A compilation of scriptures
Pastors Mitch McQuinn and Dustin Abbott
-“YHWH is the Tetragrammaton (the four letters), the sacred name of God. This word literally means “He is”, or, “the Eternal One”, the One who always is and always will be. The One who exists by His own power. At the burning bush, God identified Himself as “I Am that I Am”. This is the same name, just God speaking in the first person (I Am) whereas the Hebrews referred to Him in the third person (He is). (Exodus 3:14) This name (Yahweh) has never been eliminated but has rather been eclipsed by and incorporated into the name Jesus, which means “Yahweh (Jehovah) Savior”. The name “Jesus” is more than just the personal name of the Incarnation but is rather the most complete revelation of the personal name of God.”
– In the KJV Old Testament, YHWH is usually translated as LORD in all caps, although it is occasionally translated Jehovah. “Jewish writers did not want to transgress the commandment of not taking the Lord’s name in vain, so they often would substitute the more generic Lord (Adonai [Hebrew] or Kurios [Greek]).”
The first word in Deut 6:4 is “Shema” meaning to hear or listen, which has become the title for the passage.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
-“The clear intention of this passage is to proclaim that there is only one TRUE God as opposed to all the false pagan deities. If you take this passage and say that within this one God there is a group, council, or persons, you effectively take away all the impetus of what is actually being said. It no longer distinguishes Yahweh from pagan deities or polytheistic philosophy at all”.
– Mark 12:28 makes clear why the Shema must be a foundational passage:
28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 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.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
-It is the authority of Jesus Christ Himself that proclaims the Shema as THE fundamental doctrine, the foundation of all other teaching.
The Oneness of God in Isaiah
O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.
– This passage makes it very clear that there is only one God, singular, alone, and adds that He alone is the Creator.
I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
-God states that He is Yahweh (that is my name) and makes it clear that He will not share His glory with any other being. That doesn’t sound like a “unity” of Godhead!
10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.
-He is the Eternal God; no God came before, no God will come after Him. This passage is conclusive in showing that there was no God made before Yahweh, nor would there be after Him. Jesus as God is not a created being or a second god-figure that later came into existence.
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
-God states plainly that He is the first and the last. There is no God beside Him. Those that expect to see more than one person in heaven aren’t considering what God has stated.
-There is no other beside Him physically or metaphorically. There aren’t other persons that “coexist” with Him. There is only one throne in heaven, and only one on the throne.
Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
-If you claim to know of more than one God, then you are claiming to know more than God, for He Himself states that He knows of no other besides Himself.
Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
-“God claims to be both the Creator and the Redeemer in this passage. He stated that there is no Savior besides Himself.
-This passage is clearly making a point as shown by the words ‘alone’ and ‘by myself.’”
-If the intention of these passages was to show a Trinity or council of gods, why would the language be so exclusive? The language is very strongly Oneness. No one could honestly take any of these passages at face value and see anything other than a declaration of Oneness.
-Furthermore, as applied to creation, the language clearly does not allow for “co-creators” or agents employed by God in creation. God states explicitly that He created all things “alone” and “by Himself”!
5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.
22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
-The forceful repetitiveness in these passages is astounding! God swears all of this by Himself because there is no other. He states repeatedly that there is no God beside Him, no one else, none beside Him, etc… How could this wording ever represent persons or a council of Gods? Verse 23 is quoted in Philippians 2:9-11, where it says “at the name of Jesus every knee…” This makes it clear that Jesus is not a person separate from God, for God states here that only to Him would every knee bow and every tongue confess. Philippians states that this will be to “glory of God the Father.” The Father is glorified by this act because Jesus is the form that He chose to express Himself in! It is clear in Isaiah that it is Yahweh (Jehovah) speaking, but the New Testament makes it clear that this statement will be fulfilled at the mention ofthe name of Jesus! Jesus is Jehovah!
There are two principle points made in Isaiah:
The language is the absolute strongest that could be made for the Oneness of God.
All of these passages speak to the deity of Jesus Christ, for the New Testament uses these same terms and exclusive language to describe Him. (i.e. Yahweh is the only Savior, Redeemer, God, and Creator in the Old Testament, where Jesus is given the same exclusiveness in the New). This can only be reconciled by accepting Jesus as being the One God of the Old Testament, Yahweh, revealed in the flesh. The language does not allow for this to a case of a unity or agreement! Every time we sin, we sin against the giver of the Law (Yahweh). Yet, when we go for forgiveness, we go to Jesus. If Jesus is not one and the same with Jehovah He could not forgive me because my sin would not be against Him!
5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
-“No one can be the perfect likeness and representation of God. Yahweh made it clear that He could not have a like equal. God left no room for “coequal” persons to exist with Him. Jesus then cannot be like God; He must be God.”
Isaiah 54:5 KJV
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
-“Jehovah is the Maker, the Bridegroom, the Lord of Hosts, the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, and the God of the whole earth. The phrase “Holy One” is used in 45 distinct verses in the Old Testament, and no other number is ever associated with God.
-Yet when the demons encountered Jesus in the Gospels, they often referred to Him by that same term.
-The book of Acts repeatedly refers to Jesus as the “Holy One.” (Acts 2:27; 3:14; 13:25)
-These passages make it clear the believers in the Old Testament had a clear understanding of God being absolutely one in person and essence.”
What about Genesis 1:26?
26 Then God said,”Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. NKJV
-We know that Scripture does not contradict itself. The statements from Isaiah are very clear and precise in stating that God was the sole agent of Creation alone and by Himself.
The very next verse in Genesis makes clear the intent: “so God created man in His own image…” Singularity. If you look at the by-product of this declaration, Adam, you see a singular creature (one form, one mind, one personality, one will) created in the likeness of God.
-A simple explanation is found in Ephesians 1:11, which states of God that He “…worketh all things after the counsel of his own will…” Genesis 1:26 would simply be a case of God counseling or communing with Himself.
This is evidence of a deliberation with God, a planning of Creation. It is evidence of forethought. We humans, created in God’s image, do the same thing all the time. (i.e. “Let’s see what we have here…”) We counsel ourselves numerous times throughout the course of any given day.
-It is important to remember that the words “us” and “our” are not even in the Hebrew. It is translated that way because the Hebrew word for God (Elohim) is a plural word. This could be to magnify His attributes and majesty. (For instance, I might say that my friend is a nut, and mean that he is a bit nutty, but if I say that he is “nuts” I mean that he is extremely nutty, not that there is more than one of him!
-Some scholars have suggested that the plural was a way to show respect for God, just as one would show respect when addressing elders or other authority figures.
New Testament Foundational Passages
1 Cor 8:4-6
4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
3 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
-This passage clearly and precisely says that God is one! Not just that there is one God (which Trinitarians would say that they also believe), but that God IS one.
-How exactly do you take such an absolute statement and make it three?”
2 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
-The knowledge that there is only one God is so foundational that even the demons know it! It is one of the clearly understood principles in the spirit world. James is showing that it is so basic that everyone should be able to understand it.
1 Timothy 2:5
5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
This passage encapsulates the Scriptural doctrine of God:
There is one God. This is clearly what Scripture has consistently shown. It is the same teaching shown in Isaiah or Deuteronomy. The New Testament does not deviate from the message taught in the Old.
One mediator. The new revelation of the New Testament is not that there are additional persons or some other configuration in the Godhead, but rather that God has literally become our Savior. This is all that is NEW in the New Testament when it comes to the doctrine of the Godhead.
The man Christ Jesus. The sole addition is not another person or another God; it is the addition of the man Christ Jesus. The canvas upon which God revealed Himself. It is the humanity of Jesus Christ that allows Him to become our mediator (and our Savior).
-Jesus Christ (the man) is literally the meeting place between God and man. When we come into fellowship with Jesus Christ we come into fellowship with God.
-If Jesus were a second “divine person”, then we would need a mediator to get to Him!”
John 17 (the prayer of Jesus)
This chapter emphasizes the humanity of Jesus Christ. He would not fully be a man without the need for prayer and communication with God. If He was anything less than a man He would not be qualified to be our sacrifice.
3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
-This statement becomes impossible from a Trinitarian perspective, for Jesus (whom they call a distinct person from the Father) is calling the Father the only true God. This would make the Father the only true God of the Trinity. It is not problematic for us, for like 1Timothy 2:5 it simply distinguishes between the one true God and the humanity of Jesus Christ. We are not looking for more persons, just to distinguish between the dual natures of Christ, which this passage clearly does (and no more).
And this is life eternal: this statement makes it clear that the plan of salvation is based upon the fact that there is one true God and that Jesus Christ was that God manifested in the flesh. (Jews and Muslims accept one God, but deny that Jesus Christ was the manifestation of that God).
By example: Saul of Tarsus was serving God to the best of his understanding but was clearly not saved. He believed in one God but still needed to know Jesus!
Acts 9:4-5 NKJV
4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5 And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’”
-His first question: “who are you Lord?” He obviously realized that there was a problem in his basic understanding of who God was.
He was not asking if there was another Lord; he was asking what the identity of THE Lord was. He knew the Shema, so he knew there was only one God, so he asked for more information on who the Lord was.
The Lord’s response: “I am Jesus.” He did not correct Saul’s assumption that there was only one God or introduce Himself as being apart from the Father. He identified Himself as being the One Lord of the Shema.
Paul clearly addresses his question to Jehovah, and Jehovah answers and tells him that He is Jesus!
It is essential to know the one true God and it is essential to know the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. This requires no new theology but simply builds upon the foundation laid in the Old Testament.
God is a Spirit
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
-What does this mean? It means that God is not made of physical building blocks, flesh and blood. It means that He is not visible or perceptible through our physical senses. John 1:18 in fact states that “no man has seen God at any time.” This is definite and absolute language.
-This is applicable even after the Incarnation, for while people could see God manifest in the flesh, they still could not see the true essence of the invisible God.
-A lot of misconceptions about God stem from people mentally visualizing God as a physical being. They try to understand Him as a “big man”.
Scripture does at times speak of God in human terms (heart of God or hand of God), but only to accommodate our limited thinking and help us to understand God.
-Trying to build a theological case out of this figurative language leads to absurdity. This includes references to the “right hand of God”.
-The simple truth has already been stated: God is a Spirit. Outside of the Incarnation (Jesus Christ) or temporary physical manifestations of God in the Old Testament (theophanies), physical references to God are used figuratively to aid human understanding of the ways of God.
The term for this is “anthropomorphism”, meaning, “in the form of a man”.
-God is Omnipotent. He has all power.
-God is Omniscient. He has absolutely all knowledge.
-God is Omnipresent. He is everywhere always in any point of time simultaneously. In the past, present, and future, He is…everywhere.
Jesus is God
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
14 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” (greek: logos) means plan, thought, or idea. It is not the title of a supposed second person. The very plan of God that could not be separated from Him, was made flesh! He came Himself!
24 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.
-This is Jesus claiming to be the I AM! Remember, Jews would not utter the phrase “I am” for fear of blasphemy!
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
-The Jews understood what he was claiming! Because they did not believe him, they took it as blasphemy.
2 Cor 5:19
19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
1 Tim 3:16
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
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.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
The Son had a Beginning
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
-It is important to note that the Son (the Incarnation) had a beginning.
Just as I was not a husband until I was married, Jesus was not a Son until he was born. He pre-existed as YHWH. But he did not cease to be YHWH after the incarnation.
The Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Christ, as presented in Matthew 3, is frequently used by Trinitarians as the perfect example of the Trinity. You have the Son, Jesus, in the water, the Father as the voice from heaven speaking of His beloved Son, and you have the Spirit in the form of a dove descending upon Jesus.
Matthew 3:16-17 KJV
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
-Let’s start not from the Creeds, however, but from the Old Testament. John the Baptist is like the Old Testament prophet. This is before Jesus was crucified, before the Church was established, before there was any Scriptural material other than the Old Testament. Those present at this scene clearly believed in One God (and just one person).
-If this was the first revelation of the Trinity, one would think that there would be some reaction from these Jewish writers to this new revelation! We find absolutely nothing like that, however, so it quickly becomes apparent that the witnesses of this event saw no “new revelation” in this scene at all.
What they did see, however, was a revelation of Jesus Christ, the inauguration or anointing of His ministry.
What about the voice from Heaven?
Jesus actually addressed this at another point in
John 12:30 KJV
Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
-The purpose of the voice from heaven was as a sign to the people. Rather than standing and bearing witness of Himself (which would not have seemed very credible), but a voice from Heaven is another matter altogether!
God is omnipresent. The Father was not limited to Heaven while the Son was on the Earth. That is thinking of God in human terms! The voice from above and the man below does not require God to be separated into two parts. This logic burdens God with human limitations that He simply does not have!
What about the Spirit descending like a dove?
John the Baptist states clearly that this was a sign specific for him:
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
John needed to clearly know who the Messiah was, just as the people did, so the sign of the Spirit in the form of a dove was a pre-arranged signal to confirm the identity of the Messiah to him.
We see that each of the manifestations had a specific purpose, but there was only One God in the midst of them.
The focus was on Jesus, not an introduction of the Trinity! There is absolutely no mention by the writers that a new understanding of the Godhead was introduced; they only show the ministry of Jesus being introduced.
It is only those influenced by later Creeds and councils that come BACK to the text and attempt to infer some new meaning to it that was not originally there.God does not require separate persons to divide His nature and perform multiple tasks or even to manifest Himself in different ways simultaneously.
If the people that witnessed that scene (and it was a sign for them) did not receive a revelation of a Trinity, then why should we two thousand years later?
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Father is a term of relationship.
When we have children, our nature does not change. One day we are not a father; the next we are. It is relationship that makes us a father.
God is the Father. This is not a person separate from Yahweh; it is Yahweh (Jehovah) viewed in a specific relationship.
Malachi 2:10 ESV
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?…
God is the Father of the whole human race in the sense of Creation. He is our source of life, our Father.
Deuteronomy 32:6 ESV
Do you thus repay the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?
God is shown as the Father of Israel. He not only created them as individuals but established them as a nation.
In the Old Testament the term “Father” is not commonly used for God. The greatest significance of God in the role of Father is to Jesus Christ.
He is the “only begotten” of the Father. (John 1:14,18; John 3:16,18)
God is literally His Father.
A father is one who causes conception, and this was literally true of God in the case of Jesus Christ. (Luke 1:35)
God’s Spirit caused conception, not any earthly man.
God is literally the Father of Jesus Christ (the man), so we find the term “Father” coming into prominence in the New Testament because Jesus used the term so often. It was a term of relationship that was (and is) truer of Jesus than anyone else.
We should not fear the terms “Father” and “Son” because there is an intentional distinction intended in Scripture by the use of those terms.
That line of distinction is intended to emphasize the fact that Jesus Christ was a true human being. He in fact frequently used the term “Son of Man” to describe Himself.
The term “Father” is always used in relationship to humanity.
Father is not the name of a person. It is a relationship term, not a proper name.
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
-It is interesting to note that the concept of a coequal, coeternal second person doesn’t fit this language at all. This passage has God speaking to the angels back at some point in time of a future point when He will father a son. “This day (a specific time) I have begotten thee”, and “I will be (future tense) to him a Father, and he shall be (future tense) to me a Son”.
4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
-God is literally our Father because we have the Spirit of His Son in our lives. God becomes our Father (spiritually) through the New Birth.
We become sons of God as well, not in the sense of being the “begotten” (Jesus is the only begotten), but through spiritual adoption. This enables us to call God “our Father”, or “Abba” (the Hebrew affectionate form of Father, like “Daddy”.)
In summation, the term “Father” is not the name of an Eternal person but rather describes God’s relationship to the human race and in a deeper sense to the Son of God born from Mary.
Referring to “God the Father” does not indicate a distinction of persons, it indicates a relationship role.
The Holy Spirit is not a relationship term; it is a descriptive term.
There is only one Spirit of God. John 4:24 clearly identified God as a Spirit.
Only God is holy in Himself. (Isaiah 54:5 – The Holy ONE)
Anyone else who would be holy has to draw holiness from God. We are not holy through our own identity; we are holy through our relationship with God.
Thus, the only Spirit who could be holy in and of Himself is God.
The Holy Spirit is God.
Why do we need another term for God?
The term Holy Spirit is always used to describe God in spiritual action!
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
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.
-The very first reference to the Spirit of God refers to God in action.
Where we hear the term Spirit we understand that it is not a physical manifestation but a spiritual one.
-Likewise the term “Spirit of God” or “Holy Spirit” helps us to understand that God acts spiritually rather than physically. It clarifies the operation of God, which is invisible rather than visible.
-This is the reason why the Bible describes the conception of Jesus as an act of the Holy Ghost, not an act of the Father. God did not assume human form and impregnate Mary through physical intercourse; this impregnation was a spiritual act of God.This was not a carnal act, it was a spiritual operation of God, which illustrates the need for making this distinction, hence the need for the term “Holy Spirit” when referring to the operation of God.
-If you make the Holy Spirit a separate person, however, then the Father is not technically the Father. Jesus should not have prayed to Person #1, He should have been praying to Person #3!
-Father is used for relationship; Spirit is used for action. Matthew 10:20 KJV For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.Father is relationship in this verse; Spirit is action! But just One God!
The Son of God
Luke 1:35 KJV
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
-This passage is very important because it defines why (therefore) Jesus is called the Son of God.
-No one would realistically look at this passage and claim that it indicates that a second eternal person has been revealed whose name is “Son”.
No, Jesus is called Son of God because the Holy Spirit miraculously overshadowed His mother and caused conception.
Jesus was a son in the sense that every male human child is a son.
The Scriptural definition of “Son of God” is that God manifested Himself in the flesh through the conception of Jesus Christ.
You cannot use the term “Son” without reference to the Incarnation.
The Son had a beginning in time!
Jesus as God had no beginning in time, but Jesus as the man (the Incarnation) had a specific beginning in time.
The distinction is between the deity and the humanity, not between persons!
Because this manifestation has a specific beginning point, we cannot claim (as the Trinitarians do) that the Son is eternal.
This passage also reveals that the Father is not a distinct person from the Spirit, for it is the Spirit that caused conception. If the Father and the Spirit were two persons, the Father would not technically be the Father.
The work of the Spirit is attributed to God Himself because the Spirit is the operation of God, not a separate person.
God is the Father because His Spirit performed the miracle. This passage is very helpful in understanding Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because it shows that Father and Spirit are the same and that Son refers to the Incarnation.
-Jesus is not one-half God and one half man – He is the unique blend of deity and humanity. There is truly none like Jesus. He is the “only begotten”, the unique One.
-We can identify what Jesus did as a man and what He did as God, but we cannot divide Him into two parts.
-The Term “Son” always refers to the Incarnation, but that is not just the flesh. It is God as He was manifested in the flesh.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
If Son referred to a second person (called “The Son”), then this verse becomes an impossibility, for God cannot die. In this case the term “Son” clearly refers to the flesh, the Incarnation.
4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
This verse makes it absolutely clear that the Son was
a) made of a woman
b) made during the time of the law.
If you are to have an Eternal Son, in this passage you would also have to have an eternal mother and an eternal law.
In this passage it obvious that the term “Son” refers to the Incarnation and that there is a specific time of origin for the Incarnation.
-It is not sufficient, however, to just state “the Son is the flesh”. The Son is God manifest in the flesh.
Look at Hebrews 1:8, for example:
8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.
-In this verse you clearly cannot say that the Son is flesh alone, for the Son is called God. The Incarnation is not just flesh, but God manifest in the flesh!
-Our distinction is that any reference to the Son must include the flesh, which precludes the concept of an “Eternal Son”. You cannot use the term “Son” without referring to the Incarnation.
The Father and the Son
The distinction exists for a purpose.
The need for the term “Father” as referring to God came into existence specifically because of the Incarnation and the need to distinguish between the invisible God and God manifest in the flesh.
For this reason it is important to retain that distinction in Scripture and to not attempt to explain it away.
That is the reason why there is no passage which overtly states that Jesus is the Father.
You would not use the phrase, “The Father is the Son”. The correct reference is “The Father is in the Son”. Otherwise it is like saying, “The Spirit is the flesh”.
In His divine nature, Jesus is the Father. But the Son is not the Father! One God, but two distinct roles and manifestations.
Jesus always stated that the Father (the invisible Spirit) was in Him or that He and the Father were One. He didn’t say that He was the Father (the invisible Spirit), for that would have been nonsensical. It was clear that He was flesh, not an invisible Spirit, so, in that sense, He was more than the Father. He was the Father expressed in the flesh.
In summation, there is never a distinction of persons in Scripture, but there is an important distinction between God in His transcendence (the Father) and God in His manifestation (the Son).
The term “Son” has both a literal reference and a symbolic one.
-Jesus is literally the Son of God through conception.
Jesus is also the Son in an extended sense. The term “Son of” in Scripture means “to bear the nature and character of”.
A son inherits many of the characteristics of his father (physically, mentally, emotionally, rationality).
James and John were called “the sons of thunder”.
Barnabas means “the son of consolation”.
Angels and believers are also called the “sons of God”, although it is clear that this is a more imperfect sense than the way that Jesus was the Son of God.
-Jesus perfectly bears the nature and characteristics of His Father, which is why the further distinction “only begotten” is given in Scripture.
-This Greek term means unique and only. Jesus is not a son of God, He is the Son of God. He is the perfect and unique Son of God, for He does bear God’s nature and likeness to a limited degree; He bears God’s nature and likeness to perfection.
If Jesus bears the perfect likeness and nature of God, then He is God, for God said that He will not share His likeness and glory with another (Isaiah 46)!
-The Jews were frequently offended by Jesus because He was not just claiming to be a son of God (in Creation) but was claiming to be God. They (correctly) recognized the terms He used to be statements of deity.
-Jesus was literally claiming to be God manifest in the flesh!
-The term “Son of God” is a beautiful, Oneness reference. This is the reason why the declaration of Peter when he stated that Jesus was “the Son of the living God” is the foundation of the Church. Peter was not declaring Jesus a second person in the Godhead, he was claiming that Jesus was God (Yahweh) manifest in the flesh.
-This became clearer to the disciples after the resurrection, where we have a confession by Thomas that Jesus was “my Lord and my God.” (John 20:28) It was clear that Thomas did not see Jesus as something in addition to Yahweh, but called Jesus his Lord (Master) and his God. He understood in that moment that Jesus was Yahweh manifest in the flesh.
-We need to “recapture” this Biblical terminology and understand its true beauty and significance.
-It is Jesus’ role as the Son of God that resulted in our salvation. Our faith is dependent upon more than just believing in one God; it is also about believing that God came as a man to purchase our redemption!
Do the Prayers of Jesus show a Trinity?
The proper way to deal with the prayers of Christ is to state that Jesus was a full, authentic human being, and, as a man, He prayed to God. At the same we must understand that God was fully Incarnate in Him. That did not diminish the need for His humanity (a full human identity) to pray, just like any other human being.
If the prayers of Christ truly revealed two persons, then it would also reveal that the second person was inferior to the first. A fully equal second person should have no need to pray to a first person. If they are co-equal, why would one give prayers and another receive them?
By contrast, understanding that the humanity needed to pray to God in no way diminishes the deity of Jesus in the Oneness model of understanding.
Outside of Jesus’ time in the flesh (which only proves the Incarnation), where are any conversations between two persons in eternity?
We have examples of God conferring with man, God conferring with angels, God conferring with the devil, but never any Scriptural example of two persons in the Godhead conferring within itself.
Where are the conversations between the Holy Spirit and the Father, or the Son and the Holy Spirit?
The conversations between Father and Son all fall within the realm of the Incarnation, showing only the fully developed deity and humanity.
What Major (Trinitarian) Scholars Are Saying About the Oneness
Dr. Frank Stagg, professor of New Testament interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky [deceased]
“The New Testament is content to know God as the eternal Father, as the Word made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, and as the abiding nearness of the Holy Spirit. It does not attempt to work out a formal doctrine of trinity. This is the work of later generations of Christians….It was first in the second century that the ‘trinitarian question’ was raised as such. The word ‘trinity’ does not appear in the New Testament, and it is to be recognized that there is no formal doctrine of trinity in the New Testament…. The formal doctrine of trinity was rounded out in the fourth century, but its roots are older. Tertullian (A.D. 160?-230?) is credited with coining the word ‘trinitas,’ the Latin for ‘trinity’… But what began as insistence upon tri-unity eventually became an emphasis upon the threeness and increasing jeopardy to the belief in oneness.
To the term trinity were soon added the terms ‘persons,’ ‘three persons,’ ‘three persons of the Godhead,’ and even the ranking of the persons as first, second, and third. Thus, trinitarianism was fast on the way to tritheism, a de facto belief in three distinct gods. This the New Testament never anticipated and does not support.”
Dr. Stagg’s “attempted restatement”:
“Jesus Christ is God uniquely present in a truly human life, but he is not a second god nor only one third of God. Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh (John 1:1). The Word which became flesh was God, not the second person of the trinity. John does not say, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was the Second Person of the trinity’ (1:1). He says that ‘the Word was God.’ Jesus Christ is more than ‘the Second person of the trinity;’ He is Immanuel, God with us. Immanuel does not mean ‘the Second person of the trinity with us.’ Immanuel is God with us.”
In reference to the Holy Spirit, Dr. Stagg affirms:
-“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, not the Spirit of the third person of the trinity. The Holy Spirit is God in his nearness and power, anywhere and anytime, the very divine presence incarnated in Jesus Christ now present in his people. He is not a third God nor one-third of God. He is God himself relating to us in judgment, guidance, strength, redemption, or otherwise.”
Dr. W.A. Criswell, a past president of the Southern Baptist Association and pastor of the 25,000 member First Baptist Church in Dallas.
-Th.M. and Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“We are not going to see three Gods in heaven. Never persuade yourself that in glory we are going to look at God No. 1 and God No. 2 and God No. 3.
No! There is one great Lord God. We know Him as our Father, we know Him as our Saviour, we know Him as the Holy Spirit in our hearts. There is one God and this is the great God, called in the Old Testament, Jehovah, and, incarnate, called in the New Testament Jesus, the Prince of heaven, who is coming.
I often wonder at people who think that in heaven they are going to see three Gods. If you ever see three Gods, then what the Mohammedan says about you is true and what the Jewish neighbor says about you is true. You are not a monotheist, you are a polytheist. You believe in a multiplication of Gods, plural. ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God.’
We know God as our Father, we know God as our Saviour, and we know God by His Spirit in our hearts. But there are not three Gods. The true Christian is a monotheist. There is one God. ‘I and my Father are one.’ ‘He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.’ The Lord God is He that speaks. It is He that John saw when he turned around.
The only God you will ever see is the Lord God whom John saw in the vision of the lampstands. The only God you will ever feel is the Lord God’s Spirit in your heart. The only God there is, is the great Father of us all. The one Lord God, Christ. In the Old Testament we call Him Jehovah. In the New Testament, we call Him Jesus. The one great God, standing in authority and in judgment and in judicial dignity among His churches, here today, watching over us.”
Alister McGrath, Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education, and Head of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture at King’s College, London.
-Oxford D.Phil. in molecular biology
-Oxford first class honors in theology
-Oxford doctorate in divinity for research on historical and systematic theology
“If you look at the doctrine of the early church during the first two and a half centuries or so, you find that the doctrine of the Trinity has yet to be developed….That development took place in the third or fourth centuries.”
“The New Testament tends to think of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ as much as of God. The Spirit is understood to stand in the closest of possible relationships to Christ, so that his presence among the people of Christ is equivalent to the presence of Christ himself, just as the presence of Christ is treated as being that of God himself. In other words, to encounter the Son is really to encounter the Father and not some demigod or surrogate. To encounter the Spirit is really to encounter the Son and hence the Father.”
“To affirm the divinity of Father, Son and Spirit is not to suggest that there are three gods, but simply that the one God can be encountered in these different ways, all of which are equally valid.
It is not the doctrine of the Trinity which underlies the Christian faith, but the living God whom we encounter through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit … when we think of God, we don’t think of three individual gods, but of one God whom we experience and encounter in a three-fold manner.
When you’re trying to explain Christianity to someone, the last thing you’d want to talk about is the trinity. Instead, you might begin by talking about Jesus Christ, about his death on the cross and resurrection, or you might talk about the possibility of encountering or experiencing God here and now.”
Karl Barth is widely considered the most influential Christian theologian of the 20th century. He had this to say:
“The attribute of individuality when it is related to Father, Son and Spirit as such instead of the one essence of God, the idea of a threefold individuality, is scarcely possible without tritheism. . . . the Holy Spirit could not possibly be regarded as the third ‘person.’ In a particularly clear way, the Holy Spirit is what the Father and the Son also are. He is not a third spiritual Subject, a third I, a third Lord side by side with two others. He is a third mode of being of the one divine Subject or Lord.
If it is true that God reveals Himself to us through His only-begotten Son, if it is also true that God’s only-begotten Son is no less and no other than God the Father, if it is true again that God’s revelation is also the revelation of His love, if revelation would not be revelation without the outpouring and impartation of the Spirit through whom man becomes the child of God, can it be that this Spirit is not directly the Spirit of the Son as well?”
Dr. Dale T. Irvin, President
New York Theological Seminary
M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary
“I’m going to be brutally honest with you. I’m scared, because I think the Oneness Pentecostal tradition is right!”
Dr. Veli-Matti Karkkainen, Professor, Systematic Theology,Fuller Theological Seminary
DrTheol, University of Helsinki
“Oneness Pentecostals … remind us that there is a huge leap from what the New Testament says about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to the Trinitarian developments later in church history. There is no doctrine of the trinity in the New Testament.”
-“The doctrine of the trinity relies on post-biblical words and terms to describe God.
-The doctrine of the trinity lends itself to tritheism.
-The doctrine of the trinity is a stumbling block to Jews, Muslims, and other monotheists.”
-The doctrine of the trinity leads to an unbiblical baptism formula. Please see our Quick Study Guide, “The Biblical Truth about Baptism in Jesus Name.”
For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.