The Oneness of God
Although the Godhead is considered by many as a mystery which can not be explained or understood, the Bible advises that it is understandable. ”And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16) The Bible further states, ”That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;…” (Colossians 2:2) Nonetheless, controversies still arise between the strict monotheistic teachings and beliefs of one God, as compared to those who believe and teach otherwise. To many, these differences of belief are unimportant or of no concern. Regardless of what others believe, to oneness believers, the belief of one God is essential towards the acknowledgement and establishment of the true deity of Jesus Christ as God. The oneness believer accepts that there is only one true God, who continues to use three different manifestations or positions to reveal Himself unto all of mankind. The oneness believer accepts God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost in these different roles as the one and only true God. The word of God states, ”For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” (1 John:5:7)
Nevertheless, to fully understand the oneness of God, there are several precepts which need to be considered and discussed:
- The Bible emphatically declares that there is only one God.
- The omnipresence of God. (the ability to be in many places at the same time)
- God’s plan and purpose of offering Himself as a sacrifice for all sin.
- The dual nature of Jesus Christ.
- The deity of Jesus Christ.
- With these considerations in mind, let’s briefly examine how these precepts apply…
The Bible teaches that there is only one true God. Historically, the teaching of Judaism, which is the foundation for our Judo-Christian beliefs today, strictly teaches the monotheistic belief of one God. Although, they rejected Jesus as the messiah, their belief and teachings of one God are solidly pronounced. Many Old Testament passages, affirm strict monotheism and are interpreted literally to exclude any plurality of the deity of God. ”Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:10-11). ”I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 46:9). ”Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” (Deuteronomy 6:4) Simply stated, God shares his throne with no one else. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Oneness believer do not deny the Father, the Son, and/or the Holy Ghost. They understand the title of God the Father, as it refers to God’s role as Father of all creation. The title of Son, as it refers to God’s incarnation of Christ. And, the title or role of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, as it describes the fundamental characteristics of God’s nature and activities, particularly His spiritual indwelling of man. Regardless, whether Christian or Jew, the oneness believer strictly believes in only one God, and rejects all other doctrines which attempt to indicate differently.
The second consideration, the omnipresence of God, is to believe in God’s ability to be everywhere. God is a Spirit and He can be everywhere at the same time. God declared His omnipresence by saying, ”The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool” (Isaiah 66:1). The Apostle Paul preached that the Lord is ”not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:27-28). When God came to earth and inhabited the fleshly body of Jesus, most certainly heaven was not empty. God was still as much in heaven as He was in the physical body of Jesus Christ. That was why with such authority; Jesus was able to say, ”he that hath seen me hath seen the Father,…” (John 14:9) and ”I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30) Those who understand the nature of God, know that He is omnipresent (all places), as well as omnipotent (all powerful), and omniscient (all knowing). It is extremely important that we do not attempt to limit God’s ability with our limited human experiences and our lack of the understanding of His awesome power and abilities. It is because of God’s omnipresence, He was able to be in the body of Jesus Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. (2 Corinthians 5:19)
As the third consideration, it is important to understand the plan of God as it pertains to the Christ and our eternal salvation. It is essential to the understanding of the oneness of God to know that God himself came and robed Himself in the flesh as Jesus Christ. This was done in order to provide the perfect blood sacrifice for the remission of all sin, for without the shedding of blood there can be no remission or release from sin and/or relationship with God. Jesus said during ”the last supper”, ”For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28) Therefore, God came to earth as a sinless man in the form of Jesus Christ, so He could become the perfect sacrifice for all of mankind. Yes, Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, but he was also ”Emmanuel”, God with us. (Matthew 1:23) It must be clearly understood that God as the Father is a Spirit, and the physical body of Jesus was the manner in which God choose to reveal or present himself to a lost and dying world. In other words, Jesus was the expression and manifestation of God himself. That is why Jesus said, ”I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). There is no salvation outside the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other way to approach God as the Father except through Jesus, because Jesus is God Almighty himself. ”For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” ”And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Colossians 2:9-10) In short, it was God’s plan to offer the perfect blood sacrifice for the sins of this world, through the body of Jesus Christ on a wooden cross at Calvary.
Fourthly to consider, in addition to being God and man, Jesus had two distinct natures when he walked upon this earth. One nature was his human or fleshly side, the other nature was his divine or Godly side. As the flesh, Jesus was born, grew and developed mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. As a man he was tempted by the devil, hungered and thirsted. In the flesh, Jesus grew weary, he prayed, and he died. But as God, Jesus cast out devils, miraculously fed the multitudes, calmed the storm, walk upon water, healed the sick, and raised His own body from the dead. This is why it is important when we read a statement of scripture about Jesus, we should first determine whether it describes or pertains to His deity and/or His humanity nature. Moreover, whenever Jesus speaks in scripture, we must determine whether He is speaking from His position as a human or as God. An example of when Jesus spoke and acted in his human nature was when he was crucified. While dying upon the cross, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) It was during the agony and excruciating pain of the cross, when the fleshly side or human nature of Jesus was crying out. In contrast, an example of when Jesus spoke or acted from his divine nature was when he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” (John 11:43) The act of raising Lazarus from the dead was certainly the Godly nature of Jesus speaking forth. Briefly stated, the two natures of deity and humanity were joined together in one person, Jesus. Oneness believers accept that Jesus was both man and God during his physical presence while upon this earth. It is important to understand His duel nature, so not to be confused when Jesus was acting as man or as God himself.
The final consideration and the most important, concerns the deity of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that Jesus is fully God and was fully human. The Apostles Paul and Peter described Jesus as ”…the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”, and ”…God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”. (Titus 2:13 & 2 Peter 1:1). They knew and accepted the deity of Jesus as God. Even today, there are many who want to present Jesus as something lesser then God, in an attempt to dilute His true identity and power as God. There is nothing more the Devil wants then for us to believe that there is no power or authority in Jesus or his name. Oneness believers know and accept that Jesus is not just a part of God, but all of God is resident in Him and we are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). Oneness theology believes that Jesus is the incarnation of all the identity, character, and personality of one God who is the Father of all. ”One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:6) Even the Old Testament describes ”Yahweh” as the Almighty, only Savior, Lord of lords, First and Last, only Creator, Holy One, Redeemer, Judge, Shepherd, and Light. The New Testament attaches these same titles and attributes to Jesus Christ, because God the Father is incarnate in Jesus. Jesus said, ”I and my Father are one,” ”He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” and ”The Father . . . dwelleth in me” (John 10:30; 14:9-10) In short, the Word which became flesh was God. ”For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:…and his name shall be called…, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah :9:6) It is important to know that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, and His name is the highest name by which God is revealed (Philippians. 2:9-11; Colossians 1:15). Simply explained, there is only one God and He is our Father, He is our Savior, and He is the Holy Spirit within our hearts. Please understand, there is only one God in the Old Testament and He was called ”Jehovah”. In the New Testament, our God ”Jehovah” was incarnate in the body of the Christ, and was called ”Jesus”.
In conclusion, make up your own mind. But ask yourself who said, I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last? Who died for our sins, rose from the grave, and ascended unto heaven? Who went to prepare a place for the saints of God, and will return to raise the dead in Christ first and then the living? Who is coming for his bride (the church) and will oversee the marriage supper of the lamb? Who will return in all of His glory to defeat Satin and establish His kingdom for all eternity? And finally, once in heaven, at who’s feet will we lay down our crowns of gold, and then spend all of eternity with? The answer to all of these questions is ”Jesus”. It would seem simple to understand now, why oneness believers want to take the name of Jesus in baptism. Oneness believers want to be identified with His name, to hold up, magnify, and glorify that name above all names, knowing that when Jesus returns, He will be looking for His church. In closing, there is only one God and only one who shall return in all of His glory. As a final thought, the Bible says in James 2:19, ”Thou believes that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Please search God’s word, pray, and ask the Lord Jesus to show you this important revelation and understanding of the ”Oneness of God”.