.” So, by their own admission, the first three chapters of Revelation are not describing God the Father! This passage clearly shows the Son being is a distinct, self-aware person, possessing ego, intellect, and personality, and most importantly divinity! Seeing the Son of Man walking amongst the seven churches of Asia should make it obvious that the Son of God is more than the human nature of Jesus Christ!

5. The Son is Equal to the Father.

Let us use one of the Oneness people’s favorite verses against them. Let’s read:

Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
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 thyself God.

The Oneness people use verse 30 to “prove” that Jesus is the Father, but unknowingly contradict themselves by doing so.

The statement, “I and my Father” is a relational term. Jesus is obviously speaking as the Son, and as the Son, says He is equal with the Father. If the Son is nothing more than the humanity of Jesus, this passage would be implying that humanity could possibly share equality with divinity which is impossible. The Son is equal to the Father because Jesus’ designation as “the Son” refers to the totality of His person, not just His humanity.

6. The Son of Man Is Omnipresent.

Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the SON OF MAN which is in heaven. (emphasis added)

The Oneness people say the Son, the human nature of Jesus, was not divine, yet in this passage we discover that the Son of man is omnipresent. This could not be possible except the Son is God! This is very important because it shows the title or name “Son of man” is not restricted to His humanity! It shows us that “Son” is another term used for the very same Christ we know to be the second person of the Godhead.

7. God the Son.

The question is often asked, “If Jesus is God, why didn’t the Bible call Him God the Son, rather than the Son of God?” That’s a good question and I think it would be good for us to answer it. According to W. H. Wyatt in his booklet Jawbreakers For Jesus Onlys, the Bible does call Jesus “God the Son”. Here is a quote from that book:

“In John 3:17 the Bible says: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ Let us look at the original words in the Greek, ‘For sent Theos (God) ton (the) uion (Son) of Him into the world.’

So here we have it that God the Son was sent into the world. The translators of the King James changed this to please their idea of English grammar. Well here in John 3:17 ‘Theos ton uion’ is clearly GOD THE SON, let us accept that He has been identified as God in His own right.”

Even if Wyatt’s translation were to be inaccurate, it is still hypocritical for a Oneness adherent to say “God the Son” is un-Biblical. They call the Father “God the Father” even though He is supposed to be nothing more than a manifestation; why are we forbidden to call the “manifestation” of the Son “God the Son”? What’s good for the goose, should be good for the gander!

8. The Son as Creator.

Please, read Colossians 1:13-17. This passage tells us so much about the Son I don’t know where to start! First of all, the Son has a kingdom. Secondly, we obtain redemption through His blood. Thirdly, He is creator of all things. Fourthly, He pre-existed the incarnation. And lastly, the Son is still maintaining all things! How could the Son be creator of all things if He were only an idea before the incarnation? Do I need to remind you of St. John 1:1-3?

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were MADE BY HIM; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (emphasis added)

Paul said the Son is creator and John said the creator is God. We must, therefore, conclude the Son is God!

9. Jesus Is Called “Kurios” (Jehovah).

The name “Jehovah” was the unutterable name of God among the Hebrews. The Jews never pronounced it, they esteemed it to be too holy to speak. When reading, they used the words Adonai, Lord, Elohim, or simply God for a substitution!

In the New Testament Jesus is called “Lord” many times. Here is an example:

Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

In this verse, the word Lord is translated from the Greek word kurios which means “supreme master”, or “supreme in authority”. Kurios is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament name “Jehovah” or “LORD”. The importance of this is the disciples and early Church knew kurios was the name of God and did not hesitate to declare Jesus, as the Son, to be kurios (Jehovah or Lord). And it speaks volumes to illustrate the fact that Jesus accepted this confession of faith offered by Thomas. If Jesus were anyone other than Jehovah this would have been wickedly blasphemous!

I think Revelation 1:8, which is a description of the Son, pretty much settles the matter for us:

Re 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, THE ALMIGHTY. (emphasis added)

Here, the word Almighty means “the all-ruling; God (as absolute and universal sovereign): Omnipotent”. The Holy Ghost, through the Apostle John, tells us that Jesus is the “Almighty”- He is very God of very God! And just a quick glance at Revelation 2:18 shows that it is the Son of God who is the Almighty!

My next question is:

C. Are Jesus and the Son the Same In Every Way?

The Oneness people don’t believe so. They believe Jesus is both the Father and Son simultaneously. But I declare:

1. Jesus and the Son are the Same in Every Way.

The Oneness people love to juggle the words person and nature up when dealing with Jesus (the Father) and the Jesus (the Son). What point of heresy they are trying to prove will determine which word they use. And what I mean by that is if they are on the defensive for being called “Jesus Only” they’ll say the Father and Son are not the same person. If they are trying to keep from sounding Arian, they’ll say the Father and Son are not two persons, rather the two natures of Jesus. The Trinitarian keeps it simple. They emphatically state that the Father and Son are two distinct persons; that there is no sense in which Jesus and the Father are the same person; and that Jesus and the Son are the same in every respect; that there is no sense in which Jesus and the Son are not the same person. We believe there is no such thing as Jesus THE FATHER; Jesus is Jesus the Son in every respect. But what does the Bible say?

Consider this: the Bible speaks of Jesus being on the right hand of the Father several times. By cross-referencing some of these instances, we will find a profound truth emerge! Acts 7:56 and Mark 14:61-62 say it is the “Son of man” who is on the right hand side of the Father; Mark 16:19 says it is the “LORD”; Hebrews 8:1 says it is our “High Priest”; and Hebrews 12:2 says it is “Jesus” that sits at the right hand of the Father and will one day be seen coming in the clouds of heaven. Clearly, the names “the Son of Man”, “Lord” (which is another name for Jehovah), “Jesus”, and “High Priest” are interchangeable and represent the same person!

Acts 20:28 tells us “God” purchased the church of God with His own blood. Hebrews 10:29 tells us that this blood covenant was given to us by “the Son of God”. 1 John 1:7 tells us that it is the blood of “Jesus Christ” the Son of God that cleanses us from all sin. John 6:53 tells us this same blood belongs to the “Son of man”. Romans 3:24-25 tells us this same blood belongs to “Christ Jesus”. Hebrews 9:14 tells us it is the blood of “Christ” that purges our conscience from dead works. Then in Revelation 5:9 we are told that it is the blood of “the Lamb” that has redeemed us! Clearly, “the Son of God”, “the Son of Man”, “Christ Jesus”, “Christ”, and “the Lamb” are interchangeable, they all represent the very same person: Jesus Christ, who, according to Acts 20:28, is God!

2. The Father Is Not Jesus.

David Bernard was correct when he said the Father is not the Son, but he deviated far from the truth when he said the Father is Jesus. There is not one reference in the New Testament to Jesus being the Father, yet He is called “the Son” over two-hundred times! Furthermore, at least two-hundred times in the New Testament, the Father is referred to as distinct from Jesus. And over fifty times, Jesus and the Father are combined within the very same verse!

Perhaps someone can tell me why it is that when the Father and Jesus are being distinguished, the distinction is always between the Father and the Son, and never between Jesus and the Son? Why doesn’t the Bible have Jesus refer to “my Son” as He does “my Father”? At least 179 times Jesus refers to “the Father”, “my Father”, “your Father”, or “our Father”, but not once did He refer to Himself as “my Son”! He mentions Himself being sent by the Father at least forty times in the Gospel of John alone, but not once does He refer to Himself as the Father Who sent the Son.

I would like to ask our Oneness friends why there is such a staggering amount of evidence showing Jesus to be the Son of God, and being distinct from the Father, if in fact the Bible also wants to teach us that Jesus, in some enigmatic way, is Himself the Father? It seems strange that the Bible would be so clear on the first point and yet so silent on the second! The plain and obvious truth being taught here is Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second member of the holy Trinity; He is not God the Father.

Brothers and Sisters, there is no sense in which the Son of God and Jesus are not the very same person!

The Oneness people don’t have a logical way of explaining this anomaly. I don’t mean they won’t try to answer it; I’m just saying that even after they have repeated their “pre-packaged” responses, they never erase the question marks from the minds of the honest hearted–the anomaly remains.

3. The Father and Son Are Not the Two Natures of Jesus.

I want to further elaborate on the Oneness teaching that the Father and Son are the two natures or persons of Jesus. Does the Bible really teach that the Father is the divinity of Jesus Christ?

The answer is simply this: no! There is not one passage of Scripture that even remotely implies that the Father is the divine nature of Jesus. This is nothing more than a doctrine created out of necessity. It was invented somewhere around the year 200 A.D. by that devilish Praxeas who was trying to prop up his many fallacious ideas on the godhead. It is the Oneness people’s way of explaining the obvious plurality of persons in the godhead without incriminating themselves. Don’t forgot that the doctrine was abandoned for nearly fourteen hundred years until it was revived by the warlock Emanuel Swedenborg (1668-1772 A.D.).

Let us look at a very interesting passage of Scripture:

Joh 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.

Believe it or not, they will say this was the two natures of Jesus conversing! Please, look at verse 30 again. If that were merely two natures speaking to each other, Jesus could not have been any more deceptive! He would have been nothing more than a cruel hearted ventriloquist! For Him to have thrown His voice and then act like it came from another source would have been nothing less than an outright lie!

Let me give you another example. When Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Trinitarian believes He was praying to the Father who was in heaven. The Jesus Only people say it was Jesus the Son praying to and struggling with Jesus the Father. You heard right! They basically believe the left side of Jesus was praying to the right side of Jesus! And man, oh man, will they ever get angry if you tell them that, but that is exactly the picture they are painting!

The bottom line is in order for them to hold to the idea that there is only one person in the Godhead, they have to take the first and second persons of the Trinity and make them the two natures of the one Christ. They then have to contradict themselves by giving the two natures personality, mental capacity, and emotion! In the end, when the verdict is read, they truly believe Jesus Christ was two separate beings or persons. So, I repeat, the Oneness people aren’t Oneness at all, they are two-ness! They are Arian! And their Jesus is a split personalitied schizophrenic! And by no means the Jesus of the holy Bible.

4. The Mutual Indwelling of the Father and Son.

Don’t forget that David Bernard said: “We do not believe that the Father is the Son, [but] we do believe that the Father is in the Son (John 14:10). Since Jesus is the name of the Son of God, both as to His deity as Father and as to His humanity as Son, it is the name of both the Father and the Son.” And also that Ken Raggio said, “Jesus Christ is not the second member of the Godhead. He is the man in whom the Father dwelt. This is what the Oneness of God refers to. The Spirit (Father) in the Body (Christ).”

Let’s examine the passage of Scripture David Bernard referred to.

Joh 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.

Oneness adherents use the statement, "the Father that dwelleth in me" to teach that God the Father was incarnate in the human body of the Son, thus making Jesus the Father! They conveniently forget to explain the first part of that verse which states, "I am in the Father". If we apply the Oneness people’s method of interpretation to this statement, we have to conclude that the human Son was indwelling the divine spirit Father, making the divine Father mere human, which is the very opposite of what they teach!

Another thing is, how do the Oneness people explain the fact that Jesus uses this same expression to describe His unity with believers? In John 14:20 He said, "In that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you." If we apply the Oneness people’s method of interpretation to this passage, you and I would be Jesus incarnate!

The bottom-line is this: indwelling does not mean identity! The demoniac “Legion” was indwelt by thousands of demons, but no one supposes that he was literally a demon incarnate (Lu 8:30). Christians are indwelt by the Holy Ghost (1Co 6:19), but no one supposes we are the Holy Ghost incarnate! And the same principle holds true when we are dealing with the mutual indwelling of the Father and Son. The Father indwelling the Son does not make Jesus the Father, nor does the Son indwelling the Father make the Father the Son. The doctrine of the Trinity states that the Father and Son are ontologically one, therefore they do indeed indwell one another, but their distinctions are not erased.

5. There Is Life In the Son.

I had a Oneness preacher try to “enlighten” me on the difference between the Son and Jesus. His argument stemmed from the “supposed” fact that the Son is never said to have given anyone life. He said that only Jesus is said to give the believer life. The following passage silenced him:

1Jo 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

These verses do not portray the Son as a mere human nature. A mere human nature cannot grant eternal life. The Son must be much more than just the human nature of Christ, He is God!

6. Who’s Who?

I would like to know how the Oneness people determine when the Father is speaking and when the Son is speaking? How do they know who’s talking if the Father and Son are alternately taking over the conversation in every other verse? Of course, this is no dilemma for us Trinitarians because we know the Father and Son are two distinct persons, but how does a Oneness adherent determine who’s who when Jesus Christ is speaking? Let me show you what I’m talking about. Tell me, who’s speaking in this next passage?

Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Is this the divinity of Christ (the Father) or the humanity of Christ (the
Son) speaking? Well, how about this next passage of Scripture?

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Is this the divinity of Christ (the Father) or the humanity of Christ (the Son) speaking? Verse 29 gives us the answer:

Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

The words “My Father” reveal that it is the Son speaking, not the Father! There is no way a Oneness adherent can honestly say they can determine which nature of Christ is speaking in these verses.

Brothers and Sisters! Rest assured, God hasn’t left us with such an impossible assignment! This dilemma that the Oneness people have concocted only exists in their system of theology. You can know of a certainly that every thing that proceeds from the mouth of Jesus is the Son of God speaking! It is never the Father using the body of Jesus as a ventriloquist would use a dummy! The Father is the Father and Jesus is the Son! And the Son is obviously more than the human nature of Jesus! He is God!

7. The Second Person of the Godhead..

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

If the Son was nothing more than the humanity of Jesus, why is He listed with the Father and Holy Ghost, who are irrefutably divine? Why would we be commanded to be baptized into a mere human nature? And to all of you Oneness people that say Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are merely titles of Jehovah: I didn’t think you believed the Father and Son were the same person? Are you telling me “Son” is a title of Jehovah? That contradicts your little system of theology doesn’t?

8. Who Died On the Cross At Calvary?

In light of Oneness teachings, I want to look at some verses that pertain to the crucifixion of Christ. I believe this subject perfectly demonstrates the foolishness of Oneness theology and contains absolute irrefutable evidence of the divinity of the Son!

From the cross, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” I would like to ask our Oneness friends: Who is speaking here? Is it Jesus the Son or Jesus the Father? Well, the vast majority of Oneness people I have met believe this is Jesus the Son, praying to Jesus the Father, asking Jesus the Father why He had forsaken Jesus the Son! Some will say the divinity of Jesus (the Father) forsook the humanity of Jesus (the Son) because divinity cannot die.

It is true that divinity cannot die, but having the divinity of Jesus (the Father) take flight, leaving only the humanity of Jesus (the Son) to die, presents the Oneness people with an even greater problem than any we have seen thus far. If the divinity of Jesus (the Father) forsook the humanity of Jesus (the Son) while hanging on the cross, Jesus was no longer the Word made flesh–He was no longer God incarnate. He was nothing more than a mortal man when He died and, therefore, could not and did not save us!

Furthermore, if the Father left the body of the Son, and the Son was still talking to the Father, we have irrefutable evidence of two distinct persons (not natures) represented! This is infinitely worse than anything they accuse us Trinitarians of doing! We believe the Son is divine, they do not! They have a Jesus that is nothing more than a man!

Some Oneness adherents will say the Father only “appeared” to have forsaken the Son. If that is true, the world has never seen a more twisted hoax! And what does that say about the relationship that existed between Jesus’ two natures? How cruel for the divine nature of Jesus (the Father) to pretend to have taken flight while the man Jesus hung on the cross in terrible pain and agony!

Finally, I want to look at a few verses in 1 John that clearly show who died on the cross at Calvary.

1Jo 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son INTO THE WORLD, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1Jo 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

These verses tell us that the Father sent the Son into the world to be the Savior of the world. Please note that He did not create the Son, nor incarnate the Son–He simply sent the Son. For the Son to have been sent into the world denotes pre-existence and clearly demonstrates that it was the Son who died for us–not the Father. This is not that hard to understand! Jesus, God the Son, came to earth and took on a human nature in addition to His divine nature. God the Son was both God and man simultaneously! As God He could not die, but as a man He could and did. There is no reason to try and make the Father the divine nature of Jesus. God the Son was the divine nature of Jesus and God the Son was the human nature of Jesus. The Son’s death was sufficient to save humanity because the Son (the Lord Jesus) is divine!

10. Where Is the Son Now?

If you want to see a Jesus Only adherent squirm, ask them where the Son is today. If they say He is on the throne, ask them if He is still the human nature of Jesus. Ask them if the Father and Son still talk to each other. Ask them if the Father and Son still love each other. Ask them if the Son still prays to the Father. Do they both still have intellect, ego, emotion, will, etcetera, etcetera, or has the Son disappeared into the Father altogether? Because where the Son must recede into something less than God in Arianism; I am afraid He must dissipate, dissolve, or disappear entirely into God as one of His modes or manifestations in Modalism! If they say He disappeared into the Father, ask them why the Son of God is shown to walking amongst the seven churches in Asia in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Ask them why the Bible says He is our high priest and why He is said to be the one that will return for the church riding upon a cloud.

I asked this question to a preacher who has been in the Apostolic church for nearly thirty years. At first he said the Son was in heaven walking around like everyone else. I quickly pointed out the fact that that made the Father and Son two separate beings in heaven which is Arianism. He then said the Son more or less disappeared into the Father. I then asked Him about the many passages of Scripture that show the Son coming in the clouds of glory, or being our high priest, etc. In the end, He had to confess that his doctrine was Arian in nature and by no means Oneness. The facts of it are, Trinitarians are the monotheists, not the Jesus Only adherents.

In summary, the Son of God took on a human NATURE in addition to His divine nature! Jesus was not the FATHER in a human body! The divine nature of Jesus was “Jesus” and the human nature of Jesus was “Jesus”! The humanity of the God-man died as any other man would die, but He was the very same person that came down from heaven! He is the eternal Son of God! Today, He sits at the right hand of God the Father making intercession for the saints!

Contrary to Oneness theology, the Word of God was not written, nor did Jesus come to this earth to reveal that He was the Father! You may ask: Why then, did Jesus come? Why did God give us His precious Word? I’ll let the Word of God answer that question:

Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the SON OF GOD; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (emphasis added)

All things were given to us that we may know that Jesus is the Son ... not the Father!

In closing, I am sorry if it appears I am trying to beat a dead horse here. If it sounds like I am saying the same thing ten different ways, I am! It is my personal opinion that the Oneness concept of Christ’s two natures talking to each other is much more difficult to understand than the doctrine of the Trinity ever was! I just want to make sure that you understand what the Oneness doctrine is actually stating!

Copyright 2009 by David Lamb


  1. May God bless and keep you for having the boldness to come forth and rattle some chains, put some thought to the brain and teach the true word of God. Your message on the trinity and this blog is a true blessing to me!

  2. Hello,

    As a former AoG minister with the UPCI since 1993, I'd like to make a few comments. My time is limited, so I might have to do this in several posts over a period of days.

    First of all, I do not believe that God ever intended for there to be such a split between Trinity and Oneness Pentecostals. I am very vocal in my criticism of those Oneness Pentecostals who falsely accuse Trinitarians of being "Tr-theists". I am also critical of Trinitarians who misrepresent us. Both sides share the blame in this divide and both sides often mis-represent the others' views. Sadly, that is exactly what you have done in this article of yours. Let me give you some examples...

  3. Firstly, you stated....

    "I would like to ask the Jesus Only adherents a few questions."

    We are not "Jesus Only". We reject that title. The term was invented by our critics and was referring to the way we baptize, NOT our Godhead belief. You lose allot of credibility right from the start with such poor historical knowledge on the origins of the term "Jesus Only".

  4. Secondly, I'd like to correct you on a few more points...

    You said...

    "The Oneness system of Theology is the result of finite man trying to explain an infinite God! This is more outrageous than an earthworm trying to explain every minute detail of the anatomical structure of a human being! Three times the Bible tells us that “the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain” God, so why do they suppose their mortal minds can? It smacks of arrogance."

    Friend, you have described perfectly how we feel about your view of God. In our opinion, you are guilty of the very thing you accuse us of.

  5. Your arguments are straw men and do not represent true Oneness theology..

    "Their Jesus is not pre-existent."

    False. Jesus DID pre-exist in Oneness. Secondly, there are many Trinitarians who do not believe that Jesus was an "eternal Son" prior to the incarnation. Like them, we believe that Jesus pre-existed as the Word. I'll say more about that later.

  6. Quote:
    "He is not eternal"

    False. He is God. He was God before the incarnation took place. Therefore, he is eternal. His existence as Son was not eternal and had a beginning. And again, there are many Trnitarians who also teach his existence as Son had a beginning. These Trinitarians embrace the view of "Incarnational Sonship".

  7. Quote:
    "As the Son of God, their Jesus is not divine."

    False, and a rather ridiculous assertion on your part. He is divinity manifest in flesh (I Tim 3:16). But this does not mean that, at least prior to his glorification, his physical flesh was somehow divine. His flesh was no more divine than ours.

  8. Quote:
    "Their Jesus claims to be BOTH God the Father and God the Holy Ghost."

    This one is funny since we don't use Trinitarian jargon like God the Holy Ghost. There is not one verse in the Bible that uses the terms "God the Son" and "God the Holy Ghost". So how could we therefore teach that Jesus is either?

  9. Quote:
    "Their Jesus talks and prays to Himself.
    We teach Father and Son are distinct so the Son prays to the Father".

    No, we don't teach that Jesus talks and prays to himself. But we actually can make the same accusation of your belief of your view of God. The true doctrine of the Trinity teaches that God is one BEING, a HE. In your "HE", you believe that there are three "selves" and that these "selves" communicate with each other. Therefore, you also, if you want to make such arguments, have a God who prays to himself, sent himself, etc. This is a deep topic that will require more time to discuss.

  10. Quote:
    "Their Jesus stands and sits on, at, and by his own right hand!"

    This shows your fundamental misunderstanding of scriptures and the Hebraism "right hand" and it shows he misunderstands Oneness as if we deny Father and Son exist distinctly. The term "right hand" is a figure of speech and does not refer to a geographic location or physical positioning. In Revelation, John did not see more than one throne, nor did he see the Lamb sitting at the right side of the throne. He saw both God and the Lamb on the same throne. He saw the Lamb "appear" in the midst of the throne. In Rev 3, Jesus said he would sit on his Father's throne. There are even Trinitarian scholars who admit that the term 'right hand of God" is often misunderstood and is not referring to physical positioning

  11. Quote:
    "Their Jesus is different than the Trinitarian’s Jesus in many ways!"

    Our Son is different in that we deny He was merely a second of 3 persons. I believe both the Trinitarian and Oneness explanations fall short of explaining the unique existence of our mutual awesome God. I just happen to believe that the Oneness view is the better of the two, if correctly explained. So far, you have not explained it. (Continued)