Christian Monotheism (Oneness)

Christian Monotheism (Oneness)
Ralph Vincent Reynolds

I. There Is Only One God

A. Statement of Scripture

1. Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.”
2. Isaiah 44:8 “Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”
3. 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
4. James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

B. Statement of Truth

There is only one Supreme Being who is God; He cannot be multiplied nor pluralized.

C. Exposition of Truth

Possibly no other truth of Scripture receives more prominence than that of the Oneness of God. There are over fifty passages of Scripture that teach that God is one and that there is no other. The very meaning of the term “God” signifies the Supreme, Almighty One. There can be but one ultimate all-inclusive God. This is the great truth and message of the Old Testament, which is also substantiated in the New Testament. The truth taught in the Old Testament is never contradicted in the New Testament, but rather fulfilled.

A multiplication of Gods is a contradiction. He cannot be multiplied and He is indivisible. If there could be even two Gods, then there could be hundreds and thousands of gods. If there could be a second God, then Satan would not have fallen when he reached for equality with God. Likewise Adam and Eve would never have fallen when they exerted their own will in the act of disobedience. Although God is omniscient, there is one thing that He does not know. He does not know another God (Isaiah 44:8).

The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible. The doctrine called the Trinity was introduced by the Roman Catholic synod at the beginning of the third century at the Nicean Council in 325 A.D. The Athanasian Creed later made the Trinity a fundamental tenet. It kept company with other Roman Catholic tenets such as transubstantiation, indulgencies, “Mariolatry,” etc. Unfortunately, when
Protestants repudiated the above fallacies they held onto the error of the Trinity, maintaining a vital link with the false and unscriptural creeds of the Roman Catholic church.

The word “persons,” when used regarding the Godhead, does violence to the absolute Oneness of God. Dividing God into three persons makes three Gods, which is Tri-theism, regardless of how it may be argued otherwise. God is the “Three-in-One,” not the “One-in-Three.” The doctrine of the Trinity leads to much confusion and contradiction.

D. Application of Truth

Since our faith is built upon the foundation of our knowledge of God, and His revelation of Himself to us, it is evident that it is necessary to build upon the Oneness truth. The trinity doctrine, which is simply the tradition of man, will not stand in the Day of Judgment.

Another application is that, since the trinity teaching came from the Roman Catholic church, it can be expected that, as time passes, a line will be drawn more sharply between the Oneness church and the other Protestant groups which will gradually merge with the Roman Catholic church.

E. Definition of Terms

1. Trinity: A doctrine of the Roman Catholic church which has been accepted by most Protestant groups. It states that there is one God divided into three persons who are coequal and coeternal. This is a contradiction and of course an impossibility.
2. Synod: A church assembly of delegates to deal with church matters.
3. Transubstantiation: A doctrine of the Roman Catholic church teaching that the bread and the wine of the Lord’s Supper is the literal body and blood of Christ.
4. Indulgencies: An act of the Roman Catholic church whereby they claim to cancel the penalty for sin.
5. Mariolatry: The worship of Mary.

II. God Is Spirit

A. Statement of Scripture

1. John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
2. 1 Kings 8:27 “. . .behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee. . .”
3. Luke 24:39 “For a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
4. 1 Timothy 1:17 “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible. . . .”

B. Statement of Truth

God is Spirit and as such He has no physical limitations. He only may be seen in Jesus Christ.

C. Exposition of Truth

The Bible makes very clear that God is Spirit. It is only as He is Spirit that He can be omnipresent, everywhere present at the same time, filling the universe. The Samaritan woman asked, “Where is God to be found? On Mt. Zion or Mt. Gerizim?” To this question Jesus answered that God is not to be confined to any one place. God is everywhere; the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Him. This only can be if God be Spirit.

Since God is Spirit, He does not have any physical parts or bodily limitations. It is true that God is spoken of as having hands, feet, arms, eyes, and ears; and also, He sees, feels, walks, etc. Such expressions as relating to God are human expressions, used in order to bring the infinite within the comprehension of the finite. Only by means of human expressions can we understand God, the eternal Spirit.

However, God does have these physical parts in Christ Jesus. In Christ, God does have hands, feet, arms, etc. Nevertheless, it is necessary that we always remember that this is only true of God in Christ Jesus, God manifested in the flesh.

Since God is Spirit, He is invisible (Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17). No man has seen God at any time (John 1:18). For this reason images were forbidden. No one has seen God, and nothing on earth can resemble Him. However, God manifested Himself in flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). Jesus Christ is the express image of his person (Hebrews 1:3). As such, God may be seen in Jesus Christ. In fact, the only way that man can see God is to see Him in Christ Jesus.

D. Application of Truth

The most important fact here is to remember that, since God is Spirit, He must be worshipped in spirit and truth. Naturally this can best be done by Pentecostal people, Spirit-filled, and having the revelation of the Oneness truth, the Mighty God in Christ Jesus. Also, it must be remembered that there is only ONE who will be seen in heaven.

E. Definition of Terms

1. Mt. Zion: A mountain at Jerusalem.
2. Mt. Gerizim: A mountain in Samaria near Shechem, where a temple of the Samaritans was built.

III. God Was Manifest in the Flesh

A. Statement of Scripture

1. 1 Timothy 3:16�”And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh. . . .
2. John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
3. 2 Corinthians 5:19 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. . . .”
4. Colossians 2:9 “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

B. Statement of Truth

In the incarnation, the Word became flesh, and in that flesh the Mighty God was manifest.

C. Exposition of Truth

We shall explain briefly this great truth under the following five headings:

1. Incarnation: The dictionary meaning of the term “to incarnate” is given as “to embody in flesh”. In the incarnation the Word became flesh (John 1:14) and God was manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). This is correct Scriptural terminology. The Word was God; in the incarnation the Word became what He was not flesh. Yet He became this without ceasing to be what He eternally was God. God could not be born of Mary, but He did manifest Himself in that flesh that was born of Mary. The flesh that was born was the Word incarnate. This does not make two persons, for the Word was God.

It should be noted that in the incarnation the Holy Ghost was the father of the baby who was born of Mary who was a virgin (Matthew 1:18-23). If the trinity theory was correct, and there were three persons in the Godhead, then the baby Jesus must have had two fathers. This of course is impossible. The one true God, who is Spirit, was the Father of the flesh that was born and, at the same time, manifested Himself in that flesh. It also should be noted that one of the titles of Jesus Christ is Emmanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

2. Logos: “Word” is translated from the Greek “Logos.” This Greek word “Logos” means not only the expression of an inward thought but also the thought itself. We might say that the meaning of Logos is Deity expressed. In other words, the “Logos” is the expression of the invisible God.

Just as a man’s thinking, and expression of that thinking, cannot be separated from the man himself, and is, in essence, part of his very being, not another person, so it is with God. The Scripture written by the apostle, under inspiration to safeguard against the error of another person, clearly states: the Logos was God.

3. God Manifest In Flesh: One of the key verses of Scripture that can only be understood by revelation, and yet must be understood if we are to grasp an understanding of the Godhead, is 1 Timothy 3:16: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh. . . .” The Amplified New Testament reads: “He (God) was made visible in human flesh.”

In the past God manifested Himself in many ways to man. In creation, on Mt. Sinai, in the Theophanies, in the Tabernacle, etc., man was able to receive certain knowledge of God. However, in the one Scripture that speaks of God being manifested, we have the greatest knowledge of God ever given, for in the incarnation Christ is the express image of the invisible God. (Hebrews 1:3).

The mystery of godliness is God manifesting Himself in flesh; the mystery of iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2:7) is flesh manifesting itself as God. These are contrasted in the Scriptures, and man has his choice. If he does not accept the mystery of godliness, he will be compelled to accept the mystery of iniquity.

4. The Mighty God in Christ Jesus: The Scripture states that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). Once we can understand the truth expressed in this Scripture, the revelation of the Oneness of the Godhead becomes clear. We see Jesus Christ as both God and man, God manifesting Himself in flesh, and God in that human temple, reconciling the world to Himself. Are there two persons who are reconciling us to themselves? No, certainly not. “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to HIMSELF by Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:18).

5. The Fullness of the Godhead: In Colossians 2:9 we read, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Actually, no other Scripture is needed to prove the Oneness truth. Anyone who argues for the theory of the trinity must first clip this Scripture from his Bible. Let us examine this Scripture by asking and answering a few questions:

(a) Is Jesus in the Godhead or is the Godhead in Jesus? The Trinitarians say that Jesus is in the Godhead; the Bible says that the Godhead is in Jesus.
(b) Are there three fullnesses of the Godhead? Certainly not. There is only one fullness of the Godhead who dwells in Jesus Christ.
(c) Is there only a part of the fullness of the Godhead in Jesus? The Bible says all the fullness, not just a part of the fullness.

This Scripture tells us that all the offices and attributes of God, the essence of His very being, are all in Jesus Christ. It tells us that the only place we can find the Father is in Jesus Christ. Likewise, the only place we can find the Son and the Holy Ghost is in Jesus Christ.

D. Application of Truth

The only way that a person can approach God and know the Father is through Christ Jesus. The only way that a person can see the Father is in Jesus Christ. When we see Him, we see the Father (John 14:9).

E. Definition of Terms

1. Theophanies: The manifestations of God in a visible form in the Old Testament.

IV. Jesus Christ Is both God and Man

A. Statement of Scripture

1. John 1:18″No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
2. 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.”
3. 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

B. Statement of Truth

Jesus Christ possesses a dual nature: divinity and humanity. He is God-man: very God and perfect man.

C. Exposition of Truth

In the incarnation, Jesus Christ possessed a dual nature: divinity and humanity. However, it should be clearly understood that Jesus Christ was not two persons, nor did He possess two personalities. He was God-man, the Word-Incarnate, God manifest in flesh. As a human being, He was the Son; as God, He was the Father. As the Son, many times He spoke and acted as a man; as the Father, He spoke and acted as God.

Jesus Christ was very God and perfect man. We do not use the word “perfect” with Deity, for there are no degrees of perfection with God, but there are degrees of perfection with man. Accordingly, it is proper to say that Jesus was very God and perfect man.

In His humanity, Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Sonship denotes beginning, also a relation to time and place. Only as He became a man was He able to become the only begotten Son (John 3:16). He was not an eternal son nor a created son, but a son that was conceived in the womb of Mary. As a son, He grew and matured, and was subject to the Father. As a son, He tasted of our infirmities and weaknesses, and was tempted in every point.

The “eternal Son” theory is not Scriptural. It came as the result of the Trinitarian theory, and teaches a second person in the Godhead. Jesus Christ in the flesh was the begotten Son. The words “begotten” and “eternal” mean the very opposite and contradict each other. The purpose of the Sonship was as follows:

1. That He might become our Redeemer. The necessity of the atonement demanded that there be a sinless sacrifice offered up in our stead. Only God could provide such a sacrifice (Hebrews 2:14).
2. That He might become our Mediator. Our Mediator knows our weaknesses through His omniscience, and also by way of actual experience (Hebrews 4:15).
3. That He might become our King. In order to have a kingdom there must be a King. He reigns now in our hearts, but soon He shall come to reign upon this earth (Matthew 26:64).
4. That He might be our judge (Acts 17:31).

D. Application of Truth

This glorious truth solves all problems concerning the life and ministry of our Lord. It explains how He could be tempted, how He could pray, how He could die on Calvary, etc. If anyone should have difficulty in understanding just how Jesus Christ could occupy two offices at the same time, we would draw their attention to Isaiah 53:6: “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Who is the high Priest? Who is the sacrificial lamb who carries our iniquity? If Jesus Christ can be both priest and sacrifice at the same time, He also can be Father and Son, Divinity and Humanity.

V. Jesus Christ Possesses the Attributes and Prerogatives of Deity

A. Statement of Scripture

1. Matthew 28:18 “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
2. Colossians 2:3 “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
3. Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
4. Matthew 15:25″Then came she and worshipped him.”
5. Luke 7:48 “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.”
6. John 1:3 “All things were made by Him.”

B. Statement of Truth

It is clearly revealed that Jesus Christ possesses both the attributes and the prerogatives of Deity. This fact conclusively proves the Deity of Jesus Christ.

C. Exposition of Truth

We shall explain this truth by dealing with three attributes and three prerogatives: These should be sufficient to prove this proposition.

1. Attributes
(a) Omnipotence: Jesus said that “all power” was given unto Him. He is spoken of as being “The Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). Can there possibly be two who are called “Almighty”? If Jesus has “all power”, can there possibly be another who has “all power”? Jesus revealed His omnipotence over disease, death, nature, and demons.
(b) Omniscience: Jesus knew what was in man (John 2:24,25); of Him it was said that He knew all things (John 16:30). In Him are hid ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, If He has ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, certainly He must possess the attribute of omniscience.
(c) Omnipresence: The only way that He can be where His disciples are gathered together is to possess this attribute. Jesus Christ is everywhere at the same time.

2. Prerogatives
(a) The Right to Be Worshipped: There is not the slightest reluctance on the part of Christ to accept worship, therefore Jesus Christ is God, or He was an impostor. It was He who said, “Worship God only,” and He had no right to take the place of God if He were not God. Even the angels are commanded to worship Him (Philippians 2:10; Hebrews 1:6).
(b) The Right to Forgive Sins: All sin is against God and, therefore, only God can forgive sin. It was for this reason that the Pharisees charged Jesus with blasphemy. If Jesus Christ can forgive sin, then it is evident that He must be God. However, on various occasions He did forgive sin (Mark 2:5; Luke 7:48).
(c) The Right and Power to Create: Jesus showed that He is the Creator by (1) turning water into wine (John 2:1-11); (2) feeding the five thousand (John 6:1-13); (3) walking on the water (John 6:19); (4) quieting the storm (Mark 4:39). It is clearly stated that all things were made by Him (John 1:3). Are there two Creators? There can be only one, who is Jesus Christ.

D. Application of Truth

The fact that Jesus possesses the attributes and prerogatives of Deity conclusively proves His Deity, in spite of all the arguments of skeptics and unbelievers to the contrary.

E. Definition of Terms

1. Attribute: A characteristic or quality of God.
2. Prerogative: An exclusive right or privilege attached to an office.

VI. Jesus Is the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

A. Statement of Scripture

1. Zechariah 14:9 “In that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.”
2. Matthew 1:21″. . .and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
3. Matthew 28:19 “. . .baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
4. Acts 4:12″Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

B. Statement of Truth

In the New Testament God’s name is revealed, which is JESUS. The name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is JESUS.

C. Exposition of Truth

The prophet stated that there is one Lord and His name one (Zechariah 14:9). If we believe that there are three persons in the Godhead (three Gods), then we shall have to have three names. A person is identified by his name. However, the prophet states that his name is ONE. In the Great Commission, as stated in Matthew 28:19, the name is singular. What is that name? We find the answer in Acts 4:12. There is no other name

There are many titles of our God, all of which depict His offices and characteristics. Among them are the titles Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In like manner, a man is body, soul, and spirit, but this is not the man’s name. Would a bank cash a check which carries the signature, “Body, soul, and spirit”? We know that the check must carry his signature, which is his name. At one time the writer was his son’s school teacher and his pastor. To his son he was “Father, Pastor, and Teacher.” These were three titles, but none of them was his name. Even so Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not names but titles.

The testimony of Scripture is overwhelming, stating clearly the truth and leaving no room for even a shadow of doubt that the name of deity is Jesus. No attempt will be made here to give a comprehensive study of this marvelous truth. A study of the following Scriptures will convince every honest heart:
(a) John 5:43″I am come in my Father’s name.”
(b) John 17:26″I have declared unto them thy name.”
(c) Acts 9:5″Who art thou Lord (Jehovah)? And the Lord (Jehovah) said, I am Jesus.”
(d) Acts 7:59″Stephen, calling upon God. . .saying Lord Jesus.”
(e) Philippians 2:9″. . . .a name which is above every name.”

D. Application of Truth

There is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the saving name of our God. It is quite evident that Matthew 28:19 is only being obeyed when a person is being baptized into the name of Jesus. In fact whatever we do in word or deed we must do in the name of Jesus (Colossians 3:17).

Questions

1. State three attributes of Deity possessed by Jesus Christ.
2. Explain how the doctrine of the Trinity teaches Tri-theism.
3. In teaching Primary children, what basic truth concerning Deity would you teach first?
4. Explain the meaning of the Incarnation.
5. Why must God be worshipped in spirit and truth?
6. Explain the meaning of the Logos.
7. What is the purpose of the Sonship?
8. Give an explanation of how Jesus was able to pray.
9. How did Jesus show that He is the Creator?
10. What is the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?

Projects

1. Do the necessary research, and then outline the method by which you would deal with an atheist.
2. Make a list of twenty titles of Jesus, giving chapter and verse where each is found.

This article “Christian Monotheism” was excerpted from: Truth Shall Triumph written by Ralph Vincent Reynolds. Copyright 1965. It may be used for study & research purposes only.

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