What about the Prayers of Jesus?

Rodney L. Smith

Why did Jesus pray if he is God? Was he praying to himself? Did God pray?

The simplest answer is, yes God prayed. He became a real human being and prayer is a real human necessity, just like eating, drinking, and sleeping. He also limited himself to doing everything as we do, even doing his ministry and miracles by the Holy Spirit, his Father dwelling inside him (Jesus the man). Of himself he did nothing. Although he was God walking around on this earth, opted for a fully human experience prior to the Incarnation. Only in this full humanity could he be tempted, die, arise from death, and be glorified. His glorification is when the risen humanity of Jesus is fused together with the omnipresent, omnipotent Spirit, the man Jesus’ Father, God in all his limitlessness, and the man Jesus becomes a life-giving Spirit, as he always was before he was born. Any distinction between the Father and the Son exists only during his earthly sojourn and voluntary human experience of limitation. Then there’s the distinction of modes of being, the Eternal Spirit is now also a Begotten Son since the Incarnation. These distinctions are exploited by Trinitarians and amplified and morphed into distinctions of person.

So I think we can say that, as Jesus, God prayed. Jesus is 100% God. Everything he did, God did. Jesus was God’s experience as a human person, first limited, then resurrected and ascended, and now glorified together with his ultimate, infinite, transcendent Self.

We can biblically say that God, at the right, preplanned moment in time, made himself a second, limited, and finite self, born of a woman (Romans 9:5; Galatians 4:4). Then, after the baptism of this “second self,” or “exact image of himself” (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3) expressed in a different way (humanity), God as he has always been, the omnipresent Spirit, began working inside of and from within the man that was truly him, yet, at the same time, a real, begotten man, his Son truly and indeed. The Spirit/Father worked in the Son the same way he works in us, yet the Son was fully yielded more than anyone else could ever be. Plus, the Son was entitled to the full power that worked in him in a way that no other human person could ever be, because he himself truly was that power.

So we see that Jesus was the true man through whom the power of God worked freely and uninhibited, but Jesus was not only the man. He was more. He was also that Power that worked within his humanity in a true and very real transcendent identity which exceeded and surpassed his real humanity. These two modes or manners of being shared one identity, and the one identity shared these two distinct modes of being for approximately 33 years (34 including gestation and post resurrection). That one identity is GOD, plain and simple, undivided, and all that is God was manifested in human form as Jesus of Nazareth (“all the fullness of the godhead” Colossians 2:9), and he still shares and possesses these two modes of being and expression today, albeit in a far less distinct sense because the two modes have been fused together into one (the Man of flesh was made eternal Spirit, see 1 Corinthians 15:45; John 14:15-18(19-20 and following); Romans 8:9-10(11); Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27).

So what about the anatomy of Jesus’ prayers? Looking at the matter from a Christocentric context, is one nature praying to another nature? I don’t think it’s helpful to describe natures praying and being prayed to. A nature is an aspect possessed of a person or thing. So it would be akin to saying his mouth prayed to God’s ears, a bit awkward and obscure. In other words you’re saying that his humanity prays to his divinity. Humanity does not pray, and we don’t pray to abstract divinity. We pray to deity, to a Divine Being. 

I believe it’s more accurate and helpful to retain the completeness of the person that is characteristic of Hebrew thought, saying that Jesus in his humanity prays to God the Father, the God who beget him.

Jesus prayed to God. This is what the scripture presents. Does this mean that Jesus is not God? Not at all! Jesus is clearly God made human, the man who is God and whom God is. Since Jesus is God, then as Jesus God prayed, as well as ate, drank, slept, breathed, was born, grew, died, resurrected, and was glorified. Yet although Jesus was limited during the time between his conception and his glorification, still God was not limited to Jesus. Jesus was 100% God, but God was not 100% Jesus. Then at Christ’s glorification, he was made a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) and became omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Hope that makes sense to you.

I would also like to recommend that you check out Jason Dulle’s article “Jesus’ Prayers: It Doesn’t Take Two Persons to Tango” on OnenessPentecostal.com. I’ll link it below.

Jesus’ Prayers: It Doesn’t Take Two Persons to Tango http://www.onenesspentecostal.com/jesusprayerstango.htm


Answering Trinitarian Questions

Rodney L. Smith

Trinitarian Questions & Oneness Answers

1. When Jesus was praying to the Father, was He praying to Himself? See Mt. 11:25-26; Mt. 26:36-42ff; Mk 14:32ff; and especially John 17:1ff where Jesus was praying for the unity of his disciples.

Yes. More accurately, he was a true human being praying to the one true God, even though this human being was “God manifested in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16). He existed prior to his birth “in the form of God” and he “humbled himself” and took “the form of a servant” and was “obedient to the point of death” (Philippians 2:5-11). You see, God became a man, a Jew. He was born, and he lived “like his brethren” “in all things” (Heb. 2:17). He was “tempted as we are, yet without sin” (4:15). He is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). So, when God chose to make a visible image for himself, Hebrews 1:4 says that this son who was born of God is “the exact representation of his Person.” That is, Jesus is the exact image of God’s Person (singular—because God is one personal being, i.e. one Person), and Jesus is the exact representation of God. Jesus, also, is one single person, showing that the God whom he represents is indeed one person.

The same is true with Adam. The Bible says in Genesis 1 that God made humankind both in his own image and male and female. Then, Genesis 2 reveals how he did this. First, he made one single human person—Adam. It wasn’t until some time later, after Adam had named every animal on earth, that a copy of Adam was made, a female copy, taken from his own body. This was Eve, who came out of Adam and was a copy of Adam, who was a copy of God (see 1 Cor. 11:7-9). Therefore, both men and women are made in God’s image, every single person. Most likely, God did not have an image before he created Adam, unless he chose to visibly manifest himself at times, which he certainly did after Adam was made for the purpose of interacting with his people. God made the first man after the image that he was planning to take on in Jesus Christ. In other words, 2000 years ago, God became Jesus Christ, a man, a human like us, yet, at the same time, he is still our God.

Prior to the creation, God knew full well that he was going to do this, and he planned it all before he laid the foundation of the earth (see Revelation 13:8). It was as good as done from before the moment of creation, for God “calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17, NKJV). God simply made Adam how he wanted to be in the future… 2 legs, 2 arms, 2 hands and 2 feet, one head with 2 eyes, 2 ears, and 1 nose, etc. In this way, Adam, and consequently you and I, and everyone else ever born, resembles Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). This is what it means when the Bible says that we are made in the image of God.

2. When Jesus said in John 16:7, ““But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” who is Jesus going to send?

The Helper is the Holy Spirit, or more accurately “holy Spirit,” the only omnipresent, all-powerful Spirit who is God and also known as Jesus’ Father and our Father (see Luke 1:32). Furthermore, this holy Spirit is also Jesus Christ himself (John 14:18… read v. 17 too!), manifested to his disciples but not to the world (John 14:22… vs. 23, Holy Spirit is both the Father and the Son), the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:19; Rom. 8:9), Christ in us “the hope of Glory” (Rom. 8:10; Col. 1:27). So it makes sense that he must go away in order to send the Spirit, for Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:39), nor ascended to his Father (John 20:17). This is the consistent reason given in the New Testament as to why Jesus had to go away first before he could send the holy Spirit. This is because Jesus, the Last Adam, became a “Life-Giving Spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). Notice by the way that Jesus is sending the Helper in the passage you cited. Now read John 14:16-19 in which Jesus reveals that the coming Helper, the “Spirit of truth” would be him, and notice who is sending the Spirit—the Father. Proving also that Jesus and God the Father are one and the same person (for more on this read vv. 7-9 of John 14 and try to focus in on what Jesus himself is actually saying). Also see the well-known prophesy in Isaiah 9:6.

3. When Jesus was baptized (Mt. 3), who was the voice saying, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”? Also, at the transfiguration a voice from heaven said basically the same thing (Mt. 17:5).

The omnipresent, holy Spirit who alone is God and the only Father of the human Jesus (cf. Luke 1:35; John 17:3), the same one who is descending visibly in a form like a dove and descended as divided tongues on the 120 disciples on Pentecost in Acts 2. There is only one God who certainly can speak from heaven anytime he wants and descend upon whomever he wishes for whatever purpose he desires, and he can, as history has witnessed, remain the infinite God and at the same time become a finite human being, experience weakness, want, need, fatigue, and temptation, and then experience death and resurrection, both of which every other human being will eventually experience (except for those who are alive and remain when Jesus returns), and then unite this resurrected man, who is also him (an extension of himself—his right arm/ hand) but finite and distinct from his almighty, eternal nature, with his infinite glory and power, thus glorifying the man with the glory he had before he had became human, when he existed in the form of God, as the one and only true God yet-to-become-human. So, when God became a real, limited, weak, frail human being, he did not and could not cease to be the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent Spirit we call God.

4. When Jesus said on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”, who was the One who forsaked (forsook) Jesus?

The same one who descended upon him at his baptism, who had not been in him prior to his baptism, his Father, the only God, and the same Spirit who indwells Christians in the same way the he indwelt Jesus. You see, God became a man in every way! That means he ministered the same way that we minister, by the anointing of the holy Spirit guiding him, moving him, inspiring him, and directing him. If this were not the case, then Jesus wouldn’t be fully human. It is possible for an everywhere-present God to be everywhere at once, specifically rule the universe from his throne in Heaven, become a weak, limited human being (as we have just seen), and then fill that weak, limited man with his indwelling Spirit in order to empower him and minister through the man (who is God) by the Spirit (who is God). It may sound a little confusing at first, but it all makes perfect sense. God accomplished our salvation; he worked it all himself, alone. That’s grace! We could do nothing, so God did everything; and he did it all for us! Even though Jesus is God and he is the holy Spirit, during the time when he limited himself to become just like us, he did God’s work and ministered in the same way that we do, the presence of God in our lives, which presence is also called the Spirit of Christ and Christ in us, as we have seen. See also John 14:23 to show that the indwelling Spirit is both the Father and the Son!!!!

5. Why baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit? (Mt 28:19)
Jesus refers to His Father many other times throughout the Gospels.

This is why the disciples of Jesus, who personally received the Great Commission from him, baptized in his name—Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:3-5; 22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11 cf. Col. 3:17). Jesus refers to his father because he indeed had one. All of us do. However, he lacked a human father. As Luke 1:35 reveals, the Holy Spirit is the Father of the man Jesus, but since God doesn’t just have children the way we do, for we create separate human persons, ourselves being human persons, God cannot be duplicated. There can only be one omnipresent (everywhere-present), omnipotent (all-powerful) something. If something/someone, such as God, shares a portion of all the power that possibly exists, then he is not all-powerful, indeed no one is. But one being must have it all. There can only be one God, for the definition of God is this omnipresent, all-knowing, and all-powerful Spirit Person who always has existed and always will exist and created everything else that exists out of nothing because prior to the creation, only he existed. Only he is infinite, all else, all creation is necessarily finite. Only he is absolutely perfect! Everything, and everyone else that exists cannot measure up to the perfection of God and is therefore imperfect in some way. The Apostles knew, as we should, that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that all power was given to the man who sits on the throne (Matt. 28:18; Rev. 3:21; 22:1, 3-4… notice that “God and the Lamb” is a “Him” and has a “His face” and “His name”). Finally, look at vv. 6 and 16 of Rev. 22. Who sent his angel, who told John not to worship him in v. 9, to testify of/show these things to his servants, the church? Compare vv. 6 and 16 and get back to me on that one. I’d really like to hear about what you find!

God is One

Rodney L. Smith

First of all, if you believe that God is one but 3 at the same time, then you believe something not revealed in the Bible. In the entire Old Testament revelation there is not more than one personal being that is God. This God sometimes appears as an Angel, a Man, or in an object such as fire (for example, the burning bush) or wind (the whirlwind in Job). Even Trinitarian Systematic Theology textbooks begin with God’s attribute of “personality,” that is, the fact that he is a personal being. Then later, they argue that he is tri-personal. In the New Testament, you can see a maximum of two beings or persons communicating with one another—Jesus and the Father, and this only occurs during the earthly, human life of Jesus. This concept is very important, and we will return to it shortly. Thus, there is no triune God taught in the Bible, not in the Old Testament, and not in the New Testament either.

There is only one God, the Spirit, and the Man Jesus Christ who is revealed to be God come in human form, i.e. the flesh. He reveals this to his disciples, and his disciples teach this in their New Testament writings. If you think about the whole of biblical revelation, a Trinity is not revealed, but God’s oneness is emphasized and obvious. Trinitarianism postulates that there is a God who is revealed to be the Father, a Son who is revealed to be God, and a Holy Spirit who is revealed to be God. Jesus and the Father talk to and love one another. These are undeniable biblical truths which are clearly presented in Scripture. However, the Trinitarian would suggest that these true statements lead to the conclusion that Jesus and the Father are two distinct persons within the one God, and since you have two persons they say, adding a third person is no problem at all. This pretty much sums up what I have heard from the best-known trinitarian teachers. Standing in stark opposition to this claim, the Oneness explanation of these biblical truth statements is just as viable. In fact, I believe first of all that Oneness theology makes much better since both logically and biblically, and secondly that there are better and more biblical proofs for Oneness which make trinitarianism impossible. I will discuss these as I answer your questions, but I will begin with one preliminary point here before getting into your questions.

          God is revealed as a singular, personal being in the Scriptures. At least in the Old Testament, the singularity of God is stressed, and his personality is obviously revealed. God created man (all humankind) in his own image, and when he did this, he made only one man, Adam. Adam was one, singular, uni-personal, person who was both one man and one person. Since God made mankind in his own image, and he did so by creating only one, uni-personal man, then it follows that God is only one person. Eve was not made until some time after Adam had named every animal on earth. Even then, she was not directly created from the dust of the ground but was taken out of Adam, and was a copy of the one man. Therefore, Eve was made after the image of Adam who was made in the image of God. This in no way takes away from the fact that Eve bears the image of God herself. Paul taught this in 1 Corinthians 11:7-8. Eve was a copy of Adam, who was a copy of God, and all children born after them are copies of Adam and Eve. Therefore, since Eve and every human born from her are copies of Adam, who was directly fashioned after God’s own image, then all human beings are made after God’s image and likeness.

Here we are looking only at the term “image.” Some postulate that the phrase “image of God” suggests that we are like God in that we are autonomous beings, creative beings, spiritual beings, etc. This refers not to “image” but “likeness.” Biblically, “image” always refers to a physical or visual representation. God, who came to earth as a human being, Jesus Christ, was an invisible Spirit and had no visible image, but he created Adam according to the image that he would take 4,000 years later when he would come to earth and be born as Jesus Christ. This is the only way “God made man in his own image” makes any logical since. Trinitarian theologians still cannot pinpoint what “in the image of God” really means. Their attempted answers in print and so forth are many, but they are consistently unsatisfactory. I believe that my answer makes perfect sense. Don’t you? 

          A quick word about logic. If you know anything about apologetics, you know that logic is an important proof that God exists. Logic is an unexplainable, immaterial thing that clearly exists. There is no naturalistic explanation for logic. The only logical, rational, reasonable explanation for the existence of logic is the existence of God. Something is “logical” because it is true or real, just as God is true and real. In other words, what is true, real, and logical is that which conforms to what God is. Since God is true, everything contrary to God’s truth is false, and since God is real, that is, he is the source of all reality, then everything contrary to God’s reality is fake or counterfeit. Since God is the source of logic, meaning that God makes perfect sense, then whatever is contrary to God is contrary to logic and either makes no sense at all or does not make perfect sense the way that God makes perfect sense. If something makes some sense but not perfect sense, let’s say 70% of it makes sense, then it is only 70% in conformity with God and, therefore, reality. The other 30% of this something is contrary to God and, therefore, opposed to reality, or false. An example of this would be mixing 30% lie with 70% truth in order to deceive someone, one of the devil’s favorite tricks. God is the only possible source of truth, reality, love, logic, and other immaterial, supernatural forces.

Is Oneness Heresy?

Rodney L. Smith

Many Trinitarian teachers today make an enormous claim against Oneness believers. They claim that Oneness doctrine is “heresy,” thus indirectly making the claim that Christians who believe Oneness theology are “heretics,” meaning not truly Christian, outside of the true Christian faith. Before I respond to this claim, let me point out that this is often a desperate ploy used by Trinitarians when they cannot discuss the issue of Oneness vs. Trinity. They come up short or are confronted with questions they cannot answer, but this tactic comes from their prominent teachers. They bring their difficulties with Oneness doctrine, what the Bible actually says, and the questions or claims to which they have a hard time responding to their pastors and popular teachers. Their teachers will then usually spout off a few proof texts commonly used to support the Trinity and state something like this, “That’s about as clear as it gets, and there is just no other way that I can see to interpret this passage.” This completely misses the point. Oneness Christians are interpreting these very passages in an entirely different way. The question is, which way is the right way? Then the teacher will proceed to give questioner complete assurance that Oneness theology is false, not from the Bible, but by pointing out that ancient, popular Trinitarian teachers from the third century and thereafter harshly condemned early forms of Oneness, then called Modalistic Monarchianism, Seballianism, and Modalism. For some reason, this settles the question for them. Those ancient teachers are automatically correct, in their view, and their word is accepted on the same level as, or even much stronger than, Scripture itself. This brings me to my first question in answering the claim that Oneness is heretical.

Heresy according to who? Certainly not the Bible nor Jesus Christ himself. Oneness is only a heresy to the popular church of the State of Rome, the same church that invented the trinity doctrine. Oneness is the biblical view that God is one personal, divine being and Jesus is that one God. What kind of research do you want my friend to do, read books by trinitarians, authors who accept the testimony of so-called church fathers over what the Scripture says? He may not be highly educated, but he knows the Word and he knows God. He is a man of God. For research, how about starting with what scholars call the “messianic secret.” While Jesus didn’t go around openly declaring, “I am God,” all the time, he did not hide the fact that there was a divine element to his identity, and at times he did make claims to divinity. Compare that to Noetus, an ancient Christian, who confessed that Jesus “confessed himself to be the Son to those who saw him, but to those who could receive it he did not hide the fact that he was the Father.” Like trinitarians today and when the 3 in 1 doctrine was invented, the disciples of Jesus had trouble understanding who Jesus was. They naturally assumed a distinction between this great teacher who lived with them and the one true God of Israel. But Jesus reveals to them several times that he and his Father are one and the same (John 10:30; 8:58; John 14), especially toward the end of his ministry. John 14 is the best example of this. Jesus told them, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Still one of the disciples misunderstood and asked Jesus to show them the Father. Jesus responded, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?” Jesus said that to see him is to see the Father. So how could his disciples ask to be shown the Father when they were sitting/standing there looking at him (John 14:7-9). In this same chapter Jesus reveals that the Father is the same Holy Spirit that is in him (vv. 10-11) and that the Holy Spirit also is Jesus Himself (vv. ). The usual trinitarian response, “Well that doesn’t mean that Jesus is the Father” will not suffice here to refute the pure biblical truth of which I speak. To really see the truth, you much abandon the nonsense that “God is one” does not really mean “one.” There is only one, single personal eternal, all-powerful being called God. There is no such thing as a multi-personal being, and this concept is not once presented or even suggested in Scripture, it is only inferred by those intent on believing it. The father of the trinity doctrine, Tertullian (approx. 200AD) wrote in his treatise Against Praxeas that the majority of Christians, who were not as highly educated as he, had a problem with his concept of 3 in 1. This is the beginning of the trinitarian error. The lofty, proud, educated, rich, Christians invented these true heresies and offered them as apologies to the State of Rome, which later adopted them as its official religion. Then, these doctrines were imposed upon all under the penalty of death. Research that! Then read Jesus’ warning in Matthew concerning the popular, “ravenous, and evil working “way” that would appear to be Christian but inwardly be “ravenous wolves.” The Lord Himself warned (1), “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (v. 13). Therefore, the most popular, most followed way is not the correct way. The correct way is “narrow” and few find it (v. 14). And (2), “You will know them by their fruits” (16). That is, while appearing to be Christian, their works will not really be becoming of true disciples/ followers of Christ. You’re warned, and we’re just scratching the surface. If you want to join the true way, you know where to find me. May the Lord guide you to his way!

I find that the beef Trinitarians normally have, when you get to the root of the issue, their complaint is, “but that’s not the trinity! That’s different from what I believe, from what I was taught.” Here Trinitarians dangerously fail to realize that it is possible for any person to be mistaken or even deceived, including them. May God open their eyes.

The Oneness View of Jesus

Rodney L. Smith

God is one and only one person. He has always existed as a solitary, personal, eternal Spirit. For the last 2000 years he has existed as both Eternal Spirit and begotten Human Being simultaneously. One person, two modes of being.

Who Jesus is? How is he both God and man? How is the man God? Namely, what you misunderstand is that the unlimited, exalted God became a limited, weak, humble human being just like us.

The Bible teaches: Jesus is God, Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Holy Spirit, the Father is the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is both Jesus and the Father…

The biblical Oneness position is that Jesus is God. Period. One hundred percent. The body, soul, and human nature are all human but are also one hundred percent God. God possessed a one hundred percent limited, frail, weak human body which is now a glorified spiritual human body, the same as we will have at the resurrection. God became like us. Those who teach trinitarianism, a semi-oneness which denies any part of Jesus is fully God, or worse yet, Arianism, do so because they do not understand how Jesus could be and is fully God and fully human simultaneously in two distinct realms of existence and do not have a full understanding of the Scriptures. That’s not meant to be condescending in any way. You must pay the price for understanding, and you must be totally submitted to God, willing to follow scriptural revelation wherever it leads.

If the Father is the only God and Jesus is God, then there is only one God for Jesus to be. The disciples didn’t fully get it for a long time, and it slowly dawned on them. Others missed it too because he came as a human humbly. He kept his identity as both the Messiah and God largely hidden, yet revealed it enough times to finally be killed for it. It was at the Last Supper in John chapter 14 Jesus finally sat his disciples down and explained what “I and my Father are one” means. He is God become human flesh in the same way a CEO puts on a work uniform and becomes the new janitor or dishwasher for the day, a week, or a month.

There is a reality show like called Undercover Boss in which the top person in a company, usually the CEO or owner, poses as a new employee in hopes of identifying ways in which he or she can help the company in some way. The point of the show is, the CEO never stops being the CEO, which is a kind of omnipresent position within the company, and that new employee was never any less CEO although he served the lowliest role and all that it entails. The biggest difference, as all analogy fall short at some point, the ordeal doesn’t create a new person who never existed.

Now, if God was this CEO, and he wanted to sweat, get tired, ache, possess expendable time and energy and sacrifice his time and energy for others in the company, well then, he would need to create a new person who would be him. However, in this instance, the CEO chair would never be empty. He would be both at once. That is how this translates over into reality. My underlying point is that God can’t become man without being both God and man simultaneously. He cannot beget a son without himself being both father and son at the same time.

John 15:26 in Oneness Christology

Rodney L. Smith

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” ~John 15:26

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” ~John 14:26

Question: How should we interpret John 15:26 with regards to the sending of the Spirit by Jesus from the Father?

Short answer—within the context of all scriptural revelation, including within the N.T., the Gospel of John, and the Passion Discourses of Jesus—chapters 14-17.

Since Oneness recognizes that Jesus sends the Holy Spirit, yet the Holy Spirit is he himself, meaning he is sending his own presence to indwell us, then this verse in no way contradicts Oneness theology. It is fully compatible with my views. One thing it does show, that within the larger context of Scripture, even within this section of John, Jesus refers to himself and the Father interchangeably.

John 15:26 should be understood in harmony with John 14:26, which precedes it. There Jesus says that the Father will send the Holy Spirit to them. In John 15:26 Jesus says that he will send the Spirit from the Father. Is there a contradiction here? Not at all, because Jesus is God, who is his Father and ours (John 8:53; John 20:17). Also, Jesus’ message to his disciples in John 14:15-28, was that he would return to them in the Spiritual form and indwell them. After he revealed to them plainly that he is the Father (vv. 7-11), he reveals to them that the Father who is “in” him (vv. 10-11), indwelling his humanity, will come to indwell them as well. How? As Jesus in them, for he tells them, “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (v. 20). This other Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit will be he—Jesus—himself (vv. 17-21). He tells them plainly in verse 18, “I will come to you,” and again in verse 21, “I will love him and manifest myself to him.” He also proceeds to tell them that this indwelling presence is both him and the Father together (v. 23). This is Jesus’ own explanation of how he will “manifest [him]elf to us [his disciples], and not to the world” (v. 22).

So, you see that, although the Scriptures do indeed teach that there is one God and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each God. The classic Oneness argument is that the Scriptures never teach the second (or third—however you slice it) affirmation of Trinitarianism, that the Father is not the Son, Son is not the Spirit, Spirit is not the Father (an absolutely impossible claim to support from Scripture), etc. My argument goes one step further. Whereas Trinitarians claim similarly that the Bible never so much as hints that the Father is the Son, that the Son and Father, respectively, are the Holy Spirit, and that somehow proves, or at least supports the Trinitarian view over the Oneness view, in this they are sorely mistaken. For John 14 absolutely does more than hint, it states it outright, from Jesus’ own lips, in his last intimate meeting with his disciples before his crucifixion, (1) that Jesus is the Father, (2) that Jesus is the Holy Spirit, and (3) that the Holy Spirit is both the Father and Jesus simultaneously. Thus, Trinitarianism fails and only Oneness prevails as the best view which accounts for the entirety of biblical revelation.

If this does not fully answer the question to your satisfaction, I can offer you my Oneness understanding of what John 15:26 if you like, so that you can compare it with what you might hear a Trinitarian saying. What is certain, is that if there are two possible interpretations of a specific verse, that does not prove on over the other. John 15:26 can be understood as Jesus restating what he stated earlier in chapter 14 using different words. The distinction that you are getting hung up on between the Father and the Son is real, but not eternal. It is a distinction of modes of being, Jesus the man referring, as he often does, to God his Father, not God the Father as in the first person of the Trinity, but God as a whole, the godhead if you will. That’s the Oneness view, and it is completely compatible with all of the Scripture references that Trinitarians use.

As I often say, there’s no doubt that Trinitarianism is biblically based, but Oneness is biblical. Therein lies the fundamental difference between the two, and biblical is better than biblically based.

Positive Presentation of the Oneness View of John 15:26

Out of the many scriptural citations that Trinitarians use to assert their doctrine of the “three-in-oneness” of God, the vast majority are simply poorly chosen. John 15:26, however, is not one of them. On its surface, this verse can be taken as evidence for the Trinitarian doctrine—legitimately, I think. However, it is important to note that John 15:26 can be interpreted with either a Trinitarian or a Oneness slant. I will offer you my Oneness interpretation of the verse for you to consider alongside your Trinitarian interpretation. First, I think that it is important to note that both Oneness and Trinitarian interpretations of this verse can be true, but if that is the case, then Trinitarianism is true and Oneness is false. If the Trinitarian interpretation is ultimately true, then Oneness as a doctrine is false. If the Oneness interpretation of this one verse is true, it does not necessarily prove Oneness over Trinitarianism. To state it another way, if

Oneness View True à Trinity still possible

Trinity View True à Oneness not possible

I can parse that out after I offer the Oneness view of the passage, if you’d like. Without further ado, here is my view of what John 15:26 is saying.

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”

As I showed you before, in John 14:26 it is the Father sending the Spirit in Jesus’ name, and here it is Jesus sending the Spirit from the Father. There is no contradiction here. The two harmonize perfectly in Oneness theology. Consider also, John 14:14, “If you ask anything in my name I will do it,” = “that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you” (John 15:16) and “whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you” (16:23). Do you see how throughout these final Passion discourses the Lord is saying the same thing to his disciples multiple times in different ways while referring to the Father and to himself interchangeably? Oneness believers do!

When Jesus is glorified, he is fused together with the Father. The limited, frail humanity is no more. He becomes a “life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). He, as the Son, then becomes omnipresent, and there is no longer a stark distinction between Father and Son as there was during the earthly life of Jesus. The two, once seeming opposites—God and man—are now fully compatible and complimentary. He is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15; Hebrews 1:3). His glorified body does not return; it is seated on God’s throne until his glorious return at the end of the age. Yet his glorified humanity is fused together with the eternal Spirit of his Father and, although it was always his true, transcendent identity all along, thus becomes an extension of his glorious body. This is what I believe the Bible refers to as his glorification, which had to take place prior to the Spirit being given (John 7:39). He comes to indwell us by God’s Spirit, which is him (John 14:18), both him and his father (John 14:23). This is why Jesus said, “A little while longer and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19) and:

“These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”

Let us consider the phrase “figurative language.” The Lord is speaking using human terms of sending and being sent. This is figurative language. When he says, “I will come to you,” this is a plain declaration of the assurance of Jesus’ presence. It is akin to, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” in Matthew 28:20.

So, Jesus sends the Spirit (and the Father is sending him as well), because Jesus is the Father. The Spirit is with us, and this is both Jesus and the Father indwelling us. Another way this is described in scripture is Jesus baptizing us with the Holy Spirit, who is his Father (Luke 1:35), in the same way that John uses water! These metaphors are all different ways of saying the same thing, that Jesus Christ would come back after his ascension to spiritually indwell and empower his followers. Thus, the Spirit proceeds forth from God and fills all things. The term “Holy Spirit” refers to God’s omnipresence. So Jesus is glorified, fused together with the Power on High (Matt. 26:64), the inapproachable light which no man has seen nor can see (1 Timothy 6:16), in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18) and becomes a live-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). Then he indwells us who follow him and accept his plan of salvation (Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19-20, etc.)

Now if this view of Jesus on the throne indwelling us as the Holy Spirit is true. This alone doesn’t prove that they’re not 3 distinct persons, the Father, Son, and Spirit, but it makes Oneness a viable option. If however, the Father bids the newly arrived Christ to send the Spirit, and each are distinct individuals, and the Christ is only “with us” and “in us” representatively through the Holy Spirit, then Oneness can’t be true. This, however, cannot be proved by this verse (especially out of context as a verse out of context can prove very little) nor has it ever been conclusively proven from any part of the Bible. Every verse or passage in the Bible that provides legitimate evidence for the Trinity can also be understood in Oneness terms. Every verse is fully compatible with Oneness theology. However, not every verse is compatible with the Trinity, namely any verse or passage which specifically identifies Jesus as the Father or the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit as the Father of Jesus, and I would add, any passage which states that GOD is Jesus’ Father and it cannot be substantiated that a first person within GOD is meant and not GOD in his entirety (i.e. John 3:16).

In conclusion, in Oneness interpretation of the Scriptures:

The Father sending=Jesus Sending=Jesus Coming=Jesus and the Father Coming=the Spirit Coming=Jesus Baptizing with the Spirit

Same thing with the indwelling of God’s Spirit in us.

Notice in closing that Jesus states this in two ways in John 14, both before and after Judas’ question:

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21).

Which equals:

“Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23).

I think that about settles it.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

Rodney L. Smith

The issue is simple here. The Bible plainly teaches over and over again that God is one: Deuteronomy 6; Isaiah 44:24; 45:6; 47:8-10; Jesus in Matthew 22:35–40, Mark 12:28–34; etc. Jesus’ deity is also clearly stated and presented both explicitly (expressly stated/expounded) and implicitly (demonstrated by his unique actions and abilities).

Regarding the classical definition of the doctrine of the Trinity: “There is one God externally existent in three co-equal persons, Father, Son and Spirit. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, the Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son.” This whole statement is not encapsulated in any BIBLICAL teaching (pardon the caps, please treat as italics).

We can break this down further into Trinitarianism part A and part B. The first statement in the above definition is often taught by Trinitarians by itself. Then, the biblical evidence offered only covers this statement: “There is one God, eternally existing, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” This is a “Oneness” statement. More accurately, it is a biblical statement. So, Trinitarians will commonly state their view, prove Oneness biblically, and then assume the rest “eternally existing in three persons” and “each divine Person is not the other divine Person.”

Eclectic evidence will be accumulated to support these two parts of the theory, but no direct BIBLICAL (italics) teaching or statement is anywhere to be found. Plain, clear biblical statements and teachings (teachings can be discourses, demonstrations through storytelling or actions, or even themes of whole sections or books), this is what is needed for us to qualify something as truly “biblical.” Gathering biblical statements to formulate an eclectic doctrine does not equal biblical doctrine. It might be that an eclectic, gathering-of-facts doctrine might also be biblical IF indeed it is stated or taught elsewhere. However, this is not always the case. This eclectic, “Bible-based” approach is often wrong and is how many heresies/departures from truth are supported, e.g. Judaizers, Arianism, anti-Semitism, etc. The point here is that just because the Bible is used to support an idea, it does not follow that the idea is true. On the contrary, truly “BIBLICAL” (italics) ideas are always true, and we must submit to them.

Trinitarianism is not the latter but the former. It is not a biblical doctrine but merely a bible-based doctrine. Therefore, it could be wrong, and no one should ever be forced or required to bow to it in submission unless it can be demonstrated to be wholly biblical and not merely Bible-based. Then, if the Bible-based doctrine contradicts any part of truly biblical teaching or any biblical statement, then it is most surely false and needs to be either thrown out or revised to accord and align with biblical revelation. If a Bible-based teaching does not cohere to or converge with biblical revelation, then it is likely to be false in some aspect. If it contradicts in any way, then it is assuredly false.

So then, a clear and deliberate articulation of the Trinitarian doctrine, such as we see in the Athanasian Creed of the 7th century, is what would be needed to occur somewhere in Scripture in order to make that doctrine authoritative and true divinely inspired orthodoxy. Perhaps even a parable in which God is depicted as a three-person committee in deliberation or by a parallel of three “whos” together equaling one “something,” something metaphorical like this could also qualify as biblical teaching. Still, there is nothing like either of these, not anything explicitly stated, nor anything implicitly taught or illustrated. Note that nothing extra-biblical can qualify as biblical. So, such a statement or teaching, even in the form of exposition, must be found somewhere in the pages of Scripture. However, it is utterly absent, and this is the first of the major Trinitarian dilemmas and shortcomings, namely, that the doctrine is not truly biblical. It is not anywhere taught or explained by Jesus, the apostles, nor by any prophet, Moses, David, not anywhere and not by anyone, not until post-biblical times. This is the second major Trinitarian dilemma. It is extra-biblical “revelation” in the truest sense of the phrase. Therefore, to classify it on the same level as scriptural proclamations and teachings is to exalt post-biblical ideations and writings to the same level of God’s inspired Scriptures.

Calling on Jesus as YHWH

James N. Anderson & Rodney L. Smith

“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Joel 2:32

As Apostolic Christians we baptize invoking the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38). In doing so, we are calling on the name of the LORD (Acts 22:16). This tradition does not exist in a vacuum. In other words, the disciples did not just invent this tradition of calling on the name of Jesus at baptism. They believed Jesus to be more than a man indwelt by God’s Spirit. They believed that He Himself was the One True God of the Old Testament.

The following New Testament references speak about “calling on the name of the Lord.”

Acts 2:21; 9:14; 22:16
Romans 10:12-14
1 Corinthians 1:2

In the New Testament, the apostles of Jesus preached that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13). Peter does so while quoting Joel 2:32, in which the prophet Joel used the name Yahweh (YHWH, “the tetragrammaton,” the Old Testament name of God). YHWH was and is read as adonai in Hebrew and was translated as kurios in Greek by the Jews to avoid profaning the sacred name of God. Both adonai and kurios mean “Lord,” and in many English Bibles YHWH is translated as “LORD” in all capital letters. This always refers to Yahweh God (incorrectly translated Jehovah in the past).

When Peter and the other New Testament authors preached about “calling on the name of the Lord,” it was the same as saying “calling on the name of the LORD,” capital L.O.R.D. or Yahweh, the one true God if Israel.

Compare those New Testament references with these Scriptures from the Old Testament:

Genesis 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 21:33; 26:25
Exodus 34:5
1 Kings 18:24- 27
2 Kings 5:11
1 Chronicles 16:8-9
Psalms 79:6
Psalm 80:18; 99:5-6; 105:1; 116:4, 13, 17
Isaiah 12:4; 41:25; 64:7; 65:1
Jeremiah 10:25
Lamentations 3:55-56
Zephaniah 3:9
Zechariah 13:9

In all of these passages, the one called upon is believed to be God. They did not call on the name of an especially endowed man, or one they believed to just be a human being or a high-ranking angel. Specifically, the Israelites believed that they were calling on the one true God, Yahweh.

The saving authority vested in calling on the name of the Lord is partially rooted in the fact that He has the power to save, a power that comes from Him being God. Now, when we call on the name of Jesus, in baptism, we are calling on the name of the LORD, capital L.O.R.D. because Jesus is, just as His name suggests, Yahweh who saves.

Jesus in Hebrews 1:3

Rodney L. Smith

Hebrews 1:3, speaking of Jesus, says,

“Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power (or powerful word, NIV), when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

This says that God, Father of the human Jesus, is a “Person” not “persons” and that Jesus is the “express image” or “exact representation” of that Person. Therefore, God is 1 person because Jesus, His exact image and “representation of His being” (NIV) is only one person. This sheds a whole lot of light on Colossians 2:9, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” that is, in Jesus Christ. Look also at what follows. It is the Son, Jesus, who sustains everything by His own “powerful word” (NIV). If Jesus is merely God’s Word and distinct from Him, then it would be inaccurate to say that Jesus “sustains” or upholds the universe by His word. It would rather be God the Father who sustains the cosmos by His powerful Word, if trinitarian theology were true. However, this plainly shows that the only way to correctly interpret who Christ is and who God is is to confess that they, rather He, is one and the same Person, for Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1), and yet Jesus sovereignly sustains and supports everything by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3).

God in His Own Words

The central idea of this work is this:

The only Person qualified to define the

Godhead is the Almighty God Himself.

We look therefore to those treasured verses in the Bible, where He does just that; reveals to us the essence of His nature in His own words.

Any attempt by man to take on this task will be guaranteed to fall short, as we are but dust and ashes in His sight. He is the Potter, and we are merely the clay. In the past man has made just such attempts in creed and doctrine while blatantly adding to the word of God his (man’s) own feeble words, often inducing error. As if that were not enough, these same extra-biblical writings made hundreds of years after the completion of the Bible have been imposed on others as a litmus test of faith.

But now, let us hear what God declares about the very essence of His nature, again, in His own words.

  • Genesis 1:1-2: God, the Spirit of God
    This shows how biblical language defies the language of the Trinitarian creeds, such as the Athanasian Creed, by the absence of any mention or explanation of divine “persons” when varying the terminology from “God” to “the Spirit of God,” when referring to the Creator of the universe. These two terms are used synonymously, not complimentarily, when God is first introduced in the opening verses of the Bible.
  • Genesis 1:26-27 & 3:22-24: God, He, the LORD God
    Comparing these two passages of Scripture shows that the proper understanding of the term “us” of Genesis 1:26 is referring to the heavenly hosts as opposed to “three persons” of God.
  • Genesis 1:26-27 (Part 2): the Image in which man was created
    Man was created in the image of God. But some see only a surface level view of what that means, limiting their understanding to a comparison of “our body, soul, and spirit are reflective of a ‘Trinity'”. But are these the true attributes to which God was referring or is there much more? Let’s look.
  • Deuteronomy 6:4: the LORD our God, One
    Directly defines God to Israel as being “one”.
  • Proverbs 30:5-65: the One whose Word is pure, a Shield to those who trust Him
    Here we have warnings from God not to add to His word. This should be strongly considered when reading post-biblical writings, including the late fifth or early sixth century A.D. writing called the ‘Athanasian Creed’ on which the current doctrine of the Trinitarianism is most directly based.
  • Isaiah 9:6: Child, Son, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
    This verse directly calls the Son of God who is prophesied to be born, “the everlasting Father,” in plain, clear, black and white text. No mistake about it!
  • Isaiah 43:11: I, the LORD, Me, the only Savior
    Since God declares that “besides me there is no Savior”, then Jesus Christ must Himself be that very Person of God.
  • Matthew 18:20: I, the One present in the midst of His people
    Shows by implication that Christ Himself is the Person of the Holy Spirit, since He states that it is He Himself in the midst of His believers.
  • Matthew 28:20: I, the One who is always with His disciples
    Since Jesus declares, “I am with you always,” implies that He Himself is the Person of the Holy Spirit.
  • Luke 1:35: Holy Spirit, the Highest, Holy One, Son of God
    Declares that it was the Holy Ghost who overshadowed Mary to cause the conception of the Lord Jesus. Since the Holy Ghost is the father of the child Jesus, then the Person of the Holy Ghost has to be the very Person of the Father. This in itself seals the fact that God, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are absolutely one, not multiple persons.
  • John 1:1 & 1:14: the Word, God, the Word become Flesh, the only begotten of Father
    Shows how the term “Son” is misapplied when used before the incarnation of the Word. The accurate term to use for He who became “the Son” prior to Jesus’ birth is “the Word”.
  • John 4:24: God, Spirit, Him
    Definition that “God is a Spirit” as given directly by Jesus Christ. Since God is a Spirit, it is impossible that there be more than one divine Spirit.
  • John 8:24, 58, 59: I am He, I AM, Him, Jesus
    Jesus declares that He is the “I AM”, not the “second person” of a Trinity.
  • John 14:7-10: Me, My Father, Him, the Father, Jesus,  I, Me, the One who dwells in Jesus
    Shows how the Person of the Father is the Person of Jesus Christ
  • John 14:17-18: the Spirit of Truth, Him, the One who dwells with the apostles, the One who would indwell the apostles, I, the One who will not leave us orphans, the One who comes to us
    Shows how the Person of Jesus is the Person of the Holy Spirit
  • Romans 8:9-11: the Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, Christ, the Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead, He, the life-giver, His Spirit who dwells in you
    Directly calls the “Spirit of God”, the “Spirit of Christ” in the same breath. This is highly related to John 14:17.
  • Colossians 2:8-9: Christ, Him, the fullness of the Godhead, the One in bodily form, Him, the Head of all principality and power
    Declares that “all the fullness of the Godhead” was present in Jesus Christ, not “1/3” of a “trinity”.
  • 1 Timothy 3:16: God manifested in the flesh, the Spirit, the One preached, believed on, and received up in glory
    Declares that God Himself was manifested in the flesh, not a “second divine person”.
  • Hebrews 1:3: the brightness of His [God’s] glory, the express image of His Person, the One who upholds all things by His Word, He, Himself, the One who purged our sins, the One at the right hand of the Majesty on high, the Majesty on high
    The only time that the word “Person” appears in the New Testament with reference to God, and it is in the singular form. It is also all-inclusive, referring to the Son, Jesus Christ, as “the exact representation” of the Father’s “Person”. Thus the Person of the Son is the Person Father manifested in visible form. The visible human Person is the “image” and “exact representation” of the invisible divine Person. Note the phrase “exact representation of His Person” once again. Jesus did not come as “three Persons”; He came as a single human Person. Therefore, as “God… manifested in the flesh” and as “the exact representation of His Person,” Jesus Christ, by coming as one Person, reveals that God is only one Person.
  • 1 John 5:7-8: Father, Word, Holy Spirit, three that are One, not three that agree as one (as in verse 8)
    In the incredible difference between the ending of these two verses, the oneness of God’s nature is revealed. This highly questionable verse states that the Father, Word, and Holy Spirit are One, not that they “agree as one,” not one in unity, but one in essence, being, and person. In contrast, they are the three elements of salvation which “agree as one.” The Spirit, the water, and the blood are plurality in unity, but God is one Being who takes on multiple roles.
  • Revelation 1:8: Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, the Lord, He who is, was, and is coming, the Almighty
    Jesus calls Himself directly, “the Almighty”.

Here is a thought to follow this reading of God’s own words describing Himself. It is perfectly natural for men to begin to imagine what God must be like after they learn of Him. They begin thinking of what they might see at the time of Christ’s return, or what they will behold in Heaven, the Millennial Kingdom, etc. But when assuming the huge responsibility of communicating to others the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must constrain ourselves to the use of the same language He uses (the same wording in whatever dialect) and to the same concepts which He has revealed to us. In so doing the church will be speaking the same thing and the same Gospel which we have received commandment from Christ Himself to proclaim.

In limiting ourselves to the use of God’s own definitions of Himself, the church can avoid debates and divisions caused by Scripture-altering, extra-biblical teachings and writings as in the case of the Athanasian Creed and other post-first century representations of Christianity, however popular they might have been then, as well as today. By upholding and remaining in the integrity of God’s Word alone as direct divine revelation, we the church of Jesus Christ will be faithful witnesses of His great salvation.