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The Full-Orbed Deity of Jesus Christ

The Full-Orbed Deity of Jesus Christ
Gordon Magee
Jesus Is the Father

Plain Statements

For or unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called . . . The everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6).

“He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).

“I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).

Verses to Compare

1. Who raised Jesus from the dead? John 2:19-22 says Jesus; Romans 6:4 says the Father.

2. Who answers prayer? John 14:14 says Jesus; John 15:16 says the Father.

3. Who has the drawing power? John 12:32 says Jesus; John 6:44 says the Father.

4. Who is the Alpha and Omega? Revelation 1:8 says Jesus; Revelation 21:6-7 says the Father.

5. Who is the corning One? John 14:3 says Jesus; I John 3:1-2 says the Father.

Surely we cannot think that two persons raised Jesus from the dead, that two persons answer prayer, that two persons draw us to God, that two persons are the Alpha and Omega, and that two persons are coming.

Christ’s Truthful Claims

Jesus claimed that He was the resurrection, the answerer of prayer, the drawing power, the Alpha and Omega, and the coming One. Did He claim too much? We say no, for Jesus is the Father.

1. Christ is a Father to His children (Hebrews 2:13; John 1:12-13).
2. Christ is the Father of eternity (Isaiah 9:6, see margin).
3. Christ is the Father to the church (Isaiah 53:10).
4. Christ is the Father to overcomers (Revelation 21:7).
5. Christ is the Father of creation (John 1:3).
6. Christ is the Father to Israel, “his people” (Matthew 1:21).
7. Christ is the Father of lights (James 1:17; John 9:5).
8. Christ is the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9; John 1:3).

If we deny the Fatherhood of Jesus, then we deny that He is God for “there is but one God, the Father” (I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; John 4:21-24).

Jesus Is the Son

In the scriptural passages relative to the Son two thoughts come prominently into view: (1) manhood or humanity and (2) time. For example:

* In Hebrews 5:8 the Son learned.
* In John 17 the Son prayed.
* In I John 11 and John 13:16 the Son was sent.
* In Mark 13:32 the Son did not know all things.
* In John 14:28 the Son was not as great as the Father.
* In I John 1:7 the Son had blood.
* In Galatians 2:20-21 the Son died!

All this clearly shows that as Son, Jesus was man. The angel clearly said so to Mary. That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). “His Son, made of a woman” (Galatians 4:4).

The Term “Eternal Son” Is a Trinitarian Invention

The term “eternal Son” is never found in the Bible, and thank God it is not! If it was, it would teach Jesus as Son forever, praying, learning, being lesser, “not knowing,” and so on. For all these things are in the Scripture associated with the Son. Indeed, the Bible flatly and plainly contradicts the “eternal Son” idea in John 3:16 and everywhere it mentions the “begotten Son.” The words eternal and begotten are contradictory and mean completely opposite things. Hebrews 1:5-6 tells us the very day in which the Son was begotten; how then can men speak of the “eternal Son”? Furthermore, the Bible tells us when the Sonship role will cease! (I Corinthians 15:28).

We do believe in the eternality of He who came as the Son. However He is not eternal as the Son, which term relates to what He is in time and as to His humanity.

Threefold Purpose of the Sonship

1. Redemption (Hebrews 2:14; Galatians 2:20).
2. Mediation (Hebrews 7:3; 10:12).
3. Millennial reign and judgment (Matthew 26:64; Acts 17:31; John 5:22).

Jesus Is the Holy Spirit

Verses to Compare

1. There is one Spirit (Ephesians 4:4).
2. There is but one Lord, Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 8:6, NIV).
3. “Now the Lord [Jesus is the one Lord] is the Spirit” (II Corinthians 3:17, NIV).

The Titles of the Spirit Reveal that He is Jesus (in Emanation)

* The Spirit of His Son (Galatians 4:6).
* The Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7, NIV).
* The Spirit of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:19).

Two Spirits?

Do Trinitarians imagine that there are two Spirits in the Godhead, namely, the Father, the so-called first person, who is termed a Spirit (John 4:24), and the Holy Spirit, the so-called third person? There are not two Spirits in the Godhead because “there is . . . one Spirit” (Ephesians 4:4).
In the answer to these questions lies the truth.

1. Who is the abiding One? Matthew 28:20 says Jesus; John 14:16 says the Spirit.
2. Who makes intercession? Hebrews 4:15 and 7:25 say Jesus; Romans 8:26 says the Spirit.
3. Who is the Paraclete? I John 2:1 says Jesus (see margin); John 14:26 says the Spirit.
4. Who is the speaker in Revelation 2-3? Revelation 1:8-12 and 22:16 say Jesus; Revelation 2:7 says the Spirit.

Do we have two abiding ones, two intercessors, two Paracletes, and two speakers giving the messages to the seven churches? The answer every time is in the negative. Jesus is the Spirit. Let us read John 14:18 carefully: “I [Jesus] will not leave you comfortless [margin, “orphans”]: I will come to you.” If this is not Jesus the Son promising to come as the Spirit in order to be a Father to the apostles then what does it mean?

Did Christ Have Two Fathers?

A classic example of the confusion of thought implicit in Trinitarian belief is seen when, under questioning, they are obliged to confess that Christ must have had two fathers, namely, the first person of the trinity (they say), to whom He prayed, and the Holy Spirit, who performed the miracle act of paternity in the virgin womb (Luke 1:35).

Are Christ and the Spirit Two Persons?

Colossians 2:9 says, “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Jesus must be the Holy Ghost.

John 20:22 says, “He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” In the day that we can establish a difference of person between ourselves and our breath then we may succeed in proving a difference of person between Jesus and the Holy Ghost.

Colossians 1:27 says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Who indwells the believer? The Holy Ghost. Paul calls Him Christ.

The Personality of the Spirit

All this will serve to expose the untruthfulness of those who say that we deny the personality of the Spirit. Think a moment! How could we if we believe the Spirit is Jesus? “O consistency, thou art a jewel.”

Unanswerable Difficulties of Trinitarianism

1. God was in Christ.

“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (II Corinthians 5:19). We are reconciled by the death of Christ to the deity resident in Jesus. If, as Trinitarians say, Jesus is but the incarnation of one of three divine persons, then according to this verse we are not reconciled to the Father and the Spirit.

2. Something two divine persons don’t know!

Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 say that the Son does not know the day or hour of His second advent, but only the Father does. According to trinitarianism, there are three omniscient persons in the Godhead. How then does only one divine person (the Father) know the time of the advent?

3. Trinitarianism requires three Calvarys.

Trinitarians believe that three divine persons made the new covenant and the old. The law of the covenant required that the covenant maker die in order to put the covenant in force. (See Hebrews 8:7-13; 9:16-17.) Consistent and logical trinitarianism would require the death of three divine persons, therefore, in order to bring in the new covenant. Oneness believers have no such difficulty, as they believe that He who died was in the fullest sense Jehovah God, the covenant maker.

4. Whom shall we worship?

In John 4:21-24, Jesus taught that the sole object of worship is the Father. Can our Trinitarian friends explain why Christ denied worship to the other two divine persons? Once again, Oneness believers have no difficulty. Jesus did not believe the trinity; to Him Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were one person.

The Great Key

The key to an understanding of the Godhead teaching is the dual nature of Jesus. Jesus was:

* A man (John 8:40) and also God (John 20:28; I Corinthians 8:6).
* Not fifty years old (John 8:57) and also eternal (Micah 5:2).
* A babe (Luke 2:16) and also the mighty God (Isaiah 9:6).
* Learning (Hebrews 5:8) and also knew all things (John 21:17).
* Weak and weary (II Corinthians 13:4; John 4:6) and also the Almighty (Revelation 1:8).
* On earth (Mark 2:10)–and also in heaven (John 3:13).
* The Son (Isaiah 9:6) and also the Father (Isaiah 9:6).
* One who prayed (Luke 22:41) and also the One who answers prayer (John 14:14).

These verses of Scriptures do not present two divine persons but rather two natures human and divine.

The Apostles Were Oneness

This is how the apostles spoke of Jesus:

* “The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
* “The Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
* “Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (I John 5:20).
* “The only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4).
* “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory,” and “There is one God” (James 2:1, 19).
* “Jesus Christ . . . the King . . . the only wise God” (I Timothy 1:16-17).

The present resurgence of the truth of the full deity of Jesus is but a rediscovery of a very precious apostolic truth that for long centuries has been obscured by apostasy and a tritheistic theory.

This article “The Full-Orbed Deity of Jesus Christ” was excerpted from: Is Jesus in the Godhead or Is the Godhead in Jesus? Written by Gordon Magee. Copyright 1988. It may be used for study & research purposes only.

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

Jesus is the Fullness of the Godhead

Jesus is the Fullness of the Godhead
By Gordon Magee

In this section we will briefly answer some common objections to the scriptural teaching that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus Christ.

“Let Us Make Man In Our Image” (Genesis 1:26)

Trinitarians argue that this verse shows a trinity of divine persons, but the verse immediately following says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.” We should note the use of the singular personal pronouns. John 1:3, 10 makes it clear that creation was the work of one divine person. “The world was made by him” [Jesus]. Isaiah 44:24 is crystal clear on this point. God speaks in the first person and says, “I am the LORD . . . that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.” Could language be plainer? Creation is the work of one divine person only. (See also James 2:19; Malachi 2:10.)

Angels were present when God made the world (Job 38:7), and they applauded His creative acts. Jehovah converses with angels (Psalm 103:20). The Jews have always believed that the “us” of Genesis 1:26 refers to God and the angels. Man is certainly made in the likeness of angels (Hebrews 2:7). Indeed when angels appeared in Bible times they were often simply called men (Acts 1:10).

A careful study of Genesis 3:22-24, where the “us” again appears, reveals that God is addressing the cherubim or elect angels who, together with Himself, “know good and evil.”

“Us,” relative to God and the angels, is seen again in Genesis 11:7, where God indicates to the angels that Babel’s hour of judgment had come: “Let us go down, and there confound their language.” As at Sodom, God, in conjunction with the angels, executed the work of vengeance (Genesis 18:33; 19:1).

Isaiah 6:1-8 is crystal clear concerning the identity of the “us.” It is God and the seraphim. Angels cannot preach the gospel (see Acts 10:1-8), but they are deeply interested in its propagation (I Peter 1:12). A true gospel preacher speaks for Jehovah and all His angels.

We do not say that angels helped at creation. In humility the great God of heaven revealed to them His intentions. Some people see a major objection to all this in Isaiah 40:12-13. Let them read the passage carefully, for it does not clash with our proposition. It does not say that God refuses to counsel with angels it simply states that no one, as His counselor, teaches or instructs the Almighty. God does counsel with angels. He even counsels with men. He counseled with Abraham about Sodom (Genesis 18:17) and not only counseled but permitted Abraham to actually bargain with Him. Nevertheless, neither Abraham nor the angels ever taught God anything.

“The Word Was With God” (John 1:1)

A dear brother quoted this verse to me to prove that Jesus the Word was a distinct divine person from the Father. I asked him, “Who is your God?” He answered, “The trinity”

I said, “Let us read the verse in the light of your answer `In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the trinity, and the Word was the trinity.'”

“Oh!” he cried, “in that verse God stands for the Father.”

`All right,” I replied. “Let us read it again-1n the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the Father, and the Word was the Father.'”

He could say no more. The meaning of the verse became clear to him, and it is this the Word was God. Any idea that the Word was a distinct personality from God is destroyed by John when he emphatically declared, “And the Word was God.” I know of no stronger Oneness verse in the whole Bible. How can we make a difference of person between God and His Word?

Elohim

The Hebrew word Elohim is translated “God” in our Bibles. It indicates a plurality of attributes and not of persons. Baal (Judges 6:31) and Baalzebub (II Kings 1:2) are called Elohim but they were not trinities. Great Bible teachers such as Calvin have ridiculed the notion that this word affords any support for a belief in a plurality of divine persons.

Elohim is applied to Christ, thus proving that it does not mean a plurality of persons. A few examples will suffice: Elohim was sold for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:4, 12, 13); Elohim was pierced at Calvary (Zechariah 12:10); Elohim is coming back as King (Zechariah 14:5). Do we think that three persons were betrayed, crucified, and are coming again? Of course not! The very use of the word Elohim in Scripture proves that by it the sacred writers did not mean three divine persons but rather our one Lord Jesus Christ, who has all the attributes of full-orbed deity.

Jordan’s Banks (Matthew 3:13-17)

Some imagine that a trinity of divine persons is taught in this passage. Actually, this is just the result of wishful thinking. Let us bear in mind that what happened at the baptism of Jesus was not arranged to teach the people any particular doctrine of the Godhead. As a matter of fact, apparently no one by Jordan’s banks that day heard or saw anything concerning the voice or the dove save John the Baptist. It was a private and infallible sign to John whereby he could identify the Messiah (John 1:33).

Moreover, the dove alighting upon Jesus was purely symbolical. Some people say that Jesus received the Holy Ghost at Jordan. How wrong they are! There never was a time when Jesus did not have the Holy Ghost and that without measure. John the Baptist was full of the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. Dare we say less for Jesus?

Trinitarians say that the voice heard at Jordan’s banks demands personality. Did the voice emanating from Balaam’s donkey indicate personality (Numbers 22:28)? Jesus said that if people ceased to praise Him, the stones would cry out (Luke 19:40). Would we then understand the rocks to have personality? The truth is that the man who was baptized by John was also the omnipresent God, and He was responsible for the voice. Jesus claimed to be on earth and in heaven at the same time (John 3:13; 1:18). He also claimed while still on earth as to His body that He was present as God in the midst of every believing company that met in His name the wide world over (Matthew 18:20). Jesus, who was that day baptized in the river, was omnipresent everywhere present at once as to His Spirit. If we deny that He as to His divinity was responsible for the voice then we virtually deny Him the attribute of omnipresence.

John 14:10 settles the issue. Jesus claimed that all miraculous works attending His ministry (and that includes the voice and the sign of the dove) were attributable to One who dwelt within Him: “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

“My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?” (Matthew 2 7:46)

Trinitarians should carefully consider the logical conclusions of their objections before making them. If Jesus was actually forsaken by God then He is not God. The trinitarian explanation of this verse, namely, that here we see one divine person forsaking another, compels us to ask where then is their professed belief in the unity of the Godhead? If the divine persons of the trinity theory are so distinct as to be able to forsake each other, then how can trinitarians with any degree of logic or consistency deny that they really believe in three Gods?

Jesus was not forsaken by God; He could not be, for He was God manifested in flesh (I Timothy 3:16). Jesus claimed that His Father would not forsake Him in the hour of crisis (John 16:32). Hebrews 9:14 teaches that the Holy Spirit was resident in Jesus right up until the very last moment, until the offering was completed. The truth is that Jesus felt Godforsaken. He had to, because He was the sinner’s substitute and this was part of the price He had to pay.

In Leviticus 2:1-3, the fine flour represents our Lord’s humanity, the oil mixed with the fine flour speaks of God in the body of Jesus Christ, and the frankincense indicates intercession. The flour, the oil and the frankincense were together baked by fire on the altar, which speaks of Calvary. This is a lovely picture of how the great Spirit God was resident in Christ even when the flames of divine retribution engulfed His soul at Calvary. Jesus was not actually God-forsaken at Calvary but felt the awful reality of a God-forsaken soul as He stood in the sinner’s stead.

“The Glory Which I Had With Thee Before The World Was” (John 17:5)

Trinitarians allege that this verse and its context reveal that Christ was the Son before the world was. If this were true, then it would violently contradict all the passages in Scripture which teach that the Sonship of our Lord Jesus Christ relates to time and humanity. The true explanation of this verse is simple. Jesus was praying for glorification, which was at that time still future (John 7:39; I Timothy 3:16). Indeed, the crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and glorification were all still future when Jesus prayed in John 17. Our Lord indicated in His prayer that in some sense He actually had been glorified in eternity past.
What did our Lord mean? He meant that He had been glorified in eternity past just as He had been crucified in eternity past. (See Revelation 13:8.) Everything relative to Christ’s redemptive work happened in eternity past in the mind of God.

In God’s mind, long before the earth was made Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died a vicarious death, had a triumphant resurrection, had a wonderful ascension, and was received up into glory. Our God inhabits eternity and sees the things that are not as though they were. Ephesians 1:4 makes it clear that also before the world was made the church was chosen and purified in Christ. God saw us before Him in love, and yet we did not even exist!

Oneness theologians understand that John 17:5 refers to the ideal existence of the Son before the foundation of the world, or His existence in God’s mind and thought. Obviously the Son did not actually exist before Bethlehem, else we should have no difficulty locating Him as being actually present in the Old Testament and the period it covered. There is not one verse in the Old Testament that shows the Son as being then present. He is certainly prophesied of in the Old Testament. Always, the Son is the coming One and not the present One. How could the Son have existed in the Old Testament as such when He was made of a woman centuries later? (Galatians 4:4). Examples of ideal pre-existence are found in other parts of the Bible. (See Romans 4:17 and Jeremiah 1:5.)

New Testament Plurals (John 14:23)

Trinitarians emphasize the words we and our in this and similar verses and argue that those words reveal a plurality of divine persons. I can well remember asking a trinitarian preacher to explain the verse to me: “We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” He could not even begin to expound its meaning, for even he, as a trinitarian, could not believe that he had three divine persons abiding in him. There is only one way to have God abiding in us and that is by the Spirit, and Ephesians 4:4 says there is “one Spirit:”

The meaning of John 14:23 is very beautiful and clear to those who have the Oneness key. Matthew 10:20 speaks of the Spirit of the Father, and Galatians 4:6 speaks of the Spirit of the Son, yet there are not two Spirits but one (Ephesians 4:4). The Spirit of the Father is the Spirit of almightiness, the Spirit of power (John 14:10). The Spirit of the Son is the Spirit of priestliness, or the Spirit of obedience and prayer (Galatians 4:6; John 17:1; Hebrews 5:8). The believer has both aspects in the Holy Ghost. Anything about a believer that speaks of the miraculous or almightiness is (the Spirit of) the Father abiding in him, and anything about a believer that speaks of prayer, submission, obedience or priestliness is (the Spirit of) the Son abiding in him, yet there is but one Spirit in two aspects.

Oneness can interpret John 14:23 and every other “plural” verse, but trinitarianism can offer no explanation. Let us never forget that Jesus had a dual nature and so performed a dual role. When one meditates upon this great fact, he will readily see that Jesus requires plurals to fully describe His offices and operations. That the plurals do not indicate persons but rather offices in the one person is clearly shown by John 12:45: “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.”

In this respect a study of Isaiah 53 is very rewarding. Verse 6 mentions “the LORD” in contradistinction to “him” (Christ). Verse 10 reads, “It pleased the LORD to bruise him . . . [and] make his soul an offering for sin.” The Lord thus appears as the offerer and Christ as the lamb (verse 7), the offered One. Yet who does not know that Jesus is the great high priest, the great offerer, and who does not know that at the same time He is the great offering and lamb? The wonderful truth of Isaiah 53 is that Christ, the God-man, is the One who bruised and was bruised, who offered and was offered, who was both high priest and lamb at Calvary. Superficially, some may see two persons in Isaiah 53, but those who know that truth about Jesus’ dual nature and role can see that the prophet spoke not of two divine persons but of the offices of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

“How Many Did Stephen See?” (Acts 7:54-60)

Stephen did not say, “I see Jesus and God.” He knew better than that, for “no man [and that includes Stephen] hath seen God at any time” (John 1:18; I John 4:12). God is invisible (Colossians 1:15; I Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:27), and it is impossible to see anything that is invisible! Because God is invisible, “no man hath seen, nor can see” him (I Timothy 6:16). The instances in the Old Testament where people claimed to have seen God are to be understood as theophanies or temporary materializations of God in angelic form.

In this dispensation, Jesus is the image of the invisible God; indeed Jesus is the express image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3). At Bethlehem God assumed human form, and that human form called the Son is God’s perfect, complete and permanent incarnation. This explains why the theophanies of the old dispensations ceased at Bethlehem. Since Jesus is God’s express image, and since “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9), it is impossible for God to reveal His person outside of or apart from Jesus. Stephen therefore did not see and could not have seen two persons.

What then is meant by the expression “the right hand of God”? According to Exodus 15:6, Moses and the Israelites on the safe side of the Red Sea claimed to have seen “the right hand of God” when the waters fell in upon the Egyptians and they were drowned. What did they actually see? Nothing but a tremendous manifestation of God’s power and glory. This they called “the right hand of God.” Stephen was an Israelite and knew the Hebrew Scriptures. When he used the expression “the right hand of God” he meant exactly what Moses meant when he used the same phrase. Stephen claimed to see Jesus in the place of glory and power and described this as “the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).

We should note that after receiving the vision Stephen still believed that Jesus was God. He called upon God and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59). Only God the Father receives the spirits of men in death (Psalm 31:5; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Hebrews 12:9). Stephen knew that too and yet said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Stephen believed that Jesus was God and the Father veiled in flesh. If, as trinitarians affirm, Stephen saw two, then God is not invisible, God has been seen, Jesus is not the express image of God but simply an image (all of which contradict the Scriptures), and Stephen committed his spirit to the wrong member of the trinity!

“Stand Up, Stand Up, For Jesus!”

Dear reader, you have now come to the end of this little book. Before you close it and lay it down, let me make the issue clear. This is not just an argument between theologians. This is a matter of Christ. “What think ye of Christ?” (Matthew 22:42). Do you say He is God, fully God, truly God, wholly God, solely God, altogether God, and exclusively God? Or do you think, as so many do, that He is but the second person of a trinity? Remember, if Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead and you persist in worshiping two others you break the Scripture, in which the one God says, “There is no God else beside me” (Isaiah 45:21). Remember, if Jesus is full-orbed deity and you regard Him as being one-third of God when you worship then you cannot be truthfully called a worshiper of God. Why not take your stand with those who believe that Christ is all? He is the Father as to His deity, the Son as to His humanity, and the Holy Spirit in emanation. In a coming day, everybody everywhere will believe nothing else (Zechariah 14:9). Man-made traditions say that Jesus is in the Godhead. The Scripture of truth says that the Godhead is in Jesus (Colossians 2:9). Which will you believe?

The above article, Jesus is the Fulness of the Godhead is written by Gordon Magee. The article was excerpted from the fourth chapter of Magee’s book Is Jesus in the Godhead or Is the Godhead in Jesus?

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

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


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