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!