By Gordon G. Mallory
In contrast to the teaching of – God as three divinities or divine persons – our chart indicates One Deity, represented by the first column, and the one humanity, as shown by the second column. Jesus consists of all that is represented in both columns. The two columns are separated by a fixed line, for Divinity is not humanity. God is not the Son, and the Spirit is not Christ.
“Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.” (I Timothy 3:16). The mystery spoken of in this text is declared to be in Jesus, since He is “God manifest in the flesh.” The mystery is not in the godhead (or God), nor in the incomprehensible Trinity, but in Jesus, who was both human and Divine. The humanity by which God sent himself into the world is His Son.
God In Christ
The much-used phrase, ‘God the Son,’ is non-existent in Scripture and is, in fact, a contradiction. God had no beginning, nor did He die, whereas the Son was conceived of a woman, born in a manger, lived a few years on earth, died, was buried, rose again from the dead, and ascended into heaven.
The blood shed on Calvary’s cross was not divine blood, as some have taught. If the shed blood of the begotten Son of God was not human blood, then Jesus was not a total man. To be very man, Jesus could have no less than a human body complete in every part — body, soul, and spirit.
The title of Christ (the Anointed) in its true literal sense relates to the Son, and both ‘Christ’ and ‘Son’ point to the humanity of Jesus. Not Deity, but the ‘man Christ Jesus’ was anointed of the Spirit to be our Priest and Mediator between God and man. This evident truth is expressed in I Timothy 2:5: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” This text is a simple and concise statement by the Apostle Paul affirming the priesthood of the Son of God.
In contrast to the commonly spoken phraseology of ‘God the Son,’ the Scriptures present Jesus as God in the Son – God in Christ — God in the flesh, as told forth in the following cited texts:
“…God was manifest in the flesh…” (I Timothy 3:16).
“…this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32, ASV).
“…God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto” (II Corinthians 5:19).
“God…hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (Colossians 1:19, NIV).
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9, NIV).
“…that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him” (John 10:3 8).
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” John 14:13).
When the risen Christ appeared to a doubting Thomas, Thomas knew and declared Him as, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:16-29). With his physical eyes he saw the human form of the Son who came out of the grave on the third day after His burial, but Thomas confessed Him as the very God manifest in the flesh. Nor did Jesus reject that confession.
Philip echoed the cry of all mankind when he said, “Lord, shew us the Father” (John 14:8). Since only in the Son may man discover and be acquainted with the Father, those who confess and call upon the Name of Jesus are privileged to know the Father, as is written in the verses that follow:
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 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? 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. Believe
me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake” (John 14:6-11).
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (I John 5:11-12).
“He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father” (John 15:2324).
“Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that confesseth the Son hath the Father also” (I John 2:23, ASV).
“Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also” (John 8:19).
The invisible God can be seen and known only in and through the Son. (Jesus) “is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15; II Corinthians 4:4). Jesus spoke of His Father in these words: “He that seeth me seeth Him that sent me” (John 12:45). The invisible Father was manifested and revealed in the Son whom Paul described as “the man Christ Jesus.”
Of the God of the Hebrews, Isaiah proclaimed, “Saith Jehovah…I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am Jehovah; and besides me there is no saviour” (Isaiah 43:10-11, ASV). It was this One that Paul himself described as being “of the tribe of Benjamin, Hebrew of the Hebrews” (Philippians 3:5), and also spoke in these words: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (II Corinthians 5:19).
The following profound words are attributed to Martin Luther, the great leader of the Reformation and revival of the 16th Century:
“This I have often said, and now say again, that when I am dead it may be thought of, and men may learn to avoid all teachers as sent and driven by the devil, who set up to talk and preach about God simple and sundered from Jesus Christ. If thou wouldst go straight to God, and surely apprehend Him, so as to find in Him mercy and strength, never let thyself be persuaded to seek Him elsewhere than in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him begin thy art and study, in Him let it abide firm, and wherever else thine own reasoning and thinking or any other man’s would lead thee, shut thine eyes and say, “I must not, I will not know any other God than in my Lord Jesus Christ.”‘
God Is Not A Man
The Bible clearly states that God is “not a man” (See Numbers 23:19; I Samuel 15: 29; Hosea 11:9). Thus, to teach that God literally became a man is to declare that God became that which the Bible says He is not. Job’s understanding was not faulty when he said, concerning Jehovah, “He is not a man, as I am” (Job 9:32).
Theologians have wrought confusion by attempting to integrate the humanity and the Deity of Jesus, whereas they are opposite and contradictory one to the other. The distance between God and man is as wide as the gulf between Scriptures declaring Jesus as God and those presenting Him as man. That gulf is not spanned by man assuming the role of Divinity. The issue of the infallibility of the clergy has been around for a long time. Those who attribute infallibility to their church or to their leadership are demanding a kind of loyalty from their followers, which is the exclusive prerogative of the One True God. When man assumes the role of Deity, the results are tragic.
Nor was the gulf between God and man bridged by God becoming man; but, in the infinite plan of God, He chose to dwell in a man. He came to humanity as God manifest, or revealed, in the flesh. The contrast and distinction between the Scriptures presenting Jesus as God, and those declaring His Sonship, are demonstrated in the following verses under two titles:
Jesus As God
“Jesus said unto them… before Abraham was ‘orn, I am” (John 8:58, NAS).
“For by him were all things created… all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 6:64).
(Jesus) “Arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm” (Luke 8:24).
“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life ” (John 8:12).
“Jesus answered…Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).
“And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
“Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (John 13:13).
“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
(Jesus) “saith unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether it is easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?” (Mark 2:8-9).
“…The Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings…” (Revelation 17:14).
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:12-13).
Jesus As The Son
“Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen…I have put my Spirit upon him” (Isaiah 42:1, ASV).
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted… ” (Luke 4:18).
“I can of mine own self do nothing… ” (John 5:30).
“…The Son can do nothing of himself.. ” (John 5:19).
“… I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28). My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16).
“…the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10).
“For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26).
“… Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God” (Luke 18:19).
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven; neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32).
“…my Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).
“Father… not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
(Jesus) “departed into a mountain to pray” (Mark 6:46).
“…Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth” (Matthew 11:25).
“He is… the firstborn from the dead…” (Colossians 1:18).
We have cited a multitude of Scriptures in each of the above two groups, which obviously do not conform to the trinitarian concept of two persons equal in power, authority, knowledge, and relationship. Rather, it is the contrast of the texts cited that is strikingly evident.
All the attributes of Jehovah are ascribed to Jesus when He is presented to God, whereas as the Son, He was subject to the Father. He could do nothing of Himself, His role was that of an obedient servant, and He disclaimed any knowledge of the day when “all these things shall be fulfilled” (Mark 13:4). He was led and anointed of the Spirit to minister to the people. As the Son He recognized His Father as Lord of heaven and earth.
A banner displayed in a church read, “God died for you.” Those responsible for the display of the banner had good intentions, but we cannot endorse their theology. If God were dead, whether for moments, or for three days, the universe would become chaos. Jehovah means ‘eternal’ and an eternal God cannot die, nor was He born. He is the “beginning and the end.”
A recent encounter with a ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ missionary who called at our home vividly illustrates the lesson at hand. Very simply we stated to our visitor that he must embrace Jesus as God to be saved. He responded by reading a Bible verse affirming the humanity of Jesus, whereupon we countered by offering a text presenting Him as God. Our visitor quoted for a second time a verse depicting Jesus as man, and again we recited a Scripture declaring His Divinity. We then assured our friend that the verses affirming the humanity of Jesus do not in any wise cancel or make void the verses presenting Him as God, but rather that they all are true, for .Jesus was both human and divine.
Our visitor’s final response was that our discussion was most interesting, that he would like to have a return visit, but that it was necessary for him to leave and join his companion with whom he was working in the neighborhood.
Jesus, Our Baptizer
Jesus is our Saviour, He is our Healer, and He is the One who baptizes believers with the Spirit.
John the Baptist’s prophecy that Jesus “shall baptize with the Holy Ghost” is recorded in each of the four gospels (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:7-8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). The prophecy of Isaiah that John would be the forerunner of the Saviour is also given in each of the four gospels (Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:2-3; Luke 3:2-6; John 1:23). Isaiah foretold John as “The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3, ASV). And the One whom the prophet Isaiah declared as Jehovah is the One whom John the Baptist proclaimed as Jesus.
We would note that just before His ascension Jesus commanded His followers to “Wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me” (Acts 1:4). Jesus also foretold and instructed them concerning this most important event in the following verses:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter… ” (John 14:16).
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name… ” (John 14:26).
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26).
“…if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7).
“I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you” (John 14:18).
“…I go away, and come again unto you… ” (John 14:28).
“The Spirit… dwelleth with you and shall be in you” (John 14:17).
Jesus said, “…the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). As the Son, Jesus ascribed all power and glory to His Father. He further revealed His humanity when He said, “I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter.” Prayer is the exclusive privilege of man. Insufficient man prays to the All-Sufficient God.
In contrast, Jesus speaks as the Supreme God. He promises the Spirit as coming “in my name,” the Name which represents all power and authority. He foretells the Comforter “whom I will send. ” He promises, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. ” And, again, He assures His followers, “I go away, and come again unto you. ” Did not Jesus promise that, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
“The Father that dwelleth in me,” of which Jesus speaks, is the Spirit by whom the Son was conceived and born. The Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter are one and the same Spirit for “There is… one Spirit” (Ephesians 4:4). It was of the Comforter that Jesus spoke when He promised, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you,” and also, “I go away and come again unto you.”
In the latter text (John 14:28) are two stages of fulfillment. The first is told in Acts 1:9 as follows: “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” That which the disciples beheld was the ascension, not of the Spirit, but of the physical body of Jesus, which had come forth from the grave.
But Jesus had also given His followers the assurance that, “…Even the Spirit… dwelleth with you and shall be in you” (John 14:17). This prophecy spoke of the fulfillment of John the Baptist’s proclamation that Jesus “shall baptize with the Holy Ghost,” which was initially fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4). The Comforter comes in His Name, for Jesus is the Baptizer.
Let us note further that Peter on that day declared the outpouring of the Spirit as, “That which was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16). We quote from Joel’s prophecy: “I am Jehovah your God…And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:27-28, ASV). On that momentous day Peter proclaimed the Name of our great Jehovah when he said, “This Jesus…hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear” (Acts 2:32-33, ASV).
John 17:5 is often quoted as evidence supporting the premise of the eternal or pre-existent Son: “The glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Compare this text with that in Revelation 13:8: “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Do these verses speak of a pre-existent Son or of the foreknowledge of God? (See I Peter 1:19-20).
A major point for the teaching of the pre-existent Son consists of the portion of Scripture in John 1:1-14. Admittedly, the clause in verse 1, “The Word was God, poses a difficulty of interpretation, for this appears to say that the One who expressed Himself was one and the same as that which was expressed.
Dr. Scofield in the Scofield Reference Bible, defines the Greek ‘Logos’ as, “(1) A thought or concept; (2) The expression or utterance of that thought.” Strong’s Concordance defines ‘Logos’ as “Something said (including the thought).” Moffat’s Bible allows the Greek ‘Logos’ to remain as ‘Logos’ in John 1:1-14, without being translated into its English equivalent, while in the remainder of the New Testament, Moffat renders ‘Logos’ as ‘Word’ or ‘words.’ The Living Bible gives ‘Logos’ as ‘Christ’ in these same verses, but also renders ‘Logos’ as ‘Word’ or ‘words’ elsewhere, or uses words of similar meaning.
Logos, translated as ‘Word’ or ‘words’, appears some 215 times in the New Testament. The attempt to treat Logos differently in John 1:1-14 indicates that the Greek word ‘Logos’ is not the primary issue, but rather it is the interpretation of these verses that is in question. Consistency should demand that we not treat ‘Logos’ differently here from the other more than 200 times where the word is used in Scripture. We cannot, therefore, go along with the conclusion that Christ, or Son, are synonymous with ‘Logos’ or the ‘Word’ in John 1:1-14.
Christ is God’s expression to man. God’s Word, oral or written, is also His expression to man. And, in creation God literally spoke the worlds into being. His creation speaks of the Creator, but where there is expression, the One who expresses Himself is not, and cannot be, synonymous with that which is expressed.
The Bible is a written record of that which God spoke to man, and ‘Logos’ translated ‘Word’ or “words’ is thus consistently used in Scripture.
In I Peter 1:20 we read that Christ “was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” Foreordained speaks of `knowing beforehand,’ or ‘to foreknow or predestine.’ The Eternal Spirit had to be manifested to be seen. If Jehovah had a human body in the Old Testament, His various manifestations would have been superfluous. It is an undeniable fact that Jehovah had no permanent body in the Old Testament.
Since the Word represents God’s expression to man in communication, while Christ is God’s expression to man as God clothed in flesh or in a man, Christ and the Word are different expressions of the same God. We have previously shown that God was not Christ, but that God was in Christ. From the beginning God had the thought or concept of a Son whose coming was foretold by the prophets. Christ was the expression of that thought or concept, and the conception and birth was the fulfillment of the Logos.
John 1:14 declares the Word was “made flesh” as “the only begotten of the Father.” The “begotten of the Father” does not speak of pre-existence, but was the consummation of the Logos — the thought or concept that was with God from the beginning.
The above article, “Jesus, Jehovah Saviour” was written by Gordon G. Mallory. The article was excerpted from chapter six in Mallory’s book, The Name of the One True God.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.