Chapter 13. CONCLUSION
In summary, what can we say about God? We know there is one indivisible God (Deuteronomy 6:4). God is a Spirit (John 4:24) and therefore invisible to man (John 1:18; I Timothy 6:16). He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent (Psalm 139; Revelation 19:6). In the Old Testament, God manifested Himself many times in visible ways (Genesis 18:1; Exodus 33:22-23). These temporary, visible manifestations are called theophanies. In the New Testament, God manifested Himself in human flesh as Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 1:1, 14; I Timothy 3:16).
In the Old Testament God revealed Himself by the name Jehovah or Yahweh, which means the Self Existing One or the Eternal One.
The New Testament often describes the one God as the Father. This title emphasizes His role as Creator and Father of all (Malachi 2:10), as Father of the born-again believers (Romans 8:14-16), and as Father of the only begotten Son (John 3:16).
In addition, the Bible uses the term Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit to refer to the one God. This describes what God is and emphasizes God in activity (Genesis 1:2), particularly in activity related to man such as regenerating, baptizing, filling, and anointing (Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-4).
The Bible also uses the term Word to refer to the one God, particularly to the thought, plan, or expression of God (John 1:1, 14).
In the New Testament, God manifested Himself in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. This manifestation of God is called the Son of God (not God the Son) because He was literally conceived in the womb of a woman by the miraculous operation of the Spirit of God (Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:35). Thus the word Son never denotes deity alone, but always describes God as manifested in the flesh, in Christ (Matthew 25:31), and sometimes describes Christ's humanity alone (Romans 5:10). We do not say that the Father is the Son, but that the Father is in the Son. We cannot separate the Son from the Incarnation (Galatians 4:4). Therefore, the Son did not pre-exist the Incarnation except as a plan in the mind of God, namely as the Word.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God - God in flesh (Matthew 1:21-23). He has a dual nature - human and divine, or flesh and Spirit. In other words, two complete natures are united inseparably in the person of Jesus Christ. In His human nature Jesus is the son of Mary. In His divine nature Jesus is the one God Himself (II Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 3:16). Jesus is the Father (Isaiah 9:6; John 10:30; 14:6-11), Jehovah (Jeremiah 23:6), the Word (John 1:14), and the Holy Spirit (II Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 3:16-17).
The Bible clearly teaches the doctrine of the oneness of God and the absolute deity of Jesus Christ. The early Christians believed this great truth, and many people have adhered to it throughout history. Although in the course of history trinitarianism became the predominant doctrine in Christendom, the Scriptures do not teach it. In fact, the Bible nowhere mentions or alludes to the word trinity, the phrase "three persons in one substance," or the phrase "three persons in one God." We can explain all the Scriptures in both testaments adequately without any need to resort to the doctrine of the trinity.
Trinitarianism contradicts and detracts from important biblical teachings. It detracts from the Bible's emphasis on God's absolute oneness, and it detracts from Jesus Christ's full deity. Trinitarian doctrine as it exists today did not develop fully and the majority of Christendom did not accept it fully until the fourth century after Christ.
Here are five specific ways in which the biblical doctrine of Christian monotheism differs from the presently existing doctrine of trinitarianism. (1) The Bible does not speak of an eternally existing "God the Son;" for the Son refers only to the Incarnation. (2) The phrase "three persons in one God" is inaccurate because there is no distinction of persons in God. If "persons" indicates a plurality of personalities, wills, minds, beings, or visible bodies, then it is incorrect because God is one being with one personality, will, and mind. He has one visible body - the glorified human body of Jesus Christ. (3) The term "three persons" is incorrect because there is no essential threeness about God. The only number relevant to God is one. He has many different roles, titles, manifestations, or attributes, and we cannot limit them to three. (4) Jesus is the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for Jesus is the revealed name of God in the New Testament (John 5:43; Matthew 1:21; John 14:26). Therefore, we correctly administer water baptism using the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38). (5) Jesus is the incarnation of the fulness of God. He is the incarnation of the Father (the Word, the Spirit, Jehovah) not just the incarnation of a person called "God the Son."
What is the essence of the doctrine of God as taught by the Bible - the doctrine we have labelled Oneness? First, there is one indivisible God with no distinction of persons. Second, Jesus Christ is the fulness of the Godhead incarnate. He is God the Father - the Jehovah of the Old Testament - robed in flesh. All of God is in Jesus Christ, and we find all we need in Him. The only God we will ever see in heaven is Jesus Christ.
Having said all of this, why is a correct understanding of and belief in this doctrine so important? Here are four reasons. (1) It is important because the whole Bible teaches it and emphasizes it. (2) Jesus stressed how important it is for us to understand who He really is the Jehovah of the Old Testament: "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). The word he is in italics in the King James Version, which indicates it is not in the Greek but was added by the translators. So Jesus called Himself the "I AM," the name Jehovah used in Exodus 3:14-15. Jesus was saying, "If you believe not that I AM, you shall die in your sins." It is not mandatory that a person have a thorough comprehension of all questions relating to the Godhead to be saved, but he must believe that there is one God and that Jesus is God. (3) The Oneness message determines the formula for water baptism - in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38). (4) Oneness teaches us how important the baptism of the Holy Ghost really is. Since there is only one Spirit of God, and since the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, Oneness shows us that we receive Christ into our lives when we are filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).
Since the Bible so plainly teaches the oneness of God and the full deity of Jesus Christ, why is it obscure to many people, especially to those in Christendom? The answer is that it comes not merely through intellectual study but through divine illumination of the Scriptures. It comes through prayerful study, diligent searching, and intense desire for truth. When Peter made his great confession of the deity of Jesus, Jesus said, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 16:16-17). Therefore, if we want to understand the mighty God in Christ we must put away man's doctrines, traditions, philosophies, and theories. In their place we must put the pure Word of God. We must ask God to reveal this great truth to us through His Word. We must seek after His Spirit to illuminate His Word and to guide us into all truth (John 14:26; 16:13). It is not enough to rely on church dogmas, for church dogmas are only valid if they are taught in Scripture. We must go back to the Bible itself, study it, and ask God to illuminate it by His Spirit.
It is appropriate that we close this book with Colossians 2:8-10, a great passage of warning, instruction, and inspiration with regard to the precious truths of the oneness of God and the deity of Jesus Christ.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power."
The Oneness of God