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The Pre-Existence of the Son

The Pre-Existence of the Son
By Elder Ross Drysdale

Did The Son Of God Exist Before His Birth At Bethlehem? Who Was The Mysterious “Angel Of The Lord “Mentioned In The Old Testament?

A CHALLENGE TO ONENESS

Dr. Boyd throws out a challenge to Oneness believers concerning the question of the Pre-existence of the Son of God. He cites a number of texts from John’s Gospel, Paul’s writings, and the epistle to the Hebrews, which seem to teach a Pre-existence of Christ as Son. Dr. Boyd then asks “How does Oneness Theology handle these texts?” (Boyd, p. 37).

It is an honest question, and deserves a comprehensive answer. In this chapter we shall provide it.

DID THE SON OF GOD PRE EXIST?

To the question whether the Son of God Pre-existed, the Bible answer is yes. He did Pre-exist. But how? In two ways. We shall first look at his Pre-existence in the Foreknowledge of God.

IDEAL PRE-EXISTENCE

God is not bound by the limits of time as we are. We think and operate in terms of past, present, and future. God is in an eternal Present. He calls “those things which be not, as though they were” (Rom. 4:17). Thus in God’s mind or plan, the Son of God “existed” countless ages before he was ever born of Mary. He had “existence” in God’s foreknowledge. In fact, the crucifixion is. spoken of as having occurred before “the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). How could “the Lamb” be “slain from the foundation of the world?” In God’s mind and foreknowledge! Even the Church is said to have existed in God’s mind “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4-5). We Christians are said to have been given grace “before the world began” (I Tim. 1:9). This occurred in God’s mind. In actuality we were not given grace until we responded to the gospel call. So also it is with the Son of God. He existed in God’s mind, long before His Birth took place. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things” but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (I Peter 1:18-20). The Son of God was foreordained in the mind of God, but did not take actual existence, or become manifest, until these last times. The son’s idealistic existence was in God’s mind from all eternity. His actual existence in time however is pin pointed for us in scripture. “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4). The son’s actual existence began when He was born of a woman, and this agrees with Luke 1:35. The Bible says in two places that the son was “made.” One is here in Gal. 4:4, where he is said to be made of a woman. The other is Heb. 2:9, “But we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels.” If the son is “made” how could he be eternal?

PRE-EXISTENCE AS “THE WORD OF GOD”

The idea of the Son existing “ideally” in the mind of God does explain a number of texts, especially those I have cited. However there are also a number of scriptures that speak of Christ in the Old Testament that cannot be explained on this basis. We read of God who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:9), and God who “path in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:2); and Christ Himself speaks of the glory He had with the Father “before the World was” (John 17:5). The answer to these texts lie in the scripturally revealed fact that the Son of God did Pre-exist, but not as the Son of God, for that would be the same as having a Pre-existed male human being. No, the Son of God Pre-existed as “the Word of God”(“the Logos” in Greek). He who was the Word of God in the Old Testament became the Son of God in the New Testament. The Son of God, the male person born of Mary, did not pre-exist as a Son, per se. That would mean a pre-existent humanity, for the Son is precisely that, a human being. But that does not negate the fact that He who was the Son of God in his earthly sojourn, had existed before in a different form!

THE MYSTERY OF THE LOGOS

John speaks of the Word (Logos in Greek) who was “in the beginning” “with God” and yet “was God.” What was the Logos, or Word of God?

As we have seen, the Son of God was God’s visible body, form, or Temple in the New Testament times. God dwelt in Christ His Son and used Him as His own body. Whoever saw Christ, saw the Father, for God was in Christ. The Bible also teaches that God had a visible body or form in Old Testament times as well. It was not a human body of flesh, but it was a glorious body. And just as God dwelt in the human body of the Son of God after Bethlehem, so also did he dwell in the celestial body of the Word of God before Bethlehem. Whether in the Old Testament as the Word of God, or in the New Testament as the Son of God, Christ has always been the visible Temple of the invisible Spirit. A Oneness of “God in Christ” exists in both Testaments.

THE VOICE OF THE LORD

The glorious “Word” was the body God used when he “walked” Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening. Naturally He would have some form or body to fellowship with .them. They couldn’t “walk” with an omnipresent Spirit! “And they heard the voice of the Lord walking in the Garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden” (Gen. 3:8). The “Voice of the Lord” is the same as the Word of God. It was God’s vehicle of visual and audial communication with his creation.

“THE BODY OF HEAVEN”

In the time of Moses the Elders of Israel were given a view of the Logos. “And they saw the God of Israel: and there were under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness ” (Ex. 24:10). They could not have seen his Spirit nature, for a spirit is necessarily invisible. Yet they saw God’s feet, and described his visible form as the “body of Heaven. God has only had two bodies. In the Old Testament times it was the body of heaven, but in New Testament times it was the body of Humiliation (Phil. 2:8), which the world crucified and pierced!

“IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD”

The Word of God was God’s visible image in the Old Testament times. He was “the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person” (Heb. 1:3). He was the “image of the invisible God and the firstborn of every creature” (Col. 1:15). When men saw Him, they saw God: “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved ” (Gen. 32:30). Did he see God as spirit? Of course not. A Spirit doesn’t have a “face.” What he saw was the Word, who was God’s visible image and as such did have a “face.”

“THE FORM OF GOD”

God had a visible form in the Old Testament times. Jesus spoke of God’s “shape” as well as his “voice” (John 5:37). Paul mentions the “form of God” in Phillip. 2:6. A pagan king once saw a form that was the Word of God. This “form of God” was later changed into “the form of Man” at the Incarnation FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDEMPTION (Phil. 2:2-8)

THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND WAS GOD

Now we understand the meaning of John’s prologue. The Word, or God’s visible form, was “with God,” just as our bodies are with us wherever we are. And yet the Word “was God.” Because God dwelt in that “form, used it as His visible Temple, it can be said that the Word “was God.” Wherever this Form appeared, It was God Himself appearing. The same situation obtains in the New Testament dispensation. Christ, the Son of God is also God’s body or form. The Father is said to be with Christ (John 8:29), and also to be “in” Him (John 10:38), and Christ is thereby said to be God (John 20:28). Whoever saw Christ, saw God (John 14:8-10). God in Christ makes Christ God. God in the Word, made the Word God.

It was the “voice” of God, speaking out of his “shape” or visible image (John 5:37) that said: “Let there be light, and there was light.” This is how the worlds were created by the Word of (Heb. 11:3). By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made (Ps. 33:6). God’s glorious visible Form, the Word or Logos, spoke and creation resulted. “All things were made by Him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). And this Word was eventually changed into flesh and became the “Son of God.” “The Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

JOHN PATERSON COMMENTS

John Paterson was one of the most insightful writers on Oneness topics. His early work, The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” was used as a Godhead textbook in the infancy of the Oneness Movement. He has summarized the doctrine of the Logos in very clear and logical terminology. He writes: How did God show Himself to Abraham, eating and drinking before him? (Gen 18:6-8, 33); or How did Moses see his back parts? (Ex. 33:23), or How did the elders of Israel see the God of Israel, and did eat and drink? (Ex. 24:10, 11). In the answer to these questions lies the secret of the Mystery of God: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made'(John 1:1-3). In the beginning! That refers to Gen. 1:1, which reads, ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

“Now what is a ‘word’? Is it not the expression of an inward abstract thought in a substantial concrete form. It means this in English, but as a matter of fact, the Greek word Logos means not only the expression of the thought, but also the inward thought itself. So we conclude that the Word was the visible expression of the invisible God`’ other words, the invisible God embodied in visible form; and not only this, but the word was, essentially nothing less than the Eternal God Himself, as it is written, ‘The Word was God'” (John I:1). (John Paterson, God in Christ Jesus, p. 9-10).

THE ANGEL OF THE LORD

The Pre-Incarnate Christ also appeared frequently in the Old Testament times as the Jehovah Angel, or Angel of the Lord in the KJV. The Angel of the Lord was none other than the Word of God. He was the Form or Image of the Invisible God which we have already discussed. The “body of Heaven” which Moses and the elders of Israel saw, the Logos or Word of God, was none other than the glorious Angel of Jehovah. In the Old Testament dispensation the invisible 40 was embodied in the visible form of Christ as the Angel of God. In New Testament times the same God is embodied in the visible form of Christ as the Son of God. Christ has always been God’s Temple or body, whether as the Angel of God, or as Son of God. The same Oneness Truth prevails throughout recorded (and unrecorded) history, namely that the one divine invisible spirit has always had his visible Person in whom he dwelt and manifested Himself. This Christ, whether as Angel of God or Son of God has always been the Mediator between the invisible God and his visible creation. An examination of some of the frequent appearances of the Angel of Jehovah will prove very enlightening on this theme. It must always be borne in mind that we are not talking about two distinct Persons in the Godhead.” For God the Father is not a Person; He is a divine Omnipresent Spirit (John 4:24). Christ, whether as Angel of God or Son of God, has always been God’s Only Person, God’s visible Image. God the invisible Spirit has always embodied his essential deity and nature in the visible body of His “Person,” the Christ.

THE ANGEL OF JEHOVAH APPEARS TO JACOB

In Gen. 28:13 Jacob had a vision of God at Bethel; God declared to him at this time that He was “The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac.” Twenty-one years later the Angel of God appears to Jacob and tells him that He was the God that appeared to Him at Bethel (Gen. 31:11-13). Thus the Angel of God is the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac!

Shortly after this a “man” wrestled with Jacob (Gen 32:24). This mysterious “man” is called the “face of God.” What Jacob saw was the Logos, the “image of the invisible God.” This was the pre-incarnate Christ, then known as the Angel of the Lord.

The Prophet Hosea speaking about Jacob’s unusual “wrestling match” said: “Yea, he had power over the Angel, and prevailed: he wept and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel…even Jehovah God of hosts: Jehovah is his memorial” (Hosea 12:4-5 margin). Here we see that the mysterious “man” who wrestled with Jacob, as a man, is none other than the Angel of the Lord, and in His divine nature, Jehovah God Himself! Jacob wrestled with God in Christ! And this is the same One who is described as the “Word” who was in the Beginning, and was God! There can be no other conclusion. Jacob’s mysterious “man” is identified by Hosea as the Angel of God. And this Angel of God is defined by the same prophet as Jehovah God.

ANGEL OF JEHOVAH AND MOSES

The Angel of the Lord figures prominently in the life of Moses and in the Wilderness History of Israel. In Exodus 3:2 the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. When Moses drew nigh the bush the Angel said: “I am the God of thy Father, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). It is clear that the Angel was Christ, the visible image of the invisible God, because the same verse says: ‘”And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

THE ANGEL WHO LEADS TO THE PROMISED LAND

God promised to lead the children of Israel by means of His Angel manifestation. “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.” Christ as the Angel of God led the earthly Israel to an earthly Promised Land. But in this dispensation, Christ as the Son of God, leads the “spiritual Israel,” his church, to their heavenly home: In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:2).

‘THE ANGEL WITH GOD’S NAME

Christ has always been the divine Name bearer. This is because wherever the fullness of the divine nature is embodied, there God’s Name is also. Christ, the human Son of God, was the Temple of the embodied Father, hence he had the Father’s name, and announced the fact in John 5:43: “I am come in my Father’s name and ye receive me not.” The Angel of God, Christ in the Old Testament, was also the visible Temple of the Father: “Beware of him and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in Him” (Ex. 23:21). God’s name was in Him, because God was in Him! Who else has ever borne the Father’s name but Christ? And how else could the Divine Father Spirit transfer his name to a person except by incarnation or embodiment? The parallels between the Word of God (the Angel) and the Son of God are drawing ever closer.

THE ANGEL WHO CAN FORGIVE SIN

When Christ was here on earth as the Son of God he shocked the Pharisees by forgiving sin. In Luke 5:20 he said to the palsied man: “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” The Pharisees remonstrated, reasoning that only God could forgive sins. Christ responded to them by announcing: “The Son of Man hath power upon earth to forgive sins” (Luke 5:24). Because God the Father was incarnate in the Son, the Son could’ forgive sins. “Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:50). This makes Christ, the God-Man, the mediator between sinful men and a sinless God.

The Angel of God in the Old Testament also “had power upon the earth” to forgive sins: “Provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions” (Ex. 23:21). The power to retain or pardon transgressions was a perogative of the Angel of the Lord. This Angel had this power because God Himself was embodied in Him and functioned through Him. Just as the “God-Man” was a mediator between sinners and God in New Testament times, so also was the “God-Angel” a similar mediator in Old Testament times. In either dispensation, Christ (her as Word of God or Son of God) is the One mediator and the only “Person” with power to forgive sins. And the basis for this is the same in both `time periods, namely, God (with His Name) was in Christ!

THE ANGEL WHO MUST BE OBEYED

The Angel of God is to be obeyed as God Himself: “Beware of Him and obey His voice, provoke him not” (Ex. 23:21). Why is this? Because the words of the Angel are actually the words of God Himself who is embodied in Him: “But if thou shalt obey his voice, and do all that I speak…” (Ex. 23:22). The Angel’s “voice” is actually God “speaking.” When the same Angel-Word was made flesh (“and the Word was made flesh”), and became the Son of God, the exact same situation prevailed. The Son said: The Words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me He doeth the works” (John 14:10). God has always used His Form or Image as his “mouthpiece,” so to speak. The results of obeying the Angel of God, are the same as obeying the Son of God: deliverance from enemies (v. 22-23), a blessing through bread (Lord’s Supper) and water (Baptism in Jesus Name), and divine healing (v. 25), and of course a new home on “the other side of Jordan.”

THE ANGEL OF THE COVENANT

The most positive identification of the Son of God with the pre-incarnate Angel of the Lord is found in Malachi’s prophecy. In the first verse of the third chapter we read: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me.” This was clearly John the Baptist who was the preparing messenger for Christ, the Son of God. Mark 1:2 applies this to John the Baptist. Then the next thing that is to happen is “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly appear in his temple, even the Angel of the Covenant, whom ye delight in” (Mal. 3:1 margin). The Angel of the Lord, who had walked the earth in a “celestial body, would now become the Son of God in a new “flesh and blood” human body. The Angel of God had delivered to Israel the Old Covenant (Heb. 12:25-26, Acts 7:53, Gal. 3:19). Now the same Angel or messenger of the Covenant appears on earth as a man to deliver the New Covenant: “This the Covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Neb. 10:16-17). In the Old Testament as the Angel of God, the Christ delivered the Old Covenant to the old Israel. Now in the New Testament, as the Son of God, He delivers the New Covenant to the New Israel.

THE ANGEL OF THE LORD AS REDEEMER

The Angel of the Lord is also designated as the “Angel of His Presence”: “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the Angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them…”(Isa. 63:9). And this verse is given as an explanation of the preceding one which said Jehovah “was their Savior” (Isa. 63:8).

What does it mean when the Jehovah-Angel is called the Angel of God’s Presence? It means exactly what it implies. God’s very presence, his essence or nature, is embodied in this Angel. The Angel is God manifested in a visible Form. We cannot strictly call it an “incarnation” for that refers only to human bodies. But, as John Paterson put it: “While no thoughtful person would suggest that He took flesh prior to Bethlehem, His appearances in bodily form from the dawn of human history certainly…. indicate something akin to an incarnation” (Paterson, p. 47). God is so embodied in His Word or Angel, that we can truthfully say: “The Word was God.” The Angel-Word was the visible Temple of the otherwise invisible presence of God, hence he is the Angel of His Presence. Deity embodied in a glorious Personal Form. When the “Word was made flesh” we have the same deity or “presence” incarnate in a human form, the Son of God: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself” (II Cor. 5:19). God in His Angel was the means by which He reconciled Israel. God in His Son is the means by which He reconciles the world!

THE ANGEL OF GOD AS SAVIOR

The same passage in Isaiah indicates that the Angel of God is the Savior (Isa. 63:8, 9). There can be only one Savior, and that is Jehovah. Isaiah himself told us that: “I, even I, am Jehovah; and beside me there is no Savior” (Isa. 43:11). The Word of God, Jehovah in Angel Form, desired to save Israel, to be their Savior. But the Son of God, Jehovah in human Form, desires to save all mankind: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32).

THE ANGEL OF THE LORD IS CHRIST

Some may wonder if it is correct to refer to the Angel of the Lord as “Christ.” They have assumed this is a New Testament designation only. Christ is Greek for the “Annointed One.” The Hebrew form is “Messiah,” and as such was certainly used in the Old Testament (Dan. 9:26). The Greek Septuagint of the Old Testament, used by the Jews of Christ’s Day, contained the word Christ (Christos-Greek). The Angel of God, being the embodiment of both God’s nature and name, was certainly the “Annointed One” or “Christ” in Old Testament times.

In fact the Bible specifically refers to the Angel of the Lord as Christ, and in more than one reference.

In I Cor. 10:4 Paul designates the Angel of the Lord that was with Israel in the Wilderness, guiding and protecting them, as “Christ.” “And they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” When that same Angel of God was “provoked” (Ex. 23:21) and “pardoned not their transgressions,” but sent fiery serpents into the camp, “much people of Israel died” (Numb 2:6). Yet Paul says it was Christ that had been “provoked” or “tempted,” again clearly identifying the Angel with Christ: “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents” (I Cor. 10:9).

Moses was called by the Angel of God in the burning bush to forsake all and identify with God’s people and to deliver them (Ex. 3:2-12). This he did. The writer of Hebrews describes it as “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Heb. 11:26). How could Moses “esteem the reproach of Christ” if there were no Christ? And who could this Christ be, if it wasn’t the Angel that spoke to him “face to face” (Ex. 33:11), , “glory” he saw (Ex. 33:18-19). For the “glory” of God is found in the “face” of Christ (II Cor. 4:6).

Peter refers to the Holy Spirit which operated in the Old Testament Prophets as the “Spirit of Christ” (I Peter 1:11). How could their be a “Spirit of Christ” back then, if there was no Christ Himself! Remember, Isaiah talks about the Angel of His Presence, and how Israel vexed “his holy Spirit” (Isa. 63:9-10). Apparently the Angel administered the divine Spirit to Israel, for it was “His” Holy Spirit, and this, Peter calls “the Spirit of Christ.” Hence the Angel was Christ.

Isaiah saw the Angel of the Lord seated on the throne in heaven as the embodiment of God (Isaiah 6:1). Yet John says that Isaiah saw Christ’s glory and wrote of it (John 12:41).

THE ANGEL AS GOD’S IMAGE

The Angel of the Lord appeared unto Gideon (Judges 6:12). The words the Angel spoke are identified as Jehovah speaking directly to Gideon: “And Jehovah said unto him…” (v.I6). The Angel performed a miracle and then disappeared out of sight (v. 21). In verse 22 we read: And when Gideon perceived that he was an Angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas O Lord (Jehovah)God! for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face” (v. 22). He feared death, because He knew to see the face of the Jehovah Angel was the same as seeing the face of Jehovah “and no man shall see my face and live.” But Jehovah again spoke to Gideon and assured him he wouldn’t die: “Peace be unto thee, fear not, thou shalt not die” (v.23),

MANOAH’S INCIDENT

In Judges 13 the Angel of the Lord appears to Manoah’s wife and assures her she will conceive. The woman describes her visitor to her husband as “a man of God” with the “countenance of an Angel of God.” Manoah prayed that the Heavenly Visitor return to give them more instructions (v.8). The Angel of God did return and gave them more information about their forthcoming son, Sampson. As the Angel was about to leave, Manoah asked what the Angel’s name was (v.18). The Angel said his name was “Wonderful” (v.18-margin). This clearly identifies the Angel as Christ, the image of the invisible God, for he is called “Wonderful” in Isa. 9:6. Are there two “wonderfuls?” Not likely. When the Angel of the Lord leaves, it finally “dawns on” Manoah they had actually been communing with God in his Angelic Form as the Word, and Manoah exclaims: “We shall surely die, because we have seen God.”

JACOB’S INCIDENT

We already reviewed the incident when Jacob wrestled with the Angel of God (Gen 32:24-30). He too asked the Angel for His Name. His request was denied. The Angel said his Name was “Wonderful,” meaning “secret’.” It would not be revealed until Christ was born at Bethlehem, when we hear: “Call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Jacob also recognized he had seen the Word Image, God’s visible Angelic Form, for he said ‘I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved” (v. 30.).

JOSHUA’S INCIDENT

The same “Word” (Logos) appeared as the Angel of the Lord to Joshua and identified Himself as the “Captain of the Lord’s Host” (Joshua 5:14). He then commanded Joshua to worship Him, which He did! (Joshua 5:15). There can be only one “Captain” and He is identified in Heb. 2:10 as Christ! As the Angel of God, Christ was Israel’s Captain for earthly warfare. But now as Son of God, Christ is the Captain of our salvation in spiritual warfare! In both dispensations it was necessary for the “captain” to come to earth and “appear” before his “troops,” and lead them in battle!

THE ANGEL WHO SPOKE AS GOD AND MAN

Zechariah relates a mystifying incident involving Joshua the High Priest (not the same Joshua who succeeded Moses). He saw Joshua the High Priest standing before the “Angel of the Lord” and Satan standing on the right hand, resisting Him(Zech. 3:1). The Angel, speaking as a “man” would, rebukes Satan saying: “Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan, even Jehovah that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee” (v.2). But just a few verses later, the same Angel speaks in the first person as Jehovah God Himself saying: if thou wilt keep my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou wilt also judge my house” (v.7). The Angel of the Lord appears to be speaking from two perspectives. One, as the messenger or Angel, and the other as the deity embodied in that Angel. In the New Testament Christ also spoke from two perspectives. As the Son he said: “I can of my own self do nothing.” But as the embodied Father he said: “Thy sins be forgiven thee.”

In the first chapter of Zechariah we encounter the same phenomenon. The Angel, speaking as a “man; would ask God; “O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem” (Zech 1:12). Yet in the second chapter the same Angel replies in the first Person, as Jehovah Himself, saying: “For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about” (Zech 2:5). Thus we see that God’s Word in the Old Testament on occasions can speak from his nature or perspective as the Angel of God, the Messenger, or He may speak out of the divine nature resident in Him as Father. The same pattern we notice in the New Testament concerning our Lord, who sometimes spoke as man, as when he inquired about Lazarus’ burial site: “Where have they laid him, and sometimes spoke as God, as when he commanded Lazarus to rise: “Lazarus, come forth!”

The same “dual speech” from the one Person is glimpsed in the incident of Abraham offering up Isaac. When Abraham had demonstrated his faith, the Angel of God addressed him thusly: “I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” (Gen 22:12). First he speaks of God as apparently distinct “I know thou fearest God.” And then the same Angel speaks directly as Himself: “Thou hast not withheld thy son…from me!”

The same “key” of the “dual natures of Christ,” which explains such speech in the New Testament, can also be used to “unlock” the mystery of such speech in the Old Testament. For in both cases we are dealing with the same God in the same Christ.

FROM “WORD OF GOD” TO “SON OF GOD”

In the history of redemption the time came when He who had been God’s “heavenly body;” known as the Word or Angel of God, would become the Human Son of God. The Lord, “whom ye seek,” would suddenly come to his human “temple” (Mal. 3:1; John 2:19). *God’s glorious Personal Form, his Old Testament Image, had to be “laid aside.” The price of redemption required the shedding of blood. The Angel of Jehovah, the Word, was a celestial body. (Ex.24:10) It was not composed of “flesh and blood.” It was visible and tangible, but lacked the key elements for salvation, namely blood that could be shed, and flesh that could be pierced (Heb. 9:22). It had served its purpose. So the Scriptures tells us that “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). This mystery occurred through the process of the Virgin Birth. The glorious body of the Old Testament Word was transformed into a flesh body known as the Son of God. There was no Son of God until the flesh body emerged from the womb of the Virgin Mary: “Therefore that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”(Luke 1:35). “God sent forth his Son made of a woman” (Gal. 4:4). The Bible says that this “Word Made Flesh,” known as the Son of God, “dwelt among us”(John 1:14). The Greek word for dwelt is “tabernacled” or “pitched his tent.” Now if the Son of God is a tabernacle or tent, then someone must live in it, for that’s what tabernacles are for! And Christ very unmistakenly revealed who was living in the tabernacle of his fleshly body: “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). Paul agreed to this when he said: “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). So just as the Word had been God’s temple or body in the Old Testament, so the “Word made flesh,” the Son of God, continues to be the temple of God in New Testament times.

Paul talks of this “transformation of bodies” in Philippians the second chapter. He speaks of Christ who had been in the “form of God” and was the visible equivalent of the invisible God in earlier times (Phillip 2:6). This “form” was the Angel of God, and the “Body of Heaven.” However Paul tells us that this “body” or “form” was exchanged for the “form of a servant” and the “likeness of a man” (v.7). This is when the “Word was made flesh” and the whole idea of Christ laying aside the glorious “form of God” and taking upon himself the “fashion of a man” was for the purpose of dying on the cross for our sins (v.8).

TRUE MEANING OF MORPHE

It should be mentioned at this point, that much “misinformation” is being circulated by Trinitarians concerning the interpretation of the Word “form.” The Greek word for “form” in this text is “morphe. While this word may embrace more than just the outward or visible form, its primary meaning is related to visible physical appearance, or outward form. In fact, in the writings of the earliest Latin fathers and in the -satin Vulgate, the word is translated by a Latin phrase that is strictly understood in a physical outward sense. The only other place that morphe” is used in the Bible is Mark 16:12, and there it clearly refers to Christ’s physical visible body. To try and translate “form” as something other than “that which strikes the eye” or “physical body,” or appearance,” is simply to mistranslate it. So the “form of God” was a visible tangible body which could be seen. Christ called it God’s shape (John 5:37), and said it could be “seen.” He ought to know!

WHY THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH

God inhabiting the body of the Angelic-Word could never have offered that up on the cross for redemption. So God, through the Incarnation and Virgin Birth, transformed his immortal celestial body into a mortal human body. The “form of God” became the “form of man.” And as God had been “incarnate” in the pre-Bethlehem Angel-Image, so was He also incarnate in his post-Bethlehem human image. God took this body to the cross (Heb. 9:14), offered it for salvation, withdrew from it so it could die (Mark 15:34), and after three days re-entered and resurrected it (John 2:19-20). Now that body, having been resurrected and glorified, is similar to the one God had in the Old Testament. “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body” (I Core 15:44). It is “flesh and bone” (Luke 24:37) but not “flesh and blood” (I Cor. 15:50). In his new glorious resurrected body, Christ is not only known as the Son of God (Rom. 1:4), but has resumed his title as Angel of God also. “There stood by me this night the Angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying Fear not (Acts 27:23-24) is Paul’s witness. The resurrected Son of God also appears under the title of Angel on occasion in the book of Revelation. In the tenth chapter of Revelation we read of a mighty Angel Clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire (Rev. 10:1). If we compare this with the description of Christ in Rev. 1:13-16 and Rev. 4:2-3, we see it is the same Person.

Christ himself made reference to his previous glorious “form” which he possessed in ancient times when he spoke of “the glory” which He had with the Father “before the World was.” This was his glory as the Word of God, the “Body of Heaven” which was mediator to all God’s universe. His form as Angel of God was “glorious,” especially in comparison to the human form in which he now existed, and by which “he humbled Himself, being obedient unto death” (Phillip 2:8). Nevertheless, in His resurrection and glorification Christ regains that glory which he had. “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in Him (John 13:31). He is again in the Body of Heaven, but with the “reminders of redemption,” by which is meant the nail prints in his hands and the wound in his side.

WHY IS THE PRE- EXISTENT CHRIST CALLED “SON”?

There are some passages, very few, that refer to the Old Testament Word of God as “Son.” One such example is Hebrews 1:2, which talks of the worlds being created “by the Son.” How can this be, if the Son did not exist until the “Word was made flesh” at Bethlehem? The answer is very simple. In these instances the Bible writers are simply talking about the One who would later (at Bethlehem) be known as Son. They do not mean he was Son at that time. They are projecting his birth acquired title back through time. This is a common practice, even in today’s speech. I once saw a film where the narrator said: This is the cabin where President Lincoln was born.” Was he “President” at the time of his birth in that humble cabin? Of course not. But he, who would become President, had been born there. In the same way we hear of the High School that President Nixon attended and the football field President Reagan played on. Were they president at the time? Certainly not. They did not become President till long after their High School and football days. The speaker is merely using a title they acquired later in life to more fully describe them. He is projecting a title back in time. So when we hear of the world being created by the Son” we understand it is the Word that is being referred to and not a pre-existent human being. In other words, he that would later be known as the Son, created the worlds. But he did not do it as “Son.” He was the Word at that time. His Sonship acquired title (Son) is being projected back.

Even Trinitarians admit this is so: It is not unusual for Scripture to denominate appellatives which do not, in a strictly literal sense, appertain to the entire range of age-times under consideration in the respective contexts. An obvious example occurs in the words of the Son of God to his grumbling disciples…’What then if you should behold the Son of Man ascending when he was before’ (John 6:61062 NASB). It is axiomatic that the Lord of Glory was not effectively the Son of Man in pre-incarnate conditions, although such in prospect according to divine counsels” (Ronald F.Hogan, The God of Glory, p. 72).

IS THIS DOCTRINE ONENESS?

Some may be wondering if this concept of “God in Christ” in both Testaments is in conformity with Biblical Oneness. Nothing could be more oneness, and as I will shortly prove, this message was an original and authentic part of early oneness Exegesis. If God the Father, as a divine Spirit, can be manifested in the body of Christ in the New Testament, and it be oneness, then why can’t the same God be similarly manifested in the body of Christ in the Old Testament? If God in Christ is oneness in the New Testament, why is it not in the Old Testament? The only difference involves the bodies in which He dwelt. In the Old Testament it was a celestial body, known as the Word of God. In the New Testament it is a human body, known as the Son of God. It is the same God, the same Christ, and the same indwelling. Only the form of Christ’s body has changed, from the “form of God” to the “form of Man.”

God in Christ in the Old Testament is shown to be Redeemer, Savior, Captain, and Provider. The Angel of God embodies God’s Presence or divine nature, and bears God’s name, and administers God’s Spirit. He who sees the Angel of God sees God.

God in Christ in the New Testament is also revealed as Redeemer, Savior, Captain, and Provider. The Son of God likewise embodies God’s presence or divine nature, and He too bears the Father’s name and administers God’s Spirit. He, who sees the Son of God, sees God also.

Neither in the old or New Testament are we speaking of “two distinct Persons.” The only Person is Christ, God’s Image. He has always been the Person of God. God Himself is not a Person, divine or otherwise. He is never called a “person” in Scripture. God is a Spirit (John 4:24). So what we have is one invisible Spirit dwelling and manifesting Himself in one visible Image, know as the Angel of God in one dispensation and the Son of God in another. Pray tell, where are there two persons anywhere?

LET THE FOUNDERS SPEAK

Many of the early pioneers of Oneness truth recognized and taught the concept of God in Christ in the Old Testament. It was cart parcel of the message. It did not receive as much attention as the New Testament “God in Christ” truth due to the fact that the battle lines with Trinitarianism were primarily drawn on New Testament territory. Nevertheless they recognized the important truths concerning the Jehovah Angel as the Word of God. The neglect of this aspect of Oneness has resulted in much needless controversy with Trinitarians, where might have been more profitably spent. Oneness exponents of today need to realize, as their forbearers did, that the “idealistic Son doctrine will never adequately answer all the texts presented to us on the pre-existent Christ by our opponents. The entire Oneness message will never come into complete harmony without this segment of the Truth fully integrated into our theology. Let us now examine the record of our early writers.

GT. HAYWOOD

Bishop Haywood, first Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, was a theologian, journalist, composer, and artist. A genius by any definition of the term. His theological works on Oneness were among the first to appear. Concerning the Angel of Jehovah as the Word, he writes: “Elohim is God, the living God, the power of Creation (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17; Rev. 3:4-11). He first assumes a creature form, though spiritual in nature (Gen. 12:7, 32:24-30, Isa. 6:1, 5); afterwards, the human form for the purpose of redeeming mankind. (John 1:14, Heb. 2:9, 14, 16, 17; Phil2:7, Rom8:3). That Elohim, in his creature form spiritually, who appeared to the Patriarchs and Prophets is the same who appeared in a human form 1,900 years clearly seen by reading the following Scriptures: Gen. 17:13, Ex. 6:23, with John 8:56-58, Isa. 6:1,2,5,9,10 with John 12:39-40,41,44,45.
(G.T. Haywood, Divine Names and Titles of Jehovah, p. 7-8)

“When Jacob wrestled with the Angel he sought to obtain the secret name, but was prohibited…The children of Israel were led by the Angel of the Lord and Jehovah said, Beware of him..for my name is in him (Ex. 23:21). To Manoah the Jehovah Angel replied, Why asketh thou after my name, seeing it is a secret (margin, Wonderful)? (Judges 13:18). The Prophet Isaiah declared that his name shall be called Wonderful (Isa. 9:6). From these scriptures it can be clearly seen the Jehovah had a name to be revealed which was to be above all his names! There is not a shadow of a doubt but that the angel that appeared to the Virgin of Nazareth was the Jehovah Angel of Old who bore that Wonderful name. It was there that He had finished his journey over the hills of time and deposited that secret name in the bosom of her who was highly favored of God.’ …The Word was God from the beginning (John 1:1-4) and when the Word became flesh, it was given a name that is above every name, for he there and then ‘magnified his Word above all His Name. His name shall be called Jesus!”(Haywood, p. 13-14).

JOHN PATERSON

In 1920 John Paterson wrote his classic Oneness Treatise entitled “Revelation of Jesus Christ.” This was used as a textbook in early Oneness Circles and was printed by both G.T. Haywood and A.D. Urshan. It has been reprinted by Word Aflame Press under the Title “God in Christ Jesus.” Bro. Paterson, Whom I knew, presented me with a personally autographed copy of his book when he first reprinted it. I quote now from this Oneness pioneer’s masterful work which contains over 800 scripture references: “The visible Being who appeared to Jacob and declared Himself to be God, and who was recognized by Jacob as God, is variously described in the Bible as the Angel of Jehovah’ (over 50 references), ‘the Angel of the Covenant’ (Mal. 3:1, I Cor. 10:9), and ‘the Angel who can refuse to pardon iniquity, because the name of Jehovah is in him’ (Ex. 23:21, Psalm-2:12). Surely no one will deny the Power to forgive, or the right to refuse pardon, belongs solely to God. Who is this angel if he is not the pre-existent Christ?…Likewise, the fact that Christ was not just another angel’ did not prevent Him from being The Angel of God’s Presence and the Angel of the covenant who ‘suddenly came to His Temple’ (as foretold in Malachi 3:1 and fulfilled in John 2:13-16)” (John Paterson, God in Christ Jesus, p. 48-49).

John Paterson’s book “The Real Truth About Baptism in Jesus Name” has been in circulation over 50 years. It is considered the most popular and widely disseminated Oneness book of all time. On page 13 we read: �God gives a fearful warning against trifling with His name in the Person of His Son when He says concerning the Angel of the Covenant, ‘Beware of Him. And obey His voice, provoke him not’ Why? for my name is in Him’ (Ex. 23:21). Every Bible student knows that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Angel of the Covenant (Mal. 3:1, I Cor. 10:9).”

And on page 14 of the same book Rev. Peterson writes: “In Ex. 6:3 this is the name by which God made covenant with Moses and the children of Israel and it was therefore the Name in the Covenant Angel referred to in Ex. 23:21, concerning whom we have seen that He was the Lord Jesus Christ” (John Paterson, The Real Truth About Baptism in Jesus Name, p. 13-14).

FRANK J. EWART

Bro. Ewart was the first to see the light on Water Baptism in Jesus Name as the fulfillment of Matthew 28:19. Back in 1913 he began baptizing in Jesus Name those first Oneness believers. He was also an articulate author. Concerning the Pre-existent Christ he writes: “There is not a single Scripture that asserts Jesus existed eternally as a Son. He is called ‘the Word; ‘God’s Wisdom,” Back in the Beginning,’ but never God’s Son. See John 1:1, Prov. 8:22-31….He asserts that His existence was inseparable from the One True God. He asserted that back in the beginning He was in ‘the bosom of the Father.’ It is written in Zechariah that He was ‘God’s fellow.’ Micah said the babe of Bethlehem was ‘from everlasting.’ Isaiah says He was ‘the everlasting Father’…” (Frank Ewart, Revelation of Jesus Christ, p. 37).

Bro. Ewart recognized the “Word” or “God’s fellow” to be the embodiment of the invisible Father back in “the beginning and who would later become the “Babe of Bethlehem.”

C.H. YADON

C.H. Yadon, a well revered Oneness Pioneer, had reprinted a remarkable book entitled “Jehovah-Jesus.” This book was originally written by one R.D. Weeks. For years this book was the principal Godhead work circulated by the United Pentecostal Church. Often quoted out of context, and distorted grossly by enemies of Oneness, the book fell into disfavor, and has not been reprinted in years. However it contained a very thorough exposition of the Angel of Jehovah as the Pre-existent Christ and the embodiment of the Father. He writes: “It was the same divine ‘Angel,’ the ‘God of Israel,’ that was seen by Moses and the elders of Israel on Mount Sinai, and who spoke to them there. We are told that ‘no man hath seen God at anytime,’ that is, God as a Spirit. What they saw must have been the Angel Jehovah, the same who ‘spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto a friend’ The Lord, (Jehovah) who spoke to Moses not in a vision, nor in a dream, but mouth to mouth, even apparently, whose ‘similitude’ he beheld. He was a created being, because ‘seen’ and talked with ‘mouth to mouth’ and ‘face to face’ yet also Jehovah, God Himself. He was the spiritual rock, the ‘angel’ that was with the Israelites in the Wilderness, which ‘Rock was Christ'” (C.H. Yadon, Jehovah–Jesus, p. 51).

THEODORE FITCH

In the early 1930’s the Lord Jesus Christ Himself appeared to Theodore Fitch, who was a Trinitarian, and revealed the Oneness of the Godhead to him. Rev. Fitch immediately set about writing his book “The Deity of Jesus.” It is still the most comprehensive work ever published on the Oneness. Fitch wrote many other books on the Oneness which enjoyed wide circulation among believers. I quote from “The Deity of Jesus” page 4: “The ‘Angel of the Lord’ represented the Great Eternal Spirit that filled the Universe. The Spirit of God was present everywhere. The Angel ‘Person’ of God was God in One Place. Please notice that every time the Angel of the Lord appeared or spoke to anyone it was God Himself ‘in person” …Before the Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary, the Lord God existed in two definite ways. God was manifested as an Angelic Spirit ‘Person’ and as an omnipresent Spirit, that is present everywhere all the time. His ‘person’ was in the form of a man, and his eternal Spirit was without form, body or parts” (Theodore Fitch, The Deity of Jesus, Pentecostal Publishing House, Hazelwood, MO n.d., p. 4). “Before the incarnation, the fullness of God dwelt in a Spirit body which was in the form of a man. This beautiful angel body was made flesh by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This made the God-Angel a God-man-If the Word or ‘Person’ of God was made flesh, then the Father is the Son and the Son is the Father…The Word that was God, was ‘made over’ into a flesh man John 1:14. When God the Word was made flesh, he became a Son but still remained God, the Word. Though a change was made in the substance of his body, he still remained the same. Person… The angel Person of the Lord from Heaven is now called the Son of God” (Fitch, p. 22, 23).

OSCAR VOUGA

Bro. Vouga’s popular little Book “Our Gospel Message” has this to say concerning the Son of God and his Pre-existence as the Word of God on p. 28: “The Son of God was conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. (Matt. 1:18-25)-the son of David of the tribe of Judah. ‘In the beginning (He) was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…all things were made by him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.’ John 1:1-3. He was in the form of God (Phil 2:6). He was the body of Heaven that Moses and Aaron, with the elders of Israel, saw. (Ex. 24:10). It was He who talked with Abraham (Gen, 17:1), wrestled with Jacob (Gen. 32:24-30), walked in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew children (Den. 3:25), was and is the creator of all things. ‘.all things were created by Him and for Him’ Col 1:16.

But made himself of no reputation (Nay, he stripped Himself of glory-Weymouth), and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; Phil 2:7. He left the glory of the Father, that is stripped Himself of divine glory, but not of deity, and was made flesh… He is now glorified with the Father with the glory He had before the World was (John 17:5). (Oscar Vouga, Our Gospel Message, P- 28).

The book carries an endorsement from Howard A. Goss, founding father of both the Assemblies of God and the United Pentecostal Church. Bro. Vouga’s exposition of the Godhead on pages 27 to 29 of his book is in my opinion one of the very best ever written.

GORDON MAGEE

“Is Jesus in the Godhead or Is the Godhead in Jesus” is the famous little book by the well known Apostle to Ireland, Gordon Magee. On page 7 of the original edition published by the author (It has been changed in the revised edition published by Word Aflame Press), we read: “‘Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.’ Or in other words, before Jesus was born with his human nature He was the Divine visible equation of the invisible God. He was originally in the form of God and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but he made Himself of no reputation, ‘He took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.’ This being, who prior to His physical birth, was in the very form of God the full equation in a majestic form of the invisible God—This Being, God, at His Incarnation took upon Himself the likeness of men. He assumed human nature at his incarnation, but did not cease to be God…(Gordon. Magee, Is Jesus in the Godhead, n.d., p.7).

ORIGIN AND NATURE OF THE WORD

We have seen that the Son of God, the man Christ Jesus, pre-existed as the Word (Logos) or Angel of the Lord. We have also seen that this Word or Angel was God’s visible Image and Mediator in the Old Testament. He was God’s Personal Form. The invisible divine Spirit was “incarnate” in this Angel of God, just as He would later be in the Son of God. This explains how the Word was with God and yet was God and how God created all things by Christ Jesus. The question now before us concerns the origin of this Word or Angel. Was he created or “eternal” or “begotten?”

TRINITARIAN THEORY

The origin of the Logos is shrouded in mystery. We know the Word was “in the beginning” (John 1: 1) and existed before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).This much we know. Trinitarians feel the Logos was “eternal.” They base their reasoning on such text as Micah 5:2 which speaks of his “goings forth which have been from of old, from everlasting.” The margin reads: from the days of eternity. Also Proverbs 8:23 “I was set up from everlasting.

ONENESS THEORY

Others, including oneness theologians, feel the Logos had a definite origin. They point to Christ’s statement in Rev. 3:14, where he refers to Himself as The Beginning of the Creation of God. They view this as a reference to his Pre-existence as the Logos. The Passage in Colossians 1:15-19 is also used to prove the argument. Christ is called the image of the invisible God in verse 15. This, as we have seen, is the Word or Angel of the Lord. The same verse also calls Him the Firstborn of every creature.” This, like the title in Rev. 3:14, is interpreted as referring to his pre-creation origin. He is said to be the instrument of creation ” for by him were all things created. (v.16) And this was possible only because the Father was dwelling in Him as His divine nature: “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell ” (v. 19). This fullness is the Godhead, for in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9). Heb. 1:6 calls Christ “the first begotten who was brought into the world. This is also taken as a reference to his primeval origin. This First begotten” who was brought into the world. This is also taken as a reference to his primeval origin. This First begotten however receives worship, let all the Angels of God worship him.” Thus, the divine nature of God is resident or incarnate in the First begotten, making Him also God and worthy of Worship.

FIRST BORN AND FIRST BEGOTTEN

Christ as the Word or Jehovah Angel is said to be the “first born” and “first begotten.” Based on what we know these expressions could never be taken literally, for that would require a “divine mother” pre-existing in heaven; “begotten by human reproduction. Christ’s birth at Bethlehem was literal begetting because he had a “real mother and was actually born. God was the real Father of that child, howbeit through a miraculous birth. So Col 1:15 and Heb. 1:6 must be taken as highly figurative language which refers to a process about which we have no real understanding or capacity to understand.

EARLY FATHERS

It is apparent from reading the creeds and the writings of the early church Fathers that they believed in the origin of the Logos in Pre-Creation times. The idea of an “eternal generation” always going on, and a “birth always taking place” but never culminating were later “twists” woven around the original and unambiguous statements. We shall examine some.

THE APOSTLES CREED

Considered the Oldest, though not written by the Apostles. It contains no reference to the Pre-existent Logos, or his being “begotten.” It also makes no reference to the deity of Christ. Arians, Trinitarians, and Sabellianists, could all easily subscribe to this creed. It is “controversy free.” No wonder its popularity has endured!

THE NICENE CREED

This creed refers to the son’s pre-existence and origin as Logos in these words: “Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made.” In this creed we also read of the Son being of one substance with the Father-However, he is still “begotten before all worlds.”

ATHANASIAN CREED

This, the lengthiest of all creeds, speaks of Christ as “begotten before the worlds,” but “of the substance of the Father.” He is still “begotten before all worlds,” but the idea is that He was generated from the Father’s “substance.”

CHALCEDONIAN CREED

“Begotten of the Father before the Ages” is the phrase used in this creed. He had an origin before the ages begin to roll. The Virgie Birth is also defined as a second “begetting” in these words: “but yet a regards his manhood, begotten for us men and for our salvation, of the Virgin Mary, the God-bearer (or Mother of God-“theotokos” in Greek).

JUSTIN WARM

‘Now the Word of God is his Son, as I said before. He is also called ‘Angel’ and ‘apostle.’ For as Angel he announces what it necessary to know…This can be made clear from the writings of Moses in which this is to be found: ‘and the angel of God spoke to Moses in flame of fire out of the bush and said, I am He who is God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob…’ But these words were altered to demonstrate that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Apostle, who was first the Word, and appeared now in the form of fire, now in the image of the bodiless creatures (angels). Now, however, having become man by the will of God for the sake of the human race…The Father of universe has a Son, who being the Word and First begotten of God is also divine. Formerly he appeared in the form of fire and the image of a bodiless being to Moses and the other prophets. But now in the time of your dominion he was, as I have said, made man of a virgin according to the will of the Father.” (Early Christian Fathers, Cyril C. Richards editor, p. 284-285).

ATHENAGORA

“Rather did the Son come forth from the Father to give form and actuality to all material things…The Prophetic Spirit agrees with this opinion when he says: ‘The Lord created me as the first of his ways, for his works’ (Richardson, p. 309).

This is sufficient to show that the idea of the Word being “formed,” “begotten,” “created,” or “coming forth;’ from God in a time described as “before all worlds,” “before the ages,” “in the beginning,” was not an unfamiliar or novel concept in the early church. This Word was also identified with the Angel of God in Old Testament times.

A MODERN DAY WITNESS TO THE LOGOS DOCTRINE

A very interesting discussion concerning the Word appears in Dr. E.W. Bullinger’s previously cited “Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek Testament.” The doctrine Dr. Bullinger brings forth, although he is an ardent Trinitarian, is almost word -for word the Oneness position on Christ as the Word, or Angel of God. Here is what he says:

“The Godhead is ‘Spirit’ (John 4:24) and as Spirit has no likeness to matter, God himself took some creature form, (not human) before He created anything, in order that creation might have a mediator, or a means of communion with Deity. Hence, Christ is said to have been, ‘In the Beginning ‘ (John 1:1); ‘before all things ‘ (Col. 1:17);’The Firstborn of every Creature.’ (Col 1:15); The Beginning of the Creation of God’ (Rev. 3:14); and hence, ‘In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily’ (Col. 2:9).

“Elohim, therefore, is the Logos or Word, who took creaturehood, to create, (as He afterwards took humanity, to redeem). As such He is the Father’s ‘Servant,’ ‘Angel,’ or ‘Messenger.’ (Elohim, denotes His being set apart to the office with an oath; Messiah or Christ, His anointing to the work of redemption; Angel or Messenger, referring to his actual dispatch; Servant, with reference to the service actually to be done). He appeared to Adam and the Patriarchs, (Gen. 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 32; Exe. 3, 6; Joshua 5:13-15 with Ex. 23:23; Judges 13, etc, etc.) This view only makes permanent that which most commentators assume as being only temporary.

“His mission in connection with creation was to manifest Deity His creatures, (Prov. 8:22-31). His work was begun with Adam (made in His likeness and image), but the Fall interrupted the mission, and it was necessarily suspended. Then ‘the Word was made flesh’ (John 1:14) in order that He might redeem creation from the curse. Made flesh in order that He might suffer and die (See Heb. 105, Ps. 40:6, Isa. 42:40,Phillip 2:7).”(Bullinger, p. 896-897).

Oneness theologians could find no argument with this marvelous discussion from the pen of a well known and well respected Trinitarian Bible expositor and author.

CHRIST’S OWN WORDS

Christ Himself may have been speaking of his beginning as Word or Jehovah Angel in a number of statements He made. These statements have a cryptic and mystifying ring to them and may be capable of deeper interpretation than what we have accorded them.

“Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God…” (John 8:42). When did Jesus “proceed forth” from God? Could it have been when he emerged from the Father as the Word, or God’s Image, in the dateless past. We know when he “proceeded forth” from Mary as the Son of God, for the Scriptures say: “God sent forth his Son made of a woman” (Gal. 4:4. But where does the Bible speak of his “proceeding forth” as the Word of God? Perhaps John 8:42 provides the Bible answer. In one of his last discussions with the disciples Christ says:

“For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God” (John 16:27). What is this “coming out from God” that Jesus is speaking of? Obviously it is the same as his “proceeding forth” and is a reference to the time when He, as the Word, first made his appearance “before all ages,” even “before the worlds were.” For he was God’s visible Form or Temple before anything was created. The first thing God fashioned was a body for Himself; this was the “beginning of the Creation of God” and the “first born of all creation.” In this body God could dwell and “incarnate”
Himself and thus have a Mediator for all his subsequent creation.

In his final prayer Christ says: “For I have a given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee…” (John 17:8). “Came out” as the “First begotten,” the “Image of the invisible God,” is what he meant! He “came out” from Mary as the “form of man” in 4 BC. But he came “out from God” as the “form of God” back “before all worlds.” Mary produced the human body in which the divine Spirit dwelt, but in the dateless past God produced the celestial body (Ex. 24:10) in which he dwelt, before He was “made flesh” (John 1:14).

IS THE WORD IN ANY SENSE ETERNAL?

The Word of God, as God’s creature form (Bullinger, p. 896) came forth from the omnipresent Spirit in the dateless past before the “foundation of the world.” The emergence of the Angel of Jehovah as God’s “celestial body” and “mediator” at this remote time is scripturally assured for us (Micah 5:2, Prov. 8:23, John 17:24). But is there any sense in which it could be said that the Word was eternal?

Yes, in the sense of having existed in God’s mind or foreknowledge as an unexpressed thought, destined to take substantial form in time. The Word did not exist eternally as a “distinct” divine Second Person in the Godhead. There were no “persons” at all, just Spirit, until the Jehovah Angel was brought forth as God’s Person. And it was in this one and only Person of the Word that God took up residence and deposited his divine nature.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, of all books, has this to say on the subject: “They knew that St. John spoke of the Second Person of the Trinity as the “Word of God” existing from all eternity as an unexpressed word in the mind of a Thinker. Only when God decided to create, and especially when he sent his word upon the earth in the form
of the man Christ, did the inner word come forth; it was now the spoken Word through whom all things were made and who was made flesh and dwelt among us” (Catholic Encyclopedia VoL XI, p. 70. ).

Except for the preposterous notion that an “unexpressed word in the mind of a thinker” can be considered a “second Person” in the Trinity, unexpressed main thrust here is correct. The word existed eternally as an unexpressed concept in God’s mind. Then the Word took actual existence when God “brought forth” His Visible Form, The Jehovah-Angel, called also The Word,” or the “Body of Heaven.” The Deity dwelt in this Form as His visible Temple; this is the Word that was “in the beginning” and was eventually “made flesh.” This is the scriptural doctrine concerning the Pre-existence of Christ.

This article “The Pre-existence of the Son” written by Elder Ross Drysdale is excerpted from the book Enter the Neo-Trinitarians.

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADGH - Godhead/ Oneness, AIS File Library0 Comments

The Ante-Nicene Fathers

The Ante-Nicene Fathers
By: Elder Ross Drysdale

Are The Writings Of The So Called “Early Church Fathers” Reliable For Doctrine? Do These Writings Contain The “Fables” And “Heresies” Of Which Paul Warned Us?

THE WRITINGS OF THE EARLY FATHERS

Dr. Boyd makes sweeping claims concerning the early church Fathers and their supposed Trinitarianism. These men wrote after the death of the Apostles and their writings span a three hundred year period. Dr. Boyd is convinced not only that they were Trinitarians, but that “each of these figures understood himself to be simply passing on the faith that had been handed down by the Apostles from the beginning” (Boyd, p. 161). And he feels this Faith was an “unqualified Trinitarianism.” As far as Oneness is concerned, he will tell you they were the first to oppose it and “stand up behind the church tradition” (Boyd, p. 102). But is all this really so?

ONENESS AND THE CHURCH FATHERS

I am not going to devote much time to the discussion of the Early Church Fathers for two reasons. Primarily it would require more space than the limitations of my present book would permit. But secondarily, and more importantly, such a discussion is not really necessary at this point. Oneness scholars such as Bernard, Weissner, and Chalfont have thoroughly researched the writings of these Fathers and disclosed their findings in several excellent volumes available through the Pentecostal Publishing House. They have sorted the fact from the fiction and arrived at the Truth which lay buried beneath centuries of “vain tradition” and “holy forgeries.” I find their evidence to be unanswerable on all counts. When the true facts about the beliefs of the sub-Apostolic Church and the subsequent Trinitarian innovations are carefully sifted, no unbiased researcher would care to claim that the Early Fathers held an “unqualified Trinitarianism.” And perhaps even more significant, it becomes abundantly clear that not all of them were passing on the Faith that had been handed down by the Apostles.” A catalog of all that they were actually “passing on” leaves very little left for the imaginations.

HOW SOON DID APOSTACY SET IN

Trinitarians like to create the impression that for about three hundred years after the death of the apostles all was well. The church held the true faith, apostacy was kept at bay, and heresies were held in check. This is the picture they paint for us, but on examination of their writings reveals the exact opposite. One can find a cornucopia of strange and mutually contradictory doctrines nestled among their writings. The seeds of every latent heresy were sown in the fertile furrows of their manuscripts.

PAUL’S WARNING (AD 60)

How soon did this departure from the Truth begin? The Apostle Paul informs us in AD 60 that it was well under way in his very own day. If the mice were that active while the cat was at home, how much more so in his absence? Paul spent years weeping over the impending apostacy which he knew would expand vigorously after his death: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore, watch and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31). Paul also said in II Thess. 2:7 that “the mystery of iniquity cloth already work.” The great apostle knew that the first doctrine to be attacked after his death would be the Godhead. And he named the twin enemies in charge of it, namely, “vain tradition” and Greek Philosophy.” Listen to his echoing warning against the emerging Greek Trinitarian ideas which were trying to replace the full deity of Christ: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of this world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Col. 2:8-9). What specifically was Paul referring to when he mentioned a “philosophy” that was trying to get in the church, and which would spoil them? This philosophy was Greek Platonism, which advocated a system of Trinitarianism known as “The Timaeus.” Using mathematics, the Greek Philosopher-Mathematician Plato (427-347 BC) worked out a system in which God was conceived of as three “coequals.” He used the equilateral triangle as both symbol and proof of this new Trinity-God. “An equilateral triangle, one having all three sides equal, was Plato’s Trinity, and he thought of it also as the elemental earth form” (L. Hoghen, Mathematics for the Millions, pp. 26-27). One of the “Early Fathers” Dr. Boyd mentions adapted this Greek Trinity for Catholic needs: “The Catholic lawyer, Tertullian, plagiarized Plato’s Timaeus and for the Catholic system he twisted it into the famous, ‘Trinitos.’ Here is the foundation of Rome’s Trinity” (Marvin Arnold, Nicea and the Nicene Council, p. 6).

JOHN’S WARNING (AD 90)

The aged Apostle John also saw the creeping influence of false teachers in his day. He wrote: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists…” (I John 2:18). That is why he admonished them to remain in the original apostolic faith and to resist these new Godhead innovations: “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father” (I John 2:23-24). He also stated that ”many false prophets are gone out into the world” and we should therefore “try the spirits” (I John 4:1). The assault against truth was already in full swing when John penned these words in 90 AD. He fearlessly declared that “many deceivers are entered into the world” who did not have the true “doctrine of Christ” (II John 7-9). These false subverters of truth were not even to be allowed in the house! (II John 10). And what was this “doctrine of Christ” that this invading army of false prophets were already tearing down. John defined it for us: “He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (II John 9). The doctrine, that in Christ one has both the Father and the Son, was the target of attack. And John knew it!

JUDE’S WARNING AD 60

Jude recognized the same theological nightmare that was beginning to unfold in his day. In AD 66 he wrote: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God and our Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4 ) . The focus of the attack by these heretics was the same as Paul and John mentioned. It was a denial of the full deity in Christ. Jude’s last clause could be translated: “denying the only Lord God, even our Lord Jesus Christ.” In the light of John 20:28, where Christ is called “Lord and God,” this is really the only proper translation.

NO OBJECTIONS?

Dr. Boyd says on page 162: “Finally, even if such an overhaul of Apostolic doctrine were possible, how could it occur without leaving one shred of evidence of anyone’s objecting or even questioning it?” The objections and “shreds” Dr. Boyd fails to see are plainly recorded for us by Paul, John and Jude, so that even “He that runneth may read.” They vigorously warned and protested the invading attempts to divide up Christ. Dr. Boyd’s problem is that he is looking for “objections” within the “objectionable” writings themselves. He needs to search the New Testament where protests and warnings abound!

THE NATURE OF THE ANTE-NICENE WRITINGS

These early writings, known as the Apostolic Fathers, or the Ante-Nicene Fathers, were not inspired of God. These authors were not “holy men who were moved upon by the Spirit of God.” Their writings are utterly uninspired. They are not “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, or instruction in righteousness,” because they were not given by ‘inspiration of God.” They are not “Thus saith the Lord.” Their promises are not “yea” and “amen.” No Holy Spirit conviction attends their reading. We are never commanded to search these writings. And what’s more, we will not be judged by what’s written in these books. (Thank God!) They are filled with errors, mistakes, contradictions and outright myths. However, they are of historical interest, and provide us with insights into church development and early Christian influences. Beyond this they are of no value.

TAMPERED WITH AND FORGED

We do not know exactly what the Ante-Nicene Fathers originally wrote, seeing the first autographs have been lost to history. We have only copies of copies. The manuscripts that we possess have been altered, reworked, amended, interpolated, redacted, recinded, and outrightly forged. The Catholic Church is a past master at forging and “reworking” historical documents. The greatest forgery of all time (and believed genuine for centuries) was the so-called “Donation of Constantine.” This was a product of the Catholic Church, as were the Isodorian Decretals and a host of other false documents. So it should not surprise us if these writings were “fixed up” by scribes “here a little, there a little,” in order to bolster the Trinitarian concept.

LETTERS OF IGNATIUS

Cyril C. Richardson says concerning the manuscripts of Ignatius` Letters: “We possess no pure manuscripts of the original Corpus, for in the Fourth Century the letters were interpolated and six additional ones added… The aim of these forgeries was to gain for a diluted form of Arianism the authority of a primitive martyr. Finally, in the Middle Ages, perhaps around the Twelfth Century, which saw a new development of the cult of the virgin–a correspondence between Ignatius and Mary, as well as two letters of Ignatius to John, was fabricated in the West” (Cyril C. Richardson, Early Christian Fathers, p. 81).

FIRST LETTER OF CLEMENT

Concerning the earliest Ante-Nicene writing, The First Letter of Clement, written AD 96, we read: “Here we see a version of the gospel which, while reflecting Paulinism, is more strongly influenced by Hellenistic Judaism, and which, in several ways, foreshadows the leading emphasis of later Roman Catholicism” (Richardson, p. 33). Hellenistic (Greek), Judaism and Roman Catholic Emphasis! And that is to be found in the “earliest” of the writings!

THE DIDACHE

Even the dating of these writings is often open to question. Take the much touted “Teaching of the Twelve Apostles” (Didache) for example: “At one time this tract was viewed as a very .ancient product—as early as AD 70 or 90. Recent study, however, has conclusively shown that, in the form we have it, it belongs to the Second Century. There is nevertheless, no unanimity among scholars about its exact date or purpose. It has appropriately been called the “spoiled Child of Criticism” (Richardson, p. 161). Concerning the forgeries and alterations of this ancient (?) document we read: “It is not possible to tell how much of the Church order he has faithfully preserved or has much he has altered” (Richardson, p. 165). “We should assume, then, that some scribe in Alexandria about 150 AD edited two ancient documents which came into his hands… He made some changes in them–how many we shall never know” (ibid, p. 165). “The Didache, thus, is the first of those fictitious Church Orders which edit ancient material and claim Apostolic authorship” (ibid, p. 165).

SECOND LETTER OF CLEMENT

The Second Letter of Clement does not fare any better. “The document that goes under this misleading name is neither a letter nor a genuine work of Clement of Rome” (Richardson, p. 183). It is tinged with “Gnostic speculation,” uses “semi-Gnostic phrases” and quotes for authority an apocryphal “Gospel of the Egyptians”(ibid, p. 183, 186).
This “Gospel of Egyptians” was even considered heretical in its own time!

FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN

The First Apology of Justin, much quoted by Trinitarians, introduces Christ as a “second divine entity.” Justin actually used the Greek phrase “deuteros theos” which means a “second god.” He boldly admits worshipping and adoring an “army of good angels” whom he lists ahead of the Holy Spirit in order of dignity! (First Apology of Justin, 6). No wonder Dr. Boyd is forced to admit: “‘One can clearly see that the question one ought to have regarding the Apologists is not whether or not they thought of God as possessing a triune nature, but whether they pushed their understanding of the threeness of God too far” (Boyd, p. 159). Worshipping and adoring an army of angels” is certainly going a little “too far!” What do you think, dear reader? But we need not fear, for Dr. Boyd informs us that the Council of Nicea did a splendid job of rescuing us from the unorthodox ideas of the Early Apologists: “This sort of language in any case, would two centuries later be banned as unorthodox by the Council of Nicea” (Boyd, p. 158). Why call up these apologists as witnesses in the first place if they are “unorthodox” and require “banning?” Why call to the stand witnesses known to be in error. This is absurd to the point of hilarity.

PASSING DOWN THE FAITH

If the Early Fathers were all just “passing on” the true Faith as they received it from the Apostles, then we are going to have to “redefine” what constitutes the “True Faith.” For we find many things being “passed on” that were anything but Apostolic! The seeds of Romanism and ritualism were even at this early date beginning to bear fruit. This is not surprising in the light of the warnings the Apostles had sounded. Grievous wolves were very busy.

PAGAN MYTHS AND LEGENDS

The First Letter of Clement, chapter 25, offers up the ridiculous story of the mythological Phoenix as a proof of Christ’s Resurrection. “Let us note the remarkable token which comes from the East, from the neighborhood that is Arabia. There is a bird which is called a Phoenix. It is the only one of its kind and lives five hundred years. When the time for its departure and death draws near, it makes a burial nest for itself from from frankincense, myrrh and other spices: and when the time is up, it gets into it and dies. From its decaying flesh a worm is produced, which is nourished by the secretions of the dead creature and grows wings. When it is full-fledged, it takes up the burial nest containing the bones of its predecessor, and manages to carry them all the way from Arabia to the Egyptian city called Heliopolis. And in broad daylight, so that everyone can see, it lights at the alter of the sun and puts them down there, and so starts home again. The Priests then look up their dated records and discover it has come after a lapse of five hundred years.”

I have quoted this utterly fictitious nonsense in full, so that the reader may be completely aware of the type of things these Fathers were “passing on.” Things, Dr. Boyd informs us, “had handed down by the Apostles from the beginning” (Boyd, p. 161). Clement uses this absurdity as his theological climax in arguing for the resurrection: “Shall we, then, imagine that it is something great and surprising if the Creator of the universe raised up those who have served him in Holiness and in the assurance born of a good faith, when he uses a mere bird to illustrate the greatness of his promise?” Can you imagine the Apostle Paul resorting to such pagan drivil to prove the resurrection? And yet from such sources as Clement we are to receive confirmation of the Truth of the Trinity!

Such nonsense as this fable of the Phoenix precisely fulfills Paul’s warning: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they reap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:3-4).

APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION

The Roman Catholic dogma that the office of Bishop was to be passed on in an unbroken line of succession, similar to Kings, emerges in the Ante-Nicene Fathers very early. This doctrine of “Apostolic Succession” is the foremost argument used by Rome in her claims to being the “One True Church,” as opposed to Protestantism which lacks it. “Now our apostles, thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ, knew that there was going to be strife over the title of Bishop. It was for this reason… that they appointed the offices we have mentioned. Furthermore, they later added a codicil to the effect that, should these die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry” (I Clement, 44). I’d like to see that “codicil” they added, wouldn’t you?

SACRIFICE OF THE MASS

Instead of a memorial of Christ’s death, the Last Supper is being explained as a “sacrifice.” This is the heart of Romanism, and a direct contradiction of the Bible which says: “But this man (Christ) after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:14, and also we are told: “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).

In I Clement 44:4 we read of a “sacrificing” priesthood for the first time: “For we shall be guilty of no slight sin if we eject from the episcopate men who have offered the sacrifices with innocence and holiness.”

TRANSUBSTANTIATION

Catholicism is known far and wide for its insistence that the Communion bread wafer and wine are literally and actually changed into the very substance of the Lord’s flesh and blood. Catholics believe they actually eat the real flesh and blood of Christ at Mass. It is only “disguised” under the appearance of bread and wine. The Priest has really changed its substance by the words – “This is my body” and “This is my blood.” This is the foundation for the “sacrifice of the Mass.”

The Early Fathers had departed sufficiently from the Truth to also teach this “flesh eating, blood drinking” doctrine. Actually they “borrowed” it from the Mithra cults and the pagan Gnostics which surrounded them. They were all busy eating up their gods, flesh and blood, in order to acquire their “powers.”

Ignatius says: “What I want is God’s bread, which is the flesh of Christ… and for drink, I want his blood: an immortal love feast indeed” (Ignatius to the Romans 7:3). Drink the blood of a god, gain his immortality. Pure paganism! He gets worse: “They hold aloof from the Eucharist and from services of prayer, because they refuse to admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ” (Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, 7:1).

Justin in his First Apology, chapter 66 is even more explicit: “So also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the word of Prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus.” Justin is very clever however. He realizes he has “borrowed” from the pagan Mithra cult (not from the apostles) so he adds this “cover up” statement: “This also the wicked demons in imitation handed down as something to be done in the mysteries of Mithra; for bread and a cup of water are brought out in their secret rites of initiation, with certain invocations which you either know or can learn” (First Apology of Justin, 66).

Who’s borrowing from “whom” is the question. And seeing the Mithra religion had “transubstantiation” first, the answer is quite obvious. Justin seems to know an awful lot about what takes place in Mithra’s secret rites of initiation.

PRIMACY OF ROME

The dogma that the Church of Rome has authority to rule the other Churches of Christendom is the very definition of Roman Catholicism. This supposed right to meddle and rule has long been known as the “Primacy of Rome.”

Clement, Bishop of Rome, instructs the Corinthians to “bow the neck and adopt the attitude of obedience” and to give up their “futile revolt.” He further writes: “Yes, you will make us exceeding happy if you prove obedient to what we…have written…” Clement also sent “delegates” from his See, “trustworthy and discreet persons,” whose job it was to “mediate between us” (I Clement, 63). Who gave him the right, sitting across the Mediterranean Sea in Rome, to take authority over the Church of Corinth? No wonder Paul said in his day: “The mystery of iniquity cloth already work.”

BAPTISMAL REGENERATION

The Early Fathers taught “baptismal regeneration.” They believed the mere contact with the water, coupled with the newly emerging Trinitarian formula, remitted sin automatically. Justin says: “Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are reborn by the same manner of rebirth by which we ourselves were reborn; for they are washed in the water in the name of God the Father and Master of all, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit”(First Apology of Justin, 61). Justin blasphemously censors out the truth of Jesus Name being the Name of the Father by saying: “There is named at the water… the name of God the Father and Master of all. Those who lead to the washing the one who is to be washed call on God by this term only. For no one may give a proper name to the ineffable God, and if anyone should dare to say there is one, he is hopelessly insane.”

Thus according to Justin, anyone who believes that God the Father has a name is “hopelessly insane.” Jesus said: “I am come in my father’s name” (John 5:43), and also, “I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it” (John 17:26). Justin the blasphemer wants none of this, inspite of what Christ has said! Here we see our choice is real clear: The Early Fathers or the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).

Inspite of all this heresy and Mithric adaptations, including the censoring of God’s name, by these so-called Fathers, Dr. Boyd writes: “They are inherently conservative and resistant to change. Hence it may be safely assumed that the less time the tradition of the apostolic teaching had to be corrupted, the less likely it is that it was corrupted. This assumption is especially warranted in light of the fact the early post-apostolic Fathers were all self consciously trying to preserve and protect the apostolic teachings” (Boyd, p. 147-148), And, as we have seen, that included protecting such “teachings” as transubstantiation, Papal primacy, Sacrificial Mass, Baptismal regeneration, Apostolic Succession, Angel Worship, Second Gods, and 500 year old birds and worms!

This article “The Ante-Nicene Fathers” written by Elder Ross Drysdale is excerpted from the book Enter the Neo- Trinitarians.

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADGH - Godhead/ Oneness, AIS File Library0 Comments

Trinitarian Polytheism

Trinitarian Polytheism
By Elder Ross Drysdale

Dr. Boyd Claims All Trinitarians Actually Believe In Just “One God”. But What Do His Fellow Trinitarians Have To Say About This?
If Trinitarians Believe In Just One God, Why Does Centuries Of Trinitarian Art Depict Three?

Do Trinitarians Believe In One God?

Trinitarians always make a hasty claim to believe in One God. Their books and sermons usually start off with a reference to the “Shema” in Deut. 6:4, which reads: “Hear O’ Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” This is followed in rapid fire by some references from Isaiah, and a few New Testament quotes. They do not dwell on these verses, indeed they can’t; they have work to do! They are a people on a mission; a mission to divide God into three individuals, distinct and co-equal. For this task, which God did not ordain, they must race through the Bible for every scrap of evidence that talks of “three” and then re-interpret it and inflate it to mean “three persons.” At any verse that has to do with “three” you will be sure to find them already there, and waiting for us when we arrive! Though they have to go around Mountains of Oneness, they’ll make it. Like the mailman, nothing stops them from their “appointed rounds.” To help them in this labor they invent new vocabulary: “person,” “persons,” “distinct,” “co-equal,” “God the Son,” “compound unity,” Perichoresis,” “Trinity,” “triune,” “substance,” “essence,” “consubstantial,”-the list is endless and ever accomodating new additions like “fashions,” “ways,” “aspects,” “modes,” “manners,” and “subsistence” (Favorites of Neo-Trinitarians).

Dr. Boyd, insists we are mis-interpreting Trinitarians. He says: “Any belief in three gods has always been understood to be heresy from a Christian perspective (Boyd, p.50). He also states, “To say there are ‘three persons in the Godhead’ has never been taken to mean that there are ‘three separate people who are God’ or that ‘God is a committee’ as Oneness believers mistakenly accuse Trinitarians of Believing” (Boyd, p.50)

We Mistaken?

Are we really mistaken? Let us hear what Ron Rhodes has to say concerning the “three persons of the Trinity.” He has a Th.D. from Dallas Theological seminary and is associated with the Christian Research Institute. Certainly a well educated Trinitarian,” the kind from whom Dr. Boyd prefers we get our information. In his book, “Christ Before the Manger he writes: ‘Nevertheless, the personalities involved in the Trinity are expressed in such terms as I’ ‘Thou’ and ‘He’. As well the persons of the Godhead address each other as individuals and manifest their individuality, in personal acts. …In summary, then, the Father, Son, and Holy spirit are persons ‘in the sense that they are personal self distinctions and are self aware subjects, and have the personal attributes of mind, emotions, and will. Each of the three is aware of the others, speaks to the others, and carries on a loving relationship with the others” (Ron Rhodes, Christ Before the Manger p. 26-6).

If that’s not “three gods” what is it? Each is God, each has his own “consciousness,” and is a “self aware subject.” Furthermore each is aware of the other two? They are “individuals,” and manifest their “individuality.” Each one “talks to the others,” carries on a “loving relationship with the others.” No matter how you slice it, in the end you have three individual gods talking and carrying on interpersonal relationships. There is absolutely no difference between this concept and what the Greeks had going on atop of Mt. Olympus, and all the other pagan polytheisms of antiquity. Trinitarians try to distance themselves from the ancient polytheists by quoting the Athanasian creed which says: “for as we are compelled by Christian truth to confess each person distinctively to be both God and Lord, we are prohibited by the Catholic religion to say that there are three Gods or Lords.” The only thing that prevents them from outrightly having “three gods” is that the Catholic Religion prohibits it! Roma locuta est, causa unita est! But the facts are on the ground and that’s what’s truly Important –not what the Catholic Church prohibits. And here are those facts, stubborn things though they be: you have “three persons,” each is God in his own right, knows the other two, talks to them as individuals, yet remains distinct from them. They love each other, send each other, are aware of each other, agree with each other. All that is left is to have them visit and spend the day with each other! How “educated” do we have to become? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out these three “individuals,” as Dr. Rhodes calls them, are actually “three gods.” Trinitarians hate to say it, so I am saying it for them. I don’t mind.

Same Substance Excuse

Another escape hatch often used to evade the obvious conclusion of “three gods” is to say they all are “the same substance.” Somehow “sharing the same substance” is supposed to eliminate the problem. Now this phrase, or even the idea behind it (three persons Sharing one substance), is not found anywhere in the Bible. Jesus never mentioned it, the apostles never heard of it. It was produced by the fist-fighting screaming match at Nicea, three hundred years later. That’s where it first come crying and kicking into the world, cradled in Imperial Creeds and swaddled in Gnostic diapers. But of what use is the argument anyhow? Were not the pagan gods composed of “divine substance” also? Of course they were! Human beings are also composed of the same “human substance,” yet there are six billion of them existing on one planet as distinct individuals. Does that make one man? So what does it prove? Nothing, absolutely nothing. It is a diverting tactic from the real issue: they have three gods!

Trinitarian Models

Dr. Boyd is fond of quoting St. Augustine, especially his “psychological model” of the Trinity in where he compares the Godhead to the intellect, heart and will found in a human being. But Dr. Boyd is a little shy to quote the Cappodocian Fathers model, in which they compared the Trinity to a Father, a Mother and her three persons, but “one” because they all share the same “human substance.” (H. Dermott McDonald, Basil the Great, p.167). That “model” would certainly prove embarrassing because everyone would realize that even though they share the same “human” substance they are still three separate human beings. The obvious corollary being: even though the three divine Persons share the same “God Substance” it does not prevent them from being three separate gods! No the “substance” argument is a dangerous escape route. It is “as if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him” (Amos 5:19).

The Trinity In Committee

Oneness believers are also supposed to be “mistaken” when they characterize the Trinity as a “committee.” Trinitarians balk at this primitive nation. Gleason Archer, a Trinitarian Bible scholar of no mean reputation, commenting on Gen. 1:26 says: “The one true God subsists in three Persons, Persons who are able to confer with one another and carry their plans into action together without ceasing to be one God” (Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, p. 359) So they are not a “committee” after all! They are a “conference! They confer together; carry their plans into action, together! And they do all this without ceasing to be one God (something neither Mr. Archer or God explains!).

Dr. Boyd needn’t try to distance himself from his Trinitarian colleagues, as “educated” as they are. For he has talked of God’s “personal otherness;” of “I-Thou” relationships; of loving communing and socializing between the two persons in eternity past (Boyd 189-192). It’s all cut from the same cloth, and history tells us who did the weaving:

Nothing seems to relieve the Trinitarian embarrassment over the strictly monotheistic verses of the Old Testament. They often argue that God couldn’t reveal the three person Trinity to Israel because they might misinterpret it as “three gods” and slip off into polytheism. So this truth was “withheld” from them. They couldn’t handle it! Neither can we!

Trinity Lurking In The Dark

Benjamin Warfield characterizes the Israelites as fumbling around in a dark room:” The Old Testament may be likened to a chamber richly furnished but dimly lighted; the introduction of light brings into it nothing which was not in it before; but it brings out into clearer view of what is in it, but was only dimly or even not all perceived. The mystery of the Trinity is not explicitly revealed in the Old Testament, but the mystery of the Trinity underlies the Old Testament revelation, and here and there comes into view”(Benjamin Warfield, Biblical and Theological Studies,p.30). So the poor Jews thought there was only one person of Jehovah in the house until somebody turned the “lights on” for them at Nicea, and lo- two other “divine persons” were found lurking in the shadows of this “dimly lighted chamber.” Two other persons that God could not even tell them about, lest they misunderstand. And to such a race was given the oracles of God! Why? I do not know where in the Old Testament the Trinity, dimly “here and there comes into view,” as Dr. Warfield puts it. But I do know where the Oneness clearly lights up the whole chamber with a most bright flood light, and its all focused on Jesus: “For unto us a child is born and to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6. That’s light enough to read by! The whole life of Christ, in detail is revealed in the Old Testament. Isaiah 53 alone outlines his ministry, death, and resurrection. Yet when it comes to the Trinity, suddenly all is dim. The problem is not with “lighting” in the Jewish age, but with “fighting” in the church age!

Bible Testimony To Oneness

A careful (an even casual) review of Old Testament verses that deal with the subject will reveal a strict monotheism that will admit of no other “divine persons” intruding into its unity. The strongest and most qualifying language is used to emphasize the absolute Oneness of God. If words mean anything at all, the Trinity of “three persons,” each one of them God, is forever precluded and excluded from scripture revelation.

Let us consider some:

Deuteronomy 6:4

“Hear 0 Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord.” This is known as the “Shema.” Jesus called it the greatest of all the commandments (Mark 12:29). It is the foundation of Jewish and Christian monotheism. It was the first words whispered into the ears of a new born Jewish baby, and the last words whispered unto those same ears before he died. They nailed it on their doors; bound it on their foreheads, and hid it in their hearts. “Jehovah Our God is One Jehovah.” Nothing said of three persons, a “Trinity in Unity.” No mention of “substance” or “essence,” so important to third century idolizers of Plato. Just One God, One Jehovah. Boyd himself admits: “Thus, first of all, Oneness Pentecostals are absolutely correct in emphasizing that the Bible uniformly and unequivocally teaches that there is only one God. Certainly it was the proclamation, ‘Hear 0′ Israel, the Lord our God , the Lord is One’ (Deut . 6:4) that formed the cornerstone for every thing that was distinctive about the faith of God’s people in the Old Testament.The message of God’s uniqueness and singularity is driven home literally hundreds of times throughout the pages of the Old Testament…” (Boyd, p. 26).

Pure Unity Vs. Trinity In Unity

The message of God’s “singularity” may have been “driven home’ hundreds of times, but in Dr. Boyd’s case it never got out of the car! For he spends the next 200 pages trying to prove a plurality! In fact by the time he gets to page 190 this “cornerstone” of God’s “singularity” that he praised so on page 26 is sent packing! It’s a nuisance doctrine and has to be gotten out of the way, put on a side track, so the plurality express can come barreling through! He writes: “The bottom line is this: When one rejects what a text of Scripture plainly says for the sake of an assumed ideology (such as ‘God is absolutely One’), one losses the message and passion of the text” (Boyd, p.190). So, what was a “cornerstone” on page 26, “strict monotheism” which Oneness Pentecostals were “absolutely correct in emphasizing,” is now just an “assumed ideology” that must be sacrificed to make way for the Trinity!. And we must not keep Augustine and Cappodocian Fathers waiting. The sooner the better! Though we Oneness were previously praised for “emphasizing that the Bible uniformly and unequivocally teaches that there is only one God” (Boyd, p.26), by the time we arrive on page 190 we have suddenly became stubborn heretics who reject scriptures “for the sake of preserving some preconceived pseudo-concept of the ‘pure unity of Gods” (Boyd, p.191).Our new crime is trying to preserve the “pure unity of God.” Does Dr. Boyd think we should change our minds to adopt an “impure unity of God?” Or perhaps a “pure” disunity of God? What other choices are there? I’d like to know.

How forgetful. Dr. Boyd has become. On page 27 he classed our “strict monotheism” with the faith of the ancient Jews. “This is the cornerstone to ancient and contemporary Judaism and the first foundational stone to Oneness Theology.” Thank you. Now he calls it a “preconceived pseudo-concept” of the pure unity of God,” Well which is it? The suspense is killing us. Do we have a “pseudo concept” or an ancient Judaic “cornerstone.”? Is this idea of God being “absolutely one” just an “assumed ideology” or is it the “cornerstone for everything that was distinct about the faith of God’s people in the Old Testament’!” Or maybe it just depends on what page we happen to be reading. In any case we would like to ask Dr. Boyd not to toss us any more bouquets if he’s planning to take them back so soon. He may keep his flowers; we’ll keep our “preconceived ideology.”

Actually Dr. Boyd’s attitude toward Deut. 6:4 and other verses that teach “strict monotheism” is fairly typical of Trinitarians. They have to accept them and say nice things, but it doesn’t go down well. They have “yes, yes” on their lips, but “no, no” in their eyes. Their “three persons,” each of whom is “God” and “distinct” from the “others,” does not fit well into this mold. And they know it. Easier to put the tooth paste back in the tube, then to squeeze their Greek inspired plurality into the narrow and rigid passages of Old Testament monotheism. But they always give it a “college try.”

Elohim-The Gods

In the past, classical Trinitarians have tried to batter down the walls of Deut. 6:4 with two cardboard battering rams, both of which were vain attempts to teach the Jews what their own language really means! They would insist that the word for God (Elohim-Heb.) is in the -plural and signifies the three persons of the Trinity. And furthermore, that the word for one (Echod) really means “compound unity.” I once heard one of these “lesser lights” expounding how Deut. 6:4 should properly be translated “Hear O Israel Jehovah Our Gods, is a united Jehovah.” Of course such drivel parading under the banner of reason impresses no one, especially the Jews. Dr. Boyd himself rejects these arguments as unsound. For as he points out, while the word Elohim is plural, it is always used with a singular verb when referring to God. This indicates that it is what grammarians call a “plural of majesty” (as when the Queen of England refers to herself as “we” in her speeches). In addition, Christ himself is called “Elohim” in the Old Testament prophecies. Who would be ludicrous enough to believe this meant there was a plurality of Persons in the Son. And as for the Hebrew word for one (echod), this simply means what its English equivalent does “one!” There is no mysterious “compound” unity” attached to it. These two failed attempts by Gentile Trinitarians to give Jews lessons in Hebrew, show to what lengths Trinitarians will go to avoid a “head on!! with the Truth. Both of these inane arguments are found in almost any exposition of the Trinity. We are glad to see Neo-Trinitarians abandoning them. Boyd considers the argument from “Elohim” as “weak and the one drawn from “echod” as “even weaker”(Boyd, .47). We have been trying to show them this for 80 years! Now they finally admit we are correct! How they fought us on those points for eight decades in sermons, tracts and books. Now they take it all back. Must we wait another 80 years till they discover that the “weakest” theory of all was the concept these two pitiful arguments were attempting to prop up, namely the Trinity itself? Weak, weaker, weakest!

We will now look at some other interesting texts that furnish proof of God’s absolute Oneness (“pre-conceived” or otherwise!).

Isaiah 44:24

“Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things, that stretcheth abroad the earth by myself. We see here just one speaker, described as “I,” who declares he is “alone” and “by myself.” How could the singular speaker (“I”) declare he was “alone” and “by myself” if two other divine persons were with him — his “personal otherness?” Dr. Boyd and Trinitarians throughout the centuries have a problem with God being alone: ‘Pure unity’ is equivalent to ‘nothingness’ and is therefore neither picturable nor conceivable. It is, in short meaningless” (Boyd, p. 191). In other words, if the feeble mind of man can’t “picture” it or “conceive” it –then it is meaningless and nothing! God’s existence has to be “picturable” by us or else it isn’t true. This type of pride which exalts the “creature above the creator,” had an author in the far removed ages of the past! But how quickly Trinitarians reverse themselves on this line of reasoning when it is convenient for them. For when we ask how the “three persons” can yet be “one” in this “Trinity in Unity,” they are quick to inform us that it is beyond human reasoning, and mere creatures like ourselves could never adequately conceive or picture it!

The Old Shell Game

On page 63 Boyd writes in defense of the incarnation and. Trinity: “Yes, it is certainly paradoxical, for we cannot understand how it could be. But it is not nonsense. If the anti-Trinitarian Pentecostals agree on this point (and they do), why do they then find the Trinity to be so illogical?” (Boyd, p.63). This is the old “shell game” and your eye must be quick, for his writing hand is quicker still…Note, on page 63 we are told just because a doctrine can’t be “understood” is no reason to classify it as “nonsense” and reject it. Then, as the shells go moving rapidly about, we are told on p.191 that if we cannot “picture” a doctrine or “conceive it” then it is “nonsense” and we must reject it! He says God is not “illogical.” Agreed! But it is not God’s logic we are concerned with, it’s Dr. Boyd’s!

The Lonely God

The Trinitarians are also quite worried about God being “alone,” they feel he should have “company!” We read, “Second and more important, the notion that God is in his essence alone, that apart from and before creation God exists in total solitude, is completely incompatible with the Christian understanding…” (Boyd, p. 191). Dear reader please note that God’s declaration through the inspired Isaiah that he existed “alone” is classed by Dr. Boyd as a “notion.” Well, it may be a notion, but its one of God’s notions! And again, God just can’t exist “alone” and in total solitude” (even if He said so!), because it’s not compatible with “Christian understanding” that “God is essentially love or even essentially personal” (Boyd, p. 191). Well I have news for him. God was “alone” and in “total solitude” long before the first “Christians” (actually church Fathers) ever saw the light of day! God doesn’t need any Church Council to let him know ‘what is, and what isn’t “compatible” with his essential love. As we see, Trinitarianism is much involved with the sin of pride, for in this teaching mortal man attempts to analyze and psycho analyze God, and then inform him of their results! Let us hear some more of God’s Self Disclosures (regardless of their compatibility with Trinitarian-Platonistic concepts!)

Isaiah 41
“I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. God calls himself the “Holy One” over 50 times. He never once calls himself the “Holy Three.” Why not? If there is a “Trinity in Unity” why didn’t he balance this statement with a “Holy Three” reference. The answer is found in the next chapter of Isaiah.

Isaiah 42:8
“I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another…” But in Trinitarianism the glory is equally distributed to two others , as they say “There is one glory of the Father, another glory of the Son, and another glory of the Holy Ghost, yet there are not three glories” etc. In Trinitarianism the glory is “equal.” In the Bible it is “exclusive” and that’s quite a difference.

Isaiah 43: 10-11
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord…that I am He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I am the Lord, and beside me there is no Savior.” Why is there never a reference in which the Trinity says “We are They?” It should say it at least sometimes. It is always “I am He” and “beside me there is no other.” Haw could any member of the Trinity say that if two other “divine persons” were beside Him?

The God Makers

Notice also that he says there was “no God” formed. He is not the source of any other divine Person. But Trinitarians from time to time toy with the idea that the Father may have “produced” the other two divine Persons. Clarence Larkin, Whose books are sold in virtually every Christian bookstore, and are studied by millions, has this to say: The finite mind can not grasp the thought that there was a time when there was absolutely nothing but God, Whether the Father existed at first alone, and the Son and the Holy Spirit proceeded from Him, thus making the Divine Three, is not clear. If the expression only begotten of the Father’ (John 1:14) as applied to Jesus, refers to His eternal origin, then he was not co-existent with the father.” (Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, T. 47). This represents no more than a return to the early roots of Trinitarians which we found in the writings of origin, who espoused a doctrine of the Son being generated before all time. And from that doctrine the miscreant offspring of Aranism was birthed. But God is not in the business of producing other Gods, whether we call them “co-equal persons” or not.

Isaiah 44:6
“I am the First and I the Last and beside me there is no God.” This should effectively silence the argument of a First, Second, and Third or Last person in the Trinity. God says He’s the First and the Last.

Isaiah 44:8
“Is there a God beside me? yea there is no God; I know not any.” Trinitarians seem to assert more than God, for they insist two other “divine persons” are beside Him in heaven. But this should not surprise us coming from people who would teach Jews the meaning of their own language, and instruct God what is “compatible” for Him and what is not! If the verse read, “Is there a god beside us,” the Trinitarians would have their case. But it says “me” and that is a first person singular pronoun. Trinitarians needn’t dismiss the argument as a worthless grammatical quibble, for they are the ones who brought up the necessity of God having “I-Thou” relationship in eternity! They are also the ones who describe the Trinity as an “I, Thou, He” subsistence. Well now, God says “I” and “me” and there is no one else. What will they do with that? How can there be room for a “Thou” and a “He” when God declares it is only “me?” (Excuse the poetry, but not the point!)

Isaiah-45:5-6
“I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me …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.” God says this should be understood in the East as well as the West. Church history is full of councils, eastern and western; and Trinitarian divisions between the church, both Eastern and Western! Yet they weren’t listening to God, when he spoke to both East and West, saying “I am the Lord, there is none else.”

Isaiah 45: 21-22
“Tell ye, and bring them near; yea let them take council 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. Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” God said “let them take council” and they did! Nicea, Constantinople, Chalcedon, Ephesus, Antioch, –and there still having them! But God’s message is not to listen to these confused and rambling creeds produced by these councils of carnal reasoning, but to go back to the ancient declarations. The declarations that God himself made, like : “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord.” The result of hearkening to this will be the revelation of One God who is also Savior – “a just God and a Savior” –instead of a Savior who is “Just a god” among three!

Isaiah 46:9
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me.” The so called church spent time, Money and blood arguing for hundreds of years whether the substance of the 1st and 2nd persons was the “same” or “like.” Here’s the answer, but they wouldn’t have it. “There is none like me.”

God spoke through Moses, the same message he gave Isaiah:

Deuteronomy 4:35
“The Lord he is God and there is one else beside Him.”

Deuteronomy 4:39
“The Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.”

Deuteronomy 32:39
“I even I am He, and there is no God with me.” How could any one member of the Trinity say this with two other “divine persons” who are each “God in their own right” existing along side him? This verse alone destroys the Trinity concept. “All the Kings horsemen and all the kings men” can’t put this teaching together again.

The other Prophets of the Old Testament unite their voice in “absolute Oneness” and “Pure Unity.”

I Samuel 2:2
“None holy as the Lord…None beside thee.”

II Samuel 7:22
“None like Thee…None beside thee.”

I Kings 8:60
“The Lord is God, there is none else.”

II Kings 19:15
“Thou Art God, even Thou alone.”

II Kings 19:19

“Thou art the Lord God, even Thou only (They may not have been “Jesus Onlys” back then, but there were plenty of “Thou Onlys

Psalm 86:10
“Thou Art God alone.”

Hosea 13:14
“Thou shalt know no God but me; for there is no Savior beside me.”

Joel 2:27
“I, am the Lord your God, and none else.”

Zechariah 14:9
“In that day there shall be One Lord, and His Name One.” There may be doctrinal disputes now, but there won’t be in that glad Millennial Day. The Oneness Doctrine will be the only religion, and Jesus Name the Only Name. Oneness Pentecostals are just ahead of their time!

Malachi 2:10

“Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?” Just before the Old Testament “signs off” for that long 400 years of silence that lies between the Old and the New Testament, Malachi leaves us with the reminder that all deity is restricted to the Father, who is God, the Only God. No wonder the next time we hear from the Jews they are saying “we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41).

NEW TESTAMENT ONENESS—CHRIST’S TEACHING

The New Testament does not introduce any plural concept into the Godhead question. Rather it reaffirms God’s “strict monotheism.”

Mark 12:29
Jesus confirms the Shema as the greatest of commandments: “Hear 0′ Israel, the Lord our ‘God is One Lord” and a “greater than Moses” is teaching this time!

John 17:3

Jesus declared the Father to be “the Only True God.” And this was the same Father who was also incarnate in Christ (John 14:10).

PAUL’S TEACHING
Paul believed it also, and preached it consistently. His doctrine was the same as Christ’s.

Romans 8:30
“Seeing it is One God, which shall justify…”

I Corinthians 8:4
“There is none other God but One.”

I Corinthians 8:6
“But to us there is but One God, the Father, of whom are all things…” All deity is restricted by Paul to the Father (Who was also incarnate in our Lord).

Galatians 3:20
“But God is One” and this statement takes place in a discussion about persons. “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one.” One what? One Person! But God is One! One what? One Person! Unless God is considered as an absolute one, the argument makes no sense.

Ephesians 4:6
“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

I Timothy 2:5
“For there is One God.”

James Believed It Also
Apostle James, believed to be the brother of our Lord, believed in Oneness and gave us this interesting insight concerning some other “fervent believers.”

James 2:19
“Thou believest there is One God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble.” If the devils tremble at the thought of the “‘pure unity” of God, is it therefore surprising that human unbelievers get “nervous” and have to make creeds, etc. There’s a lot of “fidgeting” going on outside the Oneness fold over this doctrine.

John Believed It Likewise
John believed the same ancient message that Moses and Isaiah proclaimed, and that he heard from the lips of Christ Himself: “But ye have an unction from the Holy One and ye know all things’,” If there had been a change in doctrine to a “Holy Three” now would have been the time to declare it.

Also Peter

Peter also believed in The Holy One, Acts 3:14: “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just.” He never mentioned, or suggested, the existence of a “holy three.”

This is a scriptural overview of the Oneness of God. We see the strongest language used. Language that could never apply to “three distinct divine Persons” co-existing together, each one God, and talking to the others.

God is said in the Bible to be “alone,” by “himself,” and no one “with him.” He announces himself as “I” and “me,” never “they” or “them.” His , prophets refer to him as “He,” never “they.” Singular verbs are always used with him. He says he “knows” no other divine persons, and has never “created” or “formed” any. He takes to himself the title “Holy one,” never “Holy Three.” He sets aside and annuls any councils that disagree with the fact that he is God all by Hi If. There is no other “divine Person” beside him, before him, or after him. His unity is always described by the number “one.” “Three” is never used as a designation of his unity. His glory, majesty, and power he gives and shares with no other divine Persons. His name is one, not three. He rebukes and challenges anyone who disputes this.

I ask, If God wanted to describe himself as absolutely and purely one, what other language could he have used? How could anyone draw a conclusion of “three divine, co-eternal persons” after hearing all that? Anyone who can deduce a “Trinity of Persons” from those statements will have no trouble hearing a Beethoven Symphony in the croakings of a frog pond!

This article “Trinitarian Polytheism” written by Elder Ross Drysdale is excerpted from the book Enter the Neo-Trinitarians.

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADGH - Godhead/ Oneness, AIS File Library0 Comments

Giving Every Man a Reason

Giving Every Man a Reason
By Elder Ross Drysdale

Are There Passages In The Old Testament That Teach “Plurality”? What “New Evidence, Have The Neo-Trinitarians Discovered Against The Oneness Position?

OBJECTIONS ANSWERED

We will now consider the main objections raised by Dr. Boyd and other Trinitarians (both Neo and Classic), against the Oneness of the Godhead doctrine. Some of these objections are old “ghost” arguments that have been answered years ago. But they are constantly being “called up” and outfitted in new theological shrouds and made to appear quite “alive”. The same ammunition that laid them to rest the first time will be re-applied. Hopefully Trinitarians will not take up precious time in the future with any further conjuring of these phantoms.

Another class of objections actually does not apply to the modern Oneness movement at all. The majority of Dr. Boyd’s Objections fall into this category. These arguments have little to do with our doctrine. They are all leveled against the Modalistic teachings Sabellius and Praxeas of the second century. Thus we constantly hear Dr. Boyd characterizing our doctrine as role playing, masks, illusions, performances, etc. Our doctrine is “God in Christ,” not “God in Masks.” The Articles of Faith of the UPCI contains no references to God “playing roles” or “wearing masks.” Neither does the Creed and Discipline of the P.A.W. contain such statements! Dr. Boyd’s line of reasoning may apply (and I say “may apply”) to ancient Modalism. However even in that instance it is doubtful. We do not have any of the writings of Sabellius or Praxeas to determine what they actually taught. They were all destroyed. All that we have to rely on is what their Trinitarian opponents accused them of teaching. And we know how unreliable that can be! The true teachings of 2nd century Modalists have no doubt been greatly distorted by their detractors. We feel if their actual writing could be examined, they would probably show a theologically correct view of the Godhead. The followers of Sabellius and Praxeas were undoubtedly the surviving spiritual remnant of the Early Apostolic Church and doctrine. That is why we do not hesitate to claim spiritual kinship with them; for there is enough evidence, even in the distorted charges of their enemies, to recognize that they possessed the Truth. And it is against these gross charactertures of Ancient Modalism that Dr. Boyd, and others, direct most of their fire power, while at the same time claiming to be refuting modern day oneness. In essence they just repeat the arguments of the ancient Trinitarian forgers! If I may borrow Dr. Boyd’s own words, written against us, and apply it to them, for it fits them much better: “They present a Caricature. Hence these writings simply have the effect of tearing down a straw man in order to convince their uninformed readers about the truth of their own position” (Boyd, p. 66).

This is nothing but a diversionary tactic, to keep people from examining the real Oneness teaching. How greatly they fear the truth reaching the ears of professing Trinitarians can be seen in the following statement made by Dr. Boyd, after his presentation of our oneness arguments for sake of reference, in Chapter 1 of his book: “Don’t conclude too quickly! I have presented above some of the most frequently raised objections to the doctrine of the Trinity stated by Oneness adherents. To uninformed Trinitarians who have not been prepared for them, they can initially be devastating. These arguments have successfully converted significant numbers of professed Trinitarians…to Oneness Pentecostalism. To those who find these arguments persuasive, may I urge you not to accept them uncritically. Don’t conclude in favor of oneness Pentecostalism too quickly or too easily” (Boyd, p.48).

If this is how forceful Dr.Boyd views our arguments when he himself presents them in his book, how much more so must they be when we are allowed to present them! No wonder they fear!!

OBJECTION 1- ROLE PLAYING

Dr. Boyd lambasts the Oneness doctrine in several places because he feels it reduces the Father and the Son to two “roles” that God plays. He feels we can never know the real God, because he “hides” behind these masks, or roles. It’s similar, I guess he feels, to an actor who portrays several characters on a stage but never reveals his own personal life to the public. He writes: In other words, in oneness theology the three ‘temporary’ roles of God do not arise out of God’s essential eternal being. God ‘plays’ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But in his heart of hearts – whoever he is – he is not these three.” (Boyd, p. 179).

Now where Dr. Boyd gained the idea that we teach God exists in “three temporary roles,” I do not know. He must be reading Church History far into the late night! I have been in Oneness for over 30 years and I have never heard it taught like that! It’s a classic straw man argument and totally inapplicable. What we actually teach is “God in Christ” (I Cor. 5:18). And from that belief we can learn a great deal about what God is Like! Because Jesus was “God manifest in the flesh” (I Tim. 3:16), we have the most personal revelation of the heart (heart of hearts, if you please) and Mind of God that is possible! Through Christ we have a clear understanding of God’s “essential eternal Being.”

We know what God looks like because Christ said: “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father” (John 14:10). We know what God sounds like for Christ said: “I have not spoken of myself: but the Father which sent me ” (John 12:49). We know what God’s love is like for Christ said: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9). We know what it is to receive God for Christ said: “He that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me” (John 13:20). We know what it is to know God personally, for our Lord said: “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him…” (John 14:7). We know where God dwells, for Jesus said: “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). We know God’s essence for Jesus also said: “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24). We even know God’s personal name for Jesus said” “I come in my Father’s name” (John 5:43).

What more does Dr. Boyd want than this? It certainly satisfies Oneness believers who hunger for a revelation of God’s “essential eternal being.” It certainly satisfied Paul who found God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Cor. 4:6).

Whatever we want to know about God is fully demonstrated in Christ. And He is no “temporary role” for in Him dwelleth (permanently resides – Greek) all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).

THE ROLE PLAYING JESUS OF TRINITARIANISM

While we are on the subject of role playing, it would do well to examine Dr. Boyd’s Neo-Trinitarianism for a moment, for it is here that the real “role playing charade” occurs! Remember, in Neo-Trinitarianism God is not the literal Father (progenitor) and Jesus is not the literal Son (progency). See Boyd, p. 63. Therefore all this talk about the Father and the Son (“Father-Son language” as Boyd calls it on page 63) must not be taken literally, because “we are speaking analogically, not literally” Dr. Boyd tells us on page 63. They are “like” Father and Son, but they are not literally so. So if they are not really Father and Son, then they are “something else”! They play the role of Father and Son, use “Father-Son language;’ but it is all an “analogy” They are not really what they appear. Even the agony of the cross is included in this performance, for we read that God’s participation in this “devastating nightmare” was “something like a perfectly’ loving parent as Father ” (Boyd, p. 186). He is not literally a perfectly loving parent or Father, for he is “something like a perfectly loving parent.” Whatever that might be!

Due to their “Greek Olympics” in which they re-translate out of existence all references to Jesus as “the only begotten Son of God,” they are left with “something like” a Father and “something like” a Son. And all the dialogue (“Father-Son language”) in the Gospels, which we thought was between a real Father and Son, is one big “analogical” performance. Role playing if you please!

“Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God” (I John 5:5). No victory is promised for those who believe that Jesus was merely “something like” a Son!

OBJECTION 2- TRANSIENT ILLUSION

This brings us to our next objection that Dr. Boyd offers. He insists that to believe in the oneness, we must also believe that Christ’s dialogues with the Father were “illusions” or conversations that were contrived to “appear” as if Christ was talking to the Father and vise versa. Some sort of a ventriloquist act conducted by one person, impersonating two, is at we are charged with. He writes: is air of ‘transient illusion’ comes out especially in the Christology of oneness Theology” (Boyd p. 180)”Everything that is said about the personal interaction of the Father and the Son, though it clearly appears to be indicative of a personal relationship, is ‘really’ about Jesus interacting with Himself. Hence ..the ‘dialogue’ is illusionary. It is ‘sustained by a single impersonator’ “(p. 181).

The caricature that Dr. Boyd has painted of our doctrine is another example of a straw man argument. Oneness people believe that conversations between the Father and the Son were exactly that – conversations between God and his Son! And how is that a problem for us? I fail to see it! We believe in One God, who is a Spirit (John 4:24), not a “person” whatever Trinitarians mean by that, they constantly change their definition. This one true God, though He is Spirit, has a mind, a will, and a consciousness. In addition to that he also had a Son, that he begat (something Neo Trinitarians refuse to believe), and who was born of the Virgin Mary. Hence Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God – as the Bible declares repeatedly. This son was a perfect, sinless man. We believe the Son could pray and speak to, and about, His Father any time. We believe that it is as real and authentic as any conversation could be! And God could speak to, and about, his Son and be just as authentic – Where is the “illusion? “Could it be the one that apparently exist in Dr. Boyd’s mind concerning our real beliefs? He wants us to believe something we do not, in order to make his argument more appealing, which he can’t!

The fact that this same God the Father is also incarnate in his Son, that he dwells in his Son, does not alter in any way the above stated facts. The Bible Truth that God was in Christ does not in anyway negate the possibility of real communication between Christ and his Father. Why should it? In fact, as we shall see it is only with a Oneness Revelation that this dialogue makes sense at all.

For there to be real and meaningful conversation, two minds and two wills are required. One mind must think and will to speak; the other must think to respond, and will to answer. Without this you truly have a ventriloquist illusion. In Oneness, the Father, who possesses divine mind and will, dialogues with his Son, who has a human mind and will. That is why Christ could pray not my will, but thine be done.” (Mark 14:36). Christ also testified that communication with his Father was continually going on within him (John 11:42). This communication was openly verbalized on occasions, not because it was necessary for Christ, but for our benefit. For example read the account where Christ prays out loud at Lazurus’ tomb: What does he say concerning this? “Father I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I know that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me (John 11:41-42).’ And when the Father willed to manifest an audible voice outside of Christ, as he did in the Garden, Jesus explained it in a similar fashion: “Jesus answered and said: This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes” (John 12:30).

So in summary, the Father who is a divine Spirit, can speak to his Son, who is a sinless man, and the Son in turn can speak to this Father, without negating the fact that God dwells in that Son. Even Dr Boyd makes the surprising admission that the Father was fully present in Christ: “…Hence we ought not be surprised to find Jesus referring to the Father and to the Holy Spirit as dwelling within Himself. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form’ (Col 2:9) (Boyd, p.64). So even in Dr. Boyd’s very “flexible theology” the Son is conversing with the Father who is “fully present” within Him (p.64)!

ILLUSIONARY SPEECH OF THE NEO-TRINITARIANS

But Dr. Boyd and the Neo-Trinitarians have a problem of their own with illusionary speech, which is more serious than the voice argument they raised against us.

The Neo-Trinitarians, like their Classical Trinitarian predecessors, make much of the “divine conversations” that took place amongst the members of the Trinity in eternity past. This is part of their “eternal fellowship” doctrine. The Classical Trinitarians at least admitted that they had three real persons, three individuals with three minds and wills (Brumback p.55). Real fellowship, love, communication could take place among their three separate gods. But the Neo-Trinitarians want their “cake and eat it too.” They claim that the idea of three individuals with three minds, and three wills is all a “misunderstanding” (Boyd, p. 64,170). God is, they claim, only one Spirit, with one mind, and one consciousness, not three separate individuals(172.). Dr. Boyd say his Trinity exists in three personal ways (l78), three fashions (63), or three spheres (176); certainly not three separate persons. However this presents a problem for them, that is larger than big! For how, pray tell, does one “way” talk to another “way”? How does one “fashion” socialize with another “fashion”? This is quite “illusionary” If this is bad, its about to get worse.

I- THOU RELATIONSHIP” TRINITARIAN IMPOSSIBILITY

On page 192 Boyd refers to this inner life of love and sociality within the Trinity as an “I-Thou” relationship. “…we must postulate something like an ‘I – Thou’ relationship within the Godhead. For only if there is an ‘I’ and a ‘Thou’, a genuine sense of otherness within God, can there be the kind of interpersonal relationality and love that a God who eternally ‘does what is best’ would have.” But Dr.Boyd conveniently fails to mention one thing, one necessary thing! In order to have an “I – Thou” relationship, two minds, two wills, two centers of consciousness, must exist. One mind and consciousness for the “I”, and the other mind and consciousness for the “Thou.” Otherwise it is a farce, an illusion! This is why we as humans must find another “individual” in order to interact lovingly (“engage with one another in loving interaction” as he puts it, Boyd, p.195). But Boyd’s Trinity only has one mind, one center of consciousness, one will, it is basically one individual! Hence no true “I-Thou” relationship can exist. The more they chew it the bigger it gets. If they can’t swallow it, how do they expect us to??

OBJECTION 3- RECIPROCAL LOVE

Dr. Boyd’s next objection to the Oneness arises out of his previous one, and is actually a corollary to it. There can be no real love between the Father and the Son in the Oneness scheme of things; only in the Trinity can it exist. He considers this the most fundamental and important difference between Oneness Theology and Trinitarian theology. He writes: “Perhaps the most tragic implication of reducing the Father/Son personal distinction to a mere distinction of natures (or even outright illusion) is that it completely undermines the genuineness of the Father’s personal love for the Son and the Son’s personal love for the Father…(Boyd, p. 183) Oneness theology does not undermine the love between God and Christ, in fact it underlines it! For we preach the love of God the Father for his only child; a child he begat, and that grew into manhood in perfect obedience to his Father, whom he loved. We preach the real love that exists between a real Father and a real Son who was begotten by him. Remember Boyd would have us believe “that the loving relationship that exists between God and Jesus is like that of a father and a son(p.63) We believe it is that of a Father and a Son!

On page 186, Dr.Boyd gives us a personal incident of how he felt as Father, the
pain he experienced, when he saw his daughter injured. He uses this to illustrate the love between the Father and the Son. He has a problem though. He literally “begat” his daughter, so there is a real parent-child bonding and love. But in his Trinity the Father did not literally beget the Son. So as we have seen, all Boyd can say of the Father’s love is that it is something like a perfectly loving Parent” (p. 186). You see it is “like that of a Father and Son” but it isn’t.

What is so difficult for Dr. Boyd and the other Neo-Trinitarians to understand? The one true infinite God, who is Spirit and omnipotent, begat through means of a Virgin Birth, a Son, who was a perfect sinless Man, the Savior of the World. What is so difficult about believing that God could love his Son, truly love him; and that the Son could reciprocate this love, truly return it. The fact that the one true God also dwells in his Son, as Dr. Boyd himself admits, does not alter or abrogate this loving relationship. The fact that the father also serves as the divine nature resident in the flesh of his Son, does not impede the love of one to the other. Indeed it heightens it! See John 16:32. In fact because of this incarnation it is impossible for us to love the Son apart from the Father: “…and everyone that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him” (I John 5:1). Of course this is meaningless to Neo-Trinitarians, like Boyd, who do not acknowledge a “progenitor” nor a “progeny”– this begetting business is far too “pagan” for them!

TRINITARIAN LOVE DILEMMA

Dr. Boyd has a similar dilemma with his Trinitarian “love relationship” that he had with their “eternal fellowship.”

He states the Trinity was involved in a loving relationship from all eternity; and what we witnessed in the incarnation showed us what had been going on between the Father and Son in eternity past. “How they love in time has always been taken by the church to be a true revelation of how they love in eternity (p. 189). And there is more he has to say, as he climbs out even further on this already creaking limb. “From eternity to eternity, God is love, passionate love, unconditional love, perfect love! For orthodox Trinitarianism, God’s innermost being is the totally interpenetrating loving union of the three ‘persons’ of the Trinity “(p. 189). Of course in that last sentence he is careful to use the word ‘persons’, for he knows how absurd it would sound to use any of his standard synonyms like “fashions,ways,or “spheres.” It’s difficult to talk about the interpenetrating loving union of the “three personal fashions in which God exists.” Fashions can’t love each other; neither can “ways.”

We are face to face with the same old Boydian dilemma. True love can only exist between two individuals, two minds or centers of consciousness. And in Boyd’s “trinity” there is supposed to be only one mind, one will and center of consciousness (though plenty of modes, spheres, fashions and ways!). Love requires an “I – Thou” relationship, as he has previously taught us. And we agree. But for an “I – Thou” relationship to exist there must be two minds – one for “I” and one for “Thou” (or shall I say “one for me and one for thee!”) Or at the minimum two separate wills are required. But the “New Trinity” of Boyd and friends is quite deficient in this area, having only “one mind” and “one will.” The old classic Trinitarians had no problem here, for they had plenty of separate minds and wills to go around!

Dr. Boyd seeks to extricate himself from this dilemma by involving himself in a massive and fatal contradiction. He purposes that the love going on in the Trinity is best understood by picturing the Trinity as a “single human person” (see Boyd, p. 175). Let’s see if we got it straight: We are to understand the love of the “three persons” by thinking of them as “one person”! He actually put it in print: “Is describing God as ‘one person’ the same as describing him as an ‘absolute unity’? I think not, for the unity of a person is, in fact a relational unity” (p. 175). Now it is all right to define the Godhead as “one person! The gymnastics in Neo-Trinitarianism would send an Indian rubber man to the Chiropractor! But let us follow this trail, it can only get better. “The analogy that has been most frequently employed for understanding the Trinity throughout Church history has been one that likens the Trinity to the inner constitution of a single human person”(p. 175). He talks about a person having a “multiplicity of selves “(p.175)! But do these “selves” talk to each other and “love” each other (that is outside of a mental institution)? Is this how we are to understand the Trinity? Why doesn’t he simply call it the “Schizophrenic Model.” He quotes St. Augustine, who compared the Trinity to a person’s “heart, will and intellect.” Does my heart love my intellect? Does my will talk to my heart? And does my intellect listen in, as we all love each other inside my body! He calls these things, “aspects” of the self. Now “aspects” of a person are loving each other! How comforting on a lonely night! Rev. Jonathan Edwards comes along on page 175 with the “self’s relationship to its own self image.” And he asks the profound question, “who’s talking and who’s listening?” That’s what I’d like to know! Wouldn’t we all!! And he winds up saying “The fellowship of the three divine persons is something like this…” All this from the man who on page 92 ridiculed Oneness as having a “multiple personality” Jesus!

What great news all this business about “multiplicity of selves, will be for the man in solitary confinement, when he realizes that he is not actually alone, but that his “self” is loving and talking to its “own self image”! Or how socially pleasing is it for the recluse to realize he is not without fellowship because his “intellect” is busy talking to his “will.” No one should ever worry about not being loved, for one “aspect” of our “multiplicity of selves” is always ready to love another aspect! And Dr. Boyd finally concludes on page 176 that this analogy drawn from the one human person is “much better suited to clarify the Trinitarian understanding of God than it is the oneness understanding” Amen! The whole thing reminds me of a poem I read once:

“I gave a little party this afternoon at three,
Twas very small, three guests in all
Just I, myself, and me.

Myself ate up all the sandwiches
While I drank up the tea
And it was I who ate the pie
And passed the cake to me.”

And with that we will move on to our next objection.

OBJECTION 4- JESUS TWO NATURES

Oneness that Jesus was both God and Man in one person. Hence we believe he spoke from his divine nature as God, at times, and at other times from his human nature as man. This has never been a point of conflict with Trinitarians in the past. For they too acknowledged that Christ could speak from both natures. The only conflict was that we insisted his divine nature was the Father who dwelt in him (as Christ himself said in John 14:10), and they insisted his divine nature was “God the Son” (a term not found in the Bible). But Dr. Boyd, like the ancient Monophysite heretics, will have none of this. He refers to our view as a “multi personality” Jesus (p. 92). He considers it absurd that Jesus would “switch voices;’ as he puts it, between sentences: “It requires that we view Jesus as switching back and forth between his supposed identities of Father and Son – and doing so between sentences “(p. 88). And at is even more abhorrent to his monophysical view is that Jesus even “switches voices” in mid sentence. “The multi personality Jesus again (we are to believe) switches voices in the middle of a sentence.” (p. 92).

Dr. Boyd has again constructed a gross characterture of our true belief in order to drum up popular support for his untenable position. Let’s set the record straight. It is Dr. Boyd, not us, who believes in viewing God as a “Person” with “multiple personalities,” as he himself has stated on page 175. We believe in “God in Christ” like Paul did (I Cor. 5:18). When we say Jesus spoke sometimes as Father and sometimes as Son, what we mean is as obvious as it is Biblical. Seeing Jesus was both God and man, he had two “reservoirs” of knowledge from which he could draw. He could speak the “things of God.” This means information he had from his mental reservoir as God. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). “For the Father loveth the Son and showeth him all things…” John 5:20. But Jesus, because he was also a man, could also speak strictly as a man, drawing on his human reservoir of knowledge. This was the knowledge in which “he grew and increased.” like al-humans. Thus he could speak of earthly things/or heavenly divine things, that a mere man could never have known. “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12). If Dr. Boyd can’t see this distinction in Christ’s utterance all I can say is what Christ said: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God..”(John 7:17).

When Christ said: “Before Abraham was I am” (John 8:58), who would deny he was speaking as God? And when he said “I thirst (John 19:28), who would deny that he was speaking as a man? The Mono ‘tom argued over these texts, but the Trinitarians never found a problem (until recently!)

VOICE SWITCHING

The doctrine espoused by Oneness is far different from the ventriloquist act of which Dr. Boyd accuses us, or the different voices that fight for control in people afflicted with multi-personality disorder. And as to Dr. Boyd’s idea that Christ was so “limited” he could not change perspectives (“voice switching”) from divine to human between sentences, the Bible positively records him doing it, and in mid sentence at that! It is so obvious that even the most stubborn disbeliever will have to admit it is so. I am referring to Christ’s statement in Zechariah 12:10. “And they shall look upon whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son…” In one sentence Christ refers to himself as “me” and then “switches” (as Boyd likes to call it) and refers to himself as “him.” I know the stampede to Hebrew dictionaries will commence immediately, but it stands nonetheless. There’s no way out. In this remarkable passage Christ uses the first person singular “me” and also the third person singular “him” to refer to himself. Two natures speaking – from one person! What else could it be? And if I may add, grammar is not the only area where we find out that Jesus is also the 1st person, as well as the third!!

I know of a scholar, a Trinitarian, who teaches that when Christ used the term “we and “our” in John 3:11 he was speaking from both his natures simultaneously!! My library is filled with books by Trinitarians which attempt to sort out the statements Christ made as a “man” from those he made as “God.” As the noted Trinitarian scholar John Walvoord says in his book, ‘Jesus Christ Our Lord”: “It seems possible to conclude that he had both a divine and human self consciousness, that these were never in conflict, and that Christ sometimes thought, spoke, and acted from the divine self consciousness and at other times from the human” (Walvoord, p. 118). Dr. Boyd’s argument is not with us, but rather with his fellow Trinitarians.

REMARKABLE INCIDENT IN THE GARDEN

On what grounds could the remarkable incident in the Garden be explained, if Christ were not speaking with all the divine authority and power of the indwelling Father: “Jesus saith unto them ‘I am’…as soon then as he had said unto them ‘I am’, they went backward and fell to the ground” (John 18:5-6, margin). The KJV reads “I am he,” but the he” is in italics, indicating it was not in the original manuscripts. So Jesus was uttering the Jehovanistic “I Am”, just as Moses first heard God say it at the Burning Bush. And if this utterance was not in some mysterious and sublime way springing up directly from the reservoir of the Father’s divine nature in Christ, how can the equally mysterious and awesome reaction it produced be explained? His words literally “pushed them into the bushes.” I must agree with the conclusion reached by first century listeners of long ago: Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). Why Dr.Boyd ever took issue with this, as a Trinitarian, is beyond me. If he were an Arian I could understand it. Analyzing Christ’s utterance to determine which nature they issued from is standard Trinitarian, as well as Oneness practice. I will conclude this discussion with an excellent quote from the book, “Christ before the Manger, by the Trinitarian scholar and author Ron Rhodes: “It seems legitimate to conclude then, that Jesus in the incarnation was one person with two different kinds of consciousnesses. He could say ‘I and the Father are One’ (John 10:30), ‘Before Abraham was born, I Am’ (John 8:58), and ‘I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6). In his human consciousness Jesus could make such statements as ‘I am thirsty’ (John 19:28). (p.204).Trinitarians had better sweep their own steps before they start on our porch!

OBJECTION 5- THE TWO WITNESSES

This is an old argument, first raised by Carl Brumback, to my knowledge, in the book “God in Three Persons?’ The argument did not work then and it doesn’t work now. It’s been dusted off and suited out again, but to no avail. This is another dog that just won’t hunt; not only that, but it has the annoying habit of biting it’s owner! Shall we explore it?

On page 76 and 77 Dr. Boyd outlines his case. Jesus said that his ministry had been authenticated by two witnesses, namely himself and his Father (John 8:16-18). This is in accordance with Jewish Law that requires two individual testimonies to make a judgement binding. Therefore, the Father and Son must be two persons.

However, the Jewish Law is talking about two human beings (Num. 35:30); something that does not exactly apply to the Trinity or the Oneness. For in neither doctrine are you dealing with two human “persons!’ But the essence of the Mosaic Law is what Christ is using, the spirit of it, rather than the letter. God the Father, the Almighty God of Israel, who was now incarnate in Christ, bore witness by the miracles he performed through Christ. And Jesus Christ the Man, the Son who was born of Mary, also bore witness through his sinless life, and infallible teachings. In the Oneness therefore, we have two minds or centers of consciousness, one divine and the other human, that bore witness to Christ’s ministry. This is the equivalent of what Moses law required. The fact that the first witness, the Father, dwells within the Son, the second witness, has no negative bearing on the case at all. For the residence of a witness does not affect his testimony! And besides, even Neo Trinitarians admit the Father fully dwells in the Son.

NEO-TRINITARIAN BACKFIRE

We cannot say however that the “big gun” of the Boyd-Brumback Munitions Plant has failed to fire; for it did. It backfired! At least it backfires on Dr. Boyd, for Mr. Brumback was able to shield himself behind his Classic Trinitarianism. You will remember Dr. Boyd’s “persons” are not really persons, that’s why he puts the word in quotation marks. They are defined as “personally distinct ways of existing” and “distinct fashions!” He even likes the analogy where they are compared to the “heart, intellect and will” of one human person; or the “self” and the “self image” of a single person (p. 175.)

Now let’s take that to court and see how it stands.

Witness: “Your honor, I have the two witnesses you require”

Judge: “Good, where are they?”

Witness: “They are right here your honor. You see its myself and my own self image.”

Judge: “Son, we cannot admit that in this court”

Witness: “O.K. your honor look at it this way. My heart is one witness and my intellect is the other”

Judge: “Sorry son, you’re going to have to do better”

Witness: “I see your Honor, how about this? I exist in two personally distinct ways. I am a dutiful husband, and also a loving father. Can my two ways, or fashions if you want to call them that, testify as two witnesses?

Judge: “The court is getting tired with these games. Answer my question young man, just how many minds or consciousnesses do you have, anyhow?

Witness: “Your honor, I have never claimed to have more than one mind, or consciousness, But please, can’t I be two witnesses anyhow? Please?”

Judge: “The court orders the witness to undergo Psychiatric examination for multiple personality disorder. Case dismissed!”

Robert Bowman says: “One cannot go into any court of law and say, ‘I am two witnesses to the crime – my body testifies and my souls testifies'” (as quoted in Boyd, p. 77). Neither can one have their “self” and “self image” take the stand, or their “heart” and their “intellect” for that matter! Carl Brumback doesn’t have this problem however, for his classic Trinity has at least three distinct centers of consciousness that can go to court. Another Trinitarian writer of the “old school,” Peter Barnes, speaks of three “divine spirit persons” and of course, these could also be subpoenaed as separate witnesses (Peter Barnes, The Truth about Jesus and the Trinity, p. 12). But Dr. Boyd, with his “one mind” trinity has a real problem with his witnesses! If I were him I would move for a postponement. Objection Overruled!

OBJECTION 6 – APOSTOLIC SALUTATIONS

On page 68 Dr. Boyd makes much ado over the Bible references that mention God the Father and Jesus Christ together. “In fact over 50 times the juxtapositioning of the Father and Jesus the Son is rendered explicit within the very same verse” And he gives examples such as II John 3, “Grace Mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son”

Now references to the Father and the Son, especially as typified in the salutations, are theologically neutral. The Trinitarians see it as a reference to the First Person of the Trinity and the Second Person. Arians see it as a reference to the one true God and his created Son. Oneness adherents see it as a reference to the one true God, the Father, and to the Son in whom he dwelt, our Lord Jesus Christ. I have used these very salutations in personal letters that I have written to others. To speak of the Father and Son “justapositioned” in the same sentence in no way the fact that the Father is also in the Son, and that in Christ we have both. Paul, who wrote most of the salutations, also stressed the fact that God in Christ. (See I Thessalonians 5:18, II Cor. 12:19, Phil. 3:14, II ”ht. 5:19, col. 2:9). It certainly presented no problem for the Apostle John. For after the above quoted salutation in II John 3, we hear him saying in the same epistle: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son”(II john 9).How about that for a juxtaposition! What the Trinitarians need and want is a salutation which says: race and peace be to you from the first and second persons of the Triune God.” And is, thank God, they will never find!

The same thing applies to the threefold references scattered throughout the New Testament to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These no more prove three persons in the Godhead, than do the five titles given to Christ in Isaiah 9:6 prove five persons in the Son-head! For that matter we read of “God and our Father” (Gal. 1:4) and ‘he “mystery of God and of the Father” (Col. 2:2).Are we to assume two persons are meant?

We are very comfortable reading about the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. We have always believed in a God who has “revealed himself as Father, through his Son, in redemption, and as the Holy Spirit by emanation” (Articles of Faith of the I.).

Dr. Boyd’s own explanation of the threefold references seems good to me. He says: “It is a way of saying ‘God/God/God but in a richer and more felicitous manner”(p. 58); and on page 57,and in his footnote on page 230, he refers to the whole thing as a “literary convention!’ So if it is a “literary convention,” Why try to prove anything from it? It is theologically neutral and any side can read what they want into it. So why all the excitement? Like the old Indian Chief said: “Heap big thunder, heap big – no rain!”

OBJECTION 7 – “I GO TO THE FATHER

Jesus statement in John 16:28 and a similar one in John 13:3 where he speaks of going or ascending) to the Father is often used against us. How can he go to the Father, if he is the Father!” This is supposed to prove the utter “distinction” of the two: “The distinction continues on, and becomes even more explicit, when we hear the Jesus of John’s gospel immediately continue on to say ‘I am going to the Father’…”(Boyd, p. 74).

If Dr.Boyd and other Trinitarians feel this is a problem for Oneness believers, they need to begin to take inventory themselves, for the text in question is an immensely greater problem for them. I will explain.

A TRINITARIAN PROBLEM

According to the Trinitarian doctrine of the “Perichoresis,” a Catholic invention of the 4th century, “wherever and however God exists – as Father, or on, or Holy r it all of God exists. From this it follows that whatever person of the Godhead one is referring to the other two are fully present” (p. 64). “And Indeed…each person completely dwells within the other two” (p. 171). He goes on to talk about the “totally interpenetrating loving union of the three persons of the Trinity” (p. 189).Hence “the inseparability of the three persons.”(p. 171).

Well now, according to what was just expounded as standard Trinitarianism, wherever the Son is, the Father is also fully present, and the Father completely dwells within the Son, “interpenetrates” him in a loving union, and is “inseparable” from him. Then how do they explain that the Son has to go to the Father? You can’t get any closer than “interpenetration”! The fact is they don’t even dare to attempt an explanation! They use this verse against us as one would a time bomb. They bring it forward, set it in place, and then run for cover, for they certainly don’t want to be there when it goes off! In summary, if John 16:28 is a problem for anyone, its a problem for Trinitarians!

ONENESS HAS THE ANSWER

To understand this verse properly we must realize that Jesus is not speaking about “going” to the Father or “ascending” to God in a geographical sense; as if he was in one place(down here) and the Father was off in another place (up there).Jesus repeatedly told us “the Father is with me,” “I am not alone, the Father is with me,” “the Father dwells in me’ and “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” John the evangelist tells us the Son ever dwells in the “bosom of the Father.” You don’t get much closer than that! No amount of travel could get Jesus any closer to the Father than he already was. So what did he mean?

Let us take the whole context. Jesus said “I came forth from the Father and am come into the world: again I leave the world and go to the Father” (John 16:28). “He was come from God, and went to God” (John 13:3). In other words, he came from deity, dwelt in human form among men on earth, and is now returning to his previous mode of existence. He originally was the unhampered and unlimited divine Spirit, he came to earth and accepted the limitations of the flesh, and now he is returning to unlimited Spirit existence. In other words, he is giving a short history of his changes in office or position, not location. Before he came to earth he was the Father, an unlimited all powerful Spirit. But he left that position (I came forth from the Father) and became incarnate in human flesh, and lived among us (“and am come into the world”). In this position he was limited and humbled. “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion of a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death” (Phillip 2:7-8). Now after the resurrection, he is no longer “humbled,” no longer “limited” and hampered by the Flesh. He returns to what he was before, all powerful, unlimited, unencumbered Spirit (“I leave the world and go to the Father”). That is why the Bible said he “ascended that he might fill all things� (Eph. 4:10). “Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:23). That is why Christ said it was necessary for him to “go away” that the Comforter, (the Holy Spirit) “might come” (John 16:7), “For the Spirit was not yet, for Christ was not yet glorified” (John 7:39, margin). “The last Adam (Christ) was made a quickening Spirit”(I Cor. 15:45). When? When he went back to God (John 13:3). He went back to Spirit! Now we can rejoice with Paul that the “Lord is that Spirit” (II Cor. 3:17). He came from unlimited Spirit life (Father), “limited” himself’ in flesh (“came into world”), and has now returned to unlimited Spirit existence (Father). And thank God for it. For instead of being able to comfort just a limited number of disciples in the flesh, he is now able to dwell with us all
as the Holy Spirit! This is what he meant when he told the disciples, concerning the Comforter, “He dwelleth with you, but shall be in you”. John 14:17). “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you (v.18). To do this he had to return to what he was before.

It should not surprise us that Jesus used the verb “go” in the sense of changing office, rather than geographical travel. We do the very same thing. We talk about a successful man “going to the top of his company.” We surely don’t mean he rode the elevator to the twentieth floor! Or when we say a bright student is “going to the head of his class”, we don’t mean he’s going to run up to the chalkboard! It all indicates a change of office or position, for the better. One humble preacher when asked to explain the verse that says “Jesus came from God and went to God,” simply responded: “That’s easy, Jesus is God, comin’ and goin! ‘” I can’t improve on that!

OBJECTION 8 – THE HIDDEN FATHER

Dr. Boyd rejects the Oneness belief that “Jesus is the Father,” which he rightly refers to as the “cornerstone” of Oneness Theology, because he insists it’s not in the Biblical Record. He cannot understand why Jesus didn’t come right out and say “I am the Father.” He repeats it more than once, so it must be important to him: “Jesus emphatically does not here (or anywhere) say ‘I the Father'”(p. 75.). And again: Note that Jesus does not here (or anywhere) say ‘I am the Father'”(p.74). “If Jesus was trying so hard to do this, why didn’t he simply do it?” (p. 74).

As usual, Dr. Boyd needs to sweep his own door step before he comes cleaning ours!

WHAT ABOUT THE HIDDEN TRINITY?

Throughout his book he mentions that Jesus is God, and rightly so. But where did Jesus ever say “I am God”? Come now, “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” Why didn’t Jesus come right out and say “I am so”? If he was trying so hard to do this, why didn’t he simply do it! It would have certainly cleared the air on the controversy of Christ’s deity. The Arian conflict that raged for centuries would never have gotten off the ground. The Watchtower Society and its millions of Jehovah Witnesses would have nothing to preach. Unitarianism would have been “nipped in the bud.” All he had to say was “I am God.” But he didn’t. Or better still, Christ, with his omniscience, could have headed off all controversy and simply stated “I am the Second Person of the Trinity,” at least”, “I am the Eternal Son.” Dr. Boyd believes firmly, fervently, unequivocally that Christ is indeed the Second Person of the Trinity and the Eternal Son. Yet he doesn’t have the slightest utterance from Christ’s mouth to that effect! And while we’re at it, where does Christ say “I am one of God’s personally distinct ways of existing? Passing strange is it not, how people in glass houses insist on throwing stones? If Dr. Boyd can believe that Jesus Christ is God, God the Son, and the Second Person of the Trinity, without ever once hearing Jesus say it, then we certainly cannot be censured for believing he is the Father! But Trinitarians will quickly tell us that even though Jesus never said, “I am God, or God the Son,” they have other corroborating evidence and strong indirect statements. So do We! And much stronger ones than they. For we have a text that calls him the Eternal Father (Isa. 9:6). Let them produce one that calls him the “Eternal Son”. The world’s been waiting over 1600 years for it. If they haven’t found it yet, I doubt they will.

THE HIDDEN FATHER MADE PLAIN

In respect to the doctrine of the Fatherhood of Christ, he asks: “But why, one must ask, is the New Testament so much less clear on this score? (p. 70). He refers to the “opaqueness of the teaching concerning the ‘Fatherhood’ of Christ…”(p. 70). “Why is the supposed fact that Jesus was his own Father so secretively hidden?”(p. 70).

These are all good questions. And-Jesus himself provides the answer! At the very close of his ministry, just before his crucifixion, he made this remarkable statement to his disciples: “These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak to you in proverbs (parables, margin) but I will show you plainly of the Father ” (John 16:25). Christ purposely throughout his ministry was “opaque” in his teaching concerning the Father. He spoke of the Father in “parables” (margin) a “hidden” method. Christ unhesitatingly admitted that his teaching concerning the Fatherhood up until that point had not been plain! That is why he also taught it would require a special revelation to “see it” “All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him” Luke 10:22. This revelation of the Father, Jesus just finished stating, had been “hid from the wise and prudent,” and “revealed unto babes, for so it seemed good in the Father’s sight”(Luke 10:21). Without this revelation, all will remain “opaque” and “hidden” This is why the teaching that Jesus is the Father “sounds so off” to Trinitarian ears. They are getting their revelation not from the Son, but from Catholic Church Councils. No wonder it sounds so off!

Now the question might arise, why didn’t Jesus teach it “outright” and “plain” like Dr. Boyd thinks it should have been, if it were true?

First of all, the Master doesn’t need Dr. Boyd’s advice on this point or any other. Christ’s motives are not for us to judge. But I might suggest several reasons why the doctrine of the Fatherhood of Christ was hidden to an extent. Of course, we must always bear in mind the main reason “it seemed good to the Father” to do so. That ought to be enough for anyone! Also it was a controversial doctrine that prompted extreme reaction among the Jews when he mentioned it (John 8:19-20; John 8:58-59, John 10:30-31). Jesus said: “I and my Father are one. When the Jews took up stones again to stone him” (John 10:30). Therefore Jesus spoke of the Father in “parables” to them (John 16:25). It was not given to those stoney hearts to know this great truth (stoney hearts still have a problem with it!). “And the disciples came and said unto him, Why speakest thou to them in parables? And he answered and said unto them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matt. 13:11-12).

Another reason Christ did not come right out and say “I am the Father” or for that matter “I am God” should be quite obvious. It was better to have the disciples gradually realize it, through faith, and confess it to him, than for him to simply announce it. I could say I preached a great sermon, and say it often, but wouldn’t it be better if others told me, no matter how long I’d have to wait!

Christ preferred to give them the evidence through his life, ministry and teachings and let them draw the conclusion and make the confession. His parabolic statements about the Father grew clearer toward the end of his ministry as John 14 shows us. .Even then they were not grasping it, for Phillip was still asking unenlightened ‘questions like, Show us the Father,” Jesus answer to him is tinged with a slight rebuke, for he says : “Have I been so long time with you and yet hast thou not known me Phillip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show the Father?” (John 14:7-9). He goes on, giving ever more light on the subject: “Believest thou not that I am in The Father, and the Father in me? The words I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works ” (John 14:10).

Boyd is forced to say something on this passage by way of explanation. Here it is: In a sense of course, the verses do imply that Jesus is the manifestation or ’embodiment’ of the Father.” (P. 73). Imply indeed! Dr. Boyd puts embodiment in quotation marks, for he knows it means incarnation, and he wants to leave open an escape hatch in case he’s pressed for a definition. He goes on (how can he?): The main intent of John 14:7-10 is to assure us that ‘the Father’ is not a different God ‘ than the God revealed in Christ. One does not, and cannot, look someplace else to ‘see’ and ‘know’ God the Father …For just this reason, ‘picturing’ the Father (and/or Spirit) along side Jesus, a sort of horizontal tri-embodied Trinity is prohibited…” (74-75).

Sounds very nice, does it not? Now for the contradiction! On page 75, this opponent of a “horizontal” Trinity says: “Christ is the one is at the Father’s side and the one through whom we must go to get to the Father, but he is not himself the Father.” Christ says the Father is “in him.” Dr. Boyd says they’re “side by side,” but not ‘!horizontal!’ They are “side by side;” “along side” each other, but not to be conceived of as “horizontal”! Do you remember the Queen of Hearts in “Alice in Wonderland”? She declared that she made at least two impossible statements every morning before breakfast. She would have heartily approved of this “non-horizontal,” yet “side by side” doctrine, of the Father and the Son.

It would be best if their teachings became “opaque,” better still, invisible! And remain that way!

OBJECTION 9-WORD MADE FLESH”

Dr. Boyd, and other Neo-Trinitarians, use this verse, John 1:14, to prove their concept that God was made flesh (transmuted) rather than simply embodied or robed in flesh. To them, God did not take upon himself human flesh, or robe himself in it, no, he was changed into human flesh, made into a man. Dr. Boyd writes: “As I have already pointed out, to affirm with scripture that ‘the Word became Flesh’ either means that what the man Jesus experiences, God experiences or it means nothing at all.” “Either God became a man or he did not; if he did then everything that the man Jesus does, God does” (p. 65). “…What Jesus endured on the cross, God himself endured… God could truly humble himself in order to become a real full human being- he did not just robe himself in flesh- while at the same time remaining the transcendent Father in heaven” (p. 188).

What Dr. B o y d is actually saying is that G o d exists in “three personally distinct ways” and one of these three ways was “changed into a man.That these “three ways” are actually three divine individuals becomes quite evident when he starts telling us, as he does on pages 189, that from eternity to eternity they talk to each other and love each other. ” A form of loving communion,” “love bursts forth between the Father and the “triune celebration of love within Himself,” “real loving interaction,” are the terms he uses to describe this activity. This requires in individuals, not “ways” and fashions” and “modes of being.” at we have, no matter how hard and long it is argued, is three divine persons, three gods, and one of them is changed into a man! For “real loving interaction” two minds are required at least. For love to “burst” forth between two persons, two separate minds and centers of consciousness are required; otherwise we do not have a “celebration” of love, just a “recitation of love.” Why “burst” with love if there is not a real “other individual” to receive it, and return the ‘burst!” Ways, aspects, fashions, modes, and manners can’t do these things!

ONENESS EXPLANATION- “THE TENT OF GOD”

But does the Bible say that even one of these “persons” was changed into a man? It does not. John explains what it meant to be “made flesh” in the next clause – and it is not a transmutation! He says “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” The Greek word for dwelt among us means “to pitch a tent and live in it,” “to tabernacle.” So God “lived in a tent” while here. And what tent was that? It was the flesh tent of his Son! Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up… but he spake of the temple of his body” (John 2:19-21). Tabernacle and Temple are used interchangeably of the human body (II Peter 1:13 and I Car. 3:16). Jesus’ body was a temple, a tabernacle or tent. But who was living in it? By now you know the answer. “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works,” Christ said in John 14:10. So even Dr. Boyd’s supposed proof text, in which Neo-Trinitarians repose so much hope, proves that God “dwelt in flesh” or “robed himself in flesh” instead of being “changed into flesh.” And because of this, we can avoid the bizarre conclusion that when the flesh was killed, God also was killed. He could, and did vacate the tent temple just before it died on the cross. This is why the man Christ Jesus, the Temple, cried out, “My God, My God, why heist thou forsaken me” (Matthew 27:46). God did not die on the Cross.

I hope this finally puts an end to these “whisperings and swellings” (II Cor. 12:20).

We will now proceed to some of the more “standard” objections that have been raised against oneness over the years. While the preceding objections were unique for the most part to Neo-Trinitarianism, the following ones are used by both Classic and Neo-Trinitarians. They have been answered often in the past, and answered well. However, in order to provide a full response for “the hope that Beth in us” we will revisit these questions and answer them at this time.

OBJECTION 10- “LET US MAKE MAN

The plural use of “us” is argued as proof of “three persons” of the Trinity. The Father is supposed to be talking to the Son. This is impossible seeing that the Son would not be born, or come into existence, until his birth at Bethlehem 4,000 or more years later (Luke 1:35, Held. 1:5). None of the Bible writers in the New Testament ever advanced this text in any Godhead discussion. Neither John, nor Paul, nor Peter, nor any New Testament author utilized it in any fashion, much less as a proof of a so-called Trinity. Why was such a “powerful Cannon” never fired?

By comparing the use of “us” in other passages we can readily see to whom God was speaking. For in each case angels, either cherubim or Seraphim were present.

In Genesis 1:26 we know angels were there because the book of Job says that the “morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy”(Job 38:7). And this occurred during the Creation. (See Job 38:4-6).

In Genesis 3:22 God says: “Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…” The context immediately, reveals the presence of Angels, Cherubims in this case: “He placed at the East of the Garden of Eden Cherubims…” (Gen. 3:24). Wherever God was/the “us” angels are nearby. It is natural He should talk to them; they are his companions, created for service and fellowship.

In Genesis 11:7 God goes down to inspect a city, namely Babel, and the phrase “us” occurs in connection with this: “Let us go down and there confound their language.” Could God have been talking to angels here? It would seem so. For a few pages later in the Bible, God inspects another city, Sodom, and takes two angels with him (Gen. 18:1-2, 22; 19:1-2). It appears to be customary for God to take an Angel “escort” with Him on these occasions. It must be remembered also that at this time God Himself was manifested as the Angel of the Lord, also known as the Word. This Jehovah Angel was God’s Old Testament body or form, (See Gen. 16:7-13 for one example).

The final instance of the use of “us” occurs in Isaiah’s vision of God’s throne (in which One, not Three were seated thereon!). He hears God saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us” (Isa. 6:8). The angels, to whom God is obviously referring, are mentioned in verses 2 and 6. They are Seraphims, one of the classes of angelic host.

So we have seen that in every case in which “us” is used, angels are mentioned either directly or indirectly. Would it not be more logical, as well as scriptural, to believe God was talking to them instead of postulating two additional “divine Persons” in the Godhead?

OBJECI’ION #11-BAPTISM OF JESUS

“To Jordan, thou heretic and there behold the Trinity” has been the challenge thundered forth by the Early Trinitarian Fathers of the Church. We have of course gone to Jordan to see the “three divine Persons” and have come away somewhat perplexed. For two of the “divine Persons” are “missing Persons”. The only divine Person that we can see is our Lord Jesus Christ. There were two other “manifestations” that occurred, namely a voice from a cloud, and a dove descending, but these do not constitute Persons. In fact these manifestations were actually miraculous works, and as such were produced by the deity that dwelt in Christ: “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10).

The divine omnipresent Spirit of could produce a “voice” an here He desired. God once caused a donkey to speak with a voice in the old Testament (Num. 22:28). Is a donkey therefore a person? Jesus said the stones could be made to “cry out” (Luke 14:40). Would the stones therefore become persons?

What Trinitarians want, and cannot get, is a scene in which the Father appears along side the Son and points to Him and says, This is my beloved Son. They will have to go to Mormonism and consult Joseph Smith’s visions, so called, if they wish that kind of proof. It’s just not in the Bible.

While Trinitarians are busy trying to turn “voices” and doves into substantive, persons they miss the message that the voice announced. The divine Spirit said: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). God was actually declaring that He was in the beloved son, and well pleased. Paul so interpreted it, for he wrote: “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell” (Col. 1:19). And this of course is the “fullness of the Godhead” (Col. 2:9).

The descent of the dove was a special sign to John the Baptist whereby he could identify the Messiah who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire (John 1:32-33). A dove is not a person.

So what we have at Jordan, as anyone can see, is one Person in the water, our Lord Jesus Christ, and a manifested voice and a symbolic dove. One Person, and one person only. If we are going to use every instance of God creating a manifestation and turn it into a divine Person we cannot stop at three. For manifested Himself in cloud, a Pillar of Fire, a Still Small Voice, a Burning Bush, a wheel in a wheel and so forth. It’s going to get very crowded!

OBJECTION #12- THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD

Trinitarians who know their own doctrine never bring this argument up. It would constitute an argument against their own beliefs, for they have always taught that God’s essence is “spirit” and is not composed of bodily parts. A Critical Lexicon and Concordance To The English and Greek Testament, by E. W. Bullinger, a Trinitarian, has this to say on page 896: “The Godhead is ‘Spirit'(John 4:24) and as Spirit has no likeness to matter…” A literal right hand would certainly be a “likeness to matter.” The Expression “right hand of God” is clearly symbolic and not actual. The Revel Bible Dictionary, a Trinitarian reference, defines this usage of hand as follows: “The hand is mentioned some 600 times in the Old Testament, often symbolically or in idiomatic expressions, frequently serving as a symbol of power or ability. For example, the ‘hand of ‘ indicates both sovereignty and divine action” (The Revel Bible Dictionary, Fleming H. Revell Co; 1990, p.465). The Bible also talks about God’s “wings” and “feathers” (Psalm 91:4). No has ever taken this to be literal.

So Jesus being “at the right hand of God” cannot be taken literally, for God is a Spirit (John 4:24) and a “spirit” bath not flesh and bone (Luke 24:39). And without “flesh and bone” you cannot have a hand (right or left). So what does “seated at the right hand of God” mean? It means Christ now has all power and sovereignty. As a result of his resurrection, in which ad took up permanent residence in the glorified Temple of Christ, our Lord possesses all power and authority. “All power is given unto me in heaven and-in earth” (Matt. 28:18).

Christ Himself defined the “right hand” as meaning precisely that: “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Matt. 26:64). “And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of Power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62). This is later described as simply “coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt:24:30),omitting the mention of “right hand” altogether.

OBJECTION #13- “ELOHIM”

In the past, every Trinitarian polemic would eagerly point out that the Old Testament word for God (“Elohim” -Hebrew) was in the plural. Hence they would declare that it should be translated as “Gods” or the even more ludicrous expression “the adorable ones.” For eighty years Oneness advocates pointed out that “Elohim” simply signified “the Plural of Majesty” and in no way alluded to “divine adorable persons” in the Godhead. The Jews always understood it as “Plural of Majesty,” and after all, it is their language. Besides, Christ alone is called “Elohim” in the Old Testament; and certainly there is no “plurality of persons” in the Son! Elohim was always used with a singular verb, for example: “Elohim is,” but never “Elohim are.” This is additional proof that Elohim is to be taken in the singular.

Now after 80 years, Trinitarians are finally “seeing the light” on this question. Dr. Boyd states: “When the one true God is referred to as Elohim, however, the corresponding verbs are always singular…Hence it is easiest and best to understand the plural of Elohim when referenced to Yahweh as denoting a plural of majesty.” (Boyd, p. 47).

If God granted us the time, it would be interesting to see what further concessions Trinitarians would make after another 80 years of Oneness exposure. One can only hope they will not be such slow learners in the future; time is short.

OBJECTION #14- JESUS PRAYING TO THE FATHER

“Why did Jesus pray to the Father if he was the Father?” We are constantly asked. We respond with, “If the Persons of the Godhead are all equal, why did one divine Person have to pray to another divine Person for help?” The more enlightened will quickly explain that though Jesus was a “divine Person” he was also man, and as such was dependent on God the Father, and needed to pray (as a man that is). And in so explaining it, they have stated our position also!

To illustrate the point, I quote Dr. Boyd’s correct (for once ) interpretation of this question: “A final word must be said concerning how it is that Jesus (and others) can refer to the Father as his God (John 20:17, II Core 1:3; Eph. 1:3, Rev. 1:6). On the face of it, the traditional Trinitarian answer to this differs little from the answer Oneness believers would themselves give: namely, it is because of Christ’s Incarnation, because of the fact that he was a full human being, that he could not only refer to the Father as his God, but also explicitly say that the Father was greater than he (John 14:28). It was, moreover for the same reason that the Son had to continually pray to God as any human must pray (Mark 1:35; 14:35; etc.).

As a man, in his human nature, Christ prayed to the Father. Some object saying “wasn’t the Father dwelling in Christ at the time?” We reply, “of course”. Then they say, “well, this means Christ prayed as a man, to the God who was dwelling in Him’?” But why should this present a problem? I once asked a Trinitarian if the God that he worshipped and prayed to also dwelt in him? Naturally the answer was in the affirmative. So’ if a Christian can pray to God, even though that same God dwells in him, why can’t Christ? Of course, we all realize the “indwelling” of God in Christ is far different in degree than the “indwelling” in a Christian; for Christ is God because of the indwelling, but no Christian can make such a claim for himself. Nevertheless the principle is the same, humanity must pray to divinity and the “location” of that divinity is not germane.

OBJECTION #15- MY FATHER IS GREATER THAN I”

How could Jesus be the Father if he said the Father was “greater” than he? This is more of a problem to the Trinitarians, for in their theory none of the “divine persons” of the Trinity are greater than any of the others! The Athanasian Creed states: “and among these three persons none is before or after another, none is greater or less than another.” They can’t escape it either as easily as they would like by simply saying: “The Son was referring to his ‘lesser’ position on earth at the time; the Father being greater because he was still in “heaven’.” The Creed we just quoted talks about “persons” and not their location. The Son was still the Second Person of the Trinity, regardless of his location or condition. It’s precisely for this reason that Dr. Boyd says: “When Christ suffered a forsaken death, God suffered a forsaken death” (Boyd, 58). By _which he means, God the Son, 8econd Person. So this statement of Christ that the “Father is greater” contradicts the Trinitarian creed and leaves them fumbling for a way out. We will not allow them the luxury of “switching” their “God the Son” to same thing “less” everytime they get hemmed in by the Word.

Far from contradicting the Oneness message, Christ statement as to the Father being greater, actually supports it. For it is axiomatic to so Oneness that the Son is “lesser, being a human. That is why the Son said: I can of mine own self do nothing” (john 5:30).And it was as the human Son that Christ said: “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28), and “My Father which gave them me is greater than all” (John 10:29). But
at the same time, it is this Father, who is “greater than all, who dwells incarnate in the Son. For Christ said: “The Father, that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works” (John 14:10). And that is also why immediately after Christ stated that the Father was “greater than all” he proceeded to say: “I and my Father are One” (John 10:30), and “The Father is in me…” (John 10:38). When one realizes that Christ’s divinity is not derived from his human nature as “Son, but from his divine nature as “Father,” then there is no difficulty in the text at all!

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADGH - Godhead/ Oneness, AIS File Library0 Comments

The Son of God

The Son of God
By: Elder Ross Drysdale

Does The Bible Teach A “Begotten” Or An “Eternal Son”? What Is The A Manahan Creed Of The. Trinitarians? Is It In Conflict With The Bible? If The Son Of God Was The Second Person Of The Trinity, Why Did He Say He Could Do Nothing?

Son Of The Living God

“Whom do you say I am?” was the question Jesus asked long ago. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” was Peter’s divinely revealed answer (Matt 16:15-18). It was upon this revealed truth, that Christ was the Son of God, that the church was to be built (Matt. 16:18-19). Without a proper understanding of the doctrine of the Son of God it is impossible to lay a true foundation. And without a true foundation every other stone is out of place also. Oneness Light is a return to the true and biblical teaching concerning the Son of God.

The Neo-Trinitarian Son Of God

Neo-Trinitarians and Classic Trinitarians commit their first error in defining the Son of God. From this original heresy springs forth in rapid, order all the other distorted teaching of the Trinity. From the start every thing is radically out of focus, and they prefer it that way. The plumbline has been moved from Apostle Peter’s simple confession to endless futile debate about consubstantiality, eternal generation, Perichoresis, and Logos theology. They just can’t seem to accept clear and simple Bible truths at face value. Everything must be invested with an aura of confusion and mutual contradiction, over which they throw the blanket of “divine mystery. But this blanket is getting rather thread bare from centuries of “cover up” tactics. Let us first examine the “Son of God” doctrine that Trinitarians insist one must “hold” if he “wishes to be saved” (Athanasian Creed).

To Trinitarians, the Son of God is eternal. He never had a beginning. He always existed along side the Father and Holy Spirit as a distinct person. He is co-equal with the other two in every respect.

“The father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Spirit is eternal, and yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal.”

“The Father is Almighty, the Son is Almighty, and the Holy Spirit is Almighty. Yet there are not three who are Almighty, but there is one who is Almighty.”

“For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Holy Spirit is still another.”

“For just as we are compelled by Christian Truth to acknowledge each Person by himself to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the Christian religion to say there are three Gods or three Lords” (Athanasian Creed, as quoted in Theodore G. Tap pert, The Book of Concord, Mahlenberg Press, Philadelphia, Pa. 1959).

So the Son is one of three distinct eternal Persons, each of whom is fully God, yet at the same time there are not three Gods. So they tell us! The Son always existed as one of the three “Almighties,” yet of course there are not “three Almighties” (even though each of the three distinct Persons is an “Almighty)!

Yet the Bible speaks of the Son as having an origin, being “begotten.” So this must be “explained away.” The Creeds are equal to the task. They insist that the Son is “eternally begotten:” In other words the Father is always and perpetually “begetting” the Son.

“He is a derived representation of God the Father…a derived copy by eternal generation of God the Father.”

“He proceeds by eternal generation from the Father as the Son, and because eternal, that birth never took place, it always was.”

“Father and Son come into being at the same time, and since God never come into being, then Christ never did either.”

(As cited in “The God of Glory,” by Ronald F. Hogan, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, N.J. 1984, p. 60).

To all of the above Dr.Boyd as of necessity must subscribe, for he not only endorses Athanasius (for whom the Creed is named), but also endorses all those “earliest Christian fathers” who “cared about nothing more than preserving intact, without any alteration ‘the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints ‘ (Boyd, p. 60-61). And that, of course, includes the creeds which they composed. In fact, he warns us to be careful in our understanding of these Creeds lest we be guilty of “a misapplication of the creedal language” (Boyd, p. 173). Oneness believers are chided for having “traded in the mystery of the Trinity for the nonsensical notion of God as an undifferentiated unity” (Boyd, 176). Thus the Creeds, which set forth the “mystery,” are more important than the word, which sets forth God as an “undifferentiated unity” in numerous passages (Deut 6:4, Isa. 43: 10-11, Isa. 44:24, Isa. 46:9, Deut. 4:35, Deut. 4:37).

Dr.Boyd is in perfect agreement with the Trinitarian Creeds (though not with the Bible) when he sets forth his faith in the “eternal pre-existence of the Son.” He writes on page 114: “If Jesus was indeed the ‘word,.’ Image, form. ,”Son and ‘expression’ of God the Father in time, so he must in some sense always have been.” And he states further that he finds: “…the truth of Christ’s eternal pre-existence to be a firmly grounded teaching of
Scripture.” (Boyd p.114). And by this he means Christ’s eternal pre-existence as “God the Son, Second Person of the Trinity.”

TRINITARIANS BECOME SUSPICIOUS

The Trinitarians themselves are beginning to become suspicious of their own creeds as respects the definition of the Son of God. And is it any wonder with such insane concepts as eternal begetting, births that never took place, births that always were, derived copies, eternal generations, beings that come into being while never coming into being, etc. etc. Bedlam itself could not have pr6duced such rantings. We should be praised, not rebuked, for “trading in the mystery of the Trinity.”

Ronald F. Hogan

Listen to what Ronald F. Hogan, leading Trinitarian has to say about all this “creedal language” concerning the Son: “The sources of all the above remarks, and of numerous similar ones, emanating largely from traditional formulae hammered out at frequently unharmonious and commonly acrimonious church councils, quite likely would repudiate imputation to them of the doctrine that the Lord of glory was a created being. Notwithstanding, their adoption and their espousal of such theological praseology (e.g. ‘derived,’ ‘copy , ‘ ‘created,’ ‘proceeds,’ ‘birth that always was ‘creature,’ ‘barn before creation’) cast shadow, rather than light, upon the fundamentalist conviction that co-equality and co-eternity characterize nondispensational Godhead condition ” (Hogan, p. 60).

Dr. Hogan continues in his expose of this “creedal language” with specific focus on the term “eternal generation.” He writes: “In this regard, theologians have coined the expression ‘eternal generation’ in an attempt to reconcile the title ‘only begotten Son’ with the truth of the Lord’s uncreated essence as a divine Person. Such an expression as ‘eternal generation’ is unfortunate, not on the grounds that it does not occur in Scripture…but because it is composed of two diametrically opposite and mutually exclusive English words. To purport to meet a theological dilemma…with a mystical expression which is both self-canceling and also unilluminative is an unsatisfying solution, to say the least.”

Thus the Trinitarian doctrine of the “Eternal Son” begins as a “dilemma” (and a self imposed one I might add) and ends with “self cancelling” and “unilluminative” solutions, unsatisfying ones at that!

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke, whose monumental 6 volume commentary, is available in every Christian library and recognized universally for its renown scholarship, had much to say in opposition to “eternal generation” and “eternal Sonship.” In commenting on Luke 1:35 he has this to say: “To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is, in my opinion, absurd; and the phrase ‘eternal Son’ is a positive self contradiction: Eternity is that which has had no beginning, nor stands in any reference to time. Son supposes time, generation, and father; and time also antecedent to such generation. Therefore, the conjunction of these two terms, son and eternity, is absolutely impossible, as they imply essentially different and opposite ideas.”

Walter Martin

Walter Martin, prolific author and exposer of cults, had this to say regarding the same Trinitarian definition of the Eternal Son: “Many heresies have seized upon the
confusion created by the illogical ‘eternal Sonship’ or eternal generation’ theory of the
Roman Catholic theology, fortunately carried over to some aspects of Protestant theology. Finally, there cannot be any such thing as eternal Sonship, for there is a logical contradiction of to terminology due to the fact that the Word Son predicates time and the involvement of creativity’, (Walter Martin, Jehovah of the Watchtower, Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN., 1974, p. 161).

A Divided House

Seeing the Trinitarians cannot agree among themselves as to the correct definition of the Son, why should they attempt to teach anyone else? By their own admission it is a “dilemma, “illogical,” “absolutely impossible,” “self canceling,” and a “contradiction of terminology.” And yet this is the “eternal Son” doctrine Dr. Boyd would urge upon us instead of the Oneness explanation which he says creates “a multitude of insuperable difficulties” (Boyd, 170). When it comes to “insuperable difficulties,” his own backyard is in radical need of trash removal. For it is littered with contradictions, impossibilities, and dilemmas, as reported to us by his own Trinitarian neighbors!

Let us leave the divided and squabbling house of the Trinitarians as they “eternally” fight over the definition of the Son of God. We shall examine what oneness and the Bible have to say on this subject.

The Begotten Son Of Oneness

Christ is called “the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14), the only begotten Son” (John 1:18, I John 4:9),”His only begotten Son” (John 3:16), and “the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). The Angel told Joseph that Christ was begotten (Matt. 1:20); the same angel told Mary that her Son was begotten of God (Luke 1:35), and God Himself told the son that he was begotten: “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee” (Hebrews 1:5). What more is needed? The Son is not “eternal,” he was begotten!

The term begotten is an earthly term, not celestial or eternal. It is used to describe human beings who are brought into existence through reproduction and born of a mother. Webster’s Dictionary states under “begotten” the. Following beget, begotten: to bring into being as offspring; to produce or cause.” The term Son, likewise is humanly and earthly connected: Son “a male offspring, male child born of a woman.”

So we can see from this that the Son “came into being” hence He cannot, as the Son, be eternal. Neither could he have existed from all eternity in heaven, for He was a “male child, borne of ‘a woman.” And such conditions do not obtain in heaven!

“Unbegetting” The Begotten Son

Neo-Trinitarians in their desperation to sustain their untenable theory have begun toying with the text of Scripture. Frantic to get rid of the idea of a “begotten” Son (which they realize is fatal to the Trinity) they have “discovered” something that had been overlooked for nearly 2,000 years. And what is this marvelous discovery? “New light” on the Greek, they say, shows that the word “begotten” is a mistranslation! The Greek term “monogenes” should be rendered, “unique,” “one of a kind” or just “only.” No thought of generation is implied they maintain. Thus Dr. Boyd writes: “First as is widely recognized by contemporary biblical scholarship, the Johannine Semitic phrase ‘only begotten, (monogenes) is not a biological term. Rather, the term specifies uniqueness. ‘Mono’ means ‘one’ and ‘genos’ means ‘kind.’ Jesus is, therefore, not God’s only born Son (in contrast to all of his nonbegotten sons?); rather, he is, as the NIV rightly translates it, God’s ‘one and only’ Son” (Boyd, p. 113).

What Does Monogenes Mean?

It seems Neo-Trinitarians will stop at nothing, even altering the Word of God, in their frenzied efforts to keep their leaky theological raft afloat. Instead of bailing out however, they have just added a curse to their sin of heresy, for “if any man shall take away from the words of the book” we are informed, God shall take away his part out of the book of life” (Rev. 22:19). Dangerous work this Trinitarianism.

The “New Translation” for monogenes is a Trinitarian fiction and flies in the face of 2,000 years of scholarship. The ancient church fathers always translated it as “begotten.” They always understood it as “begotten”, and so wrote of it. These men lived 1700 years closer to the original manuscripts. They not only knew the ancient Greek, they spoke it as their mother tongue! The Council of Nicea was conducted in Greek! Surely they would know their own language. They did. And that is why they included the word “begotten” repeatedly in all the ancient creeds. They never once substituted “unique” or “one and only.” Seventeen hundred years later some “johnny-come-latelys’ would teach them their own language! We have seen previously how disastrous it turned out to be for Trinitarians when they attempted to teach the Jews the fundamentals of Hebrew regarding such terms as Elohim and “yachid.” Their attempt to teach the ancient Greek Fathers their own Greek tongue will prove equally embarrassing. The Trinitarian Fathers tried to circumvent the idea of a “begotten” Son by postulating an “eternal” begetting; they didn’t dare try to change the meaning of the word. Indeed, they couldn’t, for they would have been “laughed out of court.” Everyone knew what monogenes meant.

Besides, other things weigh in against the Neo-Trinitarian Case. What can they do with such texts as Matt. 1:20 where Joseph is informed “that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Ghost” (margin). Are we to translate this as “that which is ‘uniqued’ in her is of the Holy Ghost?” Or how about Hebrews 1:5 which reads, Thou are my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” Are we to now render it: “Thou art my Son, this day have I ‘one and only’ thee.” Dr. Boyd unbelievably explains it away by linking it to Solomon’s Coronation Ceremony! “The Old Testament passages the author is quoting speak of an ideal king’s relationship to the God of Israel and have nothing to do with the biological birth of the king. Rather they simply speak of God’s openly declaring (probably during the coronation ceremony) his special relationship to the King, and through the King to all of Israel” (Boyd, p. 112). So the whole passage of the Father begetting the Son is transformed by Trinitarian wizardry to God’s relationship to “all of Israel.” We are to suppose that when the angel referred to Mary having a child “begotten of the Holy Ghost” that Joseph’s thoughts immediately flew back to Solomon’s “Coronation Ceremony” for the correct understanding of this astonishing announcement! I sincerely doubt Solomon, or his coronation ceremony, was on his mind at this time! Dr.Boyd betrays his real motives in advancing such an esoteric interpretation when he writes: “Hence, whatever meaning verse 5 has, it cannot legitimately be used to date the beginning of the Son’s existence at Bethlehem” (Boyd, p. 112). In other words, any interpretation will do, except the one which scripturally relates the “begetting” to the child who was “begotten!” He starts with the premise that the verse cannot mean what it “says,” so anything is possible after that. Such “reasoning in chains” will never arrive at correct conclusions.

In Hebrew 1:5, as a matter of fact, the writer is bringing forth the argument that Christ is better than the angels because he has a better title, Son of God. And the reason he has this better title is grounded in the fact that he was “begotten.” For angels are also called “Sons of God” ‘(lob 2:1), but they are never said to be begotten sons.” They were “created” sons, but not “begotten Sons.” Only to Christ belongs the unique privilege of having been “begotten” directly by something that could never be said of angels. Therefore, to remove the “begetting of the Son” from this passage is tantamount to destroying the whole argument!

If the correct translation is God’s “one and only son” then that means there can be no other sons of God at all! Adam will be surprised to find out he was not a son of God (Luke 3:38). Angels will be surprised to find out they were not either (Job 2:1). But most suprised of all will be the multitude of Christians who had been told they too were Sons of God (I John 3:1-2). For if Jesus is the “one and only” Son of God, then there can be no room for others, whether they be created, or adopted. And of course this flies in the face of Scripture which does indeed call both angels and Christians “Sons of God.” One Neo-Trinitarian denial of Scriptures seems to have spawned others! In contrast however, if one accepts the correct translation that Jesus was God’s “only begotten Son” then there is plenty of room for angels, who (like Adam), were “created” Sons, and Christians who are “adopted” Sons (Rom. 8:15). Christ is still the only Son who was ever “begotten by God.” Dr.Boyd brushes aside the whole embarrassing issue of God’s other “sons” by stuffing the entire concept into a parenthesis and tacking a question mark on the end of it: “(in contrast to all of his nonbegotten sons?)” Boyd, p. 113. But it’s not dismissed that easy. God does have other sons, created and adopted, which would render it impossible for Jesus to be God’s “one and only” Son as Neo-Trinitarians like to call him. Unless Jesus is God’s “only begotten Son” then we Christians cannot be sons at all according to this Neo-Trinitarian linguistic Charade.

Scholarship And Monogenes

The Greek word for “only begotten” is, as we have seen, “monogenes.” It comes from “monos” meaning “only,’ and “ginomai,” a root word meaning “to generate,” “to become (come into being).” This is the definition defined for us by Dr. Strong in his Exhaustive Concordance. E.Robinson, in his Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament, also defines it as: “only born, only begotten, i.e. an only child.” The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Kittel, says: “Monogenes, means of sole descent, i.e. without brothers or sisters.”Kittel also goes on to state: “The relation of Jesus is not just compared to that of an only child to its father. It is the relation of the only begotten to the Father.” The same Greek word, monogenes, is used to describe Isaac as Abraham’s “only begotten son” in Hebrews 11:17. There can be no question that Isaac was generated by Abraham and born of a woman. He did not pre-exist with Abraham before his birth. George Ricker Berry, who was a professor of old Testament and Semitic languages at Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and who held a PhD from the University of Chicago, consistently rendered monogenes as “begotten” in his monumental work, Interlinear Greek-English New Testament. Even Dr. Vines, who loves to weave Trinitarian interpretations around everything he writes, was forced on Page 822 of his Expository Dictionary of the New Testament, to list under “only begotten the Greek word monogenes” and to give five references in John’s writing where it is used. If he could have honestly gotten out of it, he would have!

And to all these authorities can be added the names of  Dr. Boyd’s favorite historical figures, namely Augustine, Aquinas, the Cappodocian Fathers, Calvin, etc. For they all believed the correct translation of monogenes was “only begotten.” Their writings are full of it. They would never have countenanced this new and novel mistranslation. The Old Trojan had it right, “beware of the Greeks bearing gifts.” Especially if those linguistic “gifts” are attempts to supplant the Word of God in the interest of Platonic speculation!

Why anyone who is a Christian would even attempt to remove the begetting of the Son is beyond me. The battle is hopeless from the onset, for two whole chapters of the New Testament (Luke 1 and Matthew 1) are devoted to giving the entire story of this glorious event. How can they hope to remove this. What strange and senseless compulsions must drive them. Like the strange and mysterious leanings of Scandinavia they race blindly and’ irresistibly to their own death.

Abolishing The Son

Feeling satisfied with having “settled” the “begotten issue,” Neo-Trinitarians proceed to abolish the “Son issue” in the same manner. For they have discovered that the title “Son of God” is no big deal after all. Dr. Boyd writes: “The title ‘Son of God’ was primarily a moral and theological title throughout the ancient Semitic world, and throughout Scripture” (Boyd, p. 111). It sounds almost mundane. Christ seems to have somehow (for it wasn’t through the Virgin Birth they argue!) picked up this rather well circulated, and previously used, “moral and theological title.” And the Virgin Birth is described in equally ho-hum fashion, for “the angel was simply telling Mary that she was going to miraculously conceive a supremely holy child who will be called the Son of God. Nothing more can be read into this” (Boyd, 111). “A supremely holy child” who is invested with an apparently shop worn “moral and theological title” that had been making the rounds in “the ancient Semitic world.” In fact, Dr. Boyd finds “nothing to suggest that Luke was thinking in primarily biological terms when he records the angel as connecting Jesus divine conception with his title of Son of God” (Boyd, p. 111). Nothing “biological” in a woman giving birth to a male and that child being called a Son! Are we to suppose that Christ arrived here by means of a celestial Stork!

And as we have pointed out before, the final coup de grace arrives when Dr. Boyd informs us that Jesus is not really a literal son after all! “When we, following Scripture, call ‘the Father’ and Jesus “the Son,’ we are speaking analogically, not literally. We are saying that the loving relationship that exists between God and Jesus is like that of a father and a son but, of course, devoid of physical characteristics that are present in human father-son relationships” (Boyd, 63-64). The Son of God is not “literally” a son. It is all an “analogy.” He is “like” a son, but of course he isn’t, not “literally” that is, for that would be too “human” you see! He further states that the title “Son of God” is not to be taken to mean that we should view “Jesus” as the literal progeny of God the Father” (Boyd, p. 63). That would be “crass literalism” and would connect us with “pagan mythologies.”

What Are Trinitarians Left With?

Trinitarians started with a scriptural designation of Christ as the only begotten Son of God. It was in the Bible in five places for all to read. But they toyed with the Greek until their linguistic sleight of hand caused the word “begotten” to disappear. Next they worked on the word “Son. They made it “non-literal” and just an “analogy.” So it too, for all practical purposes, has also disappeared. It was not such a great loss however, for you must remember, it was only a “moral and theological title of the “ancient Semitic world.” So what are they left with? Absolutely nothing! They have joined the ranks of the other deniers of the Father and the Son which Apostle John cursed as Anti-Christs in I John 2:22. But they can fellowship with the homosexual Metropolitan Community Church, which insists on dropping use of the word Son and replacing it with “offspring” or “child.”
For they will have none of this “sexist literalism” which calls Christ “Son,” and God “Father,” less it offend their lesbian feminists. They too feel such “Father/Son language” (as Dr. Boyd calls it on page 63) is too “anthropomorphical.” And they are also in agreement with Dr.Boyd that it “attributes to God the human characteristics of sexuality” (Boyd, p. 63). That’s their argument exactly! God should not be viewed in “sexist” terms, and “Father” and “Son” are definitely “sexist” terms. How long will it be till Neo Trinitarians also opt in favor of “sexually neutral” terms such as “Parent,” “child; offspring,” “heir;” instead of “Father” and “Son.” Some Trinitarian denominations, like the United Methodist Church, are already rewriting their hymnbooks (again!!) to eliminate references to God as “Father” and Jesus as “Son.” Although Dr. Boyd and fellow Neo-Trinitarians positively do not advocate (at least not yet) such gross rewriting of the divine revelation, never-the-less, their doctrinal premises are the same ones used by these “rewriters” of Scriptures and hymns. For if God is not literally a “Father,” they say, and if Jesus is not literally a “son,” and it’s all “anaology” why not “update” things and use “politically correct” neutral terms that are not sexually biased? Certainly the tradition that produced such terms as first, second, third, person, Trinity, and “Light of Light” and “God of God” will not consider it any great “quantum leap” to call the Godhead “Parent and offspring” or “Sovereign and Heir.” They might even follow Mary Baker Eddy and the Christian Scientists and call God “Father-Mother’.” That would please everyone! When you start down the road of “analogy” there’s no telling where you will wind up, except ultimately it will be in Hell!

The Son Of God And His Origin

The Scriptural record is quite clear concerning the Son of God and His Origin. There is no “mystery” that shrouds these facts. While Trinitarians try to explain Him in terms of “births that never were” and “eternal generations,” the Bible record offers no such nonsense. Let us now review what Scripture sets forth concerning our Lord and how he was begotten.

The Place

The Place where the Son of God was begotten was not “up in heaven” during “eternity past,” but rather right here on earth, in a city of ancient Israel called Nazareth. In Luke 1 the Bible records a marvellous event, namely the begetting of the Son of God:” And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph… And the angel said unto her, Fear not Mary: for thou hast found favor with God, and behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus” (Luke’ 1:26-31). It is right here in Nazareth that the conceiving or begetting occurred. Mary was not transported to heaven for this glorious act. You may search your Bible from cover to cover; you will find no other location or setting mentioned for the “begetting” of the Son. Neither will you find a prior “celestial” begetting that antedates the one described here. When Mary’s espoused husband Joseph found out that she was pregnant, he was of a mind to put her away. But the angel appeared to him in a dream and explained in unambiguous words, and not only to him but to every succeeding generation, just what had transpired there in Nazareth: “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Ghost”‘ (Matt. 1:20).

The Time

The Bible says the begetting occurred on a particular day. “For unto which of the angels said he at anytime, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” (Hebrews 1:5). Seeing it occurred on “a day” and not in “eternity past,” we must search in the calendars of earth’s history to locate this specific time. This begetting, as we have seen, occurred at Nazareth to a virgin named Mary. This event, according to the marginal date of the Bible, took place in the year BC 4. If this dating system is reliable, and many scholars believe it is, then the begetting of the Son of God occurred in the year 4 BC. No other begetting is described for Him in the Bible, so we must conclude this is the time referred to in Heb. 1:5.

His Mother

The mother of the Son of God, as we have seen, was a virgin named Mary, of the lineage of David. Mary is called the mother of Jesus Christ in Matt. 1:18, and it is universally conceded by all that she is indeed his mother. The Trinitarians in formulating their “Creed of Chalcedon” invested Mary with the title “Mother of God.” This she is never called in Scripture! This blasphemy is a direct result of Trinitarianism, the matrix from which it sprang, for in the trinity Jesus Christ is the Second Person, God the Son. Therefore Mary would indeed be the Mother of God.” In Oneness however we are not forced into such an anti-biblical position. For we recognize Mary as the Mother of the man Christ Jesus, the Son or flesh. She is not, nor even could be, the mother of his divine indwelling nature, the Father or Spirit. Now we approach the shore of controversy, who is the Father of the Son of God?

His Father

The One who begat Jesus in the womb of Mary was the Holy Ghost: “…before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost ” (Matt. 1:18). “…for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 1:20). “The angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee…therefore also that Holy thing which shall be-born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Nothing could be clearer. Three times in Scripture the Holy Ghost is declared to be the Father of Jesus. The Holy Ghost is another title for the one infinite and undivided God. For God is Holy (John 17:11), and He is a Spirit (John 4:24), hence God is the Holy Spirit. By this act of begetting a Son, God became something he never had been before, namely the Father of a human child through procreation. The second half of Hebrews 1:5 is now fulfilled: “And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son (Heb. 1:5). The Father and Son relationship comes into existence at this point. On the day the Son was begotten, God became Father. God had been called Father before in the Bible, but never in relationship to a begotten Son. He was the Father of Creation, and a Father to the nation of Israel. But it is on this day in Nazareth’ 2,000 years ago that He became Father of the Son of God. This is why we do not read of “Father and Son” in the Old Testament (except in prophetic reference). At that time the “day” had not yet come. After the birth of Christ, the references to God as Father multiply dramatically.

Trinitarian Dilemma About Christ’s Father

Trinitarians have a real serious problem with all this. For in their theory God the Father (First Person of the Trinity) is a distinct person from God the Holy Ghost (Third Person of the Trinity). Therefore how did God the Father (1st person) ever get to be the Father of Christ, if the whole begetting was done by the Holy Ghost, or “Third Person.” In short: the Third Person is the one the Bible says “begot” the Second Person (Christ) instead of the First Person, who is supposed to be the real Father! Carl Brumback seeks to escape this dilemma by comparing the Virgin Birth to some sort of surrogate act or artificial insemination theory. But this is all desperation, and borders on blasphemy. ‘Dr. Boyd seeks to solve the problem by declaring there is none! Seeing Jesus is not “literally” the Son of God, but only in an “analogous” sense, it doesn’t matter who “begot” him! He
writes: “When we understand this, we see no problem whatsoever in affirming that the one who miraculously created the human seed that the Word of God became (John 1:14) was the Holy Spirit, even though the Father and the Holy Spirit are distinct ‘persons’ in the Godhead” (Boyd, p. 64). No problem who the Father was because there wasn’t any “literal” Father anyhow! That’s all relegated to “crass literalism” and “pagan mythology Even though God thundered from heaven, This is my beloved Son,” Trinitarians in the crowd would have whispered, not really, you know.”

Who Was Begotten?

The Son of God cane into existence as a direct result of the Virgin Birth. He did not exist as the Son of God before that time. Nothing is plainer in Scripture than this. Numerous scholars, including Trinitarians, attest to this fact. A reading of the passage makes this crystal clear: “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The word “therefore” in this text is very important. It is because of this begetting by the Holy Ghost that the child will be called the “Son of God’-” There is no other reason offered in Scripture for Christ being called the Son of God other than the fact that God was his Father in this birth! Naturally when Dr. Boyd cites Luke 1:35 on page 111, he uses a translation which omits the word “therefore.” It is very damaging to their theory of the angel simply telling Mary she was going to conceive a supremely holy child” who would also be known by a “moral and theological title” common in the “ancient Semitic world,” namely, Son of God! They ground none of it in the Virgin Birth! The Bible grounds all of it in that event. Dr. Boyd grudgingly concludes that “Son of God” might somehow be related to his Birth, but adds: “Still, even if one persists in this biologically oriented interpretation of the verse, this could only be shown to give us one of the New Testament reasons Jesus is called the Son of God. It cannot be used to prove the only reason Jesus is the Son of God” (yd, 112). However, Dr. Boyd neglects to give us any of the “other reasons” Jesus is called the Son of God. The explanation for this is simple. There are none!

Adam Clarke And The Eternal Son

Dr. Boyd and other Neo-Trinitarians pretend as if Oneness was the only group that taught the Birth related Sonship doctrine. The fact is many Trinitarians have seen the fallacy of the “Eternal Son” theory and abandoned it. Hear what Adam Clarke, a Trinitarian commentator had to say: “To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is, in my opinion, absurd and the phrase ‘eternal Son’ is a positive self contradiction.” He goes on, waxing ever hotter: “The very use of this phrase is both absurd and dangerous; therefore let all those who would value Jesus and their salvation abide by these Scriptures. This doctrine of the eternal Sonship’ as has been lately explained in many a pamphlet, and many a paper in magazines, I must and do consider as an awful heresy, and mere sheer Arianism; which, in many cases, has terminated in Socianism, and that in Deism. From such heterodoxies, and their abettors, may God save his Church! Amen!” (Adam Clarke, Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, p. 360-361).

Nature Of The Son Of God

The Son of God is a reference to our Lord’s human nature exclusively. The Son of God is a man, howbeit a perfect and sinless man. The title Son of God is not a reference to our Lord’s divine nature (which He revealed as Father), but rather a reference to the fact that he was a complete man. Christ had a man’s body, as well as soul and spirit. He possessed a man’s mind or brain, and therefore had a human will. The Son of God was not just merely the “body” or the “flesh” that God dwelt ill. No, Christ was the Man in whom God was incarnate. He is called San of God, because on his Father’s side He is of course, God’s Son. God was his Father, hence He is the Son of God. He is also called on of Man; man being used in the sense of “humanity” or the “human family.” He is thus called because on his mother’s side his ancestroral line is in the human family. Mary was human, or “man,” of “mankind:’ Christ was her son, therefore he was the Son of mankind. Those two titles show both sides of his “family tree.” They are not given to indicate two natures, one divine (Son of God), and one human (Son of Man). When Jesus wished to identify his divine nature, He referred to it as the Father (John 14:10), not the Son.

Inferiority Of The Son

The proof that the title Son refers to Christ’s human, dependent nature comes through clearly and in many places in John’s gospel. We shall consider a few.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself…” (John 5:19). If the Son was the Second Divine Person of the Godhead why did he say he could do “nothing?” The answer is obvious: “Son” does not refer to a “divine” person, but to a human “person,” who in his own power can do nothing. Christ implies however that there is another “self” or “power” in him when he says, “Can do nothing of himself.” Then who or what is doing these works? The answer we already know is the Father, who is resident in him.

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge…” (John 5:30). Again, as Son, he can do “nothing.” His divine information comes from something he “hears.” The Son listens to the indwelling Father and thereby performs his mighty works. It is the Father in Christ who is actually “working.”

“For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). The Son, being a man, did not have eternal immortal life dwelling in him inherently. It is not the property of men to have divine and original God-life in them. But the Son of God “was given” to have this divine life in Him through the incarnation. For this “life” is property of, and characteristic of, the Father. The Father now dwells in the human Son as His Temple, and has thereby “transferred” this “life” to the Son!

“My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16). The Son claims he is not speaking from his own nature: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (v.17). He speaks from the Father nature, and thereby brings forth the Father’s doctrine. He disclaims speaking from his in nature, that of the Son. “The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10).

“When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I an He, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28). Nothing could be more direct. The Son is not the real source of the words or works, for the Son can of himself do nothing! It is the Father that is doing it all out of the human temple of His Son. And where does the Son indicate the Father is? Up in heaven at this time? Absolutely not. “He that hath sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone” (John 8:29). A short time afterwards the Son states it even more specifically: “… Believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in Him” (John 10:38).

Conclusion

From Scripture we see that the Son of God was a perfect sinless man, begotten by God Almighty in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He was born in Bethlehem of Judea around 4 BC, and named Jesus Christ. In his human body was also incarnated God the Father, the Great Divine Spirit. Thus the Son of God was also the Temple in which God dwelt. It is in this way, and this way only, that Jesus derives his deity as the God-Man. The Scriptures do not reveal an eternally existent Son dwelling alongside His Father up in heaven through ages past.

This article The Son of God written by Elder Ross Drysdale is excerpted from the book Enter the Neo-Trinitarians.

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADGH - Godhead/ Oneness, AIS File Library0 Comments

Voice of History

Voice of History
By: Elder Ross Drysdale

Trinitarians Correct when they insist there is not one “Shred of evidence” that the baptismal formula was changed? Do unbiased historians age> Did a so-called “Ecumentical Council” out law Jesus Name Baptism? Is Invoking Jesus Name the Same as using “magical Incantations?”

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY ON JESUS NAME BAPTISM

Dr. Boyd is in quite a hurry to sweep church history under the rug in order to get on with his multi-explanations of what “in the Name of” could mean. He unilaterally declares that there is not “one shred of evidence” over the introduction of a new baptismal formula in church history. He remarks that the early church “quibbled” about a good many issues, but the use of the Trinitarian formula was not one of them. Amazing how all these raging Godhead debates and Councils have now been reduced to a “quibble.” More amazing that he could write a book of 234 passages dealing with a “quibble.” Putting that aside, let us see if there are any “shreds” of controversy lying around in the dusty tomes of early church history.

CYPRIAN AND JESUS NAME BAPTISM

Quite a large controversy erupted in the third century between Cyprian, a theologian of North Africa, and the Bishop of Rome, Stephen. Cyprian insisted that “heretics” who were baptized in Jesus Name be rebaptized in the Trinity. Cyprian set off a controversy that drew in others. Firmillian, Bishop of Caesarea (in Cappadocia) wrote Cyprian and quoted Pope Stephen as saying that anyone baptized in the “the name of Christ., immediately obtains the grace of Christ.” Cyprian argued back against this saying even outside the Catholic Church, was invalid because it had not been administered by the Church’s jurisdiction. The Pope stubbornly insisted that baptism in the Name of Christ did indeed remit sin. I think an argument that involves three bishops, on three continents over a number of years and results in a decision from the See of Rome, certainly qualifies as a “shread” of evidence that there was some “quibbling going on.” (See, Cyprian, Epistles, 72.00, A.N.F. V, p.383)

A TREATISE ON REBAPTISM

Further evidence comes from an anonymous document of this time period entitled, A Treatise on Rebaptism,” in which the author (believed to be a Third Century Bishop) argues in favor of the validity of Jesus Name baptism, thus hurling another challenge to Cyprian’s view. Apparently, the debate was quite ongoing. The author concludes his presentation with the statement: “Heretics who are already baptized in water in the Name of Jesus Christ must only be baptized with the Spirit.” (see, A.N.F., V, p.665-78).

AMBROSE AND JESUS NAME BAPTISM

In the Fourth Century Ambrose (340-398) argued baptism in Jesus Name was valid, even though it didn’t mention The Name of the Whole Trinity.” (See, Ambrose, Of The Holy Spirit I,iii, p.43, The Nic e . 0 Post Nicene Fathers, Phillip Schaff, editor).

COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE

By 381, tolerance for the original Jesus Name formula came to an end. The Council of Constantinople condemned “Sabellian” baptism (as they called it) and in an addition to the “Constitutions of the Holy Apostles” the practice of “one immersion into the death of Christ” was outlawed and the triple immersion in the Trinity was declared the only valid one. (See, A.N.F., VII, p.513)

There’s more than a shread of controversy going on here. It certainly seems that “two formulas” are locked in battle – one “in Jesus Name,” the other in the name of the Trinity: one, the Trinitarian formula, is decreed the “winner” by imperial force; the other is outlawed. Why was all this passed over so hastily, if we can be that charitable, by Dr. Boyd? Could it be that the next most logical question to arise would be which formula was the first one? And as Trinitarians have long realized, the answer to that question is fatal to their contention.

EARLY WRITINGS AND JESUS NAME BAPTISM

Let’s look at some of the early writings and see if there is something among these “shreads” that could throw light on which was the original formula.

The earliest witness we have after the close of the Apostolic writings (which are all unanimous on the Jesus Name formula) is the “Epistle to the Corinthians” by Clement of Rome. This is the next generation after the Apostle John, and what does Clement say of the baptismal formula? He refers to it in these words: “Every soul over whom His magnificent and holy name has been invoked.” A comparison with Acts 15:17 and 22:16, shows this to be an obvious reference to the only name ever so invoked in Apostolic times
the Name of Jesus (Cycil Richardson, Early Christian Fathers , New York; MacMillan 1970, p. 73),

SHEPHERD OF HERMAS

The next early witness we have is “The Shepherd of Hermas” a very popular writing in the early Second Century Church. It was written in Rome (140-145) by an unknown individual. It was recognized in some churches as scripture and read aloud during the service. Here it is baptism in Jesus Name again and again. He speaks of Christians being saved “through water” and “founded on the word of The Almighty and Glorious Name” (Vis. 3:3); and of those who “wish to be baptized in the Name of the Lord” (Vis. 3:7); and “before a man bears the Name of the Son of God, he is dead” but when they are sealed by baptism “they descend into the water dead and they arise alive” (Sim. 9:16). He speaks of being worthy “to bear His Name” (Sim. 9:28); and no one enters into the Kingdom of God without the Name of Jesus, which they must receive (Sim. 9:12).

DIDACHE

The Didache, or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, is another early Second Century document. It refers to Baptism in this manner: “Let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, but they who have been baptized into the name of the Lord (9:5). Another chapter (7:1) also referred to baptism in the “Name of the Lord” but was altered by a copyist who inserted the Triune formula instead, and references to “pouring” instead of immersion. That this was a latter mutilation of the text is substantiated by the fact that “pouring” was a much later Catholic innovation. The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics states that perhaps chapter 7:1 originally read “in the Name of the Lord” like chapter 9:5 (vol. 2, p. 378).

IRANAEUS

Iranaeus, a famous theologian and early father, who died in 200 A.D., writes, “We are made clean by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord” (A.N.F., I, p. 574).

MARCION

Marcion who broke away from the church at this time baptized in Jesus Name and his followers continued to use this formula, (see A.N.F., p. 380).

ACTS OF PAUL AND THELCA

The “Acts of Paul and Thelca” written by an Eastern Presbyter in the second century also records an account of baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ (see, A.N.F., VIII, p. 490). “In the Name of Jesus Christ I am baptized on my last day,” is one statement that appears there.

RECOGNITION OF CLEMENT

The “Recognition of Clement” of late Second Century origin states: “Jesus instituted baptism by water amongst them, in which they might be absolved of all their sins upon the invocation of his Name (Recognition 1:39).

JESUS NAME THE ORIGINAL FORMULA

The early witness of the church, right after the death of the Apostles, indicates a continued practice of baptism in Jesus Name. It isn’t until the time of Justin Martyr that we begin to see another formula, a Triune one, creeping in. In the Second and Third Centuries the two formulas are in use (even as they are today). But it is quite obvious which one is the new kid on the block.” Trinitarian baptism is an un-apostolic innovation that eventually replaced the original Jesus Name formula. And that is precisely the reason why unprejudiced scholars and church historians, which we previously cited, are in agreement with our position.

CONTROVERSY ON MATTHEW 28:19

Some scholars have even gone as far as to say Matthew 28:19 was a later “interpolation.” Professor Harnack dismisses the text almost contemptuously as being “no word of the Lord” (History of Dogma, vol. I, p. 68). Dr. Peake says in Bible Commentary: “The command to baptize into the threefold name is a late doctrinal expansion. Instead of the words baptizing them into the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’ we should probably read simply ‘into My Name ‘”(p. 723). Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, states under the article, Baptism-Early Christian: “The cumulative evidence of these three lines of criticism (textual, literary and historical) is thus distinctly against the view that Matthew 28:19 represents the exact words of Christ.” R.R. Williams concurs: “The command to baptize in Matthew 28:19 is thought to show the influence of a developed doctrine of God verging of Trinitarianism. Early baptism was in the name of Christ.” (Theological Workbook of the Bible, P. 29). Black’s Bible Dictionary says: “The Trinitarian Formula (Matthew 28:19) was a late addition by some reverent Christian mind” (article, Baptism).

Most of the scholars mentioned above gather same of their evidence on Matthew 28:19 being altered from “my name” to “the Name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit” from the writings of Eusebius.

EUSEBIUS

Eusebius lived between A.D. 264-340. He was a voluminous writer and compiled the earliest history of the ancient Christian Church. He had access to New Testament manuscripts that are much older than the ones we now have. Thus he had the advantage of being much closer to the original writing of Matthew 28:19. Yet he never quotes it in the Triune formula, but in all his citations (which number eighteen or more) he renders the text as: “Go ye and make disciples of all the nations IN MY NAME, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I commanded you.” Only after Nicea does he alter this!

CONYBEARE

Conybeare, the church historian, informs us that Eusebius lived virtually in the greatest Christian library of his time, namely that which Origen and Pamphilus had collected at Caesarea, Eusebius’ home. In his library, Eusebius must have handled codices of the gospels older by two hundred years than the earliest unicals that we have now in our libraries. Dr. Wescott says it is owing to the zeal of Eusebius that we know most of what is known of the history of the New Testament. (Wescott, General Survey of the History of the on of the New Testament, p. 108), Certainly, as a witness, he cannot be ignored Perhaps the most compelling evidence we get from Eusebius is his visit to Constantinople and his attendance at the Council of Nicea, he changes his references to Matthew 28:19 and begins quoting it in the Triune formula! Thus he switches to the Trinitarian rendering immediately after Nicea, with its imperial threats of banishment to all who reject the newly officialized Trinity doctrine. He never knew or quoted any other fo but the “My Name” rendition until his visit to Nicea. Discretion appears to have become the better part of valor in his case!

MATTHEW 28:19 AND ONENESS ADVOCATES

Let it be pointed out that the UPCI and other Oneness organizations have no quarrel with Matthew 28:19 as it is found in the Authorized Version. Indeed, it forms an indispensable scriptural link in our revelation, not only of baptism, but of the Godhead also. For if the Name is one, the person is one. We have shown previously how a complete and enlightening reconciliation of Matthew 28:19 with the passages in Acts is possible, not only from a Oneness perspective, but from a Trinitarian one as well. We have included the textual discussion of Matthew 28:19 and the related witness of Eusebius simply to make the discussion complete and to expose our readers to this facet of the question. I know of no Oneness organization that endorses any other reading of Matthew 28:19, then what we have in the Textus Receptus. However, facts are facts and stubborn things at that, for they refuse to go away. Perhaps archeology or Biblical Research will yield more light on this interesting phase of the discussion in the future. The beauty of the Oneness position is that regardless of which rendering of Matthew 28:19 is the correct one, the conclusion is still the same – Baptism in Jesus Name. For to us, the Apostles, Christ’s reference to “the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” was just a longer way of saying “my name.” When people finally realize this, the textual conflict may resolve itself almost automatically. For Christ may have uttered both statements is on that mountain long ago.

TRINITARIAN VARIATIONS

Trinitarian scholars themselves have come up with no less than four different methods of reconciling Matthew 28:19 with the passages in Acts, resulting in a literal use of the name of Jesus Christ in baptism today. None of these men believe in the Oneness, but, all of them advocate baptism in Jesus Name as the proper way to obey Christ’s command in the last chapter of Matthew. We shall review them briefly with the understanding that they are being set forth as additional testimony. None of these four “reconciliations” is official Oneness doctrine, and their mention here does not imply endorsement. However, they all possess merit to some degree and are certainly worth our time.

THE NAME OF THE LORD METHOD

This is perhaps the oldest explanation for baptism in Jesus Name in modern times. It even preceded the Revelation given in 1913 in California. Willaim Phillips Hall popularized it in his book “Remarkable Biblical Discovery” or The Name of According to the Scriptures.” This book was originally published by the American Tract Society, and has been republished in abridged form by the Pentecostal publishing House. The author was a brilliant scholar, studied both Hebrew and Greek, and was well esteemed by Bible teachers of his day. His book received excellent reviews at the time of publication, and is quoted still. Hall feels his views about the baptismal formula being in Jesus Name were “imparted to him by The Glorified Lord Jesus Christ” (Remarkable Biblical Discovery, P.P.H., St. Louis, 1951, p. 5). Basically, the reconciliation is accomplished as follows: The Name of the Father is Lord (Mark 12:29-30, Isa. 42:8), the Name of the Son is Lord (Acts 2:36, l Cor. 8:6), and the Name of the Holy Spirit is Lord (11 Cor. 3:17). Hence, the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is Lord. But this name can only be used in conjunction with the name of Jesus Christ, who is the one mediator and the only way to God. Hence, the apostles always used the full expression “Lord Jesus Christ” which combined the Name of the Godhead (Lord) with that of the mediator(Jesus Christ); See for example I Cor. 5:4, II Cor 11:31, Acts 20:21, Acts 16:31, etc . Hall does a remarkable piece of research proofing that the original baptismal formula in Acts was consistently “in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ” according to the most ancient manuscripts and sources. The references we have today (Lord Jesus, Jesus Christ, Lord) are abbreviated forms of the original full name Lord Jesus Christ.

NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST METHOD

This interpretation was also used occasionally by Oneness expositors in the early days of the Movement. It is only rarely heard in oneness circles today, but is popular among some Trinitarians.

While visiting a very large Trinitarian church in Texas, I purchased the book entitled “The Name of God” by Kevin Conner, published by the author. It was being sold in their bookstore at the time and highly recommended. Rev. Conner’s book, carries an endorsement by Rev. K.R. Iverson, Pastor of Bible Temple in Portland, Oregon, a trinititarian church. The basic explanation is this: The Name of the Father is Lord (Luke 10:21, Isa. 42:8), The Name of the Son is Jesus (Matt. 1:21), The Name of the Holy Spirit is Christ (Col. 1:27); thus the one name of the father, Son and Holy Spirit is Lord Jesus
Christ (Conner, p. 115-116). And, of course, he reaches the same conclusions as Hall, namely that the original baptismal texts in Acts are all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

James Lee Beall, Pastor of Bethesda Temple in Detroit, Michigan, espouses the exact same interpretation in his book “Rise to Newness of Life” on pages 60-61, (Rise to Newness of Life, James Lee Beall, Evangel Press, Detroit, Michigan). Pastor Beall is also a Trinitarian and well known Bible teacher and author. He also baptizes in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

GODHEAD NAME METHOD

Basically this method teaches that seeing the “fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Christ” then his name must be the name of the Godhead. In other words, in the Trinitarian scheme of things the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are revealed and manifested in the second person Christ; therefore his name is also the name which reveals and manifests all three persons. In her book “The Exalted Name” Lucy Knott states: “In the Lord Jesus Christ dwelleth all the Fullness of the Godhead bodily. The Exalted Name must needs show forth the Father and the Spirit as well as the Son. While the Son bears the exalted name, the Father and Spirit are equally exalted for they are all one in essence” (The Exalted Name, Lucy Knott, Nazarene Publishing House, Kansas City, Missouri 1937, p. 226-227).

DISPENSATIONAL METHOD

In response to a question on the correct baptismal formula, Dr. Pettingill, in his book “Bible Questions answered,” let loose yet another interpretation that results in a Jesus Name baptismal formula. This one is by far the most unusual, but it apparently satisfied the good Doctor, who was a firm believer in baptism in Jesus Name. He basically argues, from an extreme dispensational point of view, that the Matthew 28:19 command is part of the Gospel of the Kingdom. He therefore calls it the “Kingdom Commission.” Furthermore he adds: “of course, we are well aware that it is often spoken of as the Great Commission of the Church, but we are convinced that this is an error.” He feels Matthew is “Kingdom” territory and does not apply to the Church Age, but will take effect only after Christ returns. To prove this he says: “Let it be observed also that the baptisms of the Acts are not ‘into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ but rather ‘into the name of the Lord Jesus’ (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48,19:5). …The Name of the Lord Jesus is in this day and dispensation the name which is above every Name, and whatsoever we do in word or deed is to be done in the Name of the Lord Jesus…” (William L. Pettingill, D.D., Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, 1973, p. 106-107).

The subconscious desire of Trinitarians to conform to the obvious pattern of Jesus Name baptism in the Acts of the Apostles, coupled with their unwillingness to part with their Trinitarian Theology has led to this brood of hybrid and novel attempts at reconciliation. Though there is merit in all of them, and much merit in some of them, the simple explanation of our Lord (John 5:43, 14:26) as to what constitutes the one Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is to be preferred. And it is that light which is shinning brightly in the Oneness movement, which is now encircling the globe in preparation for the return of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

MAGICAL INCANTATION OR BIBLICAL INVOCATION?

In his final attempt to discredit those of us who in “every place call upon the Name of Jesus Christ Our Lord,” he resurrects an old charge that was first leveled against the ancient Christians, namely that we practice “magic” and pagan “incantations” designed to manipulate . That a 20th Century Christian would find common cause with first and second century heathens in opposing the invocation of Jesus Name is as startling as
it is revolting!

On page 144 Dr. Boyd compares our invocation to a “magical formula said during an act.” He feels it presents a “return to a form of paganism in which it is believed that deities can be manipulated to behave in certain ways by the utilization of certain incantations and formulas invoked by devotees” (p. 145). “Magical incantations upon which God’s forgiveness ‘rests” is how he characterizes our doctrine of “in the Name of Jesus.”

How well does that sit with the thousands, yea millions, of Christians, who over the centuries have sent their earnest petitions heavenward “in Jesus Name?” How would the humble Christian mother, praying for the healing of her suffering child “in Jesus Name,” feel when informed by Dr. Boyd that her use of the “name above every name” was a “pagan incantation,” and that what she thought was “faith in that name” was actually an attempt at “manipulating the deity!”

And what shall we say of that “Magician” Peter who “verbally” repeated his Jesus Name “incantation” at the Gate Beautiful and “manipulated” the Deity to such an extent that the lame man immediately received strength in his feet and ankle bones and was healed! He himself was so happy with this “incantation” that he went leaping and walking and praising God. Peter’s explanation for “verbally” using the Name of Jesus differs somewhat from Dr. Boyd’s explanation. For when those first century haters of the “formula” asked him: “By what power or by what name” have ye done this, his response was: “ye rulers of the people and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole: Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole ” (Acts 4: 7-10)- That was Peter’s explanation of both his “magic trick” and his “incantation!”

John Wesley’s converts were once accused by a detractor of suffering from “epileptic fits.” In this way he “explained” away the spiritual manifestations occuring in Wesley’s enthusiastic meetings. Wesley’s answer was: “Epilepsy? Sinners are converted, backsliders return, doubters are convinced, drunks become sober, and thieves become honest working men! If this be epilepsy then I say, Roll On, thou mighty Epilepsy, Roll On.” So if our use of Jesus Name be magic, then I would say in the tradition of Wesley, “Roll on thou mighty Magic, Roll On!”

TERTULLIAN ANSWERS DR. BOYDIS CHARGE

Tertullian faced the same charges in the early Christian Church from pagans, who viewed Christian Baptism as an attempt to gain eternal life through the “incanting” of a few words and a ritual bath in water. Anyone who sees only that in Christian baptism, or any other invocation of His Name, has very myopic vision indeed! And unfortunately, Dr. Boyd shares the same view point concerning our baptism in Jesus Name as those early pagans espoused, and the same answer Tertullian gave is still applicable: “yet what a miserable incredulity is this which leads you to deny to God His special properties” (Simplicity With Power, Tertullian, de Baptism, p. 2).

Jesus Christ forever negated the charge leveled against our use of the name, by Dr. Boyd and others, when he said: “If ye shall ask anything My Name, I will do it” (John 14:14). If that’s “incantation” and “manipulation” so be it! More on this so called “magic” formula is brought out in john 16:24. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” We ask in “His Name” and our joy is quite full. Christ had just previously defined the nature of this “incantation – manipulation” so called, when he said in verse 23 “whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, he will give it to you.” Dr. Boyd’s argument therefore is not with us, but with the Father!

TRINITARIAN GNOSTIC INCANTATION

If Dr. Boyd is serious about his aversion to “pagan incantations” in Christianity, he doesn’t have to look any further than his own Trinitarian faith. For the Nicene Creed, which is “encanted” in many Trinitarian churches as part of the liturgy, has a gnostic pagan phrase at its heart! I quote from “The Heretics” by Walter Nigg. Commenting on the phrase, “one in essence with the Father,” in the Nicene Creed, he writes: “of course, this had the defect of having been originally a gnostic phrase, and one which had no precedence in the Bible” (p. 127).

What logic is it that would bind on all Christendom a pagan gnostic phrase, repeated continually in a creed; and yet at the same time ridicule the verbal invocation of the name of Jesus Christ, calling it “pagan magic?” Why would anyone want to put himself in the same class as that bitter Christ hating Sanhedrin which ordered Peter “not to speak at all, nor teach in the Name of Jesus”” ( see Acts 4:18)9? That’s the real intent of all this nonsensical twaddle about “magic” and “incantation” and “manipulation.” It’s the same spirit that fuels their “no baptismal formula” heresy. It is an out right and undisguised attempt to silence the Name of Jesus from being verbally uttered. The devils of hell couldn’t be more pleased! And there can be no doubt as to who the real author of this theory is! Our response is the same as Peter’s and John’s, “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” – (Acts 4:19-20). We too have a creed, but it doesn’t come from the Gnostics, it comes from Paul: “and whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col 3:17).

DR. KITTEL’S FINAL WORD

In G. Kittel’s “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament,” p. 255, he writes concerning the expression “calling on the Name”: “The Hebrew expression ‘calling on the Name of the Lord’ originally signified To invoke the deity with the name Yahweh’ and still bears traces of a magical constraint which can be exercised by utterance of the Name… In the Old Testament, of course, the invocation bears the weaker sense of ‘calling on Yahweh’ i.e., worshipping him… and the magical notion disappears. Indeed, misusing the Name of God in magic and incantation is expressly forbidden in the decalogue… Yahweh refuses to be conjured up by the utterance of his name. He promises his coming at the appointed shrines when he is called upon there… Thus the Name of Yahweh is not an instrument of magic; it is a gift of revelation. This does not rule out the fact that uttering or calling on. Yahweh’s Name implies faith in his Power…”

The Oneness Position Exactly!

TOYING WITH THE GREEK

In a desperate attempt to stifle discussion on Baptism in Jesus name, certain Trinitarians of late have taken to using the Greek in their argument. Though their error has been corrected repeatedly in the past, they will not cease employing it. These “lower lights” keep burning, but they send no gleam of truth “across the waves.”
Their basic contention is that the Greek expression rendered in the name” in Matt. 28:19, is different from the Greek expression in Acts 2:38, which is also translated into English as in the e.” Thus they contend that Matt. 28:19 actually says to be baptized “into” the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, whereas Peter’s command is merely to be baptized “in” the name of Jesus. Peter’s words are thus interpreted to only mean “by the
authority of Jesus,” while Christ’s words are said to be the actual formula.

Of course, any reputable Greek scholar would inform them that there is no difference between the two expressions; they are equivalent to each other. But if these so-called “Masters of Greek” had one their homework, they would have found that Paul commanded the Ephesian disciples to be baptized “into” the name of the Lord Jesus in Acts 19:6. The exact same Greek expression is used here as in Matt 28:19, “into the name.” This collapses their quibble entirely, and they should apologize to their reading public. They are without excuse, because John Paterson pointed this out to them in his book, The Real Truth About Baptism in Jesus Name, away back in 1950. Did they think enough time had elapsed and it was safe to turn this thrice resuscitated argument 1oose on their suspecting readers yet again? One can only hope that the lid is fina11y nailed shut on this nonsense.

PERSONAL INCIDENTS

I realize that subjective personal experiences, no matter how spectacular, cannot replace the Word of God as a doctrinal guide. However, such experiences, when support by clear Biblical precedent, should be taken into consideration as corroborating evidence. Having established the scriptural veracity of Baptism in Jesus Name, I would now like to recount two remarkable incidents which occurred in my ministry relative to the doctrine in question.

DIVINE GUIDANCE FOR JEANNE FOWLER

In the summer of 1976, I was teaching my Sunday School Class when a very frail woman entered the church and staggered down the aisle. She seated herself near the front of the church and waited patiently for the lesson to end. Finally she raised her hand, apologizing for taking up my time, and requested to say something. The woman seemed to be in earnest about something, so I consented. She informed me that she had cancer and could only live a few more weeks. She was greatly concerned about her soul and had been repenting asking to forgive her. She had read where you needed to be baptized to be saved in Mark 16:16 and so had packed a change of clothes, and with great physical effort, had driven to a nearby church. She mentioned the name of the church and I recognized it as a local Trinitarian assembly. She continued with her story and told how she had entered the church and had asked the pastor to baptize her. He agreed to do this after the service, and instructed her to be seated and join them in worship. Then something remarkable happened. While seated in that trinitarian church she heard the Lord speak to her very clearly and distinctly. He said to get up and leave the service at once, because they could not baptize her correctly there, and she must go somewhere else. Startled, but obedient, she quietly slipped out. She drove her car, not knowing where to go next. When she came near my church the same voice of the Lord told her to stop and go in and request baptism, for here she would be baptized in the proper way.

As we sat and listened to her most unusual story, a holy awe settled over the congregation. I myself was astonished at such an amazing recitation. But more was to come, With genuine sincerity in her eyes she looked at me and asked: “Pastor, what is the difference between your baptism and that other church’s? God would not let me be baptized there and I want to know why?

I explained that even though we both immersed candidates in water, our church did it in Jesus Name, which is the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The other church merely repeated the titles without mentioning the name. She readily saw this truth and then realized why God had led her to our church. “In all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee” (Exodus 20:24).

I baptized her in Jesus Name for the remission of sins. Shortly after that she passed on to her reward. I am confident that at this very moment as I write her testimony and her face comes up before me in memory, she is in heaven worshipping the One Personed God, our Lord Jesus Christ, whose Name she took on in baptism.

JOEY BRAYIS REMARKABLE DELIVERANCE

A second incident occurred while I was attending a Pentecostal convention in Houston. I met a young man who needed a job. I knew of an employment opportunity in Galveston and agreed to drive him there. I thought it would be a good opportunity to witness to him. On the way he began to speak in a very disjointed and incoherent fashion. He claimed to be able to understand the speech of animals and to get “revelations” from them. He asked me if that was of God. I told him he had a demon. He tried to flee the car but we were on a high bridge by this time and I refused to stop.

When we got to Galveston, about midnight, I stopped the car along side their famous sea wall. We both got out. I told him he was demon possessed and needed to be delivered. He agreed and fell down at my feet sobbing and holding me fast by the ankles so I could not leave. I began rebuking the spirit that was in him. The few remaining tourists that straggled past us that night gave us a wide berth! I’m sure it presented quite a sight.

The spirit came out of him and a great calm swept over him. I knew there had been a change. Next I led him in a prayer of repentance as he turned his life over to Christ.

His next remark caught me by surprise. He said: “Shouldn’t I be baptized?” I responded affirmatively, but told him I did not have a church in this city and therefore had no access to a baptistery. He pointed to the vast Gulf of Mexico that stretched before us on all sides, and like the Ethiopian of old; he asked why this would not be sufficient. (Acts 8:36) Somewhat embarrassed for not having realized what a mighty “baptistery” God had provided us, I told him it was indeed sufficient.

There was no one on the beach at this late hour and the tide was coming in. In the moonlight I caught a glimpse of his shirt. It had a Satanic symbol on it! I told him I could not baptize him with such an evil sign on him. He agreed and took the shirt off and threw it on the sand. We proceeded into the water and I immersed him in the saving name of Jesus. As he came out of the water he began speaking in tongues! What a wonderful time we had! When we returned to the shore, the shirt was not at the spot we had left it. It had completely disappeared. In its place lay a clean new white towel neatly folded, soft and dry. Just as if an angel had brought it down for him. He used it to dry off with, and both of us were convinced this was a miraculous sign from God: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new” (I Corinthians 5:17). And this apparently includes Tee-shirts (at least in one case anyhow).

We separated, but several months later I received a letter from him:

Dear Brother Ross,

I am in Chicago now. I have no place to live and I walk the streets looking for work. But I know God is with me. The wind here blows very cold sometimes, but I don’t mind. I just pray to God and talk to him in unknown tongues, just like I did in the Gulf that night, then I feel so much better. I know he is with me.

YourBrother,
Joey

Later this same young man came to Florida and confirmed his testimony before my entire congregation.

Multiplied thousands of people around the world could add their testimonies to these two, as to how God led them into this remarkable truth of the one true name of God, revealed in water baptism. Soon the whole world will believe nothing else! “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of-the land, and they shall no more be remembered; and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one.” (Zechariah 13:2, 14:9)

This article Voice of History written by Elder Ross Drysdale is excerpted from the book Enter the Neo-Trinitarians.

Posted in ADBA - Baptism, AIS File Library0 Comments

Living in the Light of Oneness

Living in the Light of Oneness
By: Elder Ross Drysdale

Read the following case histories of “signs and wonders’ occurring among those who have been baptized in Jesus Name and are walking in Holiness!

WITH SIGNS FOLLOWING

The true body of Christ has its message confirmed with miraculous demonstrations. We read of the Early Church that, “they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20). The writer to the Hebrews says: “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will” (Hebrews 2:4). This was in fulfillment of Christ’s promise to his true followers: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12).

MODERN EXCUSES

Some teach these signs and wonders were only for the Apostolic Age in order to confirm the message of Christianity to a rationalistic and pagan world. But is our age any less rationalistic or pagan? Is the Bible so “universally accepted” that no sign or wonder is necessary to convince the skeptics that Christ is the same “Yesterday, Today and Forever” (Heb. 13:8). Paul taught that these miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost would be operative in the True Church right up until the Second Coming of Christ. He admonished: “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Con 1:7).

Others talk of a “transition period” in which these gifts were to operate. This so called Transition period was supposed to have ended with the death of the last Apostle. This theory is completely without foundation in the scriptures. The Bible nowhere speaks about a “Transition Period” or a “Jewish Church.� The true Church an on Pentecost and the Gospel was immediately offered “to them that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39). Nothing has changed. There never was two gospels, or two churches, or two Baptisms!

TRUE AND FALSE MIRACLES

A final objection is usually offered by those whose churches are suffering “power shortages” by comparing Pentecostal Miracles to those of false religions. But there is a vast difference between “lying signs and wonders,” and the true Power of God. False religions produce “bizarre” and “esoteric” type miracles, like bleeding statues, weeping Madonnas, firewalkers, and table levitators. All of these so-called miracles do not relieve human suffering or glorify Christ. They only confirm Idolatry and Superstition. The miracles wrought by Pentecostals exalt Christ and ease human suffering through the mercy of God. A prime example recently occurred in India: The evangelist was preaching to a crowd composed of Moslems and Hindus, both of which were very resistant to the message. A blind man was brought to the platform requesting prayer. The evangelist saw his opportunity and seized it. He commanded the eyes to be opened in the name of Krishna, the Hindu God. Nothing happened. He then commanded them to be opened in the name of the Prophet Mohammed, for the benefit of his Moslem listeners. Still nothing happened. Then he commanded the blind eyes to see in the name of Jesus Christ. To the astonishment of the crowd, the man immediately received his sight, and so testified to the assembled multitude. Needless to say, many conversions to true biblical Christianity were made that day as “the Lord confirmed the Word with signs following.”

SIGNS CONFIRM THE GOSPEL AND THE ONENESS

The following true incidents, reported and validated from around the world will show that God is still providing the signs mentioned in Mark 16:20 and Acts 8:6 :”And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen”(Mark 16:20).”And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Phillip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did” (Acts 8:6).

LAME WALK

“In 1967, we were conducting a revival for Brother G.F. Hodgson in Glendora, California. A young woman, Glenda Dunn, came to the altar and received the Holy Ghost. Her husband was in the veterans’ Hospital in Long Beach. He was paralyzed in one leg, caused from cancer of the spine. He had to wear a brace from his waist down and walk with a cane. The doctors had given him approximately six months to live.

We asked his wife to bring him to one of our services. He did not have the Holy Ghost or even believe in God. One night he came to the altar and received the Holy Ghost. He then wanted to be baptized in Jesus’ name.

“Brother Hodgson asked me to baptize him because he was afraid he couldn’t handle Mr. Dunn with all the braces he had around his waist and legs.

When I started to baptize him, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I told him that if he would take off the braces, God would heal him the minute he was baptized. He stated that he couldn’t stand the pain with the braces off. I again told him that God would heal him if the braces were removed. He then took the braces off, and I helped him into the baptistery and baptized him in the precious name of Jesus. He came out of the water with the power of God upon him, and was instantly healed. He climbed out of the tank on his own.

“Brother William Dunn now weighs over”200’pounds and works twelve hours a day. ”

To verify this testimony, Rev. Hodgson has pictures of the young man and his braces. (Rev. R.R. Robertson)

DEAD RAISED TO LIFE

“While traveling on a business trip we came upon a serious car accident. As we parked the car approximately 100 feet from one of the cars we heard this terrible noise which was from a man breathing his last breath. By the time we got out of our car and reached the man, he had stopped breathing. They checked his pulse then covered him with a blanket.

“His son and daughter-in-law reached him before we did, and somehow, through their sorrow, I felt sorry for them, because my father had passed away just a short time before this. I asked these people, whom we had never seen before, if we could pray for him, and they gave their consent. When we had finished praying for him, he raised up. He wanted to know where he was, and asked to be taken home. This man was 84 years of age” (Rev. Donald Thornton, Lee Road United Pentecostal Church, Covington, Louisiana).

NATURE OBEYS, WATERS RECEDE

(March 23, 1973). “For two months special services had been announced at Santa Mari, Davao del Sur. Brother and Sister William Cole were conducting special Holy Ghost meetings in the Philippines and were present, when Saturday night before the scheduled meeting, the minister who was making final arrangements for our arrival came to Digos and told us that it would be impossible for us to reach Santa Maria on Sunday, as the river we must cross fourteen times was flooded over four feet. He told us he had to swim to get out of the area.

“We stayed overnight, and upon arising in the morning, we prayed that the Lord would go with us, as we felt we must go as far as possible. In Jesus’ name we continued toward the river. When we reached the river at 11:00 a.m., it was smaller than at any other time we had seen it. We could jump across the stones without getting our feet wet.

“People were coming from many directions, and more than 300 were present for our meeting. Among them were 101 who were not filled with the Holy Spirit. Our service began at 1:00 p.m. and lasted until 6:00 p.m. During this five hour period 95 were filled with the Holy Ghost. We left soon ‘ after 6:00 p.m. and returned to Digos.

“Our pastor came out Monday morning and informed us the river was again flooded and he had to swim to get out. The God of Moses and Joshua is still the same miracle worker today” (Rev. Carl W. Adams, Missionary to the Philippines).

BODILY PARTS RESTORED

“I would like to tell how the Lord healed me when I got my toe cut off in the lawn mower. I told my wife to throw the toe over in the garden, but she said, ‘No, I’m going to wash the blood off, tape it back on and the Lord is going to heal it. At that time I was having a revival in Atlanta, Louisiana. My wife taped the toe on, and I never missed a night preaching. The Lord completely healed the toe on my foot and it is on today. Praise the Lord for his power. His power is just the same today as it was back in 1956” (Miracle received by Mt. McNeely/Rev. Noah D. Adams (Deceased) UPC, Montgomery, LA).

DEAF EARS OPENED

“My son, Winston (Riebel), was born with brain damage and had been sickly all his life. He had a lot of ear trouble, and had already been through one mastoid operation. Later he had an ear infection in the other ear, and was becoming deaf. He was using a hearing aid. I had taken him to an ear doctor, and he said that as soon as the infection was cleared up, Winston would have to have another mastoid operation. I was sick over this news, for this is a very dangerous operation.

“At that time, on rare occasions, I would go to church. But one day I had gone to Sunday School at the Apostolic Church in West Jefferson, and a visiting preacher from California asked if anyone wanted to be prayed for. I was too timid to take Winston up, so I told him to go be prayed for. God’s Word says for the ministers to lay hands on the sick and that the prayer of faith shall raise them up. So the ministers prayed for him.

“I’ll never forget the look on his face when he came back to his seat. He looked at me, and said, ‘Mom, something hit my ear when they prayed for me.’ I knew it was God’s power. Here was a child who knew nothing about God, for I had failed to take him to church.

“Two weeks later I again took him to the ear doctor. He examined Winston’s ear and said he couldn’t see anything wrong. He took him into another room to examine him further, again, and again said he couldn’t find anything wrong. This was done four times. I finally asked the doctor just what he meant. He said the ear appeared dry, and needed no operation.

“As I said before, Winston was wearing a hearing aid at this time, and was nearly deaf in his ear. In the meantime, his hearing aid was broken (God’s way of showing me it wasn’t needed). I took him in for a hearing test and found that his hearing had improved. The hearing aid has never been fixed, and he hears better than I. God never does anything half way.

“A short time after this I started to go to church and God performed the greatest miracle of all. He gave me the baptism in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Praise His Name! (Rev. Charles Pennington, Apostolic Gospel Church, West Jefferson, Ohio.)

MIRACULOUS HEALING

(l965)”Brother Lianmingthanga at this time was 77 years old and was so very weak in his body that he could not walk. He had served as a Presbyterian minister in Cachar and Tripura Districts of North East India for many years. He had worked among very backward people who were naked and illiterate. His love for the Lord was very great.
“One day this message of Jesus’ name baptism and the oneness of God came to this elderly and weakened Presbyterian minister. When he heard this news, he studied the Word of God again on the subject of water baptism and the Godhead. Finally, he was convinced that this was the truth, and he wanted to be baptized in Jesus name.

“However, he could not walk, and there seemed no way for him to reach the river for the baptismal service. Then the pastor, Rev. H. Tebawnga, told him that he would carry him on his beck to the river. This he did. On reaching the river they sang songs and worshipped the Lord for s time after which a sermon was preached on water baptism and the necessity of obeying the Word of God.

“Finally, it was time to start the baptizing. One of the members then carried this old man down into the river and Brother Tebawnga baptized Brother Lianmingthanga in the name of the. Lord Jesus. Christ. When Bro. Litanmingthanga came out of the water he stood to his feet and began to worship and praise the Lord. He walked out of the water and to his home. He was completely healed when he was baptized in the name of Jesus. He is still walking today and doing all he can for the Lord even at this very old age. (Rev. Harry E Seism, Missionary to India)

BLIND EYES HEALED

(Miracle received by Mickey Caton) In June of 1954, my son found a dynamite cap. He took a plow bolt, which he used for a hammer and hit the cap. The cap exploded and pieces from it lodged in the back side of his eyes. One eye had a hole in the center, and they told us the other one was totally blind also. The doctors said that the eye with the hole in it would be removed the following week. They told us he would be blind for the rest of his life.

“It was very sad knowing that my seven year old son would never see again. When Mickey went through the house he would walk into everything. This was a hard thing to get used to because he kept asking me if he would ever see again. When he asked me this question, I would say, ‘Yes son, you will see again.’

“My mother said to me, ‘Johnny, God is wanting you to serve him.’ At first I put up a fight. The fight didn’t last long before I promised God that I would serve Him. I prayed day and night for the Lord to heal my son. I was trying to make my way to God by going from church to church. One day in prayer God showed me a church to go to, so I went to my mother and she helped me find it. This church was King’s Highway Tabernacle, where Brother Romine was’ pastor.

“I went to church on Labor Day, and never was I in a service like that one. It seemed that everyone was singing, shouting, and praising the Lord. After the service, I told Brother Romine about my son’s accident, and that I wanted to serve the Lord. He asked me why I didn’t get baptized. That afternoon I was baptized in the wonderful name of Jesus and began tarrying for the Holy Ghost. Then one December day, as I was driving home from the bank in Farmersburg, Indiana, the Lord filled me with the Holy Ghost.

“A short time after I received the Holy Ghost Mickey walked up to me and started to talk. When he approached me, I noticed that he stopped a short distance from me, as he would if he could see. I said, ‘Mickey, can you see? He said, ‘Yes, Dad, I can see again… People who knew he had been blind just couldn’t believe that he could see again. I would pick up different objects and he would tell me what they were, then the people knew that God had healed him.

“The following day I took him to the doctor’s office, and this was very hard for him to believe also. The doctor had him read a chart about 15 feet away and he read it with both eyes, not missing one letter on the chart The doctor said, ‘This boy has been healed by a higher power.’ Mickey went back to school and led a normal life.

“He had his eye check-up about a year ago and he has 20-20 vision in both eyes. This was a small thing for God to do, but to me it’s a great feeling. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Rev. Lloyd Romine).

DEATH REVERSED

“In January of 1973, John Dusek, age 10, was riding his bicycle when he was suddenly hit by a van bus and dragged approximately fifty feet. John was hospitalized in the Imperial Valley Hospital in Imperial, California. He had several broken ribs, both lungs were punctured, and he had several internal injuries. The doctors gave no hope for him to live. It was all they could do to keep him breathing, for his lungs kept collapsing.

“We were called and asked to pray for him. I called the saints of the church to pray. We received a call the next day from his mother telling us the doctors didn’t know what had happened, but that Johnny was completely well. He went home the next day, and the doctors said it was a miracle of God. Today Johnny is a very healthy boy, thanks to the almighty power of God (Rev. R.R.Robertson).

DUMB SPIRITS CAST OUT

(April 2, 1970)”In a series of meetings I was holding for Pastor Frank Goble in Sullivan, Indiana, the Lord had impressed upon me that I should fast a great deal. There were prayer meetings in the church often, and it was after this that the great move came.

“Dale Kennedy had an acute stutter and, as I understand it, he had been this way most of his life. It was so bad that when he offered a prayer request it would take a great deal of time.

“The Holy Ghost spoke to me to call this man up front and cast the dumb spirit out of him. After the laying on of hands I asked him to read out of the Bible, and opened it to twenty-third Psalm. He read without the slightest stutter or hesitation in his speech. He spoke as any other man. The people shouted and rejoiced over this miracle.

“During this service a little boy, who was injured at birth, was instantly touched and moved on by the Holy Ghost to run. Before the service all he could do was walk.
Later a young man was brought to the front of the church. He could neither hear nor speak. He was prayed for, and before he left he could do both.

“Going home after the service that night we learned that while we were having a great time in the Lord, the next door neighbor was awakened by the earth shaking. He thou someone was blasting the earth with dynamite. But after checking, he found out it was not so, for it was Sunday night. Someone told him about the happenings at church, and he said, that was what, the earth was shaking about.”

Acts 4:31 says, ‘wand when they had prayed. THE PLACE WAS SHAKEN…’ To God be all the glory, for He is author of it all” (Rev. William L. Sciscoe, Bethel Tabernacle Racine, Wisconsin).

EYES HEALED, WITCHCRAFT DEFENTED

(1970) “Teshi is a fishing village located on the edge of the great Atlantic Ocean in Ghana. The humble huts and shelters of the fishermen and their families are huddled together as though seeking protection and security in closeness. It was to this village that one Ghanaian pastor was sent with this true gospel. His message was well received by the poor villagers.

“It was in this village that Emmanuel Mensah had been raised. It was in this village that he first heard about the wonderful power in the name of Jesus Christ. For his own thrilling testimony, I shall use his own words:

‘Praise the Lord! One day after the usual chatting with some of my friends, I went to sleep. In the morning when I awoke, I could not see! I was totally blind!

‘I was immediately taken to Accra Korle Bu Hospital where I was treated for eighteen months. I was discharged afterwards, but still I could not walk without the help of someone to guide me. From the hospital I remained in my house for another three months still helplessly blind.

‘Finally, a distant relative came to me and talked to me about Jesus Christ and further requested that I go with him to his church to receive prayer for my eyes. I consented, and went along with my hand in his to guide my footsteps.

At his church I was told the story about Jesus. When they asked if I would give my heart to Jesus and believe Him for my salvation and healing, I agreed. The preacher then touched my eyes and prayed. Something like an electric current passed through me and immediately I yielded all to the Lord. My sight was restored and I was able to walk home alone that day!

‘I had been a feetish man for many years, but I thereby forsook them and yielded them for destruction. The name of my feetish was called “Ablue, who made me his slave for many years under his_ devilish influence. Jesus has now released me indeed from the power of the devil and restored my ‘fight! I am a fisherman, and since I was healed I can walk all the way to the beach to help my fellow fisherman for my living.

‘I am really happy with the Lord in the United Pentecostal Church, Where I am determined to remain till death. Praise the Lord.’

”The living testimony of the miraculous power of God still can be seen in the village of Teshi. Brother Mensah, once again, goes to the beach to earn his living or walks alone to the church to faithfully worship his Savior and Healer!”(Rev. Robert K Rodenbush, Missionary to West Africa).

DEAD ARE RAISED

“On an early December morning in 1965, one hundred and thirty-five miles back in the Liberian Hinterland at the Fassama Mission Station, we sat down to our breakfast, with the kerosene lamp lit, for there was a severe tropical storm raging, and we had been forced to close our wooden shutters over our windows because of the heavy rain and wind. The rain was pounding so hard on the zinc roof that you could hardly hear yourself think. The thunder was roaring and the lightning flashing everywhere.

“Suddenly, we heard a terrible cracking noise, and knew the lightning had struck somewhere nearby. We jumped up from the table, and as we did, we heard some of the boys in the mission screaming and running toward our house. Our first thought was that the lightning had struck the boys house, but they were screaming, ‘Mother Gruse, Mother Gruse.’ We did not have screens on our windows at that time and I jumped out the window and ran as fast as I could to Sister Gruse’s house in the pouring rain.

“As I ran onto her back porch, a screened shelter on the back of her house, the sight I saw was heart rending, and the smell of burned human flesh met my nostrils. There on the floor lay the body of our precious missionary sister, all twisted and drawn. I fell on my knees. By this time, my wife had arrived and several of the mission students had gathered on the outside looking in at this sad sight. I felt of Sister Gruse’s head and her arms; she was hard and rigid. I looked at my wife and said, ‘She’s dead.’ My wife started to cry, and I started to get up off my knees. I have never felt so helpless in all of my life.
“As I started to rise, the Holy Ghost said to me, ‘Pray.’ I looked at my – wife and all the people gathered outside, and said, ‘Let’s pray.’ Still feeling helpless and des rate, I began to try to pray, but all I could say was, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.’ As I was saying this, we felt Sister Gruse’s body begin to move. She began to quiver and straighten out slowly from the terrible twisted and drawn form that she was. Right before our eyes, like a slow motion film, she continued to straighten her arms and legs, her face, that was so twisted, began to straighten and take shape again. When she had straightened out completely, I put my arm under her and helped her to a sitting position.

“She was looking up into the heavens and began to talk, not to anyone, but as though she was in another world. She said, ‘Brother Cupples, I was dead. I came out to call one of the boys to close my shutters (they had to be closed from the outside), and the lightning struck me. I was dead. I looked back and saw my body lying here on the floor, and I said, “Lord, I’m coming home,” and He said, “NO, I’m not finished with you yet.” Then I heard you saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

“We helped her into the house and after checking on our children at our house, my wife went back and spent some time with her, but there was nothing wrong with her except a little burn on one of her feet where the lightning had run in. The next day she was up in her attic crawling around. She continued on in the work there the remainder of that term, and spent two more terms on the field working for the Lord. This was the most outstanding miracle I have ever witnessed” (Rev. W.H. Cupples, Missionary to Kenya, East Africa).

CANCER CURE SPARKS REVIVAL

“Mrs. Jacobs, a woman who lives about seven miles outside of Winnfield, Louisana, had never heard of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ or of receiving the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. She went to Washington and was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and when she returned to Louisana she received the Holy Ghost.

“In 1949, she had either cancer or ulcers, and the doctor removed part of her colon and replaced some of it with plastic.

“Early one morning, her husband called and asked me to come and pray for her, saying that she was of the same faith as I. About five o’clock, my wife and I went to her bedside. All of the neighbors were there, as they did not expect her to live much longer. I asked all of the unbelievers to leave the room. When they left, my wife and I anointed her with oil and began praying. Until then, her eyes were set in her head and she had said not a word. Suddenly, she jumped out of the bed, ran through the crowd of neighbors, and started shouting and speaking in tongues. The people were astonished.

Her husband took her to a doctor at Jonesboro, after I left. She was in no pain, but her husband was worried about her. At Jonesboro, the doctor ordered an enema and, at that time, the plastic intestine removed itself from her.

“The doctor called an ambulance and transferred her to Confederate Memorial Hospital in Shreveport, Louisana. They immediately began to prepare her for surgery by putting tubes down her throat. She was saying, `Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,’ when the doctor said, ‘Gal, you had better call on someone that can help you, because we are fixing to cut you almost in two.
“They put her under the x-ray machine and took a picture. Suddenly they called for the fluoroscope, and then called more doctors into the room. They rolled her back to her room and in five days they discharged her, saying that she missed surgery by thirty minutes. The admitted that they did not know what had happened to the plastic patch that was inside her.

She looked at the doctor and said, Doctor, that “man” I was calling on wile I was in the operating room was the One who operated on me at five o’clock last Monday.’

“As a result of that healing, within two months, twenty eight people received the Holy Ghost on her front porch” (Rev. C. D.Bates, United Pentecostal Church, Winnfield, Louisiana).

The preceding incidents were taken from the book/Miracles in Our Day, by R.W. Johnson, Pentecostal Publishing House, Hazelwood, Missouri.

This article living in the Light of Oneness written by Elder Ross Drysdale is excerpted from the book Enter the Neo-Trinitarians.

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADAH - Apostolic History, AIS File Library0 Comments


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