A Study on the Oneness
by the late Frank Ewert
God is the final, certain, solitary ONE: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” The Apostolic faith for which we are exhorted to earnestly contend, was based on this essential truth. The Apostle James quotes this great commandment as the fundamental of all faith that is proved by works. “You believe that God is One, and you are quite right; evil spirits also believe this, and shudder.” (See James 2:19. Wey.) Any theory that violates that, violates the basis of all truth about the Deity. Deny that you attack truth in its essential essence; you assault the truth at its basic foundation. The Psalmist saw this great truth in the Spirit, when he cried out: “If the foundation be removed, what will the righteous do?” Jesus said: “I am the truth.” He also said, “I and my Father are ONE.” The startling and inevitable conclusion to be drawn from these two statements is absolutely inescapable: Jesus was the Visible of the Invisible God.
God is the absolute ONE. He has no equal. You cannot duplicate Him. He cannot be multiplied. There cannot be two other spiritual persons beside Him: God says, “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me” (Isaiah 45:5). There cannot be two others like Him, for God asks, “To whom will ye liken Me, and make Me equal, and compare Me, that we may be like?” (Isaiah 46:5). The carnal
reasoning of men has created two other separate persons, exactly like God, the Father, and equal in glory and eternity. Yet God declares, “My glory I will not give to another.” This doctrine assumes that there
are always three individuals in heaven. They deny that God, Himself, was incarnated through the virgin birth. Thus the doctrine of the so-called Trinity, not only denies God’s declarations about Himself, but does infinite violence to both the name and nature of the Deity, as revealed in and by Jesus Christ, the Son.
There is nothing more absolute than the Oneness of the Godhead. Nature– the handmaiden of the Bible, announces her creator everywhere: “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.” Nature has made a tree in God’s image. We have three distinct constituents in a tree: the wood, the sap and the bark– but one tree. No wonder the poet says, “Poems are made by fools like me. But only God can make a tree.” Light is composed of three distinct elements or parts: the antenic, the calorific and the luminiferous. Take any of these elements away and you have no light. The One True God is Father, Logos and Spirit. The three are in the One, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Spirit, and these three are one.” Man, himself, is the most absolute unit we know: body, soul and spirit, but one man. Yet the Bible emphatically declares that God made man in His own image.
Now, every clear thinker will admit, that when this one true God took on a flesh body, He took on limitations. Jesus was the Creator confining Himself to the limits of a creature. There is a clear distinction between the perfect humanity and the Deity of Jesus, but this distinction is that of a human body indwelt by God. Jesus recognized the distinction of Father and Son. He called Himself the Son of God, but emphatically claimed that the Father was dwelling in Him. God had the image of a perfect SON before Him in the beginning; and Paul declares that “Those whom He foreknew He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” The Son of God was the Logos incarnated, but the Logos in God answers to the soul in a man. It is that part which may be called God’s expression. Jesus was God’s expression, in the terms of a perfect human life; “for God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake unto the fathers by the prophets hath in these last days spoken unto us in His Son.”
Now, let us go back through the Scriptures and take a brief review of the main landmarks as we are swept irresistible towards the great beginning and conclusion of all truth– that God is ONE: We need to watch two important scriptures. They are pivotal, and indeed fundamental to a correct understanding of this– the greatest truth of Divine revelation. I Timothy 3:16, reads: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” This startling passage if taken at its face value as it appears in the Authorized version of the Scriptures, would mean an end to all controversy. And surely this would be a consummation devoutly to be desired. It should practically do away with sectarianism. Personally, I see no need of controversy about this great passage. If it does not say that God was manifested in the flesh, then, whom does it say was manifested in the flesh? Either an angel or a man or the devil. We are shut up to this conclusion; because the text declares that someone was manifested in the flesh. Was it an angel? If so, what would be the sense of saying an angel was seen of another angel and calling that a mystery? Was it a man? Nonsense! What mystery is involved in a man being manifested in the flesh? A man is a spirit clothed in flesh. Well, was it the devil? Let us hope not; for the text declares that the one who was manifested in the flesh was also received up into glory. You can boil this wonderful declaration down in the melting pot of higher criticism, and you cannot make anything more or less out of it than the grand old Authorized Version puts into it– that God– the ONE TRUE GOD– the mighty maker of this illimitable universe, was manifested in the flesh, and His name was Jesus– the Lord who saves you.
The other great text is I John 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us.” John is talking about Calvary’s tragedy here. Every theologian confesses gladly, that because the life of God was in the blood of Jesus Christ, it made an atonement for the sins of the whole world. When you see this great truth, Calvary assumes a far grander meaning. God could not prove His love for us by sending another to die for us. Jesus declared that He was not another. He said, “I and My Father are ONE.” When Calvary was bathed in blood, the universe shuddered, the sun hid his face, and nature went into convulsions. God reveals what Calvary meant to Him in the great passage in Zechariah, “Awake, O sword against my shepherd, and against the man who is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.” The one who died there was God’s Fellow, God’s Person and God’s dwelling place, and God– the Eternal Spirit, had to vacate the body in order for the flesh to die. Such is Calvary’s glory! No wonder the poet wrote, “In the cross of Christ I glory. Towering o’er the wrecks of time. All the light of sacred story, Gathers round its head sublime.” All eternity looked forward to it. All eternity will look back to it; for it was there the Eternal God, Himself, provided a Lamb, that taketh away the sin of the world.
From Apostolic Standard