Believe Me for the Works
By: Elder Ross Drysdale
Do The Attributes Of Christ Prove Him To Be The
One True God, Or Justa Member Ofa “Divine Trinity”? While On Earth, Was Christ Also Present “In Heaven”? Are There Some Things Christ Does Not Know?
THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD IN CHRIST
Another clear Biblical Testimony to the Godship and Fatherhood of Christ is to consider the Attributes with which the Bible endows Him. This is His Attributive deity. “Believe me for the very works sake”(John 14:11) is the way Christ Himself called attention to this line of proof. It is a “lower road” to follow then direct revelation but it will lead you to the same conclusion. It must be kept in mind also that Scripturally all of these divine attributes have been transferred to Jesus by the indwelling Father, not because he is a Second Person, co-equal. It is rather a direct result of the fact that God is in Christ, that we can say He is omnipotent, omniscient, etc.), “For the Father loveth the Son, and skewed him all things that himself doeth” (John5:20). In fact by means of the indwelling of God in Christ there was an exchange of characteristics between the human and divine in some mysterious and marvelous way. “And all mine are thine and thine are mine…”(John 17:10).
Let us look at these attributes, for they are characteristics that can only be possessed by the one infinite God. And they cannot be passed around among “divine Persons” equally. The very nature of them preclude this. For if a person is “all powerful” what need is there for two other “all powerful” persons, if such were even possible? And especially if a divine Person is said to be the only one with immortality, how could another divine person also have it? It would render useless the word “only.”
THE ONLYS OF JESUS ONLY
To begin with let us examine some of the “onlys” of Jesus Only. Bear in mind these things are being said of a Person, not a substance or essence.
ONLY HAS IMMORTALITY
In I Timothy 1:16-17 Jesus Christ is called the “King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God. Now if Christ is the only wise God, then he is the Father in his interior nature, for The Father is so defined (Rom. 11:33). Another “distinct person” could not also be the only” wise God. He might be “another wise God,” but the Bible never says that. No wonder Christ is called the “wise of God” (I Cor. 1:24). Now if some are in doubt that the above verse in I Timothy is even referring to Christ, they need only turn to the close of the letter where we read “which in his times he shall spew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see…”(l Tim. 6:15-16). Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is the only one with “immortality.” There cannot be another immortal, if he is the only one. And how is it that Jesus hath immortality? Because he is “dwelling in the light which no man can approach to, whom no man hath seen.” That “light” is the divine nature of the Father, the same nature that mutually indwells Christ (“I am in the Father, the Father is in me.”) The immortal life of God the Father is Christ’s life, and dwells in him.
ONLY ONE TO BE ‘WORSHIPPED
We are told by no less an authority than our Lord himself that God the Father is the only one who should be worshipped and served. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only Shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10). Yet Jesus received worship and never rejected or corrected it. He was worshipped at Birth by the Magi (Matt. 2:2, 8, 11). The lepers worshipped him (Matt. 8:2), rulers worshipped Him (Matt. 9:18), the disciples worshipped Him (Matt. 14:33), women worshipped Him (Matt. 15:25, 20:20, 28:9), the blind did also (John 9:38), as well as the demon possessed (Mark 5:6). Yes Jesus said only God the Father should be worshipped and served. Is there a contradiction? Only if one is a Trinitarian, for in their theory a Second divine Person is receiving worship that should only be rendered to the first divine Person, according to what the Second divine Person said! In Oneness there is no contradiction, for it is God in Christ that is worship so that “the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).
THE ONLY HOLY ONE
Jesus is also called the Holy One. Peter preached to the Jews and said “But ye denied the Holy One, and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted to you” (Acts 3:14). Yet who is the Holy One in the Old Testament? God the Father, the only God Israel recognized. “There is none holy as the Lord, for there is none beside thee…”(l Sam. 2:2).”Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel and his maker…”(Isa. 45:11). Remember these statements limit the title to just one “divine Person” (to use Trinitarian terms), for it is a “Person” and not a substance being addressed. And there cannot be any other divine person who is the Holy One because that would make a Holy Two! Yes, a real problem for Trinitarians; and will remain so as long as they maintain their “separate identity Theory” of Christ and the Father. But again Oneness doctrine reconciles this beautifully, the Father, whom Jesus called “Holy Father” (John 17:11), was resident in Christ’s Flesh (John 14:10), was manifesting Himself in that flesh (I Tim. 3:16), and using Christ’s body as his Temple (John 2:19, Col. 2:9). This made Christ the “Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24). And when he sends that Spirit to us, seeing it is the Father in emanation, he calls it the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, 15:26)!
The Father is said to “fill heaven and earth” (Jere 23:24). Yet Christ “fills all things” (Eph. 4:10), or is in other words, omnipresent. While Jesus was standing here on earth, he declared that he was simultaneously in heaven. “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). Notice, “Which is in heaven.” That was present tense; going on and taking place right then and there. How could Jesus have been in heaven at that moment? Because the omnipresence of the Son of God is the Father, who not only indwells Christ, but because he is a divine Spirit was also present in heaven, and everywhere else. “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in Hell, behold thou art there “(Ps. 139:8). The fullness of the Father, his mind and nature, were in Christ (Col.2:9, Phil 2:5), but the Father’s Spirit still ended into all places in the universe. God did not “drain” all his Spirit into Christ, but rather incarnated in Him the fullness of that Spirit. God’s mind, nature, center of consciousness, or to be more scriptural, his glory and his life were in Christ. Seeing the omnipresence of Jesus is the indwelling Father, he can also talk about “Our Father which art in heaven”, and “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst (Matt. 18:20). In addition, he could say “Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20). To a true believer, this is precisely how the Father and Son are able to “Come to Him” and make their “abode with him,” (John 14:23). Not two separate persons coming to live in a Christian, but rather the Spirit of the Son, which is the Father, comes to him. Jesus had just finished defining this indwelling of a believer as,”I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). The coming of the Son’s Spirit, which is the Father, to dwell in a believer is the only way the Father and Son can abide with a Christian today, and is the equivalent of Christ saying, “I will come” (John 14:18). This indwelling Spirit, Christians receive, is also known as the Comforter, or the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). But it is all the same omnipresent Spirit of God in Christ. Does this not make much more sense than to believe that there are three distinct Persons, each of which fill all things and are omnipresent? Isn’t it more compatible with scripture and experience to believe that when the Holy Spirit comes to someone it is Jesus, of whom we sing: “Come into my heart Lord Jesus, come in to stay, Come in today, come into my heart Lord Jesus.” And What Christian can tell you the occasions when the 1st Person, the Second Person, and then the third Person of the Trinity came into them? Trinitarians have gotten into serious trouble right here. The only thing to do is abandon ship and swim hard for the oneness shoreline!
Jesus said: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth? (Matt.28:18). He certainly didn’t have it as the Son, for “the Son can do nothing of himself” (John 5:19). How therefore did He get “all power?” When the Father resurrected Him, He simultaneously re-established his divine indwelling in the Son of God, and this placed all the power of the Godhead in Christ. “And declared to be the Son of God with Power according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:4). The resurrected Christ is the glorified Temple of the incarnate and all powerful Father; hence Christ has been given all power. Now Christ upholds everything by the word of his power (Heb. 1:3), and is able to subdue all things unto himself (Philip 3:21), He lives by the “power of an endless life” and this power is the Godhead that resides in Him (Rom 1:20, Col. 2:9).
This word means all knowing. As the Son, or human being, Christ did not know the hour of his Second Advent. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (John 13:32). But in his divine nature as the Father, He knew all things (John 21:17), including the hour, for he said: “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me…”(Rev. 22:12), and “surely I come quickly” (Rev. 22:20). He could not have said those things if he didn’t know the day and the hour. As Ron Rhodes, a Trinitarian, puts it in his boob, Christ Before the Manger:, “The Gospel accounts are clear that Christ operated at different times under the major influence of one or the other of his two natures. Indeed, Christ operated in the human sphere to the extent that it was necessary for him to accomplish his earthly purpose as determined in the eternal plan of salvation. At the same time, he operated in the divine sphere to the extent that it was possible in the period of his humiliation.” (Ron Rhodes, Christ, Before the Manger, p. 204). Two excellent examples are provided for us that illustrate his well taken point.
“It is interesting that both of Christ’s natures come into play in many events recorded in the gospels. For example, Christ’s initial approach to the fig tree to pick and eat a fig to relieve his hunger reflected the natural ignorance of the human mind (Matt. 21:19). (That is, in his humanity he did not know from a distance that there was no fruit on that particular tree). But then he immediately revealed his omnipotence by causing the tree to wither (v.19.b). On another occasion, Jesus in his omniscience knew that his friend Lazarus had died and set off for Bethany (John 11:11). When Jesus arrived in Bethany, he asked (in his humanness, without exercising omniscience) where Lazarus had been laid (v.34)…”(Ron Rhodes, Christ Before the Manger. 204-205).
Boyd lambasts oneness theologians for maintaining that Jesus could “alternate” between his two natures, as his fellow Trinitarian, Ron Rhodes, just described. “Thus, in oneness belief, Jesus can be understood to act and speak sometimes as God (Father) while at other times as a human (Son). This means that when reading the Bible we must always ask whether Jesus is acting in the role of or capacity of God or in the role or capacity of man”(Boyd,p.34). He sharply criticizes this “Oneness key” as “switching”, “alternating” and “illusion.” But apparently it is all right for Jesus to “switch” and “alternate” between his two natures, as long as He does it in a Trinitarian framework, that is, as long as the divine nature is considered to be “God the Son” and not the “Father.” Another Trinitarian put it this way: “As the God-man (Jesus) is simultaneously omniscient as God (in company with the other persons of the Godhead) and ignorant of some things as man (in company with other persons of the human race). (Robert Reymond, Jesus: Divine Messiah, p.80). So it is alright for Jesus to display his two natures, even simultaneously, as long as we use this “Trinitarian Key” to interpret it; a key which asks us to ascertain with whom he is keeping company, with gods or men !
After having observed Christ reading the hearts of men (Matt. 9:4), declaring the future (John 10:46), and describing the past (John 8:56), the disciples conclusion is found in John 16:30: “Now we are sure thou knowest all things…” and this they accepted because they believed his other nature had its origin and source in God “thou camest forth from God.”
Only God is eternal “From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God”. Only God “inhabits eternity” He alone is eternal. Who could dispute this conclusion. A “God” who is not eternal must of necessity had a beginning, and therefore would be only a creature. But the Lord Jesus Christ is said to be eternal; he is called in prophecy the “everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6). Thus showing us that his eternal nature is that of the indwelling Father. When Jesus asserted his Jehovahistic eternality by declaring, “Before Abraham was I Am” (John 8:58), it was his divine nature as Father that he referred to. For as a Son, he had a beginning (Heb. 1:5), but in his divine nature as Father, he had “neither beginning of days, nor end of life.”
As Father, his “goings forth have been from old, from everlasting” or days of eternity (Micah 5:2). But as Son, he came forth from Bethlehem of Judah. For the Father’s immortality, or eternal life, which Christ now has, has always been with the Father. That eternal life which was with the Father (1 John 1:2), was placed in His Son Christ Jesus at the incarnation: “For as the Father hath life in himself, so bath he given the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). And by means of this, the eternal life of God “was manifested and we have seen it” (I John 1:2). “God was manifest in the flesh…seen of angels, preached unto Gentiles…” (I Tim. 3:16). Apostle John says be means of this miraculous incarnation of the eternal God in our Lord Jesus Christ, the early disciples actually saw Him who was from the beginning! “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life”(l John 1:1). In Christ was life, the eternal life of God, and this was the light of men (John 1:4). The fusing of the divine nature with the human nature of man in Christ which gave our Lord an eternal Pre-existent memory and nature.
Thus we see from a study of Christ’s attributes, that through the indwelling of God the Father in his incarnational Son all the attributes and powers of God are transferred to Christ, and made characteristics of this person. He is therefore omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and eternal. Paul expressed it beautifully when he said: “In whom (Christ) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col., 2:3).And this he describes as the real “mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ” (Col 2:2). A far cry from another “Three Person” mystery that was yet to be invented, in which the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are divided up equally between three co-existent divine Persons.